My oh my, this week’s Once Upon a Time was a whale of an episode—and that’s not just because we finally learned the fairytale identity of Dr. Whale (David Anders)! Halloween has descended upon our three worlds and we’re here to Hook you up with all of the monsters, magic, and mysteries you may have missed in this week’s episode “The Doctor.”
Fairytale Land’s Past: The episode opens with Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle) teaching a smiling and generally happy Regina (Lana Parrilla) how to perfect her magical abilities, but when he tells her to snatch the heart from a unicorn, she refuses. The newly-crowned queen shakes her head. “I can’t, it’s innocent.” Rumple snaps back, “Nothing is innocent.” He then proceeds to grab the beating — and now glowing — heart from the animal and explains, “You see when you take a heart, it becomes enchanted. You’re not hurting the beast, your controlling it.” Regina later admits to Rumple in his estate that she is hoping to be able to bring someone back from the dead using magic. “I want true happiness,” she pleads. You guessed it! Regina wants to resurrect her former fiancé, Daniel the stable boy — the one who Cora (Barbara Hershey) killed when she ripped out his heart.
But Rumple instantly shuts down her foolish thoughts, saying that magic can do many things, but when someone is dead, that’s irreversible. “As long as you live in the past, you’ll never find your future,” he taunts to the wide-eyed Regina. At this point, the show’s most handsome fella Jefferson (Sebastian Stan) decides to weigh in on the topic. It appears that the Mad Hatter has been eavesdropping on their conversation, and he tells Regina that he knows of a "wizard" who may be able to do what she’s looking for. Jefferson introduces Regina to the man that we know as Dr. Whale, and says that the doctor is from a different realm, and has traveled here in search of a heart that is strong enough to withstand his “experimental” procedures.
Regina takes them to her mother’s vault and reveals Cora’s vast — and terrifying — collection of hearts. “She was a monster,” Regina says. The doctor agrees to operate on Regina’s beloved, but unfortunately the heart was not strong enough to bring back her source of happiness. A heart-broken Regina arrives in the forest (dressed head-to-toe in black leather, rawr!) to find Rumple training a new, “more dedicated” girl. “Dedicated?” the queen snarls. Regina then proves her dedication by ripping the heart out of the hopeful young witch and crushing it into dust. It’s clear that the kind-hearted and apprehensive Regina is gone — along with her ability to love. Later it’s revealed that Rumple set up the whole rouse, and promised the doctor an enchanted heart if he could break the heart of his young apprentice. Rumple turns to leave saying, “Thanks to your efforts, I’ve made my monster, and I do hope that you’ll be able to make yours.” Oooh creepy!
Fairytale Land’s Present: Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin), Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Mulan (Jamie Chung) and Aurora (Sarah Bolger) are heading back to their safe-haven island to tell the other fairytale characters of Cora’s Lancelot disguise. However, once they arrive at camp the women are horrified to see that everyone has been murdered. Cause of death? Their hearts have been ripped right out of their chests. Classic Cora move. Although at first there appears to be no survivors, one man — hidden under a pile of dead bodies, ew — is still alive. The ladies pull out who Mulan calls “just a blacksmith” but we as the super-smart audience recognize him right away as the oh-so handsome Killian Jones, aka Captain Hook (Colin O'Donoghue). Dun duun duuuun!
Hooks plays dumb, thanking the women for their kindness and hospitality, but it’s clear that Emma isn’t picking up the lies that the captain is laying down. After he seems a little too interested in their lives back in Sorybrooke and offers to guide them to a portal back home, Emma has had enough. “You’re not going to guide us anywhere until you tell us who you really are,” she demands while holding an extremely sharp dagger up to the pirate’s throat. BAMF. Hook continues to play dumb, so Emma does the most natural and logical thing: she ties him up to a tree and whistles for the ogres to come get their next meal. And then he cracks.
