Episode 8: Desperate Souls

One of the most manipulative and mysterious character on Once Upon a Time’s history has finally been exposed. Rumpelstiltskin has proved to be one of the most fascinating cast members thus far. This episode opened up the origin about his humble history. Who would have guessed?

In episode 8, “Desperate Souls,” we learn that Rumpelstiltskin was once a dedicated father. His life goal was to make sure his son was protected. In the process of hiding his son, we learn that Rumple was also a spineless runaway who fled the “Ogre Wars”, which did not win him in favor with the local knights.

The history of the war was to allow the knights to draft children (14 and older) into the army.

Fairy Tale Land

The scene started where Rumpelstiltskin was spinning in his tent. His son came running to tell his father the duke’s army is taking the neighbor girl. The leader of the knights, Hordor, is introduced here.

The mother of the neighbor’s daughter pulls a knife in attempt to stab the duke. As she attempts to protect her daughter, an unusual force field chokes her and the husband. Then in the distance, the “Dark One” is seen casting the force field.

As the parents were screaming in desperation, this made for a surprisingly ominous moment in a family-orientated series.

Now the drama has passed, and Rumple is terrified for his son. Rumple wakes up his son in the middle of the night, so they can escape before his birthday in two days. He would become eligible for the duke to take him for military service. While they were quietly leaving, Rumple gives a poor beggar two alms.

As he helps the beggar, the duke arrives demanding to know why he is on the King’s road. At this time, Hordor, tells Rumple’s son his father was a coward and deserted the war effort. When Rumple came back home his wife left him for being a weak man.

The duke continues on forcing Rumperstiltskin’s son over. Rumple pleads for this not to happen. Hordor says he will spare his son in exchange to kissing his boot. Then Rumple is kicked to the ground.

The beggar came to help Rumpelstiltskin up and said he will find a way to be Rumpelstiltskin’s benefactor. The scene goes to Rumpel’s tent with the beggar. Rumpel explains his desperation to keep his son and the beggar says he can now fight back.

The beggar tells the story how the duke enslaves the Dark One. This happens with the assistance of a magical dagger, which is engraved with the Dark One’s real name. If Rumple can steal the dagger, he can control the Dark One. Then no one would take his son.

Rumple was uncomfortable with the idea of enslaving the Dark One, so the beggar tells him to just simple keep the power for himself.

Rumpelstiltskin goes to his son and explains the plan to take the power of the Dark One. The scheme is to steal the dagger that is engraved with the Dark One’s name and killing the Dark One with it. This would save every child of the land from ever going to fight. His song offers to help fight.

Rumpel explains the king does not want him to fight that he wants him to die. As his son takes this in, he questions his father about running away and if his mother is really dead. Rumple said yes.

The scene moves on to the duke’s castle. Rumple and his son set a haystack on fire outside the walls. The first spreads to the wooden structures. This opens the opportunity for Rumple to get inside and find the dagger. He discovers the dagger, and reads the engraved words “Zoso.”

At the duke’s castle, Rumpelstiltskin and his son set fire to a haystack outside the castle walls that spreads to wooden structures in and around it. In the castle, Rumpelstiltskin finds the dagger engraved with the word “Zoso” and steals it.

Rumpel escapes with the dagger and sends his son home. The son had a bad feeling about the entire situation. Rumpel summons Zoso with the dagger. Zoso appears and warns Rumpel. He says it is a weak bargain for his soul in exchange for a son that may not be his.

This enrages Rumpel and he stabs the dagger into Zoso’s chest. Instead of killing him, it turned Zoso normal. He is exposed at the beggar from the forest. Then he says, “magic always comes with a price.” As Rumple pulls the dagger from Zoso’s chest, the dagger now reads his own name.

The knight eventually arrives and attempts to take Rumpel’s son. Rumple warns the knight and his crew he is the new dark one. The son says he is afraid of his father now.


It has been two weeks in Storybrooke since the death of Sheriff Graham. Emma visits Mr. Gold’s shop because he requested her presence. He offers his condolences, while he was using lanolin to waterproof cloth. Mr. Gold tells Emma she would have the responsibility to assume the job of sheriff.

The Pawn Shop

Mr. Gold offers Emma an item from Sheriff Graham’s belongings. This came from the clean out of the apartment that Graham rented from Mr. Gold. At first, she refuses the walkie talkies, but then she accepts the set when suggested to use when playing with Henry.


