As I was watching this doozey of an episode, I couldn't help but think to myself...It's not since Lost ended that I've been put through the wringer like this while watching a TV show.
So, THANK YOU, Jane Espenson, for this brilliant, BRILLIANT piece of work. WOW, right?!
Let's start in Fairytale Land, shall we?
Baelfire is playing ball by himself when the ball goes into the street. He chases after it, and he's almost run over by a merchant's donkey cart.
The merchant apologizes when he realizes who he'd almost hit, but it's too late.
Rumpelstiltskin has seen everything.
Despite Bael begging for his father to leave it alone, Rumple has noticed Bael has a cut on his knee. He turns the merchant into a snail and steps on him.
Bael and Rump return home. Rumple wants to heal Bael with magic, but the boy declines.
He tells his father how different he is now. Rumple retorts, explaining to Bae that he alone stopped the Ogre War. He led the children home and saved a thousand lives.
Bae's not convinced and begs his father to stop hurting people. To find a way to go back to what he once was.
Rumple explains that the only way he'll ever change is if someone kills him with the knife and takes the dark power from him.
The boy asks his father if he could find a way to get rid of the power that wouldn't hurt anyone, would Rumple do it.
Rumple agrees--all he wants is Bae's happiness--and they shake on the deal.
Later, father and son are walking in the woods. Rumple tells the boy to join the other kids while he takes care of some business nearby.
The kids run off when they see Bae arrive, and he sits alone until a girl joins him. The same girl we saw taken away to the Ogre Wars in 'Desperate Souls' (Ep. 8), as a matter of fact!
She tells him about the Reul Ghorm. An ancient being who rules the night. If anything can help change his father back, they can.
Rumple returns and Bae notices bloodstains on his boots. Rumple tells him they'll need a new maid because the last one overheard them talking about the knife.
Bae says the maid was mute and couldn't have said anything. Rumple replies, "Even mutes can draw a picture.", with his trademark Rumple flourish.
That night, Bae calls on the Reul Ghorm. Lo and behold, it's the Blue Fairy!
She tells him that the only way Rumple will ever go back to being what he once was is to leave. To go somewhere there is NO magic.
She gives him the very last magic bean that's known to their kind and tells him to follow wherever it leads them.
Baelfire rushes home and tells his father that he's found a way to make things the way they were. He tells Rumple about the Blue Fairy and Rumple tries to get out of the deal.
Bae asks him if he's backing out and Rumple says no.
The two go into the forest where Bae uses the bean. The CGI here is WAY cool! The way it looks like a whirlpool beanstalk?! Awesome!
Rumple is terrified. He can't go through with it. Bae almost falls in and his father hangs onto him. Bae begs Rump to go with him and Rumple just keeps saying he can't.
Bae gets angry and calls his father a coward.
Rumple's grip slips and Bae slides into the vortex alone. It closes directly after, and Rumple then changes his mind and yells for his son, "I'm sorry, Bae! I want to come with you!"
Rumple calls the Reul Ghorm and asks how he can follow his son.
He guesses that a curse will get him to the world Bae went to, and the Blue Fairy tells him that he would have to sacrifice all of Fairytale Land to get there.
She says that such a curse is beyond his abilities. Rumple replies, "Oh, for now. But I've got ALL the time in the world. I will do nothing else. I will LOVE, nothing else...."
And now we know WHY he rejected Belle!
He blames the Blue Fairy for taking his son from him and tries to stab her with the knife. She flies away with Rumple screaming after her, "I WILL FIND HIM! I WILL FIND MY SON!"
Over in Storybrooke, August wakes in pain. Apparently his leg is doing that owie thing again. Didn't I mention that would be important in future episodes? ;)
He calls...someone....and tells them they need to accelerate the plan.
Of course August is caught in Gold's office, but he casually talks his way out of trouble.
Later, Regina and Gold are arguing. Regina wanted Kathryn to die, and she's upset that Gold backed out on the deal.
Gold adamantly says he's only ever broken ONE deal in his life (and we know which deal that was now, sadly), and that this wasn't it. Regina never specifically said the words, 'kill her', and so he just had Kathryn abducted. "Murder seems so much worse here though, doesn't it. You can't just...turn someone into a snail and then step on them." (BWHAHAHAHA! Er, wut?) ;)
Regina's ticked that, because Kathryn's back, all fingers will now point to her. The key left in Mary Margaret's cell, the fingerprints, the planted knife...And she's right.
Emma goes to visit Kathryn in the hospital, who remembers nothing.
Next up is David, and the two have a talk. David apologizes for everything, and Kathryn forgives him.
Flash to a party at Emma/Mary Margaret's place.
David shows up, but Mary doesn't want to see him. Emma diffuses the situation by making him take Henry home.
Gold and Emma have a chat and Emma asks if he had anything to do with Kathryn's return. Gold asks her if she's accusing him of working with Regina or against her. Emma replies, "I don't know. Maybe...diagonally." I LOVE that line because that's EXACTLY how I feel about what Gold is doing.
We can see that he's clearly not working WITH Regina, exactly, but he's not working against her either!
Well done, reading our minds, Ms. Espenson! ;)
Gold then asks Emma about August and she tells hims that she trusts the writer much more than she trusts Gold.
Dun dun DUN. ;)
Emma finds Sydney at the diner and confronts him with the bug. He tries to deny it and Emma realizes that he's doing it for love.
She gives him an ultimatum--Either help her or she'll bring him down with Regina.
Gold follows August to the convent and spies him talking with the Mother Superior--who just happens to be the Blue Fairy in Fairytale Land.
Rumple confronts her and finds out that August seems to have found his estranged father and was seeking advice because there are unresolved issues between them.
