Once Upon a Time 1.12 ‘Skin Deep’ review: The cup is Chip

So I know I’ve been slacking lately in the OUaT review category, and this may or may not be 2 days late, but to be fair, I’ve been passed out on my bed all day. Seriously, sleeping from 4PM – 9PM. And I’ve finally gotten to watching “Skin Deep”, which I was unbelievably excited for. I mean, it’s like Claire Littleton and her Australian accent was finally back on my television again. So here I go, clicking play as we speak…

We start in fairytale land, where Belle (played by Emilie de Ravin), her father, and their kingdom are all in a failing war. Gaston was not as much as a tool as I expected him to be, which was a nice change of pace. Rumplestilkskin, who the kingdom has been waiting for in order to help save their town, arrives and claims that yes, he can save everything, the kingdom, the town, the rulers, and all the civilians. But it comes for a price, as per usual. His price just happens to be Belle. It’s true that Rumply isn’t a literal beast, but I like what they did here. One of the large themes of OUaT is that everything and everyone is connected somehow, and this demonstrated that marvelously. Of course, Belle also is Australian instead of French, but Emilie played this role fantastically, so I couldn’t mind much. And it’s OUaT. If you want by-the-book details, you’d be better off watching the VCR classics.

Rumpelstiltskin & Belle in OUaT's "Skin Deep"

In real world, it’s proven again that Mr. Gold is the only one more powerful than Regina. He renders her speechless with one sentence. A flower delivery guy, Moe, who was Belle’s father in the flashback, has a debt to pay with Mr. Gold. And when he doesn’t deliver on time, Gold repossesses his deliver truck. And not too long later, Gold’s house is robbed. Suspicious, or just a false trail? Meanwhile, at the diner, Mary Margaret and David are sharing loving looks at each other, causing me to slightly smile at my screen. But only slightly. I can’t get mushy after and television show after the O.C and LOST, I just can’t. Emma and Ashley (who plays Cinderella in another life) also join Mary Margaret, and when Ashley starts complaining about having nothing to do on V-Day, Ruby (my absolute favorite, not going to lie) suggests a girls night out. Everyone except Debby Downer a.k.a Emma agrees, right before Emma is called down to Mr. Gold’s house because of the recent robbery. He states what’s on nearly all of our minds at the moment, and tells Emma that Moe is most likely responsible. Gold notes that he has a lot of people who don’t vaguely love him and we flashback to…

Rumpelstiltskin’s castle, where he proceeds to slam Belle into a dungeon and lock her in there, much to her displeasure. It turns out that Belle is more of a maid than anything, and ends up accidentally chipping a cup. Rumply waves this off as “just a cup,” but I have a feeling that this will come up later. I didn’t get that idea from Tumblr photosets I just thought of it on my own. Sometime later, Rumply is spinning more gold, and Belle is taking down heavy curtains to let some light in. There seems to be actual lighthearted conversation and when Belle falls from a high ladder, Rumply steps in to catch her. There are awkward tingles that I noted. I also noted that his skin is a sickly shade of sweaty grey. It grossed me out for the rest of the episode, to be completely honest.

We proceed to learn a little bit more about Rumplestilktin, such as the fact that he lost his son just like he lost their mother. Belle notes that Rumply was a man once, who just thinks he’s uglier than he really is, along with thinking that he’s a monster. Gaston rings the palaces doorbell (because they have those now?) and Rumply turns him into a flower, which he gives to Belle. I’m still wondering if the flower like knows he’s a flower that Belles holding. I’d laugh. I don’t really like Gaston. We also learn that Belle is just an extreme feminist. She’s working for Rumpelstiltskin to show that women can be heroes too. And if it turns out that Gaston still knows he’s a flower, Belle just cut off like half his body with a scissor. Just saying. Rumpelstiltskin asks Belle to go to town and get some straw. If she returns, which he doubts she will, he’ll tell her his whole tale about his son, his previous wife, and his entire life basically.

Back to modern times, and let me just note that I hate when people drink on television. Especially when they do shots. Does anyone really make that noise? I know I don’t. Ruby proceeds to be awesome and approach like 3 guys. She’s brilliant. Mr. Gold runs into David at the local pharmacy, where David is buying 2 Valentines, and Gold is buying totally suspicious duct tape and rope. He uses these to tie up Moe in the back of a trunk. On Valentine’s Day. Ouch.

Belle runs into the Evil Queen, who doesn’t seem so evil at the time, while on her way to the market. While she is planning on running away, the queen gives her a special piece of advice: that true loves kiss can break any curse. Namely, the curse that Rumpelstiltskin is under that makes him something other than a man. Belle decides to return to the castle, and I swear, the look on Rumply’s face when she returns is just heartbreaking. I mean, he rushes down the stairs to meet her. They kiss, and because it’s true love and all, the curse starts to be broken. He’s no too pleased about this, because we finally learn the Queen’s motives. By breaking Rumply’s curse, she shreds him of all his power, something he isn’t too thrilled about. Belle isn’t either, and she’s just really confused, although Rumply heartbreaking/angrily accuses her of working for the Queen, because nobody could ever love him.

In modern days, Gold has taken flower-guy to a deserted cabin, and starts beating him when he doesn’t reveal where something (the chipped cup…?) is. There’s a montage that blurs fairytale land and real world, and I have a feeling that Gold lets on too much about his knowledge of both worlds. He says something along the lines of “she’s gone and not coming back,” and my curiosity is piqued. I really want to see more of Belle. In modern days, Sean proposes to Ashley after she gives Mary Margaret some life advice about being with the person you love. David and Mary Margaret meet up, and DAVID GIVES HER THE WRONG VALENTINES DAY CARD. If that was be, I’d be triple checking that ish. I guess David just thinks he’s lucky. EVEN THOUGH HE’S NOT.

When Belle is ordered to leave the castle, she really lays down the law on Rumply. She states that it’s his mistake that he thinks nobody will love him, because “All you’ll have is an empty heart and a chipped cup.” Guise. The cup. Called it! In modern days, Mr. Gold is in a jail cell, and left with a few minutes along with Regina.  It’s revealed that Regina was the one who convinced Moe to rob Mr. Gold. He finally comes clean that he does remember everything about fairytale land, including his real name, and Rumpelstiltskin and the Queen’s animosity. It seems that there’s a power struggle coming up.

The Queen visits Rumpelstiltskin and delivers the news that Belle has killed herself after her father shunned her and tried to purify her of demons. It’s safe to say Rumple’s devastated by the news. And just when all my hope of Emilie de Ravin ever coming back to OUaT is lost, Regina travels to a high-security part of the hospital, and looks through a metal door, where we see modern day Belle. And then we’re out.

Grade: A. I feel like OUaT is one of those shows where there’s never really a terrible episode, just one that isn’t magnificent. I like it.

P.S. The phrase, “If two people are meant to be together, they’ll find a way,” was mentioned several times. It kept on irking me that I couldn’t place where it was from, and then I realized OUaT is taking notes from Gossip Girl. I don’t know how to feel about this…

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About the author: Lizzy Marano
Lizzy Marano
Hai there. I'm Lizzy.I have an unnatural relationship with The OC. I watch shows. And I enjoy them. Or I make fun of them. They both work.

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  • http://twitter.com/LiliyaBond Liliya Bond

    Omg Ruby is my favorite too! I really hope we get an episode/more information about her soon.

    • Lizzy Marano

      Yes! A little bit ago I heard whispers about a Red Riding Hood episode, but I haven’t heard anything more recently.