2x04 - The Crocodile
By Amy Degenstein Hood
“The Crocodile” brought us a new villain, a Rumple twist that keen eyed fans may have picked up back in Season1, and the truth about what happened to Rumple’s wife. This has been one of the most anticipated episodes yet, and fans were not disappointed by the outcome.
We begin in Gold’s Pawnshop, where Rumple/Gold is giving Belle a beautiful necklace. (This may to be the necklace worn by Snow at her wedding) Grumpy barges in wanting his axe. He continues to demand it, and Gold becomes furious. He grabs Grumpy/Leroy, and says he can have his axe back buried in his chest. When Belle tries to stop him by saying that this is not the person he is anymore, Gold turns to her. His face is no longer Mr. Gold, but the Rumple we have seen in FTL. He replies “Oh but it is Dearie, always has been, always will be!” We then see Belle wake up, startled by this dream she has just had. She rises and looks around for Rumple, only to find him in the basement spinning gold, and making spells.
In a flashback of FTL, we see Rumple and a very young Bae. They set off towards town to find his wife, Milah. In a bar we see Milah drinking and laughing with a rough group of pirates. She tells Rumple to run home, since that’s what he’s good at. She tells him other wives became widows, while she became lashed to the town coward when he ran from fighting in the Ogre Wars. When she sees their son Bae, she gets up and decides to go home with them. Back at the cottage, Milah says they could leave and start again where Rumple is not known as a coward. He asks her to try to accept their life, for their son. She says she will try, but looks away from him. The next morning, a knock at the door brings a town’s woman telling Rumple that the pirates from the bar have taken his wife. He goes to the docks to try and get her back. The captain introduces himself as Killian Jones. Jones says he has had many men’s wives, and that if Rumple wants his wife, he must duel for her. Rumple is afraid, and begs for the mother of his son, but he cannot fight. Jones tells him that a man unwilling to fight for what he wants deserves what he gets. Rumple is visibly distraught, and asks what he will tell his son. Jones tells him to try the truth.
In SB, Belle confronts Gold, wanting to know why he brought magic. He avoids the question, and she tells him he doesn’t need power, he needs courage to trust her. We then see the Royal Guard, (the 7 Dwarves) digging in the mines along with Charming. They are searching for fairy dust. Back at Rumple’s house, Belle is not in her room and Rumple goes looking for her. He tries her father’s flower shop, but Mo hates Rumple and refuses to help. We see then, that Belle is at Granny’s, enjoying her third glass of iced tea. She tells Ruby she’s never had it before and loves it. Ruby offers to help Belle get a room at Granny’s and tells her about the library. Suggesting that maybe Belle could be the librarian. Belle runs over to the library, excited by the idea. A man approaches and asks her for spare change. He then asks if she’s alone, or meeting someone. When she says she is alone, he grabs her and takes her away.
In a tavern in FTL, the man abducted Belle in SB sits at a table with Rumple (who is already the Dark One in this scene). This man wears a red hat, which is a signature piece to his character. He offers to trade a magic bean in order for youth. Rumple agrees, but says if he fails, he will spin the clock forward and turn him to dust. The man leaves, and a group of pirates enter the bar. Rumple recognizes them as the men who took Milah. Later that evening, a lame beggar bumps into Jones and the pirates on the street. Jones yells at him, saying even a gutter rat has more manners. When the beggar apologizes, Jones notes his scratchy voice and scaly hands and says the beggar is more of a crocodile than a rat. Anyone familiar with Captain Hook’s story from the original Peter Pan tales probably picked up immediately that this isn’t going to end well for Jones. The pirate knocks the change from the beggar’s hands, and says “What’s your name. Crocodile”, before pushing him with his foot. The beggar rises, to reveal that he is Rumplestiltskin. Jones doesn’t realize how much trouble he is in, until Rumple tells him he is The Dark One. He asks how Milah is, and Jones says she is dead. When Jones asks what Rumple wants, he says he wants to finish their duel. He tells Jones not to think of trying to run, or he will gut his entire crew. Rumple gives him until tomorrow at dawn.
In SB, Rumple/Gold goes to see Charming who is acting as Sheriff while Emma is gone. He asks for help in finding Belle. Charming asks if this is the woman he mentioned in FTL that he said he loved, and he says it is. Rumple knows the town’s people will not help him, and Charming agrees to help. In a back storage room, we see Belle and her kidnapper. The door opens and her father comes in. He tells Belle that she must never see Rumple again, and when she refuses, he says he has no choice. He tells the man to grab her and take her away. Belle fights but is unable to get away.
On the town streets, Rumple/Gold and Charming are searching for Belle. Rumple asks how Charming and Snow made it work. Charming seems amused that Rumple is asking dating advice from him. Inside Granny’s they question Ruby/Red. She is hesitant to help, but offers to assist in tracking her down. She says she is now more sensitive to smell because of the wolf part of her. She loses the scent right in front of Belle’s father’s flower shop. When they go in and question Mo, they realize that he is planning to send her to the town line so she will forget everything. Charming sees mine dust on Mo’s hand, and realizes that is where he is sending Belle.
