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"What Happened to Frederick"

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"What Happened to Frederick"
Season One
Season 01, Episode 13
Episode Information
Character backstory:
Premiere date: February 19, 2012[1]
Viewers: 9.84 million[2]
Written by: David H. Goodman
Directed by: Dean White
Episode Chronology
Previous Episode: "Skin Deep"
Next Episode: "Dreamy"
Related Pages
My heart also belongs to another. A man I was once to wed. A man named Frederick.
Abigail to Prince Charming

"What Happened to Frederick" is the thirteenth episode of Season One of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by David H. Goodman and directed by Dean White. It is the thirteenth episode of the series overall, and premiered on February 19, 2012.


With their love for each other growing stronger, David finally agrees to tell Kathryn about his relationship with Mary Margaret and put an end to his loveless marriage. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was, while runaway groom Prince Charming searches for Snow White, he agrees to aid Abigail on a dangerous mission to recover something precious that was lost to her.[1]


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

In the former Enchanted Forest, Abigail meets with King George. The king tells one of his knights to "find him." We then see Prince Charming riding through the forest on horseback, while knights pursue him. He successfully hides from George's men, but the moment he turns to go another pair of men kidnap him. It is shown later that Abigail is responsible for this. She tells him that she knows of his love for Snow White, and that she has no feelings for him either. She asks him to do something for her.

In Storybrooke, David and Kathryn Nolan are having dinner when she tells him that she has applied to law school. She has been accepted, but the school is in Boston. Kathryn suggests that this could be a fresh start for both of them, but he makes the excuse of going to get some air and leaves. Mary Margaret Blanchard meets David. She asks him why they must keep lying to Kathryn and says that they should tell her about them. He does not want to hurt her, but she tells him that the only way that no one will be hurt is if they are not together. He says that he chooses her, and Mary Margaret tells him then he needs to tell Kathryn the truth.

The Stranger and Emma Swan bump into each other, and he asks her out for the drink. Emma asks him what his name is, he claims his name is August Booth. August wants to meet Emma outside of Granny's later. Mary Margaret tells Emma about her relationship with David, as they chat inside. David and Kathryn talk, and he tells her that he can't go to Boston. He breaks up with her, but fails to mention Mary Margaret.

Abigail tells Prince Charming that she loves someone else as well. He tells her about what Snow White said to him. Abigail takes him to see a golden statue, which he thinks is a representation of the man. In actuality it is Frederick her lost love. He was turned into gold by Midas' power, when he saved the King's life. Abigail has tried breaking the curse many times, by means of true love's kiss. She tells him of Lake Nostos, where the waters are said to be able to bring back something you have lost. He agrees to go to the lake to help her, though she warns him that it is protected by a guardian and no one has ever returned.

August is seen dipping the pages from Henry's book into an unknown liquid and then hanging them up to dry. He then takes pages which are either new or already dry and places them into the book.

Regina gives the present of a handheld game to Henry, apologizing for destroying his book. Kathryn walks in and, after Henry leaves, she confides in Regina that David is leaving her. Regina tells her that David and Mary Margaret have been having an affair. She shows Kathryn photos of them together, which Sidney took. David is looking through photos and calls Mary Margaret to tell her about himself and Kathryn. Kathryn shows up at the school and in front of a crowd of people confronts Mary Margaret and slaps her. Kathryn reveals that she knows about the affair even though David had not told her. When Kathryn goes, she leaves a very hurt and confused Mary Margaret.

Abigail shows Prince Charming a shrine, where men asking for the guardian's mercy leave peace offerings. Prince Charming goes to collect water from the lake the Siren guards. She appears to him as a beautiful unarmed woman. The Siren tries to seduce Prince Charming, but fails as his heart belongs to Snow. She then takes on the appearance of Snow White. He tries to tell himself that it is just an illusion, but he kisses her and drops his sword. She leads him out into the water, but he is still fighting her influence as she kisses him again. The Siren's effect fails and he is pulling away from her, so she does not get a good grip, as she grabs and tries to drown him. The Siren is almost successful, but he finds a dagger belonging to one of the many skeletons that litter the lakebed and he uses it to stab her.

