Darnit. Why'd I have to go and waste a perfectly good heart title on last week's recap when it would have made much more sense for tonight's episode?
Make that tonight's awesome episode. "A Curious Thing" had just about everything -- smooching, flying monkeys, curses on curses on curses, more forward momentum than the entire Neverland arc. And that's without even counting the hour's various emotional peaks, all of them heart-tuggers (there's that organ again) -- even if some of those feelings were immediately negated by what happened next. This is what Once should be: a fast-paced thrill ride boosted by the occasional wisecrack and only marred a tiny bit by relative implausibility. (Wait -- didn't it take Rump, like, centuries to finally produce the first Dark Curse? How'd Snow, Charming, and Regina manage to recreate it in about 15 minutes?)
Let's start in Fairy Land, where Snow and Charming's plan to announce her pregnancy is rudely interrupted by Zelena, professional party crasher slash witch. After quickly monkifying Aurora and Phillip -- does this mean the other pregnant princess is going to give birth to an adorable simian baby? -- she sneers that Snow's infant will be hers. Oh, yes; it will be hers. Which means now it's time for the gang to really get to work on figuring out a way to defeat the witch.
Or, you know, they could chill for eight months, which is what our heroes end up doing. In all that time, they still haven't found Zelena's weakness. ("TRY MEEEE!" shouts a nearby bucket of water. Alas, no one seems to hear, perhaps because it lacks a mouth.) Could it be that the answer lies in Rumpelstiltskin's castle -- where, according to a newly returned Belle, the Dark One himself is alive and (comparatively) well and being held captive by Zelena?
Sure can! Though Robin Hood warns the gang that the castle is guarded by "deadly traps," this modified Magical Breakfast Club manages to storm it quite easily. In two shakes of a griffin's tale, they've found Rump -- who's so addled by Neal's presence in his brain that he can only speak in verse. I will give 500 golden goose eggs to the first person who tells him "No more rhyming now, I mean it!"
Belle, of course, can soothe her savage beast. She manages to find out that white magic and Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, hold the key to making Zelena vanish in a puff of green smoke. A quick trek to the edge of the dark forest leads Charming, Snow, and Regina right to their new hope's doorstep -- or, you know, an actual door, where the pure-hearted couple discover the white witch herself. (Regina, alas, can't pass through, for obvious reasons. Although, doesn't Snow still have that dark mark on her heart?) Anyone else getting some real Narnia vibes from this sequence?
NEXT: Dear Galinda, you are just too good