Magic is a powerful thing: It’s the power that runs Storybrooke. It’s the source of Hyde and Jekyll’s backstory. It’s what has brought too many characters, like the Evil Queen, back from the dead. But sometimes, simpler revelations can be even more powerful… like the use of a handy pair of scissors. Some would say the most magical thing to happen on Once since the beginning is how dashing Rumple looks after he cuts off his locks. In an attempt to get Belle back, Rumple joins the ranks of David and Hook, but he’s not just going to stop there.
Post-cut, Hyde comes looking for a necklace from Rumple. Attempting to thrift it for nothing in return, Rumple begins to choke him. He can’t kill Hyde though, in the same way Regina can’t kill the Evil Queen. So Hyde pulls himself up, takes the necklace (because that’s how their deal works), and leaves… under the promise that Belle is still not touched, by the Evil Queen, at least.
With evil afoot, Regina and Dr. Jekyll have come to tell Snow, David, and Emma about the necklace that Hyde is using to taunt Jekyll. Dr. Jekyll reveals that necklace belonged to a woman he cared deeply about, and that’s Hyde’s way of taunting him. We flash back to Jekyll’s world, where we meet a woman named Mary back in his lab. Her father is able to grant him admission to an association that could provide support for his scientific work, but he denies Jekyll, leaving an opening for Rumple to appear and assist Jekyll with his own serum, which splits your personality in half. And of course, in pursuit of love, Dr. Jekyll takes his own serum to win Mary.
Back in the present, Hook and Belle are talking about Belle’s new ship-residency when Rumple appears with that dashing new haircut. Belle immediately dismisses him, but first, Rumple casts a spell on the ship to protect Belle from Jekyll, which also impairs Belle from leaving. It’s endearing, in a strangely misogynistic way. The only thing Belle really has going for her is a nice waterfront view and a conch shell that Hook has left for her, in case of an emergency.
Snow has finally returned to school to get back to her second love, behind fighting evil: primary education. And of course, it appears that her teacher’s aide is going to be Shireen. Back in the teaching saddle, Snow is reminded that maybe these kids are a little more complicated than she remembers — all of her students fail her quiz. That’s when Shireen dishes some honesty and says that maybe it’s because she’s simply not a teacher anymore. She tells a story about her land, and how at its most vulnerable, it could have used a princess able to fight (foreshadowing??), and that Snow’s best way to teach is to lead by example.
Flashing back, we find that Dr. Jekyll becomes Mr. Hyde to win over Mary. While Hyde is undeniably a dreamboat, that red eye/evil mixture is just about enough to turn a girl off. Hyde begins by threatening Mary’s father, showing that he was always a little out of control, even if he is just Jekyll with a little extra zip. And that zip becomes an issue when Hyde visits Jekyll’s makeshift lab in Storybrooke. He waltzes in with the Evil Queen and steals that necklace and serum right back from Jekyll. Knowing Hyde could definitely use some help, Regina goes to Rumple asking for assistance.
But she doesn’t know about Rumple’s background with these two already, which is when we flash back to Jekyll waking up post-serum with Rumple filling him in on the details. Naturally, Rumple didn’t help Jekyll with his serum for nothing in return. He tells Jekyll that he wants in on the serum as well. But in the present, Rumple and Regina go to visit Jekyll, who smashed the serum and everything to do with his research. The good news is Jekyll kept some from behind. Regina tells Rumple to use his magic on it, so Hyde can finally be destroyed, but that’s when Rumple reveals his true colors… again. He says that Hyde is simply Jekyll, but stronger. And that’s when Rumple STEALS HIS HEART and says that the only person the serum will be used on is Hyde because the pursuit of goodness is just never going to trump love, y’all.
NEXT: Mary’s jump of shame