This was one of those episodes where my feelings and thoughts changed and evolved each time I watched the episode. First viewing I was pretty neutral, leaning towards dislike. Did we really need more exposition on Belle and Rumplestilskin? Why is Rumple’s accent different every time we see him in the Enchanted Forest? I’m still not sure why we should be happy that August got turned into a little boy and now he can’t ride his motorcycle. Second viewing I was more positive.
I have to be honest I think at this point I just love to hate Snow White. The past few months I have complained about how she was being selfish when she insisted everybody stay in Our World and not return to the Enchanted Forest, over the objections of people like her own husband. Then last night when she has her change of heart and tells Emma she wants to go back all I could think was “Oh so now you want Emma to give up the internet, indoor plumbing, cell phones and antibiotics and run off to a dirty forest with you? That’s just plain selfish.” So yeah, I am pretty sure at this point I can no longer objectively judge Snow White’s character.
As for the Enchanted Forest flashbacks to the past between Belle and Rumple, well that’s where I’m still conflicted. There was nothing wrong with them per se. They were well done scenes, with good visuals and a nice storyline. But they just felt unnecessary, and that means something coming from a guy who hungers for more Rumplestilskin every episode. I mean the point of these flashbacks is supposed to be to learn new things about the characters. What did we learn? Belle thought Rumple was an evil man and then decided he wasn’t. We already knew that, that has been established multiple times in both seasons. Yeah we see Robin Hood as promised, but only sort of. We meet him for about 2 minutes, learn his name, meet the sheriff of Nottingham, and then see that he is in love with Maid Marian. That’s it; pretty disappointing for an episode that was advertised as the premiere of Robin Hood.
All that being said: I really enjoyed the parts of the episode that took place in Our World, my irrational dislike of Snow White aside. One of the most appealing things about the recent episodes is Rumple fumbling around trying to prove what a nice guy he is in public and trying to get Belle to fall back in love with him. But I’m glad they ended that before it got stale. Emilie de Ravin’s amazing acting range shines forth as the newly resurrected Lacey. I am looking forward to seeing this new dynamic between Rumple and Lacey. He finally feels free to be who he thinks he is while maintaining the “love” of “Belle”, which I predict will be great for a while but eventually blow up in his face.
I am getting more and more intrigued by the Greg and Tamara subplot, especially since at the end of the episode Tamara brings Hook back to Storybrooke. As you all know I have been missing Hook a lot so I am excited to see him return next week possibly. I am getting really curious as to the fate of Greg’s father Owen; will we learn his fate before the end of the season?
So like I said my feelings about this episode were kind of all over the place. Some stuff I really liked some stuff I honestly didn’t. But it ended up being a solid episode and set up some neat twists going forward toward the end of the season.