A foray into Emma’s past is long overdue, and in Sunday’s episode Tallahasee, we learned what turned her into the untrusting, distant, hard woman we met at the beginning of last season.
A large portion of the night’s events took place in FairytaleLand, where Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Snow White, Aurora, Mulan, and Hook face the prospect of the beanstalk and the giant lurking at the top. The giant (guest star Jorge Garcia) guards the compass they need to find their way back to Storybrooke, and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) only has enough magic to take one other lady along for the climb. While Mulan and Aurora both volunteer (one of those options is clearly better than the other, no?), Emma announces that she’s going, end of story. Before she leaves she makes Mulan (Jamie Chung) promise to chop down the beanstalk if she’s not back in ten hours.
On their journey, Hook keeps up a near constant patter of flirtation, which is amazing and quickly elevates him to my favorite new character since the Hatter first made an appearance. Emma, for her part, seems to be at once charmed and wary of him. Which is wise, I suppose, give that he is a pirate. Once at the top, they work together to lure the giant out into the open and down him with magic sleeping dust that Mulan handed over down below. Once inside the giant’s lair, they begin what amounts to an impossible search through piles of amassed treasure.
After three weeks of disappointing, disjointed storytelling,Once Upon A Time brought the magic in week four (no apologies for the bad pun). This episode was everything I’ve been waiting for—an exploration of how people are handling the knowledge of the curse in Storybrooke accompanied by backstory in Fairytale Land that provided relevant character information or pushed the story forward. The Crocodile did all of those things, in addition to adding a smoking hot new cast member. Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) has never been this smoldering, this steeped in romance, or this covered in guyliner and let me tell you ladies…he’s hooked my heart (no apologies for that one either).
In Storybrooke, we find Belle (Emilie de Ravin) waking from a nightmare in which Rumplestilskin hasn’t changed at all—and promises that nor will he ever. She finds him gone from bed and in the basement spinning straw into gold and practicing magic. When she confronts him about it the next morning, Rumplestilksin (Robert Carlyle) refuses to tell her the truth about why he brought magic back, or why their second chance at a relationship isn’t enough for him. The conversation leads her to call him a coward before leaving the house.
Which leads to this week’s tale in Fairytale Land, which also features Rumplestilskin cast (perhaps unfairly) in the role of the coward. We learn that his wife Milah (Rachel Shelley) is unhappy with their life and craves adventure. She hates that he’s known as the village coward for refusing to fight in the Ogre Wars, and it’s clear that even her son isn’t going to be a reason to stick around. She begs Rumple to take her away and start again but he refuses, telling her that Baelfire should be reason enough for her to try harder to love her life the way that it is.
Read the rest at Poptimal!