Since the show's beginning, Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) has been one of its most interesting characters. While I still feel Once Upon a Time did itself a disservice but not allowing the character to continue the heroic turn he began last season, an episode like "Ill-Boding Patterns" does show us there's more to the Evil One than just a quest for power. With the flashbacks taking us back to the Ogre War and the current storyline focused on Gideon's (Giles Matthey) attempts to kill Emma (Jennifer Morrison), both pieces of the episode delve into the role of Rumpelstiltskin and his role as a father protecting both his sons against a darkness he knows all too well. An admitted coward, Rumpelstiltskin has never shied away from protecting his sons from danger.
The other pieces of the episode focus on the heartache of Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Hook (Colin O'Donoghue). Regina's melancholy comes from the realization that the new Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) isn't her true love, while Hook drowns his sorrows after realizing something about his past which could potentially destroy his future with Emma. While Hook chickens out from telling Emma the truth, Robin encounters the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) for the first time. I'm wondering if he'll get along better with her than her other half?