Once Upon a Time: A Heartwarming Nightmare

Once Upon a Time: S01E20: "The Stranger"


Is now a bad time to mention I'm scared silly by puppets?

There's a workshop in Los Angeles called "Puppetolio" which is never open and features a dim front window. In that window, hanging like sides of beef with accusing eyes, is a cast of several wooden marionette poets. It's close to a place where I used to work, so I would have to go running by it every day. And I say running because I would consciously quicken my steps to get the hell away from the Puppetolio workshop, because marionette puppets TERRIFY ME. Which is why last night's Once Upon a Time scene between Geppetto and Pinocchio on the raft was the most upsetting thing I've ever seen in my life.

If you hadn't been following the show and you stumbled onto ABC last night, the moment must have been a mind-melter, and I pity any of the uninitiated who decided to finally "see what this fairy tale show is all about." Wait, actually I don't pity them, because "The Stranger" was devastatingly amazing!!! But tell me this isn't the single most tragic image to ever appear on a fictional TV show:

Someone in the art department has a very dark sense of humor, and I'd like to take that person out for drinks.

Another irony for first time-viewers would be how little this episode made sense, but for the rest of us, things were falling into place and blank spots were being filled in:

1. August sewed the missing pages of his own story into the Story Book.

2. August is becoming a puppet (DID I NOT SAY LAST WEEK THAT IF YOU PULLED DOWN HIS PANTS YOU WOULD SEE SPINDLY PUPPET LEGS?! Well, they looked more like baseball bats.)

3. And Regina is sort of losing it. Mary Margaret's "I forgive you because you are just so pathetic" to Regina wasn't just wise, it showed an assertiveness we associate with Snow. And then Henry showed up and just broke Regina down. You shouldn't have that kind of anger come at you from your child until he is at least 16. If I were Regina I would have pulled his sandwich out of his Tron lunchbox and eaten it angrily right in front of him, locking eyes the whole time.

But instead she decided to seduce Prince Charming, which didn't work, although we were all holding our breath because who will put anything past David Nolan at this point? He still has enough decency not to have sex with the lady who framed his supposed love, Mary Margaret, but I don't think it was due to any sense of decency. I blame the lasagna. Getting freaky with a full stomach of hot, homemade lasagna is about as appealing as a warm glass of buttermilk after track practice.

In the same way that Regina runs the world (girls!) in Storybrooke, it seems like the Blue Fairy was handling Fairy World the way MasterBlaster ran Bartertown, makin' deals with Geppetto, prepping the fairies, appearing in the sky whenever someone called upon a higher power, and making Pinocchio a real boy (with a weird caveat. Can you imagine if your doctor handed you a medication you needed and then was like, "I will refill this life-saving prescription as long as you are honest and kind and brave"? Here in our non-magical world, we don't dick about with people's autonomy thanks to our awesome non-magic laws).

I love the Blue Fairy actress but now knowing what a huge part she would play in the very guts and bones of the show, why did they throw her costume together from a sexy Leg Avenue Halloween costume and a bunch of crepe streamers? Not to mention the weird platform shoes—she only ever flies, shouldn't fairies be barefoot or at least a little less clear-heels-y?

Anyway, I appreciate that her covert secret deal, which allowed Pinocchio to climb into the tree and zap into the real world, was hinted at from the very beginning (remember the lingering shot of Pinocchio in the pilot?) and while I'm still not sure why Emma believing August will make everything return to normal, I applaud the careful construction they are revealing. And shout-out to Geppetto, a.k.a. Tony Amendola, because he spent the entire episode arguing with CGI characters, which means his real-life scene partner was probably a green ping-pong ball held aloft by a key grip. Yet I was totally lost in his performance. Powerful stuff, man.

How wonderful was it to see August lay everything out for Emma in the woods? I mean, it was daft of him to take her to a tree and expect her to remember anything from the day she was born, but the idea that he had been the boy who found her and they had this weird brother-sister kind of connection was quite touching. And the long-delayed glimpse of his leg didn't help a whit anyway!

Can we discuss this?! Why didn't Emma see his dainty little baseball-bat calf? TV.com's OUaT commenters basically called like every moment of this episode (seriously, you guys are a bunch of TV detectives! Check out the last couple comment threads...you guys pieced this episode together weeks ago!!), so maybe you could explain what is going on with Emma. Is she in deep denial, as August believes? Did Regina bewitch her in some way? Is it something left over from a past interaction with Henry's dad (a.k.a. Baelfire probably)?

Also, how far up on August does the wood extend? I am not going to make any crass "he got wood" jokes, (except I just totally did, chortle) but that question was distracting me every time August batted his baby blues. Wood to his waist? Wood to his knees? How does this work? There is no magic, right, so his magic is dissolving or...?

When I stopped mentally undressing a wooden puppet man with my eyes, the conceit of August's brotherly past with Emma melted my cold angry heart, mostly because the baby "playing" Emma was the most darling creature I've ever seen. Weirdly expressive, wasn't she?! That baby has STAR QUALITY. And LIPS?! I see big things for this baby. The best child actor on this show so far.

OUaT was pulling my heartstrings like my emotions were a giant leather-clad wooden marionette with August caring about Emma but running away and mooning over his dad, and then the episode ended with a g.d. kidnapping, which I am not in favor of, and honestly Emma how could you be so dense!? You're a bounty hunter, you of all people should understand the relentless arm of the law and why kidnapping your son will only make it harder for you to get him by legal means. Thank goodness for next week's episode promos, which show us that Henry will steer the car into a group of trees or something else preposterous. We got two more episodes, Emma!

It hit me at the end, when August creepy-crawled into Geppetto's garage workshop, that this curse is the hardest on him in many ways. To have someone you love dearly not recognize you, to know every shared memory is obliterated, what is crueler? And it terrifyingly enough happens in real life all the time. Many of us have seen older relatives recoil from the people who love them most with confusion and blank stares, or gently greet a partner they've lived with for years with a veneer of politeness and distance. To have someone you've fought most of your life to understand you and approve of you, who defines your standards, suddenly look at you like a stranger? The worst and most powerful curse on this show is, behind all the shiny costumes and magical puppets, eerily close-to-home for anyone who's lost a loved one to Alzheimer's, and it rattles me. We talked about magic last week existing in our world and I think as curses go we can easily rival OUaT's fairy world with some of our own, though we label and diagnose it as disease.

