And who, you may ask, is the quasi-dashing man groping Rumpelstiltskin's true love behind Granny's? Why, he's none other than the Sheriff of
Rottingham Nottingham, a blustery baddie that old-school Belle and Rump also encountered in the Enchanted Forest while hunting down a certain thief. Here, by the way, is the reveal of that thief's name, in case you have yet to guess his identity: "Robin Hood. He goes by... Robin Hood!" And unlike some other Robin Hoods, he can speak with an English accent!
Anywho, the Sheriff promises to give Rump information about Robin's whereabouts if the Dark One gives him a night with "his wench." Or, you know, just 20 minutes. (Come on, Notty -- have some self-respect.) Rump, naturally, responds by magicking out the Sheriff's tongue and waving it around while giggling manically. That's one way to turn down an indecent proposal. He and Belle then track down the outlaw, who's soon joined by a grey-skinned lady who looks to be on the brink of death. Belle gasps that Robin must have stolen the wand only so that he could save his Twue Wuv -- and sure enough, as they watch, Mr. Hood restores Maid Marian's color and brings her back to the land of the living.
Even so, Rump is determined to kill Robin. (Doesn't he know what the penalty is... FOR STEALING??) But then Belle points out that Marian is pregnant... and the thought of leaving a child fatherless is the only thing powerful enough to assuage Rumpelstiltskin's rage. He won't admit that he spared Robin on purpose, but he will accept a grateful hug from Belle, who's clearly starting to see something there that wasn't there before. And then Rump goes and gives her a library. Swoon!
Strangely enough -- and against all odds -- Lacey and present-day Rump may also be on the road to romance. After his date ditches him, the Dark One takes his anger out on poor dumb Nottingham, magically removing his tongue and proceeding to beat him into a pulp. You've gotta love family hour! Lacey unexpectedly returns, catching him in the act... but instead of being disgusted and horrified, she's turned on by how "dark" he is. Uh oh -- are these two entering creepy Rump/Cora territory?
This development would no doubt horrify Regina, who's gone out of her way to make Rumpel unhappy. The evil queen, though, has other things on her mind. After hearing Emma make a vague reference to how Regina may soon "lose Henry for good," Mayor Mills has an inkling that something is not right. A magical tracking spell confirms her suspicions, leading her all the way to the bean grove...
... a place that may soon be discovered by magic hunters Tamara and Stranger Greg/Owen as well. We still don't really know what the duo's M.O. is, but tonight we do learn a few things about them. One: Owen is keeping track of where he's seen magic performed in town. Two: He's positive that his father is still somewhere in Storybrooke. And three: His ladylove has brought a special package from New York -- a hogtied, de-hooked Hook. Aww yeah -- next week's episode will totally be rated "Arrrrrrr."