Pawnshop owner (formerly)
|Hair color:||Brown streaked with grey|
|Portrayed by:||Robert Carlyle|
|Latest appearance:||"It's Not Easy Being Green"|
|Latest mention:||"The Jolly Roger"|
I'm a villain.... and villains don't get happy endings.
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 Dark Curse is cast, Mr. Gold becomes a pawnshop dealer and rent collector in the town of Storybrooke. He walks with a noticeable limp while carrying cane to support himself. A few days later, mayor Regina storms into his shop to express dissatisfaction with her life, so he inquisitively points her in the direction of Dr. Hopper's psychiatric office. Instead, Regina wants to speak with him about a deal they made in the previous land as it hasn't turned out as she wanted. Puzzled, Puzzled, Mr. Gold has no idea what she is talking about. When Regina expresses unhappiness, he doesn't see why since she's the most powerful woman in town as mayor. She explains how frustrating it is for everyone to submit to her will 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")
After eighteen years have passed, Regina requests Mr. Gold's assistance in finding a suitable child for her to adopt as the agencies she looked up all have long waiting lists. He questions if she is ready to be a mother, though Regina attests it's something she needs. Mr. Gold agrees to procure an infant, but advises once she becomes a mother, it means putting the child's interests before her own. In a short time, he informs her of a baby from Phoenix who was previously placed with a family in Boston, but the adoption did not go through, leaving her with the open opportunity. Much later, she bursts into the pawnshop carrying the baby, Henry, in a crib while angrily confronting him over something she learned about the child's birth mother, who was apparently found in the woods eighteen years ago. Mr. Gold understands even less when she starts rambling on about things he apparently told her in a previous life. He takes these furious outbursts as the pressures of motherhood getting to her head. ("Save Henry")
In ten years time, Mr. Gold heads into the bed and breakfast to collect the monthly rent from the owner, Granny, and meets a new town visitor, Emma. Upon hearing her name, he regains his memories from his former life as Rumplestiltskin. ("Pilot")
At night, Mr. Gold takes a stroll and ends up in Regina's backyard as she is tending to her apple tree. He congratulates her for being in high spirits for banishing Emma, to which Regina replies that she has triumphed. Even so, he tells her not to get ahead of herself because he saw Emma and Henry together. Mr. Gold states that he would have been able to help her for a price. Suspiciously, she inquiries if Emma arriving in town was something he planned, but Mr. Gold asks her to drop the subject 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 him if he ends the sentence with "please". Mr. Gold walks past as Regina is unable to disobey his command. ("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 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. 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 as she is going into labor. After bringing her to the hospital, she gives birth to a healthy baby girl. Mr. Gold comes to collect the child, but Emma promises to owe him a future favor if he will leave Ashley alone. He agrees to the deal and leaves the hospital empty-handed. ("The Price of Gold")
One evening, 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")
To prevent Regina from gaining the upper hand over him, Mr. Gold buries his magic dagger in the forest when he sees Sheriff Graham stumbling about. Graham tells him about the wolf and strange dreams he has been having. With a casual smile, Mr. Gold indirectly hints at Graham's previous life as the Huntsman by saying that some believe dreams are memories of a former life, which does nothing to calm the sheriff's nerves. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", "The Stranger")
After the sheriff's death, he offers Emma some of Graham's old things, which she declines. When he learns the mayor fired Emma, he brings over the town charter to her as it might help her contest Regina's decision to elect Sidney as the new town sheriff. Mr. Gold offers his assistance to Emma by becoming her benefactor. The next day, he purposely sets fire to the town hall building while Emma and Regina are inside. Emma carries Regina out from the danger and is branded a hero by the public. Mr. Gold is confronted by Emma with her suspicions about the fire. Emma plays right into his hand, beginning to feel guilt about winning the townspeople's favor through trickery, and at the electoral debate, she steps out of