At the end, I was both satisfied and a little underwhelmed, if that makes any sense.
Gold's backstory makes complete sense in shaping the man, but at the same time, we're almost left with more questions than answers. Again. It seems to be a recurring theme with this show, and one of my primary reservations about it. It seems to be one step forward, two steps back, every damn time.
That being said, even in spite of how predictable the modern-day story was (I mean, come on, who didn't see Gold's manipulation from a mile away?), the sense of regression didn't piss me off the way it usually does. I'm crediting Carlyle. He sold me on more of it when weaker actors haven't been able to, stringing me along for yet another week.
The questions it raises, though...for instance, what happened to his son? I know we'll find out, and part of me is wondering if the son is somehow connected to Henry's father. That would be a cool twist and complicates Gold's motivations in bringing Emma back to Storybrooke.
Who is the duke that Gold served as The Dark One? Is he going to play a major role?
And of course, Regina's ties to Gold are clear, which only raises more questions about the details of their botched deal.
I'll be watching next week, though I wasn't that impressed with the previews. I hope every week isn't going to be yet revealing another fairy tale. At some point, they're going to have to actually address the relationships they've already set up, rather than introduce all these new ones. :P