We’re back with a more traditional tale, in this week’s exploration of Hansel (Quinn Lord), Gretel (Karley Scott Collins) and their Storybrooke identities, Nicholas and Ava Zimmer. But while the Enchanted Forest backstory is full of whimsical high camp, it is in Storybrooke, where this episode’s strength lies.
Enchanted Forest: As in the traditional version, Hansel and Gretel are the Woodcutter’s children, but there’s no miserly mother trying to push them out of the picture, and their father both has a backbone and adores them. One day, while he’s chopping down a tree, he sends the children to search for kindling. Before they head off, the Woodcutter gives Gretel his compass, so that she and Hansel will be able to find their way back to him.
The children soon encounter the Evil Queen and her goons (and Queenie is deliciously evil this week). She captures the kids, but promises she will find their father for them, after they do her bidding. She leads them to the house of the Blind Witch (Emma Caulfield) and tells them to sneak in, after dark, find a leather satchel, and bring it to her. She warns them that they must not eat anything while they’re inside.