Episode 8: Desperate Souls


We see a lot o' Rumpel in this episode and since Robert Carlyle proved that he could play pathetic just as well as sly, it was a heartrending peek into how the Rumpel became the slick bastard we know him as today. I feel like there is a ton more to flesh out of Rumpel's backstory though, he is definitely by far one of the most intriguing characters (even more so than Regina). The only character more mysterious is Henry - that little rascal knows way too much about everyone....

Not enough Snow-Charming, but can't have every episode revolve around them I guess ^_^ Ratings jumped this week after several weeks of falling...I'm not sure if this makes me happy or sad since I'm really enjoying the show BUT I don't want to have to watch a show that stretches for more than 2 seasons. If OUAT becomes another Lost, I will die. Slowly.

Episode 9 airs later today and is supposed to be about Hansel and Gretel. HMMMMMMMMMM....or should I say YUM ^_~ Thankfully, the next 4 episodes are airing in the next four weeks without interruption, taking us just over halfway through Season 1.

Episode 8: Desperate Souls

In a shabby cottage, we see a very different Rumpel spinning thread. A little boy, Baelfire, runs in to tell him that "Morraine" is being taken away.

Outside a man and woman plead to the soldiers not to take her, she just turned 14. Unfortunately, the recruitment age has been lowered again because of the Ogre Wars and a particularly nasty soldier (eyeing the girl rather lecherously if you ask me) orders her to ride with him >_> When the mother whips out a knife, a figure caped in black uses magic to hold them back as the soldier gloats that The Dark One agrees with him on this one.

Rumpel's son fears turning 14 in a three days and Rumpel promises the he will not let them take him.

Emma finds Mr. Gold waterproofing some items in his shop with a stinky substance called lanolin. She came over because he'd asked her to stop by so he could express his condolences over Sheriff Graham's death. When he sees Emma's deputy badge he reminds Emma that after two weeks, Deputy Sheriff automatically becomes Sheriff. She should claim her place.

As she leaves, Mr. Gold suddenly offers Emma the choice of a keepsake among some of the items Graham left behind (he lived in an apartment owned by Gold). Perhaps Emma would like Graham's leather jacket? When she refuses, he offers her two walkie talkies to give to Henry. After all, they grow up so fast.

"You enjoy these with your boy. Your time together is precious, you know. That's the thing about children. Before you know it....you lose them."

Looking at Gold with new eyes, Emma takes the walkie talkies.

Emma finds Henry at his castle and presents him her new acquisitions as something they can use for Operation Cobra. However, Graham's death has had a profound affect on Henry. He refuses to take the walkie talkies and says he doesn't want to upset Regina anymore because she kills everything good - like Graham and Emma. While Emma is touched that Henry is worried about her well-being, Henry says he knows Good can never win because Good has to play fair....Evil doesn't. He leaves Emma without taking a walkie talkies :(

More star symbolism!

Back at the sheriff's office, just as Emma is about to pin on the sheriff's badge, Regina waltzes in. She informs Emma that the Deputy Sheriff only becomes Sheriff if the Mayor doesn't appointment someone else within the two week time frame - which she is today. She has decided to appoint her puppet, Sidney Glass, as the new Sheriff. She coldly adds that Emma never earned the right to wear the badge of a good man. Emma strikes back saying that Graham knew what he was doing when he picked Emma as Deputy - he was trying to free the Sheriff's position from the Mayor's influence. Ultimately, there is nothing Emma can do and Regina leaves with the Sheriff badge.

MMarg finds Emma taking out her frustrations out on what is now definitely a broken toaster. Emma tells her that she was fired only to be replaced by Sidney Glass. She admits she wants to position back to "beat" Regina for once, but before MMarg can probe further, someone comes a-knocking at the door.

Mr. Gold is paying Emma a visit, bearing a copy of the town charter. He lightly chastises Emma for already giving up. "Two people with a common goal can accomplish many things. Two people with a common enemy, they can accomplish even more." He offers himself as her benefactor and remarks that it surprises him how few people actually read the town charter - if they did, they'd see that Regina has less power than people believe.

