What’s Up Once Upon A Time: “Strange Case”

I want to start out today’s recap by saying I really adored the titling of it, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde is the full title of the original novel written by Robert Louis Stevenson, and my lit nerd heart blooms at the reference.

The next thing comes from my dad (as I’ve said, Once is a family affair in my  house!) “I liked this. It felt like season 1.” This episode is very good but in general this season feels like a huge return to form, to the show’s exceptional first season. The writing isn’t as strong, but the story engine and characterizations seem to have settled down and that’s pretty great!

Rumple’s Fab New Haircut

So we learn the Rumple was very involved in the creation of Mr. Hyde, as he wanted Dr. Jekyll’s formula for himself so that he could get rid of the part of himself that was falling in love with Belle. We also learn that Jekyll killed a woman named Mary, who both he and Hyde were in love with, but she loved Hyde. And Jekyll blames Rumple, and so he’s going after Belle. It’s all very complicated and pretty obvious. But it’s used to illustrate a lesson to both Rumple and Regina that they have to keep fighting the darkness in them.

Also, Belle tells Rumple that SHE IS SERIOUSLY DONE WITH ALL OF THIS, which I also really appreciate.

Oh, also he kills Jekyll and Hyde, and we learn that you have to kill both parts to destroy them, I think…I was having trouble following all of that.

Anyway, he also has a fab new haircut!

What’s Emma’s Problem?

Not a lot of Emma right now, but this week, she’s dealing with the fact that David’s not super into the idea of her and Hook moving in together. Also, The Oracle is back and she’s looking for Aladdin, but we’ll get to that below.

Why Can’t Regina Be Happy?

She learns that even with the Evil Queen separated from her, she has to be constantly vigilant to not be evil again. That kind of sucks.

Do Snow and Charming Have Something To Do?

YES! AGAIN! This season is great! Snow actually has a whole plot line, just about her (and Jasmine), she’s back to work at school, and she’s realizing that connecting with her new students from the Land of Untold Stories is a good deal harder than the cursed children of Storybrooke, her new TA, (middle school teachers need TA’s?) who it turns out is Jasmine, tells her she needs to find a new way, and she does, by teaching them physics by archery, or something.

Charming, meanwhile just makes annoyed grunting noises about Emma and Hook.

Did We Meet Anyone New?

We got the main story of Jekyll & Hyde, but they’re not new, so they don’t count. We did meet Mary, their girlfriend. We also met Jasmine, who’s story we’ll get next week. Also, it turns out that even though Aladdin was a savior, Jasmine was the one who needed to save Agrabah, which should be an interesting twist. She and The Oracle are looking for Aladdin, sure that he’s in Storybrooke. Guys, what if he’s the one under the hood?

Does This Episode Defy Certain Attitudes About Sexual Mores?

Kind of? Mary and Hyde clearly do the deed, which is what drives Jekyll to kill her, and that’s seen as a bad thing, not even vaguely justifiable. Also, everyone thinks that David is being a weirdo about Hook and Emma moving in. So! Progress!

How Is Hook Adjusting to Modern Life?

Still not great, you guys. All of his worldly possessions fit in a chest. Also, he wants to communicate with Belle via sea shell. Guys, is Belle, Hook’s only friend? Also, does he not know that texting is a thing?

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