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Once Upon a Time: Manhattan

“Who doesn’t love a surprise?”

Almost everything that happened in this episode was inevitable. As truths came pouring out, so did sudden shifts in perspectives, as characters realized that the people they loved may not be who they say they are. Amidst all of this, those hiding secrets had to have known what was going to happen once they were exposed. Isn’t that always the way; lying doesn’t hurt you, it hurts those around you.

Emma is the pillar of that example. I said before that I get why she lied to Henry; she was protecting him. For all she knew Neil was a lying cheat, who threw her under the bus to save his own skin. But now that she’s learned the truth she can see what hiding Neil from Henry has done to him, and to their relationship. She’s done exactly what Regina did, lied to her son. That’s a betrayal that he won’t be quick to let go of.

Neil/Bae won’t be so quick to let go of Rumple’s betrayal, either. I’ve talked already about inevitabilities, and Bae smacking down Rumple’s open hand was definitely one of them. His father left him to rot somewhere he could never be reached, at least that’s how it looked to Bae. Now he’s going to try and give Henry what was missing from his life, he’s going to be a father to him.

Emma doesn’t feel as forgiving of Neil as Henry does. He put her in an awful position. He had his reasons, sure, but Emma didn’t know that. Just as Henry spent his life believing his father was dead, Emma spent the past ten years thinking Neil was bad guy. In some ways, I guess he still is, and could still turn out to be, but there was a lot that changed when she ran into him again and it’s going to take some getting used to.

We learned in flashbacks this week about what led Rumple to abandon his post during the ogre war. I’m not going to say my opinion of him has changed, he still took the easy way out, but there’s definitely some part of him that showed selflessness. He didn’t just run away to save his own skin, he did it to make sure his son grew up with a father. Will he take more drastic action to stop the seer’s prophecy about Henry coming true?

‘Manhattan’ brought Once Upon a Time back to fighting state. It focused on the parts of the show that work, like the characters themselves. As usual, it wasn’t all that surprising. Many of us had already guessed who Bae was, and what that meant for the show’s titular family, but it’s always satisfying to see this kind of thing play out.

3.5 out of 5 dream catchers


Looks as though Cora has gotten used to life topside, check her out in her modern day threads! Hook doesn’t seem to feel the same way about fashion these days though, looks like he’s sticking to his signature jacket.

WHY did Regina feel the need to empty Belle’s bag like she did? Wouldn’t it have been easier to do it by hand, and less sloppy?

He Said, She Said

Neil: “I’ve spent a lifetime running from that man, I’m not gonna let him catch me.”

Emma: “You let me go to prison because Pinocchio told you to?!”

Previously posted at PandaTV.


  1. My favourite line of the series is probably going to be that "You let me go to prison because Pinocchio told you to?!" excellent! :p

    Big question now as to what will Rumple do! His sense of self-preservation is extremely well developed, but placed in the balance with his love for Bae? How will he decide? Without Belle as a moral compass I worry for Henry!

    I wish they'd hurry up and get to the point with the magic-less outsider! I don't really get his purpose there, unless it's going to escalate and give everyone an real reason to go back to the Enchanted Wood.

    So yeah, very few surprises, and yet excellent episode!!!

    But I'm afraid this puts a kibbosh on any Emma-Hook possibilities... :o(

  2. Gold/Rumple said that the glimpses of the future are not always what you think. So when the Seer told him that the child would be his undoing, I immediately thought that she meant the undoing of the evil version of him. And what we know of Henry, that fits. Henry can get him back to being his old Rumple self (the version of him that existed before he went all "Darth Vader with a sword"). Of course, he probably isn't going to see that at first and will do (or try to do) something he regrets.

    Just my thoughts...

  3. This show seems to be asking us to look at the sacrificial nature of love. I think they’ve established that Regina, whatever else she is, loves Henry and has sacrificed on his behalf. Gold desire to reunite with his son though feels on a level with Cora’s attempt to achieve redemption on the cheap.

    He doesn’t want what’s best for Bae, “I’d be fourteen again, no thanks!” He wants rather to undo the consequences of a selfish decision to hold on to power in the face of his son’s need for a father.

    I loved this episode as much or more than I disliked the last one.

    And wow, you got this review up super-fast. Thank you.

  4. I was beginning to go off this show as I found the past few episodes a bit too saccharine for my taste. But, this episode brought it back to fighting form and I watched it amazed. I thought the reveal of Bae was beautifully done and the scene with Emma and him at the bar was beautifully acted.

    Like you and CrazyCris, I loved the “You let me go to prison because Pinocchio told you to?!” line. Hilarious, but also wonderfully delivered. And Cris is right about Emma/Hook (one of my favorite possibilities). it would be a bit creepy to hook up with your sort of step-father-in-law. Ick!


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