Recap: Once Upon a Time Spins a Golden Twist

Warning: The following contains spoilers from this Sunday’s episode of ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

This week on Once Upon a Time, Lost‘s Emilie de Ravin played plucky Belle, but the real beauty of the episode came from a big reveal about a certain beast.

First, a bit of set-up: While a bit more of Rumpelstiltskin’s backstory unfurled in fairytale land — specifically how he almost let Belle’s love rid him of the curse that turned him into a gold-spinning imp, only to send her back home to her father, who ultimately ostracized her — Storybrooke’s Mr. Gold engaged in a war with a local florist named Mr. French (aka the counterpart of Belle’s father, his name a nod to the Beauty and the Beast tale). After Mr. French stole from Mr. Gold (it’s sounding like Reservoir Dogs now), the latter kidnapped the florist, only to get pinched for the crime and thrown behind bars.

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But it was there, in jail, that Once Upon a Time set free a secret, albeit one that had been speculated since early on.

“Tell me your name,” insisted Mr. Gold’s visitor, Regina.

After some dodging, he soon fessed up, half-hissing: “Rumpelstiltskin.”

And then it was time to revisit a very old score.

“So, now that we’re being honest with each other, let’s remember how things used to be, shall we?” Rumpel taunted. “Don’t let these bars fool you, dear — I’m the one with the power around here. I’m gonna be out of here in no time, and nothing between us will change.”

His majesty’s response? “We shall see.”

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Oh yes — this is what we’re talkin’ about. (Yes, I perhaps audibly cheered here on the sofa.)

Again, Mr. Gold’s awareness of his true identity is not a massive surprise — it has been inferred here and there, but only Regina thus far had been 100-percent confirmed to know her magical past (in “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”). Now the question becomes: What is his endgame? And did all that talk of “true love’s kiss can undo any curse” apply to the spell that banished the fairytale characters to Maine? If so, exactly whose liplock will unlock the trapped Snow White, Jiminy Cricket et al?

Plus: Belle is actually alive, and being held captive by evil, evil Regina. So we just may one day see Emilie de Ravin again.

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Some fun “Easter eggs” from this episode: The shout-out to a certain “mermaid” the Evil Queen needs Rumpelstiltskin’s help with; “Chip” (from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast movie) scored some screen time; and as one TVLine reader noted via Twitter, Mickey Mouse’s hat from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was spotted in Rumpel’s castle.

What did you think of this week’s episode, “Skin Deep,” as a whole? Were you glad or surprised that de Ravin got to brandish her Aussie accent?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Anwenn says:

    I loved the whole episode and hope the storyline will continue in Storybrook. I loved all the fairytales and non-fairytale references. I liked the Unicorn tapestry in Rumple’s castle and the Cuckoo’s Nest with the man mopping up, as well as the ‘mean’ nurse with Louise Fletcher’s hairstyle from the movie. I thought the show was very clever and fun to watch!

  2. Beverly says:

    I believe the stranger is Storybrooks narrator. He knows who everyone is because he’s writing the story–it’s a possibility he’s come to finish it. When he came to town he said he was a writer. And notice how he had a copy of the original book? It was locked away in his box.

  3. Sandi says:

    Best show on television IMO! I look forward to it every Sunday! And why is it that I love Mr. Gold/Rumplestilskin? He’s supposed to be the bad guy but he’s my favorite character.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Ok, amazing episode, but can someone answer me this: The Queen and Rumplestilskin in this episode (in the storytale land) were acting as if they had an established relationship. I do recall their interactions in story tale land earlier in the season just before the Queen put the spell on everyone (remember Stilskin was in the dungeon behind bars). However, this episode I assumed took place before Stilskin was ever in that dungeon. All that said, would it be safe to say that they haven’t given any background on how the Queen and Stilskin met each other? They knew each in this episode and I was wondering how. Did I miss something in an earlier episode?

  5. Lara says:

    OMG WORST WORST WORST accent ever Emilie De Ravin.

    God it was despicable.

    It was like crocodile Dundee vs beauty and the beast. Belle is so brunette though. She was supposed to be so beautiful, with a beautiful voice.

    Totally ruined it with a crocodile Dundee edge.

  6. kirads09 says:

    Feel like singing the Monty Python song about S-P-A-M.