"Red-Handed" is the fifteenth episode of Season One of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Jane Espenson and directed by Ron Underwood. It is the fifteenth episode of the series overall, and premiered on March 11, 2012.
After quitting Granny's diner, and with her self-esteem at an all-time low, Emma hires Ruby to be her assistant in order to help her discover what it is in life that she's good at. Emma continues questioning David about the disappearance - and possible murder - of Kathryn. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was, Red Riding Hood yearns to run away with her true love. But she, along with her fellow townspeople, are virtual prisoners when a bloodthirsty wolf continues on its relentless killing spree.
Emma begins interviewing David about Kathryn's disappearance. After a few questions, she lets him go, as there is not enough evidence to press charges. At Granny's Diner, Ruby is talking to August, and he tells her about traveling the world when Granny calls her over and tells her to stop flirting and do the diner's paperwork. The two argue, and Ruby walks out, stating she quits.
In the Enchanted Forest, Peter meets with Red at her home. He comes to her window and threatens to "huff and puff and blow the house down", unless she opens it. Granny, her grandmother, calls Red to come into the other room, but the two steal a kiss before Peter leaves. A group of townspeople are at the door, saying they want to hunt the enormous wolf that has been in the area killing sheep. Red wants to go with them, but Widow Lucas refuses. She tells Red to bar the door and windows and keep her red cloak and hood on. The next morning Red is gathering eggs from the chicken coup, when she runs into Snow White, who is hiding in the corner. Still hiding from the Evil Queen, Snow White introduces herself to Red first as Frosty. Red is doubtful that this is her true name, and Snow White confesses that she is just hiding from someone. Then she says that Red can call her Margaret, but then she changes it to Mary. The two walk to the well to get water. They notice the water is crimson with blood, and there are multiple mangled bodies near the well. The bodies are those of the men who came to the cabin the night before.
Emma and Mary Margaret are walking down the street in Storybrooke when they run into Ruby talking to Dr. Whale. She has decided to leave town immediately, but they persuade her to come to their apartment for the time being so that she can figure things out. Later, Mary Margaret goes to the spot where Kathryn had disappeared. She runs into David who was looking for Kathryn. David just keeps saying repeatedly that he's looking for his wife, before he walks away leaving a confused Mary Margaret.
During a town meeting in the Enchanted Forest, Mayor Tomkins is telling the people that he could have slayed the wolf had he been there. Granny storms in stating that she knows that they would have died as well. The wolf is too dangerous to face, and they must hide from it. She tells them about her own experience with the wolf. Sixty years before the wolf attacked and killed her six brothers, and she survived, but still has the scars. She says that it cannot be killed. Red tells Snow White about Peter and that Granny won't let her leave the house to see him. Red says that they should go kill the wolf which Snow White is against.
While searching for the wolf, Red teaches Snow White about tracks and tracking, and they find the wolf's foot prints. They find tracks that change from wolf into human, making them wonder what they are really dealing with.
In Storybrooke, Henry helps Ruby look for a new job. Henry asks her about a possible job of delivering things to others as a courier using a basket. Ruby then answers the phone and takes messages, and an impressed Emma asks her to be her assistant. Mary Margaret tells Emma about her strange encounter with David. Ruby goes to Granny's to pick up lunch, and she tells her about her new job. Granny tells Ruby that she is doing the same job she was doing before.
In the Enchanted Forest, Red tells Snow White about a strange creature she has heard of that transforms from a human to a wolf, when the moon is full. They continue to follow the tracks, which lead to the cottage and Red's window. Red says that Peter came to her window the night before, and Snow White thinks that the wolf is Peter, which worries Red. Red convinces Snow White that she has to do something. Later, Red meets with Peter, and she tells him her theory that he is the wolf or the wolf is using his body. It is preventing him from remembering afterwards. Peter agrees that they should tie him up, and Red vows to stay with him.
In Storybrooke, Henry tells Emma that Ruby is Little Red Riding Hood, which Emma dismisses. Emma takes Ruby out with her to investigate the place where Kathryn disappeared into the woods. They are following tracks when Ruby is able to hear David. They find him unconscious. When he revives, he has no recollection of anything that has happened since the previous night.
At the hospital, Dr. Whale says David is having the same experience he had when he came out of his coma. He says he can refer him to Dr. Hopper for psychological assistance. David fears that this episode of memory loss occurred during his last moment with Kathryn. Still listed as David's emergency contact, Regina arrives and scolds Emma to go look for Kathryn. Ruby goes to the toll bridge upon Emma's instruction to see if she can find anything. She finds a box buried under a wooden plank and screams upon opening it.
