Season 1, Episode 4
The Price of Gold
Every story needs a memorable detail.
Emma Swan: People are going to tell you who you are your whole life. You just got to punch back and say, "no, this is who I am." You want people to look at you differently? Make them. You want to change things? You're going to have to go out there and change them yourself, because there are no fairy godmothers in this world.
Emma is hired by the mysterious Mr. Gold to find pregnant teenager Ashley Boyd – only to help the expectant mother after learning that Ashley's unborn child is in the center of a dangerous bargain – while a regrettable deal made between Cinderella and Rumplestiltskin is revealed along with her desperate attempt to break the contract.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Cinderella took Rumplestiltskin's deal because he killed her Fairy Godmother, expecting he would want his share of the riches from her new life as princess. But what he really wanted was her first born.
- Danger Takes A Back Seat: Played with. Emma tells Henry to go home so she can track down Ashley before it's too late. Henry obediently goes. But he pops up a few minutes later in the back seat of Emma's Volkswagen and sensibly points out she'd waste too much time taking him home and let Ashley's head start get longer.
- Foreshadowing: One that took a whole season to get to: "What did you enjoy so much about Tallahassee?"
- Mr. Gold mentions to Emma that no one wants to see Ashley's baby born in jail. Episode 9 reveals that this is what happened to Henry.
- Genre Blind: Cinderella. It appears that she doesn't know the outcome of Rumplestiltskin's story. But she becomes Genre Savvy when the princes reveal the trap for Rumplestiltskin, as she just knows it's going to backfire.
- Happily Married: Cinderella and Prince Thomas, until Thomas disappears (seemingly abducted by unknown forces) anyway.
- Innocuously Important Episode: Set up The Favor of Mr. Gold, Emma putting down roots in Storybrooke, Regina's affair with Graham, and how Rumplestiltskin ended up trapped below Snow White's Castle. As well as all the foreshadowing regarding Emma's past. All these things would become important later on as the series continued.
- Ironic Echo: Mr. Gold calls Emma "charming"—aka her father's nickname.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Cinderella's fairy godmother.
- Longest Pregnancy Ever: Cinderella's 28-year and 9-month pregnancy. Justified in the fact that time having stopped in Storybrooke is a major plot point. Cinderella was pregnant when the curse hit, so logically, she would have been stuck like that until Emma arrived. (And when Emma does arrive, she's finally able to give birth.)
- Mama Bear: Ashley/Cinderella went through a lot to make sure she protects her child from being taken away.