Once Upon a Time, "The Price of Gold": no more fairy godmothers

Quick Take: Once Upon a Time, “The Price of Gold”
“There are no fairy godmothers in this world.” – Emma

 The Price of Gold

Review: Once Upon a Time, “The Price of Gold”
(S0104) Despite his sparse presence following the pilot, Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold is quickly becoming my favorite character on Once Upon a Time. His indiscriminate personal agenda and subtly-sinister Irish* accent seem to foreshadow just what kind of problems can extend the fate of Once Upon a Time.

Bringing the fairytale world together has finally shown its ripples in the stories that we know so well. Cinderella was still well on her way to her happy ending, but no thanks to her fairy-godmother – she was killed by Rumpelstiltskin. In turn, he offers young Ella the chance to escape her life of servitude and attend the ball that will determine the rest of her life. In exchange, he simply requests her first-born child.

Though Cinderella arranges a way to capture Rumpelstiltskin with the Blue Fairy’s magic quill, “magic always has a price,” and she soon finds herself still with child, but without a husband. In Storybrooke, Mr Gold has tracked down Emma in order to obtain her assistance in tracking down the pregnant Ashley (Cinderella). Ironically, Ashley runs away following Emma’s suggestion that she take control of her life – except that Mr, Gold’s claim on her child, and the Storybrooke curse are preventing her escape.

Emma’s attachment to Cinderella’s/Ashley’s hardships only grows as she tries to find her, observing the same disrespect and unsure attitudes towards her situation as a young, ill-prepared mother-to-be. Not wanting Ashley to suffer the same fate, and looking for her own redemption in her son Henry’s eyes, Emma finds Ashley, reunites her with her princely counterpart, and is able to hold off Mr. Gold’s claim on their daughter; but even in a world without fairy-godmothers, happy endings do not come without a price.

 In order to deflect Mr. Gold from Ashley, Emma strikes up her own deal with him – contents undisclosed. Hopefully she offered to give up her rainbow selection of leather jackets. This isn’t the only offer she accepts this episode, either; Sherriff Graham, whom I believed to be the kind-hearted Huntsman who saved Snow White, extends Emma the opportunity to be his deputy. Now, I’m not so sure that I want to stick by my original assessment, as we learn that the Sherriff has been having his own naked weekend council meetings with Mayor Regina.

Another new inhabitant of Storybrooke makes his appearance as a guy with a tow-truck. Ruby/Red Riding Hood calls him Billy, and the shot lingered on him a little too significantly for me to let him go unnoticed. I know it’s too much to expect, but I wouldn’t have minded a few allusions to the Cinderella story that we aren’t told as children – the one where the evil step-sisters resort to podiatric-amputation. Nevertheless, my interest remains held, if only because the healthy growth in supplementary characters fills some personal childhood nostalgia.

*I have absolutely nothing against the Irish – my dad’s side of the family is Irish.

By Mark D Curran

About the author

Mark is a freelance writer, student of English and Philosophy, and still has too much time on his hands. If you have any of your own, check out the blog and follow him on Twitter!


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