This review may contain spoilers.
With a little nudging from Regina (Lana Parrilla), Belle (Emilie de Ravin) remembers her past this week. Unfortunately, it’s the wrong past. She fancies herself Lacey (her Curse’d personality) and is a sequin-wearing, hard-drinking floozy.
Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) tries to woo Lacey, but finally gives up. He realizes that she now has no interest in being good. That works out well when she discovers that he’s not interested in being good any more either. The two finally bond over beating the crap out of some poor schmuck.
In the past, Robin Hood (Tom Ellis) makes the mistake of stealing from The Dark One. After he is caught, Rumple’s new prisoner Belle sets him free rather than let Rumplestiltskin kill him.
Angry, Rumple sets out to finish off Robin Hood. Fortunately, he relents on the killing when he discovers Robin Hood’s gal, Marian, is pregnant. Belle decides that there is good in Rumplestiltskin, as she thought. And a co-dependent relationship is born.
Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) learns about the magic-bean escape plan. But so does Regina, which spells trouble. And Greg Mendell and Tamara reveal their secret plan for causing mayhem in Storybrooke — they have Captain Hook tied up in a trailer.
Anton and the dwarves. They just bring smiles whenever they’re around. More dwarves! More tiny giants!
The Lacey/Mr. Gold scene in the alley at the end was a nice twist on earlier words and exchanges. It was a little disturbing to see the Dark One acting truly Dark again, too.
It’s really nice to have Neal (Michael Raymond-James) in town. He has a nice chemistry with the other characters, particularly with Jennifer Morrison’s Emma.
Emilie de Ravin was clearly having fun as Lacey. Her speech patterns and mannerisms loosened up along with her hair. It’s always nice to have a little bit of anti-Disney-princess around.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
Yes, this is a pretty family-friendly show, but Robin Hood kinda looked like a wimp for not having been tortured very much at all. Next time, don’t spare the fake blood in the dungeon, people!
There was definitely not enough Robin Hood in this episode. One of literature’s most famous characters was just a MacGuffin in Belle’s story, and he deserved better. Perhaps we’ll see him and his lovely Maid Marian again? Hope so.
Why was Belle’s Curse’d personality so different from her real one? Most of the other Storybrooke residents were roughly the same types of people as they had been before (even her arch-enemy Snow White). But Belle somehow got a 180 degree change in the process. Convenient for Regina, wouldn’t you say?
Just how many giant beanstalks are they planning on using?!? It makes sense to have a backup, but this seems like overkill.
GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
“Lacey” was written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, and it was directed by Milan Cheylov.
“Once Upon a Time” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.