"Once Upon A Time" Recap: "Red-Handed"
Since the season premiere, Little Red, (present day Storybrooke’s Ruby), has made re-occurring appearances on the show without an episode on her back-story. A bit darker than past episodes have been, this episode finally focused on the back-story of Ruby/Little Red.
Back in time, we are introduced to “Red” when she meets Snow White, who has been hiding in the town’s hen house at night out of fear for the terrible creature that roams the woods after dark. Throughout the next several scenes we are familiarized with the town’s fear of the horrible wolf that has been massacring people at night. We also meet Red’s grandmother who advises the town not to go after the terrible creature, and Red’s boyfriend Peter.
Red, however, decides that she is going to track down and kill the monster and convinces Snow White, going by the alias Mary, to join her. Here we see that Red is gifted with incredible tracking skills as she and Snow find and follow the prints of the creature through the woods. They discover that the massive wolf prints slowly morph into human footprints that lead up to Red’s house. Gasp! Red tells Snow that Peter visited her last night and the two realize he must be the wolf.
Red tells Peter the news and, while he doesn’t remember it, believes her. In order to protect the town that night he lets Red chain him to a tree in the middle of the woods. Red tells him that she loves him either way and will stay with him through the night and always. Meanwhile Snow is covering for Red back at the house. She is lying under Red’s cloak pretending to be asleep and fool Granny but, as suspected, that doesn’t work out. Granny makes the discovery and when Snow tells her the truth about Red and Peter Granny panics because she knows the real truth. The last scene before the show goes to a commercial break is Peter, still human, chained to a tree and a giant wolf, Red, approaching him as he freaks out.
So as it turns out Red is the wolf, a curse inherited through her family’s bloodline, and the red cloak is an enchanted cloak that keeps her from changing. Snow and Granny hurry through the dark woods to get to Red and Peter. Hmmm, totally just got the Peter and the Wolf reference. Anyways, when they get to where Red and Peter were, as feared, it is too late. We don’t see everything in all its goriness, this isn’t that kind of show, but we do see the wolf eating around the blood-covered area. Snow and Granny manage to cover the wolf with the cloak, turning it back into Red. Disoriented and horrified Granny tells Snow and Red to flee as the town hunting party is quickly approaching.
Back in Storybrooke, Ruby has had an argument with Granny and quits her job at Granny’s diner. Emma Swan, occupied with Kathryn ‘s murder investigation, hires Ruby as an assistant/deputy.
Mary Margret, while searching on her own for Kathryn in the woods, runs into a disoriented David, (Prince James/Charming). Using her tracking abilities, Ruby finds David in the woods and brings him in. It appears that he has been in a minor fugue state as a relapse from his coma. Emma sends Ruby back out into the woods to the Toll Bridge to look for clues because that is where they found David right when he woke up from his coma at the beginning of the season. While searching for clues, Ruby discovers a box buried in the ground that contains a human heart in it. The box, clearly the evil queen’s, (Regina Mills’), from the past, unfortunately has Mary Margret’s fingerprints on it, making her the prime suspect in Kathryn’s murder. Well, what can you say? Poor Mary Margret, her life sucks. On the plus side, the DNA of the heart sill hasn’t been tested so we do not know that it is Kathryn’s. It could just be a leftover heart from the evil queen’s past; that woman did do an awful lot of heart collecting as proven by earlier episodes.
At the end of the Storybrooke plot line, Ruby apologizes to Granny and the two have a heartwarming moment now that they have a new understanding of one another. Granny also shares that the only reason she had been harder on Ruby lately is that she intends to leave her business to Ruby.
So here is something that I have noticed. The whole thing about the evil queen’s curse was that it is supposed to take away all of the “Happily Ever After’s”. Meaning that all the characters that were happy long ago are suffering in Storybrooke now. But other than Snow White and her Prince, who in present day Storybrooke cannot get a break, most of the other characters are better off in Storybrooke.
I mean, a lot of the characters that did not get “Happily Ever After’s” in the past, are having much better luck in Storybrooke. At the end of the episode “The Price of Gold”, which focused on Cinderella’s back-story, the Prince goes missing courtesy of Rumpalstiltskin who wants her baby. In present day Storybrooke Ashley, (Cinderella), and her prince are now engaged and no longer have to give their child to Rumpelstiltskin, (Mr. Gold). In last week’s episode “Dreamy,” Grumpy and his true love, the fairy Nova, are separated. In Storybrooke, they are re-united. And then there’s this week’s episode. In the past, Red turned into a wolf, had to flee her town, and killed and ate her boyfriend. That’s some messed up stuff that a girl just doesn’t get over. In Storybrooke however, she is a normal girl with excellent tracking abilities, who has a good job and close relationship with her grandmother. Seems to me that a lot of the characters are doing pretty well in comparison to the junk they were dealing with in the past.
Well, we likely haven’t heard the last of each of these characters’ back-stories, so we shall see where they go. As for Snow White and her Prince, their pasts keep getting more interesting and their present day saga keeps getting more difficult.