In Fairy Tale Land, inside a once grand castle surrounded by his military advisors and beautiful daughter, Sir Maurice receives sobering news that a nearby town has fallen to the Ogres as he’s expecting help from someone who hasn’t shown up, his daughter tries to comfort him to no avail. Unexpectedly, the help he was waiting for arrives… it’s Rumplestiltskin. Rumple will help not for gold but he will help in exchange for Sir Maurice’s daughter, Belle. That’s right, it’s Beauty and the Beast, Rumple is even called a “beast” by Belle’s father. Rumple says he’s not looking for love but a caretaker for his estate. Sir Maurice refuses the offer but as Rumple leaves Belle offers to go with him. Belle’s father and her fiancé object but she tells them, “No one decides my fate but me.” Rumple tells her it’s forever. If he promises that her family and friends will all live, she’ll go. Rumple gives her his word that they will and they leave.
In Storybrooke, we find Mr. Gold demanding payment for the loan he gave to florist, Moe French, who happens to be the Storybrooke version of Sir Maurice. When Moe can’t pay, Mr. Gold orders his large menacing enforcer, The Dove, to take his truck. Mr. Gold is unmoved by Moe’s pleas and walks away while The Dove drives off with his van. Across the street Regina has watched the entire exchange unfold and steps to Gold when he reaches her side of the street. She wants to talk to him about something but he shuts her down, “And the moment you have something I want to discuss, we’ll have that chat.” She blocks his way, adamantly telling him they’re going to talk now. Gold asks if there is something she needs to get out in the open, “Cause it’s gonna have to wait.” And before she can respond, Gold says ”Please.” This stops Regina cold. Mr. Gold steps past her and walks away.
At Granny’s diner, Mary Margaret sits across from David, discussing his new book. They’re so close but still apart, awkwardly trying to appear that they are not there together. Emma enters and sits across from Mary Margaret. She asks how Henry is doing. When Mary Margaret tells her that he’s doing great, Emma gets a little sad. Mary Margaret picks up on this and reassures her that Henry misses her. Ashley has entered the diner and joins into the conversation. She tells Emma and Mary Margaret that it’s great having the baby but her and Sean haven’t had any time to do that getting-married thing. When Ashley says it sucks that her and Sean can’t even enjoy Valentine’s Day because he has to work, Ruby interjects and proposes a girls’ night for all of them. Emma’s not in the party mood but gives Mary Margaret a look that she should go. Ashley is excited but we see David isn’t as he looks to Mary Margaret. Then Emma gets a call from the station and leaves.
Later, Mr. Gold enters his house after finding the front door ajar. He pulls out a gun from a drawer and searches the house. As he moves room to room, he hears a noise behind him and spins around. It’s Emma and she also has her pistol drawn. She tells him his neighbors saw his front door open and called it in. Mr. Gold mentions it looks like he’s been robbed. Emma says it’s funny how that keeps happening to him. He lowers his pistol, “Yeah well, I’m a difficult man to love.”
In Fairy Tale Land, Rumplestiltskin leads Belle through his castle to her “room”, which is nothing more than a cell in the dungeon. He pushes her inside and locks her in. Later, Belle is serving Rumple tea as he explains to her what her duties will be. When he jokes that he wants her to skin the children, Belle drops a tea cup, chipping it. She nervously apologizes to him, but he’s unconcerned, “It’s just a cup.” Just a small chipped tea cup that Belle broke.
Back at Mr. Gold’s house in Storybrooke, he tells Emma she can leave because he knows exactly what was stolen and who stole it. She tells him that if he doesn’t tell her what he knows she’ll arrest him for obstruction of justice. Mr. Gold relents, tells Emma that it was the florist Moe French. They had a disagreement when Moe defaulted on a loan. Emma says she’ll go check him out and Mr. Gold says not if he finds him first.
At Rumplestiltskin’s Dark Castle, Belle is on a ladder cleaning curtains and asks Rumple why he spins so much at his wheel. He answers without looking at her, “I like to watch the wheel. It helps me forget.” She asks what he wants to forget. He stops spinning and pulls a blank look, “I guess it worked.” They both share a laugh. As Bells pulls the curtains loose to the let the light in, she falls but Rumple catches her and saves her from harm. While holding her, they share a look. They both see each other differently in the light. Looking awkward from the physical contact, he sets her down. She says she’ll put the curtains back up but Rumple tells her there is no need, he’ll get used to it.
The next morning in Storybrooke at the Sheriff’s Station, Emma shows Mr. Gold items that were stolen from his house. She tells him he was right, they were recovered from Moe French’s place. Emma’s proud of herself, but Mr. Gold tells her she didn’t recover everything. She assures him she’ll get it when she finds him. But Mr. Gold exits, radiating malevolence, “Not if I find him first.”
