Once Upon a Time 2-14: Manhatten

I read a lot of mysteries, yet I rarely figure out the ending before the killer is revealed. When I do, I either feel upset because it was so obvious or I feel pleased with myself for picking up on the clues. The second option was how I felt tonight while watching Once Upon a Time. Two of the things I’ve been saying all season were proved right. Okay, so I back tracked on one of them, but I did change my mind again the next week.

But let’s start with the flashback to Enchanted Forest. It surrounds Rumplestiltskin and his past in the Ogre Wars.

In fact, that first scene was rather ironic and it featured Rumple and his wife in reverse roles. She was upset that he was being drafted to fight, yet he was thrilled. He would finally overcome the legacy left by his father, who abandoned him to be raised by spinsters. His wife, meanwhile, was certain he would die.

He arrives on the front and is trained. On the eve of a big battle, he is told to guard a crate. This crate is the secret to them winning the war. When the person inside the crate calls to him, he is shocked to find it is a little girl. Then he looks at her and is repulsed. She’s got huge stitches across her eyes and eyes in her hands. It’s the blind yet all seeing seer. And she predicts that his actions on the battlefield will cause his son to grow up childless. That’s right, his son. He’s going to be a father.

When her other predictions begin to come true, Rumple panics. He’s certain he will die. So he takes a sledge hammer and breaks his own ankle in order to avoid his fate and get home to raise his son. When he returns home, limping, his wife has already had Baelfire and heard the rumor that he hurt himself to avoid the fight and stay alive. She is disgusted at his cowardice.

We know where his story goes from here, and we fast forward to another meeting with the seer after his son has left. He admits that what she saw was the result of his actions. Baelfire did grow up fatherless because he came to our world. For her part, the seer tells him that he will be reunited with his son, but it will take many years and a curse that will cause all of them to be torn from their land. Oh, and he wouldn’t be the one to enact it. She gives up her powers to him, and he begins to see just how confusing seeing the future can be. As the seer is dying, she does offer one piece of the puzzle. A boy will lead Rumple to reunite with his son, but the boy is much stronger than he appears and will also prove to be Rumple’s undoing. To which Rumple says, “I’ll have to kill him, then.”

So let’s head to modern New York, shall we?

As we expected, Baelfire is also Neal, Henry’s father. He tries to run, but Emma chases him down and tackles him. She freaks when she realizes who it is and demands to know if Neal know who she was the entire time. He says he didn’t know until August showed up the night they planned to sell the watches. And we see what he showed Neal in the box. As I thought, it was the typewriter. It had one sentence on it. “I know you’re Baelfire.”

Emma calls Mary Margaret to get some advice, and Mary Margaret not only suggests that Emma fulfill her promise to Gold to reunite him with his son but also tell Henry the truth. There’s also a very funny scene later on between Mary Margaret and David that goes over poor Henry’s family tree. It’s pretty much what we’ve figured out already with one grandfather being Rumple and the great-step-grandmother on the other side being the Evil Queen – who is also his adopted mother. As David says, “It’s a good thing we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in our realm.”

Naturally, Emma ignores both pieces of advice. She goes back and tells Gold that his son got away. Not being one to take defeat well, Gold goes to his son’s apartment and breaks in. The entire time, Emma is trying to talk him out of it, mainly because she doesn’t want Henry to know about his father. Gold figures out she knows more than she is letting on and confronts her on it. Emma sends Henry to the other room, but keeps denying it. Gold begins to threaten Emma…

…And in walks Neal. The argument continues, and Henry comes out. It doesn’t take Neal more than two seconds to figure out the truth, which then comes out. When Henry realizes that Emma lied to him about his father, he heads out to the fire escape, and Emma follows. She tries to explain that she lied to protect Henry because Neal had so hurt her. Plus she never planned to ever see him again. Henry isn’t that happy about it at all, however, and insists that he wants to get to know his father.

Meanwhile, Neal and Gold are talking, but only because it’s the only way to fulfill Emma’s deal with Gold. Gold tries to apologize. He says he wants to get back the time they’ve been apart. He even suggests going back to Storybrooke so he has magic again and using that to erase Neal’s memories. Neal is less than impressed, saying that after all this time, Gold is still relying on magic. Obviously, Gold hasn’t changed despite his claims to the contrary.

Our last shot of them is of Neal out on the fire escape talking to Henry. Meanwhile, we get the last flashback scene. We come back to the present to see Gold looking at Henry. So, Henry will be the key to his undoing? And, at least once upon a time, he planned to kill Henry?

Meanwhile, back in Storybrooke….

Cora and Regina figure that with Gold out of town, it’s the best time to find his dagger. Hook just wants to go charging after him to kill him, but they talk him into waiting.

Regina goes to Belle to try to get help in locating the dagger. Yes, Belle is still without her memories. But Regina doesn’t really need them anyway. She uses magic to search Belle’s purse and finds an index card with a Dewey Decimal reference on it.

So out trio goes to the library to search. At first it looks like that book is missing, but Cora looks more closely and finds a treasure map. Hook quickly figures out where the map leads, and then Cora uses magic to fling him across the library. Her plan with the dagger? Use it to control Gold/Rumple/The Dark One when he gets back to town and make him kill Snow, Charming, and Emma. Then Henry will be all Regina’s and Regina will still be blameless in Henry’s eyes.

