The search for Baelfire finally come to a head on Once Upon a Time Season 2, Episode 14: "Manhattan," making it one of the most anticipated episodes of the season. Did it live up to our hopes? Read on for Wetpaint Entertainment's review of the episode, and then rate it yourself.

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Answer: Yes, this episode lived up to expectations. In fact, it exceeded them.

In the main storyline we learned that, as we've long suspected, Baelfire is also Neal Cassady (Michael Raymond-James), Henry's (Jared Gilmore) father and Emma's (Jennifer Morrison) first love. While this twist wasn't a shock, the writers did everything we could have wanted with it.

Emma was confused, hurt, closed off. Henry was angry to learn Emma had lied to him about his father, but happy to have a chance to meet the man. Rumple was desperate to win his son back over. And Neal? Neal was better than we could have dreamed — furious at Rumple for abandoning him, still protective of Emma, and shocked to learn he has a son.

All of the actors (especially the adults) turned in honest, nuanced, and gripping performances in this plotline, managing to convey the tumultuous emotions each character was living through. The writers and actors proved that you don't need armies or dragons to create the highest drama.

(And bonus! We learned what was in August's (Eion Bailey) box: A simple message that said "I know you're Baelfire." Well, that would spook us, too, in Bae's place.)

Meanwhile, back in Storybrooke we were treated to another intriguing plot, where Cora (Barbara Hershey) used Hook's (Colin O’Donoghue) map-reading skills to find the location of Rumple's dagger, only to suddenly and inevitably betray him. As Cora explained to Regina (Lana Parrilla), she has no intention of killing Rumple, which is Hook's goal. She wants to control him. Uh-oh.

Meanwhile, Greg the outsider got a video recording of Regina using magic. Sooo ... that could be bad.

Finally, the flashback portion of the episode gave us more insight into Rumple's past as a man. It turns out that he and Milah really were in love once, and he wasn't always quite so cowardly. He ran away from the Ogre Wars because a misleading prophecy from a seer convinced him he was definitely going to die.

Of course, he learned you can't outrun fate. And in the last bit of the flashback the same seer foretold that Henry will be Rumple's undoing. TWIST! TWIST WE DIDN'T SEE COMING! What does it meeeean? We can't wait to find out.

We loved this episode, and give it 5 stars. What do you think? Rate it yourself below!


 
Catch the next episode of Once Upon a Time on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
 
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.