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Once you change something in the past, anything from that point forward becomes uncertain. The future, as you can see, is a blank page.
Rumplestiltskin to Hook and Emma

"Snow Drifts" is the twenty-first episode of Season Three of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by David H. Goodman & Robert Hull and directed by Ron Underwood. It is sixty-fifth episode of the series overall, and premiered on May 11, 2014.

This episode is the first part of the season three finale.


While Mary Margaret and David celebrate the naming of their son at a coronation in Granny's Diner, Emma and Hook are pulled into Zelena's time portal and find themselves in the Enchanted Forest of the past. But in their quest to discover a way back, they must be careful not to change ANYTHING or risk altering the lives of their friends and family—as well as their very own existence.[2]


This section is a detailed recap of this episode. There are major spoilers. Click to expand.



Guest Starring



*Only in archive footage.



Production Notes

Event Chronology

Episode Connections


  • When Hook is pondering where and when in the past Enchanted Forest he and Emma have landed, he briefly mentions the belly of a whale; referencing the biblical story of Jonah.


Fairytales and Folkore

Popular Culture

  • Leroy says "Ding Dong!", and Granny asks, "She's really..?", a reference to The Wizard of Oz song "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead".
  • David mentions that the security video tape is Betamax.
  • Emma makes references to Marty McFly and the 1985 movie Back to the Future.
    • There are several similarities between Back to the Future and this story such as the family scene where the story of how the parents met is retold, the child interfering with the parents' first meeting by causing one of them to fall from a tree while a "vehicle" approaches, seeking out a "wizard" to help return to the present (a similarity Emma points out), the visual of the family brought back disappearing after the future is rewritten and reappearing after being set back on course, Star Wars identities being used due to the unfamiliarity of the characters from those in the past, a dance being used as an opportunity to bring the parents together, one parent's enemy disrupting that plan, and keeping the future from those who know of the time travel, but ultimately informing them of a death.
  • Black Beard is based on the character of the same name from popular culture.
  • Emma's alias in the Enchanted Forest is Princess Leia; a reference to one of the main protagonists of the original Star Wars trilogy. This reference is made especially interesting by the fact that Lucasfilm, the studio behind the series, was bought by Disney, the parent company of ABC, the network that airs Once Upon a Time.
  • Hook's alias in the Enchanted Forest is Prince Charles; a reference to the current Prince of Wales, who is currently first in line for the British throne.

Props Notes

[image begins]oneome
[image begins]bits and other
[image begins]s. He discovered
[image begins]nd most importantly
[image begins]cks of a person living
[image begins]o a woman. He followed the
[image begins]ent oak trees where they suddenly
[image begins]or a moment he was bewildered and
[image begins]sort of magic this woman-bandit could
[image begins] Prince searched til nightfall when hope of
[image begins]g his family's treasures finally began to leave
[image begins] Until he spotted something strange. A light. Small,
[image begins]ickering, unnatural. The lights seeped between the bark
of an oak tree, making it seem as if there might be fire
inside it. But there was no smoke. No great heat from
the massive trunk. He realized this must be it. The
perfect hiding place for a bandit − almost in plain sight.
But the pack also contained rope and netting for setting
traps. And if the Prince worked carefully and used his
material properly. For a moment he was bewildered
and wondered what sort of magic this woman-bandit could posses.

  • Next to an illustration of the Dark Curse, there is a scene from Snow Falls". Curiously, the scene's ending appears before the start of the scene.[25]

[image begins]into his
[image begins]Snow eyes
[image begins]her. "Only one
[image begins]his hand and slips
[image begins]perfect fit and for a mo-
[image begins]Yeah. Not me at all," and

[image begins] inside her stomach.

[image begins]ginger and hands it to him.
[image begins] if you need me, I'll find
[image begins]Snow wants to
[image begins]w replies.
[image begins]Snow White
[image begins]looks back.

[image begins] offers, "always." And Snow wants
[image begins]odbye Prince Charming," Snow re
-[image begins]ing grins, ""I told you. It's James." Snow
[image begins]urns to leave, "I like Charming better." She
[image begins] back over her shoulder and they stare into each
[image begins] other's eyes, they didn't need words to express
they felt in their hearts. For it was here, in the shadow
of the Troll Bridge, that their love was born. Where
they knew, no matter how they were separated, they would always
find each other, and true love. Evil Queen
said she was. [sic] Holding out the bag of gold he mutters
"So... You probably want this." Snow turns to him with
the jewels, "And you can't get married without this."
He spills the jewels into his palm. The wedding ring
glistens in his hand. Snow eyes it. "Not your style?"
the Prince chides her. "Only one way to find out."
Snow takes it from his hand and slips it on her finger.
It glistens. A perfect fit. and for a moment she thinks...
but no. "Yeah. Not me at all," and she dismisses the
butterflies inside her stomach. The Prince, grateful that
she returned to save his life now knew that Snow White
could never be what the Evil Queen said she was. Hold-
ing onto the bag of gold he mutters, "So...You probably
want this. "So... You probably want this." [sic] Snow turns
to him with the jewels.

