Once Upon a Time recap: Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

Crazy bacchanals and more daddy issues than you can shake a magical dagger at? Yep, must be a Rumpelstiltskin episode
Ep. 04 | Aired Oct 20, 2015

FATHER OF BAE'S Tell him, where have you been/Were you off turning/More people into snails?

Jack Rowand/ABC

This knowledge is a blow to Rumpel for more reasons than one. Sure, Bae could hear the pipe's song -- but so could the Dark One himself, meaning that Rump's got his own daddy issues to work through. But this is no time for psychoanalysis. Pan offers to let Bae go if Rumpel just asks his son whether he wants to stay in the Enchanted Forest or go to Never Land. Unfortunately for Bae, Rumpel can dish out deals, but he can't take them. Instead of giving his son any agency, he ends up simply magicking Bae away. Thus, Rump saves the kid from Pan's clutches... but also strains his relationship with Bae even further.

We'll see that strain get even worse when Rumpel and grown-up Bae meet again. First, though, let's check in on the Magical Breakfast Club, which is currently planning its big Henry reconnaissance mission. Their schemes take a pause, though, when new ally Tinker Bell points out that saving the kid will be totally worthless if they have no way of escaping Never Land itself.

Alas, Ol' No Wings is right. The gang shifts focus, heading instead to the cave where Child Bae made his home. (Hook knows an awful lot about what Bae got up to after he left the Jolly Roger. How is that, exactly?) Since Rumpel's son is the only person they know who successfully left Never Land without Pan's permission, they figure there must be some hint in the cave as to how he got out. Everyone does what they can to help the cause: Emma and Hook examine Bae's drawings. Charming and Snow inspect some carved coconut shells. Regina leans on a wall and rolls her eyes and makes snarky jokes.

As it turns out, those coconut shells aren't just great for creating cheap sound effects -- when one with holes in it is placed above one that holds a candle, they create a map of the stars that holds the key to leaving Never Land. There's just one problem: The map is encoded... and as far as the MBC knows, the only person who can read that code is lying dead in some unknown dimension. The whole thing seems so utterly, utterly hopeless and unfair that Emma totally breaks down -- she never stopped loving Bae, you see -- leaving her parents helpless to comfort her.

Oh, they of little faith! Even as the MBC is examining Bae's handiwork, the man himself is alive and well and tromping through Never Land, having easily evaded his Lost Boy captor. (Life as a street rat will teach you a thing or two about escape artistry.)

NEXT: Father and child reunion

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