the running after publicly indicting Mr. Gold as the fire-starter. As planned, this is the exact path he wanted Emma to take so Regina would not gain the upper hand and become more powerful by setting Sidney as a puppet sheriff. He pays Emma a visit at the station the next morning to congratulate her on the victory, and lets her know everything was premeditated on his part. He explains the residents of Storybrooke had to see Emma is capable of standing up not only to the mayor, but himself, too. ("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 Mr. Gold's pawnshop in hopes that he recognizes a compass that once belonged to the siblings' mother. Mr. Gold pretends to take out a paper with the name of the item purchaser, though it is actually blank, but states a man named Michael Tillman bought it. This leads Emma directly to the orphans' biological father. ("True North")
On Valentine's Day, Mr. Gold is dissatisfied with Moe French's late rent fees, and takes away the man's flower delivery truck until he pays up. Regina attempts to start a conversation with Mr. Gold, but he dodges her with a well-placed "please". He returns home later in the day to see many of his home belongings are gone. He reports the robbery, to which Emma arrives to investigate. He relates what occurred with Moe earlier as a possible reason for the robbery. She manages to recover nearly everything, but Mr. Gold is furious that an item of utmost importance to him, the chipped cup, is still missing. Emma is unaware of which item is it, but promises to find it. However, Mr. Gold decides to take the matter into his own hands. That evening, he buys duct tape and rope from the pharmacy. While on line, he sees David is buying two Valentine's Day cards. Mr. Gold can tell each one is for a separate woman, though David lies. Briefly, he talks about love, which is a delicate flame that can snuffed out forever. Then, he kidnaps Moe into a van and brings him to an abandoned cabin for interrogation about the item's whereabouts. While physically beating him, Mr. Gold becomes emotional about the cup's significance, which is in memory of "her", and is enraged at the man for causing her downfall, though Moe has no idea what he is going on about. Emma breaks into the cabin to stop the assault. When she questions him about the "her" he kept talking about, his refusal to answer prompts Emma to arrest him for physical battery charges. While he is holed up in the sheriff department jail cell, Regina bribes Emma into spending free time with Henry while she speaks with Mr. Gold. Regina reveals she did indeed persuade Moe to rob him, but he did not take his precious belonging. She won't give it back unless he gives her an answer about his real name. At first, Mr. Gold sticks to the name he has always had in Storybrooke. When she presses further for a name he had in another place, Mr. Gold admits his name to be Rumplestiltskin. Satisfied with the answer, she hands back the cup and leaves. ("Skin Deep")
In a deal with Regina, Mr. Gold agrees to make David's wife, Kathryn, disappear so Mary Margaret will be blamed for murder if she pulls some strings for the District Attorney to drop the physical battery charges pending against him. Additionally, he gives Regina the suggestion that when Mary Margaret is arrested, she could slip a key in the cell for her to escape since bad things happen to those who leave Storybrooke. Just as Kathryn is driving out of town to Boston in pursuit of her dream in law school, he kidnaps her. In a room, she is kept alive with food and water, but he never allows himself to be seen by her. ("What Happened to Frederick", "The Stable Boy", "The Return")
A few days later, Mr. Gold is led out onto the docks by Leroy, who wants to sell his boat in exchange for five-thousand dollars. Mr. Gold is unimpressed by the asking price, and insists three-thousand dollars is more reasonable. As an alternative, Leroy requests waiving a month's rental payment for the nuns, though Mr. Gold gladly remarks that he wouldn't mind kicking them out of the convent for good. He refuses either deal with Leroy. ("Dreamy")
When Mary Margaret is arrested for the suspected murder of Kathryn, Mr. Gold offers to be her attorney. Emma is skeptical of his motives and advises Mary Margaret against trusting him. However, Mary Margaret knows that she will need all the help that she can get and accepts his help. He rejects money from Mary Margaret and simply claims that he is "invested in her future". Later, Emma relates to Mr. Gold her suspicions that Regina is framing Mary Margaret for Kathryn's murder. She is not only willing to do anything, but also go further, so Mr. Gold agrees to help her and concedes that fighting Regina and winning will be tough, but believes Emma is more powerful than she realizes. ("Heart of Darkness")
