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The Return

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"The Return" is the 19th episode of the American fairy tale/drama television series Once Upon a Time, which aired in the United States on ABC on April 22, 2012. It was written by Jane Espenson, while Paul Edwards served as the director.

The series takes place in the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, in which the residents are actually characters from various fairy tales that were transported to the "real world" town by a powerful curse. As Mr. Gold attempts to uncover August's true identity, Emma confronts Regina about her involvement in Kathryn's disappearance and David attempts to reconcile with Mary Margaret. Meanwhile, Rumpelstiltskin's backstory continues to be revealed along with his attempt to transform back into a human and resume living a normal life with his son.

Plot

In the Characters' Pasts

In the Enchanted Forest, Baelfire (Dylan Schmid) plays with his ball until it rolls in front of a cart which knocks him down. The driver of the cart fearfully apologizes though Baelfire insists he is okay. Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) comes to check on his son who has a scraped knee. As punishment, he turns the driver into a snail and squashes him. Back at home, Rumpelstiltskin treats Baelfire's scrape but the boy refuses magic. Baelfire explains that everyone avoids him because they fear his father. Rumpelstiltskin explains that the only way to destroy his power would be killing him with his own dagger. The housekeeper overhears this, but being a mute, she does not respond. Baelfire asks his father if he could get rid of his power without hurting either one of them, would he do it. Rumpelstiltskin agrees, but he doubts that it is possible. The next day, Rumpelstiltskin encourages Baelfire to play with the other kids while he attends to some business in the woods. Baelfire deduces from the blood on his father's boot that he has killed their housekeeper to keep the dagger a secret. A friend of Baelfire's suggests he call on the Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy), which he does. The fairy offers Baelfire a magic bean that will take them to a land where magic does not exist and his father would be human again. However this bean is the last one of its kind and will only work once. When Baelfire goes to his father with the plan, Rumpelstiltskin is skeptical, but his son reminds him that he promised.

Father and son take the bean into the woods and throw it on the ground. A vortex opens which will take them to the land with no magic. Baelfire jumps in while holding his father's hand, but Rumpelstiltskin resists, saying he cannot go through with it. His son calls him a coward and lets go. The vortex closes, taking Baelfire away and leaving Rumpelstiltskin behind. He realizes he has made a terrible mistake and calls on the Blue Fairy for help. The Blue Fairy tells Rumpelstiltskin that was his only chance and there is no other way to the realm where his son has gone. When Rumpelstiltskin suggests a curse might take him to Baelfire, the fairy's hesitation tells him he is onto something, but she is opposed to the idea, because she does not believe that he is willing to pay the price of the curse. Rumpelstiltskin lashes out at the fairy for taking his son away, but she tells Rumpelstilskin that he drove his own son away. Rumpelstiltskin vows that he will not rest until he creates such a curse and finds his son.

In Storybrooke

August (Eion Bailey) wakes up with awful pain in his leg so he makes a call and tells the person on the other end that they must accelerate the plan. The person turns out to be Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) who helps August with a mission at Mr. Gold's (Carlyle) shop. Henry keeps Mr. Gold busy looking for a gift for Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) while August searches the office in back. Mr. Gold catches him before he can find anything and becomes suspicious of what August could be looking for. Emma (Jennifer Morrison) visits Kathryn (Anastasia Griffith) to ask what she remembers after her accident. She recalls being kept in a basement but she did not see anyone. Mayor Regina Mills (Lana Parrilla) confronts Mr. Gold about breaking their deal to frame Mary Margaret for Kathryn's murder which is now impossible. Mr. Gold defends that he only broke one deal in his life and it was not this one. "You can't just turn someone into a snail and crush them," he tells her. Regina fears that the set-up and fake DNA test are bound to lead back to her. Kathryn's next visitor is David (Josh Dallas) who apologizes for what happened between them. Kathryn says she does not blame him for realizing they were not right for each other.

At Mary Margaret's welcome home party, Henry presents his teacher with a card and a bell. David arrives, but Mary Margaret signals to Emma that she does not want to see him, so Emma politely sends David away and asks him to take Henry home. Mr. Gold asks Emma what she knows about August and she answers, honestly, that she doesn't know much. Emma counters by asking Mr. Gold what he knows about Kathryn's mysterious reappearance. She finds it hard to tell if he is working with Regina or against her.

