“Once Upon A Time” recap: Beauty and the Beast(s) (2.11)

Previously on Once Upon A Time, we found out crossing the town line wipes your memory, Emma invited Regina to dinner, and Cora disguised as Regina killed someone disguised as Archie.

Right off the bat, Rumpelstiltskin is up to no good. He drags a tied-up Smee out to the town line and tosses him to the ground. He sprinkles some magic onto his hat and kicks him over. With the now-magic hat, Smee kept his memory. Rump smiles and says he has a trip to plan and I fear for the safety of the entire world.

Most of the town is at the cemetery to listen to Snow’s moving speech, bidding adieu to good ol’ Jiminy. Gepetto rests his umbrella on the tombstone and I keep having to remind myself that Archie’s not really dead to keep myself from crying. Though I do still want in on the big group hug.

Sadly, it seems Archie might soon WISH he were dead — he’s being questioned and threatened by Captain Hook on his invisible ship. Sir Eyeliner wants to know what The Dark One’s weakness is.

Cut to Belle entering Mr. Gold’s shop. He excitedly tells her he found a way across the town line, but he only has enough potion to enchant one object — a shawl, the only thing Gold has left of his son. This quest to find Baelfire is his to do alone.

Belle’s like, “Fine, if you’re going off on your own, I’ll just have my own backstory. They’ll never remember your story after they see mine.”

And sure enough, there’s Belle, sitting in ye olde tavern, downing a flagon of beer while reading a book in her classic blue-and-white getup, and I don’t even remember what that guy’s name was anymore.

After I gathered my jaw from the floor, I realized a man was talking about a poster he put up of a fire-lion. It’s called a yaoguai and he’s gathering a band of brave souls to hunt the beast. Belle is looking at them longingly, as if she yearns for that type of adventure. After some encouragement and fairy dust from Dreamy (Grumpy), she decides to go with them, hoping her experience with this beast will end better than her last.

Back in Storybrooke, Belle returns to her shiny new library, only to find a different type of beast waiting for her there. She recognizes Hook from the cell Regina had her in and immediately runs. She topples a shelf on him and makes it into the elevator just in time. She tries to call Gold but service isn’t great in the oldest of elevators, so he only gets bits and pieces of her cry for help. She could really use a stowaway teacup right about now.

On the Yaoguai Wagon, the boys are making fun of Belle because she’s reading a book in a different language and they don’t even know how to lace their own breeches. She tries to explain that the book will help them find the beast, but after she mentions a lake, they kick her off their wagon, proving that they are idiots, because her outfit is insanely hot.

Besides, she was lying, and the yaoguai prefers mountains to lakes. Belle goes after the beast on her own, and her book says its nocturnal, so she prays its asleep as she inches into its cave. Suddenly, a CGI beast comes bounding towards our brave beauty. An arrow comes out of nowhere and saves the day, and when the warrior steps forward, it’s Mulan! Belle is grateful, but Mulan is just grumpy because she’s been hunting that yaoguai for weeks. Belle boasts that she found it in a day, hoping to impress her, but Mulan is sexually frustrated or something because she, too, leaves the Belle in the dust.

In the library, trapped-in-an-elevator Belle stands around quivering until someone pries open the doors. Luckily, it’s Gold, and Hook is nowhere in sight. However, when they get back to safety, it seems that the real plan was to get into Gold’s shop. Hook now has Baelfire’s shawl, thereby trapping Rumpelstiltskin in Storybrooke indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Archie’s post-memorial get-together is being held at Casa Charming. Grumpy approaches Mary Margaret and asks when they’re going back to the Enchanted Forest. He’s afraid of us commoners coming to Storybrooke, seeing magic, freaking the freak out and burning them all at the stake. Ruby’s particularly concerned, because even though Maine legalized same-sex marriages, she’s afraid of not being accepted outside Storybrooke.

Speaking of freaking the freak out, Gold has decided a good solution to all of his stuff being broken is to break more stuff, but Belle tries to reason with him. He proves unreasonable, and presses a gun into her hand before running off to find the pirate and exact revenge.