|Land Without Magic Location|
|Latest appearance:||"Going Home"|
Storybrooke, Maine is a Land Without Magic location featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. It first appears in the first episode of the first season of Once Upon a Time.
Reason: Update for events after "An Apple Red as Blood"
In the Enchanted Forest, the Evil Queen cast a powerful curse, which sent all of the inhabitants to a newly created town in a Land Without Magic called Storybrooke. The curse is prophesied by Rumplestiltskin to one day be broken by Snow White and Prince Charming's daughter, Emma. To protect their infant daughter, a magic wardrobe is constructed that brings her to another Land Without Magic city just before all of the Enchanted Forest is engulfed in the curse. ("Pilot")
During the first week of the curse, the Evil Queen assumes the life of Storybrooke mayor Regina Mills and relishes in the haze the other residents live in with their true identities completely wiped while they relive the same day over and over as time does not move forward. The one thing she did not plan for is outsiders wandering into Storybrooke, which is what happens with a man named Kurt and his son Owen. Regina does her best to minimize their stay in town by having Kurt's broken down car fixed in about a week. After a few days, Regina becomes bored of being the most powerful woman in town because everyone heeds her ways not because they want to, but because they must due to the curse's power. She entertains the idea of having some change in her life and invites Kurt and Owen over for dinner. For Regina, forming a connection with Owen is the first interaction she's experienced since the enacting of the curse that feels real and true. Owen is cheerful at the suggested idea he and his father move from their original residence of New Jersey to Storybrooke, but Kurt politely rejects the notion. Not wanting to lose Owen, she resorts to using Sheriff Graham's heart to make him arrest Kurt for false drunk driving charges. Kurt overhears her threat and hastily attempts to speed out of town with Owen, but they are blocked by Sheriff Graham's police car at the border. To save his son, Kurt sacrifices himself to be arrested while urging Owen to run. Sadly, Regina allows Owen to leave as she knows if he is made to stay by force, it won't be "real". After Owen comes back to the town border with policemen to find his father, Storybrooke is no longer visible to outsiders. ("Welcome to Storybrooke")
At some point, Regina gives in to her maternal instinct and with the help of pawnbroker Mr. Gold, she adopts an infant boy and names him Henry Mills. Not much is known about Henry's child rearing except that Regina raised him for ten years, and though he originated from outside of Storybrooke, he too is affected by the curse's effects. In an unknown period of time, Henry becomes a lonely and sullen child and has therapy sessions with Dr. Hopper. His school teacher, Ms. Blanchard, is sympathetic to Henry's plight and gives him a fairy tale book full of hopeful stories. From reading the book, Henry gains a new perception on the town and its inhabitants along with a stubborn belief everyone is trapped in a curse.
Without his mother's knowledge, Henry steals Ms. Blanchard's credit card and looks up the name and address of his birth mother. Armed with his fairytale book, he skips his therapy session with Dr. Hopper and catches a bus to Boston. Showing up at the doorstep of bonds bails woman Emma Swan, he introduces himself as her son. Reluctantly, Emma brings him home and comes face to face with his mother, Regina. After sipping some of Regina's apple cider, Emma is on her way out of the town when she notices Henry sneakily left his book in the car. Startled by a wolf on the road, Emma loses control and crashes her car into the Storybrooke sign. She awakens the next morning in the sheriff department's jail cell for drunk driving, but is released when Regina needs her help to find a missing Henry. Eventually, Emma finds Henry sulking at his castle playground. He is disappointed bringing her to Storybrooke did not help to weaken the curse. Henry believes Emma is the savior who will break the curse, and