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“Once Upon A Time”: Family Ties Become More Tangled in “Manhattan”


Episode Overview: Rumple, Emma, and Henry find Baelfire in Manhattan, but he's not quite who any of them expect; Regina, Cora, and Hook plot to gain control of Rumple; flashbacks show more of Rumple's backstory and how his family began to fall apart.
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Even with varying amounts of screen time, the different story segments seemed more balanced this week. More about Rumple's past help us understand who he truly is and why.


Possible foreshadowing – while some of this may be necessary, it feels like it may be too much too soon.

Posted February 19, 2013 by

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once upon a time manhattan hook regina looking for a treasureManhattan was an excellent episode of Once Upon A Time. This episode had everything that makes this show such a winner – family, secrets, deception, revealing flashbacks, surprises, and more.

This episode strengthened my opinion that family is a core part of this show, even if things are a bit dysfunctional. Actually, I guess “a bit” is putting it mildly. I always had the feeling that Henry’s father would end up being someone important to the residents of Storybrooke, but I have to admit that I did not see this coming. In a way, I probably should have, and I know other fans did. However, personally, I’m glad that Bae being Henry’s father was a shock to me. The moment was one of those “OMG, but wait, that makes sense” moments that I believe can make a show stronger.

Talk about making things complicated. Rumple is Henry’s grandfather, and we know that family is important to Rumple. But wait … the Seer told him that Henry would be Rumple’s downfall, which makes this a whole new ballgame. Unfortunately for Emma and Henry, Rumple does not exactly see them as family, and I have a feeling that his desire to win over Bae and Belle will tempt him to do whatever it takes to make sure that he does not lose what little magic he has in Storybrooke, or lose his position of power. If he thinks that Henry can ruin that, he may end up deciding to take action against him.

What about Charming and Snow? Charming seems none too pleased about these new revelations, but Snow seems to be a bit more open, and perhaps willing to work toward family harmony. That is something they will need if they hope to stand against Regina and Cora. While I still think that eventually Regina will denounce Cora, for now they are standing together, and definitely a force to be feared. I’m not sure that even Rumple will be able to take them on without help, and his best chance is if he can put aside how he feels about the others. He may have to make the ultimate decision … give up his place as The Dark One in order to defeat the real evil. Rumple may have to ask himself what family really means to him, and whom that includes.

once upon a time manhattan rumple son abcThe flashback scenes were absolutely perfect. The more we learn about Rumple, the more we see the things in his life that led him to the path he has taken. The position in which he was placed was truly impossible, and he honestly believed that he was doing the right thing by deserting the battle and returning home to his family. To have his wife basically turn on him was heartbreaking and definitely pushed him down this dark path. The Seer didn’t help things either, and this is another case of the price of magic. The concept that no one should know too much about their own future is certainly not new to fantasy storytelling, and that is what has happened here. Rumple finds out too much, and in trying to change that future, he not only fails, but he makes things worse.

In two weeks, it looks like we will be seeing good and evil in a skirmish. The bigger battle I’m sure will come at the end of the season, but from the preview below, it certainly looks like the battle lines are being drawn.

Who will end up on which side? I don’t think things are as cut and dried as they might seem, and even the hints we see in the preview may not turn out the way we think they will. Will Bae help his father? Will Snow be able to get through to Regina? Those are only two of many possible questions that could be addressed at least in some way in two weeks. The Queen is Dead will not air this coming Sunday, but on March 3rd, as it is preempted this week for the Academy Awards telecast. As we get closer to the end of the season, you won’t want to miss a single minute!

Jill Rayburn

Jill Rayburn is a professional fan writer and devoted World of Warcraft player. She lives in Radcliff, KY with her husband, Dennis, and their three cats.

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Jill Rayburn

Jill Rayburn is a professional fan writer and devoted World of Warcraft player. She lives in Radcliff, KY with her husband, Dennis, and their three cats.


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