‘Once Upon a Time’ Recap (Season 1, Episode 13) – Water, Water Everywhere
This week on Once Upon a Time, David and Mary Margaret’s relationship hits another roadblock (or, rather, the same old roadblock).
It’s the royal wedding day, but Prince Charming is missing. King George sends his men to retrieve the rogue prince, but he eludes the hunting party with some help from an unlikely ally–the woman he’s jilting. Turns out, Abigail knows Charming’s in love with Snow, and she’s fine with that. She doesn’t want to marry him anyway–she’s pining after her lost love, Frederick, who was accidentally turned into a gold statue while saving King Midas’s life. The only thing that can save him now is the water from lake Gnostos, which has the power to restore something precious that you’ve lost. But the lake is kept by a terrible guardian. Charming smells a quest!
Flash forward to Storybrooke, where Catherine drops a bomb on David over dinner: she’s been accepted to law school and wants them to move to Boston. David needs to excuse himself for a moment, and of course he goes running to Mary Margaret. MM thinks the time has come for David to reveal their affair to Catherine, but he can’t bring himself to do it–he breaks it off without revealing the affair. Catherine goes crying to Regina, who assumes she knows the truth and says something about “that homewrecker”–and the secret is out. David calls MM, and he’s not exactly honest about what’s gone on: he tells her that he revealed their affair to Catherine. But when Catherine comes to MM’s school to make a scene, it becomes apparent that David lied. Plus, now the whole town is calling MM a tramp.
Meanwhile, Emma’s trying to figure out what the deal is with this mysterious stranger, who reveals that his name is August. As you’ll recall, she owes him the chance to get her a drink, so he takes her on his motorcycle to a well on the edge of town–oh, so that kind of drink. August tells her that, according to legend, the well is fed by a magic underground lake whose water has the power to restore something precious that you’ve lost. Hmm. Sound familiar? Later at home, August still has Henry’s precious book, and he’s been making some alterations to it. Later still, as August looks on, Emma discovers the book in a gutter. Lost things returned, eh? She gives the book to a joyful Henry.
Anyway, Charming makes it to Lake Gnostos where he finds the guardian is a beautiful siren. He’s too strong and heroic to fall for her wiles, although he almost succumbs when she changes her form to look like Snow White. So she pounces on him and drags him underwater, trying to fight him, but in a quite nifty underwater fight scene he stabs her and emerges victorious with the precious water. When he returns to the site of the golden statue of Frederick, Abigail uses the water to turn him back into flesh and blood. With the happy couple’s thanks, Charming rides off to search for the real Snow White, despite thinking she does not love him.
Speaking of which, in the present day, MM is telling David that what exists between them could not possibly be love, because it’s so destructive, and they should never be together. That old chestnut. Anyway, Catherine tells Regina that she’s decided to give up on David–after realizing how much he loves MM, she wants to let him have her and find her own true love in Boston. Regina is pissed. After Catherine leaves, she breaks into David’s house, steals the letter that Catherine wrote to him, and burns it in her office. Meanwhile Mary Margaret lazes in bed miserably, and Catherine drives out of town… but her car breaks down on the side of the road. Her car is discovered by none other than Storybrooke’s version of Frederick… but Catherine is nowhere to be found!
In a flashback we’ve already seen before, Charming goes looking for Snow, but Red Riding Hood informs her that she’s long gone. But the scene extends beyond that, as Charming learns the truth: Snow White was lying when she said she never loved him. But no time to worry about that now, because King George’s men have finally caught up to him!
Overall, this episode left me a bit cold, possibly because I’m getting tired of the love story between Mary Margaret and David stalling out every week for the same reason, and having Mary Margaret melodramatically pronounce that the love between her and David is dead forever, only to go back to it again week after week. I think the bravest and most interesting thing the show could do would be to really and truly split them up, but that’s clearly not going to happen. And I realize that getting them definitively together would kind of violate the core premise of the show, that none of these characters can have their “happily ever after” ending until the curse is broken.
The fairy tale flashback was a bit thin in this episode, which is disappointing because I’ve often found that these can save episodes with dull Storybrooke plots. On the other hand, the storyline surrounding August is starting to get bait more interesting, as I’m eager to learn more about his connection to Henry’s book. But I hope we learn some more about him before too long, because the longer they drag things out on this show the more frustrating they get. Just one of many things Once Upon a Time has inherited from Lost.
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