|"The Price of Gold"|
|Season 01, Episode 04|
|Premiere date:||November 13, 2011|
|Written by:||David H. Goodman|
|Directed by:||David Solomon|
|Previous Episode:||"Snow Falls"|
|Next Episode:||"That Still Small Voice"|
"The Price of Gold" is the fourth episode of Season One of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by David H. Goodman and directed by David Solomon. It is the fourth episode of the series overall, and premiered on November 13, 2011.
Cinderella's stepmother and her stepsisters are going to a ball. The Fairy Godmother appears to Cinderella and tells her that although her stepmother has said she cannot go, she is going to go anyway. However, immediately after this, the Fairy Godmother explodes in an horrendous, yet amazing display of fire.
She is swiftly incinerated, and Rumplestiltskin appears and grabs her magic wand. Cinderella shouts in despair, saying he has just killed her Fairy Godmother, and that the wand is pure magic. He replies that the wand is pure evil and that he has just saved her. Cinderella asks if he knows how to use the wand.
He tells her all magic comes with a price. She tells Rumplestiltskin that she will do anything to have her life change for the better. He tells her that if she can shoulder the consequences he will give her what she wants, in exchange for a favor. Cinderella tells him that she will give him anything if he can get her out of her present life of misery. He agrees to do this, for a price: she must give him something of hers, something to be decided upon by him at a later date, and taken by him sometime in the future. He makes her sign a contact agreeing to his terms. After this, he waves the wand, and she has a beautiful ball gown and glass slippers. He wishes that she has a good time, but tells her to watch the clock.
Back in Storybrooke, Henry and Emma are walking down the streets of Storybrooke. Emma drops Henry off at his school bus, and Sheriff Graham shows up, siren blaring. He thanks Emma for helping to find David Nolan and offers her a job as a deputy. He asks her to think about it.
Emma heads to the diner for hot chocolate and meets with Regina who wants to know how her walk with Henry went. Regina tells Emma that her presence in town no longer worries her, because Emma has a history of not staying anywhere for very long. Regina knows that Emma is living with Mary Margaret, but believes that Emma will not change her transient life.
After Regina leaves, Emma drops the hot chocolate all over herself. She heads to the laundry room in the restaurant to wash her clothes. She meets a pregnant girl named Ashley Boyd who tells her that her baby could come any day. She tells Emma that no one thinks she can take care of the baby, because she is only 19. Emma tells her the choice is hers, because only can she decide what she wants.
Mr. Gold is leaving his pawnbroker shop. Once the coast is clear, Ashley puts a brick through the window of his shop. She finds a wall safe, but Mr. Gold walks in, discovers her, and asks her what she is doing. She tells him that she is changing her life, and she then sprays pepper spray into his eyes and takes the key for the safe from his belt.
Regina is telling Henry that she does not enjoy council meetings. Regina tells Henry that under no circumstances can he leave the house. Henry watches her leave and then gets his bag. He is clearly leaving the house.
Mary Margaret and Emma are eating, and Mr. Gold comes to see Emma. He tells Emma that he has a proposition for her, as he is looking for someone. Mary Margaret leaves them alone, and Mr. Gold gives Emma a picture of Ashley. Emma asks why he does not go to the police, and he says he does not want to ruin her life. He just wants something back she has of his. Mr. Gold begs her to help him, because he does not want to see Ashley’s baby born in jail.
Henry bursts in the door and sees Mr. Gold. Mr. Gold wishes Emma good luck as he leaves. Henry asks Emma if she knows who that was, since he has had a hard time trying to figure out who Mr. Gold's fairytale counterpart is.
Emma tells Henry that Ashley is pregnant and desperate, and she has to find her. Henry wants to help her look, because he wants to spend time with Emma.
Cinderella and Prince Thomas are watching the fireworks held to celebrate their wedding. Snow White and Prince Charming are at the wedding, and Snow White compliments Cinderella, because she is an inspiration that anyone can change their life.
Rumplestiltskin shows up and tells Cinderella that he is proud of her as well. He asks if she has gotten everything that she desired, and Cinderella immediately asks what his price is. He tells her it is something she does not possess yet, but it is something that is coming, her first born.
Cinderella is in her room packing a bag, when Thomas, comes in and asks her where she is going. Cinderella tells him she is pregnant, and he wonders why this has upset her. Cinderella tells him of the deal she made with Rumplestiltskin, that she would give him her first born child. She tells her husband that she is going to lose everything, as Rumplestiltskin is too powerful. Thomas tells her that they will make another deal.
Emma is questioning Ruby about Ashley. Ruby tells Emma that she has a step-mother and two step-sisters; all of which she does not talk to. She tells Emma that Ashley is really trying to put her life back together. Emma heads over to Sean Herman, Ashley’s ex, who is Thomas's real world counterpart. Sean's father comes out and tells Emma that he is not going to let his son ruin his life, and that he made a deal with Ashley that she would give up her child. He tells Emma that he found someone who will pay her very well for the baby. Emma realizes it is Mr. Gold who has bought the baby.
