This week’s “Red-Handed” gave us insight into Ruby’s fairytale past as Red Riding Hood in Fairytale Land and surprised us with a major twist in the classic tale. Meanwhile in Stroybrooke, Ruby was essential in making a major breakthrough in the case of Kathryn’s disappearance, which unfortunately resulted in the arrest of one of our favorite characters.
Fairytale Land: “When there’s something I want, I’m good at tracking it down.”
Our first glimpse of Red Riding Hood reveals a young woman who wants to run away with her childhood sweetheart, Peter, but she cannot escape from her over-protective grandmother. Granny repeatedly insists for Red to keep her cloak on and stay at home, especially during Wolf’s Time. When a hunting party pays Granny a visit before heading into the woods, Red eagerly wants to join, but Granny forbids it. They lockdown their house and Granny sits awake all night long with a crossbow in hand. The next morning, Red goes to the chicken coop to fetch some eggs and encounters a timid Snow White cowering behind the cages.
When she introduces herself, Snow tries disguising her identity and blurts out the name Frosty; she then explains how she is hiding and does not want to disclose her real name, so she tries Margaret, but ultimately settles on being called Mary. Red is more than happy to take her in and on their way back home, they both witness the gruesome damage the wolf has done to the hunting party. Later that day the town gathers to discuss what they can do about the wolf and Granny confesses her history with the savage beast.
Granny, known as the Widow Lucas, explains how 60 years ago her 6 brothers and their father went to kill the wolf; they surrounded the wolf with spears, but the wolf lunged at the spears and tore all the men to shreds. Young Granny was hiding on the roof, but when she saw her mangled family she slid off, fell into a pool of their blood and sat face-to-face with the wolf. The wolf bit her arm and looked at her with its black eyes and then it walked away. Granny urges the town not to kill the wolf because it is too dangerous, they should all hide instead. However, Red has other plans.
Red wants to run away with Peter, but Granny won’t let her have a life until the wolf is gone, so she decides to kill the wolf herself. Red teaches Snow how to track as they follow the wolf’s imprints through the snow covered woods and they are suddenly startled to see a half wolf/half boot print leading up to Red’s cottage. Peter was the last person to have visited her at the cottage, so they think he might be the wolf. The wolf only appears once a month for the duration of the full moon, so Red thinks Peter can still be saved if he realizes what is happening.
That night Snow covers for Red at home, while she meets Peter in the woods. Red is optimistic about them running away and starting a life together, as long as they know how to manage the wolf. Red chains Peter to a tree and they wait to see what happens. Granny checks on Red before bed and finds Snow who divulges their master plan, but they have it all wrong.
Snow and Granny rush into the woods to sadly see that they are too late. In one of ‘Once Upon A Time’s’ greatest twists yet, we learn that Red is the Big Bad Wolf. When Granny and Snow get there, Red Wolf has already shredded poor Peter and the only way to tame the beast is by shooting it with a silver tipped arrow, so Granny aims her crossbow and fires. Granny finally explains their deep dark family secret; Red’s mother was also a wolf and Granny learned years ago that the magical red cloak can keep the wolf from surfacing, so that is why she always nagged Red to wear it. She also says her husband was the wolf who marked her as a girl, but at her age now she only has her wolf-like sense of smell. Snow and Granny cover Red Wolf with the cloak and she transforms back into Red; she awakes to an awful truth and is devastated by her unknowing actions. Before she has a chance to hear Granny’s explanation, the hunting party nears Red and Co., so they must quickly flee the scene of Red Wolf’s vicious crime.
Storybrooke: “Emma was my lemur.”
After last week’s dramatic arrest of innocent David, this week’s episode opens with Emma releasing him from prison. There is no explanation for his faux-phone call to Kathryn, so she tells him to go home and get a lawyer. A wolf howls as we are transported to Granny’s Diner where August is telling Ruby about all of his travels.
Sheltered Ruby is especially fascinated by his tale of the lemurs; she obviously does not tune into Animal Planet because she doesn’t even know what a lemur is. She is mystified by his adventures in Nepal and she loses herself in his description of how the lemurs’ eyes would glow in the dark at night, but Granny quickly snaps her back into reality with embarrassing quips.
