Warning: This recap for the “Ill-Boding Patterns” episode of Once Upon a Time contains spoilers.
What do you call it when evil is done with the best intentions?
In the case of Rumplestiltskin, we can call it “good parenting.”
Rumple has done a lot of very bad things, mostly for very selfish purposes. But in both the present day and in a flashback, he does those very bad things for entirely unselfish reasons — saving his sons.
He’s accepted that darkness is an inextricable part of his soul. But he can do everything in his power to prevent that darkness from taking over Baelfire and Gideon. If that means blighting his soul a little more, so be it. Even Belle is impressed with his unselfishness, and declares there’s hope for him after all. But while Rumple may have saved Gideon’s soul for now, can he find a way to prevent him from going fully dark?
Here’s a rundown of this week’s episode ….
Hero of the Week: Rumplestiltskin
In flashbacks, we see Rumple just after he became the Dark One. He’s able to end the First Ogres War, much to the chagrin of Beowulf, a soldier who wanted to be the war’s hero. Beowulf wields the magic-laden sword with the ruby hilt, but really, he’s just a whiny wannabe.
After the war, Baelfire makes his father swear not to use dark magic anymore. But that promise is tested when some villagers are killed by the monster Grendel. Rumple and Baelfire seek out Grendel’s den, with the former trying to keep to his word not to use dark magic. But in the lair, they discover only Beowulf — he set up the whole thing to become the hero he longs to be. He steals Rumple’s dagger and flees.
Baelfire confronts him and steals back the dagger. Rumple resists killing Beowulf, who taunts both father and son by saying that the villagers will never believe them about what really happened. When Beowulf begins to march back, Baelfire erupts — and forces his father to kill him!
Back in their cottage, Rumple doses Baelfire with a memory potion, so that he’ll forget that he ordered Beowulf’s murder. When he comes to, Baelfire blames Rumple for using dark magic and storms out. This is just the first of many cracks in their relationship to come.
In the present day, Rumple knows that Gideon is searching for the broken ruby-hilt sword to continue his mission to kill Emma. He again pleads with Gideon not to go ahead with this plan. “Once you give into darkness, it’s almost impossible to resist its call,” he says.
When Rumple tries to dose Gideon with the memory potion, Gideon not only isn’t affected by it — he steals Rumple’s dagger! He forces Rumple not to interfere with his quest and to tell him how to fix the sword.
It requires the blood and magic of the Blue Fairy, Gideon’s fairy godmother. When Gideon confronts her, though, Rumple shows up. He can’t stop his son, but he can perform the despicable act for him. Rumple takes her blood and repairs the sword.
Later, after he explains his actions to Belle, she commends him for darkening his soul even more so that their son didn’t have to. She gives him a hopeful hug.
Villain of the Week: Robin
Wish Realm Robin is seriously shady. When Regina finds him to apologize for pressuring him, he acts like he just needs to clear his head — but really, he’s scheming to find a way out of Storybrooke. There are just not enough people to rob, apparently.
He takes the box he stole from Regina’s crypt to Zelena. After all, they’ve both been on the receiving end of Regina’s pressure to be good. She agrees to make a potion that will take down the protection spell around Storybrooke.
But when they meet at the town line, Regina appears. The potion won’t work — if she had all the right ingredients, she would’ve already taken down the spell. She’s disappointed in Robin, and he says that it’s impossible for him to live up to the real Robin’s legacy. Regina is stunned, once again, and sadly offers to find a way to remove the spell. If that is what Wish Robin needs to be happy, she will do it.
Later, Zelena drops by her sister’s crypt to apologize and return the Evil Queen Cobra. But when they remove the cage’s cover, the snake is gone!
The Evil Queen Cobra escapes and finds Robin. She bites him to get the last bit of the potion to transform back into human. And she wickedly promises him that he’ll find Storybrooke a lot more interesting now that she’s around.
Undecided of the Week: Hook
After some therapeutic advice from Archie, Hook decides to tell Emma the truth about killing David’s father. He drinks some rum and works up the courage. But when he arrives at her house, Emma gets it wrong and thinks he’s nervous because he’s about to propose. And without even hearing the question, she says yes! Seeing the happy look on her face, Hook just can’t bring himself to tell her.
He gets on one knee (awww!) and proposes, for real. She says yes again, for real. They embrace. But Hook’s expression says it all: This wedding may never take place.
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Watch clips and full episodes of Once Upon a Time for free on Yahoo View.