Once Upon a Time 1-18: The Stable Boy

The big question of the season for me has been, what did Snow White do to Regina to make Regina hate her so much. That was finally answered last night. (And I really did think they’d hold that until season two.) It fits with the universe they’ve created, and I can understand much of what has come since. However, it was predictable. Which is probably why they focused more on Storybrooke.

What the story lacked in, well, story, it more than made up for in makeup and casting. They did a great job of giving us a younger version of Regina. And the actress they hired to play the young Snow White was amazing in how she captured the looks and mannerisms of Ginnifer Goodwin. If I didn’t know better, I would have said they used the regular actress, but the budget wouldn’t have covered the special effects needed to create her as a child.

And let’s start in Fairy Tale.

When we first see Regina, she is riding a horse and jumping over obstacles. Her father praises her, but then her mother appears and starts to berate her for not acting like a proper young lady. When Regina starts to argue, her mother starts using magic against her, first raising her off the ground and then squeezing her until she backs down.

Regina returns to the barn, where we learn she is in love with Daniel, their stable boy. They intend to marry, but they are afraid of her mother (with good reason).

A few days later, their secret meeting is interrupted when a young girl goes flying by on an out of control horse. Regina takes off after her and rescues her.

That girl turns out to be Snow White, and the next day the king shows up to thank Regina for saving her life. He then explains that Snow’s mother has died and he’s been looking for someone who cares about Snow as much as he does. Obviously, that woman is Regina, and he proposes to her. Regina is stunned, but her mother is overjoyed and accepts for her.

Regina heads to the stable and tells Daniel what is going on. They agree to run away together to get married. They lean in for a kiss, and Snow appears. Upset, she runs off, but Regina chases her down and explains what is happening. Once Snow has calmed down, Regina swears her to silence from everyone, especially her mother.

But Regina’s mother is more manipulative than a little girl can understand. She cozies up to Snow and talks about how wonderful she thinks it is that Regina and Snow are already so close. But she fears she is losing Regina. It would be a shame for Regina to lose her mother the way Snow did. Snow falls for it and explains about Daniel and the plan to run away.

So when Regina sneaks out of the house to leave, her mother shows up to stop Regina and Daniel. She worked hard to get Regina to the point where she is, and she won’t see it all thrown away on a stable boy. They try to explain things to her, and it appears that it works. But it’s just a trick to let their guard down. When Regina’s mom gets a chance, she reaches in, takes out Daniel’s heart, and crushes it to dust, killing him.

Our final scene is Fairy Tale finds Regina getting ready for her wedding. Snow comes in and learns that things didn’t work out with Daniel and Regina will become Snow’s step-mother. And Snow spills the beans on how exactly that happened, although she doesn’t know what she has done. A delighted Snow runs off to pack, although Regina is obviously furious with Snow. Regina’s mom comes in, and Regina suggests that Snow’s horse running away with her wasn’t an accident. Her mom doesn’t deny it, although she doesn’t confess either.

Okay, I can understand why Regina is furious with Snow. Although to hold an adult responsible for the actions of a child (I would have said Snow was 8 at most here) seems a bit much. Besides, it was Regina’s mom who was truly responsible. I wonder if Regina ever did anything to her mom over all this? It really doesn’t seem quite enough for all Regina has done to Snow.

Meanwhile in Storybrooke….

Actually, the episode starts a week ago and answers the big question at the end of last week’s episode. We see a meeting between Mr. Gold and Regina in which Mr. Gold outlines the plan to frame Mary Margaret for Kathryn’s murder. Interesting. So he’s been in on it the entire time. His idea was to destroy her by getting her sent out of town, which the curse won’t let happen. And what did he get out of this deal? His assault charges were dropped thanks to Regina’s influence.

Now back in the present, David is trying to get back into Mary Margaret’s good graces and use Emma to deliver the message, but she won’t have it. Instead, she returns to her office to find that Mr. Gold is meeting with Mary Margaret and suggesting that she talk to the DA (the first appearance by James’ “father” in Storybrooke) before the trail to show that she is cooperating. Mary Margaret goes along with it, but then is so upset by his hostile questions that she flies off and “confesses” to the crime in an angry, sarcastic manner. You know, “Is this what you want me to say?” kind of way.

Emma has had Sidney working on the case, and he shows up with a vase of tulips (to add some color to the office) but news that he can’t find anything to help Mary Margaret.

