Belle and Rumplestiltskin try to save their baby in “Her Handsome Hero.”

“Her Handsome Hero” is centered around Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) and Belle (Emilie de Ravin). The episode does not add much to the major goal of defeating Hades (Greg Germann). Instead, it focuses on the protection of Rumple and Belle’s baby.

The episode starts off with a flashback to when Belle is a princess in her father’s kingdom. Her father tries to find her a suitor to unite the two armies to defeat ogres on their borders. The newest suitor is Gaston (Wes Brown) who has a reputation of seeking out many women. Gaston comes into the stables where Belle and her father are and he charms her. He does not act like the person she thought he was. She seems smitten and agrees to go on a walk with him.

In Underbrooke, Belle goes to the pawn shop to find Rumple. She needs his help protecting their baby. Belle does not want Rumple to use dark magic because “that’s not what heroes do.” She gives him an ultimatum: If he doesn’t do what she says, they won’t have a future together. Rumple has been given that choice many times in the past. I doubt he will follow through with it this time. Rumple’s love is not as strong as his hunger for power.

In the cemetery, Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Killian (Colin O’Donoghue) and Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) try to erase their names from the headstones. A storm starts to form and Killian says they need to seek shelter. All of a sudden the storm stops. Something about the storm seems unsettling to Snow because she hears a noise. She pulls out an arrow and goes to shoot a beast resembling a wolf that has emerged from it. Could this be Red (Meghan Ory)? Red is Snow’s best friend from the enchanted forest. As far as we know, Red has not been killed, so if she is in the Underworld, it is going to shock everyone.


It turns out it was all a dream. Emma wakes up, and she is with Killian on the roof of the library. The two of them are watching over Underbrooke to make sure no one is going to enter the library. Killian and Emma are waiting for a signal and when they see it, they go into the library. Regina (Lana Parrilla) has written hieroglyphic-like symbols on the door to the elevator so it will open and take them to Hades' lair. When the doors open, the elevator is not there, and they have to find another way to reach the villain. Emma uses the idea from the dream she just had to burn the names off the headstones.   

The next scene shows Hades watching Zelena (Rebecca Mader). When she is out of sight, Hades notices a flower growing in the street. He seems disturbed by this — almost like it has never happened before. Hades explains that the flower is growing because hope is taking root. The camera then cuts to him visiting Gaston’s dog kennel. When Belle was being held captive by Rumple, Gaston appeared at his front door looking for his love. Rumple killed him, and Gaston was sent to the Underworld. I am assuming Gaston’s unfinished business is not being successful in rescuing Belle. Hades wants Gaston to take out his revenge on Rumple by killing him. Hades supplies Gaston with a bow and arrow forged from the River of Lost Souls. If Rumple acquires one little scratch from the arrow, he will be stuck in the Underworld.  


In the past, Belle and Gaston are on a walk when Gaston hears a noise. He goes searching for the animal and comes across a hunting pit with an ogre in it. Belle convinces Gaston not to kill the ogre or take it back to the castle. Instead, she thinks she knows a way to find out if the creature means any harm. Gaston and Belle go to the library, and Belle finds a directory that lists all of the magical items in the kingdom. In the directory, they find a magic mirror that will show if the beast means to harm them. Belle sets off to find the magic mirror while Gaston keeps a close watch over the ogre. Something seems off about Gaston. He was willing to let Belle go off on her own to find the mirror when, typically, he would have offered to tag along. I think he is up to something.

In Underbrooke, Belle and Rumple are in the pawn shop looking for a way to find a way to save their kid using light magic. They get in a fight and leave the shop. Gaston is standing outside ready to kill Rumple, but before Gaston can kill him, Rumple transports Gaston and Belle to the docks. Rumple wants to use dark magic to defeat Gaston, but Belle, of course, says no. Belle wants to help Gaston move on and complete his unfinished business.

Emma, Snow and Killian go to the cemetery to clear their names from the headstones. Everything that happened in Emma’s dream happens, except this time they have a chance to escape, so they hide in Regina’s vault that is located in the cemetery. While hiding in the vault, Killian, Snow and Emma hear a noise and Regina appears. Regina thinks the dream was a message to Emma for her to acknowledge the guilt she feels for bringing everyone to the Underworld. Snow reassures her that they wanted to help and they weren’t forced. They decide to go out and face the monster. Finally! Maybe something interesting will happen. 


Belle and Rumple visit Gaston’s dog kennel to figure out his unfinished business. Belle finds the book he gave her, Her Handsome Hero, in his locker. It appears Gaston still loves her and that is why he is in the Underworld. While Belle comes to this realization, Hades shows up and says he wants to make a deal. If Gaston and Rumple fight and one of them throws the other into the River of Lost Souls, he will let Belle keep her baby.

Gaston goes to the pawn shop and finds Rumple sitting in a chair. Gaston shoots him, but it turns out that it is just a mannequin. Belle appears because she wanted to see if Gaston would really kill Rumple. Belle tells him she found the book in his locker. Gaston says the book reminds him of how Belle made him weak, which is the opposite of what a king is supposed to be. Gaston doesn’t understand why she doesn’t want Rumple dead. Belle tells Gaston that Rumple is her husband. Gaston is furious and disgusted.  

In the past, Belle returns with her father to the place where the ogre is located. They find Gaston unconscious because the ogre attacked him. Belle’s father insists on killing the ogre and Gaston volunteers to lead the hunting. When they find the ogre, Gaston is prepared to kill it. As he releases the arrow, Belle steps in front and the arrow hits the mirror, breaking most of it. Gaston appears in the part of the mirror that is not broken and his eyes turn to fire. It turns out the reason the ogre attack Gaston is because he tortured it — saw that coming.


Belle tells Rumple about the deal with Hades, and he wants to go through with it. He transports himself to the dock where Gaston is waiting for him. When Belle arrives, she sees Rumple is choking Gaston and is about to throw him in the river. Belle kisses Rumple and, at the same time, steals the Dark One’s dagger and commands him not to kill Gaston. Gaston is released and he picks up his bow and arrow, aiming to kill Rumple. Before he can, Belle pushes Gaston into the river to defend her husband. Hades shows up and says the deal is off because it was Belle who threw Gaston in the river, not Rumple. They went through all of this and do not get to keep their baby?!


In another flashback, Belle’s father tells her that the ogres are attacking the kingdom. The only way to save the kingdom is to take Gaston’s hand in marriage. In order to save the land, she accepts his proposal.

Snow, Emma, Regina and Killian search for the monster in the forest. They hit the beast with magic but do not kill it. When they finally catch up with the beast, they see that it is a wolf. Snow recognizes it as her best friend Red and tells the others not to hurt it. Snow places the red cloak over the wolf and it transforms into Red.


This episode lacked major reveals. The only shocking part of this episode is the fact that Red is now in the Underworld — which is not a complete shocker. Red is just another character we did not expect to see in Underbrooke. Once Upon A Time keeps adding layers to the show without providing any answers to previously discovered information. If that keeps happening, the show will not have enough time to resolve a lot of the conflicts. Hopefully some answers will be revealed in the next episode.

Once Upon A Time airs every Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Rating: 2.5/5


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