"Manhattan" is the 36th episode of Once Upon a Time.
While Mr. Gold, Emma and Henry go in search of Gold's son Bae in New York, Cora, Regina and Hook attempt to track down one of Rumplestiltskin's most treasured possessions. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was, Rumplestiltskin realizes his destiny while fighting in the Ogres War.
Previously on Once Upon a Time...
Greg Mendell is in the hospital making a call on his cell phone, he tells the person on the other line that he was in an accident and that she's not going believe what he saw. ("In the Name of the Brother") At the town line, Mr. Gold holds fire in his hand with magic as a car is seen approaching from behind. ("The Outsider") Rumplestiltskin tells his son, Baelfire, that if he were to own the Dark One's dagger, then he would control the Dark One. Later, he is seen as having become the Dark One himself, much to Bae's dismay. ("Desperate Souls") Bae is falling down a slope into a portal as his father latches onto him, the former begs for Rumple not to break their deal, accusing him of being a coward before falling into the portal. ("The Return") Mr. Gold touches his blood to a magic globe and it reveals his son's location in the world. ("In the Name of the Brother") Gold asks Emma if he remembers that favor she owes him, stating that he's cashing it in. He tells the blonde that he needs her to find someone for him - his son. ("In the Name of the Brother") Mr. Gold is seen boarding a plane to New York alongside Emma and Henry, looking nervous. ("Tiny")
Rumple tells Milah of his need to prove himself on the battlefield.
In the fairytale land that was, Milah is seen sewing a blanket in her small home when her husband, Rumplestiltskin, comes running into their hut, appearing urgent. She gestures the blanket, telling him that she's nearly finished, and he mentions how quickly she has done this. She smiles, turning to her husband and saying that she had a good teacher, meaning him. At this, he leans in and kisses her before stepping backwards, speechless. She asks him what it is that brings him home so early and Rumple excitedly tells his wife that his weaving days are behind them, extending a scroll in his hand and showing it to her, explaining that he's been called to the front line of the Ogres War. Milah stares at the scroll, seeming significantly less excited over the matter than Rumple who states that he reports for training in the morning. "No," she says, "Rumple, I've heard stories. The front; it's a brutal place." He moves in closer to her, sitting opposite his wife and taking her by the hand. He says that he knows but that this is the chance he's been waiting for all his life and that he's been under the shadow of his father's actions for too long now. Milah points out that just because Rumple's father was a coward, it doesn't mean he is. He tells her that he knows that, as does she, but asks her if the world knows it. "Fighting in this war finally gives me the chance to prove that to everyone else," he explains. At this, Milah nods, telling him to go, be brave and fight honorably. Rumple tells his wife that he loves her and she says that she loves him too and that when he returns, they can have the life they've always wanted - they can be a family.
In New York, a cab pulls up beside an apartment building and Mr. Gold steps out of it, followed by Emma and Henry. Noticing something is up with Gold, Emma asks him what's wrong, wondering if they're at the right place. Gold says that it is, and Emma deciphers that the former's son isn't expecting him. The pawnbroker is silent and Emma rolls her eyes. "Well, who doesn't love a surprise?" she asks before advancing on the building, quickly followed by Henry. Gold takes a moment and pauses, seeming nervous before carrying on with Emma.
ONCE UPON A TIME
The villains of Storybrooke plot their next move.
At Regina's house, in her bedroom, Cora sits with her daughter on her bed and asks her what's the matter. Regina says that it's Henry, that Emma left town with Gold and she took him with her. Cora wonders why Regina didn't stop them, but her daughter informs her that she didn't know until after they'd gone. Assuring Regina of Henry's safety, Cora states that once Gold is finished, he'll bring him back. "But not with me," Regina points out. Suddenly, another voice is heard within the room as Captain Hook wonders where exactly Mr. Gold shall be coming "back" from. Regina tells him that she doesn't know and Hook adds, "Well, if he's left town, then he's powerless. He can be killed." At this, Cora tells her pirate comrade that the moment either of them leave town, they lose their magic and their advantage. Hook asks if their memories are included in these losses but Regina explains that none of them were victims of the curse, therefore, it's not about memories, it's about magic. The pirate says that he doesn't need magic and can go after him alone, but Regina stands and asks even if Hook could find Rumplestiltskin, if he really thinks he can just walk up to him in the street and stab him with his sword. "Well, I'd prefer my hook, but I can't find that now," Hook says before Cora tells him that he's not going anywhere. The captain exclaims that he deserves his vengeance and Cora stands, telling him he's right but that with the Dark One gone, they can search for the one magical item that can actually kill him within Storybrooke - his dagger.
Emma sees someone she never thought she would see again...
