Well, there you have it. Once Upon A Time’s producers have been teasing a major death for weeks, I just never thought they’d be so cruel as to kill one of the best (albeit most ridiculous) characters on the show. The sweater-vest-loving, hopelessly conflicted sheriff with the inexplicable Irish accent is no more, undone by the simple act of falling in love. On a positive note, his death proved once and for all that Regina is just as eeeevil in Storybrooke as she was back in Fairytale. Her actions will definitely have consequences, so yay for plot development! On a negative, much deeper note, Emma (and Shaunna) may never fall in love again, and I thought that this episode, and Graham’s death, felt rushed. I would have preferred a slow-burning mystery spread out over several episodes over this dramatic, Nikki and Paulo-style stand-alone sendoff. But, as Emma said, “Not feeling anything is an attractive option when what you feel sucks,” so I’m going to turn off my heart-switch and mourn the jaunty sheriff-man at a later date.
We began, as we typically do, at the diner. What is this, New Jersey? At night the diner turns into the local watering hole, and this is where we found our doomed hipster sheriff – hitting bulls-eye after bulls-eye in a solo game of darts. Storybrooke’s intrepid reporter Sydney (remember him?) seemed to be very interested in Graham’s dart skills, which leads me to believe that he might be one of the few people in town who is at least partially aware of the curse. If not, then he’s a terrible reporter. I hope we’ll see more of him soon.
Emma was still angry at Graham for his late night tryst with Regina, and tried to pass off her hurt feelings as total indifference. She was unsuccessful. ”You don’t know what it’s like with her,” Graham insisted. “I don’t feel anything!” That excuse doesn’t work on women with at least average levels of self-esteem, so Emma rebuffed his advances. Good girl. Graham went in for the kiss regardless, but as soon as their lips touched, his brain flashed back to Fairytale. Whoa! “Did you see that?” he asked Emma, clearly upset. She did not, and made it perfectly clear that he wouldn’t be “seeing” more of her anytime soon. Predictably, the hurting Graham ran straight into the arms of Regina, who stared directly at the camera with some seriously shifty eyes. At that point, you had to just know. Shifty eyes are a litmus test for cruel intentions. That makes sense, right?
In Fairytale, the beautiful Evil Queen stood on her balcony, gazing down at her pathetic plebeian subjects from her insane evil fortress. Elsewhere in the castle, Snow was crying over her recently deceased father’s coffin. The Queen approached, and the two women shared what appeared to be a genuine hug. “I may only be your mother through marriage,” the Queen said, “But I’m here for you, dear. Truly, and forever.” So now we know that the Evil Queen is also the Evil Stepmother, ticking off two major boxes in the fairy tale villain checklist.
Later, the Queen (sans Snow) consulted her magic mirror. “One down, one to go,” she sneered. We knew that the Queen hated Snow for a yet-undisclosed crime, but what could Snow’s father, who I thought was the love of the Queen’s life, possibly have done to ignite such an insane rage? “The kingdom is still loyal to her,” the Queen said of Snow. “They don’t know the wretchedness inside her as I do.” God, I can’t wait to find out what she did. The Queen told the mirror that she needed Snow dead, but she wasn’t going to send one of her own knights to do it. “I need someone adept at murder, bereft of mercy,” she said. “Someone with no heart,” the mirror replied. “You need a huntsman.” So the theory that pretty much everyone had from day one was correct. Good job!
NEXT: Someone has a one-night stand. It’s not who you think!