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David Nolan

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This article focuses on David Nolan's Storybrooke persona. For his Enchanted Forest counterpart, see Prince Charming.
David Nolan
Storybrooke Character
Biographical Information
Counterpart: Prince Charming
Status: Alive
Home: Blanchard Loft
Nolan House (formerly)
Occupation: Assistant at pet shelter (formerly)
Sheriff of Storybrooke
Physical Description
Species: Human
Gender: Male
Hair color: Dirty Blond
Eye color: Blue
Current Allies:
Current Enemies:
Show Information
Portrayed by: Josh Dallas
First appearance: "Pilot"
Latest appearance: "Best Laid Plans"
Relevant Pages

There's more to life than living for the next fight. Life is made up of moments. Good ones, bad ones, but they're all worth living.

—David Nolan to Emma Swan src

David Nolan, formerly known as John Doe, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the first episode of the first season. He is portrayed by starring cast member Josh Dallas, and is the Storybrooke counterpart of Prince Charming.


For events occurring before the casting of the first curse, see Prince Charming.

During First Curse

After the casting of the curse, David ends up in a comatose state in Storybrooke's hospital. Mayor Regina Mills never anticipated he might awaken, but the story of his life is that he is married to a woman named Kathryn Nolan. They had numerous issues in their marriage, and after one fight, David leaves. Regina finds him on the side of the road, and brings him to the hospital where no one is able to identity him, or find any of his relatives. Regina becomes his emergency contact, and he stays in the coma and is known as John Doe. ("Snow Falls")

The day the curse takes effect, Regina goes to see school teacher Mary Margaret. She brings Mary Margaret to the hospital, and shows her to John Doe's room. Mary Margaret does not recognize him, but hopes someone who loves him could find him someday. From this day onward, Mary Margaret visits his hospital room frequently. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")

A few days after Emma arrives to Storybrooke, Henry convinces her to ask Mary Margaret to read Henry's storybook, full of stories from the Enchanted Forest, to the hospital's coma patient John Doe. Because he think John Doe is Prince Charming, Mary Margaret agrees, expecting nothing to happen and hoping Henry will realize fairytales are only stories. She visits David's hospital room that night and begins to read to him. Halfway through the story, David, while still unconscious, grabs Mary Margaret's hand. During the night, David awakens and wanders out to the forest in search of someone; collapsing unconscious at the stream near the Toll Bridge. Resuscitated by Mary Margaret, he is brought back to the hospital to recuperate. Suddenly, his wife, Kathryn, shows up to reunite with him. ("Snow Falls")

While making a physical recovery, David spends time playing hangman with Mary Margaret, who is a hospital volunteer, when Kathryn shows up with old photos to help remind him of their life together. Guiltily, he pretends to recall memories to spare Kathryn's feelings. He catches Mary Margaret as she is leaving the hospital and persuades her to accompany him on his doctor ordered exercise. They take a walk where David admits being around Kathryn doesn't feel right and the only person he can connect with is Mary Margaret. As they share a close moment, Kathryn approaches to give David some of his favorite muffins. Though David is looking forward to seeing Mary Margaret again tomorrow, little does he know that she is resigning from volunteer duty. ("That Still Small Voice")

After being discharged from the hospital, David returns home to a welcome home party filled with people he does not recognize. Uncomfortable, he leaves and seeks out Mary Margaret. David expresses a desire to be with her instead of Kathryn, but she dissuades him against it. By the end of the night, once the party guests are gone, David arrives home. Kathryn, trying to close the gap between them, suggests going to bed. Alarmed, he nervously inquiries if she means actually going to sleep or physical intimacy. Kathryn allows him to choose with whatever he's comfortable with, but when she kisses him, David pulls away with the assertion it didn't feel "right". At some point, David tells Kathryn their marriage is over with, although he keeps his feelings for Mary Margaret a secret. Afterwards, he informs Mary Margaret of his choice to be with her, and asks that she meet him in the evening at the Toll Bridge. On his way there, David gets lost and asks Regina for help. She purposely gives him the wrong directions, leading him to Mr. Gold's pawnshop, where he sees a miniature windmill. Suddenly, he recalls memories of his life with Kathryn prior to the coma. Arriving at the Toll Bridge, David admits to Mary Margaret that he remembered his old life and wants to work on his marriage. Dejected, he stays behind as she departs in tears. After returning to Kathryn, he promises to make an effort for their marriage to work. ("The Shepherd")

After Sheriff Graham's death, he helps to staple promotional posters of sheriff election candidate Sidney around town. He runs across Mary Margaret, who is promoting Emma for sheriff. Casually, she asks if he has found a job yet, and David mentions he is now working at the animal shelter. However, once Mary Margaret notices he is advertising for Sidney, she excuses herself to get more promotional posters. ("Desperate Souls")

Though he has made a commitment to Kathryn, David still can't stop thinking about Mary Margaret. Every morning, he goes into the diner at seven-fifteen to pick up coffee for himself and his wife, but purposely enters when Mary Margaret is also present inside. They exchange greetings and nothing more, until one day, Mary Margaret brings an injured dove to the animal shelter. On the advice of the veterinarian, Dr. Thatcher, the bird will heal, but must rejoin its flock or risk being alone forever. With a storm approaching, David tries to dissuade her against releasing the bird, but she ignores his advice. Worried for her safety, he follows her into the woods and saves her from falling down a ravine. Seeking cover in an abandoned cabin, sparks fly as they confess their feelings for each other. David leans in to kiss her, but Mary Margaret pulls back to berate him for cheating on his pregnant wife. David is shocked at the news, which he was not aware of, though it brings attention to the fact he's still married. After the storm, she releases the dove back to its flock as they contently look on. David grasps her hand, but Mary Margaret reasons they must not see each other again. At home, he talks to Kathryn about the difficulties they've been having so far and learns she is not pregnant after all. Despite that, he'll continue to work through their relationship by going to therapy with her. The next morning, David goes to the diner at seven-forty-five, but sees Mary Margaret inside, to which he bolts outside and she chases him down. They realize both of them have been coming to the diner at seven-fifteen just to see each other. Unable to hold back their feelings, David and Mary Margaret passionately kiss. ("7:15 A.M.")

Beginning an affair, he and Mary Margaret begin seeing each other secretly. After preparing a picnic by the Toll Bridge, he texts her and she rushes to meet him there for a romantic outing in the woods. ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree")

On Valentine's Day, he buys two different Valentine's Day cards; one for Kathryn and the other for Mary Margaret. Mr. Gold, also in the store, notices and starts a conversation about love. Feigning ignorance, David claims the two cards are for the same woman. Afterwards, he heads to the bar where Mary Margaret is spending a girls' night out with Ruby and Ashley. Catching Mary Margaret outside, David accidentally hands her the card meant for Kathryn. Only after she reads the inside, he realizes his mistake and hands her the other card. Mary Margaret then insists he should go home to Kathryn, and though David knows she is right, he is unwilling to give up on his feelings for her. ("Skin Deep")

A few nights later, while he is having dinner with Kathryn, she announces her application acceptance into a Boston law school. David tries to be enthusiastic for her, but thinks Boston is too faraway. Kathryn suggests they need a fresh start to have a future together rather than trying to regain what they had in the past. Conflicted, he asks Mary Margaret for advice, and she believes they must tell Kathryn the truth about their affair. Rather than this, David tells his wife that he can't go to Boston with her. Hurt, Kathryn openly inquiries if there is someone else in his life, and this is a chance for him to be honest, David doesn't wish to hurt her with the truth. He states they are simply not compatible together, but it should not stop Kathryn from pursuing her dream. A heartbroken Kathryn later learns from Regina that he has been having an affair with Mary Margaret. From school, Mary Margaret talks to David on her cellphone, in which he lies about coming clean to Kathryn. Following a very public confrontation at the school between the two women, news of the affair spreads throughout town. Upon finding Mary Margaret's car window spray painted with the word "slut", David begins washing it off when the schoolteacher herself arrives. She, disappointed in his lying, break up with him since now that everyone knows about their affair, it proves their relationship is destructive. ("What Happened to Frederick")

During the Miner's Day festival, David finds out from Emma that Kathryn is missing. Keeping his distance, he watches Mary Margaret as her reputation slowly rebuilds itself. That night, Emma approaches to take him to the sheriff department for questioning about Kathryn's disappearance. ("Dreamy")

David is interviewed all night, but sticks to the story that he knows nothing. Emma allows David to go home, but advises him to get a lawyer. From the time he leaves the sheriff department, his memory becomes blank and ends up wandering the woods in a foggy haze. He is found by Emma and Ruby in a delirious state with a cut to his forehead. At the hospital, Dr. Whale gives the diagnosis as something similar in experience to when he first awoke from the coma and left his room. This is alarming to David, who begins to hypothesize that he could've killed Kathryn and not even know it, when Regina barges in demanding his arrest, though Emma fights against it. David leaves for the animal shelter and confesses to Mary Margaret his fears about what he did to Kathryn. Emma arrives to inform them a box with Kathryn's heart was found. Before she announces the results of the fingerprints on the box, David assumes he did it, but they are a match for Mary Margaret. ("Red-Handed")

Later, after Mary Margaret's arrest, David goes to Regina to plead for mercy. He believes Mary Margaret is not capable of such evil and the evidence must be a mistake. However, Regina refuses, and David goes to Archie for advice on his blackouts. Archie tries hypnosis to find out what he has been doing in his blackouts. While in the hypnosis state, David begins to see flashes of his life as Prince Charming. He sees Snow White on a mission to kill the Evil Queen, and pleads for her to not do it. David mistakes the memories for Mary Margaret's attempt in harming Kathryn and begins to doubt her innocence. He goes to ask Mary Margaret for the truth, but she is shocked at his lack and faith and orders him to leave. ("Heart of Darkness")

The day after, he approaches Emma to clear up the misinterpretation from his last visit to Mary Margaret. David believes the situation made him confused, though he doesn't actually believe she is guilty. He asks to see Mary Margaret, but Emma brisks that she doesn't want visitors. He takes the hint; recognizing that Mary Margaret doesn't want to see him. Emma is sympathetic, as she can guess his heart is in the right place, but the last person Mary Margaret needs to hear from is him. ("The Stable Boy")

Kathryn mysteriously turns up alive and unharmed, so Mary Margaret is free of the murder charges and allowed to go home. During an apartment party in honor of Mary Margaret's return, David attempts to enter and apologize to Mary Margaret, but Emma shoos him away at her request. ("The Return")

