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.


I think about rumple all the time! I'm obsessed with him and dream that I am his wife who left the forest and then come suddenly to storybrooke to live. Mr. Gold does not know me til one day I boldly kiss him and since I have aged we are now the same age and with that kiss he has to decide me our son and love over magic. First Regina has to loose her power and I can oblige. Harry Potter eat your heart out.


I really loved this episode mainly because this is the most screen time that Robert Carlyle has had so far, and in my opinion he is the best reason to watch this show. He is an amazing actor, going from really putting himself out there, playing the over the top Rumples, and then pulling it in to play Gold with such understated subtlety. WOW!!
As his character is obviously ten steps ahead of everyone else, I think that it is entirely possible that he is Henry's father (and he is NOT too old to have fathered him.) It would be nice if the writers would utilize Carlyle more and even give his character a romantic interest. Carlyle is super sexy and it would be a real shame not to explore that side of Gold and also Rumplestiltskin. Oh the possibilities!!!


I must admit to being confused. I have read all of the comments and everyone seems to think Regina does not know who Emma is. How is that possible? Doesn't she know who Henry is? She asked Gold to find him for her - didn't she? Perhaps someone could explain to me? I really like this show. It is filmed in a real forest, too.


@SuzyQ - Thank you :)
And yes, I thought for a second maybe Graham was Rumple's son, but then I rejected that whole idea because I believe that Rumple KNOWS what's going on, like Regina does and he'd be really pissed if she killed his son. I still think there's something suspicious about him 'gardening' in the middle of the forest that one day when Graham was chasing his wolf buddy. I sooo want to believe that he buried the Sheriff's REAL heart and just put some kind of a sleeping curse on Graham, but if they did an autopsy, that might be difficult. I keep hoping......


I LOVE this show and especially Robert Carlyle. I like where this thread is going about Henry's dad. But I've been wondering since the episode and have rewatched it a couple of times... Rumplestitskin's wife left him, but when his son says that he told him she was dead, he looks very nostalgic and says "she is dead". Dead? Or gone over to the dark side? (kind of like Luke Skywalker's father was "dead" in Star Wars). Also Mr. Gold is very formal with everyone, but he calls the mayor Regina. And he is very familiar with her. "Do you want me to clear away some things? Make way for your rage?" Like a divorced couple. Is the evil queen Rumplestiltskin's wife?


Great to see my two favorite characters get a lot of screentime. Mr Gold, 5 moves ahead of everyone else!


It's obvious; The Dark Wizard, after being slain by Rumple, was reincarnated as Jimmy Page. Thus the name/symbol, ZoSo from Led Zeppelin's 4th album. Emma must have been a Zeppelin groupie and had a fling with Page whereupon Henry was conceived. Jimmy Page is Henry's father. Of course I'm being facetious. The best part about this series is that there are so many opportunities to let your imagination run wild. I enjoy reading everyone's speculations as much as watching the show itself.


@Spookypaws (great name!) - I thought that Rumple's son (Bae?), with his dark eyes and hair, may turn out to be Graham, until I remembered that the Hunter was raised by wolves. Wouldn't that have been something though? EQ's boytoy = Rumple's son. Mr. Gold did say that he liked the Sheriff, and it was quite a switch to suddenly go after Regina and talk about children w/Emma.


@Alex - Yes, I know Emma's true identity is not known to Regina. That's not the point I was making. I was pointing out that the Amnesia/Non-Aging Curse that you seem so perplexed about has no affect on Henry or Emma because of the Magic Tree that protected Emma at birth. All the things your kvetching about wrt Emma's character can be explained. Same with your fretting about why doesn't Regina just kill Emma? Uh, well, then that would mean the end of the series. Also, since we've never seen Regina use magic in Storybrooke like she does in Fairyland, she may have lost some of her abilities and is more vulnerable to human laws than she'd like. Murder would not be her happy ending. She wants to be loved and admired over everyone else, especially by her son. If she kills Emma, he'll know and hate her forever.


So Graham is dead-o-dead right ?
Dammit I still hoped for something that might have saved him...
Maybe when Emma will finally understand that the whole thing is about Magic she will find a way to bring him back from the deads... *sigh* Yeah I'm kinda being delusional but I really liked the guy U_U About Rumple's son I fully agree with @Matt, I'm sure he will be a fine grown up man and Emma's new love interest ^^ (but if that's the case, no more Graham u_u)

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