We open with David staring blankly at a house that is supposed to be his but with no memory of it. His wife Kathryn tries to reassure him. She tells him he had the same look on his face when they bought the place. He couldn’t get past the ugly windmill on the lawn. When she asks him if he remembers what changed his mind all that David can come up with is, “Well… I see the wind mill’s gone?” She takes his hand and leads him into a welcome home party with people he doesn’t recognize. David shakes hands and is glad-handed, all by strangers. He runs into Dr. Whale who tells him the party is good for him because the smallest thing can trigger his memories. Emma and Henry are sitting in a quiet corner. Henry is trying to convince Emma that David is not remembering because the curse is not working on him yet. She just thinks it’s amnesia, Henry explains, “Which is preventing the curse from replacing his Fairy Tale story with fake memories.” Emma, “Right, because everyone here has a fake stories that prevents them from remembering who they really are?” Now they just have to get him to remember that he’s Prince Charming by getting him and Mary Margaret together. David interrupts and is disappointed to learn that Mary Margaret is not coming. In the kitchen, Kathryn laments to Regina the fact that she has her husband back but it’s like she still doesn’t have him back. Regina opens up, shares that she lost someone once but there is no bringing him back. Kathryn thanks Regina for being such a good friend. Regina is surprised and seems genuinely touched by this. When Kathryn looks for David in the crowd, he’s gone.
Mary Margaret is outside on her lawn when David shows up, surprising her. He tells her that they have a connection and he knows she feels the same. Mary Margaret tells him there is nothing there because he’s married. David says whoever married Kathryn is not him, “I didn’t choose her. I’m choosing you.” Mary Margaret is conflicted, wanting to go along but stopping herself. She tells David maybe he just feels that way because she happened to be the one that saved his life, “Why don’t we just leave it at that?”
In Fairy Tale Land we find Prince Charming decked out in armor with sword in hand. He’s in a fierce battle, fighting for his life against an eight-foot tall behemoth. Clad in black armor with huge double-sided spear. The Behemoth battles Charming, furiously pressing the attack until it catches Charming with his spear and throws him over his head. Charming lands and plays possum. When the behemoth gets close Charming springs into actions and kills it. He drives his sword into the behemoth’s chest, “Next time make sure I’m really dead.”
A victorious Charming turns around to clapping from a crowd of knights and noblemen. One of them being his father, King George, and the other being a nobleman dressed in gold with his right hand covered in gauntlet. The nobleman is impressed with Charming’s handy work but wonders if his up to the challenge of dispatching a dragon that’s been plaguing his kingdom. Charming and his father reassure him that Charming can kill anything. King George says that his kingdom needs gold and that they’ll be able to work something out for his son’s services. The nobleman takes his gauntlet off and turns Charming’s sword into gold. Yup, this is King Midas. King George and King Midas walk off with their noblemen to discuss their arrangement. Charming stays and address his knights on the task before them and starts to brag about killing the behemoth when a spear explodes out of his chest. The wounded behemoth leans up, spear in hand, not dead! But now Prince Charming is.
King George grieves over the body of his dead son, Prince Charming. A burley knight approaches the king, tells him there is no time to grieve. If Midas finds the out the Prince is dead, he’ll find another warrior to slay the dragon and the kingdom will not get the gold it needs. The king says he’s asked for help and right then Rumplestiltskin appears. We learn that the Prince was given to King George by Rumple in a deal they made because he and his dead queen could not conceive a child of their own. The king makes another deal with Rumple to bring back his son to kill the dragon in exchange for the whereabouts of the royal family’s fairy godmother. Rumple tells the king that his son is dead and can’t be brought back but reveals that he had a twin brother, we know as Prince Charming. We cut to an idyllic pasture where we find the real Prince Charming as a simple shepherd.
We find Mary Margaret in her Storybrooke apartment obsessively cleaning dishes after her encounter with David. Emma tells Mary Margaret she did the right thing. Mary Margaret asks Emma what she should do. Emma pours her a drink, “Generally speaking, if you think something you wanna do is wrong… it is. So you gotta stay strong and he has to figure out his life.”
