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Once Upon a Time 1x08: Desperate Souls

Posted on the 10 January 2012 by Tvgeek @TVGeek_blog

Once Upon a Time 1x08: Desperate Souls

Original Air Date: 8 January 2012

StorylineRegina and Mr. Gold play dirty politics and take opposite sides when Emma runs for a coveted Storybrooke public office against Sidney. Meanwhile, back in the fairy tale world that was, Rumpelstiltskin tries to track down the ultimate power source in order to help his son avert the horrors of a meaningless war.TriviaAmong the box of Graham's belongings that Gold has is a graduation certificate, confirming that his last name was Humbert.

Behind the opening title, the Dark One can be seen.

Best Quote:

Gold: Regina. Shall I move some things, make a bit of space for your rage?
Regina: You found that loophole in the town charter.
Gold: Legal documents. Contracts, if you like. Always been a fascination of mine.
Regina: Yes, you like to trifle with technicalities.
Gold: I like small weapons, you see. The needle. The pen. The fine point of a deal. Subtlety. Not your style, I know.

Review: When one desperate soul recognizes another, you'd think they can form an alliance. Whether this is a beneficial alliance, that remains to be discussed. As Emma discovered in this week's episode, making deals with the wrong person, even if it's to empower good, can have dangerous consequences.

In speaking of deals I'm talking about - of course - Mr. Gold. The same way as his fairy tale counterpart, Mr. Gold is capable of anything in order to further his interests. It's still a big unknown what those interests are, but I have a feeling we'll find soon, at least in what regards the favor he wants to extract from Emma. What I am now most certain about is that he knows exactly who he is in reality (or, better said, in the fairy tale world) and Regina's fear of him (though masked) is perfectly justified.
This show has made a habit out of giving us one character a week and developing their backstories. This is giving us an insight into how each of them turned into the characters we know from the storybooks our grandparents read to us as children. This week is no different and, though a bog part of "Desperate Souls" follows Emma's decision and fight to take over Graham's position as the town sheriff, the real focus is on Rumpelstiltskin.
Believe it or not, the guy was a shepherd of some kind, or a wool merchant. I didn't really figure that out. But that was only what he did; what he actually was was a desperate soul, lame and coward, who only had one thing of value in his life: his 13-year old son, Baelfire. In wanting to save him for being drafted for the Ogre wars, he listens to an old beggar's advice on how to control and eventually get for himself the power of the Dark One, a sorcerer held in thrall by the local duke. 
That one was a contract he didn't really understand. Desperate people will do anything without really consideringthe consequences. But it can certainly be said that Rumpelstiltskin has never made a deal he didn't properly comprehend from that moment on, and nor did his Storybrooke counterpart, Mr. Gold.
The episode worked on parallels. Just as  Rumpelstiltskin  would do anything to save his son, Emma would do anything - even if unknowingly so - to show hers that good can win. Unfortunately, that still remains to be proven.
Some random thoughts on this week's installment: did Regina really thing Sydney Glass could be tough enough to maintain the order in Storybrooke (not thta anything ever happened, but still...)? Or did she only think about the immediate consequences and not the long-term ones? Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that Emma seems to always be dressed in the same jeans and the same boots? And when is Jennifer Morrison going to become even remotely likable? And what really happened with Rumpelstiltskin's son for him to talk about him in such sad terms? And for him to become the self-serving bastard he is?Once Upon a Time 1x07: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Back to Season 1

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