In the middle of the night, Rumpel and his son flee. Bae, unlike his father, wonders if running away is wrong. War is bad, but if the law says he should go...perhaps he should. Rumpel tells him that Bae doesn't know what war is like. Sending him to war would be a death sentence and he couldn't allow that. On the way, a beggar asks for alms and a kindhearted Rumpel takes a moment to give him a bit out of the little he has. His pause gives soldiers along the road a chance to suddenly pounce on them.

The Jackass Soldier that took away the girl at the beginning of the episode hops off his horse and sneeringly asks what Rumpel's name is, perhaps Spindle-shanks or Hobble-foot? When Bae proudly says his father's name is Rumpelstiltskin, the soldier suddenly recalls who he is. Despite Rumpel's pleas, the soldier tells Bae that his dad is the man who ran away from war leaving all his comrades to die and whose wife left him afterwards out of the shame of it. While Bae stands there shell-shocked over the news, the Jackass tells his soldiers to take Bae early since it is treason to avoid recruitment. When Rumpel piteously begs them not to take him, the Jackass says that since Rumpel has nothing to offer him except fealty, he needs to come kiss his boot :(((((((((((((((( As Rumpel does so the MEAN SOLIDER kicks him in the face before riding off laughing. He'll be back in two days for his son.

This was one of the saddest tidbits in the show so far, rivaled only by Archie's episode imho.... Rumpel's actor plays pathetic and mopey very well, though I find the son's acting very flat. I really wish they'd find some better child actors. Henry is annoying enough, but the kid who played Geppetto and now this kid...geez, they emote less than a wooden post :| But ah well...what can I say....they're young~

The beggar helps Rumpel up and says that in return for Rumpel's kindness to him, he will become his benefactor. Ooooooo....

More "golden crisp" apples -__-

Regina is holding a press conference to introduce Sidney Glass as the new Sheriff. Just as she is about to pin on the badge, Emma busts in and sets the record straight by telling the press that the Mayor only has the power to appoint a candidate for Sheriff. In any case, Emma is running for the spot. Though taken aback, Regina promptly nominates a clueless Sidney as well.

Rumpel reveals just how little he thinks of himself as he bitterly says that as a coward, he has no choices in life except to choose which corner to hide in. He is terrified of losing Bae, as he is all he has left in the world. "All I've got is my boy. If they take him from me, I will surely become dust." :( :( :( Latching onto this, the old man tells him that the Duke has a dagger that controls The Dark One, the only reason that Duke of the Frontlands has so much power. On the dagger is engraved the true name of The Dark One and if Rumpel steals it, nobody would be able to take Rumpel's son from him. Rumpel is far from the slick, bold deal maker we know and says he fears even the thought of controlling such a powerful figure. The beggar, frustrated by Rumpel's never-ending fears, tells him that if he fears controlling a powerful figure, he should just take the power for himself.

Hard to see it from this angle, but I wonder if they put the "scales of justice" between them on the counter on purpose...

Regina confronts Gold about going against her. It's a short scene but basically Regina needles Gold for his obsession with technicalities (aka finding that loophole in the town charter) and for backing a "losing horse." Gold replies that you should never underestimate someone who is fighting for their child. When Regina retorts that Henry is not legally Emma's child, he slyly replies that it seems like she's the one hung up on technicalities now ;)

Pumpkin Festival!? I guess Halloween is coming soon and maybe Cinderella will pop up again?!

The next day, Emma finds Henry reading an article revealing that Henry was born in jail. Since those records were sealed, Emma knows that this is Regina's dirty work. While Henry says he's not traumatized by the idea he was born in jail, he is still extremely depressed because he sees the slanderous article as proof that Good cannot win because of the way Evil uses dirty tricks like this. When Emma tries to comfort him by saying Mr. Gold is her benefactor now, Henry warns her that Mr. Gold is even worse than Regina....she already owes him one favor, she doesn't want to owe him another.

