Storybrooke: August is Pinocchio and spends his time trying to prove to Emma that she is the savior, but she can't even deal, because she's spending her time prepping for a custody battle, or a kidnapping. Whichever. For the sake of all the Enchanted Forestians, I sure hope it's not her judgment that is supposed to save them. August goes so far as to take Emma to the spot where he "found" her, when they were transported from the Enchanted Forest to Our World. He also shows her how he's starting to revert to his not-as-real boy wooden self, but Emma is so deep in denial that she cannot see it. She doesn't want to be the savior and tells August that if she is, everyone is screwed. Meanwhile, Regina puts the moves on David and even cooks him lasagna, but he's a two-woman man, and she's not one of his two.
Enchanted Forest: August is Pinocchio. Yeah, that's about it. Well, there is a little more. When the Blue Fairy commissions the Savior-saving wardrobe from Geppetto, she means it to save two people. Geppetto's down with that, provided his recently real real-boy son is one of those two. Blue resists at first, but finally agrees. And then she basically lies to Snow and Charming's war council that it can only save one. I'm glad none of her body parts grow when she forsakes the truth. I mean, how much strain can one corset withstand, even if it's magical?
I'll be back with the whole story, in the full recap. In the meantime, please grade the episode at the top of the page and then come on over to the forum, where there are no strings on me.
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...
Enchanted Forest, Stormy Sea, Night. Geppetto and a still wooden Pinocchio are on a raft that is no match for the waves. Geppetto wants Pinocchio to take the life preserver. Pinocchio points out that since he's wooden, he'll float. He insists his father take it. Geppetto refuses to risk losing his little toy son, so Pinocchio jumps off the raft and into the sea. As Monstro the whale swims up behind the raft -- mouth open wider than a chewing toddler's, we cut to...