Once Upon a Time Recap: The Son Also Rises

The following recap, by the very definition of the word recap, contains major spoilers from this Sunday’s Once Upon a Time.

This week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time,Once_0217_seer Mr. Gold found his son in New York City, Emma ran into a familiar face, Cora and Regina revealed their wicked endgame and a pivotal piece of Rumplestiltskin’s backstory was revealed.

IN THE FAIRYTALE LAND THAT WAS…. | Though Milah fears for his life, Rumplestiltskin is jazzed to be called to the front line of the Ogre Wars, so that he might escape his father’s cowardly shadow. Reporting for duty, he is tasked with guarding someone who could “change the tide” of the war — a young, blind seer. For starters, the lass reveals that Milah is with child. She also warns Rumple that his actions on the battlefield will leave his son fatherless. Rumple is skeptical, but when the girl’s other vision — that the army will ride into war on “cows” (which wound up meaning cowhide saddles) — holds true, he hobbles himself to escape the war and return home, where Milah introduces their newborn son Baelfire. When Rumple comments on the “strong name,” Milah says he’ll need it, being the son of a coward. “I did this all for the boy,” Rumple explains, “to save him from growing up without a father!” Mean, mean Milah retorts that Bae is consigned to a worse fate, “as your son,” and says she’d rather her husband had fought and died. Alone with his boy, Rumplestiltskin promises, “I will never leave you.” (Has Robert Carlyle ever been better?)

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Scoop: Emma’s Baby Daddy Neal Cassidy Is a Keeper

IN NEW YORK CITY…. | Arriving at Baelfire’s apartment building — whose exterior and vestibule didn’t match the one filmed in New York City for the season premiere — with Mr. Gold and Henry, Emma rings the one unmarked buzzer, announcing a delivery into the intercom, then hears someone accessing the fire escape. They hurry outside to spy a hoodied guy scurrying down the sidewalk. Gold tells Emma he wants to cash in on his favor: “Get him to talk to me!” Once_0217_EmmaA footchase ends with Emma tackling… baby daddy Neal Cassidy! (Non-surprise!) Emma has so many questions, including 1) whether Neal is the son of Rumplestiltskin (answer: yes) and 2) if he knew who/what Emma was when they first met.

Sitting in a bar, Neal insists he had no idea who Emma was and in fact has labored to “get away from all that crap.” Neal relates how August showed him his typewriter (a-ha!) with a piece of paper that read “I know you are Baelfire” to prove their shared past when arguing that Neal needed to walk away from Emma. (“You let me go to prison because Pinocchio told you to??”) Even so, Neal believes that while “there’s not a ton about my father that doesn’t suck,” he always said there were no coincidences, so, “Maybe we met for a reason? Maybe something good came of it?” “Nothing that I can think of,” Emma utters, withholding the Henry news, as she hands back the keychain gift she’d been wearing as a necklace. Wonderful work by Jennifer Morrison.

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Brings Back August and Sheriff Graham

After Emma reports back that Bae “got away,” Gold breaks into the apartment. As they snoop around, Gold gleans that Emma is lying about Bae. “We had a deal!” Gold roars, as Neal comes barreling in to make sure Emma is OK. “You two know each other…? How?!” Gold asks. Sure ’nuff, Neal’s curiosity about Henry/his age puts the pieces together for everyone involved. Shocked to learn that the story of his dead fireman dad was a lie, Once_0217_RumpleBaeHenry sulks on the fire escape, while Gold calls dibs on his convo with Bae.

Outside, Emma explains to Henry that his father “was a thief, a liar who broke my heart, a part of my life I wanted to forget” — to which the boy counters, “You’re just like Regina; she always lied to me too.” Inside, Rumple admits to Bae that he made mistakes and “there is no greater pain than regret. Let me make it up to you.” Neal/Bae can’t imagine how, and quickly shoots down his dad’s offer to turn him back into a 14-year-old (!). “You have no idea what I’ve lived with,” Neal says, revealing that not a night goes by that he doesn’t see Rumple releasing his grip, letting Bae fall through the portal alone. “Now I’m letting you go.” Touché. And a really nice job by Michael-Raymond James, making the unreal feel real.

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Casts Walking Dead Actress — But Who Is She Playing?

MEANWHILE IN STORYBROOKE…. | Mary Margaret and David marvel over Emma’s news that Rumple’s son Bae turned out to be Henry’s father. “It’s a good thing we don’t have Thanksgiving in our land,” David comments, “because that dinner would suck“…. Cora consoles Regina, who’s missing Henry. Overhearing, Hook notes that if Rumple is out of town, he’s powerless and can be killed: “I deserve my vengeance!” Cora suggests they instead search for The Dark One’s dagger. Using a Dewey decimal clue (literally) lifted from Belle’s handbag, Cora, Regina and Hook find in the library a map that leads to the dagger… and then the ladies KO the captain. With the dagger, Cora tells her daughter, they can command Rumple to kill their enemies while leaving Regina’s hands clean. Meanwhile, hospital patient Greg iPhoned the display of magic Regina used in Belle’s room and emailed it to his lady friend. (Dude. YouTube that noise!)

RELATED | PaleyFest 2013: See Which Stars Have RSVP’d for Once Upon a Time Panel

BACK IN THE FAIRYTALE LAND THAT WAS…. | Rumplestiltskin aka The Dark One confronts the grown-up seer and fills her in on his lousy lot in life — all because Once_0217_Rumpleof the “pesky details” she left out last time around. She explains that Rumple will find his son, but that it won’t be easy. It will require a curse to be cast, and broken, and then a young boy will lead him to Bae. “But beware,” the seer says with her dying breath, “because the boy is more than he appears. The boy will be your undoing.”

Rumple shrugs, “Then I’ll just have to kill him!” as we cut back to New York City, where Gold eyeballs Henry talking to Neal on the (Bael)fire escape.

What’s your take on “Manhattan”? The foregone conclusion of Bae’s identity aside, did it entertain? Remember: I’ll be moderating the Once Upon a Time Paleyfest panel the day of the next new episode, March 3, so send along a Q or two you’d like considered.

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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309 Comments
  1. Elyse says:

    I’m diggin’ Baelfire :) I know a lot of people called it but I’m still happy with the “twist”!

    • Patti says:

      I loved it. Great acting by Michael Raymond-James. I loved all of his scenes tonight. I love Neal and love that he is baelfire. I would have been annoyed if they did another predictable bait and switch. I love Jennifer Morrison and MRJ’s chemistry. This along with Tallahassee and The outsider are my fav of the season.

      • I agree!! I love the chemistry between Jennifer Morrison and MRJ…. and you could totally tell that there are still feelings there the way they played it, especially MRJ. I didn’t really care about any of the couples on the show but now I am TOTALLY shipping Emma and Bae/Neal.. even with the “complications” you know that they will end up together because regardless of the situation it was and is true love. ;) Can’t wait to see the next Episode- and I REALLY wish I could go to the Paleyfest!!!

    • Melissa says:

      I agree. It was a great episode even if we knew about the twist. My big question – how the heck did August learn Bae’s identity? No way he just figured it out on his own.

      • Olivia says:

        I was thinking the same. And I need more August. I like him, but I really think Neal/Bae should be with Emma, let’s say, in season 4 :)
        I kept thinking, If he was 14 when he left Rumple and 28 years have passed he’s 42. And was a daddy at 31. I hope he’d be younger, 38 at least.
        Loved Jennifer Morrison, Michael-Raymond James and Robert Carlyle’s performance. Carlyle plays 3 different kinds of Rumpelstiltskin, that’s a great work.
        MM and Charming’s parts were a bit like ‘they have to be in the episode’. And Regina/Cora/Hook was really boring this week. The whole Belle memory loss is getting old too.

