"The Crocodile" is the fourth episode of Season Two of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by David H. Goodman & Robert Hull and directed by David Solomon. It is the twenty-sixth episode of the series overall, and premiered on October 21, 2012.
Belle's disgust over Mr. Gold's continuing thirst for power comes to a head, and she threatens to leave him if he can't change his evil ways; the Seven Dwarves pick up their axes and try to find Fairy Dust in the Storybrooke mine; and a reunion with an old acquaintance could prove to be Belle's undoing. Meanwhile, back in the fairytale land that was, Rumplestiltskin attempts to save his wife, Milah, from being kidnapped by a band of cutthroat pirates.
In Storybrooke, Belle is having a bad dream about Mr. Gold choking Leroy, after Leroy insists on Mr. Gold returning his axe and accuses him of keeping Belle as just another one of his possessions. Belle begs Mr. Gold to stop telling him that this is not who he is. Rumplestiltskin, as the Dark One, turns around and says, "Oh it's me, dearie. Always has been, always will be!" After waking up, Belle finds him in the basement spinning gold, and putting a thread of it into a beaker.
In the former Enchanted Forest, Rumplestiltskin finds his wife socializing in a pub with a bunch of sailors. She tells him to "run home", because "it's what he's good at". However, when she sees Baelfire is with him, she wordlessly goes home with them.
That night, Rumplestiltskin and Milah talk, and Milah reassures him that she had not wanted for him to have died in the Ogre Wars, but he should had at least fought. She tells him she wants them all to go to a new village, and start a new life, where she does not have to be labeled a "coward's wife". Rumplestiltskin disagrees, and asks her to at least try living there a bit longer. Milah promises to try.
In Storybrooke, Belle confronts Mr. Gold about the magic she had seen him creating in the basement. He tries to change the subject by getting her breakfast, but she insists on an answer. Mr. Gold tells her that it was nothing, just a couple of spells to enhance his power. “You don’t need power, you need courage, to let me in,” she says.
In the Enchanted Forest, a woman informs Rumplestiltskin that Milah has been kidnapped by the men that she was with in the pub. Rumplestiltskin goes aboard their ship and begs for Milah back. When the captain, Killian Jones, proposes that they fight for Milah, Rumplestiltskin is too cowardly to pick up the sword, and implores Jones, "Please sir, what am I going to tell my boy?" To which Jones replies, "Try the truth, his father's a coward."
In Storybrooke, the Dwarves and David Nolan are seen digging underground in an attempt to find Fairy Dust, in order to rescue Mary Margaret Blanchard and Emma Swan, whilst Henry and Ruby look on. David talks about taking over as sheriff, until Emma returns. Mr. Gold goes to see Moe French, when he cannot find Belle. He says that he is not happy that she is with Mr. Gold, but he does not know where she is.
In the Enchanted Forest, Rumplestiltskin has become the Dark One when he meets William Smee who says he trades in “hard to find objects,” such as a magic bean that can transport one between worlds. When he is able to procure said bean for Rumplestiltskin, Smee wants eternal life in return. They compromise that Rumplestiltskin will restore Smee to youth, instead. After Smee leaves, Killian Jones enters the bar.
In Granny's Diner in Storybrooke, Ruby commiserates with Belle about love. She tells Belle that Granny may have a room in the inn she could stay in, and as for work, Ruby suggests the library after Belle tells Ruby she loves books. However, when Belle is peering through the boarded-up library window, she meets William Smee who kidnaps her.
In the Enchanted Forest, Rumplestiltskin bumps into Killian Jones in an alleyway while disguised as an old beggar, and Jones pushes him down and bullies him, remarking that he looks like a crocodile. Rumplestiltskin laughs along with him revealing that he is the Dark One. He asks about Milah, and Jones, first, pretends as if he does not recall who she is, then tells Rumplestiltskin that she is dead. Rumplestiltskin asks for a duel the next morning at dawn. He threatens to kill Jones' crew, if he does not show up.