Inside the apartment building, Henry is inspecting the buzzers labelled with the apartments' residents as Emma and Gold stand behind him, he states that there's no "Baelfire" to be seen. Emma cuts in, telling her son that that wouldn't fly as an alias before asking Gold whether or not his magic globe gave him an apartment number, alas, he tells her that it doesn't work that way. Henry asks the pawnbroker if any of the names mean anything to him but Gold answers negatively, despite names being what he traffics in. Emma, inspecting the buzzers herself, points out apartment number 407, which has no name labelled to it, telling Gold that that's the home of his son. The latter argues that it could just be vacant but Emma replies, "You might traffic in names and magic, but I traffic in finding people who don't want to be found, and those sort of folks don't go advertising their whereabouts." The blonde presses the buzzer, stating through the intercom that she has a UPS package for 407, there is no reply. Henry suggests that maybe she should have said "FedEx", but the next thing heard is the sound of footsteps on the fire escape, and Emma says that Bae's running. The three of them step outside where a man with a hood covering his face is seen running down the fire escape of the building and climbing down to the pavement. As Emma is about to intervene, Gold tells her, "That favor you owe me, this is it. Get him to talk to me; I-I can't run." Emma tells Gold to watch Henry and that she'll be back, before chasing Gold's son down the sidewalk. The chase advances and Baelfire is seen running across the road with Emma not far behind, he runs into an alley and around a corner but Emma runs through the adjacent alleyway, the two of them then running side-by-side but with a store between them. As Baelfire runs, Emma emerges from another corner and tackles him, causing them both to fall to the ground. Emma sits up and takes one look at Baelfire, "No..." she says as Neal Cassidy stares back at her. "Neal?" she asks. "Emma," he states.
Neal argues with a furious Emma.
Still on the ground staring at each other, Emma and Neal stand up and the latter says that he doesn't understand, asking the blonde what she's doing there. "What am I doing here?" she asks, almost insulted, but Neal nods, prompting Emma to tell him that she's not answering anything until he tells her the truth, asking him if he's Gold's son. Neal appears to have no idea what she's talking about, not knowing who Gold is, but the blonde next states that Neal played her, he and Gold. Neal tells her to slow down, wondering what she's talking about and asking again who Gold is. Emma responds that he is Neal's father - Rumplestiltskin - and Neal is taken aback, asking her if Rumple is there. She points out that there would be no other reason for her being in New York but Neal angrily demands to know why she would bring his father to him. Emma exclaims that she's the only one who's allowed to be angry, asking Neal if he knew who she was and where she was from the entire time they were together, if it was all some sort of sick, twisted plan and if he even cared about her at all. He tries to calm her down and she yells that she wants the truth, all of it, but he tells her that they need to get off of the street first and not discuss it out in the open as he has spent a lifetime running from his father and isn't going to let him find him, he suggests that they go to the bar at the end of the street. Furious, Emma shouts that she's not drinking with him and whatever he's going to tell her, he can tell her now. "No, a bar's better. Don't worry, you can keep yelling at me when we get there," he says calmly before walking away, gesturing her to follow him. A shocked Emma walks after him in frustration.
Mr. Gold finds support in the form of Henry.
Just outside of the apartment building, Henry, who's holding a hotdog, tells Gold not to worry as Emma's really good at finding people. The pawnbroker says to Henry that his son has been running for a very long time now and he has a feeling that he's equally adept at it. The kid shrugs, stating that at least Gold found him, and the latter agrees. Henry then thanks him for the hotdog, saying he forgot, and Rumple tells him that he is quite welcome. "And thank you," he says. Henry asks for what he is receiving thanks and Gold points out that if it wasn't for him bringing Emma to Storybrooke, none of this would have come to pass, naming Henry a remarkable young man. The kid tells Gold that he forgave Emma for giving him up as she thought it was the best for him then and that's why she did it, saying that he's sure Rumple's son will get it too. Gold tells Henry that, alas, the circumstances surrounding his and Bae's separation weren't quite so noble, but Henry points out that Gold's here now and he wants his son back. "More than anything," the pawnbroker adds, and Henry states that that's all that matters.
The contents of August's box is revealed.
Over at the bar, Neal asks Emma what she wants to know, saying that if she wants the truth, she can ask away. Immediately, Emma questions if Neal knew who she was when they met, but he replies that if he had, he wouldn't have gone near her. "Come on..." she says, but he wonders what she means, explaining that he was in hiding and that he came to this land to get away from "all that crap". Emma takes this to mean that, since he didn't know, he was just using her and needed someone to take the fall for all of the watches he stole. Neal assures her that this isn't true, telling her that when they met, he didn't know who she was, however, he found out later on. Emma wonders how and Neal informs her that when he went to sell the watches, he ran into a friend of hers, August.
In flashback, August tells Neal that when he sees what he has in the box that rests on the seat of his motorcycle, he's going to believe every word he says. Neal is skeptical, but August soon lifts the box lid. Inside, we see a type writer with a sheet of paper sticking out of the top, this paper simply reads "I know you're Baelfire". (see "Tallahassee")
Emma hands the key chain that Neal stole for her back to him.