On the street later that evening, David finally talks to Mary Margaret.
She tells him how betrayed she felt when he didn't believe her. He apologizes and tries to move forward. She tells him it's like something in the world just doesn't want them together.
He tells her he loves her and she says that that is what makes it all so sad.
Next we see Gold in a place I never thought I'd see him...At Archie's office. He almost walks away right after he knocks, which, in my eyes, shows how serious he is about talking to Archie.
I guess this really IS getting to him, huh?
Gold explains as best he can about the possibility that his estranged son has returned. He explains that he's spent his whole life trying to fix it and now that his son might be here, he doesn't know what to do.
Archie tells Gold to be honest. To tell his son exactly what he just said to Archie, and ask for forgiveness.
Gold finds August and tells him he knows who he is and he knows what he's looking for.
August looks up and calls Gold 'Papa'.
Gold says that Bae was right. He was a coward and he never should have let him go.
He says that he's been looking for his son every waking moment, and asks for forgiveness.
The two hug and cry and I shed many, MANY tears.
My GOD, how amazing is Robert Carlyle in this scene?!? PERFECTION!
....and this was when I knew something was going to go horribly, horribly wrong. :(
Gold and August dig up the knife (and now we know what Gold buried all those months ago!)...and the whole time I'm talking to my TV, "Ohh, this is bad. Something bad is about to happen. Horrible things are coming. I just know it. Ohh, bad, bad things...." and so on and so forth. :P
Gold hands the knife to August...and it happens. August tries to use the knife against Gold to harness him and his power.
And the HUGE red herring that got me and pretty much EVERYONE I know slaps us in the face.
August is NOT Baelfire.
Gold goes all Rumple on August's butt and tells him that he knows he's not Bael because Bale would never do that to him, and he would know that the knife wouldn't work in this world because there IS no magic in this world.
Gold takes the knife away from August and wants answers.
Gold realizes that August is from Fairytale Land and that's how he knows about the knife.
August tells Gold that he's sick....he's dying. He needs magic to be healed.
he was trying to get the saviour--Emma--to believe, but he doesn't have time to convince her.
When Gold hears that, he lets August live to try again to convince Emma.
Next we see Regina in Emma's office. She tells Emma that she has a confession....and in walks Sydney to confess.
Apparently HE abducted Kathryn, stole Regina's keys, planted the knife, had someone Doctor the DNA on the heart...all because he wanted to be a hero and find Kathryn himself.
Wow. Regina really IS that powerful. Poor Sydney. :(
Of course, Emma doesn't believe a word, but there's nothing she can do....or is there?
Emma realizes just how dangerous Regina really is, and she decides it's time to get her kid away from the madwoman.
"I'm taking back my son"
Again, I MUST praise Ms. Jane Espenson for her fantastic writing in this episode! This is the woman who gave us That Still, Small Voice (Ep. 5), Desperate Souls (Ep. 8), my beloved Skin Deep (Ep. 12) and Red-Handed (Ep. 15).
Are you seeing a pattern here? ALL of my favourite OUAT episodes are Espenson episodes!
So, here's what I wrote in my notes at the beginning of this episode-- "Bael's leg in Fairytale--Red herring?
Bael/Rumple story--Red Herring?"
Ha! I knew not to trust them right off the bat, as sad as it is. I REALLY thought August was Baelfire, but as soon as I saw that this story was ABOUT Baelfire, I knew it was going to be a red herring.
That doesn't mean I wasn't sucked in with the rest of you, though! When August said, "Papa", I was shouting in joy at my TV...and then ten seconds later, I was wary and begging that tiny, nagging voice in my head to shut up and let this FOR ONCE be the truth.
But, being a Lost fan, I KNOW how these things happen and I knew something horrible was coming.
So sad. :(
And now we know WHY Rumple gave the Queen the spell. To find his son. God, he's SUCH a complicated and wonderful character!
So WHO is August?? My last guess...Pinocchio. Is it possible this 'sickness' is somehow turning him back to wood?
If he IS Pinocchio, how did he get out of Fairytale Land?
And the opening this week, that I FINALLY noticed, was a person on a motorbike. ;)
Highlights of the episode:
-Robert Carlyle, once again. The man deserves a damn Emmy.
-Dylan Schmid as Baelfire. Especially the scene with the whirlpool/beanstalk. Wow.
-The Mickey Mouse phone in Mr. Gold's shop. Ha!
-Henry's card for Mary, "We're so glad you didn't kill Mrs. Nolan." LOL!
-Mr Gold, "Murder seems so much worse here though, doesn't it. You can't just...turn someone into a snail and then step on them."
-Emma, about August, "Typewriter wrapped in an enigma wrapped in stubble." LOVE!
-The Blue Fairy to Bae, "YOU are the part of him that keeps him human. That little light inside of him that still glows...that's his love for you."
-Archie, "Are you here for the rent?"
Mr. Gold, "Why does everyone ask that?"
-Mr Gold to August, "If you know who I am...then you know who I am...then you know that the chances of surviving this encounter are pretty slim."
What questions do we have after this episode?
-WHO is August? (See above)
-Who did August call after he fell out of bed?? Who is he working with?
-What happened to the other magic beans?
-How will Emma take Henry from Regina?
-What will Regina do to Emma for taking Henry?
-Will Mary Margaret forgive David?
-Where is the real Baelfire?
There are only THREE episodes left this season! What am I going to do all summer without my OUAT fix?!
Here's the trailer for next week's episode, 'The Stranger'.
Whoa. Looks like it's Pinocchio's story and we find out, FINALLY, who August is!
Another red herring?
See you back here next week, Oncers!