Okkk I feel like an idiot. I can't do the Episode 12: Skin Deep recap because it's expired on Hulu :P That's what I get for abandoning recaps for so long.
Anyway, this episode reveals what King Midas meant in Episode 6 when he said, "Be careful, remember what happened to Frederick." Overall, I enjoyed this episode because I love it when a series loops back to something they alluded to in previous episodes. We also see the reason behind Princess Abigail's bitchiness and casts an even more sympathetic light on Kathryn.
Episode 13: What Happened to Frederick
Princess Abigail arrives at the King George's kingdom for the wedding. When she asks about why all the soldiers seem so riled up, he dismisses it, saying it's for the protection of the wedding party. When her back is turned, he hisses at the soldiers to find him [Charming] at once.
Charming is on the run from his father's soldiers and despite giving them the slip, he is suddenly captured by mysterious caped soldiers.
Back in Storybrooke, Kathryn and David have an awkward dinner. Kathryn tells David that she applied to a law school in Boston and gotten in. She suggests that they start afresh there; perhaps leaving will Storybrooke behind will allow them to create new memories rather than cling to old ones. David doesn't reply.
And back in Fairytale Land, we find that Charming's captors are none other than Princess Abigail's soldiers! She remarks that she came to find him before his father did, to save him from being torn apart. She also adds that she knows Charming has no intention of marrying her and is in fact in love with Snow White. Charming holds his ground and says he won't let Abigail change his mind. That's when she surprises him by saying she isn't here to change his mind, she's here to help him escape because she doesn't want to marry him either.
David sneaks out to take a walk with MMarg and tells her about Kathryn's acceptance into law school. He doesn't seem to know whether he should go or not. MMarg, weary of all the dishonesty and wishy washiness, quietly suggests that he choose once and for all - either tell Kathryn or break up with here. David slowly says he chooses her and (somewhat) agrees to tell his wife about their relationship.
The next morning, Emma bumps into the The Stranger, who asks her out for the drink she once promised him. She refuses on the grounds that she doesn't even know his name. Reluctantly (but charmingly), he tells her that his name is August Wayne Booth. And now the knows, she she has no excuse not to meet him for a date after work today ;)
Inside, MMarg spills out her feelings for David and how she didn't stay away from David as promised. Emma tells her that she already suspected and was just waiting for MMarg to tell her when she was ready. On the "upside" MMarg says that David is going to tell Kathryn everything.
At home, Kathryn is eagerly searching for apartments in Boston. David finally confesses that he can't go to Boston with her. She asks him there is something she doesn't know and DAVID SAYS NO. He simply says that "something" is preventing from connecting with her again and that she deserves better than that.
Back in a place Charming isn't such a damn coward, James is led by Kathryn back into her father's kingdom (out of his father's clutches) where she has provisions waiting for him. Charming demands to know why Abigail is showing him such kindness. He can't accept her gesture without knowing her motivations. Abigail confesses it is because she is still in love with a man she was once to wed, Frederick, a man alluded to in Episode 6. She hopes that reuniting Charming with his true love will bring her some consolation. When Charming says that they can't be together since Snow rejected him, Abigail tells him she will show him what never being together truly is.
She tells him that Frederick saved her father's life during an ambush by throwing himself over the king's body. When he accidentally touched his father's hand (which she calls a curse), he was turned into gold. She tried True Love's kiss "a thousand times till her lips bled" but the golden helmet prevents it from working. However, she hesitantly adds, there is legend of how the waters of Lake Nostos can bring back something that has been lost to you. She has sent soldiers to try getting the water many times, but the Lake's dreaded guardian has killed them every single time. Undeterred, James says he will get the water for her. If he succeeds, than at least one of them can be happy. If he fails and dies, then he can be happy in death (since he can't be with Snow in this life).
In a dark room, August is busily doing mysterious things, like adding pages to Henry's fairy tale book and rebinding it. It's not clear what stories he is adding or what his motives are, but he clearly is aware of the nature of the fairy tale book in some way.
Regina gives a gift to to a suspicious Henry, who asks what the occasion is. She says the occasion is that she loves him :\ In the box is a game boy, to make up for the loss of his book and tearing down the playground. The game boy is even better since he can be the one to save the princesses and be the hero. However, Henry, still depressed, says that its not just the book or playground, he wants to see Emma again. A tearful Kathryn suddenly bursts in and Regina quietly sends Henry away, subdued by another reminder of Henry's relationship with Emma.
Kathryn tells Regina that David is leaving her. Inadvertently, Regina reveals the affair by scoffing how MMarg just couldn't stay away from him. Kathryn is shocked and demands to see proof. Reluctantly, Regina shows her some pictures Sydney took while scouting the town for some news.
