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‘Once Upon A Time’ Review: Desperate Souls

‘Once Upon A Time’ Review: Desperate Souls


After three weeks of torture, our TV guilty pleasure is finally back! Once Upon A Time left us completely broken over the death of Graham (Jamie Dornan), but after giving us this episode, we forgive them… Kind of. We finally get to see the mischievous Rumpelstiltskin’s (Robert Carlyle) story. Although every story ONCE has told has been phenomenal, I’ve been most excited to see the back-story of Mr. Gold. I can honestly say that it was everything I had hoped it would be, and more.

The Fairytale World:

“Magic always comes with a price, and now it’s yours to pay.” -Zoso (Brad Dourif)

Oh, snap! Basically, the devious man we all knew and loved to hate… Was a coward? Say it ain’t so! Alas, it’s true, but we come to find out that he was actually willing to fight for something. His son! Yes, that’s right. Rumpelstiltskin had a son! This leads me to question his obsession with children. He’s always making deals for babies! Okay, off the point. In the Fairytale Land, on a child’s 14th birthday, they would be taken to fight, and quite possibly die, in the Ogre Wars. The audience learns that Mr. Rumpel was left by his wife for being a coward, and that he doesn’t have any friends– leaving his son as all he has left. Crying forever.

“The duke has the Dark One in thrawl. He’s enslaved him with the power of a mystical dagger. And on the plague is written a name. The true name of the Dark One. If you just steal the dagger, then you would control the dark one yourself. And then no one would be able to take your son away from you.” -Old Beggar AKA The Dark One AKA Zoso

Of course Mr. Rumpel was frightened, but that didn’t stop him from going into total badass mode, burning down the castle where the dagger was held, stealing it, and stabbing the Dark One in the heart… But it was a trick. The Dark One was the beggar who told him the tale. The truth was that the Dark One wanted to die so that he could be free, but now Rumpelstiltskin is the Dark One. His first act of duty? Killing the duke and his men, and having his son fear him. Didn’t really work out too well.


“Good always loses, because good has to play fair. Evil doesn’t.” -Henry (Jared Gilmore)

There’s a new sheriff in town! Well, almost. Seeing as our beloved Graham passed away, his position is left open. The job was initially supposed to be passed on to Emma (Jennifer Morrison), but seeing as Regina (Lana Parrilla) is a life ruiner, she stops it before it happens. This event causes a huge showdown. Regina and Sydney Glass (Giancarlo Esposito) vs. Emma and Mr. Gold.

Talk about mudslinging. Although the actual candidates don’t do anything, Mr. Gold and Regina fight fire with fire… Literally. After Regina releases an article in the paper about Emma, Mr. Gold starts a fire, exactly like the one in Fairytale Land. Regina is trapped, and Emma is the only one that can save her. Even though she has every reason not to, she does. And just in time to get her picture taken!

Emma finds out that it was Mr. Gold’s doing, and exposes him during her speech. She thought that she pretty much threw her chances away at becoming sheriff, but it turns out that the only person people fear more than Regina is Mr. Gold. The town liked the fact that she stood up to him, and therefore voted for her.

Graham would be proud. Forever crying.

“We made a deal sometime back, Ms. Swan. We established that you owed me a favor. I know that can be a bad feeling, owing someone. Now that you’re sheriff, I’m sure we’ll find someway for you to pay back what you owe me.” – Mr. Gold

Mr. Gold is always one step ahead of everyone. Not. Good.

As always, ONCE delivered! ‘Desperate Souls’ was a phenomenal episode! Robert Carlyle was flawless, and I don’t know about you guys, but I want more of his story! 45 minutes was certainly not enough! Bring on more Rumpel!



  • What was your favorite part of the episode?
  • Now that you know Rumpelstiltskin’s story, what are your thoughts on him?
  • Who’s excited for Hansel and Gretel?

Review By: Dhalyn Warren

Dhalyn Warren Dhalyn is a contributing writer for FanBolt. She lives for writing, TV, fashion, and social media, as well as traveling the world. With that said, Dhalyn tries greatly to infuse her passion and interests into what she posts on the site. Currently for FanBolt, Dhalyn is writing reviews, updating on celebrity news, interviewing, etc.


  1. I really shouldn’t have read this since I haven’t seen the episode. But I’m completely thrilled to have more details regarding Gold/Rump’s back story. OUAT is badass, as they say.

  2. Alright, caught up now. Your review didn’t spoil anything. One of these days, as an audience member, I hope to outsmart Rumpelstilskin/Gold. Just once.


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