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This article focuses on the episode "The Crocodile".
For the character who has been known as the "Crocodile", see Rumplestiltskin.
I was wrong. Not a rat at all. More like a crocodile.
Hook to Rumplestiltskin

"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.[1]


This section is a detailed recap of this episode. There are major spoilers. Click to expand.

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".

Deleted Scenes


This scene is included on the DVD edition of Once Upon a Time: The Complete Second Season, but not the Blu-ray version.

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.



Guest Starring




Production Notes

Event Chronology

Episode Connections


Fairytales and Folklore

Popular Culture

Props Notes

  • The following book shelves are seen in the library:
    • Shelf 130: Parapsychology:[12] The study of mental phenomena which are excluded from or inexplicable by orthodox scientific psychology;[13] such as precognition and telepathy
    • Shelf 131: Parapsychological methods[14]
    • Shelf 132: Mental derangements,[14] referring to mental disorders
    • Shelf 133: Magic & ritual[12]
    • Shelf 134: Mesmerism & clairvoyance:[12] Mesmerism is a theorized invisible natural force exerted by animals, believed to have physical effects, including healing. Clairvoyance refers to supposed faculty of perceiving things or events in the future or beyond normal sensory contact.[15]
    • Self 146: Naturalism:[16] 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:[16] A doctrine which identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.[17]
    • Shelf 148: Liberalism:[16] The holding of liberal views.
    • Two more shelves are seen in "Child of the Moon":
      • Shelf 136: Mental Characteristics:[18]
      • Shelf 145: Sensationalism:[19] The presentation of stories in a way that is intended to provoke public interest or excitement, at the expense of accuracy.[20]