Emma then visits Henry at a playground. She offers him one of the walkie talkies, so they can use in Operation Cobra. Henry says he wants to stop Operation Cobra because messing with the curse killed Sheriff Graham.
Police Station

Back at the police station, Emma puts on the badge of the sheriff. Just then, Regina arrives and angrily states Emma has no right to appoint herself. She has chosen Sydney Glass as the new sheriff. Regina then fires Emma.

Emma argues that Sheriff Graham knew what he was doing when selecting her as deputy. She goes on to say how Regina is only trying to get back control of the department.

Mary Margaret & Emma’s Apartment

The next scene in Storybrooke goes to Mary Margaret and Emma talking. Emma explains how frustrated she is with Regina. Just then, Mr. Gold comes knocking on the door of the apartment. Mary Margaret leaves the room, so they can talk in private.

Mr. Gold presents a copy of the town charter and says how Regina is the true enemy. The documents expose that the mayor does not have as much control that is assumed.

Press Conference

Regina holds a press conference for the town. She is appointing Sydney Glass as Storybrooke’s new sheriff. Emma steps in and interrupts the ceremony. She explains to the citizens that the charter does not give Regina the power to do so without an election. Emma wants to run in that election.

Mr. Gold & Regina

Regina visits Mr. Gold’s Pawn Show and she complaining about his “trifling with technicalities.” She questions how he can have the nerve to go against her. They are with the intentions of the common good. Now they have chosen sides.

Regina goes on how Emma is going to lose. Mr. Gold stands strong against Regina and says how she should not underestimate the act of someone who is standing up in front of their child.

This angers Regina and she yells that Henry is her child not Emma’s. Mr. Gold responds with legally and now who is trifling with the technicalities?

Granny’s Diner

Emma goes looking for Henry and finds him at the diner. He was sitting there reading the newspaper (the Daily Mirror). The front page is an article that Sydney Glass wrote about Emms’s past. It tells Henry he was born while Emma was in prison.

Henry and Emma were talking about the what had happened in the past. He then went on to tell Emma not to owe Mr. Gold anymore favors. He feels Mr. Gold is worse then Regina.

Town Hall

Emma arrives to speak with Regina about the story in the paper. The story is hurting Henry to learn about her sealed juvenile record. Regina came back with Henry would learn the truth eventually. As Regina reaches the bottom of the stairwell, an explosion blows the door onto Regina injuring her.

Regina pleads for Emma to help her. Emma hesitates before running into the flames. She grabs a fire extinguisher and helps Regina out of the fire. When they are leaving the Town Hall, Sydney takes a photo of Regina on a stretcher.

Mr. Gold & Emma

The town now is proclaiming Emma as a hero, but Emma is suspecting this was arson. She goes to visit Mr. Gold at the pawnshop. When she walks in, she smells the lanolin taking over the air. Gold denies starting the first and insinuates it was the construction in the area.

Mr. Gold continued that if Emma is going to win the election, she needs something big. Then he warns her about walking away from the election because it would be very disappointing.

Town Hall

Mary Margaret runs into David as she is putting up posters for the debate. They begin to talk and David says he is now working at a local animal shelter. He also told her he is campaigning for Regina since his wife is friends with her.

Disappointed Mary Margaret walks away.

The Debate

Emma tells Mary Margaret she does not want to disappoint Henry and she is worried. She wants to prove that good can win. However, she is not sure she can win the fight the same way Regina plays.

During the debate, Emma tells the Storybrooke citizens that Mr. Gold was behind the fire and apologizes. Mr. Gold leaves the room.

Granny’s Diner

Henry goes to Granny’s Diner to find Emma. He sees that she is drinking and hands her the walkie talkie. Henry told Emma that heroes expose the truth and he should have not given up on Operation Cobra.

Regina arrives to the diner with Sydney. They tell Emma that she won the vote of the citizens. The residences were moved that she stood up to Mr. Gold and exposed the truth. Regina warned Emma that Mr. Gold is a powerful ally. He makes a difficult enemy.

Police Station

Mr. Gold visits Emma at the police station. She asked Gold why he did this dangerous act. He then reminds her of the deal they made in the hospital while Ashley was having the baby. Now that she is sheriff, he tells Emma that he will be sure to find a way for her to repay him.

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