"Snow Drifts" is the twenty-first episode of Season Three of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by David H. Goodman & Robert Hull and directed by Ron Underwood. It is sixty-fifth episode of the series overall, and premiered on May 11, 2014.
This episode is the first part of the season three finale.
While Mary Margaret and David celebrate the naming of their son at a coronation in Granny's Diner, Emma and Hook are pulled into Zelena's time portal and find themselves in the Enchanted Forest of the past. But in their quest to discover a way back, they must be careful not to change ANYTHING or risk altering the lives of their friends and family—as well as their very own existence.
*Only in archive footage.
- The title card for this episode features Zelena's time spell.
- The title of this episode was announced by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on March 13, 2014.
- The title is a reference to the episode "Snow Falls" where Snow White and Prince Charming first meet. This episode also features their first meeting, but with an altered way.
- The Season Three finale was Jennifer Morrison and Colin O'Donoghue's favorite episodes to film.
- Stock footage from the establishing shot of Storybrooke Main Street early in the episode is later used in the Season Six finale "The Final Battle Part 2". The shot from "The Final Battle Part 2" has a lower angle, but the cars parked in the street and the ray of light in the middle of the road are a giveaway.
- When Emma says, "As soon as we get out of here, the better", an extra (a little girl) smiles as the Evil Queen walks by.
- The "past" scenes with Snow White and Prince Charming were a mixture of reshoots and old footage from the Season One episode "Snow Falls".
- When Princess Abigail and Prince Charming arrive at King Midas' castle, there is a swan swimming in the lake.
- The scars featured on Jennifer Morrison's chest in the Enchanted Forest tavern scene are a direct result of the actress herself having multiple moles removed.
- At a fan convention in 2017, when asked about his most awkward scene with Jennifer Morrison, Colin O'Donoghue picked the scene where he knocks himself out: The scene was filmed with Colin and his stunt double, and his stunt double had to act out lots of the action. "He had to kiss her, I had to kiss her". It was a funny, awkward situation.
- The show creators have said that they view Captain Hook as their version of Han Solo from the Star Wars franchise. Emma's alias in the Enchanted Forest is Princess Leia, Han Solo's love interest.
- The Land Without Magic flashbacks occur 18 years earlier, in 1995, 2 years after "Awake" and 3 years before "Breaking Glass". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- The Enchanted Forest events occur after "Lacey" and "The Shepherd", concurrently with "Snow Falls" and the quick scene in "A Tale of Two Sisters", and right before "There's No Place Like Home". The story also takes place before Belle is banished from Rumplestiltskin's castle in "Skin Deep". (For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- The Storybrooke events take place after "Kansas", and before "There's No Place Like Home". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- The adoption of the foster child is later mentioned by a teenage Emma in "Breaking Glass". The girl's name, Cecilia, is revealed in the same episode.
- The baby crib from "The Jolly Roger" has been put together.
- The naming ceremony tradition that David is talking about was first seen in "The Miller's Daughter".
- Henry started looking at apartment listings in "Kansas".
- Mr. Gold mentions Moe kidnapping Belle, which happened in "The Crocodile".
- Gold proposed to Belle in "Kansas" where he also entrusted her with the "fake dagger".
- Regina talks about how her first love was killed because of her, which occurred in "The Stable Boy".
- Regina's heart was stolen in "Bleeding Through", and returned to her in "Kansas".
- Regina tells Robin about how Tinker Bell helped her find her soul mate in "Quite a Common Fairy".
- Zelena was killed by Mr. Gold in "Kansas".
- Aurora was transformed into a flying monkey in "A Curious Thing".
- Prince Charming became betrothed to Princess Abigail in "The Shepherd".
- Zelena's time portal was opened in "Kansas".
- When Hook finds Emma, she is sitting on the park bench where she told Henry about his father in "Quiet Minds".
- Emma broke the Dark Curse in "A Land Without Magic".