Finally, David decides that it is time to leave Storybrooke and comes to Mary Margaret about his decision. He says he will stay if she will give him a reason to, which Mary Margaret cannot, and they part ways. Just as David is driving out of town, the Dark Curse is broken by Emma, and he recalls his memories as Prince Charming. Returning to Storybrooke, he sets out to find Mary Margaret and reunites with her as she, too, recalls her memories as Snow White. Overhead, they witness a purple smoke quickly approaching and brace themselves as it engulfs them. ("A Land Without Magic")

After First Curse

Upon remembering his true identity as Prince Charming, David is happily reunited with several of his friends, including Granny, Ruby, Mother Superior and the seven dwarves. He is most excited to finally be together with his daughter Emma as well as recognizing Henry as his grandson. They begin heading to Mr. Gold's pawnshop to figure out what the purple smoke was. While David and Mary Margaret are overjoyed to see Emma and realize she saved them all by breaking the curse, they are a little stunned when she asks for time and space to adjust to the situation. Suddenly, Archie rushes up to inform them that Dr. Whale is leading an angry mob to Regina's house. Prompted by Henry's concern for Regina, they make it in time to stop Dr. Whale. They decide to place Regina in a jail cell for protection and then confront Mr. Gold for his misdeeds. Instead, they learn Mr. Gold released a Wraith upon town to destroy Regina. They temporarily stop the creature, but Regina has a more permanent solution by using a hat to send it away. After the vortex opens, the Wraith is sucked in, but Emma is as well. In horror, David watches Mary Margaret jump in after Emma and as he moves to follow, the vortex closes. David angrily demands answers from Regina, but she doesn't know where the vortex has taken them. He is strangled by Regina's magic until Henry and Ruby walk in. Since Henry blames his mother for the loss of Emma and Mary Margaret, David takes custody of him for the time being. ("Broken")

The next day, David goes to Regina's house to confront her about the vortex. Despite her threats, he is satisfied to know she has trouble with magic as well as her parental skills. In the aftermath of losing Emma and Mary Margaret and the Wraith attack, he is swarmed by confused townspeople. David learns from Mother Superior that they can't use the hat without the presence of fairy dust. Shortly after, Leroy blurts out that anyone who leaves town will lose all their Enchanted Forest memories. With too much going on at once, David asks the townspeople to regroup at town hall in two hours time to hear his plan; despite that he actually has no idea what to do. In front of a mirror, David is trying to come up with a speech to raise the townspeople's spirits, but finds his words are full of lack luster. Instead, he turns his attention to a solution in bringing Emma and Mary Margaret back. After Henry suggests finding the Mad Hatter, David runs to Mr. Gold's shop and the two make a deal—a person-finding potion in exchange for both of them staying out of each other's way. When David finally finds the Mad Hatter, who is Jefferson, he refuses to help, but tells him the Enchanted Forest still exists. Still stuck on the idea of getting his family back, he is snapped back to reality by Ruby of their current problems in town, such as Regina stealing Henry and the townspeople frightened to the point they are trying to leave town. Just in time, he and Ruby stop the traffic of cars driving out of Storybrooke. He wins them over by reminding the townspeople that it is easier to forget every memory, but together, they can accept their Storybrooke and Enchanted Forest selves. His heartfelt speech compels them to return home. Next, David goes to get Henry back from Regina, who surprisingly, doesn't try to put up a fight. Regina affirms what Jefferson told David, but there isn't a known route to reach the Enchanted Forest. At the diner, David offers consolation to Henry about Emma and Mary Margaret's whereabouts. ("We Are Both")

Henry brings up a new game plan dubbed "Operation Scorpion" to save Emma and Mary Margaret, but David feels it's not safe for him to help. After sending him off to school, David is tipped off by Regina that Henry is sneaking into her vault. He arrives in time to close a box containing vipers and save Henry. Though Henry wants to help find his family, David believes it's best he not get involved. To make up for it, David teaches Henry how to sword fight with wooden weapons. ("Lady of the Lake")

A few days later, David has assumed the role of temporary sheriff since Emma's absence. He pitches in with the dwarves to mine for fairy dust when he is approached by Mr. Gold over Belle's disappearance. David decides to help once he sees Mr. Gold's genuine love for her. They receive assistance from Ruby, who has regained her wolfish sense of smell, and tracks Belle to her father's flower shop. After some threats, Mr. Gold deduces he is sending Belle across the town line as David realizes Moe's dirt-covered hands are evidence of being in the mines. They find her handcuffed to a speeding mine cart, so Mr. Gold uses magic to pull Belle back to safety. ("The Crocodile")

Upon seeing Dr. Whale on the street, he punches him for sleeping with Mary Margaret, though the doctor claims it was at a time no one had their Enchanted Forest memories back yet. David confirms to Dr. Whale that the rumors about finding a way to the Enchanted Forest are true. Later, he gives Henry a day off from school and they go to the stables so his grandson can learn how to be "a proper knight". David wants Henry to "horse-sit" first until the animal decides he is ready to ride. When Daniel hears about Dr. Whale's accident, he rushes to the hospital with the assumption Regina is to blame. Rather than that, she explains Dr. Whale resurrected her dead fiancé Daniel and he may be in the horse tables. Realizing Henry is in danger, they hurry to stop Daniel from strangling the boy. David manages to lock Daniel in one of the horse stables and wants to put him down, but allows Regina to talk to her fiancé. Regina finally lets Daniel go by turning him into dust. ("The Doctor")

One night, Henry awakens screaming from a horrible nightmare. As he describes the dream, David comforts him at his bedside. ("Tallahassee")

David and Mother Superior are brought to the mines when the dwarves stumble upon diamonds, which can be used to make fairy dust. In celebration, they head over to the diner to have a late night drinking bash. At a table booth, David sees Henry drinking coffee and reassures him to be there if something happens in the dreams. After he urges Henry to grab some cocoa instead, Albert sits down in the booth with him. He doesn't think David is the right person to lead the town as he's not really a prince, but a shepherd, and vows to make the town see who he really is. David is certain the town knows who their leader is and leaves for the diner backroom to stumble upon Granny and Ruby emptying the freezer. It's nearly the first curse-free wolfs time for Ruby and they need a place for her to spend the night when she transforms. In the morning, he and Granny find Ruby in the woods, with no recollection of the night before, after she is missing from the freezer. When they get back into town, they find Billy's mangled corpse. Ruby begins to scream in horror, believing she has once again killed an innocent person, but David trusts her and doesn't think she did it. One reason for his belief in her innocence is David's regrets over not trusting Mary Margaret when she was accused of murder. Trouble brews when Albert and an angry townspeople want Ruby arrested for Billy's murder, so David locks her up for safety reasons. Fearing they are going to break in and kill Ruby, David, Belle and Granny hide her in the library. Then, he and Granny search and find Albert's car with a bloody hatchet and Ruby's stolen red cloak. He realizes this is Albert's plot at getting back at him. David hurries to stop a wolf Ruby from attacking Albert as he aims to gun her down. Helping her to regain control, he lays the cloak over her so she changes back into human. Too late, they see Albert has disappeared and come across him burning the hat. Enraged, David gives Albert a beat-down and prepares to kill him, but is convinced by Ruby to stand down. Later, at home, David contemplates it will be near impossible to bring Emma and Mary Margaret back without the hat, but Ruby assures him he can find a way because she knows what kind of man he is. ("Child of the Moon")

David is startled as Henry wakes up from his dream, stating that he met someone named Aurora, who says Emma and Mary Margaret are alive, and they need to stop Cora. Mr. Gold has Henry deliver a message to Aurora and let her know squid ink is the most effective way to defeat Cora. David, Mr. Gold and Regina send him to the Netherworld, but when he returns, communication with Aurora was severed and she did not receive the message. Henry suffers physical pains as a side effect of repeatedly returning to the Netherworld, so David volunteers to be put under a Sleeping Curse to find Mary Margaret. Though it is dangerous, he is positive that she will eventually wake him with true love's kiss. After Regina is finished making the curse, Mr. Gold puts a needle into the liquid for David to prick his finger on. While under the curse, David is trapped in a room full of mirrors until using a torch to break the floor and falls into a chamber surrounded by flames. Once there, he reunites with Mary Margaret and he tells her about the squid ink located in Rumplestiltskin's cell. Then, they lean in for true love's kiss, but their bodies cannot touch in a dream. Mary Margaret's conscious begins waking up from the Netherworld as David is left alone to feud off the fire. ("Into the Deep")

Remaining asleep, David is unconscious as Henry begins reading from the storybook to him. After Mary Margaret returns to Storybrooke through a portal, she rushes to the pawnshop and gives him true love's kiss. He awakens, happy to see his wife and Emma, and the three of them, Ruby and the dwarves catch up by having dinner at Granny's. ("Queen of Hearts")

Since being reunited, David and Mary Margaret spend some "intimate" moments in the apartment when Emma and Henry walk in on. While Henry is convinced they are just lying down, Emma walks away uncomfortably. David jokes to Mary Margaret that it is impressive they can still provide their daughter with traumatic childhood memories this late in her life. Later that night, a celebration is thrown at Granny's in honor of Emma and Mary Margaret's return. To several of the other guests' displeasure, including David, Emma invited Regina to the party. The very next day, Archie is found dead in his office. Based on the prior confrontation Ruby saw Regina have with Archie, it's plausible she killed him. When Regina is brought in for questioning, David has no doubts that she murdered Archie. However, Emma is in convinced and instead thinks Mr. Gold has something to do with the situation. They go to his pawnshop where Emma uses a dream catcher to see into the memories of Archie's dog Pongo; witnessing an image of Regina choking Archie to death. Since Regina is more difficult to contain due to her magic, David and Mary Margaret suggest they trap her with fairy dust. With Emma, they confronts Regina on her doorstep about what she did. Mother Superior, on cue, attempts to freeze Regina, but she catches the dust in midair and tosses it aside. Angrily, Emma confirms that Regina will never change from who she is. To this, Regina disappears in a cloud of smoke. With reassurance from David, Emma breaks the bad news about Regina to Henry. ("The Cricket Game")

At Archie's funeral, David attempts to cheer up a despondent Henry, who has begun to call the man's office just to hear his voice on the answering machine. In the apartment, Emma enters to give Pongo over to Henry in an effort to cheer him up. Her parents agrees Pongo would be great for Henry, though things may get a bit cramped. However, he is shocked when Mary Margaret suggests the two of them move out and let Emma and Henry have the apartment. David is not very enthusiastic about the idea and when shown several houses from Mary Margaret, he turns down every one. His real desire is to go back to the Enchanted Forest, even though their home world is not the same as in the past with Cora in power and the ogres taking over, he insists they fight to regain what is theirs. However, she disagrees, as fighting is so tiresome and just wants a fresh start in Storybrooke. He and Mary Margaret later learn from Emma that Archie is alive, and was kidnapped by Cora, who apparently found a way to Storybrooke. ("The Outsider")

