'Once Upon A Time': 'The Shepherd' recap
Published Dec 6 2011, 15:36 GMT | By Catriona Wightman Once Upon A Time
seems to know what it's doing now, with bits of information about the fairytale characters emerging each week. This time around it was the turn of Prince Charming, while in the 'real' world it was all about Mary and former coma victim David.
We begin with David returning home from the hospital - his wife Kathryn has set up a party for him (though he doesn't remember anything - not even the windmill that used to sit on their lawn). Fed up, David turns to Henry and Emma - at least he knows who they are.
Henry, by the way, is determined to get David together with Mary. Maybe if that happens, he'll remember he's really Prince Charming - after all, he missed the whole curse thing by being unconscious, really. And Henry has a little smile when David asks where Mary is...
Kathryn's worried about her husband, by the way, and seeks comfort from Regina. She even ends up calling Regina her "friend" - it's quite sweet how pleased Regina is by this, since she doesn't really have any other pals. But it's also very
dangerous for the other characters...
The only problem is, Kathryn can't find David. You guessed it - he's gone to see Mary. She's determined not to get involved with him as he's married - oh gosh, Mary is so adamant that she will do the right thing. She claims that any connection they might have is just because she saved his life and tells him to leave it there... Sure. That'll be that, then.
Fairytale time! We see Prince Charming fighting some kind of evil knight, eventually slaying him. The audience is thrilled, including his father King George (ALAN DALE ALERT!) and guest King Midas. Midas wants Charming to slay a dragon in exchange for gold, and Charming agrees to take on the challenge. But when Midas has left, it turns out that the evil knight wasn't dead after all - in fact, he stabs Charming and kills him! (It's kind of justified, since Charming is really annoying and smug here.)
King George really needs that gold, so he enlists the help of Rumpelstiltskin and asks him to help resurrect Charming. Well, no can do. But we learn that Rumpelstiltskin was the one to provide George with his son... and it turns out there's a twin brother George never knew about! Yes, that wasn't the real Charming at all. Actually, the real Charming is currently working as a shepherd. (Side note: Robert Carlyle has perfected the art of the malicious, creepy giggle. Wonderful stuff.)
Yes, the real Prince Charming lives with his mother on a farm, but they're a little poor. His mum thinks he should consider marrying a grain merchant's daughter for her dowry, but Charming refuses - he wants to marry for love. His mother warns that he can't have everything he wants, but Rumpelstiltskin chooses this moment for his entrance and to say maybe he can. Rumpelstiltskin reveals that the king wants a dragon slayer, and to be fair, he doesn't really give Charming a choice. It could save the farm!
Back in the real world, Mary's stressing about David, so Emma advises her not to get involved - if it feels wrong, it probably is. Meanwhile, Kathryn wants to kickstart a more intimate relationship with David, but when she kisses him he admits that it doesn't feel right. Uh oh.
Later, Regina approaches Mary, blaming her for David's decision to leave Kathryn. It's pretty clear Mary knew nothing about it, but this doesn't stop Regina, who warns her that she needs to stay away from David. See? Regina has a friend now, and she's going to do whatever she can to help her (hint: evilness.)
Back in the fairytale world, it's time for Charming to go and slay the dragon... except that he's actually just going to wait outside while the other knights do the job. They all walk through an amazing set, but it's not long before the fighters are getting a little injured. Charming jumps in and pulls them from the rubble, before outwitting the dragon and killing it. Job done. Once Upon A Time
is great at the fairy-action sequences - they're so predictable, but that's comforting.
To the real world again, and once more David comes to see Mary. He begs her to meet him at the toll bridge that evening - if she doesn't turn up, he'll never bother again. Oh, you know what? He is a bit handsome. Mary, you should go for it. Mary's unsure, though, and seeks advice from Emma. Still, Emma thinks that now she should pursue David - he's actually made a decision by leaving his marriage. Mary's ridiculously over-excited, bless her.
We're scooting right back to the fairytale world, though - Midas is thrilled with Charming's success. But there's more - he wants to unite their kingdoms, and to do it, he wants Charming to marry his daughter Abigail. Charming is not convinced, but George grabs him and forces him to go through with it - if he doesn't, he and his mother will be killed.
In the real world again, David is getting lost on the way to the toll bridge. Regina gives him directions, though realising that he's going to meet Mary, she gives him the wrong ones. He ends up in Mr Gold's pawn shop (creepy dolls and all) and asks for directions. But on the way out, he sees the windmill Kathryn told him about before, and suddenly, he remembers... evil Mr Gold smiles, and it seems this might have been set up.
We're back and forth like nobody's business, so we return to the fairytale world. Charming returns to the farm to tell his mother all about the news of his impending marriage. Nothing she can say will persuade him to cancel, and, even worse, they won't be able to see each other ever again because Midas believes Charming is the original prince. It's all really quite heartbreaking, and Charming's mother ends up giving him her ring - true love follows it, apparently, and if he has it she knows he'll be happy. It's only Mary's ring, isn't it?!
Charming returns to court, where he agrees to marry Abigail. It's time for the engaged couple to travel to Midas's palace, their new home. In a nice touch, Charming wants to take the scenic route, and we see the opening scene of 'Snow Falls'
as their coach is ambushed and Snow White grins from a nearby tree, preparing to attack.
But we finish the episode back in the real world. Emma discovers that the Sheriff is sleeping with Regina (and her reaction is one of disgust, brilliantly). But more importantly, Mary goes to see David at the toll bridge. Unfortunately, when he turns up, he admits that he remembers how he felt about Kathryn now.
Mary is so upset - saying that David shouldn't have led her on. David admits that he does have "intense" feelings for Mary, but the right thing to do is to return to his wife. It's so sad for Mary, who had basically given up on love and then had a glimmer of hope. But they're clearly going to end up together eventually, right?
Anyway, David returns to Kathryn and they agree to try to make things work. Meanwhile, Mary goes to drown her sorrows in a bar, where she's joined by smug and creepy Dr Whale. He lets her vent, and then offers to buy her a drink (even after that disastrous earlier date and his general all-round yukkiness.) But Mary must be desperate - she replies: "You can buy me two." I'm definitely enjoying Once Upon A Time
now... what about you?What did you think of the episode? Leave your comments below!