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Zuleikha

S02.E11: The Outsider

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On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for grandparents watching my child and giving me the time to start this thread to complain about Rumplestiltskin and Belle.

 

Seriously, WTF, are the writers doing with this pairing? I was ready to give it a chance when she broke up with him in "The Crocodile" even if it was undone a whopping 10 seconds or so later. But I thought it showed a sign that the writers were aware of the many reasons for Belle to be cautious and may be planning to have Rumple actually work on changing/growing as a result of Belle's presence.

 

But then came the moment where Belle found out that Hook's quest for vengeance against Rumple was because Rumple killed Milah in front of him and that Rumple had lied to Belle about pretty much every significant detail of the conflict (except the hand part) and Belle did... absolutely nothing. I can't remember if her line about Hook's rotten heart compared to Rumple's good heart came before or after, but either way what exactly is it going to take for Belle to question her whole belief in Rumple's good heart? Rumple has done absolutely nothing to demonstrate that he has a good heart, even considering what she knows about his actions. She's seen him be violently vengeful; she's seen him lie to her by omission; he's been patronizing to her; and he completely disrespected her demands for space. The biggest "change" he's making is refraining from killing people in front of her because it will bother her. He is totally unrepentant (and based on how he talked to her and Hook about Milah, also in continuing denial about his own role in the breakdown of his relationship with Milah).

 

I can't decide if the writers think they're writing something romantic or if they're aware of how creepy Lifetime special this relationship is, but it was at the point where I wasn't even upset about Belle losing her memories because I'm coming around to Moe's way of thinking... maybe Belle does need something drastic to happen to break free of Rumple! Except I still feel like the show POV is sympathetic to Rumple and that I'm supposed to be rooting for this crazy couple. (Which I probably would if Rumple was actually struggling to change as a result of Belle, but he's not. His only struggle is keeping her from knowing about what he's doing). 

 

I'm also getting irked about the treatment of Mulan. Mulan is being written as a sidekick instead of a heroine in her own right, and while there was a lot I liked about the adventures of Belle and Mulan, the way Mulan had to be completely sidelined so that Belle could save the day with the yaoguai was not one of them. Why couldn't they work together and do it together? Let Belle use her book knowledge to come up with the plan to dowse the yaoguai, Mulan do the physical heavy lifting, and both of them read the writing. It would have been more realistic than Mulan expecting Belle to suddenly know how to fight or Belle suddenly knowing how to fight. It also would have at least minimized the icky overtones of the Chinese village needing white foreigners to save them... like what, no one in China-analogue Enchanted Forest can read the Chinese book (that somehow knows exactly which cave the yaoguai will hibernate in) or competently fight? The show doesn't exactly have goodwill to burn given that, with the exception of Sidney Glass, they're only willing to cast visibly PoC actors in roles where the character soon dies. 

 

There also needs to be some rules/limits on magic to make it believable for Cora, Regina, or Rumple to ever be defeated. (For example, why didn't Cora turn Emma and Snow into frogs, disintegrate them, or freeze them at the lake?)

Edited by Zuleikha
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I'm guessing you'll be caught up with the show by the time it comes back from the winter hiatus.  We're still talking about that scene you mentioned, how Rumple has a true heart and Hook's heart is rotten.

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Seriously, WTF, are the writers doing with this pairing? I was ready to give it a chance when she broke up with him in "The Crocodile" even if it was undone a whopping 10 seconds or so later. But I thought it showed a sign that the writers were aware of the many reasons for Belle to be cautious and may be planning to have Rumple actually work on changing/growing as a result of Belle's presence.

 

But then came the moment where Belle found out that Hook's quest for vengeance against Rumple was because Rumple killed Milah in front of him and that Rumple had lied to Belle about pretty much every significant detail of the conflict (except the hand part) and Belle did... absolutely nothing. I can't remember if her line about Hook's rotten heart compared to Rumple's good heart came before or after, but either way what exactly is it going to take for Belle to question her whole belief in Rumple's good heart? Rumple has done absolutely nothing to demonstrate that he has a good heart, even considering what she knows about his actions. She's seen him be violently vengeful; she's seen him lie to her by omission; he's been patronizing to her; and he completely disrespected her demands for space. The biggest "change" he's making is refraining from killing people in front of her because it will bother her. He is totally unrepentant (and based on how he talked to her and Hook about Milah, also in continuing denial about his own role in the breakdown of his relationship with Milah).

I struggle between a couple of theories on this one--she either has convinced herself that what happened with Hook, Milah, etc did not happen that way, or she believes that whatever makes Rumple the Dark One, and makes it a curse, took him over and made it happen. It's also possible she sees her relationship with Rumple as being heroic and self-sacrificing--that she believes that as long as she continues to encourage him to be a good person, he will change and become that good person.

