Review: Once Upon a Time 1.07: The Heart is A Lonely Hunter

This entry is part 7 of 22 in the series Once Upon a Time Season 1

By Heather S. Vina

Written by: Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz

[spoilers ahead]

Recap: Storybrooke

Sheriff Graham is at Granny’s café, playing darts and getting a little drunk. They serve hard alcohol at Granny’s? Weird.

Anyway, the Sheriff is obviously upset, but doing well on the darts. Sidney, from the Daily Mirror (AKA the Magic Mirror in Fairytale Land), bets him that he can’t keep up his streak, but the Sheriff wins that bet. Emma comes into the room. There’s clearly tension between her and the Sheriff, as she does her best to get away from him as soon as possible. But Graham is having none of that. He throws a dart at her, narrowly missing her, and confronts her on the fact that she’s avoiding him. She basically says that it’s his life, and she doesn’t care what he does with it, even though it clearly still disgusts her. She leaves, and Graham follows her out, calling her on the whole “I don’t care” bit. If she doesn’t care, why is she so upset? Emma says that she isn’t upset; she just doesn’t want to talk about it. But Graham does, because even he doesn’t understand why he’s with Regina. He tells her that he doesn’t feel anything when he’s with Regina, but Emma continues on that they are all adults and he didn’t have to hide it. He tells her that he hid it because he didn’t want her to look at him as she’s looking at him now. When she again asks him why he cares about what she thinks, he just says “because” and then kisses her.

As soon as Graham kisses Emma, he gets a flash of a forest and a white wolf with one red eye. Emma pulls away and the vision ends. She yells at him for kissing her and he realises that she didn’t see what he saw. She asks him why he did it and he says that he just needs to ‘feel’ something. She tells him that, whatever he’s looking to feel, he’s not going to find it with her. She walks away.

Graham next goes to Regina’s. Seems he went from kissing Emma to going to Regina’s for a booty call, which she gladly accepts. Apparently, for Graham, ‘feeling’ means having sex with the first woman who says yes. Makes me glad that Emma didn’t fall for his schtick!

Fairytale Land

The Evil Queen and Snow White are mourning the loss of Snow’s father and the Queen’s husband. The Queen comforts Snow, telling her how much she loved her husband, but that her loss must be nothing compared to Snow’s loss of her father. She tells Snow that she is only her mother through marriage, but that she will always be there for her. Snow gratefully hugs her.

Later, the Queen is strolling into her room, where the Magic Mirror remarks that her revenge is almost complete. The Queen gleefully says that ‘one is down’ and there’s only ‘one left to go.’ It seems the Queen killed Snow’s father and is setting Snow up for a fall. She would have killed Snow right there, but the people are still loyal to her and they would have turned on her. They have no idea of the “wretchedness” inside Snow and what she did to the Queen. She rejects the Mirror’s suggestion that she use one of the knights to kill Snow. She wants someone who is adept at murder, with “no heart”. The Mirror suggests that a Huntsman would be perfect for the job.

In the forest, the Huntsman, AKA Graham, is hunting down a deer. He thanks it for dying, so that he may live, and cries over the deer’s sacrifice. A wolf comes out of the forest and the Huntsman promises him that he won’t go hungry that night. Just as he pulls the arrow out, Graham wakes up in the real world.

Storybrooke

Graham wakes up from his “dream” in Regina’s bed. He tells her about his dream. Regina seems most interested in his description of the wolf he saw. She urges him to go back to sleep, that it was a dream, but Graham tells her that it felt like a memory. He gets dressed and leaves, despite her protests.

Graham heads for the patrol car. Just as he is fumbling to get inside, the wolf from his dreams appears in front of him. He collapses against the car in shock and some fear, but the wolf just whines at him like he’s asking him to remember him, then trots off. I get the feeling that animals remember and the curse doesn’t affect them, because it really did seem that the wolf was waiting for Graham to remember him and then sad when he didn’t.

The next day, Emma is disgusted to find flowers on the table, as she thinks they’re from Graham. She throws them out, only to find out from Mary that they were actually her flowers, from Dr. Whale. Apparently, she had a one-night stand with Dr. Whale and she’s feeling guilty about it. Emma tells her not to, that one-night stands are not the way to go – that’s what she does. Mary points out that Emma does one-night stands because she’s protecting herself from being hurt. Emma says she doesn’t get emotional over men, but Mary wonders if her “floral abuse” points out to having feelings for Graham. Mary gently tells Emma that having her wall up may keep out pain, but it also keeps out love.

