TV Recap: Once Upon a Time – Season 2 Episode 14 – “Manhattan”

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*SPOILERS AHEAD* The biggest theme of season two of Once Upon A Time are the relationships of parents with their children. Snow White and Prince Charming are learning to be parents to their adult daughter, Emma, who is trying to be a good mother to her son, Henry. Regina will do anything to get Henry back as her son while her mother, Cora, wants to be a Mother-Daughter-Evil-Queens Team of the Year.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*
The biggest theme of season two of Once Upon A Time are the relationships of parents with their children. Snow White and Prince Charming are learning to be parents to their adult daughter, Emma, who is trying to be a good mother to her son, Henry. Regina will do anything to get Henry back as her son while her mother, Cora, wants to be a Mother-Daughter-Evil-Queens Team of the Year.

This week’s episode focused mainly on Rumple as he is finally reunited to his son, Baelfire. Emma and Henry fly to New York with Mr. Gold to begin the search.

Michael Raymond-James reprises his role as Emma’s past lover, Neal Cassidy, but it was also revealed that he was Baelfire, Rumple’s long lost son.

Although the viewers already knew the truth, it was a twist for the characters in the show that Neal/Bae is also Henry’s father. This family tree has grown a bit more insane. As David (Prince Charming) once said to Snow, it’s a good thing they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving where they come from.

The flashbacks in this episode also explained why Rumple was painted as a coward. During war, a seer foretold that Rumple’s actions would leave his son fatherless. Fearing that the seer meant that he would die in battle, Rumple injured himself so that he could go home instead of fighting. Although they had been in love, Rumple’s wife saw his actions as embarrassing for her and their son and she grew to hate him.

The reunion between Emma and Neal was very emotional since we were all left hanging without a true closure on their relationship, but Henry may have received the biggest bombshell out of everybody. Now he has a father that is very much alive after Emma had led him to believe that he was already dead all this time.

The biggest tragedy was Rumple’s fall from a good man who just wanted to be a good father, to the evil villain who chose dark magic over his own son. Despite his efforts to reclaim their relationship, Bae still resented him for the abandonment and he cannot forgive Rumple. Will Rumple keep losing everyone he cares about because of his addiction to magic and power?

In addition, the seer had also revealed to Rumple that a “boy” who would help him find his son would also be his “undoing.” Rumple had declared that he would just have to kill this boy but now he knows that he is Henry’s grandfather. It will be interesting to see Rumple’s struggle to choose between self-preservation or family.

Once Upon a Time continues to unravel the human flaws of classic fairy tale characters. Even the “bad guys” are driven by one powerful emotion: love. These new revelations will heighten the drama in the upcoming episodes. If anything, having a family dinner back in Storybrooke may prove even much more interesting.

OUAT fans: What are you hoping is next for Emma and her family? Can “villains” like Regina and Mr Gold be redeemed before they’re undone by their wicked ways? Are there any characters or story lines you wish you’d see them pick up on more often? Let us know in the comments below.

The show will return in two weeks on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 8pm PST.

Image courtesy ABC TV.

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