After a car crashes into Storybrooke, David and Mary Margaret accompany Emma on the drive to the scene. They observe an amnesiac and frightened Belle who crossed the town line, a run-over Hook with multiple cracked ribs and a passed out stranger in the crashed car. David and Emma work to restrain Mr. Gold from beating Hook to death for what he did to Belle. All three casualties are taken to the hospital as patients. David, Emma, Mary Margaret, Leroy and Ruby try to break into the stranger's phone to learn who he is. After reviewing some paperwork left in the man's car, Emma sees that his name is Greg Mendell. From hacking into the phone, he looks to be a normal person. Dr. Whale comes back from checking up on Greg and says the man is bleeding into his chest cavity. Unsure of his own skill, Dr. Whale consults Mr. Gold for help, but he refuses and only warns that they should hope Greg dies so an outsider can't spread their town's magic secret to the whole world. They go into a separate room to debate about the pros and cons of helping someone from outside of town. Ultimately, the decision is made to save the stranger's life no matter what. Dr. Whale leaves the room to prep for the surgery, and Mary Margaret remarks how drunk he appears to be. Suddenly, Greg's phone starts ringing. No one dares to answer in fear the phone might be traced to Storybrooke. As they are waiting for the surgery to finish, a male nurse cannot find Dr. Whale, whose pager is the pocket of his disposed lab coat. Ruby runs off to track Dr. Whale by scent and brings him back to perform the operation on Greg. The surgery is a success and Emma goes in to gather information from Greg about what happened. He confesses to texting while driving. With a breath of relief, Emma and her parents return to the apartment. Henry wishes to know the day's events and after being filled in, he realizes the Frankenstein story is not a fairytale nor does it exist as in the storybook. Abruptly, Mr. Gold pays them a visit to ask Emma to fulfill the favor she owes him by helping find his son Baelfire. Just before he leaves, Mr. Gold also warns if any harm comes to Belle while he is gone, he will kill them all. ("In the Name of the Brother")

In the morning, Emma brings Henry, who she wishes to protect from Cora, along for departure out of town with Mr. Gold. Afterwards, David and Mary Margaret receive Regina at the door. Again, she denies killing Archie, to which they apologize for suspecting her since he turned up alive. They also mention that Emma left town with Henry, which upsets Regina. After Hook is released from the hospital, David, Mary Margaret and Leroy question his alliance with Cora. He leads them onto his ship to show them a caged shrunken giant who Cora brought from the Enchanted Forest. They free the giant, Anton, who reacts in fury when he sees David. He proceeds to lash out at them, which Mary Margaret quickly stops by shooting an arrow at him. Anton leaves the ship, but promises David will pay for what he has done. At the diner, David is still confused about what the giant said until realizing he was mistaken for his brother, James. Soon, he, Mary Margaret and Leroy have to defend the town against a much larger Anton, who begins taking out his anger on humans. David directs all the residents to take cover at town hall while he attempts to clear up the misunderstanding with Anton. Leroy helps win over Anton by mentioning Emma was given the compass by him. Anton wishes to speak to Emma, but she is not in town, so he continues with the rampage by chasing the three down. Finally, David proposes to give up his own life to Anton so he spares the townspeople. As Anton moves to stomp on him, the three are blown back by the debris as the impact of the pound hits the ground. Anton, now back to human size, falls into giant-made hole clinging on for dear life. The townspeople work to help David scale down into the hole with a rope and pull Anton to safety. They introduce Anton to the diner in an effort to make him feel at home. As they talk, Mary Margaret mentions Storybrooke is their home now since there is no way of getting back to their old land. To this, Anton shows them a stem of a beanstalk that can grow magic beans. They let Anton inspect some soil content, which is suitable for planting the stem, as the seven dwarves arrive to help him. David and Mary Margaret leave them to it and briefly discuss the what-ifs had he been raised by King George rather than his twin, and then the topic turns to returning to the Enchanted Forest. While Mary Margaret doesn't want to leave Emma behind, David is sure that their daughter will be fine with Henry. ("Tiny")

From Manhattan, Emma phones Mary Margaret with the revelation that Mr. Gold's son is also her ex-boyfriend and Henry's biological father. David is stunned at the news, which now connects not only Regina, but also Mr. Gold to their family tree. He quips that it's a good thing they did not have Thanksgiving in the Enchanted Forest, or otherwise it would have been one messed up holiday. Mary Margaret toys with the idea that this familial connection will be the key to bringing everyone together. ("Manhattan")

On Mary Margaret's birthday, David makes breakfast pancakes for her, even though he pretends to be making them out of hunger, she can obviously tell what is going on. As an unspoken conflict, Mary Margaret hates celebrating her birthday because her mother's passing occurred on the same date. On the table, she notices a nearly wrapped present, which he denies is from him. She opens the box to find the tiara she once received from her mother, Queen Eva, on her coming-of-age birthday, and a card note from an old friend, Johanna. David cannot believe she, too, is also in Storybrooke. After a quick kiss, Mary Margaret heads out to look for her. David begins another day at the sheriff department only to be ambushed and knocked out by Hook, who then steals the drawer keys to grab his hook back. He finally comes to when Mary Margaret wakes him up. He mentions how Hook attacked him, but Mary Margaret has more urgent news about Regina being in cahoots with Cora and they are actively searching for Mr. Gold's dagger. They conclude the mother-daughter pair want it to either control Mr. Gold or make Cora the Dark One. He moves to phone Mr. Gold, but Mary Margaret already tried and he is not picking up. Instead, she plans on having a chat with Regina to pull her back to their side. The talk goes badly, so David and Mary Margaret try to procure the dagger's location from Mr. Gold by asking Emma to convince him. In the meantime, they unsuccessfully attempt to break into the pawnshop with Mother Superior's powers when David learns from Emma that the dagger is in the clock tower and nab it in time. However, Cora and Regina threaten to crush Johanna's heart unless they get the dagger. After Mary Margaret gives it up to them, Johanna is cruelly killed by Cora. The couple honor Johanna by burying her in the cemetery. To David's alarm, his wife wants revenge by murdering Cora. ("The Queen Is Dead")

As their daughter is returning from New York, David talks to Mary Margaret on the phone about the dagger's status with Cora and information from Emma about Mr. Gold's injury at Hook's hands. At the docks, David helps carry Mr. Gold to his car while meeting Henry's father, Neal, in the process. Mary Margaret secretly expresses an eagerness to do away with Cora, though David reminds her that she wasn't and isn't a murderer. He is troubled by Mary Margaret's explanation that killing Cora would be retribution for her own mother's death. David gently reasons that she wouldn't be able to going through the deed and live with the guilt since he knows her heart is the purest. After they return to the pawnshop, he leaves Mr. Gold to instruct Emma on how to enact a barrier spell. Once done, they all begin making preparations for battle. He senses something is on Mary Margaret's mind, but she remains quiet. Out of nowhere, the building begins shaking, signaling Cora and Regina's arrival, and the foursome assemble for a fight. David is the first to attack Regina, but is thrown out of the shop and knocked unconscious for the remainder of the onslaught. When he wakes, he calls Emma to ask about Mary Margaret, but neither have seen her. David searches by the vault, finding her huddling in despair after casting a death spell on Cora's heart in exchange for Mr. Gold's revival and tricking Regina to put it back into its rightful owner, so they make haste back to the pawnshop. They are, however, too late, as Regina holds a lifeless Cora in her arms. ("The Miller's Daughter")

In their shared apartment, David stays silent as Emma hides the truth from Henry about why Mary Margaret is refusing to eat by saying she's sick. Henry can tell both of them are lying, so Emma explains to him the circumstances that caused Mary Margaret to be partially responsible for Cora's death. Mr. Gold comes to warn them about Regina's plans of revenge on Mary Margaret. He begins leaving, except David reminds Mr. Gold the debt he owes Mary Margaret for saving his life. After some amateur sleuthing in Regina's vault, Mr. Gold informs them of a spell called "the curse of the empty-hearted", that when cast on someone, has the ability to make the caster think the person loves him or her. From upstairs, Henry has been eavesdropping and pushes his way into the conversation. Furthermore, Mr. Gold details the spell is the only way Regina can get Henry and the love she craves, but also vengeance from Mary Margaret. The twist is, in order to enact the curse, Regina needs the heart of the person she hates the most, which is obviously Mary Margaret. Mr. Gold believes warning them already fulfills his debt, but David disagrees. Coldly, Mr. Gold asserts that wars have costs and considering this is a blood feud that goes back several generations, and the only way to end it is to spill more of it by possibly killing Regina. Henry dislikes using such a dark tactic as it is not heroic at all, but no one has a response, leaving him to run out of the apartment as Emma follows. David stays behind, but is later called to regroup with Emma and Neal after Henry has gone missing. Upon seeing some dynamite is missing, they realize Henry wants to blow up something. They arrive at the wishing well to see Regina speaking to Henry. The trio refuse to budge out of Regina's way, so she conjures a fireball. Henry runs in between to force the fighting to cease, and desperately wants to get rid of magic. He pleas for Regina to help him destroy magic, which is not possible, but she burns the spell to placate him. Henry thanks her, and leaves with David, Emma and Neal. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")

David makes another breakfast tray for Mary Margaret, who is still staying in bed since the aftermath of Cora's death. Emma is exasperated at his attempts at coddling Mary Margaret. Even though he reasons Mary Margaret is having a hard time, Emma believes it's time to move on. As he closes the door behind Emma and Henry, Mary Margaret is finally out of bed and packing for a trip to the woods. He offers to come along, but she insists she must be alone. At the news of August's reappearance, David and Henry join Emma, Marco and Mary Margaret on the way to the sheriff department to look for him. They reach the building in time to see August stumbling out and collapsing as Emma and Marco attempt to help. August uses his last bit of strength to warn Emma about someone, but only manages the word "her" before he passes away. Henry stresses that if August's actions today have been selfless, brave and true, he can be saved. Mother Superior agrees and uses her wand, with success, to revert August into a seven-year-old Pinocchio. Emma makes an attempt to help Pinocchio recall what August was going to tell her earlier, but he can't remember. After a long day, they go home. When he is alone with his wife, David is furious at Mary Margaret's admittance that she went to Regina's house asking to be killed. She has fears about her heart continuing to blacken, though he sets August as an example that redemption is possible. David knows Mary Margaret is neither like August or Regina, and there has to be a way to help because he believes in the goodness in her heart. ("Selfless, Brave and True")