        • He’s not 42. In Tallahassee the wanted poster shows his birthdate as 1977 so he should be about 35 now. Plus, he went into the portal way way before the 28 year curse. He should be dead by now, which is why some people think he ended up in Neverland instead.

        • Liz says:

          I have another question about the ages of the characters – it seems to me that the writers forgot about the 9 months of pregnancy in determining Henry’s age… He’s 11 now but in Tallahassee it was only supposed to be 11 years ago as well :/ So either Neal and Emma fell in love really really quickly, or some time is missing – at least that’s what it seems (if anyone can shed some light, my over-analytical nature would greatly appreciate it!!)

  2. Khorrie says:

    So, Matt, this wasn’t what we thought it was going to be, huh? I wonder why I wasn’t surprised in any way, shape or form, then.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Actually, I never said those words.

      • Khorrie says:

        “Matt Mitovich @MattMitovich
        Best episode of the season – even if you think you know what it’s about.”
        Splitting hairs, Matt.

        • 80s says:

          Someone is lacking in reading comprehension……

        • Matt says:

          Yeah, not fair to say he’s splitting hairs since your misinterpreting what he said. I took away from his original statement that it was exactly what we’ve all known all along but it was still going to be a fun ride, and it was!

        • ZmaX says:

          He meant that even though you know what happens, it’s still an amazing episode, and it was. I knew Niel would be Bale and was a bit annoyed that it was so predictable, but there was so much emotional depth in the episode and it was so well executed that by the end of the episode I was actually happy it turn out this way. I can also say the same about tonight’s Revenge. Very well done!

        • Kate says:

          We all kinda knew about Neal being Henry’s dad, what we didn’t know was that Bae spent time in another land prior to NY and knows Hook .We thought we knew what it was about but what we really learned was who Bae is – “leader of the lost boys”.

      • lara says:

        I love you, but these were your exact words: “Just because you know what’s going to happen doesn’t mean you know what’s going to happen.” Misleading, to say the least.

  3. Meg says:

    Can we just collectively agree to not call the Neal/Baelfire as Henry’s father a ‘twist’? It was too obvious. A throwaway.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      It absolutely was not a twist; but the way they unspooled the reveal was excellent, incredibly entertaining and emotion-packed.

      • 80s says:

        I agree! I came into the episode with the obvious “twist” but came out thoroughly surprised and entertained. Such an amazing episode!

      • Lola says:

        Or ‘obvious’, ‘shoehorned in’, ‘overplayed’ and ‘boring’. Fair play to Jennifer Morrison though – some of her best acting wasted on this material. It would help SO MUCH if Neal had some charisma and they had some chemistry.

      • anne says:

        I agree. I wasn’t surprised by the “twist”, but was surprised by how well it unfolded. Excellent episode!

      • Sarah says:

        It was fantastic. It exceeded my expectations.

      • Charissa says:

        I agree with Matt. It wasn’t a twist, I had figured out who the “Mystery Man” was shortly after the premiere, and long before “Tallahassee” even aired, but I still loved how they let the story play out. This was a great episode!

      • Tarc says:

        So true. And it adds such a fantastic complexity, especially with the final seer’s revelation.

      • Trina says:

        Agreed!!!

      • Rachel Shepherd says:

        Wasn’t the “twist” that Rumple feels he has to kill Henry? Which makes me want to review past episodes and all the Rumple/Henry episodes now that they contain Dramatic Irony for the viewers.

    • Gail says:

      I would say the twist was that Henry will be Rumple’s undoing and that Rumple vowed to kill the boy who he now finds is his grandson. I for one the it’s actually Pinochio who is the boy the seer was referring to not Henry.

      • Melissa says:

        Henry will be Rumple’s undoing because Cora and Regina are going to steal his dagger and use him…because of Henry. That is how I interpreted it. Henry is not literally going to be Rumple’s undoing. People fighting over Henry will be the reason for Rumple’s undoing. Twisted words again.

      • Pattie says:

        Gail – I think you may be right. In regards to “seeing” the future and remembering that “it is never, ever what you think”, I think that August being the “boy” in question is highly likely. Can’t wait to find out if this is correct.

  4. Brenna says:

    I wouldnt call this the best of the season, let alone the series (due to the fact that nothing surprised me), but that was some phenomenal acting all the way around. sucks we have to wait 2 weeks, that trailer looks good!!

    • MaryAnn says:

      I thought only “Revenge” was preempted for two weeks, that “Once” would only be off for one week? We have the Oscars next week, which pre-empts the enitre night, but “Red Widow” the following week begins at 9PM, so we have an episode of “Once” week after next.

  5. jennwithapen says:

    Definitely my favorite episode of this season and in my top 3 for the series. My question for the cast would be: we saw Rumple take the seer’s power – does he still have those powers (we’ve never seen him use them), and if not, how/why? I’m sure this will be explained as the show progresses, but maybe they’ll throw us a bone ;-)

    • Lola says:

      He uses the Seer’s power in the pilot/episode 2 while imprisoned.

    • sara says:

      We’ve never seen him use them? You mean other than THE ENTIRE PREMISE OF THE SHOW? How do you think he managed to manipulate Snow, Charming and Regina into acting exactly as he wanted them to? And how do you think he knew that Emma would return on her 28th birthday?

      • Alichat says:

        If he predicted all of this, he would have known that Baelfire was Henry’s father….he would have known that Baelfire was in NY….he would have known that Baelfire would not want anything to do with him. What we’ve seen so far are the visions the seer gave him….nothing he predicted.

        • MaryAnn says:

          And we saw that the visions give a literal, misleading and partial prediction of the truth. That doesn’t mean that he couldn’t use the literal parts to manipulate the future without knowing the details, or exactly when or how they would come to pass.

  6. Lola says:

    Ranks with Tallahassee as the joint-worst episode of Once (The Crocodile sneaks just ahead of both of those borefests). Show, please get back on track.

    Oh, and also if you want someone to root for a kid to find his bio parents? Maybe give him a less than idyllic existence. Until the book Henry had no reason to have an issue with Regina as his mother. Which she still is, legally, no matter how many petty criminals have ‘feelings’ about the kid.

    • Melinda says:

      No the worst episode of OUAT was the one with Dreamy/Grumpy and the Fairy. This one was one of the best of the season even if we did know what was going to happen. And the characters of Storybrooke don’t abide by the rules of modern times in the US. They’re from a fairytale land. We finally got some answers and this is the first episode in a while to have me on the edge of my seat.

      • Lola says:

        Um, while they’re running around in New York (or Portland, or Boston) they are in the US. Good fantasy writing can work within existing systems. This is lazy writing, e.g. why did Regina do magic when she could have just stuck her hand in the bag?
        The fairy one was boring, but at least served the purpose of showing that the dwarves lived a life of slavery (not that they seem particularly glad about escaping it).
        I just expect more from such an interesting premise. The wasted potential on this show is almost criminal.

    • tjmack says:

      Actually, if you want to look at it from a legal point of view. Because Neal didn’t know he had a son, he is legally able to regain full custody of Henry.

