Tag Archives: enchanted forest

once upon a time recapping: the stable boy

Previously on Once Upon a Time: Hat Trick

This week on Once Upon a Time, we finally discover what Snow did to set Regina on a path of evil and revenge. In the Enchanted Forest, Barbara Hershey reprises the “crazy overbearing mother” role she perfected in Black Swan, ensuring that Regina’s youthful love affair with the stable boy ends in tragedy. In Storybrooke, Ms. Blanchard is set to take the fall for Kathryn’s murder, much to Regina’s delight, until some startling new evidence is found.

Once Upon a Time, Regina and Cora

In the Enchanted Forest, Regina is a free spirit with a love of horseback riding (and let me just say, Lana Parrilla plays the genuine innocence superbly). Her mother, Cora, disapproves. She wants to Regina to act like a lady and marry, and she uses her magic to punish her daughter until she promises to “be good.” Shaken from the abuse, Regina runs to the stable and into arms of her stable boy lover, Daniel (played by Noah Bean, who suffered a tragic end on Damages also). Regina and Daniel later meet for a secret rendezvous. He wants her to tell her parents about their love, but she’s terrified of her mother, who believes her social trajectory must only go up – and a stable boy doesn’t fit the bill. Screaming interrupts them, and Regina saves a little girl on a runaway horse, a little girl named Snow White. The King comes to thank Regina for saving his daughter, and asks her to marry him – and Cora accepts. Regina goes to Daniel, asking to run away together, and he gives her a gold saddle fastening for a ring. They kiss, but Snow sees. Regina runs after her, saying that though the King Leopold is noble man, Daniel is true love, and true love is magic. Snow is impressed by that, and Regina makes her promise to keep the secret. Cora has other plans, and manipulates Snow into telling her about Regina and Daniel. The two lovers attempt to flee, but Cora has made too many “deals” to let Regina throw it away. She gets the two of them to drop their guard long enough for her to rip out Daniel’s heart and crush it. Later, Regina is trying on her wedding dress when Snow says how happy she’ll be with Daniel. Regina confronts her, and Snow admits she told Cora. She swallows her rage, putting on the false Regina face we know so well, and tells Snow they’ll be a family. Her mother is pleased, and Regina concludes she concocted the whole proposal scheme, and wishes she had let Snow die on her horse.

Once Upon a Time, Regina and Snow

In Storybrooke, we flash back to a week ago to learn the nature of the deal between Regina and Mr. Gold. In order to have the charges against him dropped (for beating Mr. French a few weeks ago), he’ll make Ms. Blanchard disappear – and he gives Regina the whole plot: Kathryn’s disappearance, the key in the cell, the curse destroying Ms. Blanchard when she tries to flee. Very interesting. Regina, of course, accepts. Back in present day, Mr. Gold convinces Ms. Blanchard to agree to an interview with the D.A., and Sidney stops by to give Emma some flowers. The D.A., Albert Spencer, turns out to be the Storybrooke version of King George, which does not bode well. He bullies Ms. Blanchard into admitting she wanted Kathryn gone. Emma is desperate, and August tells her to go back to the beginning of the story – the troll bridge. They find a bit of broken shovel where the heart was buried, and later with the help of Henry they match that shovel to one in Regina’s shed. Emma comes back with a search warrant, but the shovel is gone, and she blames August. Regina stops by to gloat to Ms. Blanchard, admitting she knows she’s innocent, but deserves to be punished anyway. Regina clutches the ring Daniel gave her, pleased that they finally have their revenge. The police come to take Ms. Blanchard away. Emma throws her flowers against the wall in a rage, and discovers a bug Sidney planted. She goes to Granny’s to apologize to August. Ruby screams, and in the back alley they find Kathryn, alive and well.

