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Once Upon a Time 2-18: Selfless, Brave, and True

I’m going to have to do things a bit differently with tonight’s recap. There’s a reveal part way through that I just can’t explain any other way than to slip the flashback in the middle of the recap. It colors too much of what happens in the episode to understand it any other way.

So let’s start in Storybrooke, shall we?

And we open with David preparing breakfast once again for Mary Margaret. Emma tells him point blank that Mary Margaret needs to come to terms with what she did to Cora on her own, but David still wants them to help her. Mary Margaret over hears them and decides to take some action on her own, so he grabs her bow and arrow and heads into the woods.

While she’s shooting, she misses her target with one arrow. While tracking it down, she finds an old trailer in the woods, and inside is August. He’s still wood. He begs her to keep his presence there a secret. He’s hoping he can be changed back, but he’s not sure how to go about doing it.

Meanwhile, Neal has let Emma know that his fiancee Tamara is coming to Storybrooke. And, oh yeah, Tamara has also found that Hook has escaped from Neal’s apartment in New York, so he’s coming back.

Not that Tamara knows who Hook really is, or who Neal is for that matter. Emma convinces him to tell Tamara the truth before she finds out on her own.

Emma and Henry join Neal and Tamara for a brief get to know you visit. Awkward is putting it mildly. We do hear how the two met. They bumped into each other, literally, spilling coffee all over Tamara. She borrowed Neal’s scarf, decided to return it later, and the rest is history.

So after the awkward meeting between them, Neal shows Tamara Henry’s book. (Maybe we haven’t forgotten about that after all.) She flips out and accuses Neal of using these wild tales to hide the truth about his feelings for Emma. She leaves, saying she doesn’t want to see Neal again until he is willing to tell her the truth.

Okay, I think that’s all we need from the present. Let’s go to the flashback. And we’re flashing back all the way to…2011.

The episode actually opened with August in bed with a woman. He awakens in pain, and looks down horrified to see that his leg has turned to wood. He goes to the hospital for help, but they don’t see it. When they start talking psych ward, he escapes, only to be met by a man who promises a cure.

This man takes him to a waiting room. And inside the waiting room are several people. August sits down, and a woman is taken in to see the person behind the bead curtain. She drops her phone, and August stops her to give it back to him. She turns around, and we see it is Tamara.

When it is August’s turn to see the specialist (called the Dragon), he tells August that he can cure him so he will never turn to wood again. All it will take is a personal item and $10K. The Dragon takes the necklace that August had around his neck. And he knows not only who August really is, but also that the string on the necklace was from a string that Geppetto used to animate Pinocchio before he came to life.

The problem is August doesn’t have any money. While wandering around Hong Kong (where the Dragon is), he runs into Tamara again at a bar. She is celebrating because she has gotten her cure from the Dragon. She had cancer, but it is gone now. It had cost her a picture of her with her grandmother as well as the money.

When she goes to take a phone call, she leaves her purse behind, and inside is $10K. August takes it and goes back to the Dragon, getting a vial that will completely cure him. Not surprising since it is magic, glowing red and all. August takes it outside and is about to drink when Tamara shows up. He tries to get away, but his wooden leg betrays him, and he goes down. She takes the vial and leaves him in the gutter.

And then Tamara goes back to confront the Dragon. Seems she is searching for magic, and the vial is proof that there is magic. The Dragon says she can take her picture and go, but she doesn’t want anyone else to find out about the magic. So she pulls out what looked like a tazer to me, but obviously it wasn’t. The Dragon says, “You haven’t seen me in my true form” and begins to breathe smoke and rise off the ground, but she reaches up and shocks him with her weapon, killing him.

Our final scene in the flashback is of August back in New York talking to Neal. He says he is setting out to Storybrooke to help Emma break the curse since it is his only hope. “I’ll send you a post card,” he says before he drives away on his motorcycle.

Their conversation, however, was being watched by Tamara. She then buys some coffee and comes up behind Neal so that he runs into her, causing her to spill and them to meet.

End flashback.

So let’s get back to the action in Storybrooke.

Mary Margaret rushes into Granny’s, where she finds Emma and Geppetto. She tells them what she found, and they go off to talk to Mother Superior, aka the Blue Fairy, hoping she can help. But their conversation has been seen by someone else – Tamara.