      Obviously Regina was not fulfilling her motherly duties or Henry wouldn’t have “lost hope” in the first place. Since that is the reason that Mary Margaret said she gave him the book. Regina is nowhere close to a good person. As far as I can tell, she has chosen her path and needs to deal with the consquences.

    • Mary says:

      What? Go back and watch episode 2 again when Emma went to talk with Archie about Henry. He told her there were problems between Regina and Henry before he got the book.

    • Harmony says:

      “Until the book Henry had no reason to have an issue with Regina as his mother. Which she still is, legally, no matter how many petty criminals have ‘feelings’ about the kid.” I agree. Everyone forgets that Regina is legally Henry’s mother, that his bio parents have no rights to him. He should still be living with Regina. And everything she’s done has been out of love for him. She was upset about Snow giving him the book because she didn’t want Henry mixed up in all that crap. She was giving him a good life up until then.

      • JJ says:

        you’re actually using American laws to dictate who is Henry’s mother? Let me remind you that Regina was not born in the US (or even in that world). Consequently all of her legal documents are fake. So if you want to go by the law, the adoption wouldn’t be legal because Regina committed fraud. Also Regina wasn’t giving him a good life, Henry has made that clear. And everything she has done has been out of love for Henry? You certainly have selective memory. How was framing Snow for murder done out of love for Henry?

        • Rachel says:

          Exactly. The people in Storybrooke do not abide by the laws of the U.S. Technically Emma can take Henry and so can Neal. That doesn’t make it right but he’s not legally bound to Regina by any means.

  7. Gilda says:

    Really good episode and fantastic note to end on! I’m very excited to see how this plays out!

  8. sara says:

    Dear god do I ever want to get the Charmings a dictionary. I love how they put a non-existent relationship between Regina and Henry above her actual role as his MOTHER. This show and their horrific dedication to anti-adoption rhetoric is getting out of hand.
    .
    Other than that, that was one of the most predictable hours of tv ever

    • 80s says:

      The state would have taken Henry out of Regina’s custody a longggg time ago. She has done some horrible things, and it’s not going to be that easy to forgive her.

      • Lola says:

        She hasn’t done them in Storybrooke, though. Other than crushing a heart, which: good luck proving that in court. Emma and Neal, on the other hand, have broken the laws of this land and have the records to prove it.

        • thunter86 says:

          You are completely ridiculous. lol

          • Lola says:

            You don’t understand how the world works, particularly state interference with the family unit, so carry on with your own being ridiculous, hmm?

        • Mary says:

          Other than crushing a heart? You have not been paying attention. How about falsely accusing someone of murder? How about trying to kill Emma (a couple of times – like having her breaks messed with so they wouldn’t work as well as the poisoned turnover) and nearly killing Henry instead? How about her trying to kill Charming in this season’s premiere? How about all of the years she spent making Henry feel like he was crazy?

          Emma broke the law as a minor and theft is hardly the same as murder and attempted murder.

          • Lola says:

            Like Regina herself was falsely accused of murder? Like the Charmings are having Belle held in a hospital against her will and drugging her into compliance so she doesn’t go around telling ‘crazy’ stories that also happen to be true?
            Sidney was the one who messed with the brakes, Regina had no knowledge of that. And Charming attacked Regina first, so that was self-defense when she threw him against the wall.
            She has committed crimes. She’s just not the only one, and hers are pretty hard to prove.

          • JJ says:

            There is a difference between the accused murders. Regina was falsely accused because she was framed by Cora. Snow was falsely accused because she was framed by Regina! Framing someone for murder is a crime. The Charmings didn’t frame Regina. See the difference? Clearly Regina is your favourite character, but that doesn’t mean you can pretend that she hasn’t committed many crimes in Storybrook (murder, attempted murder, framing someone for murder, theft, kidnapping, etc). Also, if you want to get technical about the law. Regina’s American documents are fakes, so her adoption of Henry isn’t legal.

          • chistosa says:

            Don’t forget locking Belle away in basement of the hospital all those years. And framing Snow for a murder that never happened. She has broken many laws in this new land.

        • Tali says:

          How many horrible things did Regina do in Storybrook? how many has she killed? and besides I doubt everything was by ~law with Henry’s adoption. She knew who he was and she wanted him. She didn’t do it out of motherly love.

          • jc says:

            “She knew who he was and she wanted him.”

            Yes, she wanted him. Regina wanted a child, so we are to assume, as she adopted one. But DID she know who Henry was? My memory of the first season is a little hazy, but I’m fairly certain that Gold is the one who acquired Henry for Regina and handled the adoption. Regina had no idea who the parents were, just that it was a closed adoption and Emma could not legally claim him anymore… as Regina herself stated in an episode, I forget which.

            Yes, the laws are clearly different between the modern “real” world, and the fairytale world. Yes, Regina has done some questionable, and blatantly criminal acts in her time in Storybrooke. Emma and Neal have clearly done some criminal acts themselves in their earlier years. Is murder worse than theft? I’d be an idiot in saying no. Regina is selfish, power-hungry, vengeful, manipulative, just to name a few of her less then attractive personality features. None of which are suitable to have when raising a child. Clearly these traits were alive and kicking with Emma not yet in Storybrooke. Henry seemed to be miserable, lonely, depressed… He may have been loved by Regina, but the child-parent relationship really did not appear to be a healthy one. I can see, however, that Regina truly loves and cares for Henry, and his well-being. She just goes about it all in the completely wrong way. That’s her character flaw. That is why Emma has an in to take Henry from her, and not by legal rights. Because Storybrooke is not like any other US city. Because their rules are different.

            Do I think it’s right? No. Do I think Henry is better off with Emma and the Charming family? … Maybe? I think their hearts and intentions are in a better place overall. But I think they all love Henry equally. I think they all want what’s best for him. I think they’d all die protecting him. But I think Regina’s way of thinking and her actions that we’ve seen clearly reveal that she is not mentally and emotionally capable of being a parent and taking care of Henry right now. She needs to get her addiction to magic and power under control, like she was trying to do before Cora came back. But I think Emma and the Charmings need to pull their self-righteous sticks out of their bums, because they are not completely innocent in everything themselves. The Charmings are not Henry’s parents, Emma and Neal are. Emma put Henry up for adoption, chose not to look for him, never told Neal (for her own reasons). She knew next to nothing about parenting upon arrival in Storybrooke and getting to know Henry. Neal was an absent father because he never knew about Henry. It’s a broken family dynamic, they’re all flawed. But they all love the kid, and could all have a place in his life if they just put aside their own BS and make it about him. Rather than putting their efforts into making the others look bad in order to gain “full custody” if you will.

            My apologies for writing a novel above.

        • Ryan says:

          You don’t know that this is a FICTIONAL television show based in a fictional version of the real world and a fantasy world? I mean attempting to apply real world laws to this is just stupid….plus you’ve already been shot down on why you are WRONG anyway. Regina has forged/fake documents and therefore if htat was made public she would have no rights as the adoption was done using falsified documents and therefore not valid. AND the fact that as pointed out Henry wasn’t born in the states you mentioned, so Neal may have legal rights to his son.

          But hey, if you want to piss and moan about something this stupid in a show with dragons, ogres, Rumplestiltskin, Snow White, etc…. have at it.

      • Aly says:

        Except…there is nothing that the state can prove. I don’t think there are any laws talking about curses or killing people by crushing their hearts whilst in a different location than the victim. So no, the state wouldn’t have taken Henry away.

        Also, even if Henry WAS removed from Regina, he would NOT be given to Emma. Emma has NO legal rights to him. He would be put in a foster family.

