Who knew that Rumpelstiltskin/Gold was the crocodile behind Captain Hook’s hook?
Once Upon A Time certainly answered more questions about Mr. Gold last night.
Mr. Gold’s story unfolds in S2, episode 4, and viewers see a more human side to the reviled Rumpelstiltskin. It seems Gold has never been lucky in love until he meets Belle (of Beauty and the Beast).
Of course, by the time Gold meets Belle, he has become so hardened and untrusting he can’t let himself love her back.
This episode puts emphasis on Gold’s cowardly past. He was a deserter during the Ogre wars and no one will let him forget it. Most of all his wife, Milah.
Milah’s fate is explained when Gold finds her in a tavern with some rough pirate types. Milah gives Gold a dressing down until their son, Baelfire, walks into the tavern. Once home, Milah is more soft spoken,but her words are still harsh. She tells Gold he is a coward.
In the present day, Belle has mixed emotions about being with Gold. Yes, she loves him, but she can’t be with someone who is keeping secrets from her.
When she goes into to town to clear her head and experience Storybrooke for the first time, Belle meets Ruby. Ruby, who knows how it feels to be misunderstood, likes Belle in their first meeting and offers to help her.
Not long after Belle leaves the diner, James (acting Sheriff) and Gold go looking for her. Convinced James will keep Belle safe, Ruby uses her wolf side to track Belle down. Ruby’s nose leads the search party to Belle’s father’s florist shop.
In the past, there is a “deja vu” of the present storyline. Gold is informed his wife has been kidnapped by Hook. Gold summons the courage to rescue Milah. But things go awry. Gold is laughed off the ship when he refuses to duel with Hook for Milah.
With his head down, Gold heads home to tell his son his mother is gone. It’s another blow to Gold’s self-esteem and helps viewers understand his crave for power.
Later, Gold (Rumpelstiltskin) has a chance run-in with Hook. Believing that Hook is the terrible person who ripped his family apart; Gold challenges Hook to finish the duel. When Gold gets the upper hand, Milah, attired in pirate garb appears to request mercy for Hook.
Viewers find out Milah is not as innocent as she portrayed herself. Viewers may lose sympathy when they find out she abandoned her son to travel the world with a scoundrel. In front of Hook’s crew, Milah tells Gold that she never loved him. She announces that Hook is her one true love. Infuriated, Gold takes her heart and crumples it in his hands and watches her die in Hook’s arms.
Forward back to Storybrooke. After finding Belle’s trail leads to Belle’s father’s shop, the search party confronts Belle’s father, who will do anything to keep Belle from loving Gold. This includes sending her across Storybrooke border in a mining cart.
In a breath holding moment, viewers watch as Belle speeds towards losing her memory; she is just as suddenly pulled back. In the end, Mr. Gold and his search crew save Belle from losing her memories about her Fairytale Land life. Mr. Gold shows a more human side when he gets the keys to the library for Belle. Belle tells Gold that it doesn’t change things between them. Belle wants honesty. At the library, for one moment, we can see the old Gold, before his transformation into Rumpelstiltskin, finally open up to Belle.
The end shows Hook and Cora meeting in Fairytale Land. With the bit of magic, they prepare to head to Storybrooke. The pot is about to be stirred, and not even the residents of Storybrooke have any idea of what is about to come.