Once Upon a Time Recap: Tinkered Belle

Once Upon a Time Recap LaceyThis week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, it was not “Thanks for the memories,” as Mr. Gold tried to clean up a mess Regina made with Belle. Elsewhere, Emma learned of her folks’ plan to move, and Tamara revealed her precious cargo.

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IN STORYBROOKE…. | A bemused Regina learned that Rumple’s son Bae/Neal is Henry’s father, making the Dark One the lad’s granddad. “Apparently fate has a sense of humor,” Gold smiled. Regina, though, warned her foe that his fam won’t accept him, taunting, “If your own son couldn’t bring out the good in you, who will?”

Belle, perhaps? To that end, Gold pays his amnesic amour a visit, and she is legit happy to see him alive. “Can you help me remember?” she asks. He answers, “Only if you help me remember who I am.” Alas, Regina intervenes, using a charmed matchbook to implant Belle with her “cursed” identity of Lacey, a billiards-playing, shots-downing sexpot/regular at The Rabbit Hole (which frankly needs its own Cheers-style spin-off). Gold enlists Charming, Once Upon a Time Season 2 Spoilerswho went through his own “identity crisis” as David Nolan, to offer pointers, and David can only suggest: “Show her the man she fell in love with.”

Gold scores a date with the sassy lass, and all seems to be going well… until she ducks out the back door of Granny’s. He then finds Lacey in an alley, swapping spit with her barfly buddy Keith. (Oy, shades of my junior prom.) “Belle may have loved you,” Lacey explains, “but I am not her.” Gold makes no inroads in rousing Lacey’s interest until she finds him whaling on Keith outside The Rabbit Hole. Reinforcing the age-old chestnut that girls like their boys bad, Lacey purrs, “You are as dark as people say.” “Darker, dearie,” Rumple boasts. “Much darker.”

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IN THE FAIRYTALE LAND THAT WAS…. | Rumplestilstkin thwarts a bow-toting thief (Merlin‘s Tom Ellis) who tried to pinch a magic wand from his home, then locks up and sets out to torture the merry man. Belle, indentured to serve her beast, won’t have it and sets the prisoner free. When Rumple learns of her betrayal — and sees that his wand was stolen anew! — together they hunt down the thief in the Sherwood Forest, thanks to intel from the Sheriff of Nottingham (aka Keith, played by All Saints‘ Wil Traval). But when Belle notes that Robin Hood merely wanted the wand to heal his pregnant love (Marian?), Rumple “misses” with his arrow and lets the lovebirds run free. Receiving a warm hug from Belle for his change/display of heart, Rumple later gifts her with a room of books. Awww.

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ALSO IN STORYBROOKE…. | Charming and Snow reveal to Emma the magic bean field, cloaked by the Blue Fairy and tended to by Tiny and the dwarfs. Realizing her parents’ plan to go return to Fairytale Land, she asks, “But what about the ogres, the destruction, the danger…?” “We can fix all that,” Dad answers. “It’d be good for all of us. This world has been nothing but cruel to you. Maybe you’d get your happy ending?” But later, when Emma pulls a Peggy Olson and says way too much in front of Regina (a la “Be nice to Henry before it’s too late and we hop realms,” or words to that effect), Regina smells a scheme afoot, and later tracks down the bean field…. Greg shows Tamara how he has been mapping instances of magic, then asks if she is ready to being “the package” to town. That night, we see that her U-Haul is harboring a bound-and-gagged Captain Hook, poised to help with their “dirty work.”

What did you think of “Lacey,” the first of three consecutive episodes leading into the Season 2 finale? I had not the highest of hopes, suspecting it’d be a bit of ill-timed “body swap” filler, but I suppose the moral is that Rumple got not the girlfriend he wanted but the girlfriend he needs. (Yes, I caught The Dark Knight on TV over the weekend.) And as much as I enjoyed Emma “reconnecting” with the downsized giant — asking all the questions she should have — boy it was clumsy how she veritably spilled the beans (as it were) to Regina.

Want scoop on Once Upon a Time? Email mattmtvguy@gmail.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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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  1. lyn says:

    Tonight was the first time I hated Gold.