        • 80s says:

          D- for missing the point. I was being facetious. The take away is that Regina is not mother of the year. It’s about time we all accepted that this family dynamic is complicated.

          • Aly says:

            It didn’t come across as being facetious, as I think the thread of replies shows.

            And she might not be mother of the year, but neither is Emma, or Snow, or Cora. And Rumple is not father of the year, nor is Henry Sr, nor is Jefferson, nor is Neal. Point is, there are some pretty terrible parents on the show, yet the only one who continues to be challenged is Regina, the adoptive mother. Meanwhile both Emma and Neal now want to claim parental rights, which they can’t actually do.

            The only other adoptive parent really shown is King George, who also loved his son, yet is an ‘evil’ character. And apparently we should all have a deep hatred of the foster system, according to the show too.

            This non-bio vs bio storyline is ridiculous, and hurtful.

          • 80s says:

            Your grade is now a F. The part about the state taking away Henry was sarcastic. I apologize if you can’t take a joke. I think you’re reading far too much into the bio child/non-bio child false drama. The situation is far more complicated than you make it out to be. Regina is not just simply Harry’s adoptive mother. The show is not some big allegory against adoption.

            And also, Neal could possibly gain some rights to Henry, especially considering that he never terminated his parental rights.

            Finally, of course Emma dislikes the foster system! She was there her whole life and never found her forever family, or a loving home.

          • Ryan says:

            Aly, are you being serious here? King George and Regina are clearly monsters and that has NOTHING to do with being adoptive parents, hell Charming’s brother was also an ahole having been raised by George.

            Regina is the EVIL FREAKING QUEEN and has murdered, framed, attempted to murder, poisoned, etc people just in Storybrooke. That has nothing to do with being an adoptive mother, that has to do with being an evil character. And lets look BEFORE Storybrooke, she was the EVIL QUEEN. Are we now to say that the Queen in Snow White, stepmother in Cinderella, queen in Sleeping Beauty, etc are not actually evil?

            George was shown in fairybacks to be nothing more than a full on jerk that did anything to get what he wanted up to and including making sure he got the other brother after his “son” died. Again adoptive parent, real parent doesn’t change that he’s a jerk.

            Those two are not portrayed as evil because they adopted kids, but because that is the nature of the characters. If you honestly think the evil queen is portrayed as evil simply to be anti-adoption I think you have an issue.

            Next Emma did not want to know Henry and had no interest in parental rights until she saw the way the kid was treated. Neal, I don’t think I saw anything to indicate he is trying to get parental rights/custody so now it sounds like you’re making ish up(although he could actually have rights if this was OUR real world).

            Then also as pointed out Emma went through the hell of foster care so clearly isn’t a fan of that system for valid reasons.

            Sorry if you find it “hurtful” that the evil queen and king “obviously a dbag, ahole, etc” George are portrayed as evil, but to try to find it an allegory about adoption being bad is just looking way too much into what is supposed to be a fun show. Having said that I ask you this, what if Henry wasn’t on the show and David had been George’s bio child, would that have made it more acceptable for the bad guys to be portrayed as bad?

      • Monica4185 says:

        Thank you for saying this. Regina might be Henry adoptive mother, but she is a horrible mother. She neglected him and made him feel like he was crazy. Regina only cares for Henry now because she is losing him to Emma.

        • Aly says:

          It was proven that Regina loves Henry. I mean, she gave up the whole curse to save him. Plus, how was she a horrible mother? By not telling him about the curse? I don’t think that would have helped his mental state at all.

          Oh, and you know who else is being lied to about the situation? Belle. And it is the “good” guys doing it to her. Plus, she is being DRUGGED against her will. Regina sent Henry to therapy. Sorry, but therapy is not abuse.

          • Poppy says:

            How about remembering this is a TV show about FAIRY TALES and MAGIC. These characters have no idea how the outside REAL world works, let alone courts and law of our land.

          • Alice says:

            It is when she is telling the therapist what to say to gaslight her kid into thinking he’s crazy.
            This is a woman who’s go-to method for dealing with people she doesn’t like is to plot to kill them. And when her son tells her “don’t kill people”, her response is not to try and change her ways, like he wants, but rather, to find someone to do the killing for her.

          • Nancy says:

            Aly, it was proven that Regina loves Henry. So are you saying that Emma doesn’t love him?

        • sara says:

          LOL. She’s not a horrible mother. She didn’t neglect him.

      • Lola says:

        What the law actually says is that the only way Regina’s parental rights could be terminated is if she willingly gives them up, if her crimes were directed at a child, or if it is in the best interest of the child.

        • Me says:

          Can we all accept that this is a TV show? Thus, inaccuracies about the law, parental rights, and the space time continuum are not what they are in the real world. Sure in Maine Ragina would still have full custodial rights to Henry. Emma would be lucky to even be allowed to see Henry, let alone have custody of him. HOWEVER, this is a TV show. That means things are flexible. Given that the entire town is filled with story book characters, why can’t the bio mother have it out with the Wicked Queen adoptive mother. In a show about the concept of what is good, and punishment of evil, the thing that would make Regina change her was was taken from her. It is story telling. Also it would be really hard to go to court to assert your parental rights when you are a story book character. Let the whole adoptive vs. bio family crap go.

          • JLK says:

            Thank you! I don’t think I’ve ever read the comments left after a recap before and some people are definitely taking this all a little too seriously.

          • 4theloveoffilm says:

            Thank you!

          • sara says:

            No, I won’t let it go, not as long as they’re trying to make adoptive parents look horrible and bio parents, even if they’ve never had any contact with the kid as somehow the ~right~ choice.

          • jc says:

            Sara, you’ve seen Disney movies right? I’m pretty sure there has been claims from people over the years that (other than their many obvious predjuces) they would give adoptive or step-parents a bad wrap. It’s always “the evil step mother” and so forth. Now, I don’t believe that the showrunners and writers are knowingly and blatantly writing adoptive parents of OUAT to be horrible or ill-fit to raise the child, and the “good” characters to be in the right. They are characters. They need backstory and character development. They have to drive the story in some direction, and the 2 “horrible” adoptive parent examples are Regina and King George. Their evilness and parenting flaws are/were to develop the distinction between good and evil characters for this series. It doesn’t seem in any way a reflection on real world adoptive parents. Besides, Gold is a birth father, and he in no way appears capable of having raised his son without dysfunction

        • k says:

          There is a direct chain of evidence (the poisoned turnover) linking Regina to attempted murder of Henry. She has, as mentioned many times, tried to make him think he is insane, which can certainly be considered against his best interest. And she willingly gave up custody of Henry to Charming this season. (So technically I guess it is his call where Henry goes, and he was fine with Henry jaunting around with Emma.) So even on a real world basis (which has nothing to do with the laws FTL and now Storybrooke follow, or counting the many murders that the characters AND audience know she committed), Regina doesn’t have a leg to stand on. If you want to argue that the show is anti-adoption on the basis of Jefferson/Grace and Hansel and Gretel, then you might have a point. (But we’ve also seen that Gepetto and King George very much loved their adopted sons, so…)

      • 80s says:

        You guys are silly. It was a joke. Why are you guys trying to argue adoption and custody laws? “WELL ACTUALLY YOU CAN’T PROVE THAT SHE USED MAGIC IN COURT EAGDAKGNAH” …. seriously?

