With yet another Sunday night distraction dangling in front of our eyes like a set of unkempt bangs, I understand if any of you were unable to catch the new episode of Once Upon A Time. But if you’re anything like me, you tuned into the NBA All-Star Game during commercials (I couldn’t keep my love for Kevin Durant completely at bay) and waited patiently as the adventure unfolded.

Remember that time Rumpelstiltskin, Emma, and Henry ventured to New York City (why did I not get the memo that they were filming here?!) to find Rumpel’s long-lost son, Bae? Well if you watched the first 10 minutes of the episode, there’s no way you could forget. After they locate the apartment building with the help of Rumpel’s magic globe, Emma uses her pre-Storybrook investigative skills to figure out which apartment belongs to Bae. They ring the bell, listen as he climbs down the fire escape, and watch him run in the opposite direction. Emma chases after him and eventually knocks him to the ground…only to realize that Bae is actually Neil, the ex-love of her life and Henry’s real father. This means that Henry, the son of Emma and grandson of Snow and Charming, is also the grandson of Rumpel, the former Dark One? Talk about an awkward family photo in the making. After the initial shock of the news, Emma agrees to have a drink with Bae and get some answers. Apparently, he met Emma purely by coincidence, or “fate,” if you will. When Bae ran into August (the real Pinocchio) and learned the truth about Emma’s purpose in Storybrook, he chose to set her free and allow her to find her family. A confused and emotional Emma leaves the scene and returns to tell Rumpel that she failed to catch his son. This probes him further and he breaks into Bae’s apartment in the hopes that he will find information regarding his son’s life. Emma stumbles across a dreamcatcher and can’t help but stare at it, leading Rumpel to realize the connection between her and his son. It all comes to a head when he questions her, threatens her, and Bae turns up to save the day and set the record straight–him and his father are never ever getting brunch together, (like, ever). But when Bae sees Henry next to Emma, it’s her turn to start telling the truth. Finally, Henry learns the truth about his father and Bae learns that he has a son. Will Bae be the father that he never had? Will he and Emma rekindle their former flame? Don’t worry, we’ll know more in two weeks (AGAIN with the long breaks).

Rumpelstiltskin’s past comes into play when the story of his unraveling is at last revealed. Fearful of following in his cowardice father’s footsteps, Rumpel joins the war and bids farewell to his wife, Mila. During his first day on the battlefield, he is put in charge of watching “the beast,” who turns out to be a seer (young girl who “sees all”). Without pause, she begins to tell Rumpel what his future with Mila will be: She is with child, but your actions on the battlefield tomorrow will leave him fatherless. Rumpel interprets this to mean that he will die in battle and therefore abandon his family. Unwilling to believe her, Rumpel goes about his duties as told. But when the seer’s predictions begin to take shape, Rumpel is petrified and takes an axe to his own foot so he does not have to fight. He returns home to find Mila holding their son in her arms. Surprised and ashamed to hear that the rumors of Rumpel’s cowardice actions are true, Mila berates him for becoming exactly who he promised he wouldn’t. Later on when Rumpel becomes the Dark One, he manages to meet with the same seer who predicted his fate all those years ago. Infatuated with her ability to “see all,” Rumpel takes her powers and is left with mismatched puzzle pieces and one last prediction from the seer: You will be reunited with your son–a young boy will lead you to him. That young boy will also be your undoing. Hint hint, the young boy is Henry (cue gasps).

On a warpath to destroy all of Storybrook, Regina, Cora, and Hook team up to prey on Rumpel now that he has left town and is unable to use magic. First order of business–find the dagger. Regina visits Belle in an effort to do just that. Now when I say “visits,” I mean “say Hi, use a spell to put her to sleep, command all of the belongings in her purse to float in the air until she finds a note with a number on it, and exit as she entered. Standard magic protocol. Regina guesses that the number correlates to a coded book in Belle’s library, and there, the three of them find a map which leads to the dagger’s location. Hook uses his captain expertise to crack the code and share the information with Regina and Cora…who knock him unconscious and move forward with their plan: Control Rumpel with his dagger and frame him for the murder of Snow, Charming, and Emma. Devious…or brilliant?

In the midst of all this chaos, Mr. Mendel (the stranger from the car crash) films Regina using magic in Belle’s hospital room and decides to stay in Storybrook to find out more about this mysterious little town. Sloppy move, ReRe.

And the morals of the story are, 1) The truth will always come out and 2) You cannot escape fate. Emma ran from the truth and pulled the wool over both Bae and Henry’s eyes, and all for what? To run right back into the mess she left behind. Rumpel avoided fighting in the war so his son would not be left fatherless, and that’s exactly how he grew up. Knowing the truth might set you free, but fate is a force from which you cannot hide. But enough mumbo jumbo–be sure to watch Once Upon A Time every Sunday night at 8PM EST on ABC!


20-something creative writer turned corporate, armed with big ideas and even bigger dreams. Avid reader, lover of all things musical, incessant blogger. Sucker for movie quotes, feature writing, and a good book. To inspire and be inspired.

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