'Once Upon a Time' Recap: The Deal is Struck
'Once Upon a Time' Recap: The Deal is Struck
Jilliane Johnson
Jilliane Johnson
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
After a three week hiatus, Once Upon a Time is finally back with the final four episodes of its debut season! When we left Storybrooke, the town's fairytale past revealed the heartfelt motives behind The Evil Queen's hatred towards Snow White -- love lost. Yes, it seems that Regina had a heart once! As payback, Madame Mayor now has Mary Margaret in custody for the murder of David's wife, Kathryn. Yet in the last moments of the episode, Kathryn is found in an alley ... very much alive.

Tonight's episode will spend most of its fairytale focus on Rumpelstiltskin and his son Baelfire while Mr. Gold and August, formerly known as The Stranger, take the forefront in Storybrooke. Let us not forget, though, that Sheriff Swan has a lot of work on her hands: trying to prove Regina's involvement in Kathryn's disappearance. Plus, it looks like David will finally attempt a reconciliation with his one true love. I think it's safe to say that David and his apologies can take a backseat; his wishy-washy behavior helped get Mary Margaret into this mess!

August W. Booth wakes from his sleep and seems to be having troubles. His limbs look stiff as he falls out of bed. He picks up the phone and makes a call. "This is taking too long. We need to accelerate the plan." Now he stands outside with little Henry, looking across the street at Mr. Gold's pawn shop.

Henry runs inside first after a short chat about "improvisation." August slips in through the back door as the young boy and scheme-filled man talk in the front. Mr. Gold finally meets August in the back. "I thought this was the entrance" is his answer for snooping around.

Sheriff Emma Swan walks into the hospital room where Dr. Whale is looking over Kathryn. She recalls waking up in a basement then somehow getting free and walking into town. "You thought I was dead?" she asks. Emma answers that she believes someone was trying to frame Mary Margaret.

Cut back to Mr. Gold's shop. Madame Mayor Regina stands before him, highly upset that he broke their deal. "It's all going to lead to me isn't it?" She looks worried for a split second, fingering her necklace. He's the one that created the curse that holds them all there; what is she supposed to do now? "Well, you're a smart woman, Your Majesty. Figure it out."

In the small town where we last left Rumpelstiltskin, Baelfire, his son, accidentally knocks something off of a man's cart. He yells at the young boy until realizing who the boy is. The feared Rumpel steps up and notices his son is bleeding from taking a fall. Baelfire assures him there is no need for magic, yet his father already has that look in his eye. With a flick of the wrist, the man is turned into a snail. It doesn't end there, though; Rumpelstiltskin steps on him. The gathered crowd decides it's best to tend to their own business.

David now enters Kathryn's hospital room and awakens her while trying to kiss her on the forehead. "It was meant to be sweet." Save it, David. He goes on and on about being sorry about what he's done. Kathryn's a sweet and "amazing" woman; luckily for him, she accepts his apologies and allows for him to successfully kiss her forehead.

"Welcome Home Mary Margaret" hangs in hers and Emma's apartment as the townspeople share punch and cake in MM's honor. Henry hands her a self-made book that's signed by his class. It reads, "We're so glad you didn't kill Mrs. Nolan." Kids are so cute. As Henry heads out, David heads in. Emma makes a quick move and sends David on his way to take the boy home. Mr. Gold then confronts Emma, asking about what she knows of August. "Do you trust him?" She replies, "Yeah, more than I trust you."

Rumpel and Baelfire return home. It's made obvious that Baelfire wants nothing to do with magic even though his father continues to try. "You're different now ... You hurt people all the time." He wants Rumpel to stop, but he only wants to protect his son. The magic dagger is presented, explaining the only way to get rid of the power is to kill him with it.

As the maid enters, Rumpelstiltskin quickly hides the weapon, yet she's already seen it. At least she's wise not to say anything. Baelfire makes a proposal. If he can find a way to get rid of the power and not kill either of them, his father must take the opportunity. They shake on it. "The deal is struck."

Mr. Gold enters August's room, apparently up to no good. Snooping through his writing, he picks up a paperweight in the shape of a donkey (Hint, anyone?) and finds a drawing of the magic dagger.

Sidney Glass sits in Granny's Diner where the sheriff meets him. She forks over the bug she found. "She's a good mayor," he says, supporting Regina. "She's an amazing woman." "Are you in love with her?" she asks, and keeps talking before he can answer the question. Ultimately, he needs to assist the right side before he goes down with his lady love.

August hops on his motorcycle and Mr. Gold follows close behind.

