Once Upon a Time

Desperate Souls

Series 1 - Episode 8 Desperate Souls



Storybrooke needs a new sheriff, and although by rights Emma should get the job, Mayor Regina has other ideas. But Emma finds an unusual ally in Mr Gold, which gives the series the perfect chance to explore how his fairy-tale self, Rumpelstiltskin, got to become such a devious, evil manipulator.

It’s a sorry story, with blatant Lord of the Rings overtones, but Robert Carlyle relishes every moment. Then again, which actor wouldn’t enjoy the opportunity to display so many aspects of human weakness, from cowardice to the lust for power and sheer, plain nastiness? And there’s a neat cameo from everyone’s favourite weirdo, Brad Dourif.


Emma's hopes of becoming sheriff are dashed when Mayor Regina appoints Sidney Glass, but then she receives an unexpected offer of help from Mr Gold. She already owes him one favour - is it wise to become even more indebted to him? As their campaign begins, the story of Rumpelstiltskin's humble beginnings is revealed in the fairy-tale realm.

Cast & Crew

Mary Margaret Blanchard Ginnifer Goodwin
Emma Swan Jennifer Morrison
Regina Mills Lana Parrilla
David Nolan Josh Dallas
Henry Mills Jared Gilmore
Archie Hopper Raphael Sbarge
Rumpelstiltskin/Mr Gold Robert Carlyle
Old beggar Brad Dourif
Sidney Glass Giancarlo Esposito
Granny Beverley Elliott
Hordor Ty Olsson
Ruby Meghan Ory
Baelfire Dylan Schmid
Miss Ginger Patti Allan
Mother Kate Bateman
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