The next day Emma continues her investigation by confronting Sidney (Giancarlo Esposito) with the bug she found in his flowers. When Sidney tries to defend Regina, Emma realizes he does her bidding because he is in love with her. Mr. Gold breaks into August's motel room and discovers a drawing of The Dark One's dagger. This raises his concern that the writer might want to kill him. Mr. Gold follows August and discovers him talking with Mother Superior (Tracy). He demands to know what August wanted and she answers only that August asked for advice on reconnecting with his long estranged father. David finally catches up with Mary Margaret and apologizes profusely for doubting her innocence, but she is still hurt deeply by it.

Mr. Gold sees Archie (Raphael Sbarge) to ask how he should handle seeing his son for the first time in years, and is afraid that the conflict between them might have caused anger and resentment. Archie tells him the only thing to do is talk and be honest and, also, to ask for forgiveness. Outside the cabin in the woods, Mr. Gold and August meet to talk openly about their past. Mr. Gold tells August he deeply regrets letting him go and begs for forgiveness. The two share a hug. August explains that he was looking for the dagger because if his father still had it, that means he had not changed. Mr. Gold leads him to the dagger buried in the woods. He offers it to August so he can destroy it. Instead, August attempts to command they Dark One's powers. Mr. Gold bitterly realizes that August is not his son. The dagger has no magic in this world and Baelfire would know that. But since he has heard about the dagger, Mr. Gold deduces August has come from his world. Mr. Gold threatens to kill him and asks August why he is willing to risk such an encounter with him if he is aware of his true identity. August admits that he hoped to find some magic to cure his terminal illness. He hoped "the savior" (referring to Emma) would believe in magic, but she probably will not before it is too late. Mr. Gold tells him to try again and releases him, telling August that he would die soon anyway.

The next morning, Emma arrives at her office and finds Regina prepared to offer a confession from Sidney. Sidney admits to the kidnapping, the set-up, and faking the DNA results. Emma does not buy this for a minute figuring he is only confessing to Regina's crime because of his infatuation. She tells Regina she knows nobody can win her game, so she is going to play a new one. Emma declares that she is taking back her son.

Production

"The Return" was written by consulting producer Jane Espenson, while Lost veteran, Paul Edwards, directed the episode.

Espenson intended "The Return" to be "very emotional" in both worlds, where "we dig pretty deep."[1] Being "perpetually fascinated" with the character, she explained that he is someone "who has his memories and yet the form of menace that emanates out of him as Mr. Gold is do different, so contained and snake-y as opposed to the broad, theatrical nature of Rumpelstiltskin." Espenson called Kathryn's reappearance "more of a solution than a problem" that creates some interesting questions. Regina, Espenson commented, did not expect Kathryn to return, which makes another character get into trouble.

External links

References

  1. Reiher, Andrea (April 22, 2012). "'Once Upon a Time' writer teases the season finale and Rumpelstiltskin's investigation into The Stranger".. Zap2it. Retrieved on April 23, 2012.
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Media
Shows: Once Upon a TimeOnce Upon a Time in Wonderland

Books: Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the QueenReawakened: A Once Upon a Time TaleOnce Upon a Time - Behind the MagicOnce Upon a Time: Out of the PastOnce Upon a Time: Red's Untold TaleOnce Upon a Time: Regina Rising

