Previously on Once Upon a Time: The Outsider.
This week on Once Upon a Time, the outside world crashes into Storybrooke, and it’s ultimately up to Dr. Whale to decide the stranger’s fate. In Storybrooke, Rumple tries to recover Belle’s memories, Cora reunites with Regina, and Emma and Co. deal with the threat of the “stranger.” In …Black and White Land (?), we learn more of Dr. Frankenstein’s past.
In Black and White Land, Victor Frankenstein celebrates Christmas with his father and solider brother Gerhardt (played by Chad Michael Collins). While Gerhardt is given a family heirloom in the form of a watch, Frankenstein is given a commission that he rejects, leading their father to cut off funding for his research. Rumpelstiltskin (in full color) visits Frankenstein’s lab. He notes that this realm has “feeble witchcraft” and offers gold to fund the doctor’s research, in exchange for the knowledge of how to raise the dead. Gerhardt stumbles across his brother exhuming a body and gets shot by the authorities for his trouble. Their father later stumbles upon Frankenstein’s failed attempt to revive Gerhardt; Rumpelstiltskin appears with a scheme to get an enchanted heart. Gerhardt is revived, but as a monster that ends up murdering their father. Frankenstein can’t bring himself to destroy his “monster,” and promises to save him instead.
In Storybrooke, we pick up in the aftermath of the car crash. Rumpelstiltskin uses magic to heal Belle’s bullet wound, but she’s terrified of him. Emma and parents show up in time to stop Rumple from finishing what he started, aka murdering Hook. At the hospital, Rumple tries – and fails – to restore Belle with a kiss, Emma questions an injured Hook about Cora but he knows nothing, and Emma uses her bounty hunter tricks to get into the Stranger’s phone, who is just an ordinary guy named Greg Mandell (played by Ethan Embry, who is in everything). To add to the chaos, Dr. Whale reveals Greg is dying, but Rumple can’t be bothered to heal him – and by the way, he saw magic before he crashed. Emma and Co. ultimately decide to save him despite the threat to the town. At Gold’s shop, Cora appears to her old “master” with an object to help him find Baelfire. They agree stay out of each other’s way so they can recover their respective children. Greg’s phone repeatedly gets calls from “Her” and Whale disappears.
Ruby finds him at the warf, they bond over being “monsters,” and she convinces him to save Greg. Meanwhile, Cora tricks her way into Regina’s heart vault and asks for a chance to reconcile, but her daughter is not convinced. Cora agrees to confess to her crime, but on the way into town she manipulates Regina onto her side with promises of getting Henry back. Emma questions a recovering Greg, but he was texting and saw nothing before the crash. Rumple tries one last time with Belle, using the chipped teacup, but she smashes it – and his hopes. Rumple uses the globe from Cora to get a read on Baelfire’s location (somewhere in the Carolinas?) and calls in his favor with Emma: they’re going to get his son. Back at the hospital, Greg calls back “her,” stating, “you’re not going to believe what I saw.”
That’s it for three weeks. When we come back, Emma and Rumple go in search of Baelfire.
• Why didn’t the kiss work? A reader suggested that Belle has to want it – I’m taking that to mean she needs to know she’s in love for True Love’s Kiss to work?
• So, why is Dr. Whale in Storybrooke? As Henry noted, he’s not in the book. Did other realms get transported to Storybrooke? I wonder if this is something that’s going to play out in the later part of this season.
Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She is currently upping her political savvy by watching all of The West Wing. For more tv-centric musings, check out her tumblr.