Back in Rumple’s Dark Castle in Fairy Tale Land, Belle asks Rumple why he wanted her there. He says because the place was filthy. Belle, sees right through façade, “I think you were lonely.” When she says any man would be lonely, Rumple replies that he’s not a man. Belle lets it go but asks him about the small boy’s clothing she found upstairs in the castle. Rumple opens up and looks introspective, tells her he lost his son and the boy’s mother. Belle is empathetic and tells him she’s sorry. She figures out that he was once an ordinary man and wants to get to know him. But Rumple thinks she just wants to get to know the “monster’s” weaknesses. Belle tells him he’s not a monster. It’s plain to see that he takes this to heart. Then there is banging and Rumple goes to investigate.
At the castle doors Rumple finds Gaston with his sword drawn. But before he can finish issuing his challenge, Rumple snaps his fingers and turns him into a rose. Back in the castle he charmingly gives the rose to Belle as a gift. He asks what made her choose to come to the castle. She tells him she wanted to be brave and heroic, “So, when you arrived that was my chance.” It didn’t work out the way she wanted but she got to save her village. When Rumple asks about Gaston, she says it was an arranged marriage and she didn’t really care for him. Belle then looks wistful, “To me love is layered. Love is a mystery to be uncovered.” We see this hits him – he feels sudden empathy for her. She shakes off her mood and remembers that he was going to tell her about his son. Rumple tells her he’ll make her a deal, “Go to town and fetch me some straw. When you return, I’ll share my tale.” She’s shocked and asks if he trusts she’ll come back. Rumple expects to never see her again.
In Storybrooke, Mary Margaret, Ruby and Ashley are having their Valentine’s Day girl night at The Rabbit Hole. They’re enjoying some drinks when Ruby eyes some guys at the bar and heads off. Ashley laments that she thought love would be different. Mary Margaret takes a drink, “Me too.”
At the pharmacy, David is buying two Valentine’s Day cards, as Mr. Gold is ominously buying rope and ducked tape. He mentions to David that it must be a complicated life. David assures him they’re for the same person, but it’s obvious they’re not. Mr. Gold tells him he’s fortunate to have someone who loves him. David sheepishly agrees. Gold, “Love… it’s like a delicate flame. And once it’s gone? It’s gone forever.” Mr. Gold takes his things and leaves. Moments later, we find him driving a bound and gagged Moe French in his van. Sometime later, Mr. Gold arrives at his cabin in the woods and forces Moe out of the van at gunpoint. He leads him into the cabin, “Yeah see, here’s the thing. I don’t normally let people get away.”
Belle is walking down a country lane in Fairy Tale Land, when the Queen’s Carriage approaches. The Queen decides to walk with Belle. She asks who Belle is running from, “Master or Lover?” Belle tells her she might love her employer, except that something evil has taken root in him. The Queen says it sounds like a curse, “And all curses can be broken. A kiss born of true love would do it.” She goes on to tell Belle that she wouldn’t tell a girl to kiss a man who held her captive, “Besides, if he loved you, he would have let you go. And if he doesn’t love you, the kiss won’t even work.” Belle says he did let her go. The Queen assures her “true love’s” kiss with break any curse.
Rumple is looking out from his balcony when he spots something that causes him to races downstairs. Moments later, we find him at the spinning wheel, as if he had been sitting there the whole time. He tries to act nonchalant when Belle walks in, “Oh, you’re back already?” Belle confidently walks right up to him, “Come on. You’re happy I’m back.” He’s not unhappy. She saddles up right next to him and wants to hear the story about his son. He says he lost him and doesn’t go any further. Belle puts the pieces together, he loved no one and no one’s loved him since. Rumple asks her why she came back? She wasn’t going to but something changed her mind. Belle smiles at him, leans in and kisses him soft as a feather. Some magic starts tingling about his lips and he starts changing back into a man. He’s confused. She tells him to her kiss her again, “It’s working. Any curse can be broken.” Upon hearing that he jumps up in a rage, “Who told you that?! Who knows that?” He changes back into the lizard-skinned Rumple we know. Belle is frightened, “I dunno know--- she --- she --- she.” Rumple knows who “she” is right away and storms over to mirror, ripping off the blanket covering it. He starts yelling at the mirror, accusing her of trying to defeat him and make him weak. Belle asks who he’s talking to. Then he turns his anger on her, “The queen! You’re friend the queen. How did she get to you?” He starts doubting everything about how Belle feels about him and accuses her of working for the queen. He doesn’t stop there, accusing her of wanting to be the hero that kills the beast. She denies it, says that it was working and pleads with him to believe that it was “true love.” Then he goes off the rails, “SHUT UP! SHUT THE HELL UP! BECAUSE NO ONE COULD EVER LOVE ME!” Moments later Rumple throws Belle back into a cell.
