Once upon a time Prince Coldplay’s name was actually James and, back in fairytale land, he used to be engaged to a boring bitchy looking chick who liked to complain about everything. One day while enduring her on a carriage ride through the forest they came upon a fallen tree. Prince Coldplay went to see what was amiss only to discover that it was a trap! The trickster, who was hiding in a tree, quickly used the distraction to snatch the prince’s baubles from where they lay on his seat in the carriage and then made off on one of their horses.
The prince, spurred on by his inner manliness, takes chase and catches up with the thief, who he pulls off his horse and is about to punch in his face, when he realizes ZOMG! It’s a chick! Does not compute! He calls her a girl. She declares her womanhood and uses his misogynistic shock as an opportunity to smash him in the face with a rock, cutting him on the chin, before making her escape. It should not come as a surprise to anyone that said female is Snow White. As Snow White rushes off, the prince calls after her that she can’t hide from him. That he will find her wherever she goes. And that, my friends, is how you begin an epic romance. Crime and bloodshed. OKCupid just can’t compete with that.
How not to begin a romance? By checking out your waitress while you’re on a date with another woman. Which is what Sark from Alias does while he’s out on a date with Snow Mary in present day Storybrooke. The date isn’t going well if you haven’t figured that out by now. Between Snow Mary’s babbling desires for true love and Dr. Sark’s wandering eye constantly wondering over to Ruby‘s short shorts, Snow Mary soon calls for the check before heading home and gracefully accepting that this guy is definitely not her prince.
Also not having a good night? Her daughter, Emma, who is currently trying to get some shut eye in her vintage bug. Good luck with that, lady. Mom is pleased to see that she stayed in town for Henry and invites Emma to stay in her spare room, but Emma the prideful turns her down.
The next day Snow Mary takes Henry’s class to the hospital to visit the patients and decorate the ward. Of course it doesn’t take long for Henry to zone in on the comatose Prince Coldplay, having recognized him from the book because of the scar on his chin thanks to Snow White and that rock of hers. Henry questions Snow Mary, trying to see if she remembers him, but he soon realizes that she doesn’t. No one seems to know anything about the comatose John Doe, and Snow Mary reveals that he’s been like that for as long as she can remember. No one has come to claim him. No family, no friends.
But young Henry is determined to put his family tree back together, and as soon as he gets the opportunity he fills in Emma on the fact that he’s found her father. The curse is keeping them apart with the coma, he tells her, and it’s up to the two of them to get Snow Mary and Prince Coldplay back together. Emma doesn’t think it’s a good idea to tell Snow Mary the truth, especially with Prince Coldplay in a coma, but Henry is determined. He’s convinced that if they can somehow get Snow Mary to read their fairytale to John Doe it’ll remind him of who he was and will cause him to wake up.
Emma, ever the doubting Thomas, is skeptical of this plan, but decides to go along with it, later telling Snow Mary that this would be a good way to dissuade Henry from his fairytale fantasies. She believes that when it doesn’t work it will force Henry to admit that the fairy tales aren’t real. Snow Mary agrees that it’s a good plan especially since it’s a way to help Henry see the truth without hurting him. Emma hands over the book, and they agree to meet at Granny’s Diner for breakfast the next morning to reveal the bad news to Henry.
That night, Snow Mary sits on John Doe’s bed and tells him she knows it’s odd, but that she’s doing it for a friend. She begins the story and as she reads the part about how their love was born on a troll bridge John Doe reaches out and grabs her hand. Startled, she stares at him, expecting him to wake up, but alas his eyes remain closed.
She rushes to get Dr. Sark, who tells her that nothing has changed with John Doe’s vitals and that perhaps she dozed off and imagined it. Snow Mary doesn’t agree, and reluctantly leaves. Once she is out of earshot, Dr. Sark picks up the phone and immediately calls Mother Mayor. Apparently she had left orders for him to all her with any change in John Doe’s status and is none too happy to learn that the change occurred while Snow Mary was there.
Snow Mary, meanwhile, goes home and reads over the story, taking us back to Snow White in the forest where she’s grabbing up all her goodies and relocating from her cave hideaway. She doesn’t get far before she’s literally caught in a trap and suspended in the air while an amused Prince Coldplay gloats down below.