Emma is out of ideas, so she sits and reads through Henry’s book to try to come up with something that will help her figure out how to free her friend. That’s when mysterious author August shows up. He suggests that when he has writer’s block, he rereads what he’s written to try to find a thread to move forward. Emma takes his suggestion and begins the murder investigation again. They return to the toll bridge where Ruby found the heart. Digging a bit more, they find a broken off piece of a shovel. That night, they break into Regina’s garage and find a perfect match. They’ve got her!

Not so fast. We’re only half way through the episode. (Don’t the characters ever pay attention to these things?)

The next morning, Emma returns with a search warrant based on an “anonymous tip” and returns to the garage, only to find a brand new shovel. Frustrated, she accuses August of telling someone, but he denies it. “Who else knew?” she asks.

Meanwhile, Regina is visiting Mary Margaret in jail just to rile her up and gloat. In that last of these scenes just before the trail is supposed to start, Mary Margaret apologizes for “whatever I did to hurt you so much.” You can feel the venom as Regina replies, “Apology not accepted.”

As Mary Margaret is led out for the start of her trial, Emma is frustrated to have once again hit a brick wall. Angry, she grabs the vase of tulips and throws it against her filing cabinets, breaking it and revealing a bug.

She immediately heads to Granny’s bed and breakfast to apologize to August. She shows him the bug and explains that she now knows she’s been trusting all the wrong people.

Before they can regroup and figure out what to do next, they head a scream. It’s Ruby who comes running out of an ally saying “she” is in the ally. Emma heads into the ally to find a woman lying face down. Emma rolls her over and sees that it’s Kathryn. Just as Kathryn’s eyes blink open, the episode ends.

For three weeks! The next new episode isn’t until the 22nd!!!!!!

Okay, so obviously I’ve been saying all along that Kathryn had to be alive somewhere somehow. I really want to know just how that happened and who has been holding her. My guess is Mr. Gold, but why he released her now is beyond me. From the way she was lying, I don’t think Kathryn escaped but instead was let go. And I feel like she was drugged for much of the time. I’m wondering if she even knows what happened to her.

Whether she knows what happened or not, this is going to make for a very interesting episode next time.

So, do you agree that Snow’s big sin against Regina wasn’t bad enough to justify all this? Or am I being a guy and should see Regina’s side more? Again, I think Regina has a case against her mom and Snow definitely did betray a confidence. But she was young and manipulated.

Any theories on where Kathryn has been and why she appeared now? I’m thinking it was Mr. Gold for some reason, but I can’t quite figure out his motives.

Anything I missed that needs to be pointed out or discussed?

Meanwhile, if you’d like to see what else I like to do, come visit my blog where I’m talking about my weekend mud run.

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27 Responses to Once Upon a Time 1-18: The Stable Boy

  1. Erica says:

    Not quite sure ALL the reasons why Mr. Gold would keep her, but he was able to get the charges against him dropped, which is a pretty good reason; and I can’t remember but maybe he made a deal with Mary Marg. to get her to take him as her lawyer?
    I think the guy that plays Mr. Gold deserves an award, he is so good at playing Rumple and Mr. Gold – I never know what is coming next with him, he plays the role perfect.

    Also, my husband and I were trying to decide which character ‘Daniel” is. My husband has a pretty good theory, he thinks Daniel is the storybook writer. He must be special b/c he is able to leave town like Emma is. He said he was a news writer or a reporter of some sort when he first came to town, and he was able to fix Henry’s book. Any thoughts?

    • Mark Baker says:

      Mr. Gold and Regina both deserve awards. Their performances are amazing every week.

      Daniel as in the stable boy? I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen him in Storybrooke since he’s dead. If you’re talking about August, the mysterious stranger, I’ve heard other people say he’s the writer of Henry’s book. He definitely has said he’s a writer. I think I read he’s not the writer of the book, however, so I really don’t know who he could be.

  2. Duy Truong says:

    I agree that Regina’s hate for Snow is a bit too much, but I guess a lot of people have to see it a different way. Regina once said hat a woman with a broken heart an do unimaginable things. I guess it started out with Regina being FURIOUS with Snow, then seeing her as the sole reason for her eternal misery and the hate piles up to what we have now.
    I mean if I was Regina, I guess I would feel the same way; you never had your own life, and now your only chance was ruined by a girl (and now you’re stuck with her too).

    The whole Kathryn bit had me so confused. I thought we have her heart!
    The whole Gold keeping her captive makes sense… but her heart!

    • Mark Baker says:

      I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks that Regina’s hate for Snow is over the top. You make an excellent point that this hatred would build over time. Especially when the king makes no effort to love Regina. (Although that was probably a two way street.) Maybe her hatred did grow into what we see today.

