Once Upon A Time: Manhattan

once-upon-a-time-manhattan-robert-carlyle This week's Once Upon A Time brought the revelation that surprised no-one.

Luckily, it wasn't predictable because it was too cliche or unoriginal. It was predictable simply because it worked so damn well, making this one of the best episodes of the show so far.

So not only is Bae Henry's father, but Rumplestiltskin now believes that Henry, his newfound grandson, who he actually seems to like, will be his undoing. Hopefully, he's learned from his past experience with prophecies and realizes that they're never quite what you expect them to be. Perhaps Henry will be the one to be the undoing of "The Dark One," rather than Rumplestiltskin himself. But Rumplestiltskin realizing that, or liking that option, seems like a bit of a long shot. Excited for this plotline!

The show seemed to realize that everyone had already figured out who Bae was, so they didn't milk out the revelation or linger on the idea of shocking the audience. Instead, they dove straight in and explored the emotional consequences, leading to a pretty dramatic and heartwrenching episode. After chasing him down and realizing who he was, Emma immediately started demanding the truth, thinking (quite understandably) that even their meeting was an attempt to manipulate her as the saviour. Meanwhile, Rumplestiltskin's reunion with his son was suitably, horribly painful, making it possible to sympathize for both the man who lost his son, and the son whose father abandoned him for magic, and who still doesn't fully understand or admit what he did wrong.

However, you'd think that Rumplestiltskin would be more aware of how horrible his suggestion that he could wipe Bae's memory is, considering what Belle's going through. And god, I hope Belle's story is going somewhere worthwhile, because all the characters in the story seem pretty darn eager to keep her shoved in the fridge where she found herself. The scene last week, when she questioned the existence of magic and ended up sedated by the nurse, was disturbing to watch. Why do they want to keep magic secret from her? Wouldn't that contribute to her potential recovery? Although the idea that Ruby brings Belle books and tries to help her remember was sweet, the fact that she's also deceiving her is uncomfortable to say the least. And then this week, Regina bypasses any pretence and uses magic to knock her out so that she can search through her things and find information that Belle has forgotten.

On the one hand, I'm glad that Belle didn't just lose her memory and vanish from the story, and that she still has scenes beyond her relationship with Rumplestiltskin and his guilt over her situation. On the other hand, I really hope this is going somewhere good, because right now her treatment is beyond uncomfortable.

And now we have another two week break before the next episode. Thanks, ABC.