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My heart also belongs to another. A man I was once to wed. A man named Frederick.

Abigail to Prince Charming

"What Happened to Frederick" is the thirteenth episode of Season One of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by David H. Goodman and directed by Dean White. It is the thirteenth episode of the series overall, and premiered on February 19, 2012.


With their love for each other growing stronger, David finally agrees to tell Kathryn about his relationship with Mary Margaret and put an end to his loveless marriage. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was, while runaway groom Prince Charming searches for Snow White, he agrees to aid Abigail on a dangerous mission to recover something precious that was lost to her.[1]


This section is a detailed recap of this episode. There are major spoilers. Click to expand.

In the former Enchanted Forest, Abigail meets with King George. The king tells one of his knights to "find him." We then see Prince Charming riding through the forest on horseback, while knights pursue him. He successfully hides from George's men, but the moment he turns to go another pair of men kidnap him. It is shown later that Abigail is responsible for this. She tells him that she knows of his love for Snow White, and that she has no feelings for him either. She asks him to do something for her.

In Storybrooke, David and Kathryn Nolan are having dinner when she tells him that she has applied to law school. She has been accepted, but the school is in Boston. Kathryn suggests that this could be a fresh start for both of them, but he makes the excuse of going to get some air and leaves. Mary Margaret Blanchard meets David. She asks him why they must keep lying to Kathryn and says that they should tell her about them. He does not want to hurt her, but she tells him that the only way that no one will be hurt is if they are not together. He says that he chooses her, and Mary Margaret tells him then he needs to tell Kathryn the truth.

The Stranger and Emma Swan bump into each other, and he asks her out for the drink. Emma asks him what his name is, he claims his name is August Booth. August wants to meet Emma outside of Granny's later. Mary Margaret tells Emma about her relationship with David, as they chat inside. David and Kathryn talk, and he tells her that he can't go to Boston. He breaks up with her, but fails to mention Mary Margaret.

Abigail tells Prince Charming that she loves someone else as well. He tells her about what Snow White said to him. Abigail takes him to see a golden statue, which he thinks is a representation of the man. In actuality it is Frederick her lost love. He was turned into gold by Midas' power, when he saved the King's life. Abigail has tried breaking the curse many times, by means of true love's kiss. She tells him of Lake Nostos, where the waters are said to be able to bring back something you have lost. He agrees to go to the lake to help her, though she warns him that it is protected by a guardian and no one has ever returned.

August is seen dipping the pages from Henry's book into an unknown liquid and then hanging them up to dry. He then takes pages which are either new or already dry and places them into the book.

Regina gives the present of a handheld game to Henry, apologizing for destroying his book. Kathryn walks in and, after Henry leaves, she confides in Regina that David is leaving her. Regina tells her that David and Mary Margaret have been having an affair. She shows Kathryn photos of them together, which Sidney took. David is looking through photos and calls Mary Margaret to tell her about himself and Kathryn. Kathryn shows up at the school and in front of a crowd of people confronts Mary Margaret and slaps her. Kathryn reveals that she knows about the affair even though David had not told her. When Kathryn goes, she leaves a very hurt and confused Mary Margaret.

Abigail shows Prince Charming a shrine, where men asking for the guardian's mercy leave peace offerings. Prince Charming goes to collect water from the lake the Siren guards. She appears to him as a beautiful unarmed woman. The Siren tries to seduce Prince Charming, but fails as his heart belongs to Snow. She then takes on the appearance of Snow White. He tries to tell himself that it is just an illusion, but he kisses her and drops his sword. She leads him out into the water, but he is still fighting her influence as she kisses him again. The Siren's effect fails and he is pulling away from her, so she does not get a good grip, as she grabs and tries to drown him. The Siren is almost successful, but he finds a dagger belonging to one of the many skeletons that litter the lakebed and he uses it to stab her.

August and Emma meet, when he picks her up and brings her out to an old well. He tells her that the water in the well is magical and will return something that they have lost and proceeds to tell Emma to have a little faith. Mary Margaret is walking down the street, and many people are avoiding her. She bumps into Granny who tells her that she should be ashamed of herself. Mary Margaret runs into David as he is washing the word tramp off of her car. She asks him why he never told Kathryn the truth, to which he replies that he did not want anyone to get hurt. She tells him that they are not in love, but what they have is destructive and needs to stop, so she breaks up with him.