    • Addie says:

      I wish i could say the same, but that ship sailed last season for me. RC is great at playing Rumple/Gold but it’s safe to say I wouldn’t miss the character if he ever got killed off

      • Lana says:

        You wouldn’t miss Rumple’s character if he ever got killed off?? Now I love this show tremendously but if Rumple was killed off there goes the whole plot, not to mention the show. Rumple/Gold is at the center of everything. And yes, Robert Carlyle, plays that role spectacularly, especially Rumpelstiltskins character. They couldn’t have chosen better. I love Once Apon A Time!

        • Mary says:

          There goes the whole plot? Not true. The whole plot does not revolve around Rumple. He’s involved in almost everything, but he’s not the center of everything.

          • H.Houston says:

            Actually your comment is by definition the whole plot. Because he is a part of every single storyline without him none of them connect. Think about all of the different plots, the different stories, they tie all of the towns people together and sometimes they do that because of how R/G has tied them together. Without him so many stories and things go away. Not only is that character the tie that binds but in some ways he is also the catalyst in other stories where a catalyst is needed.

  2. Jeff says:

    Ho-hum. Felt like a sleeper episode. “Once” has this problem that the episodes where they put all the pieces in place for their absolutely epic story-telling hours are ridiculously BORING.

    • ej says:

      ^This. I thought they were promising momentum for the last 4 episodes? Robin Hood was BORING and pointless. (I think I’d have rather seen Don Juan!) Hook’s arrival was NOT surprising in the least, considering the foreshadowing of Tamara and the storage locker. Neither was Regina finding the beans (but her cluelessness about Neal was just hard to swallow at this point). And there was more of Emma’s struggle over what to do in the interview given by Adam and Eddy than in the actual portrayl by Morrison! And what was this lots more Neal? If your DVR clock wasn’t set just right, you’d probably have missed him entirely! Not cool, guys! And I am getting really tired of the convient conversation quips between Neal and Emma to suggest that all of the dramatically relevant dialogue occured on the cutting room floor (or the DVD deleted scenes, so maybe it’s a ploy to try and sell the season 2 DVD for deleted scenes knowing most of the broadcast material isn’t worth paying to rewatch!). Also, Pinnocchio may seem nicer as a kid, but considering what he did to Jiminy in the flashback where he gets sent through the wardrobe, I bet he’s stealing Henry’s Apollo Bars!

  3. Patti says:

    Kudos to Emilie de Ravin. What a great actress. She was great tonight. I love her as Belle. Hope we get Belle back soon. Emma/Neal are wonderful too. Too cute with Henry. Hope they get together.

  4. Regal says:

    I know my opinion will probably be in the minority, but I think that Lacey is one of the best things that could happen to Rumbelle. The best Rumpel can ever hope for is to be grey, and well Belle is about as light as it gets. This creates a ton of conflict for them.
    With the addition of Lacey, Belle gets a dark side to her personality. When she inevitably gets her memory back, her two personalities will likely merge as they have for the rest of Storybrooke. This will most likely make her more grey and a better match for Rumpel in the long run.

    • Nessie says:

      I love this and I totally hope it’s how they handle it.

    • Lana says:

      I didn’t really understand the whole Lacey thing. I mean when they first showed her in Storybrook, she was locked up by Regina and seemed so sweet and innocent. Then when Mad Hatter broke her free she found Gold and still seemed sweet and innocent. I don’t remember seeing a Lacey side to her.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Regina had never bothered giving her the Lacey identity, since she was locked up. But Lacey is who she would have been.

        • Lana says:

          Oh ok, that makes sense. Thanks for clearing that up.

        • sara says:

          Is that confirmed? Because Lana has said that she thought Regina chose the names and personalities and was surprised when that wasn’t the case.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            Not here to argue with you, XAV. But didn’t Regina in essence choose the Lacey identity last night?

          • K says:

            It seems that while the curse made most of the personalities, Regina could tinker with them when she wanted–Jefferson says as much, and she created David’s personality and memories of his marriage after he came out of the coma, which would require changing Kathryn’s personality and memories as well.

          • I think of it as being like David waking up from his coma. He did have FTL memories, but he also didn’t have a curse persona until he touched the windmill.

