'Once Upon A Time' episode recap: “Manhattan”

By Sari N. Kent,

We open in the fairy tale land, in the past. Rumpelstiltskin wife, Milah, was knitting when Rumpelstiltskin came in and told her that he has been drafted to the front. Milah told him that she’d heard that it was an awful place, but Rumpelstiltskin told her that it was the chance he’d been waiting for, to prove that he wasn’t a coward like his father was. Milah replied that just because his father was a coward didn’t mean he was, but told him to go fight and then when he got back, they would have the family they’d always dreamed of.

Shoot to Emma, Henry and Gold arriving in New York. They we’re standing in front of the apartment building that Baelfire was supposed to be living in. Gold was apprehensive as Emma said, “I guess he’s not expecting you.” Then, they headed inside.

Shoot to present day Storybrooke. Regina told Cora that Emma took Henry somewhere with Gold. Hook overheard them talking and asked where Gold went. Cora said that they went over the town line so Hook knew that meant that Gold was no longer protected and could be killed so he wanted to go after him. Yet, Cora said that they should be looking for the one thing that could kill Gold in Storybrooke, his dagger.

Shoot to Gold studying the apartment buttons inside Baelfire’s building. Emma correctly figured out that the unmarked apartment was Baelfire’s and ringed it saying she had a UPS package. Then, they heard someone scurrying down the fire escape. Gold begged Emma to follow him and said that was the favor she owed him because he couldn’t run after him himself. Emma told Gold to watch Henry as she chased Baelfire. Emma took a shortcut and tackled Baelfire to the ground. When she looked up, Emma was shocked to see that Baelfire was in fact…Neal, Henry’s father! Neal wanted to know what Emma was doing in New York. She demanded to know if he was Gold’s son and said that he lied and that he was from Rumpelstiltskin world. Neal asked Emma why she brought Gold to New York and she asked him if he knew who she was the whole time and that if he ever cared about her. Neal replied there was a bar they could go to talk because they shouldn’t be on the street.

Shoot to Gold worrying that Emma wasn’t back yet. Henry calmed him down by telling him that Emma was good at finding people and thanked him for buying him a hot dog. Henry then added that he forgave Emma for giving him up as a baby because it’s what she thought was the best thing for him and that maybe Baelfire would do the same for Gold. Gold replied that his and Baelfire’s situation was different but Henry said that he didn’t know that.

Shoot to the bar as Emma asked Neal if he knew who she was when they met. He replied that he would have never gone near her if he knew. She then said if he didn’t know who she was, then he was just using her to take the fall for him when he stole the watches. Neal replied that he didn’t find out who she was until later when “your friend August showed up.”

Shoot to a flashback of August showing Neal something in a briefcase that would prove what he was saying about Emma. It turned out August showed him was a typewritten note that said, “I know you’re Baelfire.”

Shoot back to Emma asking Neal why he let her go to prison just because Pinocchio knew who he was. She wasn’t convinced that they met by accident and Neal said Gold wanted her to break the curse. “Maybe it was fate,” Neal then said. He then added that there wasn’t a lot about Gold that wasn’t bad, but he did remember that he said there was no such thing as luck, that maybe he and Emma met for a reason and that maybe something good came from them being together. Emma replied, “Not anything I can think of. Just that I went to jail but I’m over it.” She also said that she was over Neal. He then asked her that if that were true then why was she wearing the keychain he bought her. She pulled it and said it was to remind her never to trust anyone again. She then said she made a deal with Gold that she would bring Neal to him. Neal said if she told Gold that she lost him, she would never have to see him again.

