Why Does Emma Owe Mr. Gold a Favor on Once Upon a Time?
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Season 2, Episode 12: "In the Name of the Brother."
We hear there are some folks out there who haven't watched every episode of Once Upon a Time a billion times. Who knew? If you fall into that category, you may have forgotten some of the specifics from Season 1. Don't worry, we're here to help. One important plot point you should definitely take a moment to refresh yourself on is the favor Emma (Jennifer Morrison) owes Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle).
In Season 1, Episode 4: "The Price of Gold," Emma makes it her mission to help the pregnant Ashley Boyd (Jessy Schram). Ashley is Cinderella in the Fairytale World, though neither of them know it at the time.
Ashley is pregnant, but she has signed away her child to Mr. Gold (a parallel of Cinderella accidently giving Rumple the right to her first child in exchange for his making her fit to go to the ball). After Emma encourages her to take charge of her own life, Ashley decides she wants to keep her kid after all.
But this is Mr. Gold we're talking about, so he refuses to let Ashley just back out of the deal. When Emma stands up to him, Gold offers her a new deal: He'll let Ashley keep the child in return for the right to call in a favor from Emma at some point down the line. Emma, not yet aware of just how dangerous Mr. Gold is, agrees.