I am being such a downer!! SORRY, sorry, sorry. This episode made me feel a lot, and I was very pleased that the show is so aggressively covering ground. Price Peterson made an observation to me that if this show is anything like Lost, the finale will be a mind-blowing game-changer, and they are definitely setting something huge up. So let's try to figure it out in the comments, because I gets IMPATIENT!!!


QUESTIONS:

– Why didn't Emma see August's wooden appendage?

– What are your predictions for the finale?

– Am I the only one afraid of marionette puppets?!

Comments (167)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Again, I know everything is long over by now but I love how "the plan" halfway through this episode was to have Snow White raising a newborn AND a 7 year old ALONE in a new world. And of course Snow had no idea. Thanks, Gepetto. You really understand the hardships of parenting.
1
Reply
Flag
Oh! Revelation!!! (I was not savvy enough to come up with this on my own, but it's too good not to share.)



So the finale is titled, "A Land Without Magic". Remember when Jefferson told Emma that SHE was the only one who had the magic to make his hat work? Do you think A Land Without Magic is A Land Without Emma? (In one of the sneak peaks for this week's episode, Regina tells Jefferson she has a little bit of magic left - she may use all of hers up in this little scheme, and Emma would be the only one with any left.) Is Regina going to get Jefferson to send Emma through the hat, out of SB and into FTL all alone? THAT would certainly make her believe. Maybe when the Huntsman died in SB, he reappeared in FTL, and he and Emma will reunite to try to get her back to Henry?



Oh the possibilities are plump and juicy!
Reply
Flag
I'm a little confused by something. In the episode where Sidney confessed, Regina said that he stole her skeleton keys and planted one in the cell, or something like that. Isn't admitting that she owns skeleton keys to the jail cell and various other places putting her in a shifty legal spot? Is it really legal for the mayor to have secret keys to places all over town?
Reply
Flag
That's a great point. The skeleton keys have been treated like a secret weapon all season, and now she's just fine talking openly about them.
Reply
Flag
I've been a little surprised at the response to Emma kidnapping Henry. Maybe I'm the only one who has kids. If your child was in the possession of a sociopath & you had no legal recourse, what kind of person would you be to just shrug your shoulders & give up? Slavery was once legal, and the Underground Railroad was illegal. But I suppose the people who risked their lives to "kidnap" slaves & take them to freedom were "dense?"
Reply
Flag
But the difference between the Underground Railroad and kidnapping is that in most cases kidnapping is NOT a good thing. Also, it's not really a social justice issue the way that slavery is, and I don't think that anyone could argue that kidnapping should be legal. Also, although it would be extremely difficult to leave your child in that situation, if you really care about your kid, you need to look at the big picture. Henry is not being abused in any way, and fully realizes his mother is horrible, so isn't even in danger of becoming like her. By kidnapping him, she would be ensuring that she can never legally get custody of him or even see him again, and he will be for sure sent back to his sociopathic adoptive mother. I'm not saying she should give up, but she maybe could have tried talking to one more lawyer, or try to gather evidence against Regina. I just don't see any way that this would work out well for Henry.
Reply
Flag
Good points all. If we are talking generalities, then I agree - but we're talking about a specific example. So let me get specific - if Henry were my child, and he were living with Regina, I would so provide him with a means of escape, let's not call it "kidnap." And if I were also a process server/bounty hunter, etc., I'd probably be pretty good at disappearing. I doubt Emma could be found.
Reply
Flag
I don't get something. There's all this talk that the wardrobe can only hold and protect one person (well, two actually) and then we see that the wardrobe works actually like a portal. As soon as you put someone into it and close the door, it just beam people up (Scotty?!). So it actually doesn't hold anyone in it. Why couldn't it be used repeatedly? Was the rationale like it battery runs out after two transports?



Also: Narnia anyone?
Reply
Flag
Only enough magic to protect two people - you're right that it doesn't actually hold anyone inside of it for very long, so if they said that it was not fully accurate. And I don't trust the Blue Fairy at all, so she could very well have been lying about that. I think she might be a little evil herself. Maybe she asked Gepetto to build the wardrobe because she knew he would insist that Pinocchio go through, and she didn't really want Emma to grow up with her parents. (Because seriously, if all you had to do was hollow out a stump, she could have asked someone else when he refused.) There's something not right about the Blue Fairy for sure.
Reply
Flag
I saw Narnia the first time we saw the Wardrobe- so much so that I'd like to see the creatures Disney created for their version of the stories coming to FTL. I can dream...



As for the Blue Fairy wanting Emma to grow up without parents- it could be. Orphans commonly grew up to be heroes in the oldest tales, or lost their parents before they acheived their quests.



But it's equally possible that building with enchanted wood requires special skills or tools not available in the general population. We know Gepetto can do it because of Pinocchio, but who else?
Reply
Flag
This was definatly one of the best episodes ever! It explained soooo much that needed to be explained. When August first came to Storybrooke, I was like "what is this? why are they throwing in this new character out of nowhere?" but now I understand that he's been a part of things since the very start! I'm also kind of annoyed to discover that this whole situation is kind of Gippetto's fault. I get why he did it, and I can't say I would have done anything differently, but he really made things difficult for everyone.



I disliked the Blue Fairy before, when she told Nova that she could not be with Dreamy/Grumpy, but I understand her better now. She's like everyone's mom, trying to fix everything, help everyone, and sometimes her requests might seem unreasonable but she's just trying to help. I think she genuinely believed that Nova's life would be ruined if she ran off with a dwarf, and she didn't want to see that happen---very "motherly".



I hope Emma has not just ruined things for herself and for everyone else by kidnapping Henry. She made an impusive decision becuase she was scared and it could get pretty bad now.



I'm glad David didn't let Regina get to him. He's got at leaset that much dignity left. I also liked what Henry and Mary Margaret said to Regina; combined, it was a big slap in her face.





Why didn't Emma see August's wooden appendage?



I don't know. The only answers I can think of are magical ones, but there's no magic in this world...supposedly. The curse itself is magic, and it still works. Maybe Emma cannot see anything magical, or discover her own magic potential (the break the curse) until she believes. And it was clear from her outburst at the end that she does not refuse to believe just becuase the idea is too weird, but because she's afraid to believe.



What are your predictions for the finale?



I have no idea, but if I know this show, something big and wildly unexpected will happen!