Kathryn is devastated to know that Regina knew about the affair this whole time and didn't tell her. Regina insists that she did only because she thought they were working it out. Kathryn sobs that everyone is lying to her and that all this time, Regina wasn't truly her friend before rushing out.
Charming and Abigail an offering at a shrine for good luck. Abigail insists that she go with him but Charming rebuffs her offer, saying he wants to worry about nobody's life but his own. She backs down and wishes him luck.
David sadly looks at photos of happier times before he calls MMarg. He tells her he told Kathryn and that it did not go well. When MMarg asks if he told her everything, he says he did >_> Delighted, MMarg says that now they can pick up the pieces from here. She happily agrees to meet him after work.
Unfortunately for her, Kathryn has just stormed into the school. On her way in she bumps into Jim, the gym teacher (cuteeee), but ignores him as she makes a beeline for MMarg. Interestingly, there is no spark of recognition or feelings from either person, only irritation. But the way the camera zooms up on him, I'm sure we'll be seeing him again soon ;)
Kathryn slaps MMarg and furiously demands to know why she had David break up with her with a pack of lies. MMarg, for her part, is alternately apologetic and shocked to hear that David did not in fact tell the whole truth. Seeing MMarg's confusion over how David lied to her too, Kathryn calms down but coldly tells her that they deserve each other.
AS David bends down to fetch some water, the water bubbles mysteriously. He quickly draws his sword and demands the beast show itself. Right on cue, the "beast" slowly rises out of the water -
Ok, am I the only one who thought that Charming had ample time to just get some water and run?
August shows up on his bike and tells Emma to hop on. After all, when he said 'drink,' he didn't necessarily mean at Granny's. He wants to take her to another "watering hole" he knows of - Emma just needs to take a leap of faith. With Ruby and Granny looking on encouragingly, Emma gives in ;)
|This is the same well that Prince Thomas disappeared at in Episode 4: The Price of Gold!|
Turns out that he meant "watering hole" literally. He tells Emma that legend has it that the water of this well is supposed to be able to return what was once lost to you. When Emma zones in on how he seems to know an awful lot about this town for being a stranger, he slyly reveals the source of his knowledge - he read the plaque ;)
The conversation turns to whether August believes in magic or not and he replies obliquely that as a writer, he must keep an open mind. In any case, not having faith in things can trap people in the same place, though Emma retorts that her skepticism may simply get her to the truth before anyone else. August replies that there is one thing they can agree on then, that this is good water. Sparks fly as they look into each other's eyes as they drink the water of the well....:)
In town, a particularly adorable looking MMarg (baby blue really suits her) is struck by how the town has turned against her. She sees people whispering and Granny straight out scolds her, "You should be ashamed of yourself." Given, she shouldn't have cheated, it's hard to see her getting blamed for what was mostly David's cowardliness.
At the lake, Charming stands resilient against the siren's seductive promises. Seeing that he isn't falling for her, the siren pulls out her trump card -
- and transforms into Snow White. This Snow is much more seductive and swears that she can give him everything he wants - all he has to do is kiss her. There's a steamy kiss scene and Charming drops his sword....but then pulls away saying that he has felt true love before and this isn't it. He doesn't want an illusion of love, only true love.
The siren smirks saying he's the first to see through her - then drags him underwater. When he tries to swim to the surface, a tentacle of kelp wraps itself around his leg. He sees the skeletons of all the men who failed before before he spots a rusted dagger just a few feet away.
As he struggles to breathe, the siren pulls him into her triumphant embrace.
Her eyes fly open and we see blood billowing from her breast. Her eyes stare accusingly at him as she sinks deeper into the lake. As she sinks, she slowly changes back to her original form.
David is frantically scrubbing away graffiti on MMarg's car when she shows up. She tearfully asks him why he lied to not only Kathryn but to her as well. David insists it was to spare Kathryn's feelings. As for the way everyone is treating her, well, they just need to do as she said and pick up the pieces from here. MMarg calls him out on how he made the decision without her. They discussed what they should do together, then he went off and did whatever he wanted. She says the destruction they have caused proves what they have isn't love - and it has to stop. In a great piece of acting, the sobbing MMarg suddenly turns Snow-like and fiercely tells David that they need to break up.
Emma is clearing leaves off her little yellow bug when she spots a metal box covered in leaves under her car. Shocked, she opens the box - the book!
However, we know that this is no happy coincidence as August watches her find the book from across the street...
