Once Upon a Time Sneak Peek: Meet Belle's Cursed Persona -- Plus, a Birthday Shocker?

When Once Upon a Time returns on April 21 (ABC, 8/7c), Belle will sport a new look and a new attitude, and we’ve got your first glimpse at the heroine’s racy, cursed persona.

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Spin-Off Once: Wonderland Cast — Sophie Lowe as Alice

Mr. Gold enlists David to help him try to jog Belle’s buried memories but gets more than he bargained for when she “awakens.”

“Lacey’s very interesting,” Emilie De Ravin teased at PaleyFest, while co-creator Eddy Kitsis added, “She’s the opposite of Belle. Things are going to get a lot more interesting for Mr. Gold.”

Meanwhile, it looks like Henry celebrates his birthday with his strange, new, makeshift family. But what’s to account for his parental units’ surprised/shocked faces?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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73 Comments
  1. That must have been one heck of a birthday wish. I wonder if they are about to pull a Liar, Liar on us.

  2. Donna says:

    It’s gross that Regina isn’t allowed to be at Henry’s birthday party. She’s his mother, and the way the show is content to let Rumple be apart of the family – even though he’s a murderer – just because he’s BLOOD-RELATED whereas Regina is shunned for the same offenses but is worse off because she’s his ADOPTIVE family, is sending all sorts of awful messages.

    • / says:

      Oh for crying outloud stop making assumptions, it’s a tv show

      • Diva says:

        It’s not an assumption, when they’re facts. I feel the same way Donna does. Regina has been more of a mother to Henry than Swan or Snow put together since she’s the only one that actually raised her child.

        • Will says:

          I think you’re letting sympathy for Lana Parilla’s great nuanced acting get in the way of the fact that she is the Black Queen. She actively made threats and took actions in the hope of killing Henry’s biological mother and grandparents, along with at one point stealing him and using her power to keep them prisoner. He doesn’t want to be with her and she is an unstable person driven by an insatiable need for revenge. ANY child would be taken away from someone who has done far less than Regina has, and if she could be locked up for her crimes, she’d deserve it. The idea that she wouldn’t be present at his birthday party when he’s been living outside of her care for a long while now is completely reasonable. And the inclusion of Rumple is tied to the fact that not only has he done nothing nearly as bad since the curse wore off, but the fact that he is Neil’s father, whose goal is to be back in Neil’s good graces, and you can expect that with all the help he has given them, he is much more welcome and trusted to be around the Charmings than Regina is.

          • giftofamber says:

            On the contrary, Rumple *created* the “Black Queen.” Rumple gave Snow the idea to exchange his own life for Cora’s. Rumple threatened the Charmings to get them to go to Manhattan with them. He’s certainly not blameless (and yes, I do like his character), but the fact remains, none of the Charmings are Henry’s legal guardian. The show has been treating Henry’s adoption like Regina was merely a former step-parent who no longer has any custody due to a divorce. Even murderers in prison get visitation rights with their children. Regardless, I expect this sort of thing from the Charmings. Emma, who grew up in our world with our laws….now that’s what I really struggle with. How could Emma go along with that? Emma is supposed to be a hero, and not inviting her son’s mother to a birthday party is not very hero-like.

          • Name That Tune says:

            They are also forgetting that Henry has 2 mothers and that his adoptive mother has been ought to destroy his grandmother for centuries. If the Evil Queen had succeeded, Henry would not have been born. And no curse would have happened.

    • lyn says:

      She isn’t his mother. She’s a demented caregiver. She killed her father to gain her own ends, she killed her lover when he paid attention to another woman [even though he was only her lover through coercion], she put the boy in therapy when he began to guess the truth. She’s a monster.