            Belle I think was the same, she was locked up with no prior memories or a cursed persona. The curse broke, and she remembered being Belle. When Belle fell over the line, her memories were wiped and she went back to not knowing who she was until Regina gave her the matches. That was her trigger, like the windmill for David.

          • oops meant David didn’t have his FTL memories

          • sara says:

            @Matt, I mean in reference to why she was an empty vessel PRIOR to this.

  5. Brenna says:

    Thought the episode was great!! Loved how Rumpelle went crazy with Belle’s crying. Hope she gets her memories back soon

  6. Gwen says:

    Always loved Gold and Rumpel, but his beating of Keith turned my stomach. Even more so with “Lacey” just sitting back and grinning the entire time. It was a good episode but my love of Mr. Gold is failing just a bit at the moment.

  7. xaverie says:

    “Show her the man she fell in love with” Violent abuser and murderer it is then!

    • MaryAnn says:

      Wouldn’t it be ironic if “seeing the man she fell in love with” triggers her memories of Belle, and this action turns out to be the last straw for their relationship?

  8. xaverie says:

    So confused about what FTL has to offer that Storybrooke doesn’t.

    • Mike says:

      It is there home, just think about it, I am from New England, but I’ve lived in Florida for coming on 8 years now. It is not that New England is that much better than Florida, arguably being where it is warm is a better alternative, it is just New England is my home. At least that is how i see it. They want to go home, Storybrooke has never been there home, and it is a harsh reminder of the curse.

      • sara says:

        Which is great if you get to boss people around and have them at your beck and call. But there are a lot of people who actually make money, have the security of not being murdered, you know CONSTANTLY.

        • Mike says:

          Seeing how thy boss people around in StoryBrooke, it wouldn’t be that much of a difference.

          • sara says:

            I would still say cars, communication, and medicine would make a big difference.

          • lyn says:

            Not to mention deodorant and other hygiene products. Dentists, books, television, music, soft drinks, coffee [no coffee bean plantations in FTL], a bagel and a schmear is worth staying for. LOL

    • K says:

      Ogres, lice, cannibal witches, and bubonic plague?

  9. lisa says:

    Gold figured out Lacey likes the bad boys, he realizes to win her love he has to be bad. Once she falls in love with him as Lacey he will kiss her and Belle will return. He knows Lacey is only attracted to bad men, that is what he meant by saying he has been trying to be good with her, but he knows with Lacey it won’t get HER to love him, he has to go the other way for Belle to return. Duh, very easy to figure it out what the writers are doing. Great episode. I love RC and Emilie.

  10. Patti says:

    I really enjoyed the fairytale stuff. I like Belle and Rumple’s story. Hope they continue to revisit their backstory.

  11. Name That Tune says:

    Did we get any sense of where the show is going in the next few weeks?

    • Mike says:

      I assume Regina is going to either destroy the magic beans or use them to her advantage.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich, Editor-at-Large TVLine.com says:

      I have a pretty good theory. I feel like writing it down, sealing it in an envelope and reading it on SPOILER ALERT! after the finale airs.

      • EL says:

        have you not seen the last episodes?

      • the8tregirl says:

        Oh, please. Do this. Because I have a theory too… although not a web outlet for displaying either how wonderful I would be as an addition to the OUAT writing staff or how I ought to give up writing and become a barista again. Still… do this. I will watch & applaud.

    • Steven says:

      Are we sure that the people who are going to be using the beans actually knows how to use them? It could be as simple as Regina taking the giant out of the equation… and then, when Tamara and Greg threaten to destroy Storybrooke, those who jump ship at a shot at the fairytale land that was end up… somewhere else. Wonderland. Whatever film-noire Victorian lit land Dr. Whale came from. Obviously, from the titles of the final two episodes, Neal/Hook’s past in Neverland is in play.

      • lyn says:

        The Blue Fairy knows how to use the beans.

        • K says:

          She claims she does. On the other hand, she told Bae his bean was the last in existence, when apparently FTL was lousy with them, and that it would bring him to a world without magic, when apparently it took him to Neverland. So I suspect she’s full of it as usual.

          • lyn says:

            I took that to mean it was the last bean the fairies had. And Bael could have gone to a different land between FTL and Neverland.

