This 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.
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, who 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.”
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.
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.