Once Upon a Time Sneak Peek: Mr. Gold Investigates August in a Rumpel-Heavy Episode

It’s the big question on everyone’s mind: Who exactly is Once Upon a Time‘s secretive, handsome August (played by Eion Bailey)? We’ve got a sneak peek at the fantastical ABC series’ April 22 episode, which finds Mr. Gold looking into that very mystery.

Exclusive: ABC Prepping Early Renewals for Castle, Revenge, Once Upon a Time and 6 Others

While the shifty “owner” of Storybrooke attempts to get to the bottom of the stranger’s true identity, Mr. Gold’s fairy tale counterpart, Rumpelstiltskin, tries to make things right with his son.

The story “goes back to the moment he became Rumplestiltskin — and [his son] can’t handle this person his father [has become],” Robert Carlyle previously teased to TVLine. “He wants me to give up the power.” Doing that, however, would require being “stabbed through the heart,” and while that won’t happen, “something else does,” the actor hinted cryptically.

Check out the gallery below and then hit the comments with your thoughts.

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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101 Comments
  1. liz says:

    Is August Rumpel’s son?

    • Emgee says:

      That’s my prediction.

      • Sarah says:

        I was thinking the same thing. :)

        • Josh says:

          I don’t know, we’re getting so many Pinocchio hints…Unless they’re somehow one and the same…

          • Leo says:

            Crazy theory: Rumple’s son was turned into a tree. Pinocchio was made from the tree, so was that magic compartment that protected Emma, which means August, Pinocchio and Emma are able to go in and out of Storybrooke.
            We’re getting a “Gepetto” episode in the near future, so I don’t think August is Pinocchio. It would make more sense if Pinocchio is introduced in “Gepetto” episode, no?

        • Josh says:

          Also, just remembered Rumbel was turned ages ago in Fairy Tale land.

          Remember he was around when Geppetto was still a boy. So that means his son would have to be closer to Geppetto’s age, no?

          • Alice says:

            Exactly, I’ve been saying the same thing all along, but no one listens to me!

          • Goldenkey says:

            Jiminy was older than Gepetto when the Blue Fairy turned him into a cricket and yet he is still a young man in Storybrooke, younger than Geppetto. If magic were involved age wouldn’t have any affect.

          • Josh says:

            @Goldenkey : You can’t compare Jiminy, because clearly the cricket thing made him a magical creature, so when the spell hit, he reverted back to human form, and the exact age he left it.

          • Goldenkey says:

            The Blue Fairy’s spell stopped the aging effect with Jiminy. She does make a reappearance in the upcoming episode. How do we know that a magical spell wasn’t cast on Bae? Anything is possible when magic is involved. Between Rumples & the BF, someone did something to protect him from the Ogre Wars.

    • Michael Sacal says:

      Let us say he is. How would that explain his ability to leave Storybrooke without consequences?

      • Goldenkey says:

        We still don’t know whether he can come and go out of Storybrooke. However, we now know there are other world’s coexisting with Storybrooke that weren’t affected by the Dark Curse. Wonderland is one of them. Jefferson/Mad Hatter seems to be able to come and go and isn’t affected by the curse. However, his daughter, who was in FTLand at the time of the curse, is affected. What if Rumples or the Blue Fairy cast a spell on Bae to protect him, perhaps even sending him to one of the other worlds (Wonderland, Oz, Neverland, etc.)? August does seem like he’s well traveled. Anything is possible.

        • Michael Sacal says:

          Part of the mystery that surrounds August is that he can come and go. That is how he was first introduced, coming into town after Henry reiterated that no one can come or go.

          I don’t think that being from Wonderland is what makes Hatter inmune to the curse, I think that it’s part of his nature.

      • Trista says:

        I think that maybe August is Rumple’s granson. Like Henry and Emma – maybe he was sent out of the Fairytale workd as a child – which is why he is able to tell the stories.

