Antique Shop Owner
|Hair color:||Brown streaked with grey|
|Portrayed by:||Robert Carlyle|
|Latest appearance:||"The New Neverland"|
Magic... is power.
—Mr. Gold src
Mr. Gold is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the first episode of the first season. He is portrayed by starring cast member Robert Carlyle, and is the Storybrooke counterpart of Rumplestiltskin.
After the curse is cast, Mr. Gold becomes a pawnshop dealer and rent collector in the town of Storybrooke. Regina walks down the street to get a glimpse of the other residents' lives in the new land, and sees Mr. Gold hobbling down the opposite street with a noticeable limp and carrying a cane to support himself (and sometimes as a weapon).
Several days after the euphoria begins to wear off for Regina, she visits Mr. Gold in his shop. When she expresses dissatisfaction in her life, Mr. Gold inquisitively points her in the direction of Dr. Hopper's psychiatric office. Instead, Regina says she wants to speak to Mr. Gold about the deal they made in the previous land, and how it's not what she wanted. Puzzled, Mr. Gold gives her a blank look and apologetically says he has no idea what she is talking about. Regina realizes Mr. Gold does not remember anything from his previous life. She paces the shop, and murmurs that she was supposed to be happy here. Mr. Gold reminds her she is the most powerful woman in town as mayor, and doesn't understand what is there to be unhappy about. Frustrated, Regina talks about everyone in town submitting to her will and doing as she likes, but they do it because they must and not because they want to. Again, Mr. Gold has no inkling of what Regina is looking for, and she leaves dejected. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")
Heading into the bed and breakfast to collect the monthly rent from the owner, Granny, Mr. Gold meets a new visitor to town, Emma Swan. Upon hearing her name, Mr. Gold's memories of his life as Rumplestiltskin return to him. ("Pilot")
Mr. Gold is in the mayor's backyard the night after Emma decides to stay in Storybrooke. He congratulates her for being in high spirits for banishing Emma, to which Regina replies that she has triumphed, while Mr. Gold tells her not to get ahead of herself, because he saw Emma and Henry together. He then says that he would have been able to help her for a price.
He and Regina quickly get into an argument over Emma, but Mr. Gold asks her to let him go by saying "please", an enchantment that was part of a previous deal he made with Regina in their past lives. This forces her to obey his every command if he ends the sentence with "please". Mr. Gold walks past as Regina is stunned. ("The Thing You Love Most")
A few nights later, Mr. Gold locks up his shop for the evening. After he is gone, a pregnant Ashley breaks in to steal back adoption papers she had previously signed for her unborn child. When caught in the act by Mr. Gold, she pepper sprays his face; causing him to knock his head and pass out unconscious. By the time he comes to, Ashley is gone, and so are the adoption papers. Putting on the mask of a concerned citizen, he asks Emma to help him find Ashley as it is dangerous for a pregnant woman to be all on her own.
Emma tracks down Ashley to the side of the road where she is going into labor. Rushed to the hospital, Ashley delivers a healthy baby girl. Mr. Gold comes to collect the child, but Emma intervenes and, after a brief discussion, he agrees to leave Ashley in peace. In return, Emma will owe him a future favor. ("The Price of Gold")
Mr. Gold gives David directions to the Toll Bridge after he gets lost following Regina's instructions. David goes over to Emma's mobile from the Enchanted Forest, but then takes notice of a windmill. David stares at it, transfixed, and seems to gain some recollection of the windmill having belonged to him in the past. Mr. Gold smirks as David remembers his previous life pre-coma in the hospital as opposed to being Prince Charming. ("The Shepherd")
Sheriff Graham finds Mr. Gold in the forest as he is searching for the wolf that haunts his dreams. When asked what he is doing in the forest, Mr. Gold claims that he is gardening. Mr. Gold then asks the same of Graham and is told about the wolf and the sheriff's dreams. Mr. Gold smiles and tells Graham that some believed that dreams were memories of a former life, which does nothing to calm the sheriff's nerves. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")
After the sheriff's death, he offers Emma some of Graham's old things, which Emma declines. After Mr. Gold learns that the mayor fired her from her position as deputy, he comes into Mary Margaret's apartment and shows Emma the town charter. This helps her realize that she could contest Regina's decision to fire her by running against her nomination for Storybrooke's new Sheriff--Sidney Glass. Mr. Gold offers his assistance to Emma by becoming her benefactor.
Emma confronts Regina the next night about a slanderous article published in the Storybrooke Daily Mirror about her. During this encounter the office mysteriously catches on fire. Emma saves them both with a fire extinguisher, and they both are able to exit the building safely. However, it is revealed that Mr. Gold set up the whole thing. Later at the debate which would determine the winner for the public office, Emma publicly exposes him. Mr. Gold gets up and leaves the town hall. Despite her misgivings, she wins and is elected sheriff.
Mr. Gold visits the station the next day and congratulates her on the victory he planned. He had to give her a higher form of bravery: the townspeople needed to see her stand up to him, so that they would believe that Emma could not only stand up to the mayor, but to Mr. Gold, too. Emma is shocked to learn that he had somehow managed to plan the whole event. ("Desperate Souls")
When Emma is trying to help out two orphans, Ava and Nicholas Zimmer, from becoming a part of the foster system in Boston, she goes to his pawnshop in hopes that he would know who bought one of the orphans' belongings. Mr. Gold, although able to remember the item, needs to looks up the name of the purchaser - their father - in order to tell Emma. However, the paper he pretends to read is blank. ("True North")
Later, Mr. Gold collects the rent of Moe French and, when he fails to pay the money, takes Moe's flower shop truck. He is confronted by Regina, but he dodges her attempts at a conversation with a well-placed "please." Later in the day, he returns home to see that his house has been robbed.
Emma appears at Mr. Gold's house since the robbery had been reported earlier. Mr. Gold tells Emma who he suspects the thief was Moe French given the day's earlier events. She attempts to allay him saying that she will find him. Mr. Gold replies begins to say "not if I find him first" but stops himself thinking better of it. She manages to recover nearly everything that was stolen, but Mr. Gold remains agitated insisting that something was missing. Emma reassures him that she will retrieve the item when she finds Moe French. Mr. Gold leaves the station after unreservedly saying, "Not if I find him first" this time, which worries Emma.
He buys duct tape and rope, has a brief chat with David Nolan, in which he tells him that, "Love is like a delicate flame. Once it's gone, it's gone forever", and then leaves the store. He then kidnaps Moe French and takes him to an abandoned wooden cabin, where he proceeds to interrogate him about the missing item - a chipped tea cup. He becomes emotional, beating Moe French while yelling about Moe being "her" father, having "her" love and that, "she's gone forever". Emma intervenes before Mr. Gold "breaks anything he needs", and promptly arrests him.
While in jail, Regina arrives with Henry as a bribe for Emma leaving her alone with Mr. Gold for thirty minutes. Emma and Henry go off to the ice cream parlor and Regina sits down in front of Mr. Gold at his request. She reveals that she convinced Moe to rob him and that she has the item he had been searching for so desperately. He asks her what she wants in return for his lost item, and she tells him that she wants his name.
At first, he answers that his name is Mr. Gold. He tries to dodge the question by saying that he does not know what she is talking about (when she asks him for his real name) and that his name has always been Mr. Gold. After being further pressed, he gives in saying, "Rumplestiltskin". This is proof that he remembers everything about the Enchanted Forest, its inhabitants, and the dark curse. In return, Regina gives him the chipped teacup and walks away. ("Skin Deep")
A few days later, he manages to get out of jail. Shortly after, Mr. Gold is led out onto the docks by Leroy in an attempt to sell his boat in exchange for $5000 or the waiving of one month's rent for the nun of Storybrooke. Mr. Gold is first unimpressed by Leroy's insistence of $5000, claiming $3000 is more reasonable. When Leroy requests the waiving of rental payment for the nuns, Mr. Gold becomes angry. Once he realizes that the money will go to the nuns, he says that he finds them distasteful tenants and that he would be glad to be rid of them and refuses to make any deal to Leroy's disappointment. ("Dreamy")
When Mary Margaret is arrested for the suspected murder of Kathryn Nolan, Mr. Gold offers to be her attorney. Emma is skeptical of his motives and advises Mary Margaret not to trust him. Mary Margaret knows that she will need all the help that she can get and accepts his help regardless. When she tells him that she will be able to pay him, Mr. Gold says that he does not want her money and simply claims that he is "invested in her future".
