Last week on ‘Once Upon a Time’, we followed the story of Hansel and Gretel. We learned that the Evil Queen has no problem sacrificing children for her own causes, or to break up a family because she is jealous. In the real world, Emma goes through enormous amounts of trouble to find the father of Ava and Josef, whose mother passed away. She didn’t want them to live the life that she did in the foster system. In the end, the three were united, making Emma happy. While her and Henry speak outside, a stranger rolls into town with a mysterious box and that’s how the episode ends leading us into this week.

From the previews we see that this week we’re going into Snow White’s story again. With a stranger rolling into town, do we have a new love interest for Mary Margaret?

Story Time

Red Riding Hood scares off a turkey while Snow White hunts, startling her. She doesn’t realize that a week has already passed since she’s seen Red, who is bringing her food. Red informs Snow that the wedding between Prince James and Princess Abigail was to happen in two days. Distraught, Snow tells Red how she can’t get him out of her head. She wishes there was a way that she can fall out of love with James. Red tells her there are “Whispers. Whispers of a man who can achieve even the most of unholiest of requests.” With that, Snow goes to see Rumplestiltskin.

Rumplestiltskin appears in the boat Snow is rowing to see him in. He comments how much he likes it, that it is great craftsmanship. Snow, confused, begins to stumble on her words, to say what she wants. Rumplestiltskin says he can cure what ails her, and creates a potion. He steals a lock of her hair, because no two loves are the same. He explains that when she drinks the potion, she won’t even remember Prince James’ name. When she is shocked by how extreme it seems, he explains that since love is extreme, the cure must be extreme. “Love makes us sick, haunts our dreams. Ruins our days.” He explains that forgetting Prince James would be a gift. All he asks for in return is the rest of the hair he pulled out. She questions him why, but being Rumplestiltskin, he just says she’s not using it anymore so he could have it. Agreeing to it, Snow takes the potion.

Meanwhile, James is missing a feast in his honor. The King comes to see him, bringing him a crown that Midas made for him. King tells him that his heart belongs to him now, which means he will marry Abigail and love her, even if his heart belongs to another. James reminds him that he asked for none of this, but the King reminds him that “That was a choice you made.” He tells him to “Do whatever it takes to get that woman out of your head, because nothing is going to stop this wedding!” In defiance, James writes a letter to Snow, and sends a carrier pigeon to bring it to her.

Snow is looking upon the potion that Rumplestiltskin gave her when the pigeon arrives. The note is Prince James begging her to come to the castle because he can’t get her out of his head either. The next time we see Snow, she’s in a disguise, bringing flowers to the wedding. When she gets into the tower, she hides from him, probably to surprise him, but is caught by one of the guards. She is brought to the dungeons, where she tries to climb out and escape.

In the next cell, a man laughs at her attempts to escape. He introduces himself as Grumpy, and tells her there is no way out. Snow tells him that her true love awaits her out there, which he scoffs at. He tells her his story of how he wound up in the jail cell next to hers. He was in love once, so he sold off his goods to buy a diamond to propose. But the diamond was a scam, a stolen diamond. He didn’t know. He’s not a thief. Love trapped him there. Before Snow can respond, Stealthy, the apparent 8th dwarf, comes to rescue Grumpy. Feeling guilty, they free Snow as well.  Snow tries to tell them to go in a different direction, but they don’t listen and continue running in the way that Stealthy came. They do get caught, with Stealthy being shot through the chest with an arrow. Weapons are pointed at Grumpy when Snow stops them, saying she will burn the place down if they touch him. Grumpy runs away, while the King says that him and Snow need to have a chat.

The King tells Snow that she has poisoned the Princes heart. The wedding needs to happen, and he doesn’t care if the Prince dies because of it. He tells Snow that she will go in there and break his heart. She will tell him that she doesn’t love him, because if the Prince dies from an assassination, the merger will still continue and Midas will give the gold to his Kingdom. Snow is taken away by his heartlessness, but the King tells her that Prince James is not his son.

Snow goes to the Prince’s room. He is delighted to see her, hugging her and spinning her around. He goes to kiss her, but she stops him. Snow tells him that she doesn’t love him, that nothing can happen. The Prince has tears in his eyes when she tells him that there’s “no place for us together.” Snow is able to hold it together until she leaves him, while both are crying as she walks away.

Outside, Snow cries to the dwarfs who surround her. She tells them that she lost him. Grumpy tells her it will get better, that she won’t be alone. The seven dwarfs promise to be by her side. She goes to take the potion, but Grumpy stops her. He tells her he wouldn’t take the pain away, because the pain is part of who he is. He tells her if she still feels this way later, she can take it then. But for now, she puts it away.

Prince James is riding his horse, yelling for Snow. Red sees him and said that she disappeared the night she went to see him. He tells Red that he will find her, he will always find her. Grumpy hears of this, rushes to tell Snow that the wedding is called off and Prince James is looking for her. But when he finds her, she looks at him and asks who Prince James is. We then see the potion bottle, empty on the table next to her.