 

Completely agree the relationship's creepy, and that I have issues with Belle--partly because she is presented as a good person, who simply accepts much of what Rumple has done, without any significant change from him.   Rumple's a villain, but I guess I don't think he's presented as anything else most of the time.  It makes him less frustrating for me.

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It's also possible she sees her relationship with Rumple as being heroic and self-sacrificing--that she believes that as long as she continues to encourage him to be a good person, he will change and become that good person.

 

I think that's what it is.  She thinks he will end up changing if she loves him enough. 

 

I think what always got to me regarding Belle and what happened to Milah was that she just took what Rumple told her at face value.  She was okay with what he told her and decided that Hook was a liar who was there to turn Rumple "back" to being an awful person which he still was anyway at that point.

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Out of all the evil things that Rumpel has done, I find his treatment of Milah and his complete lack of remorse to be the most disturbing with respect to his relationship with Belle. Once Belle discovered that he had murdered his wife in cold blood and lied about it to her, there needed to be some sort of time where she removed herself from the relationship as she digested this information. That she did not hesitate at all with him is a big problem. She's seen Rumpel do some heinous things, so while she questioned Hook's version of events, I don't think she disbelieved him either. Hook's vengeance quest makes a lot more sense when you know that it's not about the loss of his hand, but the loss of his love. 

 

I think the writers keep Belle with Rumpel only because they need a leash for him - although she's a terrible leash, since he just runs around and does it behind her back anyway. It goes to the fact that the magic rules on the show are non-existent and Rumpel's too powerful, so he's either got to be leashed by Belle or off somewhere else.

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Reminder, folks - if it happens AFTER this episode, it needs to be spoiler tagged.

 

So if you did not know something going into this episode? That means post as such, and spoiler tag the rest.

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I think the writers keep Belle with Rumpel only because they need a leash for him - although she's a terrible leash, since he just runs around and does it behind her back anyway.

 

That would make sense if it actually worked that way. Obviously, I don't know what will happen in upcoming seasons, but so far in this one, Rumpel and Regina could have had parallel stories and it would be fine. Rumpel could be honestly trying to change and be a better person to be worthy of Belle, and the plot as stands wouldn't need any change at all except that Smee would be treated better. Heck, Belle and Rumpel could be broken up still and nothing significant plotwise would have to change, except that I might have felt sorry for Rumpel when Belle was shot over the line.

 

It's also possible she sees her relationship with Rumple as being heroic and self-sacrificing--that she believes that as long as she continues to encourage him to be a good person, he will change and become that good person.

 

And that would be the Lifetime specialness of it for me. I do think the show's laid the groundwork for that. When she returned in the pilot or the finale, she said she was coming back because she knows he's a monster and so she has to. She also has talked about rehabilitation in other episodes (although in stupid, delusional ways... called herself a rehabilitation expert with Ruby). I don't mind that as a storyline when it's going to lead to growth and recognition of the f'd up nature, but Belle seems to be stagnating rather than growing.

 

I'm guessing you'll be caught up with the show by the time it comes back from the winter hiatus.
Maybe if I didn't also have Dragon Age: Inquisition eating up my time. :) 
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This episode is a little refreshing after all the crap from "The Cricket Game", because it has nothing to do with Regina. (Except for finding out she was framed, which whoop-dee-doo. At least Archie is alive and free.) The flashbacks are part of the very few I've enjoyed for a Belle centric. For once, her "don't judge the beast" mantra is correct and her book knowledge is useful. It's cool to see Mulan and Philip again since they sort of just got taken out of the show after 2A. It explains why he couldn't awake Aurora and how he met Mulan. This episode also reveals how Belle got captured by Regina and Claude makes another appearance. (I like it when minor characters reappear just for continuity, even when they're unimportant.) But as much as I enjoy the flashback portion with Ancient China and all that, the present day events are very meh. More Rumple apologism and Belle is, quite laughably, undeterred upon learning he murdered his first wife. She has the eye witness right there and she's still totally fine coming with him to the town line alone at night. Then she gets shot.

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Is it really terrible that I'm mostly on team Hook in this one? I mean, yeah, to the extent that he was possibly going to kill or at least hurt Belle in the library, that would have been terrible, and he has no right to shoot her over the town line as part of his war against Rumple, but his desire for revenge against Rumple is completely justified, and Belle becomes somewhat fairer game when she comes to the Jolly Roger with a gun. She's also fairly repulsive in a defense of Rumple that seemingly isn't affected by finding out that Rumple murdered his first wife for leaving him. Yet I feel like the show mostly wants us to be on Belle and Rumple's side here, root for their relationship, and be sad when Belle loses her memories. I don't necessarily think the writers agree with Belle when she says that Rumple's heart is pure and Hook's is dark, but I do think they genuinely believe that Rumple currently has the moral high ground over Hook, whereas I don't think that's the case. The only real difference between them, in terms of action, is that Hook is inclined toward taking overtly violent measures in achieving his goals, where Rumple, especially after his time as Gold, is generally a far more subtle operator (decidedly un-subtle beat-down on Hook notwithstanding). But it isn't like Rumple has any particular compunction about murder, hurting others, etc. Certainly, in the more limited question of who is in the right in their feud over Milah, that would be Hook, though Hook does lose some moral high ground, in that respect, in his attack on Belle.

