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Once Upon a Time Review: The Curse of a Coward

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"Skin Deep" dove into the history of one of my favorite Once Upon a Time characters: Rumplestiltskin.

I couldn't say his fairy tale ever interested me, but I'm mesmerized by the man/monster overall. He has repulsed and fascinated me since the beginning, sometimes both in the very same scene.

And in a grand twist this week, Rumple played Beast to Belle's Beauty. Who saw that coming?!?

Emilie de Ravin on Once Upon a Time

It's one of the things I've always loved about Once Upon a Time. It again took the familiar, turned it upside down and made it all the more interesting.

Rumple was the happiest we've ever seen him as he interacted with Belle. Unfortunately, he couldn't trust in her feelings for him and she called him out for it. Rumplestiltskin was a coward before he obtained his evil powers and Belle told him the title still held true as he turned her away. 

I was amazed that I could feel so much for this villain, as his pain was caused by his own weakness. He banished happiness from his home as it begged him to let it in. Sad, foolish and all too human.

If we saw moments of a warm and fuzzy Rumplestiltskin, then back in Storybrooke, we had a particularly surly Mr. Gold. It didn't take long to find out why. That wasn't just anyone's truck he was repossessing. That was Belle's father's and when he robbed Mr Gold's house, things got ugly.

It became obvious that Mr. Gold remembered the man from the fairy tale world. Thankfully, before he could beat him to death, Emma intervened and arrested Mr. Gold. If there was any question about how much Mr. Gold remembered, his conversation with Regina confirmed it.

He knows everything. Will that make him Regina's worst enemy? Or a valuable pawn?

Back in Storybrooke, it was Valentine's Day. Ashley (a.k.a. Cinderella) finally got a proposal from Sean, albeit not the most romantic of one. The guy only had a 20-minute break and all.

But the most disappointing couple of the night was David and Mary Margaret. If you've got to buy two Valentines for two lovers, you're in trouble.

If nothing else, giving the wrong card proved that David's an idiot and Mary Margaret needed to wake up. It's not all that complicated. If David wants to be with Mary Margaret, he needs to leave his wife - and until he does they have no story. Right now David's actions seem almost as cowardly as Rumplestiltskin's.

Side notes:

  • Being a huge fan of Game of Thrones, I loved that florist truck. Very funny.
  • The Evil Queen's outfit with the parasol, and the one she wore at the end with Rumple, were both stunning. Someone in wardrobe deserves an Emmy.
  • Every time they showed the broken tea cup my mind kept naming it Chip and imaging dance numbers involving inanimate objects. The Disney powers run deep.

So... what power will Regina possess now that she's confirmed Mr. Gold's real name and when will she use Belle's existence against him? When he finds out will he walk away, or be the hero? And back in the fairytale world, is Belle truly dead or alive? Talk about turning the story upside down. I can't wait to see what this magical show has planned next.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (300 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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In the main room in Rumpel's castle is the large tapestry of the famous picture of a unicorn with Eleanor of Aquitaine's initials "EA" embroidered on it. I have a smaller copy I bought in Avignon many years ago where the original once hung and was sitting next to it while watching this episode. Magical.

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Does anyone else think it's kind of stupid that Storybrooke is a tiny town where everyone knows each other, and yet every week we run into a completely new character emma has never met that has lived in storybrooke this entire time? It's a little ridiculous

Jose-t

I loved this episode....probably best of the season thus far!...
i loved every single second of Belle and Rumplestiltskin and hope they bring emile de ravin back!!
and in what other show can you see cinderella, snow white and little red riding hood partying ?!!!!!
Loving this show right now!

Uncle-jackass

Truly what a great episode. I know many say that the show's main plot runs very slowly, but if it did not then we wouldn't get a great mini story arc such as this episode. Emilie de Ravin and Robert Carlyle play their respectively roles so well with Bella being a Claire type character who finds the redeemable quality in a beast. While Rumplestiltskin, being a coward in his previous life/show, was adamant in retaining his magical abilities at all cost. Even love. Welcome to a twisted Valentine's day.

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