Ever wonder how mothers of twins can so readily tell them apart? They say there are subtle differences in appearance that one can catch if you look hard enough. Sometimes it's personality or attitude. Interests often play a large part in differentiating twins. While all of this applies to the twins in Once Upon a Time, there is still one glaring factor...one is royalty, the other a simple farm hand. How is this possible, you ask? Simply, Rumplestiltskin. But let me start from the beginning...
Prince James is deft at swordsmanship. He's known as one of the bravest men in the kingdom. The way he can deflect each blow and remain on top is nearly unmatchable, even against larger and more beast-like men. King Midas sees this display of power as his ticket to rid his kingdom of a dragon that terrorizes his people. Prince James can kill the mighty beast, in exchange, Prince James' kingdom will be supplied with endless gold from Midas' fingertips. However, on one particular day, after King Midas' deal is struck and he has left satisfied with James' skillfulness, James' overconfidence gets the better of him when his opponent surreptitiously plunges his sword through the crafty prince's chest. Prince James is dead and his father is desperate to not lose King Midas' deal.
And so, years later, when Rumplestiltskin shows up at the farm to collect the second twin, because his princely brother is dead, everyone is shocked, especially the second twin. He is but a simple shepherd trying to keep his humble farm afloat for his mother. He can't just up and leave her just to slay a dragon simply because he looks like the deceased prince. He doesn't know the first thing about swordsmanship. But aside from marrying a girl for money to keep the farm, he really has no choice. Not if this will help his mother. And so, he makes his choice, gains a haircut, and a quick lesson in how to wear armor. His only role, stand there and look handsome, and then present the dragon's head to Midas.
Fully suited, the knights and the prince's doppelganger make their way to the dragon's lair. A simple job, in and out. However, the dragon doesn't want to be slayed and fights back with hot breath and snapping teeth. Several of the knights are wounded or killed quickly, leaving the twin to save the day. Using his only skills of shepherding, his traps the dragon and swiftly severs the head. All in a days work.
Midas is very pleased, marked by turning the dragon head to gold. But his gratitude is worth more than a kingdom full of gold. He wants to unite such bravery with his kingdom in the form of marriage. Yes, King Midas has a daughter and the new prince is conveniently available. The only problem, well, the one BIG problem...he's not really a prince. And to top it off, the only choice he ever had, to choose his own love, has just been stripped from him. But if he doesn't comply, King George will destroy his mother's farm and kill her. So, without argument, the new prince accepts Princess Abigail's hand, has a quick good-bye to his mother, who gives him her beloved emerald ring, and away the prince and princess are to their new castle where they will live happily ever after...if only the scenic road they take wasn't holding an ominous vagabond in the trees named Snow White, ready to ambush a royal carriage...
How awful would it be to wake up in a strange land where not one piece of your surroundings was familiar and then you were brought "home" by a woman you don't know only to be swarmed by a welcome home party of townspeople you didn't know? Awful, right?! Well, there are two familiar faces, Emma and Henry. But the only person who feels real to you is missing. So what do you do? Go find her.
David doesn't know his "wife" or "friends" or even his home. He doesn't know his town or how he got there. Everything everyone is telling him about himself doesn't ring a bell. Except one thing. He's not sure why exactly, but one thing feels right and safe. Mary Margaret Blanchard, the sensible school teacher who's been avoiding him ever since he told her these feelings. But maybe she's the answer, the key to making sense of everything. And for that reason, he can't stay away, and he knows she has to feel the same.
And so, ditching his own party, David makes his way to Mary Margaret's apartment, where she's hanging a bird feeder in a tree in the dark. He helps her hang it and then confronts her about avoiding him. After a quick exchange of honest feelings, Mary Margaret tells him that he shouldn't come around. He's married, and all the feelings he has stem only from her saving him, nothing more. So he needs to stay away and live his life with his wife.
Mayor Regina Mills couldn't agree more. He's married to her new, and only, friend Kathryn. Mary Margaret does not belong with David and she needs to keep away.
But David doesn't feel the same. No matter how hard he tries to remember, Kathryn and her pictures of their life doesn't spark any true memories. Which leaves only Mary Margaret.
There's just one catch. David has no idea how to get to the Bridge. The last time he went there it was in a post-coma, dreamy state. And who should he run into on his way...Regina. With directions that equal several wrong turns, David winds up in Mr. Gold's Pawn Shop. Mr. Gold, always ready to make a deal, tries to sell some of his goods to David. One item in particular, a charming unicorn baby mobile. (And as we know, it's from baby Emma's nursery in Fairy Tale Land). While it would seem that such a significant item would spark a strong memory, David merely blinks and ask that Mr. Gold give him more accurate directions to the Bridge.
Mr. Gold does and sends him on his way. But not before another item catches David's eye. A simply carved windmill. Kathryn had told him about a windmill that had been outside their house. David had hated it, only deciding to buy the house if the windmill went. And here, in front of him, is a windmill. There's something about it, something mesmerizing. Time seems to slow as realization dawns in David's eyes as he reaches out to spin the wheel. As it turns, David's brows furrow as he mutters, "I remember."
Of course, whatever possible memories that just assaulted David can't be real, right? Mr. Gold or Regina's doing, or both? Either way, David is now "assured" of his life with Kathryn, which means that Mary Margaret is right. They can't be together. And now he has to break the news to her, which is only harder since she is waiting for him at the Toll Bridge. Naturally, she's heartbroken, and tired of being so. He shouldn't have suggested such a thing as love to her if he was only going to take it away. And so she leaves, deciding her only cure for a broken heart is a few drinks and a heart-to-heart chat with arrogant Dr. Whale.
And so, while the Fairy Tale Land seems to be making wonderful progress in the right direction, Storybrooke has made a wrong turn. What's going to happen to David and Mary Margaret's relationship now? They're supposed to be together and we know it, but there's just two problems: Regina and Kathryn, who is most likely a result of Regina. Will the problems ever get fixed or is the knot just going to keep getting tighter?
1) What is the new Prince James' real name?
2) How can Abigail be so snooty while her Storybrooke counterpart, Kathryn, be so kind?
3) What are David's new memories? Who put them there?
4) Who is Dr. Whale? Why does he keep coming back to Mary Margaret?
5) Again, what is Rumple's fetish with babies?
6) What happened to the shepherd's mother? Is she in Storybrooke?