As the bean fields prosper, Mother Superior shields the area from outsiders with a barrier. David and Mary Margaret bring Emma to the fields as a surprise. Emma detects this means both her parents want to go back to the Enchanted Forest. Mary Margaret reasons that dealing with the consequences of Cora's death has been tiring on her heart and by going back to their land, perhaps her heart can be healed too. They believe if Emma comes with them, she can also have her happy ending that never happened. During the afternoon, David and Leroy head to the diner to order ten bowls of chili for themselves and everyone else working on the bean fields. Granny is curious about what they are doing at the fields, which Leroy quickly says is landscaping. Mr. Gold pops in to speak with David alone about a private matter. After urging Leroy to go back without him, David hears Mr. Gold out on his dilemma of winning back Belle's heart since she is now living under her false memories as Lacey. He goes with Mr. Gold to the town bar, The Rabbit Hole, where Lacey is drinking. With David's encouragement, Mr. Gold asks her out. After sundown, David carpools Anton, Bashful, Doc, Happy, Leroy and Walter to drop them off at the diner. Then, he and Mary Margaret head home. ("Lacey")

By the dock, David discusses with Mary Margaret what will be Regina's fate once they leave for the Enchanted Forest. Mary Margaret is more reluctant to let Henry be without his mother, but David considers how many times Regina has failed to change and suggests they give her an ultimatum to either say in Storybrooke or live out the rest of her days in the dark dungeon. On a sunny day, David, Leroy and Mary Margaret drive out to check up on the bean fields. After entering the barrier, they find the destroyed beans. ("The Evil Queen")

Suspecting Regina ruined the bean fields, David, Emma, Henry and Mary Margaret search the mayoral office. They find evidence proving Regina kept some of the beans for herself, but the beans are strangely missing. Even more alarming, Emma discovers an override code was used to break into the office. She suspects Neal's fiancée, Tamara, is involved, but her parents insist only Mr. Gold could overpower Regina. While Emma goes to question Neal, David and Mary Margaret ask Mr. Gold for a way to track Regina. Since Mary Margaret once saved his life, making him indebted to her, he provides a bottle with Regina's tears and asks her to shed one of her own tears into it. After she does, he mixes the tears and instructs her to pour it in her eye in order to breach a temporary connection with Regina. Under the liquid's influence, Mary Margaret feels agonizing pain from Regina and smells sardines in her surroundings. David reports the findings to Emma, who realizes Regina is in the cannery. Regrouping there, Emma and Neal stay behind to secure the rooms while Mary Margaret and David rush ahead, where they catch Greg electrocuting Regina. He escapes, and they free Regina before bringing her to the apartment to be healed by Mother Superior. Regina admits she previously planned to destroy them with a trigger, but now the device in Greg and Tamara's hands. Suddenly, a shocked Emma returns home, revealing Neal died during a confrontation with Tamara, as her parents console her. ("Second Star to the Right")

Heading to the park, David, Emma and Mary Margaret pick up Henry, where they encounter Mr. Gold. As Emma goes to break the news about Neal to Henry, David and Mary Margaret do the same for Mr. Gold. They desire his help to stop the trigger, but he refuses, believing dying is his penance for Neal's death. Once the trigger is activated, Hook aids them in stealing the remaining beans from Greg and Tamara, which will be used to bring the townspeople to safety. In an act of sacrifice, Regina attempts to stall the trigger for as long as possible. With Hook, David corners Greg at the cannery as Tamara ambushes them. While the pirate distracts Greg, David chases Tamara, who loses her gun at one point. In the nick of time, Greg knocks David away and escapes with his partner-in-crime. Despite this setback, Hook managed to procure the last bean. Not trusting the pirate, David holds onto the bean in a box. Regrouping with the residents at the diner, everyone is ready to go until Henry learns Regina isn't coming with them. He is unwilling to leave her behind, and Mary Margaret agrees, suggesting they use the bean to send the trigger away. Emma is skeptical since it's a risky plan, but Archie rallies everyone into the plan. After Emma agrees, David tosses her the bean box, which Hook catches. Without them noticing, he steals the bean for himself and returns the box with a decoy. Hurrying to the mines, Henry and his family discover too late that the bean is gone. In a stroke of luck, Emma realizes she and Regina could stop the trigger with their combined magic, and they succeed in deactivating it. In the aftermath, they find Henry missing, and later witness Greg and Tamara taking him into a portal. Hook, atoning for his thievery, decides against using the last bean for his selfish purposes, and allows Emma and her parents aboard to pursue Henry's captors. With a magic globe, Mr. Gold tracks the boy to Neverland. They then sail there after opening a portal with the bean. ("And Straight On 'Til Morning")

As they sail towards the island of Neverland, David and Mary Margaret approach Emma to comfort her over losing Henry and Neal. An embittered Emma is tired of her parents' optimism, but they encourage her to have hope about rescuing Henry. Mr. Gold announces he is saving his grandson alone since Emma is not capable enough. With a spin from his cane, he mysteriously disappears. Continuing to sail, the ship is attacked by mermaids. Working together, Mary Margaret and Emma reel one of the creatures on the fishing line as Regina scares off the remaining horde with fire. On deck, the group argue about what to do with the mermaid, who sounds a shell and threatens them with death if they don't free her. As thunder brews in the sky, everyone realizes the mermaid summoned a storm, but they remain unaware that the downpour will increase as their animosity for each other grows. David almost resorts to cutting the fish's neck, but a look of disapproval from Mary Margaret makes him stop. Impatient, Regina freezes the mermaid, and her action causes the storm to speed up. Mary Margaret blames Regina for their situation, and the pair trade insults until the fight becomes physical as David and Hook also have it out. Emma, recognizing the foursome's bickering is making the storm worse, forces them to stop after she jumps into the ocean and gets knocked out by a rig pulley. Working together, David ties a rope around his waist and saves Emma while Mary Margaret, Hook and Regina pull them up. Arriving to Neverland's shoreline, Emma motivates the group to cooperate with each other in order to rescue Henry, and they don't have to be friends, but each person's skill is needed for this mission. Impressed by his daughter's leadership, David follows Emma into the jungle. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")

While treading through the jungle to a cliff, David uses his sword to clear a path as they progress. Sighting a bush of thorns, he prepares to cut them away, but Hook informs the group the dangers of the poisonous Dreamshade oozing out from the spikes. Though Hook advises they go left, David ignores him and goes right. Up ahead, the ridge allows them to get a view of the island, but too much has changed since Hook was last in Neverland and he can't tell the difference between anything. They can't comb the jungle, either, because it's not safe to travel through. They take a rest for the night, though everyone is awakened with news of Emma's encounter with Pan in the jungle and the map he gave her to find Henry. The catch is Emma must "stop denying who she really is" and only then will the map unlock for her. Regina would rather try using magic on the map, a move David highly disagrees with, as does everyone else. Emma makes the effort to unveil the map by stating facts about herself, with encouragement from her parents, but nothing works. Tired of playing games, Regina snatches the map and casts a locator spell on it, which leads them straight to Pan, who then sends the Lost Boys to engage them in combat. David is grazed by one of the Lost Boys' Dreamshade-coated arrows, but after the battle, reassures Mary Margaret that he is fine. Seeing as Emma is still frustrated over the map, David attempts to go after her, but Mary Margaret goes to talk to their daughter instead. Shortly after, Emma manages to unveil the map. With a strategy planned to travel towards Pan's camp, the group breaks apart to assemble for leaving. However, David sneaks away from camp to examine his festering Dreamshade wound. ("Lost Girl")

Heading north by following the map, the plan is a failure once when they notice Pan's camp location keeps changing, making their journey fruitless. Hook considers a fairy named Tinker Bell who Pan trusts and can likely get them into the camp with pixie dust. As David continues to keep his injury secret, his strength is depleting. He is not able to hide it from a watchful Hook, who estimates his lifespan is left at days or weeks at most, and pushes him to tell Mary Margaret. David decides not to; hoping the problem can be easily fixed by Tinker Bell's pixie dust. Regina stays behind to rest while everyone else goes to Tinker Bell's empty tree house, which strangely has a ladder, even though fairies have wings for flying. David finds a white cloth, which is Regina's and they rush off to rescue her. They corner Tinker Bell outside a cavern, but an unharmed Regina attests to the fairy's innocence. Regina tells them Tinker Bell lost all her fairy powers a long time ago and can't help infiltrate Pan's camp. Tinker Bell acknowledges that people not believing in her anymore, so she stopped being a fairy. Even though she can help them, Tinker Bell wants to know what's in it for herself. Emma and Mary Margaret offer her safe passage to Storybrooke as a new home, to which Tinker Bell agrees and goes back to camp with them. ("Quite a Common Fairy")

At the camp base, David listens to Emma go over the strategy for entering Pan's headquarters from the back after Tinker Bell talks her way in through the front. Before they put the plan into action, the ex-fairy wants to know their escape route off the island. Since there isn't one, Tinker Bell warns that no one leaves the island without Pan's permission, and to prove how dangerous he is, she shows them a watch she found on Greg's corpse. Additionally, she reveals Tamara is dead as well. Without a proper escape plan, Tinker Bell decides it's not worth the risk, and she goes back to her tree house. During a group discussion, Emma agrees it's unwise to break into a place without knowing the way out. Although Hook once escaped Neverland, it was possible through a one-time deal with Pan, but the pirate recalls Neal managed to flee on his own. Hoping to find information on this, they go to a cave, where Neal once lived as a boy. To open the cave, David helps pull a vine with Hook to unseal the entrance, though the wound is weakening him. When the two men are alone for a spare moment after the women have entered the cave, Hook asks him about when he is going to tell his family about the injury. David believes the situation is hopeless, to which Hook reveals there is a cure, but it's too faraway. Inside, they find two coconut halves that when combined in the dark, illuminate a star constellation map with an escape route. However, despite that Hook taught Neal how to navigate using the stars, he also coached him against revealing secrets of his own map. Emma, realizing the only person who can read the map is dead, stalks outside. Her parents follow, consoling her about Neal, as Emma expresses everything from anger, grief and pain over losing the man she loved. Emma then goes to be alone, to which Mary Margaret sadly considers her inability to comfort her own daughter. Mary Margaret suggests, if he died, that she could never move on. Comfortingly, David insists if something did happen, he'd want her to be happy. Thanking him for his sweet words, she hugs him, as he bears a worried expression about his Dreamshade wound. ("Nasty Habits")