David is back with Kathryn, going through pictures of his former life with her. She’s comforting and caresses the back of his head while asking him if he wants to go to bed. The subtext is clear – she’s looking for more than just going to sleep. David suggests that maybe they just sit and talk some more but Kathryn’s reply is a passionate kiss. David goes with it at first then abruptly pulls away, “This… isn’t right.”
In Fairy Tale Land we find the real Prince Charming tending to a flock of sheep. His mother, Ruth, approaches with an offer for the grain merchant’s daughter’s hand in marriage. Her dowry will save the farm. Prince Charming says that no matter how poor they are, he’ll only marry for love. His mother gently puts her hand on his cheek, “When are you going to learn? You can’t have everything.” Then a voice, “Perhaps he can?” They both turn to find Rumple standing in front of their home. How did he get there? Ruth wears a look of shock, the kind when you see someone you hoped you’d never have to see again. Charming learns from his mother that he had a twin brother, “We were poor. Barely surviving. And… he came along with an offer… one of you for the farm.” The deal forbade them from ever telling Charming but his father regretted the decision as soon as Rumple took his brother. It’s a painful family secret laid bare between a mother and her son. Rumple interrupts; telling them time is of the essence. Charming asks what he wants. Rumple says he doesn’t want anything but the king needs a prince to slay a dragon. All Charming has to do is pretend to be his dead brother while the king’s men slay the dragon. Then he just has to deliver the dragon’s head to Midas. If he does this, his mother will never want for anything, the farm will be saved and he’d be the conquering hero. When he asks if he has a choice, Rumple gives that malevolent smile, “Everyone has a choice deary. Just make sure it’s the right one.”
Back in Storybrooke, Mary Margaret is minding her own business in Granny’s diner when Dr. Whale interrupts her. He notes her resignation from the hospital and apologizes for not calling her back after their date, “Not classy. But if you can find a way to get over it, you know where to find me.” Mary Margaret goes right back to her paper. As Dr. Whale exits, Regina walks in and takes a seat across from Mary Margaret. She is surprised to find out from Regina that David left his wife. Regina tells Mary Margaret to stay away from her friend and Kathryn’s husband and let him remember who he was.
In FTL, Charming is getting ready to face the dragon when Midas tells him that if succeeds he’ll be legend. After he walks away, the Burly Knight from earlier takes Charming’s sword from him, “You may have the title of hero, but not the job.” They both look toward the mountain when they hear the dragon’s roar. On the mountain the Burley Knight and his men are wiped out when they encounter the dragon in its lair. Charming pulls the Burley Knight to safety. As the dragon flies back around to incinerate Charming, he tricks the dragon into a small gap in the rocks where it gets stuck. Just like corralling sheep. With the dragon stuck, Charming finishes it off by chopping off its head. Charming is now a dragon slayer!
Back in Storybrooke, Mary Margaret is getting ready for class when David surprises her. She’s upset because she doesn’t want to be the one to destroy his marriage. David says the more hurtful thing to Kathryn would be him pretending, “She needs someone to feel about her the way I feel about you.” Whoever chose Kathryn is gone, he chooses her. Mary Margaret is flustered, battling with herself. She shoos him out of her class, telling him to leave her alone. David tells her to meet him at the toll bridge later. If she doesn’t show, he’ll never bother her again, “But if you choose this – if you choose us -- you know where I’ll be.” And with that he leaves.
At the Sheriff’s station, Emma reluctantly agrees to work Graham’s night shift after he uses the excuse of having to work at an animal shelter. Just then Mary Margaret rushes in and needs to talk to Emma. Graham takes the cue that it’s girl talk and heads to his office. She tells Emma that David left his wife for her and asks what she should do. Emma says go, “He left her. It’s one thing to say he wants you. It’s another to actually make a choice. And now he has. That’s all you can ask for.” As this settles with Mary Margaret, she asks if this is really happening. Emma: “You tell me.”
David opens his door to his room at Granny’s B&B. He settles in. Then stares out the window in anticipation at the clock tower. His gaze drifts down to the weeding band on his finger, considering it.