Meanwhile, we get one scene with the accident victim. He is well enough the hospital is releasing him. But he doesn’t want to go. And as explanation, he sends a video to “Her” that shows Regina searching Belle purse.

So, Neal is Baelfire is Henry’s father.

And Rumple really has been manipulating things all along so the curse would be enacted so that he could come to our world and reunite with his son. Talk about your long term battle plan.

But what’s this about Henry being his undoing? How is that possible? And will Gold try to kill Henry now that he knows who the boy is? And I mean that in the sense that he knows Henry. The fact that he’s just learned Henry is his grandson might make him rethink that as well.

And when Gold goes back to Storybrooke, will he be able to do anything again Cora and Regina? Will he even want to if Neal continues rejecting him?

And why does ABC have to host the Oscars next weekend? I mean, really. What’s up with us getting another week off from this show? See you in two weeks. I can’t wait to see where they go from here.

9 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time 2-14: Manhatten”

    1. From an interview I saw after the episode aired, it looks like Cora killed just a random citizen – no one we know. And as far as I know, we’ve seen everyone in Storybrooke except Pinocchio. Of course, they could always change this at some point and make it a character I’ve forgotten about.

      1. I hope the writers don’t expect us to believe that someone could be murdered and buried in a small town and no one would care or wonder who it was! That’s just poor writing.

      2. I’m sure someone cares. And I’m sure people are wondering. But is it dramatic enough to resurrect? (Pun intended.) Do we really need it brought up for 2 minutes with everything else they’re juggling? Unless it has bigger connections to the story, I don’t see it coming back. It’s just not important enough. And I would argue that not bringing it back unless it is very important is good writing.

        The plot point served it purpose. Unless it has another purpose, it doesn’t need to come back.

        I’d go on, but that would just be beating a dead horse.

  1. The preview for the next episode made it look as if Neil starts to change his mind about reuniting with his dad. Henry really seems to have a way to sway people, so I wonder if after the chat on the fire escape Neil agrees to go back to Storybrooke with them.

  2. Let men get this out of the way first… That Manhattan of theirs is a total fairy tale. NY streets have NEVER looked that clean!!

    Now, back to theories and speculation…

    – Hook now has been crossed thrice… Who is he going to ally himself with next to seek vengeance against Cora, Emma, and Rumple? Maybe he will come to Snow’s camp in lights of all these betrayals?

    – this seer plot got me thinking… Rumple knows that someone has to cast the spell for him. This probably happened way before he even met Cora. Yet Rumple taught both Cora and Regina magic… I have a feeling Rumple orchestrated Snow White’s mother’s death, schemed to eventually make Regina the Queen, which ultimately led to the curse. If this is indeed the case, that would drive yet another wedge into this already complicated family feud…

    – let’s say Rumple still intends to kill Henry to fulfill the prophecy, Regina, Emma, and Neal certainly would not allow it to happen. Besides, how can he possibly win back his son’s trust after killing his own grandson? Memory wiping magic in the work?

    – I’ve been thinking… It’s unusual for someone to put “HER” in someone’s name in their phone contacts. So perhaps HER isn’t a “she,” but rather the initials of a person or an abbreviation of an organization/project. Coincidentally, the three main characters in our tangled family tree happen to be Henry, Emma, and Regina… Hmmm…

    – is Cora really trying to help her daughter? I have a feeling she wants the dagger for herself so she can become the dark one… Maybe Rumple’s undoing is his love for his son and grandson, and in an attempt not to hurt his family under Cora’s control, he brought upon his own demise?

    Forget about the Oscars. Give me more OUAT!!!

    1. Thinking back, maybe Rumple is perhaps the cause of all these events:
      – death of Snow’s mother, this sets up the “chance encounter” later on and opens the door for Regina becoming the queen
      – taught Cora magic, which ruined her relationship with Regina, planting the seed for breaking Regina’s heart later on (and opens the door for Rumple to teach Regina magic)
      – startled Snow’s horse, creating the “chance encounter” with Regina, leading to the event of her marrying the King, resulting in the death of the stable boy
      – taught Regina magic, which made her more devious than she once were, and granting her the ability to enact the curse later
      – planted the magic lantern, which ultimately killed the king. this lead to the grudge between Regina and Snow, which resulted in Snow’s exile
      – Belle happened… He was close to letting go all his plans, until that fateful kiss…
      – Rumple was instrumental in reuniting Snow and Charming (giving each of them an enchantment in season 1), this along with the protection spell ultimately drove Regina to cast the spell.

    2. I don’t know how much Rumple has orchestrated every event, but he’s certainly been working behind the scenes for years to get Regina to cast that spell. Was he responsible for everything you stated? I don’t know. But he certainly used it to get what he wanted.

      Interesting theories about HER. It’s obviously someone/thing bigger than what we’re being told it is or they wouldn’t use initials like that.

      Cora is not out to help Regina. She has her own agenda. She has since we first met her in the first flashback. I just haven’t quite figured out what it is yet.

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