Little Red Riding Hood's tale gets delightfully twisted as the mystery of Kathryn's disappearance deepens
A few weeks ago, I suggested that in Once‘s world, Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf might be one and the same. Tonight’s installment proved me right. Ruby’s fairy tale counterpart is, in fact, a werewolf — her iconic red cloak is actually a talisman that keeps her from transforming. While this twist wasn’t as surprising as Episode 11’s Genie-Mirror reveal, it was still plenty imaginative. If future episodes continue to deepen older characters rather than introducing new faces, then quickly forgetting that they ever existed (Cinderella; Hansel and Gretel; Frederick; Nova; etc.), I’ll be a happy camper.
A lupine howl welcomes us to Granny’s, where Ruby is flirting with August the Stranger. He’s regaling her with tales of zen, motorcycle maintenance, and traveling around the world. But poor Ruby is so sheltered that she doesn’t even know what a lemur is. Granny rudely awakens Ruby by yelling at her in front of everyone, then asking her to start working Saturday nights. The pair argues, and each gets off a few good digs: “You dress like a drag queen at Fleet Week,” complains Granny. “And you dress like Norman Bates when he dresses like Norman Bates’s mother!” her granddaughter shoots back. The fight ends with Ruby snarling her version of the “I Quit” song and storming out into the lemur-less Maine landscape.
In Fairy Land, a happy, cloak-wearing Red Riding Hood has a brief encounter with her paramour Peter — yes, probably named after that Peter — before being called away by her own Granny, also known as the Widow Lucas. There’s a crowd of villagers at their cottage door. The gang is planning to go after a giant wolf that’s been killing their sheep. Red eagerly asks if she can go on the hunt, but Granny is just as much of a ball buster in this reality as she is in Storybrooke. The old lady commands her charge to stay inside with her cloak on; supposedly, red repels wolves, although none of the other villagers are wearing it.
After she’s slammed the door in the mob’s faces, Granny and Red begin securing their cottage against the wolf. (They even put a grate over their fireplace; apparently, they’re familiar with the story of the Three Little Pigs.) When the task is done, Granny tells Red to go to bed with the hood on her head. Meanwhile, she’s going to sit by the heavily bolted door with a crossbow at the ready. Kick. Ass.
The next morning, un-cloaked Red asks her Granny if she got any sleep. “I’ll sleep with the trolls in the afterlife,” Granny sniffs, instantly becoming my favorite person. Red then goes to check on the chickens. She’s startled to find a princess among the poultry: Snow White. Though the timeline’s a little fuzzy, we can assume that Snow has already had her encounter with the Huntsman (RIP, Sheriff Skinny Jeans!) but hasn’t yet become the outlaw who charmed Charming.
NEXT: “So… your granny’s kinda intense.”