Once Upon A Time Selfless, Brave and True
Once Upon A Time
March 24, 2013
I’ve decided to try something new this episode: I’m going to review it live. Here’s what’s happening and my thoughts as I see it. I do this for several other shows, so let’s see how it works out for this one too.
We start off with a scene of August/Pinocchio in…China, I think? I think that the girl that he wakes up with is Chinese. He seems to be in pain and we see that his leg is made of wood. The girl obviously doesn’t see anything wrong and tells him to go back to sleep when he wakes her up. He says that he’s going to the hospital and we cut to the opening title.
After the title, we cut to a shot of David putting together breakfast for Mary Margaret. Emma thinks that breakfast in bed is taking things too far and that if she won’t deal with what she did to Regina and Cora on her own, then they should make her do those things. Mary Margaret must hear her, because after Emma and Henry leave, David turns around to see her packing a picnic basket. She tells him that she wants to go into the woods for a little while and sort through everything that happened. He’s reluctant, but she obviously needs some time to herself, so he agrees.
Emma goes to see Neil and he tells her that he’s invited his fiancée to Storybrook (and that Hook has escaped from the storage closet, finally). Emma points out that this is a terrible idea and that if he’s going to insist on taking her to Storybrook, he needs to tell the truth.
In the woods, Mary Margaret is shooting arrows when she notices one of them broke instead of hitting her target. She goes looking and finds a trailer. Inside is August, now fully made of wood again. We learn that he didn’t have any luck at the hospital in China and was almost committed when he tried to prove that his leg really was made of wood. He explains to Mary Margaret that when the curse broke, he could move again but he wasn’t back to normal. He explains that this is his punishment for his own actions and has nothing to do with Regina. Mary Margaret tries to convince him that he could come to town and get help, but he tells her that it isn’t an option for him and he doesn’t think that she understands how he feels, having never had to seek redemption herself. Her expression makes it clear that she wants redemption now, but there’s nothing she can do to convince August.
At Granny’s, Neil’s fiancée, Tamara, is getting to know Henry and Emma. When they leave, Henry tells Neil to hang onto the fairytale book that helped him and Emma to discover the truth about Storybrook. Neil tells her where he’s really from and shows her the book, explaining that the fairytales are real. Tamara doesn’t believe him at all and says that she thinks he’s lying to her so he’ll have an excuse to get back together with Emma. He says that isn’t true, but she says that if he really wanted to tell her the truth, he would own up to what this is really about.
Back in China, August met a man in the hospital who says he can help him with problems that others might dismiss. He takes him to meet a man called the Dragon and August sits down to wait his turn. A woman passing by drops her phone. When he gives it back to her, we see that it’s Tamara.
Back in Storybrook, Regina tells the stranger who we now know is the child from last week that she’s grateful that he called her about Henry, and if needs help he should ask her for help. As she leaves, Mary Margaret hurries in and tells them that she found August in the woods. We see that Tamara overhears this conversation.
She, Emma and Gepetto make a plan to involve the Blue Fairy since she helped him before. When they find her, she tells them that she can’t help because he broke the conditions of his humanity. If Pinocchio is to be human again, he must redeem himself on his own.
In China, the Dragon tells August that he must pay with 10,000USD and something close to his heart and irreplaceable (the string that his father used to animate him). After leaving, he runs into Tamara and learns that she was there to conquer cancer. She’s living on borrowed time and willing to try anything to get rid of it. They chat for a little while and she leaves to take a phone call, asking him to watch her purse. Inside is a big envelop of money (don’t leave those with strangers), which he grabs and takes off with. We then cut to August’s trailer, where someone is knocking on his door. He yells that he wants to be left alone and opens the door to find Tamara outside, looking not too happy at all.
In China, he runs straight back to the Dragon. There, he trades the money that would have bought Tamara her cure of cancer for the cure. The Dragon warns him that the cure will only stop the symptoms and only he can cure himself. Outside is Tamara, knowing that he stole her money and her cure. She chases him down until he trips and drops the cure, and takes it for herself, telling him that he deserves what he gets. Back in the woods, she tells him that if he leaves Storybrook forever, she’ll give him the leftover cure that will turn him into a human again. He wants an explanation, but she refuses. He can leave her to her devices and get his cure or not at all.
Regina is waiting in Owen’s hotel room. She tells him that she knows who he really is, and he tells her that he wants his father back. She tells him that his father left shortly after he did and people really can just disappear, whatever he might think. He says that he’s not leaving without his father and she says that yes, he will be checking out right away.
In the woods, Gepetto explains to Mary Margaret and Emma how he sent Pinocchio into the wardrobe and the real world with Emma, saying that it only had enough magic to take one. Realizing that she lost so much time with her daughter because of a lie, Mary Margaret slaps him. She feels guilty immediately and tells him that she forgives him, but he tells her that he deserves the slap. When they reach the trailer, they find August gone and we see him driving away from Storybrook – possibly for good. That was the deal, after all. He’s to leave and never return.
Back in China, we learn that Tamara did not have cancer and lied so she could get in to see the Dragon. Instead, she was looking for magic and he was the first real source that she could find. She tells him that the liquid in the bottle doesn’t scientifically exist. He tells her that the people he helps can’t be cured by science. She decides to kill him so that no one else can learn his secrets and uses a taser (huh?) to shock him, though he warns her that she hasn’t met the real him.
On the road, August realizes that Tamara is a fraud and murdered the Dragon. Tamara catches him trying to call Emma and he explains how he knows about everything that she did, and how he’s not going to let her hurt the people of Storybrook to get their magic. So she uses her Super Special Kills People Taser (hereafter referred to as SSKPT should I need to refer to it again) on him and he collapses. I’m curious to know if you can electrocute a wooden person to death… He stumbles outside just as the gang runs up and he tries to apologize to them, but he ends up dying before it can do any good. Emma swears that she won’t let his death be in vain. Then Henry realizes that August’s actions were brave, unselfish and truthful. The Blue Fairy is able to save him, transforming him into a human child once again. Gepetto and Pinocchio get the chance they always wanted.
Before August died, he didn’t get the chance to reveal that Tamara was the one who hurt him. Since he’s a child now, he doesn’t remember. Witnessing his transformation gives Tamara an excuse to believe Neil. We learn that August went straight from Hong Kong to New York, where he explained about getting Emma to Storybrook to break the curse. It turns out that Tamara was watching/listening, and that she bumped into him purposefully and that is how they met.
Back at the cottage, Emma and Henry make peace about her lies concerning Neil. She won’t lie again, he won’t push her away. Then Mary Margaret tells David about her confrontation with Regina and her own blackening heart. David assure her that they will find a way to get her redemption. Last, we see Owen and Tamara meeting and kissing. It seems that they’re in this together.