I am a little bit confused about Hook's plan here. Initially, Hook wanted to cross realms with the idea that Rumple would be powerless in the land without magic, allowing Hook to finally take his revenge. That made perfect sense. But now that he knows that Rumple is still the Dark One in SB, what is he hoping to achieve by taking the shawl, and thereby stopping Rumple from leaving the town? Wouldn't he want Rumple to leave SB, where he has magic? Hook isn't subject to the town line curse, so it would seem that the most logical thing to do would be to follow Rumple over the line and kill him as soon as he is powerless, unless we're supposed to assume he doesn't realize that the powers won't follow him outside of town. In that case, I guess his idea was somehow using Belle as leverage to get even a powered Rumple under his control, before deciding at the town line that for the moment, the sweeter and easier path to revenge is depriving Rumple of his love (which brings me to a smaller logistical question: how did Hook know that his shot wasn't going to kill Belle?)

In either case, it is apparent to me that there's a level on which Hook is more or less suicidal. I'm not sure that he ever expected to survive his revenge quest, and on the JR, he's pretty much begging Rumple to kill him.

Unlike KingofHearts, I found this to be one of the first completely pointless flashbacks. It is kind of nice that Belle got at least one non-Rumple related quest, but we don't learn anything new about her, and I didn't feel like I needed the backstory on how Mulan had met up with Philip, especially in the context of a story where Mulan is functioning as Belle's sidekick. I also wasn't fond of the obvious but I think specious parallel with Belle recognizing the man inside the monster. Philip was literally trapped inside a beast. Rumple can't be so easily separated from the Dark One. 

In other news, while I like the idea of Snow and David being at odds over whether they want to stay in SB or return to the EF, I hate how quick Snow is to float the idea of a place of their own without Emma and Henry. You have missed your daughter's entire life. I get that it is crowded; deal with it. If you want to talk about a bigger place, fine, but make it crystal clear that you're talking about a place for all of you and be horrified at Emma's impression that you would even think about leaving her. Instead, this becomes the first of a number of examples of David being a significantly better parent than Mary Margaret.

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16 minutes ago, companionenvy said:

In other news, while I like the idea of Snow and David being at odds over whether they want to stay in SB or return to the EF, I hate how quick Snow is to float the idea of a place of their own without Emma and Henry. You have missed your daughter's entire life. I get that it is crowded; deal with it. If you want to talk about a bigger place, fine, but make it crystal clear that you're talking about a place for all of you and be horrified at Emma's impression that you would even think about leaving her. Instead, this becomes the first of a number of examples of David being a significantly better parent than Mary Margaret.

I'm not sure about that.  This was the beginning of the inconsistencies.  It was a good thing for them to discuss everyday life issues such as living arrangements, but they put very little thought into who said what, and why.  Based on what we knew of Snow and MM in Season 1, there was no way she would suggest moving out.  It came out of nowhere. 

Prior to that, it looked like she wanted to buy a bigger house where they could all live together, which makes sense.  Within that scene, she seemed to be suddenly very perturbed by their crowdedness and Pongo in particular (this coming from Snow White, the lover of animals).  And she clarified right away that she did want to be under the same roof, just a bigger roof.  Now, if they actually wanted to explore this issue of living arrangements and why MM wanted her own place (if she truly meant it and it wasn't an outburst brought on by Pongo), that could have been explored further.  But it wasn't.  Also notice that Snow and David weren't given a chance to do house-hunting with Emma, which would have been natural and nice - Snowing were pretty segregated in their conversations - another ongoing pattern.  Basically, to me, her outburst was out of character and took me out of the episode, and nothing indicates that writers intended to elaborate or pursue it.

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In "Tiny", it was David who suggested moving away from Storybrooke and Emma forever (saying "Emma will be fine..."), and Snow/MM rightly said she didn't want to be separated.  

So as usual, they picked David and Snow/MM to voice opposite points of views, with little thought about who said what and why.  

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9 minutes ago, companionenvy said:

Is it really terrible that I'm mostly on team Hook in this one?

No, or at least if it is we can be terrible together. I'm pretty sure I've said this before but it bears repeating: Hook had no non-violent or legal way to achieve justice for Milah's death, so his choices were either to let it go or to try to avenge her himself. Despite the fact that his plan here is somewhat muddled, he actually does a decent job, considering that he's up against the all-powerful personification of evil. He manages to a) stay alive for several hundred years b) follow Rumple into another realm, and c) find a means of killing him that really should have worked. He is pretty awful to Belle, though the point about her sneaking onto the Jolly Roger with a gun is a valid one. In some states he could have shot her as a trespasser and not even been prosecuted for it. I don't think his intention was ever to really hurt her, but he had no compunction about using her as a tool to hurt Rumpel. 