Regina follows through with Mr. Gold's advice and plants a key in Mary Margaret's cell. As he and Emma enter into the sheriff's station, Henry is sitting in the hallway and notifies them that Mary Margaret is gone. Emma goes on a search and successfully convinces Mary Margaret to return. The following morning, Regina is astonished to see Mary Margaret is still in the jail cell. To the mayor, Mr. Gold credits Emma's resourcefulness in the situation. Regina presses that their deal only occurred so she could get results. He assures that she will since Mary Margaret is still a murder suspect. Mr. Gold advocates to Emma that Mary Margaret's personality could get the charges dropped if the District Attorney sympathizes with the schoolteacher. In an interview with the District Attorney, Mary Margaret accidentally admits she "wanted Kathryn gone", which is taken as a murder confession. She is later taken away by the police for the trial, while Emma blames Mr. Gold for not trying harder to defend her. He asks her not to lose faith when there is still time for him to "work a little magic." Mr. Gold picks the perfect time to drug Kathryn and leave her unconscious at a field outside of town, to which she crawls all the way to the diner and is discovered by Emma. ("The Stable Boy")
Using Henry as a distraction, August tries to infiltrate Mr. Gold's back office in the pawnshop. Once caught, he feigns innocence, but Mr. Gold is suspicious. When news breaks about Kathryn being alive, Regina comes to him in a panic upon realizing all the fabricated evidence setting Mary Margaret up as a murder will point back to herself. She accuses him of breaking their deal since they both agreed "tragic" would happen to the woman. Mr. Gold attests Kathryn did suffer a terrible fate by being abducted, which fits the bill of their deal. He attends a party held in honor of Mary Margaret's return home. Emma has reason to suspect Mr. Gold was involved in Kathryn's kidnapping. Mr. Gold evades the probe by asking her if she thinks he is working with or against Regina. He questions her about August, but she knows nothing about him except that he's a writer. After leaving the party, he breaks into August's guest room at the bed and breakfast and is stunned to find a drawing of his magic dagger. At the nunnery, he spies on Mother Superior in deep conversation with August. Once Mother Superior is alone, he threatens the convent's status for information about what she and August spoke of. She acknowledges that August sought advice and counsel on how to approach his estranged father, whom he has not seen or spoken to in years. Shocked, Mr. Gold takes all this to mean August is possibly his long lost son. Anxious and unsure, he goes to talk with Dr. Hopper about how to approach his son. The doctor replies that, despite everything that may have happened between them, honesty is his best solution. Mr. Gold resignedly agrees. Mr. Gold catches up to August in the woods, and gives him an emotional apology. The two embrace as August forgives him and asks for the dagger as proof he's changed. He digs it out and gives it to August, who then tries to control him with it. Stunned, Mr. Gold quickly realizes this is not his son and threatens August until he coughs up a reason for trying to use the dagger as a cure for his own terminal illness. August demonstrates knowledge that a "little fairy" told him that getting Rumplestiltskin's magic was one of his two hopes for survival while the other option is to get the savior to believe in the curse, but did not think he was going to live long enough to see it happen. Mr. Gold decides to let him go, and relishes in the fact August is going to die anyway, but Emma believes in the curse, he himself will "get something out of it." ("The Stranger")
Regina comes into his pawnshop in a huff over her apple tree dying. He casually remarks that she should change her fertilizer, though they both know the real reason is because Emma's presence in town is causing the curse to slowly weaken over time. She desperately wants to get rid of Emma so Henry will be hers alone, but of course, there is a catch. Emma can't be killed, lest the curse will break, so she decides to use the Sleeping Curse on her. Regina returns later to gloat about her success in the plan. Mr. Gold heeds there will be a price to pay for the use of magic, which occurs when Henry, not Emma, takes a bite of Regina's poisoned apple turnover instead and is befallen by the Sleeping Curse. ("An Apple Red as Blood")
