Daddy issues, mommy issues, fairy issues... what's the difference?
Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand

Family is complicated. Sometimes you have a mom and a dad. Or just one parent. Or two moms, or maybe even a fairy mom, a regular mom, a creepy gold dad, and that’s not even getting into their good and bad sides. If Once Upon a Time is good at anything, it’s making things more complex than normal, and this week, it’s all about family — what happens when your mother loves you, abandons you, or has her second trimester skipped over entirely.

We open up to a fairy running down a hall toward Rumple, but as we know, very few stand a chance against Rumple. But if anyone does, it’s the Evil Queen who appears to join in on the fun… but Rumple isn’t interested in the Evil Queen until she kills her sister, Zelena. It seems harsh, but Rumple has turned it up a notch after “getting over Belle.” Um, OKAY, Rumple. He throws dust on the fairy and ages her significantly. She’s taken into the hospital where Belle figures out that he’s going to use the same spell that speeds up time so he can get the baby and use the Savior shears on it. That Belle and her wits, so clever.

We flash to the past, where Rumple brings Belle a baby that he’s stolen. Belle wants to know the baby’s name, but Rumple says why waste time giving a name to something you become attached to. Clearly, this isn’t the first time someone hasn’t been given a name. More on that later.

In the Storybrooke library, Belle finds a book with instructions on beating the Dark One. When she opens it up, the book says to follow the strand, and sure as day, a strand appears and Belle follows it, because girl is good at following instructions, if nothing else. The strand leads her to the Savior shears, but as she reaches to touch them, they disappear. In their place, her son appears in the dream world. He tells her that Rumple is going to use the shears on him, but the way to stop him is in front of her, if she’s willing to see it. But this is Belle, and who knows with that girl.

Belle takes her newfound dream world revelation to Hook and Emma, and she is ready to fight. But Hook and Emma tell her that they need to handle this one. We flash back to Belle and the baby, and she tells him that he can be a hero… if they can figure out what Rumple’s big plan is. Belle has one of her own, though, and decides to run off with the baby.


Hook goes to visit Rumple and mentions his son. Rumple tries to attack Hook, but Emma puts a curse on him, freezing his body so they can search for the shears and dagger. As they look, Emma has another flashback, one so strong it knocks her to the ground. Rumple escapes, and the first place he goes is to find Belle. Naturally helpless, she asks how he got there, but he cuts to the chase and tells her that he won’t lose another son and pulls out the spell that speeds up her pregnancy.

We flash back again with Belle attempting to figure out what’s going on with this baby, but everything she finds is in fairy language. Rumple takes the baby and locks Belle in a room.

Back in Storybrooke, Belle attempts to escape, but it’s no use. He says that with this son, he can start over and maybe he’ll love him. Not the best parenting approach, but you can’t blame a guy for wanting to start with a new approach, I guess? Belle falls back on the love approach, pointing out that he will lose her forever if he does this, and guess what? It works. Because as maniacal as he is, he sure does love Belle.

NEXT: Fairy Mama Drama

Outside of Belle’s world, Regina heals Zelena’s head boo boo after, you know, her sister tried to off her. She tells Zelena that she was actually on the way to her house to steal something from her to help beat Rumple, and immediately Zelena is hurt because if Zelena is good for anything, it’s not having perspective. Regina then follows it up by telling Zelena that she can never forgive her… she saved her because that’s what heroes do, but forgiving Zelena? Not so much.

Meanwhile, Snow and Jasmine meet up to discuss Snow’s students’ grades, but mostly Agrabah. Snow insists that Jasmine can still be a hero, so they go off with Aladdin and Henry to do some lamp-work. Jasmine rubs the lamp to reveal the genie, but all that comes out are empty shackles, so instead of waiting on a genie, Aladdin goes full-proactive and goes inside the lamp looking for the genie he used to know. We’ll discover the result of that in due time.

The Evil Queen goes to visit Rumple, and she’s pretty disappointed to find out that he didn’t poison Belle. She tells him that he’s a failure, but then Rumple says if she really wants to see what failure looks like, she’ll look in the mirror. ZING. He follows it up by saying she should never question him again. She leaves, but we flash back to Belle in captivity. The Blue Fairy comes in to warn Belle that Rumple is using this baby to lure the Black Fairy, who is apparently not as good as the other fairies. Her heart is blackened, and Belle has to stop her. Blue sets her free, and Belle chases after Rumple.

In Storybrooke, Emma and Hook visit Belle at Granny’s. She has a cup of tea while Hook pulls Emma aside to talk about the vision, and she mentions that the sword that kills her has a red jewel on it (hello, Jafar?), but Belle, not to be forgotten, grabs her quite large stomach and appears to go into labor post-tea. Go to third trimester, go directly to third trimester, do not pass morning sickness, do not collect child support.

In another flashback, Rumple successfully summons the Black Fairy. He freezes her and makes the big reveal that she’s actually his mother. She seems pretty shocked about it all, but all he wants to know is why she abandoned him. She just giggles and says, “Sometimes you have to choose power over love,” which is also a general theme in Scandal and most soap operas. Rumple is devastated, but Belle takes the opportunity to lecture him on not using children to exact his revenge. Good call, B.

Belle goes into labor and flashes back to dream world and sees her son, and it seems like his future is kind of hopeless, y’all. He tells her to remember the book, and she asks which one, but we flash back to her childbirth. Belle gives birth, but asks Blue to be his fairy godmother and to take him far away. She names him Gideon and passes along the book she once read to the baby in the past to Blue. And with that Blue and Gideon disappear. Rumple shows up to the party just seconds too late, and he’s not pleased. With nothing left to say, Rumple asks what their son’s name, but Belle doesn’t budge.

In the flashback, Belle finally delivers the stolen baby to his parents, and Rumple is pretty devastated back then as well. Turns out Rumple is super bad with kids, as opposed to being marginally bad, like we thought before. After we come back to Storybrooke, the Evil Queen reveals that she stole Rumple’s magic and poisoned the tea, and it’s essentially his fault. Rumple, full of promises and vendettas these days, promises that he will make the Queen pay and that she is nothing more than one of his pawns. Not to ever be outdone, the Queen says, “Good luck finding your son, again. I hear fairies make wonderful mothers.” The shade cast between these two is catastrophic.

Belle’s bravery inspires Emma to continue her journey as Savior… as if she was ever going to quit. They go to Rumple’s and discover the sword from her vision, but as Emma tries to grab it, she gets another flash and tremor. But with the sword, they hope to find out how to stop the future or at least who is responsible for it.

Episode grade: B

Episode Recaps

Once Upon a Time

Everything you’ve ever read about fairy tales is true—the residents of Storybrooke are living proof.

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