Once Upon A Time – Season 6, Episode 4 Recap: New Hair, Same Old Rumple

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Tonight we begin with a frustrated Rumple, who grabs some scissors and emerges from his back room with an ultra-short new hairdo only to run into the Evil Queen and Hyde, who are seeking a certain cameo necklace.

Rumple decides to kill Hyde just for asking, only to find that he can’t – just as Regina can’t kill the Evil Queen (plot point!).

Hyde laughs off Rumple’s attempt and takes the necklace, reminding Rumple that their deal specifies that Rumple can’t stop him. Rumple then reminds Regina that she promised not to hurt Belle, and Hyde reminds Rumple that he never made that promise, which applies only to Regina. Got it? Good.

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Over at Emma’s house, David is making a mountain of pancakes because he needs a fatherly bonding moment before his daughter starts waking up naked and sated next to the insanely hot pirate that he formerly loathed.

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Yeah, baby

Regina bursts in with Jekyll to let them know Hyde’s escaped, and we know this because he left the cameo where he knew Jekyll would find it. The cameo belonged to Mary, who we find out via flashback is the daughter of Dr. Lydgate, a  prominent member of “The Academy.” She’s been trying to champion Jekyll’s membership there by getting him an audience with her priggish father.

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Jekyll presents his preliminary findings, only to have Lydgate shut him down cold, telling him that his work is ‘dangerous.” We see the first hint of Jekyll’s inner rage after the doctor and Mary leave, and he stares into the mirror with angry, angry eyes.

Whoops! There’s Rumple, ready to make a deal. He claims to have a “vested” interest in Jekyll’s work. He uses magic to fix what’s wrong with the serum then suggests that the good doctor give it a trial run, and perhaps the more forceful side of his personality will prevail with the Academy.

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Next we see Jekyll’s alter-ego at a fancy-schmancy event with Rumple in tow. “You’re all the parts he wants to hide from the world,” Rumple tells him. And thus his new moniker is born. Hyde runs into Dr.Lydgate and Mary, and Holy cow does Hyde have a lot of lipstick on. I mean Edward-Cullen-level lipstick. Yeesh.

Anyway, Hyde pleads Jekyll’s case for the Academy, but Lydgate refuses to budge. Hyde pulls out all the stops and threatens to invite Lydgate’s former assistant to the next Academy debate and hold a press conference in front of Mary to discuss his past as a sexual predator, or something like that. He’s playing dirty, and Lydgate’s scared.

Ahead in Storybrooke, Hook is moving out of the Jolly Roger and before he goes, he gives Belle a magic mermaid shell that can call him if she needs him. Rumple shows up offering his protection in the form of a protection spell from Hyde, that traps Belle aboard the ship. Or the “barnacle-encrusted heap,” as he calls it.

Killian may have put aside his vengeance on Rumple, but I’m betting he just picked it back up again. Some things you can’t forgive. They really should have let Hook seethe a little over that one.

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Meanwhile, over at Storybrooke Middle School, Snow’s thrilled to be back at work where she meets Shirin, her new teacher’s aide.

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Unfortunately, Snow’s physics lesson is falling on deaf, bored ears as her lethargic students fail the quiz she gives them. Who the hell gives a quiz on the subject matter the same damn day, and who the hell gives a quiz on the first day of school? No wonder her students want out of there.

Anyway, Shirin tells Snow that she needs to find her inner badass bandit (didn’t we cover this in season four?) and then she tells her about a princess from her own realm who was never able to channel her inner hero, thereby losing her kingdom.

Back at Jekyll’s improvised lab, he’s almost perfected the formula. Regina decides to boost things by heading out to ask Rumple for help, while Emma and Daddy David take a stroll through the woods to look for Hyde.

Unfortunately, the Evil Queen put a tracking spell on the cameo, which of course, leads her and Hyde right to the lab.

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Flashback to Rumple waking Jekyll after his evening at the Academy. He is thrilled to find an Academy pin in his pocket even though he has no idea how he got it. Rumple still wants more testing of this serum. so he suggests that Jekyll allow Hyde woo Mary, since she has a line of suitors ready to snap her up.