Later, Emma goes to Mr. Gold for help, because she believes that Regina is framing Mary Margaret for Kathryn's murder. When Emma claims that she is not only willing to do anything but also go further, Mr. Gold agrees to help her and concedes that fighting Regina and winning will be tough—but he also adds that he believes Emma is more powerful than she realizes. ("Heart of Darkness")
The morning of Mary Margaret's arraignment, Regina goes to the Sheriff's station and, to her astonishment, finds her still in her jail cell. She pulls aside Mr. Gold and asks him why Mary Margaret still there to which he states it was all thanks to Emma's resourcefulness.
Regina says that the only reason she made a deal with Mr. Gold was to "get results" - he assures her that she will, as Mary Margaret is still a murder suspect. It is later revealed that the deal they made consists of Regina getting the District Attorney to drop all charges against Mr. Gold (for abducting and beating Moe French) in exchange for him organizing something horrible happening to Kathryn which could be blamed on Mary Margaret. He makes this deal as he does not "relish the thought of spending anymore time in a cage".
In order to make the deal, Mr. Gold convinces Regina that Mary Margaret need never be placed on trial. In such a case there would always be a chance that she was found innocent. Instead they plot to have her escape her cell using one of Regina's skeleton keys (placed under the bed of her jail cell). Once she flees and tries to leave Storybrooke, she will inevitably suffer something terrible.
Later on, after a failed attempt at gaining the District Attorney's sympathy, Mary Margaret is carried away to the trial and Emma blames Mr. Gold for not trying harder to defend her, to which he replies to not lose faith as it was time for him to "work a little magic." Immediately afterwards Kathryn is found unconscious behind Granny's Diner by a terrified Ruby. ("The Stable Boy")
Using Henry as a distraction, August Booth tries to infiltrate Mr. Gold's office in the pawn shop looking for something. Once he is caught he feigns innocence but Mr. Gold gets suspicious. Later, a panicked Regina visits him and, seeing that all evidence points to her as the cause of the mess around Kathryn's disappearance, she blames Gold for not keeping his end of the deal.
He replies that he only broke one single deal in his life and that "it sadly wasn't this one". As the terms of their deal, it only mentions that something "tragic" was to happen to Kathryn, not necessarily death as Regina meant by such a euphemism, abduction qualified just as well.
During Mary Margaret's "Welcome Home" party, Emma asks Mr. Gold if he had anything to do with Kathryn's abduction and he asks her if she thinks that he is working with or against Regina. He asks about August to which she does not say much, other than him being a writer.
After leaving the party, Mr. Gold proceeds to break into August's room at Granny's Bed and Breakfast to find an accurate drawing of the magic dagger, which shocks him. Later, he finds the Mother Superior talking with August, and once he leaves he threatens her into telling him what they spoke of. She says he sought advice and counsel on how to approach his estranged father, whom he had not seen or spoken to in years.
Afterwards, it is Mr. Gold himself who seeks advice with Dr. Hopper and asks how to approach the man he now believes to be his son Baelfire. The doctor replies that, despite everything that may have happened between them, honesty is his best solution. Mr. Gold resignedly agrees.
Later August and Mr. Gold meet in the woods; Mr. Gold apologizes, August forgives him, and they both embrace each other. August asks about the dagger, the only proof he had that his father had not changed. Mr. Gold tells him he buried it in the woods shortly after Emma arrived to avoid Regina finding it, as "things were changing."
Once they dig it out, August tries to control him with it, but fails. Mr. Gold immediately realizes he cannot be Baelfire, as his son would never try to control him and much less with a dagger that he knew to be useless in a world where it could not harness magic. Mr. Gold threatens August and finds out he was trying to control him so that Rumplestiltskin's magic could cure him from an unmentioned disease which he is dying from.
A "little fairy" told him that getting Rumplestiltskin's magic was one of his two hopes for survival – his only other option was to get the savior to believe in the fairy tales behind Storybrooke, but he did not think he was going to live long enough to see that happen. Mr. Gold lets him go, as he is going to die either way and as such, if August succeeds in making Emma believe, Mr. Gold will "get something out of it." ("The Stranger")
Later, Regina goes to Mr. Gold for advice on how to get rid of Emma. He does not tell her anything, but she decides to use the sleeping curse on her to get rid of Emma permanently without breaking the dark curse. Mr. Gold is surprised and wonders where she got it. Regina believes through this plan she will finally win and have Henry all to herself. However, the plan backfires, and Henry eats the poisoned apple turnover instead. ("An Apple Red as Blood")
Emma believes in the curse after this and decides to team up with Regina. They go to Mr. Gold for help, and he says that he had a bottle of true love stored in the belly of a beast. Emma eventually winds up fighting Maleficent in her dragon form.
When Emma defeats the dragon, Mr. Gold tricks her into giving him the true love potion. He goes back to his shop to hide it, and a customer stumbles inside. He tells her that the shop is closed, but stops when he sees who the customer is. She is Belle, whom Gold believed to have died in the Enchanted Forest. She tells him that Regina locked her up, and Gold promises to protect her.
He takes Belle to Storybrooke's wishing well, where on the way she remembers her old life. She tells him, "I remember... I love you" and to which he says he also loves her but that "there would be time for that later" and that he had something to do first. They proceed to the wishing well and he pours the true love potion down it. Suddenly, purple clouds start erupting from the well, and when she asks him what he is doing, he replies that he is bringing magic to Storybrooke. When Belle asks him why, he replies, "Because magic is power." ("A Land Without Magic")
After the breaking of the curse, Belle pressures Mr. Gold to renounce vengeance on Regina and others who have wronged him. He promises, but his animosity cannot be contained. Mr. Gold goes on to mark Regina with a medallion and summons a Wraith to hunt her down. When confronted by Belle, he insists his promise was kept, since he will not kill Regina, but the Wraith will. Angered at his word games, Belle leaves; insisting she never wants to see him again. The Wraith fails to suck out Regina's soul after a portal is opened with Jefferson's hat through which the creature is sucked into another world. Afterward, Belle returns; concluding that she needs to be a civilizing influence in his life. ("Broken")
While Mr. Gold is in the shop, Regina storms in, looking through books and papers in the room. Regina tells him she needs "the book" and he chuckles at the fact she Mr. Gold refuses at first, stating that for Regina to regain her magic is "not in his best interest," but when Regina threatens to tell the truth of what happened to the Enchanted Forest, Mr. Gold uses magic, making the book appear and gives it to her, saying that the spells could be "rough on the system." As Regina storms out, he says that the way Regina is, holding the book, he can see the resemblance to her mother. Later, David enters the shop, causing Mr. Gold to bemoan the wasted money of a closed sign. David asks for help using the hat to find its owner, which Mr. Gold agrees to, providing that he will be left alone. He agrees, asking for the same courtesy. Mr. Gold inquires about the commotion outside and David reveals that if anyone tries to leave Storybrooke they will lose all memories of their true selves, remembering only their Storybrooke identities. After David leaves, Mr. Gold reacts in a fit of anger, smashing the glass of his counters and displays. Then, he drives to the edge of Storybrooke and stares out at the border that binds him from going out of town. ("We Are Both")
Mr. Gold has not given up his goal to find his son and continues to practice magic. Belle discovers this and she asks him to explain what he is seeking to do. Mr. Gold only restates that "Magic is Power." Belle leaves the room and later leaves the house. Mr. Gold enlists the help of David Nolan to find Belle, however the people of Storybrooke are less than willing to help the man who has caused such misery. With the help of Ruby's skills in tracking, they follow Belle's trail to the flower shop owned by Moe French. Moe has kidnapped his daughter and arranged to have her cross the barrier so that she will forget about her true love and be safe from Mr. Gold's power. Mr. Gold uses magic to pull Belle back from the town border, but Belle has not changed her mind about his cowardice and tells Gold she does not ever want to see him again. Later, Mr. Gold sends Belle the key to the library and tells her she is welcome to stay in the caretaker's apartment upstairs. Belle says this will not cause her to change her mind, but Mr. Gold only says that he wants her to know the truth and explains the story of the loss of his son and that power has become a crutch that he cannot live without. He admits that he is a coward and has always been so. He says that he has lost so much that he loved, he could not bear to lose Belle without her knowing the truth. After saying goodbye to Belle, he turns to leave. Belle stops him, suggesting that they have a hamburger sometime. Later, Mr. Gold enters his basement where he has tied Smee up and asks him where his captain is. He learns that Jones escaped the curse and asks again where he is. ("The Crocodile")
Mr. Gold is in his shop, polishing his items when Dr. Whale enters, carrying a cooler, which contains his severed arm. Placing the container in front of Mr. Gold, Mr. Gold quips that "charging an arm and a leg" is only a figure of speech. Dr. Whale asks Mr. Gold to restore his arm. Before Mr. Gold does, he questions Whale's purpose in bringing Daniel back. Dr. Whale comments only that he hoped if he brought Daniel back, perhaps she would be able to return Whale to his home. Mr. Gold shrugs at the futility of Dr. Whale's plan. Dr. Whale again asks Mr. Gold to fix his arm, but Mr. Gold first tells him to "Say it", meaning he wants Whale to admit that he needs magic. Once Dr. Whale has done so, Mr. Gold restores his arm. ("The Doctor")
Regina calls Mr. Gold to Mary Margaret's apartment to help Henry Mills as he is tortured by dreams where he is in a room on fire. Mr. Gold chastises Regina for knowing so very little about a curse she cast. Fiddling with various bottles in his case, he pours one bottle into a pendant. Handing it to Henry, he explains that the sleeping curse puts the sleeper in a place between life and death until they are woken. However, the potion will allow Henry some control over the dream and he will be able to come and go at will. As he hands it to Henry, Regina asks the price. Mr. Gold smiles wryly and says that she could never afford such a house call; however, he is doing this for Henry on his own. ("Child of the Moon")
Mr. Gold and Belle are enjoying a hamburger at Granny's Diner. Granny begins to insult him but he does not seem to mind very much so she walks away. They continue talking when Regina walks in. Granny gets worried about the two of them, but Regina assures her that they will be civil. Mr. Gold does not wish to speak to her, but she tells him that Cora is coming back to town and he tenses up. Belle asks who Cora is and Mr. Gold replies she will never have to meet her. Mr. Gold states to Regina that he can handle Cora, and Regina tells him that Cora tells it otherwise. She then tells Mr. Gold that the last time Cora and him went at it, Mr. Gold had nothing to protect. Now, she indicates that he has Belle.
