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Once Upon a Time: Skin Deep

“You're a coward, Rumpelstiltskin. And no matter how thick you make your skin, that doesn't change.”

As far as clever use of existing characters goes, this episode went a long way in ensuring that the writers are in this for the long haul. The elaboration of Rumpelstiltskin’s inner fears of actually being loved for who he is, and getting him to truly open up allowed his story to reach an emotional and heartbreaking turning point.

Like I’ve discussed in ‘Desperate Souls’, central villains should always have an equally interesting story about what made them the scheming fiends they are in the present so their major role in the series can be justified. I found a certain amount of the romance in this episode to be more than a tad bit off putting, but the idea of a real man hiding underneath all that ghastly appearance sold it in an interesting and engrossing way.

Emilie de Ravin’s Aussie accent is something that she’s always going to struggle with hiding, and that was a lesson I came to learn during her time on Roswell, but in this instance it didn’t impede on her performance all that much, in fact I kind of loved her. All of the female characters and damsels in distress have been the right mix of classic ideas and 21st century independence. Like Snow, Belle knew what was right and she had the guts to turn back and let Rumpie know exactly what he was losing. Here’s hoping Princess Aurora and Ariel (did I hear Regina mention something about a mermaid) exhibit some equally classy traits.

Mary’s admission of the moral implications of her and David’s hidden romance annoyed me. I know this show is all about characters’ happy endings being not so easy, but hadn’t they already agreed that there was no way of denying what was between them? Although, she did say that they needed to find another way of doing things the right way, I just wish we could enjoy some form of happiness that lasted for more than two episodes; call me sentimental.

I like that the traditional story is followed in a way that stayed true to such a popular story, but also found a loophole for an already established character to play such a pivotal role in it. Things continued to advance further as Regina asked Gold straight out about his knowledge of his former life. Both actors played their parts here brilliantly; I honestly wasn’t sure who knew what.

"Skin Deep" took the show to an even darker place than it had previously, further cementing it as a unique and thrilling fantasy.

4 out of 5 secret holding cells for Disney princesses.


It was really great seeing Ashley pop up again. It sort of makes you remember how closely knit these characters are, and it’s a plus seeing her life as a mother.

Belle's dress was heavily based on the Disney version, or was that just me?

He Said, She Said

Belle: “If I'm never going to know another person in my whole life, can't I at least know you?”

Rumpelstiltskin: “Love; it's like a delicate flame. And once it's gone... it's gone forever.”

Previously posted at PandaTV.


  1. I have to disagree with you on Emilie de Ravin. She drives me insane. It's not just the accent, though I think that might be part of it. She's just not a great actress. Plus, I think she looked worse than she really is because they paired her with the force of nature that is Robert Carlyle. That scene at the end where he attacks Moe? OH MY GOD. If that doesn't earn the man an Emmy, I don't know what will.

    I can't believe you didn't mention Game of Thorns! Best jokey reference ever!

  2. I think she's got a certain something that makes her extremely likable. Even in Roswell, when she wasn't necessarily the greatest of the cast, she still brought something to the character that drew me in. Maybe she's not a standout performer, but she's a star, and the fact that the fans have bought into the idea of her being a regular so well means I'm not alone.

  3. I really don't remember her on Roswell; it's been forever since I've seen that show. I have to admit I'm looking forward to her joining the main cast, if only because it has to mean more Rumple. And who doesn't want more Rumple? :)

  4. I honestly wasn't prepared to like her because I hated her character on Lost, but I just loved her in this and I'm glad she's going to be in the second season.

    This was a really great episode, and it had me cracking up at parts. Rump joking about skinning children, and later what he does to Gaston had me laughing so hard. I was really surprised when I first saw this that they used him as the 'Beast', but I think it worked well.

  5. I loved Belle, and she´s not even my favorite princess.
    When I read the synopsis for the episode I don´t know how is that I didn´t realize Rumple was going to be the "Beast" and now I think it was better in that way, it made the episode better for me.

    English is not my first language so I don´t find the accent annoying at all, I also never realize what a big deal is for americans.

    Rumple and Regina are my favorite characters so I found their interactions rather fascinating. I loved them at Fairytale but my favorite scene was when Regina asked him his name and he went all "Your Majesty" and told her he was still in charge.

  6. I'm not actually American, but it's obvious that she struggles with her accent, if you're used to hearing her Aussie one, you can tell she's trying to stifle it, sort of like Phoebe Tonkin on The Secret Circle ( :( ). It's not that big of a deal, though.

    Not long now, guys!

  7. EDR was one of my favorite characters on Lost and I squealed when I saw her, though not as loud as I did in the episode with Emma Caulfield. I loved this episode with it's twist on the Disney version. It was also my son's favorite episode so far.


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