The flashback ceases and Emma is furious to discover that Neal left her and landed her in prison because Pinocchio told him to. Neal tries to talk, but Emma interrupts him by stating that she loved him. Flustered, he assures Emma that he was trying to help her. "By letting me go to jail?" she asks, but he amends her in saying, "By getting you home." She asks him if he's telling her that them meeting is a coincidence, wondering how the hell that happened if it wasn't in his plan or his father's. Neal tells Emma to think about it, saying that Rumple wanted her to break the curse and that them meeting was perhaps fate. The blonde is surprised that Neal believes in that and he goes on to say that there's not a ton he remembers about his father that doesn't suck, but he used to tell him that there wasn't any coincidences. Everything that happens, happens by design, and there's nothing anyone can do about it as a force greater than them conspired to make it happen. "Fate, destiny, whatever you wanna call it, the point is... maybe us meeting happened for a reason. Maybe something good came from us being together," he suggests, causing a pause in Emma. As they stare at each other, Emma says no, saying that there's nothing she can think of and that all that happened is she went to jail. The blonde stands up, stating that it doesn't matter now as she's over it, and him. As she puts her coat back on, Neal asks her why she still wears the key chain he got for her, pointing it out around her neck. Emma clutches it and pulls it off, handing it back to Neal and telling him that she wears it to remind herself never to trust someone again. "Come on," she says, "I made a deal with your father I'd bring you to him." Neal is surprised that Emma made a deal with him and she says that she's upholding her end, despite him telling her that she doesn't have to. Emma smiles, saying that she knows, and Neal tells her that this should be really easy for her as she can tell his father that she lost him or can't find him, and if she does that, she never has to see him again. Emma pauses, contemplating this.
Rumplestiltskin discovers a little girl in the crate.
At a war camp in the fairytale land that was, various soldiers are seen working and resting as we see Rumplestiltskin following a group of men. A soldier emerges from a tent and addresses Rumple, causing him to stop. The soldier approaches him and tells Rumple that he's needed at the front, telling him to guard the nearby crate with his life, in the soldier's stead. Looking at the crate and seeing that the contents is concealed by a covering, Rumple asks what's beneath it, and the soldier tells him that it's a prisoner who can help them turn the tide against the ogres. He tells Rumple to be careful as it's a tricky beast, before leaving for the front line. Rumple walks over to the wagon containing the covered prisoner as he begins to guard it and looks around. "Rumplestiltskin..." says an eerie voice from within the crate. Rumple turns around, still unable to see the mysterious prisoner, and lifts the covering, seeing that within the crate is a little girl. She lifts her head up to face him and Rumple is startled to discover that she has no eyes on her face and the place where her eyes should be are sewn shut. She reaches her hand out of the crate and points downwards to some water, telling Rumple that she hasn't had a sip in days. Rumple ignores this, asking how she knows his name, and the little girl explains that she's a seer and that she sees all, reaching her hand out of the crate and showing him her palm which contains a large, blue eye. Rumple tells her that that's impossible, explaining this away by telling himself that she must have heard someone speak it. She reaches both of her hands out and looks at him with them, saying that he's Rumplestiltskin, the son of a coward and raised by spinsters, scared of ending up like his father. She whips her hands away and asks him if she overheard that as well, before reminding a freaked out Rumple that she sees all, even what has yet to pass. He asks if this means that she can see the future, and she tells him that indeed she can, including his. Rumple assures her that he shall not indulge this dark magic, but the seer asks him if he feels the same way when she tells him that what she has to say concerns his wife, Milah. Rumple becomes worried, asking the seer if something happens to her, but the seer merely tells him to give her water.
The seer makes her prediction.
He hesitates but soon fetches a cup from the bucket of water beside him and gives it to the girl, telling her to slick her thirst and speak of what she knows of his wife. The seer reaches out her hand again and looks at Rumple with her palm, telling him that Milah is already with child. Rumple appears happy that he is to be a father, and the seer goes on to say that his wife will bear him a son but that his actions on the battlefield tomorrow shall leave him fatherless. He takes this to mean that he's going to die and asks the seer if she can tell him how to stop that happening, but she tells him that he can't. At this, he tells her he's done helping her and snatches the water from out of her hand, placing the cup back into the bucket. The seer assures him that someday he will help her again, but Rumple bets that Milah isn't even pregnant and that she just said that so that he would give her water. He accuses her of trying to trick him into deserting. She raises her palms once more and tells Rumple that he shall see and that tomorrow the army will ride cows into battle and he will know she speaks the truth. "Cows? And who's going to manned the catapults? Milk maids?" he sarcastically retorts, telling her that he has had enough of her fiendish lies. She stares at him through the palm of her hand and assures him that he shall have a son and his actions will leave him fatherless. Out of anger, Rumple pulls the covering back over the crate so that he doesn't have to look at her.
Emma receives some motherly advice from Mary Margaret.
"Gold's son is Henry's father?" Mary Margaret asks Emma over the phone. Emma tells her mother that she may have millions of questions but she can't answer them because the fact of the matter is, she doesn't know what to do. Mary Margaret begs for Emma not to be calling her to ask her to tell her to keep it from Henry. Emma reminds Mary Margaret that he thinks his father is dead and that she told him that for a reason as she wants to protect him. Mary Margaret points out that no matter what this man did, Henry has a right to know who his father is, saying that Emma of all people should know the importance of learning the truth about your parents. Emma sadly says that she doesn't want Henry to get hurt and that she just wants to protect him, but Mary Margaret asks Emma if this is really about protecting Henry or if she's just protecting herself. Emma closes her eyes, not knowing what to do.
