"Child of the Moon" is the 29th episode of Once Upon a Time.
Ruby's fear about turning into a wolf during the first curse-free Storybrooke full moon is confirmed when one of the town's residents is viciously murdered, and Ruby is the prime suspect. Albert Spencer - a.k.a. King George - threatens to expose David as a shepherd, not a prince, and not fit to run the town as sheriff, and Leroy stumbles upon some treasure in the Storybrooke mine that could help bring Mary Margaret and Emma back into our world. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was, Red Riding Hood finds a kindred spirit in Anita, a charismatic and mysterious leader of a pack of humans who, like Red, turn out to be werewolves.
Previously on Once Upon a Time...
Red Riding Hood, in her wolf form, growls as Snow White and Granny after having eaten Peter. The wolf makes a leap for them but Granny fires an arrow at it before Snow drapes it with the red cloak. ("Red-Handed") Red asks the whereabouts of Peter, Snow replies, "He wasn't the wolf..." Red is shocked to learn that the wolf is her. ("Red-Handed") Billy is towing Ruby's car, attaching it to his tow truck quite roughly, shaking the car. Ruby exclaims for Billy to be careful as he almost shattered the wolf-charm hanging on her rear-view mirror, he assures her that it's fine. ("The Price of Gold") Jefferson's hat is seen spinning, a portal being formed. ("Broken") Charming shows Regina the aforementioned hat, asking her what she knows about it. She tells him that it's the hat that pulled his loved ones away.("We Are Both") Emma is sucked into the hat's portal and a distressed Snow jumps in after her. ("Broken") David mentions that magic's come to Storybrooke, ergo, there must be a way of finding them. Mother Superior tells him that it's hopeless without fairy dust to guide them. ("We Are Both") King George tells Snow White that family is everything and that he thought Charming could have been that hope for him. ("Lady of the Lake") Albert Spencer watches from his car as David and Henry playfight with wooden swords. ("Lady of the Lake") King George mentions that Charming only made his suffering worse - "Instead he must know pain. My pain." ("Lady of the Lake")
Leroy refuses happy hour.
Down in the Storybrooke mines, six of the seven dwarfs are seen working hard, still on their search for fairy dust. We see Happy pushing a cart down the rails as he alerts his brethren that it's time for a break at Granny's Diner. The other dwarfs seem excited and put their axes down, Doc tells Leroy to do the same as otherwise he'll miss happy hour, Happy himself then informs him that Granny's doing a two-for-one special on mead. Leroy states that just because it's called "happy hour", doesn't mean that Happy has to be there. The grumpy dwarf says that they have work to do but Happy argues that they're tired and a break could help. Leroy looks at his comrades, reminding them that they promised Charming that they would mine for fairy dust to help bring Snow and Emma back home. "And that's..." he swings his axe at the mine wall, "What I'm..." he takes another swing, "Gonna do!" he exclaims before taking his final swing, breaking through the wall completely, causing the dwarf to fall through it. As the dust settles, the rest of the dwarfs stare at Leroy through the tunnel he created, worried.
Diamonds are found in the mines.
The sheriff's car is seen driving through the streets of Storybrooke, it's speeding, its sirens blaring, on its way to the mines. Soon, David is seen walking through the mines, torch in hand, accompanied by Henry and Mother Superior. The prince asks Happy the whereabouts of Leroy and the dwarf quickly directs Charming to the hole in the mine wall. In it, David sees the dwarfs all staring up at the ceiling, Leroy smiles at him.
Within the tunnel, David shines his torch up to the ceiling as his companions smile at the diamonds seen glistening upon it. Mother Superior states that the magic brought them back. Henry asks her if it's the kind that makes fairy dust and Mother Superior confirms it. She goes on to say that the diamonds need to be refined and ground up, she asks David if he still has Jefferson's hat and the prince hands her the remains of said object. She takes it from him, instructing him to lock it up and keep it safe as by that time tomorrow they'll have enough magic to make it work again. "So, Mary Margaret and Emma..." Henry says. "That's right, kid," David tells him, placing a hand upon his shoulder, "We're bringing them home."
ONCE UPON A TIME
Ruby finds a mouse in the diner.
At Granny's Diner, Charming and the dwarves share celebratory beers as attendants cheer for them. David tells Leroy that he had quite a spill but the latter jokes that he's had worse, the dwarfs and David laugh. Ruby soon leaves this scene, walking out from behind to counter and clear some plates from a table in the corner. "A mouse," a voice says, startling Ruby who seems to think a mouse is somewhere. Billy, having said this, corrects her in telling Ruby that he's the mouse. "I was a mouse," he says, "My name is Gus. I lived in Cinderella's pantry, I ate cheese, I gnawed on wood, but I preferred the cheese..." Ruby smiles, wondering why he's telling her this. Billy explains that they haven't had a chance to talk since "things changed" (referring to the curse being broken) and that he wanted her to know who he was back home. Ruby asks him if she can still call him Billy and the mechanic replies that she can call him whatever she wants as long as she lets him buy her a drink after he shift. He tells her that he already knows Ruby and wants the chance to meet Red. The waitress pauses, informing him that tonight's not great for her, she attempts an excuse. However, before she can give one, Belle steps in, telling Billy that her and Ruby have plans. Ruby is thankful, going on to say that it's girls' night and she's bringing the cheese, which, she assures, has nothing to do with Billy being a mouse, but has to do with the wine. Billy suggests "maybe next time" before leaving, Ruby turns to Belle, thanking her, clearly feeling guilty. "I can spot a girl in trouble," Belle tells her, pointing out that Billy seems really nice. Ruby stares at the clock, distracted from what Belle is saying. She tells her friend "it's complicated" before walking away.