Mother Superior tells them that August came to her as soon as the curse broke, but there is nothing she can do for him. His turning to wood is because he wasn’t being selfless, brave, and true. The only person who can cure August is August himself.

Meanwhile, Tamara has gone to the trailer to confront the wooden August. She tells him there is still a bit of the contents of the vial left in her apartment in New York City, and he can have it if he will go get it and never return to Storybrooke.

Mary Margaret, Geppetto, and Emma head out to the trailer as well. However, before we get there, Geppetto finally confesses the truth about the wardrobe – there was enough magic for two people to go through, Emma and Pinocchio. Mary Margaret is shocked to learn the truth, and responds by slapping him. Emma is shocked by the slap, and so is Mary Margaret. Geppetto thinks it is what he deserves, but for us, it is proof that Mary Margaret’s heart is still black and turning more so.

When the trio gets to the trailer, they find it empty. Yes, August is running. But before he can get out of town, a picture falls out of the visor. It’s Tamara with her grandmother. And he puts two and two together since he saw the picture at the Dragon’s place and then went back a few days later to find his body.

So he turns his car around and heads back to the sheriff’s station. When he doesn’t find Emma there, he calls her. But before he can say too much, Tamara comes in and cuts the phone cord. Disappointed he didn’t leave town, she takes out her device and shocks him.

Our trio has made it back to town and been joined by David and Henry. They see August stumble out of the sheriff’s station and collapse. Geppetto holds him, and August apologizes to his failure. Then he turns to Emma and tries to warn her. He gets as far as “She….” when he dies.

By this point, Neal and Tamara have wandered up separately. And Henry gets the idea that maybe the Blue Fairy can help since August obviously died trying to do the right thing. She appears as well, and waves her wand. Yes, Pinocchio had been selfless, brave, and true, and he turns into…a real boy. Yes, he’s back to being a boy. (I guess this is the last we’ve seen of August. Bummer.) And he doesn’t remember what he was about to tell them.

All this happened in front of Tamara, and she is now ready to believe. She leaves with a very happy Neal.

Meanwhile, Emma apologizes to Henry again for lying to him about his dad and promises to never lie to him again. And Mary Margaret confesses to David about her blackening heart. He promises they will find some say to reverse the process.

Owen/Greg got a few scenes as well. His first scene finds him enjoying pie at Granny’s when Regina comes up to talk to him. She recognizes him, but can’t quite place him.

When next they meet, it is in his room at Granny’s. And she’s figured out that he is really Owen. He demands his father, and Regina claims he left a few days after Owen did. Owen’s not buying it, but Regina tells him that he will leave the next morning or he will disappear.

For our final scene of the night, Owen gets a phone call from “Her.” When he asks where she is, he is answered by a knock on his door. He opens it, and there stands Tamara. As they kiss, the episode ends.

So I was right. I totally called it in the comments last week that Neal’s fiancee was the person Owen was calling. So, what exactly is her angle? Is she using Owen as well? Or is she really in love with him?

I’d guess that August is out of the picture as a love interest for Emma. So we’re left with a triangle with Hook and Neal. Personally, I’d love for her to get back together with Neal. And Neal needs to tell her the truth of why he left her in prison.

Anything else to discuss? Hit me up in the comments and let’s see what else is happening.

We’ve got a few weeks off from the show. There’s a special on 4/14 about the special effects on the show. And then on 4/21, we get the first of the final four episodes of the season. I can’t wait to see where things go when we come back.

11 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time 2-18: Selfless, Brave, and True”

  1. I’ve got a few problems with this episode… First, August woke up in Thailand, saying he needs to go to the hospital. The next thing we know, he was in Hong Kong?

    Now, on to HK… Why does magic exist in HK? And what’s this dragon figure? How does he know August’s true identity? And how on earth is he so easily killed? I hope the dragon either “escaped” his physical host or somehow faked the death. It was almost laughable how a supposedly powerful magical being got taken down by a mere taser… Will this tie into Mulan’s story in anyway? Mushu!?

