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Once Upon a Time 1-19: The Return

There are lots of mysteries in Once Upon a Time, and one of the burning ones is who is August W. Booth. Last night did not answer that question, but it did shoot one theory out of the water. And we learn the fate of Rumplestiltskin’s son – sort of. Oh yeah, and we get a clue about what happened to Kathryn. Yeah, there was a lot happening as always. I feel like they are building up to a season finale or something.

Our story in Fairy Tale focused on Rumplestiltskin. We open with a shot of a boy chasing a ball. He’s not paying attention and winds up almost getting trampled by a horse and cart. The owner is yelling at the boy until he realizes who the boy is. Immediately, he starts apologizing. The boy almost leaves when his dad, Rumplestiltskin, shows up. He’s willing to let the merchant off with a warning, but then he realizes that his son skinned his knee. Enraged, Rumplestiltskin turns the man into a slug and then steps on him.

His son is quite upset by the change in his father as evident by the scene we just saw. He begs him to give up his magic, but Rumplestiltskin explains that the only way to do that is to be stabbed by the dagger with his name on it, which would kill him and give the powers to the attacker. His son makes him promise that if he can find another way, then Rumplestiltskin will follow it.

The next day, Rumplestiltskin has an errand to run, and takes his son along. The errand? Killing their servant girl because she overheard them talking about the dagger. While he’s doing that, his son learns from the one friend who is still willing to hang out with him that there is a greater power than Rumplestiltskin.

That night, the son calls upon the power, and it appears. It’s the Blue Fairy, and she gives him a magic bean – the last magic bean. All the rest have disappeared, and they don’t know where. He is to plant the bean and follow wherever it leads since it will lead to a land without magic.

The next night, the son drags Rumplestiltskin to the woods and plants the bean. If you are expecting a bean stalk (and I must admit I kind of was), you’ll be shocked to learn that instead we got a swirling blue vortex. Rumplestiltskin can’t quite bring himself to head to a land with no magic, so he resists. Ultimately, the son goes through alone, but as soon as the vortex disappears, Rumplestiltskin regrets it. In fact, he goes and calls on the Blue Fairy, who tells him there is now no easy way through to where his son is. But Rumplestiltskin gets the idea of a curse (she points out that only because of his evil magic did he think of curse and not blessing). But to enact the curse would require a great sacrifice, and not the one that Rumplestiltskin has just made.

I will admit, I was wondering about Rumplestiltskin and his son since we’d only seen the son in one flashback, so I was glad to have that cleared up. But things were just as interesting in Storybrooke this week.

The episode actually opens with August waking up in bed. He starts having convulsions so bad he falls out of bed and rolls across the floor. When they finish, he calls someone and says that things aren’t moving quickly enough and they have to move forward now.

That someone appears to be Henry because in the next scene, they are getting ready to follow their plan of attack. Henry walks through the front door of Mr. Gold’s pawn shop and asks about buying a bell as a congrats on not going to jail present for Mary Margaret. Meanwhile, August slips in the back and searches for something. Henry’s distraction doesn’t last long enough, and Mr. Gold catches him. August acts like he thought that was the front door he walked through and says he was looking for a map.

The encounter really raises Mr. Gold’s suspicion of August. He breaks into and searches his room. He raises a donkey paperweight and begins to look through pages of a manuscript. He stops when he sees a drawing of Rumplestiltskin’s dagger.

Mr. Gold and Emma have a very funny conversation about several things – Kathryn being alive and the part he might have played in it (we’ll deal with that part of things in a minute) and who August really might be. They get nowhere, but Mr. Gold does go to see Dr. Hopper and confesses that he thinks he might have found his son but is afraid of how to approach him. Dr. Hopper tells him to be honest.

And so Mr. Gold confronts August in the woods. August quickly identifies himself as Rumplestiltskin’s son. Mr. Gold apologizes with tears for not following him all those years ago, and the two hug. Then Mr. Gold takes August to where he buried the dagger. He even offers it to August for safe keeping as a measure of his good will.

August immediately seizes it and tries to use it to control Rumplestiltskin’s magic. Shocking, August isn’t the son after all. But he led Mr. Gold into thinking that so he could try to use his magic. August has some disease that is killing him. Somehow, magic will help, and Emma’s slowness in trying to break the curse means he will die before he gets the help he needs. Mr. Gold takes the dagger back and then leaves August, hoping that his desperation will get August to move more quickly in getting Emma to believe in the curse and her part as the savior.

Meanwhile, Mary Margaret’s friends are rejoicing that she is now free from suspicion. David tries to talk to her to apologize, but she isn’t interested. She says, “It’s like some force is trying to keep us apart.” You think? Anyway she is not ready to forgive him yet.

Meanwhile Regina goes to confront Mr. Gold about Kathryn’s disappearance. She sure sounds like she wanted Kathryn to actually die so Mary Margaret would have no hope of getting off. But Mr. Gold explains that wasn’t their exact bargain. For her part, Kathryn remembers the accident, then blanking out. Next things she knew, she was in a basement with food and water. After another blank out, she woke up in a field and headed toward Storybrooke. She and David shared a tender scene as he apologized for lying to her about his relationship with Mary Margaret and she was very nice about the breakup of their marriage. It’s in keeping with the note she left before she tried to leave town.

Emma confronts Sydney about the bug she found in her office. He tries to deny it, but Emma isn’t buying his act and tells him to either help her or face jail time for helping Regina with Kathryn’s disappearance.

As the episode ends, Emma returns to her office to find Regina waiting for her. She’s there with Sydney, who is there to confess to kidnapping Kathryn. His motive? Trying to get a scoop on this story he’s created himself to get his job at the paper back. Emma isn’t buying it for a minute and takes Regina out in the hall. It’s then she threatens Regina where it really hurts. “I am going to get my son back.”

So, what questions do we have left. Where is Rumplestiltskin’s son? Is he in our world somewhere or is he in some other world? And did Rumplestiltskin manipulate Regina into casting the curse? I’m still wondering why he was in jail like we saw in the first couple of episodes.

Who is August really? And what is his disease? I read an article that said his paperweight (a donkey) would be a big clue. Combine that with the preview for next week, and I’m wondering if he is Pinocchio. If so, how did he get out of town for a while and come back? Wouldn’t he be under the curse as well?

Will Emma figure out that it was Mr. Gold who actually was holding Kathryn? If so, what will she do about it? And just how stupid is Emma? Confronting Sydney and Regina and telling them her plans? She really needs to keep her next steps hidden. I can’t believe just how stupid she can be.

And did anyone catch the Hidden Mickey in this episode? It’s was actually pretty obvious, but I still found it fun. Any other hidden things like that I missed?

So, what did you think? Any theories I should be considering?

While we wait for the next new episode, stop by and say hi at my blog, Random Ramblings from Sunny Southern CA.