Once Upon a Time Season 2, Episode 5 Recap: Dr. Whale Is Dr. Frankenstein
It’s alive! In this week’s spooky Once Upon a Timeepisode (Season 2, Episode 5: “The Doctor”), Dr. Whale apparently needs magic (don’t we all?); we learn the whereabouts of a very difficult-to-reach compass; and David subscribes to our own personal mantra of “Less talking, more face-punching.”
Wherein Hook is Like, “Don’t Mind Me — I Just Find Corpse Piles to Be Relaxing”
We’re in Fairytale Land, where Mulan, Emma, Snow, and Aurora stumble upon a pile of dead bodies with missing hearts. Just another run-of-the-mill day in Fairytale Land. The girls correctly deduce that Cora was behind this, and it turns out there’s a survivor who lost his hand in an ogre battle — or so he claims.
Luckily, Emma and her mighty handy (get it?) talent of sussing out liars comes through in a pinch, and she knows that Hook is lying. So what do they do with Hook? They do what anyone would do to someone who annoys them: They tie him up and leave him to get eaten by ogres.
Hook decides that plan doesn’t sound top-notch to him, so he gives in and admits that he’s trying to get to Storybrooke to find Rumple, and that he wants to help the ladies find a magic compass before Cora does. (And we’re like, “Who the hell knows how to use a compass? Don’t you guys have GPS?”)
Trouble is, the compass is on top of a beanstalk and guarded by a giant. (On this show, there’s always a catch.) But maybe he’s a friendly giant — like, say, Shaq? Then again, maybe not.
Wherein Regina Gets Tricked, Which Doesn’t Happen Every Day
In the flashback to Fairytale Land, Rumple tries to get Regina to learn how to yank out creatures’ hearts. Trouble is, they start with a unicorn, a.k.a. the cutest animal ever. Regina can’t do it, and she reveals to Rumple that the only reason she wants magic is to bring back the dead. No easy task.
Jefferson overhears, as he is delivering a very Oz-esque crystal ball to Rumple, so he offers to introduce Regina to a doctor, not a wizard. This is Dr. Frankenstein, and he’s a fan of science to bring things back to life. As it turns out, he’s not from our world or Fairytale Land but needs a magical heart to make his messed-up little experiments work. So, sure — why not give him a heart out of Cora’s vault and let him go to town, right? Solid plan, guys — solid plan.
The problem is, Frankenstein goes behind his tent (“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” we kept waiting for someone to not-so-subtly say) and tries to revive Daniel — whom Regina has used a preservation spell on — but no dice. Daniel ain’t coming back.
However, we then find out that Frankenstein was told to purposely screw up in exchange for a heart from Rumple, which he then uses to in a botched attempt to revive his stitched-up brother in his black-and-white creepy world. By the way, we wish we would get rewarded for screwing stuff up.
Rumple, meanwhile, gets what he wants in the form of a new and uber-bitchy Regina, who promptly squeezes the heart of Rumple’s unsuspecting assistant. So you can add “Rumple’s assistant” to the list of the worst jobs ever. (She probably found that job on the Fairytale Land equivalent of Craigslist.)
Wherein Whale’s Arm Gets Yanked Off — So Maybe Whale Is Also Mr. Potato Head?
In Storybrooke, the episode starts with David punching Whale, which is how you know it’s going to be an amazing episode. Whale has a lot of questions for David about whether Fairytale Land remains.
Whale then interrupts Regina’s meeting of Magic-aholics Anonymous to say that he wants to be reunited with his brother. She refuses to help Whale, so he takes Daniel’s body from the vault and attempts to reanimate him. But bringing someone back from the dead isn’t like when you drop your sandwich on the ground and hope to make everything okay just by brushing it off and saying “five second rule.” It’s a lot trickier.
In fact, it’s so tricky that Daniel becomes a monster and Whale loses an arm for his troubles. (So many poor limbless folks in this episode!) So Zombie Daniel heads to the stables — which is where he last saw Regina — and freaks out Henry, who just wants to comb his pet horse (like all normal kids spend their free time doing).
Regina is convinced that she can talk some sense into Daniel, although if we could pick anyone to help calm someone down, Regina wouldn’t be our first choice. She tells Daniel she loves him, but the pain is too much for him, so she has to eventually put him out of his misery. As it turns out, that doo-wop song was right: Breaking up is hard to do.
And then we see that Whale has given his left arm for his experiments, which Rumple kindly reattaches (thanks, buddy!), once Whale admits that he needs magic. Whale now wants to try again to revive his brother, as his brother is sorta like a lawn mower that won’t start, and you’re like, “I just need to give this stupid mower one more yank, and then my lawn will be amazing.”
Three Biggest Mysteries of the Night:
- So what world is Whale from? He’s not from our world, and he’s not from Fairytale Land, which we figured a while back when he says David isn’t his “prince.” Is he from some kind of black-and-white Monster Movie Land, meaning we’ll get other classic monsters like Dracula? And is there a chance that Whale could also be the Wizard of Oz. Then again, Whale wasn’t crazy about the term “wizard,” so who knows.
- How closely are Hook and Cora now working together? Hook seemed pretty darn nefarious last week, so you’ll understand why we’re having a wee bit of trouble believing that he’s not just going to turn our ladies over to Cora when he gets his compass. Or is the compass even up there? (If we had been shown that beanstalk, we’d be like, “Okay, where’s the elevator?”)
- Will we ever see Daniel come back for real? And is it true that Whale can’t bring back any other dead characters in Storybrooke, or will he finally start combining his knowledge of science with his new belief in magic? We thought we were thisclose to getting the dreamy Huntsman back on the show, so if that doesn’t happen, we just might have to punch someone in the face.
Catch the next new episode of Once Upon a Time on Sunday, November 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.