Emma demands to know why Regina would hurt Henry by lashing out at her so publicly. Regina blithely brushes it off by saying "everyone loses their heroes someday." In any case, Emma will have the chance to stick up for herself at the town debate :} Just as they are about to leave the building, an explosion throws Emma and Regina backwards. Regina's leg is twisted by falling debris and she (rather shamelessly) tells Emma that she is responsible for saving her life now since she can't move ><

As Rumpel and Bae make torches with wool, Rumpel tells his son that if he had The Dark One's powers, he would use it to end the Ogre Wars and bring all the children home, not just Bae. He calls war a sacrifice and an unnecessary one at that. Hearing this confirms that Rumpel did in fact flee war like the soldiers said. When Bae asks if the his mom actually did leave instead of dying like he was always told, Rumpel looks away before he replies that she is dead. Despite everything, Bae sticks by his dad's side and asks why they are making torches. Rumpel tells him that he is breaking into the Duke's castle to steal a dagger that will allow him to control TDO and that while the Duke's castle is made of stone, the floors and rafters are all wood, which burns....

Regina accuses Emma for leaving her to die as Emma runs off. But a moment later, Emma returns with a fire extinguisher and picks up Regina to take her to safety. Outside, photographers snap pics of the heroic rescue and Regina wastes no time complaining about how Emma hurt her ankle as she set her down. Annoyed, Emma leaves her after saying that she would save her again despite Regina's ungratefulness because that is what decent human beings do. Henry eagerly spreads the word that Emma rescued his mom.

It's adorable to see Archie, MMarg, Red, and Granny rally around Emma as they plan to get a picture of the rescue to use for campaign posters. Emma proudly tells Henry that this is how Good wins, but as she says this, something catches her eye. It's a twist of cloth that smells oddly familiar....

Emma storms into Gold's shop and accuses him of setting the fire using lanolin, which is flammable. He denies it (as he cleans his nails with a cloth just like the kind that set the fire), but insinuates that IF he set the fire, he'd only have done it because Emma needed a boost to win. In any case, even if she does expose him, she should think about who she would be disappointing....

After Rumpel and Bae set an animated castle on fire, Rumpel finds the dagger hidden behind a tapestry. While I wonder why the Duke would leave such a precious dagger so poorly hidden, he reads the true name of The Dark One inscribed on the blade, Zoso.

MMarg bumps into David putting up posters for Sidney, since Kathryn is friends with Regina. We find out David got a job at the animal shelter (replacing Graham perhaps?) and seeing as how David is still starry eyed looking at MMarg, it seems like he still has some feelings bottled up there -_- Hearing about Kathryn makes MMarg uncomfortable and she quickly excuses herself under the pretense she needs more posters.

eheh Glass looking into a glass! ehehehe....that is way funnier to me than it should be.

Archie practices his introduction, Sidney ponders which bow tie to wear, and Emma looks out onto the crowd searching for Henry. Emma finally reveals to MMarge why she wants to win so badly. She wants to prove to Henry that good heroes can beat evil. If Emma loses, then she is not the savior....and if she is not, then what place would she have in Henry's life?

Rumpel sends a worried Bae off, who insists that he has a bad feeling about whatever he's about to do. Alone, Rumpel calls out the true name of TDO three times. Nothing happens. Feeling foolish, Rumpel turns to leave and bumps straight into TDO ^_^

TDO is mocking and tells him to hurry up as Hordor (I dunno...I guess that's the MEAN SOLDIER's name?) is probably already on his way to get Bae, since today is his bday. Interestingly, TDO wonders Bae is even Rumpel's son. After all, Bae is brave and is not afraid to fight, not like Rumpel at all. At those words, Rumpel stabs TDO.

As he dies, TDO's face changes to that of the beggar! When Rumpel demands to know why he was tricked into killing him, TDO tells him that his life of power was such a burden - something Rumpel will now learn for himself. "Magic always comes with a price and now it's yours to pay."  Rumpel made a deal he didn't understand, a mistake he'll probably never make again. When Rumpel questions why he picked him, TDO replies, "I know how to recognize a desperate soul." With that, he dies.

