Rumpelstiltskin and Rumpelstiltskin Jr? OUAT Recap 1×19

Questions explored in this week’s Once Upon A Time, ‘The Return’:  Mr. Gold’s true loyalties revealed? Mary Margaret cleared? August’s identity uncovered? Henry not being annoying??? Read on for the answers, and more!

SPOILER ALERT–DO NOT READ IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN 1×19

‘The Return’ tells the story of Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin’s one failed deal: that which he made with his son, who desperately wanted Rumpelstiltskin to renounce his dark power. When his son found a solution (a magic bean that can transport you to a land without magic!), Rumpelstiltskin backed out at the last minute, letting his son travel alone to a world without magic, separating them forever.  In the non-magic world, Mr. Gold suspects that August Booth, the mystery visitor to Storybrooke, is his son…and that he wants to murder him for abandoning him all those years ago.  Turns out neither of those suspicions is accurate: August’s true identity remains a mystery (though I still believe he could be Mr. Gold’s son–he was working with the Nun/Blue Fairy after all), and he wanted to control Mr. Gold’s magic, not destroy it.  (As ambivalent as I am towards August, I have to say that I enjoy seeing Center Stage (2000) hottie Eion Bailey every week…)

His purpose, however, seems clear in light of the reveal of his illness: August needs to get Emma to believe in the curse so that he can have access to magic that will heal him (he’s dying from an unknown illness).  This mission makes him an asset to Mr. Gold…This, plus the Mr. Gold / Regina confrontation in the episode, makes me think that Mr. Gold’s loyalty (while mainly to himself and his lost son) is to Emma/’Child of Snow White and Prince Charming’.  At least, for now.  The question is, will Emma accept his help?

In other news, Mary Margaret/Snow White, now cleared of all charges, refuses to jump back into David/Prince Charming’s arms.  She still feels the sting of betrayal from when he believed she had killed his wife.  Prince Charming or not, David has got to step it up, if not for true love than for the viewers, so that we don’t end up hating him.   There’s only so many weak decisions a man can make before the audience turns on him…And that awkward forehead kiss to a recovering Kathryn did not help his case. (Mr. David Anders, however, who returned as Dr. Whale, gets major points just for showing up on my TV).

Finally, Emma was on a role as sheriff this week, sorting through the lies and hidden loyalties of Mr. Gold and Sidney Glass/’The Magic Mirror’.  After confronting Sidney about the bug he planted in her office, she sees through his lies when he later confesses to setting-up Mary Margaret for murder, under the watchful gaze of Regina/’The Evil Queen’.  (I was heartbroken for Sidney, sacrificing himself for his lady love and getting absolutely nothing in return. His pain made me tear up a little bit, I’m not even going to try and deny it.)  Emma sees through it immediately–signaling the return of her super ability to tell when someone is lying–and accuses Regina of setting up the entire thing.  When Regina protests, Emma stands her ground, and, in a sudden burst of self-righteous energy, demands her son, Henry, be returned to her.

It’s hard to see how this would be at all possible.  Emma has no real evidence to blackmail Regina with, and, as far as Regina is concerned, no way of actually contesting the adoption in court.  Also, was it just me, or did this sudden revolt come out of nowhere?

I’m beginning to think that the writers realized they were closing in on the season finale and needed to kick things up into high gear, whether it made sense for the characters or not.  Alas, the show still has much to learn. For example, hire better child actors (*cough* Baelfire *cough*), write better dialogue (come on, surprise me), give us some steamy hook-ups.  The plot evolution of the show is pretty good so far (I love learning more about all the different fairy tale characters).  It’s everything else that needs a little work.  One thing they definitely improved on is how they distribute time between characters in an episode.  ‘The Return’ featured many favorites (see: Mr. Gold’s amazing therapy session with Archie Hopper/’Jiminy Cricket’), and gave them appropriate screen time without taking away from the central conflict of the episode between Rumpelstiltskin and his son.  This balance is great for the character of Henry, who started out as tolerable–too much exposition–but, turns out, is fantastic in moderation (and, let’s face it, he’s a cute little kid to have around).

One thing you can always count on to be great in Once Upon A Time is Robert Carlyle, who plays Mr. Gold.  Which is why I am naming him OUAT’s MVP Of The Week (maybe even of the season). He enhances every scene he’s in, and manages to make an emotional scene work even when paired with a less than equal partner.  Thank you, Robert Carlyle, for making this week’s OUAT awesome.

Questions ‘The Return’ left us with: What is this ‘illness’ August has? And, if he’s not from the fairy tale world/not Mr. Gold’s son, then how does he know about the curse and where is Mr. Gold’s real son?

Watch the promo for the next episode here!

Did you watch this week’s episode? Who’s your favorite OUAT character/guest star? Any particular character you wouldn’t mind watching die in the finale?

P.S. Don’t forget to follow my blog via e-mail or facebook or twitter! I would love to hear more from you guys. Happy watching!

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