Once Upon a Time “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” Review


Someday, Once Upon a Time will decide to let us know exactly what secret Snow White spilled that led her to her stepmother wanting to cut her heart out. On that day, no matter how badly we might want to feel for the Queen, I think the events of this week’s episode, “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” will keep our sympathy at bay.

Up until now, Emma’s effect on Storybrooke has been very subtle. A happy ending here, a little rebellion there, and one coma recovery that sort of led to even more heartbreak. They were small changes, noticeable only to someone who was paying close attention to the town’s inhabitants, like Henry and possibly Regina.

But then Sheriff Graham got drunk and kissed Emma. Just one kiss and the memories of his life as the Huntsman in Fairytale Land started flooding back. With a little encouragement from Mr. Gold (Just what mischief was he up to in the woods? Gardening, my butt!), story hour with Henry and a conversation with Mary Margaret, Graham slowly began to entertain the notion that his dreams were actually a forgotten reality.

In that reality, the story unfolded much like we knew it would. The Queen wanted Snow White dead, so she hired the Huntsman to take her into the woods and make it so. She didn’t count on getting a Huntsman with a soul, so when he returned with a deer’s heart instead, she ripped his from his chest. Kali ma!!!

Having no heart and being the Queen’s slave in Fairytale Land, led to Graham ending up as her emotionless lapdog in Storybrooke, but once the memories started coming back to him, thanks to the connection he shared with Emma (having saved her life by not killing her mother), it didn’t take long for Regina to regain control by finding his heart in her hidden mausoleum and squeezing it into dust.

I really wish I could have seen the very end of the episode, but my DVR doesn’t love me. I am going to assume that Graham is no longer with us, as the last thing I saw was him collapsing to the ground, and while I love Once Upon a Time for raising the stakes, I sincerely hope that there is a way to bring him back.

Will Graham’s awakening, cut short by the evil, evil Regina, make an impression on Emma? The evidence is piling up that Henry isn’t just a lonely boy with a picture book; how much longer can she deny the truth, fantastic though it might be? Eventually, she needs to come around to his side; if just her kiss has that much effect on the curse, imagine what her belief in her own powers could do.

Oh, and how awesome was it to see Emma finally deck Regina, even if Regina did throw the first punch? Talk about satisfying. That was a fight that’s been coming for awhile.

Another gorgeous episode of Once Upon a Time, with some questions answered and some uncovered. But unlike it’s creative predecessor, Lost, I feel like the writers know where they’re going. I trust them to take us on this journey, which is why I feel safe embarking on it. I don’t expect everything to be wrapped up this season, but my gut tells me that I won’t be left confused or irritated.

What did you think of the episode? Let me know below!