While Henry goes into a coma, Emma starts to believe in the curse. She and Regina team up and request Mr. Gold's help in the matter. He informs them about a true love potion capable of reviving Henry, which is hidden in the belly of a beast Emma must defeat, and gives her Prince Charming's old sword for the task. Despite this, Mr. Gold has a hidden agenda of his own. He gags Regina and tricks Emma into throwing up the potion. As he opens to check on the bottle in his shop, the entrance bell chimes, indicating a customer has arrived. Mr. Gold hastily tucks the potion away and turns around to see the one person he has long believed to be dead, Belle, standing before him. Apparently, she was told by someone that Mr. Gold would protect her, and informs him that Regina kept her locked up all this time. She does not recognize him in the least, but he breaks down in tears and hugs Belle while promising he will take care of her. She follows along as he brings her to the wishing well as the curse breaks. Belle's memories rush back as she affectionately calls him Rumplestiltskin and declares her love for him. At the mouth of the wishing well, he pours the true love potion into its waters. Suddenly, purple clouds erupts from the well as magic is brought to Storybrooke. ("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 Enchanted Forest selves. 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 a 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")
While Mr. Gold and Belle are having a hamburger lunch at Granny's Diner, Regina comes to inform him about Cora's presence in Storybrooke. He believes himself capable of handling Cora on his own, but Regina assures that their shared nemesis is a bigger threat to him now that he has someone that actually needs his protection—Belle. He joins David, Henry and Regina in the pawnshop. To Henry, Mr. Gold tells him about some squid ink in his old jail cell in the Enchanted Forest, which is capable of stopping Cora. In turn, he wants Henry to deliver this vital information to Aurora in the Netherworld. Henry tries to follow through with the task, but awakens since the connection with Aurora was cut off and she wasn't able to hear him. Upon discovering Henry is suffering from burns due to constantly returning to the Netherworld, David volunteers to be put under the Sleeping Curse and deliver the message. After Regina brews the curse, a spinning needle is dipped into the substance to enchant it. Lastly, Mr. Gold pricks David's finger on the spinning wheel and puts him under the curse. ("Into the Deep")
While David remains asleep, Mr. Gold convinces Regina that they should take steps to ensure Cora will not be able to make it through the portal to Storybrooke. At the mines, where all the magic diamonds reside, he absorbs their power via a wand. Next, they head to the designated site of the soon-to-be open portal, the well, and Mr. Gold uses the wand to create a trap that ensures the death of whomever tries to cross through. Henry arrives to witness what has been already been done, and while he pleads for Regina to stop it, Mr. Gold easily uses magic to render Ruby unconscious when she tries to get in his way. Regina relents to her son's wishes, lifting the barrier, just as Emma and Mary Margaret make it out of the well. Seeing as things are settled, Mr. Gold promptly leaves after removing the magic he cast on Ruby and heads back to the pawnshop. While David is awoken with Mary Margaret's kiss of true love, Mr. Gold is accused by Emma of pulling strings from the beginning; considering the name parchment found in his old jail cell. Mr. Gold states that Emma isn't his creation and only made use of who and what she is—the product of true love. She also asks about why Cora, when the witch had attempted to earlier on, couldn't pull out her heart. He reasons that it is because of the magic within Emma. ("Queen of Hearts")
In the aftermath of the "murder" of Archie, Mr. Gold and Belle are ready to set off for a picnic lunch when David, Emma and Mary Margaret arrive to the pawnshop needing his help to see if Regina is truly to blame for the death. Emma pegs him as a suspect, but he denies any involvement. He cooperates by giving her a dream catcher to extract the memory of Archie's dog, Pongo, who was the only one present in the office when his owner was killed. With a brief look into the dream catcher, Emma gains irrefutable proof that Regina murdered Archie, though all remain unaware that another person is actually responsible. ("The Cricket Game")