    Then there’s Tamara. That caught me off guard (that she’s a magic chaser and she’s connected to Owen). I’m now a bit confused of the whole time line. I assume Tamara’s encounter with August was before August set out to find Emma in Story Brook but after Emma went to jail. In the Tallahassee episode, the final encounter between Neal and August was at a dock, right before August goes off to Story Brook (yet in this episode they met for the last time on the streets of NYC…) That means Neal went from meeting Tamara for the first time to engaging her in less than a year? That’s awfully quick… And I wonder at what point did Owen enter the picture…

    This episode left a lot of questions to be answered. Where’s Owens dad? What’s Tamara truly after? What’s it with the dragon? Can Snow be cured before it’s too late? How will the dragon’s veil come into play? Can the Blue Fairy’s timing be any more perfect? What’s going on between Owen and Tamara? And… Robin Hood? Kinda late to introduce a whole new character with only four episodes left don’t you think!?

    1. I don’t really have any theories too, except to say that I don’t believe the dragon is dead. I just really hopes that he does turn out to be Mushu. He’s one of my favorite animated characters and I named my pug after him. Little know side fact: The pug who played Frank in Men In Black II was named Mushu. Don’t know if he’s the same one that played Frank in MIB 1.

      1. That’s an interesting tidbit.

        I do have one theory. I think we would see the veil, Milan and Aurora again. Maybe the veil would be used to wake Prince Phillip? The veil, like the candle, got too much screen time to just go away like that…

    2. We shall see.

      I definitely do agree with many of your questions, but I’m sure we’ll get answer to many of them before the season is over.

      Personally, I do that Tamara has been working with Owen all along, definitely longer than she’s been using Neal. But we’ll find out for sure later, I’m sure.

      Hadn’t thought that the Dragon might be Mushu, but that could easily be true. He’s definitely someone we should know.

  2. CJ has nailed a lot of my thoughts about this episode. I came away from it more confused than anything. One thing about this show I like though is that they don’t leave things hanging for too long but give us answers in a fairly reasonable amount of time. I do not like Tamara (exit one villain, Cora and enter another!) and I hope she is disposed of quickly. I want to know who the Red Dragon is!

    I was glad to see the book come out again though it really didn’t provide much to the story. One line I got a kick out of was at the beginning when Neal tells Emma that Tamara is coming. She mentions all the non magical people that have suddenly shown up in Storybrooke and says something along the lines of “what is this? A theme park?”

    I will certainly miss August as an adult! And Robin Hood? – I never really thought of him as a Fairy Tale character. Looking forward to seeing Hook again.

    1. I’m glad that they’re including other literary non-fairy tale characters.
      Let’s not forget about the other non-fairy tale characters they had in the past too: Hook, Frankenstein, Mad Hatter, Wonderland citizens, Midas.

    2. Speaking of one liners, I think Regina had the best line this episode. Try their fish special. It’s got a lot in common with you. Blackened sole (soul).

    3. Yes, that theme park line was classic.

      I have a feeling they wrote themselves out of having to keep the actor around when he’s doing other shows, but I will miss adult August as well.

  3. What I like about the addition of the dragon, is the fact that magic is big (well not big BIG) part of the general Asian cultures. In our cultures, there are lots of beings that can perform magic, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that magic exists in Hong Kong – only with the person.
    The dragon isn’t so important so we can ignore him. Assuming he’s an actual dragon in human form, they’re very wise and they know everything about everyone. So I don’t think he’ll be of future importance.

    And Tamara gets on my nerves. Not like how Cora did, cause Cora just makes me so angry but she’s a well written character. Tamara… I simply just don’t like her.

    1. I actually believe the red dragon played a significant role in setting up the world. Previously we were lead to believe magic only exists within the confines of Story Brook. Red Dragon proved it otherwise. This could lead to even more possibilities of fictional characters crossing over to the real world through other means (Alice through the looking glass, Wizard of Oz through tornado, Peter Pan through the second star from the right… etc). It also opens up the doors for other magic wielders to come into play if and when Story Brook is exposed to the outside world.

      Up till recently we thought fairy tale characters only came to this world through Regina’s curse, but the writers seem to be hinting at us repeatedly several other possibilities (Neal, Hook, bean stalk, and now Red Dragon)

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