Once Upon a Time

Season 2 Episode 18

Selfless, Brave and True

33
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Mar 24, 2013 on ABC

Episode Recap

In Hong Kong in 2011, August wakes up next to the woman that he spent the night with, drinking and carousing. He discovers that his left leg has turned into wood and wakes up Isra, but she can't see anything unusual about his leg.

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In Storybrooke, David prepares a breakfast in bed for Mary Margaret Emma sees him and tells him to drop the gentle treatment because Mary Margaret is the only one who can help himself. Once she leaves with Henry to see Neal, Mary Margaret starts packing some supplies. When David wonders what she's doing, his wife tells him that she's going off into the woods to take some time by herself. When David says that the giant will soon have enough beans that they can return to the Enchanted Forest, Mary Margaret warns him that leaving won't change what she's done.

At Neal's boarding house, Henry asks his father to look through his storybook and see if what it shows is what Neal went through. When Henry goes into the next room, Neal tells Emma that Tamara checked on the storage room where they imprisoned Hook and has discovered that he escaped. Neal also admits that he invited Tamara to Storybrooke. When Emma warns that they're risking exposure to outsider, Neal insists that he had to have Tamara there with him. She suggests that Neal tell Tamara the truth about who he really is. Tamara sends a text message saying that she's ten minutes away, and Neal suggests that Emma and Henry stay to meet his fiancee.

Mary Margaret is in the woods practicing her shooting when an arrow goes astray and hits something. When she goes to pick it up, she finds half of it lying on the ground. Mary Margaret sees an old abandoned trailer in the woods and hesitantly goes inside and calls out, and a wooden August limps out of the back and greets her. The broken half of the arrow is stuck in his side.

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August goes to the hospital and speaks with the doctor, but he doesn't see anything unusual about August's leg. Frustrated, August drives a scalpel into his leg to prove that it's wooden, but the doctor still doesn't see anything and calls for the orderlies to secure his patient. August runs out and hides in a hallway. A man, Quon, finds him and says that he can take him to a man who can help him. When August wonders what he means, Quon says that The Dragon is a physician who deals in the kinds of problems like August has been yelling about.

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August tells Mary Margaret that when the curse lifted, he could move again but he didn't transform back into a living being. He figures that his transformation is punishment for everything that he's done, and Mary Margaret tells him that Marco and the others all miss him. August doesn't want Marco and Emma to see him like he is, but perks up when Emma says that Neal is in Storybrooke. He assumes that Neal is back with Emma, but Mary Margaret explains that they aren't. August explains that he had hoped that things would work out for him and he could redeem himself, and Mary Margaret insists that everyone deserves a second chance. He tells her that she can't understand because she never did anything that requires redemption, and tells him to leave and keep his secret.

Emma and Henry wait until Tamara arrives and have bagels with her and Neal. Henry asks her how she met Neal and she explains that she bumped into him and spilled her coffee, and Neal offered his scarf so she could cover the stain. Later, she called him to return it and they've been together ever since. As Henry and Emma prepare to go, Henry asks Neal to keep the storybook and look through it. Once they leave, Tamara admits that Henry reminds her of Neal and has his spirit. Neal braces himself and then tells her that he's from The Enchanted Forest and shows her the pictures from the storybook. Tamara figures that he still has feelings for Emma and is making up a lie to drive her away. She angrily walks out, leaving Neal alone.

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Quon takes august to The Dragon's shop. The next patient goes in and drops her cell phone. When Neal picks it up, he hands it to... Tamara.

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Greg is eating at the diner when Regina comes over and thanks him for helping her by calling Henry when they met in the woods. Regina says that Greg looks familiar to her but he tells her that he's never been to Storybrooke. As Regina leaves, she runs into Mary Margaret as she comes in and taunts her about her blackened soul. Once she leaves, Mary Margaret tells Emma and Marco that she found August and what condition that he's in. They go to the Mother Superior, since she was the one who turned August into a living boy. As they go, they're unaware that Tamara is seated down the counter, listening to everything that they said.

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After her session with The Dragon, Tamara comes out and wishes August luck before she goes. When August goes to see the physician, The Dragon asks him why he's there. The Dragon is able to see August's wooden leg and addresses him as Pinocchio. However, he refuses to tell August the source of his knowledge or if he's from The Enchanted Forest. Instead The Dragon advises August not to spend so much energy worrying about his affliction. He offers to cure him, but says that he needs something close to his heart. The Dragon asks for the necklace that August wears, explaining that Gepetto made it for him when he gave him life. August reluctantly hands it over and The Dragon then asks him for $10,000 to cover his costs in the real world.

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Emma and the others find the Mother Superior, who admits that August talked to her shortly after the curse was lifted. There was nothing she could do for him because as part of her spell to give him life, he had to be selfless, brave, and true. When he failed to do that, he started transforming back. Mary Margaret insists that everyone deserves a second chance, but the Mother Superior tells them that August must find his own path.

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August goes to a nearby bar and finds Tamara at the bar. She calls him over and pays for his drink with a bill from the wad of money in her purse. They share a toast to second chances and Tamara explains that she had a rare form of cancer. No one could cure it until she found The Dragon. August claims that he has a fatal skin condition and Tamara is confident that The Dragon can cure him as well. She tells August that The Dragon asked for a personal item from her and she gave him a photograph of her and her grandmother. When Tamara gets a call, she steps away to take it. After a moment, August takes the money from her purse and runs off.