Mr. Gold joins David, Regina, and Henry in the back of his pawn shop. He tells the group that there is a way to stop Cora, and that Henry will have to communicate this in the dream world to Aurora. He then sits next to Henry and tells him that the power that sealed the Dark One was not within the Quill that Cinderella used to trick him, but in the ink that comes from a squid that can only be found at the depths of the ocean, only reachable either by a mermaid or the Dark One. He tells Henry that in order to stop Cora, Emma and Mary Margaret must return to the palace ruins, go to his old cell, and retrieve the jar of ink. With that, Henry falls asleep.
Henry wakes up and reveals to the adults that he has been burned on his arm. A distraught Regina and David round on Mr. Gold, who informs them that the longer and deeper a person is in the dream world, the more effect it will have on that person in the real world. David and Regina refuse to let Henry go back into the dream world, and Mr. Gold asks then what their plan is to get the information across the dream world to Emma and Mary Margaret. David then volunteers to be placed under a sleeping curse. Mr. Gold rebukes him, saying that there is no way of knowing if he will ever wake up if he does this. David states he has faith in Mary Margaret, and that he knows a way will be found. Regina then brews up a Sleeping Curse and per Mr. Gold's instructions dips a spinning needle into the curse, causing the needle to become enchanted. Mr. Gold then puts it on his spinning wheel, and wishes David good luck before David pricks his finger on it, causing him to fall asleep. ("Into the Deep")
During the time David is asleep, Mr. Gold speaks with Regina as to what may happen if Cora should come through the portal. Not believing that Emma and Mary Margaret will defeat Cora, he convinces Regina that they should take steps to ensure Cora will not be able to make it through. They travel to the mines where the magic diamonds have been found. Mr. Gold uses the wand of the Fairy Godmother to siphon off the magic within the diamonds. Then, he and Regina travel to the well in Storybrooke, certain that the portal will open from here. Using magic, the well is magically protected to kill whoever enters through it. However, Regina proceeds to undo the magic when Henry convinces her to trust in Mary Margaret, Emma and him.
Emma and Mary Margaret make it through and return to Mr. Gold's shop where Mary Margaret awakens David. Emma speaks to Mr. Gold about his writing her name within the cell he had been imprisoned in, stating that he had been pulling the strings from the beginning. Mr. Gold, however, states that he did not create her, he only made use of who and what Emma was: the product of True Love. When Emma reveals that Cora could not remove her heart, Mr. Gold states that it was because of magic that is within her, not because of his involvement. ("Queen of Hearts")
In the aftermath of what seems to be the murder of Archie Hopper, Belle and Mr. Gold are at the shop and about to share lunch when Emma, Mary Margaret and David come in to try to see if Regina is truly to blame for the death. Mr. Gold denies any involvement but states that it is possible to discover the truth. Using a dream catcher, Mr. Gold instructs Emma on how to extract the memory of what happened in Archie's office from Pongo, Archie's dog. In Pongo's memory, Emma sees that Regina is there. ("The Cricket Game")
Mr. Gold drags William Smee to the town line in an attempt to see if his latest potion will allow for him to cross over. When he sees the potion successfully prevents Smee from losing his memory, Mr. Gold returns to Belle the news, but that he only has enough for one person to cross the line. While Mr. Gold is preparing to leave, Belle calls him in a panic, although the connection is not a good one since she is hiding inside an elevator. When Mr. Gold arrives, he learns that Hook is in Storybrooke and he leads Belle back to the shop. When they enter, the shop is destroyed and the shawl that belongs to Baelfire is missing. Mr. Gold realizes that Hook has tricked him and has taken the shawl to prevent him from leaving. Instructing Belle on how to use a gun to protect herself, he leaves to seek out Smee and learn where Hook is hiding. Smee reveals that Hook did not tell him where he was hiding and Mr. Gold states that it is because Hook knows him to be a rat. Mr. Gold then turns Smee into a rat, but does not kill him.
At the harbor, Mr. Gold finds that Belle has located Hook's ship. Furious that Hook attempted to kill Belle, he begins to beat Hook. It is only when Belle begs him to not give in and be the monster that Mr. Gold stops and leaves with Belle. They travel to the town line and Mr. Gold succeeds in crossing over. Belle promises to wait for Mr. Gold to return with his son. But Hook appears, shooting Belle and causing her to fall over the town line and lose her memories. Mr. Gold is prepared to destroy Hook with a magical fireball when a car appears. Mr. Gold rolls himself and Belle away while Hook collides with the crashing vehicle. ("The Outsider")
Mr. Gold is concerned by Belle's injuries and uses his magic to heal her injuries. This further confuses an already terrified Belle. When she is admitted to the hospital, Mr. Gold tries to use true love's kiss to return her memories. She wakes up screaming and still does not remember anything. Mr. Gold is saddened it did not work and leaves her room.
Due to the injuries the outsider has sustained, he is bleeding internally. Dr. Whale asks Mr. Gold to use his magic to heal the outsider's wounds. Mr. Gold tells him that he does not owe him anything and he wants the outsider to die, fearing the outsider will expose magic. Later on, Mr. Gold is in his shop looking at the chipped cup. A box then appears, and he soon realizes that Cora has entered his shop. She offers him the contents of the box, a magical globe that he can use to find Baelfire. She informs him of her plan to reunite with Regina; the two make a truce and seal it with a kiss.
Mr. Gold enchants the chipped cup, in order for Belle to remember. He goes to her hospital room and gives it to her, he is unsuccessful, as Belle throws the cup at the wall and breaks it. He is heartbroken and leaves her room. He is seen using the globe given to him by Cora. He pricks his finger on the end of it and this blood forms a map on the globe. A dark area on the map is the location of Baelfire. He shows up at Mary Margaret's apartment and reminds Emma of the favor she owes him. He warns them that if Belle is hurt while he is gone, he will kill them. He makes Emma leave with him at noon to find Baelfire. ("In the Name of the Brother")
Mr. Gold returns to the apartment to collect Emma and learns that Henry will also be going. Mr. Gold does not like this, but Emma says that she will not leave Henry with Cora in Storybrooke. David asks Mr. Gold to please protect his family and Mr. Gold agrees. They drive out of town and the scarf around Gold's neck works to protect his memories. They drive to Logan International Airport in Boston. While going through security, Henry asks Mr. Gold if he has ever been out of Storybrooke. When Mr. Gold says no, Henry muses that it must be difficult for him to be without magic. Security tells Mr. Gold to put his cane and scarf on the belt to go through the scanner. Mr. Gold objects to this, fearing that he will lose his memory. Emma tells him that she will not let that happen. Mr. Gold removes the scarf and begins to feel his memories slip. He passes through security and Emma returns the scarf. Mr. Gold has kept his memories.
