Last week’s Once Upon A Time ended very sadly for Rumplestiltskin (or Rumple) and the lovely Belle. The car accident had implications for other members of the town, as we learn throughout the episode ‘In the Name of the Brother’. Someone from out of town – Greg (Ethan Embry) – arriving in Storybrooke is certainly cause for concern.
It is hard to watch Rumple and Belle interact now that she has lost her memory of him. While she is sleeping, Rumple makes the questionable decision to give her a kiss. This causes her to scream, which admittedly is understandable given the circumstances. A strange man telling you about his castle and your history together would be alarming. Later he tries to trigger her memory by showing her their beloved, chipped teacup. Seeing her throw and smash the cup is quite heartbreaking.
Also laid up in a hospital bed is Hook. Emma drops in to suggest that he back off of Rumple. Even though he is in considerable pain, Hook responds by flirting unabashedly. In unrelated news: Hook has very blue eyes.
At the hospital post-accident, Dr. Whale points out that it would be easy to let Greg die. The man’s injuries are very severe, and they are afraid that Greg may have seen Rumple using magic. The slightly drunk Dr. Whale is reluctant to perform surgery. He refuses until Ruby hunts him down and makes him feel better about his past indiscretions, in part by pointing out that she herself “ate her boyfriend”. We all have flaws, right?
The doctor’s hesitance stems from the events in the flashbacks we see throughout the episode. Dr. Whale, also known as Dr. Viktor Frankenstein, ended up getting his kind brother killed in his quest to create immortality. With some funding from Rumple, the doctor brings his brother, Gerhardt, back to life. Rather than rejoice, their father is horrified to see the monster that his son has created.
Perhaps this look into Dr. Whale’s past is supposed to make him a more relatable character, but he continues to come across as egotistical and selfish. Clearly, he struggled with feeling unaccepted by his father and the scientific community in general. Still, that doesn’t give one license to torture their brother. It is also almost comical during the flashbacks to see how nonchalant Dr. Whale is when he actually accomplishes ‘resurrection’.
Cora, after causing plenty of havoc in recent episodes, becomes rather meek. She offers Rumple a peace offering, which they seal with a slightly awkward kiss. It is entertaining to see two of the most infamously untrustworthy characters shake hands and ask for a truce.
Creepy Cora also rummages through Regina’s house before finding her for some mother/daughter bonding. Cora pulls off the remorseful act very well as she apologizes and offers to help Regina get Henry back. Regina seems grateful and hugs her mother, which is distressing. When Regina asks how they will get Henry, Cora answers chillingly, “I have a few thoughts.” Barbara Hershey is excellent in her eerie portrayal of Cora. She’s so convincing that I want to believe her.
There is something particularly cruel about a mother using the supposedly unconditional love between a mother and child to do her dirty work. We don’t know all that Cora has up her sleeve, but if her past actions are any clue, it isn’t good.
There are a few other things to speculate about, such as what exactly Greg plans to do now. He managed to fool Emma, but for what purpose? And speaking of Emma, why is Rumple dragging her along with him in his quest to find Baelfire?
What did you think of the episode? Once Upon A Time returns February 10 on ABC.