Mr. Gold continues to make potions to find one that will enable him to cross the town line without losing his memory. He tests his latest concoction on Smee by pouring the potion on the man's most treasured possession—a red hat—and then forcing him across the line. The potion is a great success, and he later tells Belle about his plans to leave town and scour for his son. He intends to use the potion on Baelfire's shawl and wear it to keep his memory intact. Regrettably, he only has enough potion to travel out of Storybrooke alone, so Belle cannot come with him. Later in the day, Mr. Gold receives a panicked phone call from Belle, who is hiding in the library elevator due to a madman attacking her. He leaves the pawnshop to save her and learns the man is his long-time enemy, Hook. Mr. Gold tells her about how Hook stole his wife, but neglects to confess the matter in which he himself caused his former spouse's death. They return to the pawnshop, discovering the shawl gone, to which a furious Mr. Gold sets out to track down Hook and retrieve the item. Before going, he hands Belle a loaded gun, in case she needs it, and instructs her to lock herself in the library. On the street, he apprehends Smee, though the man has no idea where Hook is. Even so, he turns him into a rat as punishment. Mr. Gold eventually finds Hook's ship and boards it just as the pirate and Belle are having a confrontation. In a fury, he beats Hook to a bloody pulp, but only stops at Belle's plea. They leave with the retrieved shawl and go towards the town line. There, Mr. Gold passes the town line with the shawl, enchanted with the potion, and begins saying goodbye to Belle when a gunshot is fired by Hook. Belle takes the hit on her shoulder, toppling over the line and into Mr. Gold's arms, but loses her memory. Angered beyond belief, he prepares to throw a fireball at Hook when a car crashes into Storybrooke. While he rolls himself and Belle away from the vehicle, Hook collides with the car. ("The Outsider")
Immediately after, Mr. Gold magically heals Belle's injuries, but this only confuses the terrified and amnesiac woman. Emma and her parents soon arrive to assess the damages. Mr. Gold tries to choke Hook, though David quickly stops him. Once Belle is taken into the hospital, he shows up in pursuit of her, but is denied any further entry when David and Leroy block his way. He puts up a struggle until Dr. Whale calms everyone down. Later, Mr. Gold visits an asleep Belle in her hospital room and tries using true love's kiss. She awakens in a screaming frenzy, still without her memory, to which a saddened Mr. Gold leaves. In the hallway, Dr. Whale updates everyone on the condition of the stranger who crashed his car into town. Since the man is bleeding internally, Dr. Whale is unsure what to do and asks Mr. Gold for magical assistance. Mr. Gold refuses, as he doesn't owe anyone anything, and suggests it'd be best if the outsider died so magic won't be exposed. Returning to the pawnshop, he looks longingly at the chipped cup when a box appears. Cora enters and offers him the contents of the box, a magical globe, with the capacity to find his son. He accepts the item and gives Cora what she wants—Regina's current whereabouts. They also agree to a truce, which she mischievously seals by kissing Mr. Gold, who is visibly shocked by her action. In another attempt to bring back Belle's memory, he enchants the chipped cup and repeatedly insists that she concentrate on it. She becomes agitated by his request, eventually hurling the cup against the wall, where it smashes into pieces. Heartbroken, he leaves once more. Mr. Gold moves along with his search for Baelfire by pricking his finger and letting a drop of blood fall onto the globe, which pinpoints his son's location in New York. Recalling that Emma still owes him a favor, he shows up at her family's apartment demanding that she fulfill it by leaving for New York by noon tomorrow. Ominously, Mr. Gold warns that if Belle is hurt while he is gone, they will all pay with their lives. ("In the Name of the Brother")
Mr. Gold returns to the apartment to collect Emma and learns that Henry will also be going. He dislikes her plan, but Emma refuses to leave Henry in Storybrooke with Cora running loose. As they drive out of town, the shawl protects Mr. Gold, as expected, and keeps his memories intact. While going through security at the airport in Boston, Mr. Gold is told that he must put the shawl and cane so it can be scanned. Terrified of losing his memories, he refuses until Emma promises she will keep it from happening. After complying, he feels his memories slipping, but they return once Emma returns the shawl to him. As they wait at their departure gate, Mr. Gold enters a restroom stall, and in a fit of rage caused by his earlier nervousness, he pounds a toilet roll dispenser until cutting his knuckle, but is not able to heal using magic. Finally, the trio board the plane and await take-off. Mr. Gold, however, continues to act jittery, though Emma assures him that they will find his son. ("Tiny")