At dawn in FTL, Rumple throws a sword to Jones. He takes Jones’ sword (with magic) and intends to kill him with his own sword. The two men duel until Jones is on the ground. Rumple asks if Jones knows what it’s like to have his wife stolen. He says it‘s like having your heart ripped from your chest, then intends to show him. He reaches into Jones’ chest and starts to grab his heart, but stops when he hears a woman yelling for him to stop. He turns to see that it is Milah, dressed in leather pirate clothes. He tells her to tell him the truth “Tick Tock”, he says to her. ( A nod to the sound of the clock in the original Peter Pan that always accompanied the approaching crocodile) She says she fell in love with Killian Jones. Milah tells Rumple that she has what he’s looking for, the bean the man in the red hat promised him. She says she doesn’t know why he wants it, but she will trade it for their release. Milah never once asks about Bae during this entire conversation. On board the pirate’s ship, Rumple tells Milah it appears she finally found the family she could never have with him. She tosses the magic bean to Jones, and asks if they have a deal. Rumple asks how she could leave Bae. As he gets angrier, the ropes on the ship move. She says she was sorry for that, but that she was miserable because she never loved Rumple. He reaches into her chest and pulls out her heart, crushing it in his hands. Jones kneels, at her side. He tells Rumple he will have to kill him if he wants the bean. Rumple swings his sword and with one swipe, cuts off Jones’ hand that he had been holding the bean in. Rumple says death is too good for Jones, and he wants him to feel the pain of having someone he loves taken away. Jones grabs a hook from the deck and stabs Rumple, but he laughs and says it will take much more than that. He vows to kill Rumple, to which Rumple replies “Good Luck living long enough for that.” Keen eyed fans will remember that in season 1 episode Skin Deep, Rumple had a hand on one of the pedestals in his castle. Clearly he regarded Hook’s hand as a trophy. We now know that Rumple is the Beast, and the Crocodile from Peter Pan. I personally love how they are weaving the stories together.
Down in the mines, we see Belle’s kidnapper handcuffing her inside a mine car. He says the key is in the bottom, so after she crosses the line and forgets her fairytale self, she can be free. He sets the cart in motion as she begs him to stop. Frantic, she tries the key, but it falls out of her hands as the cart rushes faster toward the town line. Suddenly the cart jerks to a stop and begins to move backwards. As it comes to a stop, we see Rumple/Gold has used magic to pull it back. He frees Belle, and she still remembers who he is. He hugs her, but she can’t be with him if he can’t trust her. Mo thinks he has won and tells Belle to come along, but she wants nothing to do with him. She says she never wants to see either one of them again. Later, back in Granny’s diner, Ruby/Red is explaining pancakes to Belle. She gives her a small box that was left for her. Inside is the key to the library. Belle runs over and opens the library, excited to be among the things she loves, books. Rumple/Gold walks in, and Belle tells him this can’t make up for everything. He tells her there is an apartment for the library caretaker if she wants it. He says he is not there to win her back, but that she was right. He is a coward and has always been, he tells her. He says that power became so important, he lost his son. He finally tells Belle about Bae, and that he has tried to find him ever since. He tells her the curse was created to bring him to the land Bae was taken to, and that was just waiting for it to break. But now, he can’t leave and find Bae, because he can’t cross the town line. “When you go to look for Bae, you won’t know him” Belle says, understanding how much Rumple has lost. He tells her that was why he was making spells in the basement. He tells her good-bye and walks away. As he is about to leave, Belle asks if he’s ever had a hamburger, and says maybe they could try one together at Granny’s. Rumple/Gold says he would like that.
In FTL, Rumple pries open the fingers of the hand he cut off of Jones. It is empty. Furious over losing the bean, he throws the table to the ground. On Jones ship, we see Milah’s burial at sea. The man who had the bean is on board as a prisoner, Jones offers him a position on his ship. He says that are traveling to a land where they will never grow old. Jones asks him his name, to which he answers, “William Smee” Smee gets his iconic red hat back, and asks where they are headed. Smee asks where they are going. Jones snaps the hook in place on his hand and says “Neverland!” Captain Hook is born.
In SB, Rumple/Gold has captured Mr. Smee and wants information about the man he works for, his “Captain”. Smee says for some reason the curse didn’t bring him to Storybrooke.
In current FTL, we see Cora approaching and she says “Hello, Hook.” He closes the spyglass through which he appears to be watching the refuge where Snow and Emma were brought earlier this season. Cora shows him the magic dust from the wardrobe that burned. She says it’s not enough, but it’s a start to get where they need to go. Hook is pleased, and tells Cora she will soon see her daughter, and he can skin a crocodile.