“I told you I’d find you,” he says. “No matter what you do, I will always find you.”
Oh, look who’s flirting with the thief. That sounds like a promise of future encounters. Snow White seems to agree as she calls him out on needing to use traps to catch a woman. Calling him a real Prince Charming. He tells her he has a name, but she refuses to hear it, saying Charming suits him better. Aw, pet names already. I like Charming too. Finding out later his name is James was on par with finally finding out that Big’s name was John on Sex and the City. Decent names, but the nicknames are better.
She demands he cut her down, but he says only if she returns what she stole from him. She tells him she sold them and asks him why he’s so upset since he’s a prince and should have a palace full of jewels to choose from. Coldplay tells her there was a ring in the pouch that belonged to his mother. A ring he was going to give to his horrible fiancée. Snow White is as amused by that unfortunate event as I am and wishes him good luck with his bitch faced princess.
She comments that he must be getting something good out of the deal to be marrying that woman. True love, love at first sight or kiss, do not exist, she says, so it must be some sort of arranged marriage or takeover. Prince Coldplay is offended, even if she’s right, saying it’s not a takeover but a merger. He quickly changes the subject and says he’ll cut her down and she’ll take him to whoever she sold his jewels to. Snow White doesn’t want to play and asks why she’d do that?
“Because you don’t want me to tell anyone who you really are. Snow White,” he says as he pulls out a Wanted notice with a drawing of her on it. Murder, treason and treachery are listed as her crimes. He tells her to help him get his stuff back or he’ll turn her over to the Queen’s forces. Snow’s no fool, so she finally agrees.
We’re back in Storybrooke now, and it’s the next morning with Emma and Henry already at Granny’s diner waiting for Snow Mary. Henry has brought Emma a clean shirt to use, and she says she hopes his mother won’t notice. Wishful thinking I’m guessing. Snow Mary shows up and Emma looks at her expectantly, waiting for her to tell Henry that the plan failed, but Emma’s the one in for the surprise when Snow Mary reveals that John Doe woke up. Sort of.
She tells them about Dr. Sark’s dismissal of what happened, but says she knows John Doe responded to her, which excites Henry. He says John Doe is remembering, so they have to go back and read to him again. Snow Mary agrees. Not that she believes Henry’s fairy tales, but she feels that if she could get through to this stranger in a coma that it’s still worth something. Emma is, as always, skeptical but follows them to the hospital anyway only to discover Sheriff Sexy and Mother Mayor already there in John Doe’s room. John Doe, on the other hand, is nowhere to be found as he’s gone missing.
Mother Mayor is none too happy to see Emma there, even less to see Henry with her, whom she thought was at the arcade playing whack-a-mole. She grabs his arm and yanks him to her and Emma looks pissed, but holds her tongue. No one seems to know where John Doe is and, like me, Henry instantly suspects Mother Mayor as Emma points out how curious it is that she’s there in the first place. Mother Mayor informs them that she is actually John Doe’s emergency contact since she was the one who found him on the side of the road, sans ID, years ago. Convenient.
Dr. Sark says they need to find him ASAP since he’s been in a coma for years and hooked up to feeding tubes. I’m stunned he can even walk. Shouldn’t his legs have atrophied? But no one seems to be concerned about that in the least, not even Herr Doctor. I wonder who he was back in the Enchanted Forest. David Anders is fantastic at playing these kinds of dual characters, isn’t he? And, yes, I know he was also in Heroes, but he’ll always be Sark to me. If only he’d cut that terrible hair off.
Anyway…everyone’s ready to go search for him. Mother Mayor isn’t happy that Emma’s part of this, saying that since she can’t seem to keep Emma away from Henry, she’ll have to keep Henry away from Emma. Good luck with that. This kid seems to have a homing beacon for his birth mother. Mother Mayor also comments on Emma wearing her shirt, saying that’s the only thing of hers that Emma will ever get and leaves after giving Sheriff Sexy orders to find John Doe as soon as possible.
