"Once Upon a Time" Heart of Darkness (TV Episode 2012) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Mary Margaret hires Gold as her attorney when she is arrested for the suspected murder of Kathryn, while flashbacks show Charming try to find Snow, whose memory is clouded by Rumplestiltskin's potion.

  • Mary Margaret hires Mr. Gold as her attorney when Emma is forced to arrest her for the suspected murder of David's wife, Kathryn. Meanwhile, back in the fairytale land that was, Prince Charming sets out to stop a determined and unhinged Snow White, whose memory is still clouded by Rumplestiltskin's potion, from assassinating the Evil Queen.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • We begin in Fairy Tale Land, where Prince Charming and Little Red Riding Hood are on the run. Red tells the prince to take off without her. She tells him she's giving him a head start, then, as he rides away, she turns into a wolf and jumps right toward the pack of knights who were chasing them. As he rides away, we catch a glimpse of a "Wanted" sign featuring Snow White's face, reading that she's wanted for murder and treason.

    Back in Storybrooke, Emma is taking Mary Margaret's mug shots at the sheriff's office. She still doesn't believe Mary Margaret killed Kathryn, but she "has to go where the evidence leads." Mary Magaret says it's insane that the evidence shows she cut out Kathryn's heart and buried it. Emma says that if she shows Mary Margaret any favortism, Regina will have her fired and replace her with someone who will railroad Mary Margaret.

    In Fairy Tale Land, we see a Snow White who isn't quite so whimsical as we've always thought. She sings to a blue bird until it comes close enough for her to take a swing at it with a broom. When Grumpy asks her what she's doing, she says, "Getting rid of the vermin in this house." She doesn't want to eat, but Grumpy tells her he and the dwarves "made something extra special tonight." She shows up in the dining area and Jiminy Cricket is there to tell her that her friends have something to tell her. They say she's "changed." She hasn't been very nice to any of them, and even Happy is telling her how horrible she's been. Grumpy tells her the potion she drank changed her. She insists the potion was the solution, not the problem. She says the problem is that she's living with dwarves instead of in her palace with her father, as a princess. She's angry at the queen. Jiminy says that's understandable, but it isn't fair of her to take it out on her friends. Snow says he's right, and that she "should be taking it out on her." She sets out to get revenge, despite everyone asking her not to. She says she's going "to kill the queen."

    In Storybrooke, Mary Margaret shows up in an interview room and finds Regina there as a third-party witness to ensure Emma stays impartial. Emma proceeds with questioning that reveals David and Mary Margaret's affair. Emma shows Mary Margaret her own jewelry box, which is what they found the heart in. Mary Margaret insists it must have been stolen. Regina claims to empathize, telling her she knows what it's like to lose someone you love -- and that it changes someone. Emma pulls Regina outside and reminds Regina that she (Emma) was supposed to do the questioning. Regina asks Emma how she's so sure Mary Margaret didn't do it. She says there'd be signs of a break-in if the jewelry box had been stolen, and reiterates to Emma that Mary Margaret had her heart broken, which can make people do "unspeakable things."

    Back in Fairy Tale Land, we see Snow on her quest for revenge. She sets up a trap to knock a knight of his horse and interrogates him (pretty violently) for information on the queen's whereabouts. He tells her she's in her castle, but will be leaving in the morning for the summer palace. She tells him the summer palace was built for her mother, and knocks him out with the back of her pick-axe. Grumpy finds her taking the knight's armor and asks her what she's doing. She says she's going to do whatever she has to do to get into the castle. He says he's there to help her. He's going to take her back to Rumplestiltskin so he can reserve the memory-altering affects of the potion. Grumpy tells Snow that Rumple "can do anything." This gets her attention.

    Emma is searching the apartment for signs of a break-in, when Henry shows up to see how he can help. He says Regina has a motive. "She hates Snow White," he says. Emma doubts this motive will hold up in court. They hear a noise and Emma pulls a vent off the floor to discover a knife hidden inside.

    Henry is bummed and August finds him at the diner. August urges Henry to look to his book for the answers he's looking for. Henry says "it's just a book," but August says they both know that's not the case. Henry's interest is piqued. August tells Henry he is also "a believer" and he wants "to help others to see the light." Emma is one of the people he's trying to help believe, and she needs proof. Henry opens up the book.

    In Fairy Tale Land, Prince Charming comes across the knight who Snow White assaulted. He tells the prince about Snow White's attack, but the prince refuses to believe that Snow is "bloodthirsty."

