‘Once Upon A Time’ S1 Ep 14 recap: It was just a dream

S1 Ep 14
Grumpy was once “Dreamy.” (Photo credit: ABC)

Sunday night’s whimsically touching episode provided us with an origin story for dwarfs, gave us insight into Grumpy’s heartbreaking history, and jump started the investigation of Kathryn’s disappearance.

Fairytale Land: “You can do anything as long as you dream it.”

Pink Fairy-Godmother hopeful, Nova (Amy Acker), and the Blue Fairy have a chat in the clouds about the importance of the satchel of fairy dust Nova just collected. It is the whole year’s supply and Nova must be careful with it, so it isn’t a surprise when clumsy Nova drops the bag. As the fairy dust sprinkles down from the heavens, a bulk of it lands on what we soon discover is Grumpy’s egg.

It turns out that dwarfs are hatched, not born. Within in the mines rests a large nest; Grumpy breaks out first and he emerges enamored with the image of Nova. Watchy, the head dwarf, greets him saying that his 7 brothers will hatch soon. When Grumpy asks about the beautiful lady he saw, Watchy lays out the laws of dwarfdom: there are no female dwarfs, dwarfs do not fall in love, get married or have children, and dwarfs are simply born to work the mines.

As soon as all 8 dwarfs have hatched, they are put to work and each one takes an axe which will determine his name. One by one we see all the dwarfs we’ve grown up with, plus Stealthy, but to our surprise when Grumpy gets his axe it names him “Dreamy.” For a year the dwarfs diligently labor in the mines creating fairy dust while singing “Hi-Ho” and then Dreamy suddenly sees the fairy from his dreams.

It is love at first sight when Dreamy replaces Nova’s yearly supply of fairy dust; she coyly flirts with him, calling him her hero and hinting to meet up later that night to watch the fireflies. Unfortunately, a love-struck Dreamy doesn’t get it until later that day. While grabbing a drink with his brothers, Dreamy says how he feels sick, but upon hearing the symptoms our beloved Belle emerges from the background to set Dreamy straight. In one of the episode’s best scenes Belle explains how he is in love and he should hold onto it while he can; she says, “Love is hope, it fuels our dreams.” With her nudge and the support of his brothers, Dreamy goes to meet Nova.

Overlooking the kingdom, Nova and Dreamy share a kiss and plan to leave the next night so they can sail around the world. As he prepares to leave the next day, Stealthy catches him and all his brothers wish him the best on his love-filled journey. Unfortunately, Watchy stops him by reminding him of his dwarfly responsibility and cruelly saying he is “incapable of love.” The Blue Fairy then steps in and says he will keep Nova from reaching her dream of being a Fairy Godmother if they runaway together because she will surely lose her wings. With a heavy heart, Dreamy goes to break-up with Nova.

Nova surprises him with a boat and insists she would rather be with him than have her wings; she tries to persuade him to fight for their love by saying, “You control what changes in your life.” But Dreamy echoes what he has been told from the start, “I am not your dream. I’m a dwarf. I can’t love.” With a tear in his eye, he leaves Nova and returns to the mines. As he chips away, his axe breaks and is replaced with a new one that names him “Grumpy.”

Storybrooke: “Life is about holding onto the good memories…”

Storybrooke celebrates Miners Day and Mary Margaret tries to redeem herself in the town’s eyes by working hard for a good cause. She tries enlisting volunteers and even turns to Leroy, who quips about the “town harlot” turning to the “town drunk” saying, “If you’re coming to me, you’re screwed.” However, Leroy has a change of heart when he sees young nun Astrid spilling fairy dust and struggling to prepare for the big festivities.

Leroy enters Mary Margaret’s class room and goes over to comfort Astrid; she explains how she accidentally spent the nuns’ stipend and they have to sell $5,000 worth of candles or else their landlord, Mr. Gold, will kick them out of their home. Leroy vows to help her, she calls him her hero and Mary Margaret hilariously rolls her eyes in the background as she looks on in bewilderment.