Graham is tracking the wolf in the woods when he runs into Gold, instead. Gold is digging something in the forest. Gold asks what Graham’s doing. Graham admits that he saw a wolf in his dream and then saw one for real a few hours previously. Gold tells him he hasn’t seen anything unusual and turns to leave. But before he does, he tells Graham that they say that dreams are memories of another life. When Graham asks what Gold believes, he says he never rules out anything, before wishing Graham luck and leaving.

Fairytale Land

The Huntsman and his wolf are entering a tavern, where they’re greeted with derision and disdain. One of the denizens goes to attack the wolf and the Huntsman kills him, fighting off the others who attack him, as well. The Queen is watching all of this in the mirror and tells her soldiers to bring him to her.

Storybrooke

Graham finally tracks down the wolf, who looks sadly at him and then starts to trot away. Graham yells at it, then whistles for it, and it stops this time. It trots over to him, whining a little, and lets Graham pet him. As Graham does, he gets another flash of Snow White and a knife and the wolf howling and then a crest on a tomb. He opens his eyes to find the wolf gone.

Graham ends up at Mary’s class. She immediately senses something is wrong (probably due to the fact that he’s not looking good). He tells her that he thinks they know each other and she’s like, “of course we do!” But he says, not from Storybrooke, but from another life.

Fairytale Land

The Huntsman is brought to Regina. She sympathises with his dislike for people, since his parents abandoned him to the forest. He tells her that the wolves are his family. She tells him that she believes there are two kinds of people, wolves and sheep, and he’s clearly a wolf. She wants him to kill someone, but he only kills when he has to. She offers him a place in her court, but he has no interest in being her pet. He asks her why she just doesn’t use one of her soldiers, but she tells him that her “prey” is beloved by the kingdom. She needs someone who doesn’t have compassion, who won’t have any problem carving out his prey’s heart and bringing it back to her. He agrees. All he wants in return is for the wolves in the forest to be protected. She agrees.

Storybrooke

Back in Mary’s class, Graham asks Mary if she remembers how long they have known each other. She doesn’t remember the exact time. When he asks her if she remembers how they met, she can’t. He can’t, either. He can’t remember how or when he met anyone. She’s a little puzzled by it, but then theorises that it’s just life: Things eventually start to get hazy. He asks her if he’s ever hurt her and she tells him, of course he hasn’t. When he asks her if she believes in past lives, she thinks he’s talked to Henry. She explains to him Henry’s theory that they are all characters in his book. Mary realises he’s running a fever. She tells him that if he goes home and gets some rest, she’s sure he will feel better. He thanks her and leaves.

Fairytale Land

The Huntsman – now disguised as a soldier – is walking with Snow in the forest. She talks about a mountain place that her family has, but she seems nervous. He turns down her offer of an apple and she calls him on the fact that he was sent by the Queen to kill her. She picks up a branch and hits him with it, knocking him over, and takes off running.

Storybrooke

Emma is in the Sheriff’s office when Regina interrupts her. She warns Emma off Graham, telling Emma that she’s putting “thoughts” in Graham’s head that will lead to his destruction. Well, she’d probably know.

At Regina’s house, Graham asks Henry about his book and if he’s in it.

Fairytale Land

The Huntsman comes upon Snow, who is sitting and furiously writing a letter. He wonders why she didn’t keep running. She tells him that she doesn’t know the woods and he does. He was bound to find her. She finishes writing her letter and hands it to him, asking that after he kills her, he give that letter to the Queen and tell her that she means every word in it. Snow sits there, silently crying, while he reads the letter. A tear comes to his eye, the same as came to him when he killed the deer, and he pulls out his knife. Snow closes her eyes, ready for the deathblow, but instead, the Huntsman grabs a reed and bores holes in it with his knife. He gives it to her and tells her that, if she’s ever in danger, to blow through it and she will be lead to safety. She’s confused. She asks him if he’s going to kill her, but he just tells her to run. Taking him up on his suggestion, she does. After she leaves, he eyes a deer.

