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.
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.”
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.
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?