Back in Storybrooke, Moe is being interrogated harshly by Mr. Gold. He begins to hit Moe with his cane, demanding, “TELL ME WHERE IT IS? TELL ME WHERE IT IS?” Moe begs for Gold to stop and says it wasn’t his fault. Mr. Gold goes into a tirade, “You shut her out. You had her love and you shut her out…” Moe doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Gold continues raging out on Moe and beating him with his cane, “…she’s gone, she’s gone forever, she’s not coming back. And it’s YOUR fault! Not mine! You are her father! It’s yours! It’s yours.”
Then there is a quick flashback at Rumple’s Castle in Fairy Tale Land, where he’s similarly raging out by smashing at his collection of precious objects.
Quickly, we’re back at Mr. Gold’s cabin in Storybrooke, were a Gold is still beating Moe with his cane. Then Emma appears and stops Gold.
Back with Rumple as his Dark Castle, he begins to destroy the tea set until it gets to the cup Belle had chipped. This stops the destruction as he looks at it. Then sets it down and walks off.
In Storybrooke, Mary Margaret is at the Rabbit Hole listening to Ashley lament about her love life while secretly lamenting her own. Then Ashley’s boyfriend, Sean surprises her by showing up with roses. He then gets down on one knee and proposes to her. Ashley is a mix of smiles and tears as she accepts. Mary Margaret looks melancholy as she watches the happy couple head off. Outside, David approaches Mary Margaret and gives her a Valentine Day’s card. He gives her Kathryn’s card by mistake, which crushes Mary Margaret. David is mortified and tries to give her the right card but it’s too late, the damage is done. She tells him they need to find another way to be together because this way is not working. He tries to protest but she stops him, “I think you should go home to Kathryn.” He tells her she’s right but he is not giving up. They’ll find another way.
At Mr. Gold’s cabin, Emma asks Gold what that violent reaction was about. It had to be about more than just some trinkets. She mentions he was going on about Moe hurting “her”. She wants to know if someone needs help but Gold stonewalls her. As he starts to go, she arrests him.
Rumple goes to Belle’s cell and tells her to leave. She tells him he’s a coward. He says he’s not a coward, it’s just his power means more to him than her. That stings Belle but she doesn’t back down and tells him, “No, no it doesn’t. You just don’t think I can love you.” Rumple is silent. She’s not done, “Now you’ve made your choice. And you’re going to regret it. Forever. And all you’ll have is an empty heart. And a chipped cup.” She fights back the tears as Rumple remains stone-faced.
At the Sheriff’s Office, Emma is watching over Mr. Gold behind bars when Regina shows up. She offers to give Emma some time with Henry so she can talk to Mr. Gold. Emma is reluctant at first but goes with Henry. Mr. Gold wants what was taken from him and Regina admits she has it. She’ll give it to him if he answers one question for her, “What’s your name?” He’s elusive but she persists. The only way she returns what he wants is if he tells her his name. And then with an intense grin, “Rumplestiltskin. Now give me what I want.” She gives him a chipped teacup and it look like the same one from Fairy Tale Land. Mr. Gold, “Thank you, your Majesty.” His tone changes to a quiet menace as he tells her that he’s the one with the power around here, “I’ll be out of here before you know it and nothing between us will change.” She smiles confidently at him, “We shall see.” And with that she turns and goes.
In Fairly Tale Land, the Queen drops in on Rumplestiltskin in his castle. She wants to talk deals but his not interested. He says her deception failed. She’ll never be more powerful than him. The Queen asks if it was about that girl she met on the road. Rumple says her name was Belle. She dramatically says she had nothing to do with the girl’s tragedy. Rumple tries to hide that he cares but it’s clear he does and asks about what the tragedy was. The Queen delights in telling him that after Belle left his castle, she was treated harshly by her father. He was cruel to her and locked her in a tower. Then when she could bear no more, she threw herself off the tower., “She died.” This hits Rumple hard, “You’re lying.” The Queen coyly replies, “Am I?” Rumple tells her they’re done and sends the Queen away.” When she’s gone, he takes Belle’s chipped cup out of the cupboard and places it on top of a display pedestal, replacing a jeweled chalice. As he looks down upon it, he begins to cry.
Back in Storybrooke, Regina walks through the Storybrooke hospital carrying a red rose. She goes to a keypad, presses in a code and enters a separate high-security area of the floor. A severe nurse sits at a desk. Regina gives her the rose and asks if anyone has been to see “her.” The severe nurse, “No ma’am. Not today, not ever.” Regina walks on through a cold and drab hallway, coming to a stop at a metal door. She looks through the window into a padded room. Inside sits a female patient with her knees drawn up and her head down. The girl raises her head and we see that it’s Belle. She looks at Regina and we’re out.