In the Enchanted Forest, Granny wakes up Red who is actually Snow White in disguise, in Red's bed wearing her red cloak and hood. Granny worries, and Snow White tells her to trust Red and that Peter is the wolf, but Red will be safe as Peter is tied up. Granny is even more upset by the fact that Peter is tied and helpless. The scene shifts to Peter tied up and screaming, "Red don't do this!" as Red, now the wolf, maliciously approaches him.
While walking through the forest, Granny tells Snow White about the history of their family's curse. She has kept the knowledge from Red, and Granny used to be a wolf herself, but lost much of the power to transform due to age. She can still track and tells Snow White the cloak is magical and stops Red from turning into the wolf, but she hardly wears it. They find Red eating the remains of Peter. Red lunges at them, and Granny fires a sliver tipped arrow at her, stopping her, and they quickly cover her in the red cloak. The cloak restores Red to her human form. As they hear the townspeople coming, Snow takes Red away, leaving Granny there alone.
In Storybrooke, Ruby shows Emma the contents of the box. She is still in shock by her discovery and questions being cut out for police work, and Emma, amazed with Ruby's tracking skills, comforts her. Ruby goes the diner and asks Granny if her arm is hurting her. Granny says it does every full moon, showing that the scars from the wolf attack in the enchanted forest the are still with her here in Storybrooke.
Ruby asks to come back and admits that the extra responsibilities Granny discussed earlier scared her. Granny says that she was so insistent on Ruby learning to run the diner, because she wants Ruby to own the place when she retires. She says that Ruby loves it as she does, and the two hug. Mary Margaret checks on David at his workplace, and Emma shows up. She tells them about the box and that there was a human heart inside it. There are fingerprints on the box. David wants to know if he is being arrested, but Emma says that they are not David's fingerprints; they belong to Mary Margaret.
- CAST NOTES: This episode is one of seven episodes of the entire series to not feature a co-starring cast member. The other are "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree", "The Stable Boy", "Into the Deep", "A Curious Thing", "Poor Unfortunate Soul" and "Her Handsome Hero".
- OBSERVATIONS: August claims to have seen lemurs in Nepal. However, lemurs are only found in Madagascar, an island off the cost of Africa. There are none in Nepal.
- SOMETHING'S CHANGED: Previously, the storefront next to Granny's Diner was a business called Worthington's Haberdashery. From this episode onward, this storefront has become the Storybrooke Pet Shelter. Its exterior is barely glimpsed in this episode, but can be clearly seen in "The Stable Boy"
- The exterior of Red Riding Hood's cottage was stylistically based on Norwegian churches with a Japanese vibe to it.
- EPISODE FRAME USED AS PICTURE: A frame of Snow White from the scene where she and Red Riding Hood are tracking the wolf was adapted for an illustration of Snow White in the desert in one of Wish Rumplestiltskin's prison books in the Season Seven finale "Leaving Storybrooke".
- The Enchanted Forest flashbacks occur after "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" and immediately before "Child of the Moon". (For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- The Storybrooke events of this episode take place after "Dreamy" and before "Heart of Darkness". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- The title card is used again in the episodes "7:15 A.M." and "Child of the Moon".
- Emma's love for grilled cheese, which Ruby is sent to buy, is also referred to in "Darkness on the Edge of Town" and "Unforgiven".
- The aftermath of Red and Snow White's escape from the village is shown in "Child of the Moon".
- The fate of Red's mother is revealed in "Child of the Moon".
- On Ruby's online list of potential jobs, there is a temporary position as an inventory control specialist for 8 months. 8 is the second Lost number.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode is a rendition of the "Little Red Riding Hood" fairytale, focusing on Red Riding Hood, her grandmother and the wolf.
- This episode also features the ugly duckling from the titular fairytale, Snow White from the "Snow White" fairytale, and Peter and the wolf from the story of Peter and the Wolf.
- Peter says "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow the...", a reference to The Three Little Pigs.
- The sensual, flirtatious depiction of Ruby is based on the traditional fairytale of "Little Red Riding Hood", which is filled with sexual innuendos and meant to serve as a cautionary tale for young girls not to fall prey to lecherous men.
- When Red asks her grandmother if she got any sleep last night, the latter says, "I'll sleep with the trolls in the afterlife." Trolls are giant, monstrous being from Scandinavian folklore.
- Snow White and Red Riding Hood allude to the tale of "Snow-White and Rose-Red". Granny being a widow is a reference to the widowed mother from the story. Red's transformation into a wolf is also an allusion to the prince transforming into a bear in the fairytale.
- Granny mentions the Ogre Wars. Ogres are legendary monsters from European mythology.
