Once Upon A Time Episode 604 “Strange Case”




What an interesting episode this week! So much character development makes for great TV. Each one in our core group showed some growth as a character. Some, like Rumplestiltskin, showed tremendous development and fully expressed the episode’s theme that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  


While Emma is helping David come to terms with her decision to move in with Hook, Mary Margaret goes back to the classroom, but things are not exactly as she remembers them. During the curse, school ran exactly as it should. Teachers taught and kids were well behaved. Now, however, it is not as simple. Mary Margaret walks in, a little over-confident, thinking that she will have no problems. She quickly realizes that she is in need of serious remediation as she deals with finding interesting ways to teach her students. Putting equations on the board and staying “quiet in your seat” doesn’t work. Taking the kids outside to bring the lesson to life, showing that every action has an equal and opposite reaction with her bow and arrow finally gets the kids involved. She also meets her teacher’s aide, Sharin, who, we find out at the end of the show, is Jasmine (more of this story next week).     


Rumplestiltskin shows the most character development throughout the entire episode. We first see this in a physical change as he decides to cut his hair shorter, displaying that he still has control over his life. Almost immediately, Hyde and the Evil Queen come to pay him a visit. Hyde is looking for a cameo necklace. We learn through a flashback that it belongs to a girl named Mary who is the love interest of Dr. Jekyll.  


Jekyll wants to impress Mary’s father with his serum in order to gain access into the Scientific Academy. Her father is less than impressed and says he will not get membership. This makes Jekyll extremely mad. He angrily fusses with his serum when Rumplestiltskin appears. You know he has an ulterior motive, but all we can do is speculate on what it is for now. Rumple tells Jekyll that magic is what it will take to get the serum working. He gives it a magical stir and convinces Jekyll to take it, showing the birth of Hyde.


Since we are familiar with the classic story of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, we assume that each of their personalities fit our assumptions. We assume that Dr. Jekyll is “good” and Mr. Hyde is “bad” (especially since he is aligned with the Evil Queen). Just like the rest of the stories in Storybrooke, when the layers are peeled back, we see that not everything is so neatly proportioned.  


Hyde meets and falls in love with Mary, just as Jekyll did. They have a rendezvous, but when the next morning comes and Mary finds Jekyll in her bed where Hyde was the night before. Confused and angry, she tells Jekyll to leave. He is angry that Hyde would do this to him. He is so angry, in fact, that he pushes Mary out of the window to her death. Jekyll then takes the serum turning back into Hyde. When Hyde looks at the window, he starts to cry and we come back to Storybrooke where we realize that the serum did not completely separate light from darkness because no matter what, everyone has the capacity for darkness, given the right circumstances and frame of mind.


The twist of the episode comes when Rumple, who never thought about anything going wrong, takes Jekyll’s serum, pours it over his dagger and then stabs Hyde with it. Hyde dramatically falls to the  ground, but begins laughing as he reveals that he switched the serums. He pulls the dagger out of his chest and begins to command the Dark One by telling him to go to Belle, where Hyde shows him that he is not the one that people should fear.


When they get to the Jolly Roger, they see that Jekyll is about to kill Belle, but Hook comes to save the day, stabbing Jekyll. One problem solved, but as Jekyll is killed, Hyde dies simultaneously, showing Regina that the only way to defeat the Evil Queen is with her own death.


The lesson for this episode is that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Mary Margaret uses her bow to literally show this to her kids, but we are able to see it in action with the consequences that come from Jekyll’s decisions. Everyone is affected by these actions and reactions.

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