Spencer threatens David.
At the other end of the diner, David sits opposite Henry who's drinking from a mug, he asks him if it's coffee. Henry replies, "No..." clearly lying, and David figures that the kid's trying to stay up. Henry nods, David asks him if he's still worried about his nightmares, Henry nods again. David tells him not to be as, when he goes to sleep tonight, he will be right in the next room. Henry smiles and his grandfather slides the coffee away from him, suggesting he lose the java and go grab a cocoa. Henry gleefully stands up and walks away and David takes another gulp of his beer. Someone else sits opposite the prince, "Congratulations, sheriff," Albert Spencer, otherwise known as King George, tells him. David requests to know what he's doing there. "You may have taken care of me in the old world, but in this one, we get another go at each other," Spencer tells him. David tells him "whenever you're ready" but Spencer merely notes what a celebration it is. He mentions that David's getting his family back and the latter states that that must be hard for him, watching good win. Spencer chuckles at the depiction of "good", laughing at how sure David is of himself. Spencer assures the sheriff that he knows the truth, how he's still just a shepherd pretending to be a prince, that he wasn't fit to run the kingdom and that he sure as hell isn't fit to run the town. David tell him that the people of Storybrooke disagree. "Today," Spencer says before assuring David that he will make it so that soon people will see things his way. "By the time I'm done with you, you'll wish you'd killed me when you had the chance," he warns him. David stands up and applies his jacket, telling Spencer that the people of the town know who he really is and have seen him defeat George before, he then leans into him and tells him that if he tries to take him down, they'll see it again. David leaves Spencer and the latter's smile descends into a frown.
David has faith in Ruby.
In the kitchen area of the diner, Granny is wielding a blowtorch as she welds a cage together. David walks in and is confused, Granny lifts her safety mask and tells Ruby that they're almost done, instructing her to clear out the rest of the perishables. David asks what's going on and Ruby, who's taking food from the freezer, tells him that they're making a cage, asking him if he knows anybody who may want thirty frozen lasagnas. "I'm sorry, what?" David asks. "I know, no one would believe you if you told them my lasagna was frozen," Granny says. David explains that he meant why are they building a cage. Ruby tells him that it's the first night of wolf's time but David tells her that he thought she learned how to control the wolf within her ages ago. "Yeah, but, thanks to the curse, I haven't turned in twenty-eight years. I might be rusty," she points out. The waitress says that she can't let what happened last time, what happened to Peter, happen to anyone else. David asks about her red hood, saying that it can keep her from turning. Ruby tells him that it would only be useful if she had it, saying that she's looked everywhere and even went to Gold, but it's not in town, she suspects it didn't come over with the curse. "Ruby, I know you. I trust you. Snow trusted you. Wolf's time or not, I know you won't hurt anyone tonight," he assures her. Ruby considers this but decides that it's best not to take any chances. She wakes into the cage and Granny closes the door.
Snow is insulted by her poster.
In the fairytale land that was, Snow White and Red Riding Hood are running at night through the Enchanted Forest. They are clearly running from something and, after reaching a certain distance, Snow tells her friend that she thinks they lost them. Red asks her to wait as her cloak has gotten caught on something, however, Snow runs on a little before being confronted by one of Regina's knights. He draws a sword, telling the princess that she cannot run from the Queen. Snow grabs his sword him and pulls it downwards before striking him in the face, Red aids her by grabbing the knight from behind, allowing Snow to bare her fist down on the back of his head, knocking him out. Red tells her friend to run as there are more soldiers on their way, Snow obliges and the two girls speed off. The princess stops when she sees a WANTED poster with her name and picture on it, she angrily tears it from the tree it's on before continuing to run with Red. Soldiers with flaming torches and horses are seen charging through another part of the forest as Red leads Snow through the trees. The two of them duck behind a tree and remain there as the Queen's knights ride on by, not noticing them. Red says that it's okay and that the knights are gone, a relieved Snow proceeds to pulls the WANTED poster from her pocket, decrease it, and stare at it. "She's never going to stop, is she?" Snow says, referring to Regina.
Red frets over her torn hood.
Red doesn't pay attention to this, more focused upon her riding cloak, saying in a worried tone that it's torn. Snow leans in to inspect the tear but Red pushes her away, telling her friend that she has to get away from her. Snow refuses to leave Red but the latter explains that there's a full moon tonight, wolf's time is beginning, and the hood is the only thing that can protect her from turning. Snow assures her that it will still work but Red points out the consequences if it doesn't. "You saw what I did to Peter," she says, "This thing, the wolf... when it takes over me, I can't control it... Please, Snow. Find shelter. I'll go further into the woods and find a place to hide. For your own sake, we have to split up." Snow pauses before eventually agreeing, making sure that it's just for one night. She tells her to meet her in the morning by the stream and then they can find a safe place for both of them, suggesting a nice cabin the woods. "Why are you doing this?" Red wonders, referring to the kindness Snow is expressing in spite of what she saw Red do as a wolf, what she is. Snow tells her that she knows that's not who she really is and assures her that they're in this together. The girls smile at each other before Red lifts her hood on top of her head. She ventures on her own, however, as she runs, a mysterious man is seen watching her from behind a tree, his eyes glow.
At Granny's Diner, Granny herself walks through it and into the kitchen section. The old woman sees that there is no door on the freezer and that the freezer itself has been torn to shreds, filled with scratch marks. Granny calls out for Ruby who isn't there. Granny inspects the freezer before running past the door which is on the floor and also covered in scratch marks, Granny leaves the building which no longer contains her granddaughter. The wolf got out.
