By Joanne Denney - @Dragonlady 755
In this episode, Belle learns that sometimes the end justifies the means. A hero can't always be compassionate and forgiving. They have to do whatever it takes to protect their loved ones, even if it is unpleasant.
Belle meets her father, Maurice, in the stables. He presents her with a new suitor, Gaston, who is a great hunter of animals and women. Belle has heard of him and is not very impressed with his reputation. Maurice tells Belle that there's more at stake than her preferences in suitors, Gaston’s army could help protect their kingdom from the ogres. Belle argues with her father, and they are interrupted by the appearance of Gaston, a charming and confident young man. He flatters Belle and admits that his reputation isn't the best. She decides to give him a chance, and they go for a walk together in the woods.
In Underbrooke, Belle approaches Mr. Gold's shop. Inside Gold holds Pan's pipes, contemplating Pan’s offer. Belle tells Gold that she would not be separated from her child and that she knows that Gold will fight for his baby. She tells him that he can't use any dark magic, though. She reminds in that in Camelot Merlin told them that someday there would be someone who could wield the power of the Dark One dagger for good. "Show me that you can be that man. Show me, and we can save our child, and we can turn the darkness into light." Gold responds, "That's the thing with dark and light. Depends on your point of view. In the end, you do what you can to protect those you love." Belle refuses to believe that a hero would resort to darkness to win. "In the heat of the moment, you do whatever it takes," Gold replies. Belle issues an ultimatum, "You want a future with me? You have to do this my way."
In the cemetery, Hook, Emma and Snow contemplate the three gravestones placed by Hades to keep them in the underworld. Emma casts a spell to erase their names from the headstones, but Hook senses a storm coming. They run for shelter for there is a cyclone. As they hide behind a mausoleum, Snow senses that the storm left something behind. She steps out to investigate with her bow and arrow and is attacked by a beast.
Emma awakes with a start. It was all a dream. Emma and Hook sit atop the library roof keeping watch. The others, who are working on a spell to open the elevator doors, signal that they are ready. They need to break Hades' protective spell on the doors before they can travel to his lair. After casting the spell, they find the elevator blocked by a brick wall. Hades was expecting them.
Finding their plan foiled, Emma suggests that maybe she could burn their names off the gravestones holding them in the Underworld. She tells them the idea came to her in a dream. Hook and Snow decide to go with Emma to the cemetery while David takes Henry back to the apartment. Regina decides to talk to her sister, Zelena, who has a history with Hades. She hopes Zelena will know Hades’ weakness.
Hades watches Zelena walk down the street at a distance. He notices a small bright daisy growing in the rubble of the street. He plucks the flower and looks worried.
Gaston works in the Underbrooke Animal Shelter, his punishment for hunting beasts in the Enchanted Forest. Hades appears and informs Gaston that there are visitors in the Underworld. Among them are the Beauty he was engaged to and the Beast that stole her from him. Hades offers Gaston his shot at revenge against Rumplestiltskin. He shows Gaston a daisy, one of many he's found growing all over town. "They have brought hope to the underworld. Hope has taken root, and when souls have hope, they move on. I cannot have that," Hades declares as he crushes the daisy to dust. Hades gives Gaston a bow and quiver of arrows to let him hunt the greatest beast of all: Rumplestiltskin.
In the Enchanted Forest, Gaston and Belle stroll in the woods on their first date. Gaston blames his bad reputation on his friend who likes to tell tall tales. He confesses to Belle that he is only a hunter of beasts, not women. His love life has been very empty, and he had hoped to meet a good woman like her. He pauses, sensing a wild creature off the trail. Going off to explore, he leaves Belle. Not wanting to be left behind, Belle soon follows and comes across him looking down into a deep hole. It's a hunter’s trap. In the darkness at the bottom of the trap is a young ogre who is scared and hurt.