Shoot back to the fairy tale land, in the past. Rumpelstiltskin was tasked to watch a tent while another soldier went to the front. The soldier told Rumpelstiltskin the subject under the tent was a “tricky beast” and to be careful. After the soldier left, Rumpelstiltskin heard someone say his name and then he opened the tent and saw child whose eyes had been sewn shut. Rumpelstiltskin asked how the child knew his name and the child said she was a seer. She then showed him her hands, which had eyes in them. She then told him that he was the son of a coward and that he was worried he would end up like him. She added she saw all, even that which hadn’t happened yet. Rumpelstiltskin replied he wouldn’t indulge dark magic, and the seer asked even if it had to do with Mila. She then asked for water in exchange for what she knew. Once he gave her some water, she told him that Milah was pregnant and that “your actions on the battlefield would leave your son fatherless.” He told the seer Mila probably wasn’t pregnant and that she probably just said that to make him help her. The seer then told him that he would know she was speaking the truth when he saw the soldiers ride cows into battle.

Shoot to Emma calling Mary-Margaret and telling her Neal was Rumpelstiltskin son, making Henry Gold/Rumpelstiltskin grandson. Mary-Margaret told Emma that she should tell Henry, but Emma didn’t think it was a good idea and didn’t want Henry hurt but Mary-Margaret replied that Emma should know better than anyone else how much it hurts to not know.

Shoot to Henry asking Gold why he was nervous to meet Baelfire because when he met Emma, he was excited. Henry then asked why Gold couldn’t look into the future to find out what would happen. Gold replied that the future was like a puzzle and never what you thought. Then, Emma came back and said that Baelfire managed to get away from her.

Shoot back to present day Storybrooke. Regina went to visit Belle in the hospital and Belle asks who she was and if they were friends. Regina said Belle could help her find something that belonged to Gold but Belle replied that she didn’t know him. So, Regina said that she did and cast a spell on her to make her sleep. She then magically took the items out of Belle’s bag and found a note with a Dewey decimal number on it.

Shoot back to present day Storybrooke. Regina, Cora and Hook went to the library to find the book the dagger was hidden in and Cora told Regina that she was impressive that she figured it out. But, the book wasn’t in the right place but Cora noticed a folded up piece of paper in its place. Hook said it was a map and that it was the next best thing to finding the dagger. Hook said he could read the map and that he was adept at finding buried treasure.

Shoot to Mary-Margaret telling David that Gold was Henry’s grandfather. She added that this revelation could be the thing that brings them all together.

Shoot to Gold going to Neal’s apartment and Emma saying that he may not come back. Then, Emma tried to talk him out of breaking into Neal’s apartment as Henry said he’d be the lookout.

Shoot back to the fairy tale land, in the past. On the battlefield, a soldier told Rumpelstiltskin that the only way to get out of battle was to get injured. The soldiers received fresh supplies and Rumpelstiltskin finds out that they would be riding leather saddles, which they called “cows,” because they were made of the finest leather. Rumpelstiltskin then realized that the seer was telling the truth. He later went back to the seer’s cage, but she was gone. He saw a hammer nearby and hit himself in the foot with it to get out of going to battle.

Shoot back to Gold, Emma, and Henry in Baelfire’s apartment. There was a storage locker and a large dreamcatcher in the window. Emma took it down and Gold asked her what it was. She replied that it was nothing but Gold fired back that if it was nothing why was she staring at it. He then demanded Emma tell him what she knew. Emma then said that Baelfire didn’t tell her anything and Gold screamed back at her that if she didn’t tell him what she knew, he’d make her. Gold then reminded Emma that they had a deal and started yelling at Emma. As he did, Neal/Baelfire came in and told Gold to leave Emma alone.

Shoot back to the fairy tale land, in the past. Rumpelstiltskin limped back to his cabin, where Milah was holding their son. Rumpelstiltskin asks what the baby’s name was and she said Baelfire. He said it was a strong name and she said that he would need it to make up for the shame of being his son. She asked if he purposely injured himself and he said he did because the seer told him he would die in battle. Milah then told him that he had become what everyone thought he would, a coward like his father. Rumpelstiltskin fired back that he nothing like his father and that he did it to save his son from the same fate he grew up with…not having a father. Milah replied that she sentenced Baelfire to the fate of being his son, and that he should have fought and died. She then gave him Baelfire and left the cabin. Rumpelstiltskin told Baelfire that it was alright as his son reached up and touched his nose. “Your papa’s here,” he said, “and I promise, I will never, ever leave you.”

