Where do I even begin? Once Upon a Time came back tonight with "The Return" and my head is still spinning from all of the twists and turns it threw at us.
Let's start with the Fairy Tale world. Rumplestiltskin's gaining power and using it for both good and evil. He stopped a war, which saved thousands, but then turned a man into a snail and stepped on him. No wonder none of the neighborhood kids will play with Bae. His daddy literally crushes people like bugs.
Rumple was both funny and frightening. He killed his own maid when he thought she may have overheard something and Bae cries that she was a mute. Who would she tell? Rumple's reply...
Even mutes can draw a picture. | permalink
Bae begs Rumple to give up his power and they make a deal. It's the only deal Rumplestiltskin ever backed out on and he's regretted it through two worlds.
In his defense, I'm not entirely sure I would have been so quick to jump through that green fiery hole either... but once my kid fell through I'm pretty sure I would have dove in. Unfortunately, it looked like the reality of what occurred took a few moments to sink in and the portal closed. Had he lost his son forever?
The blue fairy chastised him for his black magic but let it slip that a curse might get him to his son. Is that why he helped Regina with the curse? At least now we know why Rumplestiltskin hates fairies. He blames them for taking his son away.
Back in Storybrooke, after Kathryn showed up in a heap on the ground in last week's episode, I was ready to get some answers. So where the heck had she been all this time?
Kathryn survived a car accident, only to get locked in a basement and then dumped in a field and finally wandered into town where she collapsed. So just a normal week in Storybrooke then.
Regina was fuming. She thought she and Gold had a deal. Kathryn should be dead and Mary Margaret convicted of murder. Not so fast. Mr. Gold says she never specified Kathryn should die, just that something tragic should happen. Lesson: make sure you choose your words carefully.
Regina knew she was being set up so she pulled her trump card. Love starved Sidney came to her rescue and took the blame for all of it. The kidnapping, the doctored DNA, everything.
During Sidney's well rehearsed confession, he admitted to stealing Regina's skeleton key and in this Once Upon a Time quote, Regina says:
Can't help but feel personally violated about that part. | permalink
Her delivery was so deadpan that I literally laughed out loud.
Thankfully Emma finally told Sidney she knew he was a liar and under Regina's thumb. I just don't think she realized how far under until his confession.
Poor Kathryn's laid up in the hospital trying to figure out what the heck happened to her. Remember when we first met Kathryn and hated her. Yeah, sometimes first impressions are wrong.
David stopped by to apologize. The guy's doing a lot of that lately. Kathryn made things easy on him but Mary Margaret's not feeling quite so forgiving. He abandoned her when she needed him most.
She knows it was a set up and she understands that he's sorry but it feels like the universe is against them and she's grown tired of fighting it. And in a heartbreaking scene David tells her...
David: I love you.
Mary Margaret: And that is what makes it all so sad. | permalink
Ugh. She's not kidding.
Now on to the story that had me doing my happy dance for guessing right... for all of five minutes. Rumplestiltskin wondered if August was his son. He asked Emma what she knew about him and she describes him as:
A typewriter wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in stubble. | permalink
So funny and so true.
I loved the scene where Mr. Gold found himself on Archie's couch. He needed to talk and he didn't have anywhere else to go. Not only was it touching but it gave us another moment of humor when Gold asked why everyone always thinks he's there to collect the rent.
Archie offered him some great advice. Be honest. Certainly not Gold's first instinct but he took the advice and I was thrilled when I thought I'd guessed correctly, that August was actually Rumplestiltskin's son.
Well, not so fast. In a twist that could have given me whiplash, it turned out to be a lie. He may know about the Storybrooke curse but he's not Rumple's son. Damn. I was stopped cold, mid-happy dance.
But we did finally find out what Gold buried in the woods all those months ago, so that's something.
So who do you think August is? The signs now seem to point to Pinnochio but obviously I've been wrong before so take my guess for what it's worth. And tell me: what did you think of tonight's Once Upon a Time?
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.