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Once Upon a Time: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

"Your life is now in my hands... forever."

This week we delved deep into the psyche of the first huntsman in history who could be a spokesman for PETA, with a touch of Cowardly Lion. And heartbreaking taken to its limit.

There’s a reason Regina was known as the Evil Queen, and not the Smart Queen. She made the worst possible choice for a hitman. I mean, the guy is a hunter who literally cries over his prey, for God’s sake! How could she possibly think he could carry out the assassination of an adorable and innocent young girl who had just lost her father? She should have gotten his heart, since it’s so easy for her, and tell him he’d only get it back when he kills Snow. And for good measure, she’d squeeze it a little every night until then, to speed things up.

Not that the Huntsman wasn’t ruthless. He killed the guy in the tavern in a heartbeat, and showed no remorse. Still, that guy was a major pain in the butt, and offended his family (that beautiful wolf). If you have family, you know how easy it is to go berserk when somebody badmouths a relative you love. Snow wouldn’t even be fed to the wolf, like the stag in the beginning (I hope).

Apart from the Queen’s incredible stupidity, this was a very strong episode. The character of the Sheriff makes sense in his Cowardly Lion paradox. I’ll explain: just like our beloved feline from Oz was looking for something he had all along, the Sheriff feels really bad for not being able to feel anything. He doesn’t realize that, if he really felt nothing, he just wouldn’t care, as fans of Supernatural will surely remember.

He feels guilty because he cares about Emma, and is afraid he won’t be sufficiently available for her. Coincidentally, Emma has similar problems. That’s why I think they fit together, however much they take turns repelling each other.

I was a bit disappointed by Graham’s “awakening” because remembering your past life by kissing somebody you care about has already been done. As I said last week, LOST is my favorite show and I’ll defend it to death, but there’s a limit to homages and references from the same source. (Ironically, I’m also a Tarantino fan. I’m a mystery).

And if someone speculated Graham would be the first to remember his past, I’d say no way!

Moving on to Regina’s side of the story, her boy toy stood up to her (it’s been happening a lot lately), and we finally have the confirmation she remembers FairyTaleTime, what with that creepy crypt of carved out hearts in drawers (try to say that three times fast). It was about time we were sure about something. I’m also more than ready to know what Snow did to the Queen that was so terrible that killing her father just won’t do.

Emma should be a little more careful too, or else Regina will think she’s another Snow. The cat fight was good, but short, I hope we see more of that. In gel, if possible. Please.

Bits and Pieces

- Did anybody believe when Mr. Gold said he was gardening? In the middle of the woods? With a huge shovel? Graham couldn’t care less (understandably), but I do. I’m sure we’ll see Gold’s side of the story soon, and I have a feeling it will be bombastic.

- Also in the same scene, what Gold says to the Sheriff hints a lot that he wants people to remember.- As Henry said, ripping out hearts is the Queen’s thing. She’s like the Queen of Hearts. Oh, no, that’s another story; that one like to cut heads off. How confusing.

- What a waste of Giancarlo Esposito so far.

- Remember I said Regina shopped at Evil Gap (I should have said Banana Dictatorship)? She commented on that, saying she finds black suits her. Of course it does, she’s evil. If she develops into one of the good guys once a bigger evil emerges, as I think it will eventually turn out, watch out for a change of wardrobe.

- Regina has her father’s tomb in this world too.

- Mary and Dr. Whale are getting along better than expected.

- Emma said "Graham" 30 times in this episode alone. I actually counted.


Emma: "One-nighters are as far as I ever go."
Mary: "Yeah, but that's because you're..."
I thought she’d say something much worse.

Graham: "Sorry. I-I thought you were a wolf."
Mr. Gold: "Did I forget to shave?"
Notice he’s not surprised by Graham’s odd response.

Evil Queen: "I need someone who won't be blinded by that-- someone without compassion. Someone who will have no qualms carving a heart out and bringing it back for my collection."
I hate to beat that dead horse, but... seriously? This guy?

Henry: "Well, when did your flashes begin?"
Graham: "Right after I kissed Emma."
Henry: "You kissed my mom?"
Both of them, actually. Henry’s delivery was very funny.

Three and a half out of four long distance heart attacks.


