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Clues, easter eggs and observations from Once Upon A Time Episode 8 — “Desperate Souls”.


As we know, the opening title cards for OUAT contain a foreshadowing clue for the episode. The clue for “Desperate Souls” depicts “The Dark One,” teasing Rumplestiltskin’s backstory.

A Wheel Of A Time

The spinning wheel is representative of Rumples’ character — as illustrated with his patience, ability to spin a yarn and eye for a ‘loophole’. The wheel can also signify history repeating itself, with Baelfire set to fight in the war just as Rumples did (or, y’know, didn’t).

He’s A Real Choker

One of “The Dark One’s” abilities is to seemingly choke the life out of people from range. You’d think he’d be able to ‘turn the tide’ in the Ogre wars single-handedly.

Sheriff Died? Humbug

Graham’s last name revealed — Humbert. And look! He organized charity fundraisers. In case you were wondering why he’s considered to be such a ‘good’ soul when very little evidence of that was shown in the story. Oh, off-screen.

Emma’s A Glass Act

MacCutheon Whiskey makes another appearance — this fictional brand was originally seen in LOST and appeared throughout the series. Find more OUAT/LOST easter eggs.

Fo Fum

The guy in the blue overalls at Regina’s press conference resembles the giant who gave a lock of his hair to fuel Regina’s curse in the Pilot. (hat-tip to Seriable reader David B. who also made this possible connection).

Got The Moves Like Dagger

Alluding to the mystical dagger, Gold tells Regina: “I like small weapons, you see. The needle, the pen. The fine point of the deal.”

Of course, Gold’s fascination with contracts is a direct result of his life-defining encounter with Zoso, who warned him that magic always comes with a price.

Fire Of Contrivance

Emma says she’s fighting fire with fi– BOOM!

Given that Gold set the fire, it’s another direct parallel — to his equally contrived mission to retrieve the Duke’s mystical dagger, in which he was set-up by Zoso.

The SB  events in this episode are just as much about Gold as they are Emma.

Hop Along Archie

Archie: “wow, crickets..”

He’s here all week, folks!

No, really.

Continue Reading on Page 2..

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  1. Sami H says

    I asked my husband the samething about the Dark One and the ogre wars. It was very curious maybe they were immune to the Dark ones powers.

    on Lost the others always referd to themselves as the good guys

    Regarding timeline I believe that Rumps backstory takes place long before the EQ, SW and PC maybe Bae grew up to be Charming father or even Grandfather I think that would be superb BTW. I have a theory that maybe Belle is Related to Rumple maybe his wife Skin Deep says she has ties to Rumple family ties perhaps??? I also think she will be very ugly until she makes a deal..; D

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    • Bryan says

      Why didn’t the Duke have “The Dark One” end the Ogre Wars? Well, this is the same Duke who put the only thing that can control the Dark One in the most vunerable part of his castle with zero guards protecting it.

      And on a completely unrelated topic, I just could NOT resist the following observations:

      1. Madam Mayor. The “Queen of Hearts.”

      2. Emma Swan. There’s a new Sheriff in town.

      3. Graham Humbert. The boy who cried, wolf.

      4. Abigale Nolan. The golden child.

      Sorry. Just a little a humor in the “observations” posting.

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  2. Bryan says

    If this has been mentioned before, then please excuse me. But nobody seems to comment on the Storybrook Town Emblem. It’s an APPLE TREE. To me, that’s symbollic of just how much of the town is by the Evil Queen Mayor’s design.

    Also wanted to comment on Rumple’s fascination with other people’s names. I personally always thought is was for casting spells and performing magic. I.E., you have to call the person’s name during the incantation in order for the hex to affect the right person.

    Finally, this was the BEST episode yet. I say forget David and Mary Margaret. Watching Madame Mayor and Mister Gold going toe-to-toe is far more entertaining. After all, she runs the town — but he owns all the property. Riveting dynamic. But that’s just my oppinion.

    P.S. I wonder if the mis-spelling of “Rumpelstiltskin” was intentional on that knife? If so, why?

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    • WaySeeker says

      I like how in the Town Symbol, under the tree (one tree on a hill … One Tree Hill?) is a symbol like a cave or something UNDERNEATH … and we saw when the EQoE dropped the piece down the mine hole there was the GC there!
      So, in the symbol it shows the FTW!

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  3. WaySeeker says

    Nobody has mentioned Zoso. Such an interesting name. It was the symbol for Jimmy Page on their “Led Zeppelin IV” album. It is famous for that. So, it must reference that. This album also shows the Hermit, which is ZOSO.
    One enterprising researcher found Zoso symbol to represent the astrological/academical symbol for the planet Saturn. Saturn rules men, making their lives longer or shorter. Which is what The Dark One seemed to have the power to do.
    It would be interesting to see if more in this show, especially referencing ZOSO, refers to this particular album and Led Zeppelin/Jimmy Page.

    Great to see this actor again. :) Interesting character presentation/chioces he made. But I wasn’t fooled … I knew he was The Dark One right off, and not just because of the actor. But because of fairy tale conventions. XD

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  4. Sherr says

    My hat is off to David B. (wherever he may be) for noticing the resemblance between the ogre-ish giant and the big guy at Regina’s press conference. I’m 99% sure David B. is right, making this the first Storybrooke spotting of one of Evil Queen’s accursed circle of fiends!

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