        • Lyndsey says:

          Thank you!! Jeez people!! This IS a fantasy show based on a bunch of fairy tale & literary characters, not a police procedural! If you’re willing to suspend your disbelief for witches, fairies, trolls, giants, werewolves, ogres, etc then I think you can deal with them playing fast & loose with custody laws!

    • Terry says:

      This whole argument is ridiculous. I think some of you guys are forgetting the fact that, um, Regina isn’t a legal citizen. None of the Maine custody laws apply in this situation because of Regina’s illegal status. Since Emma actually has proper citizenship she would be much higher on the list than Regina could ever hope to be if Henry’s custody rights ever came up in the court of law.

    • kpmom says:

      We have yet to see exactly HOW Regina came to be Henry’s adopted mother. Please reserve your judgements about how the show is handling the topic of adoption until that is revealed. I mean, c’mon, do you really think she adopted him legally to begin with?

  9. Aly says:

    Very predictable episode. No twists that weren’t already guessed, pretty much, and nothing particularly exciting for me. I could forgive ALL of that however, except: another episode which completely disregards non-bio families!

    Great message you’re sending, show…
    /endsarcasm

    • MaryAnn says:

      Lighten up. Regina is in no way a typical adoptive mother, and she is not meant to be. All adoptive parents are not going to be good for kids any more than all birth parents are going to be good for them.

      • Aly says:

        It isn’t just the Regina storyline though. It would be less problematic if is was. However, the only other adoptive parent we’ve really seen is King George – another ‘evil’ character. And the show also portrays the foster system as absolutely terrible. We keep getting knocked over the head that bio parents are good, and non-bio family is not worth as much.

        I just personally think it’s a hurtful message to send. I find it sad that it hates on foster families, seeming as I am part of a fostering family, and believe me, the bio parents in these situations are often worse. I would hate to think what adoptive families think of the show. A couple I know who adopted a child said it would be their worst nightmare for the bio mother or father to suddenly turn up and try to claim THEIR child.

        • Name That Tune says:

          So can we remember that this is a TV show about fairly tale characters dropped into 21st century Maine? ? Regina is the evil queen not a model of the perfect adoptive mother. None of these characters are typical 21st. century Americans.

        • Jess says:

          If you look at the entire Disney franchise you’ll find dozens of evil step-parents and tragedies where a kid doesn’t grow up with his/her bio parents. The nuclear family is an outdated concept and I think OUAT acknowledges this most of the time. Remember when Red killed her mother to save Snow? The show definitely has a “nature vs. nurture” theme to it, but that doesn’t mean all the children raised by their bio parents will turn out good. Cora raised Regina into the evil queen we all love to hate, but Regina is the one that raised Henry and he has so far avoided turning evil.

        • Nancy says:

          Let it go! Nobody hates foster families. They do however hate evil queens who use magic to destroy everything and hurt everyone they know. This isn’t a debate about parental rights, it’s a fantasy based show. The dwarves adopted Tiny last week. Gepetto created a boy out of wood. Jiminy watched over Gepetto after his parents were turned to puppets. Red chose Snow over her biological mother…the list goes on. Stop seeing only what you want to see. There are more constructed families on this show than there are biological ones. And you’ll have to excuse Neal if he wants to meet the son he didn’t know existed. He wasn’t given the chance to give Henry up.

          • Hanna says:

            There are vast differences between all of your examples and a case of representinga actual adoption and the difficulties adoptive parents face when birth parents decide to come back into the picture. Maybe the op is not the only one who prefers the things only from their preferred perspective?

          • sara says:

            For not being a debate about parental rights, you sure seem aggressive about making sure that the bioparents are the ~right~ choice.

        • k says:

          I actually agree with you that the show seems to have a bias in favor of biological families (see: Jefferson and Grace, and Hansel/Gretel/their dad), but we also have Gepetto and Pinocchio as well as George and James as evidence of good adoptive families. And we have just as many abusive/bad bio parents (Cora/Regina, Milah/Bae, Moe/Belle, Anita/Red).

    • Alice says:

      But the biological parents on Once are not universally good. Milah was Bae’s biological mother, yet she had no trouble abandoning her son. Rumplestilskin did the same thing to him later on. Belle’s biological father disowned her. Jiminy’s parents forced him to steal against his will. Regina was Cora’s biological daughter, and yet she was treated terribly by Cora. Being raised by your biological parents does not mean a happy childhood on Once.
      Yes, parents that bought their children through Rumplestilskin – the King and Regina, prove not to be the most kindhearted people, but then, if the Dark One is procuring infants for you and you aren’t even asking how he’s getting these kids, that’s not really a comment on adoption as much as a comment on the kind of people using an evil sorcerer to find a child rather than taking in a child that needs a family. There are plenty of happy non-biological family units in the show, the dwarves take in Snow, and they just made Tiny one of them last week. And Henry remarks in this episode that he isn’t mad at his mother for giving him up, because the adoption was what was best for him. The show is not anti-adoption.

  10. Steff says:

    I loved loved this episode but what still has me confused is this whole timeline. Wouldn’t Baelfire be several years older than Emma?

  11. Nerwen Aldarion says:

    Give Matt a break, the Baelfire bit was no twist but the news that Rumple is planning to kill Henry? NO ONE saw THAT one coming!!!!

    • That’s the twist. Everyone said that you had to pay attention to the final 30 seconds of the episode. Give Matt a break. Matt, can you ask the cast, specifically, Ginnifer and Josh what do they think about the conflict their characters are going through and to Eddy/Adam, will Snow/Charming learn the truth about the wardrobe this season?

  12. James says:

    Can anybody explain to me why Baelfire is not an 80 year old man? What’s up with the time rules in the series?

  13. Cassie says:

    “Mean, mean Milah” – really? She’d clearly already been pariahed by the villagers in his absence…I don’t think her reaction was really unreasonable, considering they’re in a war-based society and not fighting is a huge deal. He basically ruined any chance of future success his newborn son may have had there in their land.

    • gdv says:

      No way, Milah was being completely ridiculous. I mean, she’d rather be a widow than have her husband be a coward? Even though he was acting “cowardly” only b/c he was thinking of his wife and son, not because he was only thinking of himself? She wasn’t even relieved he was alive at least? Man, she was a B.

      Anyway, great episode. Great acting. Loved the way it all played out. I am really loving Michael-Raymond James. I hope he’s a series regular from here on out!

  14. Hanna says:

    Sorry Matt, I really can’t agree with you on this one. It was a good episode, but nowhere near the best episode since the Pilot. I’d say the majority of the season 1 episodes were better than his to be honest. I thought season 2 had stronger episodes than this one, too.
    Most of the reveals were either no surprise at all or kinda pointless in retrospect like the shot that showed us what was in August’s box. Yes, the prophecy about the boy that lead Rumple to his son and would be his downfall was not quite as predictable as Neal being Bealfire, but other than that it was really Jennifer Morrison’s acting, a few one-liners and some of the awesome as usual trio Carlyle, Parrilla and Hershey that saved it for me.
    What disappoints me most about this season is the lack of genuine character development and it bugged me again this week. Unless they are having Regina putting on an act for her mother they’re really pushing it way too far with her. No exploration of how exactly she went from “I only want to be loved by Henry” to full blown “let’s kill all the Charmings” and oblivious to the fact that it will not make Henry love her in something like three scenes. I don’t mind her stepping off the redemption path for a bit, but you gotta give us more than that one scene with Mother Dearest in the Frankenstein episode to explain it. That’s no character development. It looks like choppy writing. And there were two other cases of the writing placing plot development over character development in this episode. I find that a bit frustrating to watch to be honest.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I will grant you that Regina has gone off track. The look she had, blissfully nodding along with Cora’s vicious plan, almost seemed like she was under a spell.