Kathryn once again proves to be one of the very few level headed, sympathetic characters in Storybrooke by showing up at Regina's office to apologize for her outburst the day before. In any case, after examining the pictures of MMarg and David together, she has realized that David has never once looked at her the way he does MMarg, even before the accident. She had been fighting so hard keep David, but the truth is that they were never in love. They just were just in the illusion of love, it wasn't ever real. She wants someone to look at her the way David looks at MMarg. She then tells a horrified Regina that she has written David a letter telling him that he should be with MMarg. As for herself, she is moving to Boston alone for a fresh start.
She tenderly embraces Regina and thanks her for being a good friend. Meanwhile, Ms. Mayor is still processing that not only is her mortal enemy MMarg getting her true love after all, but the fact that Kathryn is trying to leave Storybrooke (which as we know, isn't possible). It'll be interesting to see how Regina prevents Kathryn, the only friend she has (if she even considers her a friend), from leaving...
Charming proudly delivers the Lake Nostos water to Abigail. It's awesome to see how relieved she is to see him and how happy Charming is to give her something she so longed for. Yah for friends :)!
As the water touches Frederick, the gold starts to literally melt off before their eyes.
Hey look, it's Gym Teacher! Hehehe, I guess Kathryn has already met her true love after all ;) The couple happily thanks James and promise to provide anything he needs for his journey when James tells them that he is going after Snow after all. True love is hard, but must be fought for because it is irreplaceable. Before he leaves Abigail warms James to be careful, after King George hears that the alliance is off, he will stop at nothing to get back at James.
Speaking of, shouldn't Midas just reward King George since James restored the life of his loyal soldier and his beloved daughter's true love? Well...that would make things too easy I suppose.
Regina uses her set of creepy skeleton keys (eheh, skeleton keys, get it ^_~) to break into the Nolan's home. She spots Kathryn's letter to David and in a move that is a surprise to nobody, slips the letter into her purse.
Emma stops by Henry's school and sees him playing the game Regina gave him (the game is a reference to Lost apparently). Since Regina is arriving in five minutes, she quickly pulls out the book. Henry is thrilled (much more so than when he received the game) and happily says that their luck is turning around. Operation Cobra is back on! Emma describes the strange way she found it and for a moment, Henry himself seems a little suspicious as he examines the book. Nonetheless, neither of them can find any other explanation.
Charming arrives at the small cottage Snow used to live in where he bumps into Red. Red tells him that Snow didn't come back after she left to break up his wedding to be with him. Initially, Charming is confused but quickly realizes something - or someone - must have changed her mind between then.
Right on cue, we hear King George's men approaching with King George literally calling for his head :\ Red and Charming quickly ride away with the soldiers in close pursuit.
Emma: Do want to talk about it?MMarg: No.Emma: Do you want to be alone?MMarg: No.:( So Emma does the only thing she can do...(except boots on the bed...eek ><)
We discover the vandal that wrote "tramp" on MMarg's car was none other than Regina as she retrieves Kathryn's letter from her drawer. She smugly sets it on fire as we watch Kathryn start driving towards the city limits.
(Un)coincidentally, Gym Teacher (lord knows what he's doing around the city limits at this hour) spots a car crashed right at the town border.
He pulls over and sees that the air bags have gone off. However, there is no sign of Kathryn anywhere.
Slightly less exciting cliffhanger than usual, since we already know Kathryn can't leave town already. As for the episode story arc, the character of Abigail was a refreshing twist. I think many people suspected her bitchiness stemmed from some sort of buried heartache, but it was extra awesome to see her and James team up and help each other. Another touch I appreciated is that we finally see the core of the Abigail/Kathryn character. It was baffling to me at first why they portrayed Kathryn/Abigail as such mirror opposites - but now we can see that they aren't so different after all. They truly have the same values and strength - unwavering loyalty to who they love. And of course now, I am excited to see how Kathryn will meet Gym Teacher (again)!
I think August is being setup as another romantic interest for Emma, which is good at a storytelling perspective, but boring onscreen since Emma and August seem to have very little chemistry. Nonetheless, I am curious to see if the well water has some sort of effect on either of them - will they actually get something returned to them that they lost? How much does August really know? Who is he?
MMarg and David's relationship continues to be a drag, a real pity considering how electric their fairy tale counterparts are. David is hard character to root for, even considering that he's acting under the parameters of the spell. Damn, he's like one of the worst guys you could ever get involved with - he just wants to have his cake and eat it too :P Seeing MMarg take the brunt of the town's hatred is painful to watch too - doubly so because it is very true to life. Even though it was she who fought so hard to resist him and insisted he tell the whole truth, it is only she who suffers for David's decision to get what he wants without feeling guilty about it. Thus it is just amazing to see how magnetic their counterparts are in fairy tale land. Siren Snow's seduction of Charming was quite spicy~ and it made his ability to not fall for the illusion of love that much more moving.