Once Upon a Time

Season 1 Episode 12

Skin Deep

20
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Feb 12, 2012 on ABC

Episode Recap

Sir Maurice has gathered his men to figure out a way to thwart the army of ogres that are bearing down on their town. Among those gathered are Maurice's daughter and her fiancée, Gaston. They wonder where the one they have summoned to help them is, and Belle says that he might be on their way. There is a knock at the door but when they go to answer it, no one is there. However, their awaited visitor, Rumplestiltskin, is seated on Maurice's throne. He assures them that he can save them, but has no need for gold. What Rumplestiltskin wants is Belle, who will serve him all her days as a caretaker for his estate. They tell him to get out, but Belle steps forward and says that she will do it for the good of their town. When Maurice insists that she can't go with the beast, Belle tells him and the others that it has been decided.

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Gold and his bodyguard, Mr. Dove, arrive to collect on a loan made by Moe French (Sir Maurice, in the fairy tale world). When French doesn't have the money, Gold has Dove take the man's van, despite the fact that it is Valentine's Day in twenty-four hours. As Gold walks away, Regina comes over and asks to talk to him. Gold tells her that that he has nothing to say to him unless she has a secret of her that she wishes to discuss.

At the diner, Mary Margaret is having a whispered conversation with David. Ruby isn't fooled, and neither is Emma when she comes in to ask Mary Margaret how Henry is doing now that she can't see him. The teacher assures Emma that when people are supposed to be together, they find a way. Ashley comes in with her baby and admits that she hasn't had time to get married to Sean yet, and he's been working double-shifts at the cannery. Ruby overhears them talking and suggests that they all go out for a lady's night on Valentine's Day. Emma isn't interested and then gets a call from the station about a break-in.

Gold returns home and discovers that someone has broken into his house. He draws a gun and goes in, but finds Emma inside. She explains that a neighbor called about the break-in and that strange things keep happening to Gold. He admits that he's not an easy man to love.

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Rumplestiltskin brings Belle to his estate and throws her into the dungeon. However, he eventually releases her and tells her what she will do. Rumplestiltskin startles her and she drops a cup, chipping it. She apologizes but Rumplestiltskin dismisses it as just a cup.

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Gold tells Emma that he knows who took his things but doesn't tell her the identity of the thief. When she threatens to arrest him for obstruction of justice, Gold reluctantly tells her that Moe took his things in retaliation for him taking the van as collateral. The pawnbroker warns that if he finds Moe first, it won't go well for him.

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As Belle tries to pull down the drapes and lets some sun into Rumplestiltskin's estate, she asks why he spins. He jokes that he doesn't remember why and Belle giggles with him. She loses her grip and falls off the ladder, and Rumplestiltskin catches her. He stares at her beauty for a moment, and then hastily puts her down and goes back to his spinning.

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A few hours later, Emma calls Gold in to tell him that she's recovered the stolen goods, but Moe is still on the run. Gold tells her that there's one item that she hasn't recovered and goes off to find the florist.

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Rumplestiltskin takes a cup of tea and Belle asks why she wanted him there. She thinks that he was lonely, noting that any man would be lonely. Rumplestiltskin reminds her that he's not a man, and she asks why there is children's clothing in an upstairs room. The imp admits that he had a son but lost him along with his wife. She offers her condolences and then asks if he was an ordinary man once. Rumplestiltskin suggests that she might want to know the monster's weaknesses, but Belle says that he's no monster. There's a knock at the door and Rumplestiltskin goes to answer it. It's Gaston, who demands Belle back. The imp transforms him into a rose with a gesture, and then offers it to Belle. Unaware of who it really is, Belle accepts the gift.

The imp then asks why Belle why she came there to him. Belle explains that she didn't have a lot of opportunities as a woman, and that she thought she would see the world and be brave. However, she admits that she's not seeing much of the world. Rumplestiltskin asks about Gaston and Belle admits that it was an arranged marriage and she never really cared about him. She prefers someone that is a mystery with multiple layers. When Belle reminds him about his son, Rumplestiltskin says that he'll tell her after she comes back from town with straw. When Belle asks if he trusts her to come back, Rumplestiltskin says that he doesn't expect to see her again.

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Ashley, Mary Margaret, and Ruby go to a bar. Ashley starts drinking, admitting that it's her first night out since she had the baby. Ruby spots some cute guys and invites Ashley to go with her. Ashley hesitates, saying that she's with Sean, but Ruby points out that Sean isn't there for her. As Ruby goes over, Ashley admits that she's right and Mary Margaret commiserates.

