'Once Upon A Time' Recap: 'What Happened To Frederick'
In this episode, the story becomes more complicated when it is literally rewritten. Princess Abigail and Prince James part ways.
Author’s note: Lines between paragraphs indicate scene changes between Fairy Tale Land and Storybrooke/present day.
In Fairy Tale Land, King George greets Princess Abigail in the days leading to her wedding. Prince James, however, has escaped and the royal guards are giving chase. Just when James thinks he's lost them, he is accosted by two hooded men.
At the Nolan house, David and Kathryn eat supper. Kathryn announces that she's been accepted into law school in Boston and is confident that a fresh start is what they will need to reconnect.
James thinks the hooded men are about to harm him, when they cut his bounds and Abigail appears. She says she wants to set him free from the marriage; she knows he loves Snow White, and she doesn't love him, either.
David goes to meet Mary Margaret later that evening and insists that David tell Kathryn the truth about them. He is not confident that it's the best plan, but Mary Margaret leaves him with the understanding that he'll tell Kathryn about them himself.
The mysterious writer stranger tries to get Emma to take him up on the drink he offered her a few weeks ago. He says his name is August W. Booth (the "W" is for Wayne) and plans to meet her in front of Granny's Diner after work. Mary Margaret is waiting for Emma in the cafe; she tells her about David telling Kathryn.
David tells Kathryn he can't go to Boston with her. She asks him to tell the truth about what's going on. He insists that nothing is going on, but he says there is some unknown thing that is preventing him from connecting with her. She does need a fresh start, just not with him.
James and Abigail arrive in her father's realm where they will be safe from King George. Kathryn reveals that her betrothed, Frederick, was turned to gold in an accident while trying to protect her and her father during an ambush. His golden form stands in the forest. Kathryn tells James that water from Lake Nostos has the power to return something that was once lost, but the lake is guarded by a creature that kills anyone who comes into contact with it. James is determined to help Abigail so the curse upon Frederick can be undone.
In a darkroom-style laboratory in Storybrooke, August creates new pages of Henry's fairy tale book and binds them into the original cover.
Regina presents Henry with a present: a video game, to replace his lost book and make up for the destruction of the play castle. Henry says he wants to see Emma again. Kathryn rushes in, looking for Regina. She is falling apart and tells Regina that David is leaving her. Regina makes a comment about a "home wrecker" and Kathryn demands to know what she means. Regina reveals that David and Mary Margaret are having an affair. She claim to know this because Sydney Glass got pictures of them together and had planned to put it in the newspaper, but Regina covered it up. Kathryn is upset that Regina never told her what was going on and tells her that she isn't a real friend.
James and Abigail approach the shrine of the guardian of the lake. James must give an offering to ask for the creature's mercy. Abigail insists on staying with him, but he refuses to endanger anyone but himself. He goes the rest of the way to the lake alone.
David calls Mary Margaret at work and tells her he told Kathryn everything. She is glad he told the truth and tells him he did the right thing. Just then, Kathryn shows up at the school and slaps Mary Margaret across the face. She reveals that David hadn't actually told her the truth after all; she is furious.
At the lake, James fills his flask with water. A beautiful woman appears out of the lake in a flowing white gown.
August arrives to pick Emma up outside Granny's. He wants Emma to ride his motorcycle, but she is skeptical. She finally agrees and takes off with him. They drive into the woods to a wishing well in a clearing. He tells her about a legend that the water from the well is drawn from a lake with magical powers: if you drink the water from the well, something lost will be returned to you. They clink cups and drink.
Mary Margaret walks down Main Street, getting stares and sneers from the other residents of Storybrooke. Granny tells her she should be ashamd of herself.
The woman walks towards James, telling him she can be anyone she wants him to be. He tells her he knows she is a siren and that she kills the people who listen to her. She transforms into Snow White and James kisses her. She draws him deeper into the lake, kissing him, but James stops and tells her it isn't real. She grabs him and plunges him into the lake, where James sees the remains of others who also met the siren. He grabs a knife from the lake bottom and plunges it into the siren's abdomen. She transforms back to her original form, dead.
David scrubs graffiti off of Mary Margaret's car ("TRAMP"). She tells him what people are saying and that she doesn't know who said it. She is more concerned that David didn't tell the truth as they discussed; he lied to both Kathryn and Mary Margaret. Mary Margaret says that what they have isn't love, it's destructive and has to stop. She says they shouldn't be together.
Emma approaches her car and notices the strongbox that had held Henry's fairy tale book in the ditch. She opens it and finds the book, seemingly incredulous that the "magic" of the wishing well had come true. August watches from afar, ensuring that she found the book as he meant for her to find it.
Regina waters--what else?--carnivorous plants in her office when Kathryn arrives. Regina is surprised to see her after what happened the day before, but Kathryn apologizes. She says that she and David were never in love; Regina says that relationships take work. Kathryn asks if Regina was ever in love, and she says that she was, once. Kathryn says that she's leaving Storybrooke for Boston and that she left David and Mary Margaret a letter telling them they should be together. Regina wishes Kathryn well.
James presents Abigail with the water from Lake Nostos and she pours it over Frederick's head. The gold melts away to reveal a handsome knight. Frederick thanks James and gives him a horse and supplies for his journey to find Snow White.
Regina uses her special keyring to open the door to the Nolan house. She finds the letter Kathryn wrote to David and Mary Margaret and burns it.
Emma finds Henry after school and presents him with the lost book. Henry takes it as a sign that things are getting better, and he declares Operation Cobra to be back on.
James goes looking for Snow White and encounters Red, who says Snow never came back after she left to look for him. Red tells him that Snow wants to be with him more than anything, that she left to break up his wedding because she wanted to be with him, unless something changed his mind along the way. Just then, King George and his guards arrive. James pulls Red onto his horse and gallops off.
A heartbroken Mary Margaret lays in bed as Emma tries to console her.
Kathryn drives out of town, but doesn't get far.
Regina burns the letter she retrieved from Kathryn's house.
A man who looks like Frederick finds Kathryn's car, which has clearly been in an accident, but she is not inside. The airbag has deployed.
An ongoing list of questions that hopefully will be answered in future episodes.
-Will the fact that the book has been "rewritten" affect all of the characters, or will it only affect Regina when she reads it? Is Regina the one behind the mysterious stranger, or is Gold?
-Between the time King George sends his soldiers to find Price James and when Abigail shows up with her hooded men, she's wearing a completely different outfit than when she met the king moments before. Is this evidence of the re-write, or just that more time had elapsed than it seems? Or does Abigail have a twin?
-Regina has keys to the homes of all of Storybrooke's residents. Does she have a key to Mr. Gold's house, also?
-Does Frederick actually exist, or is he solely part of the rewrite?