Once Upon a Time (2011– )
1 user 6 critic


Emma is shocked when she learns the true identity of Gold's son, as flashbacks show when Rumplestiltskin was called to war. Back in Storybrooke, Regina, Cora and Hook search for Rumplestiltskin's dagger.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Belle French
Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Ruby Lucas (credit only)
Greg Mendell


While Emma, Gold, and Henry chase after Baelfire, Regina, Cora, and Hook search the town for Rumpelstiltskin's sword in an attempt to destroy his power. Back in fairy tale land, a valiant Rumpelstiltskin is called to war but encounters dark forces along the way. Written by Nadia Nassar

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

magic | See All (1) »


TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

17 February 2013 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The object/animal/person in this episode is the Manhattan skyline. See more »


In the last two shots when we see Emma having a phone call with Snow a person carrying a purple shopping bag is walking towards Emma, stepping outside the crowd both times from about the same distance. See more »


Henry Mills: So... you're my dad.
Neal Cassady: Yeah.
Henry Mills: I'm Henry.
Neal Cassady: It's nice to meet you, Henry.
See more »

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User Reviews

Magic coming at a price
2 February 2018 | by See all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

"Manhattan" is, as far as Season 2 episodes go, not as good as "Queen of Hearts", "The Cricket Game" and "The Outsider". However after the disappointing previous two episodes "In the Name of the Brother" and "Tiny", "Manhattan" is a near return to form for the season. It's very good in its own right, and, while not perfect, it at least remembers what made the three episodes named as particularly good above as good as they were.

It's at its weakest when it is repeating somewhat too excessively and obviously what we know already about events, the characters and feelings and motivations. There may be some catch-up viewers but most will have seen the previous episodes already.

Also, while not as badly as the previous two episodes, "Manhattan" still doesn't solve the issue of characters who were given significant development and character progression in "Queen of Hearts", "The Cricket Game" and "The Outsider" being written a little too simplistically (i.e. Regina).

On the other hand, what makes "Manhattan" an improvement is that it still manages to be an episode where the story shows signs of progressing.

Especially with Rumplestiltskin, whose character and the story line that gives him much more complexity and heart than just a stock villain advances significantly and with revelations that are new and shocking. His story has a lot of depth and is very heartfelt. Emma also has a lot to do and is significantly advanced in character.

While all the acting is very good, Robert Carlyle's performance is a masterclass of nuances. Also loved the presence and character of the Seer, a creepy design, a suitably mysterious presence and not only introduces a new intriguing addition but also reinforces something essential to Rumplestiltskin's character that is relevant to the storytelling.

"Manhattan" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie-cutter. It is photographed beautifully too. The effects are not as sloppy here. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable main theme.

Writing has the right balance of humour, pathos, mystery and intrigue, with the corn present in "In the Name of the Brother" and "Tiny" not present,

In conclusion, very good and a near return to form, if not quite a season high-point. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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