I also agree that Hook never intended to survive after killing Rumpel. It's one of the things that make his scene on the JR with Belle so compelling. He comes off as almost insane, which is a scary contrast to the charming rogue persona from the beanstalk. I'm sure he expected Rumpel to kill him at the town line, and TBH that probably would have happened were it not for the car. 

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23 minutes ago, Camera One said:

And she clarified right away that she did want to be under the same roof, just a bigger roof. 

That's what I thought at first, but then there's a scene either later this episode or in the next one where Emma and Henry seem to be anticipating or preparing for moving out to their own place, which muddied the waters again. Like yes, if they were all in a castle, the "one roof" would have been big enough, but it isn't clear to me that MM assumes the answer here is all of them finding a mansion together. 

I haven't rewatched Tiny yet, so can't comment on whether David's "back to the EF" plan was or wasn't predicated on the idea of Emma coming with them. 

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No, it isn't clear at all.  If anything, it's the C or D plot.  Their priorities were already crystal clear by this point.  And what were the practicalities?  How much money did MM have saved up?  Did Emma bring money with her from Boston?  What was the real estate market like in Storybrooke? How was it impacted by all the reunions once everyone got their memories back?  Was anything done about the unfairness of Mr. Gold owning everyone's properties?

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18 minutes ago, profdanglais said:

Hook had no non-violent or legal way to achieve justice for Milah's death, so his choices were either to let it go or to try to avenge her himself...I also agree that Hook never intended to survive after killing Rumpel.

This is also an interesting distinction between Hook and the other villains - to use a term that will be more relevant in later seasons, he really doesn't have any illusions about getting a happy ending. Getting revenge is, in its own twisted way, a form of justice. But Hook doesn't see any happy ending for himself once Milah is gone short of maybe being reunited with her in the afterlife. 

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One reason I will always be bitter that they don't get to interact in the Underworld, even if the writers weren't going to give me my dream of Hook helping Milah move on. 

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This is an episode in which the strings are painfully visible. So much happens because it needs to happen for the plot, regardless of logic, character, or normal human behavior.

To start with, as I mentioned in the previous episode, there's no way Hook and Cora should have known that Archie was Jiminy Cricket. They weren't around that group in the Enchanted Forest. Now, in this episode, Hook talks about how Rumple would have talked to Archie and told him his secrets. I guess that's why Cora chose him as the victim for the frame job, but how would Hook and Cora even have known what a psychiatrist was? I doubt that concept would have existed in the Enchanted Forest.

Hook found Smee somewhere along the way, but how? I guess he could have checked out the bars. Really, Hook could have skipped Archie entirely. All he needed to do was find Smee, learn from him what Rumple's Storybrooke identity was, set up his stakeout across from the shop and see what Rumple was up to. He already knew Belle, so he could have followed her when she left Rumple's shop to see where she went. The interrogation of Archie was a total waste of time, and I doubt Archie told him anything more than he could have learned from Smee or from watching Rumple's shop for a few hours.

Smee and Hook's plan relied a lot on everyone acting exactly as they expected. It seems like the plan was for Hook to menace Belle enough that she would call Rumple for help, so he'd leave the store to come to her, and then Hook and Smee could break in and steal the shawl. But that required Belle to take refuge in a safe place so she'd have a chance to call, and in a place where she couldn't see what was going on so she wouldn't know Hook had already left the library so he wouldn't be there when Rumple got there. It didn't seem like Hook faked getting knocked down by the bookcase. He even looked irritated, and she wasn't there to see him, so he wasn't acting for her sake. He really did seem to be going after her with some intensity, not just trying to scare her enough that she'd call Rumple. I kind of wonder if they gave Colin the part of the script in which Rumple deduced that the plan had been to lure him away from the shop. Colin might not have known that Hook was carrying out a ruse. Anyway, Hook's lucky that Belle didn't run for the exit instead of the elevator or didn't call 911 instead of Rumple. It would have ruined the plan, and it's a bad plan if it depends on other people doing specific things when you have no control over what they do. Not to mention the issue mentioned by someone above that them stealing the shawl makes little sense, other than maybe Hook just wanting to thwart Rumple in general or wanting to get back something made by Milah (and how did he know that she made it? Did she have an identical shawl and tell him she made it?). He'd have had more power over Rumple outside town (though they don't know that yet, I guess).

