Once Upon a Time Review: True Love Isn't Easy

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The latest episode of Once Upon a Time may have been titled "What Happened to Frederick" but the question I really wanted answered was this: What happened to David? Honestly, I think I liked him better when he was in a coma.

Even after the Valentine's Day debacle, David was still waffling between Mary Margaret and his life with Kathryn. Was this part of the curse of Storybrooke? The brave and honorable Prince Charming became this cowardly adulterer? Ugh.

Emma on a Motorcycle

Mary Margaret was right. What they were doing wasn't about love? Lust perhaps. Deceit, most certainly. Kathryn had every right to be furious. 

If David had told her the truth, it would have hurt like Hell but at least it wouldn't have given Regina the power of revealing his final betrayal. And why did Mary Margaret seem to be taking the brunt of the blame? Why didn't we see people shooting snarky, disapproving looks at David?

In the fairy tale world, we saw Prince Charming and Abigail working together - and what a difference that made. I liked that Charming asked her if she'd used love's true kiss to break the spell. I suppose that's a well known cure in this universe.

Charming fought off the siren, remained true to his love and returned Frederick to Abigail. Then, he was off to fight for his own true love. What a contrast to the weaselly way David had acted in Storybrooke.

Speaking of Storybrooke, the mystery writer finally revealed his name: August W. Booth

Does anyone have any idea if that name is a clue to his intentions in Storybrooke? If there's a hidden meaning in it, I can't seem to find any, but it says something about this show that it's made me ponder a simple name.

I loved that August took Emma out for a drink to a magic well. How apropos. Of course, was it all part of his plan to return the book to her? It certainly appeared that way. But that doesn't explain how he knew about the well in the first place. How does this stranger know Storybrooke so well?

So... was anyone else holding their breath as Kathryn drove toward Storybrooke's border? What do you think happened to her when she got there? Did August change the story in Henry's book? And was Mary Margaret right to leave David? Thanks to next week's Oscar telecast, we've got until March 4 to ponder the fates in Once Upon a Time.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (188 Votes)

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


August Wayne Booth, the Majestic Wayne Booth.
I'm on board with the Wayne C. Booth connection. This actually makes sense to me.
Do the OUAT writers have a connection to Wayne Booth? University of Chicago, maybe? Haverford College? Earlham College?


I think people are too hard on david. Charming was also a coward for leaving his fiance at the alter without saying anything but since it was fantasy everything worked out. The princess did not love charming and the prince could make everything right by going on a quest and killing the syren. I am sure david would have wanted to do that rhather than hurt katherine. Thats the nature of the curse, to live like regular people. As for the new mysteries, I am guessing katherine has joined belle in the queen's hospital dongean. As for booth, given his speech about water it must be a character with some relationship with water. I am guessing maybe adult pinochio. Japeto built the tree transport, he may have sent his son away first. That may be what he tried to hide. pinochio had majical experiences on the sea.


My first thought was that August Wayne Booth was Henry as an adult. I don't know why but that's what popped into my head. Has Henry ever mentioned any of those 3 names?
I loved this episode (although they're always better when Mr Gold is present) because it filled in a background for yet another character. Now we all feel compassion for Abigail too. Obvioulsy Prince Charming is not quite himself in the present day story. I now feel that his father is as evil as the Queen. Maybe they even worked together to on this new world?


As far as August W. Booth, did he give Henry back his ORIGINAL book, or a copy. That one scene looked like he was making a new book, made to look like Henry's old book. Why would he need to give Henry a copy, unless the original has something special attached to it? Does he need Henry's help in figuring something out? Is there something about the curse being broken that is within that book's pages? Why doesn't he come right out and tell Henry what he knows (whatever he knows)? Just like Emma said, he knows a lot about Storybrooke for being a stranger, but he knows about the 'lake' (which I think is that lake from the Charming storyline in the episode) under the well, is it possible he was part of fairy tale land and somehow escaped the curse and is secretly trying to break it?


Now we're going to have to deal with Katherine disappearing, but I did love at the end how her 'true love' found her abandoned car. Will those two end up together when they find her, and will that prompt Katherine to stay in Storybrooke? If they don't find her, this may be how it takes David and Mary-Margaret time to find each other again, they'll feel guilty over her leaving and disappearing.
Also, didn't Katherine say she wrote BOTH David and Mary-Margaret letters? We saw Regina take David's note, but where is Mary-Margaret's note? Will she get it before Regina finds it?
I was happy to see that Abigail was not hurt by Charming's love for Snow, and actually had her own backstory. It made me feel a bit sorry for her as well, because she, like everyone else, is just a victim of Regina. I hope she finds her happy ending in Storybrooke.


I really thought he would have been a descendant of the Grimm brothers or one of them. Maybe that's just a pseudonym.


I just don't want us to watch the series finale (whenever that may be) and see Henry waking up after having dreamt the whole thing.


David is Charming cursed. The point of the curse is making people weak.
Charming is brave, charming, perfect....David not, David is coward and imperfect.
I love the storyline. The difference between two worlds is interesting.


I just went from falling out of love with this show to being crazy about it all over again because of this episode! @NightlanzerX - that's really interesting, good sleuthing ;)


So after some googling, the name that kept popping up was Wayne C. Booth, a literary critic of fiction. An excerpt from his book states "However impersonal he may try to be, his readers will inevitably construct a picture of the official scribe who writes in this manner -- and of course that official scribe will never be neutral toward all values. Our reaction to his various commitments, secret or overt, will help to determine our response to the work." Maybe August W. Booth is only an allusion to the idea that we're only seeing one side of Storybrooke and this new stranger is going to show us a different side? It's all just speculation of course since this show comes from the creators of Lost.

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Once Upon a Time Season 1 Episode 13 Quotes

True love isn't easy but it must be fought for because once you find it, it can never be replaced.

Prince Charming

Emma: I'm not your mother.
Mary Margaret: No, but according to Henry I'm yours.