Mr. Gold, Emma and Henry take a cab to Manhattan and step out in front of an apartment complex. They go inside and look through a list of resident names and room numbers, but he isn't able to discern which one is his son. Emma, using instinct, buzzes room number 407 that doesn't have a listed name. When the intercom switches on, she pretends to be a UPS delivery person, but suddenly, the line goes dead. They hear a shuffling sound and hurry outside to see a hooded man climbing down the fire escape and later take off running. Mr. Gold pleads for Emma to follow in pursuit and to make his son talk to him. While she is gone, he and Henry spend some time together. Henry is certain that no matter what happened between Mr. Gold and Baelfire, all that matters is he is here and wants his son back. Emma comes back, stating that his son got away, but that is not an answer he is willing to settle for. Mr. Gold breaks into his son's apartment; where Emma's peculiar behavior towards a dream catcher causes him to realize she knows something that he doesn't. As things get tense, Emma sends Henry out of the room. Her refusal to answer causes him to raise his voice and make threats, which is halted once Baelfire, or Neal, bursts in to stop it. Neal demands that Mr. Gold leave his apartment and Emma tries to intervene, but he doesn't relent. Hearing his son call Emma by her name, Mr. Gold realizes the two know each other. Before either can explain, Henry wanders in calling for his mother, Emma. Mr. Gold discovers that his son and Emma were together at some point in the past, and Henry is their son, but she never told Neal until now. Emma follows an upset Henry to the fire escape while Mr. Gold and Neal talk. Mr. Gold wants to make up for lost time by reverting him to fourteen years old, but the idea disturbs Neal. Though he asks for another chance to prove himself to be the father Neal once loved, his son bitterly recalls the unforgettable memory of when his father let him go into the portal. Neal coldly states that this time he will be the one letting his father go; much to Mr. Gold's distress and pain. ("Manhattan")
As Neal gets to know Henry better, Mr. Gold and Emma awkwardly trail after the pair as they walk the streets of New York. During a pizza stop, Mr. Gold asks Emma to convince Neal to come back to Storybrooke. She refuses as her one favor to him is already done. However, he attempts to show her how messy it will be if Henry, longing for his father, could leave Storybrooke just to find Neal. Emma defends her decision in not telling Henry that his father is Neal, believing she lied to protect him, but Mr. Gold compares her likeness to Regina. Once Henry and Neal have sated their pizza craving, the foursome head back to the apartment with plans of going to the museum next. Mr. Gold and Emma are left behind to wait in the apartment lobby when Hook shows up out of nowhere. Once Emma is thrown aside by Hook, the pirate pins Mr. Gold in place and stabs him with a hook coated in poison. Hook spews his hatred for him for taking away his happiness—Milah—and will now exact vengeance by taking Mr. Gold's life. As the killing blow is nearly dealt, Emma knocks Hook out. Neal hurries back, aghast at Mr. Gold's injury, and recognizes Hook. Mr. Gold is moved up to the apartment for resting, though he himself knows the poison is incurable. Emma proposes the only way to save him is to get back to Storybrooke, where magic exists, as soon as possible. Since Hook's ship is the quickest vehicle, 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. At the pawnshop, he has Emma draw a barrier using invisible chalk. Mr. Gold also uses Mary Margaret's disdain for Cora to his advantage by presenting her with the enchanted candle, which is capable of taking a person's life in exchange for another. Though the candle typically works if the victim's name is spoken over the same person's body, the sacrifice's heart will do the job as well. Mr. Gold suggests saying the spell over Cora's heart and placing the organ back into her body to cause death. Mary Margaret toys with the idea of controlling Cora via the heart and making her kill Mr. Gold so both problems are solved. As opportunity would have it, Mr. Gold chooses to disclose his new-found patriarchal link as Henry's grandfather, and that the boy wouldn't like it if his grandmother, Mary Margaret, killed him. As Mary Margaret leaves, he teaches Emma how to enact a barrier spell around the building, though it is quickly torn down by the combined forces of Cora and Regina. Emma creates another barrier when she and Neal hide in the backroom in the pawnshop as a last line of defense