Once Upon a Time Review: Who Gets Eaten?

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I've been waiting a long time to get the back story on Ruby, the infamous Red Riding Hood's counterpart in Storybrooke. Finally, "Red-Handed" revealed a Red we'd never seen before.

Once Upon a Time is fascinating in that it takes a world we thought we knew and makes it more than we ever dreamed.

I found myself guessing about the wolf throughout the episode. Was it creature or myth? Human or animal? I didn't think it was Peter because he seemed so incredibly clueless when Red told him her theory. How could someone have no idea that they were frequently turning into a wolf. 

Then I thought perhaps it was Granny and at least that wasn't far off the mark. 

But poor Red was totally blindsided, being shown a side to herself she never thought existed. It was too bad Granny had never told her the truth. She could have held some power in protecting herself an d perhaps Peter would have lived.

Having her literally devour her boyfriend was quite the twist. Somehow salacious and horrifying all at once.

I loved all of the details that went into this story. That she always wore a red cloak because it had magical powers to protect her from the curse was a creative touch.

Snow's friendship with Red was certainly a highlight. These two had a nice chemistry and I believed them as instant friends. However I did wonder why Snow came up with the name Mary.  I suppose it was better than Frosty.

Fallen in the Forest

Back in Storybrooke, Ruby had a falling out with Granny that sent her looking for a job. 

Speaking of Granny the old woman certainly had a mean streak, telling her granddaughter she dressed like a transvestite during Fleet week. Funny but certainly not nice.

Ruby's tracking abilities came to light when she somehow heard David as he was unconscious in the woods. That was definitely a mystery until her fairy tale history was revealed.

I enjoyed the suspense as they never actually showed us what was in the box, just the horror on Ruby's face when she opened it. My one disappointment was that Ruby went back to the diner. I would have liked to have seen her work with Emma a while longer. They made an interesting pair.

So the only character we know of that keeps a collection of hearts on hand is dear Regina. Since she also hates Mary Margaret for being her fairy tale step-daughter, it would seem that Regina's framing her prey.

But was that really Kathryn's heart in the box and if not, then where is she?  And was David's strange experience in the woods just a throwback to his coma?  Will Red's wolf-like abilities ever come into play again?  Share your thoughts until we get to next week's Once Upon a Time.


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (148 Votes)

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


Yeah I really liked this episode. I agree that Regina constantly outsmarting the other characters and manipulating things is a bit old as well as the bickering with Emma. This episode although we assume she is framing Mary Margaret at least the focus was more on the other characters and Ruby's back story which was great and totally unexpected. So cool she is half wolf. I am ready for more with Emma's character development as well as her relationship with her son. He has barely been in any episodes recently. I did love the Ruby Mary M. and Emma dynamic too.


Peter. Remember that Emma said Henry's father was called 'Peter'? And that he loved pumpkin. But maybe he is "Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater" Peter rather than "Peter and the Wolf" Peter. Or both - we never saw Peter's face just his half-eaten corpse.


Red Handed is one of the BEST EPISODES OF THE SERIES. I'm glad that we got to get away from Emma's and Regina's constant bickering to explore a great background character! I loved that this episode got away from the idea that all fairy tales have to end with a happy couple(like the last episode "Dreamy")for this was getting really old really fast Red/Ruby has always stood out to me, for she seemed to have so much hidden potential. I LOVED the twisty plot during the episode and one of my favorite parts was trying to guess who was the wolf.I was totally blindsided by Red being the wolf and I loved watching her emotions in this episode!Meghan Ory is an AMAZING actress and displayed her characters emotional changes with mastery. I hope that Red/Ruby will be in more episodes and that her wolf persona will come out more.Hopefully she'll learn to control it!She is literally now one of the main reasons I watch this show!


I have one qualm that's really starting to frustrate me and that qualm is Regina. So far I see no redeeming qualities in her and I could care less that Snow "betrayed" her. At the beginning I thought Regina's connection with and ultimate betrayal of her father was really interesting. I think if they had pursued that then I would feel more empathy for Regina. I know there is a story coming up where we learn why Regina hates Snow but I just can't imagine caring. Someone else pointed out that Regina ALWAYS has the upper hand. Everything feels fruitless; no fruit for fairytale creatures. Why get invested in relationships when we know that Regina is just going to bring them to a crushing end?


I thought this was a great episode! Usually I'm pretty good and detecting who the bady of the episode but I sooooo didn't see Red's reveal coming. I appreciate what KansasGuest said about Red's happy ending being about her own life and a realization that she has a huge responsibility to her friend, family and society in general. She doesn't need a man waiting for her to be happy (though we all love a good love story!). I would really love to see Snow and Red's friendship develop more and even Emma and Snow's. I watch/read fiction because I love strong friendships. I believe that one can create their own psuedo-family with the people they surround themselves with and my heartstrings are pulled with those families are threatened.


@SuzyQ - I just have to say; that's one of the most brilliantly well-stated comments/arguments I've ever read on the entire internet :-) I think it's a bit too soon to say that Storybrooke is a better place - it may seem like it now, but we're getting a lot of history. Like any country, the people of Fairy Land had to struggle to make it a happy place and have freedom, and I think that's where the story is going. I'm sure present day Fairy-Tale Land - what we saw at the beginning of the series, with Snow and Charming married with child, Rumpel in jail, etc - will prove to be a much happier, more vibrant place than Storybrooke ever could be. Kudos to the writers - I totally didn't see Red being the wolf coming. I love how they're twisting these stories. And to have the boyfriend named Peter...love it! Like others, I wish they got to explore Ruby as a deputy more, but so far these writers seem to know what they're doing, so I'm just gonna enjoy the ride.


The heart belongs to david/charming. why would the queen put katherine's heart in a box? Wouldnt she want the evidence of murder in plain site where even the surprisingly bad sherrif emma could find it. Also, the queen takes hearts to control people. I think the queen took out davids heart just after he was stabbed in neverland. She did this to gain control of david in this world. This would explain how david is alive in storybrook when its been somewhat established that dead fairy characters are not in SB like reds boyfriend. This would also explain davids strange behavior and being drawn to the bridge.
I also agree tha SB is better than neverland. With the exception of David, all characters have happier endings in the real world. Grumpy finds friendship, red finds friendship with granny, hansel and grettle find their father, etc. stay in SB folks.


I loved Red's backstory. It was so unexpected but fantastic! I live how the show makes the female fairytale characters so strong and independent. One of the biggest issues with fairytales is the message they send to girls. Red /Ruby as an excellent tracker was awesome. I wanted her to work with Emma longer. I don't think Katherine is desd.


@Alex - Sure, Storybrooke is "nicer" than Fairyland, in the same way that East Berlin was "nicer" than West Berlin. Low crime rate (because a dictator ran the town), everyone gets along and knows everybody (because no one can leave or see a future outside of it), and no one is starving or homeless (the "problems" are eliminated so the dictator is not embarrassed by their existence). Ask former occupants of East Berlin why so many people fled their rigidly controlled community for the more democratic, higher crime city of West Berlin and you'll understand why Storybrooke is not as perfect as it looks.


I think that box is from fairytale world and its the box with "snows" heart the hunter was going to take to the queen ,, and it has snows prints bc of that and later they will realize it isn't a human heart or something like that ... I don't belive its katherines heart , I she is lost or something but with her knight aka true love that when he got to the accident at the end went looking for her and maybe found her ... I love this show but I miss the sheriiff too muchhh pleaseee bring Back GRAHAM !!!

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