Shoot back to Neal/Baelfire’s apartment. “Bae,” Gold said, “you came back for me.” Neal replied that he came back to make sure he didn’t hurt Emma and then told him to get out of his apartment. Gold then realized that they knew each other and he asked how. Then, Neal saw Henry and asked who he was and he how old he was. Henry replied that he was 11 and Neal asked if Henry was his son. Henry said his dad was a fireman and had died. When Neal asked again, Emma said yes, and Henry ran out onto the fire escape. Emma went after him and Neal started to follow her but Gold stopped him. Gold said he had deal with Emma to get Neal to talk to him and that Neal would have to talk to him to fulfill her deal. Neal gave him three minutes.

Shoot back to present day Storybrooke. Greg was on the phone with his girlfriend and he told her that he wanted to stay in Storybrooke for a while. He then sent her a video of Regina using magic in Belle’s room.

Shoot to Hook deciphering the map for Regina and Cora. Cora then blasted him with magic so she and Regina could find Rumpelstiltskin dagger. Cora then said that all of their enemies (Gold, Emma, etc.) would be vanquished and that Regina will be blameless in Henry’s eyes.

Shoot to Henry asking why Emma why she didn’t tell him about Neal and she said that she never thought she would see him again. She replied that he was a bad guy and Henry said that he could have taken the truth. Henry then added that Emma was just like Regina, always lying to him. Henry then said that he wanted to meet his dad.

Shoot back to Gold telling Neal that he knew that he’d made mistakes but that he wanted to make up for them. “There’s no greater pain than regret,” Gold told Neal, who replied, “Try abandonment.” Gold replied that he could make up for that. Then, he told Neal that he wanted him to come back with him to Storybrooke and that he could turn the clock back and make Neal 14 again. Gold said that he couldn’t make up for lost time but that he could take away the memories. He asked Neal to give him a chance and that he once loved him. Neal replied that once Gold was a good man and Gold said that he could be that man again. Neal told him that magic couldn’t make everything better. Neal then added that every night, the last thing he saw before he fell asleep was him and Gold at the pit and Gold letting go of his hand and choosing everything else over him. Neal then said that it now was his turn to let Gold go. Gold said he was sorry and Neal said that since he didn’t get closure, Gold wouldn’t either.

Shoot back to the fairy tale land, in the past. Rumpelstiltskin found the seer in the woods and he was now the Dark One. She said what she foretold had happened. He told her that he left the battlefield, that Milah had left him and that Baelfire was called to the front and left him. He added that his actions on the battlefield did leave his son fatherless and the seer said he would have been powerless to fight his fate. The seer then told Rumpelstiltskin that he would find his son and Rumpelstiltskin told her not to leave out any details this time. She said that finding his son wouldn’t be an easy path and that it would take many years. She also mentioned the curse and Rumpelstiltskin said that he knew there was more. The seer added that he wouldn’t cast the curse, that someone else would, and that someone else would break it. She then said that her powers have limits and that she couldn’t tell him who it was. She then told him that the only way for him to know was to take her power and he did.

Shoot to Neal wanting to talk to Henry and Emma told him not to break his heart. He replied that he wasn’t going to do the same thing Gold did to him. Neal then went out on the fire escape to talk to Henry. Henry said, “So, you’re my dad,” and introduced himself. Neal apologized that it took so long for them to meet and Henry said that it was OK because he didn’t know.

Shoot to Gold seeing Henry and Neal talking on the fire escape and he flashed back to him taking the seer’s power. He said that he couldn’t see anything and that it was all jumbles. The seer said that “there are many pieces to be sorted and that you will learn to separate what can be from what will be.” Rumpelstiltskin then realized the seer wanted to free herself from the torment. She said as gratitude, she would give him a piece of the puzzle and told him that he would be reunited with Baelfire. She added that a boy will lead him to Baelfire, and that the boy was more than he seemed. “The boy will be your undoing,” she told him. Rumpelstiltskin replied, “Then I’ll just have to kill him.”

Shoot to Gold and Emma looking out at Henry and Neal talking and Gold realizing that he had to kill Henry.

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