Am I the only one afraid of marionette puppets?!



I had the same reaction upon seeing Pinocchio (I literally went "AHH!") but not because he's a puppet. I'm just creeped out by freaky little CGI people.
More+
Reply
Flag
If it was so hard for Gepetto to get his "son", it makes sense that he doesn't want the Curse sucking the life out of him. And remember that any Heroine must face trials and difficulties to prepare for her Destiny- would there even be a show if Snow had escaped the Curse? Not the same one, for sure.



Emma hasn't had many people to depend on in her life- quite possibly not even herself. (Few teenagers make good decisions to start with!) It's likely that Henry's dad was the first person she really trusted, and she's admitted THAT didn't turn out well. So trusting anyone isn't easy for her. And she's probably run into a whole lot of crazies!



As to the Blue Fairy- she may mean well, but "Mom's" answers aren't always the right ones for her kids. Sparing someone the pain of being in love could condemn them to a life as empty as Regina's. Feelings, even the sad ones, are necessary to develop empathy.



Theory- what if the Blue Fairy protected her charges from the very things that fuel the magic of FTL?



Reply
Flag
I had never really thought of who Henry's father was...before now. This episode was one of the best of the season. It was really great how August totally put 110% of everything out there for Emma in hopes of getting her to believe not just his story, but everyone's stories. The fact that August was the one who found baby Emma was the thread that pulled everything together. It explains how Emma was found and why she grew up alone. It also explains why August has been so desperate to cozy up to her since his arrival in Storybrooke. I don't agree with Emma kidnapping Henry. Her best case scenario is that they will both return home without Regina finding out about any of it. As for the finale, I am guessing that 1% of Emma will start to believe and slowly more of her will come around too. I also really liked Mr. Gold's jab at August about being too afraid to face his real father in the beginning of the episode when the old man clock fixer was leaving as August was arriving, it was priceless.
Reply
Flag
Well I think we know who Henry's father is now.
Reply
Flag
Something else I hope they address this season:



August mentioned in an earlier episode that this wasn't his first time in Storybrooke. They had to leave SB to get to the tree, so does that mean the orphanage where they were placed was in SB? The pan shot before showing the place seemed to indicate it was in Boston - there are no skyscrapers in Storybrooke that I have seen. But it seems after he hopped the bus out of there, he never came back.



So for (really bad) argument's sake, let's say it is SB. That would mean the orphanage had to be populated with fairytale characters. Any guesses on Mr. Ruskind? Or did August come back for some other reason later in his life? And how did he know where to look, or even that our world is where the curse transported everyone? All Regina ever said was that they would go "somewhere horrible". Theories, please!
Reply
Flag
I don't think the orphanage was in SB at all. Both August and Emma were unaffected by the curse since they were in the tree. I think they can come and go at will.
Reply
Flag
No I know that... I'm saying when he told Emma that he had been to SB before -- when was that? He didn't come through into our world in SB, and I agree that the orphanage didn't appear to be in SB, so at what point was he there and how did he know where/what it was?
Reply
Flag
If speculation about the Curse is correct, he might have been drawn there- maybe on his way to somewhere else, and then took a "wrong" turn to Storybrooke. Or maybe he checked to see if Emma was okay at some point (less likely, but cute idea)
Reply
Flag
Hmmm -- I just hope it's not an inconsistency that they will ignore. I'm also curious to see this week's episode with the apple. In the pilot when PC is trying to tell Snow that the queen's threat was just nonsense and she shouldn't worry about it, Snow said, "She gave me a poisoned apple because she thought I was prettier than her."



From the teasers, it seems like EQ poisoned Snow for telling Cora about Daniel -- "destroying her happiness", not because she was prettier. I hope they will address this and not ignore it! Maybe EQ was trying to find happiness with another man and SW kept stealing all the eligible suitors with her beauty?
Flag
Henry turns to the last page of the book and they all live happily ever after.



Silly but great fun series, is anyone else mesmerised by the blue fairy's charms ?
Reply
Flag
I'm more mesmerized by the fact that I can't tell if she's good or evil. She was awfully mean to Nova, and everything she's had a hand in has gone terribly wrong. Rump lost Bae, Snow didn't get to raise Emma, something fishy is going on with her.
Reply
Flag
Finally figured out how to end the curse.......Move the island!!
Reply
Flag
I saw this on another thread, thought it was clever:



MAry MArgaret = mama



DAviD = dad
Reply
Flag
well actually they say Mary Margaret was the name of the person snow white was originally based on in real life...and Blanchard is I believe french for "White"
Reply
Flag
most of the names of the main characters have significant meanings.

check out the breakdown of the known ones on imdb.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1843230/trivia
Reply
Flag
I find that the marionettes couple in Mr. Gold shop are more creepy that Pinocchio was...
Reply
Flag
Agreed- much creepier. And Gepetto yelling at Jiminy about butting out of the deal was kind of weird...Didn't the Blue Fairy turn Jiminy into a cricket? Her fingerprints keep showing up at the scene...
Reply
Flag
so... does anyone remember the pilot where Gepetto is present when everybody is trying to solve the whole curse problem and the fairy comes in with the tree and Gepetto goes a little bit ilke "yeahhh, me and my boy can do it"!! and then they are shown actually building the freaking wardrobe!!!
Reply
Flag
Staff
No yeah I totally flashed back to that too...because at the time when I saw the pilot I was like "what is with this lingering shot of Pinocchio? who gives a flip? don't even remember that fairy tale!" but then it made sense with this episode, so I feel a little more confident that they've mapped something out long term. (even if it involves extensive brain-blockage by Emma)
Reply
Flag
And the fairy said that it can only protect ONE... so the deal she made with Gepetto in this episode was a flashback previous to the pilot's scene.
Reply
Flag
so... does anyone remember the pilot where Gepetto is present when everybody is trying to solve the whole curse problem and the fairy comes in with the tree and Gepetto goes a little bit ilke "yeahhh, me and my boy can do it"!! and then they are shown actually building the freaking wardrobe!!!
Reply
Flag
Nothing to do with this episode but my daughter and I were discussing the episode.. "so Gepetto blackmailed the fairy so that he could save Pinocchio so now only Snow White could go in the magic closet..." and "I wonder what Rumpelstilskin will do do when he figures out the Evil Queen has Belle" and we stopped when we realized that a couple of people around us were looking at us like we were nuts! We really must have sounded like a couple of nut cases to people who don't follow the show. I love it!!
Reply
Flag
LOL!