Our next leap is Belle deducing from the knotted bit of rope that apparently fell out of Hook's pocket that his ship was here with him. Okay, so maybe she could have found in a book that this was a knot used by sailors, but why does that mean his ship is here? It's especially ironic given that in season four

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he was carrying around a piece from the ship when he didn't have his ship with him, so the clue would have meant the exact opposite, that he was carrying a memento of a ship he'd lost.

Then there's the question of how Hook managed to be at the town line at just the right time. He couldn't have followed Rumple and Belle because they were in a car and he didn't have one, and he was not only on foot, but also injured, so couldn't have moved fast enough to get there as soon after them as he did. He might have learned from Smee about the memory potion and the town line, and Belle did mention to Rumple that he should be going out of town after his son instead of beating Hook, but it's a stretch that Hook would have known when to go there and would have known that he could have done anything there. If Rumple was just going to go out of town to go find his son, he'd have most likely have just driven over the line. Hook could have been lying in wait there at the town line only to see the car speed past him on its way out of town. If his plan was to shoot Belle to make her lose her memory, he had to count on Rumple bringing Belle and stopping at the town line.

Which brings up the question of why Rumple did things the way he did. Were they just going to the line to test the shawl? Why? It's not like he could have done anything about it if it hadn't worked when he stepped over the line. If he was going to go in search of Bae, why bring Belle to the town line to stop and test the shawl? How was she going to get back to town if he drove on? She didn't have a way of keeping her memories, so she couldn't go with him. Then there's the issue that it's hard to believe a woman who'd just learned that her boyfriend had murdered his previous wife (and had lied to her about what happened) and had just watched him beat a man nearly to death would be keen to immediately get in a car with him after dark and go to the edge of town. We also have the Too Stupid To Live maneuver of standing on the line for a nice romantic, emotional moment when her falling over the line would have such bad consequences. Hook didn't have to shoot her. She could just as easily have lost her balance in her high heels and toppled over. Don't make her stand anywhere near the line. But it's awfully convenient for Hook that they did have their moment right there instead of Rumple wisely moving to a safer place for them to embrace and rejoice that he'd be able to go after his son.

Archie also took his dramatic time. Hook had time to menace Belle and tell her his full story, and then Rumple had time to beat Hook almost to death before Archie managed to get from the Jolly Roger to the loft.

On the positive side, I think a lot of this mess was really well-acted. That intense eye contact thing Colin does as Hook works as well for menace as it does for sexual tension. I find myself holding my breath during that whole scene with Belle on the Jolly Roger, it's so intense. In fact, the acting all around almost saves it because all these logic problems end up being "fridge logic." It kind of works while you're watching if you don't think too much about it. It just falls apart if you put any effort into analyzing it.

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To fanwank some of the above problems, with declining level of probability...

- Cora is a shapeshifter, and we know she was spying on Regina and other townspeople for at least a little bit before going after Archie. She could have done some more intensive recon and gotten the gist of Archie's role, and learned his EF identity, from any number of unsuspecting townspeople. 

-The interrogation of Archie is a total waste of time, but Hook didn't necessarily know it would be, as I think he must have run into Smee only afterwards. Cora probably did, but she didn't actually care about interrogating him anyway; she just wanted to use him to frame Regina.

-Belle would have needed to be at the town line to help Rumple in case it didn't work and he did wind up memory-less. Though yeah, she didn't need to be leaning over the edge of it.

- Hook does not realize that he can follow Rumple over the town line without losing his own memory - this is actually clarified an episode or two from now in a conversation between Regina, Cora, and Hook, so it seems plausible that he doesn't see that as an option at that point. So, not realizing there's still a way to follow his initial plan of taking on Rumple in a world without magic, he wants the shawl to prevent Rumple from going where he can't follow. He may have ideas of holding Belle hostage in the hope that Rumple will sacrifice himself for her, although given the backstory, I don't think Hook would expect that of Rumple. So, I think by the end of the episode, he's basically resigned himself that there's no immediate way for him to kill Rumple, and the best he can do, revenge-wise, is harming Belle. But unlike the three above fanwanks, which I think are pretty reasonable extrapolations and didn't necessarily need to be elaborated, this really ,really needed to be much clearer on screen. And I agree that Colin doesn't play the scene in the library as if Hook is just trying to scare Belle into calling Rumple as a distraction, so that part of the plan comes off as particularly muddled.

-Hook gets to the town line in time because on the way, Belle forced Rumple to stop the car and they had a long, serious discussion about what Rumple had done to Milah and how much he regretted it. Ha! Just kidding. 

-The shawl...um...oh! I know! Milah felt so bad about leaving Bae that at one point she and Hook took a clandestine trip back to the village and spied on him from afar. Milah was touched to see that Bae was still wearing the shawl she had knitted for him. This was supposed to be the basis for a touching flashback episode later in the season, except they had to cut it when Colin broke his leg. 