      • giftofamber says:

        Villains do evil things. That’s part of what makes them villains. That does not negate the fact that Regina is Henry’s mother, and I expect better behavior out of our “heroes.” To address your points, I see those events through a vastly different lens. Regina killed her father, who had never stopped her mother’s abuse, to start a new life. She killed her “lover” when he threatened her new kingdom through his newfound memories. She put Henry in therapy long before he had the book to deal with his issues around being adopted.

        • lyn says:

          No, she didn’t put Henry in therapy before he had the book. She just didn’t know he had the book. So, in your eyes killing is OK if the person gets in your way? It was alright with you that she killed her father for not preventing the abuse? Why didn’t she kill her mother, who was the abuser? She’s not Henry’s mother in any way. He is a possession to her. Someone for her to control.

          • Louise says:

            At the beginning of season 1 at least two characters mention that Henry has been seeing Archie for therapy sessions for a long time and at the same time it’s also made clear that he went off to meet Emma quickly after he got the book. He definitely had been in therapy longer than he’d had the book according to early OUAT.

          • lyn says:

            My impression was that he had the book and began making connections to townspeople and realized he was the only one aging. Regina put him into Archie’s hands. He stole/borrowed MM’s credit card and began a web search for his birth mother. When he found her and saw her name was Emma, the same as the name on the baby blanket wrapped around Snow’s baby in the book, the penny dropped and he left for Boston.

          • midnight.blue says:

            Yeah she did put him in therapy way before he had the book. He had been seeing Archie for a long time…he obviously had issues with his mother…

        • Name That Tune says:

          Ok. But we’re not here to debate child custody laws. It is pretty certain that the laws of Maine don’t apply since the outside side world was unaware of Storybrook, ,Maine. And this is a TV Show that has someone obsessed with trying to prove some mundane point.

        • Mikael says:

          Well they’ve changed Regina since season 1. Remember when Emma could tell if someone was lying, and she asked Regina if she loved Henry and she said “Of course.” Emma knew she was lying and that’s why she decided to stay in Storybrooke. Then they decided that Regina actually did love Henry and he became her motivation for everything.

        • stephanie says:

          Lol i love how people feel bad for regina . All the while forgetting that she cast the spell bringing them all to our land. She is the reason snow and charming didnt know emma. Shes why emma didnt believe she could raise henry. Now snow was there as much as she could be during the curse.

      • Tana says:

        You can’t possibly be serious.

    • Amber says:

      While rumple has killed people, he’s never tried to kill anyone in Henry’s family – and has actually helped them more than hindered them in the past. Regina, on the othe hand, has tried to kill basically every member of Henry’s family (except maybe Neal but I’m sure that’s coming) on multiple occasions. That on its own is enough for me to say that Rumple should be there, and Regina should not.

      • Emma says:

        Except for how he threatened to kill Henry and his family. Not disagreeing with your point because Rumple has helped the Charmings, but let’s not pretend that he wouldn’t turn around and stab them if there was a choice.

        • Joey says:

          Granted, he might not anymore, considering you could count his son as part of their family, and I think we’ve all seen what he’ll do for his son, at least ever since he lost him.

        • Name That Tune says:

          We’re in the process of watching Snow White deal with a darkened heart. We know Rumple has made bad choices because of the darkness in his heart. Robert Carlyle has hinted that Rumple will continue to struggle with that darkness and make bad choices. Upcoming episodes should show us whether he can change.

    • Adam Horowitz said a few things about this to concerned fans on twitter: “How do you know she wasn’t invited?” + “Please give us the benefit of the doubt and watch the ep. I think you’ll understand and hopefully enjoy the scene.” “um, that wasn’t my response (“She’s evil”) to why she’s not at the party. There’s a much different reason. But u gotta watch to see :)” And, finally, “u have to watch in context. Please don’t judge by a clip or promo pic” Which I very much am in agreeance with…

      • Jennifer says:

        I agree, the media is notorious for doing this, showing something that seems to look a certain way but is really taken completely out of context for advertising purposes, or to create drama/controversy where there is none. I’m hoping it’s something similar to what happened to August/Pinocchio only in a fun way, like maybe Henry “wished” he was “older” and got turned into an adult or something.

