REVIEW: Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 4 – Beauty

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 4 - Beauty

This week’s Once Upon a Time was a real treat for Rumbelle fans, as we got to see how Rumpelstiltskin and Belle lived out their happily ever after. Meanwhile, it’s Halloween in Hyperion Heights and Lucy and her family celebrate it somehow, we learn a bit more about Ivy, and, more significantly, Alice begins to regain her non-cursed memories.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 4 - BeautyBefore I get to the meat of the episode, which was the wonderfully bittersweet Rumbelle flashbacks, I’ll briefly touch on the Hyperion Heights side of things. Not much happening with Henry and his family other than Lucy running off to go trick or treating on her own to annoy Ivy. It was cute to see Regina/Roni in costume as Marilyn Monroe, I have to say. Everything works out in the end but Henry loses his nerve and ends up sharing a drink with Ivy. I’m really hoping that the last scene with them toasting to keeping things uncomplicated isn’t going to lead to some annoying, cliché, and very ill-advised getting together. It was good for them to bond and that would support showing platonic relationships between men and women on TV, as opposed to them always getting together just because.

We learn a bit more about Alice and Weaver, when the former tries to accost Victoria Belfry in her car. Just as the Once Upon a Time writers did in the Wonderland spinoff, they’ve written Alice as someone suffering from mental illness. When it’s really her memories of her magical self that the pills are trying to suppress. (And it’s a small scene but not a very subtle one, but Alice and Rogers playing chess together is yet another piece of evidence to support my theory that she is his daughter).

Alice/Tilly knew Rumple from before, which informs her bond with Weaver. Unlike the first season of Once Upon a Time, Weaver has no memories of his true identity and he is actually affected by the curse. But Rumple made a contingency plan involving Alice showing him the chipped cup to trigger his memories. And at the end of the episode, when he says his trademark “dearie,” we all know that the old Rumple is back.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 4 - BeautyWhich leads me to the most important part of the episode, the bulk of it dedicated to the happy lives of Rumple and Belle in the aftermath of season 6. This brought back Emilie de Ravin as Belle, possibly for the last time, in an emotional and bittersweet sequence of scenes from the finally-happy marriage between the beauty and the beast.

This was a beautiful gift to all Rumbelle fans, as we finally witnessed one of the longest-running and tumultuous pairings of Once Upon a Time finally live out their lives in much-deserved marital bliss. From happy scenes of Rumple taking photos in Storybrooke, to the family traveling across realms together, Rumple and Belle raising Gideon while Rumple tries to find a way to become a mortal and to free himself from the dagger, and finally, Belle discovering a prophecy about the Edge of Realms.

The happy couple live out the rest of their lives in domestic felicity, building a home together, enjoying each other’s company, admiring the view, waiting for the sunset, having occasional visits from Gideon (though it’s strange that none of Rumple’s other family, like his grandson, seems to have visited him). For once there are no curses to break, no evil or darkness to struggle against, no villains to vanquish, and no memory-wipes. Rumple and Belle were just happy, and what a rare thing that is to see on Once Upon a Time.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 4 - BeautyBut the show being what it is, there was painful twist. Belle intentionally mistranslated the prophecy, knowing that it was her death that would lead Rumple to find the answers he sought. In a heartbreaking scene, she bid farewell to her beloved husband, confident that he would find his way back to her and that their love would be stronger than death.

And with Tilly/Alice finally waking Weaver up from his cursed self, it looks like Rumple is back on track, continuing his journey to the one he loves. This may be the last we see of Belle for now, but I’m certain that when Rumple completes his hero’s quest, we will see them reunited again.