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ONCE UPON A TIME: “Manhattan”

2013 February 21
by Johnni


Read on for Johnni’s recap of Once Upon A Time episode 2×14, “Manhattan,” originally aired Sunday, February 17th, 2013:

This week’s episode of Once Upon A Time uncovers secrets and connects a lot of dots, and it all begins with a flashback. In the first scene, Rumplestiltskin runs into his cottage to tell his wife Milah (who is still in love with him at this point) that he has been called to the Ogre War. He doesn’t want to be a coward like his father, so he insists on going. This doesn’t seem like a good idea to me!

The day before the big battle, Rumple is asked to guard a Seer, a woman who can “see all” and has her eyes on her hands—very creepy. While he is guarding her, she surprises him with her knowledge of who he is; she tells him that he will have a son, but this battle will leave him fatherless. Rumple panics and injures himself in order to get sent home and not have to fight. He clearly isn’t going to get rid of the “coward” title with this move.

Cut to present day Manhattan, as Rumple, Emma and Henry arrive at an apartment building, where they hope to find Baelfire. Of course Bae isn’t expecting his father, and as soon as he hears someone at the front, he makes a run for it. Rumple tells Emma that she must get Bae to talk to him in order for her debt to be paid. Emma runs after Bae and eventually tackles him. Let’s be honest, he never had a chance. She was a bounty hunter, remember. 

What I didn’t see coming was what happened next. In the modern world, Bae is … Neal! When Emma realizes that Neal–the love of her life, who abandoned her many years ago and is the father of her child–is Rumple’s son, she goes ballistic. They go to a bar to try and talk it out, but nothing is really resolved.  Bae does, however, tell her the truth about the night that he left her at the docks, when she got arrested for stealing the watches.

In a quick flashback, we return to the night when August (Pinocchio) found Neal, as he was on his way to meet Emma. August tells Neal that once he sees what is in the box, he will believe him and stay away from Emma (this is where it stopped the first time this scene was shown). The lid is lifted, and on August’s typewriter is the sentence “I know you’re Baelfire.” At that moment, it clicks with Neal that he can’t be with Emma without being connected with his past. Plus, it finally answers the question I was dying to know about: what was in the box?

Back in the present, Emma is still hurt and doesn’t tell Neal/Bae about Henry. But she does tell him that his father is in town and he needs to speak to him, or else she will have broken her deal–and we all know it is a bad idea to break a deal with Rumplestiltskin! But he doesn’t care and she storms off. Poor Emma!

In Storybrooke, Regina and Cora are having a heart-to-heart and planning their next move together. They need to find Rumple’s dagger, which is the one thing that can kill him no matter what! In an attempt to find it, Regina pays Belle a visit at the hospital. After putting Belle to sleep, Regina uses magic to sort through her things and finds a book number on a notecard. The mystery man (the one who crashed his car into town) is watching the entire time from a hidden spot, and eventually sends the video to his wife. Yikes!

Regina takes the notecard to the library, where her mother and Hook are waiting. The book is gone, but where it should be is a map … a map to find the most powerful weapon in all of Storybrooke! After knocking Hook out, Cora tells Regina the rest of the plan. Once they find the dagger, they will use it to control the dark one and make him kill their enemies, leaving Regina as the only one to take care of Henry. Very tricky, sneaky and dark, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from these two.

In another flashback, Rumple comes home to his wife with a limp after leaving the war and not fighting. She is sitting there with their newborn son, but she isn’t happy. Everyone is talking about how he hurt himself on purpose, and that he is even more of a coward than his father was. Rumple admits he did it, but says it was all for his son, so he wouldn’t grow up without a father. Milah is mortified and leaves the baby with Rumple, as she storms out. Rumple looks into Bae’s eyes and promises to never leave him. Too bad he broke that promise when he let him travel to another world all alone–a memory Bae isn’t going to forget.

Back in present day New York, Emma returns to Rumple and Henry and says that Bae got away. Rumple is upset, but decides to break into his son’s home and wait until he returns. Emma, who doesn’t want anyone to know who Bae is, tries to stop Rumple, but has no luck. Rumple senses that Emma isn’t telling him something, and starts to yell at her and threaten her, when all of a sudden Bae (Neal) walks in to save her. Aw, he still loves her.

Right then, Henry walks in from the other room and before Emma can hide him, Bae asks how old he is. Surprise! Bae figures out that Henry is his son! Henry is very upset and Rumple is in shock. As Emma goes to comfort her son, Rumple tries to talk to his. Rumple apologizes, but Bae doesn’t care. His father let him go, and now it is his chance to walk out on his father. Ouch! At the same time, Henry calls Emma “Regina” because she lied to him, a very low blow. He insists on meeting his father, and as father and son bond (which is adorable), we see one final flashback.

This time, Rumple has become the dark one and he encounters the Seer once more. She tells him that he will always be powerless to his fate and that is why he left his son fatherless in the end. After Rumple strangles her, she reveals that he will eventually be reunited with his son, but it will be a long and hard journey. It will involve a curse and another land. She really does know all! The Seer tells Rumple that if he wants to know more, then he can take her powers (to see the future) because to her it is a burden. The power hungry creature inside Rumple jumps at the chance and steals her powers, but quickly sees that it is a burden; it is hard to figure out what is actually going to happen, and what is just part of the puzzle.  Serves Rumple right for being so greedy!

Before the Seer loses all of her powers, she tells him one last thing. She says that a young boy will lead him to his son, but there will be a price: the boy will also be his undoing. Rumple then says the chilling words that make up this week’s cliffhanger moment: “Then I’ll just have to kill him!” Ah!! Looks like Henry is the next person on Rumple’s hit list! I doubt that Emma or Regina will like the sound of that. In two weeks, we will see what happens and I have a feeling it isn’t going to be good. What do you think will happen in the next episode? Who will win, Emma or Rumple?!

Photo Credit: ABC/Jack Rowand.

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