Henry has another nightmare.
In the burning, red room of Henry's dreams, the young boy is in a section of floor not on fire, but still surrounded by roaring flames. He stumbles backwards a few times at the flames' majesty, moving forward and backwards to avoid the fire. He calls out for help before looking out to the other side of the room where a woman is visible standing there. He calls out to her through the flames, asking her who she is. The woman doesn't respond, being too scared herself. She stands up and Henry asks where they are, however, he is soon lifted from his dream.
In Henry's bedroom, Regina is waking the panicked boy up, assuring him that everything's okay. He asks her what she's doing there and where David is, Regina explains that David got an emergency call that morning and asked her to look after him. Regina says that she knows of Henry's nightmares and tries to hold his hand, comfortingly, however, Henry calls out in pain. Regina inspects his hand closer to realize that it contains a burn from the flames of his dream, both of them are worried.
Ruby is found in the woods.
In Storybrooke's forest, Granny is leading David through the woods, the former with a crossbow in her arms. She continues to track as David follows her and soon makes a turning at a log to discover to sleeping Ruby nested under it. Granny calls out for her granddaughter and the girl soon awakens, confused. David and Granny pull Ruby to her feet as she asks them where she is and what she's doing there. David explains that she's in the forest and must have fallen asleep there the previous night, Ruby does not understand. She mentions the cage, saying that she was locked up, but Granny tells her that the freezer was torn to shreds when she came to check in on her that morning. David tries to assure her that everything's alright but she snaps that it's not as exactly what she was afraid of happening, has happened. She asks if she did something last night but David reminds her that all they know is that she broke out and ran through the woods and that there is no reason to assume the worst. Ruby is still unnerved but the conversation is interrupted when David's cell phone rings, the prince answers it, telling whoever is on the other line that he'll be right there. Ruby immediately asks him what the call was and he tells her that someone just left their car double parked and that he must check it out on his way back into town. "Hey, relax," David says, putting an arm on a panicked Ruby's shoulder, "Everything's going to be fine." Granny nods in agreement but Ruby still seems unsure.
Quinn threatens Red's riding hood.
Back in the fairytale land that was, Red Riding Hood wakes up under the shade of some trees in the Enchanted Forest. The girl sits up, relieved that her hood worked and that she didn't transform.
Soon, Red is waking along the banks of a stream, she takes her hood off and places it on the ground before kneeling over the waters and using it to wash her hands. Suddenly, someone jumps on the scene, grabbing Red's hood and running away with it. The girl is startled and begins to run after him, he runs through the trees and so Red follows him, however, soon enough, Red finds herself not able to see him and stops, panicking. "Looking for this?" asks the man, holding her red hood and waving a flaming torch beneath it. Red exclaims for him not to do it as she needs it. The man waves the torch under it a few more times, worrying her, asking her what she could possibly need it for. She shouts for him to drop it. "Unless," he says, waving the torch once again, "It protects you from something." Red asks him what he's talking about and he in turn asks if she thinks he doesn't know a wolf when he sees one. Red is stunned but soon finds herself running at the thief and tackling him, demanding to know how he knows what she is. He grabs the girl and flips her so that know he is pinning her down. "Because I know how to recognize a child of the moon," he tells her. His eyes glow yellow and Red realizes that he's one, too. He tells her that his name is Quinn before pulling her to her feet, explaining that he picked up on her scent the previous night. Quinn asks her if she's ever had anyone talk to her about her inner-wolf, teach her about what she is. Red explains that her parents were killed by hunters when she was just a baby and that she was raised by her Granny, Quinn points out that her grandmother hid the truth from her and made her wear the hood. Red runs to her hood which resides on the floor and grabs it, Quinn asks her if she's still blacking out and losing control when she turns and probably even hurt someone. He assures her that he knows how she feels, saying he's been there and that it doesn't have to be that way. Red asks him what he means and Quinn offers a way she can control it so that she never has to be afraid of what she might do again. She wonders if that's even possible and he tells her to follow him. Red obliges.
Red is introduced to her mother.
Red follows Quinn through the woods until they arrive at a hatch in the ground, leading to a stairway. He begins to go in before Red asks him if it's some kind of trick, Quinn ignores this and enters the hatch anyway. Red follows him and walks down the stairs after Quinn, arriving in an underground chamber filled with many other people. Red looks around at the people who seem to be moving around casually, not even noticing her. Quinn explains that it used to be a ground hall of a castle until it sunk underground, and now it's all theirs. He leads Red around the edge of the chamber, she looks in awe at the place before asking Quinn about the people, he confirms her suspicion that they're all werewolves, like her. He asks her to come as Anita is expecting her. Red asks who Anita is. "That would be me," says a woman who emerges from a doorway, announcing herself. Her eyes glow like Quinn's did and she tells the latter well done, saying that he "finally found her". Anita mentions that Red's grown so much upon inspecting her, Red is surprised that the woman knows her. Anita smiles, "I'm your mother." Red is taken aback.
"It was the wolf! It was me!"
In Storybrooke, David drives his sheriff's car up to the truck which has been double parked. Ruby, who's in the passenger seat, points out that it's Billy's truck before her, David and Granny step out. David wonders who he would call to tow a tow truck. Ruby stops, clearly distressed. David asks her what's wrong and the waitress tells him that she smells blood. David looks inside the tow truck but finds nothing, he wonders where Billy is. "Here," Granny says around the front of the truck, David runs around it to see what she's seeing only to discover Billy's body, down to the waist, lying on the floor, blood splatted around the place. Next, they hear Ruby's shrill scream and run to the source. They arrive at her aid to see what she is screaming at, Billy's legs sticking out of the back of a skip. All are stunned. "It was the wolf!" Ruby yells, crying, "It was me!"