Emma tells a big fat lie.
In the apartment building, Gold is silently rubbing the ring on his finger and Henry asks him why he's so nervous, saying that when he found his mom, he was excited. Gold explains that he has the benefit of a little more life experience and knows that things don't always happen the way people want them to. Henry says that in his book it says that Rumple can see the future, asking why he can't just look and see what's going to happen. Gold informs Henry that that ability is complicated and that he didn't always have it, and then when he did, "it's maybe not the gift one would expect". He says that seeing the inevitable can be a terrible price, but Henry points out that he wouldn't have to worry about stuff as he would just know. Gold smiles, telling the kid that that's the "great trap" and explaining that the future is like a puzzle with missing pieces, difficult to read and never, never what you think. Emma soon walks in and Gold stands up expectantly, asking the blonde if she found Bae. However, Emma apologizes, telling Gold that his son got away.
Belle is knocked out by Regina.
Belle is seen lying in her hospital bed, resting, as Regina walks into her room. Belle sits up and asks the mayor who she is, to which Regina replies, "So it is true," regarding to Belle's loss of memory. The girl asks if they're friends and Regina states that they "spent some time together". The mayor goes on to say that she's there because she believes that Belle can help her find something that belongs to Rumplestiltskin. Belle has no clue who Regina is talking about and the latter amends herself by saying that she meant Mr. Gold. Belle says that she doesn't know him and Regina lifts her hand, causing Belle to pass out with magic. She says that Belle may not know Rumple anymore, but she did. The mayor proceeds to wave her hand which causes Belle's purse to open and objects to fly out including a hairbrush, make-up and a slip of paper. Regina grabs the paper which is flying in the air and pulls it towards her, seeing that it reads, "915.63", which refers to the placement of a book in Belle's library.
A map is found in the library.
In the library, Regina is searching through books, as are Cora and Hook, as the latter asks if they shouldn't be ransacking Gold's shop or searching his home. Regina tells him that that would be the obvious choice but that Gold wouldn't risk crossing the town line and losing his memory without entrusting the dagger's location to someone. Hook realizes that she means Belle, and Regina states that her guess is she hid it in one of her beloved books. Cora tells her daughter that her sleuth work is impressive and Regina sincerely thanks her mother. Hook tells them that he'll be impressed when he's holding the dagger in his hand, and Regina finds the place where the numbers on Belle's paper indicated, seeing that no dagger is there. The pirate asks if they may go now but Cora tells him to hold on before pulling out a large, folded up sheet of paper. She unfolds it and wonders what it is; Hook inspects and tells her that to the untrained eye, it looks like a child's scribbles, but to a pirate, it's a map. He carries the map over to the table and says that Gold may not have hidden the dagger there, but he's left them the next-best thing: its location. Cora asks Hook if he can read it, to which he replies, "Well, lucky for you ladies, I'm quite adept at finding buried treasure."
"So Rumplestiltskin is Henry's grandfather?" David asks Mary Margaret who's supposedly just explained the situation, she confirms this. David states that he's Henry's granddad, but Mary Margaret reminds him that you can have more than one. The prince then points out that Henry's step-grandmother is Regina, to which Mary Margaret corrects him in saying that she's actually his step-great-grandmother, as well as his adoptive mother. David leans back in his chair and sighs, "It's a good thing we don't have thanksgiving in our land, because that dinner would suck." Mary Margaret laughs before suggesting that maybe this will mellow everybody out.
Gold breaks into his son's apartment.
Over in New York, Mr. Gold runs his hand along every apartment buzzer, calling on them all, which leads to the security gate to open. Emma asks him what he's doing as he walks through, to which he replies that he's finding his son. Emma reminds the pawnbroker that his son is gone, but Gold points out that he lives in this building and shall return, and when he does, he'll be waiting.
Gold is next seen walking up to Neal's apartment, followed by Henry and Emma, the latter of which keeps reminding him that she can't break in. Gold states that breaking in is actually something he's quite adept at, before beginning to pick the lock, and Emma tries to tell him that Bae might not come back. Gold says that finding people is what Emma does and that he's merely going to assist her. He takes out a wire and puts it into the lock, beginning to move it around. He tells Emma that inside the apartment, there will be information, who Bae is, what he does, who he loves, etc. As Gold continues to pick the lock, Emma tells him that he can't do this as there are these things called laws, at which Henry tells her that he'll keep look out. Emma doesn't have time to respond to this, warning Gold that he could get arrested, but Rumple points out that if he does, his son will have to testify against him, and they'll be reunited once more. Emma sighs and Gold manages to unlock the door, pushing it open.
Rumplestiltskin prepares to injure himself to escape war.