Continuing to search the cave, Emma finds Neal's tally marks on the wall as she recognizes he stopped counting the days due to losing hope of ever leaving, which is the same thing Pan wants for Henry. In the hopes of sending Henry a message, Mary Margaret convinces everyone to make a net out of vine to catch a Lost Boy. Once she leads everyone out of the cave to show them, Hook tries sympathizing with Emma about losing hope, but she rebuffs his advances. After she leaves, David tells Hook that Emma is never going to like him since he's just a pirate. While the women are crafting the net, David gathers vine from the jungle, and upon seeing Hook eyeing Emma, he asks him to come along. Once they are alone, David warns him to stay away from his daughter. Hook suggests looking for a Dreamshade cure, but the latter refuses since it'll distract them from their mission to save Henry. After an altercation, David passes out from his worsening wound and awakens to see a military insignia in the dirt. Hook recognizes it as his brother's badge, which was lost during a duel with Pan on Dead Man's Peak, and there is a satchel there that contains a sextant for reading the star map. Before the pair set out to retrieve it, David says goodbye to Emma and Mary Margaret. On the way up, Hook ascends first, but an impatient David climbs up soon after and overhears Pan's deal with the pirate to kill him once they reach the top. At the peak, David demands the sextant from Hook, who admits lying about the satchel in order to find a cure. Believing he is on Pan's side, David starts a fight, but is knocked out. Reaching consciousness, David is offered magic water, which will heal his wound, but he can never leave the island. Willing to pay the price, he drinks it and is healed. Returning to camp, David kisses Mary Margaret affectionately; much to everyone's embarrassment. Wishing to thank Hook, David stretches the truth by praising the pirate for saving him from a Dreamshade arrow after they were ambushed earlier. They each take a sip of Hook's rum, except Regina, until it passes into Emma's hands. Then, he and Mary Margaret go off to be alone. ("Good Form")

At their camp, Mary Margaret and David watch Regina teach Emma how to light a fire with magic. Emma argues with Regina about her training tactics, and as things get heated, she accidentally channels her anger; lighting flame on the wood. To Mary Margaret, David expresses dislike about allowing Emma to use magic, but she thinks their daughter needs to learn. She also believes Emma will use her abilities wisely. Approaching the couple, Hook reveals Neal is alive and Pan kidnapped him from their campsite to a cave. As proof of this story, Mary Margaret notices a snapped branch near the brush along with footprints resembling a struggle. Although she wants to tell Emma about Neal, David and Hook convince her not to. The trio agree to prep a cover story and search for Neal themselves, but when Emma asks where they are going, both David and Hook give different excuses. With the plan ruined, Mary Margaret blurts out that Neal is alive. In disbelief over these claims, Regina leaves the group as everyone else follows the footprint trail. Outside the Echo Cave, Hook explains they each must reveal one of their deepest secrets in order to rescue Neal. Once inside, they see a caged Neal on a separate strip of land. Hook goes first by stating he shared a kiss with Emma, causing outrage from David, as well as his genuine feelings for her. When Mary Margaret confesses her desire for another child, David tearfully admits she would make a great mother, but she won't have another baby with him due to the price of the Dreamshade cure. This shocks Mary Margaret, who says nothing in response. With three secrets revealed, a bridge forms and Emma makes her way across, where she tells Neal her secret and frees him. Once they return outside, they decide to find Tinker Bell first before continuing the mission. Heading back to camp, David tries talking to Mary Margaret about his earlier disclosure, but she snaps at him. ("Ariel")

Neal brainstorms a plan to capture Pan's shadow and use it to fly everyone off the island. Emma and Hook will join him on this quest, and they agree to meet Mary Margaret and David at Tinker Bell's tree house once everything is settled. Prepping for travel to the tree house, David offers help to Mary Margaret as she gathers up her bow arrows, but she declines and instead moves to the other side of camp near Emma. Throughout the jungle trek, David reasons with Mary Margaret, stating he kept the secret to keep from sidetracking everyone, as she listens and then silently disregards his words. In another try, he suggests they can build a home for themselves in the jungle. When she continues to ignore him, he calls her out to at least say something. Mary Margaret then furiously berates him for lying to her the whole time, to which David attests he wanted to find a cure on his own so she wouldn't worry. Despite this, she is angry he didn't tell her about the cure or the cost for it. David confesses he was scared, knowing she would be unwilling to leave the island with him, and did not want to force the cure's price on her. Yet, Mary Margaret attests that's exactly what she would do in order to be with him. As he apologizes for disappointing her, she forgives him with a hug. Outside the tree house, they wait as Tinker Bell approaches and tell her about capturing Pan's shadow as a means to escape the island. Tinker Bell is skeptical, until Emma, Hook and Neal arrive with the trapped shadow, and she leads them to the next part of the plan. ("Dark Hollow")

While moving ahead to Pan's camp, a rustle from the jungle causes the entire group to assemble for battle, but it turns out to be only Regina and Mr. Gold. Regina tells them about the power of Pandora's Box while Neal's distrust in his father causes him to blurt out Mr. Gold's objective to kill Henry and prevent a seer's prophecy from coming true. David and the others subsequently take a stance against Mr. Gold by drawing their weapons. Things cool down only when Neal forces him to hand over the box. After Tinker Bell gains access into the perimeter of the encampment, Regina uses a spell to put all the Lost Boys to sleep, however, neither Henry or Pan are found. Instead, Neal frees a young prisoner, Wendy, and brings her back to camp to inquire about Henry. Forced to act on Pan's wishes, Wendy lies to them, but with some encouragement, she yields and tells the truth. Mary Margaret gains insight on Pan's real reason for needing Henry's heart, which is to save himself from dying and then become immortal. As a trade, Pan lives, but Henry will die. Before Emma leaves for Skull Rock to stop Pan, she presses David and Mary Margaret to go back to Dead Man's Peak and retrieve more of the spring water as a necessity for the journey home. While the water can keep David alive for a span of time, Mr. Gold will create an elixir in Storybrooke to cure him for good. As David and Mary Margaret double back to the peak, they feel a powerful rush of magic flow throughout Neverland, caused by Henry sacrificing his heart to Pan. ("Think Lovely Thoughts")

David and Mary Margaret return to the Lost Boy camp and learn from Emma that Henry gave up his heart to Pan and Mr. Gold is trapped inside Pandora's Box. Regina casts a preservation spell on Henry to last one hour until they can track down Pan. Emma manages to get some of the Lost Boys to open up about Pan's current location at his "thinking tree" in Pixie Woods after promising to bring them off the island. While Emma, Mary Margaret and Regina go to find Pan, David and the rest of their party plan to regroup aboard the Jolly Roger. The three women come back in time to place the heart back in Henry as he gasps to life. David and Mary Margaret watch Neal free Mr. Gold from the box and have a warm reunion as their past differences and mistakes are reconciled. With Regina's power, the Shadow becomes the ship sail and flies them homeward. ("Save Henry")

Following a safe journey from Neverland to Storybrooke, peace resumes as Mr. Gold seals the box away in the pawnshop. While spending time at the diner, David and Mary Margaret overhear Neal inviting Emma to lunch tomorrow. Though Mary Margaret urges her to go, Emma's mind is still on Henry only. The next morning, he and Mary Margaret dine on lasagna when Mr. Gold gives them the Dreamshade wound elixir. After being healed, David suggests they start trying for another child, but Mary Margaret's mood dampers when she observes that Neal is sitting alone at another booth. At the docks, David finds Emma, asking about her reluctance to give Neal a chance, though she is preoccupied about Henry, who is not acting like himself. She is upset Henry spent the night at Regina's house, though David points out that Regina is the boy's mother before she got involved. Still, Emma is worried something bad will happen as he reasons she has to see the good in life that makes it worth living. He then gives her a ride to Granny's so she can meet with Neal, but this is interrupted by the Shadow killing Mother Superior. Suspecting Pan has found a way to control his shadow from inside the box, David goes with Emma and Mary Margaret to investigate. Heading to the town line, Emma crosses over the border, as Pan is released on the same side so she can interrogate him. During the conversation, Henry proves to Emma that Pan switched bodies with him, to which all of them go to meet up with Hook, Neal and Tinker Bell at the vault, where Regina took "Henry" for protection. Unable to open the door, Mr. Gold works his magic to unseal it. As they wait, David and Mary Margaret persuade Emma to move on with life and not worry about things so much, but their daughter is finding it difficult to be a savior and have a day off from trouble. Inside the vault, Regina is found unconscious while one critical item is missing and now in Pan's hands, the curse scroll. ("The New Neverland")

In a group, everyone listens to Mr. Gold's proposition about undoing Pan's curse by having Regina, the original curse caster, to destroy the scroll. First, they must switch Henry and Pan to their rightful bodies so Henry can give the scroll to Regina. To do this, a strong magical outlet is needed, so Tinker Bell suggests the Black Fairy's wand, which is in Mother Superior's possession. With Hook, Neal and Tinker Bell, David asks the convent nuns for the wand just as the Shadow attacks. Attempting to distract the creature, Hook is knocked off his feet by the being as David pulls him to safety. By a leap of faith, Tinker Bell manages to use pixie dust, lighting a flame on the candle in the coconut half, and then flies into the air to trap the Shadow. Disposing the coconut halves into a fire, the Shadow is destroyed as Mother Superior is revived. After they receive the wand from her, the foursome give it to Mr. Gold, who wields it to return Henry's spirit to his body. Everyone, except Mr. Gold, runs off to find the boy, and with Granny's tracking skills, they reunite with him. Regina, passing out after taking the scroll, awakens with knowledge of the price for stopping the curse. Accosting them, Pan freezes the group in place and steals the scroll. Mr. Gold, summoning the dagger, fatally stabs himself as well as Pan with it. After they fade out of existence, Regina reveals that to undo the curse, everyone will return to the Enchanted Forest while Storybrooke disappears forever. Since Henry wasn't born in the Enchanted Forest, he'll be alone, to which Regina asks Emma to leave town with him. To ensure they'll always be together, Regina will rewrite new memories for both of them so they forget everything. David says goodbye to his daughter and grandson, and after the two cross out of town, Regina halts the curse as everyone in Storybrooke is sent back to the Enchanted Forest. ("Going Home")

For events occurring before the casting of the second curse, see Prince Charming.