- Hook mentions the defeat of Zelena and Peter Pan; events featured in "Kansas" and "Going Home".
- Emma's life with Henry in New York City is explored in "Going Home" and "New York City Serenade".
- Emma's habit of moving around and running was previously referred to in "The Thing You Love Most" and "The Price of Gold".
- Emma tells Hook about how she ran away as a kid, something that is explored in "Breaking Glass", "Shattered Sight" and "Lily".
- Emma and Hook return to the Land Without Magic in "There's No Place Like Home".
- Hook mentions the Ogre Wars. The first war occurring in "Manhattan", the third war in "Skin Deep". The second war is referred to in "Red-Handed".
- How Marian became the Evil Queen's prisoner is revealed in "A Tale of Two Sisters".
- Hook mentions the first time Emma came to Storybrooke; an event featured in "Pilot".
- Hook makes a reference to Emma's trademark leather jacket, which first appeared in "Pilot". Its history is explained in "Firebird".
- Scenes from "Snow Falls" are reused, and the episode is similarly named.
- Prince Charming's ring was first given to him in "The Shepherd".
- Hook and the Dark One's "complicated past" is explored in "The Crocodile".
- The curse Rumplestiltskin creates is enacted in "Pilot" and "The Thing You Love Most".
- Rumplestiltskin was reunited with his son in "Manhattan".
- Rumplestiltskin wonders why his future self hasn't killed Hook, and Hook remarks that it "wasn't for lack of effort", referring to events in "The Outsider" and "In the Name of the Brother".
- The story behind the marionettes in Rumplestiltskin's castle is revealed in "That Still Small Voice".
- Belle's servitude as Rumplestiltskin's maid occurred due to a deal made in "Skin Deep".
- Rumplestiltskin is shocked to hear that he and Belle will fall for each other; an event featured in "Skin Deep".
- Rumplestiltskin mentions giving King George a son, which is an event explored in "The Shepherd".
- The future is repaired, and the pictures return to the storybook, in "There's No Place Like Home".
- The crystal ball used to spy on Snow White is the same one that was used by Neal in "The Heart of the Truest Believer". It is also used by Rumplestiltskin to spy on Anna in "White Out", and the Apprentice in "The Apprentice". It was brought from Oz by Jefferson in "The Doctor".
- The flute music in the first scene at the tavern can also be heard in the pub Anton visits in "Tiny" the tavern where Hook and his crew celebrate in "The Jolly Roger", the tavern where young Cora works in "Bleeding Through", Robin Hood's tavern in "Heart of Gold", the Wish Realm tavern where Wish Hook meets Captain Ahab in "Knightfall" and the Fish & Bird tavern in the New Enchanted Forest in "Breadcrumbs". It can also be heard in the tent camp that Snow White visits in "Heartless".
- This is not the first time Emma uses her beauty and feminine charm during a mission; she also did so with Ryan in "Pilot".
- Hook stops Smee from killing a rat and adds that Smee will "understand someday", referring to Smee's future self being transformed into a rat in "The Outsider".
- The glamour spell Rumplestiltskin casts on Emma and Hook is the same one he used on Regina in "The Evil Queen".
- Snow White uses a grappling hook to climb Midas' castle wall, which is the same tactic that she uses to break into King George's castle in "An Apple Red as Blood".
- When Hook is pondering where and when in the past Enchanted Forest he and Emma have landed, he briefly mentions the belly of a whale; referencing the biblical story of Jonah.
- Eighteen years ago, young Emma watched a woman give her new adoptive daughter a Mickey Mouse doll.
- Emma mentions the 1994 Disney movie The Lion King as an example of a royal baby announcement.
Fairytales and Folkore
- This episode features the ugly duckling from the titular fairytale, Robin Hood and Maid Marian from the Robin Hood ballad, Captain Hook and Smee from the Peter Pan story, Snow White, the prince and the evil queen from the "Snow White" fairytale, King Midas and his daughter from the Midas myth, the grandmother from the "Little Red Riding Hood" fairytale, Geppetto and Pinocchio from The Adventures of Pinocchio, Rumplestiltskin from the "Rumpelstiltskin" fairytale as well as Beauty and the Beast from the "Beauty and the Beast" fairytale.
