Once Upon A Time – The 3 Faces of Rumpelstiltskin

Once Upon a Time - Rumplestiltskin as a normal man, Dark Lord, and Mr. Gold

TV Review

Once Upon a Time - Season 1, Episode 8: “Desperate Souls.”

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Regina is Emma’s enemy. Mr. Gold is Regina’s enemy. That makes Emma and Mr. Gold uh, friends. That’s so wrong on so many levels.

Some light shed into the origins of Rumpelstiltskin, the most dangerous man of Storybrooke. I thought he was like the Evil Queen -- once wicked, always wicked. Not true.

In fairytale land Rumpel lived in a humble abode with his son 13-year old son Bae. Knights rode into village took a 14-year old girl. Age that a child’s drafted into the Ogre Wars. Rumpel’s son would be drafted within three days.

Rumpel did what any father would do, run. He’s so different than his usual plotting, conniving, and wicked self. Rumpel’s actually a likable man who loved his son. He did limp so when I said run, I meant amble fast.

Rumpel and his son crossed paths with a beggar. He told Rumpel the only way to save his son was to steal The Dark One’s dagger. Uh, Stilt-skinny branded as a coward. He went AWOL during Ogre wars. Wife left him for that. (Rumpel told son mom was dead.)

Only way to redeem himself was to muster the courage to steal the dagger. Kill The Dark One and gain his power. How does a coward do that exactly?

Burn down the castle.

Castle constructed of stone but there’s wood to burn. Rumpel and son set fire to a haystack outside of castle. Flames caught on fast. Rumpel limped inside the fake-fire burning castle. (The visual effects less than stellar.) Stole the dagger.

I know, you’re wondering how Rumpel knew where the dagger was hidden. Play along for a moment. Rumpel took the dagger then killed The Dark One.


While it’s always a good thing to destroy evil, first know the price you must pay. It wasn’t until he stuck the dagger into The Dark One that Rumple recognized it was the beggar. Beggar tired of the magic.
He tired of the darkness. Now that magic and darkness would pass onto Rumpel.

Oops, again. 

Rumpel’s skin turned a dark glittery gold. His face, in a word -- gruesome. Rumpel returned to his home. Knights were there. Rumpel dove right into his new magic persona and killed them all.

Meek, kind heart humble man. The Dark One. Contract deal maker Mr. Gold. I get Rumple now. Doesn’t mean I like him. But, I get him.

Oh, subplot... in Storybrooke Mr. Gold helped Emma become the new sheriff in town. That restored Henry’s faith that good can indeed overcome evil.

The three faces of Rumpelstiltskin. For once, the Evil Queen had nothing to do with this tragic story.

Watch Once Upon a Time Sundays 8/7c on ABC.

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