Welcome Oncers! We’ve had to wait a full month for the return of ‘Once Upon a Time’ and from tonight’s episode, it was worth the wait. I have always enjoyed the episodes which feature Robert Carlyle and this is no exception. ‘Lacy’ is the beginning of the new episodes that will lead us into the season finale and it looks like there will be quite a few twists in store for the fans!

The episode opens with a birthday celebration for Henry in Gold’s shop. After Henry blows out the candles, grandpapa allows him to pick out any object he wants as his gift. After bypassing several artifacts (including Aladdin’s lamp), Henry picks a wand. Wondering what kind of magic it contains, Gold shows him and turns Henry into ceramic. Everyone is appalled especially when he tells them that a seer told him that Henry would be his undoing and proceeds to smash the ceramic boy with his cane.

Could Gold be that cruel? No, it was only a dream, but one that still startles the Dark One none the less.

The next day, Gold looks upon his kin (Neal and Henry) as they play with wooden swords. Regina approaches him and tries to needle some kind of response, but Gold counters with the fact that they are family. Regina is livid and thinks Gold set up the adoption knowing full well the Henry was his grandchild. Gold tells her he had nothing to do with it and that it was fate… and fate has a twisted sense of humor (don’t we all know that!). Regina tells him that his family won’t accept him as his dark side will always win over his good intentions, but Gold is determined to prove her wrong and he knows the one person who can bring out the good in him.

That person was Belle. He decides to visit her in the hospital and after that phone call he made to her when he thought he was dying made her realize that he was someone special in her life. She asks him if he’ll help her remember who she is and he tells her only if she’ll help him remember who he is. So sweet! He arranges to have Belle released from the hospital.

That brings us to the Fairy Tale Land flashback that takes us to when Belle first is indentured to Rumplestiltskin as his servant. During this time, Robin Hood decides to try and steal a wand but fails, so the Dark One decides to hold him captive to torture. Belle decides to set Robin free as she can’t stand the punishment but refuses his offer to run away with him.

Back at the hospital, as Belle prepares to leave, Regina pays her a visit and casts a spell that has Belle remember her cursed identity persona whose name is Lacey. When Gold returns to her room, Belle is gone.

Gold is able to track Belle to a bar called the Rabbit Hole where she has now become the hard drinking pool hustling Lacey. Angrily, he heads to Regina’s and demands to bring her back but the ex-mayor reminds her that since she crossed the towns borders, her “real” memories are gone and her cursed memories are now here to stay. Regina gleefully informs him that she won’t help him try to regain Belle true memories back and knows that he won’t do any harm to her as he is on his best behavior lest his son find out he is still the Dark One. Only a true love’s kiss can bring Belle back now and Regina knows that such a deed may not be so welcomed from Lacey.

Determined to find out how to win over one’s true love, Gold asks David how he was able to overcome his false memories when he was cursed. The lure of Gold having to owe him a favor (and the heart of gold that the former Prince has) informed the Dark One that even under the curse there was still a sliver of their true selves inside. So in order to have Belle find her real self, he needs to show her the man she fell in love with.

Unfortunately, the man she fell in love with was the Rumple who was the Dark One. Back in Fairy Tale Land, we see her try to reason with him after he finds out that she let Robin free (and in doing so allowed the thief to steal his wands). Belle tells Rumple that he cannot be so harsh to judge Robin as there may be a good reason that he needed the wands. She continues by saying one can’t know what’s in a person’s heart until you truly know them, but Rumple is determine to find the thief, kill him and have Belle watch it all happen.

But when they finally do find Robin, they see that he stole the wand to cure Marion who was deathly ill. Rumple is still determined to make Marion a widow but Belle begs him to stop when she sees that Marion is pregnant. This strikes a chord with Rumple as Belle beseeches that he not leave a child fatherless and purposely misses his target.

Belle, realizing what he has done, tells him she knew there was good in him and gives him a hug. It is that moment that Rumple realizes that he is in love.

Unfortunately, he forgets that it was as the Dark One that Belle fell in love with, so dinner at Granny’s with Lacey didn’t go so well as he tried to woo her. The good thing about their date was that Lacey made the same comment about not knowing what is inside someone’s heart until you truly know them, indicating there was still a sliver of Belle still there. The bad was that she snuck out the back door to have a little go with a guy she met at the bar (who just happened to be the Sheriff of Nottingham in a “former” life).

Apparently, Lacey likes the bad boys as she’s really attracted to Gold once she finds him beating up the Sheriff and decides he’s worth her time after all. This will definitely make for an interesting pairing for the next several episodes, don’t you think?

Meanwhile, David and Mary Margaret decide it was time to show Emma the field of magic beans that Tiny and the dwarves have been cultivating. When Emma realizes that her parents are planning to return to the Enchanted Land, they invite her and Henry to join them. David makes the invitation irresistible by suggesting she may find her happy ending there (and no, we’re not talking about the kind of happy endings one finds at certain massage parlors).

As Emma ponders joining them, Regina finds her to confront her about not letting her know that Bae was Henry’s father. Emma tells her that she was going to tell her but was too busy preventing her and her mother from killing her and her entire family at the time. Don’t know about you, but I yelled out a whoop at that comment which then turned to “you idiot!” when Emma tells Regina that she should concentrate on becoming the person Henry wants her to be before she loses him for good. Regina figures out that Emma is hiding something and is determined to find out what. And she does! She finds the field of magic beans.

On the Greg and Tamara front, they continue on with their plan. Unfortunately, Greg is still unable to find his father but is determined. Tamara drives a trailer into town with the “package” that would help them procure magic. Inside the trailer is… Hook!

So what did you think? Was the episode worth the wait? Chime in below and let me know your thoughts about “Lacey”.