      • Joan says:

        my guess, she was invited but she’s not there because thats the time she’s probably being tortured. electric shock ‘therapy’

    • Liz says:

      Um, she’s a carzy KILLER!!! She shouldn’t be allowes to take care of anybody, let alone a child! She should not have been allowed to adopt him in the first place.

    • OK, on a level I agree with Donna. Regina has been way more of a mother than Emma and she should be invited to Henry’s birthday…HOWEVER!!…Regina is the Black Queen so Emma has a hard time trusting Henry in her care, it’s been like this since the show first started. So yeah, I agree with Donna to a point, Regina should be able to spend more time with Henry

      • Name That Tune says:

        But this whole situation is the result of choices Regina made back in FTL. Ultimately, Emma never had a chance to be Henry’s mother. And that was a result of choices she made in FTL. She may deeply love Henry but she also has to be accountable for those choices. If she is having problems with that, she has to own it. Trying to destroy Snow and her family is not going to get her there.

    • Jody says:

      Henry is Owen 2.0 and look what happened to him, we still don’t know where his father is. Maybe he was Belle’s neighbor when Regina had her locked up.

    • midnight.blue says:

      Rumple’s not trying to kill any of them at this point…whereas Regina just came after the entire family to kill them all with her mother…kind of puts her at a distance…no matter who is the adoptive parent…so yeah…they both have murderous pasts..but only one of them are actually still trying to kill any of the family members…which one would you have at your kid’s birthday party? You’d probably have a restraining order on the one who just tried to kill you…

  3. Brenna says:

    Can’t wait for this episode!! Give Belle something to do other than be in the hospital. Hope for some good Rumbelle :)

  4. kirads09 says:

    I’m thinking the shocked faces are something Regina related.

    • Jared Kroto says:

      it looks to me like Henry made a wish when he blew out his candles- and maybe the wish comes true…they look mortified and he isnt in the picture- maybe he wants to leave and tinkerbell takes him away…leading to them going to neverland next season to get him back…

  5. regina isnt there cause shes back to being evil. why would they let her be there when she wants them dead?

    and can emma and neal hurry and get back together.

    • Michelle says:

      Why should she get back with the guy who SENT HER TO JAIL FOR HIS CRIME and left her with trust issues the size of Texas?!

    • Tana says:

      I don’t understand people who want this. Neal sent Emma to jail for a crime he committed, he didn’t want her to break the curse because he was so afraid his father would come looking for him (which puts an end to the romanticized ideas that he left her because he wanted her to find her family) and he hasn’t even apologized for any of this yet. Don’t you think Emma should have a little more self-respect than hurry to start a relationship with a man like that again?
      Do some of you ever think of the characters instead of only of your ‘ships’? We all have things we love about the show, but sometimes I feel like many fans let shipping blind them so much that they no longer see anything else. I see this a lot with Emma. She went from a strong character to someone fans only see as one half of a ‘ship’. No matter if the other half is Hook or Neal or another man. It saddens me.

      • ej says:

        ^ This. I would rather have Emma end up with no one than have her suddenly get hitched to some character. Hook is basically the Spike of OUAT as far as I can tell, so he’s not really a suitable suitor in any case. Neal, I’m still not sure about. I think from what he said/implied in “Manhattan” he actually let Emma go because he thought if she stayed with him his fear of facing his father would keep him from Storybrooke and thus keep her from breaking the curse (he said if their meeting might have been to keep the curse from breaking, presumably because its goal was overall a selfish one, although that’s pretty slippery logic), so it was selfless in a twisted way of him recognizing that his fears might ultimately outweigh his love if he was left to the task of getting Emma to Storybrooke. At this point, neither Emma, nor Neal (if the ultimate intention is to get them together) is in a place individually to be in any sort of romantic relationship IMO. Emma has lots of growing to do and as far as I can tell Tamara might have put some kind of spell on Neal, which would hopefully explain his character’s oddly written behavior/dialogue.

