Once Upon a Time Round Table: "The Outsider"
"The Outsider" brought a cricket back from the dead and sent Belle over the edge.
Below, our Round Table team of TV Fanatic writers Jim Garner, Nick McHatton, and Christine Orlando are joined by Once Upon a Time fan Jessica to ponder where the Charmings should settle down and how far Rumple will go for his one true love...
What was your favorite scene?
Jim: I really enjoyed seeing a book-smart Belle helping Mulan. It was a very clever way of showing how Mulan got tangled into the story.
Nick: The ending was action packed. It's probably one of the better endings this season as so many different things happened. Belle lost her fairy tale memories, Hook enacted some of his revenge on Rump, and then a car crash!
Jessica: My favorite scene was no doubt the scene of Belle and Rumplestiltskin in the car. I love seeing the softer, vulnerable side of him that she brings out. Especially since this episode also showed his darker side. Anytime they show some humanity in a villain it always keeps me rooted to my seat. And that is what Belle is to Rumplestiltskin, his humanity.
Christine: I've got to go with Hook shooting Belle in the back, simply because I never saw that coming and it has the power to change Rumple's story in ways I can only imagine.
Did you miss Cora and Regina?
Jim: I was a bit curious where Cora was when Belle got to the ship, even more so once Rumple started beating Hook with his cane. It seems like she doesn't have many places to be.
Nick: We saw Regina in Belle's fairy tale past, so I didn't miss her, and Cora has only ever been in a handful, rather than all, episodes.
Jessica: Regina was briefly in this episode so I wouldn't say I missed her especially since her presence was still there, felt by Henry and Emma as they both struggled with accepting her guilt and then realizing her innocence. Cora is always missed by me, but I don't regret her absence. She wasn't necessary in this episode.
Christine: Surprisingly, I didn't miss Cora at all. I just found it curious she wasn't around. But Regina's small by memorable moment in the fairy tale world made me miss her all the more in Storybrooke. This show just isn't the same without its Evil Queen.
Do you want to see Belle regain her memory or have Rumple win her over once again?
Jim: I would love to see Rumple turn away from dark magic as part of restoring Belle's memory. Belle has been good for him and Hook crossed a line (no pun intended) when he not only shot her, but did so expecting her to fall over the line.
Nick: I would prefer Belle regain her memories because I like her having knowledge of her past with Rump (and the others). Forgotten memories are a detriment to Belle, as everyone in Storybrooke now has a leg up on her, and it's hard to see where her character heads from here now that she has no knowledge of what the people in Storybrooke are fighting for or her place in all of it. Hopefully, she kept a journal and can read her way out of this mess.
Jessica: I think they are the same answer. In order for Belle to regain her memory Rumple will have to win her over once again. Like Snow and Charming in Heart of Darkness, for true love's kiss to work she has to love him again. I think it would be very interesting to see Rumple work to win her love again, especially since he can't figure out himself how someone as good as her could love him. It might be a bit of a journey for himself to find his own worth.
Christine: I can't wait to see how far Rumple is willing to go to keep and protect Belle. And now that she has no memory, perhaps she can go with him to find his son.
Will Regina forgive Emma, Charming, and Snow?
Jim: If she does, it will only be for Henry. She's been trying to be better and Henry has helped bring that out.
Nick: Regina isn't completely broken yet, and she's no fan of her mother. So it comes down to the lesser of two evils: Be with the Charmings and Henry or be with Cora. That's not a hard choice: not even for Regina.
Jessica: Regina is trying to change so she should forgive them for their error, but she's also been hurt by all of this and as we've seen before she doesn't take that very well. I suspect she'll try to make things work for Henry's sake, but the resentment could fester below the surface and eventually burst. And with Cora back I could see Regina beginning to fall back to her old ways.
Christine: I agree that Regina will try for Henry's sake but I don't think she'll ever forget how they all turned her son against her. Cora could use it to her advantage down the line.
Should Charming and Snow head back to the Enchanted Forest?
Jim: If I had to choose between being stuck in a small town in Maine or the run of the country-side in an enchanted land, it's not a hard choice to make. Once they find out Cora is in town, they may choose even faster.
Nick: I think it's likely one of them will head back and give it a go, but not both of them. Some kind of wrench needs to be thrown in the perfect fairytale couple's real world selves, and what better way than wanting different things? Snow wants to stay with Emma and build their family together even if that means leaving their home, and Charming wants to do that in Fairytale Land Present. It's a good opportunity to give their relationship some obstacles.
Jessica: I think I must side with Charming here. As much as Snow and Emma saw how bad and dangerous the Enchanted Forest is now, they fought so hard to win their kingdom that it seems like a waste if they spend their lives as a police officer and school teacher. But will they return? Not yet at least.
Christine: Emma and Henry will never fit in in the Enchanted Forest. I think that makes it easier for Snow to want to stay in Storybrooke but Charming wants his kingdom back. In comparison life in Storybrooke must look dull.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.