that his mother is the Evil Queen. Despite his ramblings and pleas for her to stay in town for at least a week as proof the curse is real, she drops him off at Regina's house. Emma doesn't understand Henry's wild imagination, but in the short time she has spent with him, a bond has developed between them. Though grateful for Emma's help, Regina wants her gone and out of Storybrooke before she begins to get too close to Henry. Surprised at Regina's callous protectiveness, Emma takes Henry's advice on a whim and checks into the inn for a one week stay. That night, Henry stares at the clock tower and smiles as the long minute hand moves toward to 8:16 P.M.; signifying time is moving forward due to Emma's presence. ("Pilot")
Across the world in Phuket, Thailand, August's past is catching up with him. At 8:15 A.M., he begins changing back into wood. Unable to find a solution to the problem himself, he decides to face fate and makes his way to Storybrooke to help Emma. ("The Stranger", "Selfless, Brave and True")
When Regina finds out Henry's birth mother did not leave town, she wreaks havoc on the woman's life by trying to drive her away, but instead this causes Emma and Henry's relationship to strengthen. Emma gets to know Mary Margaret, who is also Henry's schoolteacher and a local volunteer at the hospital. Harboring the suspicion Mary Margaret is Snow White, Henry wants her to read to a comatose patient only known as John Doe, who he thinks is Prince Charming. Emma asks Mary Margaret to do so under the pretense to show Henry fairytales aren't real, but is shocked to learn John Doe had a reaction while being read the story. Trouble arises when John Doe vanishes from the hospital, and surveillance footage shows he woke up and wandered out into the forest. Henry insists John Doe is looking for Mary Margaret. When he is found unconscious and bleeding, Mary Margaret resuscitates him. John Doe is sent back to rest at the hospital where his estranged wife, Kathryn is waiting for him. Emma finds it suspicious Kathryn assumed John Doe, whose real name is David, had left for Boston after their last argument and disappeared. She thinks Regina has something to do with keeping David in the hospital. ("The Thing You Love Most", "Snow Falls")
Emma meets a pregnant woman, Ashley, who isn't confident in her ability to care for her future child. When given advice by Emma that only she can change her own life, Ashley sets into motion her plan to keep the baby by stealing back the adoption papers she signed off to Mr. Gold. She is caught by Mr. Gold in his pawnshop, but knocks him out. Not willing to settle for a broken deal, Mr. Gold enlists Emma to track down Ashley while giving the charade his request is out of concern for the girl. In fear that Mr. Gold will forcibly take away her baby, Ashley borrows a car and skips town to Boston, but never makes it there as she begins going into labor. Emma brings her to the hospital where Ashley gives birth to a girl she names Alexandra. To free Ashley from her deal with Mr. Gold, Emma promises to owe him a future favor. Ashley reunites with the father of her child, Sean. Previously, Emma is offered the job of sheriff's deputy from Sheriff Graham. After coming to the decision she wants to be a part of Henry's life permanently, Emma takes him up on his offer. ("The Price of Gold")
Emma receives her first assignment as sheriff's deputy when collapsed mines endanger the welfare of the townspeople. Henry begins to include his therapist, Archie, on his plan to find evidence in the mines to prove the curse is real. Frustrated her son is still going on about fairytales, Regina gives Archie a firm threat to put him out a job if he doesn't drive the delusion out of Henry's mind for good. Meanwhile, Mary Margaret feels romantic sparks for David, but abstains from acting on her feelings because he is still married to Kathryn and seemingly trying to rebuild his life. David is unable to breach a connection with Kathryn and instead only feels real whenever he is with Mary Margaret. Despite her growing feelings for him, Mary Margaret feels a duty to not be in a relationship with a married man, and quits her volunteering job at the hospital.
