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Desperate Souls - Recap

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Once Upon a Time

A lame weaver, Rumplestiltskin, is working at home when his son Baelfire comes in to warn him that the Duke’s soldiers have come to take away Morraine, a girl who has just turned 14. Rumplestiltskin and his son go out and watch as Duke’s man, Hordor, has his soldiers take the girl to serve in the army. When her parents try to fight back, the Duke’s sorcerer, the Dark One, strangles them with a gesture. Baelfire warns his father that the soldiers will be back in three days to take him when he turns 14, and Rumplestiltskin insist that they’ll find a way to spare him.

Now

Mr. Gold calls Emma in and she finds him making lanolin from sheep wax. He expresses her condolences over the death of Sheriff Graham two weeks earlier and then points out that Emma is still wearing her deputy’s badge. Gold explains that after two weeks as acting sheriff, Emma automatically becomes sheriff. When Emma wonders why he invited her there, Gold explains that he owned the apartment that Graham rented and that he has the sheriff’s belongings. He thought that Emma would want them, possibly to share with Henry. She doesn’t see the point until Gold says that he’ll have to give them to Regina if Emma doesn’t take them. As Emma reconsiders, Gold tells her that she should enjoy her time with her son before he’s gone.



Later, Emma goes to the playground to meet with Henry and suggests they use a set of Graham’s radios for the boy’s Operation Cobra. Henry refuses and explains that he wants to call off his “plan” because Regina killed Graham. Emma insists that the autopsy showed natural causes, but Henry figures that since Regina was evil, evil always wins and she doesn’t want Emma to die.

Emma goes back to the sheriff’s office and Regina comes in and tells her that she’s appointing Sydney Glass as the town’s sheriff. Emma figures that Regina is unhappy because things in Storybrooke are getting better since Emma became deputy, but Regina doesn’t believe it, saying that Graham’s death isn’t “better. When Emma insists that Graham was the one who kept the sheriff’s office from Regina and knew what he was doing, Regina fires Emma and leaves with the badge.



Back at her apartment, Emma is angrily dismantling a toaster when her roommate comes in. Mary Margaret is surprised that Emma is so passionate about the job, and Emma admits that she just wants it. Gold comes by and talks to Emma privately, and suggests that there is a loophole in the town charter that might let them stop Regina.

Once Upon a Time

Three days before his son’s 14th birthday, Rumplestiltskin tells Baelfire that they’re running away through the forest that night. They take the trail and pass a blind beggar, who they give a few coins. Hordor and his soldiers arrive and recognize Rumplestiltskin, and don’t believe his claim that he’s traveling to sell his wool. The commander realizes who Rumplestiltskin is and tells Baelfire that his father was a coward and fled during the war, and that Baelfire’s mother couldn’t stand the sight of a coward and left her husband. Rumplestiltskin begs Hordor to leave Baelfire alone and the commander tells Rumplestiltskin to kiss his boot. The weaver begs him not to make him do it in front of his son, but Hordor insists and Rumplestiltskin finally gives in. Hordor then kicks him away and rides off, saying that he’ll be back in three days. As the soldiers leave, the blind beggar approaches them and says that he’ll find a way to help them in return for food and shelter.



Now

Regina summons the press to tell them that Sydney will be the new sheriff. However, Emma barges in and tells her that per the town charter, all Regina can do is appoint a candidate. Since there has to be an election, Emma offers herself as a candidate. Regina quickly responds and tells everyone that Sydney will be running and that he has her full support.

Once Upon a Time

Two days pass and Baelfire sleeps at night while the blind beggar talks to Rumplestiltskin. He advises the weaver that he has to choose a path. When Rumplestiltskin insists that he has no choices, the beggar tells him that everyone has a choice. However, Rumplestiltskin explains that he’s nothing but a lame coward with no friends and no wife, and his son is the only thing he has in the world. The beggar tells him that he can choose if he has power, and that the Duke holds the Dark One in thrall by holding a mystic dagger with the sorcerer’s true name inscribed upon it. If Rumplestiltskin can steal the dagger, then he can control the Dark One and force him to keep his son safe. When Rumplestiltskin says that he would be too afraid to control the Dark One, the beggar says that if he can’t control the sorcerer then the weaver needs to take his power for himself.

Now

Regina goes to the pawnshop to confront Gold, accusing him of meddling in her affairs. He doesn’t deny it and talks about Graham, and Regina snaps at him, saying he knows nothing about her dead lover. When she points out that Gold is backing the right horse, he says that he isn’t as convinced and warns her that Emma is fighting for her son.



Emma visits Henry at the diner and discovers that Sydney has published an article about how she had Henry when she was a juvenile while she was in jail. Emma admits that it’s true and asks if Henry is upset, and he tells her that it doesn’t bother him. However, he is still worried that Regina will win because evil fights dirty and Emma can’t. When Emma tells him that she has Gold on her side, Henry warns her that the pawnbroker is worse than Regina.

That night, Emma visits Regina at her office in town hall, which is undergoing construction work. She complains that Regina broke the law and that no matter what the mayor does to Emma, it’s Henry that she’s really hurting. Regina insists that she knows what is best and is just showing the townspeople the truth, and that Emma can argue it in the debate. As they go downstairs, Regina warns Emma that Gold could and will turn against her. As they go through the construction section, the area suddenly bursts into flame. Regina falls and a piece of scaffolding lands on her leg, injuring it.

