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Hey what’s up everyone? I’ve been lazy which I apologize (winter getting to me). So this will be my review of episode 9 of OUAT called “Changelings”.

This is a big Belle/Rumple episode so for any hardcore shippers this is the one for you! As of any previews you might have seen Belle somehow goes into labor just like when Zelena had the same thing happen to her in Season 5 A plot where Emma was the dark one but how did it happen?

Through this episode we discover Gold’s utter contempt and hatred for fairy’s as if you have a keen eye, he’s always showed some disdain for them. In the enchanted forest where Belle is still being held captive, Rumple brings a baby to his castle which shocks her.

Not telling her what he has planned for the innocent little babe, Belle decides to figure out what he has plan and what is our resident bookworm best at? That’s right “research” and she is able to distinguish some fairy language before the dark one appears and poofs the baby to his waiting arms.

He had anticipated Belle doing such a thing given her nature and smarts as he can’t decipher the fairy language. This is intriguing as on one hand throughout the series it is said he (Rumple) is powerful with the darkness but at the sometime it doesn’t grant him omnipotence or omniscience.

Taking the baby in a swirl of smoke (always with the grand gestures) Belle is trapped in the tower before the Blue Fairy appears to free her and explains that she felt something amiss with the language being uncoded. She also tells Belle that it’s to summon a Dark Fairy, one who takes babies for whatever reason.

Blue enlists Belle’s help to stop the Dark one from doing anything to the baby which after a moment’s hesitation goes.

In the forest at night, since this is the perfect time to summon a dark fairy, said person appears and it’s something to behold. If the dark one is theatrical than the Dark Fairy has him beat or on par with his quips.

It is soon discovered in a shocking twist that the Dark Fairy is the dark one’s mother! That’s right somehow and someway the Dark Fairy and Peter Pan (before his eventual descent to using that moniker and being a scared villager down on his luck) got freaky and had Rumple though she left him as a baby. The dark one called forth his mother to demand why she did that.

While this is going on however Belle is able to overhear the revelation along with see (before the talking commenced) Rumple used squid ink to freeze her in place.

With some hesitation of anticipation from Rumple the Dark Fairy laughs at his question and mocks him. This is the chance Belle needs to grab the baby. The Dark Fairy continues to jeer him like a troll before vanishing to her dark dimension.

Belle soon discovers Rumple’s secret and can feel empathy over being abandoned but does not condone him trying to sacrifice an innocent baby for such an end! With a whisper of “no one will ever understand my pain” he vanishes as Belle somehow is able to get to the baby’s parents to their delight.

In the present Belle is still pulling a “tainted love” moment with trying to keep away from Rumple due to wanting to use the shears on her. While this game of cat and mouse continues for a minute before he traps her, Belle pleads to Rumple not to go through with this!

Rumple in a moment of honesty and a heartfelt plea states that he is not an easy man to love and he is always at the offset of love. He wants to have his son love him out of need to fill the emptiness in his heart that he’s had since before becoming the dark one; nothing more than a coward, rose to a higher plane being the dark one but losing his son, his love and other things throughout the series (the latter which you all should know since he is a big character). He also makes a reference to their failed marriage and all he has left is magic.

Belle feels sympathy for his plight but once again states that love cannot ever be forced and by merely wanting love of their unborn son by force, it will bring nothing but more sadness to him. Belle is able to get through to him to let her go.

She returns to Hook and Emma (these two which I will get too soon) takes a sip of tea and boom, enhanced spell courtesy of the Dark Queen. Emma and Hook rush Belle off to the Fairy’s sacred church to give birth with an added measure of protection.

Good old Rumple is prevented for a moment.

During the course of these events Belle has been having strange visions and meets her son in the dream world as he gives her warnings of how to stop his father from severing his fate. It takes another dream drop when she’s going through pregnancy to get the answer she needs.

Emma is a midwife as she helps Belle through the pain and soon gives birth to a healthy baby boy. After some moments she makes her choice. She calls forth Blue and ask the mother superior to be her son’s fairy god mother (literally) which she accepts though Belle has another favor, take her son away from here until everything is calm. Blue and Emma and Hook are stunned by this but Belle is resolute to make sure her son is safe from Rumple.

Belles gives her million dollar speech of love to her newborn along with had Hook retrieve a book that she read from when she was younger. It is also the same book she read to the baby in the Enchanted Forest. Giving him the name “Gideon” and with a heavy heart Belle says goodbye to her son.

Gold appears like a wrecking ball and finds out what was done. He can’t believe it and begs Belle to give them the baby’s name to which she refutes by saying “why would I do that? Names are important and I will not let you exploit it to find him. I am giving him his best chance!”

For a moment he is stunned but states that he could ever hurt Belle but he will find their son.

The B plot of this episode had Evil Queen Regina try to get rid of her sister but thanks to Regina appearing and saving her elder sister she is able to fend her off by crushing her heart to stop her.

Regina also comes to the realization that EQR has a hole in her heart as she once did. The bad queen denies this but the viewer can tell that it’s true; she is exhibiting everything that Regina in the past seasons went through.

After she goes Zelena is thankful to Regina though the latter had ulterior motives; she came for magic and just so happened to see the confrontation. This angers Z that she could do that.

Regina gives a moving speech (a lot of those this episode) over that she could never forgive Zelena for her part in Robin’s death. She can feel pity, anger for her but never forgive.

Emma and Hook are also another play in this episode as they find one part of the destiny that awaits for Emma;the sword that slays her and how it is in Gold’s shop. After Gold has a temper tantrum over what went down with his second child the duo scope it out once again to get said sword (they couldn’t get to it the first time when they had to stall him from chasing Belle in the first half).

Another plot is Aladdin and Jasmine as they use the magic lamp the former stole in the last episode. Jasamine uses the lamp and is shocked to see it empty. Aladdin is aware that this is the same lamp he used to set his good friend Genie free. All that’s left are the bracelets. Aladdin decides to become the Genie of the lamp altering the overall story of his character (he never becomes a genie in the movie or his origin). Jasmine is sad and bewildered but he is cool with it.

This episode was another awesome viewing; the main plot had depth and made you feel for Belle and Rumple; these two have made significant progress since season one to finding love and their ups and downs.

Gold’s involvement was also heartfelt that we see this cunning man broken by the very thing he wanted; power. As the trademark for this show “Magic comes with a price!” which still rings the melody of truth.

I also was surprised with Emma finding one part of a clue to figure out to null her fate. Regina and Zelena confrontation was also good and I liked Blue’s involvement as well.

Finding out about the Dark Fairy was another unexpected twist; I thought it would be Maleficent again since she’s the only one I know but it wasn’t. I have no clue over the Dark Fairy’s background; it could be folklore?

Along with I find the concept of a “hole in the heart” a good theme as maybe it should have been named that instead of “Changelings”?”

We’ll find out more hopefully in the season finale which happened this past Sunday. I will be typing up a review for that and get it posted, at the latest on the weekend.

For plot, characters, progression and themes I give this overall episode an 8 out of 10. Keep it burning bright!