Once Upon a Time

Season 1 Episode 7

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Dec 11, 2011 on ABC

Episode Recap

In the real world, Graham is at the bar, drinking and throwing darts, and Stanley, the newspaper editor, dares him to make the shots again. Graham does as Emma arrives. She deliberately avoids Graham, who throws a dart in front of her to stop her as she goes out the door. He asks why she's been avoiding him, and Emma says that she has no interest in discussing his affair with the mayor. Emma walks away but Graham follows her and says that he needs to make her understand. She wonders why, and Graham says that he doesn't feel anything for Regina. However, he didn't want Emma to look at him the way she is now. When she wonders why he cares, Graham leans forward and kisses her. He gets a brief flash of a forest, a wolf, Mary Margaret, and a vault with a black symbol on the door, and then Emma shoves him back. He says that he needs to feel something, but Emma tells him that whatever he wants, he won't get it with her.

Graham goes to Regina's house. When she answers the door, he confirms that her son is asleep, grabs her, and kisses her.


The Evil Queen is at her palace and goes to the mausoleum where Snow is saying goodbye to her father. She offers her condolences and says that she also loved her husband, Snow's stepfather. The Evil Queen promises to be there for Snow forever and hugs her.

Later, the Magic Mirror contacts the Evil Queen and congratulates her on the success of her revenge. The Evil Queen is happy that she has fooled Snow, but warns that the kingdom would turn on her if she took a more blatant revenge against Snow. She tells the Mirror that they must be delicate and carefully conceal any involvement in her murder. The Evil Queen wants someone with no heart to handle the killing, and the Mirror suggests that she use a Huntsman.

In the woods, the Huntsman brings down a deer and then thanks it for its sacrifice. He sheds a tear and then looks up as a wolf appears out of the woods. It steps forward and growls at the Huntsman, and the Huntsman says that it won't go hungry.


Graham wakes up from his dream, and tells Regina that he saw himself hunting a deer and talking with a wolf. He explains that he's seen the wolf before, but Regina says that it's a dream and tells him to go back to bed. Graham insists that it was a memory, not a dream, and goes out to get some air. He leaves despite her protests and goes to get his car at the bar. The wolf walks up to him and looks at him for a moment, and then trots away.

The next day, Emma enters the kitchen and finds a bouquet of flowers on the table. She assumes that they're Graham's and throws them away, but Mary Margaret comes in and says that Dr. Whale sent them after their one-night stand. Emma wonders if it's serious and Mary Margaret admits that she felt guilty about it. When Emma says that it's okay and that she never gets beyond one-nighters, Mary Margaret points out that she always keeps walls up from other people and figures that she has feelings for Graham. Emma denies it, proving Mary Margaret's point, and the teacher says that the wall will not only keep out pain but love. She then takes the flowers out of the garbage and puts them in a vase.

Graham runs into the woods and finds Gold out for what he says is a bit of gardening. When Graham says that he was looking for a wolf, Gold says that there aren't any wolves in Storybrooke. The sheriff explains that he saw the same wolf in his dream and then in the real world, and asks if Gold has seen it. Gold says that he hasn't but notes that some people believe that dreams are memories of another life. When Graham asks what he believes, Gold says that he never rules out anything and wishes Graham luck in finding what he's looking for.


The Huntsman goes to a tavern with his wolf companion and the other patrons stare cautiously at the animal. They gossip that the Huntsman is an animal who was raised by animals and cries over his kills. One man comes over and asks him why he cries, and the Huntsman says that an honorable man cries, and that animals are pure of heart, not selfish and self-serving. The wolf growls at the man, who prepares to attack it. The Huntsman kills him and takes on the others, who withdraw after a few seconds. Meanwhile, the Evil Queen watches him through a shard of glass, decides that he's perfect, and tells her men to bring the Huntsman to her.


In the woods, Graham continues to chase the wolf and catches a glimpse of it. He finally catches up to it and asks what it wants. It starts to walk away, but when he whistles to it, it turns around and comes to him. Graham pets it and has a flash of himself, killing a woman who looks like Mary Margaret.

Graham goes to the school and finds Mary Margaret. He says that he thinks they know each other from another life.


The Huntsman enters the palace and refuses to give his real name to the Evil Queen. He explains that the wolves raised him and that his parents only gave birth to him, and she believes that he is a wolf rather than a sheep. She asks him to kill someone and the Huntsman wonders why he should. The Evil Queen offers him a place at her court as her Royal Huntsman, awash in luxury, and explains that she needs someone without compassion, someone who can carve a heart out and bringing it back to her. The Huntsman says that he can do that and tells the Evil Queen to outlaw the hunting of wolves in return. She promptly agrees and the Huntsman asks her who he is to kill.


Graham asks Mary Margaret if she remembers when they met, and she admits that she has no idea. He doesn't remember either, and explains that he doesn't remember meeting anyone in town. Mary Margaret dismisses it as life, and he asks if he's ever hurt her. Graham asks if she believes in past lives, and Mary Margaret tells him about Henry's theory that they're fairy tale characters. She tells him to go home and get some rest, and Graham hesitantly leaves.


