Before I start, I just want to thank the lovely and talented Tippi Blevins for covering last week's episode. I desperately needed the week off and I got the bonus of laughing my way through her recap too. Thank you, Tippi!
"The Stranger" is one of those... well, strange episodes in that I thoroughly enjoyed it even though I expected it would play out nearly exactly how it did. I'm not disappointed by the lack of surprises, but it leaves me wondering what there is to say about it. Let's find out. You ready? Okay.
Storybrooke, Mary Margaret's Hovel. August installs a medieval looking lock on Mary Margaret's door. They hope it will keep the place Regina-free. Talk turns to Emma's threat that she would take Henry from Regina. Emma reveals she's asking Mr. Gold to help her mount a custody battle. Cautious Mary asks Emma if she's ready to be a mom and smiles when Emma confirms she is. Just then, Henry contacts Emma over his walkie-talkie and summons her to Granny's diner for a Code Red Operation Cobra meeting. August follows Emma out the door and notes that he didn't think Emma believed in Operation Cobra. She doesn't, but it's a way to connect with Henry. August tells Emma she needs to take a day off to look at the big picture and consider if a custody battle against Regina is a wise course to take. He wants to take her somewhere, but admits if he told her where that is she would never come. Emma's pace quickens. From behind, August calls out to her and asks to take a leap of faith. Emma: "My kid needs me. I don't have time for faith." That pretty much sums up every action Emma will take in this episode, although sometimes, you might want to take out "faith" and sub in "think."
Granny's Diner. Henry has chosen this public venue for a private meeting because he's a ten year old boy and he's hungry, which is pretty cute. He shows Emma that someone has changed his book. A Pinocchio story has been added, which is strange enough on its own, but the kicker is that it's unfinished. Henry figures that whoever added it is trying to tell them something new about the curse, but he can't decide what. Emma only indulges this conversation for a minute or so and then tells Henry he's going to be late for school. She is ready to be a mom! As Henry stares at the illustration of a raft sailing stormy seas, we cut to...