Entertainment Magazine

Once Upon a Time 1x04: The Price of Gold

Posted on the 14 November 2011 by Tvgeek @TVGeek_blog

Once Upon a Time 1x04: The Price of Gold

Original Air Date: 13 November 2011

Storyline: Emma tries to help a young pregnant woman escape from the clutches of Mr. Gold. Meanwhile, back in the fairytale world, Cinderella makes a regrettable deal with Rumplestiltskin.Trivia: Behind the opening title, Cinderella's fairy godmother can be seen.Best Quote:

Cinderella: (seeing her slippers) Glass?
Rumplestiltskin: Every story needs a memorable detail.

Review: This week's Once Upon a Time gives us the story of Cinderella - one slightly modified from the book version. It's not the first time this show gives us another version of the story, as seen last week, with Snow White's warrior persona, but this episode takes things even further, by killing off one of the fairy tales' iconic character, the fairy godmother. As seen in Horowitz and Kitsis' version, the fairy godmother, so famous for turning a pumpkin into a carriage, is killed by Rumpelstiltskin, who helps Cinderella get to the ball in exchange for a precious thing she will soon come to possess: unknowingly, she promises him her first born. In parallel, Emma meets Ashley Boyd, the real life version of Cinderella, who has a similar story to tell: she works as a maid, lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters, is a teenager with a baby on the way and made a similar deal with Mr. Gold: give him her child in exchange for a better life.

As Mr. Gold enlists Emma's help to find a runaway Ashley and get from her the thing she stole - her unborn child -, Emma finds herself contemplating her own decision to give Henry up for adoption. The similarities between the two situations are an eye-opener for her and she takes it upon herself to convince her new acquaintance that she can indeed change her life without having to give up the most precious thing she has in the world. And it's the first time in four episodes that a real-life happy ending is shown, leaving us with the promise that there's more to this world than sadness and disappointment.
I said before that Emma reconsiders her own choices while she tries to help out Ashley. This starts out as Regina tells her she's not worried about her relationship with Henry, because the most time she spent in a single place was two years in Tallahassee. "In order for something to grow, Miss Swan, it needs roots. And you... don't have any. People don't change, they only fool themselves into believing they can." A harsh thing to hear, even for someone who willingly lives out of two boxes of things and has a job that makes her travel all over the country. That most certainly turned on a switch inside her, amplified by the Ashley's own determination to grow up, change her life and keep her baby. The job offer Emma got from the sheriff couldn't have come at a better time - though the revelation of his relationship with Regina (something I'd suspected from the first time I saw him in her house back in the pilot) makes me wonder if there's something more than just him wanting to hire someone with experience in finding people. And now I'm even more convinced that Graham is the hunter.
Keeping Mr. Gold from taking Ashley's daughter came with a price, and I was very surprised by Emma's decision to take him up on his deal. Owing a favor to a pawnbroker is no small thing, especially if you know for sure he's not the most honest person on the planet. But everything - from magic to selflessly helping out a teenage girl or trying to leave Storybrook - comes with a price, and sometimes it's a high one to pay. Mr. Gold having a hold on Emma now just makes things more interesting, especially since Emma is the only one who can leave town without consequences. 
I'm not a fan of Jennifer Morrison in this show so far. As excited as I was to see her back in a more substantial role than the ever so annoying Zoey in HIMYM, I'm still not sold on her acting skills and quite nostalgic of the Dr. Cameron character she played on House. But Jared Gilmore and Robert Carlyle are always a delight to watch, as they play their roles to perfection.
There wasn't much going on other than Emma's chase of Cinderella and the character's fairy tale story, involving a friendship she and her husband shared with Snow White and Prince Charming (whom I'm not going to call James). I was more involved in the fantasy than in the real life plot, even more so when you add the amazing costumes, the dancing and the special effects worthy of a big screen movie. Also, we got the story on how Rumpelstiltskin ended up being imprisoned by the dwarfs in the dungeon we saw him locked up in the first episodes. He's also portrayed as incapable of resisting a deal - much like a gambler. In fact, by extension, one could actually call him a gambler: even when he suspects a bad deal coming his way, he still finds himself forced to take it.
An episode centered so strongly on Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold couldn't have made me more happy, since I'm a big fan of Robert Carlyle's work. Also, I found myself enjoying Cinderella's slightly altered story, despite Jessy Schram's typecasting (though I had major Veronica Mars nostalgia when I first saw her). So far, so good with this new show, that charms me and wins me over each week. But... what's up with Ruby's shorter than short shorts?Once Upon a Time 1x03: Snow Falls Back to Season 1

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog