But the attractions seems almost beyond their control and David decides to leave Kathryn, realizing he really loves Mary Margaret. Still plagued with amnesia, he can’t continue living with a stranger he cannot remember and does not know.
Mayor Regina Mills (Lana Parrilla) warns Mary Margaret of the dire consequences lying ahead should she and David really get together. “Many lives will be ruined,” she cautions. But it is Mary Margaret’s choice. Which fork in the road will she take?
The path of true love, of course!
Now that he’s left Kathryn, Mary Margaret has no problem getting together with David. Planning to meet up with Mary Margaret at the troll bridge, David doesn’t know the way. Asking Regina for direction, he is informed about a fork in the road outside Mr. Gold’s (Carlyle) pawnshop, where he will find the right path. But there is no fork—just Gold’s shop. And entering the shop to ask directions, David spots the aforementioned garden windmill. The object triggers David’s memory, and he suddenly recalls his marriage to Kathryn. Now he cannot bail so easily and he vows to try and make things work—leaving Mary Margaret feeling led on and disappointed at the troll bridge. But what else might David remember, I wonder?
Life offers us a series of paths, littered with forks and detours that take us in new directions. Sometimes those paths lead us astray, and sometimes to our real destinies.
Clearly, Regina intends for David to lose his way at Mr. Gold’s pawnshop. Knowing that he’d enter the shop for directions, she must have known he’d see the windmill, and it would trigger his memory, thereby forestalling any relationship with Mary Margaret, which would of course fracture of her curse. But what’s up with Mr. Gold’s slightly evil and knowing grin when David’s memory is jolted?
Is he in on Regina’s plan? Has he used a little bit of magic? Or does Mr. Gold hope that David’s returning memories are of more than his Storybrooke existence? I don’t think that Mr. Gold and Regina are conspiring here; his motives are likely far different than hers.
I love the non-linear character reveals with which the show is presenting us. We knew that Prince Charming had been engaged before meeting Snow, but not the circumstances, and this backstory, emphasizing choice and consequence are important themes to the series overall narrative thus far. We’re given pieces of the puzzle from every corner of the tableau, but not necessarily contiguous pieces.
Interestingly as well, all of the choices made by nearly all of the characters in the Fairy Tale Land story, from Regina’s choice to murder her father as a means to the curse, to Jiminy Cricket’s choice that leads to the death of an innocent couple, to this week’s story all have Rumple’s green-tipped fingers in them. Each has carried with it his warning about choice and consequence. Every change, every choice, whether it involves magic or not, carries the risk of collateral damage. The question is, is it ultimately worth it?