The story of Rumpelstiltskin once again takes center stage tonight on Once Upon a Time and writer Jane Espenson couldn’t have been happier to step up to the plate for the important episode.
“This is a character who has his memories and yet the form of menace that emanates out of him as Mr. Gold is do different, so contained and snake-y as opposed to the broad, theatrical nature of Rumpelstiltskin,” she says. “I’m perpetually fascinated. I feel like we could just keep peeling back the layers of this forever and ever.” Tonight, viewers will get a fuller picture of the relationship Rumpel had with his son and more specifically, how the two ended up on “divergent paths,” says Espenson.
“His son is not happy about what he’s turning into, and we’re going to see Rumple faced with a decision about what he values. Can he do what his son wants him to do?” she teases.
Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Mr. Gold will set his sights on figuring out the identity of The Stranger, August, and the rest of the gang will be reeling from the mysterious return of Kathryn, which was shown in the final minutes of the last new episode. “There’s a huge amount of relief,” says Espenson. “Her reappearance is more of a solution than a problem.” But it does open up several interesting questions, she adds. For example, where she was the whole time and with whom she was with. “Regina never planned on her coming back, and someone is in trouble with Regina for this happening.”
Further ahead, the former Buffy the Vampire Slayer producer and writer is excited for fans to see the last stretch of episode, including the penultimate, which she also penned with fellow writer David Goodman. “So much action!” she says of the episode, titled “An Apple Red as Blood,” which will see a return from Snow’s seven dwarfs. It all sets up the season 1 finale, which, as Espenson told Spoiler Room, is “the biggest [finale] I’ve ever been a part of.” “It will be a very satisfying season finale,” she says. “This is the finale to end all finales.”