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

But Bae's not out of the figurative woods just yet. The laws of coincidence send him barreling straight toward his not-so-dear old dad -- and Rumpel isn't exactly welcoming. He nearly kills Bae, convinced that his son is a vision conjured up just to remind him about his failures as a father. Wait, why would he attack if he really thought Bae were a vision? Can visions even be hurt? Anyhow, the whole brouhaha is soon rendered moot; Bae explains that he's really himself, and before you can say "Cat's in the Cradle," he and Papa are joining forces to save Henry.

Have you been lukewarm on Bae as a character? If so, what follows will hopefully convince you that he's actually pretty awesome. In short succession, Bae catches a giant squid, has his father extract its magical ink -- which has the power to temporarily paralyze other magical beings -- and breaks into Pan's camp, with Rump's help. There, Bae launches an inky arrow at Pan -- who catches it with one hand and mocks his old captive for trying to shoot him. "Do you remember nothing?" Pan jeers. "I remember plenty," Bae replies. "That's why I didn't coat the tip."

Oh snap! Pan gets frozen after all, enabling Bae and Rumpel to snatch Henry. The kid, like the rest of Pan's boys, has been knocked out by a sleeping spell, so he has no idea he's been rescued -- but he'll find out the truth in a few short hours. Can victory really have been this easy?

Psh, of course not; season 3 just began! Thanks to Pan's big mouth, Bae has just found out that his father has been keeping a(nother) secret from him. He demands the truth, and Rumpel tells him all about that pesky prophecy -- which foretells (as if you need reminding) that the boy who reunited Rumpel with his son will also be the Dark One's "undoing."

"Oh, the wording there is interesting," says Bae. "'Undoing' doesn't necessarily mean death. Maybe we should grab a dictionary and really think this thing through."

Just kidding -- nobody says that! Instead, Bae flips out, by which I mean he acts just slightly less laid-back than usual. Rumpel tries to convince his son that he's changed, and that he's truly prepared to sacrifice himself to save Henry; Bae doesn't believe him. He uses a bit more ink on Rumpel, heads off with Henry... and is promptly captured by Pan once again. Bae's hauled off to Pan's Pit of Despair; Henry awakens, his encounter with his father nothing more than a half-remembered dream.

NEXT: All aboard the Good Ship Captain Swan...

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