As much as magic empowers the residents of Storybrooke, it also holds them back, making everyone feel a bit of "The Outsider" at times.
Regina was the true outsider this week as she hid away, avoiding a murder rap. Was she out to prove her innocence or simply plotting her revenge? We may never know because we didn't get to see it. Storybrooke just isn't the same without its queen.
The main event of the night was the continuing story of Rumple and Belle. I loved that Rumple shared the news with Belle that his potion allowing him to leave Storybrooke worked. These two have gotten much closer and are trusting one another more and more. It does my heart good to see it.
But I did wonder how many other lost souls Rumple shoved over that red line while trying to get that potion right. I really wouldn't put it past him.
When it came to protecting Belle against Hook, Rumple decided to forgo spells and just gave her a handgun. I suppose he didn't need it himself since he seems to be able to do that Darth Vader forced choking thing. Poor Smee. Now the little rat really is one.
Unfortunately, someone should have warned Belle to never put her weapon down, especially once you're in enemy territory. And although I loveed that Belle used books to investigate her mysteries, something I'll always relate to, I wondered why she waited so long to call Rumple. Than again, perhaps it was her turn to play the hero for him.
On the ship, Rumple's enthusiasm when it came to killing Hook almost made me laugh. With Hook prodding him, Rumple turned to Belle and pleaded that the pirate just had to die and then he launched himself at him once again. He was so insistent I almost wished that Belle would let him do it.
Elsewhere in Storybrooke, residents were pondering whether to stay or head back to the Enchanted Forest. It's not a surprise that some of the them were homesick for their fairy tale world.
The problems occurred when Charming couldn't wait to head back and claim his castle while Snow seemed perfectly happy to live the life of a suburban teacher in Storybrooke.
One of the things that Charming may have overlooked was that neither Emma nor Henry will be very comfortable in the Enchanted Forest. Emma's had her fill of ogres and although Henry would be thrilled to visit, I don't think he'd want to live their permanently.
But I'm enjoying this new conflict that our dynamic duo face. It's nice to see Charming and Snow take on an obstacle that isn't trying to kill them.
Although we saw plenty of Hook, we saw none of Cora. I can't really say I missed her but her absence did surprise me. What was she up to while Belle was freeing Archie? And what was the point of keeping Archie alive anyway? Not that I'm pushing for the cricket's demise but wouldn't it have been less troublesome to actually kill him?
As much as I love Belle and enjoyed seeing her growth in the fairy tale world of the past, that storyline did little for me. I just kept waiting to get back to Storybrooke where the real action was.
And Storybrooke didn't disappoint. I was so happy that Rumple and Belle were still together after their battle with Hook that I was lulled into the belief that the pirate was off licking his wounds somewhere. Boy, was I wrong.
I was shocked when Belle took a bullet to the back. I'm thrilled she's not dead. That would have been truly tragic and had me throwing pillows at my TV. Having her lose all memory of her true love was equally heartbreaking and a twist worthy of a classic fairy tale.
Now Rumple not only has to find his son, he has to either help Belle reclaim her memories or win her over again anew. As long as it means more Rumple and Belle on my screen, there is no down side.
So who is the mysterious outsider? Is Hook gone for good? And will Regina be willing to forgive and forget?
I'm already counting the days until the next Once Upon a Time.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.