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One could say that Hook was trying to help out Bae somewhat by stealing the shawl and keeping Rumpel from finding him. He even says as much. Hook is well aware of why Bae is not with Rumpel and the circumstances surrounding the whole thing. It's obviously not his main reason, but keeping Rumpel from finding Bae hurts Rumpel and helps Bae, so win-win.

Belle is the one who comes off badly in this episode. She's flat out too stupid to live. What moron wanders onto the Jolly Roger alone without telling anyone? Why not call Emma or Rumpel for some backup? And yes, she broke into someone's home while armed, so Hook is in his rights to kill her since she represents a clear and present danger to his life. Then Hook tells her some home truths about her boyfriend, truths that she should very well recognize since she lived with him as the Dark One and saw him do some horrific stuff, and she doesn't even flinch. It gets even worse when she watches Rumpel attempt to beat a completely unarmed man to death (a repeat of what he'd almost done to her father) and still thinks it's a good idea to stick with him as a romantic partner. I'm kind of happy she lost her memories. Maybe she'll grow some brains with her cursed persona.

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Honestly, while what Hook did to Belle is truly awful, and arguably his most villainous act yet, he was dead on with everything he said to Belle. You could even read it as him really trying to warn her off him, if you wanted to be a bit charitable. But no matter, what, he was totally right when he said that Rumple cared more about proving his power than his loved ones, and he was right when he said that Rumple murdered Milah, and that Belle could easily be next. 

Speaking of, wow did Rumple leave out a few important details of the story of him and Milah. I mean, "he took her from me?" Oh, is that what happened, Rumple? This leads to the main lesson I get from this episode, that Belle is a freaking idiot. I can appreciate her wanting to be helpful and have adventures, and she does have a gift for research and figuring things out, but she seriously sucks at the follow through. I mean, what was the plan, Belle? Go after the literally flaming monster with your tiny knife? Go after the pirate who wants to murder you while on his ship with a weapon you cant work? Come ON! Thats not even getting into Belle apparently not batting an eye at the fact that her boyfriend murdered his first wife! I would think most people would find their partner killing their last partner a tiny bit of a red flag, but Belle gives zero fucks, apparently. Its hard to tell at this point how much of this is Stockholm Syndrome, and how much is Belle just being a really messed up person who says she wants her boyfriend to be a good person, but willingly overlooks his obviously evil deeds. I mean, yeah Rumple has some good in him, but so does most everyone in the world, and that doesn't mean they arent still mostly awful!

I did find the acting very strong throughout the episode, so that did help some of the more frustrating aspects of the episode. And I did like seeing Mulan again (and continuing Belle Forrest Gumping her way around the EF) and the origin of her friendship with Philip. Also, poor Philip! The poor guy just cannot catch a break! He gets cursed, almost killed, gets un-cursed, his one true love gets stuck in an eternal sleep, then just as he saves her, he dies and his soul is eaten! 

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And he hasn't even turned into a monkey yet!

I mean, its nice that Belle gets a basically non Rumple style adventure, but its not showing us more about her, beyond her being book smart and not street smart. At least we get to see more cute Belle outfits! That adventure outfit is one of my favorite costumes in the whole show! 

I cant believe that Snow is so quick to want to move out, but I did not that there was some conflict between Snow and David. I mean, I get why she wants to have a place with her husband after being separated for so long, but she has just been reunited with her daughter and grandson! Maybe wait a little bit? It does start the sadly specific "David gives much more of a crap about his daughter" theme. 

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On 9/22/2018 at 1:29 PM, Camera One said:

In "Tiny", it was David who suggested moving away from Storybrooke and Emma forever (saying "Emma will be fine..."), and Snow/MM rightly said she didn't want to be separated.  

I think people misinterpreted this:

Quote

David: It was kind of fun. You know, we could do this all the time. When the beans grow, we could go back. Everyone could go home.

MMB: I don’t know.

David: What don’t you know?

MMB: Home is where our family is. And that’s here. I don’t know if Emma would come with us, and I am not going to be separated from her again.

David: You’re worried about her.

MMB: Aren’t you?

David: Of course, but… Emma… Emma can take care of herself, and I’m sure wherever she and Henry are, they’re safe.

 

They are talking about 2 different things. It wasn't written well, but I think David is just voicing MM's worry over Emma going with Gold. Not going back to the EF and leaving her.

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21 hours ago, KAOS Agent said:

One could say that Hook was trying to help out Bae somewhat by stealing the shawl and keeping Rumpel from finding him. He even says as much. Hook is well aware of why Bae is not with Rumpel and the circumstances surrounding the whole thing. It's obviously not his main reason, but keeping Rumpel from finding Bae hurts Rumpel and helps Bae, so win-win.

That works for me. And Hook couldn't have known the possible downside to taking away Rumple's ability to leave town because

Spoiler

 

they didn't yet know about magic only working within the town limits. Rumple is surprised to discover that a couple of episodes later. Hook had no reason to think that if he let Rumple leave town, he could kill him more easily.

