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Once Upon a Time 1-13: What Happened to Frederick

When I saw the title of this episode, I was wondering who exactly Frederick was. I was wondering if he was someone we’d met before, but he wasn’t ringing any bells. Fortunately, he wasn’t someone I’d forgotten, and I loved his twist to the story.

Plus tonight we found out a little more about Snow White and Prince Charming (aka James). Their story in Fairy Tale is just fascinating to me since they have added so many twists to it. All told, it was another great episode.

I should start this recap by admitting something I haven’t had to since I started the recaps. I’ve never been super comfortable with the Mary Margaret/David/Kathryn triangle. I mean, we’re rooting for a married couple to break up and I have a hard time with that. It did help when a friend pointed out that David and Kathryn are only married because of the spell. And actually it was Kathryn who put the final nails in that coffin tonight by confirming that. I’m actually fully on board now. I was mostly on board before the episode, so it didn’t take much.

But let’s start out the episode with a trip back to Fairy Tale. We start with James on the run from the king as he tries to escape and find Snow White. He is saved by, of all people, Abigail. She confesses that she knows of his love for Snow and doesn’t want to marry him because she loves someone else. That’s when she shows him the gold platted statue of Frederick, her fiancee and true love. Only it really is Frederick. He was riding with Abigail and Midas and saw a danger. He was trying to protect the two of them and touched Midas, turning him to gold.

There is only one way to save him, the water from a lake guarded by a Siren. James volunteers to go and get the water for her before trying to find Snow so that at least one of them can be happy – either her with her love or him in death.

So he arrives at the shore of the lake and confronts the Siren. The Siren quickly turns into Snow and tries to make James agree to stay with her – i.e. be drown. And James almost falls for it while trying to fight against it. But what finally wakes him up is the kiss, which he realizes isn’t true love. By that point, he’s walked out into the lake and falls beneath the surface. A weed pulls him to the bottom, but he finds a knife and manages to kill the Siren with it which allows him to swim back to the surface.

As a side note here, I have to praise Josh Dallas. His acting in this scene was amazing. You could see the longing on his face even as he was fighting it.

Anyway, there’s not much more to tell. The water that James brings back releases Frederick from the golden spell and he and Abigail are set to live happily ever after. James sets out to find Snow and starts by going to the cabin she’d been living in. We get a replay of the scene with Red, but we get more of it. He learns that she set out to break up his wedding, and immediately he concludes that his “father” King George did something to get her to say she didn’t love him and leave. Just then, who should appear but King George and some of his soldiers. As they shoot at James and Red, he grabs her and drags her up to his horse and they ride off.

Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Kathryn has some surprising news for David. She’s been accepted to law school in Boston. David immediately runs to Mary Margaret to discuss the news, and she convinces him that it is time they told Kathryn the truth and he ended his marriage. However, when he goes to have that discussion, he can’t bring himself to tell her the truth and instead says he wants to stay in Storybrooke since he still isn’t feeling their connection.

Mary Margaret, meanwhile, has confessed to sneaking around to Emma. Now, if I were going to have a conversation like that, I wouldn’t choose to do it in the diner. I’d do it at home, especially since they are roommates. But the diner’s where they have it. Emma has known all along, and when a surprised Mary Margaret asks why she didn’t say anything, we get one of my favorite exchanges of the night.
Emma: I’m not your mother.
Mary Margaret: No, but according to Henry I’m yours.

Kathryn, upset about the break up, flees to her one friend, Regina. Regina just happens to let it slip that Mary Margaret and David have been sneaking around and she just happens to have the pictures that Sidney would have put in the paper if Regina hadn’t talked him out of it. Pictures that Regina really took herself and hasn’t shown anyone else. Naturally, Kathryn is upset, even blaming Regina for not telling her sooner.

Kathryn heads to the school where she confronts Mary Margaret. That starts the entire town talking about her. Now, as much as I am rooting for Mary Margaret and David to get together, she should have thought this through. It’s the natural result of something like an affair. Then again, I get why Mary Margaret was upset, so I’m not saying she shouldn’t have been. Again with the conflicted on my part.

Anyway, Mary Margaret finds David trying to clean up a spray painted “Tramp” from her car. Upset, she breaks up with him because love shouldn’t be this destructive.

Now here’s where things begin to get interesting. Kathryn shows up at Regina’s office again. She apologizes for her earlier outburst and then admits she’s okay with her marriage breaking up. Why? She really looked at the picture of David and Mary Margaret and sees the love in David’s eyes. “He’s never looked at my like that,” she says. She goes on to say that her marriage feels like an illusion. You don’t say. Regina seemed a little unnerved by that, but she hid it quickly. Anyway, Kathryn still wants to go to Boston to law school and maybe even find true love along the way. But meanwhile, she’s left David and Mary Margaret a note giving them her blessing.

Well, Regina can’t have that, so she breaks into David’s house and steals the note. That night, to make sure it is never found, she burns it. And where had she hidden it? Under a can of red spray paint, meaning she’s the one who sprayed Mary Margaret’s car.

Kathryn sets out in her car for Boston. But as we all know, no one can leave town. As the episode ends, the gym teacher at the school (Frederick in his Storybrooke identity) finds her car. The airbag has been deployed, but Kathryn is no where to be found.

But wait, there’s more. Our sub-plot of the night involved the stranger. He asks Emma for a date. She refuses until she knows his name, so he tells her it is August W. Booth. (The W stands for Wayne.) She agrees, and he takes her by motorcycle to a wishing well. Legend has it that drinking from the well will bring what you have lost back to you. Emma is suspicious of all he knows about the town until he reveals he read the plaque on the well. And they drink.

Before the date, we saw August in his room. He was dipping the pages from the book into something, drying them, and binding the pages back together. So, was he creating a copy for himself or adding stories to the book?

Anyway, after the date, Emma is cleaning leaves off her car (is it still autumn there?) when she finds a box floating in the gutter by the back tires. August is watching from around the corner as she opens the box. Inside is the book, which she sneaks back to a delighted Henry.

Okay, so that ends the story development portion of the episode. But the Disnerd in me has to geek out over the Tron reference. In an effort to make things up to Henry (you know, destroying the playground and his book), Regina buys him a hand held video game system. When Emma talks to him to give him the book, he is playing Space Paranoids, one of the games from the original Tron and referenced in Tron: Legacy. Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, creators of this show, also wrote the script for Tron: Legacy.

Back to the episode. Obviously, they can’t have David and Mary Margaret get together because I have a feeling that will go a long way toward breaking the spell. Speaking of which, I wonder just how they should be going about doing that. And what would happen to Emma and Henry when they do. So far, I feel they are doing a good job of throwing complications in their path. Then again, I’m a patient sort. I watched all 10 seasons of Friends, after all. I love Castle, where we’re on season 4 of keeping that couple apart. And one of my favorite mystery series is on book 13 with the main character in a love triangle. But how long can they keep it up with Kathryn out of the picture?

Speaking of whom, where is she? My guess – Belle now has a cellmate.

One last thing. In Regina and Kathryn’s second scene together, Regina admitted she was truly in love once. I wonder who that was and if that’s what happened that Snow referenced weeks ago about Snow ruining Regina’s life.

We’re going to have to wait two weeks for a new episode. Some little show called the Oscars will be preempting it next week.

Until then, how did you like this episodes? Any theories you want to throw out?

And see what else I’m watching by taking a look at my Weekly TV Recap at my normal home.