OUAT Recap: There’s a Stranger in Storybrook

If I were a gambling woman, I’d bet that quite a few of our FTS readers are football fanatics who spent Sunday night pacing the living room and getting heartburn every time an interception was thrown (Sorry, Tommy boy. Too soon, Pats fans?). So for those of you who fit into this category, here’s what you missed on last night’s Once Upon A Time!

After Captain Hook sent a bullet that pushed her across the town line (which causes complete memory l0ss when crossed without the use of magic), Belle is now lost. She has no idea who she is, why she’s in Storybrook, or why a magic-breathing Rumpel is healing her flesh wound with a handful of purple smoke. Fear and confusion cause her to lash out against Rumpel and deny any attempts he makes at reviving her memory. Perhaps the boldest move that Rumpel has ever made on the show is visiting Belle in the hospital twice. Once, to give true love’s kiss a try. When that doesn’t work, he returns with the chipped teacup from his castle that marked the beginning of their push-and-pull love story. Despite his pleads, Belle winds up refusing his help and smashes the cup to pieces, leaving Rumpel with a broken heart and a shattered memory.

Present-Day Frankenstein, better known to the people of Storybrook as Dr. Wale, battles a case of stage fright in the midst of a serious emergency. You guessed it–the mysterious Pennsylvania driver who drove across the town line and straight into Captain Hook (don’t worry, a few broken ribs didn’t scar that charming little face of his) is unconscious and Dr. Wale is the only one capable of performing the surgery needed to revive him. Dr. Wale cannot overcome his inner turmoil and flees from the hospital, seeking solace in the thought of suicide. Just before he loses all hope and drops into the river, Red Riding Hood The Wolf sniffs him out and talks him down just in time. These weren’t her exact words to him, but it went something like this: We’ve all done things in our past that we’re not proud of. I ate my boyfriend (literally, she turned into The Wolf and he turned into a midnight snack). Just because we remember our pasts doesn’t mean we have to be afraid of them. This is a chance for us to start fresh; don’t waste it. Smart words, Red.

**These events fell parallel to a flashback in which Frankenstein’s history is revealed and the nature of his fear is brought to life.

Past Frankenstein, coming from a family where he was shadowed by his younger brother and never felt loved or appreciated by his father, is on a scientific mission to bring the dead back to life. An incident ensues and his brother winds up dead; forcing Frankenstein to perform a series of experiments on him in the hopes that he will come back to life. He succeeds in awakening his dead brother, but the consequences become catastrophic when he turns into a monster, Frankenstein’s monster, and beats their father to death. When Dr. Frankenstein is faced with a choice to kill the monster that his brother has become or keep him alive until he finds a cure, he can’t seem to pull the trigger.

Cora is back in town, and she’s out for blood. Playing on Rumpelstiltskin‘s vulnerability, she presents him with a proposition. In return for full cooperation on her quest to find Regina and bring her back to the dark side, Cora promises to give Rumpel a magic white globe that will point him in the direction of his long-lost son, Bey. All he has to do is prick his finger, place a drop of blood on the globe, and wait for the magic to do its work. Instead of shaking hands and walking away, Cora and Rumpel seal the deal with a kiss. Is there a romantic history there, or were they just frenemies with benefits?

Will Regina and Cora reunite after all this time? It appears to be so. Cora transforms into a Henry look-a-like and tricks Regina into revealing her secret underground hiding spot. When the two come face-to-face, Regina is anything but pleased to see her beloved mother. Cora admits to framing Regina for Archie’s (Jiminy Cricket) death, but assures her that she only did it to reconnect with her daughter. Against all odds, Cora convinces Regina to join forces with her, claiming that it is the only way she can get Henry back. Cora and Regina on the same team? Storybrook won’t be safe for long.

With the help of the magic white globe, Rumpelstiltskin plots a course to find his son. Cashing in on a previous deal, he chooses Emma to accompany him on his journey. Every deal comes with a price, so Emma feels obliged and they are to leave at dawn.

Stranger Danger! After Dr. Wale performs a successful surgery, the rest of the town is on edge. Did he see Rumpel doing magic before he crashed? Why did he drive across the town line in the first place? Being the sheriff of Storbrook, Emma decides to question him about what he saw. During her questioning, Emma learns that the stranger’s name is Mr. Mendel and that he doesn’t remember a single thing before the time of his crash. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, when Emma leaves his room and he is alone again, he places a frantic call to someone (a girlfriend or wife from the sound of it) and opens with, “You’ll never believe what I just saw.” Look out Storybrook, your cover’s about to be blown!

Henry brings up a valid and intriguing point towards the end of the episode when he pulls out the good ole’ storybook and shares news with Snow, Charming, and Emma. As we all know, Henry has scanned that book from cover to cover. Nowhere in the book is the story of Frankenstein mentioned. Does this mean that Storybrook is filled with new characters from new lands? What does this mean for their future?

And just when it’s getting good, they go on a three-week hiatus (per usual). Be sure to watch Once Upon A Time when it returns on Sunday, February 10th. Werewolves, and mad scientists, and Cora–oh my.

Kristina Cappuccilli

20-something creative writer turned corporate, armed with big ideas and even bigger dreams. Avid reader, lover of all things musical, incessant blogger. Sucker for movie quotes, feature writing, and a good book. To inspire and be inspired.

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