Belle and Gaston discuss how the ogre came so close to the castle. Each has a different point of view. She is sure that it's young and that he probably just wandered away from his family. Gaston on the other hand feels like the ogre maybe an advanced scout for more troops coming to attack them. Gaston wants to haul him back to the army, but Belle worries the troops may torture him. She convinces Gaston that they need to find a different way to get information from him. She tells him she believes there is a way to help them get information from the ogre without hurting him.
In Underbrooke, Gold and Belle are pouring through old tombs in Mr. Gold’s shop, looking for light magic to save their baby from Hades. Gold, impatient, thinks they are wasting time. "So every time you try something nefarious, it's a smashing success, but when I ask you to channel that power for good, you fail," Belle says. Gold responds, "I don't care what Merlin said. To turn darkness to light is a fool's errand. To use darkness for light, now that may be possible." But Belle is having none of it and stomps out of the shop. Gold follows her, trying to get her to listen to reason, but she doesn't want to hear it. Suddenly an arrow goes whizzing past them. Belle, stunned, recognizes Gaston across the street as he prepares to fire another arrow. "What are you doing here?" Gaston answers, "He killed me I'm going to return the favor." "It's gonna take much more than a pointy stick to kill me," Gold replies. Gaston shoots another arrow at Gold, who quickly snatches it up in mid-air. He notices the glowing tip and knows instantly that it was Hades who sent Gaston. Belle tries to reason with Gaston, but he’s set on revenge. He shoots another arrow at Gold as Belle steps into the line of fire. Rumple grabs Belle, magically transporting both of them to the docks.
Ignoring that he just saved her life, Belle launches into a rant. "So you killed, Gaston, my fiancé and never thought to tell me about it?” Gold responds, "it was an arranged marriage! I was doing you a favor." “This was a mistake,” Belle shakes her head. “Once again I've let my optimism cloud my judgment.” Gold tells Belle that Gaston's threat is real. Hades forged the arrows in the River of Lost Souls. One scratch from the arrow would trap Rumple in the river, even though he was immortal. Rumple informs Belle that Hades is very clever. He knows that Hades sent Gaston because Belle won't let Rumple hurt him. Rumple tries to persuade Belle to let him use a little bit of dark magic, just enough to take care of Gaston. Belle refuses to give in and decides that they need to help Gaston move on. She thinks that by helping people move on, they can weaken Hades enough to defeat him.
Back in the Underworld cemetery, Emma reenacts her dream she tries to cast a spell to race their names from the headstones once again the storm starts and the cyclone forms. Once again they run for shelter behind the mausoleum. The storm is quickly over. Emma tells them that wasn't the storm that she was worried about, but what the storm brought a monster. They hear a roar in the distance, and Snow wants to check it out, but Emma stops her, worried that she might be killed. They decide to run for it.
Zelena sits alone at Granny’s diner. Regina asks if she wants some company, and tells Zelena that her daughter is safely hiding with Robin in the woods. Regina asks Zelena what happened between her and Hades. Zelena tells Regina that Hades fell in love with her and that she is his only weakness.
Hook, Snow, and Emma hide from the creature in Regina's vault. Emma tells them that it's happening just like her dream. She warns them that the creature killed Snow in her dream.
Belle rummages through the animal shelter office, looking for clues of Gaston's unfinished business. Mr. Gold thinks Gaston's unfinished business is killing him. Belle tells him “You can't judge someone without knowing their full story.” She asked Gold to use his magic to break into Gaston's locker. They quibble over whether not using his magic to break into a locker stealing a person's possession isn't magic for dark purposes. Gold is snippy about who gets to decide the right and wrong ways of using his magic. It's all about point of view. He unlocks the locker for her. Inside she finds the book Her Handsome Hero, which leads her to believe that she is Gaston's unfinished business. She tells Gold to leave. She would stay and talk to Gaston alone. Belle believes that she can get through to him.
