Nov 14 2011 10:39am

Once Upon a Time Episode 4: Bargains—For a Price!

Cinderella in her gown in Once Upon a Time****Episode Spoilers Below****

How do you recap a show with no TV reception? I screamed so loudly fellow recapper Natasha heard me all the way in Canada and jumped to my rescue (and it came back eventually). She helped me fill in the pieces. So if it seems a bit choppy, that’s why.

(Need to catch up? Don’t miss recaps of the premiere, episode 2, and episode 3.)

We start by getting the backstory on Cinderella, how she hates being a maid and wants the good life. Enter our old pal Rumpelstiltskin to offer just what she wants (what’s the price? There’s always a price!). I love this character, all toothy grins and manic hand gestures, he’s like the Goblin King Jareth’s meth-addicted brother. Cinderella agrees to sign, but she isn’t told what she is giving to get such a great life...that’s “to be revealed at a later date.”

Cinderella and Rumplestiltskin in Once Upon a TimeWe cut to EQ telling Henry he can’t leave the house because he’s grounded, that she is going to a council meeting and will be home at five...He sneaks out anyway, because he’s predictable like that.

Can you guess where he’s going? Yup, to Emma and Mary Margaret’s house.

That’s Mr. Gold’s destination too, as he’s shown up to hire Emma to find a woman named Ashley Boyd. Gold reveals very little, but Emma takes the job (what is it with people not asking what accepting things entails? First Cinderella, and now Emma. Sheesh!)

The Fairy Godmother in Once Upon a TimePut on your flashback glasses because that’s where we are going next: To

Cinderella’s wedding, with a Cinder giddy with happiness, dancing with her friend Snow White and talking about how she overcame all kinds of horrible odds (horrible odds=lots of cleaning) to become a princess. Snow seems to already have forgotten she lived with seven short guys and stole things just a few months before..anyway, I digress.

Rumpelstiltskin shows up dressed in something he must have found in David Bowie’s trash, gnashing his teeth and giggling like a drunken schoolgirl. He reveals the terms of the deal: He wants HER FIRSTBORN CHILD!!! (wow, those fairy tale peeps get down to business fast!) He cackles, she gasps and then Rumpy skips away...Hopefully to find a new stylist.

A few nights later “Rella” tells Thomas (Prince) that she’s pregnant, he’s happy ’til she reveals the bargain she made with Rumpy. He remains slightly confused but stoic, while she freaks out. He assures her “no-one” will get the baby.

Back to the present, Emma talks to Ruby who I believe is only in the show for the hootch factor...all hot pants and pig tails, she chomps on gum through all her lines. Snore...She does, however, tell Emma where Ashley/Rella’s baby daddy lives and Emma hightails it over there.

Emma and Henry spot a wrecked car in Once Upon a TimeShe finds Sean/Thomas and convinces him to come and help search. Sean’s angry father appears (yup, you guessed it—the king!) and reveals that he is indeed in cahoots with Mr. Gold. Another irate Emma scene follows.

Emma tries to talk to Ruby again, this time getting the real scoop that Ashley/Rella has left town for Boston. So of course Henry and Emma hit the road, and while driving out of town Henry explains that NO ONE can leave Storybrook because bad things happen. At the city limits they see a crashed
car, and Henry gets all “see, no one can leave” manic. Only Emma drives outside the city limits to the other side of the sign. So she’s magic!...or is she?

Flashback time****

Rella, Prince Charming, and Thomas, plus dwarf Grumpy, trap Rumpelstiltskin in the mine prison. They entice him with the lure of Rella having twins, both in trade for fertile land in Storyland. What does he do with the children anyway? Eat them? We still don’t know. They trick him into signing with a quill from a blue fairy which paralyzes him so they can lock him up. He says they’ve made a really bad mistake. They are all like “No, you’re the one who has made the mistake, Rumpelstiltskin."

That is, until Thomas goes missing, and Rumpy giddily reminds them all MAGIC HAS A PRICE!

Emma and Ashley aka Cinderella in Once Upon a TimeBack to the present. Henry and Emma see Ashley/Rella in the gully about to give birth, and race to the hospital. They just make it, and a beautiful baby girl is born.

