Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
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What Happened to Frederick 

David finally agrees to tell Kathryn about his relationship with Mary Margaret, as flashbacks show Charming helping Princess Abigail with a dangerous mission.


Dean White


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard / Siren
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills
Josh Dallas ... Prince Charming / David Nolan
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Raphael Sbarge ... Dr. Archie Hopper (credit only)
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold (credit only)
Eion Bailey ... August W. Booth
Alan Dale ... King George
Anastasia Griffith ... Princess Abigail / Kathryn Nolan
Beverley Elliott ... Granny Lucas
Meghan Ory ... Ruby Lucas / Red Riding Hood
Greyston Holt ... Frederick / Gym Teacher
Aria Pullman ... Siren


With their love for each other growing stronger, David finally agrees to tell Kathryn about his relationship with Mary Margaret and put an end to his loveless marriage. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was, while runaway groom Prince Charming searches for Snow White, he agrees to aid Abigail on a dangerous mission to recover something precious that was lost to her. Written by ABC Publicity

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

19 February 2012 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Henry plays a portable version of the video game "Space Paranoids". It is the game that Kevin Flynn wrote in the Disney film TRON (1982) The graphics shown for the game match those seen in the film. See more »


When Charming first sees the siren in the lake, he is standing with one foot in the water, the other on the shore. He is never shown moving, but the next full-body shot places him at least fifteen feet out, more than a foot deep in water. See more »


Mary Margaret Blanchard: Remember when you told me to stay away from David and I agreed?
Emma Swan: Yes.
Mary Margaret Blanchard: I didn't.
Emma Swan: Yeah, I know.
Mary Margaret Blanchard: You do? How?
Emma Swan: Because I'm... sheriff and you are a lovesick schoolteacher. Covering your tracks is not exactly your strong suit.
Mary Margaret Blanchard: Oh, I've been discr... discreet.
Emma Swan: Two teacups in the sink, new perfume, late nights, plunging necklines - it was not hard to connect the dots.
Mary Margaret Blanchard: [looks down at her cleavage] Plunging?
Emma Swan: When I met you, you were a top-button kind of girl.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening sequence gives a hint to the episodes main story line by showing a character or event happening in the dark forest underneath the title. See more »


References TRON (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

Doesn't quite enchant, but definitely charms
9 December 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.

The thirteenth episode of 'Once Upon a Time' "What Happened to Frederick" is a slight step down from the previous episode "Skin Deep", which to me was one of the season's better episodes. It has a lot of charm and heart, but just falls short of being as enchanting as it could have been.

Its weak point is some of the dialogue, which is sometimes soapy and melodramatic. The whole stuff with the siren in particular applies and seemed slightly complicated.

A great job however is done with David and Mary Margaret's relationship and his dilemma of leaving Kathryn. This aspect of the story is done with a lot of heart and does resonate emotionally. It was easy to be invested in both the past and present day stories, more the present day one than the past. The parallel between the fantasy and real worlds is very well handled, the Kathryn and Stranger subplot simmers and the interpretations on happy endings are different and intelligently done.

Visually, "What Happened to Frederick" 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 special effects, after being pretty bad in a couple of episodes like "True North", are superior here. 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.

Much of the writing is very humorous and touching, and full credit has to go to the full-blooded portrayals and chemistry of Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin and Anastasia Griffith.

All in all, very good and charming if not quite great. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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