    • Aly says:

      I totally agree with all this! The only thing I’d add is the HUGELY problematic theme that is showing how non-bio families are not as important/good as bio families. Definitely a hurtful message being told there.

      • Kara says:

        I have to respectfully disagree with that concern. I think the show is exploring what it means to be a family. One of the themes they seem to be focusing on this season is whether being biologically related conveys some kind of “special” bond or not (and that’s not necessarily to the detriment of Regina’s status as Henry’s legal parent). I mean, look at Bae and his dad, who are biologically related, but are worlds apart at the moment; or how about Emma’s evolving relationship with her parents, who she originally viewed as peers in the first season. It seems to me that the major theme being explored here is what kind of love and respect creates a family unit? When you think about it, how selfless is Rumple’s love for Bae, given his past of abandoning him? What about Regina–does she really love Henry for being her son, or does she view him more like a possession that is supposed to do what she wants all of the time and unconditionally love her no matter what she does? Rather than favoring biological relationships over adopted families, my feeling is that the show is looking at a much bigger theme: the meaning of what it is to love, and how that works within all the crazy family networks in this universe.

      • Name That Tune says:

        Aly you obviously have issues with adoptive families. But this show is about mythology not reality. Give it a rest.

        • Aly says:

          I don’t have an issue with adoptive families. I have an issue with adopted families being treated as not as important as biological families.

          • Name That Tune says:

            You have just admitted you have an issue. But this is not a reality show.

          • Name That Tune says:

            Aly, in the original Grimm tale, the character we think of as Regina was actually her biological mother. The Grimm brothers originally published it that way. In later editions, Regina became the evil step mom because they thought it was too upsetting for children to have an evil mother. I believe the producers have created Cora to add the idea of evil biological parents into the show.

        • Hanna says:

          I’m sorry, but what kind of argument is that? Because it’s a fantasy show they can do whatever the want and viewers can’t or shouldn’t voice criticism?

          • Name That Tune says:

            Many of these fairy tales come from The Brothers Grimm. It is based on 18th century German tales of good & evil. Wicked witches, evil step parents are part of this mythology.DiDisney&others sanitized the stories for modern tastes. But we do know that evil exists in real families – whether the parents are bio, foster, or adoptive. Children get abused & terrorized every day. Can we allow ourselves one hour a week where we put the real world aside & enjoy a fantasy show?

          • Hanna says:

            Uhm, I’m not sure how others having other opinions about something is stopping you from enjoying the show? It happens all the time and if you really want to get into that there are many ways to ignore it and just enjoy what you like about the show? I’m not sure why people always try to shut this particular discussion down instead of moving on and getting back to what they want to see/read about the show.

          • Name That Tune says:

            Hannah, I have no problem enjoying the show. But some people are having trouble separating fantasy from reality. Thus you see a lengthy debate about child custody laws in a show about Snow White and her evil step mother. A story that comes to us from the Brothers Grimm who cared nothing about how step parents or adoptive parents are portrayed – they simply were trying to collect the folklore & mythology of their time. As was noted by someone else, this is not a police show. It is also not Boston Legal. If Law & Order wants to tackle this topic, then this debate has merit. Otherwise, it is a rabbit trail that goes nowhere.

        • drush76 says:

          ["Aly you obviously have issues with adoptive families. But this show is about mythology not reality. Give it a rest."]

          Why? If that person is disturbed about how adoption is portrayed on “ONCE UPON A TIME”, he or she is allowed to express displeasure. Who are you to tell that person to “give it a rest”?

  15. Jh says:

    People are too damn negative. I thought it was great and can’t wait for the next one! Stop being knit picky!

  16. Lola says:

    So Rumple, who used Regina and Emma, and Snow, and Charming to his own ends and is actually responsible for the curse and all its destruction, Rumple who lost his son for no reason other than cowardice but still gets him back (thanks promo!), and who doesn’t change at all despite promising Belle repeatedly… we’re supposed to root for him now he’s decided to kill a child? Wow, show. No. But it’s Regina who’s the baddie?

    • k says:

      What makes you think we’re supposed to root for Rumpel? The show has done nothing this season but tell us to hate him, to the advantage of poor Regina (and poor Hook).

  17. NM says:

    Yes Baelfire being Neil was predictable, but I still liked the episode and where this is going. You know Rumple won’t kill his grandson, so this really screws up his plans. I’m excited for the rest of the season.

    • Alice says:

      Exactly. Even if he wasn’t attached to his grandson, which he isn’t really at this point, he wants to make things up to Bae more than anything. Which would not include killing Bae’s son. Not killing Henry/protecting him for Bae rather than letting him die, is probably what leads to his undoing.

  18. Isaac says:

    It was the first episode I really hated. For a “big reveal,” there were no twists or turns, no surprises, and nothing new added to the plot. Neal is Bae, Regina is blind, and they’re not all going to be one big happy family. That was all obvious after last week.

  19. The Dark One says:

    The Crocodile was the best episode of the season. Anyone else feeling that The Outsider in the hospital will be an important fairy tale character? And all of those Oz promos makes me think he’ll be the Wizard as a ordinary man that gets sucked into the world of magic (maybe in the finale)?

  20. I genuinely liked the episode; yes Bae was a bit predictable but did anyone expect that Henry would tell Emma that she’s just like Regina? I didn’t see that coming or that part of the prophecy of finding his son that Rumple would have to kill Henry…

    It was a really good episode and one of the better ones of season 2.

  21. suzi says:

    Most overhyped episode of the season? Some good moments, but the season opener, episode 2, and the episode before the winter break were stronger on all levels. Just my opinions of course.

  22. jonbua says:

    OKAY IT’S OBVIOUS CORA HAS GOT A TOUCHING SPELL GOING ON THERE WHEN SHE CARESSES PEOPLE… It’s almost like she hypnotizes them to do what she wants.

    • Nath says:

      Good idea. Or maybe she has Regina’s heart? She is the Queen of Hearts after all and she has used other people’s hearts to control them before.

      • jonbua says:

        No, that would be a lame twist. I’m going with the “touching effect/spell” because she also did it to young snow when she got the truth out of her.

  23. John DeMayo says:

    No twists? Rumplestiltsken’s plan was to kill the boy who’d be his undoing… and now it turns out that boy is Henry. How is that not a twist?

    • Khorrie says:

      Because it’s not in any way going to happen so any and all angst regarding it is pointless?

    • Jack E. says:

      The editing leads you to imply that it’s Henry, but it could also be referring to August (after all he’s a real “boy” and not a puppet when he splits Emma/Neal up and gets things back on track) and I could see them using this kind of wordplay/misdirection to make things more interesting.

    • Patti says:

      i am thinking undoing is not death but maybe henry is the one that undoes Rumple from his magic addiction

      • Crystal says:

        Thank you, Patti! That’s what i was thinking too. The episode taught us that there are many interpretations when it comes to knowing your fate. Just because a child is Gold’s undoing, doesn’t mean the child is going to kill him. But I’m sure he is taking it that way…it adds more drama to the show, thinking that he is going to try and kill Henry.

    • sara says:

      Why would it be a twist? it’s a common trope. Basically Rumple is going to fall in love with Henry and the redemptive power of biological family will be is ~undoing~ as the Dark One but save him as a person.

