Goodbye Mr. Jekyll. So long Mr. Hyde. We barely knew ye.
It wasn’t such a strange case after all. This episode was way more interesting for what it presented in Storybrooke, and how our characters story-lines entwined with Jekyll and Hyde’s, than for the actual flashbacks. Especially because, the correlations were much stronger with Rumple and Regina than anyone else.
But a lot of air-time can be a good thing, or an awful thing, depending on the circumstances. So let’s delve into the issues with these two characters, Rumbelle and speculate a bit on what’s coming.
Joining me this week will be Fangirlish writers Sarah, Caryn and a lovely guest – SarahC!
Let’s dig in:
What were your overall thoughts on this episode? Rate the episode on a scale of 1 to 10.
Lizzie: I’ll give it an 8.5. I think it was one of Once’s stronger episodes this year, and a perfect follow up to the last one. I wasn’t that invested in Jekyll and Hyde, but I loved how what happened with them was tied into the storylines we care about, and I enjoy the moments of Charming Family bonding we got. I’m off two minds as to the Rumbelle of it all – because, though I understand drama makes for good television, I don’t really like that storyline at all. Still, the episode was strong – it flowed well, and it presented things like consequences, even if, like always OUAT ended up rushing some things that could have been better developed.
Sarah: This episode was a surprising but definite 8. I will admit I didn’t go into it having high expectations, but that worked to my advantage. The Jekyll and Hyde story threw me for a loop, I loved the Belle and Killian brotp moments, Daddy Charming, JASMINE and especially how everything balanced really well.
Caryn: I would give it a 7. It was not one of their stronger episodes but it was still enjoyable. I liked that we learnt more about the Jekyll and Hyde storyline and were introduced to a new mysteries with regards to Jasmine and Aladdin (it’s about time we were introduced to them). I like that OUAT seems to be going back to what works for it and so far this season has felt a lot stronger than the past few.
SarahC: I’d give it a 6. The twist on the Jekyll and Hyde story was cool! It actually got me thinking that Emma and the others assumed that OUAT’s Hyde was a villain on Jekyll’s word alone. Other than attack Jekyll (and knowing what we know now who can blame him?) Hyde didn’t really do anything villainous. Even his words about people who don’t want their stories told in 6×01 seems less of a threat and more of a warning in hindsight.
The Belle & Rumple story was another knife to the heart. I don’t like how they’re writing Belle at all! She always stood up to Rumple, here and in the Enchanted Forest, but she was never cruel. Now she believes she needs protection from Rumple (which honestly makes no sense) and she tells him threats won’t make her love him again. She’s lying about that, because if she didn’t love him then TLK wouldn’t have started working in the dream world.
Hook packed up his things to move with Emma – and we found out all his belongings fit in one chest, just as Emma’s all fit in a box before. What do you think of the parallels between their lives? And, can a lost boy and a lost girl truly make a home together?
Lizzie: I think they can, but I don’t think it’s as easy as saying move in with me and then, bam, happily ever after. These two have a lot of baggage left to be explored – and I’m not just talking about the fact that Emma’s still keeping a huge secret. But I also think it’s incredibly significant that they’re willing to try. Because this is basically both of them taking a step into the unknown. Neither of them has really known what a stable family feels like – and moving in together is the first step towards committing to being each other’s family. They might not have many material things, but they’re going to get new things – things that are not Emma’s or Killian’s, but theirs.
Just let it soak in. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?
Sarah: That parallel about toppled me over with feels which fits with how Captain Swan captured me since I watched Tallahassee back in Season 2. The symbolism represented by Emma’s box and Killian’s chest reminded me of the phrase first used to describe their connection by Jennifer Morrison: kindred spirits. From the moment they connected on the beanstalk, we’ve slowly learned more about them and the parallels have made their story more poignant and touching than anything I’ve seen in a long time. I truly believe no matter what challenges come their way, even ones that make them disagree and angry with each other, they will never give up on fighting for the future they’ve both worked so hard for. Not just for themselves but for each other, their family and their home, one just right for a lost boy and a lost girl.
Caryn: I love that this couple was such an unlikely match but they just make sense and the parallels are endless. It’s so intriguing that are defying stereotypes of what a couple should be like, especially on television and it’s enjoyable that even within an episode that is so action-packed as this there are still moments whereby they can show little moments between the two of them.
SarahC: I think life’s taught them that they can only rely on themselves and they need to rid themselves of that idea. Hook’s been more successful at that than Emma, who needs to lower her dang walls already and stop lying to her loved ones!
Rumple trapped Belle in the Jolly Roger and then, in the conversation at the end, suggested she’d go back to him because of necessity. Do you think this is the end of Rumbelle? Have you given up on them getting back together? If so – is there anything the writers could do to make you change your mind?
Lizzie: I think this is the end of Rumbelle, yes. I was never an ardent shipper, but I wanted them together because I loved Beauty and the Beast and I wanted my favorite princess, Belle, to get her happily ever after. I don’t think this Belle resembles that Belle, though, and right now, her happily ever after might be staying away from Rumple.
