Season 1, Episode 21:
An Apple Red as Blood
Regina: She ripped his heart out because of you! Because you couldn't listen to me!
Snow White: You took my father. Haven't we both suffered enough?
Regina: First things first. The deal's not done, not until I solve the next conundrum. How to get the savior to taste my forbidden fruit.
Henry pleads with Emma to stay in Storybrooke and continue her quest as the savior of the Enchanted Forest dwellers. Regina is up to her old tricks again, setting her sights on one target in particular. Alas, things don't go according to plan and Henry may just end up being collateral damage. Meanwhile, back in the Enchanted Forest that was, Snow White enlists the aid of her fellow cohorts to attack the Evil Queen and save Prince Charming's life.
- Action Girl: Snow White successfully leads an invasion of King George's castle in order to rescue Prince Charming.
- Armor-Piercing Question:Mary Margaret, to Emma: Is running what's best for him [Henry]? Or is it what's best for you?
- Bloodless Carnage: Grumpy buries his axe in a guard, but when he pulls it out and pats it, not a drop of blood is to be seen.
- Catapult Nightmare: Regina has one about all the townspeople and Emma executing her for robbing them of their happiness, with even Henry turning on her. Foreshadowing of her eventual HeelFace Turn since it shows deep down she does know what she did was wrong and she deserves to be punished for it, but for now it simply leads to an Ignored Epiphany that galvanizes her to do anything to get rid of Emma...at a terrible cost.
- Continuity Nod: Aside from the obvious ones to "The Stable Boy" (Snow implying to Red what happened, her and Regina's discussion of it at the stable where Daniel died and by his grave), part of how Mary Margaret shames Emma for trying to run away with Henry involves referencing what Emma told her when she tried to run away in "Hat Trick". And when Snow and her allies need air support to get into King George's castle, Grumpy mentions someone who can do that for them who "owes him a favor" (obviously referring to the Blue Fairy, after what she did to him and Nova in "Dreamy").
- Convenient Coma: Henry went in one after eating Regina's apple turnovers.
- Darkest Hour: Lampshaded by the ever Genre Savvy Henry when he speaks to Emma of the moment when "the hero gets scared, the low moment before they fight back." Doubles as a "Leave Your Quest" Test since Emma has decided to leave town to protect Henry while (she hopes) she'll still get a chance to see him and be in his life.
- Dramatic Irony: Regina spends the whole episode, appealing to Gold and then forcing Jefferson to work with her, in order to find a way to get rid of Emma so she can have Henry to herself. Meanwhile Emma spends the whole episode fretting over her fears and insecurities, wondering if she can be a good mother or is truly making Henry's life better, talking about what is best for him with Mary Margaret and getting advice from Archie on how her war with Regina is actually hurting her son badly...with the result that she decides to leave him with Regina and leave town. When she goes to tell Regina her decision is when Regina gives her the apple turnover; if Regina had simply let her leave, without the turnover, she would have gotten everything she wanted, but instead...
- Equivalent Exchange: Regina has to sacrifice something magical to make the hat work so she can snag the poisoned apple. She gives up her engagement ring from Daniel, which is enchanted to show his image inside its band. Just one more thing she sacrifices for her revenge.
- Fate Worse than Death:
- How Regina describes a sleeping curse, and by extension the poison apple.
- Also, what is happening to August as he turns back to wood, as he slowly becomes more and more tired and speaks of being unable to breathe...until he won't even be alive any more, just a puppet.
- Dr. Hopper compares Emma riling up Regina when she first came to town to waking a sleeping dragon. Guess what appears next episode?
- Also, in Regina's nightmare we see Emma draw her father's sword to decapitate Regina. What does Emma use against Maleficent in the next episode?
- Heroic Suicide: Snow White with the apple when Regina promised that she would trade Charming's life for Snow's. And Henry prevents Emma from eating a poisoned pastry by gobbling it and succumbing to the effects.
- I Have Your Wife: In the Enchanted Forest, Regina used her threat to Charming's life to convince Snow White to Come Alone to meet her and eat the poisoned apple in exchange for his freedom.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Charming felt it when Snow ate the poisoned apple.
- The Reveal: A couple. On the Enchanted Forest side we not only find out how Charming was gotten away from King George (Regina 'rescued' him to bring about Snow White's downfall), but that in order to accomplish this Regina promised George all the gold he would have gotten from Midas via Charming's marriage to Abigail; this explains why Charming and Snow could be seen marrying in the pilot without the threat of George hanging over them (although the next episode actually reveals that when the Sleeping Curse and Regina's deal were broken, Snow and Charming went to war against both her and George, accomplishing the same result for their impending wedding). Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Regina's desperation to get rid of Emma results in an As You Know from Gold, explaining that Emma cannot be killed or it will break the Dark Curse automatically, since he designed it that way.
- Storming the Castle: What Snow White and the seven dwarves literally do, with the aid of the fairies, Red, and Granny.
- Symbolism: Unsurprisingly, this episode is all about apples. Not only does the apple finally appear again in the Enchanted Forest flashback, most of Regina's time in the present is spent working with Jefferson to get it back so she can use it on Emma, leading up to the apple turnover and the Cliffhanger. This is necessary because Regina's apple tree is dying (the implication of which is lampshaded nastily by Gold). And finally there's Regina's nightmare which begins with a focused shot of the bowl of apples on the table and culminates, when she is tied to her own tree and about to be beheaded, with Emma crushing a now-black apple into a gooey pulp, proclaiming as she stares at Regina, "Rotten to the core."
- This Is Reality: While this has been how Emma has treated Henry's talk of the curse all along, it comes to its head here.
- This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Snow's feelings regarding meeting the Queen, since she doesn't want anyone else getting hurt or dying because of her.
- Tricked Out Time: Because actual Time Travel (as revealed in Season 3) is only possible through a unique spell that goes against the rules of magic, the loophole Regina uses here is Jefferson's hat, which can open portals through time as well as space. She uses it...to snatch the poisoned apple from the past but at the moment after the cursed Snow White dropped it, because her past self assumed it had simply rolled down the hill. So its disappearance to the future matched what she knew (and didn't care) about its fate.
- Where It All Began: In Regina's exact words, this is where she agrees to have her parley with Snow: at the stable where Daniel died (and where he was buried).
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Snow and friends are able to invade King George's castle and kill his guards in order to get to Prince Charming's cell, only to find out that he's being kept in the Evil Queen's castle. Unsurprisingly, the trick is accomplished with a magic mirror.
- You Said You Would Let Them Go:
- The Queen orders Charming's execution even after Snow eats the apple.
- Also, Jefferson begs Regina for her to honor her deal and give him a new life with Grace, only for Regina to claim she will not do so until she has successfully used the apple he fetched for her to get rid of Emma. Her continued refusal to do as she promised in the next episode (after Henry has eaten the turnover instead of Emma) backfires on her big time, when Jefferson's revenge prompts Gold to his actions in "Broken."