August and Emma meet, when he picks her up and brings her out to an old well. He tells her that the water in the well is magical and will return something that they have lost and proceeds to tell Emma to have a little faith. Mary Margaret is walking down the street, and many people are avoiding her. She bumps into Granny who tells her that she should be ashamed of herself. Mary Margaret runs into David as he is washing the word tramp off of her car. She asks him why he never told Kathryn the truth, to which he replies that he did not want anyone to get hurt. She tells him that they are not in love, but what they have is destructive and needs to stop, so she breaks up with him.

Emma is brushing leafs off of her car, when she finds a red metal box in the street gutter. Inside it holds Henry's book. August is seen looking at her from around the corner. Kathryn goes to see Regina to apologize for what she said. Kathryn admits that she and David were never in love and that she has never been in love. Kathryn says that she is moving to Boston alone, and tells Regina that she wrote a letter telling David and Mary Margaret to be together, which upsets Regina's plans to keep them apart.

Abigail is at Frederick's shrine, when Prince Charming brings her the water. She pours the water over Frederick's head and the gold melts away revealing that he is alive and free. The two kiss, and she introduces him to Prince Charming as his savior. Abigail thanks Prince Charming for freeing her true love, and he tells her that he is going after Snow White. Abigail tells him to be careful, as King George will soon come after him. Prince Charming rides into the forest where he runs into Red Riding Hood who tells him that Snow White wants to be with him. King George shows up, Prince Charming and Red ride off together, with King George following them.

Regina enters David's house using a key from a large key ring and takes the letter Kathryn left.

Henry is sitting outside, when Emma sits down next to him. Emma gives him the book. Henry sees the book coming back as a sign that things are going to get better. Emma finds an upset Mary Margaret laying in bed. Emma lays down with her so they can talk. Regina opens her desk showing a can of spray paint and the letter addressed to David. Regina takes a lighter and burns the letter. Kathryn is leaving Storybrooke when she gets into an accident. The gym teacher finds her car, only to see it abandoned.



Guest Starring




Production Notes

  • The opening title card features Frederick as a statue.
  • The recap video at the beginning of this episode and "Heart of Darkness", contains an alternate take of the shot where August shows Emma his typewriter in "7:15 A.M.". In the original scene, a smiling August opens the lid on the box.[3] The alternate take has a different color palette, and August has a blank, expressionless look on his face.[4]

Episode Chronology

Episode Connections


  • Space Paranoids, the game that Henry is playing, references the Disney film Tron. In Tron, the game was invented by the protagonist Kevin Flynn. Emma's line, "It's all in the wrists" comes directly from the movie.


  • The stranger says that his name is August. August is the 8th month of the year, and the second Lost number.

Fairytales and Folklore

Pop Culture

Props Notes


For centuries, local legend has claimed
that mystical waters run beneath this great
land. It is said that these waters possess
the power to return that which is lost to its
rightful place. If you have lost something
precious to you, drink from this well and
bear witness to this miracle as what is
missing shall be returned.

  • When Emma arrives in Storybrooke in "Pilot", the expiration date on her license plate is December 2011.[22] When she finds Henry's storybook next to her car in this episode, the license plate sticker still carries the same date.[23] Since "Selfless, Brave and True" establishes that Emma came to Storybrooke in October 2011, and "What Happened to Frederick" takes place after "Skin Deep" (which takes place on Valentine's Day 2012), this means that Emma has neglected to renew her Massachusetts registration, nor has she registered her car in Maine.
  • Kathryn's license plate number is 94D1 CZ.[24]

Costume Notes

  • Abigail's hat[25] was made by Canadian-based fine headwear maker Kelly Dunlap, also known as The Saucy Milliner. On the hat, there is center tail feather from a pheasant, which was secured with a brass finding on the side. Due to the feather not being actually sewn on the hat, it moves frequently as Abigail is walking or riding her horse. A duplicate hat was also made for Abigail's stunt double.[26]


  • Jim's car license plate is 40F5TH,[27] which is the same as Regina's;[28] indicating it was a reused prop.

Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale

International Titles



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