We see a hammer bang down on a scorching sword in the fairytale land that was as the shot moves to show Rumplestiltskin walking through his war camp at night times, seeing men with various injuries such as a solider who is carried past with two limbs less than he should have. The soldier with Rumple lucks at the men being carried away due to severe injury and describes them as "lucky bastards". Rumple says he thinks that they would beg to differ, but the solider points out that they're not dead but they can't fight which means they get sent home - "That's the only way out of here alive. When the ogres rip you limb from limb, pray that they're quick." This appears to worry Rumple as an army leader approaches them and announces that fortune is in their favor. He states that today they shall not be marching into battle, but riding. Rumple asks just what exactly they'll be riding, and the leader wonders what kind of question that is, saying that they'll ride horses "of course". He proceeds to tell the soldiers to grab themselves a cow and get ready. Rumple stops him, asking him to repeat himself, and the leader tells him that they need to grab a cow, which refers to the saddles they got in made from the finest leather. He tells Rumple to grab his so at least the ride into doom will be soft on his backside. As the soldiers disperse, Rumple's friend asks him if he's alright, to which Rumple answers positively, telling him to go on. His friend obliges and Rumple continues to look worried, he soon approaches the covered crate that contained the seer and whispers through the coverings that it's all true (as she predicted them riding cows into battle), he's going to have a son and he's going to die. He angrily demands that the seer answer him before pulling the coverings off of the crate, revealing that no one is inside. He angrily shakes the crate, punching it, before looking over to a large blacksmith's hammer beside the wagon. Rumple takes the hammer and slowly lifts it high into the air before tearfully and powerfully whacking his own leg, causing him to scream in agony.
"Leave her alone."
The door to Baelfire's apartment opens and Mr. Gold walks in, taking a look around. He is soon followed by Henry and Emma, the latter of which continues to tell him that they really shouldn't be there. Henry states that he doesn't think Gold is listening as the pawnbroker proceeds to inspect more of the apartment and Emma shuts the door cautiously. As Henry snoops also, Emma is stunned to see something hanging on the window - a dream catcher, one that Neal and her had stolen 11 years previously. (see "Tallahassee") Emma takes down the dream catcher and holds it in her hands, taking a closer look. Gold sees this and asks Emma if she's found something, to which the blonde replies it's nothing, saying it just looks like a dream catcher. Gold asks why, if it's nothing, she's still holding it, before accusing Emma of lying to him. Emma suggests that they get back to looking, hanging the dream catcher back above the window, but Gold refuses, knowing that Emma saw something and demanding that she tell him. She tries to tell him that he doesn't know what he's talking about, but before she can spit out her full sentence, he barks, "Tell me!" Emma tells Henry to go wait in the bathroom, despite the kid arguing that he can help, however, Emma exclaims for him to go, and Henry obliges. The blonde tells Gold that there's nothing in the apartment and that the guy's a ghost, but Gold asks her if she thinks him a fool, saying that he knows she's holding something back but wants to know what it is and why she's doing so. Emma tries to defend herself before Gold buts in again, asking if Bae told her something. She attempts to reason with him but he asks again, this time, more loudly, causing Emma to yell that he didn't say anything. Gold takes this to mean that she did talk to him but Emma requests that he not put words in her mouth. "Tell me! You tell me, or I'm gonna make you tell me," Rumple promises. Emma reminds him that he doesn't have magic there, but Gold approaches her, saying he doesn't need it. She asks him if he's really going to do this and he warns her not to push him, before she tells him the same thing. "We had a deal! A deal! No one, no one, breaks deals with me!" Gold reminds her, advancing on her violently and knocking over a trash can. "Hey!" shouts Neal Cassidy as he enters his apartment, "Leave her alone."
Milah accuses Rumple of being a coward.
We see Rumplestiltskin limping through the mud on a dark night with his now injured leg, propping himself up with a cane as he calls out for his wife. Inside, we see Milah cradling her newborn baby in her arms as he sleeps and she is surprised to hear Rumple enter their hut. She turns to him as the door closes and utters his name, he limps towards her and quickly asks her the name of their son. She happily tells him that the baby's called Baelfire, and Rumple commends this on being a strong name. Rumple drops his cane and falls to the floor, kneeling beside a chair s he deals with the pain in his leg. Milah tells him that a strong name is something he'll need if he is to live with the shame of being Rumple's son. He manages to sit on the chair and asks his wife what she's talking about, but she merely asks him if "it's" true. Rumple looks at her, panting and confused, and wonders to what she is referring. Now slightly teary eyed, Milah asks Rumple if he injured himself so that he wouldn't have to fight and be sent home. He angrily asks her who told her that and she replies saying "everyone", as rumors travel quickly from the front. Milah asks again, now exclaiming, if Rumple did this to himself, but he merely hangs his head in shame. She asks again, screaming, and he admits to it, causing Milah to cry more heavily. Rumple explains that a seer told him he was going to die in battle which shocks Milah further, looking down on Rumple for listening to a seer. He tells her that he left to be with her and their son, but she states that he left because he was afraid and that he became what everyone thought he was: a coward, just like his father. Rumple stands up angrily and exclaims that he's nothing like his father as he abandoned him, something which he will never do to his son. Milah looks at Baelfire, worried, and back to Rumple, who yells that he did this for the baby, to save him from the same fate he suffered of growing up without a father. Milah fights back more tears as Rumple speaks, before saying, "You sentenced him to a fate much worse... growing up as your son." Rumple, breathing heavily, asks what else he could have done, and Milah looks into his eyes, telling him he could have fought, "You could have died!" Rumple too begins crying as he exclaims that Milah doesn't mean what she said. She silently hands Rumple the baby before angrily grabbing a bucket and leaving the house. Rumple stares into his son's eyes as he cradles Baelfire in his arms. "Oh, it's alright, Bae..." he says as the baby reaches out a hand and grabs his father's nose. "It's alright..." he repeats. "You're papa's here... And I promise... I will never ever leave you."