  24. Danielle says:

    I’m going to say that this was one of the best of the season. I wasn’t expecting Bae to be Rumple’s son at all! What I was confused with, though, was when David and Mary Margaret were talking, and he mentioned something about Regina now being Henry’s grandmother? Can someone explain this? Did I hear it wrong? What is her connection to Rumple besides sharing the curse/magic thing?

    • Nath says:

      Step-great-grandmother. Because in the Enchanted Forest she was married to Snow White’s father before she had the Genie kill him. The word “step-great-grandmother” already suggests that it’s a bit contrived, but it played into the humorous approach to Henry’s crazy family tree.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      The line about Regina being Henry’s step-great-grandmother was in the first draft of my recap, but then I cut it because it dawned on me that… SHE ALWAYS HAS BEEN. This was not new information resulting from the Bae reveal, yett Snow presented it as such.

      • Danielle says:

        I had completely forgotten about the fact that Regina was married to Snow’s father. There’s just so much going on. ;)

      • EL says:

        So, by marriage, Gold and Regina are related! Regina is Henrys step-great-grandmother & Gold is his grandfather! And with Cora “kissing” Gold a few weeks ago, Henry’s step-great-great-grandmother, its all getting very insestual!

        • chelsea says:

          No. Regina is Henry’s maternal step-great-grandmother. Gold is his paternal grandfather. They are no more related or incestuous than your maternal great grandmother and my paternal grandfather.

          • sara says:

            Actually, they’re no more related than your paternal grandfather and that woman that just walked past you on the street.

      • sara says:

        What? No, she hasn’t. She ISN’T Henry’s step anything because ‘step’ associations end when the marriage does. She is Henry’s mother and only Henry’s mother.

        • Alice says:

          Um, no. Regina was married to Snow’s father when he died. Doesn’t stop making her Snow’s step-mother. You don’t just abandon your step-kids if their biological parent dies. So if she’s still Snow’s step-mother, than she’s still Henry’s step-Great Grandmother

          • Hanna says:

            I’m pretty sure Snow stopped thinking of Regina as any kind of family member the moment she realized Regina was the one who got Leopold kiilled (through the Genie). Or, you know, by the time Regina tried to have the Huntsman take Snow White’s heart. I understand what they were doing with that line, humorously pointing out some of the crazy in their family trees, but in reality Regina would never still be considered Snow White’s step-mother. Especially not by Snow herself.

  25. tracy84 says:

    I wasn’t surprised by any of it but I didn’t hate it. What I don’t understand is how the audience is actually supposed to believe that Rumple would kill Henry. I don’t think the seer’s vision was literal. She said Bae would grow up w/o a father and he did but Rumple thought that meant he would die. He was wrong. He took her prediction too literal. I think the undoing part doesn’t mean that Henry will kill him but cause him to lose the dark one powers therefore he will be the Dark One’s undoing.

    • ollie says:

      agree with everthing u said. belle almost turned him ‘normal’ with a kiss so I dont his think undoing meant dying. offing rump would be a mistake and I think they know that.

    • Name That Tune says:

      We don’t know what “his undoing” means. Rumple is thinking literally, but his pursuit of Bae gives his enemies (Cora, Regina, Hook) the opportunity to damage him. We know that the seer says things that are not literal. We’re coming up on a tragic interpretation of events to come.

  26. Sarah says:

    I felt like this episode fell short of expectations. I mean it was good but the best one? No, and not enough of Captain Hook either. I have to admit, if he goes, I’m going to feel pretty let down. So far, this is entertaining, but it’s not ground shaking by any means. Nope, it’s just not hitting the target for me. Not yet, anyway.

    • Sarah says:

      I guess I should elaborate. The reason I said it fell short of expectations is because the big surprise just didn’t have the impact I felt like the talk and attention to this episode was setting it up to be. It’s still intriguing about Henry, but not real surprising.

  27. Brianna says:

    Regina is Snow’s step-mother. Therefore, she is Henry’s step great grandmother.

    I want to know how August knew about Bae and the dagger. He left at the age of 7 or 8 and would Gepetto know? And what is up with Coral kissing Rumple for their deals?

    • sara says:

      *headdesk* NO SHE IS NOT. Leopold is dead. Thus Regina is nothing to Snow.

      • Alice says:

        Step-parents do not just dissolve all relationship with their step-kids if the spouse dies. That’s a terrible thing to say that they should mean nothing to each other. It’s not like widowed step-parents just abandon their step-kids.

        • k says:

          It’s interesting that some of the same people who are defending Regina’s adoptive rights to Henry are dismissing Regina’s motherly obligations/relationship with Snow, even though she was Snow’s mom for about a dozen years, ie. longer than she’s been Henry’s.

  28. Nath says:

    Is anyone else having a little trouble understanding Neal? I mean this just literally: understanding what he’s saying, the way he’s speaking. I had to watch the promo three times before I understood all of what he was saying in reply to Emma.

  29. Gerald says:

    What a snoozefest of an episode? How predictable and boring, the ending was pretty good though.

  30. Mike says:

    I though this was a phenomenal episode, and better than most of season 1( personally I like season 2 better than season 1), yes Neil being Bae was predictable, but I’m ok with that. The last 5 minutes were remarkable, that Seer was downright spooky and I loved it. My only complaints were Jared Gilmores questionable acting and Henry comparing Emma to Regina seemed a bit harsh.

    • Gerald says:

      What did you expect from Henry? He’s a terrible character and the actor is awful.

      • Mike says:

        Is it bad that I kind of want Rumple to actually kill Henry.

      • Ashley says:

        Jared is ten or eleven. Give him a break. His poor acting is due to poor direction. You can tell when he has worked with a good director or Lana. His acting improves by leaps and bounds.

        • Aly says:

          My problem isn’t with Jared (although his acting is not the greatest). It is with how terribly the character is written.

        • Mike says:

          Actually I can stand him when he is just casually talking with any character, my real problem is when he has to tackle anything dramatic, his scene yelling at Neil that he was 11 made me cringe. He needs acting lessons. I don’t hate him as a person his acting just needs work.

        • Nicole says:

          So what? The other child actors are all much better than him.

    • luli says:

      I was so mad with Henry when he compared Emma to Regina… That was just cruel.

      • sara says:

        Why? Emma lied to make herself look good.

      • Alice says:

        And yet you could see that it really affected Emma. Kid knew exactly where to hit. Difference is that she didn’t try to defend herself, she just apologized. Regina wouldn’t have handled it that way, she would have come up with more lies to try and get out of it.

    • MaryAnn says:

      I love Henry’s character, and I have no problems with the acting whatsoever. Henry is very grown up for his age, and as such he is very believeable. Henry’s harshness to Emma also seems in character. As grown up as he is for his age, he is still a kid, and he is seeing Emma as being a flawed human being for the first time. He is hurt and he reacted, but saying she is no better than Regina is not going to be his ongoing feelings about Emma.

      • SK says:

        Totally agree with you there. I don’t really understand the hate for Henry’s character. It was he who brought Emma to Strorybrooke and broke the curse. In any case, you are right, he was hurt and lashed out. How many of us can say we never said hurtful things when we are mad? Henry screaming his age is in response to everyone screaming.

        In response to Rumple not thinking of killing Henry, I’m not sure. He knows that the prediction can be interpreted in different ways but we’ve seen time and time again that people here do not learn from their past mistakes. He might see that undoing means death to himself. I certainly hope not though.

