Tuesday , April 16 2024
Spoilers and speculation: ABC's Once Upon a Time Returns Sunday night for new episodes with "Desperate Souls."

TV Preview: Once Upon a Time – “Desperate Souls”

Spoilers ahead mateys. Proceed at your own risk. (And don’t say you weren’t warned!)

“Good never wins, because Good has to play fair.” It’s a typically child-like take on the nature of good and evil as noted by Henry Mills (Jared Gilmore) in tomorrow night’s Once Upon a Time. But what happens when Good decides to play Evil’s game and hide a few tricks up its sleeve?

Is that what happened to Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) long ago when he was a powerless peasant hoping to protect his 13-year-old son from conscription? ABC has released a clip with the first eight minutes of tomorrow night’s new Once Upon a Time episode “Desperate Souls,” the eighth episode of the series’ debut season.

“Desperate Souls” reveals Rumple’s origin story, suggesting in the clip a man of little power and no means, helpless to protect his family from the forces of darkness. Although I haven’t seen the entire episode, Rumple’s plight resonates through the centuries to the strife faced by the oppressed and persecuted in ages not so long ago or far away.

How does Rumple respond to the threat as his own child is threatened? Does he sit by helpless to anything while his son is taken away, led to certain death on some remote battlefield against the Ogres? Or does he have within his reach the opportunity to stop the abductions? That remains to be seen in the remaining 40 minutes or so of “Desperate Souls.”

But is Rumple’s story an allegory for the fate of Storybrooke? Does Good have to play fair, as Henry suggests, or is there a gray area where it can exist while still maintaining its integrity, yet get in a few good licks? And, is that what Mr. Gold (Rumple’s Storybrooke alter ego) represents to the present-day story?

He certainly seems to be cozying up to Emma (Jennifer Morrison), but why? Is he planning to use Emma as a pawn in his conflict with Mayor Mills (Lana Parrilla)? Or does he see some greater good in the alliance? Of course that only brings up those ongoing questions: how much does Mr. Gold remember of the Enchanted Forest? What had he been doing with a shovel in the Storybrooke woods in “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter?” (Personally, I think he was digging for his old prison, which is, if you recall, situated in an old mine.)

So many questions!

So tune in tomorrow night for at least some answers (and likely yet more questions). Once Upon a Time airs at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC. After the episode stop in at Blogcritics LiveChat event and discuss, debate, argue and speculate. See you then!

About Barbara Barnett

A Jewish mother and (young 🙃) grandmother, Barbara Barnett is an author and professional Hazzan (Cantor). A member of the Conservative Movement's Cantors Assembly and the Jewish Renewal movement's clergy association OHALAH, the clergy association of the Jewish Renewal movement. In her other life, she is a critically acclaimed fantasy/science fiction author as well as the author of a non-fiction exploration of the TV series House, M.D. and contributor to the book Spiritual Pregnancy. She Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org).

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