 

So, I guess Plan A was to take the shawl and thwart Rumple from finding Bae, which tortures Rumple and helps Bae. Then when Rumple got the shawl, after all, he switched to doing something to Belle as a way of hurting Rumple. But he couldn't possibly have planned on shooting Belle to force her to fall over the town line since he had no way of knowing that Rumple and Belle were going to stop conveniently on the town line so they could have a romantic moment in exactly the right position so that she would fall over the line if she were shot.

I get the feeling the writers started with the outcome they needed -- Belle's memory wiped and Hook getting hit by the car of the stranger who's just come to town -- and waved their hands to get the pieces into place. It's not even reverse engineering because that would require more logic. Hook's plan needed to be clearer, and his actions needed to make sense in light of his plan. Plus, his plan shouldn't rely so heavily on things he couldn't predict and had no control over. I'm not sure his actions here are consistent with wanting to hurt Belle to hurt Rumple if we consider what he knew about what was going on. If he thought Rumple was leaving town (since Belle mentioned that during the beating), would he have set up an ambush at the town line -- without knowing that they were going to stop there -- or would he have waited until Rumple was gone and he could have done something to Belle with impunity and Rumple could have had a nasty surprise when he returned?

23 hours ago, companionenvy said:

Belle would have needed to be at the town line to help Rumple in case it didn't work and he did wind up memory-less.

But he wouldn't have been memory-less. He'd have been Mr. Gold. The dwarf who got shoved over the line just reverted to his cursed identity. Belle's cursed identity seems to have been a blankness. She didn't seem to have been any particular person, but she wasn't herself, since she didn't recognize Rumple until the curse broke. Rumple would have just reverted to Gold, who would probably just have wondered where he was heading and then turned around and went back home/to his shop. That's why I wonder why he needed to do the test on the town line. It either worked, or it didn't. If it didn't work, he's Gold again, won't remember needing to find Bae, and will probably just go home. If it works, he keeps on going to find Bae. Given that we learn in the next episode

Spoiler

that he doesn't actually know where Bae is until Cora gives him the gizmo to help find him, I'm not sure what's going on here. There's no reason for Rumple to test it since if it doesn't work he's screwed the same way either at the test or when he's actually leaving.

I think I figured out how Hook got there: He was actually riding on Rumple's car, lying flat on the trunk and clinging to it. Rumple never checked the rear-view mirror, and it was dark and Hook was wearing black on a black car.

Even though Hook was at his worst in this episode, it's also part of making a redemption more palatable because it really gives Hook some karmic retribution every time he does something awful. That was already going on from his introduction -- for every bad action he takes, something smacks him soon afterward (from the audience's perspective, at least). He's a jerk to Rumple, and later in the episode he gets his hand cut off. He steals Aurora's heart and traps Team Princess in the dungeon, and he gets clocked upside the head by Emma and loses the fight. He menaces Belle and he gets captured and creeped all over by Regina, then gets captured, nearly killed, and creeped all over by Cora. He menaces Belle again and gets a bookcase dropped on him. He menaces Belle again and gets beat nearly to death. He shoots Belle and is immediately hit by a car. And, yet again, this isn't something they seem to have set up for Regina. We see her murder her horse and her father to cast the curse, and she gets to live the life she wanted, in total control of her enemies, for 28 years. She murders Leopold and screws Sidney over, and she gets to be queen and Sidney takes the fall. She murders Graham and nobody finds out. She tries to have Kathryn murdered and Sidney takes the fall again. It's easier to get behind a redemption when you feel like the villain has been punished for their bad deeds.

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6 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

That works for me. And Hook couldn't have known the possible downside to taking away Rumple's ability to leave town because

  Reveal hidden contents

 

they didn't yet know about magic only working within the town limits. Rumple is surprised to discover that a couple of episodes later. Hook had no reason to think that if he let Rumple leave town, he could kill him more easily.

 

So, I guess Plan A was to take the shawl and thwart Rumple from finding Bae, which tortures Rumple and helps Bae. Then when Rumple got the shawl, after all, he switched to doing something to Belle as a way of hurting Rumple. But he couldn't possibly have planned on shooting Belle to force her to fall over the town line since he had no way of knowing that Rumple and Belle were going to stop conveniently on the town line so they could have a romantic moment in exactly the right position so that she would fall over the line if she were shot.

I get the feeling the writers started with the outcome they needed -- Belle's memory wiped and Hook getting hit by the car of the stranger who's just come to town -- and waved their hands to get the pieces into place. It's not even reverse engineering because that would require more logic. Hook's plan needed to be clearer, and his actions needed to make sense in light of his plan. Plus, his plan shouldn't rely so heavily on things he couldn't predict and had no control over. I'm not sure his actions here are consistent with wanting to hurt Belle to hurt Rumple if we consider what he knew about what was going on. If he thought Rumple was leaving town (since Belle mentioned that during the beating), would he have set up an ambush at the town line -- without knowing that they were going to stop there -- or would he have waited until Rumple was gone and he could have done something to Belle with impunity and Rumple could have had a nasty surprise when he returned?

