Once Upon a Time Review: A Deadly Disease

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What is love?

On the one hand, it is the source of overwhelming strength and happiness. On the other, it can cause pain more severe than the deadliest disease. Once Upon a Time put its characters and its audience through a storm of emotions with the power of love and heartbreak this week. Let's break it down, shall we?

David and Mary Margaret. Mary Margaret runs to get coffee at "7:15 A.M." every morning, but it's not a caffeine fix that's got her so wired. It's the chance to see David walk past to buy his own cup of joe. Oh, and one for his wife too. Ouch.

Mary Margaret's got it bad. She knows it's a mistake but she can't stay away. As if things can't get any worse, she literally runs into Katherine... who is buying a pregnancy test. Double ouch.

Little does she know that David's got it just as bad as she does. In a funny little twist, he's buying his coffee at 7:15 just so he can catch a glimpse of her

When Katherine tells David that her being pregnant would have been a disaster, I laughed at how quickly and how strongly he agreed. That should really have told them both something about their relationship. Yet David still agrees to go to counseling to save their marriage. 

Then, fate seemingly intervenes as the star crossed lovers try their best to avoid one another only to both get coffee at 7:45 A.M. The heated kiss that follows is lovely, if only Regina weren't watching. I wish it were Katherine who saw them. That could have ended this mess a whole lot faster. Regina will only torture them all.

Bird Holding

Snow and James. I love that James simply calls her Snow. There's something intimate about the moniker. And Snow may be my favorite character of the entire show. She's a kick ass heroine, spunky, smart, and fun. When she's thrown in jail she never gives up. She sacrifices herself to save Grumpy. Then she makes the ultimate sacrifice and breaks James' heart in order to save him. 

But Snow's own broken heart is her undoing. The blank look on her face when Grumpy tells her the wedding is off is worse to witness than the heartbreak. If only our heroine could have been strong for one more day. Sigh. 

I suppose Charming will just have to make her fall in love with him all over again.

Back in Storybrooke, we get a little more about our mystery man and his box. He's a writer and he's carrying a typewriter. He also owes Emma a drink.

A few side notes:

  • The King and the Evil Queen should really get together. They'd make one heck of a heartless couple.
  • So there were once eight dwarves? Looks like Stealthy should have been a little stealthier.
  • I hope we get to find out what prompted the wedding to be cancelled. I feel like there's an entire story that we've missed.
  • The look of the leaves falling around Mary Margaret after the storm is really stunning.  I always love the visuals on this show.
  • Just when I think Rumplestiltskin can't get any creepier, he proves me wrong yet again.

So, how many tissues did you use watching this episode? And I'm at a loss as to which fairy tale character our mystery writer is so if you've got the answer or at least a theory, let me in on it. I want to know.


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (225 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


i think the writer is a representation of the mirror (mirror mirror on the wall whos the fairest) the mirror sees and hears all so he knows everything therefore wrote the book with the magic typewriter that makes pages in henrys book appear when he uses it to finish the story. which probably won't happen this season.


I think the stranger is God/Jesus. If all fairytale characters are in Storybrooke, why not the Holy Father?


I think I agree with everyone's theory that the stranger is the book's author or editor. This was a great episode - man, that Prince Charming. God help me, he's beautiful. But seriously - in the middle of the street, guys? That was so silly I almost feel like they deserved to get caught. At least TRY to hide it!


Sorry for the misspellings in my below comments. Pinoccio should be Pinnocchio and Japedo should be Geppetto.


My theory on the stranger is that it is Pinoccio. Modern day Japedo has said in a previous episode that him and his wife never had any children...so where the hell is Pinoccio? Also P and J were building the wardrobe...hmmm...I think Pino hid in the wardrobe and came through with Emma. He wasn't effected by the curse so he aged 28 years. He also remembers Fairy Tale land, knows the prediction of Emma the savior, and is now writing about it. I agree that there is probably more with the typewriter. Something Magical about it maybe?


I don't buy the Stranger being a Grimm theory...mainly because there are too many tales (1001 Arabian Nights for starters) that the brothers Grimm did not write. The theory that the stranger is Gold's son = FAIL. Lets look at the history shall we. Rump's son was a boy when Rump became Magical. Later on we see Jimminy being turned into a cricket by Magical Rump and Japedo is a boy. By the time of the curse Japedo is an old man...sooo that means Rump's son is AT LEAST as old as Japedo...if not older. Personally i think Rumps son will end up being someone's father. Snow White's or the Evil Queen's perhaps?...theory TBC


The Grimm Brothers didn't write all the fairytales most of the ones we are most familiar with are Grimm, Snow White, Rumplestilzchen, Rapunzel etc. but Pinocchio was written by Carlo Collodi and the wooden wardrobe they used to transport baby emma is a Narnia reference. Hans Christian Anderson. Charles Perrault was 100 years before Grimm and he did Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella. Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland, JM Barrie Peter Pan. The show would be Much shorter if they were only using Grimm tales. Theres only 1 writer Grimm Bros were 2, theres another show that just came out thats called Grimm they wouldn't want to cross the two. Since he can come and go from Storybrook my guess is the mystery man isn't in the book and not part of the curse which is why Regina's so worried and why Henry was asking him question, Henry would know if he was in the book.


I too think the stranger is the writer of Henry's book. But Henry's book doesn't reveal an ending. Maybe he's there to write the "ending" of the storybook.

Ronald simkins

I kinda wonder if the "wriyer" might play a role similar to that of Chuck in Supernatural?


I'm sorry but the stranger is HOT! I can't wait to see how his story unfolds. He brings a certain pizzaz to the real world that has been sorely lacking (sorry David and MM). That scene with Emma was probably my favorite of the night which is saying a lot.I love Snow and Charming, I think they are definitely my fave characters. The entire episode was just so good and heartbreaking at the same time! Your right about Regina though, she will torture them, and knowing MM, she will easily back down. Rump is definitely up to something and I have to wonder if he has a master plan that connects to every story or if he is just playing by ear, either way he is a wild card that will surely trump Regina if he so chooses.
Great Ep. and I can't wait to see another Emma/Regina showdown next week (also so smexy stranger appearance would be nice...)

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