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Once Upon a Time - The Shepard - Review by Karen

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." - Albert Einstein

This week's episode was absolutely wonderful! Is destiny fate or chance?
Although we see struggle, sacrifice and heartbreak, it also gives us a glimmer of hope that one's path ultimately leads to where one is supposed to go and meet the people one is supposed to meet along the way. All of life's bizarre and troubling, as well as the wonderful occurrences and interactions are connected in a chain of events that, although one might not realize it, is the universe putting certain challenges, goals and rewards in our grasp. You just have to pay attention to the signs to see clearly.

In this episode we see that the shepherd has to make choices and sacrifices, and he does so out of his good heart and not wanting to see others (his mother and the people of the Kingdom) suffer. He is noble. But alas he does also have the right to be happy and have true love.

Are You Lost?
Well, you better hope you find what you're looking for.

The questions asked within this story keep coming back to- "Who am I?" and "Where do I belong?" These questions are surrounding John Doe aka David Nolan aka Prince Charming James aka the shepherd.

Are you wondering if there is still two brothers involved here? I found David's statement about- "Whoever married Kathryn is not me" very telling. Is this him just explaining that his heart wasn't really into marrying Abigail/Kathryn? Playing this new role he knew his marrying her is to be for the greater good of everyone else, but what about the real him and what is in his heart and good for him?

Currently John Doe is still John Doe "having memories" of David- while the shepherd is playing the part of Prince James. All of this pretending to be someone/something he is not is not living who he truly is.

John Doe and the residents of Storybrooke are learning to become the people they should be and living the life they should be via tests and choices.

Example: although the new shepherd Prince didn't think himself a dragon slayer he proved he was wrong and was very brave and passed the test; as it is he who indeed slays the mighty dragon. He is a warrior.

Choice along the Path
Some roads may seem quicker, but is that really the right way to travel? There are obstacles on the path, but one must face them head on; even when one doesn't understand why it is there and where and whom the delay and/or detour lead to. One must stay on the path, deciding to go left or right, and make the choices needed at the time, hoping they're the right choices; and believing that the path will ultimately lead to where they need to go.
The people one meets along the path, no matter how strangely the paths cross, just may be the way it is supposed to be.
The shepherd, or knave as some might see it, takes on a huge task to save his mother, their farm and the poor Kingdom. But he told his mother "As poor as we are love is the one thing I can afford. I will find a way to save this farm. But I won't do it for marrying for riches. When I marry I want it to be because I choose to spend the rest of my life with someone I love." But his situation changed and he had to take a new road based on the new events on his path, causing him to alter choices he may have entertained previously. In other words sometimes circumstances change, plans change, and cause us to take a different road, sometimes making us go against the grain of who we really are. In that case we need to find our way back on our path.

We also see John Doe/David trying to make "the right" choices in Storybrooke. But are these choices based on what is truly in his heart or are they decisions based on loyalty, honor, habit, or simply doing the right thing for other people?

In Storybrooke John Doe/David literally uses a map to try and find his way to the TrOLL BRIDGE and Mary Margaret. But he needs some shepherding along the way, some help- which he does get.

Rumpelstiltskin lays out the dragon slaying ruse but is sure that the young shepherd twin knows he has a choice in the matter. Although the young shepherd makes his choice it becomes a sacrifice and he must live with those consequences- After all- there's always consequences.
But, it is still by those events and choices and passing the "beheading the dragon test" that his path does indeed cross with his true love...Snow White. Let us not ignore that it is Mr. Gold who shepherd's John Doe/David to the TrOLL BRIDGE to meet with Mary Margaret.

Confused John Doe/David chooses to be with Kathryn but admits to not knowing if he really loves her. Let me tell you something mister! If he really and truly loves her- he'd fuckin' know it! Why doesn't he remember that deep emotion; the very emotion that would be important to him. Is it locked up somewhere?

Mary Margaret feels her choices are really her punishing herself for things. She is the one who put that idea in her own head; no one else did that.

How can one align their heart and mind and stay true to who they are? Should you only follow your heart or your mind? There must be a way to unite both...maybe with a key.

The Key
What or whom is the bridge between both realms? Henry's explanation of what is going on in Storybrooke is amazing.
Does Regina know? Who else is putting some of the pieces together? There seems to be some shepherding going on in this story. That would mean someone holds the key.

It is important to learn the difference between the things one is attached to isn't notions just put into one's head by others; be sure they're things that really belong in your heart.

I guess we'll have to wait and see who holds the key to David's heart and the door back to...

Ask yourself these questions:
What is more important to you, love or wealth? What are you willing to sacrifice to save your family and your home? Are you willing to live without all of the material comforts for only the comfort of love and family? What are you placing more value in?

Everyone has to realize you can't have everything...or can you? Do you dare to dream big? Well you should! But we also must learn to keep things in balance and in perspective. Midas has wealth but also knows family is the greater treasure. He sees his snooty daughter as having more value than any material things and Ruth loves her son so much that she is willing to let him go and do what he must.
The value of family and the love shared by each other is indeed more valuable than material things. But unfortunately in our real lives we can't live without cold hard cash; and lots of it. Our society can't live a simple life. Our society places more value on money, wealth and riches.

Anyway, the goal is...to return home

Continue Reading Review Here: Karen's Adventure in Storybrooke