Storybrooke

The boys are in Henry’s room, with Henry flipping through the book and showing Graham. Henry asks when the flashes started. Graham admits that they started when he kissed Emma. Henry’s a little appalled that he kissed his mom and, oh, if only Henry knew the truth! But he goes back to the subject at hand and asks what Graham saw. When Graham tells Henry that he saw a wolf and was holding a knife on Mary, Henry realises that he’s the Huntsman. Graham is still a little disbelieving and doesn’t understand how come he’s remembering just because he kissed Emma. Henry admits to him that he and Emma would have a special connection, since she’s Snow White’s daughter. If the Huntsman hadn’t spared Snow’s life, Emma never would have been born. When Graham asks what happened to the Huntsman, Henry winces and tells him that the Queen ripped out the Huntsman’s heart, so he could never feel again. Graham flips through the pages and sees the symbol on the tomb that he had seen his dream. Henry tells him that it’s the Queen’s vault, where she keeps her collection of hearts. Graham realises that the wolf wants him to find it and get back his heart. He takes off.

Emma is waiting for Graham outside. She expresses her concern about him, offering to take him home. But Graham is having none of that. He explains to her that he has to follow the wolf and find his heart. Emma is surprised when she realises that he’s not speaking in metaphors. She tells him that he has a heart and puts his hand on his chest, so that he can feel it beating. But he shakes his head and tells her it’s the curse – he doesn’t have one. She tries to convince him otherwise, but is stopped when she sees the wolf standing there. Graham turns and sees it, and then runs off after it, Emma following him.

The two follow the wolf to a graveyard, to a tomb. Graham sees the symbol on the tomb and realises that this is the place from his dream. His heart is inside. Emma tries to stop him, but then ends up helping him as she realises there is no stopping him. She breaks open the door and they go inside.

Fairytale Land

The Huntsman is brought to the Queen, who demands to know if Snow White is dead. He says yes, and shows her the satchel that has Snow’s heart. When she reaches for the bag, he tells her that there’s something else he has to do. He reads her Snow’s letter. In it, Snow tells her that she knows she denied the Queen her chance for love, so she guesses it’s only fair that she is denied it, as well. She only hopes that her death will quench the Queen’s need for revenge, and allow her to rule the people with “compassion and a gentle hand.” She knows the Queen is looking at this as revenge, but she is looking at it as sacrifice. Snow wants her to know that she’s sorry and that she forgives her.

The Queen snatches the letter and throws it into the fire, demanding to know if the Huntsman is becoming a sheep. The Huntsman sneers at her, telling her that Snow put others before herself, yet the Queen hates her. The Huntsman demands to know what Snow did to her. The Queen admits that she shared a secret with Snow, but Snow couldn’t keep it. As a result, it cost her dearly.

The Queen demands that the Huntsman give her the heart and he hands over the bag. She takes out the heart and places it in a box, then goes to put it in the wall where several dozen similar boxes are resting. But it doesn’t open as it should and the Queen realises that it’s not a human heart. She demands to know what the Huntsman did.

Storybrooke

Emma and Graham are in the tomb. Graham is searching for a hidden room or a latch and having no luck. Emma gently tries to convince him to leave when the two are interrupted by Regina. Seems this is her father’s tomb and she comes every Wednesday to place flowers at it. When she asks what they are doing there, Graham tells her he wanted to see if he could find something, but doesn’t tell her what it is. She tries to take him home, but he tells her he wants nothing to do with her. When she tries to place the blame on Emma, he tells her it has nothing to do with Emma; it’s about them. He doesn’t feel anything with her and he has realised it’s her. He doesn’t want anything to do with her, anymore. When she tries to tell him that he’s not thinking straight, he tells her that he is. He tells her that he wants to feel something and he won’t be able to feel anything with her. It’s over.

Regina turns to Emma and starts to blame her, demanding to know why Emma is coming after everything that Regina holds dear. But Emma points out that the problem is with Regina, not her. Henry came looking for her, Graham kissed her, both were miserable with Regina. Maybe she needs to look in the mirror and ask herself why everyone is running away from her.

Good point, Emma, but one that will be lost on her!