      Yes, we have her heart. But remember the huntsman’s heart. Who knows how Regina got it, but I never believed she was really dead.

  3. Irene says:

    I also agree that the hate Regina had for Snow as a child was a bit much. She knew how manipulative her mother could be and should have realized that if she couldn’t stand up to her mother, how could a little girl? I’m wondering who Regina’s mother is and why she has these powers (which have obviously been transferred to her daughter). Guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree (pun intended).

    I’m sure Mr. Gold has something to do with Kathryn’s return. Right before he left for the trial he said something to Emma about it’s being time to make some magic (or words to that effect).

    I did realize we have to wait that long for the next episode. shucks.

    • Mark Baker says:

      As a lover of puns, yours was great.

      Mr. Gold’s actions go back to what is he really up to? He has a master plan and uses people to get what he wants. I’m curious just exactly what it is he wants because maybe then we can figure out what he will do next.

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  5. Breese says:

    The episode was great. The whole thing was truly, no doubt, spectactular, like every other episode that comes to mind. Meanwhile, I have other things to talk about.
    I would LOVE to hear your theories on WHO’S heart was in the box, since Kathryn is ALIVE. So, my guess, it’s Graham’s. Any others?
    And, for the sake of time, I believe that August IS either a troll (as in the one that lived under the bridge), or the writer of Henry’s book.

    • Mark Baker says:

      I suggested Graham’s heart a few weeks back and was reminded we saw it be crushed. And remember, they did a test and it was Kathryn’s heart. My best guess at the moment is that Regina took her heart at some point like she did Graham’s in Fairy Tale. But it’s just a theory.

      • Breese says:

        True, true. But, Regina could’ve had the tests overturned to say it was Kathryn’s, and the they didn’t really ‘crush’ Graham’s heart.

  6. jess says:

    There are lots of interesting theories as to who August is, including him being one of the Grimm brothers. Another one claims that he is Pinocchio. We’ve seen both Gepetto and Jiminy so I guess it makes since. August also claims that he doesn’t like to lie, even though he told Ruby that the temples in Nepal are covered with Lemurs… Lemurs only live in Madagascar I thought? Or the zoo.

    I think it does seem a bit much to blame Snow. If it were me I would blame my mom. Maybe Regina kills her mom, which makes her heart dark (remember the episode Heart of Darkness?) and then she can’t stop blame shifting. The next person to take it out on is Snow. I also think the hate just keeps building up. Snow mentions once that the EQ tries to kill her because she is prettier. When the king compliments Snow on how beautiful she is, like her deceased mother, the EQ seems a little hurt.

    Mr Gold has stated a couple times that he is invested in Snow’s future. It could have something to do with the true love potion he ends up making with her and Charming’s hair. I could easily see how it would suit him to have Kathryn hostage, play up the EQ a little like she is going to win so he can get his charged dropped and then tell Emma he is going to work some magic and release Kathryn just in time.

    However, maybe Regina was keeping her in that ward below the hospital, where Belle is, and she escaped or was released by that creepy janitor guy. Who knows. But that would be interesting.

    • Mark Baker says:

      The king is a jerk toward Regina. From the episode where she had him killed, it is obvious that he never really tried to love her. There he is in front of her going on about his first wife. I mean, I’m single and I know you don’t do something stupid like that.

      I would lean most toward the theory that August is a Grimm, but I thought the producers said that wasn’t the case. He can’t be a true Fairy Tale character because it’s been implied that he can come and go like Emma.

      • Breese says:

        Emma is, however, apart of the fairy tale (she is Snow White’s daughter).
        Just a thought.

  7. TPF says:

    I have to agree that Regina’s hate for Snow White is a bit over the top. I can understand hating her mother and I can understand pushing Snow White away after she betrayed her confidence. What I *can’t* understand, however, is how Regina became so similar to her mother. If she loved Daniel that much, she would have reminded herself that he would be disappointed in her if he saw her acting in such a way. That being said, evil queens can’t be evil without a reason, and Regina is a fantastic (and unfortunately simplistic) character. Still, I think the Mr. Gold character wins the award for most interesting – his complexity dazzles me, as do his roles as both a scheming pawn shop owner and a possibly evil, possibly misguided Rumpel.

    Also, anyone think that the new guy to town is Rumpel’s son??? Hmm…

    • Mark Baker says:

      As much as I am complaining about this storyline, I think this is the first true attempt to make Regina into a fully fleshed out character. I agree that Mr. Gold/Rumple is a much more complex and rounded character. Kinda ironic since he’s the secondary villain.