Regina seeks help from an enemy.
At Mary Margaret's apartment, Regina is standing with Henry, whose hand is still burned, he appears to be keeping the wound elevated. They are standing opposite Mr. Gold who tells them that they were quite right to call him. Henry asks the pawnbroker if he can help, saying that it was just a dream. Gold tells him that what he's describing certainly isn't a dream, Regina asks what it is then and Gold informs her that it's a side effect, commenting that it's remarkable Regina would cast a curse that she knows so little about. Regina states that her victims were never supposed to wake up which is why she never cared what happened to them afterwards, until now. Gold opens a case filled with magical remedies and ingredients as he explains that when people fall under a sleeping curse, their soul travels to a Netherworld where it resides until awoken. Gold takes a small bottle filled with a light, blue potion and places it to one side, before explaining that the Netherworld is filled with possible lives and deaths, all of which are real. Mr. Gold takes out an amulet and opens a cap, he begins to pour in the blue potion, he goes on to say that, sometimes, when the curse is broken, the victims can return to this world in their sleep, victims such as Henry. Regina says that this other world has been tormenting her son every time he goes to sleep and that she wants him to provide something that will keep him from going there. Gold tells her that that isn't possible, he says he can, however, give him something that will help him control the actions of that world, and once one controls something, one no longer need fear it. The amulet is handed to Henry, who seems confused, Gold explains that he needs to wear it whilst he's sleeping and once he controls the journey, fear will stop, and then he can come and go as he pleases. Regina steps in front of Henry before he can accept the necklace. "Everything comes at a price with you," she says, "What do you want for this?" "For a house call? You couldn't afford it. But, this is for Henry. This one's on me," Gold tells her before handing Henry the necklace, the kid accepts it.
David wants to protect Ruby.
At Billy's murder scene, Granny covers up the body with a sheet is David assures Ruby that something else must have killed him. Ruby refuses to believe this, saying that it was her and they both know it. David reminds her that a few months ago, Mary Margaret was convicted of murder, she needed someone to believed in her, he didn't, he assures Ruby that he is not going to make the same mistake again. "Mary Margaret never killed anyone, I have!" Ruby exclaims, tears remaining in her eyes. David tells her that he knows who she really is, even if she's lost sight of it. Ruby says that it doesn't change the fact that she is going to turn again tonight and someone else could get hurt. Granny takes notice of the townspeople nearby and tells Ruby that they're not in the place to have this discussion. "It's okay, I'll protect her," David says before beginning to walk over to the citizens, Ruby shouts for him not to, requesting that she be locked up, saying that the freezer didn't hold her, but maybe a jail cell will. "I don't need to be protected from the people, David! Other people need to be protected from me!"
Red connects with her mother.
In the fairytale land that was, Red Riding Hood is sitting in the presence of Anita, her mother. She says that Granny lied to her, that story about her parents being killed by hunters. Anita says that she's been lying to her since she stole her away from her when she was just a baby. Red wonders why she would do that and Anita says it's because she didn't want her to find out the truth about who she really is. Anita turns to other residents of the castle hall, "She believed the wolf was something to be ashamed of... I see things differently." Red looks to her mother who explains that humans want them to believe that they're the monsters, the moment you believe them, that' when you become one. Red is silent and Anita tells her that she's not the first to learn the truth about herself through tragedy, saying that so many of them spend so much of their lives suppressing the wolf, they have no idea how to control it, she says they just need help, help embracing their true nature. "The only way you will ever control the wolf is by accepting it as a part of you," she tells Red. Red asks if Anita can teach her to do that, she says that indeed she can. The two of them stand up and Red asks her how she can do this. "You can start by getting rid of that," Anita tells her. Seeming reluctant to do so, Red sheds her beloved red hood after a comforting smile from her mother. After doing so, she hugs Anita and smiles.
Spencer threatens David... again.
In Storybrooke, David is locking the door to Ruby's jail cell in the sheriff's station, telling her that she'll be safe in there tonight. Ruby thanks him but he tells her to thank him in the morning as by then he will have found whoever really killed Billy. "You already have," comes a voice as David places the cell keys in the drawer. The voice's source is seen to be Spencer, who enters the sheriff's station, "That thing," he says, gesturing Ruby, calling her a "she-wolf". David orders Spencer to leave, requesting that whatever issues he may have with him, he shouldn't take it out on her. He says that there's no proof to suggest that Ruby had anything to do with what happened. Spencer says that it appears to him that David is allowing his emotions to cloud his judgement. At this, Ruby stands up and grasps the bars of her cell, exclaiming for Spencer to leave the prince alone. Spencer ignores her, telling David that he's protecting his friend at the peril of everyone else. "I knew you'd slip up, shepherd. It was only a matter of time." David asks him what he wants and Spencer replies with "justice", requesting that David hand Ruby over to him and let the town decide her fate. David refuses, saying he knows exactly what kind of justice he has in mind. Spencer reminds David that the town is bigger than he thinks and if he starts telling people that he's putting them at risk to protect his own interests, then he will have a mutiny on his hands. David says that they'll see and that if Spencer wants Ruby, he will have to go through him. Spencer leans in to David and tells him that he looks forward to that, before leaving. David turns to Ruby, who seems worried.
We are treated to a view of the Enchanted Forest as the scene fades to nighttime and the full moon rises.
It'll be like nothing you've ever felt before...
We now see from a wolf's eye as it runs through the forest.
The pines beneath your foot, the air rushing over your fur...