David is at a drug store picking out Valentine cards and sees Gold. Gold notices the two cards that David has selected and comments that he must have a complicated love life. The pawnbroker tells David that love is precious and easily lost, and then goes outside and drives away in Moe's van... with Moe tied up in the back. He takes him to a cabin the woods and orders him inside at gunpoint. Gold then tells him that he doesn't normally let people get away.

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As Belle goes to the village, the Queen pulls up in her carriage and insists on walking with her. As they stroll along, the Queen 'guesses" that Belle is in love with her employer. When Belle says there is a great evil in him, the Queen suggests that it's a curse and that a kiss by a true love will break any curse. Belle seizes on the idea with interest.

That night, Rumplestiltskin is waiting for Belle but feigns disinterest when she comes back. She knows better and asks for the story about his son, and then kisses him. Rumplestiltskin starts to become human again, but realizes what is happening and breaks off the kiss before the process is complete. He demands to know who told Belle how to break the curse, and realizes that the Queen put her up to it. Rumplestiltskin then storms over to a mirror and yells at the Queen through it, warning her that she'll never make him weak. He then turns on Belle, accusing her of trying to destroy him, and yells that nobody could ever love him as he throws her into the dungeon.

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Moe begs for the chance to explain but Gold rams his cane into his throat and tells him to reveal where it is and who told him to take it. Once he's free, Moe asks for his van and Gold beats him over and over again. He tells Moe that he had her love and shut her out, and now she's gone forever, and Moe was her father.

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Rumplestiltskin smashes all of the crockery in a rage.

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Emma arrives just in time to keep Gold from beating Moe to death.

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Rumplestiltskin looks at the cup that Belle chipped and spares it the fate of the other crockery.

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Ashley finally admits that she just wants to be with Sean, but that there's no point in being together if they can't be together. Sean comes in at that point, on break from the cannery, and proposes to her. Ashley accepts as everyone applauds, and Sean takes her for a short drive as their date. Mary Margaret leaves and finds David outside. He offers her a Valentine Day card but gives her the one he intended for Kathryn, which says that he loves her. Mary Margaret realizes that whatever way they need to be together, this can't be it, and tells him to go home to Kathryn. David reluctantly agrees but promises that he won't stop trying to find a way that they can be together.

Emma asks Gold what he was talking about when he said that Moe hurt his own daughter. Gold refuses to answer and Emma arrests him for assault and battery.

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Rumplestiltskin releases Belle from the dungeon and says that he doesn't want her anymore. She starts to leave but then turns and tells him that he could have had happiness if he believed that someone else wanted him. However, he wouldn't take the chance. Rumplestiltskin says that it's a lie, but Belle tells him that he's a coward. He denies it, saying that his power means more to him than belle does. She says that he doesn't think that she can love him and he'll regret the chance that he's made.

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Regina brings Henry to the jail and offers Emma thirty minutes with her son in returning for Regina staying with Gold. Emma accepts and once they leave, Regina tells Gold that she has what he wants and that she's the one who put Moe up to stealing it. In return she asks Gold for his true name. At first he insists that Gold is the name he's had as long as he's been upon the earth. Regina persists and finally Gold admits that he is Rumplestiltskin. Regina gives him the chipped cup and Gold warns that he is the power in Storybrooke, and that there will be a reckoning when he leaves the jail.

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Rumplestiltskin is looking at his wheel when the Evil Queen comes in to discuss a deal about a mermaid. She realizes that he's upset and he tells her that her deception failed. Rumplestiltskin tells her that she can try to beat him but she'll never succeed. The Queen asks if it's Belle and once he admits that it is, says that she had nothing to do with the tragedy. He asks her what tragedy and the Queen smugly informs him that no one in the village would accept Belle after her stay with Rumplestiltskin once Gaston went missing. Maurice shut her out and locked her up in a tower, and then had her flayed to cleanse her soul. Belle killed herself rather than suffer by throwing herself off of the tower. Rumplestiltskin orders the Queen out but, as she goes, he suggests that he get a new girl to take care of the place. He then goes to the cupboard and takes out the chipped cup, crying.

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Regina goes to the hospital, ignoring the injured Moe. She lets herself into the psychiatric wing and talks briefly with the nurse, giving her a rose. The nurse tells her that no one ever comes to see the patient, the same as always. Regina then goes to a cell and looks in at... Belle.

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