Have fun, and cherish those moments with your daughter.
Reply
Flag
Okay one more thing that is bugging me, and then I will stop.



In "The Stable Boy", Regina basically confesses to MM that the murder investigation is a set-up. She even says that she knows MM is innocent, but that she deserves what is happening to her, and she can't wait until the trial so she never has to see her again. Pretty intense and unforgettable stuff.



So why is she now asking MM if she is "insinuating something" by accusing her of the setup that she admitted to a few episodes ago? Not to mention after all that malice and hatred and apology-not-accepted-face-groping, she just moseys up with Henry's lunchbox like she's Jane the Soccer Mom. Were they expecting us to forget the best scene of the entire series?
Reply
Flag
Staff
That's a really good point...of course, saying that you think someone deserves having bad things happen to them is not quite the same as confessing to have set them up...but that's really a stretch and you're totally right, she should have met Mary Margaret with an outright denial after such a damning speech in the previous episode when "MaMa" was behind bars.
Reply
Flag
Regina doesn't know how much MM has figured out. So she brings Henry his lunch to see what reaction she will get- maybe hoping for a screamong match or a cat fight? I was... It really ruined her EQ buzz to do trash-talked to by her KID, and then MM forgives her.



Regina thrives on opposition, and I'm not sure she knows what to do if she's not getting it. Did anyone else get the feeling that Regina was basically rendered peripheral by MM in that interchange? Like, "you're not important enough to hate- even though you destroyed my first marriage and are trying to destroy the second- because you are so pathetic that you could never win anyway?"



Or am I overthinking this?
Reply
Flag
I don't think she admitted to setting her up as much as to that she knows that MM isn't guilty. It's a fine line but oh well.
Reply
Flag
Sometimes I just love considering the fact that if an entire town was telling me they were all Disney-fairytale characters, I would run straight for the hills :D We know that in the world of this series it is all true, but if I rewatch such a scene with someone trying to convince Emma it becomes the best :D
Reply
Flag
I loved this episode so much. I have very real daddy-acknowledgment issues so I cried like a baby the last few minutes when August talked with Gepetto. I dare say I didn't look so cute as that baby (when he was saying goodbye, I swear her mouth was forming a "why?").



The kid playing Pinokkio is definitely my one favorite child actor, he was so adorably cute! And I laughed very, very hard at the "adorbs" "also pretty adorbs" "unadorbs". The picture of that man with bulging eyeballs was hilarious with those comments.
Reply
Flag
So....IjustreallymissGraham. That is all.
Reply
Flag
*sigh* Me too.
Reply
Flag
Huntsman is back for the finale in 2 weeks. It's no Sheriff Graham, but it's something.
Reply
Flag
Damn good ep!

I also am terrified of marionettes. Also - Unadorbs is officially my new favorite word. Tots.
Reply
Flag
I'm sorry, but if someone as hot as Regina in that scene with David was putting those moves on me, well, I couldn't be responsible for my actions.
Reply
Flag
It was the best episode in this season !

The best part was when the Oceanic plane flew over the forest !!!
Reply
Flag
She named her son after her father, Henry's not her father.



She wanted a son probably for the reasons above, because she's alone with no husband. Bitches be crazy.

Although you would think that with time frozen her biological clock wouldn't be ticking!



Also, the writers needed a premise for the show. Although I would have prefered (and I'm sure Lily and her hatred of child actors would agree) that somehow on her bounty hunting she chased someone into Storeybrook and decided to stay because her car broke down.
Reply
Flag
Yeah. I was just joking about Henry being her father and Emma her grand-mother... ;o)
Reply
Flag
Yeah, but she also needed to get invested in the place enough to want to stay/fight for it for this long. That broken car-routine wouldn't have lasted long. They made it problematic themselves, by making Emma so cold and unable to connect to anything. I bet when she has a plant she'd let it die in three days.
Reply
Flag
1. It's all about perception. She chooses to not believe so her mind will always force her eyes to see her reality. That's how vision works anyway, your eyes don't actually "see" anything. Your eyes are used by your brain to interpret what you are viewing.



2. I'm confused on the finale I've been seeing commercials where Regina is all tied BDSM style with Emma yelling at her with the crown of FT characters behind her..so? Does she truly believe? OR, is that just a trick that she's all tied up and is causing unhappiness because of something that happened to Henry?



3. No.



I liked last nights episode...I don't blame Pinocchio for leaving Emma. After all, it's a lot to ask a 7 year old boy to do, to take care of a baby Princess. I AM upset with Gepetto for asking a young boy to do that, especially when Pinocchio expressed a desire to stay by Gepetto's side. Then again...if that didn't happen, there wouldn't be much of a story, would there?
Reply
Flag
I agree with you, it also showed very well what a parent is willing to do to ensure a child's survival, even if that perhaps might not be in the child's best interest (I know that sounds weird, but I still think it's true).
Reply
Flag
I was just thinking: it never was explained why and how Regina came to adopt Henry?
Reply
Flag
She asked Mr Gold to find her a child. (why she would use Mr. Gold was never stated, perhaps because he's the only lawyer in town). Mr. Gold was the one who found Henry. Regina didn't know it was Emma's kid until she showed up in town.

They also never explained why Mr. Gold would choose Henry, but from what we now know i'd imagine it has something to do with him wanting to be able to leave town to find his son.
Reply
Flag
I don't remember that episode about "how"... thanks.



But WHY did she want to adopt a child? She's alone, no husband, and wouldn't that bring more complications in her life than needed? Was that explained?



Edit: I just noticed in episode 2 that the Evil Queen's father was named Henry...



If Henry is her father, then Emma is Regina's grand-mother and Margaret her grand-grand mother?



This is getting weird!



Then, maybe he is not her father but she just wanted to adopt a boy named Henry as an attempt to fix her guilt for killing her father...
Reply
Flag
The most logical solution would be she named the baby she adopted after her father. Regina has constantly been shown to want to adopt and raise children (in the fairytale world), but we don't know why yet. I think that is still to come. I can't wait for the Regina-Snow's father-little Snow triangle to develop
Reply
Flag
While re-watching early episodes, I heard her say that "(..) How grateful I am to have Henry, because not having someone, well, that's the worst curse imaginable."