When they do fight, Rumplestiltskin fights with Jones' own sword which he had taken from him with magic, making the remark, "Sorry, but killing a man with own sword was just too delicious to pass up". Rumplestiltskin disarms him and says that having his wife stolen was like having his heart ripped from his chest, and begins to take Jones’ heart, when Milah, dressed like a pirate, yells “Stop!”
In Storybrooke, William Smee takes Belle to meet with her father Moe French. He thought kidnapping her was the only way to get her back from Rumplestiltskin. He looks confused when Belle tells him that she chose to be with the Dark One and had fallen in love with him, but now she does not know if that will work out. Moe is relieved and tries to make her promise that she will not go back to Mr. Gold, and will never love him again. Belle tells him that it is her choice. Moe, realizing that he will not be able to make Belle see his ways, tells Smee to “Do it", and Smee takes her once again while Moe says, "Goodbye Belle. I love you!"
Meanwhile, Mr. Gold seeks help from David, who is filling in for the position of sheriff, to find Belle who had left his house early that morning. Nobody wants to help Mr. Gold, remembering the awful things he did to them and others back in the Enchanted Forest. Mr. Gold also seeks relationship advice and finds out that relationships should be about honesty. Not just literal truth, but honesty of the heart.
In the Enchanted Forest that was, Milah begs Rumplestiltskin to stop hurting Killian, and Rumplestiltskin realizes that she and Killian are in love. He has advanced forward to kill Jones, when Milah shows him Smee's hat, and says she has the magic bean, and that she will give it to him for her and Jones' lives. Rumplestiltskin does not fully agree to this bargain by saying, "I want to see it first".
In Storybrooke, David and Mr. Gold resume their search for Belle and go to Granny's diner to ask Ruby if she had seen her there. Ruby says Belle was there, but lies and says she does not have any leads to where she is now, being untrustful of Mr. Gold. She tells them if they do find her, to give her the jacket she had left in her booth. Mr. Gold states he had given her the jacket to keep warm, because she did not have one of her own. After seeing that he did care, Ruby decides to help by tracking her by using her more sensitive sense of smell, now that the curse had broken, stating, "I guess it's the wolf thing". She leads them to Belle's father's shop, "Game of Thorns", and they confront Moe about Belle, who says he sent her across the town line to forget about Gold even if that meant forgetting himself as well. Mr. Gold becomes aggressive and almost chokes him, when David notices mine dust on Moe's hands. They realize that he must be trying to send Belle across the line from within the mine tunnels since the other crossings are guarded.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, on board Killian Jones' pirate ship, Milah shows Rumplestiltskin the magic bean, and throws it to Jones. Rumplestiltskin then confronts Milah about leaving Baelfire. She admits that she was the coward, and that she let her misery cloud her judgment. He asks her why she was so miserable, and she states, “I never loved you!" Rumplestiltskin becomes angry; he rips her heart out and crushes it, thus killing her. Jones says, "You may be more powerful now, demon, but you're no less a coward!" Rumplestiltskin demands what he came there for, the magic bean, but Jones refuses to give it to him. Rumplestiltskin, therefore, cuts off Jones' hand. Jones grabs a hook and stabs Rumplestiltskin with it, but it does not kill him. Jones then promises that he will find a way to kill him. Rumplestiltskin smirks, and says, "Well good luck living long enough" before disappearing in a puff of smoke.
In Storybrooke, Smee handcuffs Belle to the mine cart and sends her through the tunnel. Mr. Gold, David, and Ruby get there just in time, and Gold magically pulls the mine cart back to them. She thanks him, but still tells him that she can't stay with him, if he won't be honest with her. Moe is grateful to hear this, but Belle tells him that she won't be going with him either, after what he just tried to do to her.