Emma tells Henry who his father is.
In present-day New York, Mr. Gold is faced with his son for the first time in years, and utters his name, saying that he came back for him. Neal denies this, stating that he came to make sure his father didn't hurt Emma, as he's seen what he does to people who break deals. Gold begs Bae to just let him talk but Neal says that he has no interest in talking to him and asks him to leave. Rumple shakes his head, saying that he's not going anywhere, but Neal yells for him to get out of his apartment. Emma approaches Neal, but he tells the blonde that he's "got this", causing her to back down. Gold pauses as he notes the way Emma and Neal address each other, before coming to the vocal realization that the two of them know one another. Emma looks to Neal as Gold watches and he demands to know how the two of them know each other. Emma reminds the pawnbroker that it was her chasing after him, but he begs her to stop, accusing her of lying and again demanding how they know each other. Henry walks into the room and asks his mother what's going on, she puts her hands on his shoulders as Neal asks who the boy is. Emma replies that he's her son, and Neal becomes confused as Henry asks her if that's Baelfire. She does not answer, telling her son that she needs him to stay in the other room just a little while longer and trying to usher him away. Neal asks the kid how old he is but Emma tells him not to answer, Neal asks again, this time more loudly, and Henry angrily turns around and exclaims that he's eleven, before asking why everyone's yelling. Neal is taken aback by the boy's age and Henry turns back to Emma, who remains silent. Neal asks the blonde if Henry's his son, but the kid cuts in and explains that his father is a fireman who died. (see "True North") Emma approaches Henry with a sad look in her eyes as he reminds her that that's what she told him. Neal asks again if Henry's his son but Emma ignores him, brushing the hair out of Henry's face and staring into his eyes, before replying, "Yes." Henry backs away from Emma as Neal covers his mouth with his hands. The blonde cries as her son continues to walk away from her. He exits via the window and onto the fire escape, running along it. Emma calls out for him before climbing out of the window herself, leaving Neal alone with Mr. Gold. The latter begs for a chance to be heard but Baelfire tells his father to get out. "You came back to protect Emma. To show that she'd lived up to her end of the bargain with me," Rumple reminds him. Neal says that now she has, telling Gold again to go, but the pawnbroker refuses. He explains that Emma's end of the deal was to get Bae to talk to him, so if he truly wants the deal to be fulfilled, he has but one choice - he has to talk to him. Neal gives his father a rough stare, before telling him that he's got three minutes.
Greg emails a video to "Her".
Over at Storybrooke General Hospital, Greg is seen on the phone, telling "Her" that he's fine and has been told he's good to go but that he thinks he's going to stay for a little while. His lover asks why and he tells her to "take a look at this and see". Greg proceeds to email a video to "Her", one that shows Regina in Belle's room and knocking the girl out with a magical wave of her hand, before waving it again and causing the objects from Belle's purse to fly around the room. The email says "Complete" and Greg stares at his phone and smiles before turning around and giving an evil glare.
Hook is betrayed by Cora.
Back at the library, Hook is seen pointing at a location of a map he's drawn out which supposedly shows the location of Rumplestiltskin's dagger. Cora tells him "well done" before snatching the map and stating that she and Regina will take it from there. The two witches begin to leave but Hook appears betrayed, grabbing something from the desk and reminding Cora that she promised him. Cora merely extends an arm and Hook is quickly flung against the bookshelves with magic, almost immediately made unconscious. Cora says that the dagger is much too powerful to be wasted on him, before grabbing her daughter and beginning to leave. Regina stops and asks her mother if this what it was all about, getting Rumple's dagger so that they can obtain his dark powers. Cora explains that when they receive the dagger, they will control the Dark One, and with that, they will be able to command him to kill Snow White, Prince Charming and Emma. Rumple will be vanquished and Regina shall remain blameless in the eyes of the only person who truly matters - Henry. Cora smiles at her daughter and Regina smiles back before the two of them leave the library.
Henry asks to meet his dad.
