Once Upon a Time recap: O Captain! My Captain!

In which we meet a new villain with an ax to grind -- and, eventually, a hook for a hand
Ep. 04 | Aired Oct 21, 2012

HOOK, LINE, & SINKER Eat your heart out, Dustin Hoffman.

Jack Rowand/ABC

Fairyback: Rump and Killian begin their sword fight to the death. It seems like the captain will lose his appendage any moment-- I keep expecting  a Princess Bride-style "I am not left-handed!" "Well, now you're no-handed!" dialogue exchange. But Killian makes it through the fight in one piece, thanks to Milah -- who, as it turns out, is very much alive. Rump's ex-wife explains that she fell in love with the captain that night in the tavern -- and she offers to give Rump the magic bean in exchange for him not killing her or her pirate paramour.

Milah leads the Dark One to Killian's ship, which contains a bound-up Goob and, yes, a tiny, glassy bean. A bean! A special bean! Milah tosses the seed to Killian, then asks whether she and Rump can go their separate ways. Alas, her old spouse isn't prepared to let her go quite that easily -- and when his badgering about her leaving Baelfire drives Milah to hiss that she never loved Rumpelstiltskin in the first place, he reaches into her chest and straight up rips out her heart. Oh, so that's where Regina learned that neat party trick. For good measure, Rump also cuts off Killian's left fist -- the hand that's still clutching that all-important bean.

Except... it isn't. Killian tricked Rumpelstiltskin; he had the bean in his other mitt all along. And now he's going to use it to travel to a land where he'll never age, the perfect spot to lie low for a few hundred years and plan his revenge on Rumpelstiltskin: Never Land. So, with Goob in tow -- the guy's name, we all now know, is actually Smee, but I really like Goob -- the behanded captain squints his kohl-rimmed eyes and commands his crew to sail on to a world of pixies, mermaids, and racially insensitive depictions of Native American tribes. Yo ho ho ho, a pirate's life for he!

After living through that underground ordeal, Belle is rewarded with a gigantic breakfast -- and a key to Storybrooke's mysteriously closed library. When she enters the building, it's just like that scene in Beauty and the Beast... especially when Rumpelstiltskin appears, quoting John Lubbock and finally sharing his feelings. "I am a coward," he tells Belle. "I have been my entire life. I tried to make up for it by collecting power, and the power became so important that I couldn’t let go. Not even when hat meant losing the most important person in my life." He's referring to Baelfire, but Belle knows he's really talking about her as well. As he turns to go, Belle softens and calls after him, asking if he'd like to get a burger with her at Granny's sometime. What, she got tired of peanut butter?

Ah, but perhaps it's a good thing that Belle didn't take Rump back right away. Within his magical meth lab, he's also storing a tied-up Smee -- indicating that the Dark One isn't really ready to turn over a new leaf. The pirate swears that he doesn't know where his captain is, and claims that Hook must have been left behind in Fairy Land when the curse struck. A likely story...

NEXT: A villain summit, and a scattering of Breadcrumbs

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