Once Upon A Time 6×04 “Strange Case” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

It’s a strange case indeed.

Episode Summary: In flashbacks, we’re taken back to the origin of Mr. Hyde and during our journey, we come to find that there was a bigger villain than him. In present-day Storybrooke, Snow’s first day of teaching doesn’t go as planned, but Jasmine (Karen David) is there to help. Charming deals with Killian and Emma’s move. Rumple imprisons Belle on the Jolly Roger. And the demise of two souls reveals how the Evil Queen could be defeated.

Review | Analysis: “Strange Case” was yet another great example of how well Once Upon A Time writers are able to handle twists when they’re thoughtful. And the truth behind the strangest case of them all is definitely something I was never expecting. Additionally, tonight’s episode once again served as a perfect reminder of the fact that while villains will always believe love is weakness, it is strength. And the belief that it’s a weakness will always lead to a tragic end. In this universe especially, the most important thing that matters is that nothing is cheated. Honesty and perseverance are the keys to becoming who we’re meant to be, and when we try to take matters into our own heads, we change the frequency in which we’re meant to be. And as Mr. Hyde points out “you can change the outside, but what’s inside is still there.” To grow fully means to embrace all that we are and choose the paths we know are most honorable.

It’s interesting because “Strange Case” played with insecurity in a form we’ve not seen in this series too often. And while I’ve personally never read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde due to the fact that thrilling stories as such aren’t my forte, I feel as though Once Upon A Time’s version showcases the importance of our inner selves matters more than our outer appearance.

Additionally, as the Evil Queen told Henry last week: posture is self-respect and if you don’t have it, no one will give it to you.” Dr. Jekyll let Dr. Lydgate intimidate him and his shyness stops him from telling Mary how he truly felt. And the creation of Mr. Hyde was to do the exact opposite. Now, perhaps I’m wrong (let’s remember I’m too chicken to read the original story), but Hyde and Jekyll aren’t two different people. They are the same. And the split, just like Regina’s split is merely a distinction to represent the two drastic characteristics. I do believe I was wrong at first to assume they were different due to their features because now, it’s a bit more clear that once Jekyll looked at himself in the mirror, he didn’t like what stared back at him. And whether he imagined Hyde before he was brought out or Rumple’s magic did it, they aren’t two different people dwelling in one body — they are one.

And while it’s easy to confuse this due to the fact that Lana Parrilla plays both Regina and the Evil Queen, with Jekyll and Hyde, it’s the same thing. Jekyll needed to appear both approachable and intimidating. He needed to stand up for himself but as a man, he didn’t respect himself enough to carry on a posture that’d showcase he isn’t going to give up. He let people step on him. He let them diminish him. And while Mr. Hyde’s much more frightening, as it turns out, he’s still in tune with his heart. As it turns out, rejection was too much for Jekyll to handle because, in the end, he lost control of what was right and wrong.

At the end of the day, the purpose of this story once again comes down to the fact that we are in control of the course our life takes, and we are in control of the choices we make. Jekyll didn’t need revenge, but because he was too weak to try to evolve, he made his bed and had to lay in it. And that’s what ultimately happens when we try to take matters into our own hands by making rash decisions — it backfires. Dr. Jekyll needed to fix himself. He needed to respect himself, love himself, and accept himself as he is without creating another entity that looked different. But in the long run, he let his heart turn colder. He followed the road that lead to demise instead.

This is why this plot twist works — Sam Witwer’s portrayal of Hyde was the most frightening thing I’ve ever seen on Once Upon A Time. I mean real talk, when I went to Vancouver this Summer, I had hoped he wouldn’t be filming that day because while he’s most definitely an attractive man, Hyde scared the (excuse my language) crap out of me. Whether it was the bloodshot eyes or his terrorizing voice, Mr. Hyde knew what he wanted and went after it. And while it’s unexpected that Dr. Jekyll would be the villain, Mr. Hyde’s death showcased the fact that they are indeed the same person.

Essentially, this is why Regina coming to the realization that she could potentially die is incredibly important. Regina is known for making rash decisions that aren’t heroic, but asking Emma to make the same promise she once made showcased a kind of courage we’ve yet to see in her. This time, Regina isn’t looking for a way out that could end badly. She’s finally come to the acceptance that she and the Evil Queen are the same people — whatever evil is still fired up in her could resurface in Regina as well. And that’s something that I’ve been waiting for her to realize for a very long time. There’s good and evil in all, but what matters is which voice we choose to listen to. At the end of the day, when faced with a setback, how we face it distinguishes between the two.

