When I first found out Once was going to do a Beauty and the Beast episode I was ecstatic. Beauty has always been one of my favorite Disney, second only to The Sword in the Stone, likely due to the fact it was my older sister’s favorite (we usually ended up watching what she wanted to…). Then I found out Rumplestiltskin was going to be the “Beast.” I was hesitant at first, but I gradually warmed to the idea because of my intense respect for Mr. Carlyle’s acting.
I enjoyed the different take on the tale as old as time. They were able to maintain the spirit of the story while incorporating it into the larger mythos of the show. While I think the story, even in its original form, is basically Stockholm Syndrome (where prisoners form an emotional connection to their captors) it is a romanticized version. This episode toned down on the romanticism without making it excessively dark. There is a definite chemistry between Emilie de Ravin and Robert Carlyle and Belle brings a human side of Rumplestiltskin that we really haven’t seen.
In Storybrooke we see the dark side of Mr. Gold, which we come to understand through the Fairy Tale side of things. Love can make people do crazy things, and when that person is already a bit (okay a lot) unstable they do even crazier things. Like abducting the father of the woman you love because you blame him for her “death.” I liked how Regina was able to get Mr. Gold to admit knowledge of the Fairy Tale world with the “Chip”-ed tea cup. I have suspected he Knew since their conversation in Episode Two, but there wasn’t a doubt in my mind after the blank card in the Hansel and Gretel episode.
The Snow White and Prince Charming sub-plot was, to me, rather underwhelming. I know they are the “main” story but I don’t quite connect to them the same way as Rumplestiltskin/Gold and Regina (I like the bad guys, what can I say). Next week is yet another SW/PC episode (doesn’t it feel like we just had one?).
Oh and did anyone notice the Game of Thorns reference on the flower truck?