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"Snow Falls"

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"Snow Falls"
Season One
Season 01, Episode 03
Episode Information
Character backstory:
Premiere date: November 6, 2011[1]
Viewers: 11.45 million[2]
Written by: Liz Tigelaar
Directed by: Dean White
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode: "The Thing You Love Most"
Next Episode: "The Price of Gold"
Related Pages

You can't hide from me! Wherever you are, I will find you!

Prince Charming to Snow White

"Snow Falls" is the third episode of Season One of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Liz Tigelaar and directed by Dean White. It is the third episode of the series overall, and premiered on November 6, 2011.


At Henry's urging, Emma convinces Mary Margaret to pay a visit to a comatose John Doe in the hospital and to read to him from the storybook. But Mary Margaret is stunned at the outcome of her visit. Meanwhile, back in the fairytale world, Prince Charming meets Snow White for the first time in a most unexpected way.[1]


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

A coach containing Prince Charming and his fiancée, Abigail, makes its way through the woods. She complains about the bumpy ride and how they should have taken the Troll Road. They come to a tree blocking the road, and Prince Charming gets out to help his men remove it, and realizes that it has been cut down. Meanwhile, a thief reaches into the coach, steals a package of jewels, and rides off.

Prince Charming goes after the thief, knocks the person off their horse, and discovers that it is a woman. She knocks him in the head with a rock, leaving a cut on his chin, and then rides off on his horse. As he watches her go, Prince Charming vows that he will find her, no matter where she goes.

Mary Margaret is at the diner chatting with her date, Dr. Whale, who is busy admiring Ruby, the waitress. When she realizes it is not going well, Mary Margaret leaves. She notices Emma Swan living in her car on the streets, because no one will give her a room. Clearly pleased that Emma stayed for Henry Mill's sake, Mary Margaret offers to let Emma stay with her, but Emma warns that she is not the "roommate type".

The next day, Mary Margaret is volunteering at the hospital, and she notices Henry sitting with John Doe . He asks what is wrong with the patient, and Mary Margaret explains that he has been there as long as she has been volunteering, and no one knows who he is or what family he has. Henry questions her certainty that she does not know who he is, but Mary Margaret assures him that she does not. Henry meets with Emma and tells her that he has found her father, Prince Charming, and that he is the John Doe patient. He shows Emma the storybook and points out that Prince Charming and John Doe have the same scar on the cheek. Henry believes that the curse is keeping John Doe and Mary Margaret apart, by keeping him in a coma. Emma does not believe it, but Henry insists that they have to get Mary Margaret to read the story to the coma patient, to remind them of who they are. Emma agrees, but says that she will ask her. Emma then talks to Mary Margaret and suggests that she play along with Henry's idea, so that he will realize that he is wrong on his own, when nothing happens. Mary Margaret admits that it is a good idea, and Emma tells her that they will meet at Granny's Diner the next day, for breakfast for a full report.

Mary Margaret starts reading the fairy tale book to John Doe, telling the story of how Prince Charming chased the thief and then fell in love with her. As she reads, John Doe suddenly grabs her hand. She summons Dr. Whale, but he says all the instrument readings are still steady, with no changes. He suggests that she might have dozed off and imagined things, and then tells her to go home and get some sleep. Once Mary Margaret leaves, Dr. Whale calls Regina Mills and tells her what happened, including the fact that Mary Margaret was involved and that there was some minor brain-wave fluctuation. At home, Mary Margaret resumes reading the story to herself.

Snow White prepares to leave her crude home in a log, taking her few possessions with her. She steps out and immediately is snagged in a trap, set by Prince Charming. He demands that she return the pouch with the jewelry, but Snow White says that she has sold them. She points out that he must have hundreds of jewels, but Prince Charming says that one of them was his mother's ring, which he planned to give to his fiancée. Disgusted, Snow White says that it must be a marriage of convenience, because no one marries for true love, and Prince Charming defends it as being a necessary union. When Snow White refuses to return the jewels, Prince Charming threatens to turn her over to the Evil Queen, who has sentenced her to death for murder and treason. Snow White agrees, and Prince Charming releases her.

Emma Swan meets Henry at the diner, and Mary Margaret comes in to tell them that John Doe grabbed her hand. Henry is pleased and says that she has to read to him again, and Mary Margaret immediately races off, telling Emma that he may not be Prince Charming, but that she must have reached him somehow. When they get to the hospital, Sheriff Graham is there and informs them that the patient has gone missing. Regina is there, looking into the matter as well, and demands to know why Emma is there. She realizes that Henry lied to her, when he said he was going to the arcade. Henry wonders aloud what Regina had to do with John Doe's disappearance, and Emma points out that it is unusual that she would be there. Regina explains that she is the patient's emergency contact, after she found him by the road years ago and brought him to the hospital. Emma offers to help find him, but Regina tells her to stay out of it and walks away with Henry.

