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This article focuses on the Seattle character named "Samuel".
For the Enchanted Forest character with the same name, see Samuel.

Henry: So... can you look for it?
Desk Sergeant: Sure. No problem. How 'bout I, uh, look under my desk here. Nope... I'm stumped.

Henry Mills and the Desk Sergeant src

Samuel B. Ryce,[1] also known as the Desk Sergeant or Sam, is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the first episode of the seventh season and is portrayed by co-star Bruce Blain.


During Fifth Curse

In Hyperion Heights, the Desk Sergeant is a policeman named Samuel B. Ryce[1] who works at the police station. One day, as he is sitting behind his reception desk, Henry comes to the police station to report that his car has been stolen. To Henry's disbelief, Samuel does not seem to care about his problem, as he makes a faux attempt at looking for the car under his desk before remarking that he is "stumped" to not find it there. Another officer, Rogers, interjects into the conversation, commenting that some officers still care about police work and helping people. As he ignores the cutting remarks, Samuel leaves the situation to his colleague. Later, that night, he congrats Rogers, who comes back to the station, telling him that he has been promoted to detective, thanks to his "fairy godmother" Victoria Belfrey. Then, he introduces him to his new partner: Weaver. ("Hyperion Heights")

Some days later, the sergeant is supposed to take care of a perp named Sam, whom he brings to the station for acting disorderly at a cabaret. However, Sam becomes aggressive as he starts to attack and beat the sergeant. The policeman is saved in the nick of time by Rogers, who rushes into the police station to knock the guy out. Afterward, Rogers asks his colleague where he found Sam. As he is handcuffing the now unconscious perp, the sergeant states that Sam was at Pleasure Island Cabaret, and explains that the man was drunk and mouthy. Rogers comments that alcohol turns some people into jackasses, before noticing how the guy's tattoo is similar to Eloise Gardener's drawings. ("Greenbacks")

The day after Rogers rescued Eloise from Victoria, Samuel is among the policemen at the station who applaud Rogers for solving the case. Then, he personally congratulates Rogers, asking him how he feels to be a hero. When Rogers retorts that he was simply doing his job, Samuel ironically tells him he should say that to her, which draws Rogers' attention to the station doorway, where Eloise has just arrived with a cake for him. ("Pretty in Blue")

Through an anonymous tip, Samuel learns Sabine does not have her food safety permit for her food truck. He pays a visit to the truck as the food fair is set to begin that evening and overhears Sabine mumbling to herself about how she is going to "kill him dead". When he inquires about who she intends to kill, Sabine plays it off as a joking expression and then offers him a bag of her beignets. Samuel declines, saying he is on a diet, and instead asks to see her licenses and permits. After looking over Sabine's papers, he brings up her missing food safety permit and regretfully states he has to shut down her business. Sabine admits she filled out the paperwork but hasn't received anything back yet, however, she insists she needs to be at the food fair or her truck business will fail. Samuel refuses to turn a blind eye, and when Sabine questions how he knew about the permit in the first place, he reveals he got an anonymous tip, leading Sabine to mistakenly believe Drew, who is competing against her with his own food truck, is the culprit. Later after Drew gives Sabine his permit so she can keep her truck open during the fair, Samuel forgoes his diet and buys beignets and a bowl of gumbo soup from Sabine. ("A Taste of the Heights")

While Weaver is actively searching for Anastasia, Samuel is notified about a girl seen at an abandoned restaurant who fits the physical description of the person Weaver is looking for. He gives him a copy of the photo taken from security footage and asks who she is. Weaver tells him that she's just a scared girl who is part of a much larger puzzle. ("Sisterhood")

After a patrolman finds Henry's car broken down on the road with a flat tire, Samuel receives word of the incident and informs Rogers about it. Rogers thanks him for the information and promises to look into the issue. ("Chosen")

In light of Nick Branson's mysterious death at the police station, Samuel brings pictures he found on the printer to Rogers' office, walking in on him watching the security footage of Nick moments before his death, just as the feed cuts out. Samuel asks if there is something wrong with the TV and Rogers explains that an electrical surge wiped the footage, which Samuel comments is bad timing before handing Rogers the pictures and asking if they are his, which he confirms. Samuel wishes him luck before leaving him to his work. ("The Guardian")

At the police station, Samuel sees Eloise come in and comments on her status as a weird cult leader before asking if she has come to visit Rogers and Weaver. Eloise instead insists she needs help from someone in his position, to which Samuel declines, but Eloise uses magical persuasion to compel him into agreeing to reunite her with her coven sisters. After Samuel does as he is told, he brings Eloise to see them. Later, he phones Rogers to notify him that a bunch of shady women were spotted entering the theater. Once Rogers and Tilly follow Eloise into the theater, Samuel is waiting for them in the lobby, much to Rogers' confusion as he asks if something happened. Samuel, still under Eloise's control, tells him nothing is wrong before grabbing him. Rogers punches him to try and stop some of the coven members from dragging Tilly away, but he too is subdued by them. Rogers and Tilly are taken to the theater's lower level, where Samuel is present as Eloise reveals to Rogers that he was indeed right about her being part of a coven. Samuel remarks that at least he doesn't have to worry about a cult, to which Rogers tells him he's disgraced his badge. Later, Samuel witnesses the completion of the coven once Tilly is forced to take part in a spell Eloise succeeds in casting to bring magic to Hyperion Heights. ("Flower Child", "Is This Henry Mills?")

After Eloise leaves, Samuel stays to keep watch on a restrained Rogers while the coven members continue channeling their powers. Rogers tries to call out to Tilly, who is now actively chanting as she takes part in the spell, though Samuel tells him it's too late. The detective then sees one of the witches disappear as her cloak falls to the ground, to which Samuel goes to remove the cloak to reveal the witch has become a tree. He explains to Rogers that she's been "gifted" as this is a coven member's reward once her role has been completed. Working to secretly undo the knotted rope around his wrists, Rogers questions if Samuel will also get a reward for helping Eloise. Samuel, who is busy placing the cloak on a nearby rock, replies he'll be spared before turning around to see Rogers is no longer there, with only the undone rope and the detective's fake hand left behind. Samuel begins taking off to look for him, but Rogers suddenly appears and blindsides him with a punch to his face, knocking him out cold. ("Is This Henry Mills?")



  • The Desk Sergeant's full name is first revealed in "Chosen",[1] as it was decided by episode director Lana Parrilla. She wanted to honor her nephews, Samuel and Bryce, by naming the character after them. However, it was not possible to name him "Samuel Bryce", so his name became "Samuel B. Ryce".[2]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 File:717PodcastGuy.png
    TwitterLogo.svg @BBinBKK (Bruce Blain) on Twitter (April 14, 2018). "@LanaParrilla Well, twitter certainly seems to be happy with the episode! Congrats! Now, do you want to tell them about #SamuelBRyce, or should I? Oh, and here's a BTS pic I've been hanging on to but couldn't share until now."
  2. TwitterLogo.svg @BBinBKK (Bruce Blain) on Twitter (April 14, 2018). "Here's the story: @LanaParrilla's nephews are Samuel & Bryce, whom she wanted to honor in naming the #DeskSergeant "Samuel Bryce" couldn't be used, so they went with "Samuel B. Ryce" Grateful to be a part of that! PS I kept the name tag as a souvenir!" (screenshot)
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