“Once Upon a Time” season 2 continued Sunday night on ABC 7 in Queens with episode 4, “The Crocodile,” which introduced Hook and showed more of Belle and Mr. Gold.
The cowardly Rumplestiltskin. Rumple found his wife Milah drinking with pirates in a tavern, and she only came home when she saw Baelfire with him. She didn’t care for Rumple since he was the village coward and didn’t fight the ogres, and while she wanted to start fresh somewhere else, he didn’t agree. Instead, he found out the pirates had taken her, but the coward in him couldn’t fight Killian Jones for her.
The Dark One versus Killian. William found the Dark One and offered him a magic bean to transport him between worlds—in exchange for eternal life. Rumple offered to turn back his clock so he was young again instead, with the warning that he’d turn it forward if he didn’t deliver. When Rumple saw Killian and his men walk in the tavern, he settled in. When Killian encountered Rumple, he called him a crocodile, knocking him over. Once he saw his face, he remembered him—and he knew who he was. When it came time for the duel, Rumple took Killian’s sword. When he had the advantage, he decided to show him what it felt like to have his wife taken—like his heart was ripped out. While he was doing just that, Milah told him to stop—the same Milah Killian had said was dead. With Rumple’s “Tick tock” taunting her, Milah explained she fell in love with Killian and didn’t know how to tell him. She offered him the magic bean in exchange for their lives.
Killian Jones becomes Hook on “Once Upon a Time.” On board the ship, Milah showed him the bean and asked about their deal. Rumple asked how she could leave Baelfire, and she said her misery clouded her judgment. She never loved him. He took her heart, and she died in Killian’s arms. When he refused to hand over the bean, Rumple cut his hand off for it. Killian picked up a hook at stabbed Rumple, which did nothing. He disappeared, leaving the hook behind. Killian may have lost his hand, but he still had the bean and gained a new crewmember in William Smee—and he had a handy new accessory for his stump: the hook. They were headed for Neverland.
Belle runs into trouble in Storybrooke. After a nightmare where Mr. Gold returned to his Rumplestiltskin ways, Belle saw him spinning gold and performing spells in the basement, and when she confronted him, he wouldn’t tell her why he needed magic and power. She told him he needed courage to let her in. After she left Mr. Gold’s, Belle bonded with Ruby, who helped her begin figuring out her life with a possible place to stay from Granny and a possible job in the library that had been closed. While she was looking at the library, William grabbed Belle. It turned out that her father had hired him to find her, and when Moe found out about her love for Rumple, he had William take her.
Mr. Gold seeks help. Mr. Gold turned to David as he tried to find Belle. David was acting as Sheriff for a few shifts (as well as working in the mine with the dwarves to find fairy dust), and Mr. Gold knew he could understand what he was going through. Reluctantly, Ruby told them she pointed Belle in the direction of the library. She helped them out by smelling her sweater but lost the smell at Moe’s shop. She thought it was because of the flowers, but Moe said Belle was safe. He refused to let Mr. Gold destroy her and was willing to make her forget about him if she forgot about Gold. He sent her across the town line—through the tunnels. William cuffed her to the mine cart and sent her on her way. She dropped the key, but Rumple brought her back with magic. However, that didn’t change that he wasn’t honest with her. She didn’t want to see either Mr. Gold or her father.
Mr. Gold finds his courage. Mr. Gold was the one to give her the key to the library (which came with an apartment), and when she found him at the library, he admitted he was a coward. He told her what happened after he lost Baelfire. He was waiting for the curse to be broken so he could leave and find him, but he brought magic because it was a crutch he couldn’t walk without. He was still a coward. He was using magic to try to break the new curse. As he was leaving, she suggested they grab burgers from Granny’s sometime. Belle and Mr. Gold as a couple are certainly winning us over. However, Mr. Gold wasn’t completely changed. He had Smee, and he wanted information about his captain, who wasn’t taken by the curse.
Where’s Hook? Cora showed him the remains of the wardrobe. It was a start to get them where they wanted to go. They were headed for Storybrooke. She could see her daughter, and he could skin himself a crocodile. We have to admit, we’re excited to see Hook and Cora make a splash in Storybrooke.
We’re Hook-ed on Colin O’Donoghue. He may be a pirate and the villain, but O’Donoghue is perfect in this role—and because of that, we want to see as much of him as possible. While we liked Rumplestiltskin’s attempted confrontation, we liked it even better when he had the upper hand on Killian Jones and knew it as the Dark One. We especially loved that he was Hook’s crocodile. It was no surprise that “OUaT” had their own twist to that, and once Killian called Rumple a “crocodile,” it was obvious what was coming—but it still worked.
Belle gets her own life. This “Once Upon a Time” episode also gave Emilie de Ravin a chance to stand out, with Belle exploring Storybrooke, making friends (Ruby), and on her way to a job (the library). We liked seeing Belle stand up for herself after everything she’s been through, and we’re hoping to see more of Ruby and Belle bonding in future episodes.
Five stars. We’re loving this season more and more each week, even without more about Regina or Emma and Mary in fairytale land. We liked seeing the human side to Mr. Gold as he was finally honest with Belle. Robert Carlyle, who is always so good as Rumplestiltskin, was especially outstanding in “The Crocodile.”
“Once Upon a Time” continues Sundays on ABC 7 in Queens. What did you think of “The Crocodile”?
Read more about Once Upon a Time.
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Subscribe for the latest in television news.