- STORYBROOKE DAILY MIRROR: The online newspaper that Henry is reading is the Storybrooke Daily Mirror, which is run by Sidney Glass. The title is a reference to the "Snow White" fairytale, where Sidney's Enchanted Forest counterpart the magic mirror "reports" to the evil queen.
- Whilst looking for jobs, Henry suggests to Ruby that she could be "taking things on foot to people in a little basket", which is a reference to "Little Red Riding Hood".
- Red is revealed to be a werewolf. In European mythology, werewolves are men who turn into a wolf at night when the full moon is up and devour animals, people or corpses. They return to human form by day. Some are capable of shapeshifting at will, while others do so involuntarily, either because the condition is hereditary or because they were bitten by another werewolf. On Once Upon a Time, both men and women can become werewolves. They are known to devour both animals and people, but not corpses. Some, like Red Riding Hood and her mother, inherited the condition from their parent, while others, such as Granny, were bitten. They automatically turn into a wolf when the full moon is up and cannot shapeshift at will; however, Red possesses an enchanted cloak which keeps her from shifting during the full moon.
- Granny says to Ruby, "For another thing, Liza, you dress like a drag queen during Fleet Week", which specifically refers to real life actress Liza Minnelli. Liza is a favorite among drag queens.
- The song playing when Ruby walks into the diner to get lunch for Emma is "Settling In" by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings.
- HIDDEN DETAILS: While Emma is interviewing David about Kathryn's disappearance, the cup she's holding says "I ♥ Boston". There is also a photo of Henry on Emma's sheriff's office desk.
- REUSED PROPS: The prop used for the well outside Red Riding Hood's cottage, is the same prop used for the Storybrooke wishing well.
- Before becoming the wishing well, the well prop was used for the well where Prince Thomas disappears in "The Price of Gold" and the well in Rumplestiltskin's Frontlands village in "Desperate Souls". The supporting structure for the pulley, and the pulley itself, were replaced for the wishing well prop, and a roof was added to the top.
- The wishing well prop also doubles as many other wells on the show:
- It appears outside the Mad Hatter's cottage in "Hat Trick".
- It is seen outside Ruth's cabin in the Season Two episode "Lady of the Lake".
- It was used for the well where Zelena reads the Book of Records and Dorothy collects water in Oz in the Season Three episode "Kansas". The roof over the wishing well was removed and a different supporting structure for the pulley was added for this episode, while protruding stone carvings were added to the bottom of the well.
- It appears in Arthur's village in the Season Five episodes "The Broken Kingdom" and "Nimue".
- It appears in the village that was attacked by the Evil Queen in the Season Six episode "A Bitter Draught. The roof over the wishing well was removed for this episode.
- The main section of the well with the roof and supports removed was used as the Community Gardens wishing well in Seattle in Season Seven.
- A duplicate of the wishing well appears on Mount Olympus in the series finale "Leaving Storybrooke".
- BRAND INFO: Ruby wears a Forever 21 Pointelle Crochet Beret and a Joyrich the Rider Plaid Jacket (both are no longer available).
- HIDDEN DETAILS: When Ruby is on the phone with Emma, she is wearing a ring with a wolf's head on it.
- BRAND INFO: When Ruby reconciles with her grandmother, she is wearing a Checked Shirt from Zara (no longer available).
- Some of the outdoor scenes in the Enchanted Forest were filmed on Mount Seymour, in the District of North Vancouver. The snow in the background is real.
- The morning after Kathryn disappears, Emma organizes a manhunt. "What [seems] like the whole town" shows up, and they comb the woods, but the search turns up nothing. David and Mary Margaret are there, but stay far away from each other.
- After Snow White is released by the Huntsman, she lives hand-to-mouth and sleeps in the woods for weeks, scavenging and begging for food, sometimes finding a peasant who'd let her sleep in the barn.
- Snow White finds shelter in the chicken coop on a cold winter's night, and sees Peter and Red Riding Hood together.
- Snow White remembers her father taking her to the shore to play castle on the rock after her mother died.
- While asleep in the chicken coop, Snow White has a nightmare about her parents' deaths.
- When Red finds Snow White hiding in the chicken coop, she offers to let Snow White stay with her and Granny. Granny welcomes Snow White into the cottage "with a tough-minded generosity".
- It is implied that Granny, in order to protect Red Riding Hood from the approaching hunting party, shapeshifted into a wolf and slaughtered them.
|French||"Le Grand Méchant Loup"||"The Big Bad Wolf"|
|Italian||"Mani rosso sangue"||"Blood-Red Hands"|
|Polish||"Na gorącym uczynku"||"Red-Handed"|
|Portuguese||"A Capa Vermelha"||"The Red Cloak"|
|Spanish||"In Fraganti"||"In Fraganti"|