    • DieHardOUATLover says:

      It’s simple, really. If Rumpelstiltskin is killed (which he obviously wont be) OUAT will lose a ton of viewers. i mean, Rumpelstiltskin is arguably the biggest/main character in the storyline. Without him, there would be no stories. And it wouldn’t be fun. They can’t kill him without killing their audience. Is anyone else finding Rumpelstiltskin’s name tedious to write out? i would abreviate t but it makes me feel ridiculous…

      • Josh says:

        Without Emma, Henry, Regina, Snow and Charming there wouldn’t be stories either :-p, doesn’t mean we won’t get episodes where one of them, cue dramatic voice, “might die!”

      • Michelle says:

        I agree w Nicole! The show would not be the same without Mr Gold/Rumple, I wouldn’t watch. I’m sure the producers etc know if he left the show would suffer.
        I think August may be Bae. Not sure why he didn’t get caught up in the curse.
        I really hope Gold finds Bella. : )

    • Shannika says:

      I was thinking that too:)

    • Zack B says:

      Been thinking that for weeks myself. I’m still holding out for an awesomer surprise.

    • Trent Bissessar says:

      i am watching it now and yes august is mr. golds son

  2. Carly says:

    I feel like these pictures and the article are leading me to believe that August’s fairy tale counterpart is Rumpelstiltskin’s son

  3. meggo says:

    Ok, ” “He wants me to give up the power.” Doing that, however, would require being “stabbed through the heart,” ” So the preview shoes August up against Mr. Gold with Rumpel’s dagger, if this doesnt scream “August is Rumpel’s son!” I don’t know what does! ha.

  4. kirads09 says:

    I am so there. :)
    Can’t wait.
    Rumplestiltskin: Proof you can be creeped out and attracted at the same time!

  5. Dirtbag1313 says:

    Seems to be a likely conclusion but…Why would August be an adult in Storybrook? Everyone else is the same age as they were in fairytale land (even the children, the Mad Hatter’s daughter for example). Just saying.

    • seras says:

      he would have aged if he left. but if he’s a native, he can’t leave. i’ve suspected he’s rumple’s son, but if the obvious answer is correct i will be disappointed.

    • PFitzDC says:

      Don’t forget that we haven’t seen linear time in Fairytale Land. We’ve seen different stories play out at different times. Rumpel’s son could have grown to an adult at the time that the Evil Queen cast the curse.

    • Anne says:

      He would age if Rumple had the power to help his son escape the curse as well.

    • Jailyn says:

      We don’t know how soon before fairytale land became Storybrook that we first saw Rumplestiltskin’s son as a child. He might have grown up to be the adult August before the Queen’s curse hit. Afterall, we did see Snow White as a young child too. Or, August could just be someone else altogether…

    • MoxieSue says:

      Rumple knew the curse was coming. He could have sent him outside of Fairytale Land before the curse was enacted, like Emma was.

    • Goldenkey says:

      Jiminy and Mr. Gold haven’t aged. Spell’s do funny things to people :0)

  6. Lambsilencer says:

    As soon as I read that Robert Carlyle played Rumplestiltskin, I decided to watch the show. And even though it took me two viewings of the pilot to get hooked (can happen if you’re not in the right mood the first time), I always thought that he’s just brilliant in this part. After the hugely talented Meghan Ory and her stunning character that is Red/Ruby, Rumpy sure is my second favorite.

    Looking forward to this episode

  7. krazyabouttv says:

    My theory: August is Bae, Rumple’s son. As we learned in Skin Deep, Rumple lost Bae some time before the curse was enacted. Taking into account that Rumple really cares about Bae I’m thinking he may have made provision for Bae not to be trapped unhappily in Storybrooke when he created the curse, which would explain why August spent time in the outside world.

    However, Rumple probably hasn’t seen Bae since his early teenage years so he might not immediately recognise that August as Bae on first sight. And maybe Rumple (knowing Bae’s good heart and righteous spirit) gave Bae a function in undoing the curse, thus forcing him to come to Storybrooke (an by extension return to Rumple) lest he wants to see the fairytale characters suffer for eternity.

