While “Once Upon A Time” treads the fine line between network TV fantasy and plain old absurdity, episodes like “Lady of the Lake” sustain the fantasy element and lend credence to what can, at times, be a trying viewing experience.

Once Upon A Time

“Lady of the Lake”

“Lake” excels due to the performances of Jefferson/the Mad Hatter (Sebastian Stan), Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) and the newly introduced, but excellent Lancelot (Sinque Walls).

Walls’s acting makes it immediately permissible to forget that Lancelot has absolutely nothing to do with fairy tales and is cavorting with Disney characters in the Enchanted Forest.

There’s also an effectively poignant storyline as Prince Charming’s (Josh Dallas) mother breathes her last and blesses the lives and union of her son and Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin).

“Lady of the Lake” proves that even on a show promising fantastical visuals and fairy tale enchantment, simple human stories provide the best drama.

Next week promises campy fun, as a guy-linered Captain Hook enters the fairytale fray.

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