Unable to go against Regina, Archie does as she asks, which only further compels Henry to venture in the mines himself to seek proof. Emma and Archie search the grounds of the exterior of the mines for Henry, but he is nowhere to be found. Knowing Henry went into the mines, Archie dives in as well just before the complete collapse and blockage of the entrance. While inside, Archie apologizes to Henry for his earlier behavior and realizes he is not the man he wants to be. Outside of the mines, Archie's dog Pongo sniffs out where his owner and Henry are trapped. Emma is lowered down the shaft to pull the both of them to safety. Archie finally stands up to Regina. In the evening, Regina hides a piece of glass shard she found earlier at the mines. Dumping it down a mine shaft, it falls down underground to join the rest of the broken shards on top of Snow White's coffin. ("That Still Small Voice")
David returns home since his recovery at the hospital to be greeted in a Welcome Home party with people he does not recognize in the least. Mary Margaret continues to deter him until he confesses he is going to leave Kathryn to be with her. They agree to meet at the Toll Bridge where Mary Margaret found him the day he awoke from his coma. On his way there, David bumps into Regina, who purposely gives him the wrong directions. Instead, he ends up at Mr. Gold's pawnshop and enters to ask for the correct directions again. In the shop, David sees a windmill and from looking at it, he begins to recall the memories he had prior to the coma. Deciding he will uphold his marriage, he turns down an expectant Mary Margaret and goes home to his wife. That same night, Emma is patrolling on night duty when she sees a stranger climb down from the second floor of Regina's house. Thinking it is a thief, Emma catches him and is shocked to see it is Graham. Putting the implications together, she realizes he and Regina were having a tryst while Henry is asleep in the house. Horrified, she expresses disgust at the news. ("The Shepherd")
While drunkenly playing darts at the diner, Graham sees Emma walk in and proceed to dash back out after she notices him. He confronts and explains the reason for not telling her about his relationship with Regina. In the midst of it, he kisses her and gets a flash of memories from his life as the Huntsman. Emma rejects him and in his own emptiness, he seeks out solace in Regina's arms. He awakens from a dream that showed him more memories. Unsure of what he is seeing, Graham asks Henry to show him the fairytale book. From it, Graham becomes fixated on the idea his heart is missing and not in his chest. Though skeptical, Emma helps him look and they are guided by a wolf to vault where the heart is. They are unable to find it, and when confronted by Regina, she and Emma fight over Graham. Regina is surprised Graham is choosing Emma over her. As the two return to the sheriff department, Regina concludes Graham is no longer under her control and takes out his heart to crush it to dust. Emma aghast as she watches him suffer what appears to be a sudden heart attack and die. ("The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")
After Graham's death, Emma is fired by Regina from her job as sheriff's deputy. Regina intends to put Sidney Glass as sheriff and holds a conference to do so, though Emma puts a stop to it by stating it's a town rule that a mayor can support a possible sheriff candidate but not make actually give the position to someone. Against Sidney, Emma also runs for sheriff in an election. With unlikely help from Mr. Gold, he starts a fire in Regina's office that forces Emma to save her life and wins the townspeople's support. Despite that Emma wants to win the election, she doesn't feel right being the victor by dishonest means. At the electoral debate, Emma fully discloses and indicts Mr. Gold as the arsonist of Regina's office to the townspeople. Accepting defeat, she nurses the loss at the diner, but is later congratulated on the new position as sheriff as her speech won the hearts of the people. ("Desperate Souls")
Emma helps to solve the mystery of the biological father of orphan siblings Ava and Nicholas. In her search, Henry becomes curious to know who his own biological father is. Reluctant to tell him the actual truth, Emma makes up a story about his father being a firefighter who died saving someone else's life. From showing them her own baby blanket as an item linking her to a past, Ava gives Emma a trinket her mother once owned. By asking Mr. Gold, Emma is given the name of the man who bought the trinket, Michael Tillman. Unaware he had children, Michael refuses outright to take responsibility for the children. Regina prepares to have Emma escort the siblings to Boston where they will be put in a foster care system. On the ride there, Emma's car breaks down and she calls Michael since he is a car mechanic. From the backseat, the siblings watch as Michael converses with Emma. Michael is convinced the children are his, and agrees to take care of them. That night, Emma and Henry see a stranger—August—ride into town on his motorcycle. He stops long enough to ask for the nearest place to stay, to which they direct him to the bed and breakfast. ("True North")
The next morning, the stranger is outside Regina's house with his motorcycle. Henry approaches and converses with him, which Regina witnesses. She, in turn, orders Emma to find out more about the stranger. Emma discovers the stranger is in town for writing inspiration. Unable to shake her attraction to David, Mary Margaret spends her mornings rushing to the diner by seven-fifteen so she can get a glimpse of him. Unknown to her, he is doing the same every morning in picking up coffee for himself and Kathryn at seven-fifteen to get a glimpse of Mary Margaret. While shopping, Mary Margaret bumps into Kathryn and sees she is buying a pregnancy test. Later, she takes a walk in the woods and comes across an injured dove. The veterinarian states the dove must reunite with its flock. An impending storm occurs, but Mary Margaret tries to brave it in the hopes of releasing the dove in time. David persuades her to wait it out, and take cover in an abandoned cabin. They nearly kiss, but Mary Margaret chastises David for not thinking about Kathryn, who might be pregnant. Afterwards, she is able to free the dove as the flock passes overhead. Mary Margaret and David agree not to see each other again. David talks to Kathryn about the current state of their marriage and what might help to smooth things out. To his relief, Kathryn is not pregnant. David agrees to have therapy sessions with Dr. Hopper. The next morning, instead of going to the diner, he has breakfast with Kathryn at home. At seven-fifteen, Mary Margaret miserably stares at the clock in her apartment. A little later, she goes to the diner, and sees David walk in. Immediately, he backs out, but Mary Margaret follows. Each finds out both have been coming to the diner at exactly the same time to see each other, though now they have been trying to avoid one another. They have a passionate kiss as Regina watches from across the street in her car. ("7:15 A.M.")
Regina fires Sidney as reporter of the town's newspaper, Storybrooke Daily Mirror. Henry finds his castle playground being demolished on Regina's orders, and his book missing from its hiding spot there, though it's later revealed the book is now in the hand of the stranger. In Sidney's dejected state, he teams up with Emma to find incriminating evidence against Regina to show how corrupt she is as mayor. Emma is aware there is some money missing from the town budget, and Mr. Gold affirms Regina bought some land. They break into Regina's office to find out what she is using it for. Mary Margaret and David continue their affair and have a picnic in the woods. At the town meeting, Emma and Sidney publicly call out Regina with proof that she stole money from the budget to build herself a house in the woods. Regina reveals the money is being used to build a new playground for the children. Giving Emma a warning, she won't allow her to see Henry again unless permission is granted, or else there will be a restraining order. Though Emma and Sidney look forward to becoming allies, he is actually still working under the radar for Regina. ("Fruit of the Poisonous Tree")
Due to late rent payments, Mr. Gold takes away Moe French's flower delivery on the busiest time of the year, Valentine's Day. On the street, Regina requests to speak with Mr. Gold, but he refuses and asks her to "please" get out of his way. Shocked, Regina begins to suspect he retained memories from the Enchanted Forest as the "please" enchantment was something she promised him in their previous lives. Regina goads Moe into getting back at Mr. Gold by breaking into his house and stealing some items. Upset at the break-in, Emma is called to retrieve Mr. Gold's belongings, though one missing item causes him to take things into his own hands by kidnapping Moe. As a girls' night out, Ashley, Mary Margaret and Ruby hang out at the bar. Ashley is bummed out since Sean has to work on Valentine's Day, but is surprised in the bar with a marriage proposal from him, which she accepts. Mary Margaret watches the happy couple leave in Sean's truck when David approaches to hand her a Valentine card. He makes a blunder by giving her the card meant for Kathryn, which causes Mary Margaret to push him to go home to his wife, even though David can't part with his feelings for her. Elsewhere, Mr. Gold has kidnapped Moe and holds him captive in a cabin in the woods. He beats the man into a bloody pulp, working himself up in a rage over an unnamed woman, when Moe attests to not knowing where Mr. Gold's missing item is. Emma breaks up the altercation and questions Mr. Gold about the woman he mentioned to Moe, but he won't talk about it, so she arrests him and slaps him with assault charges as well as a night in the jail cell. Regina comes to the station with Henry, and allows Emma to spend thirty minutes with him while she speaks privately with Mr. Gold. He asks her if she has the missing item, which Regina admits to. However, she won't give it back until he tells her his name. At first, he insists his name is Mr. Gold, but she asks for his name elsewhere. Cornered, he says his name is Rumplestiltskin; showing he has memories of his previous life. Satisfied with the answer, Regina hands back the item—a chipped cup. Afterwards, she heads to the hospital psychiatric ward and visits a female patient, who is the "she" Mr. Gold spoke of. ("Skin Deep")
Over dinner, Kathryn tells David she has been accepted to a law school in Boston. She has high hopes in moving there with him so they can start afresh and make new memories for the future. He is uneasy about the idea, and talks about it with Mary Margaret. She believes it'd be a good thing to tell Kathryn the truth so they could stop hiding their relationship from everyone. David is unsure, but agrees to let Kathryn know.
The stranger introduces himself to Emma as August Wayne Booth and wants to take her some place later. David breaks the news to Kathryn he can't go to Boston with her as their relationship is not working, and fails to make any mention of Mary Margaret. Secretly, the stranger begins to dry and put new pages into Henry's fairytale book.
In tears, Kathryn talks about her problems to Regina. When Regina makes mention of a "homewrecker", Kathryn is heartbroken to see snapped photos of her husband and Mary Margaret engaging in an affair. She storms off to the school and publicly slaps and berates Mary Margaret. From the confrontation, Mary Margaret realizes though David told her earlier on the phone he did tell Kathryn about them, he actually did not. Gossip spreads around town about Mary Margaret, and she reaches her car only to see David washing off the spray painted word "Tramp" off of it. She is hurt he lied to her, and as a result, everyone is hurt. Mary Margaret breaks up with David for good.
August hitches Emma on his motorcycle and takes her to the wishing well to grab a drink. He explains the myth about the well water's magical properties and its ability to return something that was lost. Later, Emma is brushing leaves off her car and notices a rectangular shaped metal box under it. She opens it to see Henry's book has somehow found its way back to her. Curiously, Emma looks around to see who could've left it, and doesn't notice August hiding behind a building across the street.
Kathryn confides in Regina of her plans to go to Boston without David. She knows her marriage with David has never been one of true love, so Kathryn wants to wish him and Mary Margaret well by leaving a note behind. Regina steals it so David and Mary Margaret will stay apart due to the aftermath of the affair becoming a public scandal. Kathryn leaves for Boston that night, but vanishes near the town border. ("What Happened to Frederick")
Emma investigates further in the matter of what David knows about Kathryn's disappearance. Sidney pulls up phone records that show Kathryn had an eight minute phone call between her and David.
Mary Margaret is named the town harlot, and in an act of penance, she signs up as a volunteer to sell candles for the annual Miner's Day festival. The notable town drunk, Leroy, also signs up after falling head over heels in love with a cheerful nun, Astrid. He offers to help Astrid sell enough candles to earn back the nuns' rent money needed to pay their landlord, Mr. Gold. Unfortunately, the whole town shuns Mary Margaret and Leroy as outcasts. He tells Astrid all the candles are sold, though it is a lie. When she realizes he was not telling the truth, Leroy feels ashamed at her disappointment. To make up for it, he causes a blackout by short circuiting the whole town's power system and thereby forcing the townspeople to rely on buying candles as light sources. He and Mary Margaret sell out all their candles, and Leroy personally delivers the money to Astrid, who is impressed and grateful.
Due to pressure from Regina, Emma has no choice but to take David to the police station and question him about Kathryn because the phone records show he was the last to speak to his wife. ("Dreamy")
David has no idea why the phone records show what they do. With not much she can do, Emma sends him home and suggests he gets a lawyer.
At the diner, Ruby is conversing with August about all the different places he has traveled. She gets distracted though Granny calls her repeatedly. Granny wants her to work on Saturdays so Ruby can learn to manage more things in the diner. Ruby dislikes being given more work, so she quits and packs up her things. While waiting at the bus stop, Dr. Whale tries to flirt with her, but Emma and Mary Margaret chase him off. Because Ruby has no other place to go, Mary Margaret suggests she stay at her apartment for the time being. Sometime later, in the woods, Mary Margaret meets a dazed David. Though she tries to speak with him, he ignores her and continues his search for something.
At the sheriff department, Henry helps Ruby look for a new job; with all of the described listings having to bring or carry things to people in a little basket. Ruby rejects all offers as none of them appeal to her. When the office phone won't stop ringing, she casually answers and helps out those who call. Emma thinks she did a good job and hires her as an assistant. Ruby goes off to fetch lunch for Emma and Henry as Mary Margaret comes in. She informs Emma about David's strange behavior.
Coolly, Ruby enters the diner as everyone turns to stare at her. She orders the grilled sandwiches Emma wanted, and chats with Granny about her new job. Granny perceives Ruby is doing the same job she did before as a waitress. This makes Ruby feel unconfident and she returns to the sheriff department in low spirits. Emma gets the idea it would be good to bring Ruby along in her search for David in the woods. Somehow, Ruby hears David and comes across his unconscious body. Emma shakes him awake, though he has no inkling of how he ended up in the woods, so she brings David to the hospital for Dr. Whale to examine him. Dr. Whale reports David is just experiencing a similar state to when he first woke up from the coma. David's greatest fear is he must have done something to Kathryn while in his blackout period. Regina shows up demanding Emma resume looking for Kathryn. Ruby is given the job by Emma to approach the Toll Bridge and search for anything that looks out of place by using her instincts. Beside the river, Ruby hits something solid in the soil and pulls out a jewelry box. By opening it, she uncovers a human heart. The experience traumatizes her and she decides to go back to the diner. Ruby tells Granny the reason she balked about learning all the new stuff for the diner is because she felt scared. They make up and Ruby is given her job back.
Emma brings bad news to David and Mary Margaret concerning the discovered human heart. The DNA tests for the heart have not come back yet, but there is a match for the fingerprints found on the jewelry box. Concluding he himself is a murder, David begins to get emotional and asks to be arrested. Instead, Emma stops him by stating the fingerprints on the box are not a match for him, but Mary Margaret. ("Red-Handed")
Mary Margaret has her mugshot taken at the sheriff department even though Emma believes in her innocence. However, she must do her job as sheriff as else Regina will put someone else in the job position. Taken into the interrogation room, Mary Margaret is questioned and shown the jewelry box. She admits it is hers, but has no idea how it ended up at the Toll Bridge.
Emma takes a look at Mary Margaret's apartment to figure out if there was a break-in. Henry tags along and strongly believes Regina framed Mary Margaret; with the sole reason being "She hates Snow White". After a thorough search, there is no evidence of forced entry, but Emma does find in the air vent a hunting dagger, which matches the supposed knife used to kill Kathryn.
David pleads Regina for mercy on Mary Margaret's behalf, and doesn't believe she committed such an evil act of murdering someone. He brings up the topic of his blackouts and the possibility he himself might have harmed Kathryn, but Regina dismisses the suggestion. Emma informs Mary Margaret about the dagger and advises her to get a lawyer as soon as possible. Mr. Gold offers his services, and though Emma distrusts him, Mary Margaret is willing.
Archie Hopper puts David under hypnosis to get to the underlying reason for his blackouts. David recalls memories from his previous life as Prince Charming, but mistakes them for events that occurred in Storybrooke, and remembers seeing Snow White, who he thinks is Mary Margaret, attempt to harm someone. He wakes up and recounts everything to Archie.
Henry steals Regina's keys from her office and insists for Emma to try and see if one works on Mary Margaret's apartment door. She picks one with an apple on the handle, and is in disbelief when the key works.
David asks Mary Margaret if she really did kill Kathryn. Shocked at his lack of faith in her, she orders him to leave her alone. In the morning, as Mary Margaret is folding her cot blanket in the jail cell, a key falls out. Testing it out, the cell's door is able to be unlocked with it. Emma arrives with grim news of the DNA of the heart being a match for Kathryn, and the pending case will go through. Devastated, Mary Margaret uses the key to escape her cell during the night. ("Heart of Darkness")
Emma gets word of Mary Margaret's escape and goes looking for her. She meets a man named Jefferson and is held hostage by him. Jefferson already caught Mary Margaret earlier, and in exchange for her safety, he demands Emma to make a magic hat. He talks about being stuck in a time loop for the last 28 years until she set foot into Storybrooke. She thinks Jefferson is insane with the idea he is the Mad Hatter, and his daughter Grace being the next door neighbor's child. Emma knocks him out and while he is out, she goes to untie Mary Margaret. When he catches up to them, Mary Margaret uses a croquet mallet to hit Jefferson and kick him out the window. Jefferson is nowhere in sight and all that remains is the hat Emma made. Emma promises to help Mary Margaret face the charges as she considers her family. Before school starts for Henry, Emma visits him and sees his classmates Paige walk by. Noting she is the same girl Jefferson showed her, Emma asks to see the fairytale book. To her puzzlement, there is a page with a photo that greatly resembles Jefferson and Paige. ("Hat Trick")
Mary Margaret is interviewed by the District Attorney, Albert Spencer, and asked repeatedly if she wanted Kathryn gone. Despite answering no several times, in a fit of frustration, she says yes, and is horrified at her own response. Emma gets some inspiration from August on going back to the beginning of the crime scene in order to find the answer she is looking for to help Mary Margaret. She reexamines the hole where Ruby used a shovel to dig and find the jewelry box. In the soil, a piece of the tip of the shovel is found. Suspecting the shovel belongs to Regina, she and August secretly look through the garage to find the shard is a perfect fit with the actual shovel.
The next day, Emma shows up with a warrant to search Regina's garage, but finds a different intact shovel in place of the old one. Accusing August of conspiring with Regina, he admits to nothing while Emma walks away unconvinced. In frustration, Emma throws a flower vase across the room in her office and is shocked to see an audio bug inside. She apologizes to August for suspecting him as the flower vase was given to her by Sidney. Suddenly, a scream alerts both of them. They find Ruby, who is too stunned to find the words to explain and only tells them "she" is behind the diner. Emma sees someone laying in the alley, and upon closer inspection, it is a struggling Kathryn. ("The Stable Boy")
August awakens to experience terrible leg pain through his gradual transformation back into wood. He calls out Henry to meet him outside of Mr. Gold's pawnshop. While Henry goes in to distract Mr. Gold, August enters through the back to look for a specific item. When he cannot find it and is caught by Mr. Gold, August feigns interest in looking at maps. Due to Kathryn's reappearance, the charges against Mary Margaret are dropped and a Welcome Home party is thrown at her apartment the day she comes home. The whole town attends; including Mr. Gold and August. While Emma thinks Mr. Gold has something to do with Kathryn's kidnapping and safe return, he is suspicious of what August was doing in his shop. Breaking into August's guest room, Mr. Gold finds a drawing of his dagger. His alarm turns to apprehensiveness when he learns from Mother Superior that August is looking to reunite with his father after a long separation. Mr. Gold takes this to mean August is his lost son, Baelfire. Pursuing guidance from Archie, he gets the courage to speak with August and apologize for his failure as a father, and hands over the dagger. However, Mr. Gold realizes this man is not his son after August attempts to use the dagger against him. Though Mr. Gold wants to kill him, he relishes in August's admission of having a terminal illness.
David and Kathryn reunite on better terms. He is remorseful about lying and cheating on her, but Kathryn knows they were never meant to be together. Attempting a reconciliation with Mary Margaret, she hears out his regrets in not believing in her innocence, but, refuses to take him back as there's always something keeping them apart no matter what. Mary Margaret would rather hold onto the good memories they have together rather than continuing to make bad ones.
Regina has Sidney do her bidding in giving a false confession in the kidnapping and hostage of Kathryn. Emma does not believe in it, and takes Regina aside to let her know she will take Henry away. ("The Return")
Emma prepares to build a custody case against Regina with Mr. Gold's help. Before she can, August convinces Mr. Gold to turn Emma down so he himself can enlighten her on the true nature of the town. While Henry is flipping through his story book, he sees the Pinocchio fairytale, which someone added in. Later, Emma is refused assistance from Mr. Gold as he doesn't think battle that can be won, so she goes to find August.
Meanwhile, Mary Margaret returns to her teaching job where she runs into Regina. She expresses pity for Regina's actions in attempting to frame her for Kathryn's murder. To get back at Mary Margaret, Regina wins the sympathy of David and he stays for dinner at her house. Yet, when she moves in to seduce him, he clarifies his feelings for her are not of the romantic nature. After he leaves, Regina seethes in rage.
August and Emma ride out of Storybrooke on his motorcycle and stop in the woods. He shows her the tree she came out of from the Enchanted Forest, but Emma is in disbelief. Temporarily, she is drawn in when he reveals details about her that was never published in the newspaper. He claims to be Pinocchio; leading Emma to realize August is the one who put the story in Henry's book. Emma, thinking he's feeding her nonsense, walks off, but comes back when August falls down in pain. August details what happened, halfway across the world while he was in Phucket when she came into Storybrooke, and pulls up his pant leg to show a wooden leg. Due to Emma's doubt in magic, she is unable to see anything but an ordinary leg. In frustration, he berates her for having such a hard time believing magic, to which she thinks his mind has gone off the rails. August pleads she is their only hope, but Emma doesn't want responsibility in other people's happiness. Stalking off, she decides to skip town by taking Henry along in her car for the drive. ("The Stranger")
Only after Henry recognizes Emma means to actually leave town, he abruptly forces the car to swerve to keep her from leaving; insisting everyone else needs her to break the curse. Returning to the apartment, she is greeted by Mary Margaret, who is very upset Emma left without saying goodbye. Mary Margaret is worried she is reverting to her old ways and chides a life on the run with Henry is not what's best for him. So, Emma consults with Archie about her chances of winning custody of Henry. Archie stresses it's not likely because since she's entered Henry's life, he has demonstrated bad behavior by stealing, skipping school and repeatedly put himself in danger. Emma perceives he's saying Henry is better off with Regina. Instead, Archie believes Emma and Regina need to stop fighting for Henry.
