Last week on ‘Once Upon a Time’, we discovered that Rumplestiltskin did truly know what love is at one point. We found out that Mr. Gold knows that his true name is Rumplestiltskin. We also learned that Rumplestiltskin is more powerful then The Evil Queen herself.

They haven’t touched much on the Prince James and Snow White story since Snow erased her memory. David and Mary’s story has been more of a background story instead of the main story. It looks like this episode picks up where those stories left off, and we continue the journey of Prince James and Snow White.

Story Time

King Midas’ daughter Abigail greets the King as she arrives to the palace for her wedding to Prince James. She notices the guards are searching for something, when she questions it the King assures her that everyone is excited for her wedding. James is still out searching for Snow White. Guards have tracked him down and chase him through the woods, but he manages to get away due to a fallen tree. When he thinks he is safe, another set of guards sneak up from behind and capture him.

It is revealed that Abigail is the one who sent the guards. She knows that James is in love with Snow, and tells him she doesn’t want to marry him either. She explains to him that she wants to help him escape. Abigail brings him to her father’s realm. James tries to refuse her help, but she tells him her heart was given to another as well. He tries to get her to explain what happened, but she says everyone has their tragedies. James tells her how Snow told him she doesn’t love him anymore, which makes Abigail scoff that its not a tragedy.

Abigail caves, and tells her story of love and loss. Frederick was a knight for her father, he was protecting her father when his father’s curse drove them apart. He had accidentally touched Frederick, turning him to gold. “All curses can be broken” James tells her, but Abigail tells him that she had kissed the gold statue until her lips bled. She tells him of a lake that holds magic waters that can break his curse. But there is a beast that guards that lake, that no man has been able to get past. James promises her that he will bring her back the water. He tells her that even if he dies then, it will end his suffering, and bringing back the water would end hers. Either way, they win. Abigail then takes him to the lake, where they first come upon a shrine. She tells him that men leave an offering to the beast to try and let them pass. James tells her since it never mattered before, he will not leave an offering. He leaves her there, telling her there is no reason for her to be in any danger as well. As he approaches the water, a siren comes above, showing him her face.

The siren speaks to him, but James tells her to stop. He tells her he will not fall prey to her. She laughs, and changes her face to Snow White’s. She convinces him to kiss her, causing him to drop his sword. She begins pulling him towards the lake, continuing to kiss him. James eventually stops her, telling her “This is not real love” and explains that he felt real love with Snow. The siren then tackles him, pulling him down into the water. James shoves her off of him, beginning to swim towards the surface, but a plant wraps itself around his ankle, keeping him under water. The siren then comes over and kisses him. He notices a dagger on the floor of the lake, which he stabs the siren and cuts himself free.

James returns to Abigail with the water. She pours the water on Frederick’s golden head, releasing the curse from him. James tells Frederick to marry Abigail. “True love isn’t easy.” Before James leaves, Abigail warns him that “Some people will stop at nothing to destroy the happiness of others.”, speaking of the King. James leaves with a smile.

As he continues his search for Snow, he comes across Red Riding Hood. She tells him that Snow had left to break up the wedding. It dawns on him what must have happened before she told him she didn’t love him. As he comes to this revelation, the guards from the palace spot him and Red. The King declares he wants James’ head. Red and James ride away, continuing the search for Snow.

Real Time

During a tense dinner, Katherine reveals to David that she had applied to law school. She didn’t think she would get in, but shows him a letter of acceptance. The school is in Boston. Katherine believes that they needed a fresh start, somewhere new together. David sits in silence with the thought. He tells her that he needs to go for a walk, calling Mary Margaret. Mary tells him that he needs to tell Katherine the truth. She tells him that it would be better to hear it from him then anyone else. Mary also tells him he needs to make a choice, Katherine or her. David tells her that he chooses her, and that he will tell Katherine the next day.

Emma notices the Strangers motorcycle outside of Granny’s the next morning. He walks out as she is walking in, asks her for the drink she owes him. She tells him no, because she doesn’t go on dates with guys who won’t tell her their name. He reveals to her that his name is August Wayne Booth. She still doesn’t give an answer as she walks into the diner. Mary asks about him, which Emma brushes off. Mary tells Emma about seeing David, which Emma replies that she already knew. Surprised, Mary asks her how, which Emma tells her the change of clothes and late nights pretty much gave it away. Frantic, Mary tells her that David is telling Katherine that day.