Now we’re back in Fairy Tale Land with King George extolling Charming ‘s feat of killing the Dragon to Midas. As Midas sends the dragon’s head away, King George whispers to Charming that they pulled it off but all Charming wants is to return home. The king says that’s a discussion for later. Midas turns his attention back to Charming and King George, he tells them he wasn’t looking for just a dragon slayer. Then he drops the bomb, he was looking for the strongest warrior in the land to marry his daughter, “Someone I’d be proud to call family. Bring her.” Out walks the FTL version of Kathryn. Midas introduces her as Abigail, “I promised her I would only give her hand in marriage when I could find a companion worthy of her. And now, I have.” After unenthusiastically looking Charming up and down, “He killed the dragon?” Midas nods. “I guess he’ll do.” When Charming hesitates saying yes to marriage, King George pulls him in to a father-son hug. Then whispers into his ear that if he doesn’t accept he will be responsible for the destruction of everyone and everything in their kingdom. The king’s words are pure venom, “You will marry this girl, or I will kill you, I will kill your mother, and I will turn that farm into ash.” Charming is speechless. Grabbing Charming’s face the king says he’ll take his silence as wisdom, “Follow it and I know you’ll make the right decision.”
It’s nighttime in Storybrooke and we’re with David. He’s looking at a map, lost when he bumps into Regina. When she guesses that he’s meeting Mary Margaret at the toll bridge she tells him, “So, you’ve made your choice.” After unsuccessfully trying to change his mind she gives him directions that take him right past Mr. Gold’s Pawn Shop. David walks away as Regina watches him go, her eyes cold as ice.
Mary Margaret is waiting for David under a full moon at the toll bridge. Meanwhile, David finds himself lost again in front of Mr. Gold’s Pawn Shop and goes in seeking directions. Inside his eye catches a baby’s mobile and it looks like baby Emma’s from FTL. Mr. Gold tries to sell it to him but David says he’s lost and needs to get to the toll bridge. Mr. Gold laments that the Regina has led him astray with her directions. After getting the right directions from him, David turns to leave and walks right up to lawn windmill Kathryn described to him earlier. The one she said sat in their front yard of their house. Mr. Gold notices and asks if he sees something he likes David says, “I think… this belonged to me.” As David’s mind reels, Gold smiles, “Really? Are you sure?” David, “Yes. I remember.”
In Fairy Tale Land, a princely Charming returns to his family’s humble farm to find it and his mother, Ruth, rejuvenated. After excitedly greeting him home, Ruth tries to invite him in for supper. But Charming isn’t here for food or advice, he’s here to say goodbye. She gives him her wedding ring to give to his bride and tells him true love follows this rings. Ruth had it with his father and he’ll have it with whomever he gives the ring to. It’s a heartbreaking goodbye as they focus on the ring.
We’re back on the ring but this time in Storybrooke as Mary Margaret fiddles with it on her finger as she waits for David at the at the toll bridge. David arrives and tells her he remembers everything. She asks if he’s going back to Kathryn. David says “It’s the right thing to do.” Hearing this gets her riled up, “The right thing to do was not to lead me on.” David, “I know.” Mary Margaret says he made his choice, “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.” She walks off, heartbroken.
Emma’s on patrol and catches Graham sneaking out of Regina’s house. Emma is disgusted not only by the fact that he’s sleeping with Regina but that he’s doing it with Henry in the house. As she leaves, she has look of disappoint on her face.
David goes home to Kathryn. He says remembers the windmill and where their relationship was before his accident. David remembers he never intended to leave her, he just needed some time but then he got in his accident and got more time than he expected. They both apologize and agree to work on their relationship. As David reaches for Abigail’s hand, we cut to…
The same hands in Fairy Tale Land as Charming and Abigail are about to leave to their new home. King George pulls Charming aside, tells him he’s glad he made the right decision. King George, “Smile son, you’re on the road to true love.” Charming looks down at the pouch holding his mother’s wedding ring, not knowing how right the king is. We find them on the same road and carriage from a previous episode where Snow White ambushed them. Leading to Snow White and Charming meeting for the first time.
Back in Storybrooke, Mary Margaret wallows in her disappointment at Granny’s Diner. Dr. Whale sits down next to her and asks her if she’s having a rough day. She opens up about going into a situation knowing what will happen but doing it anyways. She laments that she should have known better. Dr. Whale says he never feels that way by never doing what’s expected, “Keeps life interesting.” Mary Margaret considers that. With that Dr. Whale sees an opportunity and asks her if he can buy her a drink. Mary Margaret looks at him, “You can buy me two.”
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