Once Upon a Time Review: Rumplestiltskin, Revealed

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"Desperate Souls" put Operation Cobra in danger, as Storybrooke was rocked by the aftermath of Graham's death. The good Sheriff left a void that needed to be filled, but it was no surprise that Emma and Regina had different plans for accomplishing that goal.

Let's rundown the first Once Upon a Time episode of 2012, shall we?

Regina's in the clear. Who would expect the mayor of their little town had a room underneath the cemetery that was full of hearts she could crush on a whim?

Showdown in Town

Regina was feeling invincible as she fired Emma and tried to fill the role of Sheriff with her own lackey. Honestly, other than being the mayor's yes man, what possible experience did Sidney possess? Just because you write about law enforcement doesn't mean your qualified to do the job. It made Regina seem truly desperate to hold onto her base of power.

Henry's depressed and scared. Poor Henry. He was the only one in all of Storybrooke who suspected Regina had a hand in Graham's death and he feared for Emma's safety. The poor boy's world must be a pretty scary place because he believes the punishment for going against his mother may be murder.

From what Henry had witnessed, there was no way Operation Cobra could win. As he even told Emma:

 Good loses. Good always loses because good has to play fair. Evil doesn't. | permalink

Henry was so upset by previous events that it didn't seem to faze him when he learned that Emma was in jail when she gave birth to him. As lousy as it was to find it out from the newspaper, perhaps it wasn't so bad. It certainly gave more credence to why Emma put him up for adoption.

Emma found her purpose. Emma didn't realize she wanted the job of Sheriff until Regina took it away. But was it really the position she wanted or did holding the office give her more of a reason to stay in Henry's life?

No matter what her basis, being the sheriff will certainly give her ample opportunity to get under Regina's skin and that's definitely a plus.

The encouraging Mr. Gold. Having Gold as a friend was intimidating enough, but I had to love Regina's evil grin as she gloated at the thought of Emma having Mr. Gold as an enemy.

Of course, in the end, Mr Gold was two steps ahead of everyone else. Henry was right. This isn't a guy you want to owe anymore than you have to. Emma's already in too deep.

Photo of Rumplestiltskin

The creation of Rumplestiltskin. How did Rumplestiltskin acquire the talent for spotting desperate souls?  He once was one. It's amazing how I could feel empty for the man one moment and then be completely creeped out the next.

I'd love to find out exactly what happened to his son. The boy looked terrified as his father was consumed by dark power. I wonder if he exists in Storybrooke?

My only complaint about the episode was that there was no Charming and Snow White as they have become my favorites. Other than that, I loved getting some of Rumplestiltskin's back story. Anything that shows off Robert Carlyle's talents is great fun. Now I just want more.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (180 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


The only thing that bothers me about some speculation that Rumple's son is Henry's dad is the timeline. Rumple, was Rumple when he made the deal with Charming's mom about her two sons. So they were at minimum babies when he was turned. His son was 14. At least 20 years must've passed for the Charming brothers to grow up, so his son would have been mid 30's in fairy land. If we assume that all the events that led up to Regina implementing the curse happened rather quickly, then his son could still be in his mid 30's, but Emma was just born. Unless he was affected by the curse and then thrown into 'our world' so he doesn't age, perhaps he isn't Henry's dad after all. Some things to think about.


@Alex Roggio
I don't think Regina needs magic to kill anyone, HOWEVER, I don't think that getting a gun and shooting someone in cold blood is her style either. Besides the fact that Storybrooke would be up in arms that someone was killed (interesting to see how state of Maine laws apply to this town, if they do at all), but there would be further reaching implications for Regina that she doesn't want. I think she just wants Storybrooke to be a small town that no one really knows about and continue to run it her way. If the State Police, or Governor got involved with that town, she'd have a lot of magic to weild, and then her cover would be blown. It's best to just sit quiet and handle things cloak and dagger like she's been doing.


@Alex Roggio
some things to consider:
1. Regina hasn't killed Emma because she is Henry's mother and if she does then she knows Henry will know she did it just as he knew she killed Graham.
2. Her pride tells her that she can eventually get Emma to give up and leave.
3. She doesn't literally control everyone in Storybrooke she controls their environment and manipulates them personally. Perhaps she believes she is just smarter than everyone else and doesn't always need magic to be in control, otherwise she could have just stayed the Evil Queen of Fairyland. She obviously gets a kick out of being the only one who really knows what is happening. Or thinks she is. Surprise - the Evil Queen is a control freak.
4. She may be enjoying the tussle with Emma because let's face it being the Bitchy Mayor of Storybrooke must be a bit boring after a while compared to being the Evil Queen of Fairyland (but see point 3).


@LoveThisShow Exactly, right!?!


@SuzyQ First of all, Regina has no idea Emma is Snow White's daughter. And second of all, Regina can definitely kill Emma in three easy steps: (1) Purchase a gun
(2) Point it at Emma
(3) Shoot Look at that. Pretty easy huh! All she needs is good aim! But not only that, she could poison her, send a hitman on her, or any other possible way someone can murder another. You're being silly when you're saying she needs magic to kill someone. She should just kill Emma and get it over with. All her problems would go away. If she had no qualms about killing Graham, she certainly wouldn't mind getting rid of her troublesome nemesis.


@eddi seriously that's what fairytales are for!


This show is great! I get my own Happily Ever After when I watch. Can't wait to see how many Emmy mom's they get this summer! Mr. Gold FOR SURE!


rumplestiltskin's son may have grown up already when the curse happen. idk, maybe new love interest for emma, that would be nice.


i dont think henry is rumplestiltskin child.


I am also looking forward to seeing what happened to Rumple's son and finding out why Emma was in jail having Henry. And why hasn't Henry asked who his father is yet? I would want to know. I'm sure that's something that has to be explored soon.

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