Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
5 user 2 critic

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter 

Graham starts to remember details about his life before Storybrooke, while flashbacks show when the Evil Queen sent an assassin to kill Snow White.


David Barrett (as David M. Barrett)


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 2 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Snow White / Mary Margaret Blanchard
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills / Evil Queen
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan (credit only)
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Raphael Sbarge ... Dr. Archie Hopper (credit only)
Jamie Dornan ... Sheriff Graham Humbert / The Huntsman
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold
Giancarlo Esposito ... Sidney Glass / Magic Mirror
Meghan Ory ... Ruby Lucas
Scott Heindl ... Bartholomew
Tristan Jensen Tristan Jensen ... Horatio
Kam Kozak Kam Kozak ... Black Guard
Howard Siegel ... Tavern Owner


One of the town's residents begins to remember their fairytale past, and Storybrooke mourns the loss of one of their own. Meanwhile, in the fairytale world that was, the Evil Queen attempts to find a heartless assassin to murder Snow White. Written by ABC Publicity

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

11 December 2011 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The wolf that played Graham's brother is also one of the wolves used to "design" the werewolves in the Twilight Series. See more »


[first lines]
[Sheriff Graham is throwing darts at the image of a deer, hitting the target with the first two]
Sidney Glass: Nice shot, Chief. I bet you 20 bucks you can't do it again.
[Graham takes a sip from his drink and throws his third dart - full in the deer's face!]
Sheriff Graham: [to Ruby] Next round's on him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening sequence gives a hint to the episodes main story line by showing a character or event happening in the dark forest underneath the title. See more »

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User Reviews

The Evil Queen and the Huntsman
25 November 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

"The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" continues the very good to wonderful standard of the first season up to this point. As said it is demonstrative of 'Once Upon a Time's' first season growing all the time, with the dialogue and acting in particular having come on quite a long way.

It's not a perfect episode. It did feel a little rushed to me, would have liked for it to have been part of a few-episode character-arc without falling into the trap of being dragged out. Not providing a reason for the Evil Queen's grudge was also somewhat of a missed opportunity, a cheat if you will because the episode did cry out for one. This would have been solved if this story lasted for more than one episode.

However, "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" is a very handsomely mounted episode, with improved visual effects over the previous episode "The Shepherd", settings and costumes (especially for the Evil Queen) that are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie-cutter. It is photographed beautifully and there were some make-up that suited the characters perfectly. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable main theme.

As said, the writing has come on a lot since 'Once Upon a Time' first started and it's humorous and engaging with emotional impact too. The story is highly successful in making Graham an interesting conflicted character, with a very compelling back-story, and establishes the concept and intertwines and mirrors the real and fantasy worlds very well. The flashbacks are thrilling and give the episode freshness, while the final scene is shocking, heart-wrenching and in a way pretty cool.

Lana Parilla continues to steal all her scenes while one does not expect Jamie Dornan to be as good as he is here, bringing out Graham's conflicts with surprising nuance. The acting is all fine but these two are particularly good as they rightly should be as the story is centred mainly around them.

Overall, great. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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