Once Upon a Time, S5 Ep14- Devil’s Due

Rumplestiltskin has always been one of the most fascinating, albeit sometimes inconsistently written, characters of Once Upon a Timeso any episode focusing on him is sure to be an entertaining one. Robert Carlyle is always brilliant at portraying the different facets of Rumple’s personality, from his cowardly origins to his flamboyant Dark One imp to his smooth and manipulative Mr. Gold. He got to juggle all these roles in this episode as we explored more of Rumple’s past and how certain decisions had an impact on his present.

Speaking of Rumple’s past, the returning character for this episode was his ex-wife, Milah, who, as he gleefully pointed out to Emma, is also Hook’s ex as well as Neal/Baelfire’s mother. Milah and Emma’s reactions to the elaboration of their complicated connection to each other were priceless and are the kind of hilarious moment that can only happen on Once Upon a Time.

Rumple enlisted Milah’s help to rescue Hook from the depths of Hades’ lair and she eagerly complied. We got to see more of Milah’s past as well including her first meeting with Hook. These short scenes helped to give more insight into her character and motivations.

Once Upon a Time, S5 Ep14- Devil's DueShe and Rumple also had some interesting conversations in the Underworld. Considering all the history between them, it was engaging to watch them interact in such a civilized way, especially when discussing Baelfire. They could have almost been reconciled had it not been for Hades’ intervention. In a tragic moment, Rumple had to betray Milah again, tossing her into the river of lost souls. Let’s face it, it was almost certain that someone would be falling into it as soon as the river was introduced earlier in the episode.

So Hades manipulated Rumple into working for him after taking charge of a deal Rumple made to save Baelfire’s life back in his cowardly days. This is a particularly intriguing development because not only does it have a tie-in with the original Rumplestiltskin story, but it also cleverly links Rumple’s past with his present. It’s also deliciously ironic that the master of making shady deals is now himself a victim of such a deal.

Once Upon a Time, S5 Ep14- Devil's DueFor an antidote to the deadly poison that Baelfire was afflicted with, the cowardly Rumple had promised the healer the life of his second-born child, fully confident that he and Milah would never have another child (a decision that rightfully enraged Milah, since she had not been given a say in the matter and which was probably an added resentment that pushed her to leave Rumple and Baelfire later on.)

In a fun twist it turns out that Belle is pregnant, and now Hades may use this fact as leverage in controlling Rumple and using him as a means of creating more chaos for the group from Storybrooke. And I’d also like to see Belle’s reaction when she finds out about all this.

Regina had a short conversation with Cruella (who conveniently had copies of Underbrooke maps) and then had a moving moment at the site of Daniel’s headstone. She then somehow regains her magic, forming a fireball for good measure.

Once Upon a Time, S5 Ep14- Devil's DueThis was followed by the revelation that since Hook was unable to choose three names of people to leave behind in the Underworld, Hades did it himself. So the three names carved on the headstones were: Regina Mills, Emma Swan, and Snow White.

Now Hades may just be really misogynistic, or he also identified that, Rumple and Henry with his Authorial powers aside, Regina and Emma are the most powerful members of the group and Snow White has a close connection to them both. We’re sure to find out the reason for this choice very soon. But I’m still more interested in Rumple’s current predicament.

While Rumple betraying everyone is repetitive and predictable, this time, there’s a more compelling reason than just his hunger for power. His family is at stake here, as well as Belle’s life and happiness. And we all know what lengths Rumple is willing to go for the sake of his child. There are so many complicated conflicts up ahead on Once Upon a Time and I am really looking forward to how this will all play out.

Next week on Once Upon a Time, we get to see Hook’s older brother, Liam, once more, but he doesn’t look pleased about things: