|"The Stable Boy"|
|Season 01, Episode 18|
|Premiere date:||April 1, 2012|
|Written by:|| Edward Kitsis &|
|Directed by:||Dean White|
|Previous Episode:||"Hat Trick"|
|Next Episode:||"The Return"|
"The Stable Boy" is the eighteenth episode of Season One of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz, and directed by Dean White. It is the eighteenth episode of the series overall, and premiered on April 1, 2012.
Emma continues her exhaustive search for evidence that will prove Mary Margaret's innocence in the murder of David's wife, Kathryn. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was and before evil blackened her soul, Regina must choose between betraying her mother, Cora, and marrying for true love, or betrothing royalty and living a regal - but loveless - life; and the event that caused the Evil Queen to loathe Snow White is revealed.
Regina is in her office in Storybrooke, when Mr. Gold comes to visit. He asks for her assistance in having the charges of assault, on Moe French, dropped. In return, he offers his help with Regina's problem with Mary Margaret and David Nolan. He suggests that if something was to happen to Kathryn, Mary Margaret would take the blame. He further tells Regina that she could leave a key in Mary Margaret's cell after she is arrested, as bad things happen to those who leave Storybrooke.
In the Enchanted Forest, the Evil Queen is riding her horse while her father Henry watches joyfully, cheering her on. Her mother Cora however, criticizes her "unladylike" performance, decries that she is getting too old not to be married, and suggests that she use a saddle. Henry tries to defend Regina with no luck. Daniel offers her a saddle, but Regina snaps back, saying she is done riding for the day. She questions Cora's intentions, but her mother stops her from walking away by using magic to levitate her and choke her. Regina dislikes the use of magic by her mother, and promises to be good before she runs off. She meets Daniel in the stable where she apologizes for snapping at him when her parents were watching, and the two kiss.
In Storybrooke, Emma Swan is leaving Granny's Diner, and David wants to ask about Mary Margaret. He tries to explain why he had questioned her innocence. He asks to see Mary Margaret, but Emma says that she does not want to see him. At the sheriff's station, Mary Margaret is asleep, but wakes suddenly to find Regina there. Mary Margaret questions why no one will believe her, and Regina lists the evidence against her, telling her to confess and avoid a trial. Mary Margaret asks Regina why she hates her so much.
In the Enchanted Forest, Daniel and Regina meet; he wants to go riding, but she has to leave for tea. Daniel is confused as to why she is afraid to tell her mother of their relationship. She tells him that Cora wants her to be more ladylike and a social-climber, despite being the daughter of a miller herself; Regina also adds that Cora's magic is powerful and dangerous, but Daniel says that true love is the most powerful magic of all before kissing her. Suddenly, they hear a scream. A little girl holds on tightly as her horse runs out of control, and Regina goes after her on her own horse. She successfully rescues the girl, who thanks Regina for saving her life. The girl introduces herself as Snow White, and the two hug. Regina advises her to get over her fear by getting back on the horse, as soon as possible.
In Storybrooke, Emma and Mr. Gold discuss having Mary Margaret talk to the D.A. about the case. He says that the skeleton key is not sufficient proof of Regina being complicit. Mr. Gold says that her personality can help get the charges dropped, if she meets with the District Attorney. Sidney Glass drops off some flowers and says that he cannot find anything connecting Regina to the case: no damaging phone records nor evidence that she owed a hunting knife, but that he will keep looking. Mary Margaret agrees to being interviewed by the District Attorney, Albert Spencer, just as he arrives.
In the interview room, the D.A. talks about the case against her. He asks about the incident in the school when Kathryn slapped her, and he asks if she wanted Kathryn gone, since Kathryn was keeping her and David apart. Despite answering, "No," several times and Mr. Gold saying that she was done talking, Albert keeps pressing on. Mary Margaret snaps that she did want Kathryn gone, but is then horrified at having said that. Emma and Regina watch the interview outside, and Regina smiles at her outburst.
In the Enchanted Forest, Regina is in her dining room when Cora comes in and, using magic, gives her a gorgeous dress to wear. She explains that the king is coming, because it was his daughter who Regina rescued. King Leopold arrives to thank Regina for saving his daughter. He explains that Snow White lost her mother years ago, and that he has been looking for a wife worthy of Snow White ever since. He proposes to Regina, which Cora accepts for her. Regina runs into the stable to meet with Daniel. She explains what has happened with the king and says that they should run, because she only cares about him, and she would rather be poor with him than Queen without him. Daniel then slips a ring on her finger, much to Regina's excitement, and the two kiss. Snow White stumbles upon the couple and runs off with Regina chasing after her.
Regina and Snow White talk about why Regina was kissing Daniel. She explains that she does not love Snow White's father, and Snow White questions this as she had wanted Regina to be her mother. Regina tells her that true love is the most power magic of all and that it creates happiness. Snow agrees that Regina should marry Daniel. Regina says Cora will stand in her way, and asks Snow White to keep their love a secret, which Snow White agrees to do.
In Storybrooke, Emma is reading Henry's storybook when August Booth shows up. She questions her super power of good instincts. August says that his perspective changes as he writes and starts his book over once it does. He tells her to examine what she knows now that she did not in the beginning of the investigation, and, knowing those things, how she would she have done things differently. Emma decides to go back to the crime scene with August, where Ruby found the heart. When they arrive as the Toll Bridge, the sign now has an "R" written in, changing it to Troll. August has some trouble walking, due to shin splints, but insists it is nothing. Emma looks into the hole Ruby dug up and finds a shard from a shovel. Emma realizes that if she can find out who owns that shovel, they can clear Mary Margaret. August asks if she knows whose shovel it belongs to, and Emma responds with a knowing smile. August and Emma go to Regina's house where Henry has left them a key to get in. While Regina is in the shower, Henry signals her on his walkie-talkie that the coast is clear. In the shed, Emma finds the shovel with the complimentary broken piece, and she and August smile.
In the Enchanted Forest, Cora and Snow White talk about the wedding, and being a flower girl. Cora mentions how close Snow White and Regina have become. Cora asks Snow White why Regina has pulled away from her and says she would do anything to make her happy. Cora plays on how terrible it is to lose a mother as Snow White herself knows. Snow White tells Cora not to make Regina marry the king, as it would drive Cora and Regina apart. Snow tells Cora that Regina loves someone else, thinking it will help. Cora insists that nothing will take her daughter away from her and says that Snow must tell her everything.
Back in Storybrooke, Emma shows up at Regina's and shows her a warrant to look in her garage. She tells Regina about the broken shovel fragment and that and anonymous caller said that Regina was there digging. Emma looks in the garage but finds a different, and now intact, shovel. Emma says that Regina had been warned and that Mary Margaret is innocent. A furious Regina says that Mary Margaret is a liar and murderer, and that she will pay for what she has done; she has destroyed the last life she ever will destroy.
Emma goes to see August and accuses him of involvement in warning Regina about the shovel. She questions whether or not he is lying. He says that he is not, but Emma walks away unconvinced. Regina visits Mary Margaret and taunts her about her having to suffer. Mary Margaret tries to apologize for whatever it was that she did that Regina blames her for, but Regina refuses to accept her apology. She admits that she knows Mary Margaret did not kill Kathryn, but that she still deserves this anyway.
In the Enchanted Forest, Regina and Daniel try to run away, but Cora stops them. She laughs and says Regina's life is hers because of the deals she had to make to get them out of poverty. Regina says that Daniel makes her happy, and Cora seems to understand. She says that a parent always does what is best for their children, then she rips out Daniel's heart and crushes it. Cora tells a distraught Regina that this is her happy ending and tells her that love is a weakness, as it fades. However, giving up love gives one true power, Cora has saved her, and that she will be queen.
Regina is fitted for her wedding gown, and Snow White comes in to says how beautiful she will be when she marries Daniel. Snow tells her about the talk she had with Cora. Regina is confused as to why Snow White told her despite Regina asking her not to, and Snow White says that she did not want Regina to lose her mother, like Snow White lost hers. Regina is momentarily devastated, but composes herself. When she turns away from Snow White, her pink lips momentarily turn crimson red, then fade back when she faces Snow White. She says that she is not mad and that she was not in love with Daniel, it was infatuation. She tells Snow White that she will marry Snow's father, and she is happy to be her stepmother. The two of them hug. Cora shows up and tells Regina that she is proud of her. Regina realizes that Cora set up her rescue of Snow White and growls that she should have let Snow White die instead.
In Storybrooke, Regina holds the ring Daniel gave her and says, "We've got her." Mary Margaret is being taken away by police, and Emma questions Mr. Gold's assistance. Mr. Gold insists that Regina hasn't won yet, and there is still time for him to work some magic. In a fit of anger, Emma throws the vase of flowers from Sidney at the wall and finds an audio chip hidden. Emma approaches August, apologizing for doubting him and shows him the bug. They hear a scream and run toward it. They find Ruby, who says that "she" is in the alley. Emma runs to the alley and finds Kathryn lying on the ground, alive.
"I'm Your Friend Too" (Scene 28-29)
David Nolan is sitting alone at Granny's when Regina Mills comes in. She sits down next to him and he tells her that he is wanted to testify against Mary Margaret Blanchard for the murder of Kathryn. David blames himself for what happened to Kathryn, but Regina reminds him that the car crash didn't kill her a person did (implying Mary Margaret). He wonders why Regina doesn't hate him, she claims that she is his friend, and that she is there for him. She places her hand on top of his and says that she is here for him at anytime. He leaves and Regina thanks Sidney for letting her know David was there.
Mary Margaret is fixing up her bed in her cell when Emma Swan enters. Emma tells her that Regina was one step ahead and the shovel was missing. Mary Margaret gets angry at her knowing that she could have run, but stayed because she trusted that Emma would be able to help her. Mary Margaret screams at Emma telling her to leave. She hears footsteps and thinks it's Emma but its Regina much to her surprise.
Regina: My mother accepted! (sobs) The only way out is to run, for us to leave this place, for us to be married, for us to never come back.
Daniel: Regina, do you understand what that will mean? Life with a stable boy is a far cry from being a queen.
Regina: Being a queen is nothing. Daniel, all I care about is you.
Regina: Love doesn't work that way. Love, true love, is magic. Not just any magic. The most powerful magic of all. It creates happiness.
Snow White: And that man in the stables, you love him?
Regina: With all my heart.
- The title card features a young woman (either Snow White or Queen Regina) riding a horse.
- The clasps on Cora's coat has hearts on them.
- The Storybrooke events of this episode take place after "Hat Trick" and before "The Return". The events occur one week after those of "Skin Deep"(For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- In the second season, Cora's role becomes that of a main antagonist.
- The initial meeting and eventual marriage between Cora and Henry is revealed in "The Miller's Daughter".
- How Regina was set up by Cora to rescue Snow White and attract the attention of King Leopold is shown in a flashback in "The Queen Is Dead".
- The manner in which Queen Eva died is explored in "The Queen Is Dead".
- The revelation of how Cora learned to rip out hearts is shown in "The Miller's Daughter".
- The origin of Cora's catchphrase, "Love is weakness" is revealed in "The Miller's Daughter".
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode features Snow White, the King and the Evil Queen from Snow White fairytale as well as the miller's daughter from the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale.
- In the stables, Regina's hands are touching the sides of Daniel's face and he pulls them down. As the camera pans for a close-up of her face when Daniel says, "Then if I am to marry you", her hands are once again back on his face. Then, the camera angle changes to show a side view of both of them with Regina's hands held by Daniel again.
- At the dock, Emma reads the latest edition of the Daily Mirror with an article detailing Mary Margaret's involvement in Kathryn's disappearance. Kathryn's name is misspelled "Katherine" in the article.
- As Emma runs through the alleyway to investigate, the back camera view shows she is wearing bright red gloves. When the camera angle switches to the front after Emma reaches past the alley, her gloves are gone.