But does he eat five dozen eggs?
Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.
Gaston is back, and he’s been recast. Wes Brown took over the role of the loathsome, swaggerful character who showed up in a flashback and in the underworld. Not shockingly, he was a tool — that’s Gaston’s shining personality trait. They played towards another direction first though and had Gaston acting like a perfect gentleman. The weirdest and creepiest part about his kind behavior towards Belle was how there was no unctuous edge to it. Gaston, whose costume in the flashbacks is one of the most well done translations from the animated films in the series, seemed authentic.
I’m not sure if it was the way Brown portrayed the character, or if it was the nature of Gaston. He appeared to genuinely be into Belle. There was just the whole being a monster who does things like torture a trapped, young ogre business. I didn’t like seeing any sweet of Gaston, but if it was going to happen, this was an intriguing way to explore it.
Once Upon a Time: “Her Handsome Hero” Photo Gallery:
The theme explored in the past and present in “Her Handsome Hero” was tied to Belle’s kindness and her desire to change darkness into light. By the way, the constant mention of the phrase made me think of the underrated “If I Never Knew You” from Pocahontas. Belle’s kindness does her credit, but it’s also got her into trouble — especially in the love department. Her positive attitude deserves a measure of respect, but mostly, she came across as naive. She at least did call out how optimism has been clouding her judgment, but come on, Belle. You have it in you to make better decisions, I know it.
She also toed into hypocritical territory with Rumplestiltskin. She spent a large portion of the episode telling Rumple he can’t use dark magic if he wants to have any involvement with the baby (that was the gist of it). However, as soon as she needed magic to bust into Gaston’s locker, she looked to Rumple. He didn’t let her off the hook without comment, which I appreciate, but I don’t think Belle understood how it wasn’t cool of her ask for dark magic help when she’s been doing nothing but railing against it.
The Rumple-Belle-Gaston triangle was the primary focus, but Hades continued to steal the show. Greg Germann is pulling off lines like, “My favorite scent is hopelessness” and making them sound scary. Hades is a character who would be laughable with anything but pitch perfect delivery, and Germann is accomplishing that. He’s making the villain feel real and intimidating, and he’s even managing to do so with factors like the poorly executed blue hair working against him.