    David visits Regina and tells her he doesn't believe Mary Margaret could have killed Kathryn. Regina tells him "everyone has a dark side." David says he doesn't think Mary Margaret could do such an evil thing. Regina says she thinks "evil isn't born, it's made." David tells Regina she doesn't know anything about evil. David starts to wonder whether he blacked out and did it himself.

    Mary Margaret tells Emma she doesn't even know where the heating vent in her room is. Emma says she still believes Mary Margaret is innocent, but suggests she get a lawyer. Mr. Gold shows up and offers his services. Emma wants him to leave, but Mary Margaret is happy for the assistance. Emma leaves and Mary Margaret tells Mr. Gold she can't pay him. He says he's not interested in money, he has a vested interest in her future.

    In Fairy Tale Land, Grumpy is asking Rumple about the potion, which Rumple explains "took away her love, left a big hole in her heart." He says there's no potion that can bring back true love, because it's the most true magic of all. He asks Snow what she really wants, and she says she wants his help to kill the queen. He gives her a bow and arrow that always hits its target. He says she'll have to hit the queen with it when she's on her way to the summer palace. Snow asks Rumple what he wants in return and he says he's "invested in (her) future."

    David pays a visit to Dr. Archie Hopper and asks for help remembering what happened during his blackouts.

    In Fairy Tale Land, Prince Charming tracks down Rumplestiltskin. After a little discussion, Rumple tells the prince that true love's kiss will reverse the potion's affects. In return for information on Snow's whereabouts, Rumple wants the prince's cloak. He readily gives it up. Rumple warns the prince to find her quickly, because evil isn't born, it's made. The prince does track Snow down quickly and plants a kiss on her, but she punches him out.

    In storybrooke, Henry shows Emma "proof." He shows Emma the keys Regina has to all the houses in town. He proceeds to try all the keys on the massive key ring. After a couple of failed tries, Emma agrees to try one more -- and the door opens.

    In Fairy Tale Land, Prince Charming comes to and finds himself tied up. Snow still doesn't remember who he is, and she's just as determined as ever to kill the queen. He begs her not to do it as she walks away.

    In storybrooke, Dr. Hopper asks David to go back to his last memory of talking to Kathryn. As David is retracing his memories, the ones from Storybrooke and Fairy Tale Land converge in his mind, and he sees a flash of who he thinks is Mary Margaret (but is actually Snow White) in the forest, and he is shouting, "You can't kill her!" David's eyes open and he tells Dr. Hopper, "It was..." He stops and runs out, telling Dr. Hopper he can't help.

    In Fairy Tale Land, Jiminy Cricket finds Prince Charming and helps free him. He tells the prince that Snow can't remember who he (the prince) is until she remembers who she is. We next see Snow tracking the queen and her caravan, and preparing to shoot the arrow. She fires, and Prince Charming jumps in front of the arrow,piercing his shoulder. She asks him what he's doing, and he says he's going to show her actions rather than words. He tells her he loves her, but she says she doesn't love him. "I don't even remember you," she says. He tells her he would rather die than let her fill her heart with darkness.

    "You would really die for me?" she asks. She says no one has ever done anything like this for her before.

    "No one you can remember," he says. They kiss, and she does remember him, and her love for him. But then King George's soldiers arrive, throw a few punches, and take Prince Charming away as a prisoner. Snow shouts to him "I will always find you."

    Back in Storybrooke, David visits Mary Margaret in the holding cell. Because his memories are confused, he thinks she wanted to kill Kathryn. He's confused, and they end up fighting. She breaks down and kicks him out.

    Back in the Enchanted Forest, Snow returns to the dwarfs, upset. She gives one of the dwarfs a new mug, and apologizes to all of them. It's a happy reunion, but she has to leave again to go after James. The dwarfs agree to go with her.

    In Storybrooke, Mary Margaret is making up the cot, and finds a key. It fits her cell. She almost escapes, but Emma returns with breakfast. Emma tells her the DNA of the heart matches Kathryn, so she has no choice but to charge Mary Margaret with murder, though she believes Regina is framing her. Emma plans to take Regina on, but needs time to do it right. Mary Margaret agrees to give her time, then pulls out the key again.

    Emma goes to visit Mr. Gold, and tells him what she thinks. She wants advice and help. She doesn't care so much about his methods, so long as it gets results. He tells her she's more powerful than she thinks she is.

    In the Enchanted Forest, Rumpelstiltskin is doing something with potions and vials. He mixes Snow White's hair with one from James that he got off of James's cloak.

    Back in Storybrooke, we're shown Mary Margaret's empty jail cell.

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