Characters
Once Upon a Time: Emma SwanSnow White/Mary Margaret BlanchardPrince Charming/David NolanRumplestiltskin/Mr. GoldThe Evil Queen/Regina MillsBelle/Lacey FrenchKillian Jones/HookHenry MillsHappySneezy/Tom ClarkBashfulDocDopeySleepy/WalterJiminy Cricket/Archie HopperStealthyVictor Frankenstein/Dr. WhaleAuroraPrince PhillipFa MulanBlue FairyWidow Lucas/GrannyKing George/Albert SpencerGenie/Magic Mirror/Sidney GlassMad Hatter/JeffersonMilahPrince Henry/The ValetMaid MarianKnave of HeartsSheriff of Nottingham/KeithFairy GodmotherPeter Pan/Malcolm/The Pied PiperWendy DarlingArielZelena/The Wicked Witch of the WestGlinda/The Good Witch of the SouthThe Wizard of Oz/WalshElsa the Snow QueenAnnaKristoffHansGrand PabbieSvenTinker BellBlackbeardLumièreAbigail/Kathryn NolanUrsulaRed Riding Hood/The Wolf/RubyHuntsman/Sheriff GrahamBaelfire/Neal CassidyPinocchio/August W. BoothFrederick/JimSevere NurseMayor TomkinsQuinnAnitaHansel and Gretel/Nicholas and Ava ZimmerThe Woodcutter/Michael TillmanMartinMyrnaStephenDonnaPrince JamesJackBlind WitchKing XavierPeterSirenPongoWilliam SmeeDorothy GaleThe Witch of the EastGastonGreg MendellTamaraGeppetto/MarcoThe DragonRapunzelThe King/Mitchell HermanRapunzel's MotherRapunzel's FatherKing LeopoldQueen EvaLost BoysJohn DarlingMichael DarlingThe ShadowThe Sheriff of HamelinKing MidasNanaMary DarlingGeorge DarlingMedusaGus/BillyMarshmallowZosoPrince Thomas/Sean HermanPrince EricLittle Bo PeepThe ApprenticeIngrid/Sarah FisherLily PageNovaSeerGraceDaniel ColterLancelotColetteStephenLiam JonesOakenThe King of ArendelleQueen GerdaCruella De VilPoseidonThe Duke of WeseltonHans' BrothersChernabogBriar RoseKing StefanIsaac/The AuthorMadelineMerlin/The SorcererMeridaQueen EleanorKing FergusHarris, Hubert and HamishThe WitchLord MacGuffinLord MacintoshLord DingwallRuthKing ArthurSir KayGuinevereCharonBrennan JonesMegaraHerculesHadesCerberusThe ScarecrowCleo FoxAuntie EmDr. JekyllMr. HydeEvil ReginaAladdinGideonJasmineIagoCaptain NemoLady TremaineClorindaTisbeJacobOracleRoyal GuardsThe SultanGenieBlack FairyTiger LilyRobertPrince AchmedStanumCowardly Lion

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: AliceCyrusAnastasia/The Red QueenPercy/The White RabbitJabberwockySilvermistThe Sultan/The Old PrisonerTweedle Dee and Tweedle DumMrs. RabbitElizabeth/LizardAmara
Both series: Will Scarlet/The Knave of HeartsCinderella/Ashley BoydRobin HoodLittle JohnFriar TuckGrumpy/LeroyCora/The Queen of HeartsCaterpillarMaleficentJafarDr. Lydgate

Episodes
Season One: "Pilot" • "The Thing You Love Most" • "Snow Falls" • "The Price of Gold" • "That Still Small Voice" • "The Shepherd" • "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" • "Desperate Souls" • "True North" • "7:15 A.M." • "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" • "Skin Deep" • "What Happened to Frederick" • "Dreamy" • "Red-Handed" • "Heart of Darkness" • "Hat Trick" • "The Stable Boy" • "The Return" • "The Stranger" • "An Apple Red as Blood" • "A Land Without Magic"

