‘Once Upon A Time’ S1 Ep 13 recap: Don’t stay gold Freddie boy

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Are Snow and Charming having lovers quarrel? (Photo credit: ABC)

This week’s episode asks “What Happened to Frederick?” One would assume the titular character would play a huge role in the 13th installment of ‘Once,’ but as it turns out, the importance of what happened to Frederick is reflected in what Prince Charming chooses to do. Unfortunately, Storybrooke’s David does not display the same chivalrous valor as his Fairytale counterpart.

Fairytale Land: “True love isn’t easy, but it must be fought for.”

The Fairytale picks up from where we left off in “7:15 A.M.” Prince Charming has just escaped from the palace, abandoning his bride-to-be and frantically running from King George and his men. However, instead of being captured by the royal guard, Prince Charming is surprisingly confronted by Abigail.

Prince James confesses his love for Snow White and Abigail reveals that she does not love him either. She also longs to be reunited with her true love, but she needs P.C.’s help. She takes him to her kingdom’s realm where he will be safe from King George and leads him to a gold statuesque knight that resides on a platform in the woods. Then Abigail explains what happened to Frederick, the courageous man she loves.

Frederick loyally served King Midas; one day the brave knight jumped in front of the Gold Handed King to protect him and was inadvertently turned to gold. P.C. suggests Abigail try using True Love’s kiss to set him free (nice call-back to Belle and Rumpy), but she tried and it never worked. The only thing that can save him is water from a magical lake called Nostos, but every man who goes to the lake never returns because it is guarded by a merciless beast. Lucky for Abigail, Charming is not just everyman.

Prince James leaves a token at the shrine asking the guardian of the lake for mercy and gently dips his toe in the water. Suddenly a Siren emerges from the lake and walks on water towards P.C. She attempts to break him like all the other men by finding a chink in his armor. She says she can be anything he wants her to be; she transforms into Snow White and starts kissing him, but he pulls away and says, “This is not real love. I’ve felt it. I know the difference.” The Siren angrily drags him underwater to show him all the men she has defeated; they wrestle in the weeds until he finds a knife and stabs her. Successfully slaying the Siren, he bottles up the magic water and returns to Abigail.

Abigail douses her golden knight with the magic water and the curse is broken. Seeing Abigail find happiness with her true love motivates P.C. to fight for Snow’s love, even if she said she didn’t love him back at the palace. With a hopeful heart he continues his quest, which leads him to Red Riding Hood. She tells Prince James that Snow still loves him, so he realizes that King George convinced Snow to lie to him earlier. Before P.C. and Red ride away from the king’s men, Charming once again declares: “I will always find her. I will always fight for her.”

Storybrooke: “I choose you.”

David and Kathryn are having another speechless meal when she abruptly says that she wants to leave Storybrooke and go to law school in Boston, where she hopes they can “make new memories” together. David acts supportive of her decision, but later tells Mary Margaret that he doesn’t want to go. M.M. says that he has to make a choice; the time has come for him to be completely honest. If David truly chooses Mary, then he has to tell Kathryn how he feels.

David returns home to Kathryn and ironically gets down on bended knee to propose that they break up. He merely says, “Something is preventing me from connecting with you.” Kathryn runs to cry on Regina’s shoulder; she in turn tells Kath about David’s affair with Mary and shows the pictures that prove it. Furious that Regina did not tell her the truth sooner, Kathryn storms out of the office, saying that a true friend would not lie.

Kathryn bursts into the elementary school, bumping into a gym teacher (Fred’s doppelganger) and bee-lining for Mary Margaret. Kathryn shockingly bitch-slaps M.M. in front of everyone and calls her out as a deceitful home-wrecker. Mary apologizes and is even more surprised to hear that David did not tell her the news personally. Kath tells Mary she and David deserve each other because they are both liars and she leaves in tears.

The townspeople sneer at Mary as she walks through town on her way home and when she reaches her car she finds David washing off a bright red “Tramp” stamp. David asks who told Kathryn about the affair and Mary confronts him for lying. She thought they were on the same page, but instead of being honest, he lied and hurt everyone involved. M.M. believes this isn’t real love because True Love is not destructive; she tells David that they just shouldn’t be together and puts an end to their bad romance.

Meanwhile, Emma receives a couple surprises of her own. Mr. Mysterious Writer bumps into Emma and wants to take her out for that drink. She agrees to go if he reveals his name, which is August W. Booth. Later that day he rides up to the diner, asking her to take a “leap of faith” and hop on so he can take her to “a good watering hole.” August brings Emma to a magical Wishing Well; he insists he always tells the truth and believes that water is very powerful. Then he explains the legend: when you drink this magic water, it has the power to return something lost back to you. When Emma walks back to her car after their date, she discovers Henry’s book in the gutter and returns it to her son. Maybe August simply restored the book for Henry or perhaps he made a copy of it for himself before creatively returning it; his intentions seem to be good thus far, so let’s hope whatever he does is an attempt to help Henry’s reinstated “Operation Cobra.”

That same day Kathryn goes to say goodbye to Regina. She admits that after looking at the photos of the affair, she realizes what True Love looks like. She doesn’t know why she fought so hard for David when they never really loved each other and their marriage was just an illusion. Now it is time to go to Boston and find a true love of her own. She tells Regina that she left letters to Mary and David urging them to be together. After Kathryn leaves, Regina breaks into David’s house and steals his letter (Turns out the ring of keys we saw in an earlier episode are the keys to every house in Storybrooke!).

Night falls and the gym teacher discovers Kathryn’s abandoned car by the Storybrooke welcome sign, but she has mysteriously disappeared. The episode concludes with a close-up panning over a can of red spray paint in Regina’s office and sweeping up on the glimmer in her eyes after she burns David’s letter.

What did you think of “What Happened to Frederick?” Were you a little disappointed after last week’s awesome episode? Did you expect a more happy romance from the Mary/David storyline? Were you surprised by the Fairytale twist this week?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!


  • Amazing transitions from Fairytale to Storybrooke: Love the storybook pages and the bloody water to the “Tramp” red-riddled wash bucket.
  • Cute moments of mother-daughter bonding: Emma to M.M. about the affair, “I’m not your mother.”
  • Fun fact: Nostos means “homecoming” in Greek and was used in Homer’s The Odyssey, in which shipwrecked Odysseus longed to free himself from the sirens and return to his beloved wife.
  • Hopefully, David will redeem himself soon because this was not the expected outcome after coming clean to his wife. He should take notes from his alter-ego.
  • It is nice to see that “the other woman” is not another villain: Kathryn & Abigail want their own true love and won’t get in the way of others’.
  • Where is Kathryn? After last week’s episode, you can’t help but assume that Regina has locked her up in a room on Belle’s cell-block. Looks like we might find out on March 9th.
  • What is the significance of the writer’s name, August W. Booth? Who could be his Fairytale doppelganger?

‘Once Upon A Time’ returns in 2 weeks with “Dreamy”!

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