        • Steven says:

          If Greg and Tamara want to destroy everything magical about Storybrooke, something tells me the Blue Fairy isn’t going to last long. I hate to use the phrase “goodie two-shoes” like it’s a bad thing, but I can’t see her fighting back, using magical or human means. And we all saw how simply it can be to take a fairy out, way back when Rumple slew Cinderella’s godmother.

          She’d probably be taken out with the same anticlimax as Roger’s newspaper boss on last night’s “American Dad.”

      • I really think the beans take everyone to Neverland. I think Neverland is sort of a hub to travel via the bean. First stop Neverland, then from there you can go onto whatever world you wish.

        • lyn says:

          How can that be? The Blue Fairy told Bael the bean was taking him to a land without magic. Neverland has magic.

          • I actually think this is a huge plot hole, because Neverland does have magic. However, Neal said that this world wasn’t the first one he went to when he went through the portal. So either BF was lying, he went another world without magic first, or BF just meant he’d eventually end up in a world without magic if he went through the portal with a layover in Neverland.

            I’m trying to come up with an excuse for the events in The Return that would allow for Bae to end up somewhere other than here when he went through the portal. I honestly believed they switched gears between S1 and S2 in regards to Bae.

        • Steven says:

          Obviously, you can’t argue that all beans lead to Neverland, as Emma and Snow traveled from the Enchanted Forest straight to Maine via bean. It could be argued that Lake Nostos restored their lost hope and bypassed the “hub,” as you suggested, but Neverland itself wouldn’t be a hub. It is entirely possible that there is a “Wood between the worlds,” as C.S. Lewis called it in “The Magician’s Nephew” (and, seeing as Emma and August were transported to the woods when they hid in a wardrobe made of an enchanted tree, there’s an obvious connection), and Baelfire just chose the wrong world if he ended up in Neverland before our land without magic. If you really think about it, that makes sense–Jefferson’s hat worked the same way.

          • Emma and Snow traveled with the wardrobe ashes and compass, it was Cora and Hook who traveled via the bean to Storybrooke. They very well could have ended up in Neverland first then went onto SB. Could be where Hook picked up the Jolly Roger.

    • Leigh says:

      Personally, I want Regina to be cursed by Greg and Tamara (or whatever her name is) to live in a land without magic and live as a trashy waitress with no memories of herself as the Evil Queen. Then, when Henry is inevitably kidnapped, Emma has to find her and restore her memories so magic can be used to find the boy. But, I should probably just write fanfic. :)

    • Zod says:

      I don’t think the show has a sense of where it’s going. I’ll see where the season takes us, but if it’s as nonsensical and wheel-spinning as this season’s been, I’m bailing.

    • sara says:

      Regina gets tortured into giving up the location of the magic beans. Greg and Tamara kidnap Henry and use the beans to go to Neverland. Neal and Hook have an overly contrived past involving Neverland. Everyone follows after Henry because everyone is related to him. Adventures, snark and plotholes ensue.

  12. Mike says:

    I have mixed feeling on this episode, I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. It may because I have never loved Belle/Lacey, and this episode didn’t change that, but if Lacey means we can get some evil Rumple, I’m all for it. I wonder could season 3 see the loss of Storybrooke entirely?

  13. Gillian says:

    Last season was incredible and so was the start of this season. However, OUAT has since become boring to me. I’m not excited about this show anymore. I think it has a lot to do with character development. I no longer recognize Snow or Belle or Emma. Three episodes remain til the season finale and I find myself questioning the direction the writers haven taken it this season and wondering if it can be redeemed next year. I want the magical OUAT back. The show that I kept in my DVR until I was able to purchase the DVD. That show. This just isn’t it anymore. :(

    • Fran says:

      I feel the same way :) It just isn’t must-see TV for me anymore. I still watch it but the magic isn’t the same. The problem I have is that character after character gets introduced- some interesting, some not- but it doesn’t matter because they’re barely seen again. Too many new characters have taken away too much screentime from the core cast. I’ll keep watching but I hope things get better going into next season.

    • Jo says:

      It is missing the happy endings from last year. While there definitely was sad stuff, there was also Emma helping people to balance that out. A few people were getting their happy endings even in their cursed identity. There is none of that this year. There needs to be some light to balance the darkness.