First stop is the security room where Grumpy is the janitor and Sleepy is the security guard. Can you guess where this goes? The security video they find shows nothing unusual, but Emma smells a rat. Turns out Sleepy fell asleep during his shift and is now trying to hide that fact by switching the tapes. Emma is wise to his game especially since the video they’re looking at shows none of the decorations that Henry’s class would have put up that day. Sleepy gives up the goods and they watch as a slightly out of it John Doe staggers out of the ward all on his own and exits through the door that leads to the woods. Maybe Sleepy is a narcoleptic. He should get that looked into. At another hospital. This one’s terrible.
This takes us back to the Enchanted Forest where Snow White and Prince Coldplay are heading to find the people she sold his jewels to. Prince Coldplay notices she’s wearing a necklace with a glass pendant and remarks on it, as earlier she’d stated that she wasn’t the jewelry type. He snatches it away and she flips out, warning him to be careful with it. He asks why she’s so worked up about a pendant with dust in it, and she tells him it’s actually fairy dust. This kind of fairy dust will transform the most fearsome adversaries into foes that are easily squashed. I had no idea how literally she meant that.
Prince Coldplay asks why she didn’t use it on him and she says, unlike L’Oreal, you’re not worth it. He’s amused by this and chuckles as he tucks her pendant away. She tells him the fairy dust is very hard to come by and she’s saving it for someone special. The prince knows she’s referring to the Evil Queen, and remarks that she’s got a lot of anger toward her. Snow tells him that the charges on the poster are lies, but that the Queen has sent her huntsman to rip out her heart even so. And it’s here that I realized that Sheriff Sexy is the Queen’s Huntsman. I’m so slow.
The prince asks her what happened and she says that the huntsman took pity on her and let her go and she’s been hiding in the forest ever since, stealing from the Queen in order to save enough to escape to another realm. She says she thought the Prince’s carriage was one of the Queen’s that day and that’s why she stole from him since only the Queen’s forces use that road. She tells him all she’s trying to do is survive because the queen blames her for ruining her life. Prince Coldplay asks her if she did and, after a pause, she says yes. Oh, do tell.
They come to a river and Snow White asks if she can stop to get a drink of water. The prince says yes, and they both go take a drink, but Snow is ever crafty and knocks him into the water and grabs her goodies before running off. She doesn’t get far because no sooner is she back on the main road then she finds herself confronted by the Queen’s men who are mighty pleased at their find. One of them gets off his horse and heads towards her, telling her there’s nowhere to hide and that the queen wants her heart and they’re not about to disappoint her.
Back in Storybrooke, Snow Mary, Emma and Sheriff Huntsman are searching the woods for John Doe. Sheriff Huntsman isn’t having much luck finding him, something Emma remarks on. Snow Mary asks Emma about her own hunting skills, but she says the woods aren’t her forte. Her hunts usually take her to places like Vegas. Snow Mary asks her how she got into that sort of thing and Emma says it’s something she’s always done. Snow Mary asks if was because of her parents, explaining that Henry had told her about Emma’s orphaned past. Before Emma can answer, they hear a rustling in the bushes and turn to find Henry heading towards them with a flashlight. Mother Mayor does a terrible job of keeping an eye on this kid. Emma asks him what he’s doing here, and he says he’s there to help. He also says he knows where Prince Coldplay is going. John Doe, who is somehow in touch with his Enchanted Forest memories, is looking for Snow White.
Just like he did back in the Enchanted forest when the Queen’s men were about to cut her heart out. He runs in, sword swinging, while Snow makes a dash for it only to be caught by another one of the Queen’s guards and taken away on a horse. Prince Coldplay grabs a bow and arrow and chases after them until he finds a good vantage point, where he shoots and scores by taking out the guard and saving Snow who returns on the guard’s horse. She’s breathless and amazed and clearly swooning inwardly at the dashing prince who came to her rescue.
Too bad the prince is a little obtuse and doesn’t see the stars swirling in her eyes because he snaps her out of her swoon by reminding her that they have to find his jewels so he can give the ring to his horrible fiancée. The stars fall from Snows eyes and the snark returns to her tongue and off they go, flirtsulting each other along the way. Yes, I made that up. Give credit where it’s due. I’ve done my fair share of flirtsulting.