Meanwhile Mr. Gold and Emma have a chat about baby snatching. Gold is such a button pusher, but Emma pushes back. He won’t give up the baby guessed it, unless Emma will make a bargain with him. She foolishly agrees even without knowing what it is she is agreeing to. What is with these people?!? Did she go stupid in the last five minutes, or are we that gullible??

Ashley/Rella and Sean/Thomas are reunited in a heartwarming scene.

Emma rushes to get Henry home before 5:00pm, which is when EQ will return.

We see EQ leaving her “council meeting,” which is really a tête-à-tête.

Henry makes in home just in the nick of time, and we see Emma outside calling Sam to take the deputy job he offered her.

Oh yeah...that “afternoon delight” EQ had... it’s with SAM!!!

Uh-oh....cue music...

***special thanks to Natasha Carty for the help!***

Synde Korman talks music and books on her website Tombstone Tails, along with creating a line of literary jewelry on her etsy site Cemetery Cat Designs.

When she’s not herding cats or creating art, she works as a part-time bookseller. You can find her on twitter as @psynde.

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Christopher Morgan
2. cmorgan
Watched the first three episodes this weekend with the Girlfriend. We were both thinking that Cinderella was Charming's/John Doe's first fiance...there goes that idea...

And may I just say that your comparison of Gold to Bowie does my heart good.
3. wsl0612
Yeah, the recap is really choppy but I come here to discuss it not worry about your timeline :-) This was probably my least favorite ep to date. I was not impressed with Prince Thomas, just came off too much like a "grunt" not a Royal. Snow still has the epic prince for this show! The actress who played Ella was in Veronica Mars for a brief while, in both cases she comes across as sooo very young, hopefully she will retain her youthful looks, that would be a bonus in her biz. She seems a nice kid, but doesn't impress me much with her skills. I miss Prince James, sigh. And I KNEW it was the sheriff with EQ as soon as I realized she was on a nooner. It sort of dovetails with Sheriff Graham being the Woodsman, doesn't it? I can't blame him, that EQ is definitely hot stuff and not so obvious as Ruby ;-)
Darlene Marshall
4. DarleneMarshall
I'm still very much enjoying the show, but there are a couple things that are beginning to really bother me:

Henry. He seems to have no sense of boundaries which makes him a great plot device, but a really annoying child.

Adoption: There seems to be a running theme of "only your birth mother is right for you" and even though the EQ spent the first 10 years of Henry's life wiping his butt, and his runny nose, and taking care of him by giving him a good home and what kind of thanks does she get? "You're not my real mother!" Evil or not, maybe she is.

Still finding Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin the most interesting and intelligent character of the show. Wish EQ had her nooner with him!
Stephanie Treanor
5. Streanor
Poor fairy godmother.. I wasn't a really big fan of how she was "killed" off it didnt make much sense to me.

I found the " baby" plot a little less exciting, since we already have two in place (henry and emma). I was hoping they would stick closer to the orginal story and atleast bring the stepmother and stepsisters characters in.

I complately agree with the Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin/EQ ship. I have to admit in the "real world" he's pretty attractive. Although, it may be too much evil, i'd like to see him corrupt someone good instead :)

CLASSIC EQ and Sherrif.. dying to know who else she sleeps with to get her way in Storybrooke.

And they have to stop teasing us with Ruby's story.. I want to know ASAP!!
Synde Korman
6. SyndeKorman
cmorgan- I am waiting to see Mr Gold bust out a rendition of Jean Genie in that gold outfit.
Synde Korman
7. SyndeKorman
wslo612- sorry the writing bugged you...
I still maintain that Sam is the huntsmen
8. wsl0612
@SyndeKorman Oh no! Please don't worry, I wasn't really upset by the writing, as it was understandable given the circumstances. Now if you had written the recap after watching the show in its entirety, I might have given you more snark :-) I tune in to this column for the commentary more than expecting a play by play. Thanks!
Becky Hantsbarger
9. BeckyIA
I agree with darelenmarshall on the adoption theme. My adopted parents gave me a wonderful life. I've never considered finding my birth parents. That said, I'm thinking there could have been more played out with the evil stepmother theme. Perhaps she'll show up as a fan of the EQ? And fairy godmother blowing up? That was just cruel! LOL
10. KB
Too bad they can' t mix up their Disney stories because Sam feels like Robin Hood to me.
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