Even the most evil of creatures deserves love on Once Upon a Time. The story of Beauty and the Beast is has a unique twist. Emilie de Ravin guest stars as Belle, who is faced with the daunting task of loving a monster, Rumpelstiltskin.
Our tale begins with a war against ogres. With little surprise, the kingdom is struggling. Hope for a helper to come to their aid is to no avail, until the king and his entourage hear a knock at the door. No one stands behind it once opened, yet Rumpelstiltskin now sits in the king's throne. He'll save the people, but for a price. Belle, the king's daughter, must stay with him forever as caretaker to his estate. She agrees, leaving behind her fiancee Gaston.
Mr. Gold completes his good deed for the day by taking a poor man's flower deliver truck as collateral just before the Valentine's Day rush. Madame Mayor who witnessed the whole thing attempts to discuss something with him, but is quickly shot down.
At Granny's Diner, Mary Margaret and David sit at tables across from one another, yet whisper across the aisle like giddy school kids in puppy love. Sheriff Swan and Ashley, who hands off her newborn to Granny, soon join her, making their secret meeting a tad awkward. Ruby overhears the girls complaining about life and invites them out to party with her. Ashley's in, Emma bows out and Mary Margaret isn't happy about it.
Emma is called away to her sheriff duties. She sneaks up on Mr. Gold in his cluttered home, both with pulled guns. He's been robbed. "I'm a difficult man to love," he says.
Belle is getting used to her new boss and making sure she's careful not to chip any more cups. As Rumpelstiltskin spins his wheel, Belle stands atop a ladder, yanking at the curtains. Small talk leads to Rumpel's curiosity, "What are you doing?" He looks up at her, now near the window. While attempting to let some light into the dimmed room, Belle falls into her beast's arms. A moment is share, but quickly shaken off.
Sheriff Swan has confronted Mr. Gold about who he believes robbed his home and he is right. Moe French, the man whose truck was confiscated earlier is at the helm of things. Emma has uncovered the missing items, or at least she thought that was all of them. "There's something missing," Mr. Gold whispers in that low, menacing tone of his. He's on the hunt.
Rumpel and his new tenant are getting along quite swimmingly. Belle's noticed a child's clothing while doing her daily duties. The tale of his lost son will have to wait, at least until he answers the door. "I am Sir Gaston," says the brave nobleman just before the man of magic waves his fingers and turns him into a rose. Unknown to Belle, she sets it in the middle of the table and confesses that she and Gaston had an arranged marriage. Rumpelstiltskin proposes a deal to help Belle see some of the world as she once hoped. If she goes in to town and fetches some straw, he will tell her the story of his son. Will she return?
Mary Margaret, Ashley and Ruby have spruced themselves up and are enjoying shots at the local club. (I'm sure the nightlife in Storybrooke is hip and happening). Ruby notices a group of guys worth her attention, but the other two aren't as thrilled. "I'm still with Sean," says Ashley. "He's always working," chimes Ruby as she bounces off. The two old maids agree that love just isn't what they hoped it would be.
David falls in line behind Mr. Gold at the corner store, holding two Valentine's Day cards. He claims the reason for two is that they both fit their relationship. I'm sure Mr. Gold sees right through that one. What does Mr. Gold need with rope and electrical tape, though? Oh, of course, to tie up Moe French and toss him in the back of his own delivery truck.
Wow, this got pretty serious! Mr. Gold walks Moe into what seems to be an abandoned cabin at gunpoint. He says, "You see, I don't usually let people get away."
On her way to town, Belle is stopped by the Queen. Regina tells Belle "any curse can be broken" and this particular case can be solved by a kiss. So once she's returned to the castle, she kisses Rumpelstiltskin. Gross, I know, but it actually works. He begins transforming, yet he doesn't like it. He jumps up, believing that Belle is on a power kick and possibly working with the Queen. Back to her dungeon-like room he tosses her.
In quite the display of rage, Mr. Gold lets out his frustrations on poor Moe. He's still looking for "it" and Moe's excuses just are not up to par. While hitting the man with his cane, Mr. Gold exclaims "It's your fault, not mine! She's gone forever!" Luckily, Sheriff Swan arrives in the nick of time.
Girl's night out is proving to be nothing to write home about as Ashley and Mary Margaret continue to sit at their table alone. Ashley just wants a night with Sean. Just as the words leave her mouth, there he is with roses. He's on his lunch break and that makes it all the more adorable. And he's not done yet! Sean drops to one knee and proposes. Mary Margaret leaves the club and runs into David who hands over the wrong Valentine's Day card. Genius move. "You should go home to Catherine," she says. And they go their separate ways.
Sheriff Swan confronts Mr. Gold once again about what's happened. No one reacts that way over a few stolen items. He refuses to cooperate, so she arrests him.
Rumpelstiltskin enters Belle's chambers and says "Go!" He doesn't want her anymore. She heads out, but before she can leave she tells him that he's made his decision. He doesn't think she can love him, but now all he's left with is "an empty heart and a chipped cup." This is surely more depressing than the Disney version.
The sheriff offers half of her pastrami sandwich as her favor she still owes Mr. Gold. He doesn't need reminding and when the time comes, the favor will be "for more than half of a pastrami sandwich." Regina and Henry enter the station. Emma has time with her biological son for 30 minutes. They run out quickly. Regina has one question for Mr. Gold and it's a darn good one. "What is your name?" For the answer, she will return what he wants. I'm sure you've guessed by now that she was the one who put Moe French up to his robbing spree. Anxious to have "it" back, Mr. Gold answers honestly "Rumpelstiltskin." Regina hands "it" over, the chipped cup.
The Queen pays Rumpelstiltskin a visit, wanting to discuss a deal for a certain mermaid. He quickly shuts her down, not in the mood. She begins speaking of Belle and how she had nothing to do with her "tragedy." Yes, unfortunately Belle returned home to find that Gaston went missing and because of her stay at Rumpel's castle, no one else wanted her. Her father cut her off and tossed her into a tower where she soon jumped from it and committed suicide.
Regina makes a stop at the hospital, passing by Mr. French and making her way downstairs to a level unseen by visitors. She hands over a rose to the nurse and asks "Has anyone been to see her?" The nurse replies that no one ever comes to see her. Regina makes her way to a door, opens the peep hole and peers in at Belle. She's curled up in the corner of her dark room, in the psych ward.
By the way, I have a question for any followers. What did you guys think of Belle's accent? Beauty and the Beast is a French tale, yet Belle and Moe had what sounded like Australian accents. It through me off just a bit, but I'm curious to know what everyone else thought.
Next week on Once Upon a Time, Prince Charming must defend his honor while staying true to his heart. David and Mary Margaret's secret is out, creating even more trouble for the struggling lovers. He must fight for love as Charming did after calling off his wedding to Abigail. Tune in Sunday at 8/7c.
(Image courtesy of ABC)