  31. It was a great episode, but it wasn’t better than seeing Regina about to be executed and telling everyone her biggest regret was not being able to make them suffer more.

  32. Leondre says:

    It was my favorite episode since the premiere but I was not surprised by who Bae is.

  33. Suzi says:

    Rumble may have planned to kill the boy who lead him to Bae but now that he knows Henry is his grandson that will not happen. When the seer spoke of they boy being his undoing Rumple assumed the worse. The “undoing” could simply mean the loss of rumble’s dark side. He will eventually become a good man due to the influence of Henry.

  34. Babybop says:

    Excluding the story land flashbacks (which I never really like) this was a good episode! Loved the conversation between David and Snow poking fun at the complicated family tree.

  35. emma says:

    yes, best episode of the season

  36. Poppy says:

    While I wasn’t surprised that Neal was Bae, I thought it was a pretty good episode. It was the first episode in a long time that I was bored with. I liked seeing more of Rumple’s back story. Especially actually seeing what kept him from fighting in the war. The twist at the end about Henry was great and I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

  37. jonbua says:

    It was indeed a well written episode. I’m thinking a lot of people are disappointed because they might have thought that it was going to play out like when August pretended to be Baelfire, or maybe because once the globe pinned for New York, we knew whom were headed to – and it wasn’t much of a surprise from there was it? Now, what I’m enjoying is trying to figure out what the writers are setting up. We saw a road for redemption with Regina and Rumple trying become better people for Belle and Henry, and as of this episode both of them have ground to revert. If you ask me, Rumple once again misunderstood what the Seer told him those last seconds of the episode, and I’d be surprised if he does try something against Henry, knowing now that he is his grandson. I actually thought he would look at Henry and try to do with him what he couldn’t with Bae. Great episode, among of the best of the season along with ‘Broken’, ‘We are Both’, ‘Lady of the Lake’, ‘Queen of Hearts’ and one of the best of the series, ‘The Cricket Game.’ Does anyone else have a gut feeling that this season is going to end with the people of Storybrooke paying yet another great price for the use of magic? ;)

  38. Jon says:

    Extremely bored with this episode. Everyone hyped it too much. I thought that the show was going to pull some great wool from over our eyes, but no, Henry’s father was Bey, which everyone was speculating back when it was first revealed that Rumple had a son. And the last second twist with Gold now going after Henry is ludicrous and ham fisted, and I fear that this is going to become like Charmed, with everyone deciding to go after the kids. An extremely boring and predictable episode.

  39. jonbua says:

    Baelfire being Rumple’s son and Henry’s father also opens the door to possibilities of him being Peter Pan, and Hook is going to wanna hang upside down for this one.

    • Alice says:

      I haven’t seen the preview but a lot of people are talking about the Peter Pan connection. That apartment is full of a lot of clocks. It gives another meaning to Bae’s casual comment to his dad that “for more nights than you know” he fell asleep with that image in front of his eyes.
      If they get Bae back to storybrooke, it’s also going to be interesting when Hook, Emma, and Bae are all together.

  40. Justine says:

    If this was supposed to be the best episode of the season, then they must not have much confidence in the rest of it, cause this one sucked. Nicely dramatic, but nothing at all shocking. They really messed up with Captain Hook. They could have complicated him and done so much more with him than they have. I’ve been waiting for that since Hook and Cora got to storybrooke, but I think I’ll be waiting in vain. There’s no insight. Somebody’s writing has really gone sour.I am really disappointed because I think something with a lot of potential has been badly mishandled, and in the end it’s just the network that will pay the consequences for hiring people who can’t see beyond the end of their own noses.

    • Spookypooky says:

      Yes! Thank you. I’ve been wondering if they will address this at some point. Rumple stated he’s never left Storybrook before, so if that’s true, Henry literally had to be left on their doorstep. However, I’m prepared for a twist of some kind. It seems too convenient that Henry would be a random adoption or foundling. Since rumple knew the prophecy, maybe he cast a spell that would bring the child that would be his undoing to Storybrook so he could keep his eye on him…also that same child would lead him to his son..I’m betting he’s known all along Henry would be his undoing, jut not his grandson.

  41. Renee says:

    Are the writers going to address how Henry came to Regina in the first place? She did ask GOLD where “he got him from” and then they said he was born while Emma was in prison last season, which we now know was in Arizona-so how exactly did he end up in Maine? And my dvr failed so if that came up in the preview for the next episode, my mistake!

  42. Cris says:

    Asked them if in the pilot when regina asked for Emma, did she asked because she intended to kill her or raise her? Or it is just not relevant please!! I´ll be there, but I’m too shy to ask, please, please, please!

  43. Mikael says:

    I don’t like Henry comparing Emma to Regina, but I bet the show is doing it because they’re probably building to a situation where Henry will choose Regina

  44. Mandy says:

    I am really enjoying this season. I liked this epsiode because it is more about what you don’t see than what you do. I think the whole Neal/Baelfire thing is a distraction. The really good bits were Cora and the dagger. What is her end game? Also the information about August. He knows more the he should. How did he know Neal was Bae? Who was he talking to on the phonw with in season 1? How did he know about the dagger? Where is he? I also think the scene with Greg is important. Who is this mysteriou woman he is talking to and sending information to? Is he there by accident or does he have another reason for being in town? I think everyone is forgetting that with Lost it wasn’t always the main storyline of the episode that was as important as the little thing that are happening.

  45. Bailey says:

    Emma & Neil, my new favorite ship!? Yes.

  46. Viv says:

    In the canadian promo Neil says that he met Hook before. So maybe Bae is really Peter Pan.
    I loved this episode! I really enjoyed it and I don´t think it was overhyped. imho it really was the best episode in this season. I just didn´t expect a big twist in the whol Bae Story and so I wasn´t disappointed. I´m looking forward to the next episode (in two weeks :( ). (sorry for bad english.)

  47. Ana says:

    This is the first time that Once makes me cry. When Bel realized Henry was his son, waterworks! Best episode in a while. It was perfect. I’m leery of the new guy’s presence in Storybrook. There’s already so much going on that I feel like this is an unnecessary distraction. But we’ll see how it plays out. It was pretty obvious who Bel would turn out to be so it wasn’t shocking but it was still pretty awesome. So many questions answered!

    • Laura says:

      agreed! still an enjoyable episode despite the non-surprise, and I feel the same way about the new guy. not really sure what his purpose is…
      Aside from that, I really liked the seer character! She would make an interesting Storybrooke character…too bad she died(?)

  48. Maddy says:

    This episode was not that great. It would have been surprising if Bae turned out to be someone other than Neal. Saw that coming a mile away. And I am still convinced the Regina knew who Henry was when she adopted him. I mean if Henry wasn’t born in Storybrooke, how did Regina come to adopt him? I really hope that Regina gets what she deserves for all of the crap she has pulled.

    • Vittoria says:

      If I recall correctly it was Rumple that “provided” the child for Regina, I always thought he brought Emma’s child to Storybrooke in order to “lure” her in and make her break the curse…the fact that Henry is Bae’s child is a shock to him too,but I still don’t understand how could he had left Storybrooke to get Henry and if he knew about Emma’s pregnancy how could he have not known about Bae…

  49. jonathon says:

    Lots of legal bashing and negative parenting comments on a great episode of OUAT. Really people its a tv show and a well acted one at that, i can’t wait to see where this storyline with Rumple and Henry leads. Great episode!

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