As they wait at their departure gate, Mr. Gold goes to the restroom and, in a fit of rage, pounds a toilet roll dispenser. He cuts his knuckles but is not able to heal his hand. Mr. Gold boards the plane with Emma and Henry. He continues to act nervous and Emma assures him they will find his son. ("Tiny")
Mr. Gold, Emma, and Henry step out of a Manhattan yellow cab onto the pavement in front of an apartment complex. Mr. Gold states with an uncomfortable expression on his face that this is definitely the place where his son is, and Emma picks up this means his son is not expecting him. They go inside where they see a list of the apartment resident room numbers and names, and call buttons for each. Henry asks if any of the names mean anything to him, but Mr. Gold doesn't have any idea which one is Baelfire. Emma takes notice of one apartment room numbers, 407, that has no name listed on it, and promptly pushes the button with the firm belief that person might be his son. The intercom switches on, and Emma pretends to have a UPS package for the person. Very abruptly, the intercom goes dead, and Henry wonders if she should have said she is from Fed-Ex. They hear a shuffling noise from above, and hurry outside in time to see a hooded man making his way down the fire escape, jump down and run away in the opposite direction away from them. Mr. Gold pleas for Emma to chase down him as he himself cannot due to the limp in his leg, and to use the favor she owes him—to make his son talk to him. Emma takes off after the man.
Mr. Gold and Henry decide to wait outside the apartment complex for Emma to come back. Henry believes Emma will catch him because she is good at finding people. Mr. Gold notes his son has been running for a long time, and it's just as well he is running this time. Henry states at least they found him, to which Mr. Gold agrees with. Henry thanks Mr. Gold for buying him the hot dog, and in turn Mr. Gold gives him his gratitude for bringing Emma to Storybrooke. He explains to Henry that had Emma never come to Storybrooke and broke the curse, he might have never had the opportunity to leave the town to find his son. He praises Henry as a remarkable young man. Henry goes on to say he forgave Emma for giving him up, and he is sure his own son will forgive him, too. Mr. Gold is unsure since the two scenarios are not the same circumstances. Henry stays positive and tells Mr. Gold all that matters is he is here, and wants his son back.
Back inside the apartment lobby, Henry notices Mr. Gold is nervous about meeting his son, and talks about how excited he was to meet Emma. Mr. Gold says he has more life experience than Henry, and things often do not work out the way someone wants them to. Henry recalls the information in his story book shows Rumplestiltskin can see the future, and wonders why doesn't he just see into the future to see what is going to happen. Mr. Gold tells Henry that seeing the inevitable can be a terrible price; the future is like a puzzle with missing pieces—difficult to read and never what a person assumes it to be. Emma returns, and regretfully reports his son got away from her, though she is lying. She did catch up with Mr. Gold's son only to find out he is her ex-boyfriend, Neal. She lies to Mr. Gold because it is Neal's wish not to be found by his father, and also because she is torn on whether to tell Henry about Neal being his actual biological father.
Mr. Gold feels frustrated with the lack of progress in finding his son, and doesn't want to give up. He random pushes all the call buttons in the apartment call sheet, and somehow one of the residents buzz open the door for him. Emma does not want him breaking into someone else's apartment room, but Mr. Gold ignores her and hobbles up to room 407. She tries to dissuade him by saying his son might not even come back to the apartment. He doesn't care and pick locks into the apartment. Mr. Gold explores the apartment for clues. Reluctantly, Emma goes in with Henry. She sees the dream catcher she and Neal found in that hotel room all those years ago, and takes it down from the window to examine. Mr. Gold asks if she has found anything, and in a dazed, she says it's nothing. But, Mr. Gold notices the odd look on her face and thinks she knows something she is not telling him. Though she tries her best to deny it, Mr. Gold is getting angry at whatever she is holding back. She tells Henry to wait in the bathroom when things a little tense, and Emma and Mr. Gold proceed to have a heated argument. Things begin to get out of hand when he makes threats against her, and breaks a chair, but Neal bursts through the apartment door commanding him to stop.
Shocked at his son's sudden appearance, Mr. Gold falls against a wall for support. Still unable to believe it, Mr. Gold asks if he is Baelfire, and Neal gives an affirmative nod. He wants to know if Neal came back for him, but he says he only did to make sure Mr. Gold did not harm Emma. Mr. Gold hopes to talk, though Neal is quick to ask Mr. Gold to get out of the apartment. Emma intervenes, but Neal refuses to relent. Hearing his son call Emma by her name, he realizes the two know each other. Before either of them can explain, Henry wanders back in the room calling for his mother, Emma. Henry looks to Emma for answers, and asks if the man is Baelfire. Neal looks shocked that Emma has a child, and questions who he is. Emma states he is her son, and as she takes Henry back to the bathroom, Neal demands to know how old he is. Henry shouts back that he is eleven; clearly confused why everyone is yelling. Neal puts the pieces together and figures out Henry is his son. Henry, still not understanding, recounts the story Emma told him about his father being a firefighter. Caught in the lie, Emma admits to Henry Neal is indeed his father. In shock, Henry climbs out to the fire escape, and Emma follows behind.
Mr. Gold and Neal are left alone. Again, Mr. Gold asks for a chance to speak. Neal wants nothing to do with his father, but Mr. Gold insists because Emma's deal with him is not fulfilled until Neal talks to him. He gives Mr. Gold three minutes. Mr. Gold tries to explain himself to Neal who is less than receptive. Mr. Gold starts off by telling him there is no worse pain than regret and Neal responds that abandonment is worse. Mr. Gold wants to make it up to Neal and that if he returns with him to Storybrooke, he could return Neal to fourteen years of age and they can make up for lost him. Neal is disturbed by the idea, but Mr. Gold says he only wants another chance and that Neal loved him once. Neal tells him that was because Mr. Gold was once a good man. Mr. Gold claims he wants to be that man again and asks for another chance. In frustration, Neal recalls how it felt when his father let him go into that portal alone, and for years that's the one thing he could never forget. Mr. Gold let him go all those years ago, and Neal states he is letting go of him now. He tries to apologize, but Neal will not hear it. Coldly, he says his time is up.
Emma comes back from the fire escape, and says Henry wants to meet him. Neal goes to Henry, and as the two chat, Mr. Gold looks out the window at both of them. His expression is unreadable. ("Manhattan")
Neal and Henry walk on the streets of New York City with Emma and Mr. Gold trailing behind them. They listen to Neal and Henry have a very animated discussion about New York style pizza. Emma and Mr. Gold wait outside as the twosome go inside a pizza store. Mr. Gold wants Emma to try and convince Neal to come back to Storybrooke, but she says she already fulfilled her one favor to him. He attempts to make her see it could be a sticky situation considering Henry once left Storybrooke just to find Emma, and who is to say he won't do the same just to see Neal. Emma firmly says she lied to protect Henry, but Mr. Gold compares her likeness to Regina. Neal and Henry come back out of the store carrying some pizza. Henry asks Emma if they can go back to the apartment to get his camera to take pictures at a museum Neal knows of. She agrees to it, and asks him how the pizza is. To her shock, he says within earshot not only herself, but Neal and Mr. Gold, that it is "delicious, cheesy and doesn't lie".
Once again, Emma and Mr. Gold are left behind to wait when they all reach the apartment as Neal and Henry go back up to the apartment to retrieve the camera. Out of nowhere, Hook enters into the lobby and throws Emma to the side. He pins Mr. Gold against the lobby gate and stabs him with his hook. Mr. Gold can do nothing but lay there in extreme pain and surprise. Hook is gleeful of getting his revenge, and spews his hatred at him for taking away his happiness—Milah—and now he will exact vengeance by taking Mr. Gold's life. As Hook moves to bury the hook into Mr. Gold's chest again, Emma knocks him out. Emma hurries to look at Mr. Gold's wound just as Neal and Henry run back down to see what the commotion is about. Neal recognizes Hook, and is aghast at Mr. Gold's injury. Mr. Gold knows the poison is incurable, and Emma proposes the only way to save him is to get back to Storybrooke, where magic exists, as soon as possible. Mr. Gold says the quickest vehicle to use would be Hook's ship. Neal agrees to steer it. ("The Queen Is Dead")
Mr. Gold is taken aboard the Jolly Roger and lays in a quickly deteriorating state while Neal and Henry steer the ship towards Storybrooke's dock. Concerned, Emma checks up on him, and asks him about the power of his dagger and the means Cora and Regina have in controlling him with it so he will kill everyone. He affirms it is possible, and concedes Emma's hopes are now pinned on him bleeding to death to prevent the latter from happening. She justifies because they are now family—via Henry and Neal's father and son connection—she will save him, which Mr. Gold highly doubts won't have much success.
