Once Upon a Time Recap: Bae vs. Beowulf — Plus, Did Hook Propose?

This week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, Rumple took a page from his illustrious past to keep Gideon from heading down a dark path, while Wish Robin’s attempt to flee Storybrooke paved the way for an evil encore. Elsewhere, Hook steeled himself to tell Emma the truth about unwittingly killing David’s father.

After catching Gideon stealing from the sheriff’s office the hilt of the shattered sword he is fated to kill the Savior with, Rumple KO’s and ties up his son inside the clock tower. There, he tells of how he became The Dark One in the name of saving his other son, but then had trouble letting go of the power. (In flashbacks, we see how Rumple’s vow to abandon magic after saving the villagers in The First Ogre War was waylaid by Beowulf’s beef with The Dark One. Having stolen The Dark One’s dagger from Beowulf (who had earlier grabbed it from Rumple), a bullied Bae commanded his father to kill their adversary — after which, Rumple slipped Bae a memory potion to forget his lapse in morality. Alas, that left a disappointed Bae to surmise that papa killed Beowulf.)

In the clock tower, Rumple asks Gideon: What did the Black Fairy do during his entrapment in that realm that has him so determined to vanquish her (and Emma along the way)? Gideon relates a tale of how when he was caught reading Her Handsome Hero, the Black Fairy took away his cell mate for a whipping, and how he could hear every whale and wail.

Rumple’s first thought is to slip Gideon the memory-zapping potion, for if he can’t remember the whipping, he will lose his vengeful drive. But Gideon fakes his father out, proving immune to the potion — and snatching the Dark One’s dagger in the process. Gideon commands Rumple to not stop him as he sets out to restore the sword, by confronting the person who forged it: the Blue Fairy. Upon finding his fairy godmother, Gideon makes clear his agenda, but Rumple shows up – not to stop his son, but to do his dirty work for him, cutting Blue’s palm so as to extract all of her magic, restoring the sword and leaving the fairy unconscious. Later, Belle commends Rumple for taking such a soul-crushing step in order to keep their son’s hands clean of dark magic. And if there is hope for Rumple, there is hope for Gideon, too.

Elsewhere:

* Turns out that Wish Robin stole Regina’s box of potions to fashion an escape from Storybrooke, enlisting Zelena to help undo the protection spell (cast last season by Dark Emma?). Regina materialized in time to declare that their plot won’t work, because obviously she would have undone the spell herself if she had the wherewithal. When Robin explains that it is impossible to stay in somewhere he is expected to live up to the legacy of a man who died for someone, Regina vows to find him a way out — to happiness. Later, when Zelena goes to apologize to Regina for abetting Robin, the sisters discover that the “Queen Cobra” had escaped its cage. Out in the forest, said snake nips at Robin, getting enough a taste of Zelena’s magic-sapping potion to retsore herself to fiiiiiine form. She then promises to make Robin come to appreciate all that the “abysmal hamlet” of Storybrooke has to offer the likes of them.

* Hook soaked himself in rum as he grappled with his realization that the prisoner of King George’s he killed in cold blood all those years ago was actually David’s father. Archie suggested that Hook’s wanting to tell Emma the truth marks tremendous change for the pirate — which hopefully Emma will appreciate as well. But when Hook rallied enough to show up at Emma’s and share the secret (so that he might one day propose), she beat him to the question-popping punch, having found the engagement ring. “What say you?,” she asked, beaming — at which point Killian got on bended knee and proposed properly. Or, as proper as one can do when three sheets to the wind.

What did you think of the episode “Ill-Boding Patterns”?