Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
2 user 2 critic

Desperate Souls 

Gold and Regina play dirty politics and take opposite sides when Emma runs against Sidney for Sheriff, as flashbacks show Rumplestiltskin desperately try to find a way to save his son from being enlisted into war.


Michael Waxman


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Raphael Sbarge ... Dr. Archie Hopper
Robert Carlyle ... Rumplestiltskin / Mr. Gold
Brad Dourif ... Zoso
Giancarlo Esposito ... Sidney Glass
Beverley Elliott ... Granny Lucas
Ty Olsson ... Hordor
Meghan Ory ... Ruby Lucas
Dylan Schmid ... Baelfire
Patti Allan ... Miss Ginger
Kate Bateman Kate Bateman ... Mother


Regina and Mr. Gold play dirty politics and take opposite sides when Emma runs for a coveted Storybrooke public office against Sidney. Meanwhile, back in the fairytale world that was, Rumplestiltskin tries to track down the ultimate power source in order to help his son avert the horrors of a meaningless war. Written by ABC Publicity

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 January 2012 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This episode marks the first time clips from the opening title/recap had been changed to reflect plot developments so far. Prior to this the opening only used clips from the first episode. See more »


Gold puts the folder containing the town charter on Emma and Mary Margaret's kitchen table as he sits down. In the next shot it is still in his hands. See more »


Mr. Gold: I like small weapons, you see. The needle; the pen; the fine point of a deal.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening sequence gives a hint to the episodes main story line by showing a character or event happening in the dark forest underneath the title. See more »


Kool Thing
Written and Performed by Sonic Youth
See more »

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User Reviews

Another solid episode for the first season

While some of the dialog is a little bit corny, Desperate Souls is another solid episode to the first season. The story is nicely written, the writing is solid, the rivalry between Emma and Regina is still looking fresh and it's well-paced.

Also, the origin story of Rumpelstiltskin continues to be compelling as it shows how life is like before he became the Dark One. We even get to see his son and his attempt to save his son from the Ogre Wars is interesting. Oh, and the idea of having Emma Swan go off against Sidney for Sheriff after she saved Regina from the fire (which is a really cool scene) is really fresh.

Overall, good episode. Looking forward to review Episode 9.

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