During Second Curse

A new curse is cast by none other than Snow White; returning Prince Charming and the rest of the Enchanted Forest inhabitants to the town of Storybrooke. However, as a result of Wicked Witch of the West's interference, everyone's last recollection is the final day in Storybrooke when Regina stopped Pan's curse, but no one can recall anything further than that. David's only clue that a year has indeed passed is Mary Margaret, who is heavily pregnant, despite that the two cannot remember what happened. The couple resume living together in the apartment. Mysteriously, residents begin disappearing from town, such as one of the dwarves. One fateful day, Emma returns, memory restored, to reunite with her parents. ("New York City Serenade", "Witch Hunt", "A Curious Thing")

David and Mary Margaret recount to Emma the last memories they have of the day Pan's curse was stopped and how everyone was presumably sent back to the Enchanted Forest, but they only remember waking up in Storybrooke like it was another regular day. Hook confirms that they did indeed return to their old homeland and spent a brief time with Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip. As Hook recalls, before he split from their group, everyone else was headed to the Queen's old palace. The pirate also mentions that his quest to bring their daughter back to Storybrooke was prompted by a messenger bird, attached with a note requesting for Emma as well as a vial of memory potion, which he had assumed was from Mary Margaret. Once Happy and Leroy report two more dwarves missing, Emma decides to conduct an investigation. In the morning, David and his wife meet Henry for the "first" time. Soon, he receives word that another resident has gone missing, and goes with Emma to the town line where Robin Hood and the Merry Men describe how Little John was kidnapped by a winged beast. David, Hook and the Merry Men search for Little John; eventually finding the unconscious man with a sustained bite wound. After whisking him to the hospital, Little John rapidly transforms into flying monkey and takes off. Reporting back to the apartment, David, Emma, Hook, Mary Margaret and Regina conclude that the Wicked Witch of the West cast the new curse. ("Witch Hunt")

David, Emma and Hook search the mayoral office for any evidence the Wicked Witch left behind while Regina keeps Henry company. Discovering a holly berry on the room, he pinpoints the plant's location in the northwestern region past the Toll Bridge. Abruptly, David receives an call from Mary Margaret asking him to meet their new midwife, Zelena, at the apartment, and hesitates until Emma insists that he go. Once there, Zelena brews tea for them. While waiting, David expresses skepticism to Mary Margaret about the midwife. Without anyone's notice, Zelena spikes David's tea with night root. When given a chance to voice fears about expecting another child, he chooses not to and feigns calm. Afterwards, he leaves to scour the area of the growing holly berries only to see someone stalking him. Quickly, David phones Emma and leaves a message notifying her that he is closing in on the Wicked Witch. In a fight, he is knocked out by the assailant, who is unmasked as himself. While being choked to death, David admits that he is afraid of being a bad father and uses the hilt of his sword to stab the latter. Both his attacker as well as the sword's hilt vanish and he later recounts this to Emma, Hook, and Regina. Altogether, they go to a farmhouse and investigate a cellar, which was locked, but is now mysteriously open. Inside, the cell's occupant is gone, but a spinning wheel with strands of spun gold litter the floor; evident proof that Mr. Gold is alive. ("The Tower")

In a morning meeting at the closed diner, David and his allies discuss searching for Mr. Gold while Regina opts to search the farmhouse alone for evidence. David insists Mary Margaret return home and rest, despite that she has good tracking skills. He, Emma, and Hook inform Belle about Mr. Gold's alive status. The trio becomes a pair as Hook decides to stay behind and help Belle. Not much later, David and Emma arrive to the hospital after receiving news that Neal, who has been missing up to now, collapsed at the pawnshop. On close examination, Neal's palm is revealed to have a burnt symbol, which Belle begins researching. In the woods, David and Emma quickly stumble upon a frantic Mr. Gold after hearing him scream. They question him about the Wicked Witch's identity, but he is unable to tell them. Distracted by a sudden flying monkey attack, David fends the creature off while Emma chases after Mr. Gold. In this time frame, Belle discovers the symbol originates from a key to the vault of the Dark One, which Neal used to resurrect Mr. Gold, but in turn, cost his own life. Though Neal should be dead, he is not due to Mr. Gold absorbing him into his body. Emma magically separates the two; ending with Neal's inevitable death. David rejoins her after she learns from Mr. Gold that the Wicked Witch's true identity is Zelena. The father-daughter duo rush home, breaking open the bathroom where Zelena is supposedly hiding, but she is already gone. Afterwards, David and Mary Margaret enter the pawnshop to deliver the grim news about Neal to Belle and Hook. ("Quiet Minds")

David attends Neal's funeral to pay his respects. Afterwards, at the diner, Zelena makes a surprise appearance to threaten those who get in her way will be killed by the Dark One. On guard, David shields his wife from the witch, who cattily remarks that she isn't there for their baby. Instead, she publicly reveals herself as Regina's half-sister and forces her sibling into a showdown on Main Street after sundown. In preparation, lest Zelena is planning something wicked, David, Belle and Tinker Bell seal off the streets. Belle has high hopes of swaying Mr. Gold to their side despite that Zelena is controlling him with the dagger. Along with Emma and Tinker Bell, he stands guard outside the farmhouse cellar where Mr. Gold is imprisoned while Belle goes in and rushes out after nearly falling into Zelena's trap. An enslaved Mr. Gold delivers a message from Zelena; warning them that she will finish off Regina and they'll pay with their lives if they interfere again. During the evening, on Main Street, Zelena approaches while trailed by a helpless Mr. Gold. David witnesses Regina being thrown into the clock tower by Zelena, who later flees on her broomstick. He, Emma and Mary Margaret rush to check on Regina where they learn Zelena attempted to take her heart, but failed since it's hidden elsewhere. ("It's Not Easy Being Green")

When Emma accepts magic lessons with Regina, David and Mary Margaret offer to watch over Henry while she is gone. Instead, their daughter implies Henry thinks they are boring and lets Hook spend time with her son. As David and his wife walk along the beach, they come across Ariel after she washed ashore. She explains her long journey in searching for a missing Eric who hasn't been seen since the new curse was cast. They take her to the diner to ask Hook, since he retained his memories from the lost year in the Enchanted Forest, but the pirate knows nothing. David and Mary Margaret volunteer Hook to go with Ariel to the pawnshop, look for a belonging of Eric's and track him down using a locator spell. The couple take Henry for the afternoon and attempt to prove to him that they are "cool" by letting the boy drive David's truck. It ends badly with the vehicle hitting a mailbox, but nonetheless the trio regroup with Emma, Hook and Regina at the apartment in high spirits. Hook tells them that Ariel has reunited with Eric on Hangman's Island in the Enchanted Forest, which they see first-hand when Emma projects an mirror image of the happy lovers in the same location. Later, David, Emma, Henry, Mary Margaret and Regina have an evening meal together at the diner. ("The Jolly Roger")

Gathered in Regina's house, David reports for a group seance to open a portal to the land of the dead by using the now defunct candle to talk to Cora about Zelena's origins. He, Emma, Hook, Mary Margaret and Regina link hands as the portal opens, but Cora refuses to appear. When Hook's knee bumps the table, a startled Mary Margaret withdraws her hands, which closes the gateway. Shortly after the failed experiment, all leave except Mary Margaret, who stays to help Regina clean up. Once Belle figures out what spell Zelena is intending to cast, David and the others return to Regina's house just after Mary Margaret was briefly possessed by Cora's spirit. Mary Margaret reveals Cora, already pregnant with another man's child, was once engaged to Leopold, but Princess Eva deliberately wrecked it. In turn, this caused Cora to unwillingly abandon Zelena after birth. As for the ingredients of Zelena's spell, as Belle explains, they are for a time spell to alter the past; namely to kill Eva and keep Cora from abandoning her first-born child. ("Bleeding Through")

Meeting at the inn, David, Emma, Mary Margaret and Regina strategize on how to break the new curse. With the last curse, Emma recalls believing in magic after touching the fairytale storybook, which triggered her memories of the Enchanted Forest. From this, Regina suggests the key to breaking the curse is for Henry to believe in magic as Emma did. They head to the apartment where the storybook appeared to Mary Margaret during the first curse, and the former schoolteacher "magically" finds it in a chest box. Henry is discovered missing from the inn; sending everyone on a wild goose chase to the docks, in which Emma shoots a flying monkey to protect him as David and Regina also step in to take out incoming monsters. Emma hands the storybook to him; asking Henry to believe in magic. Upon touching the book, the boy receives his lost memories back, but Zelena begins choking him. Emma magically scalds the witch; forcing her to retreat. Having been knocked out during the fight, Regina is awakened by Henry. In a tender reunion, Regina kisses his forehead; triggering true love's kiss and breaking the curse's effects. In a flurry of returned memories, David is stunned to remember it wasn't Zelena, but Mary Margaret who cast the new curse. He and Mary Margaret confront Hook about the supposed note he received that led him to find Emma. They believe it's a lie, but the pirate insists that someone sent it. While Emma and Henry visit Neal's grave, Mary Margaret begins having labor pains. ("A Curious Thing")

After Second Curse

Once the second curse is broken, Mary Margaret is rushed into the hospital while Emma and Regina enact a protective barrier to keep Zelena out. Though Emma wishes to face Zelena alone, David convinces her that Hook should go along as well. With Dr. Whale's help, Mary Margaret gives birth to a healthy baby boy and happily cradles him in her arms as David looks on. However, Emma's magic is drained after saving Hook's life and causes the room barrier to fade. David attempts to pull out his sword to defend his wife and child, but he is frozen while Zelena steals the baby for a time spell. On Henry's insistence that Regina possesses light magic, she uses it to defeat Zelena once and for all. After Zelena is stripped of her magic when Regina takes her pendant, David nearly swings his sword at a flying monkey, who reverts to Little John. Rather than condemn the witch to death, Regina spares her sister's life and imprisons her in a jail cell. At the hospital, David returns his son to Mary Margaret's loving arms while Emma walks Henry in to meet his new family member. Unseen to them, Mr. Gold kills Zelena; accidentally triggering magic in her pendant, which activates the time spell. ("Kansas")

Returning home, David and Mary Margaret plan to do-away with the traditional royal ceremony and announce their son's name during a celebration at the diner. Henry shows Emma an apartment listing so they can live in Storybrooke permanently. When questioned by her mother if she wishes to stay in town, Emma avoidantly asks Henry to brainstorm a name for her new baby brother. During the party, Henry rereads the story of how Prince Charming and Snow White met. As Emma and Hook join the table, David and Mary Margaret playfully argue over who saved who during their first encounter. The conversation becomes awkward once Hook implies Emma wants to go back to New York, and Regina approaches to inquire further. Emma hints her desire to leave town, but when challenged by Henry, she bails from the diner. While Hook follows to talk some sense into her, Mary Margaret and the others notice a stream of light radiating to the sky—Zelena's time spell. David, Belle, Regina and Robin Hood find Zelena missing and discover through a security tape that she used magic to disappear. For the time being, they decide to leave the time portal untouched. David phones Emma, but she doesn't pick up. Later, Emma returns to confirm her decision to stay in Storybrooke, and shares news of her and Hook's trip to the past through the time portal, in which they recreated Prince Charming and Snow White's first meeting. Finally, David and Mary Margaret announce they are naming their son after a true hero—Neal. ("Snow Drifts", "There's No Place Like Home")

