Once Upon A Time, Season 2, Episode 14: “Manhattan”
Written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
Directed by Dean White
Airs Sundays at 8pm (ET) on ABC
Drama has come, in the form of Once Upon a Time that is. This week’s episode kicked off with an exciting chase throughout the streets and ending with some jaw-dropping, earth shattering revelations. Including the biggest one of them all, we have found Emma’s baby daddy, and it just so happens that he is Rumplestiltskin’s long lost son. And with that Once Upon a Time has strapped us into the seats, checked the buckles and shot us off into another whirlwind episode.
The episode, while full of secrets and backstory, was more on the dramatic side this week instead of chalked full of action, suspense and intensity. We found that the storyline mostly dealt with Rumplestiltskin, Emma, Henry and Bae, with occasional jumps back to Storybrooke and the past Enchanted Forest. The writers handled themselves nicely this week; the episode flowed pretty freely between the three story arcs.
With the action being a bare minimum this week, we actually got to dive deeper into the characters and the actors that play them. Jennifer Morrison, who has come a long way since the series premiere, shined in her role as Emma. The way that she handled herself when finding out that the man who broke her was also from the Past Enchanted Forest, everything just hit the roof. Morrison let us beneath that rocky shell that Emma is known to possess and made us feel sorry for her. Emma has had a lot of things happen to her that is way too much for someone to handle or even comprehend and Morrison definitely knows how to play those characteristics and situations to a tee. She does it so flawlessly that we ultimately believe that Emma is real and we are just watching a documentary on her life.
The other key player tonight was none other than Robert Carlyle. Carlyle, like Lana Parrilla, has always been able to play off the evil side as well as the good. We got to see more of his compassionate and caring side. We even find out that though some people began spreading rumors about him being a coward, he ultimately did what he did so that he could be with his son. That is a whole question and debate that is going to be racing back and forth in our minds for weeks. Do we actually agree him to be a coward? Or did he do it because of his love, so that his son could have a father? Carlyle, once again, sucked us into feeling sorry for dear old Rumple. However, that actually might not last. As one of the last scenes suggested, the seer informed Rumplestiltskin that he would find his son, but it would be because of a boy and that boy would be his downfall. In which Rumple responded with the fact that he was just going to have kill the boy. The look that Carlyle planted on his face at the end suggests that he may just go through with it.
The other story arc that we were graced with would be that of Regina, Cora and Hook attempting to find the dagger of Rumplestiltskin. Though the arc was something that needed to happen to progress the story along, it wasn’t anything to interesting. It was kind of a disappointment to see Regina and Cora reduced to mere treasure hunters for the time being, but we can believe that once they find the dagger there will be pure chaos coming.
Another team from this episode that should be given props would be the costume and make up people. The Seer that tells Rumplestiltskin the future was absolutely creepy. She definitely sent us scrambling for the covers and hoping that she will not be back to haunt our dreams. The teams did excellent designing her ensemble and creating something intriguing but terrifying at the same time.
While the episode focused more on relationships, drama and revelations, it still delivered and was a nice entry into the Once Upon a Time saga. A entry that was nonetheless needed and brought forth several questions like, What are Regina and Cora going to do to the Charmings as well as Rumplestiltskin? Is the mysterious stranger going to bring forth even more outsiders in to Storybrooke? And what is going to happen if he does? Will Bae venture back with Emma, Henry and Rumplestiltskin? And is Rumplestiltskin really going to kill his grandson? Or will Henry be the key to Rumple’s undoing?
So many questions and so little time but for now, take off your seat belts and get out of the car. Because unfortunately we will have to wait for all those questions and more to be answered when we are allowed back on to the roller coaster ride known as Once Upon a Time.
– Joshua ouye