Regina turns to Emma and decks her, pushing her into Graham. Emma turns around and decks her, too, pushing her against the tomb wall. She is about to hit Regina again when Graham stops her. Emma pushes him off and takes off, telling Regina that she’s not worth it. Regina calls Graham’s name, but he ignores her and leaves, as well.

At the Sheriff’s office, Graham is putting an ice pack on Emma’s head and apologising to her for having gotten involved with Regina in the first place. She tells him that getting involved with Regina was “safe” and “easy”, sympathising with him over it.

Regina goes into the tomb, placing the flowers on the coffin of her father. She then pushes aside the coffin, revealing stairs leading beneath the tomb, and heads down them.

Fairytale Land

The Queen is ranting at the Huntsman, demanding to know if he really thought that he could fool her. He tries to leave, but she uses her magic to slam the doors shut. He tells her that Snow didn’t deserve to die, but she snarks that it’s not up to him. She wanted a heart and a heart she shall have. With that, she reaches into his chest and uses her magic to pull out his heart. Only, he’s still alive.

The Huntsman demands to know what she is going to do to him. The Queen grabs his face and forces a kiss on him, telling him that he’s now hers, her “pet”. Using his heart, she opens up a slot in the wall and tells him that he has to do what she says now. If he ever disobeys her, or tries to run away, all she has to do is squeeze his heart and he will die. He collapses on the ground, gasping in pain, as she shows him what she can do by squeezing. After a moment of that, she calls her guards in and orders them to take the Huntsman to her bedchamber. Smirking, she puts the heart in the drawer and closes it.

Storybrooke

In the belly of the tomb, Regina makes her way to her wall of drawers and hearts, and pulls out the Huntsman’s drawer.

In the Sheriff’s office, Graham is dabbing at the cut on Emma’s face. Emma makes the first move this time and kisses him. As soon as she does, he gets another flash of his life as the Hunstman and pulls away from her in shock.

Regina pulls out the heart and stares at it in her hand.

Emma asks Graham if he’s okay. After a few gasping breaths, he tells her that he remembers. When she asks him what he remembers, he just smiles at her, with a tear in his eye, thanks her, and kisses her again. Unfortunately, the kiss doesn’t last long. In the tomb, Regina proceeds to squeeze Graham’s heart until it’s dust. Graham collapses to the ground, dead, leaving Emma to cry over his body.

Review: I had a hard time with this one. Well, not really hard-hard. I just had a difficult time feeling a lot of sympathy for the Huntsman.

On the one hand, what the Queen did to him was heinous. Apparently, she’s not only a destroyer of lives, loves, hopes, dreams, and families, but she’s also a rapist. It was bad enough what she did to the Huntsman by yanking out his heart, but turning him into her little pet and sex slave was truly disgusting. Regardless of the Queen’s “wah wah” about how Snow “betrayed” her, absolutely nothing justifies what the Queen has done to everyone. And considering the Queen’s massive wall of drawers filled with hearts, I’m thinking this secret that she told Snow had less to do with something innocent and meaningless, and more to do with “I practice black magic and kill people to do it.”

So, I felt a lot of sympathy for what happened to the Huntsman because in no way did he deserve what happened to him.

On the other hand, the guy agreed to murder an innocent woman for his own gain. I totally am for the protection of animals, especially wolves as they are one of my personal favourites, but the Huntsman’s callous disregard for the life of some innocent woman he didn’t know, who had never done him or the wolves any wrong, and his agreeing to take her life on the whim of some clearly evil witch, just lost him a huge amount of points in my book.

So, I was torn between thinking that what was being done to the Huntsman was a truly reprehensible thing, and the fact that I really didn’t find the Huntsman to be a very sympathetic character before he was mistreated and abused by Regina.

That being said, this episode did garner some sympathy in me for Graham. I know now why he looked so unhappy and miserable over sleeping with Regina: He didn’t really want to and he didn’t know why he was doing it. I did feel for him in that regard. Still, the character didn’t truly resonate for me once they revealed him as sleeping with Regina and, therefore, his death didn’t really hit me as it might have in the beginning.

I did love finally seeing one of the characters break free from the curse and start to remember. But even though I knew it was coming, it was still frustrating seeing him gain all of that memory and have an adult character (one on the side of good) remember, only to have him killed a few moments later. There goes Henry’s true ally!

