Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Once Upon a Time 2.14: "Manhattan"

“You know, there’s not a ton that I remember about my father that doesn’t suck. But he used to tell me that there are no coincidences. Everything that happens, happens by design and there’s nothing we can do about it. Forces greater than us conspire to make it happen.”
- Neal

I have to say with all the hype around this episode, I was really looking forward to it. And I was not disappointed. We got lots of emotional stuff and some interesting Rumpelstiltskin backstory. Just all around awesome. And I definitely squealed a lot. Sue me, I’m a fan girl. We begin in the Fairytale Land that Was. Rumple’s just gotten his call to the front during the Ogres War. He and Milah are very much in love and she’s worried about him going off. But he’s very excited. It’s his chance to prove he’s not a coward like his father.

To be honest, I wasn’t all that enthused with the Storybrooke part of the story. So I’m going to just deal with it up front so it’s out of the way. Regina is moping over the fact Emma took henry with her on their little quest. Cora assures her that Henry’s safe and will be back when Mr. Gold returns. Hook is lurking and demands to know where his foe has flounced off to. They aren’t going to let him go off half cooked. They’re going to hunt down Rumple’s dagger so they can control him. Regina pays Belle a visit and magically rifles through her purse to find a note card with a library reference number on it. While Hook grumbles about not ransacking Rumple’s house and shop, Cora and Regina find a treasure map. Once Hook deciphers it for them (after all he’s a pirate and that’s what he does), they cut him out of the deal. Cora’s plan is to use the dagger to force Rumple to kill the Charmings so Regina will be blameless and can get Henry back. Yeah, because that’s going to work. Oh, and Greg is sticking around for a while even though he’s got a clean bill of health. He video’d Regina magically rifling through Belle’s stuff. I really don’t trust this guy.

The main part of the present-day story takes place in New York City. Rumple’s magic globe takes them to an apartment complex. Not surprisingly, Baelfire is not a name listed on any of the apartments. Emma presses 407 (it’s got no name on it) and they hear someone running. So Rumple cashes in on his favor. Emma’s deal is to get his son to talk to him. So Emma races off after him, tackles him and we finally get the Emma/Neal reunion we’ve been waiting for since the end of “Tallahassee”. Back near the apartment complex, Henry and Rumple are chatting while Henry gorges on a hotdog. Henry gives Rumple a little pep talk that he’s there now and wants to reunite with his son so things will work out. Oh you ideally optimistic eleven-year-old. Things aren’t nearly that easy. After Neal and Emma yell at each other on the street for a bit (Emma gets Neal to admit he’s Rumple’s son) they go to a bar to have a more private conversation. Neal denies that he knew Emma’s identity when they met. He shares the news of august convincing him to let Emma go (we see that he wrote “I know you’re Baelfire” on his typewriter). Emma’s even more pissed because he did something on Pinocchio’s say-so. She and August are so going to have words when he shows up again. Neal also explains that he doesn’t think them meeting was a coincidence. And maybe something good came out of them being together. I have to say that reminded me of Angel and Darla in season three when she stakes herself so Connor can be born. Anyway, Emma denies any good and gives back the keychain he got her. But she tells him she’s taking him back to Rumple as that was the deal. Neal urges her to break the deal so she never has to see him again.

Back in the fairytale land that was, Rumple’s made it to the front and been trained as a soldier. He gets tasked with guarding a crate by one of his superiors and meets a seer girl. She’s kind of creepy looking with her eyes sewn shut and actual eyes on her palms. She tells Rumple she knows everything and that Milah is pregnant and she will have a son but his actions on the battlefield will leave him fatherless. Rumple thinks this means he will die. And so that night when he learns they’ll be riding out on horses with new cow-hide saddles, he injures his leg to be sent home. He arrives to find Milah with the baby but she’s furious with him for deserting. He’s turned into his father and he’s brought shame on their son. Rumple vows the infant Baelfire that he will never abandon his boy.

In NYC, Emma makes a call to Snow asking for advice. Well okay, so Emma’s freaking out and not sure what to do. Snow tells her not to keep it from Henry. And we get one of the funniest bits in the whole episode; Snow and Charming hashing out the family tree. Not only is Regina henry’s adoptive mother but also his step great-grandmother (making Cora his step great-great-grandmother). Charming was a tad confused about how Rumple could also be Henry’s grandfather. You can have more than one dummy. Rumple and Henry have another bonding moment while waiting for Emma to return. Henry asks why Rumple doesn’t just see the future and know what’s going to happen. Rumple explains it’s more complicated than that because you don’t have all the pieces and things aren’t often what they seem. Of course, when Emma does return, she doesn’t listen to her mother’s suggestion. She tells Rumple she couldn’t catch up with his son and so Rumple’s solution is to break into the apartment. Emma tries and fails to keep him out but even the threat of getting arrested doesn’t work. After all, Bae would have to testify against him.

Emma finds the dream catcher from the hotel in Neal’s apartment. Unfortunately, she holds onto it too long and rouses Rumple’s suspicions. They get into a shouting match about not messing with the other and Neal bursts in telling his father to leave Emma alone. I have to say when that happened, I cheered. Rumple kind of collapses into the corner upon seeing his son for the first time in centuries. But it’s not all hugs and puppies. Neal doesn’t want anything to do with his father. He came back to protect Emma. And of course while the adults are arguing, Henry has to come out and Neal gets hit with the realization he’s got a kid. And Henry realizes Emma lied to him and takes off out the fire escape. Emma is hot on his heels, leaving father and son to talk. Neal gives his father three minutes.

On the fire escape, Emma explains that she lied about Neal because he was part of her past she wanted to forget and he broke her heart. Henry is upset and says he could have handled the truth. When Emma finally admits she did it for herself and not him, Henry says she’s just like Regina. Yeah, kid, I don’t think so. Inside, Rumple is trying to get Neal to forgive him but isn’t having much luck. He offers to turn back the clock to make his son 14 again but Neal isn’t interested in a magical solution. He didn’t get closure from his father so now Rumple doesn’t get any either. After Emma admits she wasn’t planning on telling Neal about Henry, he says she doesn’t have the right to make that decision alone anymore and for Henry’s sake, they should try not to crew him up like they’ve been. So finally, father and son get to meet. And in the fairytale land that was, Rumple runs into the seer again and takes her power. He’ll learn to sort everything out in time but she tells him that a boy will lead him to his son but the boy will also be Rumple’s undoing. Rumple professes he’ll just have to kill the boy but as he looks on at Neal and Henry in the present, it’s questionable whether he’d actually go after his own grandson and risk the rest of the family coming at him with torches and pitchforks.

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