      Again, I don’t think August could be a Fairy Tale character because he comes and goes from town.

  8. Stephanie says:

    I’m thinking that whatever happened to Kathryn is what happened to David/Charming when we first met him. How he ended up with amnesia and had been “missing”. I feel like when we see Kathryn again she is going to be suffering from this same amnesia and black outs and David/Charming now does. I’m not sure yet, but I wonder if something happens to these characters when they reach the edge of Storybrooke and they just sort of disappear and get transports somehow somewhere else before they eventually are reintroduced back into Storybrooke, albeit with no memory of what happened. To me, it would make sense that David and Kathryn weren’t having a great relationship before he fell into a coma, and he may have tried to leave Storybrooke then and that’s when he ended up in the hospital in a coma. Idk.

    I’m also very curious about August. I do think that he could be the author of Henry’s book. Something in the way that he said Emma’s name in this episode though really reminded me a lot of how Henry speaks to Emma, and a little part of me wonders if maybe August is not his real name and he’s an adult Henry???

    Total speculation on my part for both of those. I really love this show!

    I started wondering about this because I was thinking that if Daniel and Kathryn were having troubl

    • jess says:

      The producers have told us that August is not Henry grown up but we will find out this season who he is.

    • Mark Baker says:

      You know, I hadn’t considered your idea that nothing outside the curse happened to Kathryn. That’s actually a very plausible theory. Regina just took advantage of the situation to try to get Mary Margaret.

      I’ll be interested in seeing if it happens that way.

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  11. Kalina says:

    I didn’t buy Regina as a young innocent woman — I think they waited too long to show us this story. By now we know the depth and extent of her machinations, and I don’t believe that ONE incident was enough to change her completely, to that extent. She had feelings for Snow (saved her from the runaway horse) and could easily realize she was blameworthy compared to her mother, who actually struck the man down.

    As for Kathryn, I think that when someone tries to leave Storybrooke (“we all know what happens”) they go into some netherworld and then reappear with no memory. Shades of Prince Charming in his coma!

    • Mark Baker says:

      I’m almost wondering if we’ll see more from Snow the younger years that might help explain things more. I doubt it because I have a feeling the creators consider this their explanation for Regina’s hatred, but we’ll have to see.

  12. Madison says:

    I understand Regina’s hatred toward Snow White. It is not that she hates Snow for accidentally telling her mother. Regina’s life was about to be perfect and it was because of Snow that it was ruined. In her mind Snow is the cause. The actions of Regina’s mother was the effect of Snow.
    As for August, I don’t think he is a storybook character. I have a theory. The Mad Hatter knew who he was. This might be because he was in a different world at the time. He was in wonderland. I don’t thing August was in wonderland, but perhaps he was in another world. He may not be a character, but he knows about the storybook world. Again its just a theory, put its an interesting one.

    • Mark says:

      I get why Snow can be blamed, but I think the blame is overdone. She was a girl, for pete’s sake! But if I were in her shoes and had to endure the horrid marriage, I might feel differently.

      Your theory on August is interesting. I hadn’t considered it, but I’ll definitely be thinking on it.

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  14. I agree that the answer to what Snow did to Regina is a underwhelming. It’s hard to believe that Regina would blame a child for such an innocent mistake. Maybe if Snow had acted maliciously–in a spoiled child sort of way–I’d be more likely to buy it.

    I also agree about the actress playing young Snow. WOW!!! Her facial expressions and tone were just like Ginnifer Goodwin. I can’t remember a time when two actors have been so well matched.

    My guess is that Regina’s mom is the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland. I think she’ll turn out to be an even bigger threat to Emma and her family/friends than Regina.

    I think it’s possible that August (the stranger) is a character from the fairy tale world who somehow was exempted from the curse. Similar to what happened to baby Emma. As someone else suggested, maybe he’s been in one of the other worlds, like Wonderland. Following the Emma template, he would have been a child at the time of the curse and been aging this entire time. Could he be Mr. Gold’s son? We don’t know what happened to him. Someone suggested Pinnochio in these comments. That would fit with his desire to travel and see the world.

    I’m curious about Dr. Whale’s fairy tale identity. They’ve been teasing us with him all season. I figure that part of losing your happy ending is losing the emotional growth that came with it. If that’s true, then Dr. Whale was a womanizer before acheiving his happy ending. I say that because he really doesn’t seem to have any other flaws. He’s a good doctor. He doesn’t appear to drink, gamble, or have other vices. It’s just that he hits on every woman in sight. Now that Big Bad Wolf is off the table, I’m stumped. Any ideas?

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