I'll be standing in for your regular recapper this week and, boy, what a week it is. Evil plots are coming to light and motives are becoming clearer. Here are the basics until the full recap:
In Storybrooke, Mr. Gold grows increasingly suspicious of August's true identity and reason for coming to town, especially after he finds August snooping around his office. August lies (badly) about mistaking Gold's office for part of the shop, so Gold does a little snooping of his own. He finds a drawing of the Rumpel killin dagger among August's belongings and realizes who the mysterious stranger might really be. In a scene that's a little bit funny and a little bit sad, Gold pours out his heart to Archie. August, he believes, is his long-lost son. He's come to town to kill his father.
Flashbacks to Fairy Tale Land make this seem pretty likely. As Rumpelstiltskin's magical prowess grows, so does his son Baelfire's fear that he's losing his father. Rumpy kills a man he thinks has caused Bae to hurt himself, even as Bae pleads with his father for mercy. Bae begs his father to give up magic. Bae strikes a deal with him: If he can find a way for his father to safely rid himself of the magic, then they'll go back to their normal lives. Rumpy, feeling quite confident that such a thing is impossible, shakes on it.
Bae eventually finds the only thing powerful enough to grant his wish. It's the Blue Fairy, and she gives him the last magical bean in existence. While it won't rid Rumpy of his magic, it will take them to a place where magic doesn't exist. Bae's excitement is short-lived, however, as he tosses the bean to the ground and his father refuses to follow him into the resulting interdimensional vortex to Mundanesville. Bae realizes his father has betrayed him by going back on their deal. It's his last thought as he and the vortex disappear. Rumpy immediately regrets his decision and begs the Blue Fairy to let him be with his son. Alas, without any more magic beans, the only way to get to the magic-free world is to work some crazy huge magic and Rumpy isn't powerful enough. Yet. So all his myriad machinations and deal with the Queen were to get him into a position to create Storybrooke. That is one helluva long con.
Back in Storybrooke, Gold confronts August and begs for his forgiveness. They have a tearful reunion and decide to dig up the Rumpelskillin' dagger together. He asks his son to destroy the dagger, but August tries to use it to gain magical power over him. That's when Gold realizes August isn't really his son, and is also maybe not super bright, since he should have realized magic doesn't work here. Gold threatens to kill him, but August confesses he's dying already. Gold lets him live because it suits his plans.
In other Storybrooke news, the townsfolk are glad Mary Margaret has turned out not to be a murderer. David tries to apologize for not believing in her, but she's not having it. Emma finally starts catching on to Sidney and Regina's plans. Maybe there is a little magic in town, after all. Stay tuned for the full recap.
Morning dawns on Storybrooke. August, sleeping in his bed, is suddenly overtaken by a terrible case of Restless Leg Syndrome. He wakes up, grabs his twitching legs and then flops out of bed and onto the floor. He stumbles over to the phone and dials. "Hey, are you there?" he asks. The mysterious recipient of his call apparently answers in the affirmative. "This is taking too long," August goes on. "We need to accelerate the plan."
Next thing you know, he's lurking behind a stack of building materials somewhere in town. "It's almost 9," he says to someone just out of frame. "You all set? You know what to do?" He looks down -- way down -- at the co-conspirator he's summoned for this meeting. It's little Henry Mills and he's thrilled to be embarking on the next phase of Operation Cobra. But he's a little confused: "I don't understand what this has to with getting Emma to believe." August explains that other priorities have "asserted themselves." Henry, despite being almost annoyingly curious most of the time, doesn't push the issue. "Can you handle a little improvisation?" August asks him. "Sure, can you?" Henry asks right back. When they're done with Operation, they can join the Groundlings.
Henry scampers across the street toward Mr. Gold's shop while August heads for the back entrance. Inside, Henry greets Mr. Gold cheerfully. He improvs that he'd like to get Miss Blanchard a gift since she's not a murderer and all. Mr. Gold seems a little charmed by this. While the two are discussing gift options (including a bell that Henry finds shockingly expensive), August sneaks his way into Gold's office. He's not terribly good at being sneaky and clomps around in his heavy boots while perusing the shelves of dusty miscellanea. Mr. Gold and several deaf people two states over hear him. "May I help you?" Gold asks, regarding the intruder with more than a little suspicion. August improvs that he's looking for some maps and didn't realize he'd taken the office entrance. Gold doesn't believe him in the least, but politely directs him toward the shop proper.
Storybrooke General Hospital. Dr. Whale is at Kathryn's bedside when Emma comes in to ask her a few questions. Kathryn remembers being in the car accident, the airbags going off and then waking up in a basement somewhere. She guesses she was drugged, which Dr. Whale confirms. She says she woke up at the edge of town and started walking. Emma asks her if she heard a voice, or remembers a perfume or cologne. It's all a blank. Kathryn has a question of her own, about why everyone thought she was dead. Emma tells her about the heart and the DNA match and Kathryn's resulting "WTF?" face is really awesome. Dr. Whale assures them that they're questioning everyone in the lab to find out who doctored the DNA test. Emma explains that someone was trying to frame Mary Margaret. "Who would do something like that?" Kathryn asks. Dramatic music plays. Emma and Dr. Whale exchange serious looks.