Real Time

Outside of Regina’s home, Henry talks to the Stranger, whose bike has broken down. The Stranger tells him he’s visiting, and the box contains something he needs for something he has to do. Before anymore details are leaked though, he fixes his bike and rides away. Regina asks who he is, but no one knows.

Mary rushes around the house, claiming she overslept because she had to be at the school early. She stops at Granny’s, where she makes it obvious that school isn’t where she was rushing to. She sits at a table, right at 7:15. David walks in, orders two coffees, stops to talk with Mary briefly. Emma comes in from the back, confronting Mary. She tells Mary she’s stalking David. Mary tells her that she can’t get David out of her head. She wishes for a magic cure.

Mary goes to the grocery store where she picks up a few items, including a large bar of chocolate, where she literally runs into Katherine, who is shopping with Regina. Their items drop, while the two of them pick up the mess, Mary notices Katherine has a pregnancy test. Mary wishes her luck, while Regina steps in and tells her to be discreet. Looking confused, Regina reminds her that it is their life and she is not to interfere.

To clear her head, Mary takes a walk in the woods. She hears strange cooing noises, and finds a dove trapped in a net under a tree. She frees the dove, brings it to the animal shelter where David happens to be working. The veterinarian tells  her that it is a special breed of dove, that it needs to stay with its flock or it will be alone forever. Mary says she wouldn’t wish that upon anyone, decides to bring the dove back right away. David tries to stop her, even offering to drive her, because of the storm coming in. She refuses him and leaves to bring the dove back to the flock. Meanwhile, Regina confronts Emma. She wants her to talk to the Stranger, which Emma, at first, tries to refuse. Emma makes the argument that being new to town doesn’t necessarily make him a bad person, using herself as an example. Regina then decides to tell Emma that The Stranger was talking to Henry that morning, which changes Emma’s mind.

The road into the woods is closed, so Mary runs into the woods hoping to beat the storm. She listens for the flock of doves, but loses her footing and rolls down a cliff. She hangs on to some stray branches for dear life, calling for help. Luckily, David followed her and pulls her up, rescuing her. She runs back up the cliff side to the dove, where she continues to try and hear the flock. David begs to her to turn back, go home, because the storm is coming. It begins to rain heavily, so David and Mary seek shelter in an abandoned cabin. Mary refuses any comfort from David, which confuses him. She explains that she still has feelings for him, but its too painful to be around him. She admits to going to Granny’s each morning just to see him. David looks at her, tells her that he goes to Granny’s each morning to see her. They go in to kiss, but Mary stops him. She tells him that Katherine thinks she’s pregnant, which catches David by surprise.

Emma goes to Granny’s where the Stranger sits during the storm. Emma tells him that she thinks he’s suspicious, especially after talking to Henry. She asks him whats in the box. He tells her that she will have to wait to know what is in the box. That he will torture her with it, just carrying it around from place to place. But offers her this: If he can buy her a drink, he’ll tell her what’s in the box right then and there. She agrees to his terms, which turns out the box contains a typewriter. He is a writer. He says this town provides him with inspiration. Emma asks if he’s been there before, but he tells her no. He gets up to leave, and Emma asks about the drink. He replies that he said “sometime.”

The rain stops, so Mary runs out with the dove to unite with the flock. David tries to hold Mary’s hand, but she tells him no. He explains to her that he feels like he’s living a double life, one with Katherine with the memories, and one with her which is real and right now. “Whose to say which is real?” Mary tells him that they are “going to have to forget each other” to deal with the pain.

The next morning, David gets ready while talking to Katherine. She’s upset, saying that David is there physically but not mentally with her. She tells him that she was relieved when the pregnancy test was negative because they need to fix themselves before they can have children. Katherine wants to fix them, which David agrees to. They decide to see Archie. Instead of going to Granny’s, they go downstairs to just have breakfast. At the same time, Mary sits in the kitchen with Emma at 7:15. Emma holds Mary’s hand.

Later that morning, Mary goes to Granny’s. David starts to walk in, sees Mary and runs away. Mary chases after him, asking why he’s following her. He explains that he was coming later to try to avoid Mary, which she responds she’s trying to do the same with him. They explain to one another that they are trying not to see the other. David tells Mary that Katherine isn’t pregnant. They kiss, which Regina sees from her car across the street.

So this week was interesting. I like how the story advanced more with Snow White and Prince James. I’m enjoying the Stranger coming into town, with how nervous that makes Regina. I really like Grumpy, I hope he gets used more in the future. I have a feeling that The Stranger is the narrator of the story, with him being a writer in Real Time. What do you think Regina is going to do to break up David and Mary? Who do you think The Stranger is? What did you think of Snow drinking the potion?

If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘Once Upon A Time: True North’ recap.