      • I agree with you. There were several happy endings last year. The only happy endings this season I can think of off the top of my head is Jefferson/Grace and the widely debated Pinocchio/Gepetto.

  14. Spencer says:

    Sadly, I got up several times during this episode and left the room because I had absolutely no interest in anything that was happening! This show is slowly but surely losing what it had. Having a 3-week break, you need to come back with an explosive, exciting episode. What did Once do? A boring episode revolving around one of the most uniteresting characters in the series. And what was the point of Robin Hood???

    • Mike says:

      This episode focused way to much on Belle, who has been in a hospital bed since February, and frankly I did not care what she was up to, they’re we’re hardly any of the characters we love in this episode, barely any Snow, and no movement for Emma, and Charming, at least Regina’s scenes were good.

  15. Joey says:

    Mostly felt a little filler-y to me. And that’s really bad for ABC, who seem to have their brains somewhere that isn’t in their heads. If you’re going to have a hiatus, you’re supposed to have an exciting start of hiatus episode to make sure viewers will still want to tune in after the hiatus (which Selfless, Brave and True was not) and an exciting end of hiatus episode so viewers will still be excited about future episodes (which Lacey was not). Both of these episodes could have been fine in the context of the show, but with scheduling, it really causes the show to suffer for it.

    • I agree. Breaks are going to happen, they have to stretch the show’s 22 episodes from Sept 30 to May 12. However I feel like Once isn’t being written with that in mind, so it is coming across as very choppy and getting hard to keep people entertained.

    • Mikael says:

      I think the season will come off much better when it’s on blu-ray/dvd and you can watch it all together.

  16. A says:

    This was the first Belle-centric episode I’ve actually liked. Nothing against Emilie de Ravin because I loved her in LOST but Belle was just plain boring as hell. Lacey was sexy, fun, different and WAY more interesting than Belle was. Kinda hope she stays as Lacey for a while.
    HOOK IS BACK!!! Definitely been missin’ me some Hook!!
    I’m really starting not to like Rumple. At the end when he took the guys tongue and kept beating him I was absolutely disgusted and not just by the ripping out the tongue. I am not looking forward to him reverting back to the dark one. I mean its fine when we see him as the dark one in Fairytale Land but not in Storybrooke. Plus I am no fan of Rumbelle. I like both actors but the characters’ relationship always seemed so forced and fake (like Charming’s acting :P….sorry, I just really dislike the Charming character with a passion!)

    I loved when Regina found out about Neal and the way she traced the car tracks was pretty sick. She can be so evil. I love it!!
    I seriously can’t wait till we get to see Neverland. I’m so excited for the finale. I hope its as epic as all the spoilers made it sound

    • lyn says:

      ITA. I had no problem with Rumpy turning a man into a beetle and stomping him, or turning Gaston into a rose. But the torture of Robin Hood [regardless of his lack of potential] and the display of rage beating Keith/Nottingham crossed the line. This is family hour, showing a remorseless Mr. Gold that way was just wrong.

      • sara says:

        LOL family hour. On a show about rape, murder, torture, abuse and slavery. Kid-friendly topics!

        • lyn says:

          Up until now most of the evil has been implied or swiftly meted out. Gold’s beating of Keith was prolonged and remorseless. Enjoying inflicting physical pain has not been so graphic until last night.

  17. Eyrie says:

    I’m pretty sure the writers are trying to put a sleeping curse on the audience. I might be more forgiving of filler episodes like this if the show actually aired more than once per month.

  18. Jessica M says:

    My guess is that Lacey falls for Rumple as he shows her how evil he can really be. They kiss and the curse is broken. Belle comes back with her memory as Lacey still intact, but she has seen how evil Rumple acted and she falls back into the whole “I’m done with you because you’re too bad” thing again.

  19. James says:

    I personally find Rumples character fantastic he’s the most real out all of them, he struggles with with his internal demons, he doesn’t make excuses for who he is, and yet recognizes that their is more to him than just being a beast, i pretty sure thats what their trying to convey in this episode, i really like the Rumbelle storyline and look forward to see how its resolved. as for Regina it seems clear to me that she will probably get killed or injured by Greg and Tamara it sort of has that feeling of a showdown is inevitable. decent episode, look forward to seeing how things play out.