In her family's library, Belle finds the book she was looking for and presents it to Gaston. It's a listing of all the magical objects in the kingdom. As they talk about Belle's love of reading, she shows her favorite book, Her Handsome Hero. It is a book about compassion and forgiveness which are things that truly make a hero. She offers him the book to read. He promises to read every word twice because she loves the book and he feels like he's finally found a woman of substance. As he tries to kiss her, Belle ducks away from him, pointing out that she's found what they needed in the book of magic objects. The mirror of souls shows a person with evil in the soul with eyes that glow with demonic fire. Belle sets off after the mirror and sends Gaston back to guard the young ogre.
Back in the Underworld, the dogs at the animal shelter start to bark. Thinking it was Gaston, Belle rises to greet the visitor. It's Hades. Belle asked him what he wants, and he responds creepily, “The baby in your belly.” He tells her that he doesn't want to hurt her or baby. He just wants to help. Hades offers Belle a deal, but she's leery of him having been married to the Dark One who makes deals all the time. Hades wants Rumple and Gaston to face-off. If one or the other throws their opponent into the River of Lost Souls, then Hades will let Belle keep her baby. Belle rejects Hades' offer. She's promised to help Gaston move on and she's going to keep her word.
Regina joins Hook, Emma, and Snow in the vault, asking them why they are there. Snow informs her there's a creature trying to kill them. Regina’s surprised that they are hiding and not fighting. Emma tells Regina about her dream and how the monster killed Snow. Regina says that it's possibly just a dream and not an actual vision of the future. Emma is just working out some of her issues. Emma feels like she has failed everyone by bringing them down to the Underworld. She is frightened that someone will die in the Underworld. It will be all her fault and she will never be able to forgive herself if it happens. Snow reminds Emma that they all made the choice to follow her to the Underworld, and love is worth the risk. They decide to face the monster together.
Meanwhile, Gaston stealthfully enters Gold’s shop. He crosses over it to the back room. Glimpsing through the curtains, he sees Gold sitting with his back towards him. He fires an arrow into Gold’s back. Gold hits the floor. Then Gaston discovers that it wasn't Gold, but a decoy. Belle emerges from the shadows, "So you really would kill him if you had the chance? I wasn't sure you had it in you." Gaston is angry. Gaston demands to know where Rumple is. "Seeing him dead is the only thing I care about anymore." "Are you sure about that?" she inquires as she lays the book on the table before him. She tells him that she wants to help him move on and if he still has this book that must mean something to him. “Of course, it does,” he replies. She asked him if she is his unfinished business. “You think I have this book because I like it? I've tried to throw this out 100 times. It always reappears. It's part of my punishment down here. This book reminds me why I died because you make me weak!" Gaston shouts as he slams the book on the table. “Being a hero's not about compassion or forgiveness; it's about strength. It's about doing whatever it takes to defeat your enemies." Gaston cannot understand why Belle does not hate Rumple. He took her away from her father and made her a servant. Belle tells him that she doesn't hate Rumple. Instead, she loves him and that he is her husband. Gaston shakes his head and smiles. "Good ol’ Belle, you always did have a soft spot for a monster."
In the Enchanted Forest, Belle shows the magic mirror to her father. They head towards the pit. They're surprised to find Gaston lying on the ground next to a tree. He wakes as if unconscious. He claimed that the ogre had escaped and attacked him. Belle blames herself for the attack. Maurice helps Gaston to his feet and promises to hunt the ogre down, but Gaston wants to lead the hunting party himself. Belle decides to join hunting party. She still thinks that she has a chance to use the mirror to show that the ogre is not evil. Gaston and Maurice tell her to go home.
In the underworld, Rumple wants to know what kind of deal Hades offered Belle. Reluctantly Belle tells him the deal that Hades offered on the condition that Rumple will not hurt Gaston. Rumple says that Belle can trust him. Belle still thinks that she can save Gaston and that she can fix things. Rumple states, "Belle, what Merlin said about a man who could control dark for good, I already want to be that man for you, truly. Just just not today." He disappears into a puff of smoke leaving Belle bewildered.