Making it into the dock's port, David, Mary Margaret and Ruby hurry forward to help the hobbling and weakened Mr. Gold onto David's truck. David is worried Cora is controlling him with the dagger right at this moment, but Mr. Gold gives assurance if that was the case, everyone would likely already be dead. He urgently requests they take him to his shop, which they do, and Mr. Gold is guided to the very back of the shop where he rests lying down.
Since he is unable to be physically mobile in his current state, Mr. Gold gives directions to Emma to find a glass jar. She comes back with it, but is puzzled there is nothing inside, or at least she thinks so, until shaking the jar and hearing something clink inside. Emma reaches into the jar and pulls out something invisible. Mr. Gold informs her it is invisible chalk, and she must use it to draw a line by the front door, and also heeds for David and Mary Margaret to make preparations for battle with Cora and Regina. As Mary Margaret turns to walk out of the room, Mr. Gold pleas for a warmer blanket. She fishes through a cabinet to grab a blanket, but halts when she sees at the very top of the shelf is a familiar looking candle. Disturbed, Mary Margaret asks why he has it. Mr. Gold glances at her with a knowing look; as he intentionally meant for her to find the candle, and replies he was keeping it for a rainy day.
Mr. Gold reasons the candle can save his life, but Mary Margaret thinks it's far-fetched she could use the candle to help him when she never went through with harnessing the candle to keep her mother from dying. He points out she is no longer a young child, and for once, their interests align—they both want Cora dead. Mary Margaret is still hesitant and afraid of the repercussions of murder, though Mr. Gold heeds if Cora is dead, she'll never come back, either. This seems to open her mind to the idea a little, and she asks how it'd work since the victim's name has to be said while the candle is held over the intended victim. He says an alternative is whispering the name over the person's heart, which fits perfectly with Cora's situation since her heart is stored in Regina's vault and not inside her chest. Mr. Gold advises she curse the heart, place it back in Cora's chest and death will take Cora away. Even so, Mary Margaret toys with the idea of taking Cora's heart and turning the situation into her own favor rather than Mr. Gold's by manipulating Cora via her heart and instructing her to kill Mr. Gold so both issues will be resolved. Mr. Gold plays the final card in his hand to sway Mary Margaret's will by disclosing Henry would not like it if his grandfather died, especially at the hands of his grandmother, Mary Margaret.
Emma promptly returns to notify Mr. Gold she's done what he has asked while Mary Margaret exits the room. He commands Emma to cast a protection spell, which she has no idea how to do. After persuading her to try, Emma closes her eyes and attempts it, but an impatient Mr. Gold states casting a spell is not about intellect, but emotions. He counsels Emma to concentrate her mind on the reason why she casting the spell and who benefits in protection by her actions. She follows his line of words, and successfully puts up a barrier outside the shop.
A fight breaks out in the shop when Cora and Regina tear down the barrier with their combined powers. In a moment of distraction for Cora, Emma pushes Regina into her; sending both of them toppling into the glass displays. Emma and Neal hurry into the back room where she puts up another barrier to keep the mother daughter duo out. Inside, they wait on guard to protect Mr. Gold as the barrier is slowly chipped away by Cora. Mr. Gold is beginning to accept he will die, and perhaps it's for the best. Neal says he won't die, but Mr. Gold is already giving up, and asks for the phone so he can speak with Belle one last time. Belle picks up in her hospital room, and once more attests she can't remember who he is. Despite that, Mr. Gold admits to her he is dying, and in a moving moment, gives his last words to Belle. He tells her the person inside her that he knew; a hero who helped her people, a beautiful woman who loved an ugly man, and a person who sees good in people even those without good. Mr. Gold knows she doesn't remember who she is, but asks her to look in the mirror, and see the person he just described is her, and then abruptly hangs up.
Neal is astonished Mr. Gold could be so emotional and loving, while the older man states love has always been in him; hence the reason why he spent centuries searching for Neal. Neal is still disappointed his father went back on their deal. Mr. Gold fully admits he made the wrong choice, and reaches his hand out to him in reconciliation. Though he is still angry about the past, Neal grabs his hand tightly and the bond between Mr. Gold and his son is strengthened in a time of despair and uncertainty.
The barrier finally crumbles, and Cora saunters in with the purpose to kill Mr. Gold with his dagger. Neal and Emma ready themselves to stand in her way, but with a wave of her hand, she teleports them away to a road by the forest. With no more obstructions, she approaches a dying Mr. Gold. Just breaths away from death, Mr. Gold asks Cora the question he has always pondered—did she truly ever love him. For a brief flicker of a moment, Cora lets down her guard and tenderly caresses his face as she acknowledges that, yes, he was the only man she ever loved, and that's why she had to take out her own heart because he is her weakness. Cora gets up to stand over him and raises the dagger to plunge into his chest, but is interrupted by Regina pushing the heart back into her mother's chest.
Cora drops the dagger on the floor, and Mr. Gold is shocked to see his disappearing name on it begin to sliver back into existence. Regina and Cora share a short happy moment until a wound appears in Cora's chest. Mr. Gold checks his own chest wound and sees it's completely healed. He realizes Mary Margaret did indeed cast the candle curse, and with his strength renewed, picks up his dagger as Cora dies in Regina's arms. Hysterical, Regina asks what is happening, but Mr. Gold remarks her mother did her no favors. She begins to blame Mr. Gold for killing her mother, but suddenly, Mary Margaret bursts in shouting for her not to put the heart back in, and Regina concludes who the real murder is. ("The Miller's Daughter")
Mr. Gold comes to Regina's mausoleum to pay his respects at Cora's coffin. Regina is extremely upset and asks him to leave thinking he has come to mock her, but instead he says Cora has a place in his heart, too. She doesn't believe his words and accuses him of exchanging her mother's life to save his own. The actual person Regina blames is Mary Margaret, and swears to make her pay. Mr. Gold has doubts she will go through with it as the price of her vengeance is Henry, and suggests she give up on this thirst for revenge because anything that comes out of it will not be happiness. Regina stubbornly insists it will, but Mr. Gold calls attention to the fact not even the curse made her happy, and left a hole in her heart. He speaks of Cora, who understood that both love and power were not two things that could co-exist if she wanted one more than the other, and if Regina desires revenge, she will lose Henry for good.
Mr. Gold decides to warn David and Emma about Regina's plans to destroy Mary Margaret. Due to David's insistence that he owes his life to Mary Margaret, Mr. Gold agrees to help them to put a stop to Regina. He and David reenter Regina's mausoleum and discover the mess strewn all over the room while Regina was busy searching for something. Mr. Gold notes these are Cora's belongings, and more suspicious is certain spell ingredients are missing.
They go back to the apartment where Mr. Gold concludes Regina is gathering ingredients to cast the curse of the empty-hearted, which will give her exactly what she wants. The curse will make Regina think she is loved, and her intended target to use it on is Henry so he will be forced to love her. Incidentally, the curse's main prerequisites include the heart of the person the caster hates the most, which makes Mary Margaret the first choice. Mr. Gold claims giving them this information has fulfilled his end of the bargain in helping them, but David and Emma believe otherwise as both Mary Margaret and Henry's lives are at stake. Mr. Gold proposes an end to a bloody feud must come by shedding more blood, which David and Emma agree with, but Henry objects to the idea of them killing his mother. Upset, he runs out of the apartment, and Emma follows while telling David they need to keep Henry as far away from Regina as possible. Mr. Gold assents that Cora was known to be dangerous for not having a heart, but Regina is more of a menace for actually having a heart.
Regina breaks into the apartment and prepares to rip out Mary Margaret's heart, but is shortly stopped by Mr. Gold. With no way around the situation, she is forced to leave, though she warns Mary Margaret he can't guard her forever. Later, he receives a phone call notifying him Regina destroyed the curse herself, so Mary Margaret is no longer in danger. On his way out, Mary Margaret asks how he is able to live with himself despite all the evil things he's done. Mr. Gold says it's best to keep clinging onto the belief he did the right thing, and to keep thinking so until the mantra becomes reality. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")
Mr. Gold has a dream of Henry blowing out candles out on his birthday cake in his shop, and Emma, Neal, Mary Margaret, David as well as himself being present for the celebration. Then, Mr. Gold kindly allows Henry to pick one object from the shop that will be his birthday present. Henry spies a rack of wands, and picks the one he likes the most. Because he doesn't know how to use it, Mr. Gold demonstrates for him with a whisk of the wand that makes it glow and emit sparks. As Henry is completely entranced in watching the movement of the wand, Mr. Gold suddenly uses the wand on the boy turning him into a lifelike statue. Emma, Neal, Mary Margaret and David are shocked, and when asked why he would do such a thing, Mr. Gold states he has no choice as the boy will be his undoing. Then, he takes his cane and smashed the Henry statue to bits, and only then does he awaken from the nightmare.