  20. sarah says:

    This episode sucked. More robin hood. Only one snow scene wtf. More emma and neal. What happened to the love stories. Hate tamara she is so annoying. Love regina tonight.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich, Editor-at-Large TVLine.com says:

      Sorry, folks, I did my best to let y’all know that Robin Hood was pretty much just a cameo (for now): http://tvline.com/2013/04/04/ncis-criminal-minds-once-upon-a-time-spoilers/

      • I figured going in he was going to be Lanceloted. Robin was brought in to further Rumbelle’s tale and Lancelot was brought in to further Snowing’s tale.

        However, I don’t think they handled those two in the same fashion they did in season 1. Yes everyone is connected so I expect that to always be the case. But in season 1 when we were introduced to Cinderella or Hansel and Gretel, their intertwining was revolved around their famous stories. It was Rumple’s role in Cinderella’s story or Regina’s role in H&G.

        I don’t know why that matters, or if it makes sense. But it just seemed to work better when the focus was on the new character, not the new character being thrown into a episode focused on someone else.

  21. A fan says:

    It was ok…but I really was hoping for so much more but it was better then the ep one we had oh so long ago with August.

    I was never really a rumple/belle fan (It was ok in S1) but this ep just showed me that I REALLY don’t care at all about those two. Never really been a Belle fan. I felt like the rumple/belle stuff was dragging… I didn’t care about the date or the FTL stuff either. It kind of put me to sleep.

    The best part was Regina. Seeing her being madam mayor again, the cool magic trick of following the car and the payback she got on gold was really interesting. (Its about time Gold got what’s coming to him.)

    I also enjoyed the Emma and Regina scene. (I’ve missed there scenes together)
    And its always good to see Granny. And Hook sort of ‘drove’ up.
    Other then that…so so ep.

    Next week with Regina looks so much better. :) Can’t wait for that one.

  22. Louise says:

    I kinda expected more of Robin Hood too. ABC promoted him so much and then it felt like he was barely in the episode at all. Mabye we’ll see more of him next season.
    I can’t say I feel sorry for Gold/Rumple. He’s never paid for anything he did so far and when he started taunting Regina in this episode about Neal and Henry I knew she, at least, wouldn’t let it stand.
    I’m also rooting for Belle to leave Rumple when she gets her memory back. He hasn’t changed a single bit, he’s still violent and has very limited self-control. Guy’s just scary. And just because she is one of two people he treats fairly decently doesn’t mean she should be with him.

  23. xeniaship says:

    I loved this ep! Emilie was stunning!

  24. Jenn in NH says:

    The episode was OK.. I personally LOVE Hook and was very disappointed that he was in the last second of the episode. All the build up and talking about Robin Hood and he really wasn’t a big part of the show. I am very surprised that Emma was so careless with the secret about the beans with Regina. Hopefully the last 3 episodes will go back to the OUAT that we all know and love.. And for God’s sake more Hook please :)

  25. MaryAnn says:

    What I noticed in terms of what happened with Rumple and Lacey was that it was the exact mirror image of what happened with Rumple and Belle.

    Originally, Rumple was very dark, and Belle brought out his inner goodness, and she found that very appealing.

    Now, Rumple is trying his best to be good, and Lacey brings out his evil side, and she finds that very appealing.

    This does not bode well for Rumple’s future, or for his relationship with Bae and Henry, or for his eventual redemption.

    So where are the writers eventually taking Rumple? Toward redemption or toward being lost forever to the dark side? Interesting how we have two characters (Rumple and Regina) teetering on this razor’s edge, with love the factor that will apparently eventually decide their fates.

    (P.S. Now if Rumple would just stop and think how the original Belle would react to his actions with Lacey, and how she will feel if she ever gets her memory back…!)

    • sara says:

      Wait, what inner goodness did Belle bring out in him?

    • princessKC says:

      I also noticed how present day was a mirror version of FTL Rumple and Belle/Lacey’s interactions. I thought it was very clever how everything they said originally, was twisted around to fit the darker storyline as well: “You are as dark as people say.” “Darker, dearie, much darker.”

