Tonight on Once Upon a Time, it becomes more and more apparent that Emma’s presence in this town is stirring up some deep dark secrets. Things are changing drastically, some for the good, some for the absolute worse.
Sheriff Graham finds a bit more than he bargained for. He learns about his past and his connection to Mary Margaret Blanchard and Emma Swan. A heart is left to be found in Storybrooke, but it will cost a life. Who will be left standing when The Evil Queen gets angry?
Graham is a great dart shooter, but Emma could care less. She leaves the diner and he follows. All he wants is to feel something, but why should Emma’s feelings on the matter be of any importance to him? He kisses her suddenly and a vision of a white wolf enters his mind. Its eyes are striking; they’re two different colors, one red and one black. Weird, dude!
The Evil Queen overlooks as Snow White rests a single white rose on her father’s coffin. She turns to her stepmother for comfort with little knowledge of her involvement in his death. She consults the magic mirror, deciding to look for a huntsman to finish her master plan. Graham awakens in Regina’s bed after a dream where he’s killed a deer and promised to feed a gorgeous white wolf. This would probably freak most people out so it’s understandable when he skips out on Regina. Oddly enough, though. That same wolf is frolicking around the streets of Storybrooke.
Mary Margaret has something heavy on her conscience. She’s spent a night with Dr. Whale, we learn, but she’s not proud of it; she feels guilty. On the other hand, she sheds some light on Emma’s situation for her. Emma has feelings for Graham, so she needs to work on tearing down the wall she’s built up around her.
Graham runs into Mr. Gold in the woods. He’s carrying a shovel for some reason. Anyways, Graham mentions the dream about the wolf. Mr. Gold suggests that dreams are sometimes like memories. The Huntsman is said to have been raised by wolves which, I guess, is the reason why when Graham finds the wolf he poses no threat. With a soft pet on the head, Graham sees visions of a knife, a young Snow White and a symbol carved atop a stone tomb. A trip to see Mary Margaret should clear all this up, right?
The Evil Queen has a chat with The Hunstman in her castle. He will become her official huntsman, wanting nothing. She will receive the heart of his prey and, in return, his family, the wolves, will be safe from hunters.
Graham sits talking to Mary Margaret, asking questions about how they know each other. She figures he must have been talking to Henry about all this storybook mumbo jumbo. He leaves, feeling a little feverish. Snow White is on a walk through the woods with, what she thinks is, one of the soldiers until she realizes he’s different. Too much armor gives him away. She runs off.
While Regina is at the police station, warning Emma to stay away from her man, Henry is home alone. This gives Graham free reign to ask him about the book, “Am I in it?” I think we’re finally on to something!
The Huntsman was raised in nature; therefore he understands life and death. Seeing Snow White write a letter to the Queen before death strikes her, strikes a chord in him. He spares her and takes the heart of an innocent deer instead. Henry explains that sparing Snow White’s life cost him his feelings. The Evil Queen ripped out his heart and hid it in a tomb which displays the signal seen in his vision.
Emma waits outside of the mayor’s home. She tries to help Graham understand that he does, in fact, have a heart. She finds it with her own hand and feels it beating. While it doesn’t really help him out much, the effort is recognized and the moment is really cute to watch. Yet none of this can beat seeing the white wolf with her own eyes. Emma is in disbelief as they follow the wolf through the cemetery to the tomb. Could his beating heart actually be inside?
The Huntsman brings the heart to the queen, yet hands over Snow’s letter first. Snow forgives her stepmother for what she has done and hopes that now she can concentrate on ruling the kingdom as her father would have wanted. Enraged, the queen burns the letter, takes the heart and stands in front of a wall, hoping for something to happen. Apparently, if the heart was Snow White’s she would have gotten what she was waiting for. Now she just looks stupid standing in front of a wall, staring at it.
Emma and Graham search the tomb for his heart, finding nothing. Regina walks up, flowers in hand. She leaves flowers for her deceased father every Wednesday. Graham gets upset with his boss/girlfriend and breaks up with her. She, of course, blames Emma and a girl-fight ensues. Emma suggests Regina look in the mirror and ask herself why everyone seems to be leaving her. She stands alone.
Graham takes Emma back to the station to nurse her wounds. They’re actually really cute, looking at one another with starry eyes. Regina steps inside the tomb. She moves the coffin to the side and descends down a set of stairs. The Evil Queen got super upset and literally ripped out his heart. The moment he strays from what she wants, all she has to do is give his heart a squeeze.
Perhaps Graham isn’t really the one who needed to find his heart. Something has awakened in Emma that we haven’t seen before. She propels herself forward and kisses Graham passionately. Regina finds the wall once more and opens a small compartment that houses The Huntsman’s heart.
With Emma’s kiss, Graham now remembers everything. He remembers his upbringing, the deal made with the queen, sparing Snow’s life and losing his heart. Before his lips can meet Emma’s once more he drops to his knees… dead. Regina loosens her grip and all that is left is dust. Emma cries out in tears as Graham lies lifeless in her lap.
The story only grows more intense from here. There are explosions, harsh words and Emma must make a decision. Should she leave Regina to die in a burning building? I say we kill the witch!
Tonight marks the first night of the winter hiatus for Once Upon a Time, but do not fret! There will be fun-filled articles to come, quenching your thirst for all things fairytale. Keep checking back for more coverage.
(Image courtesy of ABC)