    • daniexj says:

      As long as Baelfire doesn’t end up with Emma all will be fine. When he ends up with Emma, I’ll puke…..

      • Laura says:

        Why, he’s handsome, she’s pretty, they make a good couple.

        • daniexj says:

          Because, that’s all that ever happens. These creators keep saying that they’re trying new takes on the Fairy Tales. Well… maybe they’ve sucked in a little here and tucked a little there. But I have yet to see anything on Once Upon a Time that is a truly different take on a Fairy Tale. The Red Riding Hood… almost… almost was different, but… other than that….

          The hunky guy gets the pretty girl, they save the world, the dark haired one gets killed (who also happens to be non-white) I could go on…. but I won’t. I had high hopes for this show, so far… it’s getting about a five and on its way down.

          • daniexj says:

            Ah, and I forgot to add. The male ‘bad guy’ gets redeemed, while the female…. I’ll go with… witch…. gets killed. May not happen this season, but that’ll happen to.

            It’s the nature of the hetero-normative TV. Sucks, but it’s life.

          • Sunny says:

            I fully agree. Truth be told I’m already rolling my eyes at the obvious August = Baelfire twist. I loved Rumple in the beginning, but the writers are trying way too hard and are way too obvious in trying to make the audience sympathize with him now. Carlyle is a brilliant actor, he sold the character to me the moment he first appeared on screen. He doesn’t need any of this cheap sort of writing to make the audience get on Team Rumple. And Rumple is a lot more interesting (to me anyway) if he’s more of an ambigious character, a trickster and part of what Carlyle and Lana Parrilla once called “the mob” of Storybrooke. And not this “poor, misunderstood soul” thing they’ve got going now.

          • Michelle says:

            daniexj What do you mean non-white? You don’t honestly think its racist? I’m from Ireland, in the US 12 yrs (a minority). There are people from Scotland, Ireland, Australia and at least one African American on the show. Let’s not perpuate racism by putting it where it is not. Thanks

    • DieHardOUATLover says:

      the spoiler on this website mmust be inaccurate because, obviously, rumplestiltskin is as…himself as ever in preious episodes which take place after he loses his son (or so he says) so whatever his son tries to do mustn’t work.

  8. jen says:

    brilliant! look forward to the mr gold/august meeting. this is the episode where mr gold winds up in archie’s office talking about father-son issues.

  9. Danielle says:

    I’ve read some interesting theories where Baelfire = Pinocchio = August.

    Rumpelstiltskin is supposed to be centuries old so there is no way August could be Baelfire if magic wasn’t involved, because he would have been long dead when the curse struck.

    So the general theory going around is that Baelfire was turned into a magic tree, which Pinocchio was made from (which was the tree where Emma was protected from the curse). When the curse hit Pinocchio was also protected from the curse because he was made from the same magical tree. Pinocchio would have been old enough to know all the stories, plus he would know Rumpelstiltskin’s story if he was also Baelfire.

  10. Paula says:

    All that I can say is . . I love this show!!!! :)

  11. Tarc says:

    I’m not sure if August is Rumple’s son or not, but I’ll bet he’s Emma’s Prince. It simply could be that the magic that protected Emma and sent her far away kept August protected (and of a smiliar age) as well. If i had to guess, I’d say he’s also Bael, which would seriously increase the stakes for Mr. Gold in all of this.

    • daniexj says:

      But, storywise, that makes no sense. True Love’s Kiss will probably break the spell right. But August has absolutely no connection to Regina (and hence the curse) So, what the hell would be the point of making him the prince? Add to that the fact that Baelfire has even… less… of a connection with Regina.

      I do get that people want the hunky guy and the ‘pretty’ girl to wind up together (personally I think that Lana Parilla is much more stunning….) Anyway, I do get that we live in a hetero society, and so eventually the hunky guy, whether it be Graham again, or August, or the next pretty guy face in town will end up with Emma and somehow, magically, break the spell…. I do get that. But storywise it’s soooo soooo full of holes it’s not funny.

