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Skin DeepOnce Upon A Time : Season 1 Episode 12


Rumplestiltskin tells Maurice that the gold he offered as payment will not do since Rumplestiltskin literally makes gold on the regular. Instead, he asks for Maurice's daughter, Belle, to live in his Dark Castle as a maid in exchange for his help in the war. Maurice and Belle's fiancé Gaston refuse to comply, but Belle insists on making the decision and goes with the sorcerer.Mr. Gold goes to collect from Moe French* Maurice, a florist who took a loan from Gold but needs more time. Gold doesn't yield and reposseses Moe's truck. Regina, having watched the happenings, stops Gold as he leaves and tries to talk about an important topic, but Gold shuts her down with a "Please".




Skin DeepOnce Upon a Time : Season 1 Episode 12



Gold beats Moe, demanding the information.Moe: It wasn't my fault! Gold: "My fault". What are you talking about, "my fault". You shut her out. You had her love, and you shut her OUT! She's gone! She's gone forever! She's not coming back! And it's YOUR FAULT! NOT MINE! You are her FATHER! FLASHBACK! Rumplestiltskin destroys a cabinet in rage.Emma arrives on the scene to stop Gold beating Moe.FLASHBACK! Rumplestiltskin throws his tea set against the wall piece by piece, but stops when he gets to the chipped cup.Mood Whiplash back to girls' night, where Ashley is not having a good time since what she really needs is time with Sean.Ashley: What's the point in being together if we're not together?


As Moe gets loaded into an ambulance, Emma asks Gold what Moe really did to incur his wrath, since Gold's assault would be Disproportionate Retribution for stealing a few items. She asks what he meant when he talked about "her", but Gold won't cooperate with her so she arrests him.FLASHBACK! Rumplestiltskin goes to Belle's cell and orders her to leave the Dark Castle, saying that he doesn't want her anymore. Before heading out she gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how he could have chosen happiness and freedom but threw it away because he doesn't believe he can be loved. Rumplestiltskin tells her that his power is what matters most to him, but she still doesn't buy that but allows him to make his choice and leaves him.Emma taunts Gold in the holding cell with a sandwich, callously asking if he'd like to use the favor she owes him to get some. Regina arrives and allows Emma thirty minutes with Henry in exchange for the same time alone with Gold. Regina asks for the talk she wanted earlier, now that Gold can't refuse. She tells Gold that she has what he wants, revealing that she manipulated Moe to do the robbery all so she could get Gold where she wants him. Gold asks what she wants from him.Regina: I want you to answer one question. And answer it simply. What's your name? Gold:: It's Mr. Gold. Regina: Your real name. Gold: Every moment I've spent on this Earth, that's been my name. Regina: But what about moments spent elsewhere? Gold: What are you asking me? Regina: I think you know. If you want me to return what's yours, tell me. Your name. Gold: Rumplestiltskin. Now give me what I want. Regina: Such hostility. Gold: Oh yeah.


  • Arranged Marriage: Belle was in one with Gaston before going to serve Rumplestiltskin. As expected, she didn't particularly care for him.

  • Comedic Sociopathy: ...and giggles as Belle unknowingly cuts off part of his stem.

  • Couch Gag: The title card features Rumplestiltskin's spinning wheel.

  • Dramatic Drop: Used humorously to make for a particularly charming moment, especially considering it sets up an important Tragic Keepsake.Rumpelstiltskin: You will serve me my meals, and you will clean the Dark Castle... You will dust my collection and launder my clothing... You will fetch me fresh straw when I'm spinning at the wheel... OH! And you will skin the children I hunt. For their pelts.Belle: *drops teacup in alarm*Rumpelstiltskin: ...That one was a quip.

  • Early-Bird Cameo: Lumiere (the candlestick holder at least) can be seen in Rumple's dining hall in "Skin Deep", long before interacting with the characters in "Quiet Minds."

  • Even Evil Has Standards: Played with. Regina says not even she would suggest that Belle kissed a man that held her captive against her will - a nod to the Values Dissonance between the original fairy tale and today's moral opinions on the matter. Of course, by saying she's not encouraging her, she's very much encouraging her.

  • Evil vs. Evil: This episode is more dedicated than any before to the growing feud between Regina and Rumplestiltskin. The Storybrooke plotline is revealed to be a ploy by Regina to get Rumple to admit he remembers everything before the curse. The Enchanted Forest story has her using Belle as a weapon to weaken him, and she nearly succeeds.

  • Forced Transformation: Rumplestiltskin turns Gaston into a rose...

  • Forgot About His Powers: When Regina coerces Gold into a deal to get the chipped cup back, he conveniently forgets that he has the power to just force her into giving it back, without giving in. This may be because, as mentioned in "The Price of Gold", Rumpelstiltskin can't resist making a deal when it's offered to him.

  • Kick the Dog: Regina comes to see Rumple and give him the "news" of the tragedy with Belle being imprisoned, scourged, and eventually committing suicide (all lies), just to twist the knife. It works, since after he throws her out he is left weeping over the chipped cup.