The view changes to look upon the pack of werewolves as the lot of them run through the trees.
Your brothers and sisters at your side...
We see from the wolf's point of view again as it walks steadily through branches and bushes. The screen goes black.
Your mind won't want to believe it.
Many wolves, one after another, jet through a part of the forest. Soon we are taken again through the wolf's eyes.
It will tell you a wolf is invading your body, trying to take over. And if you believe that, for even a moment, you'll black out...
The screen goes black once more.
...and lose control. Like you have every other night you've turned.
We see one of the wolves staring at its reflection in a puddle, the shot zoomed in on the reflection itself.
But, if you give in to the wolf, you'll realize the truth...
The shot moves out on the wolf who's staring at its reflection.
You are the wolf.
The pack of wolves are running together once more, they leap off of a hill and let out an almighty, unified howl as they charge together towards a river where one wolf stops in its tracks and looks down at the water and at the reflection of the full moon.
And when you accept that, you will finally be in control.
The wolf steps back to charge at the bank, leaping over the river and sticking the landing.
We see Red sleeping in the wolf-inhabited castle hall, she wakes up to see that Anita is looking down at her and stands up to face her mother. The latter asks her how much she remembers, Red pauses before telling Anita that she remembers all of it. Anita smiles, "You finally became the wolf." Red moves in closer to her mother, saying that she doesn't have to be afraid anymore. Anita shakes her head and lets out a large, comforted smile.
In Storybrooke, Spencer is attempting to enter the sheriff's station but is unable to due to the chains wrapped around the entrance. He steps back and announces that "we" don't need to cower in fear of the creature any longer. As he steps forward, the mob he has gathered is revealed. "We know who she is, we know where she's hiding. So why is she still alive? Because she's being harbored by one person, David Nolan. How many more people have to die before our prince decides to act? If he won't protect you, I will," Spencer promises to an accepting crowd. At this, one of the mob takes large shears to a lock on a door to the station, breaking it, giving the rest of them a way in. The mob bursts into the sheriff's office only to see that Ruby's jail cell is empty.
David contemplates how to best help Ruby.
Over at Storybrooke's library, chains are seen gathered on the floor as Ruby attaches her shackles to a pipe on the wall, telling Granny that they should work. David thanks Belle for letting Ruby hide out there. "Of course," she says, "It's not every day you find out your friend's-" "A monster," Ruby finishes. "Hunted. I was going to say hunted," Belle assures her. Granny, crossbow in tow, tells them that the crowd's six blocks from where they are. Belle is surprised that Granny has wolf hearing, too. Granny jokes that it's not all it cracked up to be, especially when you run a hotel. David tells them that the only way they're going to be able to get the mob to stand down is to prove Ruby had nothing to do with Billy's death. He says he's going to need Granny's help and tells Belle that if the mob comes their way, call them. Ruby looks sad at David and her Granny leaving and Belle turns to her friend.
Snow is attacked by Quinn.
In the fairytale land that was, the werewolves are sleeping on the ground when a sudden noise is heard. Quinn wakes up at this and Red is shocked, asking him what it is, he replies that it's hunters, causing all the others to wake. Each one of them runs to position, keeping to a section of wall each. Someone is heard walking down the stairs but it is soon shown to be none other than the fair Snow White. Suddenly, Quinn attacks, lunging at the princess' throat, strangling her. He pulls her along with him as she cries out but Red, upon seeing who it is, runs over to Quinn, begging him to stop, saying that she's not there to hurt them. Quinn, still with a grip around Snow's neck, asks what other reasons humans have for entering their den. Red explains that Snow's a friend who stood by her after she learned the truth, after she killed, and that without her, she never would have escaped her village alive. Anita sees this and tells Quinn to let the girl go, he obliges, dropping Snow to the floor. The princess exhales heavily as Red aids her, apologizing. Snow, clutching her throat, says that when Red didn't show up at the stream that morning she thought the Queen's men had killed her. Snow looks up at the rest of the den's residents as she stands up, she asks Red who her friends are. Quinn replies, coldly, that they're her pack. "Are they..." Snow starts, Red confirms that they are "like her". She assures Snow that she doesn't have to fear them. Anita asks Snow how she found them and Snow explains that she tracked wolf prints there like Red taught her. Red says that Snow could have been caught by the Queen's men but Snow tells her friend that she wasn't going to leave without her.
Quinn is killed by a stray arrow.
"Why don't we go find that cabin we talked about, okay?" she asks, trying to leave but with Red not following her. Snow looks to her friend who looks to her mother and Snow realizes that Red isn't coming with her. Red explains that she doesn't have to be ashamed of who she is there, saying that she found her home and her mother. "But, I thought-" "Granny lied," Red tells her. The girl apologizes, saying she knows Snow risked her life to come back for her, Snow shakes her head, saying that she understands and that she would do anything to be with her mother again. Red apologizes for not leaving the kingdom with her friend but Snow assures her that she'll be alright as Red's taught her enough already, she says she'll manage. Snow and Red hug as they bid goodbye, they thanks each other. Suddenly, an arrow is fired into the den, hitting Quinn in the chest, he falls back. They are stunned and Snow realizes that the Queen's men have found her. Multiple Black Knights enter the den, one tells Anita to stand down and so she breaks his neck. Another werewolf beats one with her fists whereas another is kicked in the stomach and falls to the floor. A few more necks are snapped and knights are tackled until, finally, all of them are dead. Red is crouched at Quinn's aid, horrified at the arrow in his chest. His head leans back and his eyes close, Red exclaims to Anita that he's gone.
"They'll kill you!"
