'Once Upon A Time' Recap: 'The Shepherd'
12/7/2011 8:10am EST | By: Melanie Linn Gutowski
In this episode, we learn how Prince Charming came to be linked to a haughty princess instead of Snow White, and David Nolan gets some of his memory back.
Author’s note: Lines between paragraphs indicate scene changes between Fairy Tale Land and Storybrooke/present day.
Outside the Nolan house, Kathryn tries to jog David's memory about their past; he comments on a windmill that used to be in their yard that is no longer there. She has planned a surprise homecoming party for him, where he meets a lot of people he doesn't remember. At the party, Henry insists to Emma that getting David and Mary Margaret back together will help him to remember who he used to be.
In the kitchen, Mayor Regina tells Kathryn she should do everything possible to get David back. Kathryn thanks Regina for her friendship; apparently neither woman is used to having a friend.
David has gone to Mary Margaret's house to find her. He asks if her resignation from the hospital was because of him. He says whoever married Kathryn, it wasn't him; he didn't choose her.
In Fairy Tale Land, a valiant prince fights against a brawny warrior. The battle is fierce, and the prince seems to have vanquished his foe.
The onlookers applaud. The prince's father, King George, and King Midas make an agreement for the prince to slay a dragon that has plagued Midas' kingdom. Midas turns the prince's sword to gold and promises more upon completion of the quest. The prince's opponent, who was not totally dead, launches a spear into the prince's chest, killing him.
King George summons Rumpelstiltskin to his palace to help him somehow complete Midas' quest and get the gold that will save his kingdom. It is revealed that the king's son was not his own; he was obtained by Rumpelstiltskin since King George and his wife could not conceive themselves.
King George asks Rumpelstiltskin to bring his dead son back and says he'll give anything to make it happen. Rumpelstiltskin wants the wand of the Fairy Godmother, who is patron to the king's family; George agrees. Rumpelstiltskin says he cannot resurrect the king's son, but reveals that the prince had a twin, a shepherd.
The prince's twin brother, James, herds goats as his mother returns from the market. She is eager for him to marry so the dowry can support their struggling farm. James insists that the wants to marry for love and will still be able to save the farm.
Rumpelstiltskin arrives and it is revealed that the farmer's wife traded one of her twin sons in order to keep the farm. James bargains with Rumpelstiltskin, agreeing to play the part while the king's knights actually slay Midas' dragon. Rumpelstiltskin promises that James' mother will want for nothing if he completes Midas' quest.
In Granny's Diner, Dr. Moe thinks he's the reason Mary Margaret resigned from the hospital. As he leaves, Mayor Regina enters, confronting her about her relationship with David Nolan. Regina tells her to stay away from David and let him remember who he was.
James prepares to confront the dragon, along with King George's knights. The dragon attacks the knights, leading James to rush into the lair to rescue them. The dragon emerges and James is able to slay her with the golden sword.
David goes to Mary Margaret's classroom, telling her he left Kathryn and will be waiting for her at the toll bridge where he was found later that night. If she chooses to be with him, she'll meet him there.
At the police station, Sheriff Graham offers Emma some donuts and asks her to work a night shift that evening so he can supposedly volunteer at an animal shelter. Mary Margaret arrives and tells Emma that David left his wife.
James and King George present the dragon head to Midas at his palace. Midas reveals that his intention was not only to find someone to slay the dragon but also someone he would be proud to have marry his daughter, Abigail (who looks exactly like Kathryn Nolan). James tries to refuse, but the king threatens to kill him and his mother if he does not agree.
David, who has taken a room at Granny's Bed & Breakfast, runs into Regina on his way to the toll bridge. She gives him directions to the bridge, but they turn out to be incorrect. David stops at Mr. Gold's pawn shop to ask for directions. (Some of the objects in Mr. Gold's shop include a set of beer steins, a Middle Eastern-style oil lamp and a tea set - hmm.)Gold gives David different directions. On his way out, David notices a wooden windmill that he thinks used to belong to him.
James returns to his mother's farm, where she is happy to see him. He tells her of the kings' plan to unite their kingdoms through marriage. James' mother realizes this means they will never be able to see each other again and she tells him to run away rather than go through with a loveless marriage. James insists on going through with the plan so his mother won't be harmed. She gives him her ring to give to his wife-to-be, telling him she knows he'll find love and will be happy.
David arrives at the toll bridge, where Mary Margaret is waiting for him. He tells her he now remembers everything about Kathryn, but he doesn't know if he loves her. He tells Mary Margaret he still has feelings for her, but he is going back to Kathryn.
Emma, working the night shift, spots Sheriff Graham jumping out the second-story window of the Mayor's house. Emma discovers that Graham has been sneaking in for trysts with Regina while Henry is in the house. Disgusted, she rushes off to finish her shift.
David returns to Kathryn's house and says he remembers that their relationship wasn't in a good place at the time of his accident and that he wants to see what happens.
Midas sends the couple to their new home while he remains to work out things with King George. James decides to take the "scenic route" through the woods, and we are on the path as seen at the beginning of "Snow Falls."
In Granny's Diner, Mary Margaret sits at the counter, playing with the ring around her finger--a ring that looks exactly like the one James gave Snow White in Fairy Tale Land. Dr. Moe arrives and asks if he can buy Mary Margaret a drink, an offer she accepts.
An ongoing list of questions that hopefully will be answered in future episodes.
-Why does Rumpelstilskin want the Fairy Godmother's wand so badly?
-How does James get revenge on King George? How does he get away from Abigail?
-Will James make a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to get out of his marriage to Abigail?
-What is the significance of objects from Fairy Tale Land that appear in Storybrooke? (Geppetto's parent puppets, Snow White's ring)