No One Whines Like Gaston On Once Upon A Time
Once Upon A Time revises the Beauty And The Beast story some more, as Belle learns it's hard to be good all the time when you're literally in Hell.
Hades decided that Regina, Emma, and Snow would stay in the Underworld. Rumple promised his second-born child to a medicine man, thinking he'd never have one, but oops -- Belle is pregnant and Hades bought the contract. Rumple, filling in for Beast (as in "Beauty and the") killed Gaston when he came after Belle.
No One Fights Like Gaston...Except This Other Guy
It's worth noting that they reshot Gaston's scenes for the Previouslies because this isn't the same actor who played him in Season 1. That's commitment to continuity from a show this deeply silly! (It's also worth noting that there are at least two continuity errors within this very episode, but whatever!)
Who's The Hero Next Door? Who's A Super Success?
Name: Gaston. Age: 30s. Occupation: According to rumor, "the vainest man in all the land. Fancies himself quite the hunter, of both animals and women." Goal: To merge his kingdom with Belle's if you know what I mean. But seriously, the Ogre war is brewing and an alliance could be useful. Sample Dialogue: "You've heard of me, and you're not interested in this. Which is fine, I understand. If it is your wish, I shall turn around and head home. No hard feelings."
Situation: Belle doesn't want to lose her child to Hades, so she needs Rumple. But she won't allow him to use any dark magic.
What makes it awkward? Has she met Rumple? She reminds him that when they were in Camelot, Merlin said that perhaps one day someone would be able to use the power of the Dark One dagger for good. Maybe Rumple could be that man? "Well that's the thing with dark and light," Rumple says. "Depends on your point of view. In the end, you do what you can to protect those you love."
How is order restored? Belle insists that they do things her way. Might she be about to get a lesson in relative morality?
Plot Lightning Round
No One Feeds Shelter Dogs Like Gaston
Emma has a dream in which she's zapping the names off the gravestones, but then a storm comes, leaving in its wake a monster that attacks and kills Snow
Regina's been working on breaking the protection spell on the elevator to Hell in the library. It technically works, but when the doors open there's a brick wall there. Emma mentions her dream spell and everyone agrees it's worth a try. Emma freaks out about Snow going off on her own since she died in her dream.
Hades mope-lurks in the street, watching Zelena. (Where can I get his coat?) A flower grows out of the pavement. That seems like it shouldn't happen, and Hades is none too pleased about it.
Gaston, the great hunter, works at the Purgatorybrooke Pet Shelter, and he is cranky. Okay, but what is these dogs' "unfinished business"? Balls never caught? Treats never eaten? Anyway, Hades comes by to complain about the flowers. Nothing grows here, things only decay. But now there's hope, and when souls have hope, they move on. He gives Gaston some magic arrows and tells him to take out Rumple.
It's A Date
Two Wigs That Beat As One
Who's on a date? Belle and Gaston, though it's officially a "meeting."
That sounds awkward. It is a little, but Gaston insists he's not the man she's heard about, and apologizes for his friend Le Fou, who likes to spread stories.
Where has he taken her? A walk in the woods.
Aw, that sounds so romantic! It is! Until Gaston hears something moving in the woods and runs after it, leaving Belle behind. Uh, dude? Belle being Belle, she follows, and together they find an ogre who's fallen into a pit. It's just a child, and Belle thinks he just wandered off by mistake, but Gaston thinks he's a scout for war.
Are things headed in a horizontal direction? Yeah, not so much. Gaston wants to take the ogre prisoner, but Belle wants time to find a way to figure out what the ogre is doing there without torturing it (while leaving it in the pit?). Neither option is going to lead to anyone's bedroom.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Gaston vs. Rumple
In Purgatorybrooke, Belle storms away from an argument with Rumple about dark and light magic. He says he can't turn darkness into light but can use darkness for light, which seems like splitting hairs. Belle won't allow it in any case.
Outside the shop, Gaston is waiting with his magic arrows. He misses once. Rumple catches a second, then teleports himself and Belle away as Gaston fires a third.
Winner: Rumple, Dark Magic.
That Quote"So, you killed Gaston, my fiancé, and never thought to tell me?"- Belle -
That Quote"It was an arranged marriage! I was doing you a favor!"- Rumple -
Plot Lightning Round
There Must Be More Than This Provinc-hell Life!
The arrows were forged in the river of souls, which in Purgatorybrooke feeds the bay (people have been awfully cavalier on those docks then!). Pretty sure you forge things in fire, not water, but moving on. Immortal or not, one scratch and Rumple's going to become a CGI underwater ghost. Rumple wants to use dark magic against this very real threat, but Belle wants to help Gaston move on.
Emma tries her spell in the graveyard with Hook and Snow. It plays out exactly the same as it did in her dream, with the storm interrupting her, except this time they run from the monster.