Back at Storybrooke's library, Ruby walks in and tells Belle that she needs to leave as the moon will be up soon. Belle asks if the chains will hold to which Ruby replies "hopefully". Belle assures her friend that she's staying, she places a hand on Ruby's shoulder, telling her to think of it as girls' night. Ruby doesn't seem too happy at this and Belle asks her what's wrong. Ruby says that she knows David wants to believe the best, but she's killed before and she'll do it again, saying that everyone in town is right to be afraid of her. Belle tells her that she's not but Ruby exclaims that she should be. Belle says that no matter what Ruby has done in her past, David sees the good in her and that tells her one thing, Ruby wonders what and Belle tells her that that means the good's definitely in there. She wonders why, if they can all see it, Ruby can't. Ruby asks if Belle really thinks so and Belle tells her friend to trust her, saying that she's sort of an expert when it comes to rehabilitation. Ruby smiles, telling Belle that maybe she's right before hugging her, however, during the hug, a click is heard as the shackles are latched to Belle's wrist. Ruby tells Belle that the town's right, too, she is a monster and that's why she needs to make sure she doesn't ever hurt anyone again. Belle asks her what she's doing and Ruby tells her that she can't have her stop her. "The mob wants a wolf, I'm gonna give them one," Ruby tells her, saying that she needs to pay for all she's done. "Then they'll kill you!" Belle yells, worried for her friend. "Isn't that what I deserve?" Ruby asks before leaving, a chained up Belle powerless to stop her.
A shocking discovery is made...
On the streets of Storybrooke, Granny is seen sniffing Billy's uniform, searching for his scent. David is near by and follows her as she picks up on the scent. They stop at a car and Granny tells David to check the trunk, he unlocks it and opens it to find nothing interesting, however, he soon lifts the top layer to see that underneath is a bloody axe and Ruby's red hood. David realizes that the wolf didn't kill Billy before lifting Ruby's hood. They realize that the hood was taken so that she would be forced to turn back into a wolf, so that whoever killed Billy could pin the murder on her. Granny asks who would want to hurt Ruby. David decides to find out, he walks over to the front section of the door but the door is locked, he instead smashes the window to the driver's seat. He then opens the door and searches the car, pulling out some papers revealing that it belongs to Spencer, saying that it's not about Ruby, it's about him. He says that he needed a reason to wrestle power away from him, so he created one. A wolf is heard howling and Granny exclaims that Ruby's out, David mentions the mob, that they're going to kill her, and the two of them are soon running to head them off.
Anita mourns Quinn.
In the fairytale land that was, Anita feels the face of the recently deceased Quinn as she kneels over him, saying may he always run free beneath the moon's pale light. Snow watches this, apologizing to Red, Anita looks up to Snow, standing, telling her that she caused Quinn's death. Snow protests to this but Anita states that it was she who brought the Queen's men into their den. Snow begs for Anita to believe that she had no idea they followed her. Red tries to defend her friend but Anita tells them both that it doesn't matter as wherever humans go, death follows. She says that the only way to stop them is to kill them first, before ordering some of the pack to tie Snow up. Suddenly, Snow is seized by werewolves, Red is shocked and Anita announces that when the moon rises, they will feast on a princess. Red asks what she's doing and Anita exclaims that Snow will pay for the life that they lost, as she's being carted away by wolves. Red tells her that she's not making any sense. Snow is tied to a pillar, despite her cries out. Anita reminds Red that she already made her choice and she's one of them now. "Act like it," she orders her. Anita walks closer to Red and tells her to kill Snow, Red refuses, saying that Snow is her friend. Anita says that she will herself. Red tries to stop her mother but Anita merely turns to her and says, "I'm sorry, my daughter. This is what it means to be a wolf!" Red is stunned by her mother's behavior before the latter walks away.
Red accidentally kills her mother.
Later, at nighttime, after the full moon has risen, Anita, in her wolf form, approaches Snow White, who's panicking, still tied to a pillar as the wolf draws closer. Snow begs the wolf not to, however, it prepares itself to leap before barking, Snow lets out a scream and the wolf pounces. However, so does another. Red, in her wolf form also, tackles Anita away from Snow, a fight ensues between the two wolves and Snow breaks free, worried. Red is the wolf to emerge victorious and Anita is seen again in her human form, however, a spike is sticking out of her chest, this having occurred in her battle with Red. Snow is shocked by this and turns to grab Red's riding cloak, she approaches the wolf steadily before draping the hood over her and Red becomes human once more. Red looks at her impaled, dying mother and approaches her, crying over her, saying that she didn't mean to, apologizing. "You chose her..." Anita mutters. Red denies this, "I chose me!" she exclaims, "I'm not a killer!" Blood has run down Anita's chest and her head tilts backwards, her eyes closing. Red weeps for her mother's death and Snow, feeling sorry for her friend, watches from afar. Red continues to cry.
Spencer prepares to execute the wolf.
We see Storybrooke's clock tower as the mob forms outside of the library, each one of its members carrying a flaming torch. A wolf's howl is heard, clearly Ruby's and the mob, still lead by Spencer, turn their attention to it. Spencer says that she's close before leading the mob in the direction of the howl, the crowd follows him around the streets of Storybrooke until they come across an open metal gate, where, on the other side, stands Ruby, the wolf, cowering behind a shipping container. Spencer, revolver in hand, approaches the wolf and sticks out his gun arm, the crowd behind him, he prepares to shoot. Suddenly, and arrow is fired through the gun and hits another container, causing a rather large explosion which startles the crowd. Granny is seen standing on a car, crossbow in tow, promising Spencer that the next arrow will go between his eyes. David calls out for Ruby, red hood in hand, as he beats his way through the mob. He manages to get past them to make an announcement. "Listen to me! Ruby didn't kill Billy! He did!" David exclaims, gesturing Spencer, explaining that he stole her cloak and killed Billy in cold blood to make it look like a wolf, all to get them to think he wasn't leading the town as he should. A growl is heard behind them and the crowd seems terrified, David tells them to calm down. "Somebody already died because of what this man did, let's not spill more blood! She won't hurt anyone, she's just scared!" David exclaims, angrily.