Once Upon a Time, Ms. Blanchard

New episodes return on April 22, where we just might learn why August is really in Storybrooke. See you then!

o Despite clearing up some major plot points, this episode fell flat for me. Maybe they’ve teased out the threads for so long that it just fails to impress when they’re concluded?
o As I guessed, the heart they found was the one from Regina’s vault, and Kathryn was alive all along. The question is, who brought her back?
o Hats off to Bailee Madison, who played the young Snow. She copied Ginnifer Goodwin’s mannerisms so well, it really was like watching her as a little girl.

Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She enjoys a challenge and is currently re-watching all 15 seasons of ER. Follow her @nicolemnelson

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once upon a time recapping: snow falls

The episode starts in the Enchanted Forest, with Charming riding in a carriage with an uptight blonde princess. A fallen tree blocks the road, but it’s a ruse that allows a thief to grab a satchel from the carriage. Charming gives chase and tackles the thief, who is actually Snow. She clocks him with a rock and escapes; he promises to find her.

Ms. Blanchard is on a date with an inattentive blonde (my love David Anders, of Alias and Heroes), babbling about wanting true love before she gives up and calls for a check. On the walk home, she spots Emma sleeping in her car and offers her a spare room, but she declines.

Ms. Blanchard’s class is volunteering at the hospital when she catches Henry in John Doe’s room. Despite his hints, she doesn’t recognize him, and only comments on how sad it is to be alone. Later, Henry tells Emma he’s found her father, and they need to make her parents remember.

Emma asks Ms. Blanchard to read the book to John Doe (or JD as I will now call him), telling her Henry thinks he’s Prince Charming. At first she’s reluctant, but Emma argues it’s the best way to break Henry of his delusions – when JD doesn’t revive, it will act as a reality check. The three will meet for breakfast to discuss the results.

That night, Ms. Blanchard is reading to JD at the hospital when he grabs her hand, but when she retrieves Dr. Whale (her date), he suggests she’s imagining it. Immediately after, he calls the mayor to report JD showed some activity. Regina would crush the phone in her hand if she could.

Snow raids some artifacts from a cave only to be caught and suspended in a rope trap on the way out. Charming appears, with a cocky reminder that he would find her, and she sarcastically dubs him “Prince Charming.” He strikes a deal: help him recover his stolen property – including a ring he was about to give the blonde – and he won’t reveal she is Snow White, wanted by the Queen.


Emma (in a stolen shirt of Regina’s) meets Henry at the café and Ms. Blanchard joins them, shocking them both with what happened. Henry immediately wants to go back. Ms. Blanchard does too, despite Emma’s reservations. However, JD is missing, and both the Sheriff and Regina are present. The mayor reveals she is JD’s emergency contact since she’s the one who found him. Dr. Whale warns if they don’t find him soon, he could die. Regina takes Henry home. A review of security footage shows JD walked into the woods.

Snow and Charming are heading through the woods when he notices the vial she has around her neck. He steals it, and she warns it’s a weapon that can squash a powerful adversary. Snow insists the claims against her are lies, and when he mentions her theft, she counters she has only stolen from Queen and mistook his carriage for hers. She wants only enough to get out the realm, and admits to ruining the Queen’s life. They stop for a drink of water. Snow gets away from Charming only to be caught by the Queen’s goons.

Sheriff Graham, Emma, and Ms. Blanchard are in the woods. The Sheriff goes off ahead and Ms. Blanchard asks Emma why she got into “finding people,” she replies it’s something she’s always done. Ms. Blanchard wonders if it was about her parents, and asks if she found them, to which Emma jokes, “depends who you ask.” Henry appears, and tells Ms. Blanchard JD is searching for her.

Snow is about to have her heart cut out when Charming saves her. She is clearly surprised and touched by his gesture. He says it was the honorable thing to do.

Henry tries to convince Ms. Blanchard that JD loves her. Emma wants to take him home, insisting that Regina will “kill me, then you, then me again.” Sheriff Graham finds JD’s bloody wristband.

