The Stranger of It All–OUAT “The Stranger” Recap


I apologize for the delay, but time for another recap of Once Upon A Time.  This recap is about the story of August W. Booth aka Pinocchio.

After the title card, the episode (season 1 episode 20) begins with August (Eion Bailey) installing an elaborate lock he made for Mary Margaret and Emma’s apartment after Mary Margaret is released from jail after Kathryn is found alive.  As Mary Margaret heads back to school, Emma continues to talk about wanting custody of Henry.  Suddenly Henry calls Emma on their special walkie-talkies saying that there is an emergency.  August follows her trying to convince her to think of the “bigger picture” when trying to get custody.

Emma meets Henry at Granny’s and tells her that a new story was somehow added to his book, Pinocchio’s story, without an ending, leaving Henry confused because he already knows Pinocchio’s ending.  The flashback then begins as we see the end of Pinocchio, as Geppetto and son are trying to save themselves from a storm and a whale coming after them.  When Pinocchio jumps off their raft to save his father, Geppetto wakes up to find his son lifeless in his wooden state.  As Geppetto mourns over his son, the Blue Fairy appears to turn Pinocchio into a real boy.  To remain a real boy, Pinocchio must promise to be “brave, truthful, and unselfish.”

With a close up of Pinocchio’s hat, the flashback becomes Storybrooke with August lookin’ all sad at the hat.  He decides to call Mr. Gold to have a conversation about getting Emma to believe and as he goes to meet him a sudden pain causes him to fall and when he lifts up his pant leg we discover that his leg is turning to wood.

Mary Margaret happily returns to school and suddenly…Regina decides to rain on her parade.  But, Mary Margaret decides to be happily snooty as she confronts Regina after the frame job.  Of course, Regina doesn’t take Mary Margaret’s happiness well and when Henry shows up and says that she doesn’t want Henry in Mary Margaret’s class anymore (Fun Fact: Henry’s lunchbox is of Disney’s Tron Legacy, a movie that creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis wrote together).  Henry gives one of his best inspirational speeches to Regina about good winning over evil (meaning Emma and Snow will defeat Regina).

At Gold’s shop, August arrives to see his father, Marco/Geppetto, doing business with Gold, who is very happy to see August squirm, since he hasn’t made contact with him at all. Once Marco is gone, August wants Gold to help him to get Emma to believe in the curse.  He thinks that by pointing Emma in August’s direction when Emma asks for Gold’s help will move along the process.  Gold obviously is bitter or enjoying himself because he makes yet another joke about August’s Pinocchio-like nature of lying.

In Fairytale Land (FTL), Geppetto is teaching a now real boy Pinocchio to fix a clock.  The Blue Fairy comes with news that the Queen is creating “the” curse and that Geppetto needs to make a wardrobe out of an enchanted tree for the Savior to escape through.

After August leaves Gold’s shop, Emma stops by the shop to get Gold to help her beat Regina for custody of Henry and listening to August’s comment, Gold does not give her help and forces Emma to have August help her.

In another part of the story, David leaves his work at the animal shelter and sees Regina, conveniently right outside with a broken down car.  As gullible as David is, he helps Regina home with her groceries and after a fake note from Henry, convinces David to stay for, apparently, the only meal she makes, lasagna.

The FTL flashback has the Blue Fairy taking Geppetto, Pinocchio, and Jiminy into the forest where the enchanted tree is.  The Blue Fairy says that the tree will protect 2 people, Charming and a pregnant Snow, but Geppetto asks that Pinocchio take one spot, instead of Charming, because the curse may turn Pinocchio back to wood.  The Blue Fairy agrees to Geppetto’s deal and back at the Fairytale round table from the pilot, she lets Snow and Charming know that only one may go.

At Regina’s house, David finishes their meal and helps do the dishes as Regina tells the completely fake story of how she found David and then tries to kiss him.  Luckily, David turns away and leaves Regina’s house and she then takes her anger out by throwing her wine glass at a mirror.

That story is finished for the episode, as it goes back to FTL as Snow is giving birth.  The Blue Fairy appears to Geppetto saying that Pinocchio can no longer leave because Snow must go when the baby is born.  Instead of telling Snow of the change of plans, Geppetto thinks it is the best idea to have a 7 year old, Pinocchio, be the guardian of a newborn and sends the incredibly sad little face into the wardrobe before the curse hits.

After August decides to tell his story to Emma and they leave Storybrooke, and arrive at a roadside stop, which Emma instantly knows is the place she was found as an infant…and August was the one who brought her to the roadside stop.

We then see little Pinocchio arrive in our world through a tree and is flustered by everything around him.  When he tries to go back, baby Emma arrives and suddenly remembers the deal he made with his father, to look after and remind Emma of her job.  The curse hits and Pinocchio picks up Emma trying to protect her.

In present time, August takes the grown up Emma back to the tree and proves to her that he found her based on her white baby blanket.  Emma, of course, doesn’t believe, but discovers that August put the unfinished Pinocchio story in Henry’s book and August says that the end of that story is actually getting Emma to believe.

As one of my favorite scenes continues, August tries to prove to Emma that the curse is real by showing his wooden leg, but since Emma is in such denial, she does not see that his leg is wooden.  I will give Emma credit that August probably would seem like a crazy person for thinking he has a wooden leg.  August says that Emma has to help everyone in Storybrooke and she responds saying doesn’t want the responsibility of everyone else, only Henry, and walks away from August.

In the past, Pinocchio, now August, is in a foster home with baby Emma, and after the foster dad is mean to August,
another foster kid shows him that he stole money from the parents to run away with a bunch of other kids.  August’s naively asks if he can bring Emma (which is sweet) to keep his father’s promise.  However, August doesn’t want to stay in foster care so he leaves Emma in the foster home.

Present, August goes to Marco’s shop for a sweet father son moment about Marco telling August that he really hasn’t let his father down and August asks to be an assistant at the shop.

In Henry’s room, Emma calls him on the walkie-talkie to meet outside.  In the yellow bug, Emma asks if Henry wants to live with her and when he enthusiastically responds “Yes,” Emma drives off ready to leave Storybrooke with Henry.

OK. Finished another recap, I hope you enjoy because this is another one of my favorite episodes about another one of my favorite characters, August.


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