In Storybrooke forest the search party continues to look for John Doe as Henry repeats his theory that John Doe is looking for Snow White. Snow Mary isn’t exactly on board with this line of thinking and says John Doe is confused. But Henry insists and says that Snow Mary needs to stop hunting John Doe and let him find her.
Doubting Emma tells him to go home, knowing Mother Mayor will be furious to find him gone and even more so to find that he’s once again with Emma. As they argue, Sheriff Huntsman calls out to them because he’s found John Doe’s bloodied hospital wristband. I call bullshit. Those things are vice-like and usually have to be cut off.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Snow White and Prince Coldplay have finally arrived at the troll bridge, and she places some gold coins on the side which immediately summons the trolls. She asks them for Prince Coldplay’s jewels back, but the trolls are suspicious. They think it’s a set up and grab hold of Prince Coldplay while Snow White begs them to trust her, saying they can keep everything but the his mother’s ring. But, the trolls have figured out that the prince is, well, a prince and search him, tossing aside the pendant of fairy dust in search of more valuable goodies.
Unfortunately for Snow, they also find the Wanted poster and are more interested in the reward for her now. The prince breaks free and a fight ensues. He urges Snow White to run and says that he’s right behind her. She runs and grabs the fairy dust as she goes. But, she soon realizes that he’s not catching up and is now at the mercy of the stronger, more fearsome trolls. Snow runs back and uses her precious fairy dust to turn them into bugs, saving him. He’s surprised that she’d use all her precious fairy dust to help him, and she says it was the honorable thing to do and that she’ll figure out how to get rid of the queen another way.
Besides, she says, “How can I let Prince Charming die?” He smiles and says he told her he has a name, James. There’s a moment, but it doesn’t last long as the threat of more trolls showing up forces them to gather their valuables, including the prince’s ring and other jewels, and hightail it out of there.
In Storybrooke, the search party comes to a halt by the water’s edge where Sheriff Huntsman says the trail ends. Snow Mary looks around with her flashlight and spots John Doe lying in the water under the toll bridge. Get it? Troll bridge/toll bridge? Yuk yuk.
Sheriff Huntsman calls for an ambulance while Snow Mary becomes distraught. Her latent feelings for Prince Charming come to the surface as she tells him she found him and begs him to come back to her. She gives him CPR, the modern day equivalent of the kiss of life, which ends up being more of a kiss than anything. Holy sexual assault, Batman! That does the trick, and soon he’s spitting up water and gasping for breath. She holds his face in her hands, her joy obvious and he stares up at her and says, “You saved me.” Well, I guess you can press charges later. Snow Mary smiles and asks him who he is but, alas, he’s now falling into that faithful soap staple of amnesia.
They take him back to the hospital where terrible Dr. Sark pretends to be a good doctor. As they watch the doctors work on him, a strange woman bursts into the ER, running to John Doe’s side calling him David. It’s the bitchy fiancée! Damn, I guess even the annoying fairytale characters got transported to this realm as well. She’s about to annoy us all some more as Emma asks who she is, and an all too pleased Mayor comes up behind them to inform them that annoying fairytale fiancé is now annoying ‘real life’ wife.
Back in the Enchanted forest, the prince and Snow White divvy up the goods with the prince giving Snow White back her gold coins and she giving him his purse of jewels back. She takes a moment to look at the ring, and he remarks that it’s not her style based on her earlier statement that she’s not one for jewels. And, because this is as much a soap as it is a fairytale, Snow Mary tries on the ring. She seems to get wistful looking at the ring on her finger. and he too seems to feel the moment, watching her lovely face as she stares at the ring on her hand. Honestly, I expected more soapiness with the ring being stuck on her finger, but alas no. It comes right off and they both seem disappointed, reluctant even, that this is the end of their adventures. She hands it back, and he looks like he doesn’t want to take it back. He offers her the rest of the jewels, but she turns them down, remarking that they both got what they wanted even though their expressions say otherwise.
He pulls himself together, telling her to be careful wherever she goes and that if she needs anything, “You’ll find me.” She finishes for him. “Always.” He confirms. “I almost believe that.”