  1. Okay, I do agree that Regina was stupid, but maybe not as much as you think. She didn't pick THIS Huntsman, the Mirror did. She also saw him kill a human being without remorse and express the feeling that humans weren't very important. Depending on how much the Mirror showed her, she may not have heard the man taunting the Huntsman about weeping over deer. Or she may have thought he was like those little old ladies who love their dogs, but not their grandkids. I guess I'm saying that I'm not 100% certain that the Mirror wasn't trying to keep Snow alive and simply found a patsy to pin it on.

  2. This was my favourite episode so far.

    And how creepy is it that Regina has so many pulled-out hearts that she needs several drawers that only open for human hearts?

  3. I thought this was an excellent episode, and so bloody heart-wrenching (sorry for the pun).

    I KNEW IT!!! Knew he had to be the Huntsman! But then we all kind of guessed that a while back. And I never, ever would have pegged him to be the first to get his memories back... But I do believe in the kiss as the unlocking element of those memories. After all, isn't that what Emma's presence there supposed bring about? How can we get back the Happy Endings unless people start remembering them?

    But I felt oh so bad for her in the end!

    Speaking of endings... has anybody wondered what would happen with Emma and Henry if she does succeed? If everyone remembers who they were, they defeat Regina and go back to the Enchanted Forest? Emma and Henry don't have a place there! And as for Emma fitting in with her family? Because of the curse she's actually the same age as her parents!...

    Anyhow... how long 'till January and the next episode??? ;o)

  4. I actually yelled at the screen when Graham didn't follow up on Mr. Gold's "gardening." Dude was wearing a suit and a big apron and carrying a huge shovel. Gardening, my ass. Can't wait to find out what's up with that.

    I was very bummed that Graham has apparently been killed off. We didn't really know him that well, but I found him interesting. And I thought he'd get more to do in Storybrook. Is it reasonable to think that he can be revived or come back some other way?

  5. Jess just said what I was going to say. :) They just made Graham really interesting, and now he's gone? Is he really gone? We still don't know what the rules are in this 'verse.

    Shovel! Gardening???

    I want to get my clothes from Evil Gap. :)

  6. I loved this episode, but I'm very upset/confused/miffed that Graham is dead--because with him dies a sense of real development. We need more forward movement! This episode showed just how interesting that sort of re-discovery of one's self can be.

    I get my clothes at the Morally Ambiguous Gap. I like to keep people guessing.

  7. This episode made me really sad. There was some terrific character development for both Sheriff Graham and for Emma as well - and then just as swiftly, he was gone. I understand why it was done but damn. I liked the Sheriff from the off and I always liked the idea of the compassionate huntsman from the fairy-tale but what happened with him in this episode made me completely love him. He was fascinating and complex and he suffered so terribly. All alone except for the wolves, shunned by humans and emotionally wounded by having to kill for food. And then being sexually abused by the Evil Queen for who knows how long. Awful. And in Storybrook, he's convinced he can't feel and hates himself for the destructive relationship he's in and knows it will probably prevent him getting to be with Emma who made him feel something for once. So sad.

    It looks like he's been killed off for real, judging from what Jamie Dornan says. :-( But he might be back in the fairy-tale world I guess.

    When Boone was killed on Lost, I felt really cheated because I'd found him such an interesting character (also, hot...) - but at least Ian Somerhalder ended up being awesome on Vampire Diaries. Hope Jamie Dornan gets to Somerhalder his way into another good part soon.

  8. Find it interesting that the wolf seems to be the Big Good Wolf, rather than the Big Bad. It kept Emma from leaving, was some kind of soulmate to the Huntsman and acted as something of a spirit guide to him in this world. I wonder if it remembers the Fairy World as well? I'm betting yes.

  9. Gus, just wanted to add that you are so right about Giancarlo Esposito. I can only assume that they've got something totally kick ass waiting in the wings for Mr. Magic Mirror, or he just wanted something light and low key to follow up his work on Breaking Bad. His little snippets on this show tend to make me sad, because they are an utter waste of his skills. Sigh.

  10. The best of the series to date, by a long shot. I loved every second of this one and actually found myself shouting at the television (OK, computer screen, but you know what I mean).

    I especially liked the fact that the first adult who completely and totally believed Henry was the sheriff, not either of his mothers, his shrink or his teacher. I also liked the fact that it was a man.

    So, kissing Emma brings back the memories? Interesting...


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