The next day, Ruby makes Belle pancakes, which she had never eaten before, and tells her that she can stay at Granny's. Ruby hands her a little box that has the key to the library saying, "Someone left this at the front desk for you". Belle goes to the library, and finds Mr. Gold there, and she knows that he was the one who left her the key. He explains that he had created the Dark Curse to find his son, Baelfire, and once the curse was broken, that instead of searching for him, he brought magic. Magic had become his crutch, and he was too afraid not to use it. He tells Belle that he did not want to leave her not knowing all of this, and tells her goodbye, but she stops him. She asks, “Have you ever had a hamburger?” She admits she has not, and that maybe they could get one together sometime.
In the Enchanted Forest of the past, Rumplestiltskin takes Killian Jones' hand home and unclenches it, discovering that the bean was not in it, and Jones had tricked him. On board Jones' ship, William Smee, whom they had taken prisoner to get the magic bean, is released and Jones gives him his life in return for the bean. Smee sees this as a downgrade to "eternal life", but Jones reassures him, as he throws the bean into the water, that they are all going somewhere where none of them will ever grow old. Smee asks what is this land, and Jones replies, "Neverland!" The bean opens a portal in the sea, and Jones puts on the hook and orders the ship to sail into it.
In Storybrooke, Mr. Gold has William Smee tied to a chair, and says that he recognizes him from their world, due to Smee's hat that he found in the mines. He asks Smee where Killian Jones is, and Smee claims that he has never seen him in Storybrooke, and that, "When the curse hit, i-it didn't take him".
In the present-day Enchanted Forest, Killian Jones is looking upon the safe haven island through his telescope when Cora walks up to him and calls him Hook. She shows him a bottle with the ashes of the magic wardrobe that they can use to get to Storybrooke, where she can see her daughter again, and Hook can, "Skin myself a crocodile".
Rumplestiltskin returns home from his encounter with Killian Jones to find Baelfire asking where his mother is. Rumplestiltskin tells his son that Milah is dead. As Baelfire bursts into tears, Rumplestiltskin comforts the boy and tells him that he will never let anything happen to him.
- The opening title card features the Jolly Roger.
- The title of this episode was announced by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on September 22, 2012.
- This is the first episode in which Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison and Lana Parrilla do not appear. However, a photograph of Mary Margaret and Emma is presented in Storybrooke.
- According to Edward Kitsis, the reason why Rumplestiltskin does not want to leave the village, is because he, despite the fact that he is the "village coward", is afraid to leave his home village and travel out into the big wide world.
- This is the first mention of Neverland.
- The Storybrooke events take place after "Lady of the Lake" and before "The Doctor".(For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- The past Enchanted Forest events before Rumplestiltskin becomes a Dark One occurs after "Devil's Due" and before "Desperate Souls". The events in this episode where he is the Dark One occur after "The Return" and before his reunion with the Seer in "Manhattan".
- The present-day Enchanted Forest events take place after "Lady of the Lake" and before "The Doctor".(For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- Rumplestiltskin and Milah's home is full of sketches and drawings. Milah's affinity for drawing is briefly touched upon in "Nasty Habits".
- How Hook and Milah first met, is revealed in "Devil's Due".
- The manner in which Baelfire and Rumplestiltskin became separated is revealed in "The Return".
- Rumplestiltskin's statement about the magic beans no longer existing in the Enchanted Forest is due to what he heard from the Blue Fairy in "The Return".
- The main cause of the downfall of Milah and Rumplestiltskin's marriage is presented in "Manhattan", and further explored in "Devil's Due".
- Hook's stay in Neverland is explored in "Second Star to the Right", "And Straight On 'Til Morning" and "Going Home".
- The mining of fairy dust is due to the events of "We Are Both".
- David mentions Rumplestiltskin telling him that he loved someone and that she was dead, which happened in "A Land Without Magic".
- Rumplestiltskin's wife Milah stops him from killing Hook. In "Heroes and Villains", he is once again stopped by his current wife, Belle, from crushing his nemesis' heart.
