The destiny of a woman (Jennifer Morrison) unfolds as the only hope for a Maine town where fairytale characters live under a spell, not knowing their true identities. In the opener, she's brought to Storybrooke by a child she gave up for adoption years ago and who believes she can save the town. Ginnifer Goodwin plays Snow White.
A stranger in town arouses Emma and Regina's suspicions, and feelings of unrequited love plague Mary Margaret and David. Elsewhere, Snow White's heart breaks as the wedding between Prince Charming and the daughter of King Midas approaches in the fairy-tale world.
Sidney asks Emma to join his search for evidence that will reveal the extent of Regina's corruption to the people of Storybrooke; and Mary Margaret and David continue their secret meetings. In the fairy-tale world, King Leopold is granted three wishes by a genie, but must be careful to use them wisely.
Emma keeps tabs on Mr. Gold in case he turns vigilante after his house is robbed; and Mary Margaret, Ruby and Ashley plan a girls' night out for Valentine's Day. Meanwhile, in fairy-tale land, Belle sacrifices her freedom to save her town from becoming collateral damage in the Ogre War.
David finally tells Kathryn about his secret romance with Mary Margaret in an attempt to get out of a loveless marriage. Meanwhile, in the fairy-tale world, Prince Charming interrupts his search for Snow White to help Abigail find something she lost.
Mary Margaret and Leroy form an unlikely alliance to help the Storybrooke nuns sell candles at the Miner's Day festival, but she wonders if Leroy will be able to keep a promise. Meanwhile, Emma investigates the disappearance of David's wife, Kathryn; and in the fairy-tale world, Grumpy is smitten with a clumsy fairy.
A dejected Ruby quits the diner, but Emma hires her to be her assistant, hoping they can find a more suitable career path. Meanwhile, Emma grills David about Kathryn's disappearance; and in the fairy-tale world, Red Hiding Hood wants to run away with her true love, but a marauding wolf has made the villagers prisoners in their own homes.
Mary Margaret asks Mr Gold for legal help when Emma has to arrest her for the murder of Kathryn. Meanwhile, in the fairytale world, Prince Charming hopes he can interrupt Snow White's plan to assassinate the Evil Queen before it's too late.
In an "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"-theme episode that features the Who's Roger Daltrey as the voice of the Caterpillar, Emma is kidnapped by a mentally unstable man with a hat obsession. Meanwhile, the Evil Queen tasks a magic man with stealing something from the Queen of Hearts.
Emma works hard to prove Mary Margaret's innocence in Kathryn's murder. Meanwhile, in the fairy-tale world, Regina must choose between marrying for love and happiness—defying her mother, Cora—or money and privilege; and the reason the Evil Queen hates Snow White is revealed.
Mr. Gold is determined to know August's true identity; Emma wants answers from Regina about Kathryn's disappearance; and David tries to reconcile with Mary Margaret. Meanwhile, in the fairy-tale world, Rumplestiltskin is desperate to give up his powers and go back to his old self if his son can find a way to make it happen.
August tells Emma how to beat Regina and how she can get custody of Henry, while Regina hatches a plot to seduce David now that Mary Margaret is back at work. In the fairy-tale world, a plan to save Snow White and Prince Charming's daughter unfolds and is agreed to by Geppetto, who has his own child's safety in mind.
Henry begs Emma to stay in Storybrooke, but Regina is already hatching a plan to get rid of her for good. Meanwhile, in the fairy-tale world, Snow White calls on her allies to attack the Evil Queen and save Prince Charming.
In the Season 1 finale, Emma and Regina become unlikely allies in an attempt to save Henry's life. Meanwhile, in the fairy-tale world, Prince Charming hopes to reunite with Snow White, but he isn't aware that she's bitten the Queen's poison apple.