Snow and Charming reach the troll’s bridge. She tries to negotiate for the jewels, but the trolls are suspicious of Charming and soon both he and Snow are at knifepoint (swordpoint?). They search Charming and find Snow’s wanted poster. Charming gets a sword and tells Snow to run, but he is overwhelmed and she is forced to use her magic vial to defeat the trolls. Charming reveals his name is James.

Sheriff Graham, Emma, Ms. Blanchard and Henry arrive at a t(r)oll bridge, where JD is in shallow water. Ms. Blanchard performs CPR, and when she places her mouth to his, he revives and coughs up water. Henry exclaims that she brought him back to life, and even Emma agrees.

At the hospital, Dr. Whale is tending to JD when the Storybrooke equivalent of the blonde princess shows up, calling him “David.” Regina pops out of nowhere to inform the trio that the blonde is JD’s wife.

Snow and Charming prepare to part ways. Snow tries on his ring for a minute, before claiming it’s not her style. He’ll find her again, and she almost believes him.

Regina explains that JD is really David Nolan, and the blonde is his wife, Katherine. Katherine thanks them. Ms. Blanchard asks how she could not know he was in coma, but she explains they parted on bad terms and she assumed he had left town. Dr. Whale says JD’s recovery is a miracle – which he just got up and went searching for something. “Someone,” Henry corrects.

Regina collects Henry and leaves. Emma of course confronts Regina with how convenient it is Katherine showed up, but the mayor acts oblivious. She throws in a jab, saying how the whole situation has made her glad she has Henry, and how awful it is to be alone.

Ms. Blanchard is twirling a ring on her finger, which happens to be the same ring Charming intended to give to his blonde princess. There is a knock at the door, Emma asks for the spare room, and Ms. Blanchard lets her in.

What we know so far:
Prince Charming is named James and John Doe is named David Nolan. Snow is responsible for ruining the Queen’s life, but how is still uncertain. It almost feels like nothing much happened. John Doe woke up, but he had barely three lines. Also, will Emma ever get fresh clothes?

A reader mentioned in my last post that the mysterious Sheriff Graham is one of the Queen’s guards from the pilot; we don’t see him but we hear his voice. After watching the scene again, I’m not quite sold. One theory I like is that Graham is the Huntsman who spared Snow. What do you think?

Next week is babies, ball gowns, and Mr. Gold (finally), oh my!

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once upon a time recapping: the thing you love most

The episode opens with Regina looking over the book, stopping on the illustration of the Evil Queen at the wedding, but the pages beyond it are missing. She confronts Henry about it and reminds him the book and Emma are no longer an issue, but he seems doubtful. The clock tower begins to chime and Regina looks panicked.

Regina stops by the hotel to offer Emma apples for the drive home, but she isn’t leaving until she’s convinced Henry’s okay. Regina says he’s in therapy and only one of them knows what’s best for him, to which Emma heartily agrees. It’s all out war between the two.

We pick up with the Evil Queen immediately after the wedding. The magic mirror asks about her plans, and she intends to use the dark curse. Her butler reminds her she traded it away, but she won’t let that stop her. The Queen visits Maleficent, who reminds her the curse won’t bring her love back to life, and refuses to return it. After a brief battle, the Queen has the curse. Maleficent warns her the price is too high.

The Evil Queen has gathered the dark characters of the Enchanted Forest. She promises them the dark curse will transport them to a realm where they will finally win, but she needs a lock of hair from each. She combines the ingredients with the treasured heart of her prized steed, but the curse fizzles out.

Once Upon a Time Sydney and Regina

Regina is picking apples when reporter Sydney appears with the latest issue of the Storybrooke Daily Mirror, featuring Emma’s mug shot. He was unable to find any dirt on Emma, noting only that Henry was born in Phoenix, and Regina is not pleased.

At the diner, Emma is given a cup of cocoa from an admirer. Thinking it’s the sheriff, she tells him she’s not there to flirt, but the cocoa is from Henry. As she walks him to school, he dubs their mission “Operation Cobra” and explains their one advantage is Regina doesn’t know who Emma is yet. He gives her the pages from the book to learn who she is. She reminds him she never said she believed, he counters that she’s still in town. In a brief conversation, Ms. Blanchard reveals Henry believes she is Snow White, and Emma is startled.

