Enchanted Forest--Sometime in the past.
A carriage comes down a dirt path. It's a fancy carriage, with armored drivers and white horses. Hey! Charming is inside, along with a fancily dressed blonde woman who is making it clear she couldn't be more bored. The as-yet unnamed blonde woman is obviously not interested in Charming at all.
A fallen tree is in the path, and Charming gets out to give it a look-over with his armored drivers. He quickly determines the tree has markings indicating it was cut, and that they have come upon an ambush.
The blonde lady screams, having been robbed while the men left her alone in the carriage, and Charming turns to see a cloaked figure on a white horse riding away. He gives chase, pulls the figure off the horse, and they tussle with each other. When he gets the hood of the cloak off the person who just robbed the blonde, he sees it's a woman.
She bashes Charming on the chin with a rock, mounts her horse again, and rides away.
Charming shouts: "You can't hide from me. I WILL FIND YOU!"
There's that line again. I think we should start a game where you take a drink every time someone on this show says "I will find you" or "You found me." You'd get drunk pretty quickly, especially in Season One.
Storybrooke, Present Day: Snow is on a date at Granny's Diner with Dr. Whale, the town's only skilled physician (he's actually Dr. Frankenstein, which you find out in Season Two).
Snow talks about wanting kids and true love and a happily ever after, but gets weirded out when she realizes these are inappropriate topics for a first date. She bails and leaves the diner.
After ditching her date, Snow finds Emma sleeping in her car (a yellow VW bug that becomes an iconic prop in this show). There are no vacancies anywhere in Storybrooke, since Granny's is the only public housing place. Snow offers to let Emma stay with her, but Emma says she's not the roommate type.
Snow visits John Doe (Charming) in the hospital, and Henry is there. He tells Snow she should spend more time with John Doe (hint, hint), as he shouldn't be alone.
Later, at Henry's castle, he and Emma discuss whether or not John Doe is Emma's father, Charming. Henry shows Emma how the illustrations of Charming in his storybook show he has the same scar on his chin (from Snow's rock) as John Doe. He wants to tell Snow her prince is in town.
Emma isn't sure that's a good idea, to give poor spinster Snow false hope, but agrees to talk to her on Henry's behalf.
At Snow's apartment, Snow and Emma enjoy some hot chocolate with CINNAMON, and Emma asks Snow to go read to Charming as both a favor to Henry, and to show Henry that fairy tales aren't real.
Snow agrees, calling it a date where she will do all the talking.
Interestingly, Snow chooses to read the Snow and Charming story from Henry's storybook. When she gets to the spot where Charming is about to say "I WILL ALWAYS FIND YOU," Charming grabs her hand. Cue a surprised look from Snow.
She gets Dr. Frankenstein to check Charming out, but he says the readings on him are all the same, and she must have dozed off and imagined the hand grab. He sends Snow home, then calls Regina.
Regina, it seems, has asked the doctor to call her if there is ever a change in Charming's condition. He tells her Charming grabbed Snow's hand. Regina is super pissed about this, and grabs her phone so hard you almost expect it to crumble to pieces.
Enchanted Forest, The Past--Charming catches Snow in a rabbit trap, and says he told her "I WILL ALWAYS FIND YOU." (*drink)
Snow asks if the only way he can get a woman is to trap her. He says it is the only way to trap thieving scum. Snow bestows Charming with his nickname, telling him with great sarcasm that he is a real "Prince Charming."
It seems Snow stole the blonde woman's jewels, which included a ring that was Charming's mother's. The blonde woman is Charming's fiancee, which Snow scoffs at. It's an arranged marriage, something Snow is quite jaded about. She thinks all arranged marriages are jokes. Snow doesn't believe in true love in royal marriages, as they are all business transactions, though Charming protests that he does love his intended.
He blackmails Snow into helping him get the ring back (which she already sold), by showing her a "Wanted" poster with her face on it and threatening to turn her in to the Queen.
Storybrooke, Present Day--Snow meets Emma and Henry at Granny's diner, excited that Charming grabbed her hand. They all rush to the hospital to find Graham waiting for them. Charming has gone missing.
Regina is also at the hospital, in Charming's room. She's hella pissed to find Henry there, when he told her he was going to be at the arcade.
(*Interesting note--Storybrooke landed in our world in 1983, and seems to be stuck in that year, culturally. Except, of course, for the fact that fairy tale characters from other realms are able to get credit cards that work in the outside world, and they have a connection to the Internet, which Henry used to find Emma.)
Emma wonders why Regina is there, and Regina says she is John Doe's emergency contact, because she found him on the side of the road without ID years ago. With nothing else to say, Regina takes Henry and drags him out of there. Her intent is to keep Henry away from Emma, if Emma won't stay away from Henry.
Emma, Grumpy, Bashful, Graham, and Snow look at security camera footage of Charming's room, which shows him getting out of bed and heading for the woods.
Enchanted Forest, Sometime in the Past--Snow and Charming walk through the woods. Charming amuses himself by pilfering Snow's necklace. She grabs for it, telling him it is dangerous, because it has fairy dust in it. It's a powerful weapon that turns one's enemy into something that can be easily squashed, and she plans to use it on Regina. She doesn't want to waste it on Charming, so he gives it back to her.
Snow tells Charming her tale of woe, and says she's been looking for money to pay her way out of the Enchanted Forest ever since the Evil Queen sent her Huntsman to kill her.