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Tamara enters the trailer and tells August that she's there to talk to him.

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August goes back to The Dragon and gives him the money. As they talk, he sees the photograph of Tamara and her grandmother lying on the table. August asks if he can cure him and The Dragon says that he can cure the symptoms but warns that August must ultimately cure himself. He takes the $10,000 and gives August a vial filled with a red substance. As August goes out to the alleyway to drink it, Tamara finds him and demands her money back. He runs off but trips when his leg gives out underneath him. As he writhes on the ground in agony. Tamara takes the money and tells August that he deserves his fate.

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Tamara can see August in his transformed state and tells him that he wants her to do something because he owes her. She wants August to leave Storybrooke, and he wonders if she's human. She says that she isn't magical and explains that she has The Dragon's vial and can give it to August to cure him. However, it's in her apartment in New York City and tells him that he'll have to go there to get it. Once he leaves Storybrooke, Tamara tells him to never come back. August realizes that she's Neal's fiancee and asks if her are Neal are there to take away the magic. Tamara simply tells him that Neal has nothing to do with her plans and figures that August will agree to do what she says because he's still the man she knew, who will do anything to save himself.

Greg goes back to his room at Granny's boarding house and finds Regina waiting for him. She tells him that she finally recognized him and addresses him as Owen, the boy she once knew. Regina shows him the lanyard keychain that he gave her as a boy and explains that she kept it as a token. Greg says that he came back to find his father, but Regina says that Kurt left shortly after Greg did and she hasn't seen him since. Greg doesn't believe her and refuses to go. However, Regina tells him that she'll be checking him out of the boarding house. If he doesn't leave on his own, she'll make sure that he disappears for good.

As Mary Margaret, Emma, and Marco go to the trailer, Marco blames himself for everything that Pinocchio has gone through. He finally tells Mary Margaret that he built the wardrobe to send two people through, and that he hid the knowledge from her so that he could send Pinocchio. Mary Margaret slaps him and then, shocked at her actions, apologizes. Marco insists that he deserved it but Mary Margaret forgives him. When they arrive at the trailer, they discover that August has left.

August drives out of Storybrooke using Tamara's car.

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Tamara goes to The Dragon and he tells her that he knew she was lying about her cancer. When he wonders why she sought him out, Tamara explains that she's been trying to find someone with real magic. When she analyzed the vial, she learned that it contained elements that are found nowhere in the world. The Dragon only says that he cures people who cannot be killed normally, and reminds Tamara that she stole the vial. She insists that she paid for it and now she has to make sure that no one else finds The Dragon. As Tamara takes out a taser and prepares to kill him, The Dragon says that she hasn't met the real him. Smoke pours from his mouth and nose and he rises up into the air. However, Tamara jams the taser into his chest and holds it there until he dies.

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As August drives past the town borders, he notices the photo of Tamara and her grandmother as it falls out of the visor. He turns around and drives back to Storybrooke, and goes to the sheriff's office. When he discovers no one is there, he calls Emma on her cell phone and starts to warn her. However, Tamara comes in and pulls out the phone line. August tells her that he just realized she was behind the whole thing because in 2011 he went back to see The Dragon and beg the physician to cure him. He saw that the photo was gone and realized that Tamara must have been there when he saw the same photo in Tamara's car. August insists that he came back to warn the people he loves and redeem himself. However, Tamara says that he won't do either and jams the taser into his chest.

As Emma and the others return, August stumbles out of the station and collapses on the sidewalk. Marco, crying, holds his son, and August tries to whisper a warning to Emma. However, he dies just as Neal arrives. Mary Margaret insists that it can't end that way and Henry gets an idea. He reminds them that as part of the Blue Fairy's spell, August had to remain selfless, brave, and true. The Mother Superior arrives and admits that if August's actions at the end met her criteria, she can still save him. She takes out her wand and transforms August back into a living boy, Pinocchio. Tamara arrives just in time to see the magic and Neal realizes that she knows he's telling the truth. Emma asks Pinocchio if he remembers what he was trying to warn them about, but the boy has no memories of his time as an adult.

Relieved, Emma hugs her parents and her son. While they leave, Neal tells Tamara that he'll understand if she wants to leave given what she's learned. Tamara assures him that she's there for him and that it was lucky that they found each other.

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In New York in November 2011, August flies to New York and finds Neal. He explains that he plans to go to Storybrooke and have Emma break the curse, curing him. Neal points out that if that happens, Marco will remember his son and come looking for him. August tells Neal that he'll send a postcard signaling him that the curse is broken and drives off. Tamara watches the two men meet, and then "accidentally" bumps into Neal and spills her coffee on him.

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Back at the apartment, Emma apologizes to Henry for lying to him and promises that she'll never do it again. In return she asks her son not to push her away. Henry agrees and they hug. Meanwhile, David demands that Mary Margaret tell him the truth, and she reluctantly explains that she went to Regina in the hopes that their enemy would kill her. However, Regina told her how she had blackened her soul and let her live. Mary Margaret hoped that she could deal with it himself, and wonders if redemption is worth the price after seeing the price that August had to pay. David holds his hand to her chest and assures her that he knows her heart better than anyone, and he knows that she can do it.

Greg is in his room talking to his girlfriend, wondering where she is. Tamara arrives at the door, on the phone with him, and warns him that they only have a little time before Neal gets out of the show. The two of them kiss and close the door behind her.

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