Forward again to Jekyll’s now wrecked lab. Rumple and Regina arrive but Jekyll claims to have outsmarted his other half and hidden the antidote serum. Regina refuses to hand it over to Rumple, so he takes Jekyll’s heart, counting on Regina’s new-found soft spot for saving innocent life to prevail. Rumple then demands that she pour the serum on the dark one’s blade.

On board the Jolly Roger, Killian is keeping Belle company as best he can (by offering a pregnant woman some rum) just as Jekyll comes on board to warn them that Hyde is loose. Hook runs off to help as Jekyll takes a seat. He proceeds to tell Belle that Rumple is responsible for allowing Hyde to destroy his beloved Mary.

Flashback to a dark and foggy road in the middle of nowhere, where Mary finds herself being followed by Hyde. He tells her he’s there on Jekyll’s behalf, and he makes a heartfelt plea (with some genuine feeling that makes me all squishy inside), assuring her of his friend’s love for her. Mary responds by asserting that she could never fall in love with a puling little pansy-ass nerd boy. Ah, don’t you love stereotypes?

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What Mary really wants is a dangerous, passionate guy, and she lets Hyde know it. She’s salivating all over him, and he’s so goddamn sexy I don’t blame her a bit. She kisses him, and he’s eating her face off and DAYum.

Forward to the forest in Storybrooke, and in the middle of David and Emma’s next daddy-daughter talk, Hyde appears.

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Emma blasts him with the magical taser but he gets away, only to run into the business end of Rumple’s dagger. Unfortunately for Rumple, Hyde knows him too well. He switched out the serum and the batch used to taint the dagger was a fake. Then he drops the bombshell: He’s not the bad guy. Rumple and the others have let the squirrely Dr. Jekyll fly right under the radar, and he’s at this very moment poised to strike Belle. Hyde grabs the dagger, demanding that Rumple take him to the dock. He wants to watch Rumple suffer as he has suffered.

Flashback now to Jekyll waking up next to Mary after their night of debauchery and he’s more than happy to slut-shame her for it. Mary now understands the he took the serum to turn into Hyde and she’s good and pissed about it,  so Jekyll responds by pushing her out the window and murdering her dead.

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In a sad moment, Jekyll morphs back into Hyde and is clearly devastated to see Mary’s lifeless body on the cobblestones below. He flees back to his lab, where a very disappointed Rumple is waiting. Hyde was clearly unable to separate himself entirely, so Rumple gives him a fate worse than death, forcing him to share a life with the weakness inside him forever in the Land of Untold Stories.

Ahead to the Jolly Roger, and Belle is making Jekyll some tea as he mansplains about how Mary wasn’t strong enough to resist Hyde, so it’s all her fault she’s dead. Belle (who is finally starting to live up to her reputed intelligence this season) reaches for the magical mermaid shell, but Jekyll is too fast for her and breaks it. Belle stabs him in the neck with part of it and runs up the ladder to the deck but it’s no use – thanks to Rumple’s spell, she’s trapped on the ship with the madman.

Rumple is watching all of this helplessly, as Hyde won’t let him help her. His despair at his own helplessness is tearing him apart when suddenly!

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In swoops Killian to save the day, fighting and then impaling Jekyll on a harpoon which kills both Jekyll and Hyde in one blow. Regina  arrives and is none to thrilled to learn that only certain way to get rid of the Evil Queen is through her own death.

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A short while later Regina gets Emma alone to tell her the bad news, and the other bad news. “The capacity for evil remains even if you’re separated from the darkness,” she explains. Then she asks Emma for a promise – the same one she gave to Emma when she was in Camelot. If Regina turns dark, Emma has to kill her.

Rumple shows up to ask Belle for another chance even though he imprisoned her, enslaved her, murdered her fiance, beat up her father, manipulated her, lied to her, has a history of child abandonment, and has repeatedly planned to murder several people she calls friend.

“What could possibly be worth all this death and destruction? Belle asks him. “What made you go to Jekyll in the first place?”

Rumple confesses that it was all for her. Back in the old Enchanted Forest days, he realized he was succumbing to his feelings for her and was afraid it would make him weak. He had thought that Jekyll’s serum would help him remain strong.

Belle is furious with Rumple and launches into a scathing tirade that made me damn proud. “You cut your hair because you’re sick and tired of looking at the man in the mirror,” she sneers. “But I always see you for who you are.”