The next day, Mr. Gold watches from a distance as Neal and Henry play with wooden swords and spar each other in the park. Regina comes by, and he wonders what she is doing here. She turns her line of inquiry to why her son is with his son. Wryly, Mr. Gold purposely lets it slip Neal is Henry's biological father. Regina is stunned to learn this, and that Mr. Gold has a blood relation to her son. She is quite upset, and follows as he walks away; demanding an explanation and is not buying that he did not know and that it's all just a coincidence. Mr. Gold wistfully replies there is no such thing as coincidences; only fate. Regina takes satisfaction in knowing he won't ever be accepted by others—not even his own son—because he always chooses the darkness in his heart.
Mr. Gold surprises Belle at the hospital. She is happy and relieved to see he is alive and well. He professes his love for her is real, and she believes him. Belle thinks whatever past she did have he was also a part of it. She brings his attention her recollection of him healing her shoulder wound; something Mr. Gold is not keen on openly discussing yet since her memories have not yet returned, so he just tells her it will make more sense once she regains her memory. Mr. Gold makes it known he desperately needs her because she is the person who brought out the good in him, so for his and her sake, he will help her remember herself.
Belle begins to pack up her things while Mr. Gold goes to make sure she can be discharged from the hospital. When he returns to her room, she is gone. In a state of frantic panic, he calls over the nurse, who has no idea where she could have gone. Upon further inspection of the empty bed, Mr. Gold finds a matchstick card with a picture of the town bar, The Rabbit Hole, on it.
He visits the bar, and at the counter, describes the exact description of Belle to the bartender. The bartender is puzzled, and says who he just described fits not Belle, but a woman named "Lacey". Mr. Gold inquiries who that is, and the man points in the direction if the pool table where "Lacey" is playing billiards. Anxious and confused, Mr. Gold goes to the pool table where the person he knew as Belle introduces herself to him as Lacey. She recalls he is the man who visited her at the hospital, and gleefully says she remembers who she is now.
Unable to process all this, he goes to the person he knows is responsible for Belle's false memories—Regina. She declares she can do nothing about Lacey's current state, so Mr. Gold promises to have Belle back by winning her heart. Regina finds that's not likely, and makes him further enraged by wishing him good luck with Lacey.
To win back Belle, who has taken on the persona of Lacey, Mr. Gold seeks advice from David at the diner. He wants to know how David overcame his false memories, and still won the heart of Mary Margaret. David advises him to show Belle the person she fell in love with. They go back to the bar and walk in to see a man, Keith, trying to flirt with Lacey at the counter. David sits nearby to listen in as Mr. Gold tries to converse with Lacey, who gets up to change the bar music. David pushes him to just ask her out. Mustering up his courage, Mr. Gold approaches Lacey and explains he wants to get to know her better, so they should go out on a date. Lacey is unsure as she's heard some bad things about him, but he implores to be given a chance, so she accepts. They agree to meet up at the diner.
Mr. Gold and Lacey are seated at a table booth and looking at the menus to order dinner. Mr. Gold nearly drops his menu in nervousness, though when Lacey queries if he's nervous, he denies it. Granny drops by to take their orders, and is surprised to see Lacey dressed as if she raided Ruby's closet. Mr. Gold avoids the topic by ordering from the menu two hamburgers, though Lacey changes her order afterwards; later stating she's never been much of a hamburger person. While they are waiting for their food, Lacey admits he is not what he expected, and doesn't understand why people in town are so afraid of him as he doesn't seem like he would hurt anyone, which pleases Mr. Gold. She goes on to say no one can truly know what's in a person's heart until you truly know him. Mr. Gold is shocked as she once said those exact words in the past a long time ago, and accidentally spills wine on Lacey's dress, which she hurries to the bathroom to clean up.
After some time, Lacey is still not back. Mr. Gold goes to check up on her, but does not find her in the bathroom. He heads out into the alley, and thinks he sees Keith trying to assault Lacey. He shoves him off her, and angrily deters him away. Mr. Gold checks to see if Lacey is okay, and realizes she intentionally came here to be with Keith. She admits to it, and that the date was not going well despite Mr. Gold thinking otherwise. Lacey explains she only agreed to the date because she felt sorry for him, but this is not her style and they wouldn't work together because he is still thinking about Belle.
A brokenhearted Mr. Gold wanders the alley, and gets frustrated and annoyed when Keith comes back to apologize. Darkly, Mr. Gold remarks he has been trying so hard to be good—for Lacey's sake—but now there's no merit in playing this part. He uses magic to rip out Keith's tongue, and bashes him to the floor with his cane. Lacey hears the commotion and comes from around the corner to investigate. When Mr. Gold notices her standing there, Lacey comments he really is as dark as people say. He doesn't try to hide what he's doing, and bitterly remarks he can be darker. Lacey expresses relief he is not who she thought he was, and is glad because of it. Sensing she is accepting the darkness in him, Mr. Gold turns back to Keith and continues with the beating while Lacey watches from behind with a mischievous smile. ("Lacey")
That same night, after Mr. Gold is done with Keith, he and Lacey stroll out into the parking lot side by side while chatting animatedly. Unbeknownst to either, Hook sees them from the clock tower. ("The Evil Queen")
Outside the Rabbit Hole, Mr. Gold finds offense with Dr. Whale when he allegedly catches the man looking at Lacey. After forcing him to the ground, Mr. Gold tries to get Dr. Whale to kiss his foot as punishment when Neal bursts onto the scene to stop the interrogation. Mr. Gold says it does not concern him, and Neal brings up his father's history of having once turned someone into a snail. Lacey, unaware of magic and Neal's past, does not understand what he means. Hoping to sort the issue out one-on-one, Mr. Gold hands Lacey his shop keys and tells her to wait for him there. Once Lacey is out of sight, the two resume their conversation. Neal is upset that after finally reuniting with Mr. Gold, he doesn't seem to care about his own son's life, including meeting his fiancée, Tamara. Mr. Gold believes the relationship will not work because he still has feelings for Emma. Disappointed, Neal realizes he was wrong to think his father had changed from the past. Mr. Gold points out Neal is still in Storybrooke, but he disagrees. Neal cuts off contact with him and says the only person he'll be here for is Henry, and Mr. Gold can stay out of his life from now on.
At his shop, Mr. Gold is tracked down by David and Mary Margaret at his shop. They interrupt him at his leisure with Lacey, who is exasperated at the intrusion. The twosome ask for a way to locate Regina, and he helps them due to being indebted to Mary Margaret after she saved his life from Cora. Bringing out a small bottle containing one of Regina's tears, Mr. Gold asks her to think of a bleak moment and shed one of her own tears. On command, Mary Margaret does and one of her tears mixes with Regina's in the bottle. Afterwards, he instructs she must put the liquid into her eye so a temporary bodily connection with Regina can be breached. After they are gone, Lacey corners him with the fact he can do magic and didn't tell her about it. He remarks she should pour another glass as he explains. To Lacey's amazement, he procures a gorgeous necklace out of thin air and helps her to put it on. After learning more about his inability to age as the Dark One, Lacey wonders if she, too, could become immortal so they could be together forever. He says it's possible, but mentions it doesn't keep a person immune from dying. Mr. Gold goes on to tell her about a prophecy a seer gave him a long time ago that a certain someone will be his undoing, which he takes to mean his death will occur because of that person. Puzzled, Lacey questions why he doesn't just get rid of the obstacle in his way as he's the kind of man who won't let anything stand in his way. ("Second Star to the Right")
In the park, Mr. Gold stays at a distance watching Henry play on the swing. When Granny, who is babysitting Henry, takes a moment to look out towards the sea, Mr. Gold studies the swaying swing and a large, sharp rock meters in front of the boy. With a flick, he uses magic to cause a tearing on the swing. The more magic pressure applied, the larger the fissure in the rope material grows. As Mr. Gold prepares to loosen it further, the sound of a car door slamming shut startles him into stopping. From a nearby parked truck, David, Emma and Mary Margaret step out. Noticing Mr. Gold, David asks him what he's doing here. Casually, the older man brushes off the question with a lie; stating that Neal wants nothing to do with him, so he's spending time with his grandson. Grimly, Mary Margaret tells Emma to speak with Henry first, to which she goes off to do.
Though Mary Margaret says she has important news for him, he shows lack of interest in hearing her out. However, his attention is perked once David says the matter concerns his son, and says Tamara shot him. Stunned, Mr. Gold looks at them uncomprehendingly and asks if Neal is dead. David explains the complexity of the situation as a portal had been opened and after Neal was injured, he fell through into it; showing his death to be very probable. Emotionally shaken, Mr. Gold insists his son wasn't supposed to die.