        I like MRJ and want to see him on the show more, assuming his character gets better scenes and lines. I would like more Colin too if the writers would make Hook a believable villain. I think the writers (and fans) should focus on (demand more) attention to better, cohesive storylines and well-written character development and stop trying to influence “ships”. Also, stop whinging about the anti-adoption thing.

        Yes, Regina was manipulated by Rumple and Cora, which is really sad and messed up, but are you going to say Charles Manson’s cohorts shouldn’t also be in prison or use the Nuremberg defense that someone told her to do evil stuff so it isn’t her fault? She’s still culpable. My problem is not with Regina being cut out of Henry’s life, but the fact that the redemption storyline was supposed to be a major part of the season to set up her re-fall from grace, but it was completely back-burned in favor of the silly FTL stuff with Aurora and Mulan and other guest star flashbacks, which made me not really care if Regina went evil again and lost Henry, and I WANTED to care, because Lana’s acting was so good at the beginning of the season that I felt bad for Regina. Why don’t you tweet Adam and Eddy about THAT instead of pictures?

    • Bailey says:

      LOL, one innocent comment, and it causes sooo many opinions! I agree with you – LOVE Emma and Neal.

  6. Sammy says:

    This looks like it’s going going to be a good episode. I’m excited to see what Lacey is like and for the Rumbelle flashbacks. I wish they had released a still of Robin Hood.

  7. Emma says:

    Oh hey, another episode this season featuring a character I could not care less about. Come on writers, we’re only 4 away from the finale! I might be less bitter if they hadn’t wasted an episode with that stupid “Belle hunts a monster flashback but we still get no real insight about her.”

    • taran63 says:

      I actually liked the “Belle hunts a monster” episode. But I’m probably going to dislike what looks to be a “nice character gets amnesia which gets used as an excuse for her to act like a whore” episode.

      • prish says:

        good one

      • Emma says:

        Good point, don’t you just love that trope? /sarcasm. And with a female writer involved, no less! (or at least I think this is Jane’s episode, could be wrong).

      • Sammy says:

        I loved The Outsider. What makes you think she’ll be a whore? Because she’s hanging out a bar? because of her outfit? I doubt she’ll be sleeping around.

        • taran63 says:

          Okay, I was probably exaggerating with the whore comment. But I’ve always hated amnesia plots, and how they seem to solely be an excuse for characters you like to suddenly start acting the opposite, and become characters you hate. Then once the amnesia finally wears off, it’s all “oh, that wasn’t me”. I HATE lazy amnesia plots, far more than any other type. Having said that, I actually liked Season 1 of Once. Maybe it’s because everyone had amnesia, so it was a level playing field. Or maybe because many of the characters still seemed to be their core selves even with the loss of memories. I have a feeling that won’t be the case with Belle/Lacey.

          Plus, maybe it’s wrong of me to say, but Lacey sounds like a stripper name.

          • Shannon says:

            It has a name when someone starts acting like that. It’s called the id. Look it up. It’s basically acting on desires and impulses rather than rational thought. Lacy is Belle’s id and therefor meant to express an instinctive counterpart of her inner self. I studied this in college. Educate yoself.

  8. Devin says:

    What the heck? April 21st?! Starting to sound like Lost.

  9. Shaun says:

    Careful Belle!!You’re gonna be dragged into the Russian Mob!

  10. Pepper says:

    I bet Henry gets his letter from Hogwarts.

  11. Jose says:

    Im getting the feeling that the guy hitting on bellle will not survive the episode for some reason…..

  12. Jessica says:

    Rump’s not in the “surprised” photo. Maybe he makes his move on Henry?

  13. Ayla says:

    Awhile back Jennifer Morrison said her pick for a romantic interest for Emma was Robin Hood. And now we are going to meet him. . .