David helps Ruby to save herself.
The prince, still with the hood, walks closer towards where the wolf is cowering. He continues to advance and addresses the wolf as Ruby, saying that he knows she's in there and asks her to listen to him. He says that it was Spencer who killed Billy, not her, and requests that she don't let him trick her into thinking she's a monster. Ruby growls at "monster" and David suddenly apologizes, telling her that it was a poor choice of words. Ruby still seems angered, teeth baring, her growling not held back, he tells her that he knows her, the real her, and he knows she can control the wolf. Ruby calms at this, holding back on David, she steps back from him, seeming more casual. He addresses her by her name again ("Ruby...? Ruby...? Ruby...?") and crouches down to face her eye-to-eye. The wolf seems a little angered again but the prince says that it's him, David. The wolf then sits, in control of herself once more, and Charming drapes the red cloak around her. Ruby, in her human form, kneels before him. She comments that David saved her. He lifts her to her feet, smiling, assuring her that she saved herself, he just reminded her of what she already knew. Ruby smiles. There is then a ruckus with the mob and David and Ruby run over to Granny, who's been knocked to the ground, the former helps her up and asks where Spencer is. Granny says he's gone before telling David to go, at this, David and Ruby hop into the sheriff's car, turn on the siren, and drive.
David prepares to execute Spencer.
A small fire is seen burning at a miscellaneous location in Storybrooke, Spencer is standing over it. "You think you can hide from a wolf?" Ruby asks as her and David approach the former king. He tells her that he wasn't trying to hide. David exclaims that Spencer killed and innocent man, but Spencer retorts that he was a mouse. "He was better than you'll ever be!" Ruby snaps, angrily. David suggests that they make a deal but Spencer assures him that he's not interested, he just wants to see the look on David's face when he realizes something. David asks him what that would be and Spencer tells him that he's never going to see his wife or his daughter again. David asks Spencer what he's talking about and the latter tells the prince that he really should be more cautious with something so valuable, before proceeding to take out Jefferson's hat and throw it into the flames, destroying it. David is shocked, he runs at the flames, pushing Spencer out of the way. He begins to pick up dirt and throw it at the fire as Spencer tells him that it won't matter how much fairy dust he collects or how much he rallies the town behind him, his family's gone. David stands up and punches Spencer in the face, knocking the former king down. David proceeds to take his gun from his holster and aim it at Spencer, ready to shoot, Ruby warns him not to. David cries, keeping the gun firmly aimed, whereas Spencer just laughs. "I told you," he says, "You should've killed me when you had the chance." David contemplates the shoot before ultimately dropping the gun, tears filling his eyes, and turning around, dropping to his knees at the sight of the burning hat. The shot travels up to the full moon.
Family share a hug.
The shot moves down from the full moon and into the Enchanted Forest where Snow stands with Red, who has just buried her mother. "May you always run free beneath the moon's pale light," Red says over Anita's grave, crying. She strokes the headstone, wishing her mother goodbye. Snow quickly rushes over and hugs her friend. She apologizes, saying that she knows what it's like to lose your family. "I didn't lose my family today," Red says, "I protected it." Snow continues to hug her friend, smiles, and says "thank you". Red goes on to say that her mother wanted her to chose between being the wolf and being a human, Granny did the same. She says that Snow is the only person who thought it was okay for her to be both. Snow says it's because that's who she is, she goes on to suggest that they find that cabin. Red smiles before following Snow through the woods, the shot moves down to Anita's grave.
Ruby decides to run.
Ruby stands in Mary Margaret's apartment, still with hood, looking on at David, who's watching Henry sleep. David says that Henry may never see his mother or grandmother again, he asks Ruby how he's supposed to break that news to him. Ruby tells him that he won't have to but David says that travel between worlds is as hard as it comes, fairy dust isn't enough and it took an entire curse to bring them there in the first place. Ruby assures him that he'll find another way, he tells her that she doesn't know that, but she argues that she knows him and she knows he'll never give up until he does. She touches his arm, comfortingly, telling him that he's not going to be doing this alone. David thanks Ruby, smiling, before she asks if he minds giving Granny a call. He wonders what for and Ruby explains that she left Belle chained up in the library and that she needs someone to go and unchain her. He says he'll take care of it before Ruby opens the door, David asks her where she's going and she says that she still has a few hours of wolf's time left and that David helped her regain control. "I'm gonna do something I haven't done in a very, very long time," she says, removing her hood and handing it to David, "Run." Ruby runs away and it's not long before her wolf's howl is heard, David smiles at this, happy for her. David looks onward.
Snow misses her husband.
Over in the fairytale land that is, Mary Margaret is sitting on a hillside, hugging her knees, thinking of her husband, seeming sad as she does so. Soon, Emma walks up to hill to find her mother sitting there, she asks her what she's doing. Snow looks up and tells her daughter that she was just thinking. Emma asks her to come with her, saying that Mulan has some ideas where Cora might be hiding. Snow stands up at this and begins to walk with Emma as the two of them make their way back to the campsite. They quickly arrive and walk past a fire, into the tent presumably containing Mulan. After they leave, Aurora is seen sleeping by the tent, apparently unnoticed, she seems a little distressed.