In New York, Henry is still sitting on Neal's fire escape faced with Emma. "So it's him..." the kid starts off with, before asking Emma why she didn't tell him. She says that it's because she never thought she'd see him again so she didn't think it'd matter. He wonders why not and Emma explains that he was a thief, a liar, a bad guy, one who broke her heart. Henry states that he could have taken the truth and Emma says she knows but that it was just a part of her life that she wanted to forget, and that's why she didn't tell him, because she was thinking of herself, not him. Henry says that he thought she was different, but Emma's just like her: Regina. She always lied to him, too. Emma apologizes for what she did but Henry merely stares at her blankly, before telling her that he wants to meet his dad.
Mr. Gold tries to get Bae to forgive him.
In his apartment, Neal tells his father that the clock's ticking, and Mr. Gold says that he knows he's made mistakes, but that Bae must believe him when he says he wants to make up for it. "There's no greater pain than regret," Rumple tells him, but Neal smirks, telling him to "try abandonment". Gold pauses before asking Bae to let him make it up to him. Neal wonders how he plans to accomplish this, saying that he grew up alone and fatherless, asking if Rumple can make up for that. Gold says that he can and Neal reminds his father that he now has two minutes, having talked a minute more since their original three. Gold asks Neal to come with him to Storybrooke, saying that there's magic there and that he can turn the clock back, make Bae fourteen again - "We can start over." Neal says that he doesn't want to be fourteen, asking his father if he's insane. Gold says that he can't make up for lost time but he can take away the memories and the pain. Neal refuses to let Rumple take away who he is, before telling him that he's got one minute left. Rumple begs his son to give him a chance, saying that he once loved him. "You were once a good man," Neal says, but Gold assures his son that he can be that man again and that he's changed. He points out that he came to New York without magic but Neal points out that he's still trying to use it to make up for his mistakes, still thinking that it can make it all better but it won't and can't. "You have no idea what I have lived with. You're so worried about you, you know what I've dealt with? Every night, for more years than you could know, the last thing I see before sleep is the image of you. You and me. Over that pit. Your hand... wrapped around mine. And then you open your grip and as I fall away all I can see is your face... choosing all this crap over me. Letting me go. Now it's my turn; I'm letting you go." Rumple tears up during this and shakes his head, telling his son that he's sorry, but Baelfire doesn't care, saying that he didn't get closure, so Gold doesn't either. He tells his father to leaves but Gold continues to cry, uttering his son's name. Neal tells him again, saying that time's up before leaving the room.
Rumple takes the seer's powers.
In the woods of the fairytale land that was, Rumplestiltskin, who's now the Dark One, is seen walking past a campfire, looking around for someone. As he warms his hands on the fire, the seer's hand is seen poking out from behind a tree as the eye that resides on her palm opens. She steps out and tells Rumple that she's been expecting him, before approaching the wizard. He adds that she must know exactly why he came there, and she states that what she foretold during the Ogres War has finally come to pass. He says that it did "in a manner of speaking", as he hobbled himself on the battlefield, was branded a coward, his wife ran away and left him, then his son was called to the front, then he became the Dark One, then Bae left him, so yes, his actions on the battlefield left his son fatherless, but it would have been nice to know about all the pesky details. The seer states that knowing would not have made a difference as Rumple still would have been powerless to escape his fate. Rumple giggles and says, "Just... like.. you!" before extending his arm towards the seer and causing her to become immobile. He says she knows exactly why he came there and she says in a choked voice that he wants to find his son. "Indeed," Rumple says, relinquishing his grip, letting the seer go and allowing her to catch her breath. She takes further deep breaths and raises her hands to the sky, making her prediction as she stares at Rumple through her palms. She whispers that Rumple will find Bae, but he, annoyed, asks how, telling the seer not to leave out a single detail this time. The seer continues to whisper, saying that it will not be an easy path and will take many years and require a curse powerful enough to rip everyone from the land. She raises her hand to the sky once more as the prediction ends. Rumple says that he knows there's more and demands that she tell him, the seer raises her hands again and tells Rumple that he will not cast the curse, someone else will, and he will not break the curse, someone else will. The prediction ends once more and Rumple demands again that she tell him more. The seer says that she doesn't know, telling him that even her powers have limits. He tells her that that's not good enough, waving his hand and causing her to become immobile again. In her compressed voice, she says that if he wants to see the path he must take, there is only one way: to take her burden, her power, from her. He tells her "gladly" before grabbing her hands and causing gold energy to be released. Rumple basks in this as the seer screams in pain.
Henry bonds with his new found daddy.
Emma climbs back inside via the window, leaving Henry on the fire escape. She tells Neal that he wants to meet him and he says that Emma wasn't going to tell him about Henry. She confirms this and he says that it's his kid too so she doesn't get to make that decision anymore. She tells Neal to go and talk to him then and Bae stares at his son before approaching the window. Emma stands in his path, halting him, and tells Neal not to break his heart. He promises that he's not going to do to Henry what Rumple did to him, and Emma adds, "Or what you did to me." Neal smirks, saying he gets it and they're all messed up, but suggesting that they try and avoid that with Henry. He walks past her and Emma watches as Neal climbs out onto the fire escape. He is met by Henry on the other side who greets him with a casual "So... you're my dad." Neal answers positively and the kid turns to him, saying that he's Henry. Neal tells his son that it's nice to meet him and apologizes for taking so long to do so. Henry says that it's okay, as he didn't know, and the two continue to converse on the balcony as the camera pans away from them. Meanwhile, inside, Mr. Gold is seen approaching the window, watching his son bond with Emma's. He then turns away from them and thinks to himself.