But instead of tears or a heartfelt plea, Rumple leaves her with a threat: their child will have ‘a mark on his head’ just for being who he is, and sooner or later, she’ll seek him out for the baby’s protection.

While all this has been going on, Snow has finally figured out how to badass this teacher thing.

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She affixes a clipboard with everyone’s bad tests on it to a tree, and shoots it with an arrow, thereby demonstrating physics in action. Just wait till they get to reproductive health!

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Snow gives Shirin an apple as a thank you, explaining that it’s a tradition that “For personal reasons I can’t get behind.” Then she asks Shirin if the princess from her kingdom ever made things right. Shirin sadly replies that she doesn’t think so.

A short while later we see Shirin in the woods near the magic wishing well, where she’s come to meet the oracle, reassuring her that they don’t know who she is -which is Jasmine, of course. The oracle promises she won’t leave Jasmine’s side until they find Aladdin.

I’m giving this one five storybooks out of five – Oh, Hyde. I’m going to miss you and your well-modulated voice so. damn. much. Guys, I am loving this season so far. It’s feeling a lot more like the old days. Just wish we could keep this particular villain.

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And this week’s observations and speculations:

  1. What the hell was this about:

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I mean, it makes sense that the Evil Queen would find it pretty, but they sure did close-up focus on it, didn’t they?  And with Snow’s reminder about apples at the end of this episode, I can’t help but think The Evil Queen wasn’t grabbing it just because it would look awesome on top of her Pier One coffee table. It’s gotta be magical – it was in Rumple’s shop, after all.

2. I know it’s utterly perverse of me, but Killian did just save Belle’s life. Wouldn’t it be awesome if she named her baby Killian? Or named Killian the godfather? Wouldn’t that just twist the dark dagger in Rumple’s ribs? (Excuse me as I cackle madly at the thought)

3. The oracle is Jafar. Or working for Jafar. I will be highly, highly surprised if that isn’t the case. But hey, at least we’re finally going to see Aladdin and Jasmine’s story. Hallefrigginlujah.

4. What the hell was Rumple talking about? The kid will have ‘a mark on his head’ because of his parentage? Was that true for Neal, as well? Was he doomed to die or something? Or to have bad people after him, just because of Rumple? We saw no evidence of the latter, and if it’s the former, why did Rumple try to find him in the first place? I don’t know where they’re going with this.

5. What is up Leroy’s ass? I mean, I know he’s Grumpy, but Jeezum Crow. He’s damn near murderous. Are they seeding something here? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

What about you? Will you miss the dulcet tones of our dear departed Mr. Hyde? Or are you beyond jazzed to finally see Jasmine?

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6 thoughts on “Once Upon A Time – Season 6, Episode 4 Recap: New Hair, Same Old Rumple

  1. I’m pretty Jazzed for Jasmine (I just got that) because its Karen David and its the closest I’m getting to more Princess Isabella Maria Lucia Elisabetta of Valencia.

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  2. I feel like Regina having to die to kill the Evil Queen is too easy. I’m wondering if this season brings about accepting all the parts of you. And maybe that is how Regina saves herself.
    With the Rumple- “mark on his head” I wonder if that is because he is the Dark One’s son. Neal was born before Rumple became the Dark One, but this child is the product of the Dark One.
    Plus I really, REALLY hope that Aladdin and Jasmine last longer than an episode with all the lead-up for it.

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    • Ahhh, good distinction. Neal was conceived before Rumple was dark, so that may make big difference. And I absolutely agree that Regina’s big lesson this season will be reconciling her light and dark sides, and learning to draw strength from them both.

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  3. Mark on his head. Meaning that because the child belongs to Rumple, Rumple’s enemies will come after the kid. I don’t think this could’ve been more obvious. Nor do I think that Belle would be so petty as to call the kid ‘Killian’.

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    • I’m fully aware of the metaphor. I’m just wondering how being the son of the Dark One and having that metaphorical mark on his head translated to Neal. Was it responsible for his early death? His torment in Neverland? His being the son of the Dark One seemed to terrify the enemies away, rather than draw them to him. They’ve never had Rumple reference it before, so I’m wondering if it’s a relatively new manifestation. And I don’t for one minute think the writers would ever name Belle’s baby Killian. It’s a joke. But apparently not to Rumbelle shippers.

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