Once Upon a Time: Season 2, Episode 4

The Crocodile (21 Oct. 2012)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Fantasy | Romance
8.5
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Belle and Rumpelstiltskin's relationship takes a sudden turn when someone from her past suddenly reappears in her life. Meanwhile, Rumpelstiltskin's wife is kidnapped by a band of pirates.

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Emma Swan (credit only)
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Evil Queen / Regina Mills (credit only)
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Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
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Happy (as Michael Coleman)
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Belle and Rumpelstiltskin's relationship takes a sudden turn when someone from her past suddenly reappears in her life. Meanwhile, Rumpelstiltskin's wife is kidnapped by a band of pirates.

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21 October 2012 (USA)  »

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In this episode, Milah abandons her husband and son. In real life, Robert Carlyle's mother abandoned him and his father when Robert was a child of 4. See more »

Quotes

William Smee: [about a trade] You haven't heard my price.
Rumplestiltskin: I spin straw into gold. Price shouldn't be a problem.
William Smee: Oh, I don't want money. I want eternal life.
Rumplestiltskin: [giggles] Only the Dark One has life eternal. Tell you what, my son. What I can do, what about... youth? Spin the clock back, till you're a little boy again.
William Smee: Close enough. Deal.
Rumplestiltskin: But remember - you fail to deliver, I spin the clock forward, and turn you into dust.
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The Crocodile
23 October 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After last week's episode, I mentioned that my biggest concern for Once Upon a Time going forward would be its treatment of this season's central conflict, as well as its incorporation of new fairy tales and characters. Unfortunately, last night's fourth and highly-anticipated episode didn't do much to ease my worries, what with its introduction of three entirely new characters and the second total absence of our female leads and their plight to return home.

A mostly Rumplestiltskin-centric episode, "The Crocodile" divides its time between present-day Storybrooke and flashbacks to give us Rumple's tale of "redemption"—one that seems as though it ultimately wishes to plant the seeds for the elimination of Rumplestiltskin as a villain (with so many others, it's probably a smart move, but Rumple's so good at it, it'll be sad to see step down as a token baddie). The episode opens in Storybrooke where Belle catches Rumplestiltskin practicing magic, immediately assuming he's up to no good. Calling him a coward for refusing to change his sly ways or to be honest with her, Belle decides to leave him, but shortly after is snatched up by a mystery man who returns her to her long-lost father. The happy reunion between father and daughter is short-lived, however, when Moe (Eric Keenleyside) decides it best to wipe Belle's memory by sending her across the Storybrooke border via underground tunnels so that she may forget Rumplestiltskin, the "monster" she claims to love.

Agonized over her disappearance, Rumplestiltskin teams up with Ruby and Charming to seek her out, and together they manage to stop Belle's memory wipe before it's too late. Finally realizing his errors and learning from Charming that the key to any good relationship is honesty, Rumplestiltskin confides in Belle that the reason he was toying with magic was because he still holds out hope for reuniting with his son Baelfire; since he can no longer cross the town line to search for him, magic is pretty much his only option. And because Belle is in every way a Disney princess (right down to her wonder over iced tea), and therefore a huge softie, she decides to forgive Rumple, and things between them seem like they'll be just fine—then again it is kind of hard to turn down a man who endows you with an entire library (…or is that just me?).

The story offered in the flashback this week was, for me, slightly more interesting than Storybrooke's, but that probably had something to do with the incorporation of pirates and Colin O'Donoghue's debut as Killian Jones/Captain Hook. Reminding me of my Hot Topic days (it was a bad phase, I'll admit), Captain Jones becomes a prime source of conflict for Rumplestiltskin when he basically swoops into town and steals his wife. Milah (Rachel Shelley)—who internet buzz is rumoring to be The Hunchback of Notre Dame's Esmeralda (but who knows?)—disappointed by her husband's cowardice and feeling bogged down by a life she doesn't desire, becomes instantly enamored with Jones and runs off to join his crew, making it look as though she was kidnapped. Dismayed, Rumplestiltskin makes a feeble attempt to win back his wife, but realizing he could never best the captain, quickly loses hope.

To read the rest of the review (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/once-upon-a-time-2-4-the-crocodile/


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