Henry is telling Emma that she cannot make Ashley break a deal with Mr. Gold. Emma and Henry head to the restaurant to see Ruby, and Emma is upset, because Ruby did not tell her that Ashley sold the baby. Emma realizes that Ruby gave Ashley her car. Emma asks Ruby to tell her where Ashley is so that she does not have to deal with Mr. Gold alone. Ruby tells her that Ashley left half an hour ago for Boston, because she believe that she can disappear there.
In the Enchanted Forest, Cinderella, Thomas, Charming, and the dwarves are in a cave where they have set up a prison in which they are planning to trap Rumplestiltskin. They have sent a message to Rumplestiltskin telling him that the doctor has heard two heartbeats, thus they have to make a new deal. They show her a red feather quill which has a spell put on it so that anyone who signs with it will be frozen in time.
Emma and Henry are driving, when they see Ruby's car crashed and deserted at the town line. They hear screaming and find Ashley on the grassy side of the road having contractions.
Emma and Henry help Ashley into the car and drive back to the hospital. Ashley is distressed and frightened that Mr. Gold is going to take her child. Emma tells her that if she wants her baby she must grow up.
Back to the Enchanted Forest, Cinderella is meeting Rumplestiltskin and tells him she wants to alter the bargain. He tells her that is not what he does, she lies and tells him she's having twins. He asks her if she wants to give up both. She tells him that her husband is having problems, as the lands are poor and they cannot feed their people. She tells him that she can have more children, but she cannot make their lands fertile. She tells Rumplestiltskin that, if he signs on the dotted line and makes their lands fertile, he can have both children.
Rumplestiltskin reminds her that: the only way to stop him is with magic, all magic comes with a price, and if she imprisons him she will be even more in dept to him. He takes the quill and signs the contract, and he is frozen. He tells her that no one breaks deals with him and assures her that, no matter where she goes, he will have her baby one day.
In the current time, Henry tells Emma that she is different, because she is the only one that can leave Storybrooke. Henry tells her that she is the savior, and she can do anything she wants. The nurse comes to tell Emma that the baby is born, and the new baby girl and mother are doing fine. Mr. Gold shows up and thanks Emma for finding his baby.
Cinderella tells Thomas she is so happy, because she thought she would have to go back to her old life. Thomas tells Cinderella that as long as he is alive nothing will happen to her. Cinderella starts to feel sick and Thomas runs to get water for her from the well. She calls Thomas to come back since she feels fine now, but when he does not respond she goes to the well and finds nothing but his cape. Cinderella confronts Rumplestiltskin, and demands to know where her husband has disappeared to. Rumplestiltskin reminds her that all magic comes with a price. He tells her she will not find her husband, until the price is paid from the original deal they made.
Mr. Gold is speaking to Emma, and she wants to know why he called a baby his merchandise. He tells her that if anyone could understand why someone would give up a baby she should. Emma tells him that he is not getting the baby, and he tells her that if the deal is not met, he will simply call the police, and the baby will end up in the system.
Emma tells Mr. Gold that she is willing to go to court and testify against him, and that she doubts that the contract will hold up in court. Mr. Gold realizes that he cannot bluff Emma. Emma asks him to tear the contract up. He tells her it is not what he does. Mr. Gold then offers a proposition; if he lets Ashley have the baby, would Emma be willing to give him a favor, in the future. Emma agrees. Mr. Gold is the only one beside Henry who seems to understand that Emma is very special, because she is the daughter of Snow White.
Emma goes to visit Ashley who tells her that the baby's name is Alexandra. Emma tells her that she has taken care of Mr. Gold, as she has made a deal with him.
Emma realizes that it is almost 5 PM, and she has to take Henry home, because his mother will be expecting him. Emma tells Henry that she has decided that her code name is Pumpkin in honor of Cinderella. Henry tells her that he has a better one, but is not sure she is ready to hear it yet.
She lets Henry off and he runs up the stairs, just as his mom gets home. Regina storms up the stairs and tells him not to leave his shoes lying on the stairs, as someone could get hurt.
Sean shows up at the hospital to see Ashley and the baby and tells her he is back. He brought a present for the baby, a pair of slippers and Ashley tells him "they're perfect".
Emma calls Graham and asks whether the deputy job is still open. She wonders if Regina is going to be happy about this, but Graham is not concerned. Meanwhile, Regina is seen dressing and leaving someone's house, which is alluded to be Graham's house. She speaks to him as he is in the shower, revealing he and Regina are having an affair.
Regina Mills: People don't change. They only fool themselves into believing they can.
Emma Swan: People are going to tell you who you are your whole life. You just got to punch back and say, "no, this is who I am." You want people to look at you differently? Make them. You want to change things? You're going to have to go out there and change them yourself, because there are no fairy godmothers in this world.
