‘Once Upon A Time’ S1 Ep 6 recap: The Prince and “The Shepherd”

S1 Ep 6
Josh Dallas plays double duty as Charming and his nasty twin brother, James. (Photo credit: Jack Rowand/ABC)

Sunday night’s new episode was once again full of jaw-dropping surprises; giving us some highly anticipated answers along with a dose of disappointment courtesy of Regina and Mr. Gold.

Fairytale Land: “Everyone has a choice. Just make sure it’s the right one.”

Prince Charming exhibits his brave warrior skills as King Midas watches him valiantly “kill the unkillable” and makes a deal: P.C. must slay Midas’ dragon in order to secure his kingdom’s wealth with Midas’ golden touch. All is well until the brute surprisingly spears Prince James to death from behind. The king calls upon Rumplestiltskin for help and that is when the great twist is revealed – Prince Charming has a twin!

The King and Queen could not conceive children, so Rumpy found Baby Charming; he made a deal with a struggling shepherd who agreed to give up one of his twin boys in exchange for prosperity. Now Rumpy returns to fill the poor boy in on his past and what he must do to serve his kingdom. Fast forward to Shep Charming at the dragon’s lair, instead of idly watching while the king’s men get barbequed, our courageous hero literally shepherds the dragon into a tight spot and beheads the beast.

Back at the palace King Midas reveals the fine print of his deal, Shep Charming not only earned gold, but he proved himself worthy of marrying Princess Abigail Midas. Naturally, he would prefer to marry for love, but his mother’s life and the kingdom’s well-being are at stake, so he is forced accept.

In one of the episode’s most touching moments, our sweet shepherd returns home to tell his mother what he has to do. She says his freedom to choose is more important than living her life, but it is too late. While saying goodbye, she gives him her ring, saying, “True love follows this ring” and advises him to always follow his heart. With that, Shep Charming returns to the palace to unite with his fiancé and insists on taking the scenic route to their new abode. As they venture into the woods, the scene seamlessly intertwines with what we watched in “Snow Falls” when Snow White followed his carriage.

Storybrooke: “I’m choosing you. … I didn’t choose her.”

David Nolan ditches his wife and welcome home party to go see Mary and convince her to be with him. Throughout the episode Mary resists his advances because he is still married to Kathryn and it would not be right for either of them to have feelings for each other. Regina also threatens Mary to back-off and let him remember who he was; even Emma opposes the affair until David makes his intentions clear.

David can’t remember his past with Kathryn and only has feelings for Mary, so he leaves his wife and asks Mary to meet him at their Toll Bridge. David chooses Mary, his definite decision urges Mary to follow her heart; but instead of love, she discovers disappointment.

On his way to the bridge, Regina steers David towards Mr. Gold’s shop. There he sees the windmill Kathryn had mentioned earlier and suddenly his memories come crashing back. He goes to Mary and confesses he deeply cares for her, but he remembers his past with Kathryn and has to honor that. David goes home and explains to Kathryn that he never left her, he just wanted to clear his head and ended up in the accident. Meanwhile, Mary cries alone at the diner, until slimy Dr. Whale pops in and offers to buy her a drink in an attempt to get a second chance at dating.

The episode concludes when Emma catches Sheriff Graham sneaking out of Regina’s room after a late night booty-call and walks away in disgust. Leaving us wondering how they end up smooching in next week’s episode after such a rude awakening.

What did you think of “The Shepherd”? Did David make the right choice? Were you shocked by the twin twist? Were you disappointed by the lack of true love conquering all? Do you think Mr. Gold caused David’s “memories” to magically return in the shop?

Share your observations, predictions and more in the comments below.

Check back for more scoop throughout the week.


  • Dallas, Goodwin, and Carlyle all shined in their performances this week.
  • Wonderful transitions from Storybrooke to Fairytale.
  • Loved the moments when David pursues Mary: “I’m choosing you.”
  • Regina and Kathryn are officially BFFs.
  • It is an interesting move to add someone like King Midas into the mix, given that he isn’t your standard fairytale character.
  • Was Rumpy referring to Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother when he wanted her magic wand in his new deal with the king?
  • So far, the title graphics give hints of what’s to come – this ended with what seems like Red Riding Hood and a Wolf.

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