"Once Upon A Time" Episode 3 Recap
Snow White has been re-imagined as an empowered female rebel fighter, rather than a traditional damsel-in-distress. As the episode begins, she meets the prince for the first time—by ambushing the his carriage to steal his jewels.
The two banter back in forth until Snow gets away, but not before the Prince promises that he will find her. Snow looks behind her and flashes a smile, almost as if to say, “I dare you.”
Back in Storybrooke, Mary is on a blind date with Dr. Wales (David Andrews), who not only makes her pay for the meal, but checks out Ruby’s short waitressing dress during the dinner. Disillusioned, Mary, in her traditional buttoned up Peter Pan attire, trudges home with the sad realization that there is no such thing as love at first site.
On her way back, she runs into Emma who is planning to sleep in her car after a city ordinance kicked her out of Granny’s Inn. Mary offers Emma a place to stay, but Emma, unable to rely on others, tells her she is fine where she is. Privately, the audience can’t help but think that the real reason is (disregarding, of course, the fact that Emma is unable to remember who Mary is) what 28-year-old woman would want to move in with her mother?
The next day, Henry meets up with Emma after telling his mom he is going to the arcade. He is convinced that the coma patient is really Prince Charming and that Mary needs to wake him up. Rather than dismissing his idea as nonsense, like she once would have, Emma gives it to him straight, "Kid, telling someone their soul mate is in a coma is probably not helpful." Still, she agrees to talk to Mary Margaret about it.
Mary says that she will read the story to the coma patient. One can’t help, but root for Mary then, because it is obvious that despite all logic, there is something buried in her that cannot help, but hope that Henry might be right.
When she sits down to read the story of how the prince and Snow White met, the same story that the episode started with, John Doe moves his hand over hers. Startled, she calls for the doctor, although he immediately dismisses the movement as a fluctuation.
Suspiciously, after Mary leaves, he calls the mayor, who is written down as John Doe’s emergency contact, and tells her exactly what happened.
In the fairytale world Prince Charming catches Snow White in a trap when she ventures out of a hollowed out tree. Charming lets her down, demanding that she give back the ring that she stole. He needs it to give to his fiancée, the blonde woman who was in the carriage that Snow had ambushed earlier.
The two flirt back and forth as Snow challenges the prince’s marriage. This version of Snow White is much less naïve and she tells him there is no such thing as true love and that he is only marrying his fiancé to unite the two kingdoms.
One can’t help, but feel that the writers took a step beyond the fairytale and were referring to the housing crisis that many are facing in the real world today during their conversation, especially when Snow refers to their upcoming marriage, “not a takeover, but a merger.”
Back in Storybrooke, John Doe is very much on Mary Margaret’s mind when she meets Henry and Emma for breakfast. When she describes how he grabbed her hand, it is obvious that she and Henry both are now drinking the cool aid.
In the fairytale world, Snow and Prince Charming reach the bridge where the trolls who Snow sold the jewels to live. They recognize the prince and believe that Snow White is trying to sell them out by bringing a royal with her. They grab Snow and try to detain the Charming, but he is too fast for them. Together Snow and Charming vanquish the trolls. When they are finally safe, they realize they are at the end of their adventure together, but it is obvious that neither wants to leave. Snow gives him the ring in exchange for the rest of the money.
“We both got what we wanted,” Charming said, although it is obvious that what they really want is to spend more time together.
“If you need anything, I’ll find you,” Charming promises.
Snow gives him a wry grin, “I almost believe that.”
In Storybrooke, Mary, Emma and Henry are trying desperately to find John Doe after the security log revealed that he woke up and walked into the woods. Finally, Mary spots him lying face down in a stream. For a heart rendering moment, it seems that he is dead. Furiously, Mary pounds at his chest and then in a last, desperate measure she gives him mouth to mouth. When all seems lost, suddenly, he takes a breath.
As the two look at each other in shock, the rest of the hospital scouting party shows up and escorts John Doe back to the hospital where there is a surprise waiting for him. Catherine, who also plays Charming’s fiancé has showed up, claiming to be John Doe, or David’s wife.
She explains that they were fighting and he walked out, but now all she wants is a second chance with him. She said she never even knew he was in a coma until the Mayor tracked her down on the phone today.
Emma cannot help, but find the whole situation suspicious, and calls the mayor out for it.
The mayor denies all guilt and said she was only trying to bring them together again. She might as well be looking at Mary Margaret when she coldly says, “Not having someone, that’s the worse curse imaginable.”
This story continues to get better each week. As the fairytale world in the story begins to take on a life of its own, the transitions from it to Storybrooke begin to feel much less jarring. In fact—the storylines in the two worlds are successfully starting to be shuffled back and forth to build on each other and create suspense and drama.
With John Doe now awake, although suffering from memory loss, Emma here to stay , and the mayor one step ahead of everyone, questions run rampant, the series continues to be promising. One can’t help but wonder, what will be revealed next week?
Reach Staff Reporter Jackie Mansky here.
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