Graham begins organizing the search and talks to the two employees, Leroy and Walter. They check the security tapes, and Emma realizes it is the wrong tape. When they find the right one, they confirm that, four hours ago, John Doe walked out, on his own, into the nearby woods.

Snow White leads Prince Charming through the woods to where she sold the jewels, and he notices her holding a necklace. She tells him not to worry about it, but he snatches it away. He realizes that it is filled with dust, and she explains that it contains fairy dust that can transform an adversary into a harmless form. Prince Charming figures that she plans to use it on the Evil Queen and points out that Snow White has a lot of anger. The thief explains that the charges against her are false and that she only lived because the Queen sent the Huntsman to rip out her heart, but he took pity on her and let her go. Snow White tells Prince Charming that she only wants to get enough money to leave for another realm, and she thought the coach belonged to the Queen. They come to a stream, and Snow White asks for a drink. When Prince Charming agrees, they drink and she shoves him into the water and runs off. However, when the Evil Queen's Black Knights find her and close in, Snow White realizes that Prince Charming still has her necklace.

Graham, Emma, and Mary Margaret follow John Doe's trail. While the sheriff goes ahead, Mary Margaret asks Emma how she became a bail bondsman. Emma replies that she has been doing it as long as she can remember. When Mary Margaret pushes the issue and asks about her parents, Emma says that she never did find her parents. Henry sneaks away from his mother and comes to find them. He tells Mary Margaret that John Doe is looking for her.

The lead Black Knight prepares to kill Snow White, when Prince Charming arrives and kills him with an arrow. He takes on the second knight, while the third one snatches up Snow White and rides away. Prince Charming grabs an arrow and manages to shoot the knight, killing him, and Snow White rides back. She points out that he saved her, and Prince Charming says that it was the honorable thing to do. He reminds her that they need to get the jewels, and Snow White says that the troll group she sold them to are just over the next rise.

Mary Margaret does not believe Henry, who insists that she needs to stop and let John Doe catch up to her. Emma tells him to go home, but as Henry argues, Graham calls them over. He has found John Doe's patient tag with blood on it.

Prince Charming and Snow White arrive at the Troll Bridge and proceed on foot. The trolls climb up over the edge to surround them, and Snow White tries to negotiate for the ring. They suspect it is a setup and attack, and the lead troll has his men search Prince Charming. They find Snow White's necklace and toss it to the ground, and then find the poster for Snow White and realize who she is. Prince Charming grabs his sword and drives them back, and Snow White grabs her necklace and runs. However, the trolls grab Prince Charming and prepare to kill him. Snow White returns and uses the fairy dust to transform the trolls into insects, saving the prince, but using all of the dust. He thanks her, to which she retorts with his words, that it was the honorable thing to do. They continue on with the jewels.

By following the trail to the old toll bridge, the group finds John Doe lying in the stream. They pull him out, and Mary Margaret begs him to come back to them, and to her. She administers CPR, and he finally revives. Looking up, he says that she saved him, while an astonished Emma looks on. John Doe admits that he does not know who he is, and Mary Margaret tells him that he will be okay. They take him to the hospital, and Dr. Whale works on him. A woman runs in, calling the patient "David", and Dr. Whale ushers her back. Regina arrives to confirm that the woman is Kathryn Nolan, the man's wife.

Prince Charming gives Snow White the gold back, and she gives him the ring. He comments that it is not her style, and she tries it on. He stares at her for a moment, and then Snow White agrees that it is not her style and hands it back. Prince Charming offers her the rest of the jewels, but she says that she has what she needs. He wishes her well, and says that if she needs anything... and Snow White finishes the sentiment: "he'll always find her". They say their goodbyes and go their separate ways. Snow White turns and looks back, hesitating for a moment, and then continuing on.