-ep.3 - 41:00



So I guess that is why she wanted to adopt a kid.
Flag
-Because whenever she's donning the curly tresses girl gets unimaginably dense. She is in straight up denial...even though she's had cookie crumbs and kooky shizz along the way to make her go..hmmm. I think she's in denial because she wants to be in denial. Like she said...she doesn't want to have that type of responsibility. She shys away from being responsible and having people actually depend or expect things of her. That's why her move with Henry is such a huge leap forward. All I know is if I had a series of hot men (Graham, Jackson, Woody McWood..I mean August) hinting, alluding to, or flat out telling me about this fairy tale land...on top of the fact that my boy whose reasonably mature in all other aspects of his life and yet holds fastly on to this fairytale belief despite being too old to be so fixated...I'm going to consider suspending belief a bit. Either there is something hinky in the hot chocolate and that whole town is bat shizz crayzay...or they might actually be on to something. I think Emma is at that point where she's trying to not consider believing in the unbelievable.



-I'm thinking some more pieces of fairytale land will come through. I'm still thinking about how underneath that sinkhole it's the mystical place. They have to bring that back up somehow. I think we might actually see a character discover something like that and start wondering what it means. So far we have a handful of people who are in the know...but we never seen them obtain the knowledge. The people who did start figuring things out (Graham) ended up dead. So I think some unsuspecting Stonybrooke citizen will stumble across something that may turn them into a detective of their own. Emma will take too long to get to that point of enlightenment so we need someone working almost adjacent to them in this quest to figure things out.



-No. They are petrifying little things.It's their eyes...there is nothing cute about those suckers.



I don't think David knew anything about Regina setting MM up. MM isn't speaking to him so he'd have no way of knowing. I'm glad he shut Regina down on his own...but I don't think he'd ever consider. It's a true shame how oblivious that guy is. We're starting to see MM have remnants of SW come through I truly hope that happens for David because it's hard to love one rendition of the character so much and loathe the other. I feel bipolar when I say Prince Charming is one of my fave characters but his alter makes me want to dropkick him.



That bond...between August and Emma had me hooked. I'm a sucker for that type of interconnection! It made me truly love this episode! The responsibilty he has for her...she's a tough one to be responsible for. It was oddly sibling like or...something. I don't know, but they were tied together from that moment on and that's going to be an interesting relationship for the course of the series. Even though she doesn't believe it...he's the one person that should always be in her corner because of that...and she's going to need people in her corner. There isn't an episode that goes by where I don't sort of miss Graham but I can't deny that I love August.
More+
Reply
Flag
For some reason, your comment about Emma and August's bond brought to mind Disney's Sleeping Beauty and the young prince seeing the baby Aurora as a child, then falling in love with her as an adult. Think that's what they're aiming for?
Reply
Flag
OK, here's my current guess about how the curse will break. (My apologies if it's redundant with other suggestions earlier in the chain.) I saw an OUAT promo last evening where poisoned-enchanted apples are prominently featured, and then there was a shot of an unconscious Snow White, then a shot of Henry hitting the floor. I had said a while ago that 'Moms can give True Love's Kisses, too'. But I was thinking of Regina saving Henry during more of a redemption motif.



That was before I appreciated that, in the world of OUAT, only biological parents (well, and Geppetto, too :-) can truly love their children. However much I may disagree with this, to step into this fictional reality, here's my current guess: There will be a poisoned apple in Storybrooke. Regina may be trying to poison Emma, or she may simply have some lying around, rather like a neglectful parent who doesn't secure their handgun. To either save Emma, or to force her to believe, or both, Henry will take a bite and then collapse. The only way to save him will be for Emma to believe, and accordingly to use True Love's Kiss to bring Henry back.



OK, that's my current modification of the 'Moms can give True Love's Kisses, too' hypothesis. Veee shall see.

More+
Reply
Flag
I have always thought that if it was true love's kiss that could break the curse, it would be between Emma and Henry. I like this theory, but I don't like the way the show has portrayed Emma's "true love" for Henry.
Reply
Flag
I'm willing to cut Emma a lot of slack. She was raised in allegedly horrible foster homes, and probably was told from an early age that fairy tales are all just a bunch of hooey. So now, here she is, all growed up and cynical, and she's being told that not only are fairy tales real, but SHE'S their savior? She probably has a whole lot of reprogramming to do on it, which also accounts for her not being able to see August's/Pinocchio's leg.
Reply
Flag
henry will die.. and only emma believing in the curse will save him.. apple anyone??
Reply
Flag
Emma is probably trying to run away with Henry because she knows that if she stays in Storybrooke she'll end up believing in the curse and she doesn't want to because it's crazy. She's started to believe in the curse since Hat Trick , she's read some of the book, noticed some simularities it had with the people around her, honestly the very next step is to believe.

August is the third person (other than Henry) to try and convince Emma to believe and whereas the other two looked like they were sick and psycotic, August seems pretty normal, he is sorta a lier, but he has no reason to lie in this case. Other than that he pretty much proved he's the seven year old who found her which is too much of a coincidence, seriously, talk about a small world (which reminds me of that disney ride).

There's a part of Emma that believes, that doesn't want to believe, but does and THAT part of her knows she's got this huge duty to carry out. Until a while ago the only person she had to take care of was herself and then Henry, who's hard enough to take care of, not to mention everyone else. She rejects the responsibility of having to carry eveyone's fate on her shoulders and that's so much easyer to do by denying it's [her responsibitity's] existence then by feeling guilty becasue she didn't fulfill her duty.

Next episode at some point Emma will talk to Mary Margaret, who will ask her why she tried to run away and tell her exactly what Emma told Mary Margaret when SHE wanted to run away and because of this, Emma will stay.

Also, I don't think there will be time for David to redeem himself this episode so I'm leaning towards the next but I can't be sure.
More+
Reply
Flag
Does anyone think maybe Emma does believe in the curse now and the reason she is taking Henry out of SB is because she knows nobody can leave the city limits to follow them? I'm assuming Regina is under the same rules as everyone else since she never seems to go anywhere.



Reply
Flag
What did August think he was going to prove to Emma with that saucy leg reveal? Even if she had seen the wooden leg, wouldn't she just think he was an amputee with crappy health insurance? Another commentor mentioned a dna test. At the end of this episode, maybe Emma was nipping down to Walgreen's the next town over, $30 in hand to get one.