      It’s a fairy tale, if Emma was a guy, wouldn’t it make perfect sense that the– in this hypothetical case– son of Snow White would have to fall in love with the Curse maker, them find ‘True Love’ together to break the Dark Curse spell?? But, since Emma’s a woman, the writers are going to have to perform all sorts of gymnastic sorts of poses to get anywhere near something that sorta makes sense if they ever get to the end of the series. (and it’s not cut off halfway through a season or whatever)

      Or…. they could just follow in Lost’s footsteps and totally screw over the fans with a horribly gutless ending… either or….

      • jen says:

        the only ones that seem be hooking up are snow white & prince charming. august isn’t even hitting on emma. he’s just doing what henry has been trying to do all along….trying to get emma to believe ( and helping her,as a friend would—male or female). perhaps just believing will break the curse.

  12. Josh says:

    Cant wait for this hope the reveal of who August is well worth it!!

  13. A says:

    I think I read somewhere that he might have something to do with Pinocchio

  14. Adam s says:

    I think he’s pinnochio and that it was a subtle hint when he exclaims he never lies

  15. Patti says:

    The promo did really scream August is Bae especially with the episode featuring the son. If he is Bae, my guess is too that Baelfire left his dad due to the curse, a fairy helped him escape to be a kid (tinkerbell) and that is way Gold hates fairies. If Jefferson remembers cause he was in wonderland during the curse, then maybe August is the same but leaving neverland made him grow.

    • DieHardOUATLover says:

      i think your on to something

      • Michelle says:

        Except Peter Pan and Tinkerbell have not yet been confirmed for this show. I think there are some trademark issues. Could be the blue fairy who changed jiminy and made pinocchio “real”

    • Goldenkey says:

      Exactly! That’s what I’ve been saying for a while now. Either Rumples or the Blue Fairy has sent him away and protected him. Spells affect the aging process. Look at Jiminy & Mr. Gold.

  16. Christina says:

    Im so glad we’re getting another Rumple-centric episode! I hope August is Rumple’s son, despite the fact its too obvious. I hope Belle shows up too, SO RUMPLE CAN BE HAPPY. Ugh three weeks, I dont think my body can take this.

    • DieHardOUATLover says:

      I agree with Christina. i hate they drag it out so the series can end in sweeps week or whatever its called. 2 weeks is ridiculous. and i also like rumpel based episodes. i find them better than the others. i hope he ends up happy in the end, even if he is cruel and twisted. my favorite episode personally is ‘Prince Of Gold’ dont know about anyone else.

  17. ari says:

    Random question while talking about all of these different “lands” which is also mentioned in one of the episodes. How was Wonderland affected by the curse. It was supposed to be a completely different place???

  18. ari says:

    Also – if I was Henry, I would just dare mom, pops and grandma to get a dna test to “prove” me wrong and be done with it.. I guess there’s no story in that though :)

  19. ari says:

    Just noticed the picture up there where Rumple has his hand hovering over Bae’s leg and there seems to be a drop of blood… I wonder if his blood could protect Bae while he was out searching for a cure for his dad.

  20. Fairy says:

    Aren’t all the Modern World characters named for the FL character they represent, even if that connection is obscure at best? How does the name “August” tie in to any of the theories on who he might be in Fairytale Land?

  21. jen says:

    one theme has been that gold/rumpel misses his son who disappeared. maybe august is bae but something happened. i think he’s peter pan. all that trust,faith,believing. would explain the hatred mr gold/rumpel has for nuns & fairies.

    • DieHardOUATLover says:

      What has nuns got to do with Peter Pan?

      • Goldenkey says:

        The theory is that the Blue Fairy turns Bae into Peter Pan. The fairies are the nuns in Storybrooke. Rumples/Mr. Gold has an issue with fairies/nuns, dislikes them and wants their wands.

      • jen says:

        the nuns in storybrooke were fairies(“dreamy”).. peter pan wanted wendy to “believe”(faith,trust) to save the life of tinkerbell,the fairy. rumpel is my favorite character. why does he hate fairies/nuns? does it have to do with bae’s disappearance? he loved bae so much that he would do anything to save his son.

