"Manhattan" is all about family dynamics, mistakes made, the prospect of redemption and forgiveness, and about trying not to make the same mistakes made by the previous generation. Rumple wants desperately not to be his father, who had abandoned him; Baelfire wants just as keenly to stay as far from his own father as possible. The episode also explores how impossible it to escape it from your destiny, at least not completely.
So Rumple has finally found Baelfire, but the timing could not have been less opportune. Caught virtually mid-threat with Emma, Baelfire/Neal, intervenes, seething with a centuries-old anger. Never mind that Gold has yearned for this moment and has vowed to make himself worthy of his son's forgiveness. All Baelfire sees is a man threatening Emma, the same man who had apparently chosen power and magic over being with his young son. It's hard to blame Bae for not wanting ever again to see Rumple, and no pleas or promises can erase all that hurt.
And we also get the much-anticipated reunion of Neal and Emma, last seen together 11 years earlier in "Tallahassee." Abandoning Emma (and their unborn son) to serve time in prison to take the rap for some stolen watches, Neal, too, wants forgiveness from Emma, and wants to get to know the son he never knew. But Emma is angry, her fury built up over more than a decade. And like Baelfire refuses to hear Rumplestiltskin, Emma refuses to hear Neal.
Abandonment and reconciliation, regret and forgiveness: Henry and Emma, Neal and Emma, Gold and Baelfire, the Charmings and Emma. And now they are all one big dysfunctional family. As Charming so adroitly says, thank goodness they don't celebrate Thanksgiving in "their land." Can you imagine those family gatherings? Sheesh. Makes Dallas' Ewing family look positively normal.
But I think this crisis point, all of this narrative merging, sets an interesting stage for the remainder of the season. How do these new, fractured relationships play out? Will Rumple begin to redeem himself in Bae's eyes? Will Emma and Neal get back together? Can she ultimately forgive him? And what of Henry in all of this? What is his role in the greater narrative scheme? "He is more than he appears," as the seer says to Rumple. But what?