Tricky -_- It's not "Rumple..." - it's RUMPEL....

Rumpel sees his hand change color to a mossy green with flecks of gold and when he draws out the bloody dagger, a new name is written on the blade (albeit misspelled).

Archie awkward (and adorably) introduces the two candidates; Glass makes a suave opening speech "I want to serve as a reflection of the best qualities of Storybrooke" and we see Regina mouthing the words along with him - a very smart move on the director's part to emphasize that Sidney is her puppet through and through.

Emma goes up to the podium and tells the crowd that the fire was a setup. Mr. Gold offered to support her but she didn't realize at the time that it meant setting a fire. She refuses to win that way and she apologizes for letting everyone think what she did was real. Mr. Gold leaves the auditorium and Regina smirks in triumph.

Emma nurses a drink alone when Henry pops in to give her a walkie talkie (which I thought he never took with him?...plot hole?) Anyway, he says that Emma standing up to Mr. Gold was amazing - exactly the kind of thing heroes do. He apologizes for giving up on Operation Cobra. Just then, Regina and Sidney show up and we find out that Emma actually won! Everyone had been so impressed by how Emma stood up to Gold that they all voted for her anyway :) Regina very reluctantly hands back the badge, but cheerfully informs her that Emma should enjoy having Gold for enemy.

Back in fairy tale land, a new Dark One interrupts just as the Duke is about to leave with Bae. In a twist of irony, Rumpel demands that the Mean Soldier demonstrate a little fealty and kiss his boot. As he does so, Rumpel swiftly kills him and all the soldiers. However, Bae is horrified by the new Rumpel and backs away in fear :( We see how the power is already changing him as Rumpel crows that he fears nothing and will now protect what is his, even as his son stares at him in horror.

Gold brings Emma Graham's jacket and reveals that everything - including Emma outing Gold - was a setup. He knew even the rescue wouldn't be enough to get Emma to win, she needed something truly extraordinary - like standing up to him, the one person people fear more than Regina. Skeptical, Emma asks how he could have possibly predicted her actions.  He replies that he knows a desperate soul when he sees one. Gold also reminds her of the favor she owes him. Now that she is Sheriff, surely they'll find a way for her to pay him back.

Though Rumpel killed to keep his son, clearly he loses him somewhere along the way afterwards. I wonder if Bae was killed or ran off to join the war on his own.... In any case, I think this explains Rumpel's obsession with children, "true names," and setting up deals that always bite back. I'm very curious to know how he loses Bae and what became of him. Also, if the dagger is Rumpel's weakness, I want to know why the Princes didn't try to steal the dagger instead if going through the whole hoopla with the enchanted quill. The dagger is kind of random in how it wasn't alluded to before (unless I missed it...)

It seems like Henry is 100% sure that Gold is bad news now (though I'm not sure if he knows he's Rumpelstiltskin specifically). Henry always seems like a loose end to me - he knows too much yet nobody does anything about his machinations. Though I guess Regina ignores it because it's her son and Gold ignores it because...maybe he was the one who put that book in circulation in the first place for whatever reason. Naturally, the next big question is what Rumpel wants from Emma and just what his real goal is. He's quite clearly established that he is nobody's friend and even now, the motive behind his actions is still very murky.

On a side note, lots of fire allusions: Baelfire, setting the Duke's castle on fire, setting the Mayor's townhall on fire... Perhaps it's a metaphor for the destructive power of magic. You can't control it and it can destroy you.

Anyway, Gold was pretty saucy in this episode and you really have to watch it for yourself to get the full effect. Great acting on Carlyle's part! Overall, even though this episode finally dove a into one of the show's most riveting characters, I was a little disappointed somehow; it just didn't have the emotional impact of Episode 5 and ultimately, even tho it was a good episode as a whole, it just isn't one of my favorites strangely enough...


  1. This was one of my favorite episodes yet. Oh, and they need Graham back!


  2. haha I love your epsoide recap, it does sound like a good show, but somehow I keep on missing it when it is on!

  3. more more more.....darn i love your recaps.....i am a loyal fan now...


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