On her 28th birthday, sassy bail-bondsman Emma Swan gets the surprise of her life when Henry, the son she gave up for adoption 10 years ago, arrives on her doorstep, clutching a book of fairy tales.
Explaining that he is unhappy and that his adoptive mother does not love him, he asks her to come back to the New England town of Storybrooke with him. Anxious to return Henry back home, Emma drives him back to Storybrooke.
En route, he insists that all the tales in his book are true and tells her an extraordinary story. All the inhabitants of Storybrooke are fairy tale characters under a curse and do not remember who they are. Emma – the long-lost daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming – is the one person who can save them all. Her destiny is to return to Storybrooke so that the timeless battle of good versus evil can begin.
In Storybrooke, Emma drinks a glass of apple cider offered to her by Henry's adoptive mother, Mayor Regina, before tackling the long drive back. She does not get far...