Emma is brushing leafs off of her car, when she finds a red metal box in the street gutter. Inside it holds Henry's book. August is seen looking at her from around the corner. Kathryn goes to see Regina to apologize for what she said. Kathryn admits that she and David were never in love and that she has never been in love. Kathryn says that she is moving to Boston alone, and tells Regina that she wrote a letter telling David and Mary Margaret to be together, which upsets Regina's plans to keep them apart.

Abigail is at Frederick's shrine, when Prince Charming brings her the water. She pours the water over Frederick's head and the gold melts away revealing that he is alive and free. The two kiss, and she introduces him to Prince Charming as his savior. Abigail thanks Prince Charming for freeing her true love, and he tells her that he is going after Snow White. Abigail tells him to be careful, as King George will soon come after him. Prince Charming rides into the forest where he runs into Red Riding Hood who tells him that Snow White wants to be with him. King George shows up, Prince Charming and Red ride off together, with King George following them.

Regina enters David's house using a key from a large key ring and takes the letter Kathryn left.

Henry is sitting outside, when Emma sits down next to him. Emma gives him the book. Henry sees the book coming back as a sign that things are going to get better. Emma finds an upset Mary Margaret laying in bed. Emma lays down with her so they can talk. Regina opens her desk showing a can of spray paint and the letter addressed to David. Regina takes a lighter and burns the letter. Kathryn is leaving Storybrooke when she gets into an accident. The gym teacher finds her car, only to see it abandoned.

Deleted Scenes

David and Mary Margaret

David meets up with Mary Margaret as she's leaving the diner. The couple walk down the street and engage in a chat. David goes in for a kiss, but Mary Margaret backs away from his attempt.[3]

One element of this scene was kept for the episode: One of the photographs that Regina shows to Kathryn, the one where David kisses Mary Margaret,[4] is taken from this scene.[3]

Granny's Diner

Emma is sitting by a table outside Granny's Diner, reading a magazine, when Granny comes over and talks to her. The scene can be seen in a promotional photo for the episode.[5]

Emma and Archie

Emma exits the police car and meets Archie outside The Rabbit Hole as he's taking Pongo for a walk. The scene can be seen in promotional pictures for the episode.[6]

According to Raphael Sbarge, the scene was deleted due to the episode being too long.[7]



Guest Starring





  • The opening title card features Frederick as a statue.[8]
  • The title of this episode is spoken in the first episode where Frederick's fate was alluded to: In "The Shepherd", King Midas says to an assistant helping him with his glove, "Careful. Remember what happened to Frederick."

Production Notes

  • ADDED RECAP FOOTAGE: The recap video at the beginning of this episode and "Heart of Darkness", contains an alternate take of the shot where August shows Emma his typewriter in "7:15 A.M.". In the original scene, a smiling August opens the lid on the box.[9] The alternate take has a different color palette, and August has a blank, expressionless look on his face.[10]
  • CUT CONTENT: A segment with Ruby standing in the doorway outside Granny's Diner was deleted from the episode.[11]
  • HIDDEN DETAILS: "Nostos" is Ancient Greek for "homecoming". It is the root of the word "nostalgia," meaning longing for the past;[12] fitting for magical water that can return something that was once lost.

Episode Chronology

Episode Connections



Fairytales and Folklore

  • The same excerpts appear in many episodes; read the trivia section in the article for Henry's storybook for more information and a transcript.
  • HIDDEN DETAILS: Among the objects at the Siren's shrine is a pomegranate.[22] This is a reference to the Greek myth where Hades tricks Persephone into eating the seeds of a pomegranate, and thereby condemning her to live with him in the Underworld six months out of every year.[12]
  • When Charming meets Red at the end of the episode, she is carrying a basket of food; referencing the traditional fairytale of "Little Red Riding Hood", where the titular character delivers food to her grandmother in a little basket.

