This episode was a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast,” and I am going to trust that you all have at least seen the Disney version. The episode was kind of a chaotic jumble and it’s going to be hard to give you a play by play so apologies in advance.
Our story opens with in Fairytale land, where a king is poring over a map with his staff. They are clearly trying to stave off a war, and are hoping for help—help they are certain will not arrive. A woman tries to comfort the King, and it’s his daughter Belle. A hunky boorish guy speaks up, saying he’ll save everyone, oh hello Gaston, yep, still stupid. There’s a knock at the gate, the guards open it, no one is there—but that’s because he’s right behind you, and yes it’s our own David Bowie wannabe, Rumpelstiltskin! He strikes a deal with the King to save the country for the price of...uh huh, his daughter, Belle. Everyone cries outrage, but Belle goes willingly.
So R is our “beast du jour” of the evening. I’d go with him too, he’s hawt!
Meanwhile, back in Storybrook, Mr. Gold is repossessing the florist’s truck that is full of roses because it’s the day before Valentine’s Day (Oddly, the florist looks like the King from previous scene..duh). The florist is way angry.
Mayor is watching all this go down, she summons Gold and says she wants to chat with him. He refuses and she pushes, he looks her in the face and say No PLEASE (the magic word) and she backs off immediately.
(I should mention there is a subplot about the love of a good man involving Mary Margaret, Ashley (Cinderella), and Red. I’m not going to talk about it more than to say it’s cute and all Valentine-y, but really not central to the plot.)
Mr. Gold goes home to find his door is open, so he enters the house with his gun drawn, and turns a corner, only to walk right into Emma with her gun drawn. They stand that way for a minute, then Emma tells him he was robbed.
Duh, obvious much?
Cut to the past in FTL (not FTD!)
R puts Belle in her room/cell and dances away giggling. He returns a short time later to give her a tour of the house, telling her she is to cook and clean and answer his to his every need. She seems all right with this till she is about to serve him a cup of tea in a chipped cup. (Isn’t that Angela Lansbury you’re holding, Belle??) R shrugs it off, telling her it’s only a cup and not to worry. He is visibly cheered by her presence.
In Storybrook, Gold tells Emma the florist is the thief, and then tells her he isn’t shocked he was ripped off.
In a moment of ’WTF?’ he says one of the dumbest lines ever, telling Emma ’bad things happen to bad people.’ DUH!
So in the land of Fairytales, Belle is talking to R. It’s kind of sweet, he’s acting all charming and cute cracking jokes and dancing around. You see he is starting to have feelings for her and is stymied by the whole thing.
Back in the city, Emma finds Gold’s stuff, she calls him in and expects him to be happy. He isn’t; he says something’s missing, but he won’t say what. Then he tells her that she better find the Florist Monard before he does or they might never find him at all. DUH DUH DUH...
In the other world, you know the one with fairies and dragons, Belle and Rumpy talk . Belle is asking a lot of questions, including one about R’s son. He acknowledges that he used to have a son but lost him.
Just when it gets heavy, there is a knock at the door. Rumpy goes to answer it, and it’s Gaston.
He’s making some great grandiose gesture, but R is bored. He turns Gaston into a rose, then presents the rose to Belle, but doesn’t tell her who it is. R asks Belle about why she came with him, and she tells him that she wanted to be brave and see the world. Then she asks about Gaston, and she says he’s kind of superficial and dull, not her type. So in a moment of weakness R plays a game of trust with Belle, he sends her to town to see if she will actually return.
Gold has kidnapped the florist and he is lying in the back of the flower truck all gaffers taped up like some BDSM romance novel. They go to a cabin in the wood and Gold starts yelling at him “where is she? What have you done? And who put you up to this?,” then he promptly starts beating the shit out of him. It’s a tense scene, the kind at which Robert Carlyle excels.
Belle is walking down the road with the intention of escaping the clutches of our beloved Beast, when the Evil Queen comes barrelling down the road in a carriage that is the stuff Goth dreams are made of.
She gets out and has a chat with Belle about true love. She convinces Belle to kiss R to break the curse.
The Queen looks fantastically bitchy at this moment.
R is watching out the window for Belle, he sees her and runs back to the wheel acting all, ’no I wasn’t waiting for you.’ She asks him to tell her about his son and when R gets a bit emo she moves in for the “kiss.” She kisses him, and he starts to turn human! He goes mental, he screams and yells at the mirror telling Belle that he “knew” she never cared for him, how could she? That she was in cahoots with the Queen the whole time. He has completely lost it, and throws Belle in the dungeon.
Then he goes upstairs and destroys the house like any good rock star would. He is about to smash a tea cup but realizes it’s the chipped one, and instead sets it down reverently before going back to getting medieval on his, um, medieval home.
Back in Storybrook, Emma shows up just before Gold kills the florist. He’s hurt but not dead. Emma tries to question Gold but he won’t have it, and he dismisses her. She laughs, pulls out handcuffs—and arrests him. (See, it is a BDSM romance!)
Back in the Dungeon, R shows up and tells Belle to leave and just go home. He tells her he doesn’t “want her” and again is visibly shaken. Belle calls him a coward because he is afraid to love someone.
In a complete bastard move he tells her his power means more to him than she does. Belle doesn’t buy it, but she’s hurt, so she leaves. Rumpy also knows he blew it. It’s one of the sadder moments of the season.
In Storybrook, Emma and Gold are sharing quips in the police station while Emma enjoys a pastrami sandwich. THANK GOD there is a deli in Storybrook, I was so worried!
Mayor Biotch shows up, and uses Henry as a bribe to get Emma out of the station, they go off to have ice cream.
Mayor gets all up close and personal with Gold, telling him she has what he needs. She only wants one thing first...DUDE...HIS TRUE NAME.
He dances around it for a few minutes, but she keeps pressing.
So he says it—Rumpelstiltskin, like he just ate some bad fruit. She smiles her best bitch grin and hands him the chipped cup. He inclines his head and thanks her as “her majesty” but then adds that when he’s out she should be afraid...very afraid.
She leaves and he fondles the cup.
The final scene (the best part!) takes place in Storybrook with the Evil Queen paying Rumpy a visit. She asks questions about Belle, and then innocently alludes to Belle’s demise. R asks what happened, and after many bad things, Belle kinda lost it and threw herself out a tower window. The Queen looks pleased with this fact, and she leaves. R is in ruin as he places the chipped cup in an honored place.
Okay, finally we see the Mayor go into a secured part of the hospital, she asks if the “girl” is any better.
The nurse who looks a bit like Nurse Ratchett shakes her head sadly. The mayor walks down a long hallway and stops in front of a metal panel. She opens a small panel and looks in..Guess who???? Yup, it’s Belle, all drugged up.
Holy Crap, guess who’s going to be pissed off when they find out!!!
When she’s not herding cats or creating art, she works as a part-time bookseller. You can find her on twitter as @psynde.