- Leroy says "Ding Dong!", and Granny asks, "She's really..?", a reference to The Wizard of Oz song "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead".
- David mentions that the security video tape is Betamax.
- Emma makes references to Marty McFly and the 1985 movie Back to the Future.
- There are several similarities between Back to the Future and this story such as the family scene where the story of how the parents met is retold, the child interfering with the parents' first meeting by causing one of them to fall from a tree while a "vehicle" approaches, seeking out a "wizard" to help return to the present (a similarity Emma points out), the visual of the family brought back disappearing after the future is rewritten and reappearing after being set back on course, Star Wars identities being used due to the unfamiliarity of the characters from those in the past, a dance being used as an opportunity to bring the parents together, one parent's enemy disrupting that plan, and keeping the future from those who know of the time travel, but ultimately informing them of a death.
- Black Beard is based on the character of the same name from popular culture.
- Emma's alias in the Enchanted Forest is Princess Leia; a reference to one of the main protagonists of the original Star Wars trilogy. This reference is made especially interesting by the fact that Lucasfilm, the studio behind the series, was bought by Disney, the parent company of ABC, the network that airs Once Upon a Time.
- Hook's alias in the Enchanted Forest is Prince Charles; a reference to the current Prince of Wales, who is currently first in line for the British throne.
- The bottle of wine that Regina and Robin Hood share is Bordeaux wine from the French winery Chateau Baum.
- When Henry flips though the storybook, an excerpt from the fairy tale of Snow-White and Rose-Red can be seen next to the illustration of the Troll Bridge.
- When Emma flips through the storybook, there is a page about how Prince Charming found Snow White's hideout from "Snow Falls". Note that the last sentence is repeated earlier in the text:
[image begins]bits and other
[image begins]s. He discovered
[image begins]nd most importantly
[image begins]cks of a person living
[image begins]o a woman. He followed the
[image begins]ent oak trees where they suddenly
[image begins]or a moment he was bewildered and
[image begins] sort of magic this woman-bandit could
[image begins] Prince searched til nightfall when hope of
[image begins]g his family's treasures finally began to leave
[image begins] Until he spotted something strange. A light. Small,
[image begins]ickering, unnatural. The lights seeped between the bark
of an oak tree, making it seem as if there might be fire
inside it. But there was no smoke. No great heat from
the massive trunk. He realized this must be it. The
perfect hiding place for a bandit − almost in plain sight.
But the pack also contained rope and netting for setting
traps. And if the Prince worked carefully and used his
material properly. For a moment he was bewildered
and wondered what sort of magic this woman-bandit could posses.
[image begins] Snow eyes
[image begins] her. "Only one
[image begins] his hand and slips
[image begins] perfect fit and for a mo-
[image begins] Yeah. Not me at all," and
[image begins] inside her stomach.
[image begins] offers, "always." And Snow wants
[image begins]ginger and hands it to him.
[image begins] if you need me, I'll find
[image begins]Snow wants to
[image begins]w replies.
[image begins]Snow White
[image begins]looks back.
[image begins]odbye Prince Charming," Snow re
-[image begins]ing grins, "I told you. It's James." Snow
[image begins]urns to leave, "I like Charming better." She
[image begins] back over her shoulder and they stare into each
[image begins] other's eyes, they didn't need words to express
they felt in their hearts. For it was here, in the shadow
of the Troll Bridge, that their love was born. Where
they knew, no matter how they were separated, they would always
find each other, and true love. Evil Queen
said she was. [sic] Holding out the bag of gold he mutters
"So... You probably want this." Snow turns to him with
the jewels, "And you can't get married without this."
