In the "The Outsider" episode of "Once Upon a Time," Hook is finally able to confront Rumpelstiltskin, and Belle is able to show her heroic side (twice) -- but not without a price. It all starts with Rumpelstiltskin finding a way (creating a potion) to leave the town limits without losing his memory, and a funeral.
The town holds a small funeral for Archie Hopper/Jiminy Cricket, whom they believe was killed by Regina. It has hit them all pretty hard, especially Henry, who had formed a bond with him. Jiminy's death stirs in some of the group a desire to return to the Enchanted Forest, not only to escape Regina, but also to hide from those in the real world who might not understand the magic that has been released in Storybrooke. Plus, they're homesick.
Belle does not much like magic either. In the past, back in the land of the Enchanted Forest, she decides to go on an adventure, spurred on by a pre-Grumpy Dreamy dwarf and his gift of fairy dust. Belle goes with a group of men to hunt a beast (the Yaoguai) that's terrorizing villages. She has a book to guide her, but the brutes get her information and dump her. She misled them, and finds the beast herself. It seemingly attacks her, but she is saved by Mulan. The warrior woman was hunting the beast because it assailed her village. They part ways.
TIMELINE: Snow White through the years
Back in present-day Storybrooke, Belle is attacked in the library by Captain Hook. Rumpelstiltskin comes to find her after she locks herself in what looks to be an elevator and sends out a garbled cellphone call for help. He tells her that Hook took his wife, so he took Hook's hand, and that's why they are enemies. They discover that Hook's attack was a distraction. Hook, or his minion William Sneed, ransacked Rumpelstiltskin's shop and took the one article of clothing that Rumpelstiltskin could use to cross the town barrier -- clothing belonging to his lost son Baelfire. Rump is going after him, and gives Belle a gun to protect herself.
Speaking of protection, there may be trouble in the Charming household. Henry was given Jiminy's dog, Pongo, and it started Snow White to thinking about getting a bigger place. As she's house-searching, Charming brings up the idea that they should think about going back to the Enchanted Forest to fight Cora and take back their kingdom. Snow would rather stay and build a family. Uh-oh.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, the brutes catch up to Belle, upset at her for deceiving them. Mulan saves her again, and they team up to track and kill the Yaoguai. They do track it down, but Mulan, due to a previous injury, can't face it. That duty falls to Belle. Mulan says she can do it if she finds her "warrior spirit." She also gives her a sword.
In Storybrooke, Belle's books and adventurous spirit lead her to find Hook's boat, even though it is magically invisible. Once on the boat, she finds Archie Hopper, a.k.a. Jiminy! She frees him, telling him to go find Mr. Gold while she continues to search for Baelfire's scarf. He's out of there. She's searching, searching, searching ... oops. Hook has arrived.
Belle faced off with another beast back in the Enchanted Forest. She gets the attention of the Yaoguai, leading it to a watery trap in the town square. With its fire put out, Belle sees that the creature is asking for help. Time to use the fairy dust conveniently given to her earlier, and poof, the Yaoguai is not a beast but a man. Prince Philip, the true love of Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), who was cursed by Maleficent. Belle introduces Mulan to Philip, a relationship that will hopefully be touched upon later, and she leaves to find Rumpelstiltskin. Too bad the Evil Queen/Regina finds her first. Belle is locked up, a pawn that the queen can use against Rumpelstiltskin later.
Jiminy finds Emma Swan and Henry, telling them that he's all right. Great news, but Emma knows that this revelation, and the way that they pushed Regina, will come back to haunt them.
Present-day Belle has a chat with Captain Hook. He tells her that Rumpelstiltskin not only cut off his hand, but killed his own wife because she wanted to be with him. Rumpelstiltskin finds Hook aboard the boat as Belle tries to make her escape. He beats Hook, but thanks to Belle, doesn't kill him.
The duo later makes their way to the town's border. After a touching talk and Belle's declaration that she would wait for him, Mr. Gold crosses the barrier ... and retains his memory. Belle, on the other hand, is shot by a lurking Captain Hook, falling over the borderline. She loses her memory, and Rumpelstiltskin loses his temper. As he prepares to set Captain Hook on fire, a car from outside the city limits comes barreling by, striking Captain Hook and crashing.
This desire to go back to the Enchanted Forest will probably only grow; we didn't get to see Cora or present-day Regina to know what's going on there; and the show seemed to zero in on the Pennsylvania plates of the car that crashed in the end: 2KFL-138. Maybe a license plate we've seen before? Time to speculate...
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