Popular Culture

Props Notes

  • BRAND INFO: Regina has[26][27] a Vitra Eames EA 217 Soft Pad Office Chair[28] behind her desk in the mayor's office.


For centuries, local legend has claimed
that mystical waters run beneath this great
land. It is said that these waters possess
the power to return that which is lost to its
rightful place. If you have lost something
precious to you, drink from this well and
bear witness to this miracle as what is
missing shall be returned.

  • HIDDEN DETAILS: The plants that Regina is watering when Kathryn comes to see her in the mayor's office[30] are pitcher plants, a form of carnivorous plant.

Set Dressing

  • PAUSE AND READ: When Emma arrives in Storybrooke in "Pilot", the expiration date on her license plate is December 2011.[34] When she finds Henry's storybook next to her car in this episode, the license plate sticker still carries the same date.[35] Since the Season Two episode "Selfless, Brave and True" establishes that Emma came to Storybrooke in October 2011, and "What Happened to Frederick" takes place after "Skin Deep" (which takes place on Valentine's Day 2012), this means that Emma has neglected to renew her Massachusetts registration, nor has she registered her car in Maine.
  • ON-SCREEN NUMBERS: Kathryn's license plate number is 94D1 CZ.[36]

Costume Notes

  • Abigail's hat[37] was made by Canadian-based fine headwear maker Kelly Dunlap, also known as The Saucy Milliner. On the hat, there is center tail feather from a pheasant, which was secured with a brass finding on the side. Due to the feather not being actually sewn on the hat, it moves frequently as Abigail is walking or riding her horse. A duplicate hat was also made for Abigail's stunt double.[38]
  • BRAND INFO: Emma's jacket[39] is known as a Swan/Shearling jacket, and was custom made by the Vancouver-based company Oceandrive Leather. It is available for purchase on their website, at a hefty price.[40] The design is based on one of Jennifer Morrison's own jackets.[41]

Filming Locations


  • Jim's car license plate is 40F5TH,[49] which is the same as Regina's;[50] indicating it was a reused prop.

Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale

International Titles



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME. The Futon Critic. “Air Date: Sunday, February 19, 2012. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#113) "What Happened to Frederick"”
  2. TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: 'American Idol,' 'The Voice,' 'The Big Bang Theory' and 'NCIS' Top Week 22. TV by the Numbers (February 22, 2012). Archived from the original on September 30, 2015. “ONCE UPON A TIME. ABC. 9843.”
  3. 3.0 3.1 Once Upon A Time filming scenes in Steveston with Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas. Canadagraphs (November 17, 2011). (Photograph)
  4. File:113ThePhotos2.png
  5. File:113Promo4.jpg
  6. File:113Promo12.jpg
  7. Lewis, Daniel J. (January 27, 2013). Raphael Sbarge's exclusive audio interview – ONCE077. ONCE podcast. (At 00:26:57 – 00:30:02)
  8. File:113Title.png
  9. File:110ImAWriter.png
  10. File:110ImAWriterAlternateVersion.png
  11. File:113Promo2.jpg
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Dove, Steve (February 22, 2012). Storybrooke Secrets: What Happened to Frederick. ABC. Archived from the original on September 18, 2015. “Nostos (the river) is a reference to Homer's The Odyssey. It is the Greek word for "homecoming," and the root of the word "nostalgia," meaning "pain or longing, the psychological condition of longing for the past." "Nostos" is also the title of the third and final section of James Joyce's Ulysses. Among the objects at the shrine is a pomegranate. This is a reference to the Greek myth, The Rape of Persephone, in which Hades tricks Persephone into eating the seeds of a pomegranate, thereby condemning herself to live with him in the underworld 6 months out of every year.”
  13. Once Upon A Time photos of Ginnifer Goodwin and Beverly Elliott doing scenes for episode 15 of season 1 in Steveston. Canadagraphs (January 15, 2012). (Photograph)
  14. File:113ToTheWell2.png
  15. File:420MotherAndDaughter.png
  16. File:505KnockedOut.png
  17. File:113Photo.png
  18. File:111FigureOut.png
  19. Once Upon a Time - Behind the Magic, London, Titan Books, October 2013, p. 132
  20. File:113SoakingPageFlipped.png (flipped screenshot)
    File:113SoakingPage.png (original screenshot)
    File:113PagesFlipped.png (flipped screenshot)
    File:113Pages.png (original screenshots
  21. File:113Pages2.png
  22. File:113CreaturesMercy.png
  23. File:113CarriageArrives.png
  24. File:201NewYorkHorse.png
  25. File:402Laughing.png
  26. File:102Desk.png
  27. File:113ThePhotos.png
  28. Vitra Eames EA 217 Soft Pad Office Chair. Nest.co.uk. Retrieved on July 27, 2018.
  29. File:113WellPlaque.png
  30. File:113Beautiful.png
  31. File:113ScrewYou.png
  32. File:113Booth.png
  33. File:113HangingOn2.png
  34. File:101Ridiculous.png
  35. File:113LicensePlate.png
  36. File:113KathrynCar.png
  37. File:113KnowTheTruth.png
  38. Zier-Vogel, Lindsay (March 6, 2012). Making hats and making magic with 'Once Upon A Time' guest milliner. CTV Television Network. Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. “The first of Dunlap’s hats that made an appearance on the show was in episode 13, "Whatever [sic] Happened To Frederick?" adorning Princess Abigail (Anastasia Griffith). (...) "I ruched a piece of suede so it draped down the back, then used the centre tail feather from a pheasant, secured with a brass finding on the side. I didn’t sew it down so it had a lot of movement when she’s walking and on her horse. It adds to the elegance of the costume," she says. The hat took a few days to build, but Dunlap wasn't just making one hat, she also had to make a duplicate hat for Princess Abigail's stunt double.”
  39. File:113HopOn.png
  40. Swan/Shearling. Oceandrive Leather. Retrieved on July 27, 2018.
  41. Lana Parrilla on the Season Two Blu-ray/DVD Audio Commentary for "The Stable Boy"
  42. File:114SheriffSwan.png
  43. File:115Headed.png
  44. File:118WritingPart.png
  45. Gittins, Susan (March 17, 2012). BIG READ: ONCE UPON A TIME in Steveston Village. Hollywood North Buzz. “Filming started on Tuesday, July 19th, with a return to Kerrisdale School (featured in the pilot), with Ginnifer Goodwin in her real world role as Henry’s teacher.”
  46. TwitterLogo.svg @yvrshoots (YVRShoots) on Twitter. "#OnceUponaTime filming at Lord Strathcona School this morning. Probably in inner courtyard" (screenshot)
    Knopp, Sam. February 10th, 2011 – Walking Home Projects explores DTES & Chinatown with a class from Lord Strathcona Elementary. Artists Walking Home. (contains a picture of the school)
    File:113School.png (picture of the school seen in the episode)
  47. TwitterLogo.svg @simonplittle (Simon Little) on Twitter. "That's a first- just got waved off by a film crew for #Sabrina shooting at Lord Strathcona school. "No pictures!" @yvrshoots @WhatsFilming #bcfilm"
  48. Filming report for the exact same spot in "Mother": Gittins, Susan (May 9, 2015). VFX: ONCE UPON A TIME's Dragon Lily in Ladner's North 40 Park Reserve. Hollywood North Buzz.

    Filming report for the exact same spot in "Dreamcatcher": TwitterLogo.svg @yvrshoots (YVRShoots) on Twitter. "#OnceUponaTime filming in Delta's North 40 Park until midnight via @hushrules. Robert Carlyle & Amy Manson as Princess Merida on set." (screenshot)

    File:113ToTheWell.png (screenshot from "What Happened to Frederick")
    File:420MotherAndDaughter.png (screenshot from "Mother" for comparison)
    File:505KnockedOut.png (screenshot from "Dreamcatcher" for comparison)
  49. File:113OutOfTheCar.png
  50. File:111Henry!Henry!.png
  51. Beane, Odette. Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale, New York: Hyperion, 2013, p. 195
  52. Beane, Odette. Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale, New York: Hyperion, 2013, p. 204