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.


Time can't be completely stopped in Storybrooke, otherwise, Ashley (aka Cinderella) wouldn't have been able to get pregnant and HAVE her baby. She obviously got pregnant before Emma showed up. And I'm sure that Henry isn't the only kid that ages in that town. And just out of curiosity, is EVERYONE that lives in Storybrooke from Fairy Tale world, or have 'outsiders' moved in over the years and mingled with the fairytale people? The way the fairytale people PERCEIVE time might be different than how 'outsiders' do, hence that's why it seems they don't age. And hence why Emma showing up might be helping to lift that fog over their memories. That might be an interesting thing to explore.


Remember that Rumplestiltskin/Gold has this thing about kidnapping and procuring children for adoption so I am guessing his son disappears in a later episode and this explains his obsession with "finding" children. Perhaps he is searching for Bay even if he doesn't realize it. Or maybe he accidently killed him. Plenty to go on with there I think. The demise of Zoso suggests how Gold might eventually redeem himself later if he allows himself to be killed by the Queen who discovers his secret and does it to absorb his Dark Power but overdoses in the process...just saying. And of course Snow and Charming can't get together for a long, long time...just hopefully not forever or how else will they live happily ever after?


I am a mythology lover of all my fav shows,and a big stickler about plot holes and such... but I think some of y'all are missing a major point here, they are UNDER a spell...logical thinking and reasoning have no place in Storybrook. So plot holes as much as they may irritate you, don't really matter here, because spells are not always based in reason... I don't see them as being too into time frames when they measure it by "as long as anyone can remember"... and just because we know of only one person dying, doesn't mean others haven't passed.Henry said that bad things happen to them if they leave the town, also when Emma came to town and the clock started back up, that had to have huge consequences on the spell...but I could be wrong..


@Alex Roggio - If you want logical & reasonable explanations, watch MYTHBUSTERS. It makes sense if you remember what happened in previous episodes. Use your brain instead of expecting the writers to remind you every episode. Regina can't kill Emma because Emma is outside of Regina's curse and influence (see Magic Hollow Tree). Henry is the same way because he is Emma's son and half human. @cidalni - Emma owes Mr. Gold a favor because he let Ella/Cinderella keep her baby.


There was a criticism about the previous episode that nothing makes sense in OUAT, pointing out the Queen should be able to control everything and ride roughshod over everyone. (Yeah, like that would make an engaging story. Evil Queen wins. The End.) First, this is a series about STORYBOOK CHARACTERS. Logic and reason need not apply. Second, Emma was protected by the Magical Hollow Tree and sent to live in the Real World. She's outside the EQ's influence and, obviously, ages just like humans. Third, as this episode proves, having power does not lead to happiness or love. The EQ thought her happy ending meant denying everyone else theirs. She thinks that my keeping everyone fractured and apart, she'll be happy. But, we see that she is never happy, satisfied, or feels loved.


To all those who are curious about why no one is noticing that Henry is the only one aging, I think that part of the curse is that no one notices things like that. It just kind of goes over their heads. Like the clock. No one thought it was odd that the clock never worked and that it just randomly started working again. Notice how things never change until Emma starts asking questions or does something about it. I think that's part of her being able to break the curse. She can help them see through it. Otherwise they're blind to what's really going on.


I do wish people would not look so deeply into the whys and wherefores of these wonderful stories, after all it is a fairytale, where anything is possible. I love the show, Robert Carlyle is amazing, even though he creeps me out at times. I too love Snow and Charming, but realise they cannot be in every storyline, as long as we continue to see them, I'm happy! Plus the wait is what makes you want more. Love Henry and Emma too, even Regina, as bad as she is, is an interesting character. Great show!


I think the reason Henry is aging and nobody else is, is because he's not a character from the book. Only the characters from the book are trapped.


I love this show i can't wait for sunday nights all the charactors are great


I Totally agree about Snow and Charming.
Seriously, sometimes I wonder if I just watch the show for them.

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