Aurora meets someone familiar.
In Aurora's dream, we see the princess standing within the burning, red room of the Netherworld, she screams at the many flames that threaten her multiple times, trying to avoid each one. They are too much for the princess to handle and so she continues to scream, loudly. She stops when she sees someone else on the other side of the room, who is also standing in flames. He closes his eyes, clutching the amulet around his neck, Aurora watches him confused, still trying her best to avoid the flames. Soon, the flames are extinguished at the little boy's will and he tells Aurora not to be scared. She looks at him in utter awe.
Emma and Snow are shocked at Aurora's news.
Suddenly, Aurora wakes up and she calls out for Snow a couple of times. Snow soon rushes to the princess' aim, Emma not far behind her. Snow crouches down in a comforting manner to Aurora, Emma standing behind her. Snow assures the princess that it was just another nightmare, but Aurora says that there was something very different about the one she just had. She begins to explain as Snow holds her hand, Emma crouches also, ready to listen. "There was a little boy," she says, "He put out the fire, he talked to me." Snow is surprised at this and Emma wonders what the little boy said. "He said... he said his name was 'Henry'..." Aurora tells them. Snow and Emma turn to each other, both are completely stunned at this piece of news.
- The title card features a hooded figure, possibly Red, walking through the woods.
- Michael Coleman (Happy) is wrongly billed as "Micahel Coleman".
- This episode reveals the fairytale counterpart of supporting character Billy to be Gus, a mouse from Cinderella's pantry.
- Spencer refers to Ruby by the title of Shakira's 2009 single "She Wolf", as a reference to the fact she is a werewolf..
- Executive producers and co-creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz stated that a lot of inspiration for this episode came from the Rolling Stones, in particular the title "Child of the Moon", which is a song from the B-Side to the band's single "Jumping Jack Flash", and the design for Anita's den.
- This marks the sixth writing credit for both Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss. It also marks the first directing credit for Anthony Hemingway.
- This outing would be the lowest ever in the series' run at time of airing, placing a 2.7/7 with only 8.75 million viewer tuning in, a 23% drop from the previous episode. However, they weren't alone as all of the other programs that aired on this night also posted record lows as well besides Once Upon a Time.
- Entertainment Weekly's Hilary Busis loved this episode: "A moment of silence, please, in honor of cute werewolf Quinn, Gus-Gus -- can you believe that Storybrooke hottie Billy once looked like this? and Anita, Red Riding Hood's bloodthirsty, feather-loving mama wolf. (Age-inappropriate casting alert! Annabeth Gish, who played Anita, is only 11 years older than Meghan Ory, who portrays her onscreen daughter.) Between those three, the other Storybrookeite King Charles Widmore apparently killed, and all the knights who got their necks snapped in the Wolf Pack's secret furry lair, tonight's Once had a bigger body count than usual. No matter what she does, death seems to follow Red like the train of her signature cloak -- trauma, trauma on the wall, is her back story the most tragic of them all? 
- The A.V. Club gave this episode a C: "After the first few episodes of this season proved to be a nice change of pace, the show’s new status quo introduced a set of challenges that the writers haven’t fully met (see last week’s abysmal installment), and this week’s chapter is a Storybrooke-centric story that suffers from many of the problems of last season. It begins with a misleading opening sequence where the dwarves find magical diamonds under Storybrooke that can be ground into fairy dust and put in the Magic Hat to bring back Emma and Snow. But this episode is minimally concerned with bringing back the exiled women, instead focusing on Ruby to tell a half-assed mystery/horror plot."
- In a positive review from TV Fanatic, Christine Orlando notes that "Child of the Moon" conjured up another fiendishly good hour of Once Upon a Time as the full moon came out and Red's wolfie ways showed their claws.
- The Huffington Post's Laura Prudom was also pleased with the outing, even if it had some flawed moments that did not fit the storyline: "Generally, episodes of "Once Upon a Time" fall into two categories: those that propel the mythology forward in big ways (such as last week's "Tallahassee") and those that tread water by focusing more on character backstory, and/or form building blocks for the next mythology episode. This week's Ruby-centric outing, "Child of the Moon," fell into the latter category -- not much was resolved or advanced, but it was clearly pushing things into place for next week's dramatic-looking installment. That's not a value judgment; every serialized story requires certain "filler" episodes to pace the story advancement over 22 weeks, and "Child of the Moon" did a fine job of making us root for Ruby/Red as we learned more about her troubled past."
- Amy Ratcliffe of IGN gave it a 6.9, citing that "This week's Once Upon a Time put the focus back on Ruby, with mixed results." and thought that there was stiff dialogue throughout the episode.
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.
- ↑ "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Revenge', 'The Mentalist' & 'The Amazing Race' Adjusted Up; '666 Park Avenue' & '60 Minutes' Adjusted Down" from TV By The Numbers/Zap2it (November 13, 2012)
- ↑ "'Once Upon a Time' recap: There's a She-Wolf in the Freezer" from Entertainment Weekly (November 11, 2012)
- ↑ "Child of the Moon" S2 / E7, by Oliver Sava, A.V. Club (November 11, 2012)
- ↑ "Once Upon a Time Review: Controlling the Wolf Inside" from TV Fanatic (November 11, 2012)
- ↑ 'Once Upon A Time' Recap: Red Embraces The Big Bad Wolf Within In 'Child Of The Moon', byLaura Prudom|work, The Huffington Post (November 12, 2012)
- ↑ ONCE UPON A TIME: “CHILD OF THE MOON” REVIEW, by Amy Ratcliffe, IGN (November 12, 2012)