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.


* 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”?

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  1. Tamara Menninger says:

    One of the best episodes for Rumple (and the always amazing Robert Carlyle) in a long time that restored the complexity of his addiction to the dark power versus trying to do the best of a beleaguered single father to Bae that reminded me why I fell in love with Rumple in Season One’s “Desperate Souls” to begin with and why I will always root for Rumple’s redemption. Definitely this one goes into my top ten Once episodes ever! Kudos to Robert Carlyle, Emilie de Ravin, Giles Matthey and Brandon Spink for truly emotional performances tonight!

  2. Claire says:

    I hated how Belle praised Rumple for doing something awful on Gideon’s behalf like their son is not still responsible for that choice.
    Also really disappointed by Emma and Hook’s engagement. I love them and they both deserve better than this, not to mention a new secret dividing them that Hook didn’t even know about until recently.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I agree on both points. Belle’s reaction to Rumple at the end further justifies my utter frustration with her character and their relationship. I can’t even with those two. And the Captain Swan engagement, while welcome, was not executed as well as I’d hoped. Hook’s secret ruined it, not to mention Emma finding the ring ahead of time. I wanted to see her reaction! I want them to be happy! But there’s this dark cloud hanging over them (which is all in Hook’s head IMO). Disappointing.

      • Mercedes says:

        Completely agree!

      • Calliope says:

        Considering Emma’s BFFs with the woman who’s responsible for BOTH her maternal grandparents being killed AND killed Graham AND caused her to be separated from her parents for 28 years AND cursed her parents LIKE FOUR TIMES – I think she’ll be able to get over her former-villian fiance unknowingly killing her grandpa 50 years before they even met. They should just skip to that part and stop drawing it out so they can move on to wedding plans. And trying to figure out which parent will be awake for which parts.

        • Heather Petrie says:

          And Hook also slept with Henrys grandmother, and helped tortured Regina, and sexually assaulted Emma in New York, and helped Cora break Regina which put the town at risk and Henry in danger.

          But Emma wont care. She’s stepford Emma now. All that matters to Emma, is the same thing that this show always makes women do – get married to a man, and change themselves to whatever thier boyfriends want them to be. We saw the same thing with Regina and Hood – but thank god they are getting rid of Hood.

          No wonder the ratings are so low. This shows attitudes are like from the 1950’s with regards to women and relationships. Changing it into the Captain Hook show didn’t help either. And CS is 50 shades / twilight level of writing – cringey and unconvincing.

          IT EVEN HAD THE GALL TO HAVE EMMA BLAME HERSELF FOR MAKING HOOK FEEL BAD! WTF?!?!? And he’s done nothing but lie to her and be horrible since day one.

          Thier “marriage” has abusive relationship written all over it. And he was drunk when he proposed. Lets see thier relationship in a few years. Emma already looks so resigned and beaten down by him emotionally. Such a sad end for Emma Swan. Really depressing.

          But like I said, with ratings so low – worst ever last episode – i really hope ABC cancels the show. One of the worst shows on tv with its message to young girls and women. Given that barely anyone is watching the show, it won’t be missed anyway.

          • hope this works says:

            You’ve obviously never been sexually assaulted to use that term so lightly… have some respect for actual sexual assault victims. Idiot.

        • Fabrizia says:

          Regina did not kill Snow’s mother. Her mother did it.

  3. fernando933 says:

    I’m sorry but I think ABC should tell the writers to wrap it up this season. I feel like once lost its groove. With how bad the ratings are and with every 4 episodes being boring and then 1 good one and again another couple boring ones. I just feel like they can wrap it up and help ABC get rid of the bad ratings and give the time slot to a hopeful new show or maybe move a veretian shows this time slot to help start a new Sunday block

  4. opus says:

    I am furious with the writers for maligning Bae’s character in this episode. Absolutely inexcusable! Bae should be totally good to offset Rumple’s evil. Ruined the episode for me!!

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I’m by no means a Bae fan, but I thought the same thing. The memory-erasing tea was a convenient reset, but Bae was basically ret-conned to prop Rumple. Again.

  5. fernando933 says:

    Think ABC should start Sunday’s with two comedies in the fall and then have two family dramas that can flow with the comedies. Maybe bring back the Home makeover/Desperste housewives/ brothers and sisters vibes ABC sundays used to feel like.
    Maybe two comedies, follow by Inhumans, and then a light family drama that can flow with the line up

  6. ninergrl6 says:

    Rumple eps generally don’t interest me so I was bored through a lot of this one. It’s pretty ironic that all of the words of warning he said to Gideon are things he’s been told himself numerous times. I guess that’s the point, but I lost all sympathy for Rumple years ago. The Beowulf mythology could have been interesting, but it was just a throw-away to prop up Rumple. *yawn*
    I do like the prospect of Wish Robin teaming up with Zelena and/or the Evil Queen. At least it would give the characters something to do. I’m enjoying this new version of Robin; he’s fiesty.
    I don’t know why Hook doubts that Emma would forgive him. She’s gotten over EVERYTHING else he’s ever done; why would this be any different? I wish he’d told her the truth because this “secret” is going to (unnecessary) eat away at him and taint what should be a really happy time for them (and for Captain Swan fans). Even though Hook was mopey and Emma ruined the proposal, I’m still really glad it happened. I just would have written it differently.

