"7:15 A.M." is the tenth episode of the American fairy tale/drama television series Once Upon a Time. The series takes place in the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, in which the residents are actually characters from various fairy tales that were transported to the "real world" town by a powerful curse. In this episode, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Regina (Lana Parrilla) become suspicious of "the Stranger" (Eion Bailey) and his visit to Storybrooke, while David (Josh Dallas) and Mary Margaret's (Ginnifer Goodwin) feelings for each other grows, which parallels with Prince James' (Dallas) search for Snow (Goodwin) after he falls for her.
The episode's teleplay was written by executive story editor Daniel T. Thomsen, while co-creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz wrote the story. Ralph Hemecker directed the hour. "7:15 A.M." was filmed in November 2011 in Vancouver and surrounding areas of British Columbia, where the crew endured difficult weather conditions. It featured the first full introductions of the Stranger and Red Riding Hood (Meghan Ory).
The episode was included in Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale – a novelization of the first season – which was published by Hyperion Books in 2013.
In the Characters' Pasts
In the Enchanted Forest, Red Riding Hood (Meghan Ory) brings supplies and news to her friend, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin). Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) is set to marry Abigail (Anastasia Griffith) in two days. Snow White wishes there were a way to get Charming out of her head as she is still in love with him. Red suggests she see Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) and Snow takes her advice. Rumpelstiltskin takes some water and a piece of Snow's hair to make a potion that will make her forget Charming. He warns that love is a powerful disease and the cure must be extreme.
At the palace, Charming struggles with his feelings for Snow. The King (Alan Dale) commands him to forget her because the marriage to Abigail is worth great wealth to the kingdom. Charming sends a letter by carrier pigeon to Snow begging her to come and see him so they can be together. The letter reaches her just before she can take the potion. Snow makes it to the palace but she is seized by the guards and thrown into the dungeon. There, she meets a dwarf named Grumpy (Lee Arenberg), who was falsely imprisoned for stealing a diamond that he wanted to give to his girlfriend. Another dwarf, Stealthy (Geoff Gustafson), shows up to rescue Grumpy, who asks Stealthy to free Snow as well. The guards kill Stealthy as they try to escape and try to recapture Grumpy. Snow threatens to burn down the palace unless they let Grumpy go and take her in his place. The King tells Snow he will not let her interfere with the wedding. She must tell Charming she does not love him, or the King will kill him. Snow obeys because she loves Charming too much to let him die, but both are left heartbroken. Snow leaves and is soon joined by Grumpy and six other dwarfs, who offer her a place to stay. She considers the potion but Grumpy warns her that those feelings however painful, are part of her. Charming calls off the wedding to look for Snow and the dwarves hear about it from Red Riding Hood. Grumpy joyfully tells Snow the good news, but she has forgotten about Charming. The pain was too great to bear and she had drunk the potion.
In Storybrooke, Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) leaves for school and notices the Stranger (Eion Bailey) fixing his motorcycle. Henry asks him about why he was in town, but the Stranger only mentions that a storm is brewing. Regina (Lana Parrilla) notices the interaction so she asks Emma (Jennifer Morrison) to find out about the Stranger. Emma catches up with him at Granny's and asks him what he is doing in town, and what's in his box. He agrees to tell, on the condition he can buy Emma a drink sometime. She agrees so the Stranger reveals a typewriter. He is a writer in town for inspiration. Emma inquires about the drink, and he reminds her she agreed to "sometime."
The same day, Mary Margaret (Goodwin) rushes out the door giving Emma an excuse about a science fair. In truth she has been going to Granny's at 7:15 every morning to see David (Dallas) getting coffee for himself and Kathryn (Griffith). Emma, who can always spot a lie, follows Mary to call out her stalking behavior and suggest she stop seeing him. Mary Margaret buys some chocolate to drown her woes and runs right into Kathryn, who is picking up a pregnancy test.
Later on in the day, Mary Margaret finds a dove in the forest trapped in some wire mesh. The town vet (Kwesi Ameyew) at the shelter where David works tells her the bird will be okay but only if she returns to her flock. David offers to help Mary Margaret return the dove but she declines. He follows her anyway and is able to save her from falling off a cliff. It starts to pour so the two take shelter in an empty cabin. David asks Mary Margaret what is wrong and she admits she still has feelings for him, and he is the reason she goes to Granny's at 7:15. David replies that he goes to Granny's to see her. They nearly kiss but Mary Margaret stops it because she knows about Kathryn's pregnancy test. David explains that his feelings for Kathryn are memories but his feelings for Mary Margaret are real. She says they have to forget each other. The next day Mary Margaret and David try to avoid seeing each other by going to Granny's at 7:45. Ultimately, they realize they can't stay apart, and they kiss. Regina watches them from a distance.
The episode's teleplay was written by executive story editor Daniel T. Thomsen, while co-creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis co-wrote the story. Renegade veteran, Ralph Hemecker, directed the installment in November 2011. As with the rest of the first season, all exterior shots of the town of Storybrooke were filmed in the small town of Steveston, British Columbia. Interior shots were mainly shot on sound stages in their Vancouver studio, often with green screens. Goodwin stated in the episode's DVD audio commentary that she preferred practical sets to green screens, as she found the former easier to act with. She also mentioned her hatred of her character's short hair throughout the episode, variously describing it as boyish, a mullet, and a Jewfro.
According to Dallas, it rained on days that were supposed to be sunny, while other days of production lacked rain when they were supposed to be rainy. Goodwin added that the scene of Snow and Charming releasing the birds was freezing because of the heavy rain. Their scene in the cabin took place on the first day of the episode's production. Her near-death scene involved a real cliff, though the height was exaggerated later using CGI and a green screen; a stunt double stood in for some of the shots.
"7:15 A.M." featured the first full introduction of Red Riding Hood (Meghan Ory) – though she appears briefly in the pilot – as well as the first full appearance of the Stranger (Eion Bailey). Bailey's multi-episode casting was first announced in October 2011, and he appeared briefly during the conclusion of the previous episode. The episode was included in Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale – a novelization of the first season – which was published by Hyperion Books in 2013.
Producer Damon Lindelof had an uncredited voice cameo as the Storybrooke weatherman. Apollo bars from Lindelof's series Lost were also featured in the episode. Mary Margaret is seen reading The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne, which is a book also featured in Tron: Legacy, a film written by Horowitz and Kitsis.
- "Once Upon a Time: 7:15 A.M.", The Futon Critic (December 30, 2011).
- Moore, Frazier (November 13, 2011). "Snow White Role Doubles Actress's Fun Goodwin Takes Heroine on New Exploits in `Once upon a Time'", The Journal Gazette.
- Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas. Audio commentary for "7:15 AM".. Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season Disc 2: Disney-ABC Domestic Television. 2011.
- Webb Mitovich, Matt (January 4, 2012). "Once Upon a Time Sneak Peek: A Heartbreaking Royal Wedding Nears, and Sexy Red Is Revealed", TVLine.
- Abrams, Natalie (October 14, 2011). "Once Upon a Time Exclusive: Eion Bailey Heading to Storybrooke", TV Guide.
- "Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale". Hyperion Books (2013).
- "Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale". WorldCat.