I had high hopes for the Halloween episode of OUAT—did it live up to my expectations?
Yes! I think this was one of the more interesting episodes, although the gruesome factor was still a bit on the bland side. Still it was chock-full of Regina, Rumpelstiltskin, and Captain Hook, not to mention we finally get some background on the good Doctor Whale.
The episode opens with Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, Emma, and Snow coming back into the refugee camp in Fairytale-land. They find the whole camp burned and everyone viciously slaughtered, each one having had his or her heart ripped out. They know only one person could have done that: Cora.
They do find one survivor, the blacksmith...or is it? Sorry, that guyliner don't lie—it's Killian Jones, a.k.a Captain Hook, masquerading as the blacksmith. Emma is suspicious.
In Storybrooke, Doctor Whale goes to Charming to find out if it's true that the Prince is trying to build a portal back to Fairytale-land. They discuss the possibilities.
Meanwhile Regina goes to Archie, aka Jimminy Cricket, because the local shrink is trying to help her quit magic. As the session begins, the Doc busts in demanding that Regina send him back to FTL. He wants to be near his “brother,” whom we find out is Daniel—the infamous stable boy and Regina’s fiance.
Rumpy in full Jean Genie regalia is teaching Regina how to pull hearts from living creatures. They have a unicorn in stasis, and Rumpy insists she takes its heart. She can't and he’s annoyed, asking her what holds her back. Eventually, he does it for her.
Back at Archie’s office, Regina tells him she brought Daniel with her to SB and that he's lying in the family crypt. On the way home she is driving in the rain only to see Daniel in bad horror-movie lighting standing on the corner staring at her menacingly. She looks away and looks back only but...he's gone. Duh!
Charming takes Henry to the stables to learn to be a proper knight; he must have a steed, and so he’s given a horse. He learns that first he must take care of said horse before riding it. Henry looks bored, but Charming looks amused leaving Henry to shovel horse poop.
Regina goes to the family crypt to visit Daniel, only guess what??? Yep: The body is gone. To say she freaks out is an understatement.
Rumpy confronts Regina's general apathy towards the Dark Arts, so she brings up her desire to resurrect Daniel. He laughs, or rather giggles darkly, saying “Dead is Dead, dearie.” He tells Regina he is done working with her. Just then, Jefferson, a.k.a Mad Hatter, shows up with a crystal ball for Rumpy. It's not what he wanted, but he takes it anyway as they discuss the need for magic items that will allow Rumpelstiltskin to travel to the land “without magic”! Rumpy leaves and Jefferson tells Regina he knows someone who can bring back the dead. He's called the “wizard” and he will take her to him, for a free travel pass in her land. They make a deal.
In Fairytale-land, Hook is still insisting he's the blacksmith, and Emma has had enough. They tie him to a tree and wait for Ogres to come and get him.
Jefferson takes Regina to meet the Wizard, who looks like a mash-up of Victor Frankenstein and Doctor Whale. They take the wizard to Daniel’s body and the doctor tells them both that he's a good candidate. He needs just one thing...uh-huh, a strong, beating heart. It also comes out that he has never been successful before; it's still a work in progress.
In Storybrooke, Regina runs through the deserted halls of the hospital calling for the doctor. She finds him on the floor with his arm ripped off (nice!). He tells her he brought Daniel back only to make him a monster.
Later, while the doctor lies in a hospital bed, Regina and Charming talk. Charming freaks out when he hears that Daniel has been brought back, but also that all those hearts are here in Storybrooke in the vault. Regina swears she'll be able to control Daniel, and then realizes that he's headed for the stables (duh, stable boy!). PC says that's where Henry is; running ensues.
Regina takes a heart from her mother’s crypt (where there are a gazillion, BTW) for the wizard. They go out into the forest where he tries to revive Daniel but fails. Regina is devastated.
Back at the stable, the horses start to freak out and Henry gets knocked down, only to find Daniel standing over him. Henry reaches out to Daniel, but he thinks he is trying to take his heart so he makes with the strangling. Regina and Charming arrive just in time to save Henry and lock Daniel in the stable.
Hook gets scared by how close the Ogres are, and confesses that he is really Captain Hook and Cora's henchman. In fact, he pretty much spills her whole plan and then says he'll help them instead if they promise to take him with them back to Storybrooke. He tells them about a magical compass needed to get back, and promises to take them to it, if only he can get to where Rumplestiltskin is so he can seek revenge. Emma literally does this.: O.o
Regina tries to talk to Frankendaniel but he decides to strangle her instead, relenting only when she tells him she loves him. He begs her to end him, that the pain is too great and he needs to be released. She refuses, but the monster part of him takes a hold again, so she destroys him. Again with the devastation, Regina style.
In Fairytale-land, Hook leads them through a forest to a big clearing, where he points ahead and proclaims that's where the compass is. Cut to a giant beanstalk (srsly??). Hook smiles and says watch out for the giant.
Rumpy has replaced Regina as his apprentice, but Regina shows up, rips the heart out of said apprentice, hands it to R., and walks away. He chitters ecstatically. We then see him in the forest with Jefferson and the wizard, and find out that the whole resurrecting Daniel thing was a sham. Rumpy wanted to push Regina over the edge and the wizard needed the heart for something else. Everyone leaves happy.
In Storybrooke we see the one-armed Doctor Whale carrying an ice chest into Gold’s shop. He asks Gold to reattach his arm so he can use it to find a way back to Fairytale-land to help his brother. Gold says he'll only do it, if the doctor will “say the words.” In desperation, the doctor grits out “I need magic” and poof his arm is reattached. We also find out the doctor’s first name is Victor (facepalm).
In a scene straight out of the original Universal Frankenstein, the doctor is using the heart he took from Regina to revive his patient, whom I assume to be his brother. Lightning strikes and the corpse’s hand moves, I expect the doctor to shout “he’s alive” but he doesn't. The process has worked and the doctor’s assistant tells him “that was magic” but Doctor Frankenwhatever says “not magic…science.”
The debate continues....
I thought this episode packed a ton of needed information into the hour, something this show is not usually known for. It was also grittier than usual, but I am going to say that’s because of Halloween. I, for one, really enjoyed it, hey that makes two in a row!
What did you all think?
When she’s not herding cats or creating art, she works as a part-time bookseller. You can find her on twitter as @psynde.