He spills the jewels into his palm. The wedding ring
glistens in his hand. Snow eyes it. "Not your style?"
the Prince chides her. "Only one way to find out."
Snow takes it from his hand and slips it on her finger.
It glistens. A perfect fit and for a moment she thinks...
but no. "Yeah. Not me at all," and she dismisses the
butterflies inside her stomach. The Prince, grateful that
she returned to save his life now knew that Snow White
could never be what the Evil Queen said she was. Hold-
ing onto the bag of gold he mutters, "So...You probably
want this. "So... You probably want this." [sic] Snow turns
to him with the jewels.
- Several artworks by the famous English book illustrator Arthur Rackham can be seen in Henry's storybook:
- "He played until the room was entirely filled with gnomes", from the fairy tale collection Little Brother & Little Sister and Other Tales By The Brothers Grimm (1917). It depicts a scene from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "The Gnome", and can be seen when Emma looks through the storybook by the duck pond.
- "Preposterous! cried Solomon in a rage", from J.M. Barrie's book Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906). It is briefly seen upside-down, while Emma flips the storybook after landing in the Enchanted Forest.
- "The Meeting of Oberon and Titania", a 1905 artwork depicting a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream (seen when Emma flips through the book in Rumplestiltskin's castle).
- In the same scene, "What did she find there but real ripe strawberries", from the fairy tale collection Little Brother & Little Sister and Other Tales By The Brothers Grimm (1917), can be seen. This image depicts a scene from the fairy tale of "The Three Little Men in the Wood".
- While past Hook is gambling at the tavern, the dice do not have the traditional dots. Instead, they bear the traditional playing card suits: Spades (♠), hearts (♥), diamonds (♦) and clubs (♣).
- According to the label, the bottle sitting on past Hook's table contains "Fine Old Rum" from "Langtree & Sons".
- The invitation to the ball procured by Rumplestiltskin reads:
humbly requests the pleasure of your company
as he celebrates the engagement of his daughter
with dinner and dancing at
- During the celebration at the diner, the Daily Specials board, which normally offers a dish of choice, depicts a stork wearing a crown and carrying the new baby, who is swaddled in a cloth with Prince Charming's crest on it. The caption says "WELCOME TO THE ROYAL BABY!"
- In the captain's quarters aboard the Jolly Roger, there is an urn bearing an almost identical resemblance to the one Elsa comes out of in "There's No Place Like Home"; the only difference being the lid.
- Both of the urns have been used as props in previous episodes in Season Two. They are among Regina's wedding gifts in the Evil Queen's palace in "We Are Both", and a recolored version of both props are used to decorate Cora's heart vault in her home in "The Doctor". The urns also appear in the Frankenstein manor in "In the Name of the Brother".
- Both urns were also used as background props in the Wonderland castle for the filming of the scene where Anastasia attempts to steal the royal jewels in the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland episode "Heart of Stone". However, they do not show up on-screen.
- Belle is wearing a Carven Tweed Stitch Crop Sweater (no longer available). She wears the same sweater in the next episode, "There's No Place Like Home".
- David is wearing a Jack Spade Solid Henley (no longer available). He wears the same shirt in the next episode, episode "There's No Place Like Home, the Season Four episodes "A Tale of Two Sisters", "Rocky Road", "Breaking Glass", "Heroes and Villains", "Darkness on the Edge of Town", "Unforgiven" and "Enter the Dragon" and the Season Five episodes "The Brothers Jones" and "Our Decay".
- Marian's dress was supposed to be a "beautiful" gown, but it wasn't used for this episode.
- The skirt Emma is wearing after she changes clothes in the Enchanted Forest is the same skirt Gothel wore while exploring a human house in the Season Seven episode "Flower Child".
- In the Enchanted Forest, Emma has her two necklaces, including the swan necklace, tied around her left wrist alongside her wrist strap.
- For the "princess" scenes, Jennifer Morrison wore a pair of sandals with a crocodile motif, a reference to Rumplestiltskin. The shoes, however, do not appear on-screen.
