Once Upon A Time, Season 1, Episode 10: “7:15 A.M.”
Story by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz
Written by Daniel T. Thomsen
Directed by Ralph Hemecker
Airs Sundays at 8pm (ET) on ABC
Another week devotes itself to the story of Snow White and Prince Charming. In the real world, we see Mary Margaret pine after (stalk) David every morning at 7:15 A.M. when he orders his coffee for himself and his wife. Meanwhile, Emma tries to find out what Storybrooke’s new and unexpected visitor is doing in town after Regina finds the man talking to Henry. In the fairy tale world, Snow White and Prince Charming face adversity to their love as the Prince prepares to marry King Midas’s daughter.
The real world usually mirrors the fairy tale, and this week is no different. However, the real world proves more entertaining due to the fact that it takes place in the present. It’s not as “written” as the other world, and therefore the outcome is up in the air. “Happily ever after” doesn’t apply to this life, so the stakes are higher and the stories less predictable. Mary Margaret and David’s story takes a few minor turns with David’s wife’s pregnancy test. It could have gone down a few clichéd soap opera-like paths, but stays wise in avoiding these familiar story lines.
Nothing spectacular occurs this week in the fairy tale world. At this point of the show, part of the fun of this multi-character series is learning about each of the characters. Instead, audiences get the third Snow White/Prince Charming-centric episode this season. Overall the story is good, but kind of bland.
Considering the audience already knows that Snow White and Prince Charming ultimately end up back together, seeing exactly how that happens doesn’t make for the most fulfilling adventure. The story enriches the universe of the fairy tale land, but feels like unnecessary filler in between the real world events. The fairy tale works best when exploring character backgrounds or showing the events leading up to the big transformation to the real world. So, an open and shut story like Snow White and Charming’s love pales in comparison to the rest of what we could have seen.
The fairy tale world isn’t completely useless this week. There are a few glimpses of Red Riding Hood, who appears less trampy and more competent than her real-world counterpart. There’s also the revelation of what happened to Stealthy, the eighth dwarf. Though melancholic, the introduction of an extra dwarf is a cute adjustment to the classic tale. Fortunately it leads Snow to meet the rest of the seven dwarves (seen all together for the first time). It’s a nice treat that manifests the classic fairy tale as we already know it. So far Snow White has not really interacted much with any of the seven dwarves, and if the show is already mining the past events of the fairy tale world, this would be a welcome story line.
There’s also a quick scene with Rumpelstiltskin, who hams it up for his few minutes on screen. As always, it’s fun and reminds that Robert Carlyle is the best part of this show. It even foreshadows an unknown event where he will eventually use Snow White’s hair for one of his shady deeds. Seeing as how this character is seemingly aware of the existence of the two worlds, it would be intriguing to see Mr. Gold bring this piece of the fairy tale world to the real world, much like Regina did with Sheriff Graham’s heart.
On a separate note, Emma quickly learns more about the stranger who comes to Storybrooke. In a contrived attempt at flirtation, the stranger reveals he is a writer, carrying a typewriter in the box he lugs around. In a metaphysical move, the nameless writer claims Storybrooke a great place for inspiration. It wouldn’t be unlike this show to name this character Jacob or Wilhelm Grimm.
This week holds a few gems, but does not capture the flare of recent episodes. Next week marks the halfway point of the season. Hopefully the two worlds will start to bleed into each other more, allowing more characters to “remember” their past lives, or at least become suspicious. With some still unexplored territory (Red Riding Hood, the dwarves), there is promise of more interesting back stories and real-world progression in future episodes. What are you hoping to see in the coming weeks? Leave your comments below.