"Then I'll just have to kill him."
In flashback, we see Rumplestiltskin taking the seer's power from her as she screams in a high-pitched tone. Rumple says that he can't see anything as there's too much and it's nothing but a jumble. The seer explains that the future is a puzzle with many pieces to be sorted, but in time he will learn to separate what can be from what will be. The power finishes passing from the seer to Rumple and the light fades as he lets her go, throwing her to the floor. He says that this is why she wanted to give him her power, to free herself from this torment. The seer, who's lying on the ground, dying, promises that in time Rumple will work it all out. She lifts a hand and on of her eyes opens. She says that with gratitude, she will offer up one piece of the puzzle. She makes one final prediction, telling Rumple he will reunited with his son and it will come in a most unexpected way. He demands to know how, and the seer continues, "A boy. A young boy will beat you to him. But beware, Rumplestiltskin, for that boy is more than he appears. He will beat you to what you seek, but there will be a price. The boy... will be your undoing." At this, the seer's eye closes and she becomes still as Rumple shrugs and says, "Then I'll just have to kill him."
We see Henry talking to Neal on the balcony as Emma and Mr. Gold watch. The former turns around and walks away, but Mr. Gold remains entranced by the father-son bonding moment. He then turns around and remains still, knowing that he must murder his grandson.
In the fairytale land that was, the seer is holding her hand up to Rumplestiltskin, watching him with the eye in her palm. She eerily announces that Rumple's actions on the battlefield will make his son fatherless, and Rumple covers her up in anger, muttering to himself and looking around after he does so.
In New York, Neal Cassidy is sitting alone at a bar as Emma stands outside. She takes out her cell phone and contemplates something.
Over in Storybrooke, David is helping Mary Margaret put the dishes away when Ruby enters the apartment. She immediately tells the Charmings that, according to Dr. Whale, Greg Mendell is healing perfectly and should be discharged by end of day tomorrow; she says she'll make sure he's gone. Mary Margaret comments that that's great and David says that they need to get that guy into his car and on a roll, and once he's gone they can get back to dealing with the things prying eyes shouldn't see. Ruby agrees, saying that it probably isn't best that Greg run into Hook or Cora. Mary Margaret's cell phone then rings and she reaches for it to answer it, excusing herself to take the call. David escorts Ruby to the door.
Back in New York, Emma is on the phone to her mother. "Wait," says Mary Margaret on the other line, "Gold's son is Henry's father?!" "I know! I know!" Emma replies frantically.
- The title card features the skyline of New York.
- Although credited, Meghan Ory (Ruby/Red Riding Hood) is absent from the episode.
- As of this episode, Colin O'Donoghue (Captain Hook) is a series regular.
- In this episode, it is confirmed by Regina that crossing the town line would have no affect on the memories of those who were not given alternate identities by the Dark Curse (in this case referring to herself, Cora and Hook). This statement also suggests that Mr. Gold has his own Storybrooke identity as it required the power of a potion for him to leave town and retain his memories.
- This episode posted a 2.4/6 among 18-49s with 7.61 million viewers tuning in, reversing a decline from the last two outings.
- Entertainment Weekly critic Hilary Busis gave it a good review: "'Manhattan' may not have been Once's most gripping episode, but it was one of its deeper installments -- as is generally the case when Rump takes center stage."
- The Huffington Post's Laura Prudom liked the episode: "Despite many of us predicting the outcome of the hour, 'Manhattan' proved to be a surprisingly gripping episode of 'Once Upon a Time,' mostly because of the intriguing family dynamics at play."
- Oliver Sava of The A.V. Club gave it a C:"This show has gotten very good at repeating itself, so anyone who wants to jump right in this week should have no problem because everyone makes it excessively clear how they feel, why they feel that way, and the events that transpired to make them feel that way. That’s great for catching people up, but when it happens week after week it becomes laborious, especially when the motivations don't make very much sense when spoken aloud." He also believes that the scenes featuring Regina were becoming less than impressive: "Regina was showing so much promise at the start of this season, but as is usually the case, magic shows up to throw her off course."
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.
- ↑ Adam Horowitz tweet.
- ↑ "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Once Upon a Time', 'The Amazing Race' & 'The Mentalist' Adjusted Up; 'The Good Wife' & 'Bob's Burgers' Adjusted Down" from TV By The Numbers/Zap2it (February 18, 2013)
- ↑ "'Once Upon a Time' recap: Father and Child Reunion" from Entertainment Weekly (February 17, 2013)
- ↑ "'Once Upon A Time' Recap: A Family Reunion In 'Manhattan'" by Laura Prudom, The Huffington Post (February 17, 2013)
- ↑ "Manhattan" S2/E14 by Oliver Sava, A.V. Club (February 17, 2013)