Prince Charming: Rumplestiltskin is the most dangerous man in all the realms. He needs his own special prison, so we converted the mines to hold him.
Cinderella: But how will we get him here? He's eluded all forever.
Grumpy: His strength is also his weakness: his deals. He can't resist making them, and we already know who he wants to deal with next: you.
Henry Mills: (to Emma) You're the savior. You can do whatever you want.
Emma: You know, no jury will put a woman in jail whose only reason for breaking and entering was to keep her child. I'm willing to roll the dice that contract stands up. Are you? Not to mention what might come out about you in the process. Somehow I suspect that there's more to you than a simple pawnbroker. You really want to start that fight?
Mr. Gold: I like you, Miss Swan. You're not afraid of me, and that either cocky or presumptuous. Either way, I'd rather have you on my side.
Mr. Gold: So, I put it to you now. If you want Ashley to have that baby, are you willing to make a deal with me?
Emma: What do you want?
Mr. Gold: Oh, I don't know just yet. You'll owe me a favor.
- The opening titlecard features Cinderella's Fairy Godmother.
- According to the photo Ashley that is shown to Emma by Mr. Gold, the bottom right timestamp indicates she broke into his pawnshop at approximately 9:23 p.m.
- According to Emma, Boston is four hours away from Storybrooke.
- Sean and Mitchell reside at house number 431.
- The Enchanted Forest flashbacks showing Cinderella's contract with Rumplestiltskin is estimated to take place after the events of "The Shepherd" and before the estimated events of Grumpy's attempt to win Nova back as mentioned in "7:15 A.M." and the events of "Snow Falls". The actual wedding of Cinderella to Prince Thomas and Rumplestiltskin's request to have her first born child is estimated to occur after Pinocchio's transformation into a real human boy, and several months before Snow White becomes pregnant and the prophecy of the savior of the Dark Curse is given.(For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- The Storybrooke events occur after the past events of "Snow Falls" and before the present-day events of "That Still Small Voice".(For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- How Rumplestiltskin procured the location of the Fairy Godmother is explained in the events of "The Shepherd".
- The fate of the Fairy Godmother's wand is seen in "Queen of Hearts".
- Rumplestiltskin's reference of fairy magic being "pure evil" alludes to a past occurrence in his life that caused him to hate fairies as shown in the events of "The Return".
- Rumplestiltskin's desire to acquire Cinderella's first born child as part of a signed contract is not the first time he has ever asked for such a request; with the same incident occurring previously in the events of "The Miller's Daughter".
- Regina's mention of the place in which Emma has stayed longest being two years is further explored in "Tallahassee".
- Briefly seen in Mr. Gold's shop, the unicorn mobile is the same one Snow White and Prince Charming used in their baby nursery in "Pilot" and the male and female puppets' origins are explained in "That Still Small Voice".
- The favor Emma ends up owing Mr. Gold is fulfilled in the events of "Manhattan".
- Emma's baby blanket which Mary Margaret appears to recognize is the same one that Granny was knitting in "Pilot".
- Several allusions to Disney's 1950 film Cinderella such as the iconic glass slippers, a fairy godmother, prince and Cinderella herself.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode is a rendition of the Cinderella fairytale, focusing on Cinderella's journey from rags to royalty with the help of a fairy godmother.
- It is also a rendition of the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale, deriving from Rumplestiltskin's desire to acquire a child as part of a specific deal.
- This episode features Snow White, Prince Charming and one of the dwarves from the Snow White fairytale.
- Henry drops behind a shoe when hurrying up the staircase much like how Cinderella did the same going down the stairs when leaving the ball.
- Henry is reading the Marvel comic Ultimate Wolervine vs. Hulk #1.
- In Mary Margaret's apartment, the wall clock reads as "5:50 A.M.", which is impossible considering the bright daylight in the previous scene as well as Regina's mention to Henry she will be back before noon, indicates the clock is set at the wrong time.
- When Henry lays on his bed, he crosses one leg over the other. In the next shot, his legs are parallel to each other.
- In this episode, Regina only notes the longest place Emma stayed in is Tallahassee. In the book, she counts off Phoenix, Nashville, Tallahassee and Boston when confronting Emma about her habitual past of moving around constantly.
- Sean and Mitchell's residence is on Randolph Street.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 http://www.thefutoncritic.com/listings/20111024abc07/
- ↑ http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/11/15/tv-ratings-broadcast-top-25-sunday-night-football-big-bang-theory-top-week-8-among-adults-18-49/110673/
- ↑ http://onceuponatime.wikia.com/wiki/File:104AshleyBoyd.jpg
- ↑ Beane, Odette. Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale - Page 88. New York: Hyperion, 2013. Print.
- ↑ Beane, Odette. Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale - Page 94. New York: Hyperion, 2013. Print.