First, how great is it to see my two favorite Disney Princesses on screen together? I am five years old at heart and this is basically a dream come true. Belle needs a friend; she has never really integrated into the Storybrooke Family. She's the odd girl out in a lot of ways--she's the true love of the Dark One, a man who spent 300 years terrorizing most of the inhabitants in an effort to get his Curse cast and find his son. She is the only person who not only understands Rumple, but loves him through and through. Belle has never had much screen time with any of the other cast members because her story is really a reflection of Rumple. It's a big complaint of the fandom who love her and love her for more than just Rumbelle. So for Belle to now have a friend is a nice development and the fact that it's Ariel is just epic. We start this episode in the past, our only flashback for the episode. Because these writers HATE me, apparently, they made me watch Rumple leave Belle on the docks again. Because I didn't scream and cry for a week after it happened in May. (yes, I totally did. Don't judge me. This couple has me under their spell). Rumple has left Belle with a protection spell; he trusts only her to cast the spell and ensure that Storybrooke is safe from other members of the Home Office who are coming.
It's a Trap!
Let's get the plot part out of the way because I want to talk about Hook and Neal's relationship and the 180 this show has done in a matter of two episodes. Neal's plan is to capture the shadow in a coconut. The shadow can take them home because it can fly. I really hope this isn't how they actually get home. It needs to be the Jolly Roger flying with pixie dust. The shadow lives in a place called Dark Hollow (sorry Emma, no "Sunshine Valley" or "Rainbow Cove"). This is the darkest place on the island, so dangerous that even Hook avoided it. Neal however went there as a boy to get out of Neverland. The trio of awkward, Neal, Hook and Emma, head out but only after Hook informs Neal that he and Emma had "a dalliance" and kissed. Of course this shakes Neal. Hook is the man with whom his mother ran off, leaving his father an even more broken man which eventually lead to Rumple becoming the Dark One and ect. Now the mother of his child and the woman he loves more than anything is kissing this leather clad pirate? Neal is trying to keep it together but these men are just not capable of doing that and a fight ensues. Of course it happens right when the shadow begin to swarm them. The level of testosterone of that fight was disgusting. They aren't fighting over who gets to light the coconut, they are fighting over Emma. "I must prove that I am the man for you by getting this candle lit!" And all it does is piss Emma off, cause the two men to be captured by shadows (and almost have their own shadows ripped off in the process) and then Emma has to light her own candle using the magic Regina taught her (do you hear that? That is the sound of the SwanQueen fandom dying happy death and convincing themselves that Emma and Regina are true love).
--Snow and Charming finally had their first real fight. The fight felt very real, despite it being about magic. Of course Snow would stay with Charming in Neverland and he knows that but he doesn't want that for her. It wouldn't be fair of him to ask. "Love is sacrifice," Charming says. Ever the white knight, he is.
--Good to see Tinkerbell again. And no, there is no FireFairy ship. And why? Because Bae was 14 when they met and that's wrong. They are more than welcome to be friends but to link them romantically is just ew.
--I liked Regina's incredulous, "you (Rumple) really love her (Belle)." All this time, Regina has seen Rumple as just the Dark One, she's never been able to see behind the mask he wears. It surprises her that Rumple can love someone so deeply. And of course Rumple is spot on that Regina is jealous that she doesn't have someone. OutlawQueen: it's coming!
--Ariel was in Gold's shop and said, "look at this stuff." Oh the joy!
--And one more time, "tell Belle I love her and she was right. I will see her again." (I die)