- What happened to the Hook's severed hand is revealed in "The Apprentice".
- Hook eventually gives up his quest for vengeance in "And Straight On 'Til Morning".
- The library, with open store hours, has its first on-screen visitors in "Smash the Mirror".
- Mr. Gold says that he found a curse to take him to the land where Baelfire was. How he found the curse, is revealed in "Darkness on the Edge of Town". The casting of the curse, occurs in "Pilot".
- William Smee says that when the Dark Curse hit, it didn't take Hook. The reason why, is explained in "Queen of Hearts".
- The back story of how Cora and Hook met and became allies is explored in "Queen of Hearts".
- Neverland is alluded to by Captain Hook as a place "where people never grow old."
- Belle talks of her love of books, much like her character in the Disney's 1991 film Beauty and the Beast.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode is a rendition of the Peter Pan story, focusing on the building rivalry between Captain Hook and the Crocodile.
- This episode also features Rumplestiltskin from the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale as well as Smee from "Peter Pan."
- In the original tale, Captain Hook's hand was cut off and thrown to a crocodile, who enjoyed the taste of Hook so much that he continually sought him out. Hook was only able to be warned of the approaching creature by the sound of a ticking clock the crocodile had also swallowed. In this version, Hook's hand was cut off by Rumplestiltskin in order to get the magic bean he held. Rumplestiltskin also said, "Tick tock, dearie! Tick tock!" when Milah begged for him to leave Hook alone and to let her explain.
- Ruby brings snacks to David and the dwarves in a little basket; referencing the traditional fairytale of Red Riding Hood delivering food to her grandmother in the same manner.
- The following book shelves are seen in the library:
- Shelf 130: Parapsychology: The study of mental phenomena which are excluded from or inexplicable by orthodox scientific psychology; such as precognition and telepathy
- Shelf 131: Parapsychological methods
- Shelf 132: Mental derangements, referring to mental disorders
- Shelf 133: Magic & ritual
- Shelf 134: Mesmerism & clairvoyance: Mesmerism is a theorized invisible natural force exerted by animals, believed to have physical effects, including healing. Clairvoyance refers to knowledge of information not necessarily known to any other person, which is not obtained by ordinary channels of perceiving or reasoning, but through extrasensory perception.
- Self 146: Naturalism: In philosophy, naturalism refers to the belief that everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.
- Shelf 147: Pantheism: A doctrine which identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.
- Shelf 148: Liberalism: The holding of liberal views.
- Two more shelves are seen in "Child of the Moon":
- Milah's home is full of drawings of landscapes, reflecting her dreams to see the world.
- There is a poster inside the library advertising Spanish lessons. The headline says "Habla Espanol?", meaning "speak Spanish?".
- The poster re-appears in "Darkness on the Edge of Town". A closer examination reveals that it includes the text "Spanish Speaking Tutor taking New Students".
- Another poster contains the phone number 555-0166. In "Darkness on the Edge of Town", this is revealed to be the phone number of the Convent of the Sisters of Saint Meissa.
- The shelf of potion ingredients in Mr. Gold's basement, was seen in his castle during "Heart of Darkness".
- The necklace that Mr. Gold gives to Belle in her nightmare is the same necklace that he procures out of thin air and gives to Lacey in "Second Star to the Right".
- Ruby is wearing an Urban Outfitters Yucca Stud Stretch Bracelet (no longer available).
- Belle's blue dress in this episode was worn by Emilie de Ravin again at the Emporio Armani New York Flagship Opening on in September 2012.
|Finnish||"Krokotiili mieheksi"||"The Crocodile Man"|
|French||"Le Crocodile"||"The Crocodile"|
|German||"Der Zorn des Krokodils"||"The Crocodile's Wrath"|
|Hungarian||"A krokodil"||"The Crocodile"|
|Italian||"Il coccodrillo"||"The Crocodile"|
|Portuguese||"O Crocodilo"||"The Crocodile"|