Previously on Once Upon a Time: The Return
This week on Once Upon a Time, an apparently dying August tries to push Emma into her destiny, revealing information about her past and his connection to the curse. Regina, meanwhile, sets her sights on David. In the Enchanted Forest, we cover the backstory of Geppetto and Pinocchio, and their role in creation of the magic wardrobe that saved baby Emma.
In the Enchanted Forest, Geppetto and Pinocchio the puppet are lost at sea, about to be eaten by a whale. Pinocchio saves the life vest for his father, and jumps into the water. When Geppetto washes ashore, Pinocchio is back to a lifeless puppet, until the Blue Fairy turns him into a real boy – with the warning that he must remain brave, truthful, and unselfish to stay that way. Later, the Blue Fairy visits Geppetto, warning him of the impending curse and Snow White’s child, and asks him to build the magical wardrobe that could save her.
When they retrieve the tree for the wardrobe, the Blue Fairy explains that it only has enough magic for two people. Geppetto worries that the curse will turn Pinocchio back into wood, and only agrees to build the wardrobe if Pinocchio can go through. As Snow goes into labor, the Blue Fairy tells Geppetto that Snow must go through with Emma, but once she leaves Geppetto makes Pinocchio promise he will lead the savior to her destiny and sends him through instead. Pinocchio/August explodes through a tree trunk into the real world, and baby Emma appears shortly after. The two end up in a foster home (?) with cruel caretakers, and when another boy offers Pinocchio/August the chance to run away with him, he takes it – leaving Emma behind.
In Storybrooke, August installs a deadbolt in Ms. Blanchard apartment to keep out Regina’s skeleton keys, and Emma announces that she intends to fight for custody of her son. Henry calls in with an Operation Cobra “code red,” and Emma goes to meet him at Granny’s – though August attempts to convince her to come with him instead to “see the big picture” on how to defeat Regina, but she doesn’t bite. Henry’s “code red” is a new story in the book featuring Pinocchio, but it isn’t finished. Back at the hotel, August’s leg starts hurting him again, and he pulls up his pant cuff to reveal a wooden leg. Aha! The truth of his identity is finally known! Ms. Blanchard returns to school, and when she runs into Regina she forgives her for the setup, pitying the mayor for the loneliness that causes her to destroy other’s happiness.
August goes to Mr. Gold, asking him to steer Emma away from a custody battle so he can direct her towards breaking the curse, and he agrees. When Mr. Gold turns her down, Emma goes to August as they planned. Meanwhile, Regina has car trouble and David drives her home, and reluctantly stays for dinner. Afterwards, Regina gets a little too friendly and David runs out the door. August and Emma leave Storybrooke and go to a diner – the same diner where baby Emma brought. August knows this because he was the one who found her. August takes her to the woods where they came through and reveals everything: that he’s Pinocchio, that he added the story to the book (and they’re living out the ending), and that he was halfway across the world when she decided to stay in Storybrooke and his leg became a “painful reminder of how far [he] strayed.”
But when he shows her his wooden leg, Emma is in such denial that she literately can’t see anything wrong. He begs her to help, and she freaks out at the responsibility. Henry is the only thing she can fight for – everyone else is screwed. Later that night, a defeated August visits Marco’s (aka Geppetto) workshop and helps with a broken clock. He mentions how he tried to keep a promise to his father too late, but Marco says as long as he tried, it was good enough, and August offers to help at the shop. Across town, Emma calls Henry on the walkie and has him come downstairs. She asks if he wants to live with her, and when he says yes, she decides to take him and leave Storybrooke. Oh, Emma, will you ever learn?
Next week, bad things happen when you try to leave Storybrooke, and Snow White meets the poisoned apple.
o Of course I didn’t see it coming that August is actually Pinocchio, as usual. However, I totally called it that August is the boy that saved Emma!
o I’m not sure what the weird Regina/David seduction subplot was about this episode. Does it have some greater significance? What do you all think?
Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She enjoys a challenge and is currently re-watching all 15 seasons of ER. Follow her @nicolemnelson