Back in the Enchanted Forest, Regina helped Maleficent find her fire on Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 15, though some members of our Round Table team still find her lacking a spark.
Below, TV Fanatics Stacy Glanzman, Robin Harry Amanda Steinmetz and Mary Kate Venedam and joined by Gareth from Once Upon a Fan to discuss Rumpelstiltskin once again deceiving Belle, August’s return, and whether Regina is truly in control after "Enter the Dragon."
Ready to join the debate?
Did you realize that Hook wasn’t really Hook?
Stacy: I knew something was up in that scene, but I wasn't positive what. My first thought actually was that Rumple still had control over him somehow.
Gareth: I had a growing suspicion that something was not right when he maneuvred Belle into giving him the dagger. That’s bound to be an interesting conversation when Belle mentions the dagger to the real Hook!
Robin: I had no clue! Even when Belle summoned Rumpelstiltskin with the dagger and he didn't show, I was just confused. It wasn't until Belle started driving away that I realized that "Hook" was actually Rumpel.
Amanda: I had a feeling something was wrong. So it wasn't surprising when Hook turned out to be Rumple. He was also acting weirdly when he sat down with Will and Belle. That was the first sign something was "off".
Mary Kate: Honestly no. I was so confused why Rumple didn't show up when the dagger summoned him. But, once it happened it made so much more sense. The question is: where was the real Hook hiding when this was happening?
Do you think Rumpel will try and break up Belle and Will?
Stacy: Probably. We should be worried for Will right about now.
Gareth: I think Will definitely needs to watch his back! Rumple will be on the war path. I’m not sure how Rumple will approach the situation at this point. He cant’ kill him. Killing Will would make him completely unredeemable to Belle so I don't think they will take that route. The whole Belle/Will storyline seems so out of place. Belle is “moving on’ and “becoming strong” apparently. That’s great. Good for Belle. I just wish she was moving on and becoming strong alone. Does she really need a man to define her happiness? Not sure what kind of message that is sending out in this day and age.
Robin: No, I think that the notion that Will is making Belle smile will put the brakes on that for a while. That said, he's definitely going to inflict some pain on Will.
Amanda: Rumple seemed both sad and relieved that Belle said Will makes her smile. I think he ultimately wants her back, but he'll lay off for a little while. I agree with Gareth that this whole Will-Belle thing feels out of nowhere.
Mary Kate: Yes. It seemed like he will eventually get to that point, especially thinking back on his reaction as Hook breaking in on their date. I think Rumple's power issue will come into effect and want Belle back. I see trouble for Will.
Were you happy to see August back? Do you have anything you hope to see with his return?
Stacy: Yeah, I like that they brought him back. I wonder if he'll stick around or if he'll revert back to childhood again. I hope Emma gets a chance to see him.
Gareth: Yes, I’m really happy to see August again. I’m hoping we get some backstory on his time out of Storybrooke and his connection to the author. I’ve always wondered how fairy tale characters were living out in the real world, even as far back as Once Upon a Time season 2, so I really hope we get some answers about that. Poor Marco though, I feel for him. Robbed of his happy ending with Pinocchio yet again!
Robin: August was one of my favorite characters, so I was happy to see him. I'm curious about what his return means for Emma; their lives are definitely connected, so I wonder if he'll get to stick around long enough to make an impact.
Amanda: Yes! I was really mad when he had turned back into a little boy. That always felt weird to me. I also always wondered what else August knew about the book, and now we might start to get answers as to who the author might be.
Mary Kate: I was absolutely ecstatic. I loved August back in Once Upon a Time season 1 and his brief appearances in season 2. I knew that Eion Bailey was coming back, but I thought it would be in a flashback considering Pinocchio was a child. Once I thought Rumpel would return him to his adult self I was over the moon. Unfortunately, we probably won't see him and Emma interact, which is still one of my favorite friendships of the show, but I'll sit by hoping it will happen.
Do you think Regina is as in control as she thinks she is?
Stacy: No, I think Emma is right and she's in over her head. It was one thing when she knew she was dealing with the trio, but she had no idea that Rumpel was back and that definitely threw her. She wants to find the author badly so I'm curious to see how far she'll let them go with August. I hope she finds a way to protect him.
Gareth: I don’t think Regina counted on Rumple being back in town. At the end of the episode, she looked like she was getting out of her depth. I don’t think she will slide back into her old ways but I do think she might be pulled along by events that are out of her control.
Robin: No, she isn't. I agree with Stacy, I think Rumpel's presence threw her off. She's going to have to allow more villainry than she intended, if she wants to keep her cover. Also, clearly Rumpel has a plan that involves Robin Hood, so Regina may be in over her head.
Amanda: No, but I don't think she'll revert to her old self completely. Seeing Rumpel definitely threw her off balance, but she'll pull through. Regina will just have a harder time going under cover now because Rumpel knows her too well.
Mary Kate: I actually think she does. If this was last season or two seasons ago, I would say no, but I think she really has taken a turn. She knew she was undercover looking for answers, not going back to her dark side. It was interesting to see her concern about setting fire to the Sherrif's car and harming young Pinocchio. That was not the old Regina. So, for now, I would say she has control, it could change the deeper she gets into the Queens of Darkness debacle.
Was there anything about “Enter the Dragon” that disappointed you?
Stacy: Rumpel playing Belle again. She really needs to learn to trust her instincts! I'm frustrated with Rumpel in general and wish we could have spent more time with the evil trio instead.
Gareth: Maleficent isn't working for me. I just can't connect with the character. Kristin lacks the gravitas and presence required for the character, something that Angelina had.
Robin: I'm still annoyed with Snow and Charming, and their interrogation of Regina after her first night undercover just made it worse. Also, I'm with Stacy. I miss the times when Rumpelstiltskin was a conflicted, complicated character. Now he's just a bad guy who wants stuff. What a waste of Robert Carlyle. I actually rather watch his flashbacks now.
Amanda: This was a lackluster episode overall. I agree with everyone: I think Rumpel is very one-note now. I loved Kristin on True Blood, but she's kind of boring as Maleficent. Snow and Charming continue to be my least favorite characters, which disappoints me because I loved them so much in season 1.
Mary Kate: Like most of this season, the lack of Snow and Charming. I'm assuming they will be more involved, hopefully, but I'd be disappointed if they sent Regina to do their sneaking and be cast aside while Regina deals with it. I just miss the dynamic of them constantly in the show. While I'm at it, I would love more Henry and Will Scarlet too.
What was your favorite quote or scene from this episode?
Stacy: Definitely Regina's frustration at the very "non-covert" second meeting. I loved her line about the Charming softball team and their pirate mascot.
Gareth: Agree with Stacy, Regina was excellent in this episode. Loved her softball team line as well.
Robin: The scene in the library, where Regina says they were supposed to meet discreetly but they brought the Charming softball team and their pirate mascot. Oh Regina. You and your snark make every episode worthwhile.
Amanda: I guess I'll go with anything Regina said. She saved the episode for me.
Mary Kate: I liked the scene with Team Charming meeting Regina in the library, one because it had my favorite Once Upon a Time quote, "I see you’ve brought the entire Charming softball team and their pirate mascot," and also I always like scenes with majority main cast, even if it wasn't all of them.
Don't forget to check back in Sunday night for our review of Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 16 and if you can't wait until then, catch up on all the magic and watch Once Upon a Time online now here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.