      I like you analysis of what Belle and Lacey are attracted to in Rumple:
      “Originally, Rumple was very dark, and Belle brought out his inner goodness, and she found that very appealing.
      Now, Rumple is trying his best to be good, and Lacey brings out his evil side, and she finds that very appealing.”

      Actually as I was watching the episode, I wondered if Belle was originally also secretly attracted to Rumple’s dark side….

      What if that is what he needs to show her, to bring about that ‘true love’ stuff and get Belle back?

      It would make sense, at least to me, as I don’t think it is possible to fall in love with just one side of someone. When Belle first falls in love with Rumple, she knows there is darkness in him, but she loves him anyway. Is that only because she finds good in him, or does she love him as the complete and complex person that he is? Even if she wants him to be the best version of himself.

      Then similarly, Lacey will need to see both sides of Rumple, not just the best behaviour version. That isn’t who he is.

      On a sidenote, not sure if it was here or elsewhere, someone mentioned that Belle might also be Alice in wonderland, since she works at that ‘down the rabbithole’ place. If Lacie is spelled with IE instead of EY, the names are actually anagrams. At what point would she have been in wonderland though? After she left Rumples castle (and got intercepted by Regina)?

  26. Finbar Devine says:

    The show is beginning to get beyond boring. Last season for me.

  27. Shuayb says:

    I think that this was a filler like episode just to set the stage for things to come.
    My theory is that Regina will mess with the beans instead of taking them to Fairytale land, it’ll take them to never land or something. She try to send Snow, Charming etc there while keeping Henry for herself. Something to that effect.
    Emma did what she did on purpose. She wants Regina to stop the plan somehow. She doesn’t want to go back to fairy tale land. She never did.

  28. Shuayb says:

    By the way Matt: Tinkered Belle was by far your most hillarious and apt title ever!

  29. Beth says:

    I like this new Belle/Lacey. They are going to be like the BAMF couple of Story Brook. It’s a pretty cool turn on their relationship, which you know can’t be saved any ways. As far as Regina goes, I really dislike her. It’s like really Regina? Was that really necessary? It just drives me nuts to see her consistently make the wrong decisions, and fail. She’s like the wile e coyote, when she actually got what she wanted, (which Wile got once in the 80s) She didn’t even like it, much less know what do with it. If it were me, every one would have debilitating diseases and miserable lives. I mean come on, she gave Snow White a friggen loft! Regina just tries too hard to be something that she is not. Cora was way better, she was evil, and that was that. There was no wavering. As much as I love Rum, I would have loved to see Cora become the dark one.

  30. K says:

    I think I liked it for the reason most people didn’t–it was a character-based episode rather than one about DANGER!~!~!~PLOT!~!~!~!, unlike so much of this season. The family interactions between the Charmings/Emma, Neal/Henry, Emma/Neal/Henry, Rumple/Henry/Neal; the snark between Regina/Rumple and Emma/Regina; the hilarous almost-bromance of Rumple/Charming; and yes, the romance of Rumple/Belle are what I watch this show for. And the amount of Greg/Tamara/Hook (characters about whom I care nothing) in this ep was just right (ie. very little). That said, I continue to be disappointed that everything that happens to Belle is only to provide conflict to Rumple. Can’t we ever hear anything from her point of view?

  31. Morgaine says:

    I too was anxiously awaiting the return of the show – but it was just a “meh” episode. Hopefully, the magic beans will create a world to which one can only enter and never, ever leave (like Hotel California) – population will consist of the annoying brat Henry, Tamara and Greg (boring stupid couple), Belle/Lacey’s ever changing accent and Charming. They can then stay there forevermore………Snow was a great kick-butt feisty gal when the series started – now she moans and pouts and present day Snow is just plain boring – past Snow is still fun to watch.

  32. Lee W. says:

    Ew! Hook is as boring as the princess and Mulan! And Lacey is not Belle…unless Rump can quickly turn her into Belle, she’ll get bored with him. Go back to present day FTL? They’ve got to be kidding! That place has nothing but Mulan, the princess, ogres and wraths. In other words, it has NOTHING worthwhile! And I knew long ago that Regina would find the magic beans! Why are they so predictable?