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REVIEW – Once Upon A Time: 7×04 “Beauty”

Once Upon A Time’s Halloween episodes always offer some great fun and the seventh season keeps up the trend. But the only scary thing about this year’s episode was Henry’s inability to activate his flirt mode, or any other emotional expression beyond constipated. “Beauty” primarily focuses on the swan song for the show’s golden couple, Rumplestiltskin and Belle, but also takes the time to flesh out a couple of supporting characters as well.

After six seasons of romantic ups and downs, Rumple and Belle finally get their happy ending, made peace with each other, and look forward to raising their bouncing, baby boy Gideon. We also briefly return to Storybrooke, always a welcome sight, since Hyperion Heights struggles to find an identity for itself. Rumple, Belle, and Gideon decide to fulfil Belle’s dreams to explore the world(s), and we finally get to see the happy life the family always wanted. Rumple is still burdened with his role as the Dark One and seeks to be free of his magic dagger forever.

Apparently eighteen years jump by, and Gideon parts ways with his parents to pursue the life of a scholar. Belle comes across some sort of prophecy that says that the Dark One will be free of his curse when the sunset is at its brightest in a place called the Edge of Realms. They travel to the picturesque realm, where they learn time runs differently from the rest of the universe, or something like that. The timeline of this show is so discombobulated already, please don’t make it more confusing.

The two decide to wait for the perfect sunset, build a cabin together, and live an absolutely warm, wonderful life together in scenes which shamelessly pay homage to the tearjerking opening scenes of Up. So, you can probably guess what happens next. Belle gets old and collapses in Rumple’s arms, explaining that the perfect sunset actually was referring to her own death, and the immortalisation of their eternal love. And, thus, our tale as old as time comes to an end.

Emilie de Ravin has been an absolute delight throughout Once Upon A Time, bringing a lot of heart to Belle, who again and again stopped Rumple from completely going off the deep end. Ravin, along with Robert Carlyle, end their onscreen romance in the perfect way. But the story may not be over for the couple. After burying Belle, Rumple decides to track down the prophesised successor of his role as the Dark One. Poofing his way into the fairy tale land, Rumple has great timing, as Alice literally runs into him seconds after he arrives, and then Henry zooms by on his motorbike. Rumple looks like he’ll have a kooky sidekick.

Over in Hyperion Heights, it is Halloween, where just about everyone in the downtrodden neighbourhood can afford expensive-looking Disney costumes. Apart from Lucy, who has to wear a cheap skeleton costume because her mother works in a takeaway, and her grandmother likely doesn’t understand the concept of “fun”. Instead, Lucy’s aunt Ivy is forced to babysit her, but she is more concerned with her phone and speaking snarky internet slang. Lucy cleverly runs off, or rather, just uses Ivy’s gullibility and a paper bag to outwit her. Ivy turns to Henry to help find her wayward niece.

Ivy turns out to be at least have some humanity to her, living to try and please her mother, and lives a rather miserable existence. Jacinda rather brutally points out that Ivy has no friends considering just how bitchy she is, and that clearly strikes a cord with her stepsister. They find Lucy off screen and return her home, Ivy then surprising everyone by deciding to defy her mother and allow Jacinda and Lucy to spend some time together. Henry also makes a hasty exit when Jacinda starts flirting, and ends up having a drink with Ivy. Wooooohh.

But, the big story is about Weaver and Tilly. We’ve only seem brief glimpses of Alice’s cursed counterpart, but she slowly goes from mildly eccentric to becoming increasingly frantic and emotional as she drags Weaver around the neighbourhood trying to find something to help things make sense. Tilly surprises Victoria in her car, who then tasks Weaver to give Tilly her pills. However, it turns out with Tilly off her meds, she begins to regain her memories as Alice, and wants Weaver to remember he is Rumplestiltskin, but discovers he has drugged her, leaving her with a time limit to get her message across.

This culminates in a brilliant confrontation between the two where Tilly desperately waves Belle’s chipped cup in Weaver’s face, but he is just puzzled by it. She then grabs Weaver and shoots him, claiming Rumplestiltskin told her to do whatever it takes to wake him up. Weaver recovers in hospital, while Tilly seems to have returned to her own interpretation of normality. Victoria briefly visits Weaver to confirm Tilly is no longer a problem, and Weaver refers to her as “dearie”. Oh, yes, Rumple appears to have woken up. And all it took was being shot.

In conclusion, this episode has been the best of the seventh season so far, harking back to the fantastic writing of earlier seasons. Acting by Ravin and Carlyle was great, and I will miss Belle. In the subplot, Rose Reynolds and Adelaide Kane were great as Tilly and Ivy, and I hope now they’ve got some screentime, we shall see more of them as main characters.

What are your thoughts on Once Upon a Time‘s latest adventure? Let us know in the comments section or send us a Tweet!

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Mark Russell

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