Henry rushes to inform August about Emma's desire to leave town, but finds him turning back to wood. Since he failed to convince Emma, August hands the duty over to Henry to help her believe in the curse.
Regina summons Jefferson to help her retrieve a poisoned apple from the Enchanted Forest, which she wants to use to get rid of Emma. In return, she will reunite him with his daughter, Paige. To power the hat, she sacrifices her old engagement ring and successfully nabs the apple. While Regina bakes it into an apple turnover, Emma pays her a visit to settle their disputes with each other. She promises, for Henry's sake, to leave so Regina can raise him, but will come back to visit from time to time. Seemingly, they begin a cordial relationship and Regina gives Emma the apple turnover as a road present.
Henry intrudes into the apartment as Emma is packing and begs her not to leave. Despite the difficult decision, Emma understands if she keeps butting heads with Regina over him, someone else is always getting hurt. He reminds her about their plan to save Storybrooke and break the curse, but she pleads now isn't the time to keep believing in fairytales. Affirming her choice to leave, she and Henry hug in farewell until he sees the apple turnover sitting on the counter. Horrified, he has no doubt it's poisoned, though Emma thinks he's exaggerating things again. To prove his claim, Henry takes a bite of it, and to her shock, falls unconscious. ("An Apple Red as Blood")
^: Former inhabitants
†: Deceased inhabitants
º: This inhabitant comes to Storybrooke after the Curse is cast
*: This inhabitant's status and/or current whereabouts is unknown
Trapped in Storybrooke
When someone attempts to leave Storybrooke, something bad happens to them causing them to come back:
- Ruby wants to leave to Boston, but her grandmother suffers a heart attack and that keeps her in town.
- Ashley Boyd wants to leave to Boston, but she goes into labor just before crossing the town's border.
- Kathryn Nolan wants to leave to Boston, but Mr. Gold kidnaps her before she can.
When someone leaves Storybrooke, he or she forgets everything about his or her life in the Enchanted Forest due to Mr. Gold bringing magic.
- Mr. Clark is pushed out by Leroy in an experiment to see what will happen if someone crosses, and he loses all of his memories from the Enchanted Forest.
- Belle falls over the border when she is shot by Captain Hook and she loses all of her memories.
Mr. Gold created a spell to allow himself to cross the border with his Enchanted Forest memories still intact. He pours a potion on an object of great sentimental value, and it becomes a talisman allowing the person to cross the line and keep their memories.
- William Smee had his hat enchanted and was pushed across the border by Mr. Gold. This was to test that the spell worked.
- Mr. Gold enchanted Baelfire's shawl and crossed the border to find his son.
For detailed location information, please see the list of Storybrooke locations.
Reason: Attempt to verfiy exactly when the haberdashery becomes the pet shelter
- The town's name is a pun on "story book".
- Filming of Storybrooke scenes takes place in Steveston Village, British Columbia, Canada.
- Storybrooke can be accessed by other worlds in the following ways: via the Land Without Magic at the Storybrooke town border, via the magic wardrobe, using the ashes of the wardrobe combined with the waters of Lake Nostos, or throwing a magic bean into the lake to create a portal.
- Boston seems to be the nearest city to the town because many characters who tried to leave were heading there. According to Emma, Boston is four hours away from Storybrooke by driving. ("The Price of Gold")
- According to show creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, Regina would not be affected by memory loss if she left Storybrooke.
- Goof: In "The Thing You Love Most" and "The Price of Gold", the blue storefront next to Granny's Diner is the actual haberdashery located on Moncton Street in Steveston Village where Once Upon a Time films. Later, however, this storefront becomes the Storybrooke Pet Shelter, thanks to a false storefront. The storefront next to the Pet Shelter changes as well, beginning as the La Tandoor restaurant before getting a fake storefront for the show.
- The Heart of the Truest Believer is the first episode in which Storybrooke does not appear.
|Once Upon a Time: Season One|
Is a Lonely
|"Fruit of the|
|Once Upon a Time: Season Two|
|Once Upon a Time: Season Three|
|"The Heart of|
|Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Season One|