Once Upon a Time

As they work spinning thread, Rumplestiltskin tells Baelfire that he plans to steal the Dark One’s dagger and use it to save Baelfire and all the children of the kingdom. Baelfire considers fighting in the war since it’s the law, but his father points to the crimson sky and says that it’s red with the blood of children who have died for nothing. When his son asks if he really fled the war, Rumplestiltskin admits that he did but insists that his wife is dead, just as he told Baelfire. Baelfire considers what his father has said and then asks what he can do to help, and Rumplestiltskin tells him that he plans to set the wood in the Duke’s palace on fire.

Now

Emma runs past Regina, who assumes that she’s abandoning her. However, Emma grabs a fire extinguisher and puts out the flames, and then helps Regina outside. As the press and the firemen gather, Regina complains that she hurt her ankle due to Emma’s handling. Emma starts to walk away, saying that she wouldn’t have rescued her if she could do it again. However, then she realizes that she would do it, because that’s what good people do. The townspeople have gathered and seen Emma’s heroism, and even Sydney takes some photos of her despite Regina’s objections. Satisfied, Emma tells Henry that good does win sometimes. However, she notices a piece of cloth soaked in lanolin and realizes that it’s the same substance that Gold was using earlier at his shop. Emma goes to confront Gold at his shop and accuses him of setting the fire. He doesn’t deny or admit to it, but says that if he did, it would succeed in making Emma a viable candidate for sheriff. When Emma refuses to accept his “help,” Gold points out that she already did and that if she walks away now, she’ll be walking away from Henry.



Once Upon a Time

Rumplestiltskin starts the fire at the Duke’s castle and goes inside while the guards are distracted. He goes to the throne room and finds the hidden alcove where the dagger is kept, confirms that the name on it is “Zoso,” and leaves.

Now

Mary Margaret is putting up posters for Emma and runs into David, who is putting up posters for Sydney. He explains that his wife is a friend of Regina’s, and that he’s found work at an animal shelter. Things between them grow uncomfortable and Mary Margaret quickly leaves. She goes to the town hall to see Emma, who is preparing for the debate. Emma doesn’t believe that she can win and that Henry is right. When Mary Margaret wonders if she has a personal reason for wanting to win, Emma admits that if she can’t be the hero and savior for her son, then she doesn’t know what she is. Looking through the curtain, Emma sees Henry seated in the audience... and Gold sitting nearby.

Once Upon a Time

Rumplestiltskin meets his son in the wood and tells him to go home while he summons the Dark One. Once Baelfire goes home, Rumplestiltskin draws the knife and calls the sorcerer’s true name. After a few moments, the hooded figure steps out of the woods and admits that Rumplestiltskin now controls him. When the weaver hesitates to do what he has to, the Dark One reminds him that Hordor is already on his way to take Baelfire, and that the boy can’t be Rumpelstiltskin’s son because he is no coward. Rumplestiltskin finally braces himself and stabs the Dark One in the chest. The sorcerer collapses and then he transforms into the beggar. Dying, he tells Rumplestiltskin that magic always has a price, and now the weaver will pay that price. When Rumplestiltskin asks why he choose him, the beggar tells him that he could always recognize a desperate soul. The Dark One dies and the metallic sheen of his skin appears on Rumpelstiltskin’s body. When the weaver pulls the dagger from the corpse, he discovers that his name is now etched on it.



Now

Archie introduces the candidates at the debate and Sydney begins, giving a generic speech that Regina wrote for him. Emma steps up next and mentions her juvenile record, but points out that the townspeople were willing to overlook it because she saved Regina. However, she then tells them that Gold was the one who set the fire, even though she has no proof, and that she initially went along with him so she could be sheriff. However, she refuses to win that way and admits that she was wrong. Gold walks out of the hall while Regina watches in triumph.

Later, Emma is drinking at the diner when Henry comes in and gives her Graham’s radios. He thanks her for exposing Gold and tells her that he’ll keep the radios and continue Operation Cobra. Regina and Sydney come in and Emma assumes that they’re there to gloat. However, Regina tells her that she won the election, albeit by a narrow margin, and that the people liked the idea of someone who would stand up to Gold. As the press come in, Regina hands over the sheriff’s badge and warns Emma that she’s made a superlative enemy.



Once Upon a Time

The next morning, Hordor and his men come to get Baelfire. The transformed Rumplestiltskin steps out and at first the soldiers don’t recognize him. The former weaver finally tells them who he is and they realize that he is now the Dark One. Rumplestiltskin orders Hordor to kiss his boot and then snaps his neck. When the other soldiers start to respond, Rumplestiltskin moves among them, stabbing them to death in a matter of seconds. Baelfire stares in horror and asks his father what happened to him, and Rumplestiltskin tells him that he protected what belongs to him and now he’s not scared of anything.



As Emma moves her things into the sheriff’s office, she finds Gold waiting for her. He tells her that he set the whole thing up, and that he knew that the fire wouldn’t be enough to convince the townspeople to vote for her. Gold needed them to believe that Emma wasn’t frightened of him so that they would vote for her. He tells her that he recognized a desperate soul and assures her that now that she’s sheriff, Emma can pay off the debt that she still owes him.

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