While this is going on, David walks into the house, where Katherine tells him she’s apartment hunting in Boston. David tells her he can’t join her in Boston, that he just doesn’t feel the connection with her. He doesn’t tell her about Mary, chickening out at the last second. David tells Katherine to get a fresh start without him. We are then taken to August, who is dipping the pages of Henry’s book into chemicals, and rebinding it together.

Regina gives Henry a gift. He’s very weary of it, but she urges him to open it anyway. She gives him a video game, apologizing for tearing down the castle. Henry tells her its not just the castle, but he wants to see Emma as well. Katherine walks in, interrupting the conversation. Henry runs off, and Katherine speaks to Regina about David telling her to leave without him. Regina reveals to Katherine that he’s been having an affair, and shows her photos that Sydney had taken. Katherine, sobbing, declares Regina is not her friend, takes the pictures and leaves.

David sits, going through pictures of Katherine. He calls Mary and tells her that he told Katherine everything. Mary tells him that he did the right thing, tells him that she will see him later tonight. Right after she hangs up the phone, Katherine storms up to her (nearly knocking over the gym teacher who is also Frederick) and slaps her across the face. Katherine tells her that David wasn’t the one to tell her, that he lied to her too. Katherine tells Mary they deserve each other, before storming away. Mary stands in shock to the revelation.

August sits in front of Granny’s on his motorcycle, waiting to pick up Emma. He tells her “I know a nice watering hole.” Emma refuses to get on the back of the bike. August tells her to let go and hop on. She eventually does, putting on the helmet he hands her. He brings her to a well, stating “Say what you want, I always tell the truth.” He tells her a story about how the well is magic, that if you drink from it that something you have lost will be returned to you. Emma looks at him, reminds him he is a stranger to this town, which he replies he read the plaque that is on the well. But he does believe the water is magic. “If anything would have magic, it would be water.” She begins to argue, and he chides her for being such a skeptic person. While this is happening, Mary walks through the town, aware that the other people are talking about her. She bumps into Granny, who tells her she should be ashamed of herself.

TRAMP is written on the side of Mary’s car, which David struggles to wash off. David explains that he didn’t want anyone to get hurt. Mary tells him, “We had an understanding. An agreement. But not only did you lie to her, you lied to me.” She then tells David that what they have isn’t love. It’s too destructive to be love. Mary tells him they shouldn’t be together. Later on, we see Emma find the red box with Henry’s book by her car while August watches hiding across the street.

Katherine goes to Regina, apologizing for snapping on her early. She claims that her emotions were running too high. Katherine tells Regina she is leaving, that she is going to go to Boston. Her marriage with David wasn’t real, and shows her the picture of him and Mary together, saying that he never looked at her like that. She tells Regina she wrote them each a letter, saying they should be together, she gives them her blessing. Katherine hugs Regina, and Regina wishes her luck. Later on, using a special key from the set that Emma had found when her and Sidney had raided Regina’s office, Regina breaks into David’s home, taking the letter that Katherine had written for him. She takes it back to her office, where she burns it. Meanwhile, Emma gives Henry the found book. Excited, Henry says Operation Cobra is back on.

Emma talks to Mary, who laying in bed. She doesn’t want to talk about things, but she doesn’t want to be alone. Emma lies next to her. Katherine begins to leave town, but right at the sign she goes off the road. “Frederick” finds the car, opens it to find it empty, but with the airbag deployed.

So this week moved the story along a bit when it comes to Snow/Mary and James/David’s story. Emma and the Stranger, now known as August, are getting close. Who do you think the Stranger is? I have a theory that he is the narrator of the story, but I’m curious to know what you guys think.

Overall, I’m excited to see what happens next week. From the previews it looks like Emma is investigating David for Katherine’s disappearance. I want to see Katherine and Frederick end up together. Also, more Mr. Gold and Rumplestiltskin would be great to me!

What are you looking forward to? How do you think this episode fared to previous ones?

If you missed the previous episode, be sure to read ‘Once Upon a Time: Skin Deep’ recap.