Once Upon a Time Recap: Episode 1.16 – Heart of Darkness

Even with all of the back-stories of secondary characters, the central theme that has been a constant, even in the background, is the story of Snow White and Prince Charming/James and their Storybrooke counterparts, Mary Margaret and David.  That’s what kicked off the series and this last episode takes the story back to them.  The one thing about the Fairytale Land timeline is that it jumps all over the place depending on what character it’s focusing on.  This week takes it to the time frame after Snow White drank the potion that she got from Rumpelstiltskin to forget all about James. 

One of the things that has kind of bugged me about Storybrooke is the fact that Emma is supposed to be some beacon of hope against evil (Regina and the curse), yet she loses pretty much every time she has to go up against Regina.  The exception being when she enlisted Mr. Gold’s help to win the office of Sheriff.  I’m hoping that will turn around and by the looks of it with this latest episode, she’s finally realizing that she’s going to have to change tactics in order to win.

 We start in Fairytale Land with Red and James.  We found out Red’s past last week, but this week jumps forward after Red said she’d help James find Snow.  The two are being approached by King George’s men, who are on the hunt for James.  In an effort to give James a head start at a getaway, Red sends him away and takes off her red cloak in order to turn into the wolf.  That spells trouble for the guards who are on a mission to capture James.

We meet up with Snow who is the Snow we know from the Disney version.  That is until her eyes go cold and she tries to smash a bird with a broom.  Since she drank the potion, all the love in her heart is gone and she’s become a cold vessel of hate.  Grumpy tries to tell her that she’s not the same person and stages an intervention with the other six dwarfs and enlists the help of Jiminy Cricket.  They try to tell her that she’s not the same person and Jiminy tells her that she shouldn’t take her anger for the queen out on her friends.  She agrees and decides that she should kill the queen instead.  Not the result they were going for.

Back in Storybrooke, Emma books Mary Margaret for what appears to be Kathryn’s murder.  She tells MM that she has to question her so the investigation is being done properly.  MM agrees and Emma takes her to the interrogation room where Regina is.  The questioning begins and Emma shows her the box that contained the heart and asks MM if she recognizes it.  She does and tells them that it’s her jewelry box.  Uh-oh.  Regina then tells MM she knows what it’s like to love someone and then lose them.  It was an odd moment for sure.

In FTL, Snow ambushes one of the queen’s guards and pumps him for information on the queen’s location, then she steals his armor leaving him naked in the snow.  Grumpy shows up and tells her that he’s going to help her by taking her to Rumpelstiltskin since he’s the only one that can help her.

Emma searched the apartment to see if there could have been a break in and Henry shows up to help.  They hear a rattling noise coming from the vent so Emma investigates.  She finds a hunting knife stashed in the vent and knows that this is one more thing against Mary Margaret.  She tells MM about it and tells her that she’ll do everything she can, but in the meantime, suggests that MM get a lawyer.  Enter Mr. Gold who offers his legal services.  Figures.

Henry hits the diner and looks despondent over his hot chocolate.  August shows up and tells him that the answers he seek are in the book.  He also tells Henry that he too is a believer and he’s there to help Emma believe as well.  Interesting.  Henry flips open the book to look for those clues.

In FTL James comes upon the naked guard and demands information on Snow, which the guard readily gives up.  The guard tells him that Snow plans to kill the queen and James can’t quite believe it.  Both James and David believe that Snow/Mary Margaret is not capable of evil.

Henry shows Emma the mysterious ring of keys that his mom had stashed in her desk.  Lo and behold, one of them opens the door to Mary Margaret’s apartment.  Emma is beginning to see the light……thank goodness!

Gumpy and Snow show up at Rumpelstiltskin’s place and he tells them that there isn’t anything he can do to reverse the effects of the potion.  He tells them that love is the only magic he hasn’t bottled but encourages Snow’s plan to kill the queen.  Since she’s his only rival, it makes sense he wants her out of the picture.  He gives Snow a bow and arrow to get the job done properly.

David, desperate to remember his missing time, goes to Archie for help.  While in FTL, James goes to Rumpelstiltskin.  Rump tells him of Snow’s plan and the price for the information is his cloak.  Rump tells him that if Snow succeeds in killing the queen, she’ll be overtaken with evil.  James finds Snow, and kisses her but it doesn’t work.  Instead she binds him to a tree and continues on with her business.  Jiminy shows up and gnaws through the ropes to free him.   

Snow finds the queen and prepares to fire off her arrow.  When she does, James jumps in the line of fire and takes the arrow to the shoulder.  He tells her that he would rather die than see her become something she’s not.  She sheds a tear and comments how no one has ever done anything like that for her before.  She kisses him and boom….Snow is back.  But so are King George’s guards who scoop up James and haul him away.  Snow tells him that she will always find him.  She heads back to the dwarfs and apologizes and seeing that their Snow is back, they all agree to help her.

Mary Margaret is tidying up her cell when she finds a key that will open it.  Emma comes in and tells her that the DNA on the heart was a match for Kathryn.  Emma tells her that she knows MM didn’t do it and that she suspects Regina is setting her up.  She tells MM that every time she’s gone up against Regina she’s lost, but this time Regina doesn’t know that Emma suspects her.  She asks for MM’s trust and patience.  Later on, David comes to see her and tells her about his session with Archie.  He questions her innocence and she’s mortified telling him that she never once doubted his innocence.  Oh David….this is one more setback for their relationship.

Emma goes to Mr. Gold for help, and he tells her that she’s more powerful than she realizes.  She tells him that she doesn’t agree with his practices but she does agree with his results.  Meanwhile in FTL, Rump take a hair from James’ cloak and adds it to the bottle that contains the hair he collected from Snow.  The two hairs reacted and finally Rump has bottled true love.

The episode ends with Mary Margaret’s empty, but very tidy cell.

Ok, first of all, where is Mary Margaret going to go.  She can’t leave town and Storybrooke isn’t that big.  I think she’ll pull a Snow and seek refuge in the forest….perhaps with Leo’s help.  That would be fitting no?

 David is remembering life in FTL, but he’s confusing those memories with his Storybrooke life.  Will he realize that there is a difference and if so what will that mean for life in Storybrooke.  Graham remembered his life from FTL, but that ended with his life.

Hopefully we’ll get some answers before the finale, but I suspect we’ll get even more questions.


Archie hypnotises him and the memories David sees, are actually memories of FTL.  Oh my!  In them, as James, he’s begging Snow to not kill her.  Meaning the queen but David thinks the memories have to do with MM killing Kathryn.

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