Previously on Once Upon a Time, the Wicked Witch of the West became Mary Margaret’s midwife because along with the curse, everyone forgot that they should TRUST NO ONE, and Team Charming found out that Rumpelstiltskin had been being kept in a cage, very much alive.
We open on a Team Charming meeting, being held at Granny’s before the breakfast rush (with a particular waitress disturbingly absent…though to be fair, Ruby hardly seems like a morning person). They make a plan: search everywhere for Gold. Great, glad we all trekked across town for that. Oh but wait, Hook actually has some useful information. Before he split off from the group in the Enchanted Forest a year ago, he overheard Neal talking about really wanting to get his father back, and assumes it was Neal’s plan that backfired.
Regina literally could not care less about Neal or Rumple if she tried. She’s more concerned with the more pressing matter: there’s a Wicked Witch on the loose. Regina decides while the rest of the Team goes on a wild Gold chase, she’s going to go to the farmhouse and look for clues. Emma tells her to be careful and Regina says she’ll be careful…and thorough. She’s feeling VERY territorial. Over Storybrooke, and probably a little over Emma, too.
Meanwhile, up on a hill somewhere in Storybrooke, Zelena tries to summon the Dark One with his dagger, but nothing happens. Apparently, Rumple ESCAPED his cage, he wasn’t let out. So Zelena sends a flying monkey to find him.
What she doesn’t know, is that Rumple is running through a forest for dear life. Where he thinks he’ll go, I don’t know, since crossing the town line no longer seems to be an option.
Across town, in Gold’s shop, Team Charming tells Belle that Rumple is alive and back in Storybrooke.
Finally, I can leave the shop!
They tell her to look for clues, and to keep an eye out for him, since she would probably be the first person he sought out. After receiving a very pointed look from Emma, Hook offers to stay and help Belle look for clues, and protect her, just in case. Belle is not feeling particularly comforted by his presence, what with their sordid history. She finally relents, and David suggests maybe Mary Margaret should stay behind, too. Mary Margaret is mildly offended, claiming she’s the best tracker there. No one says it, but they’re all thinking it: Snow White is the best tracker…Mary Margaret is kind of useless.
We flash back to one year ago in the Enchanted Forest. Neal and Belle are in cahoots, trying to think of a way to get Rumplestiltskin back. Neal shows Belle the swan necklace that used to be Emma’s, and wonders how it survived the curse. Belle says the necklace survived because it was born of true love, and I think someone might need to briefly explain jewelry making to the poor dear.
Belle takes Neal to her library in Rumple’s old castle to start looking for a way to bring him back. Suddenly, they hear a French voice from out of the darkness, and a face shows up in a candelabra’s flames.
In present-day Storybrooke, Belle and Hook are similarly looking for clues, when they hear someone crashing into the shop. Belle thinks it might be Gold, but it’s Neal’s face that appears at the door, looking rather exhausted.
Henry is doing homework when Emma comes back to give him breakfast. She tells him that she’s arranged for him to go fishing with Leroy today, which New Henry says he enjoys because he doesn’t remember sword fighting. Henry also says that he doesn’t believe any of the crap Emma has been feeding him since they got to Storybrooke. He may have had his memory wiped, and he may have gone through puberty, but he can tell when she’s lying. Mainly because, for someone who is supposedly a human lie detector, she’s still the worst liar ever.
Henry begs and pleads for answers, but Emma asks him to just trust her, and he obliges. Before they can chat further, Emma receives a phone call and she runs off.
The phone call was about Neal, and the running was to the hospital. He doesn’t remember anything after the curse, he remembers the yellow buggy driving away, then he remembers running and banging down the door to Gold’s shop. David tells him that they think Gold is back and Neal is very confused, since he JUST saw him disappear. Emma suddenly notices a very strange mark on his hand and takes a picture of it with her phone. She tells Belle she’ll send it to her, and I imagine Belle sitting by her window waiting for a messenger pigeon. (How did she learn technology so fast? Is there a fic out there of Ruby teaching her how to text?)
Neal wants to see Henry, so Emma breaks the news about Henry’s lack of memory and that as far as Henry knows, Neal is a loser who abandoned his mother. Neal says they obviously just have to get his memories back, but Emma is not too keen on this plan. She kind of likes happy Manhattan-kid Henry better than heart-of-the-truest-believer Henry.
Flash back to a year ago in the Enchanted Forest, Belle is looking curiously upon the talking candelabra. He introduces himself as Lumiere, and Belle wonders aloud why they never crossed paths — she spent an awful lot of time in that library. He kind of skirts around that and starts complaining about how he became a candelabra in the first place — he says he lost a deal with Rumple, so when Belle and Neal ask for help bringing him back, he’s not exactly biting at the bit. Belle promises that Rumple changed and that she would make sure he changed Lumiere back to his original self if he helped them save Rumple, so Lumiere relents. He tells them to open a cabinet and that they’ll know the book when they see it. Sure enough, there’s a big ol’ book with a skull hanging off of it. The book is not a book, however, but a hiding place. Inside is a key to the Vault of the Dark One.
THAT OUTFIT, THOUGH.
Belle asks Lumiere to guide them, and he agrees. Neal says they leave first thing in the morning, blows Lumiere out and he and Belle leave the library.
Practically before they’re out of sight, Lumiere flickers on again, thanks to none other than Zelena. She’s glad Belle and Neal fell for Lumiere’s lies, though she attributes it to their gullibility, hilariously calling Neal, “dumber than a box of hair.” They’re desperate to bring Rumple back, and this will surely work in her favor.
Is it weird I’m kind of into the green thing?
Storybrooke-Zelena arrives at the Charming Loft with a big bottle of orange juice for Mary Margaret. She’s as nervous as a first-time mommy, since it’s been about 32 years and at least two curses since the last time she was pregnant. She hadn’t felt the baby kick in a while, but as soon as she takes a sip of the orange juice, the baby starts kicking again. Zelena places a Risen Mitten on Mary Margaret’s belly and says, “You’re not having this baby without me” like a real creeper.
Regina is out at the farmhouse, about to start her sleuthing, when she hears a rustling behind her. She shouts out for the creature to show itself, and an arrow comes flying at her head. Luckily, she catches it with her usual amount of badassery.
Like a boss.
Regina mocks him and he mocks her and it’s very similar to the meeting they had a year ago that neither of them remembers. He once again invites himself to go sleuthing with her, and once again she relents.