So, to quote Michael from 10 Things I Hate About You, ‘The sh*t hath hitith the fan... ith.’ Thanks to Regina, Kathryn finds out about Mary Margret and David’s secret meetings and, as a result of her confronting Mary Margret on school grounds, the whole town instantly finds out about them, too. I’m kinda bugged by the direction this episode goes in at this point. I won’t deny that under regular circumstances (because, let’s face it, having your true identities being Snow White and Prince Charming is not a regular circumstance), seeing a married man is not okay, but everyone’s reactions to Mary Margret after they’re found out still seem a tad extreme to me. Everyone in town just turns on her in an instant. I get that this is one of those small towns where everyone knows each other, but to have the whole town turn their back on you? They’re acting like Mary Margret burned down an orphanage, or strangled a bunch of cute little fuzzy kittens. Was everyone in town really that invested in seeing David and Kathryn work out? Even Granny, someone who I gather has known Mary Margret for ages, starts snubbing her. I know if I found out one of my friends messed up like this, while I would probably be disappointed, I wouldn’t just desert her the way everyone else seems to be doing with Mary Margret. (Props to Emma for being probably the only person in town who tries to comfort Mary Margret after the whole ordeal.) What made watching this even more uncomfortable is how we never see David getting the same sort of treatment, particularly since he is kinda the one who was more at fault here, what with not coming clean with Kathryn like he was supposed to earlier. What’s with that, Storybrooke? Why are you clearly punishing the other woman but not the man as well? Does everyone have this whole ‘oh, boys will be boys’ mindset about the whole thing? Is this town just full of chauvinists? What is this?
Moving on, I can’t help but wonder. Is there a reason why Boston holds such an appeal for the people of Storybrooke? Back in the pilot episode, we overhear a snippet of an argument between Ruby and Granny which states Ruby had plans to move to Boston but couldn’t because Granny’s heart attack had nipped those plans in the bud. In this episode, Kathryn reveals she applied to a law school in Boston. This is the second time that someone from Storybrooke seems drawn to Boston, the city Emma had been living in before Henry sought her out. Is this just a coincidence, or something else?
We finally learn the mysterious stranger’s name is August. In this episode, we see him meticulously repairing Henry’s book. So, was it damaged off-screen? I know Henry said in an earlier episode that it was an old book, but…. I don’t know, I’m not entirely certain why August had to repair the book, unless he’s trying to strengthen the book’s binding. I know few of my hardcover books have some pages that are falling out. I guess that’s what he’s doing? Again, I’m not entirely certain, but it does indicate he knows all about the proper order of the stories within the book. After all, I’m seeing no page numbers printed on the pages. By then end, he reveals himself as being Henry’s alley in the quest of getting Emma to believe in fairy tales and magic, particularly when he secretly returns to now-repaired book to Emma. But at this point, they still don’t let us know who this guy really is, or how he even knows about Storybrooke.
Of course, there’s also the Enchanted Forest subplot, where we learn that Charming, after the events of the ‘7:15 AM'’ flashback, tried to escape from King George’s castle and the arranged marriage, only to end up being cornered by Princess Abigail. Surprisingly, Princess Abigail is not upset about Charming’s actions, and admits she didn’t want to marry him, either. Because she has her own true love. Meaning this whole entire time, Kathryn had her own soulmate, who we see is living in Storybrooke as the school’s gym teacher. Making the whole entire issue with her and David completely pointless?! Please excuse me while I bang my head against the wall. To Kathryn’s credit, she does realize by the end of this episode that her feelings for David parallel the ones Princess Abigail had for Charming (she loves him but isn’t in love with him). And what exactly compelled the gym teacher/Fredrick to be driving to the Storybrooke town line, mere moments after Kathryn tried to leave town to go to the Boston law school, where he discovers Kathryn’s abandoned car? Wonder what would have happened if Kathryn had just paused for a moment when she was matching up to Mary Margret to actually glance at the gym teacher.
We also get our first visit to Lake Nostros in this flashback, a lake that’s supposed to have magical healing powers. During this visit to the lake, Charming fights against a siren to obtain some of the lake’s water in order to restore Princess Abigail’s true love, Fredrick, who had been accidentally turned to gold by King Midis. (Remember King Midis mentioning Fredrick back in ‘The Shepherd?’)
Finally, we see the return of Regina’s skeleton key collection, which Emma had discovered in ‘Fruit of the Poisonous Tree.’ It turns out that Regina can use these keys to just let herself into every single house, and possibly any shop, within Storybrooke. And I thought Rumple turning Gaston into a rose was creepy. This woman can just come into someone’s home at any time? Lady, you’re sick! I’m sorry, but you are!