Baelfire comes across some boys playing in the forest and even though his father encourages him, the boys run off in fear before he can join in their games. Rumpel goes back to the house and Baelfire is joined by a friend, Ryanne. She tells him about a large creature that is more powerful than his father. Rumpel returns with stains -- blood stains -- on his boot. He's killed the hired help, even though she was mute. "If she was mute, she could draw a picture!" Always a laughing matter with Rumpelstiltskin.

August confronts Mother Superior at a convent then walks away. Mr. Gold walks up and inquires about the conversation. She tells him that he was looking for his father. There were "unresolved issues between them." Interesting.

Baelfire sits in the forest in the middle of the night, praying for help. A tiny blue fairy appears, the same that once helped a novice fairy as you might recall. She says that in order for the two of them to be together like before, they must leave this realm where Rumpelstiltskin's magic can work and forget everything they know. She gives him a magic bean. "You must use it wisely and follow it wherever it leads you." With that, she disappears. Baelfire hurries off.

David finally finds Mary Margaret alone on the streets of Storybrooke, late at night. After all the odds stacked against her, his reasoning is, "I'm human. I fell for it." There's no moving on for the two of them as far as she is concerned. "But I love you," he whispers. "And that is what makes it all so sad," she replies.

Rumpel sits at his spinning wheel when Baelfire hurries inside, excited about what he's found. "Fairy magic doesn't mix well with what I am," Rumpel says. He's convinced he would be weak. That's the point! Baelfire begs his father and he is reminded of their deal.

Mr. Gold knocks on a door, yet begins to walk away until Dr. Archie steps out. "Are you here for the rent?" Not quite; Mr. Gold wants to talk. It seems that his long lost son is the topic of conversation. "I think he might still be very angry ... I think he might be here to try to kill me." Wow. Archie tells him to "be honest ... There's no other way."

The two meet outside of a cabin in the dark. "I know who you are and I know what you're looking for," starts Mr. Gold. "Well then, I guess all the lying can stop," answers August, "Papa."

Baelfire leads his father deep into the forest and tosses the magic bean to the ground. A whirlpool of light emits and the ground opens up. "It's the only way!" Baelfire yells. Rumpel is reluctant, keeping them from jumping into the green light. "It's the only way we can be together!" "I can't!" is all Rumpel can say. And with that, he lets his son slip through the opening ... alone. "I want to come with you, Bae!" he digs and digs, but there's nothing he can do.

Mr. Gold stands in front of his son now. "You were right, Bae." His son sighs and looks off inot the distance. His father begins to cry and confesses that he's been looking for his son; he's sorry. They embrace one another, in tears. "I forgive you, Papa." Now they begin looking for the dagger. They find it deeper in the forest, wrapped in cloth. "I want you to take it, destroy it." He hands it over. "I chose it once, now I choose you."

August takes it in his hand and points it towards his father. "By the power of the darkness, I command thee, Dark One." He's trying to control Rumpelstiltskin and the power he holds! To this, Gold points to the man in front of him and says, "You are not my son!"

"My son would never try to use me," he says. His son would never try to use the knife against him in a place where the magic would have no power. That's why he chose this place. "Do I even look like him at all?" August asks. He wanted Mr. Gold to be so blinded that he would forget to look at the details. Now the dagger is at August's neck. "I'm sick and I need magic," August says. August will die apparently and he wants "that woman" (Regina?) to see things as they really are. Mr. Gold lets him live, of course, for the opportunity to get something out of August's efforts as well.

Rumpelstiltskin calls upon the blue fairy. "How do I follow him?" A curse is the only way he might find his son again. After a pretty hilarious one-sided knife fight with a tiny fairy, he yells, "I will find him!"

Emma enters her office to find Regina sitting on her desk. She calls Sidney in and what comes next is just mind-boggling. He confesses to framing Mary Margaret and everything that went into the false crime. Regina continues to put the blame on this man. Emma sees through it and asks the mayor to follow her into the hallway. "I know you're behind all this," she says. "I am about to play an entire different game ... All I care about is what happens to my kid." Emma Swan has finally come to fight fire with fire, saying, "I am taking back my son!"

Top 11 quotes from "The Return"

Next week on Once Upon a Time, Sheriff Emma Swan will take the one thing Regina holds dear from her, Henry. While the fight against The Evil Queen finally begins, the true identity of August W. Booth will be revealed and it looks as if the story of Pinocchio is further observed. There are only three episodes left, folks! Tune in to ABC next Sunday at 8pm.

Jilliane Johnson
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of ABC)

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