Warning: This recap for “The Changelings” episode of Once Upon a Time contains spoilers.
The kids are not all right in this week’s Once Upon a Time.
Belle fights for a stolen child in the past and then her own son in the present, while we also learn the depth of Rumplestiltskin’s mommy issues. Let’s just say, there’s a reason he hates fairies so much.
Belle’s mission to save her baby from her husband’s machinations leads her to make the most difficult decision a mother has to make: giving him up. It’s one that Snow White and Prince Charming had to make too, with Emma when the curse was imminent. And it’s one that Emma herself made with Henry, to give him a better life. Fairy tales may have happy endings, but the road there isn’t always smooth. Now, Belle and Rumple’s child is out in the world. But as we’ve seen time and time again, somehow these fairy tale kids always wind up back in Storybrooke.
Here’s a rundown of this week’s episode ….
Hero of the Week: Belle / Villain of the Week: The Evil Queen
In Storybrooke, Rumple uses aging powder on a fairy, basically to send a message to Belle: He’s going to use it on her to speed up her pregnancy. Then he can use the Shears of Destiny so that his son won’t grow up hating him.
A terrified Belle goes to the library to figure out a way of stopping him. She dreams of her son again, who tells her the answer is right in front of her: There’s squid ink in the book she was reading! They can use it to immobilize Rumple and take the powder.
Emma and Hook team up to do just that, but unfortunately the dried squid ink isn’t powerful enough and Rumple corners Belle in the library. But before he can use the powder on her, Belle passionately pleads with him not to take this drastic measure. If he goes ahead, he’ll lose her forever. “Is that a price you’re willing to pay?” Rumple backs down.
Meanwhile, as part of her agreement with Rumple, the Evil Queen heads over to Zelena’s cabin to kill her wicked sister. She hurls fireballs until she collapses in pain — because Regina is squeezing her/their heart! Then Regina taunts the EQ by saying that Rumple is playing her for a fool.
In flashbacks, Rumple has stolen a baby from his parents, and Belle later learns from the Blue Fairy that he’s using the baby as a lure for the Black Fairy. Belle runs off to stop him, and as she lurks in the background, she learns that Rumple has called the Black Fairy to confront her … because she’s his mother! He demands to know why she steals other children but abandoned him. “Sometimes you have to choose power over love,” the Black Fairy cackles before flying off. Rumple’s heart is broken.
In the present, Belle drinks tea at Granny’s — but it’s been dosed with the powder! Her belly grows and she goes into labor. She gives birth to a son, whom she names Gideon. But she calls for the Blue Fairy and asks that she be his fairy godmother and take him somewhere safe.
When Rumple bursts in, he’s stunned to realize Belle has given up their son. She accuses him of giving her no choice, after what he did to her. Rumple asks what she named their baby, but Belle refuses to say. He vows to find his son, no matter what.
Back at the shop, the Evil Queen taunts Rumple about losing another son. She’s pissed that he didn’t use the powder on Belle, so she dosed Belle’s tea herself. Now, she and Rumple are at war. He notes that he plays the long game, and the EQ is just a pawn in it. After she storms off, he destroys the shop.
Bonus Heroes of the Week: Emma and Aladdin
The Saviour and former Saviour get up to quite a bit this week. Snow White encourages Jasmine to use the lamp that Aladdin stole from the shop. Perhaps the genie can help her find Agrabah. But when she rubs the lamp, it’s empty except for two cuffs. Aladdin decides to slap them on his wrists, even though that means he’ll be trapped in the lamp. But this is his way of helping Jasmine.
Meanwhile, as Emma tries to help Belle by immobilizing Rumple with the squid ink, she gets another vision flash. This time, though, she sees the hilt of the sword that kills her — it has a red jewel. Later, Emma and Hook search through Rumple’s destroyed shop and she finds the sword. Now she’s one step closer to figuring out who actually kills her.
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Watch clips and full episodes of OUAT for free on Yahoo View.