    • Bennett999 says:

      Agreed they ruined Beowulf. We could have had the dragon fight where Beowulf was abandoned by his troops and gave the throne to the one person that Sayed with him to the very end as he played dying.

      Their are also some problems if Grendel existed than Cain from the Bible lived in the enchanted forest due to Grendel is his descendant. We never found the name of Grendel’s mother. They may be saving the dragon fight for Lord of the Rings if they do it on QUAT due to the scene inspired a major part of the Hobbit.

    • hope this works says:

      Normally, the way Hook was established in his 1st seasons, he’s supposed to be sure of himself, confident, and his trust in Emma soon becomes unwavering… The writers are messing up their characters by writing poorly. It’s the same with Belle, she’s not strong with hope anymore, she’s just dumb. Hook doubts because A&E don’t know how to dose drama. They ALWAYS create fake drama because somehow they feel like if there isn’t drama in every scene the show will be boring. They should write some scenes with no drama and count on their actor’s talent to make the scene touching or sad, etc. There’s so much drama on this show it’s gotten ridiculous. Drama just feels normal cauz it’s all they ever do. Give your actors some space to make the characters grow!

  7. Butch says:

    Looking forward to next week’s Regina face off. I like what they did with Robin Hood. If they made him exactly as he was it would negate his death. This Robin has nothing to do with the first Robin and that is how it should be. I hope this Robin doesn’t sacrifice himself to save Regina from the Evil Queen next week. I think Bae or his spirit should be the one to save Gideon from his vengeance.

  8. 221bsam says:

    Can’t help but feel disappointed by that proposal, of all the wonderful scenes they’ve had (Camelot) need I say more? that was how they get engaged, I don’t think Emma will dwell on this secret as much as Killian is, it was literally ancient history, perhaps they should keep it from Charming though..

    • Casey says:

      I agree, I was really looking forward to the CS proposal and felt like it was ruined by the secret hanging over hooks head. So annoyed they chose to do it this way, but hopefully they will make it up to fans with a great wedding, after he’s come clean and she’s forgiven him (and maybe David too?) considering the show is either ending (on what I hope would be a happy ending for the main characters) or it’s contining with Hook and Emma being two of the only characters to stay on, they have to send them off happily married, right?!?

  9. Kepler says:

    I was pretty disappointed with the episode. Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see Nealfire again, but it seemed like they completely retconned his character by having him use Gold’s knife to control him into kill Beowolf. It was just really weird, and doesn’t seem to make any kind of sense, considering everything we knew about Nealfire and his relationship with magic. Then there’s Regina and this disappointing Robin. And the EQ popping back up, honestly I had completely forgotten about her. And Zelena, who I hate. I genuinely don’t understand how anyone could like her character. There is not a hint of softness or kindness inside her, she killed Nealfire, she’s not friends with anyone. Like, what even is her point on this show? Frankly, they need to write her out, since she doesn’t seem to do anything anymore. CS, of course Hook would make the absolute wrong choice and lie to Emma about her father’s death. I love (sarcasm) how Emma’s “superpower” is the most useless part of the show, considering how in the first season it was practically the foundation. That woman has no more idea about whether she’s being lied to than anyone else. Every time she even mentions her superpower, my entire family groans. Really, I think the show needs to come to an end, because it has really lost its way. Just my opinion, though

    • Butch says:

      I don’t think it was a complete recon of Bae. This story was set when Rumple first became the Dark One. Bae is a child. It is not out of character for a child to want revenge against a bully who tried to kill him and his father. Bae acted in a moment of fear and anger. The need for revenge may have left Bae if he had had the chance to cool down. Rumple gave Bae this chance, saving him from the guilt of what he had done by making Bae forget what he had done. If anything it is a recon of Rumple who never was shown made any sacrifice once he became the Dark One.

  10. Jennifer says:

    This is getting so bad, PLEASE put this show out of its misery. It has fallen so far from what it started as. End it now. Please.

  11. JR says:

    I assume they changed actors for Baelfire because the original is now too old for the flashbacks, but somehow they got a new one that still seems too old. He seems older than he was when he got sucked into the magic vortex.

    • SK says:

      That’s what I said. He looked a lot older than when Baelfire was when he went to the land of no magic. I understand the original Bae is too old now but they could have gotten someone who looks younger or maybe shorter than the one they got.

  12. GM says:

    With the exception of what felt like a forty-minute intro scene with Beowulf (which largely retconned what we know of the ogre wars–where were the thousands of teen soldiers like Morraine?), this was a mostly solid episode that reminded me of the better seasons of the show. Seeing Rumple willing to sacrifice his soul for both his sons got back to the core of the character. I didn’t like the retcon of Bae falling for the power of the Dark One, but considering he was a fourteen-year-old kid threatened with a screaming mob going after his papa, his initial choice was pretty understandable. There really was not enough Belle, though, considering that Gideon is her son too. (That hug, though!) As for Hook and Emma–eh, another day, another lie. What’s new? At least this time he didn’t attempt suicide to get her attention. I’m not sure why he is so worried about killing her grandpa though when he’s been keeping a much bigger secret for years now with no guilt at all: trying to murder the child who grew up to be her first love.

  13. Chey Rath Mao says:

    Excellent, I love it!