In the past, the mounted hunting party chases the young ogre through the dark enchanted forest. Belle follows closely behind after them. The hunting party finds the young ogre hiding in the tree. Gaston fires an arrow, knocking it out of the tree. The ogre hides, scared, behind a rock. Gaston takes aim with his bow and arrow. Belle yells for him to stop and she puts herself in between Gaston and the ogre. She will not let Gaston hurt him without knowing the truth. She's brought the magic mirror with her. Gaston fires the arrow at the ogre, but Belle blocks the shot with the mirror, shattering it. Belle notices that the ogre was hurt. She glances down at the shattered mirror noticing in a remaining shard that Gaston has a demonic fire in his eyes. She realizes that Gaston tortured the ogre. Belle declares that Gaston is more of a monster than the ogre and that he will have to kill her before she will let him kill the ogre. Belle lets the ogre go. Gaston tells her "You made a fateful decision tonight. I hope for all our sakes it was the right one."
On the docks, Gold has Gaston in a magical stranglehold like Darth Vader. He plans on throwing Gaston into the River of Lost Souls. “You may destroy me, but you will always be a beast,” Gaston says as he squirms. “Oh, I'm all right with that,” replies Gold. Belle rushes in and commands Rumple to stop. She tells him “I have always known who you really are. That's why I love you" and kisses him passionately. She breaks the kiss, holds up the Dark One dagger and states "but I also know who I really am, and I can't let you hurt him. In fact, I command you not to." Rumple is forced to let Gaston go. As he drops to the ground, Belle runs over to see if Gaston is okay. Gold tells her that she’s making a big mistake. Gaston moves quickly, grabbing the bow and arrows lying next to him and aims at Rumple. Belle reacts without thinking and shoves Gaston into the water, the River of Lost Souls. She is stunned by her actions.
In Enchanted Forest, Belle grooms her horse. Maurice enters and informs Belle that the ogres have attacked. War has begun. Their only chance is if they receive help from Gaston's army. Maurice tells Belle that she would be their kingdom's hero if she married Gaston. Gaston appears, and Belle reluctantly decides to marry him for the good of her kingdom.
Back on the docks in the Underworld, Belle gazes sadly into the water. She hands the Dark One's dagger back to Rumple. "I guess you were right; Darkness will always win." As she lays her head on his chest, Rumple tells her that he was sorry that it happened, but she saved him and their child. Hades interrupts and corrects him. The deal was for Rumple or Gaston to throw their rival into the river. Not Belle. The deal is off! “I will get my baby free of you, you monster!” Belle shouts at Hades. “Me? You're the one who just doomed your ex-boyfriend to eternal torment,” Hades replies sarcastically. “Don't listen to a Belle, he wanted this to happen,” Rumple tries to comfort Belle. “Why did you push me to do this?” Belle asks Hades. “I have my reasons,” says Hades kneeling by a daisy. It wilts and decays. “Now this is a beautiful flower,” he remarks as he plucks it and holds it to his nose, smelling the scent of hopelessness. He disappears into a blue flame.
Zelena sips coffee at Granny's diner; a waitress brings her covered plate. Lifting the lid, she sees a wilted daisy with a note addressed to her. She smiles knowing that it's from Hades.
Snow tracks the creature through the Underworld forest. She knows they are close. Regina spots it running. She and Emma stun it with magic. It falls to the ground, and they run up close to it, but Snow stops them before they can kill it. It is a very large wolf lying next to a red cloak. Snow picks up the cloak and gently lays it across the wolf’s body. It transforms into Red.
In this episode, Belle stood up for what she believes in, even though everyone around her had a different view of the world. In the end, however, she did something that goes against those same beliefs to save the ones she loves. Has she converted to the Dark side? Does she now understand Rumple's point of view on using dark magic for a good cause?