Set Dressing

Costume Notes

Filming Locations

International Titles



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME. The Futon Critic. “Air Date: Sunday, October 21, 2012. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#204) "The Crocodile"”
  2. Kondolojy, Amanda (October 23, 2012). TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: Sunday Night Football Tops Week 4 Viewing Among Adults 18-49 & With Total Viewers. TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on February 17, 2013. “Once Upon A Time. ABC. 9888.”
  3. File:204Title.png
  4. TwitterLogo @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (September 22, 2012). "Ep. 4 The Crocodile Ep. 5 The Doctor Ep. 6 Tallahassee #titles #OnceUponATime #Saturdaytidbits 8 days to go!" (screenshot)
  5. File:204Photograph.png
  6. Edward Kitsis on the Season Two Blu-ray/DVD Audio Commentary for "Queen of Hearts"
  7. FacebookIcon NeilAWestlake (Westlake Design). August 29, 2016.  "Sometimes we get asked to do things that never end up in front of the Camera. This is an outtake from the second season. Viewers of ONCE will undoubtedly know who this is..." (archive copy)
    Belle illustration: Once Upon a Time (ABC): 204 – August, 2012. Westlake Design. Retrieved on August 25, 2018.
  8. 8.0 8.1 File:204Home.png
  9. 9.0 9.1 Dove, Steve (October 25, 2012). Storybrooke Secrets: The Crocodile. ABC. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. “No RumBelle appearance is complete without references to Disney's Beauty and the Beast. It's a tale as old as time, after all. As Mr. Gold is preparing breakfast for Belle, the tea kettle pictured above is a callback to Mrs. Potts from the animated classic. / And this is a double reference. Moe French (Sir Maurice), Belle's father, owns a flower shop called Game of Thorns. The first nod is to the acclaimed George R. R. Martin novel A Game of Thrones and the second is to the rose featured in the Beauty and the Beast story. Fairy tale fans may have noticed when Ruby brings the dwarfs and David some snacks, she does so in a little basket. This is a reference to the classic image of Little Red Riding Hood taking food to her grandmother. (...) When Belle walks into the Storybrooke Library, Mr. Gold quotes the line "We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth." That quote is widely attributed to a 19th-century British banker named John Lubbock and appears in his book The Pleasures of Life.”
  10. File:204EnteringShop.png
  11. Jane Espenson's Season One Blu-ray/DVD Audio Commentary for "Skin Deep"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 File:204GoldLeaves.png
  13. parapsychology. Retrieved on August 25, 2018.
  14. 14.0 14.1 File:204ThatNight.png
  15. clairvoyance. Retrieved on August 25, 2018.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 File:204AllQuarters.png
  17. pantheism. Retrieved on August 25, 2018.
  18. File:207WhatIDeserve.png
  19. File:207WolfHearing.png
  20. sensationalism. Retrieved on August 25, 2018.
  21. 21.0 21.1 David H. Goodman on the Season Two Blu-ray/DVD Audio Commentary for "And Straight On 'Til Morning"
  22. 22.0 22.1 File:204IWouldLikeThat2.png
  23. File:412PosterWall.png
  24. File:214AnyOfTheseNames.png
  25. File:412Missing.png
  26. File:204Potions.png
  27. File:116Potions.png
  28. 28.0 28.1 File:204OccasionIsUs.png
  29. File:221Necklace.png
  30. File:204AndYou.png
  31. Marc by Marc Jacobs Wall Flower Jersey Dress, Dark Indigo/Multi, Medium. Amazon. Retrieved on August 25, 2018.
  32. File:204Outside.png
  33. Vintage Lace Dress by Gold Hawk. Coolspotters. Retrieved on August 25, 2018.
  34. File:204KeptWoman.png
  35. Armani Exchange Lace Fit + Flare Dress. Coolspotters. Retrieved on August 13, 2018.
  36. Gucci Shoes Betty Platform Open Toe Sandals Leather IT 39.5 US 9.5. Amazon. Retrieved on August 25, 2018.
  37. Emporio Armani New York Flagship Opening. Livingly Media (September 7, 2012).
  38. File:412Hey.png
  39. Zoe Saldana in Gucci. ShoeRazzi (December 7, 2012).
  40. File:204AreYouOkay.png
  42. Yucca Stud Stretch Bracelet. Polyvore. Archived from the original on April 15, 2016.
  43. File:210WerewolfMeetsDog.png
  44. Screenshot from Pretty Little Liars: "The Lady Killer"
  45. File:204HowDoesThatWork.png
  46. B30/Dallas. Oceandrive Leather. Retrieved on August 25, 2018.
  47. File:204MilahDies2.png
  48. TwitterLogo @colinodonoghue1 (Colin O'Donoghue) on Twitter (July 29, 2015). "Hey everyone. If you want hooks original necklace and other gems. Check out Bloodline." (screenshot)
    FacebookIcon bloodlinedesign (Bloodline Design). November 21, 2015.  "The Hook Necklace for Captain Killian "Hook" Jones . AKA the fantastic Colin O'Donoghue in the hit show Once Upon a Time. Great fellow and a terrific pleasure to work with. The Necklace? A Bloodline Original." (archive copy)
  49. InstagramIcon bloodlinedesign (Bloodline Design). November 21, 2015.  "The real Hook. The real goods. Great character. Great actor."
  50. File:204IAlmostForgot.png
  51. Kenzo Window Check Sleeveless Shirt. Coolspotters. Retrieved on Augsut 24, 2018.
  52. ONCE UPON A TIME: SEASON 5 EPISODE 3 BELLE'S PINK PLEATED SKIRT. shopyourtv. Retrieved on August 13, 2018.
    KENZO box pleat skirt. Polyvore. Archived from the original on January 30, 2017.
  53. Jimmy Choo Sepia Kidskin-Napa Colorblock Platform Pump, Black/Nude. Bergdorf Goodman. Retrieved on August 24, 2018.
  54. File:404WeHaveASituation.png
  55. File:503FindsRoomEmpty.png
  56. Movies Filmed at Abandoned Dock near Britannia Beach. MovieMaps. Retrieved on October 13, 2018. “Mr. Gold visit's Hook's ship where it is docked in episode 2x04 "The Crocodile".”
  57. Gittins, Susan (October 21, 2012). WEEK: October 15-21, 2012. Hollywood North. “Wednesday, October 17th – Once Upon a Time films at Minerva [sic] Bay (where Hook's pirate ship scenes shot for The Crocodile) on the road to Squamish.” (Note that the source erroneously refers to the area as "Minerva Bay", but the area on the way to Squamish is called Minaty Bay, as seen in this tweet and on this article)
  58. Once Upon a Time: Game of Thorns filming. Vancity Filming (August 29, 2012). Archived from the original on April 15, 2016.
    Gittins, Susan (August 28, 2012). SHOOT: ONCE UPON A TIME Films in Prickly Pear Garden Centre in Steveston for 2×04 – Updated. Hollywood North.
  59. Gittins, Susan (January 25, 2013). SET: ONCE UPON A TIME Films on its Floating Pirate Ship Set in Steveston. Hollywood North. “It looked magnificent as Captain Hook’s ship sailing up Howe Sound near Britannia Beach for this season’s fourth episode, The Crocodile, so magnificent that Ginnifer Goodwin later lamented that she hadn’t been part of those scenes.”
  60. 60.0 60.1 60.2 Movies Filmed at Iona Beach. MovieMaps. Retrieved on August 13, 2018.

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