Emma visits Henry’s therapist Archie. She is concerned that the fairy tale obsession is crazy, he warns her not say that to Henry. He says Regina and Henry have a complex relationship, and gives her Henry’s file. Archie immediately calls Regina. The sheriff then shows up at Emma’s hotel, as Archie has accused her of stealing the files, and arrests her. Regina visits Henry at school to tell him Emma is a con artist, but he is unimpressed.

Once Upon A Time, Emma cuts down the tree

At the police station, Emma insists she is being framed. The sheriff seems unconcerned. Ms. Blanchard and Henry arrive. Emma is worried what Henry thinks, but he is impressed with her intel gathering skills for “Operation Cobra.” Ms. Blanchard offers to bail Emma out because she trusts her. Emma goes straight from the prison to take a chainsaw to a branch of Regina’s prized apple tree and tells the mayor it’s her move.

The Evil Queen is seething over her failed curse. Her butler suggests if she wants to fix it she must ask whoever gave it to her, but once she embarks on the path to revenge she can’t go back. She states she has nothing to go back to.

Her next stop is Rumpelstiltskin’s dungeon. He informs the queen that Snow and Charming’s unborn child will have the power to break her curse. His help has a price – in her cursed land she must do what he asks if he says please. Since he won’t remember anyway, she agrees. The curse will only work with the heart of thing she loves most but she argues Snow took that away. He tells her to find what she loves, and kill it.

Once Upon a Time, Sheriff Graham

Emma gets kicked out of her hotel at the mayor’s request. Meanwhile, Regina wants Sheriff Graham to arrest Emma again. He worries that if the fight continues to escalate, Henry will be the one who gets hurt. Regina calls Emma with a peace offer. At her office, Regina resigns herself to Emma wanting to take Henry from her. Emma insists that’s not what she’s after, but she has come to care for him and is worried about his mental health, calling his fairy tale obsession “crazy.” Of course, Henry walks in at that moment, just as Regina planned.

The Queen returns, and her butler asks if she got her answer. She reveals what she was told and says, “Daddy, I don’t know what to do.” He replies that if the price destroys what she has left, there’s no point in moving forward. For a second it seems like she might waver. But in the end she chooses to be happy – “just not here” – and kills him.

Emma stops by to give Ms. Blanchard her bail money, and she says it feels like she’s met Emma before. Emma wants to leave to prevent Henry from getting hurt, but Ms. Blanchard argues that if she doesn’t protect him, who will?

Henry is at Archie’s office, clearly upset. Emma comes in and apologizes, saying the curse is crazy, not him. She told his mom what she wanted to hear, to throw her off as part of Operation Cobra. To keep the pages out of Regina’s hands, Emma burns them in the fireplace. Henry hugs her, saying he knew she would help him, and it’s clear Emma is falling in love with him.

The Evil Queen places the heart on the fire and releases the curse. She leaves a flower her father’s grave, and we learn his name was Henry.

Regina is cleaning up her tree when Mr. Gold stops by to ruin her good mood, telling her Emma is still around and he would have fixed the problem if she’d asked, for a price. Regina is done making deals with him, and he responds, “which one?” Mr. Gold apparently “acquired” Henry for the mayor. Regina wants to know who Emma really is, but he says she already knows. When she tries to question him further, Mr. Gold asks her to “please” move, and she is stunned into compliance. Regina is beginning to realize that her happiness is not shaping up quite as she planned.

What we know so far:
Snow is somehow responsible for the death of the Evil Queen’s love. And Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold is clearly aware of what’s happening. He’s manipulating Regina and potentially has power over Emma and Henry through knowledge of their names. Sheriff Graham is still a mystery though. Who is his fairy tale equivalent, and what are his motives?

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