Regina’s choice to ask for Emma’s help was great because she knows that she’d do anything to protect her family. And the Regina we know today is trustworthy. She doesn’t want to hurt her friends, but she still doesn’t believe she’s strong enough to control both her sides. However, she’s learning and that’s a plus. Regina may have lost Robin, but today, she isn’t on a vengeful quest — she’s on a quest to better herself. And that quest, though won’t end in death, it could end in monumental growth. Because knowing our heroes, they’ll do everything possible to combine Regina and the Evil Queen again without killing her.

It isn’t easy to make decisions when our hearts are broken, but I’m so incredibly proud of Belle today. It doesn’t matter how often Rumple tries to protect her because he continuously chooses to diminish her voice instead. He continues to believe that love is a weakness. And it was empowering that she stood up to him refusing to go back despite what’s happened. It doesn’t matter what he does because until he changes his belief system, he’ll only grow weaker. The refusal to believe that love is everything has tarnished Rumple’s views for years, and he’s the only person who could fix the messes he’s made. He’s the only person who could choose which road he wants to take. The only way I could ever see the two of them together again is if Rumple truly shows that he’s changed if he destroys the darkness for good, but for the time being, that’s not happened. And at the rate we’re going, it’s probably not going to happen for a long, long time.

And that’s okay because other than a baby on the way, Belle has friends on her side. Once Upon A Time is great at making the unlikely feel authentic. It’s great at turning enemies into friends in a way that’s heartwarming and realistic. In a way that’s truly inspiring. Belle and Killian have come so far from the first scene they shared together. Killian’s willing to wear a seashell around his neck to make sure that whenever Belle needs him, he’d be able to hear her. And to know that this is how far our notorious pirate has come is exceptional. But even more amazing is the fact that they’re able to confide in each other about their personal lives. And when they say they’ll be there for each other, it’s a promise they intend to keep.

On a much lighter note, though Snow’s first class doesn’t go as planned, she chooses to take Jasmine’s advice and illuminates the concept of “we are both” beautifully. Snow White knows a great deal about life and using her skills in archery to teach her students Newton’s Law was perfect. It’s moments like this amongst heavier episodes that remind us why this show’s so special. Because Snow White loves teaching — she loves taking care of people, and above all, she continuously chooses to sprinkle light in dark times.

And sometimes while momma teaches, daddy cooks for his grown daughter because he’s a little sad she’s moving in with her boyfriend. Charming has grown to care for Killian over the last few years, and while he knows his daughter is safe with him, it doesn’t change the fact that for a father, his daughter will always be his little girl. It doesn’t matter how old Emma gets because he’ll always remember the child he held in his arms as he fought off knights. It was incredibly adorable to see him make enough pancakes that could essentially feed Snow’s class, and then choosing to pass down his recipe to Emma was the icing on top of a perfect cake. Charming’s concerns are entirely understandable — when it comes to moving out, I’m sure we all have moments where we realize things may change and we won’t see our loved ones as often as we’d like. And while this may be tough on the kids, it’s especially tough on our parents. But I loved hearing Emma say that he’s welcome over to make her breakfast whenever he’d like because no matter where she is, she’ll never be too old for moments like this with her family.

Ultimately, the moral of the episode and essentially Once Upon A Time is that there’s good and bad in all of us. But when love is our priority, we’re bound to make honorable choices more often than not. At the end of the day, we can’t just magically pick and choose which parts of us we’d like to keep because, at the end of the day, our hearts and minds will vibrate to the same frequency again. At the end of the day, we’ll come to a point where decisions need to be made and temptations will arise, but we must continue choosing what’s right. We must continue to choose love over and over again. Though a bit confusing, the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde perfectly showcases that making rash decisions in the midst of our weak moments will never end well. We are who we are because of the good and the bad — every quirk, every annoying trait, every flaw, every admirable trait.

Worth Mentioning:

  • Something is still fishy about the Oracle girl and I’m really hoping I’m wrong because she seems sweet and adorable. But then again, Jekyll seemed like the least threatening person on the planet and he turned out to be the most frightening.
  • Hank Harris and Sam Witwer have done such a remarkable job with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I’m actually surprised to see them go so soon. I imagined this story would carry on for a bit longer. But writers weren’t lying when they said we’d be learning things sooner than later this season.
  • Once again, let’s talk about Emma’s clothes because this season has been something else. Be sure to visit JenniferMorrisonStyle.com for all the details.

What are your thoughts on this week’s episode?

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