  22. MorganBaby says:

    I too am curious to know who August is. I do not think he is Pinocchio though. If I remember the pilot episode correctly, Pinocchio was just a small boy.

  23. Katherine DeVries says:

    August cannot be Pinocchio. That character is plainly visible as a student in Mary Margaret’s classroom in Ep 1. He is making a VERY ornate birdhouse and gets a full screenshot during MM’s monologue.

  24. conversekid says:

    I can say that there are possible links between Mr. Gold & August. But my question is….if Rumpel was able to my spells and stuff (i mean, the Evil Queen got the spell from Rumpel before she cast the spell), wouldn’t Rumpel be able to tweak his spells to his liking? Which means that he would be able to exclude anyone from the curse for his own personal plan. He could’ve excluded the Mad Hatter to get Emma to understand that things are magical & not always real; and what i’m guessing is that he was able to exclude his son. But then you have to think: why on earth, if he hated the Evil Queen, why would he let her REMEMBER?????? Was it to make the spell believable? She wouldn’t have bought into if he just said, “Hey, well, do as you please, but you won’t remember anything”. Whatever his back-up plan was to her evil plans would’ve faltered. Dang….I feel like this is all one big chess game….But that’s just my thoughts. I’m rooting for August to be Mr. Gold’s long-lost son! :)

  25. conversekid says:

    What does Mr. Gold want? Does he want to find his long-lost son? Does just like the simple idea of being in power? Both? What does he want??? I’m dying to find out. I know that Regina just wanted to get back at Snow, but Mr. Gold, he always had a deeper, more seeded reason why he just went along with the spell. I know he wants his son (probably) and I know he’s in search of Belle (most likely). I can’t tell which side he’s on right now, but at the same time, it’s like I can still tell that he’s got his own agenda. How does he play like that? He must be a pretty good chess player. :) But anyway, all the characters want something, whether they know it or not. And I wanna take a chance and say that Mr. Gold/Rumpel doesn’t want any of it. He just likes being in a world where he has all control and is not deemed as an unworthy coward. I don’t think he’s changed really….he has hidden weaknesses, but only Regina knows them. But it also makes me think about the hairs he collected (from Prince Charming & Snow White) and how he was trying to create a love potion or spell or something, but it looked like it wasn’t complete. He’s gonna use that favor of Emma, and I think it has to do with that spell. It’s like he’s the one who has the power to reverse everything with that spell, but he’s waiting for the right moment. I don’t know. Everybody’s got issues, man.

    • jen says:

      brilliant insight! could rumpel/gold have done this out of revenge towards regina.? setting her up to take a huge fall? and,yes,emma owes him a couple of favors,doesn’t she? that comment he always says:”i’m investing in your future.” what’s that mean?

  26. Jen says:

    One thing that I don’t think anyone has mentioned yet/recently(?) is that a few eps back Emma was going through her personal file with a clipping that said something like, “baby girl found at side of road by 7 (or 11?) year old boy. May have been first or second ep we saw August… I’m thinking he found her.

    Also, perhaps the “magic that always comes at a cost” for Rump is that Bae turned into a tree when Rump asked(?) to be turned back to norm. Then Rump gets pissed and goes back to “evil” Rump.

    Then, Gep finds the tree -> turns it into Pinocchio. Gep finds a way to save Pin from curse — maybe turns him back to wood hidden in tree/wardrobe, then he and Emma are sent to the “real” world and Pin/Bae is the one to “find her.” A lot of holes in these theories, but wanted to share. Can’t address the redheaded Pin in first ep… age disparity… many holes.

    • jen says:

      the tree idea makes sense. but,agree…..can’t picture a drunk pinocchio taking shots of whiskey with emma at granny’s bar. awkward and totally off the storyline.

  27. nicole1980 says:

    What about the chin-splints? I just thought that was a weird addition to that scene and I am curious about others thoughts on this issue.

