once upon a time recapping: the price of gold

We begin in the Enchanted Forest, with Cinderella. Just as the Fairy Godmother is about work her magic, she suddenly explodes, and Rumpelstiltskin appears to take her wand. He warns Cinderella that all magic has a price, but she’s desperate to get out of her wretched life and willing to owe him. She signs his contract and is transformed into a princess.

Cinderella and Rumpelstiltskin

Emma walks Henry to the school bus. He wonders if they need codenames, but she tells him he can just call her Emma. As the bus takes off, Graham pulls up in a squad car. She asks if he’s arresting her again, but he actually wants to thank her for her help in finding John Doe and offers her a job as a deputy, encouraging her to “stay a while.”

Emma is having cocoa at Granny’s diner when Regina walks in. She is no longer concerned about Emma, who has apparently moved seven times in ten years. The mayor doesn’t think she’ll stick around, and suggests she should make a clean break with Henry. Emma stews for a minute then gets up suddenly, spilling cocoa over her one shirt.

Ruby (aka Red Riding Hood) directs her to the laundry room, where Emma meets a very pregnant maid named Ashley, the Storybrooke version of Cinderella. Ashley cries that no one thinks she can handle a baby. This hits a nerve with Emma, who angrily tells her if she’s not happy with her life, she should change it. Ashley takes her advice. She breaks into Mr. Gold’s pawnshop that night, knocking out the proprietor in the process, and looks for something in the safe.

The next day, Regina has a council meeting until 5. She warns Henry not to leave, which he of course does the minute she’s gone. Emma is at Ms. Blanchard’s unpacking her meager possessions. Mr. Gold appears and asks Emma to help him find Ashley, as she stole “something precious” and he’d rather not involve the police and ruin a young girl’s life. Emma agrees to help. Henry shows up as Mr. Gold is leaving and is clearly creeped out by him; he has been unable to figure out Mr. Gold’s fairy tale equivalent. Henry wants to hang out, Emma says she has something to do, but he argues he’s trying to spend time with her and she reluctantly agrees to let him come.

It is Cinderella’s wedding. Charming and Snow are guests (I’m not sure where this fits in the timeline, as they are a couple but no curse yet). Snow tells Cinderella she’s an inspiration for changing her life. Rumpelstiltskin drops by to congratulate her and demand her first born. Sometime later, Cinderella reveals to her husband, Prince Thomas, she’s pregnant, and that she was tricked into making a deal with Rumpelstiltskin for the baby. He suggests that they make another deal.

Emma (who apparently prefers sheer tops and leather jackets) learns from Ruby that Ashley’s boyfriend left her after getting her pregnant, and that she has a stepmother and stepsisters, which perks Henry up. They talk to the boyfriend, Sean (aka Thomas), but Sean’s father walks in and says his son and Ashley are not prepared to be parents. He reveals that Mr. Gold is paying Ashley for her baby.

Henry warns no one has broken a deal with Mr. Gold, Emma counters that anyone who wants to be a mother should be one. Interesting. They go back to Ruby, but she refuses to talk in front of Henry and Emma asks him to go home. Ruby tells Emma that Ashley is heading for Boston. Back on the road, Henry pops up in backseat. He worries the curse will cause something bad to happen to Ashley if she tries to leave.

Charming, Grumpy, Cinderella, and Thomas are touring the mines that have been converted into a prison for Rumpelstiltskin, They will trick him into believing Cinderella is having twins and making a deal for the second baby, signing with a quill that will seal his magic. Cinderella worries that using the quill will have a price; Thomas says he will pay it.

Ashley in labor

Just inside the city limits, Emma and Henry see a car parked on the shoulder. Ashley is in labor. On the way to the hospital, Ashley cries that Mr. Gold will take the baby. Emma says she won’t let that happen, but that Ashley needs to be sure.

Cinderella meets with Rumpelstiltskin. She reveals she’s having twins, and offers her second child in exchange for making her husband’s kingdom thrive. She presents a contract and the quill. He warns that if they use magic to stop him, her debt will only grow. He signs anyway, and as he’s frozen he threatens no matter where she is he’ll have her baby.

At the hospital, Henry worriedly observes that Emma is the only one that can leave Storybrooke without consequences. Before she can reassure him, the nurse announces the arrival of a baby girl, and Mr. Gold arrives on cue to collect his “merchandise.”

Cinderella wonders if they’re actually safe. She starts feeling contractions, and Thomas runs off to get her water. She recovers but Thomas has disappeared. She confronts Rumpelistiltskin in his cage and he tells her she’ll never see Thomas again until the baby is his.

Emma tells Mr. Gold he’s not getting the baby. They exchange threats. He says if she really wants Ashley to have the baby, she can make a deal with him instead. She agrees to owe him a favor. Emma realizes she must get Henry home.

Meanwhile, Regina has been having a secret tryst. We don’t see her partner just yet, but I think we all know who it is.

On the drive home, Emma offers “Pumpkin” as her code name. Henry already has one picked out but says she’s just not ready for it yet. As she drops him off, she assures him she’ll see him tomorrow. Henry gets upstairs just in time to fool Regina. At the hospital, Sean visits Ashley and baby Alexandra.

Emma calls Graham about the deputy job. She wonders if Regina will be mad, but he doesn’t care and tells her he’ll see her on Monday. We cut to a shirtless (!) Graham in the hotel room that Regina just left.

What we know so far:
The Enchanted Forest is made up of several realms. Apparently Charming and Snow’s kingdom was just one of many. I’m still a little unclear on that. Also, I’m curious how “The (Evil) Queen” fits into this system – where was she when all this curse-free happiness was going on?

Even though Emma has been pretty clear she wasn’t ready to be a mother, this episode makes it appear like she might have been manipulated into giving up Henry. Given Mr. Gold’s habit of “acquiring” babies and his role in getting Henry to Regina, I wonder if he had something to do with it.

Regina is screwing Graham and Graham is screwing Regina by getting Emma to stick around. The plot thickens.

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4 thoughts on “once upon a time recapping: the price of gold

  1. […] soul” he found to manipulate. He warns her that now that she’s sheriff, he’ll be calling in that favor soon. Mr. Gold – 1; Everyone else – […]

  2. […] word, but he brushes her off. At Granny’s, Emma and Ms. Blanchard are interrupted by Ashley (aka Cinderella), who complains of an overwhelming baby and underwhelming boyfriend, prompting Ruby to suggest a […]

  3. […] to be a hero and return to the netherworld. Gold informs him that a supply of the ink used in the magic quill that defeated him remains in his old cell, and should be enough to stop Cora. Unfortunately Henry is unable to get […]

  4. […] from Cora to get a read on Baelfire’s location (somewhere in the Carolinas?) and calls in his favor with Emma: they’re going to get his son. Back at the hospital, Greg calls back “her,” […]

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