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Welcome to Once Upon A Time Observations — your weekly guide through the visual clues and overarching connections in ABC’s Once Upon A Time. This week, we’re navigating “Lady Of The Lake“.


  • The title card for this episode features Lancelot walking through the Enchanted Forest of Enchantment, foreshadowing his involvement in both fairytale land threads.

  • Henry goes digging in Regina’s lair and the first thing he notices is his namesake, the late Henry Mills. He then comes across the vault of hearts, though he doesn’t investigate, perhaps distracted by the other shiny objects in the next room.
  • For some reason he’s drawn to a box which contains the two-headed Agrabah Vipers that Regina used (via the Genie) to poison King Leopold.

  • The chimera feast is an early indicator that Lancelot wasn’t who he seemed to be. The Chimera is a mythical creature composed of three animals: a lion, a serpent and a goat.
  • Metaphorically, the composition of the chimera reflects the fact that Cora played three roles in the episode: Cora the prisoner, Cora the leader and Cora the real.
  • Cora killed Lancelot long ago and her ability to shape-shift (something we’ve seen Regina do on occasion) meant that she was able to rule her own kingdom under the guise of it being a “safe haven”. But her Lancelot deception is indicative of the way she tried to attain power through Regina. Her reliance on vessels is potentially interesting.

  • Cora admits that she’s been looking for “a way over [presumably to Earth] for so long”. Once again Snow has helped her find Regina’s ‘weak spot’, just as she did when revealing her affair with the Stable Boy.

  • Charming returns to Lake Nostos, the place where he once fought and killed the Siren, in hope of using its regenerative properties to save his mother. Back then he was on a quest for water to transform Frederick back from the Midas state.
  • Killing the Siren has left the lake barren — all except for a shell of water, just enough for one sip, which somehow hadn’t evaporated.


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  1. Peanut says

    Henry must have a thing for snakes. Earlier in the episode, didn’t he want to call the rescue of Emma & Snow, Project Viper? Then he resists the lure of the beating hearts (you could hear them!) in Reggie’s lair to go for the snakes. Must take after Grandma Snow what with eating the poisoned apple pie & heading straight for the poisonous snakes. As you say, Roco, yikes! The whole family needs bodyguards & food tasters, or they may not survive long.

    We still don’t know Charming’s first name. Mom called him son. Maybe he’s just “hey you, random twin brother”?

    Lancelot, we hardly knew ye. Seemed like an interesting character too.

    Thanks for the observations, Roco.

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    • says

      Ah, great catch on the Project Viper mention, Peanut.

      Yeah, I’m getting tired of calling him “Charming”. Random Twin Brother does seem more fitting.

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      • Doc says

        @Roco & Peanut

        I’m finding it increasingly curious that the writers are still finding it necessary to conceal PC#2’s real name. We already know who he is, do we not? The twin son of a shepherd….. Ok, fine! What more could his name reveal?
        In the Pilot episode (even way back then) you can see the incredible efforts to conceal his first name. If you rewatch the Pilot, Snow, who most certainly has known his true name for some time by the Royal Wedding scene, does not use,…”or” is not put in a position to use Charmings real name. Even the Bishop (I’m pressuming) that is performing the wedding is cut into AFTER he uses Charmings real name during the Vows! Through the entire episode Snow doesn’t call him anything, not even Charming. Rumple’ is the only one in the Pilot who refers to him by name and uses Prince Charming as well….even though Rumple’ knows his “true” name and who his twin brother was!

        At the end of the season 1 finale… David finds MM wondering the street and yells out “SNOW!”….she returns with “Charming”…. that was expected, as using his real name would obviously have ruined their planned reveal for season 2.

        But, here we are in season 2, and they all have their memories back and are regarding their Cursed memories as false and secondary, thus Red’s correction of herself when she asked about “Mr.Gold… uh, uh, I mean Rumplestiltskin”,…. and the dwarves making an example of it by asking Sneezy to tell everyone who he “thinks” he is,….implying *False* memory.

        All this, and yet Snow is still calling Charming “David”….
        Now this is either his true name (doubt it, due to all the staging) or could finding out his true name make all that big of a difference? Who is this guy that his first name would garner that much protection in the storyline???

        Originally it was for Midas’ benefit only! And once Charming fled the wedding to Abigail the deal was off and there was no need to conceal his true name to anybody! At which time, I’m sure, he told Snow what his name was and who he was truly, even though King George had already told Snow that Charming was NOT his son. (King George really got screwed on that deal with Midas…am I the only one who thinks so?)

        Remember when most thought of the episode “The Shepherd” as filler? Well it now looks like a very necessary and important episode that sets up the concealment of his identity for the rest of season 1….Who is this guy?
        Snow obviously knows his first name and there doesn’t seem to be much of a change in her after finding out his name???

        THE only connection I can draw to the son of a shepherd who had a brother named James is Jesus!……And there’s no way! they’re going there! lol…

        What could his name be that would need this much protection? and change who we already know him to be?

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        • ramona says

          Since OUAT is not just sticking with fairytale characters from the stories of the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, or Mother Goose, I wouldn’t be surprised if Prince Charming is represented as the Biblical David — the Shepherd Boy who became King. If that’s the case, Snow White will have to deal with a rival name Batsheba and Emma will have a half-brother named Solomon.

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          • Doc says

            Totally agreed Ramona!

            That was our first guess as well back when “The Shepherd” aired. Given that his mother’s name was Ruth, it was easy to go from there to the Biblical David. But if that is the case….then where would be the BIG reveal?…. most already suspect that he was the Biblical David. I find it difficult to believe that a simple Red Herring would garner this much work to reveal something that most already suspect.
            They’ve been concealing his first name fiercely from the beginning and it’s baffling as to why?

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            • ramona says

              If he is being set up by the writers as the Biblical David, then that means he has been Divinely Chosen as King of the entire fairyland(world?) and not just the Enchanted Forest. So he might have powers that Regina and Rumples could not even imagine. And if he is going to be the Overall King, the lesser kings (George, Midas, Arthur, etc.) would most likely declare war against him.

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        • Peanut says

          I suspect that James 2.0 might have another fairytale identity. You wonder how Rumps found the twins & picked those particular ones. Mom had her special necklace–maybe the family has magical ancestry? The family appears to have lived in the boonies–did Rumps use a dowsing rod to detect twins or some magical device? Then the fact that Rumps planned so far ahead to have an heir & a spare available indicates that he thought that something might happen to the original James & needed twins for his plan. Actually, this sounds something like a Biblical brothers’ tale (several instances) in which a brother who is younger, weaker, etc., winds up as the more important character–Joseph, for example. There is also some similarity to “The Prince & the Pauper.” Why the reveal of Random Twin Brother’s name is being dragged out, I don’t know.

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  2. ramona says

    I, too, find it unusual that Regina would allow Charming into her lair to get Henry. So I’m thinking Regina must have shapeshifted as Charming.

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    • says

      I didn’t think of that. I guess it would depend on how committed she is to being ‘good’, but it’s an interesting possibility, ramona.

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