    • nicole1980 says:

      Opps, typo, I meant shin splints :)

    • jen says:

      he wouldn’t let emma check his leg. i wonder if he had something in there splinting his shin. plus it was weird. that electrical sound and the puff of smoke coming out of the rock as he hit his foot.
      he knows way too much about what’s going on. plus that “i would never betray you.” and “i’m here for emma.” and,in the promo,who can stop the curse(or whatever)…shows emma,then him.
      all i can say,whoever he is had better be awesome.

  28. Nicole says:

    I think Rumple being reunited with his son would have a dramatic emotional and plot impact, since Bae was someone that Rumple would do anything for, hence it may make Rumple question his priorities and how much the ends justify the means. There’s a problem with eye color & age, but Rumple had very powerful magic & his paramount goal was to keep Baefire safe from the Ogre Wars or anything else that might harm him. Hence Rumple could have cast a spell to alter Baelfire’s aging process and his appearance then exempted Baelfire from the curse. Additionally, though a lot of people thought August’s leg problem at the toll bridge was a sign that he was Pinocchio, I actually thought about Rumple’s limp, because it could be a genetic condition a that appears later in life, so Baelfire could have it too. The use of the word splints could have been a false lead that the writers put in to throw the audience off track. Also, Pinocchio had red hair in the pilot.

    • DieHardOUATLover says:

      I feel so stupid asking but how do you know? like about bae’s (sorry, it may not be him but its easier to write than August) limp at toll bridge and him hitting his foot and stuff. is it from earlier eps or some spoiler or something? please share…

  29. Naymerz says:

    I don’t think August is pinnochio because they show Pinocchio in the first episode.

  30. Bobbysocksmom says:

    I had bets he was a brother Grimm, because he was able to leave and come back to storybrook. He also fixed the book for Henry….

  31. I have a theory about the Mad Hatter. You don’t have to agree, but it’s been boiling in my brain for a while and I need to share. I have a firm belief that the Hatter came to Storybrook because he is linked to the hat, which is from Fairytale Land rather than Wonderland. Someone said earlier on here that they thought the fact that he was in Wonderland at the time was what made him not susceptible to the curse, but if he wasn’t effected, then what in the heck was he doing in Storybrook? And, why then did he make the comment about how they are all “trapped” there. He’s susceptible: just not as much as everyone else. I have three-fold theories as to why the curse left him with his memory, if not his ability to leave Storybrook. 1. He’s slightly nuts. 2. He’s traveled through the hat so many times that he is imbued with a magic that buffers him from some effects of the curse. 3. Since he WAS on another plain at the time the curse was enacted (I think…I have no evidence that he wasn’t in Wonderland at the time. Rather since he was begging Emma to make the hat work, my guess is that he was indeed rotting in Wonderland.) the potency was not as great and so effected him less.

    As for the the comments about this show being hetero-centric or in some way being racist or what have you, get over it. The original stores are both beyond belief. They were written by white people, for white people, about white people. I’m not defending it. I’m simply saying that the I feel the writers/directors/etc. have done a pretty nice job of including a wide range of stories…jinn, Midas, water nymphs/sirens, etc and not just recycling the saccharine Disney versions where everyone lives happily every after and Sleeping Beauty’s kids don’t almost get eaten by an oger. And, they aren’t done yet. If you don’t like the show, that’s cool. You aren’t required too. But, don’t attack it because of silly crap like that. It’s not their fault that many of these stories are products of their time periods. They are definitely trying to mix it up. Rumplestiltskin as the Beast was inspired. Red as the Wolf…did NOT see that coming until she was eating her boyfriend’s leg. Cinderella’s fairy god mother taking a round to the back…yeah…didn’t see that coming either. Real life Snow White is a flake (no pun intended), and Prince Charming is a coward and a cad. It’s borderline the best show I’ve ever seen. They’ve put a lot of thought into it.

    Long live August Wayne Booth…hopefully NOT the son of Rumplestiltskin, but rather a very long lived Grimm. ;)