Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
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Her Handsome Hero 

Belle turns to Rumplestiltskin with hope of finding a way to protect their child from Hades. However, they disagree over whether to use dark magic, as Belle forbids Rumplestiltskin from using his powers for evil.


Romeo Tirone


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 5 more credits »




Episode cast overview:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan
Emilie de Ravin ... Belle / Belle Gold
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Rebecca Mader ... Zelena
Sean Maguire ... Robin Hood (credit only)
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold
Wes Brown ... Gaston
Greg Germann ... Hades
Eric Keenleyside ... Maurice
Meghan Ory ... Ruby Lucas


Belle turns to Rumplestiltskin with hope of finding a way to protect their child from Hades. However, they disagree over whether to use dark magic, as Belle forbids Rumplestiltskin from using his powers for evil.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The episode title comes is a reference to the book Belle was holding when we first met her. "Her Handsome Hero" is the first book her mother ever read to her. Which she said made her fall in love with books. See more »


Gaston: Why do you defend Rumplestiltskin? He kidnapped you. He made you a servant. You should want him dead, too.
Belle: Yeah, well, I don't.
Gaston: Why not?
Belle: He's my husband.
[Gaston looks shocked... but quickly recovers and starts to chuckle]
Gaston: Good old Belle. You always did have a soft spot for a monster.
See more »

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User Reviews

Compassion and forgiveness
25 August 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

The first four seasons had a few ups and downs, like blips in some of the writing, effects and characters that are not as interesting or as well used as they could be, but were on the most part very solid. Many episodes being good to fantastic, with interesting spins on characters, great character interactions and performances and compelling and emotionally involving back-stories for most of the characters. So was expecting a good deal from Season 5 and "The Dark Swan" didn't disappoint at all. All the episodes between that episode and "Devil's Due" ranged to me from decent to brilliant, before reaching disappointment with "Our Decay" and especially "The Brothers Jones".

"Her Handsome Hero" is a huge improvement over the previous two episodes and has fewer of the mistakes they had. It is good still but a bit of a let down at the same time, especially with some of the previous episodes being so strong. There are a lot of great things but there were a few things that could have been significantly better.

Did feel that a lot of the subplot with Emma, Snow White and Hook was silly and convoluted with some very clunky dialogue and too many things left unexplained or underdeveloped. Didn't think it added an awful lot to the overall episode too, the difference in quality between it and Belle's backstory is quite big.

Although the writing is significantly less soapy and campy in this episode, there are clunky moments still with Emma and Snow White, the latter also being somewhat annoying here.

However, there is lots of evidence of forward momentum and character development advancing, especially for Belle, and the set up for what's to come showing some potential, the ending here is surprising. The story has enough moments where it is absorbing and balanced with assurance and coherence on the whole.

What really makes "Her Handsome Hero" is the character interaction, particularly with Belle and Gaston and even more so Belle and Rumplestiltskin. As well as Belle's back-story, which surprisingly is one of the most intriguing, cleverest and most emotionally impactful ones of the season, and the development to Belle, for a character often under-utilised and misused it was amazing to find her not just interesting but rootable. Hades has lost none of what makes him such a great character and his role in the episode is intriguing. Gaston is a great addition.

All the acting is strong, Robert Carlyle is as exceptional as ever, Greg Germann continues to be a great fit for Hades and Emilie DeRavin gives her best acting in ages with material that is actually interesting. Wes Brown is a dashing and witty Gaston with a touch of the monstrous.

Furthermore, "Her Handsome Hero" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie cutter. It is photographed beautifully too. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable theme tune.

Writing has the right balance of humour, pathos, mystery and intrigue mostly, especially for Rumplestiltskin and Belle (Gaston also has nice moments), though as said it is not perfect. This aspect has come on a long way since when 'Once Upon a Time' first started, much more complexity and nuance, or at least at this point on the most part, the previous two episodes did take a nosedive in this aspect and the final season even more so.

In conclusion, pretty good and an improvement but could have been better. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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