After too long of a hiatus, Once Upon a Time returns with a story I’ve been looking forward to: Rumplestiltskin. I have previously talked about how he is my favorite character, but I really am quite interested on where he got his power from. Why is he so powerful in the first place? How does he always know what is going on everywhere? Is there anyone more powerful then him? I thought the Evil Queen could be, but I think I’m going to be proven wrong in this upcoming episode.

Story Time

Rumplestiltskin is spinning wool into thread when his son Baelfire runs in, exclaiming the soldiers were taking Morraine. Rumplestiltskin follows him outside as young Morraine, a 14 year old girl, is taken to war. The townspeople express their disgust over taking children into war, and go to attack the Duke Hordor when the Dark One stops them from a distance, creating a barrier around Hordor and his guards. Hordor takes Morraine, much to the towns displeasure.

That night, Rumplestiltskin and Baelfire run away, even though Baelfire doesn’t fear going into war much. They help an old man before they are stopped by Hordor and his guards. Rumplestiltskin gives a couple fake names before his son tells  Hordor his real name. Hordor laughs, calling him the Man Who Ran. He proceeds to tell Baelfire about how his father ran from the war, ignoring Rumplestiltskins pleas to not speak this way in front of his son. Rumplestiltskin pleads Hordor to not take his son into the war. Hordor tells him he has no wealth or honor, but he does have fealty, and tells Rumplestiltskin to kiss his boot. He tells Rumplestiltskin that is the price he must pay to save his son. Rumplestiltskin abides, and kisses Hordors boot. Hordor laughs, kicking Rumplestiltskin to the ground and riding away with his guards. The old man that they helped on the road previously shows up by his side, offering him aid in his quest to keep his son from the war with only some food as payment. The old man tells him he’ll be his benefactor.

While Baelfire sleeps, the old man and Rumplestiltskin talk about how to keep him out of the war. Rumplestiltskin explains that Baelfire is his world, that without him he is dust. But he doesn’t have a choice anymore, he resigns to thinking that Baelfire will go to war. The old man counters, “Everyone has a choice.” The old man then tells Rumplestiltskin the story of the Dark One, that Hordor has him enslaved by holding the dagger with the Dark Ones true name on it. He tells him he could hold onto the power, or he could wield it by killing the Dark One and taking the power as his own.

The next morning, Rumplestiltskin tells Baelfire about the dagger and the Dark One. He tries to convince Baelfire that he shouldn’t be a part of the war, which then Baelfire questions him about what Hordor said. Rumplestiltskin concedes that Hordor was right, he did run from the war. The insults that he had spoken of Baelfire’s mother were false though. In the end, Baelfire agreed to go with Rumplestiltskins plan.

That night, Baelfire and Rumplestiltskin set fire to the haystacks outside of Hordor’s castle. While the castle is burning, Rumplestiltskin goes in and steals the dagger. Engraved in the dagger is the name Zoso. He meets with Baelfire in the woods, who says he has a bad feeling about all of this. Rumplestiltskin sends him home, telling him this is something he needs to do alone. After Baelfire leaves, Rumplestiltskin summons Zoso, or the Dark One. He appears, and after some debate, Rumplestiltskin stabs him. As the Dark One is brought to the ground, Rumplestiltskin realizes that it is the old man. The old man reminds him that “magic always comes with a price, and now it’s yours to pay.” Rumplestiltskin asks him why him, and he replies “I can always recognize a desperate soul.” As he dies, Rumplestiltskins name appears on the dagger, and his body begins to change.

After the death of the Dark One, we see Baelfire being taken by Hordor and his soldiers. Rumplestiltskin appears, but Hordor mistakes him as the Dark One. Rumplestiltskin teases him, and tells him to kiss his boot. As Hordor kisses his boot, Rumplestiltskin breaks his neck, and before anyone can even draw weapons, kills the surrounding soldiers. Baelfire stands there, stunned at his fathers actions. Baelfire tells Rumplestiltskin he is frightened of what his father has become. Rumplestiltskin replies that he’s not scared of anything.

Real Time

Emma walks into Mr. Gold’s office as he is refinishing something. Complaining about the smell she asks if they can speak in another room. Mr. Gold had called her because he wanted to offer his condolences for Grahams death, and to give her his items from his apartment. Emma declines, saying she doesn’t want to keep anything. Mr. Gold insists that she takes something, because the box is going to Regina and he fears that it will all end up in the trash, which is the last place it should be. He gives her the walkie-talkies to play with Henry, because “before you know it, you lose them.”