And I’m sure that nothing that happened will twig Emma’s thoughts that maybe there might be some glimmer of truth to this story – even with Graham telling her he “remembers everything” before he died – so that left me a little melancholic at the end, as well. I do hope that, sometime soon, all of these “coincidental” things that keep happening will open Emma’s mind to the idea that maybe Henry does know what he’s talking about, but I’m guessing that it won’t come now (just speculation, no spoilers involved!), based on the fact that we’re only on episode seven.

I guess this answers the question of whether or not Snow White’s father was the Queen’s love. He wasn’t. He was just part of her revenge scheme. She had no compunction about killing him and using his death to go after Snow further, and get the crown for herself. I’m glad we got some more backstory on what went down between the Queen and Snow. It definitely sounds like everything that the Queen did – marrying Snow’s father and then killing him – is based on her desire to get revenge on Snow. So, it wasn’t about Snow’s father at all.

I know they are trying to keep what happened between Snow and the Queen ambiguous, as to lead us to believe that maybe Snow did something to the Queen that justifies all of this, but it’s not working for me. Because nothing that Snow did justifies what the Queen has done.

I did completely cheer when Emma pointed out that she doesn’t have to do anything to ruin the relationships Regina has, because Regina is the one driving them away, not her. Emma really did have nothing to do with Henry finding her and the only reason she’s still in town is because she realised that Regina wasn’t telling the truth when she said she loves Henry. And Graham was interested in Emma before she was ever interested in him. I’m sure that Regina will continue to blame Emma for things going wrong, just as she continues to blame Snow, but she is doing it to herself. She is her own worst enemy.

I have to admit that I had a hard time buying this sudden love between Emma and Graham. It just came on a little too quickly for me, with next to nothing built up in the previous episodes. I can buy attraction and I can buy intrigued, but in-love is a stretch for me, based on what we have seen with these two earlier. I wish that they had thrown in a scene or two in earlier episodes, before they sprang this one on us.

I hope the wolf is okay! That’s one character that definitely kept my sympathy throughout the whole series. Poor guy. He finally gets his friend back, only to have his friend die. Sad!

I wonder if the whistle that the Huntsman gave Snow was to call on the dwarves for help? She has to meet them, somehow! At first, I thought it might be the wolves helping her, but then the dwarves occurred to me. I wonder if we will see it again….

No David this week, but we did find out that Mary Margaret had a one-night stand with Dr. Whale! Wish she had better taste in rebound men, though. I worry he will just be another ally in Regina’s bid to destroy everyone. I’d much rather he was just a dupe like Kathryn, but that’s still undecided.

I loved the mother-daughter bonding between Mary and Emma. And Henry’s reaction to the idea of Graham kissing Emma was adorable! I’m still waiting for him to acknowledge that Mary is his grandma, though!

All in all, it was a good episode, and I liked the fact that we got more insight into how evil and depraved Regina/the Queen is, and some more info on what happened to Snow White. I feel bad for Graham, finally getting back his true self only to be murdered, but I’m okay with his death.

I do wonder what Gold was up to in the forest, though, with that shovel…hmmm….

Next Week:
No new episode due to the holidays. The next new episode will be in the new year, on January 8, and focus on the race for the Sheriff’s office now that the Huntsman/Graham is dead!

This week’s Fairy Tale Characters Who Make Appearances In Both Worlds Are:

Snow White, AKA Mary Margaret

Rumpelstilskin, AKA Mr. Gold

Evil Queen, AKA the Mayor Regina

The Huntsman, AKA Sheriff Graham

The Magic Mirror, AKA Sidney

The Wolf, AKA the Wolf

Red Riding Hood, AKA Ruby (only appeared in the real world)

Still Missing In Storybrooke World:

(none this week)

You can watch episodes of Once Upon a Time on its official site and own it in HD on Amazon.com.

About Heather S. Vina

Heather's been a fan of science fiction since she was five years old and developed a crush on Captain Kirk, while watching reruns of Star Trek: The Original Series. A huge Anglophile, she loves reading and watching (and mocking!) TV, but hasn't figured out a way to make a living doing either, yet. But she lives in hope!

Heather S. VinaReview: Once Upon a Time 1.07: The Heart is A Lonely Hunter