In the aftermath of Emma and Hook returning to the present, they also rescued a would-have-been-executed woman, Marian, who is actually Robin Hood's deceased wife. Walking out of the diner, David and Mary Margaret hear an angered Marian condemn Regina, who she remembers as the Evil Queen, as a "monster". Emma attempts to go after Regina, but Hook persuades her not to. David frets over what Regina might do while Henry voices fears about his mother becoming evil again, despite how much she's changed for the better. The next morning, David and Mary Margaret take out Neal in a stroller. While looking at his sleeping son's face, David muses out loud if they should have named him Baelfire instead. Trailing behind them, Emma talks to Henry about having phoned Regina, but she has not picked up at all. Concerned for his adoptive mother, Henry tries to call her as David stays behind to accompany him. Moments later, Emma and Hook investigate a trail of ice leading to a warehouse where they are chased out by an snow monster. David regroups with them and they head to the forest to meet up with Little John, Marian and Robin Hood. Emma's attempt to counter with magic only angers the beast, who knocks her away and blows everyone off their feet. Unexpectedly, Regina intercepts the battle, saving Marian's life, by obliterating the being. ("A Tale of Two Sisters")

One night, David, Emma, Henry and Mary Margaret receive an apartment visitor—a raven—at their window. Mary Margaret, seeing a note addressed to Henry on the animal, gives it to the boy. After reading it, a crestfallen Henry announces that Regina doesn't wish to see him. Later, David picks up Emma so they can investigate the cause of a sudden blackout. On the drive to the town line, Emma tells him about her failure to cheer up Henry. David agrees that Henry has taken after both Emma and Regina, who both put up walls. However, he believes Henry will feel better in time, and that Emma shouldn't give up on him. At the border, they see an ice wall, which has knocked down power lines. While Emma searches the wall interior, David questions Hook’s intentions with his daughter. Hook confirms that he’s willing to risk his life for her, and however their relationship evolves is his own choice as well as Emma’s, which eases David’s concerns. Venturing into the cave, they find Emma with a woman dressed in blue. Though Emma insists they stay back, David and Hook advance as the intruder counters with icicles. In defense, David readies his gun at the stranger, who causes an avalanche. Emma, trapped on the other side, informs him via walkie-talkie that the woman, Elsa, is searching for her sister, Anna, whose pendant was in the pawnshop. Elsa, speaking into Emma’s device, threatens to freeze everyone in town unless her sister is found. Storming into the pawnshop with Hook, David a card with a photo of the necklace from Belle. Shocked, David recalls it belongs to a woman he knew as Joan, though her real name must be Anna. Since Bo Peep once branded Anna with a shepherd’s crook, the men forcibly take the item and rush to the cave when Elsa radios that Emma is freezing to death. Through the walkie-talkie, David persuades Elsa that surviving is not enough and she must live, which the latter recognizes as her sister’s words. He reveals Anna once saved his life, so she must save Emma. With his encouragement, she melts the ice. Returning to the apartment, everyone, including Elsa, assists in warming Emma up. Elsa uses the shepherd’s crook to find Anna, whose heartbeat they hear. When Mary Margaret comes home, David introduces them and proclaims they will find Anna. ("White Out")

For Mary Margaret's first conference as the new mayor, David welcomes the townspeople into the office before the meeting begins. Like everyone else, he receives a list agenda of all the things Mary Margaret intends to discuss, but the residents press her into talking about the ice wall. She confirms the wall surrounds the whole town, but assures them that the person who made it, Elsa, is not an enemy. The citizens respond in outcry, though David helps to calm the crowd so Mary Margaret can resume her talking points. Suddenly, Marian collapses from an apparent freezing spell affliction. After the meeting, Robin Hood brings Regina to help, but she can only slow down the spell. Since it wasn't Elsa's magic, David goes with Emma to find the culprit. In the woods, they split up in their search for clues. Emma corners a man rummaging through Robin Hood's tent, and after he runs away, David manages to grab him. Introducing himself as Will, he mentions hearing of Marian's illness and tells them about ice cream in a shop, during the blackout, which was still frozen without electricity. Skeptical, the two sheriffs let Will take them to the store, Any Given Sundae, where Emma notices there is no freezer, which is used to keep the goods frozen. Will instructs them to look in the backroom for proof of his claims. David and Emma discover a frozen kitchen, but while they are distracted, Will steals money from the cash register and flees. Though Emma wants to go after him, David insists they stay on track. Sensing something is wrong, he learns Emma is unhappy being a savior, since she is unable to resolve anything lately, such as the snow monster or the ice wall cave-in. He advises she shouldn't give up on herself. Emma picks up a voice message from Hook, which leads them to the Snow Queen, who is preparing to drop icicles on the pirate. As David tries to free Hook's frozen feet, the Snow Queen collapses the trap just as Emma magically pushes the two men to safety. Soon after, the Snow Queen disappears without their notice. ("Rocky Road")

As Emma prepares for her first date with Hook, David brings out records of town residents from the first and second curses so he and Mary Margaret can search for any sign of Anna. Stepping out in her date outfit, Emma asks for her parents and Elsa's opinions. They all think she looks amazing, and to her daughter's embarrassment, Mary Margaret snaps a photo of her. Hook arrives, dressed in normal attire, with his real hand restored due to Mr. Gold's help. David eyes Hook cautiously, which makes Emma hasten her and Hook's departure. By evening's end, Emma returns home as an excited Mary Margaret queries her on how the date went; wanting to know everything that happened, though David is less enthusiastic to hear certain details. Awkwardly, Emma excuses herself by saying goodnight, but this doesn't stop Mary Margaret's chatter about how happy their daughter looks. David supposes that Hook has truly changed, to which a perplexed Emma says, from another room, that she can still hear them talking. The next day, David continues going through records at the sheriff's office. He discovers the Snow Queen lives under the name Sarah Fisher, but she is not listed anywhere in the town censuses. After making this breakthrough, he relates the information to Emma, which proves the Snow Queen did not come to Storybrooke due to a curse. ("The Apprentice")

When David and his wife plan to spend quality time together, they request Belle to babysit Neal at the apartment. As they watch Belle hold Neal in her arms, David quietly reassures Mary Margaret that everything will be fine. While he points out if anything goes wrong, Belle has their emergency numbers, Mary Margaret is unable to not worry about being apart from her son. Finally, he persuades her into taking time off with him as she needs it. Before they go hiking, the two stop by the sheriff station to grab a walkie-talkie so Belle can still get in touch with them. David notices Will is gone from his cell, and at the spur of the moment, he insists they should capture him right away. When Mary Margaret is hesitant to agree, he jokes that "it'll be like old times—a prince and a princess on an adventure but without the Evil Queen". As the evening goes on, they have no luck apprehending the thief, to which Mary Margaret expresses concerns about being away from Neal too long. David lets her go home while he continues searching. After he arrives home, she confidently reveals her capture of Will and then pardoning him. She reveals knowledge about his involvement, as Will admitted David did, in setting up the situation. Mary Margaret thanks him for doing so since she feels more like her old self now. Despite that she had fun, David concedes he had nothing to do with what happened, and Will broke out on his own. Shocked, Mary Margaret wonders what will happen now that he's on the loose. Nonetheless, David is happy she's found a piece of her old self. ("Breaking Glass")

David gathers with Belle, David, Henry, Hook, Mary Margaret, Mr. Gold and Regina where they watch a camera recording of a young Emma and her prior foster mother, who is none other than the Snow Queen herself. With only the Snow Queen's ice truck left to search, he sends Emma, Hook and Regina to comb the west of town. David suggests Mr. Gold team up with him for the eastern side, but the latter would rather work alone. When he asks Belle to utilize her tracking skills, she opts out in order to research at the library. After Robin Hood spots the truck near his campsite, he notifies Emma, to which she phones David to let him know the search is over. ("Family Business")

Cornering the Snow Queen in the clock tower, where she has just set up a mirror for the spell of shattered sight, Emma uses a candle to magically bind her. Emma then brings her to the station for questioning while David, Hook and later Elsa curiously study the mirror. As Belle arrives, she warns against looking into the mirror reflection as it'll brainwash them. However, when Belle notices it's not the same mirror she encountered last time. David suspects it's fake and takes off, with Belle, Elsa and Hook following, to rescue Emma from the station, but the Snow Queen has already frozen the door entrance. David and his allies once again storm the pawnshop for Mr. Gold's assistance, but he only agrees after much imploring from Belle. Mary Margaret and Henry also joins their team and they all make it back to the station just as an explosion blows a hole in the building. Emma explains that the Snow Queen got away, and it was she herself who caused the combustion. Due to her out of control powers, Emma insists they stay back, but David and Hook approach to help her. A panicked Emma accidentally collapses a streetlight that begins falling on Hook, though David pushes him out of the way and takes the blow. As Mary Margaret checks up on him, she expresses towards Emma, who is hurt by her reaction. Realizing her mistake, Mary Margaret retracts her anger, but Emma flees via car. That night, David and the others search for Emma with no luck. Upon return to the apartment, Elsa recalls how her loved ones reacted badly to her magic as they did to Emma's. Mary Margaret guiltily shares regrets to David about failing as parents when their daughter needed them the most. ("The Snow Queen")

Despite an all-night hunt, David, Elsa, Hook and Mary Margaret return home without finding Emma. Henry, having sneaked out to look for his mother, returns with an injury Emma caused. He explains finding her in the woods with her powers still out of control. Arriving at the apartment, Regina gives them a potion they want for tracking Emma. Mary Margaret receives a call from Emma, who insists on getting rid of her powers. Hook, lying about leaving his phone in David's truck, goes to fetch it, though he actually goes to chase down Emma. Later, David and Mary Margaret talk about Emma's decision. She is unsure since magic makes Emma special, but David wants to support Emma if being ordinary is crucial to her happiness. Elsa, overhearing them, uses the potion to locate Emma and talk her out of it. Regina recalls her own inability to accept Henry in the past due to her fear of losing him, which changes Mary Margaret and David's opinions about their daughter removing her magic. Noticing Elsa and the potion are gone, they and Henry track Emma's car trail. Searching on foot, they eventually find Emma, who hasn't stripped her magic due to Elsa's persuasion. Emma, accepting magic as part of herself, creates a fireworks display. Trouble brews again, however, when Elsa and Emma notice ribbons on their left wrists, which begin absorbing their magic into Ingrid's ribbon; allowing the Snow Queen to cast the spell of shattered sight. ("Smash the Mirror")