Charming wonders why the Queen hates Snow so much. Snow says Regina blames Snow for ruining her life.
Charming: "Did you?"
Charming falls in a river and Snow tries to help him, but runs away as he is carried off by the current. She doesn't get far before she encounters a few of the Evil Queen's Black Guards, who are only too happy to kill her for the Queen.
Storybrooke, Present Day--Snow, Emma, and Graham search the woods for Charming. While Graham goes off on his own, saying the woods are "his world," Snow asks Emma how she got into bail bondspersoning. It's basically because of her lifelong search for her parents.
Henry finds them and says he knows where Charming went, and that he is looking for Snow.
Enchanted Forest, The Past--Charming appears out of nowhere and sword fights the Black Guards who are about to kill Snow. He gets rid of all but one, and takes out the last one with an arrow.
Snow is stunned Charming saved her.
"It seemed like the honorable thing to do," Charming replies, then once more asks her to help him get his ring back. Since he saved her, Snow is more agreeable to it this time.
Snow sold the jewels to trolls, and she will take him to them, but warns him trolls are dangerous. Off they go.
Storybrooke, The Present--Searching the woods for Charming, Henry is super insistent Charming is looking for Snow, but Snow and Emma dismiss this idea. They keep looking, anyway, and find Charming's "John Doe" wrist band on the ground, covered in blood.
Enchanted Forest, The Past--Snow and Charming approach the Troll Bridge. Since Snow has experience with trolls, she takes the lead, and puts out some coins on the bridge's ledge to attract their attention. Soon enough, the trolls come climbing up the sides of the bridge and coming in at both entrances.
The trolls are not happy to see Snow, as they already traded with her and don't want to do it again. But, Snow insists. She offers to give them back all their money if they just give her the ring. They start to agree, but become suspicious it is a set-up when Charming is too eager to take the ring a troll is about to hand to him.
The trolls manhandle Snow and Charming, and discover the "Wanted" poster for Snow, with its promised reward. They decide to take Snow to the Queen, as trolls love money, but Charming sends Snow fleeing off the bridge while he fights off quite a few of them with his sword.
Snow thinks Charming is right behind her in the woods, but turns to find him still on the bridge, about to be taken out by the few trolls that are left. She goes back to him, throws the precious fairy dust, and turns the trolls into insects.
Charming: "You saved me."
Snow: "It seemed like the honorable thing to do."
She says she will find another way to deal with Regina. She calls him Prince Charming again, and he introduces himself to her as James.
(*Charming's real name is NOT James, but it's what he's going by in the Enchanted Forest at the moment, because he's being blackmailed. His real name is actually David.)
Storybrooke, The Present--Emma, Snow, Henry, and Graham approach the Toll Bridge (a play on Troll Bridge), and find an unconscious Charming on the ground there.
Snow: "I found you."
Charming needs CPR, and Snow is grabbing him and demanding he come back to her. She puts her lips on his to rouse him, and he awakens.
Charming: "You saved me."
Henry is pleased. Snow kissed Charming and woke him up, yo!
Only, Charming doesn't know who she is, or who he is.
He is returned to the hospital, where Snow looks super happy, glowing, like she might have found her true love for real. Only, that bored blonde woman from the carriage shows up, calling for "David." Regina appears and says John Doe's name is David Nolan, and that the blonde woman is his wife.
(*Charming is the only person in Storybrooke whose cursed name is the same as his Enchanted Forest name...remember, though he introduced himself to Snow as James, his real name is David.)
Snow looks devastated.
Enchanted Forest, The Past--Snow gives the ring back to Charming, saying it isn't her style. Charming isn't so sure, so Snow tries it on. Charming falls in love with her immediately upon seeing the ring on her finger.
Snow gives him the ring, and they prepare to go their separate ways. Before they do, they remind each other that if one needs they other, they will find them. (*Half a drink for that one, since they kinda said it, but not with the exact words.)
Snow calls him Charming once more, and he reminds her it's James. She says she likes Charming better. They leave each other, going in different directions. Charming has an arranged marriage to get to, and Snow has to get the hell out of the Enchanted Forest.
Storybrooke, The Present--Regina tells everyone the blonde woman is called Katherine, and she is David's wife. They had a fight years ago, and he left and never came home. She assumed he left town, until Regina located and called her. Katherine is happy that they get a second chance.
Snow says that is wonderful, but clearly does not feel that way. She was starting to fall for him.
Regina grounds Henry for sneaking out of the house to be a part of this rescue mission. When she goes to take him home, Henry whispers to Snow that Charming really WAS looking for her, and to not believe anyone who tells her otherwise.
Snow is super sad, because she doesn't believe Charming was looking for her at all, but only went to the bridge because the Troll Bridge was in the story she read to him just before he woke up.
Emma chases Regina out the door and says the whole story about Katherine being David's wife is crap. She questions why Katherine never looked for David, and why Regina found Katherine the day he woke up. Regina says they found additional security camera footage of David calling out for a "Katherine" while he was unconscious. Regina CLAIMS that is how they found Katherine, and tells Emma Storybrooke is bigger than it appears.
Emma's not buying it.
Snow looks on with tears in her eyes as Katherine hugs David (Charming), and Charming looks across Katherine to Snow. He clearly would prefer to be hugging her.
At Snow's apartment, later, there is a knock at the door. It's Emma, and she is taking Snow up on her offer to be her roommate.
Snow smiles as she lets Emma in, to her new home.
Next--Season 1, Episode 4--"The Price of Gold"