Television & Film



So, with new episodes coming back next week, I thought we could take a moment and go through the Fairy Tale Land timeline, filling in the details on what we know so far, in (relatively) chronological order:


Jiminy and his parents, Martin & Myrna, make a living as scam artists, but Jiminy has a problem with this, growing more guilty as he gets older. He meets a young boy, who gives him an umbrella.

Jiminy makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to escape from his parents. The deal gets compromised by his parents, who swap Rumpelstiltskin’s potion with a vial of fake medicine. Their unsuspecting scam victims end up with the potion, and get turned into puppets. The couple’s son, the boy with the umbrella, turns out to be Gepetto. Jiminy makes a wish, and the Blue Fairy changes him into a cricket and tells him he’ll live as long as he needs to in order to find Gepetto and help him grow up.

[Somewhere in here, years later, Gepetto makes Pinocchio, but we haven’t seen that yet.]

[Huntsman is born, abandoned by his parents, and raised by wolves.]

[Evil Queen shares a secret with Snow White.]

[Snow White somehow causes the death of someone Evil Queen loves. No information yet on who this was – Snow White’s father is an unlikely assumption – or how/if Snow caused his death. Likely, this was an event that caused Evil Queen to scheme into a marriage with Snow’s father in order to seize the kingdom and kill them both.]

King George makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to have an heir. Rumpelstiltskin brokers a deal for one twin to become Prince James, but he hides the existence of the twin brother.

Snow White’s father, Evil Queen’s husband, dies at the hands of Evil Queen. She hires the Huntsman to kill Snow White, and he pretends to be a knight, takes her out to the woods. Snow White sees through his disguise and makes a break for it, only to be caught again. The Huntsman takes pity on Snow White and lets her escape.

Evil Queen takes the heart of the hunstman and puts it in a vault with other trophies. She keeps the huntsman as her on-call boyfriend.

Snow White becomes a bandit.

Prince James is killed while demonstrating his skills for King Midas. In order to complete the plan for James to slay a dragon and unite King George’s domain with Midas’, Rumpelstiltskin reveals the existence of James’ twin brother, who assumes the role of Prince James to protect his mother and the family farm.

“Prince James” slays the dragon and wins the alliance between Midas and George. The deal also includes a marriage between the two families. Midas presents his daughter Abigail to be married. The faux prince wants to marry for true love, but has to agree in order to protect his mother.

On the carriage ride to the castle, the prince and his fiancee are ambushed by the bandit Snow White, who steals his mother’s ring. Through a cat-and-mouse chase, the two realize they have feelings for each other.

[Snow White meets the seven dwarves. Likely this happens after her first meeting with Charming. Otherwise, the dwarves would likely have been with her on her raid. This would also be the time Snow White loses her affection for apples.]

Cinderella makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to get her out of her life of poverty. Rumpelstiltskin kills Cinderella’s fairy godmother and uses his magic to make the deal. [Based on his comment about her, I’m going to assume he has a history with this particular fairy, which we might see when we get the Rumpelstiltskin-centric episode.]

Cinderella goes to the ball and meets Prince Thomas.

Prince Charming brings Snow White back to life with a magic kiss.

Snow White and Prince “Charming” get married; Evil Queen threatens everyone’s happily ever after; Prince hurls his sword and she vanishes to her castle, where her father advises her to try to start fresh, to go away and start a new life.

Cinderella and Prince get married; Snow and Charming welcome her to the family. Rumpelstiltskin arrives to remind Cinderella about their deal.

Cinderella makes a new deal with Rumpelstiltskin – exploiting his fascination with twins – that results in his imprisonment in the mines, but it results in the disappearance of Prince Thomas. [Grumpy the Dwarf is also present, suggesting that the dwarves work in the mines under the employ of Thomas’ family?]

[Maleficent makes her attempt on the life of Sleeping Beauty.]

Evil Queen retrieves her curse from Maleficent and makes an attempt to enact the curse on Fairy Tale Land; fails because she uses the heart of a horse.

Evil Queen confronts Rumpelstiltskin, who tells her she’s got to make a really tough sacrifice; she has to cut out the heart of hat which she loves the most. She figures out she has to kill her father, Henry.

Snow White and Charming hatch a plan to save Snow and Emma; using a magic tree. Gepetto carves a portal to protect them. Snow White goes into labor just as Evil Queen enacts the curse. Her knights attack the castle, and Charming is injured after putting Emma in the tree, which acts as a portal and whisks her away from Fairy Tale Land.


Still to come: Rumpelstiltskin’s origin, Hansel and Gretel, and Beauty & the Beast!

And according to producer Jane Espenson, Henry is not affected by the curse because he has no memories to alter. But on the question of whether we’d see a Henry-centric episode detailing how he figured things out, she replied via Twitter “I can’t tell you more!”

And on Rumpelstiltskin’s fascination with twins, does this hint that Henry might be a twin? And who is Henry’s father? Does it matter in the grand scheme of things?

“Once Upon a Time” returns next week – January 8th.

[Official Show Site at ABC]   [Previous Recap: “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’]

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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