True North
Season 1, Episode 9
OUAT Hansel and Gretel house 01x09
Airdate January 15, 2012
Written by David H. Goodman
Liz Tigelaar
Directed by Dean White
Episode Guide
Desperate Souls
7:15 A.M.
True North is the ninth episode of the first season 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 the episode, Sheriff Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) helps two children (Karley Scott Collins and Quinn Lord) track down their father before they are placed in a foster care system, in a parallel with the story of Hansel and Gretel. Along the way, they encounter the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla), and the Blind Witch (Emma Caulfield).

"True North" was co-written by Liz Tigelaar and David H. Goodman, while being directed by Dean White. Co-creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz chose the story of Hansel and Gretel to help reveal Emma's difficult backstory, as the character lacked a fairytale counterpart. They cast Caulfield because they were fans of her work on the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Blind Witch's gingerbread house had a computer-generated exterior, while its interior set was based on concept art designed by production designer Michael Joy.

The episode first aired in the United States on ABC on January 15, 2012. An estimated 9.84 million viewers watched the episode on its original broadcast. It earned a Nielsen ratings share of 3.3/8 among adults, meaning that it was seen by 3.3 percent of all 18- to 49-year-olds, and 8 percent of all 18- to 49-year-olds watching television at the time of broadcast. This was a decrease of 11 percent from the previous episode. Critical reception was largely mixed to negative, with critics praising Caulfield's performance but critiquing other elements.

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