In the present day, Belle is cleaning up the mess of books in the library and finds a knot. She references it with a book in her library and figures out that Hook brought his ship to Storybrooke. If only it were a nautical-themed pashmina afghan that she found! Usually, I'd snark here about how unwise it is for any character to ever go off alone without telling anybody where she’s going and what new information she found out. However, I’m so impressed with the way Belle handles herself throughout this episode that I believe she knows that she could hold her own against anything.
At the dock, Belle does some amazing detective work and discovers that the boat is invisible. She throws some sand and finds the stairs. Stepping onto the ship, she looks around, fearlessly. While she’s doing this, Rumpel is using the force/ threatening Smee to find out where the shawl is. He then turns Scmee into a rat. (But that hat stays the same! The greatest injustice!)
Meanwhile, Belle continues to fearlessly explore the ship. She finds Archie and grabs a sword to free him from his restraints. The number of times I typed “BELLE IS AWESOME” into my notes this episode is probably unhealthy. Belle tells Archie to go and tell Gold where she is. SO AWESOME!
Elsewhere in Storybrooke, Henry’s been calling Archie’s office and just generally dealing with his grief in his own way. Emma tries to help by bringing Pongo to stay with the whole team. However, the dog also prompts Snow to say that maybe they need to find a bigger place. Like a castle. Or like, a nice four bedroom.
Later, Snow and Charming look at house listings at Granny’s. But Charming isn’t too into it. He has decided he wants to go back to the Enchanted Forest too. He wants to fight. “I’m tired of fighting,” says an exasperated Snow. One of the most striking scenes this season was when Snow saw Emma’s crib and her chin trembled just a little at the thought of the life she never got to have.
Back to Belle. She finds a chest, thinking it has the shawl in it. She opens it up -- and is somehow disappointed to find a bunch of gold instead. “Looking for this?” asks Hook. They both reach for the gun, but Hook gets it and points it at her face.
In flashback land, that leg injury has proven to be a thing, and Mulan is sending Belle to fight the Yaoguai instead. People used to think Mulan wasn’t a warrior, but she proved them wrong and so can Belle. Once you find something worth fighting for, you have to fight for it. Wow, you really don’t meet a girl like this every dynasty.
NEXT: Belle and Hook face off