Hastily, David and Mary Margaret fill him in on what Greg and Tamara's current plans in setting off a trigger that will obliterate every single person in Storybrooke who was not born in the Land Without Magic. They ask for his help in stopping the danger, but Mr. Gold firmly refuses. He goes on to blame himself for Neal's death because he brought magic to this land in order to find him. Mr. Gold is prepared to pay the price of magic by forfeiting his life once the trigger self-destructs; much to David and Mary Margaret's horror as that means everyone will perish as well.
Later on, Mr. Gold hears his shop door bell chime and comes out from the back room to see the dwarves sleuthing around. He thinks they are looting as the end of the world is near. Instead, Leroy retorts it isn't stealing if the item retrieved is something that was theirs in the first place. He elaborates by pointing out they need a drinking stein that used to belong to Mr. Clark when he was Sneezy as it is necessary to give back his Enchanted Forest memories. Mr. Gold doubts there is a way to restore memory, but Leroy shows him the potion Mother Superior brewed that works by the person drinking the substance out of an object of his or her own importance. He also mentions the liquid was made after Mother Superior transformed August back into a child, and finally found the missing ingredient—a strand of Pinocchio's hair.
During all this, Mr. Clark hears at least two mentions of dying since the trigger can't be stopped, and insists he doesn't want his memory back if it means inevitable death. However, since finding the drinking stein, Leroy commands they go back to the diner where the potion will be used. Despite Mr. Clark's protests, the dwarves lead him out of the shop. Leroy stays behind and gives Mr. Gold a second batch of the potion to give to Belle. As Belle once helped Leroy remember himself, he wants to return the favor by not letting her die as Lacey. After Leroy has left, Lacey comes out from behind the curtains to ask what the conversation was about, though Mr. Gold refuses to talk about it.
As the demise of Storybrooke approaches, Mr. Gold and Lacey drink scotch. Lacey accidentally spills a cup all over the table. When she motions to use Baelfire's shawl as wiping rag, Mr. Gold stops her from it and angrily exclaims it belonged to someone very important to him, and that she would not understand. Lacey apologizes, and in this moment, he realizes the person he needs most is Belle. Reaching into the cabinet, he pulls out a small bag and spills out the contents—broken pieces of the chipped cup—onto the table. Using magic, Mr. Gold reconstructs the cup to its unbroken state. Lacey expresses puzzlement at his fixation on the cup, but goes along and drinks the potion substance when he pours it into the object. After a moment, Lacey's persona is replaced by the return of Belle. They have an emotional reunion. Mr. Gold is sorry for waking her up only to die on the same day, but needed her back. She comforts him as he cries over the loss of his son.
Closer to the trigger's destruction, chaos reigns on the streets as vines and trees sweep out to replace the streets and roads. A short while later, to Mr. Gold's amazement, he steps out of the shop to see the forest greenery covering the whole town to be dissipating. He and Belle make their way to the harbor where they meet David, Emma, Mary Margaret and Regina speaking about Henry's disappearance to another world at Greg and Tamara's hands. Regina begs him to help, but he says there is no way to go across lands unless a portal can be opened. The whole group is despondent until Belle, transfixed, stares out at the ocean's distance and points out a ship, the Jolly Roger, still sitting in port. After discovering Hook didn't leave using the magic bean he stole from Emma, the pirate allows them to board the ship in going after Henry.
Though Belle wishes to go along, too, Mr. Gold instructs her to stay behind and keep the town safe from harm. He is aware Greg and Tamara were not working alone, and more outsiders will come to Storybrooke, so Belle is given a cloaking spell to shield the area so no one can enter. She asks how he will find his way back to her, but Mr. Gold's silence shows it isn't possible. He feels a duty to Neal in saving Henry, and this is what must be done. Tearfully, she voices her belief that the future isn't what it always seems, and they will see each other again. After a farewell kiss, Belle walks away, but not before saying Neal would be proud of him.
Aboard the Jolly Roger, Mr. Gold directly asks Hook if he's done trying to kill him. Grudgingly, Hook responds affirmatively, and the two trade glares. Conjuring up the magic globe, Mr. Gold pricks a drop of his own blood and allows it to drip onto the item, which pinpoints Henry's current location to be in Neverland. After Hook casts the magic bean into the water to open a portal, he, Mr. Gold, David, Emma, Mary Margaret and Regina set sail for the land. ("And Straight On 'Til Morning")
As they sail towards the island of Neverland, Mr. Gold announces his intent of getting him back on his own and proceeds to list off reasons why Emma will fail in this mission; not believing in her parents, in magic, or even herself. He disappears from the ship to continue the journey alone on the island. In the jungle, he stumbles upon a campfire with a deceased Greg and finds Tamara, despite taking an arrow to the back, still alive and struggling to move. Mr. Gold heals her wounds and asks for Henry's whereabouts. She shakily describes Henry running off, and apologizes for everything, including what happened to Neal; swearing she had not known the true intentions of the Home Office. Though she begs for his forgiveness, Mr. Gold calmly declines and tears out her heart; crushing it to ash. Afterwards, Mr. Gold continues trekking on foot. One of Pan's Lost Boys, Felix, warns Mr. Gold will be making enemies with Pan if he desires to find Henry, and that path will lead to death. Unafraid, Mr. Gold boldly attests if that occurs, he'll be taking countless other lives with him as well; implicating Felix will be one of them, too. Before letting Mr. Gold walk off, Felix tosses him a doll figurine from Pan. The sight of it shocks the older man, who breaks down into tears as he holds the doll in his hands. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")
Later, a more composed Mr. Gold lights a bonfire and uses the Dark One's dagger to slide away his shadow. Then, he instructs it to hide the dagger away. A noise attracts his attention and he sets down the doll to investigate. An unknown person steals the doll, to which he chases the thief down and pulls off the hood to reveal Belle. They talk about Mr. Gold's willingness to become the Dark One again if it means rescuing Henry. As she draws him into a kiss, he pulls away to confirm his suspicions that she isn't actually physically in Nevlerland, which she affirms. Belle answers his questions about Storybrooke and the protection spell easily enough, but he is almost certain she is a fake and asks who brought her here. Shockingly, she states that he did. Belle brings him to a cliff edge to sort out unresolved emotions. Mr. Gold's own past with his father continues to haunt him as he's become exactly like his own parent; cowardly and selfish. He also addresses the deal Pan offered for him not to interfere with anything relating to Henry. This will prevent the seer's prophecy from coming true, but it'll also leave Henry at the mercy of Pan. Belle reminds him of the regret he lived with after abandoning Baelfire, and it doesn't need to be repeated in Henry's case. Encouraged by her to let go of the past, Mr. Gold reminisces about the doll, which was the last thing his father ever gave him before he left. When she advises he must stop holding onto the past to prevent it from repeating again, Mr. Gold throws the doll into the ocean. Following a descent down from the cliff, Mr. Gold is once again on alert after hearing a sound nearby. He checks around and upon stepping forward, the doll falls onto the ground from the night sky; seemingly returned to Mr. Gold. Troubled, he sets it on fire and walks off, but is startled to see the doll, good as new, in the next clearing. He gives up, and tucks the doll into his jacket pocket. ("Lost Girl")
In preparation to sacrifice himself to save Henry, Mr. Gold rubs a black substance on his face. He talks to Belle about the necessity of putting back on his mask of a monster in order to save Henry. She regards his intentions as good, but warns a life of craven self-interest is a nasty habit he's never been able to break. Mr. Gold maintains things are different now because there's nothing left to live for with his son gone, and knowing he'll never truly see Belle again. Even if it is possible, he knows Belle will, in time, see him as a monster. On foot, he puts to sleep two Lost Boys on guard duty and pilfers a spear. Unexpectedly, he arms himself when someone runs into the area. Mr. Gold is bewildered to see what he believes is an illusion of Neal meant to be a reminder of his failures and also make him question his own decision to save Henry. He attacks the facade and begins choking him until Neal pleads by calling him Papa. This causes Mr. Gold to realize his son is not dead. Though it is Mr. Gold's intention to sacrifice himself for Henry, Neal has a better idea and kills a colossal squid by the lake. After Mr. Gold extracts the squid ink, Neal coats the shaft of an arrow with it. They storm Pan's camp when Mr. Gold puts all the Lost Boys and Henry to sleep. Pan catches the arrow Neal shots at him and becomes paralyzed as they take away a slumbering Henry. However, Pan brings up the prophecy to Neal. This causes Mr. Gold to disclose the prophecy to Neal, who in turn, begins to lose trust in his father. Neal wants proof Mr. Gold has changed by handing over the dagger. Mr. Gold explains how he got rid of it, but his answer further frustrates Neal, who believes he is making excuses. He attests to not being the same as in the past, and can be strong if his son has faith in him. Placated, Neal grabs Mr. Gold's hand in a gesture of trust, but then brings up how he felt being trapped in Neverland wishing his father would come to rescue him, and later realizing this was never going to happen due to his father's greed for power. Mr. Gold realizes too late that Neal secretly slid a piece of squid ink into his palm, which then freezes him. Neal leaves with Henry. Afterwards, the squid ink wears off as Belle materializes to give condolences for Neal’s lack of belief in him. Yet, Mr. Gold begins to doubt his own ability to go through with the sacrifice and again struggles with his nasty habit of selfishness. Belle reminds him again that habits can be broken, but Mr. Gold, not in the mood for talking, sends her away. ("Nasty Habits")