Henry is moping in his castle when Emma meets up with him with the walkie-talkies. Emma says they can use it for operation cobra, but Henry tells her that maybe they should give up on that for a while. He’s scared for Emma since Grahams death, and doesn’t want to see Regina hurt her. Later, at the sheriffs office, Emma goes to put on the sheriffs badge. Regina stops her, arguing that Emma will not be sheriff. Emma tells her that it’s been 2 weeks, its an acting position, but Regina counters that Emma is fired.

That night, Mary walks in on Emma who is breaking the toaster. Emma explains to her what happened, which Mary asks her why she’s so upset about it all. Emma responds with “Maybe I just want to beat her.” Mr. Gold comes by the apartment to talk to Emma, and he explains that Regina doesn’t have as much power as she believes she has. He tells Emma he wants to be her benefactor. Emma asks why, to which he responds “Two people with a common goal can accomplish many things. Two people with a common enemy can accomplish even more.” He shows her the town charter and they come up with a plan.

Regina holds a press conference, announcing Sydney, the town reporter, the new sheriff. Emma interrupts, much to Regina’s displeasure, to say that Regina does not have the power to appoint a new sheriff. Regina says according to the town charter she can, but Emma corrects her, saying that she can appoint a new candidate. Regina concedes, and Emma tells her that she will be running against Sydney. Later on, Regina storms into Mr. Gold’s store, outraged that he is helping Emma. Mr. Gold points out “We are both interested in the common good. We just picked opposite sides.”

Sydney prints a story which Henry reads before Emma finds out about it. He finds out he was born in jail. He tells Emma he’s not mad about not knowing, but begs her to not be in league with Mr. Gold. He feels that Mr. Gold is worse than Regina, and begs Emma not to follow through with the plan. Emma confronts Regina about the article, which was supposed to be a sealed case. Regina doesn’t care that Henry is hurt by it, that he was going to learn about it eventually. She tells Emma to bring it up in the debate that will be happening the next night. Before more arguments can continue, a fire breaks out in the building, leaving Emma with the choice of saving Regina or letting her burn.

Emma, being who she is, throws herself into the fire and finds a fire extinguisher. She helps Regina out of the fire, where outside press is waiting and takes pictures of her. Emma is automatically labeled a hero for saving the mayor. Before Emma can celebrate, she finds an oil rag matching the one that Mr. Gold was using previously to refinish items in his shop. She confronts him, angry with him for exploiting her like that. He tells her to expose him, and see where that gets her. Emma walks out, leaving Mr. Gold in his shop alone.

As the town prepares for the debate, Mary runs into David, who is hanging signs for Sydney. They talk a little, David telling her he got a job at the animal shelter. Mary questions why Sydney, and David explains that Katherine is friends with Regina. Upon hearing Katherine’s name, Mary becomes agitated and leaves. That night, Mary and Emma talk about why Emma wants to win so badly. Emma wants to show Henry that good can actually win, but has a hard time thinking that she will with how Regina fights. After awkward introductions by Archie, Sydney gives a very well rehearsed opening speech. Emma goes up next, telling the town that Mr. Gold set up the fire and apologizes for making them think it was real. Regina smirks in the front row, and Emma leaves.

Emma is drinking in the bar while Ruby pours when Henry comes in. He hands her one of the walkie-talkies, saying that exposing Mr. Gold was a great idea. He apologizes for giving up on Operation Cobra. Regina walks in with Sydney, and Emma congratulates them. Regina corrects her, rudely, by telling her that Emma won. She tells Emma that it was a big mistake making an enemy of Mr. Gold.

The next day Mr. Gold walks into Emma’s office, explaining to her that he planned everything. Emma asked why, and he replies “I know how to recognize a desperate soul.” He tells Emma that she probably doesn’t like feeling like she owes him something, and will call in the favor she owes him soon. As he is leaving, he congratulates her on her new position.

So this week’s episode kicked off Once Upon a Time with a bang don’t you think? I really enjoyed learning more about Rumplestiltskin, and seeing Mr. Gold work more in Real Time. While I think its obvious that Regina knows about the Story Time life, do you think Mr. Gold does? How do you feel about Rumplestiltskin before he gained power? What did you think of this weeks episode?

If you missed the previously aired episode, be sure to read our ‘Once Upon A Time: ‘ recap.