Granny lays it on heavy, criticizing how she dresses and her lack of punctuality, and then she increases Red’s hours at work because of their booming business. Ruby is fed up, so she quits. She packs her bags and shrugs off Dr. Whale’s sleazy advances as she waits for a bus that will never come. Lucky for her, Mary Margaret and Emma see her and invite her to stay with them. The next day, Ruby hangs out at the Sheriff’s office with Emma and Henry.
While Henry hints at her Red Riding Hood past, Ruby dodges his random questions about picnic baskets by answering a slew of phone calls during an unsuccessful online job search. Emma walks in to see how helpful she can be and hires Ruby as her assistant. Moments later, Mary Margaret comes in to tell Emma about her strange encounter with David in the woods where Kathryn disappeared; she explains how he was acting like a different person and looked right through her, so Emma and Ruby enter the woods to look for him.
As it turns out Ruby has very impressive tracking skills, she hears David and they find him passed out with no memory of what happened ever since he left Emma’s office. Dr. Whale checks him out and compares the blackout to the same phenomenon he experienced when he was in a mysterious coma. David immediately worries that he could’ve hurt Kathryn without being aware of it; at that moment Regina bursts into the room saying he should not speak to Emma without a lawyer and points out that she is still listed as his emergency contact since Kathryn vanished. Emma remembers that David’s last dream walk led him to the Toll Bridge, so she sends Ruby there to investigate.
Ruby discovers a box that contains something jaw-dropping, but we don’t learn what it is until the very end. Whatever Ruby saw made her realize that she was happy working with Granny. The next day, a cleaned-up Ruby returns to the diner, admitting she was scared of the additional responsibility Granny was placing on her. Granny asks if Ruby is sure she does not want to see the world and she says with a smile, “Emma was my lemur.” Granny confesses her hopes of training Ruby to take over and own her business when she retires, Ruby is honored to do so, and Granny is proud of her. Meanwhile, David and Mary Margaret discuss their concerns with Kathryn’s case.
At the shelter, Emma interrupts David and MM’s conversation with some new evidence. The fingerprints from the mystery box are in the Storybrooke system and the box contains what appears to be a human heart. David is overwhelmingly devastated and tells Emma to arrest him, but there is yet another twist as Emma reveals that the prints belong to Mary Margaret.
What did you think of “Red Handed”? Were you surprised to see Red was the Big Bad Wolf? Are you annoyed by the soapy drama involved in Kathryn’s storyline?
- Nice twist on the Red Riding Hood tale; Granny and Peter would have been disappointing reveals.
- Creative transitions from Storybrooke to Fairytale Land, i.e. Granny knocking on the counter morphed into Peter knocking on red’s window.
- It is interesting that Granny’s arm aches during the full moon in Storybrooke; one would think that she would find such a sore to be very strange.
- Henry’s probing is adorable and it is always a joy to see him try to trigger their memories, especially when he gets Emma involved. He told her “Ruby doesn’t remember what she’s capable of,” which hints at her tracking abilities.
- Ruby’s appearance lightened up with more natural make-up and less provocative clothing once the wolf was revealed, it will be interesting to see if this new image stays or if the wolf-like darkness creeps out again later.
- Emma’s honesty with MM is understandable, but her “well-deserved slap” comment was still harsh and she should be kinder to Mary Margaret.
- Regina obviously ripped out Kathryn’s heart and is framing MM, but how is she causing David’s black-outs and why is Emma so blind to Regina’s blatant manipulation?
- These past few episodes, Emma’s instincts are way off base, almost as if the Evil Queen’s curse is beginning to affect her too. Hopefully she will snap out of it soon and start helping the people of Storybrooke, instead of arresting them.
- Kitsis and Horowitz told TVLine to pay attention to August’s lemur story; we realize how it effects Ruby, but is there more behind his trip to Nepal? Are the lemurs another clue in the grand scheme of things?