Regina finds Zelena at the diner to ask her what she knows about Hades. Zelena says he was in love with her. "It's totally ridiculous, the idea that anyone could love me." Sure, that's what's ridiculous. Regina wants to know Hades' weakness. Zelena thinks she is, but she doesn't think that's helpful.
Belle searches the animal shelter to try to figure out Gaston's unfinished business. Rumple's pretty certain it's him. Belle asks for help opening his locker, and Rumple teases her that breaking and entering would be dark magic. "This isn't murder we're talking about, it's opening a locker." Rumple notes that she gets to be the judge of when the ends justify the means. This is the most tedious argument. Is it dark magic?
In the locker, Belle finds a book, Her Handsome Hero, which was her favorite back in the Enchanted Forest. It's about compassion and forgiveness, the things that truly make a hero, and when she gave it to Gaston he thought he'd finally found a woman of substance. So now Belle thinks she's his unfinished business.
Finding the gang hiding in her vault, Regina suggests that Emma has some issues to work out. Emma reluctantly admits that she feels like she failed everyone, what with being trapped in the Underworld and all. "What was I thinking bringing everybody down here? Bringing Henry down here?" Seriously on the Henry part! Snow gives her a pep talk and they head back out to fight the monster.
Here's An Idea
Don't Make A Literal Deal With The Literal Devil
Belle is still hanging out at the shelter when Hades drops by. He offers her her baby in exchange for letting Rumple and Gaston fight it out. If either of them ends up in the River of Souls, she can keep the child.
I'm Especially Good At Expectorating
Alert Type: Jealous Ex Alert.
Issue: Gaston has come to the shop to murder Rumple. But Belle set up a dummy of Rumple (which she got from...where?) to see if Gaston would really kill him if he had the chance. Turns out he would!
Complicating Factors: Gaston doesn't have Her Handsome Hero because he's pining for Belle, he has it as a terrible reminder that he wasn't one. It's part of his punishment, and every time he tries to throw it away, it comes back. "You think I have this book because I like it? This book reminds me why I died. Because you made me weak! I should have gone after Rumplestiltskin with an army. But I tried to follow your example. I tried to do what is right. But that book is wrong. Being a hero is not about compassion and having forgiveness. It's about strength!"
Resolution: Belle insists that Hades is the real enemy, and when Gaston asks why she keeps defending Rumple, she says that he's her husband. Gaston leaves.
Spoiler: There might be more than one "real enemy" in this situation.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Gaston vs. Ogre
Belle and Maurice arrive in the woods where the ogre is with the Mirror of Souls, which will reveal if someone has evil thoughts. They find Gaston knocked out, claiming to have been ambushed by the ogre, who somehow escaped the pit.
Gaston forms a hunting party, which tracks the ogre through the woods. They corner him and are about to kill him when Belle intervenes, using the mirror to shield him. It breaks but she sees Gaston's eyes in a shard, glowing red. She figures out that Gaston had tortured the ogre, which is why it attacked him. The ogre runs away. (In fairness to Gaston, no one ever saw its eyes in the mirror!)
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Rumple vs. Gaston vs. Belle
Belle tells Rumple about Hades's offer, and he's like "dark magic it is!" and teleports away. It does seem like an easy solution, except the whole "Gaston is gorgeous but a bad guy and the Beast is ugly but good" thing only works if the Beast isn't actually evil.
Anyway, Rumple Force-chokes Gaston at the dock. He takes a really long time to throw him into the water, babbling for a while so Belle can get there and stop him. She says she's always known who he really is, and that's why she loves him. She kisses him. Gaston is grossed out. It's all very Phantom Of The Opera.
Psych! Belle only kissed Rumple to pickpocket the dagger, which she uses to command him to put Gaston down. Nice move, Belle! But she has no such power over Gaston, who shows his gratitude to her by immediately grabbing his bow and arrow. Belle shoves him into the water!
Wrap It Up
The ogre war has begun. (Is anyone else really confused about Rumple's timeline if this war is just starting now?) Maurice blames Belle, who insists that Gaston's act of torture is to blame, not her act of mercy. They need Gaston's kingdom, and apparently Gaston still wants Belle. Oh hey, and he's right here!
Gaston proposes and says they'll rule side by side, which is a pretty decent tactic. Belle agrees, though she looks less than thrilled.
At the dock, Belle returns the dagger and concedes that darkness will always win. Hades arrives and points out a loophole in his deal (apart from the fact that she didn't take it?): Rumple or Gaston had to throw the other in the river; Belle doing it didn't count. A flower growing out of a crack in the dock dies.
A waitress delivers a platter to Zelena containing a different dead flower. She smiles.
Snow, Regina, Emma, and Hook track the monster. It's not a monster at all: It's Ruby in wolf form! The dream was a vision, but about saving her, not Snow.