  14. Gizmo says:

    Have any of you “adoption” fanatics ever stopped to think that the only person who says she adopted Henry is Regina. Maybe he isn’t adopted at all! Just possessed. Another case of the means justifying the end. Sure she was raising him, doesn’t mean she got him through an adoption agency!

    • lyn says:

      I’ve long harbored a suspicion that August procured Henry and Gold facilitated the transaction. I really want to see the episode that explains his “adoption”. August knew where Emma was in jail and may have kept tabs on her.

      • Name That Tune says:

        Only August new everything. I don’t think Rumple played an active role. He didn’t remember who he was until Emma came back to Storybrook. So this was something that happened between August and Regina.

        • lyn says:

          I thought in season one they said that Gold arranged the adoption. I must be remembering wrong.

          • lyn says:

            Ok, I should have researched this before posting. I just went to the wiki site of OUAT characters and it says that Gold got Henry for Regina, and that she put Henry into therapy when he realized she was the evil queen.

        • LiquidFantasy says:

          That is debatable, there are instances that would indicate that he did remember before Emma showed up, such as his use of “please” when Regina is being difficult and he wants something.

          • Amy says:

            good points: and…if he did know, why would Rumple give his grandchild, all he has left of his own son, to Regina to raise? On one level I understand that Regina would think the ultimate revenge would be to raise her enemy’s son (who is actually her step great-grandson), but if she did know, wouldn’t she have had a much better plan in place for dealing with the birth-mother when Emma finally came into town especially since Emma’s arrival was predicted? (my first time to try posting, I hope you don’t scold me in your responses).

    • Shannon says:

      In one of the episodes Regina and Rumple actually talk about Henry’s adoption and it comes out that Rumple got Henry somehow for her. Regina didn’t adopt him from any agency, only Rumple knew where he really came from. And Rumple probably sought Henry out on purpose because he knew Henry would be a big part in breaking the spell.

  15. Catherine says:

    I’m thinking the brithday scene is a dream/nightmare sequence. This would be like the nightmare scene in The Crocodile, except Mr. Gold is the one dreaming instead of Belle. The dream starts out as a lovely birthday party for Henry and at the end Gold turns into Dark One Rumple and attacks Henry. Then he wakes up in bed looking for comfort from Belle, who isn’t there. He realizes he needs Belle to give him hope and keep him from falling back into evil ways. He really doesn’t want to hurt Henry. (And Regina isn’t there because no way would Rumple want her at his party in his dream. He doesn’t want to think of Regina as family.)

  16. elli331 says:

    Awww… Happy 12th Birthday Henry. You’re gonna get kidnapped by Greg and Tamara. OMG!!! If this happens, there’s not going to be a wedding, or a wedding cake, or a Happpy Ending and Rumple will finally become The Beast again. YAY instead of being Mr. Gold. I don’t mind both personae.. but this is getting ridiculous. And you thought, your family had issues. I feel bad for Rumple and Nealfire. They’re the only tw who doesn’t have a big enough family. But the generations are hilarious. One triangle after another, Poor Regina, but I miss some Evil Regal Action. What the hell??? Bring Regina back, damn it. It’s bad enough she lost Cora, the oly one who is keeping her together is Henry.

  17. Dasa says:

    I like Belle’s character and the cheminstry with Rumple. But this new Lacey persona – will see.. Hopefully they will not overdo it… I hope she’ll get to play with Rumple a bit but then I want to see her fall in love with him again and they deserve a true love’s kiss to work. It is getting old how many times it was used for Snow and Charming. It’s like they have a monopoly on it. It’s annoying.
    Want to see other characters get their happy endings.

  18. Tmndot says:

    I’m not here to discuss child support laws. But did anyone even consider the fact that Henry doesn’t want her there? And I’m sure the shocked faces are Regina showing up in anger.

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  20. Mike says:

    What the???