Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
2 user 2 critic

True North 

Emma tries to save two children from foster care by trying to find their birth father, as flashbacks show the Evil Queen coercing Hansel and Gretel into stealing an important artifact from a blind witch.


Dean White


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard / Snow White
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Evil Queen / Regina Mills
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan (credit only)
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Raphael Sbarge ... Dr. Archie Hopper (credit only)
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold
Lee Arenberg ... Grumpy
Eion Bailey ... The Stranger
Emma Caulfield Ford ... Blind Witch (as Emma Caulfield)
Karley Scott Collins ... Ava Zimmer / Gretel
Nicholas Lea ... The Woodcutter / Michael Tillman
Quinn Lord ... Nicholas Zimmer / Hansel
David Bloom ... Mr. 'K' Krzyszkowski
Osmond L. Bramble Osmond L. Bramble ... Queen's Guard (as Osmond Lloyd Bramble)


Feeling their pain from having lived through the same experience, Emma desperately tries to help two homeless children find their birth father before they're separated and put into the foster care system. Meanwhile, back in the fairytale world that was, the Evil Queen coerces Hansel and Gretel into stealing an important artifact from a blind witch. Written by ABC Publicity

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Quinn Lord and Karley Scott Collins, who play Hansel and Gretel respectively, played a young Peter and Olivia respectively on different episodes of Fringe (2008). See more »


On the front door of the Pharmacy, you can clearly see a sticker for "Interact", a service only found in Canada. See more »


[first lines]
Ava Zimmer: What you reading?
Henry Mills: 'The Hulk... vs Wolverine'.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening title sequence shows a cottage in the woods, foreshadowing that the episode is about Hansel and Gretel. See more »

User Reviews

'Once Upon a Time' takes on 'Hansel and Gretel'
30 November 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

"True North" to me is one of the lesser episodes of the first season and something of a disappointment after the show started off so well. The season was going from strength to strength, but this felt like a couple of steps backwards. The previous eight episodes were very good to outstanding, "True North" was only quite good. There are a lot of good things certainly but there are a few aspects that were done much better before and since.

Usually the special effects, with some exceptions, are good. Here in "True North" they are pretty poor and like they came out of the 90s back when video game technology was in its infancy. There are times where neither Hansel and Gretel are particularly well written or acted (too cheesy and saccharine), and Emma's actions regarding the children seemed out of sorts for her.

However, "True North" is a very handsomely mounted episode, settings and costumes that are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie-cutter. The standout is the colourful and inviting set for the gingerbread house. It is photographed beautifully and there were some make-up that suited the characters perfectly. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable main theme.

Despite underwhelming with Hansel and Gretel at times, the writing humorous and engaging with emotional impact too. The story is absorbing, with the parallel between Hansel and Gretel and Emma and Snow White's ongoing story being charmingly and cleverly executed, and standout scenes being the motherhood conversation and the arrival of the stranger. Emma Caulfield's scenes are also superb.

Excepting Hansel and Gretel, the acting is fine. Especially from a wonderfully creepy Caulfield. Lana Parrilla, Jennifer Morrison and Ginnifer Goodwin similarly excel.

Overall, quite good but disappointing. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

15 January 2012 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

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