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