Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


'Once Upon a Time' recap: 'Strange Case'

Posted on

ABC/Jack Rowand

Once Upon a Time

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla
Fantasy, Drama

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 [pagebreak]

Jekyll goes to visit Hook and Belle to let them know what has happened with Hyde. Hook leaves, but Jekyll stays behind to tell Belle more about Mary. Hyde stops Mary in the park, and surprisingly, he wingmans pretty hard for Jekyll. Mary says she cares a lot about Dr. Jekyll but could never be with him because he’s too attached to science and not to passion. You know who Mary is into though? You guessed it: Hyde. She asks how he can be so free and confident, and Hyde says he was simply made that way — cue makeout.

David and Emma go into the woods, searching for danger and talking about pancakes, where Hyde appears. He rebuffs Emma and David and begins to run off, but he promptly runs into Rumple’s knife, where it would appear that Hyde has been defeated. But Hyde pulls the knife out of his heart and reveals that the serum used on his knife was never the real serum because he switched it with the one Jekyll thought he had hidden. He destroys the other serum and takes Rumple off to finish what he’s started.

In a much less aggressive storyline, Snow, being the chillest teacher ever, takes all of her students outside, nails their tests up, and shoots it with a bow to show how Newton’s Law of Motion works. Everyone is super impressed, including Shireen.

Post-murder attempt, Hyde takes Rumple to the ship, where he reveals that Jekyll is the dangerous one. It’s kind of hard to believe until we flash back and see that the morning after that makeout, Mary wakes up in bed with Jekyll. Mary is McKayla Maroney-levels of unimpressed. She realizes that Jekyll took the serum and tells him that he’ll never be strong enough. She attempts to leave, but Jekyll stops her and pushes her out the window, with the only thing remaining being her necklace left in his hand. Jekyll takes the serum again, turning into Hyde, and he comes back to reality, where Jekyll seems to be unable to keep his story straight.

Feeling danger, Belle takes the conch shell that Hook left for her to use in case trouble arose, but Jekyll stops her and breaks it. She takes what’s left of it and stabs him with it. She tries to leave the ship, but unfortunately, that pesky spell that Rumple cast over the ship prevents it. That’s when Jekyll reveals that his plan was to finally exact revenge on Rumple by taking out his love. From afar, all Rumple can do is watch. On the other hand, Hook hops into action and impales Jekyll on part of the ship. Holding Rumple at knifepoint, Hyde begins to spit up blood at the same time that Jekyll does, as he begins to die. Regina shows up, and that’s when Rumple puts it all together: The only way to actually kill off a bad side is to kill off the original, meaning that a world without the Evil Queen means a world without Regina.

Startled, Regina tells Emma that she has to die. Emma clearly doesn’t love that idea. But Regina explains that even with the evil gone, she still has the same capacity to be evil. She makes Emma make her the same promise she made back when Emma was the dark one: that no matter what, she’ll watch after her family. With Jekyll and Hyde gone, you’d think Belle would be pretty jazzed, but she’s mostly mad at Rumple for making this all happen in the first place. She asks why he did it to begin with, and then we flash back one more time where he sentences Hyde and Jekyll to live together in one presence. He admits that he did it for her, hoping that if he took the serum, it would help him escape the feelings he had for Belle. She’s not impressed by the story and dismisses him again, and he says that she may not need him now, but he will, because that child she’s carrying is his. She says “threats won’t make me love you,” and he responds, “but necessity will.”

As the day ends, Snow passes on an apple to Shireen for a good day of work. She asks if that princess (okay, let’s go ahead and say it: JASMINE) made things better in her land. Shireen says that she left before she could find out, and Snow says, “maybe one day.” And after that, Shireen goes into the wood to meet up with the hooded girl who tells her that she hasn’t found Aladdin (!!), but she knows he’s in Storybrooke. She foresaw it, and she won’t leave Jasmine’s side until they find him. So what do you think about the officially debut of Princess Jasmine? And how much are you going to miss that beautiful advertisement for Clear Eyes, Mr. Hyde? Hit the comments and let us know!

Episode grade: B+