Hello, Dearies. ‘Tis the time for another ‘Once Upon a Time’ review. In this tale, Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle, Mr. Gold’s counterpart) is the character of choice and he’s just beginning to use his new power as the Dark One in disturbing and interesting ways. How will this affect his son, Baelfire (Dylan Schmid) and will we finally find out why Baelfire is missing from Storybrooke? Read “The Return” recap to find out.
The scene opens up in Storybrooke. Our mystery man, August W. Booth (Eion Bailey), is having a rude awakening. He’s having some sort of leg spasm and it’s scary enough that he goes into rush mode and enlists Henry (Jared Gilmore) for help. They go to Mr. Gold’s shop and Henry distracts Mr. Gold while August snoops around the pawn shop office. Unfortunately for August, he gets caught immediately. At this point it’s crystal clear that wherever August came from, his former occupation was not a thief.
Meanwhile, Kathryn (Anastasia Griffith, Abigail’s counterpart) awakes in a hospital bed. Emma (Jennifer Morrison) arrives just in time to question her. According to Kathryn, someone kidnapped her, locked her in a basement, and then released her into a field where she walked to safety. The remaining mystery is how did Kathryn’s DNA match the heart and who kidnapped her?
That’s the very thing that Storybrooke’s most powerful co-conspirators are discussing. Regina (Lana Parrilla, Evil Queen’s counterpart) is steaming over Mr. Gold breaking their deal, but of course, he didn’t. Regina never said that Kathryn was supposed to be killed so Mr. Gold used that loophole to serve his own purposes, foiling Regina in the process.
Back in Fairytaleland. Rumplestiltskin is drunk off his own power and he callously kills a man because he accidentally injures Baelfire in a horse and carriage accident. Bae is horrified and he makes his father promise that if he finds a way to cure Rumple and change him back into a normal man without killing him that he will go along with it. Rumple reluctantly agrees and this, ladies and gents, is the origin of why Rumple is so anal about not breaking his deals.
Later that day, Rumple runs off to handle some “business”. While he is away, a little girl tells Bae about a spiritual being in the woods that has the power to cure his father. Bae, for once, is hopeful .
Rumple returns as the girl leaves and Bae is again horrified to find out that his father’s “business” was killing their mute maid who happened to be in the room when he and Bae were discussing the Rumple blade. (Remember: That’s the same blade that if used could kill Rumple and take away his power or it could be used to control Rumple’s powers).
After this latest incident Bae is more determined than ever. He wanders alone through the woods at night and finds the being. It turns out to be the Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy, Mother Superior’s counterpart). She gives him a magic bean (Jack and the Beanstalk anyone?) and tells him that it will take him and his father to a land without magic, which can only be assumed is Storybrooke.
Bae tells his father about encounter and he is not pleased. The thought of losing his power is terrifying and it’s showing all over his face. Still, he agrees to keep his promise anyway. His evil has not yet overpowered his love for his son.
Back in Storybrooke, Mr. Gold has grown suspicious and is asking around town about August. He wants as much dirt as he can get on this mystery man so he goes to August’s place and breaks in. Inside, he finds something troubling, a drawing of the Rumple blade. Mr. Gold then follows August and finds him talking to Mother Superior. It seems that August was inquiring about his father. They had a bitter parting and now he’s trying to reunite with him.
Mr. Gold is taken aback. He runs over to speak to Storybrooke’s resident shrink, Archie Hooper (Raphael Sbarge, Jiminy Cricket’s counterpart) and vaguely lays his cards on the table. He tells him that he has a son and that he thinks his son might have returned to Storybrooke to kill him. Archie predictably tells him to do what you would expect Jiminy Cricket’s counterpart to say: be honest.
Back to Fairytaleland, Bae is leading his father into the woods in the dead of night. He throws the magic bean onto the ground and a green wormhole opens up. He grabs Rumple’s arm and tries to pull him in but Rumple steadies himself to the ground with the Rumple knife. Bae tries to convince him to let go but Rumple is too afraid and he’s convinced that this is a trick. He literally lets Bae go and he falls into the wormhole alone. The wormhole closes and Rumple is left staring at a closed sinkhole. He immediately regrets what he’s done.
He calls the Blue Fairy and asks for a way to join his son. She tells him that there isn’t a way and that was the last magic bean. A clever Rumple deduces that a curse is the answer. The Blue Fairy reluctantly tells him that in order to get his son back he must sacrifice Fairytaleland for a world without magic thereby taking everyone else with him and there dearies, is your reason why Rumple helped Regina create Storybrooke.
Speaking of Storybrooke, Mr. Gold is ready to have his confrontation with his adult son. He finds August and tells him that he knows who he is and the father and son have a tearful and sweet reunion. The two leave together to find the Rumple blade. Mr. Gold buried it in the woods long ago to safeguard it from Regina.
He gives the knife to August and tells him to destroy it. For once, Rumple has made the right choice. It’s too bad for him that he did it at the wrong time. August brandishes the knife in Mr. Gold’s direction and tries to use it to control Rumplestiltskin. That’s when Mr. Gold knows that this is not his son. His son would know that magic does not exist in this world and therefore Rumplestiltskin cannot be controlled in this world. Oops!
Mr. Gold is beyond livid. He takes the knife and questions August as to why he would lead him to believe that he is his son. August explains that he needed Mr. Gold to come him so badly that he would ignore his own eyes and ignore the fact that August doesn’t look anything like his son. (Actually, he does if his son grew up to be a really attractive man and put some blue contacts in. Ok, he doesn’t but we all fell for it anyway). It turns out that August is terminally sick and he needed magic to heal himself. That’s where the leg shaking in the beginning came from. Mr. Gold lets him go but only because Mother Superior trusts August and Mr. Gold might have something to gain from that endeavor.
In other Storybrooke news, it seems as if someone has confessed to kidnapping Kathryn. It’s none other than Sydney Glass. The poor soul is so in love with Regina that he is taking the blame for a crime he didn’t commit. This is the last straw for Emma. She tells Regina that she is taking her son back. It seems that there will be a custody battle brewing in Storybrooke soon.
Come back next week for a brand new episode where we might find out who August really is. From the previews, it looks like he might be Pinocchio but after this episode, rushing to judgment is ill advised. Until next time!