Definitely a bridge episode.
This show gets more tropey every week. “In the Name of the Brother” opens where “The Outsider left off” – Hook shot Belle, and the forward momentum propelled her over the town line and now she has AMNESIA.
As a side note, but I cannot understand a single fucking word Hook is saying. The Charmings keep Rstilts from killing him, however, because what would the newly amnesiac Belle say if she knew what he was really doing? Like Emma says, “It makes a bad first impression.” I would amend that and say, “unless you're into that sort of thing.” That's not the important thing here, though. The important thing is that the guy who hit Hook is a stranger to Storybrooke, which means that the town's protective enchantments are dissolving. We finally have our impetus to get everyone back to the fairy tale land, bad CGI and all. The town ambulance (didn't know they had one) arrives and takes the strange driver to the hospital, where Whale is holed up in his office with a drink and a sad look on his face. He seems oblivious to the pages sent over the speakers, and I hope he isn't going to get too drunk because he might have to do surgery.
In another room of Storybrooke General, Gold gives the sleeping Belle a kiss, but she still doesn't remember him. Guess true love doesn't cure this curse. He later returns with Chip, the cup that Belle broke when she stayed with him at the castle, which he has enchanted so that she can remember who she is. But, seeing him as a creepy old guy, she throws the cup away.
I’m pretty sad because Belle and R-stilts had a great thing going up until this point. It’s like the writers knew they were more interesting than Snow and James and had to “restore balance to the force”. I can apply that to this show now since Disney bought Star Wars and can use the movies’ iconic music as ringtones to announce plot points. Later, Henry will point out that other stories not in his book might appear in Storybrooke too and the door is opened for a “Once Upon a Time: Star Wars” episode.
In yet another room, Emma has Hook strapped down to a hospital bed. I would question the ethics of any hospital workers who let Emma and Gold behave so, but then I remember they are also fairy tale characters and are therefore not bound by the rules of this world. Emma presses Hook for Cora’s whereabouts; he doesn't know where she is, but he certainly knows where he wants to stick his dick. To quote the Doc: “Does Hook… does Hook have a dildo hand?” I’m guessing yes, or he stumbled upon a porn store off-camera and acquired one recently. Emma's not up for banter, because she has common sense, and instead chooses to threaten him. She points out that Hook is now in an extremely compromising position – he’s strapped to a bed, and an angry R-stilts is on the rampage. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to be in his boots either.
Hey! The stranger is the sweetheart from Can't Hardly Wait! I love that guy! I feel the hole in my heart created by Sidney’s absence slowly starting to fill.
This episode is swiftly turning into “Deliverance”. While everyone worries over what Cora and Regina could be up to, blood is swiftly filling the chest cavity of the stranger. The question: do they let him die of his wounds or make Whale honor his hypothetical Hippocratic oath? After a quick conference in a room where they could easily be locked in, they send Whale off to do the surgery. Snow is the only one who notices how drunk he is. James takes it upon himself to talk to the drunken Whale and remind him of the stakes. (Dibs on that for a bar name.) Instead of listening to James’s speech about responsibility Whale bails on doing the surgery, ditching his doctor's jacket and his pager. Yeah, I generally make it a point to not listen to James too.
Using her super sniffer, Red picks up his trail and finds him just as he's about to commit suicide. She catches him just as he steps into the air… guess Disney doesn’t own Les Mis yet. Whale opens up to Red, dwelling on his past mistakes. He thinks that saving people involves a karmic exchange rate – he can save one life but it will cost another. Red manages to turn that brooding toward something positive, and he agrees to return to the hospital and save the stranger’s life.
Whale does the surgery and the stranger is fine. Emma goes in to talk to him (alone, because that's the normal thing to do). The guy didn't see anything since he was texting while driving, so he's free to leave and pursue a life of religious fulfillment. But wait, he was lying. As soon as he's alone he calls his wife, the conversation ominously beginning: “You won't believe what I saw.”
Wow. There is just a lot of plot happening in this episode. So while everyone is feeling relieved that the stranger is okay, R-stilts and Cora have a secret summit. She brings a peace offering of a super trippy looking lamp which has the ability to find Baelfire in exchange for R-stilts letting Regina go… I'm sorry, I have to stop the review. None of this makes any goddamn sense. R-stilts son is on his way to Storybrooke, probably. We don't know where Regina is, but we know that R-stilts doesn’t have her. This entire scene was just put in so that we can establish they won't fight each other at any point in the near future. Instead, they might end up boning. Waste of a scene and talent. ::drops mic::
Later, Cora goes through Regina’s things at her house. At the same time, Henry is walking through a cemetery toward the crypt where Regina keeps all her hearts. Great parenting all around. It turns out that Regina is hiding in the crypt, and she lets Henry into her hidey hole. Oh wait, not Henry. It's Cora doing her neat shape-shifting trick. Guess even Emma isn't that bad of a parent. They have a tearful reunion and head back to town so Regina can clear her name. Cora, sensing that things are getting desperate, waves parental ownership of Henry in Regina's face. She knows exactly which buttons to push: she promises that together they can get Henry back for Regina, and thus escapes the wrath of the town and gets her daughter back.
Part of the episode was spent giving the backstory of Dr. Whale, who is better known as Doctor Frankenstein. We learn that Whale is a dick because his father is a dick, and he had a swell older brother named Gerhardt. Instead of recognizing Viktor’s amazing scientific talents, the elder Frankenstein gets him a commission in the army. There's also some dither over a watch that belonged to their mother that’s supposed to symbolize Whale’s daddy issues. Oh my God, do not care. Just make Rene from “True Blood” and August W. Booth show up already.
Without his father’s financial backing, Whale will have to close up shop. He is packing up his laboratory when he is visited by Rstilts in full Dark One mode. Why is he in color and the rest of the scene in black and white? I don't understand the artistic significance of that choice. R-stilts gives Whale a heap of gold to continue his experiments in return for Whale's knowledge. Later, Whale’s brother is killed when he tries to stop Whale from graverobbing. Whale attempts to resurrect Gerhardt, but fails miserably. His father comes down into the lab at the most inopportune moment, catching Whale as he pulls the sheet over his brother. He proceeds to be a huge asshole. I have nothing further to say about this. None of this explains why Whale is wearing guyliner in the flashbacks. Is it just so we can really tell when he cries?
Whale continues to experiment on his brother's body, and when R-stilts stops in to check on his investment Whale explains that his brother's heart couldn't withstand the electricity necessary to bring him back to life. R-stilts offers to bring him other hearts, ones that can withstand the electricity. We all know where this is going – it's how Whale was introduced as a fairy tale character last Halloween. When Whale returns with a magic heart, we see the aftereffects of the heart transplant. Gerhardt is now a monster, as their less-than-compassionate father points out, and acts like one by killing their father. He does show remorse, though, which means he's probably not completely monstrous. In the cell where they keep him, Gerhardt recognizes his brother and practically begs to be shot. Viktor doesn't give up so easily: he vows to find a way to full restore his brother's humanity.
And now, the important point of the episode. It better be, since I sat through forty-odd minutes to reach this point. The globe Cora gave to R-stilts shows where Baelfire is: NYC. Gold calls in his favor with Emma: he wants her to road trip with him to find his son. As insurance for Belle's safekeeping, he says he'll kill everyone if she's not alive when they get back.
(That was supposed to be a picture of Emma looking excited about something, but that picture apparently does not exist anywhere.)
Three weeks from now: Hurly! Road Trips! Maybe I will care!