- At King Midas' ball, Emma is wearing the diadem from her father's dream in "The Tower".
- The purple coats worn by two of King Midas' servants  are the same coats worn by the Genovia footmen in the 2004 romantic comedy film The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. The same coats are worn by a bunch of other servants throughout the series:
- The King's servants in the Season One episode "The Price of Gold"
- King Xavier's servants in the Season Two episode "The Miller's Daughter"
- The Red Queen's servants in the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland episode "Trust Me",
- The Red King's servants in the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland episode "Heart of Stone"
- Prince Thomas' servants in the Season Six episode "The Other Shoe"
- King David and Queen Snow's servants in the Season Six episode "Wish You Were Here"
- The King's servants in the Season Seven premiere "Hyperion Heights"
- Tiana's servants in the Season Seven episode "The Eighth Witch"
- The bandit outfit Snow White is wearing in this episode as well as "There's No Place Like Home" is the same outfit that Regina wears in the Season Four episodes "Operation Mongoose Part 1" and "Operation Mongoose Part 2". Snow White also wears this outfit in the Season One episodes Snow Falls, "7:15 A.M.", "Heart of Darkness" and "An Apple Red as Blood" and the Season Two episode "The Evil Queen."
- David mistakenly calls his son's announcement ceremony a "coronation". This mistake is also present in the episode synopsis released by ABC.
- When Emma is keeping past Hook occupied, while future Hook is skulking around the room, there is a wide shot where future Hook can be seen in the background, sneaking past a corner, and you can see the face of Colin O'Donoghue's body double.
- The Overlynn Mansion, an Arts & Crafts-styled mansion built in 1909, situated in Burnaby, British Columbia, doubles as the Happy Cottage Children's Home in the opening scene.
- The same building is one of two locations which double as the Convent of the Sisters of Saint Meissa for the Season Four episode "Best Laid Plans".
- The Overlynn Mansion has also doubled as locations for other productions:
- The Derry Inn in the 1990 supernatural horror miniseries It (a movie which features Once Upon a Time guest star Gabe Khouth).
- The Santa Barbara Monarch Lodge in the Psych episode "Dis-Lodged" (an episode which features Once Upon a Time guest star Beverley Elliott).
- The Central City Orphanage on Earth Two in The Flash episode "Versus Zoom".
- The Plover Mansion in Season One of the The Magicians (a show which features Once Upon a Time guest stars Alexandra Metz, Bruce Blain, Charles Mesure, Christopher Gorham, Faran Tahir, Kacey Rohl, Keegan Connor Tracy, Jason Burkart, Nisreen Slim, Oliver Bell, Paul Lazenby and Ryan Robbins).
- The Peregrine Convalescent Home in The Magicians episode "The Writing Room".
- Kovar's mansion in the Arrow episode "Vigilante".
- The Zeta Beta Theta fraternity building in the iZombie episode "Zombie Bro" (a show which stars Once Upon a Time actors Rose McIver and David Anders and an episode which features Grayson Gabriel and Jonathan Whitesell)
- The headquarters of the Justice Society of America in the Legends of Tomorrow episode "The Justice Society of America" (an episode which features Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland guest star Dan Payne).
- A hallway in the Castle Varlar in the Timeless episode "Party at Castle Varlar" (an episode which features Once Upon a Time starring cast member Sean Maguire and guest star Chad Rook).
- The scene with the Evil Queen harassing a group of villagers, was filmed in Lynn Canyon Park in the District of North Vancouver.
|French||"L'Effet Papillon"||"The Butterfly Effect"|
|German||"Emmas Dilemma mit der Geschichte"||"Emma's Dilemma With the History"|
|Italian||"Il corso degli eventi"||"The Course of Events"|
|Portuguese||"Portal do Tempo"||"Portal of the Time"|
|Spanish||"Nieve a la Deriva"||"Snow Drifts"|