Mr. Gold makes an attempt to look into the future, though Pan rudely interrupts to inform him that time stands still on the island, and foresight is not possible in such a place. Vehemently, he promises that he may not be able to see the future, but can make one happen. Pan doesn't take him seriously and jests that he made Mr. Gold's favorite breakfast, eggs in a basket, which are cooking on a pan over the low campfire, to cheer him up. Mr. Gold is confronted with all the losses he has suffered, such as losing Neal again and his failure to save Henry due to his own lack of power to go through with the sacrifice. Pan proposes a chance for Mr. Gold to live by leaving the island. Mr. Gold doesn't want to abandon both his son and grandson, but Pan pointedly suggests that even if Neal and Henry are saved, they will never forgive him for his horrible deeds. Furthermore, Pan instigates Mr. Gold hasn't forgiven his father either and tries to persuade him to go back to Belle and have another child as this is the only future he can have without dying. In this moment of conflict, Belle comes to beseech him to come home to her, and if he does, they can start a new family together, which she yearns for. Puzzled, Mr. Gold doesn't see how Belle can want anything since she's a figment of his imagination. He begins accepting her hand so they can go back home, but suddenly, Belle begins choking. Out of the wilderness, Regina pops out while her hold on Belle's neck steadily tightens until the girl collapses and reverts to the real form of the Shadow before fleeing. Mr. Gold brushes off Regina's idea of teaming up as the only way to stop Pan is if he himself dies as well in the process. As much as she would not mind destroying Pan, Regina suggests they can find a way to contain him. Mr. Gold has just the item for the job, except it's sitting in his pawnshop. She reprehends him for not bringing it along, though Mr. Gold's whole plan all along was to sacrifice his own life to kill Pan. Regina mocks him for such an idiotic plan as his will for self-preservation is too strong anyway. To procure the item, Regina summons a mermaid, Ariel, from the ocean. Regina makes good on a deal to give Ariel human legs and the location of her past love, Eric, if she will help them. Ariel complies with their terms and is told to go to Storybrooke. ("Ariel")
To help Ariel find the way there, Mr. Gold draws a route to Storybrooke on the ground and then gives her a enchanted sand dollar to take to Belle. Through a hologram projection in the sand dollar, he gives Belle a hint about the location of the item needed to destroy Pan. He states that it can be found with strength of their love. Passing the time until Ariel's return, Regina asks Mr. Gold if he really believes Belle can succeed. He is certain she can, but Regina wants to be sure his feelings aren't blinding him. Mr. Gold attests that his feelings for Belle are enough to believe in her. She realizes he must really love her. He jokes she is jealous, but Regina denies being envious of Belle. Mr. Gold determines she actually covets not having someone. A splash interrupts the exchange as Ariel peers out from the water to deliver the requested item, Pandora's Box, to Mr. Gold. After Regina gives Ariel control over being human as a reward, Mr. Gold sends her off to Eric. Before she goes, Ariel notifies them about Pan's prisoner, Wendy, and the girl's brothers are in Storybrooke anxiously awaiting their sister. She pleads for them to rescue Wendy as thanks for procuring the box. Mr. Gold promises to try and asks her to tell Belle that they will indeed be seeing each other again. ("Dark Hollow")
When Regina brings up the ludicrous search that Emma and the others went on looking for Neal, who is presumed dead, Mr. Gold admits that he is actually alive. She senses Mr. Gold is hiding something, but he smoothly talks his way through the subject. Then, they come across David, Emma, Hook, Mary Margaret, Neal and Tinker Bell in the jungle. Regina presents them with the useful of Pandora's Box, but Neal is displeased to see Mr. Gold. He blurts out his father's objective to kill Henry and prevent a seer's prophecy from coming true. This causes everyone to vehemently turn against Mr. Gold as they draw their weapons at him despite his effort to clear up the misunderstanding. To placate them, he hands over the box to Neal, who warns him against even thinking of using magic. As everyone files past to continue onto Pan's camp, Mr. Gold make Neal aware that he is underestimating Pan. Neal attempts to ask about his father's history with Pan, but he remains wordless. Later, Mr. Gold overhears Emma attempt to get information out of Hook about an alternative way that David can escape Neverland without dying. Having escaped death from Dreamshade as well, Mr. Gold intervenes into the conversation to suggest gathering up more of the island's spring water to use as a temporary solution until he can make an elixir in Storybrooke to cure David. Emma agrees to his bargain, though in return, he wants a favor of equal value. Neal puts a full stop to his asking price by demanding that he help for the right reasons rather than personal gain.
After Tinker Bell gains access into the perimeter of the encampment and the Lost Boys are put to sleep by Regina, neither Henry or Pan are found there. Instead, Neal frees Wendy and brings her back to camp to inquire about Henry. Forced to act on Pan's wishes, Wendy lies to them. Mr. Gold calls her out for not telling the truth. With some encouragement, Wendy opens up about Pan's real reason for needing Henry's heart, which is to save himself from dying and then become immortal. As a trade, Pan lives, but Henry will die. Before Mr. Gold sets off to stop Pan at Skull Rock, Emma tells Mary Margaret what he intends to do for David. By rowboat, Mr. Gold, Emma, Neal and Regina land on Skull Rock and enter to find a barrier, enacted to keep out anyone with a shadow, blocking their way. As Mr. Gold is the only one without a shadow, he is able to enter through. This fact surprises Neal, who had previously thought Mr. Gold was lying about ripping away his shadow. He goes up to the upper level with the box and faces a confrontation with Pan. Pan attempts a heartfelt father-to-son conversation with Mr. Gold to affirm he does indeed care for him. He asks Mr. Gold to choose him instead so they can start over, but this is met with refusal. In a twist, the box that Mr. Gold has is a fake while Pan possesses the real one. At once, he opens the box and successfully contains Mr. Gold within it. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")
Mr. Gold is trapped in the box until being freed by Neal aboard the Jolly Roger. Immediately, he asks for Henry's whereabouts, and learns the boy is safe. Neal sees his father truly cares about the well-being of Henry, and feels badly for not believing in him. When questioned about Pan being his father, Mr. Gold expresses fears that he turned out just like him by abandoning his own son and being selfish. Though Neal has always held a grudge against his father for that, he now recognizes Mr. Gold has changed for the better. They fly home on a sail powered by the Shadow. ("Save Henry")
- His name, Mr. Gold, is a reference to both the original fairytale and Mr. Gold's Enchanted Forest persona, in both, Rumplestiltskin is able to spin straw into gold.
- He has been called an imp, which references the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale.
- Like Rumplestiltskin, Mr. Gold treats names as important. In many cultures and some beliefs about magic, to know someone or something's "true name" gives you power over that person or thing.
- The surname "Gold" is of Old English origin derived from the word "gold" that was often used as an endearment or show of affection.
- On Twitter, episode writer Jane Espenson stated a first name has never been established for Mr. Gold.
- Has a noticeable limp and walks with a cane, much like he did before he was cursed with the Dark One's abilities—being in a world without magic, Mr. Gold is unable to use his powers to placate his disability.
- Has a few gold teeth.
- Greatly dislikes nuns. ("Dreamy")
- Owns and operates a pawn shop where he holds a number of objects from the Enchanted Forest.
- Is a licensed attorney, a quality which allows him to broker many of his Storybrooke deals, and alludes to having enough legal experience to represent Mary Margaret in a criminal trial. ("Heart of Darkness")
- Mr. Gold's name appears on the list Tamara has in "The Evil Queen".
|Once Upon a Time: Season One|
Is a Lonely
|"Fruit of the|
|Once Upon a Time: Season Two|
|Once Upon a Time: Season Three|
|"The Heart of|