His Majesty King Midas
humbly requests the pleasure of your company
as he celebrates the engagement of his daughter
Princess Abigail
Prince James
with dinner and dancing at
The Palace

Set Dressing

Costume Notes


  • David mistakenly calls his son's announcement ceremony a "coronation". This mistake is also present in the episode synopsis released by ABC.
  • When Emma is keeping past Hook occupied, while future Hook is skulking around the room, there is a wide shot where future Hook can be seen in the background, sneaking past a corner, and you can see the face of Colin O'Donoghue's body double.[76]

Filming Locations

International Titles



  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. File:321Title.png
  4. TwitterLogo @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter. "How about our penultimate S3 #OnceUponATime #titlespoiler? All new ep Sunday! Hope to see ya then!" (screenshot)
  5. TwitterLogo @CarrieLynne2323 (Carrie Lynne) on Twitter. "Jen and Colin's fav thing to film was the CS movie and Jen even called it a "Captain Swan" movie." (screenshot)
  6. File:321Storybrooke.png
  7. File:622Storybrooke.png
  8. File:321WeNeedToFindRumple.png
  9. TwitterLogo @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter. "mixture of reshoots and old footage. it was one of the trickiest eps ever on a tech level" (screenshot)
  10. File:321ItsSoGold.png
  11. File:321Playing.png
  13. File:101LessCalm.PNG
  14. File:102YourMove.png
  15. TwitterLogo @captnswansource (Captain Swan Source) on Twitter. "Most awkward scene with Jen:When he knocks himself out. W/ his stunt dbl. He had to kiss her I had to kiss her. It was awkward lol" (screenshot)
  17. Confirmed by dialogue from a few weeks earlier in "The Tower", which takes place in 2013. In this episode, David states that it's been almost 30 years since Emma was born. This means that Emma, who was born in October 1983, has not turned 30 yet. The flashback takes place 18 years earlier, meaning 1995.
  18. File:321ItsMickey.png
  19. File:321ReturnOfYourHeart.png
  21. File:318Magic2.png
  22. File:508NotAnymore.png
  23. File:321AttackOnTheTrollBridge.png
  24. File:321IsThatMe.png
  25. File:321OpensBook.png
  26. 26.0 26.1 File:321TheGnome.png
  27. 27.0 27.1 File:321BellyOfAWhale.png
  28. File:413GoldenBird.png
  29. File:321AllGone.png
  30. File:321AllGone2.png
  32. 32.0 32.1 File:321Rum.png
  33. File:219IGotThis.png
  34. File:321Diner.png
  35. File:321SkulkingAround.png
  36. File:322UrnShaking.png
  37. File:202Push.PNG
  38. File:205TakeYourPick.png
  39. File:212SomethingForBoth.png
  40. File:321IDontWantIt.png
  42. File:322TheArrival.png
  43. File:321TheScar.png
  45. File:322ToOurSon.png
  46. File:401YourMagic.png
  47. File:403IfYouNeedHelp.png
  48. File:405Kiss.png
  49. File:411GoodbyeHug.png
  50. File:412CarStarts.png
  51. File:413OnlyWay.png
  52. File:414DeadSilence.png
  53. File:515ItWasCruella.png
  54. File:516ABooth.png
  55. File:713IDoLikeMochi.png
  56. File:714YesterdayAtAll.png
  58. File:321Occupied.png
  59. File:603Jacob.png
  60. File:321AFewDrinks.png
  61. File:321Run.png
  62. InstagramIcon jenmorrisonlive. (Jennifer Morrison) August 28, 2014.  Retrieved on August 9, 2018. "These sneaky crocodiles were hiding under this dress ... Edwardo Castro and Kelli Dunsmore imagined this fairytale look into being." (archive copy created on November 14, 2016)
  64. File:321NotGoingAnywhere.png
  65. File:314MeToo.png
  66. File:321ChoppingWood.png
  67. File:322ISuppose.png
  68. File:421Promo27.jpg
  69. File:422Promo3.jpg
  70. File:103Promo15.jpg
  71. File:110HasIt.png
  72. File:116Dont.png
  73. File:121HelloRegina2.png
  74. File:220Hero.png
  75. File:2PromoGroup7.jpg
  76. File:321MakeOutSession2.png
  78. External image of the Cecil Green Park House
    Notice the identical brick work, windows and Tudor-style house.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Snow Drifts

  • Flying Monkeys?

    21 messages
    • Perhaps because Walsh was a flying monkey he could cross portals, like Ariel. While the gang was trying to save Henry from Peter Pan. She w...
    • Zelena also mentioned in 3.17 she had helpers (Flying monkeys) all across the land and possibly worlds.
  • Emma and Hook could have gone anywhere in the time portal.

    3 messages
    • What if Hook and Emma ended up in Oz when Dorothy showed up. We could have two hours of the Wizard of Oz done right. 
    • Well, I would hope Rumple doesn't get away with killing Zelena. And I'd definitely have preferred something like Emma and Hook meet...