Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle, Lana Parrilla, Jared Gilmore, Josh Dallas, Raphael Sbarge, Eion Bailey
Writer:
 Jane Espenson
Director:
 Paul Edwards
Network:
 ABC, Sunday nights, 8 p.m.
Original Telecast:
 April 22, 2012

For all the teasing ABC has been doing, it looks like we’re going to get some answers about the dual worlds of ONCE UPON A TIME. The problem is, in “The Return,” we’re getting more questions. We’ve often noted that August (Eion Bailey) does not appear to have a fairy tale world counterpart, but that he does seem to be in on what’s going on in Storybrooke, Maine. And the episode leads us along to believe that he may just have – he just got to the “real” world in a different way than by Regina’s (Lana Parilla) curse.

Which may not be holding up all that well. With Kathryn (Anastasia Griffith) back, Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) is going scott free and everyone is grumbling about who messed things up at the state lab. Regina’s pretty mad, too, because she expected Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) to follow through on their deal to have something happen to Kathryn that would result in Mary Margaret going down for it. You’d think Regina, of all people, would be wise to Gold’s deals – since she and Gold are (apart from August and Regina’s adopted son Henry) the only ones who know about their fairy tale world counterparts of The Evil Queen and Rumpelstiltskin. However, there was a loophole, Gold points out – and he’s only backed out of a deal once.

And we see that once just as soon as we go to the fairy tale world. Rumpelstiltskin is getting meaner and deadlier – turning a carter into a snail and smashing him. Rumpel’s young son Baelfire (Dylan Schmid) doesn’t like what’s going on and tells his father, he’s going to find a way to release him from the power of the evil knife. In fact, Baelfire asks Rumpel if he can find a way to do it, will Rumpel give up the power? And Rumpel shakes on the deal. Yeah, you know what’s coming.

Back in the hospital, Kathryn is recovering from her ordeal and David (Josh Dallas) comes in because, well, they’re still married. But Kathryn approves of the break up, claiming they never really had a good relationship. Now this would be great news for Mary Margaret and David (Snow White and Prince Charming in the fairy tale world, who were happily married and gave birth to Emma and secreted the baby in a magic chest just as the curse hit), except that Mary Margaret is still peeved that David thought she was guilty, complaining that there is something about which doesn’t want them together. Well, duh – that was the point of the curse.

Back in the fairy tale world, Baelfire calls out the Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy), who offers a magic bean as the way for him and his father to escape to a world of no magic, which means the knife would no longer have power over him. So Baelfire drags Rumpel out to the woods and plants the bean, the magic hole opens up and Rumpel just can’t go along with his son and is left behind.

At the same time, Gold is getting pretty suspicious about August, and in the process of trying to find out more about him, finally talks to Dr. Archie Hopper (Rafael Sbarge) about his damaged relationship with his son. Archie suggests confronting this person and asking forgiveness.

So Mr. Gold confronts August, calling him Baelfire, and he asks forgiveness and August forgives him, then they go looking for the knife. Then August turns on Mr. Gold and it becomes pretty clear that August isn’t Baelfire all grown up. Or is he? As he tells Mr. Gold, he’s sick and he needs someone to believe in magic to cure him. Well, we did see him in spasms in the first scene, then calling someone and saying that they needed to go to plan B – presumably hooking up with Mr. Gold. But beyond that, well, we’re left wondering again amidst a host of network teases about what’s coming. Hmmmmmm.

AGREE? DISAGREE? LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD – COMMENT BELOW

Related Link:Exclusive Interview with Robert Carlyle on ONCE UPON A TIME and STARGATE UNIVERSE
Related Link
: Exclusive Interview with ONCE UPON A TIME star Raphael Sbarge
Related Link
: Exclusive Photos from the PaleyFest 2012 event for ONCE UPON A TIME

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Article: TV Review: ONCE UPON A TIME – Season 1 – “The Return”

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