Kathryn comes over to Mary Margaret, Emma, and Henry in the hospital, thanking them for their help. She explains that she and her husband had been having marital problems, so she had told him that, if he did not want to be married to her, he should leave. She had assumed that he left town and did not know that he had been injured. Now Kathryn has a second chance, to say she is sorry. Dr. Whale tells everyone present that David is physically okay, but he has no memory of his past life. Dr Whale suggests that David's first instinct was to find something familiar, and Henry says he was looking for someone. As Kathryn goes to her husband, Henry goes to get his backpack. He whispers to Mary Margaret that David had been going to the bridge to look for her, and that they belonged together. As Regina leaves with Henry, Emma catches up to her and points out that Kathryn's story sounds fake. She points out how convenient it is that Regina just now found Kathryn, and Regina says that after Emma went over the tapes, they checked past tapes and found out that David mentioned Kathryn's name in his sleep from time to time. The mayor tells Emma that true love won out and, that thanks to Emma and Mary Margaret, the couple will now be together forever. Regina says that not having someone is the worst curse imaginable and leaves. Mary Margaret watches as Kathryn and David embrace. He looks up at her and seems to recognize her, while Mary Margaret looks at the ring that she is wearing. Later, Mary Margaret is at home when Emma arrives at her doorstep and says she wants to take her up on her offer of a spare room.

Deleted Scene

{{S:This scene is included on Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season.}}

"Responsibility" (Scene 25)

Emma, Mary Margaret and Sheriff Graham watch the security tape that shows John Doe exiting into the woods. They leave and Graham calls for backup. Emma wants Mary Margaret to stay behind, but she disagrees and wants to go with them. Mary Margaret feels it is her fault that David woke up and ran off. She threatens to go off on her own. After hearing that, Emma agrees to let her come.



Guest Starring




Production Notes

  • The title card features a troll.
  • Footage from Snow White and Prince Charming's scenes are re-used in the episodes "Snow Drifts" and "There's No Place Like Home", which combines old footage and reshoots.[3]
  • Josh Dallas bears the same real-life chin scar as his character Prince Charming.
  • Mary Margaret's statement to Emma, "I'm a teacher, not a nun", refers to the fact that, in the original script, Mary Margaret was a nun.[4]
  • In the scene where Snow White is captured by the Evil Queen's henchmen, Ginnifer Goodwin tweeted that the horse ran into and sent her flying with injuries to the hand and face.[5] She went to the emergency room for stitches and later came back to work.[6]
  • For the scene where the amnesiac David is lying unconscious in a creek, Josh Dallas almost froze in the cold water, but the crew had a hot tub nearby to warm him up between takes and scenes.[5]

Event Chronology

Episode Connections

  • Prince Charming and Princess Abigail first meet during the events of "The Shepherd". The scene of the pair in the carriage, as well as Snow White preparing to attack it, is also further explored in that episode.
  • This episode shows Snow White and Prince Charming's first meeting. Their storied relationship is explored throughout much of the series, notably in "Pilot", "7:15 A.M.", "Heart of Darkness", and "Lady of the Lake".
  • Prince Charming's line to Snow White, "You're a girl", is repeated in "Broken" from Aurora to Mulan.
  • The counterpart of the mysterious Dr. Whale is revealed in "The Doctor".
  • The history of the green peridot ring Prince Charming carries is explored in "The Shepherd", and future events involving the ring are shown in "A Land Without Magic" and "Lady of the Lake".
  • The wanted poster of Snow White is revisited in other Enchanted Forest flashback episodes such as "Child of the Moon" and "The Evil Queen".
  • The hinted origins of Snow White's drastic change from pampered princess to on-the-run thief are shown in "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" "Red-Handed", "Child of the Moon" and "The Evil Queen".
  • Snow White's brief monologue in describing her turbulent relationship with the Evil Queen is expanded in the past flashbacks of "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", "The Stable Boy" and "The Evil Queen".
  • Some of this episode's scenes are reused in "Snow Drifts" and "There's No Place Like Home", which center around Emma and Hook's accidental interference in the past with Snow White and Prince Charming's first meeting and efforts to set the timeline back on the right path. The title of "Snow Drifts" is a reference to this episode's title.
  • How Prince Charming fights with some Black Knights, even though he has just become a prince from a shepherd, is explained in "White Out".

Fairytales and Folklore


Pop Culture

Props Notes


  • During the scene with the fallen trunk blocking the path of the horse carriage, a horse wrangler with a blue baseball cap is visible in the bottom's center left of the screen. It is noticeable when Abigail screams, "Please help me".[20]
  • As the trolls search through Prince Charming's belongings, one of them finds Snow White's wanted poster. A second later, the poster is pulled out of the bag a second time.

Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale

International Titles



Start a Discussion Discussions about Snow Falls

  • Watch With Me: Part 3 - "Snow Falls"

    13 messages
    • OEdystopia, back on your "is Whale the only doctor?", there is a credit for "Female Doc" in the end credits of "The Price of Gold".
    • Utter solitude wrote: Snow's reaction to Charming being engaged to the nag with the bad attitude is great! Actually, I wonder about this. ...

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