  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Mr. Gold behaves as a rather unsympathetic Loan Shark toward Moe French and later on savagely beats him for stealing something of value to him. This is somewhat understandable because in the fairy tale world, French is Belle's father and supposedly put her in an insane asylum where she was mistreated until she committed suicide in despair. This turns out to have been Blatant Lies, but Rumplestiltskin has no way of knowing that.

  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Regina talking to Belle.Evil Queen: Oh no, I wouldn't ask a woman to kiss the man who held her captive. What kind of message is that?

  • Mood Lighting: Used heavily throughout the episode. The scene where Belle pulls down the drapes, letting light into the house, is also the scene where the mood between the two starts to lighten up. Many of the darker scenes take place in the same room but with darker lighting.

  • Motive Misidentification: Belle assumes Rumplestiltskin keeps all his mirrors covered because he thinks he's ugly, but later when he uncovers one to yell at it, it's apparent he actually keeps them all covered to prevent the Evil Queen from spying on him.

  • Never My Fault: Played with, for tragedy. When Gold kidnaps Moe and demands he give back the chipped cup (not knowing Regina has it), the confused man's claim he has no idea what Gold is talking about leads to Gold's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown with his cane...during which he regresses back to his Dark One self while insisting what happened to "her" (Belle) is all Moe's fault, not his. While this is true as far as he knows thanks to Regina's lies, he clearly very much blames himself, since it was his rage over True Love's Kiss and her supposedly working for the Evil Queen to deprive him of his power that drove Belle away (and Regina had in fact claimed that what happened to Belle was because she went back to her father after Rumple threw her out, where she was blamed for the disappearance of Gaston which was his fault). So in the end it's clear invokedthis terrible beating was as much for himself as for Moe.

  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Until this episode, Rumplestiltskin have unfailingly been an Affably Evil trickster, greedy and ammoral, yes, but also quite easygoing and even fair in his deals, after a fashion. Here we see, in both storylines, what happens when he loses his cool - he assaults Belle for thinking she's tricking him, and, much later in Storybrooke, he brutally beats her father for stealing the chipped cup, his memento of her.

  • Pet the Dog: The audience is shown Rumplestiltskin's softer side when he's with Belle. He has several instances of this with Belle in their "lighter" moments, including keeping the chipped tea cup she broke.

  • The Reveal: Contrary to what Regina told Rumple, Belle is alive...and locked in the Storybrooke asylum.

  • Shout-Out/Mythology Gag: This episode is known among fans for being heavy with references to Beauty and the Beast. The names Belle and Gaston, and Belle's father is named Moe French in Storybrooke (Beauty and the Beast was at first a sort of educational French tale, and "Moe" can be short for "Maurice").

  • At least two of Belle's dresses are shoplifted right out of the Disney movie and so is her hairdo and eye color. Emilie de Ravin wore a wig for the character.

  • Belle being stuffed into a dungeon.

  • Rumple tells Belle he got her a rose from "an old woman selling flowers."

  • Chip the Cup from the Disney movie becomes an inanimate Tragic Keepsake.

  • Cogsworth and Lumiere appear in the background on a table when Rumplestiltskin first takes Belle through the dining room to "her room."

  • Rumple smashes a cabinet. Belle found a room full of smashed cabinets in Beauty And The Beast.

  • Of the non-Beauty and the Beast variety: In the insane asylum where Belle is kept, there is a nurse who looks like Nurse Ratched and a janitor who looks like the Chief.

  • And don't forget about the "Game of Thorns" flower van!

  • Blink and you'll miss it, on his travels Rumple had apparently found the scythe. That scythe.

  • He also, apparently, has the Golden Fleece.

  • A subtle one, but in order to check if Belle is listening to him, Rumpelstiltskin tells her that she must "skin the children I hunt for their pelts." In Beauty and the Beast, Gaston falsely claims that The Beast eats children. This also doubles as a reference to the original Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, which implies that the imp was planning to cook and eat the child that the miller's daughter promised him.

  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: In the flashback sequences, Rumple starts out in his usual thick leather armor, but as he starts to warm up to Belle his outfit shifts to a much more vulnerable vest and loose sleeves. At the end of the episode after he's banished Belle from his castle, he's back in the leather armor.

  • Tragic Keepsake: The chipped cup.

  • Tsundere: Rumple to Belle.Rumple: "You're back. Good! Good...thing. I'm almost out of straw."

  • Uncovering Relationship Status: Rumplestiltskin asks Belle, after taking her away from her village, if she misses her betrothed. She replies that she doesn't, as it was just an arranged marriage.

  • Valentine's Day Episodes: It aired shortly before and was set during Valentine's Day and involved a couple breaking up, True Love's Kiss not working and a psychotic breakdown, and a marriage proposal.

  • Wham Episode: Mr. Gold remembers everything too and now Regina knows it.

  • Wham Shot: The final shot of Regina, smirking through the slot into the padded cell of the asylum where she's kept Belle for the last 28 years.

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