That afternoon Leroy and MM try to sell candles at the booth, then door-to-door, but nobody will give them the time of day. Leroy doesn’t have the heart to tell Astrid they couldn’t sell anything, so he lies and says they sold out. He then goes to Mr. Gold to make an arrangement. He offers to sell his treasured sailboat, but Mr. Gold refuses to pay $5,000 for it or let his “distasteful tenants” fall behind on one month’s rent. In another awesomely snarky scene with Robert Carlyle, Leroy asks Mr. Gold, “Who doesn’t like nuns?” to which Mr. Gold explains that there is a “long, complicated history” (which we will hopefully see soon in another episode). Shortly after Mr. Gold leaves, Astrid appears with a pie to thank Leroy, but she sees his boat full of candles and runs off disappointed by his lie.

After a day of failure, Leroy and MM drown their sorrows in a drink. Mary is confused by Leroy’s overt attempts on a nun, but he explains how she is the first person to have believed in him. He then puts MM in check about her affair with David by saying, “Life is about holding on to the good memories, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and enjoy it.” However, Mary Margaret does not feel her dream was worth the consequence, which suddenly prompts Leroy into action. He runs to the roof, grabs his axe and blows the town’s power out so they are forced to buy all the candles.

Astrid thanks him for making her dream come true and in return he promises her that when his boat is fixed up, she will be his first passenger. MM also finds some redemption when she returns to the celebration from her still “Tramp” stamped car and Granny makes amends for her harsh reaction to the affair in “What Happened to Frederick” by lighting MM’s candle.

Meanwhile, Emma worked on the case of Kathryn’s disappearance. For a bounty hunter who claims to know when people are lying, Emma has a bad gut instinct when it comes to Sydney. She trusts him to pull Kathryn’s phone records to trace her steps before the disappearance, but of course Regina has tampered with them and Sydney gives Emma a reason to target David. In the last episode Regina burned Kathryn’s letter to David, so the only proof he has is his words. He swears he did not speak to Kathryn after their initial break-up, but the phone records show otherwise. “Dreamy” concludes with Emma arresting David in front of the whole town and placing him in the back of her squad car.


  • Nice parallels between Fairytale Land and Storybrooke: the imagery of the fireflies and the candles, Leroy/Dreamy and Astrid/Nova’s encouraging conversations and banter, and Leroy/Dreamy’s sailboat ad desire to travel the world.
  • This seemingly “filler” episode had a lot more heart than expected and the dialogue was genuinely funny, especially Leroy’s begrudging sarcasm.
  • Belle’s scene was a wonderful addition and Emilie de Ravin nailed her performance yet again.
  • Amy Acker gave Nova a depth that could have easily been dismissed in a superficial performance, but she added some colorful layers to both roles.
  • Keegan Connor Tracy played the Blue Fairy/Mother Superior; ‘Supernatural’ fans might have recognized her from “The Usual Suspect” and as the PN super-fan/Chuck’s publicist in “The Monster at the End of this Book.” She always looks so different in every role.


  • ‘Once Upon A Time’ heavily relies on green screen and they usually pull it off, but the opening scene in the clouds looked pretty cheesy.
  • They also create beautiful costumes, but ova’s pink jelly0fish inspired tu-tu was below their typically awesome standards.
  • Emma has to wake up sooner rather than later and realize that Sydney is playing her or else she will start to lose some of her credibility in the fans’ eyes. Emma should be smarter than that and she should stop saying she can tell when people are lying because she obviously cannot see through Sydney’s lie right now and it is unnecessarily frustrating. Unless, she does know better and is simply playing along without revealing it to the audience.
  • Creators said we would learn about the diamond Grumpy talked about in “7:15 A.M.” but we disappointingly didn’t see the diamond he mined for Nova.

What did you think? Did you enjoy “Dreamy”? Do you have any disappointments or pet-peeves? Share your thoughts below!

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