The Huntsman, dressed as a guard in the Queen's army, walks Snow home. She offers him an apple and he refuses, and Snow realizes that he's not one of her father's knights. However, she realizes that he's there to kill him. He freely admits that he is, and Snow knocks him down in his armor and runs off.


Emma is at the sheriff's office when Regina arrives. The mayor freely admits that she has a relationship with Graham, and asks what Emma's relationship is with Graham. Emma says that her life is her business, but Regina tells him to stay away from Graham because she's putting thoughts in his head and leading him on a path of self-destruction.

Graham goes to see Henry and asks him if he's in his fairy tale book.


The Huntsman finally catches up to Snow, who is sitting and writing a letter. He asks why and Snow says that she knows he'll find her no matter what. She asks the Huntsman to give her letter to the Evil Queen and tell her that she means every word. The Huntsman reads it, crying, and then draws his knife and advances on Snow. He uses it to cut a reed, carves it into a whistle, and tells her to use it to summon help. He then tells her to run while looking at a nearby deer.


Henry shows Graham the story of the Huntsman and asks when he started having memory flashes. When Graham says that it happened after he kissed Emma, the boy realizes that Graham is the Huntsman and the wolf is his guide. The memories began because the Huntsman spared Snow, Emma's mother. When Graham wondered what happened to the Huntsman in the story, Henry explains that the Evil Queen ripped his heart out so he would never feel anything again. He shows Graham a picture of the vault where she hid the Huntsman's heart, and Graham realizes what he needs to do.

As Graham leaves the house, he finds Emma waiting for him outside. She wonders what is going on and Graham explains that he needs to find the wolf to lead him to the vault where his heart is hidden. Emma wonders what he's talking about and Graham says that he doesn't feel anything. She offers to prove that he has a heart and touches his chest. Emma assures him that it's beating and then puts his heart to his chest as well. Graham doesn't believe it, insisting that it's the curse. The wolf appears down the street and they both follow it as it runs to a nearby cemetery. It leads them to a vault with the symbol from Graham's dream, and he realizes that his heart is inside.

Graham approaches the vault and Emma tries to stop him, but realizes that he won't be deterred. She agrees to go with him and kicks open the vault door.


A knight brings the Huntsman to the Evil Queen. She asks if Snow is dead and the Huntsman says that he has her heart. However, first he shows her Snow's letter. The Evil Queen tells him to read it, and the Huntsman recites how Snow said that she knew her stepmother would never have love because of her. She hopes that with her death, the Evil Queen will rule her subjects well and that her need for revenge will be satisfied. Angry, the evil Queen throws the letter in the fire and asks if the Huntsman is becoming a sheep rather than a wolf. When he asks what Snow did, the Evil Queen says that she shared a secret with Snow but she didn't keep it, and the betrayal cost her dearly. The Huntsman then gives her the pouch with the heart. The Evil Queen places it into a box and closes it, and then prepares to put it in a rack with other boxes. When the rack doesn't open, the Evil Queen realizes that it isn't Snow's heart.


Graham and Emma find a coffin and urns, but no sign of his heart. He searches for it without success but Emma says that it's okay. Regina arrives and demands to know what they're doing. She explains that the vault is her father's grave, and Graham says that he brought Emma there. He refuses to tell Regina why he was there and she offers to take him home, but Graham says that she doesn't want to go home with her. Regina realizes that he's willing to go with Emma, but Graham insists that it has nothing to do with Emma. He figures that he can't feel anything because of Regina, and he's rather have nothing than what they have. Regina tries to go to him, but Graham says that it's over. The mayor blames Emma, who says that the problem is with Regina, not her. She points out that both Henry and Graham are miserable and tells Regina to think about why people are running away from her. Regina punches her and Emma fights back. Graham separates them and Emma walks away, saying Regina isn't worth it. Regina turns to Graham, who walks away without a word.

Emma and Graham go back to the sheriff's office and he tends to her wounds. He apologizes for going out of his mind, but she understands and figures that he's heartbroken. Emma figures that Graham became involved with Regina because he was lonely and desperate.

Regina goes into the vault and closes the door, and then puts the flowers on Henry's tomb. She then pushes it aside, revealing a secret stairway below.


The Evil Queen seals the door and tells the Huntsman that he isn't going anywhere. She then takes his heart in punishment, pulling it out of his chest. The Evil Queen then kisses him and says that he's now her, and puts his heart into the rack. She warns the Huntsman that if he ever disobeys her, she'll squeeze. Demonstrating, the Evil Queen causes the Huntsman to collapse to the ground in agony. As her guards take him away to her bed chamber, the Evil Queen says that he is now hers forever.


Regina goes to the rack of boxes and removes the Huntsman's heart from its case.

Graham finishes tending Emma's cuts and notices her smiling at him. She steps forward and kisses him, and Graham remembers everything from his life as the Huntsman.

In the vault, Regina holds Graham's heart in her hand.

Graham tells Emma that he remembers everything. Crying, he thanks Emma and starts to kiss her... and then collapses, dead, as Regina crushes his heart to dust.