to protect an ailing Mr. Gold. Accepting death, Mr. Gold phones Belle, describing her as the person he knows—a hero who helped her people, a beautiful woman who loved an ugly man, and a person who sees good in those without good. After hanging up, he and Neal reconcile as father and son. Cora crumbles the barrier, teleporting Emma and Neal away, before sauntering up to her victim. In his last moment, Mr. Gold questions if she ever truly loved him. Cora acknowledges her love for him, but states that he was her weakness, and ultimately the reason she took out her own heart. She prepares to plunge the dagger into him, but is interrupted by Regina pushing the heart into her chest. Moments later, Cora perishes in Regina's arms as Mr. Gold's chest wound heals completely. At first, Regina blames him for her mother's demise until realizing Mary Margaret is the real culprit. ("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 an 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")
Following a safe journey out of Neverland to Storybrooke, he and Neal have a joyous reunion with Belle at the dock. Neal hands him his trusty old cane, which Mr. Gold affirms is a reminder of the man he used to be, but not anymore. Peace resumes as Mr. Gold seals the box away in the pawnshop. Belle brings up the endless possibilities of his future now that everything is settled. Mr. Gold agrees, and states that the only future he wants is where they are together. The next morning, he drops by the diner to give David the elixir. Mr. Gold doesn't ask for anything in return, though notes that they are now family, so perhaps David will help him in the future. That same day, Mr. Gold exits his shop with Belle just as David, Emma and Mary Margaret rush over to ask for the box as they believe Pan is controlling the escaped Shadow from inside it. At the outside of the town border, Emma steps over the line as Mr. Gold opens the box to release Pan on the same side as her. Pan claims to be Henry, as the two switched bodies, and proves it by telling Emma something only the boy himself would know. They all regroup with Hook, Neal and Tinker Bell at the vault where Regina took "Henry" for protection, though the door is locked. Mr. Gold busts the door open with magic. Inside, Regina is found unconscious while one critical item is missing and now in Pan's hands--the Dark Curse. ("The New Neverland")
Mr. Gold shares with everyone of the only viable way to stop Pan's curse is for Regina, as the original caster of the Dark Curse, to undo it by destroying the scroll, though there will be a steep price for this. They plan to switch Henry back to his own body so he will be in possession of the scroll and bring it to Regina. Mr. Gold can perform the spell, but needs a strong outlet in order for it to work. Tinker Bell has knowledge of a powerful Black Fairy wand that Mother Superior kept, so she, David, Hook and Neal go to retrieve it from the convent nuns. David, Hook and Neal arrive back with the wand. Before getting started, Mr. Gold clasps a bracelet on Henry, which will absorb away Pan's magic, after their bodies are switched back. Henry's spirit travels out of Pan into his body, to which everyone goes to find him while Mr. Gold stays behind. When Pan finally awakens, Mr. Gold gives him a chance to express remorse. Pan disdainfully blames him for stealing away everything he ever wanted; whether it be his dreams, money, time and even hopes of bettering himself. Mr. Gold prepares to kill him with a sword, but Pan rips off the bracelet and materializes it on the older man's wrist. He is then magically thrown into a shelf as Pan taunts him about being a coward once more without his magic to hide behind. Pan stalks off to reclaim the Dark Curse scroll while Mr. Gold tries, without success, to take off the bracelet. In frustration, he almost decides to cut off his own hand, but then apprehends Pan while everyone else is frozen by a spell. Mr. Gold affirms to Belle and Neal how much he loves them, but can't be together with them. As a last line of defense, he summons his Shadow, who previously hid away the dagger, and stabs Pan as well as himself with it. Pan melts away in darkened smoke as Malcolm takes his place. He ignores his father's attempts to stop him, even when Malcolm insists they can start over as a family. Mr. Gold attests that he himself is a villain, and as such, can't have a happy ending. He twists the dagger to embed deeper into both their puncture wounds as a golden light erupts from the blade. The two are showered in the glow and disappear as Mr. Gold plants an affectionate kiss on Malcolm's cheek. ("Going Home")
For events occurring before the casting of the new curse, see Rumplestiltskin.