The problem is twofold, and it always has been. Rumple is an ass. He treats Belle like a possession, he has issues with free will and he’s incapable of letting go of his power. Belle, on the other hand, fell in love with the Beast and hoped her love would turn him into a prince. And it just didn’t happen. But she kept expecting it to. And she put her own expectations on Rumple, and made them his fault, when hey, the guy has made a lot of mistakes, but he’s not responsible for what Belle expected. She is.
And this just makes me more pessimistic. How could they fix it? Presumably by making HIM finally change. Except, at this point, would that be believable? No. They could also make HER accept him with warts and all, but at that point, is that believable? No. So the writers have essentially written themselves into a corner. Anything they do on the Rumbelle front is going to seem disingenuous.
Emilie and Robert had great chemistry, and at the end there (in my mind this is the end), when Rumple was being as shitty as he’s ever been to Belle, the chemistry was obvious. It’s a shame that, at this point, there’s nothing they could do to make me ship it. Or even, like, care. I’m over Rumbelle. I’ve seen this story play out like 5 times before. I don’t need to see it again.
I already know how it ends.
Sarah: The second he trapped Belle on the JR I had a bad feeling it wasn’t going to end well, which made me all the more thankful when Killian was able to defend her from Jekyll. At the risk of upsetting the apple cart, I have completely given up on Rumbelle ever getting back together, let alone having a healthy loving relationship. I put that entirely on Rumple’s shoulders because no matter what anyone says to him he cannot seem to understand that a relationship starts with trust and respect and he will always put power and being in control first. He treats Belle like she’s someone who needs to be locked up for and their son’s own good and as long as he refuses to change his ways I just don’t see a happy ending ever in the cards for them. On a writing perspective Rumple works best as a villain, and the only way the writers could ever change my mind is if they show a natural progression of him turning away from that and treating Belle with the respect, trust and frankly decency she (and every woman) deserves from a romantic partner.
Caryn: I used to ship Rumbelle hard in the beginning but my opinion has soured so much as it has become blatantly clear that their relationship is toxic. Even his runaway lines such as how he sees her as an object to be protected rubbed me up the wrong way. I’m sorry but Belle deserves better, anyone does, and I’m no longer even seeing the romance in their relationship. The relationship was one-sided, as Belle was always willing to forgive him but he kept putting them in jeopardy by choosing his unnecessary nefarious deeds instead of her. This relationship is purely about Rumple possessing Belle, he wants her but he wants her on his terms, he wants her to be the doting wife instead of having her own wants and needs. Nah girl, he’s not worth it.
Sarah C: I don’t think Rumple’s the only one who needs to change his ways. And I still have hope for them because they are Beauty and the Beast, it was always going to get worse before it gets better. I just didn’t think A&E would separate them 17 times. Rumple needs to learn that he can rely on other people (Belle repeatedly leaving him only teaches him that power is in fact all he can rely on, which isn’t true but how can he believe otherwise when Belle keeps leaving him?) and Belle needs to move past her fixation on the ideal hero and see the reality. Rumple died saving her, Bae, and all of Storybrooke from his father, and she’s forgotten that. They need to compromise with each other, which Belle refuses to do. At least Rumple’s willing to try using dark magic for light. It’s not much of a start, but he’s at least willing to meet her halfway.
Hook and Belle, two of the few people in OUAT who are not related, have developed a friendship. Is it believable? Are you invested in this BROTP? And, do you think the fact that Hook saved Belle will prove significant as the season progresses?
Lizzie: I think the relationship has been a bit rushed – but this is mostly due to Once’s pacing issues than actual writing problems. The show HAS tried in other occasions to show us the two confiding in each other. I think their biggest mistake was in having Hook apologize NOW, when he really should have done that awhile back, and when I assumed he had before they started spending time together in the library like two seasons ago. Either way, I think it’s important that they’re trying to portray a platonic friendship between a man and a woman, and I think the part about Belle forgiving him is perfectly in line with who Belle is. So I’m on board. Not gonna give the fact that getting here was somewhat faulty any more thought, because if I did, I would hardly be able to enjoy anything in OUAT.
Now, as to whether saving Belle will proving significant? I have to believe it will. Rumple is one for deals and debts and keeping score, and he considers Belle to be an extension of him, in a way. Hook saving her will probably come into play at some point.
Sarah: I absolutely love this BROTP! I never expected they would become such good friends, which honestly makes it all the better. Their friendship has slowly and naturally developed over the seasons that it’s no wonder they’ve bonded and helped each other through whatever crisis, personal or otherwise that’s going on in Storybrooke. I wouldn’t have thought of it at first, but the fact is if it weren’t for Killian the only two people Rumplestiltskin care about would have been gone. He owes Killian one, and I’m kind of hoping that helps him down the line, how I can’t guess, but I don’t think either of them are going to forget it.
Caryn: Seriously after Snow and Regina became friends, I would believe any pairing. I love the symmetry of Hook and Belle, you know that Hook has plenty of love to give and not many people to give it too, and Belle needs someone who could actually care for her. It’s also a bonus as he’s the one who would piss Rumple off the most.