I love this show but the characters' silliness just makes me shake my head sometimes.
Reply
Flag
Jeez girl, I'm in menopause and I am nowhere near as hormonally emotional as you are.



I so wish this show were as good as your reviews.



I did try to watch another ep a few back (the one where they revealed why the Queen/Regina hates Snow/Mary Margaret) but I am sorry, the acting is SO FREAKING CHEESY that is was cringe-worthy so I had to cut and run about half way through.



And seriously, what is up with the fairy pole dancer? Is that some kind of joke or the only way to get guys to watch?
Reply
Flag
"And seriously, what is up with the fairy pole dancer?"



LOL !!! :oD
Reply
Flag
Seriously Emma kidnapping Henry was just plain dumb on her part. I think she so wants to believe what Henry and August is saying, she just supa dupa stubborn. Regina getting regected by David was just to funny, she actually thought that crap was going to work.
Reply
Flag
I loved the look on her face when he first walked into her house. She looked like, "Where the hell am I going with this?" Like MMs gentleness and David's polite helpfulness were totally messing with her head.
Reply
Flag
I am a big fan of OUaT but I am starting to fear that there will be ZERO closure in the finale. This show has made a mission out of getting my hopes up and then dashing them with a depressingly slow moving story that seems to have no direction. It's certainly an entertaining show, but in terms of closure I am always disappointed. In "The Stranger" when he pulled his pant-leg up to show her his wooden leg I was on the edge of my seat thinking "FINALLY! Her friggin' mind is about to get blown!" Then it showed a fleshy human leg from her perspective and my heart sank. I was honestly angry at myself for thinking they would, God-forbid, actually let "Good" prevail at least once in this show and move the plot forward for the benefit of the protagonists. Turns out, dashing hopes is somehow a really great way to get viewers to keep watching, because for some reason I'm totally hooked.
Reply
Flag
Closure = end of series?
Reply
Flag
See, I don't think the wooden leg is in August's head at all. I think it's really turning back into wood, and it's Emma that can't see it because it doesn't exist in her set paradigm. I once watched a movie for a class where they showed several cards relatively quickly and you had to keep track of them. One was a black eight of hearts; my brain refused to acknowledge the card because it isn't an option that ever exists in a standard deck of cards. It wasn't until they went over things later that I went "oh, of course that's what it was." My long-winded point being, if Emma expects to see a flesh and blood leg, that's what she is going to see, because seeing a wooden one would be too ridiculous and her brain won't allow for it.

Which also, in my opinion, means that Graham never had a heartbeat. Emma only heard one because she expected one there. Graham couldn't hear it because he was already starting to figure things out, and that's why he disagreed with Emma when she tried to comfort him; because there was nothing there for him to hear.
Reply
Flag
Just wanted to say that this review was amazing. Especially the last part... It hit home with me... Made me cry and for some reason I just wanted to say thanks
Reply
Flag
That part was actually brilliant. Far more brilliant than the writers intend, for sure. Gotta give Lils props for that kind of insight.
Reply
Flag
If they end the season without going back to Mr Gold and Belle's story, I am going to be so pissed off. Sometimes I feel like Robert Carlyle is not on the show enough and then when he is, his character makes the show amazing. They need to swing the focus back onto Rumple/Gold and his finding Belle in Storybrooke.
Reply
Flag
A. I appreciate the feeling and passion in your review!

B. I loved the episode!

C. Tony was Awesome!

D. Baelfire obviously must come to Storybrook or Emma and Henry encounter him. Also something will happen to cause Regina to take drastic measures.

E. I certainly can't wait to watch what happens next!!!
Reply
Flag
Lily I totally look forward to your recaps - they are hysterical. Agree about the loss of memory thing - it reminds me of that scene in Harry Potter when Hermione casts that obliviate spell & her face disappears from the pictures (that made the kids cry!)

I'm betting Regina goes back for seconds on the poisoned apple (remember the pilot when Henry warned her against eating those apples) & gives it to Emma. In a last ditch effort to get Emma to believe, Henry eats the apple & winds up in a coma.
Reply
Flag
Yep, puppets and clowns are scary, and neither should be granted the power of speech.



But however scary spindly puppets or chortling clowns may be, I don't find them half as scary as that whirling vortex of illogical vindictiveness that I will simply call 'Emmry' (Emma + Henry). Yikes! Put 'em together, and they do create a Perfect Storm.



I happened to be watching the show last night with a friend who has 2 adopted adult sons. I, myself, have an adopted adult big brother. Is it just our perspective, or does this show offer about as much love to the concept of adoption as The Tea Party offers Barrack Obama? My friend's eldest son travels the world helping companies with environmental clean-up, and her youngest is a Marine just returned from Afghanistan. Despite their ready access to heavy equipment and weapons, she's not aware that either of them will be killing her any time soon. As for me, I was born into my family 3 years after my brother was adopted. He has always taken his job as a big brother seriously, by both tormenting and supporting me in equal measure. The most obvious 'family tree' difference between us is simply that, while I hope that I clean up OK, he won the genetic lottery and is a drop dead gorgeous man. As an adult, I've had several old high school friends 'fess up, only half jokingly, that one reason they used to hang out with me was to gain the opportunity to feast their eyes on my brother.



So what's the big boo about adoption on this show, be it the Conglomerate of Rage that is 'Emmry', the ongoing references to the foster system, the Hansel and Gretel storyline, etc? Hey, these writers have complete fictional license to create whatever conflicts they feel necessary to add punch to the plot. But for any preggars gals out there who are facing this choice, don't let the fictional world of OUaT influence your decision. Just sayin'.

More+
Reply
Flag
Who run the world? SQUIRRELS!



LOL Sorry, couldn't resist!



My only theory on why Emma couldn't see August's leg was just like he said. She's full of magic but being in the world so long, facing so much hardships from being and orphan and finding shops that sell quality extensions on a drifter's salary, the magic has just been drained out of her by her denial. Her life has never felt magical, so she can't believe in any of it. But, considering the teasers we've seen from the season finale, I'm guessing Henry is gonna be instrumental in making Emma see the truth. Which sucks, because even though Henry's actor has gotten less annoying... Yeah, no. The less we see of him, the better.