Season Two: "Broken" • "We Are Both" • "Lady of the Lake" • "The Crocodile" • "The Doctor" • "Tallahassee" • "Child of the Moon" • "Into the Deep" • "Queen of Hearts" • "The Cricket Game" • "The Outsider" • "In the Name of the Brother" • "Tiny" • "Manhattan" • "The Queen Is Dead" • "The Miller's Daughter" • "Welcome to Storybrooke" • "Selfless, Brave and True" • "Lacey" • "The Evil Queen" • "Second Star to the Right" • "And Straight On 'Til Morning"
Season Three: "The Heart of the Truest Believer" • "Lost Girl" • "Quite a Common Fairy" • "Nasty Habits" • "Good Form" • "Ariel" • "Dark Hollow" • "Think Lovely Thoughts" • "Save Henry" • "The New Neverland" • "Going Home" • "New York City Serenade" • "Witch Hunt" • "The Tower" • "Quiet Minds" • "It's Not Easy Being Green" • "The Jolly Roger" • "Bleeding Through" • "A Curious Thing" • "Kansas" • "Snow Drifts" • "There's No Place Like Home"
Season Four: "A Tale of Two Sisters" • "White Out" • "Rocky Road" • "The Apprentice" • "Breaking Glass" • "Family Business" • "The Snow Queen" • "Smash the Mirror" • "Fall" • "Shattered Sight" • "Heroes and Villains" • "Darkness on the Edge of Town" • "Unforgiven" • "Enter the Dragon" • "Poor Unfortunate Soul" • "Best Laid Plans" • "Heart of Gold" • "Sympathy for the De Vil" • "Lily" • "Mother" • "Operation Mongoose"
Season Five: "The Dark Swan" • "The Price" • "Siege Perilous" • "The Broken Kingdom" • "Dreamcatcher" • "The Bear and the Bow" • "Nimue" • "Birth" • "The Bear King" • "Broken Heart" • "Swan Song" • "Souls of the Departed" • "Labor of Love" • "Devil's Due" • "The Brothers Jones" • "Our Decay" • "Her Handsome Hero" • "Ruby Slippers" • "Sisters" • "Firebird" • "Last Rites" • "Only You" • "An Untold Story"
Season Six: "The Savior" • "A Bitter Draught" • "The Other Shoe" • "Strange Case" • "Street Rats" • "Dark Waters" • "Heartless" • "I'll Be Your Mirror" • "Changelings" • "Wish You Were Here" • "Tougher Than the Rest" • "Murder Most Foul • "Ill-Boding Patterns" • "Page 23" • "A Wondrous Place" • "Mother's Little Helper" • "Awake" • "Where Bluebirds Fly" • "The Black Fairy" • "The Song in Your Heart" • "The Final Battle"
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: "Down the Rabbit Hole" • "Trust Me" • "Forget Me Not" • "The Serpent" • "Heart of Stone" • "Who's Alice?" • "Bad Blood" • "Home" • "Nothing to Fear" • "Dirty Little Secrets" • "Heart of the Matter" • "To Catch a Thief" • "And They Lived..."

Locations
Once Upon a Time: Dark PalaceDark Castle/Rumplestiltskin's CastleLibraryPrince Thomas' CastleCinderella's ChateauDwarves' CottageDwarf MinesNew YorkKing Stefan's CastleThe BeanstalkGiant's LairNeverland Skull RockHamelinBoston, MassachusettsVault of the Dark OneLand of OzYellow Brick RoadEmerald CityGolden CastleArendelleArendelle CastleWandering Oaken's Trading Post and SaunaBald MountainRing of StonesDunBrochWitch's CottageCastle DunBrochUnderworldMount OlympusPoppy FieldsAuntie's Chicken & WafflesCave of WondersPleasure Island

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Wonderland CastleThe Mad Hatter's HouseWhite Rabbit's HouseUnderlandTulgey Wood
Both series: StorybrookeMaineEnchanted ForestForbidden FortressWonderlandWonderland MazeAgrabahSherwood ForestThe Sultan's Palace

Objects
Once Upon a Time: Once Upon a Time (Book)Maleficent's StaffMagic WandGlass SlipperPoisoned AppleSpinning WheelMagic LampDark One's DaggerChipped CupJefferson's HatCaptain Hook's HooksMagic BeansEnchanted CandlePixie DustDreamshadePandora's BoxSilver SlippersSorcerer HatEnchanted BroomTridentEnchanted ShellHeroes and Villains (Book)Merida's BowMagical RoseExcaliburOlympian CrystalCinderella's DressGolden Scarab Beetle

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Vorpal Blade
Both series: Jafar's Snake StaffEnchanted HeartsJafar's Lamp

Songs Featured
Give a Little WhistleHeigh-HoWith a Smile and a SongBeauty and the BeastPart of Your WorldFathoms BelowCruella De VilSome Day My Prince Will Come
Vehicles
Geppetto's BoatThe Jolly RogerMagic CarpetCruella's carNautilus
Species
FairiesUnicornsDragonsBridge TrollsWraithOgresMermaidsKrakenFlying MonkeysRock TrollsWill O' the WispsFuriesMunchkins

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