In the clock tower, David and his allies witness the cloud formation of Ingrid's spell, which will take effect by sundown. At first, they try to find a method for escaping town, and David attempts to scale the ice wall, but the barricade is too powerful. A fissure in the ice reveals Anna's lost necklace, which Elsa retrieves and she believes is a sign they will defeat Ingrid. Emma sends her parents to warn the townspeople about what is going on while she and Elsa learn a counter spell, using Anna's hair, can be made. With a locator spell, the two women are led to a mine cave-in. Re-congregating in the library, they plan to blast through, but then David receives word from Belle that the nuns can create a counter spell with only the necklace. With time running out, everyone agrees with Regina's opinion of going ahead with the counter spell because many lives are at stake, though it would mean ending the search for Anna. Despite it all, Elsa secretly refuses to give up on her sister, and she hands Emma a pouch containing rocks rather than the pendant. Only on arrival at the diner to deliver the pouch, they discover Elsa's duplicity, and their hopes of a counter spell are dashed since it'll soon lose its potency. Emma persists in having hope of finding Anna, and she goes to chase down Elsa. Emma, with Elsa, miraculously locate Anna, but on return to the diner, they find the nuns mysteriously gone. At the station, David and Mary Margaret ask Emma to lock them into separate cells so they can't harm anyone while under the curse. Before going into her own cell, Mary Margaret tearfully relinquishes her son into Emma's care. As the curse's mirror shards infiltrate the building, David and his wife hold hands in comfort. Once the glass invades their eyes, they unlink hands and stare at each other with animosity. ("Fall")

Under the curse's influence, David and Mary Margaret express mutual disgust at each other. While they are trading insults, Elsa and Emma devise a plan to stop the curse by killing Ingrid. Left in charge, Anna takes baby Neal and puts him in a crib. When Mary Margaret criticizes David for his method of holding their son, Anna tries to put a stop to their bickering by reminding them of their relationship prior to the curse. Instead, this incites anger between the not-so-happy couple with both recalling how the other gave a bad impression on their first meeting. Regina, garbed in Evil Queen attire, bursts into the sheriff station looking for Emma, but is tempted at the prospect of paying Mary Margaret back for killing Daniel by threatening to murder baby Neal. After whisking Anna and Kristoff away, Regina magically unlocks Mary Margaret's cell and challenges her to a sword-fight. Mary Margaret, in defense of her son, ferociously battles Regina as David watches the battle play out. As morning approaches, they continue to have it out until the curse, prompted by Ingrid's sacrifice of her own life, is broken. Reverting to their former selves, Mary Margaret, Regina and David, who is still locked in his cell, burst into laughter at the ridiculousness of their prior disputes. The three of them, with baby Neal, get Henry and reunite with Emma. On the streets, Mary Margaret apologizes to her husband for the terrible things she said, but David know she didn't mean any of it. As snow falls, the two kiss. ("Shattered Sight")

After Elsa tears down the ice wall, remnants of Ingrid's magic remain and keep those who leave Storybrooke from re-entering. Emma is tasked with locating a portal, but she has no leads until Hook, seemingly with Mr. Gold's help, discovers a door to Arendelle hidden in an abandoned mansion. David and his wife, along with Emma, accompany the Arendelle natives there. After some farewells, Elsa and then Kristoff walk into the portal door. Before Anna follows in, she curiously inquiries about Mr. Gold's original name in the Enchanted Forest. Anna is told his name was Rumplestiltskin, and to everyone's shock, she knows him, although Mr. Gold claimed he had no knowledge of her or Elsa. Suspecting Mr. Gold is up to no good, Emma and Mary Margaret confront him as he carries out his plan to crush Hook's heart, but it is Belle who forces him, with the real dagger, to stop. ("Heroes and Villains")

Six weeks after Mr. Gold's banishment from town, a spell is procured to free the nuns from the hat, but the Chernabog is also released without anyone's notice. After Emma and Regina temporarily stun the winged demon, they gain insight from Cruella De Vil and Ursula, who wish to enter Storybrooke, about the Chernabog's attributes. Emma then phones her parents to tell them about the new development, although they dislike the idea of Cruella and Ursula being in town. The couple make it to the town line just after Emma and Regina force the Chernabog across the barrier, where it ceases to exist. Mary Margaret tries to talk her daughter out of allowing the two strangers to stay in Storybrooke, despite their claims about changing for the better, an assertion David backs up. Furthermore, they suspect the women might be lying about being good. Emma still wants to let Cruella and Ursula in because they helped with the Chernabog, and Regina argues that the villains deserve a second chance just as she herself has. Using Ingrid's scroll, Cruella and Ursula are able to enter into town. That night, David and Mary Margaret meet with the female duo and warn them against revealing the past dealings they had in the Enchanted Forest. If they do not comply, Mary Margaret promises to rip out their hearts herself. ("Darkness on the Edge of Town")

Since Regina is unwilling to help, David goes with Emma to spy on Cruella and Ursula, who enter the pawnshop. Emma thinks her father is hiding something about the twosome, but David only admits knowing them from the Enchanted Forest. Once the women take off in Cruella's car, Emma learns from Belle that a box is missing from the pawnshop. Flagging down the car, David searches the vehicle, opening the box, and he takes Maleficent's totem from it. However, to those present, he feigns seeing nothing suspicious. After Emma drops him off at the apartment, he informs Mary Margaret about his find, which leads them to believe the villains want to revive Maleficent. The couple decide they must prevent it by destroying Maleficent's ashes, and before they go, Emma tells them about seeing security footage of Cruella and Ursula steal the box. Her parents pretend they were too harsh on the strangers earlier and have since let go of the issue, which Emma doesn't buy, but she accepts their explanation. Arriving at Maleficent's cave, the pair locate the ashes, but both are knocked out by Ursula. As they awaken later, Cruella sacrifices some of their blood to the ashes and resurrects Maleficent, who promises to make the couple suffering as unyielding as her own for what they did to her. David and Mary Margaret realize Emma deserves the truth, but upon overhearing her speak to Hook about their good natures, they decide against it. Instead, they only tell her about Maleficent's return. ("Unforgiven")

David and Mary Margaret inform Emma that Regina has gone undercover, but they lie about the plan being her idea, not theirs. However, when Regina doesn't contact them within the scheduled time, the couple search for her. As the pair come across a burnt sheriff car, Regina approaches, explaining she spent the night drinking with the trio, during which Maleficent burnt the vehicle. Later, David and Mary Margaret hold another meeting at the library, and much to Regina's disdain, they bring Emma and Hook along as well. From her, the group learn Cruella, Maleficent and Ursula are seeking the Author and want to rewrite their stories so the villains win and the heroes lose. The trio want Regina to steal something for their mission, and although she wants to handle it alone, Emma insists on being nearby if something goes wrong. Later in the night, Maleficent tasks Regina with kidnapping Pinocchio and bringing him to a cabin, where Mr. Gold reverts the boy into August. ("Enter the Dragon")

In the morning, David heads out with Emma, Hook and Mary Margaret to track where the villains took Pinocchio. They quickly find out from Regina, who temporarily possesses Mary Margaret's body, that Mr. Gold is back and he's turned Pinocchio into August for interrogation about the Author. Hoping to stop Mr. Gold before his plans escalate, they ask for the dagger from Belle. She recalls giving it to Hook last night, which reveals Mr. Gold must have pretended to be him to get the dagger. Hook, disgusted by the crocodile's actions, considers that he should have stabbed him with the cursed blade, even if it meant making himself the new Dark One. While he gathers intel from Ursula, the others work on rescuing August. On their way to the cabin, Emma sympathizes with Hook's earlier sentiments about killing Mr. Gold as payback. Her parents become distressed by her dark words, but Emma reassures them that she is just trying to understand where Hook is coming from. As they storm into the cabin, Cruella pull a gun on them, although Mary Margaret quickly knocks her out. Before they can whisk August away, Ursula refuses to let them leave, as August is the only way to find the Author and restore her happiness, until she unexpectedly regains her lost singing voice from her father and decides to go home with him. In the midst of this, the group notice Cruella has disappeared, and they depart with August, who is brought to the apartment to recover. ("Poor Unfortunate Soul")

At the loft, Hook informs David and Mary Margaret about the villains' plans to turn Emma evil by using the Author. Increasingly afraid of what the Author might do, Mary Margaret storms out as David follows. As she talks to him about feeling ashamed for the lies they have garnered to keep their secret safe, they notice people asleep at the diner. The pair discover Maleficent has put the town to sleep, but they are immune since previously being under the sleeping curse. From across the street, they spy on Cruella, Maleficent, Mr. Gold and Regina leaving the loft. David and Mary Margaret learn, after receiving a call from Henry, that the villains are looking for him and the door illustration containing the trapped Author. They then decide to head for the mansion, where Henry is hiding, when David suggests destroying the door page so the Author can never be freed and won't make Emma evil. Mary Margaret fears the repercussions of killing the Author or wiping out Regina's happy ending, but he insists they must do it to protect Emma. At the mansion, they force Henry to forfeit the page and a key for opening the door. Immediately afterwards, Mary Margaret is distraught over lying to not only Emma, but now Henry. David wishes to destroy the page and think of the consequences later, but Mary Margaret convinces him against taking the easy way out and that they must come clean. Upon learning the whole truth, Emma is hurt and disappointed. When she disappears, her parents ask Hook to talk to her. David and Mary Margaret visit August at the nunnery, and with his condition improved, Emma arrives to unlock the door page with the key to free the Author. Shocked, the couple recognize the man as the "peddler" they once helped in the Enchanted Forest. Before Emma can ask the Author anything, he flees. ("Best Laid Plans")



Mary Margaret Blanchard
David Nolan
Kathryn Nolan
Neal NolanEmma Swan
Neal Cassidy
Henry Mills


  • Solid lines denote blood parent-child relationship
  • Dashed lines denote marriage, engagement and adoption relationships, and relationships that result in offspring
  • denotes the deceased
  • He was married to Kathryn while the first curse was in effect
  • Emma and Neal have never married


Character Notes

  • The name "David" is of Hebrew origin derived from the word "dwd" that means "beloved".[1]
  • The surname "Nolan" is of Irish origin derived from the word "nuall" that means "noble, famous".[2]
  • According to the Storybrooke Daily Mirror, David is in his early thirties.[3] ("The Shepherd")
  • His cell number is 555-0105.[4] ("Dreamy")

Production Notes


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.

  • David's name appears on the list Tamara has in "The Evil Queen".[7]


Start a Discussion Discussions about David Nolan

  • Snow is really PISSING ME OFF!

    23 messages
    • If you asked me last year who my three least favorite main characters were, I would have said, David, belle, and henry, with henry being the m...
    • Well, one thing that some seem to forget is that they truly regret it and we don't have the whole story yet. They have always have been selfi...
  • Should Regina and David have more scenes with just them?

    2 messages
    • I've been wondering if there should be more scenes with Regina and David having one on one screen time with each other. We saw some of that dur...
    • I would love it for them to get more scenes together. David seems more like a prop/support character for Snow most of the time, like Belle was ...

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