After revealing himself to be the most feared pirate in all the land, Hook begins to squeal like a frightened little piglet. “Cora wanted me to gain your trust so I could learn everything there is to know about your Storybrooke," he says. "She didn’t want any surprises when she finally got over there.” Hook admits that although the wardrobe was destroyed, the enchantment still remains. “The ashes will open a portal, but to find your land she needs more. There is an enchanted compass. I’ll help you obtain it before she does.” He pleads to the three badass women and Aurora. (So far the sleeping princess has been a total yawn.) Emma has just one question for him before she decides whether or not to let him go: Why does he want to go to Storybrooke? The answer is simple and sufficient: “To exact revenge on the man who took my hand, Rumplestilskin.” Hook is set free, and shows the ladies that the compass they need is located at the tippy-top of a sky-high beanstalk. “It’s not the climb you have to worry about. It’s the giant at the top,” he warns. Fee fi foe fum.
Storybrooke: The episode opens with Dr. Whale hoping to speak with Charming (Josh Dallas), but before he utters two words, the prince punches the smarmy man square in the jaw. Swoon! His reason? “For sleeping with my wife!” Whale stammers, “We were cursed!” — clearly the new version of the classic Friends excuse, “We were on a break!” After confirming that the prince is indeed searching for a portal back to fairytale land, Whales bursts in on Regina’s magic-withdrawals therapy sesh with Archie, and demands that she send him back to his world so that he can be with his deceased brother. Achie asks Regina about her selection process for who was placed under the curse, and she retorts, “I don’t care about Whale or his brother. I brought who I wanted.” Turns out Regina also brought her one-true love to Stroybrooke. “His name is Daniel. I preserved his body with an enchantment spell. He’s dead but frozen,” she practically whispers. But when Archie suggests that Regina needs to let go of the past before she can move on, the queen gets mighty pissed and storms out of the office.
On the stormy drive home, Regina thinks that she sees her beloved beau walking down the streets of Storybrooke, and it turns out she’s right! Daniel’s body is missing from his clear coffin, and Regina decides to confront Whale at the hospital. She enters a destroyed laboratory and finds a now one-armed Dr. Whale, covered in blood and lying on the floor. Whale says that he successfully brought Daniel back from the dead, however, her former fiancée has now become a full-fledged monster. Regina is overjoyed at the fact that Daniel has finally returned to her and tells Charming, “I think it’s like when you awoke from your coma. He’s following his final thoughts to where he last met me: The stables.”
Unfortunately, Henry (Jared Gilmore) is in the middle of his “how to be a knight” training and is at the stables bonding with his new noble steed. Daniel arrives, and naturally all of the horses freak the eff out because there is this half dead monster moaning about. Henry — after probably peeing his pants — sees the blood on Daniel’s hands and offers to help, but the monster decides that choking Henry is the best option. Luckily, Charming and Regina arrive just in time to save their grandson/son, and Regina begs for Charming not to hurt Daniel. “He’ll listen to me! Please!” she cries. It’s clear that Daniel does not recognize his former flame, and he proceeds to choke her as well. Regina whispers the classic spell-breaker, “I love you,” and light floods into the monster’s eyes. However, Daniel is in unbearable pain, and he begs Regina to move on and let him go. “No, I wont lose you again," she says. "Without you I’m lost." Just as Daniel is about to lunge for her throat again, Regina stops him and finally uses magic to send her one-true love to the afterlife.
Dr. Whale begs Rumple to re-attach his arm, and it only takes three words to get him to agree: “I need magic.” Whale tells Rumple that he brought Daniel back form the dead in hopes that Regina would send him back to his world. Whale explains, “I want to see my brother, to try and bring him back again. The first time ended badly.” Flashback to a world where everything is in black and white, and Dr. Whale (who’s real name is Victor) looms over a lifeless body on an operating table with his new, enchanted heart in his hand. The surgery — complete with lightening and fancy equipment — is a success, and the fingers of his stitched-together brother begin to twitch underneath the white sheet. His high-praising assistant whispers, “It’s magic, Dr. Frankenstein!” To which the doctor quickly corrects him, “No, not magic. It’s science.” Cue the thunder and lightening, and the screen fades to black.
What did you think of this week’s ultra-creepy Once Upon a Time? We’re you as bummed as we were that ABC ruined the Whale reveal in their promo? Excited to see Emma and Snow face the beanstalk giant next week? Cast your spell in the comments below!
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[Photo Credit: ABC]