Prior to the casting of the new curse by Zelena, Neal is tricked into resurrecting Mr. Gold by opening the vault of the Dark One and trading his own life for his father's. Mr. Gold, then as Rumplestiltskin, absorbed Neal into his own body to keep him alive. Consequentially, the Dark One's dagger ends up in the hands of the Wicked Witch of the West, who later assumes the identity Zelena. Imprisoned by her, Mr. Gold is kept in a farmhouse cellar. As a direct result of having two minds in one body, he begins acting erratically in a crazed Rumplestiltskin-like behavior. When Zelena brings a plate of food, Mr. Gold grabs her arm and warns that she should have never brought him back. She laughs, stating that they have work to do, and leaves. Alone, he repeatedly recites, "You feed the madness and it feeds on you!" and laughs hysterically. ("Witch Hunt", "Quiet Minds")
In passing, he frantically spins straw into gold with a mantra of cleaning his mind and soothing the soul, which his captor mocks him about. Zelena's taunts anger Mr. Gold, to which she unlocks his cell and enters; daring him to harm her. As much as he would like to, Zelena is in full control of him with the Dark One's Dagger in her possession. When ordered to sit down, he assumes Zelena is going to stab him with the dagger and become the new Dark One, but instead, she gives him a facial shave by using the weapon as a razor. Claiming that she needs him to keep up appearances, Mr. Gold later questions if that were so, it would make more sense if he is given a new shirt. Admitting little, Zelena only states that she is after something he has spent a lifetime waiting for. While still jailed, Mr. Gold breaks out of the cellar, leaving the floor littered with his spun gold. ("The Tower")
Following his daring escape, Mr. Gold disappears into the forest. Despite that he feels the pull of Zelena's command via the dagger, Neal helps him resist her. While heading to the pawnshop, Neal assumes control of the body and collapses. While he is resting up at the hospital, Belle begins looking into a strange marking on his palm. Once Neal leaves for the forest, he becomes dormant in the body as Mr. Gold re-manifests. Unable to quiet Neal's extra voice in his head, Mr. Gold screams in agony; alerting David and Emma to him. When a flying monkey attacks, intent on returning Mr. Gold to Zelena, he flees. Emma chases after him, but doesn't see him revert to Neal. With Belle's research, Emma discovers he and his father are sharing the same body, and she magically separates them. Mr. Gold, having gained his sanity back, tells her the Wicked Witch's true name, Zelena. As Neal's time nearly runs out, he thanks his father for showing him what it means to make a true sacrifice for loved ones. Heartbroken, Mr. Gold reaffirms his love for him as Neal responds with similar sentiments before passing away peacefully. Emma leaves to track down the Wicked Witch, but Mr. Gold is unable to leave his son's side until Zelena herself comes along to drag him back to the farmhouse cellar. ("Quiet Minds")
While a public funeral is held for Neal, Mr. Gold remains caged. When asked by Zelena if his son was worth the trouble of casting the curse, Mr. Gold assures her it was because Neal is family; something she could never understand. To the townspeople, Zelena outs herself as Regina's half-sister and challenges her sibling to a showdown on Main Street. Hoping to win Mr. Gold away from Zelena's influence, Belle enters the cellar to coax him into leaving with her. Just as Mr. Gold reaches for Belle's hand, he alerts her to Zelena's presence in the room; sending the girl running out of the cellar. He is then forced to deliver a message from Zelena to Belle's allies warning them to not interfere again or risk paying with their lives. After nightfall, Mr. Gold accompanies his captor to the face-off. Emma's attempts to goad the witch into a fight, though Zelena has Mr. Gold fling her opponent away. Regina arrives, with Zelena attempting to steal her heart, but the witch departs upon discovering it is hidden elsewhere. Locked up once more, Mr. Gold spitefully attests that even if he had to choose again, Regina would still be his choice as the curse caster. Gleefully, Zelena reveals her master plan to him of resetting the past so he'd be forced to choose differently. ("It's Not Easy Being Green")
- 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 in reference to 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.
- On Twitter, episode writer Jane Espenson stated a first name has never been established for Mr. Gold.
- The surname "Gold" is of Old English origin derived from the word "gold" that was often used as an endearment or show of affection.
- He 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 Land Without Magic, Mr. Gold is unable to use his powers to placate his disability. However once magic was brought to Storybrooke in "A Land Without Magic", he no longer needed it, but chose to keep using it.
- He has a few gold teeth.
- He greatly dislikes nuns. ("Dreamy")
- Owns and operates a pawn shop where a number of objects from the Enchanted Forest are kept.
- Mr. Gold is a licensed attorney, a quality which allows him to broker many of his Storybrooke deals. He alludes to having enough legal experience to represent Mary Margaret in a criminal trial. ("Heart of Darkness")
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