Now I just wonder how the heck they can keep this going a second season? Battles back and forth between this world and the fairy tale characters'?
Reply
Flag
The problem with Emma, I think, is that she has never lived in the Magic World while everybody else has. August (Pinocchio) himself had lived there for some seven years before he was put in the wardrobe while Emma was put in it right after birth. She doesn't even have any residual unconscious bits that could be triggered about the Magic World.



-It is going to be very hard for anyone to make her believe unless she witness some real Magic happening (not the Copperfield type, however great he is).



-Anyhow, when Emma believes it will be the last season so... better if she doesn't yet. I just hope that the writers have a ending ready in case the Network ever decide to cut them off short so it won't end up in the same kind of "cu-de-sac" as Lost...



-I don't think anyone can predict the finale but with all the twists of the season the last one will have to be "WOW" or "OMG" kind of a cliffhanger...
Reply
Flag
Do we know how old Pinocchio was when turned into a real boy? After all, he didn't grow up from babyhood. He was created to look like a seven-year-old.
Reply
Flag
The wooden Pinocchio was creepy indeed :? I think that magic must be believed as opposed to seen in the first place. You can't have the later without the former.
Reply
Flag
I feel bad Lily but this episode didn't really do it for me. I love this show even with all of its flaws, but ever since the crapfest known as the "Dreamy" episode it has been so meh and uneven. I mean, "Hat Trick" and "The Stable Boy" were great but the last two... that's another story.

-The episode again was sort of predictable.... they finally reveal who August is and he's Pinocchio, seriously? At least we finally know who he is and is story. That part of the episode was interesting.

- I mean August's mission was sort of ridiculous but it had a purpose and was heartfelt and the fairytale flashbacks were great and it shows how much the special effects have improved on the show.

- Tony Amnedola is such a great underrated actor. I loved his scenes with August, it was sad yet sweet.

-August: "You're our only hope." Emma: "Then you're all screwed."- Oh Emma why are you stupid and useless. That's one of the main problems with this show, they still don't really know what to do with their main character. Granted, she is a lot more interesting and at least she has more layers but I still don't feel a connection to her. I understand she's supposed to be "normal", flawed and flawed person thrown into all this crazy stuff but I don't know...

- What's about with the Blue Fairy? In no way in hell will I believe that Blue Fairy just accidentally:

- Incited Rumple into making the curse

- Made sure Geppeto is protected for the tree wardrobe building years before the curse and then just happened to be there to save Pinocchio out of her good will, while we exactly know that all magic comes with a price.

- August's attempt to convince Emma that the curse was real wasn't very convincing. I totally understand Emma's skepticism.

- Kidnapping Henry? Really Emma? Stop being stupid. Doing something that moronic only makes sense if you actually believe in the curse, which you do not.

- Regina trying to seduce David.... so cheesy and awkward.I don't see a point either. Like they needed something to act as a C plot but couldn't think of something and needed to somehow shoehorn Lana into the episode. Nothing about it makes any logical sense and we've even had writers explain it with "Regina is ~evil!" Yes, fresh off of squishing someone's heart, attempting to frame someone for a murder and then having someone else take the blame, making a move on a single guy who is actually NOT EVEN DATING the chick you want to get back at is just not really evil.

- Okkay... I'm sorry. I really bashing the show like this and I hope the finale makes up for these crappy episodes.
More+
Reply
Flag
GeraldC7, I could not agree more. I am hoping that the pointless scene with Regina coming onto David was an attempt to prove Mary Margaret's accusations of her being "pathetic and lonely", giving her an iota of humanity. Her throwing a hissy fit at her mirror was the first time in the show that I thought there might actually be a chance of beating her and the curse. But then the episode ended, once again, promising so much and yet delivering so little. Hope the finale actually offers some much needed closure and/or development in the storyline
Reply
Flag
That's the point: she's running out of "allies", hence the attempt to seduce David...
Reply
Flag
Maybe with Graham gone and Sydney now in jail, Regina's looking for a little action?



Part of the classic story is that she couldn't stand not being the most beautiful- maybe now that the clock's running, she's aging? or fears she is? And David's rejection makes it worse.

Guessing that if the Curse has to be broken during Emma's 28th year, everyone's reacting to time running out.



Could it be that if Emma doesn't finish breaking the Curse during this year, it can't be done? Assuming New Year's Day as Emma's birthday (keying off the Valentine's Day ep about 6 weeks in, and Henry being off from school about that time of year to go find her) They're already into Spring...
Reply
Flag
I think Emma didn't see the wooden leg for the same reason August thought she couldn't: she needs to believe. If she doesn't believe that anything is possible, then how can she bring magic back to the people of Storybrooke? I think it could be cool if the moment she does start to have faith, August shows her his leg again and she can see it for real.



In the promos, we see Henry collapse. This image coincides with other images of the Evil Queen giving Snow White the poisonous apple... Would Regina harm Henry (whom she raised as her own son) to stop Emma from ruining everything? Yes, because she's a psychopath and would destroy all that she herself holds dear (as we see she's already done with her father) to destroy the happiness of others; in fact, their misery /is/ her true happiness.



I'd like to see the finale end with Emma finally realizing her potential, but presuming it's too late. Then she finds out: Mary Margaret remembers who she was. There is still hope.



Switching topics: I noticed that August's room number was #2. Pinocchio was the second animated feature fill by Disney (Snow White being #1). I thought that was kinda neat.



Also, I'd like to see a glimpse of Belle again in the asylum as another game-changer in the form of Mr.Gold/ Rumplestiltskin. It made me sad the way he opened up his heart to August like that only to have it smashed to pieces; is it wrong that I want him to feel more feelings for my own tortured sense of amusement?
More+
Reply
Flag
That whole sequence with the dagger was phenomenal! I think there were rocks melting in the background during that emotional confession- and then , bam!- "You're not my son!" I'd have been terrified if it was me with the Dagger at my throat. And then Mr Gold leaves him alive- "This way I have a chance at getting what I want." Goosebumps!!!



And then August just calls Mr Gold up this episode to ask for a favor! I was sure there'd be some repercussions, some price for this favor, but no...Do you think Mr Gold had already decided he wouldn't take Emma's case, or at least guessed that might be Emma's next step, prior to August's call? Although he does seem to consider kids' needs and feelings more than most adults, so maybe he is telling one truth rather than another.
Reply
Flag
Sounds like a Disney theme all right. She needs to believe in order to see. She just needs some happy thoughts and Tinker Bell's fairy dust.
Reply
Flag
Although in last episode we found out why he pushed Belle away. He didn't want anything to distract him from his quest for his son. I still want someone to rescue her from the dungeon asylum though.
Reply
Flag
Okay... what were my views this episode....