Sarah C: Not really. I wish he could have given her that apology back in season 2. I know Belle tries to be understanding, but forgiving and becoming friends the guy who tried to kill her four times is a bit of a stretch.
Pick one MVP for this episode. Why that person?
Lizzie: My MVP is Belle. Mostly because she made a choice – and at this point with her, any choice is good. If she’d chosen that she was fine with the darkness and she wanted to go back to Rumple and be Mrs. Dark One, I might have chosen her as my MVP as well. Because the point with Belle is that she keeps wavering. She needs to decide what she wants/what she needs and stick to her guns. She can’t let herself be convinced to move from her position. And she can’t subject her child to a situation she DOESN’T want to be in. So, good for you, Belle. It’s good that you made a choice. It doesn’t even matter which one it was.
Sarah: Belle is my personal MVP. Seeing her stand up to Rumplestiltskin more than once and putting her foot down on his treatment of her was nothing short of amazing. She’s confident in the choices she’s making for herself and her son and knows she has friends (including her bff Killian) who support those choices. Rumplestiltskin may have tried to use fear against her, but that doesn’t work on a woman who makes the choice to live without the Dark One’s “protection.” Bravo Belle, I can’t wait to see you fight for the future and life you and your son deserve.
Caryn: I have to agree with Sarah and say Belle. For once she was not buying what Rumple was selling and for the first time she put her child first. I’m so glad to see her becoming a woman that is independent of Rumple and able to be her own character with her own network of friends separate to him.
Sarah C: Hyde. I love the way his apparent villainy masked someone who was misunderstood and framed for the murder of the woman he loved, the woman Jekyll wished to possess.
Regina was faced with the idea that, to beat the EQ, she needs to sacrifice herself. Do you foresee this happening? Can Regina learn to accept that the struggle against darkness is a daily thing? And, why do you think she asked Emma to be the one to kill her if it came down to it?
Lizzie: First, let’s dispense with the ridiculous notion that Regina is going to die. She’s not. Once Upon A Time would never get rid of Lana Parrilla, and the show would be worse off without Regina. This is a bit of drama for the sake of drama, and probably something they meant to follow up on, but it’s just …honestly, a ploy to try to make viewers worry. It’s just as absurd as the notion that Emma’s going to die. She’s not. The show doesn’t work without Emma.
That being said, Regina’s whole journey this year is not just about defeating the Evil Queen, but about understanding that you can’t never cut away your bad instincts or your bad thoughts completely. You have to conquer them. Every day. She wanted an easy fix, and there are no easy fixes in life.
Has she learned that lesson? Not yet, but I think she’s on her way. Can she do it? I think she can – I think she has been doing it, with mostly positive results, for a while. Being snarky and/or mean sometimes doesn’t make you evil. Evil is a choice. And I think, at the end of this journey, Regina will start to feel like a hero. And that’s important. It’s not just about how others see you. It’s about how you see yourself.
Re: why she asked Emma, I think she trusts that Emma would be willing to put aside her feelings and do it. Maybe she’s not the only one who would, but in this respect, she’s the one Regina trusts the most. It’s not about who Regina feels closest to, it’s about who would make the hard decisions for the good of others. Emma would. If nothing else, because of Henry. And Regina knows that.
Sarah: I think it will require a sacrifice, but not the kind Regina is assuming she’s going to have to make. I think the sacrifice will be taking the EQ back into herself, instead of believing darkness is something separate from who we are. I think after spending all this time battling her evil side Regina is going to have the experience of seeing the worst side of herself and realizing that there is no way to get rid of those kinds of thoughts, impulses or desires that aren’t good. Look what happened when she tried, not that I blame her she didn’t know how it would turn out, but some lessons are learned the hard way and this is definitely the hard way for her. Emma once trusted her with the only weapon that could kill her because she knew Regina was the only one who would be to follow through and do what’s best for everyone else if worst came to worst. She’s now returning back that trust to Emma, while the circumstances may be different, the choice is the same. That’s a lot of respect and that is something I’m always happy to see.
Caryn: The only way I see Regina dying is if it’s a Harry Potter type situation in where she’ll come back to life. I also think that this is how the return of Robin will tie in. I think she chose Emma to kill her because she knows that Emma will get the job done if needs be, regardless of her emotions.
Sarah C: I’ve read Jekyll & Hyde, so I knew off the bat that what Regina did was a stupid mistake since, once Hyde was conscious, there was only one way for Jekyll to kill him, and that meant killing himself. Regina has to realize that the only way to completely overcome her own darkness is to own it, acknowledge it as part of her. Campbell and Jung talk about that a lot, the only way to defeat the Shadow is to recognize as a part of yourself. I’m not sure why she asked Emma to do this, the brave thing would be for her to take her own life if there’s no other way (which there will be, she’ll rectify her two halves). I wish they’d think of their son in this. What would it do to Henry if one of his mothers killed the other one? It’d destroy him.
Agree? Disagree? Have your own answers to these questions? Are you interested in participating in one of these round-tables? Sound off in the comments below!
Once Upon a Time airs on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.