She gathers up her things and they say their goodbyes with her calling him Prince Charming again. He smiles, telling her again that his name is James, but we know which one she prefers and she says so. They smile farewell and he watches her leave. She doesn’t get very far before she too turns to watch him walk away towards the castle in the distance. Aw, sadness.
Back in Storybrooke, Snow Mary continues to watch John Doe being tended to by terrible Dr. Sark while Mother Mayor informs them all that his name is David Nolan and Bitchy Mcgee is his wife Katherine. She also tells Henry he’s grounded for his insubordination. Bad little soldier. Bitchy Mcgee is actually nice in this realm and thanks them for finding him, informing them that she was a terrible wife to David and had told him to leave if he wasn’t happy. She said it was the worst mistake she’d ever made to let him go. Snow Mary asks why she never looked for him, and she says she thought he’d left town all this time and now she knows why she never heard from him. She says now they can have a second chance and she can say she’s sorry. Poor Snow Mary can only be gracious about her five second boyfriend, saying, “That’s wonderful.”
Terrible Dr. Sark comes out and declares it all a miracle. He really is a shitty doctor. Physically David is on the mend, but his memory may take time to return if at all. Snow Mary asks what brought him back, hoping it was her, but Dr. Sark says, “Who knows?” He woke up delirious and something just clicked for him and that his first instinct must have been to go look for something. Henry pipes up that he was looking for someone. Katherine (as long as she’s nice she gets to keep her name) asks to see him and goes in to his room with Dr. Sark.
Mother Mayor, having done her duty of keeping true love apart, tells Henry it’s time to go. He starts to leave then runs back for his backpack and uses the opportunity to tell Snow Mary not to believe any of their crap. David was looking for her. He was going to the troll/toll bridge like in the story. Snow Mary tries to be rational, saying he only went there because that was the last thing she read to him before everything happened. Henry isn’t having any of that mess and says he was going there because they belong together. Mother Mayor calls for him to come along, and off they go, leaving Snow Mary to stare sadly at newly reunited couple.
Emma, who finally seems to be catching a whiff of the bullshit in the air, runs out to catch up with the Mayor who sends Henry to wait in the car. Once he’s gone Emma remarks that it’s pretty convenient that all this time a John Doe has been lying in a coma and no one thought to put it in the news? No one goes looking for relatives? Something’s not right here. Mother Mayor plays it straight, asking what would make better sense and why would Katherine lie? Does Emma think she put a spell on Katherine? Emma says it’s rather strange that she’s been his emergency contact for all these years and she only now found his wife. Mother Mayor informs her that the town is bigger than she knows. No kidding. How big was the Enchanted forest anyway? Multiple kingdoms, awash with plenty of kings, queens, prince and princesses, witches, trolls, dwarves, giants etc. Storybrooke must take up most of the eastern seaboard. Or Canada. Canada is fairytale land. Free healthcare! That’s a fairytale alright.
Anyway, Emma continues to point out the convenience of the situation and Mother Mayor gives her the credit. She says that the tapes she found of John Doe led them to look at other tapes which showed him calling out for Katherine in his sleep. She put the pieces together after that and voila! A convenient wife. She snidely remarks that she expected Emma and Snow Mary would be pleased that true love won out. If not for the two of them, Katherine and David would have lived their lives alone. That’s not exactly true. She gets another dig in by saying it all reminds her of how grateful she is to have Henry because not having someone is the worst…curse…imaginable! Orphan Emma!
It’s Snow Mary’s turn now to have her poor heart squeezed as she watches Katherine and David embrace. David hugs his stranger wife, confused by it all, and he looks over her shoulder directly at Snow Mary. They stare at each other until Snow Mary can’t take it anymore and looks away and down at the ring she’s playing with on her finger. It’s Prince Coldplay’s mother’s ring! Well, at last you have that. Yeah, that’s not much consolation.
Later that night she’s sitting in her very nice apartment, lost in thought, playing with the ring again, when there’s a knock on the door. It’s Emma, tired of being alone, come to see if the offer of the spare room is still available. Aw, sadness. At least you have each other.
Well played, show. I was wondering how long it would take for Prince Coldplay to wake from his slumber. Thank god we didn’t have to wait all season for that. Now, how soon until we get rid of Bitchy McGee?