Well, first off, Emma didn't see August's wooden appendage because he had his trousers on! (I totally went there) LOL! Sorry that was waiting to happen. Anywho, I'm totally up for the Emma has to believe to see. I mean remember what the blue fairy said, the spell only works if he's good, and Pinnochio hasn't been very well behaved really has he. At any point Pinnochio freaks me the hell out. I do NOT like puppets. I found that whole first scene with Pinnochio as a puppet really disturbing. Mainly because the puppet was wooden and talking!



Here are my predictions for the finale. Henry wants to prove to Emma that the curse is real, so he eats some of Regina's apples (Fruit of the Poisoned Tree anyone?) and gets sick. The only way to save him is for Emma to believe there is a curse. That's next ep possibly. Then once Emma starts believing, the curse starts breaking. Think about it. Time started moving again when she stayed in town. Why did she stay? She was taking a leap of faith and sticking aorund for Henry. It's all about faith and belief. The producers did say that the answer is so simple that we'll all be kicking ourselves when we find out what the cure to the curse actually is. Maybe it's just Emma believing. I could be wrong but it'd be crazy if I was right.



OMG BABY EMMA WAS SO DAMN CUTE! I had to say that. Forget giving birth, my kids may not be as cute as that. I need to go and do an Emma, and kidnap that baby. It was just too cute. I was so sad when Pinnochio left Emma behind. I was like "You could've tried a little harder Pinnochio you little sod! I mean they ain't looking after Emma, you are!" But no, it took him all of five seconds to say "Okay, sorry Emma, it's more fun to look after number one. Screw the curse and the promise to my father and all that jazz, this kid I've known for five minutes is offering me a free ride the hell outta here."



Emma, kidnapping Henry disappointed me too, but then again, she is desperate. She's desperate not to be the saviour and desperate to stay with her kid. I suppose she must believe in the curse slightly. After all, she wants to leave Storybrooke with him, she must believe Regina can't leave and come after them. Or maybe that's me again.



I did love the August/Emma interaction.

AUGUST: "You're the only one who can save us."

EMMA: "Then you're all screwed."



I started laughing when she said that. LOL! Also, loved Gepetto. He's an amazing actor.



Okay that's it for this weeks ep.
More+
Reply
Flag
"The producers did say that the answer is so simple that we'll all be kicking ourselves when we find out what the cure to the curse actually is."



As in "leaving Storybrooke (Story Book)" ?
Reply
Flag
I'm not really sure. But you never know. (nods)
Reply
Flag
I don't think it's all in August's head. Sure people imagine pain, but generally not flings you across the room kind of pain. So I'm wondering if maybe there is magic in our world after all, and we humans are all just so magic blind we don't see it?

This episode made me feel so bad for August. He's walking around with this huge guilt trip cuz Gepetto dumped this HUGE responsibility on a 7 year old.

"Off you go boy. Have this baby, it's now your job to make sure that she believes something that the rest of the world will call batshit crazy. Oh by the way, you'll be all alone, with a baby. good luck!"

I honestly can't blame 7 year old August for running from that. I'm 25 and that scares the crap outta me! Personally I think this one's on Gepetto. points for trying to protect your kid dude but you did just place your own family above the survival of your whole world. While at the same time preaching unselfishness to your kid. Mixed Messages!!



Side Note. imdb has Hatter in the next episode!? Awesome!
Reply
Flag
Sometimes you think your kid really is ready for a responsibility- mine is almost 10, and I forget how easily distracted I was at that age. My son might not have even bothered to say goodbye to Emma, especially if they mentioned video games...



In a way, Pinocchio is working through Collodi's plot- running away from responsibility to have fun. Any bets his friend who took the money is the donkey paperweight?



Geppetto was asking a lot from a 7-year-old kid; but I doubt any of the other FTL characters would have coped well either. So maybe a kid is more mentally flexible?
Reply
Flag
Did anyone else notice the obivous Lost reference in the episode? When the plane flew over Pinocchio, the plane was an Oceanic plane. Another reason why I love this show.
Reply
Flag
Mentioned this above: Oceanic is the standard hollywood fake airline. It's not just from Lost.
Reply
Flag
Never watched "Lost", so that reference was "lost" on me. :)
Reply
Flag
I thought it was the Oceanic symbol!
Reply
Flag
Awwwww come on guys! Don't be so harsh on Emma! She is kidnapping him because she knows that Regina tried to blame MM, she knows how "evil" she is but don't have any proof AT ALL to go on court and try to get Henry back. Seriously, which lawyer could take away a kid from his adoptive parent who hasn't done ANYTHING wrong to the kid. WE know how evil she is, but from an outside point of view, nobody could know! She's never been mean to him, except for the "don't see her again" or "after school, come straight back to home" but that's not evil, that's parenting x) In a desparate way, she finds that the only way to be with him is to "kidnap" Henry. Ok that's not the best thing to do, but she is desperate!



About the puppet thing, I too don't like them at all, but I only saw Pinnochio in the living puppet so it didn't bother me at all. And I thought the CGI was pretty good :)
Reply
Flag
This was a strong episode where we learned brand new things regarding the storyline! So, YAY! Great acting in the Emma/August scene! Ugh so many emotions. "Mayors trying to kiss losers" was really funny but I kind of shipped them at that moment, not gonna lie. And Emma, WTF did you do??? Good job woman, you made Regina happy.



- I agree with a commenter below, perhaps it's all in August's head!

- I have no clue...It'll be interesting!

- They are creepy! But clowns are creepier!
Reply
Flag
Staff
That occurred to me to, but he wasn't there when Graham died (aka when Regina went into her magic vault and squeezed Graham's heart to ashes.) And of course, the glass coffin in the abandoned mine. So there's hard phyiscal evidence of a magical world, even if Emma is magic-blind.
Reply
Flag
A coffin does not a magical world make.



As for the heart, harder to dispute, but lets go with a Fringe theory and say that the vault is like a bridge between the two worlds where magic can still work.
Reply
Flag
Nice idea! A bridge- or a doorway?
Reply
Flag
Load More Comments

Like TV.com on Facebook