But he wouldn't have been memory-less. He'd have been Mr. Gold. The dwarf who got shoved over the line just reverted to his cursed identity. Belle's cursed identity seems to have been a blankness. She didn't seem to have been any particular person, but she wasn't herself, since she didn't recognize Rumple until the curse broke. Rumple would have just reverted to Gold, who would probably just have wondered where he was heading and then turned around and went back home/to his shop. That's why I wonder why he needed to do the test on the town line. It either worked, or it didn't. If it didn't work, he's Gold again, won't remember needing to find Bae, and will probably just go home. If it works, he keeps on going to find Bae. Given that we learn in the next episode

  Reveal hidden contents

that he doesn't actually know where Bae is until Cora gives him the gizmo to help find him, I'm not sure what's going on here. There's no reason for Rumple to test it since if it doesn't work he's screwed the same way either at the test or when he's actually leaving.

I think I figured out how Hook got there: He was actually riding on Rumple's car, lying flat on the trunk and clinging to it. Rumple never checked the rear-view mirror, and it was dark and Hook was wearing black on a black car.

Even though Hook was at his worst in this episode, it's also part of making a redemption more palatable because it really gives Hook some karmic retribution every time he does something awful. That was already going on from his introduction -- for every bad action he takes, something smacks him soon afterward (from the audience's perspective, at least). He's a jerk to Rumple, and later in the episode he gets his hand cut off. He steals Aurora's heart and traps Team Princess in the dungeon, and he gets clocked upside the head by Emma and loses the fight. He menaces Belle and he gets captured and creeped all over by Regina, then gets captured, nearly killed, and creeped all over by Cora. He menaces Belle again and gets a bookcase dropped on him. He menaces Belle again and gets beat nearly to death. He shoots Belle and is immediately hit by a car. And, yet again, this isn't something they seem to have set up for Regina. We see her murder her horse and her father to cast the curse, and she gets to live the life she wanted, in total control of her enemies, for 28 years. She murders Leopold and screws Sidney over, and she gets to be queen and Sidney takes the fall. She murders Graham and nobody finds out. She tries to have Kathryn murdered and Sidney takes the fall again. It's easier to get behind a redemption when you feel like the villain has been punished for their bad deeds.

It really is and that usually is what happened to Hook. It would have been nice and been more believable if it happened to Regina too. But no we get her whining over how unfair everything is when she got almost everything she wanted! Yes, poor Regina she only got away with all her crimes, murdered her husband and stole his kingdom, murdered who knows how many people including children. Back to Hook. Shooting Belle was wrong even though by this point she is so infuriating. She's been sprouting never ending nonsense about Rumple that has never been right. His good heart, he's a good person. Even though he has lied to repeatedly and been caught repeatedly lying to her. Even though she finds out he murdered his first wife. None of this has an impact on her or changes her in anyway. How do you learn your boyfriend murdered his wife and just let that go? It really hurts her character and hard to care what happens to her. She should have been shocked, upset, freaking out, something. Nope. Her going to Hook's ship with just a weapon she doesn't know how to use is also stupid. Hook would have every right to murder her.  By this point they really should have either had Belle realize she was wrong and leave Rumple or explore why she keeps going back to a violent man with zero qualms about murder and lying to her. Either she's not the good person she thinks she is which could be true Belle rarely comes off like a good person and she spends most of her time wanting to be Hero and be with a Hero rather then ever deciding what that means or recognizing reality of herself and Rumple. Or she's attracted to a violent man. She sees and knows Rumple is a dangerous villain but wants to be with him and either can't admit it to herself or can't handle what people will think of her by living with and later marrying the Dark One. 

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On 9/23/2018 at 8:33 PM, Shanna Marie said:

and waved their hands to get the pieces into place.

No wonder they relate to Regina so much! They have their own magical jazz hands that can do anything with, even if it makes no sense. 

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14 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

No wonder they relate to Regina so much! They have their own magical jazz hands that can do anything with, even if it makes no sense. 

I now have an odd visual of what likely happened daily in the "Once Upon a Time" Writers' Room.

On 9/23/2018 at 7:33 PM, Shanna Marie said:

I get the feeling the writers started with the outcome they needed -- Belle's memory wiped and Hook getting hit by the car of the stranger who's just come to town -- and waved their hands to get the pieces into place. It's not even reverse engineering because that would require more logic.

I agree the writers started with the outcome and I think they do that a lot on this show.  Plot logic and character come last.  All that matters is the chess pieces end up where they're supposed to.

Edited by Camera One
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