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We open on a cold, dark night on the Storybrooke town line, as Gold (Rumplestiltskin) stood intently looking out as the road stretches onward to the rest of the world. His son, Baelfire, is somewhere out there, and Gold is intent on finding him. But when someone crosses the town line, they lose all memory of their true, Fairy Tale selves and takes on their cursed “real world” identity. But, Gold thinks he has a magical solution to that problem, but he needed to test it. Good thing he brought along the captive Mr. Smee, whom he’s had since the end of “The Crocodile.” He poured a magical potion over Smee’s hat, slapped it on his head and pushed him over the line. Smee panicked as magic rippled around him, but it quickly dissipated and he remembered everything. The test was a success and Gold can now go find his son.
Shoot to Gold telling Belle the next morning that he has to go find his son. She asked if she could come, too, but Gold told her that there was only enough magic left to enchant one more person and it had to be him. She agreed and got ready to say goodbye to Gold for a while.
Shoot back to the fairy tale world where we find Belle way back where we left her in the season 1 episode, “Dreamy”. She was having an ale in a pub when she overheard some men talking about hunting down a vicious beast. After a talk with Dreamy, who hadn’t become Grumpy quite yet, about how she’d always dreamed of adventure, she decided to sign herself up. The life of a rough-and-tumble adventurer was new to her, but she was able to apply her wits and love of books to help track down the vicious, fire-breathing Yaoguai. Too bad her dim-witted cohorts had no interest in listening to a girl who got ideas out of books. So, she led them astray and decided to go after the creature herself. That turned out to be a bad idea when the Yaoguai was more fearsome than she bargained for. Luckily, the warrior Mulan had been hunting the creature herself and saved Belle, but the creature escapes. Mulan was also there later to protect Belle when her former travelling companions, who didn’t like being sent on a wild goose chase, threatened to drop her down the town well.
Shoot back to Storybrooke. Belle was working in the library when a familiar man walked in. It was Hook! He was able to get Archie to tell him about how Gold cared for Belle and now Hook was plotting to use her to get to him. As he chased after her, Hook revealed that Gold, as Rumplestiltskin, murdered his former wife, the woman he loved. Belle refused to believe Hook and escaped into the elevator to call Gold for help. She stayed there until Gold arrived to save her, but when they returned to his shop they found it smashed and the shawl he needed to leave town was stolen. Then, Gold gave Belle a gun to protect herself and stormed off to find Hook. But, before he could leave, Belle asked him to promise her that he would only go after Hook to get the shawl back, not for revenge. On a nearby rooftop, Smee brought the shawl to Hook as he looked on, glad to have his crocodile trapped in Storybrooke.
Shoot back to the fairy tale world. Mulan was convinced that Belle could help her track and kill the Yaoguai. Soon enough, they found the creature burning crops in some sort of strange pattern. Mulan was convinced that the beast was nothing but a creature of destruction, but Belle thought there may be something more to it. She had concocted a plan to stop the Yaoguai, and Mulan trusted her to carry it out, even letting her borrow her precious sword. Belle got the creature’s attention and it chased after her into the nearby village, where she used the sword to cut down a water tower, showering the beast. With the flames doused, it fell to the ground, weakly scratching at the dirt. Then, Belle realized it was writing “save me.” She then put away the sword and instead pulled out some fairy dust her friend Dreamy had given to her. She sprinkled it on the Yaogaui and it transformed into Prince Philip! He had been cursed by Maleficent and Belle had saved him. He thanked her profusely and resumed his quest to save Aurora, but Belle headed off on her own quest to redeem Rumplestiltskin. Unfortunately, she stumbled right into The Evil Queen and her guards. Regina took Belle away to be locked in her tower, a chess piece to be used against The Dark One.
Shoot back to Storybrooke. Against Gold’s wishes, Belle went after Hook and the shawl. She managed to discover Hook’s ship, The Jolly Roger, floating invisibly on the Storybrooke docks and stepped aboard. She found Archie and set him free, then went looking for the shawl. She found it…in Hook’s hand! He chased after her, but once again Gold was there, and this time got he was ready to rip the pirate’s heart out, but Belle stopped him. Maybe she really had made him a better man. Then, Gold told Hook to sail away or he WOULD kill him. Then, he and Belle headed for the town line. Gold enchanted the shawl and stepped over the line. But just as he did, Hook appeared with a gun and shot Belle in the stomach, sending her teetering over the town line. The magic took hold and she forgot everything about her fairy tale identity. Gold was heartbroken, furious and prepared to hurl a magic fireball at Hook when a car came down the road from outside of town and hit Hook before crashing! Someone from the outside world had found Storybrooke!