‘Once Upon a Time’ Recap (Season 1, Episode 20): The Liar, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
This week on Once Upon a Time, Pinocchio tells the truth.
So remember all those weeks ago when August stole Henry’s book, added a new story and then returned it to him? Well, Henry’s finally realized that the story of Pinocchio has been added to the book. As he speculates with Emma about how the story got there, he notices that the ending is missing.
In flashback, we see Geppetto and Pinocchio on a raft in the ocean just before getting swallowed by the whale. We next see them washed up on the shore, but when Geppetto sees Pinnocchio, he realizes that his wooden son has perished. The Blue fairy arrives to save Pinnocchio by turning him into a real boy, warning that he will only remain a real boy as long as he can be brave, truthful and unselfish.
Are we putting two and two together yet? August is Pinocchio, and his “sickness” is that he’s slowly turning back into wood, which is why he’s made it his mission to make Emma believe in the curse. Emma’s going to Mr. Gold for advice on how to get Henry away from Regina, but knowing of August’s plans, Gold refuses to help, driving Emma to August for assistance–just as August wanted. But Gold’s also taunting August a bit–when Aug comes by his shop, he has Marco (ie, Geppetto) there fixing a clock. Guess he’s figured out who August is.
In flashback, Pinocchio is helping Geppetto fix the very same clock, when the Blue Fairy shows up with bad news about the Queen’s curse. As you’ll recall from the pilot, her plan is for Geppetto to build a magic wardrobe out of an enchanted tree to save Snow White and Prince Charming. Geppetto’s concerned, however, that since the curse removes all magic, it will turn Pinocchio back into wood, and insists that Pinocchio be allowed to take one of the two spots–they’ll have to lie and say there’s only room for Snow. The Blue Fairy agrees and the plan goes into motion.
So in the present day, Regina goes to see Mary Margaret on her first day back at school. MM obnoxiously forgives her (that bitch!), and Regina tell’s Henry that he’s going to have her transferred out of MM’s class. Henry all but flips the bird at his mom and storms off. So to take revenge on Mary Margaret, Regina tries to seduce David: her car conveniently breaks down across the street from his, so he gives her a ride home, then she convinces him to stay for dinner. David says her lasagna is so good it’s like magic (HA! GET IT?) and then he even helps with the dishes. She tells him the story of how she found him in the woods and then tries to make out with him. But he backs away and leaves! Then there’s a long shot of Regina with a glass in hand stating at a mirror and it’s obvious she’s going to throw it at the mirror and she does.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Geppetto finishes the magic wardrobe, but the Blue Fairy tells him the plan’s changed: Snow’s giving birth to Emm early, so she’ll be needing both spots in the wardrobe: Snow will need to accompany Emma to guide and inspire her–and crucially, make sure she believes in the curse at the right time. After the Blue Fairy leaves, Geppetto says “screw that” and tells Pinocchio that it’ll be his job to do that for Emma. Jiminy Cricket reminds Pinocchio to be brave, truthful, and unselfish, and they send Pinocchio through the cabinet. He arrives in the “real” world just ahead of Emma and carries her to a safety, but then it’s not long before he forgets his promise to Gepetto and runs away from the foster home, leaving baby Emma behind.
So in the present, August brings Emma back to the tree where they first materialized in this world, and tells her that he was the little boy who found her as a baby, and that he’s Pinnocchio. Emma decides he’s crazy and realizes he’s the one who added the story to Henry’s book. When she asked him why he never finished it, he says the story’s not over until she believes. He even shows her that his leg is turning to wood, and tells her that the process first started at the exact moment she decided to stay in Storybrooke, but she can’t see the wood–it’s just a leg when seen through her eyes. Emma freaks out about the fact that he wants to put the burden of saving everyone on her and then storms off.
After this failed attempt, August goes by Marco’s shop and tells him how to fix the clock, and offers his services as an unpaid apprentice. Meanwhile, Emma visits Henry in the night and offers him the chance to leave Storybrooke with her.
Not quite as strong as last week’s episode, although the explanation of August’s origins is pretty well appreciated and does make a lot of sense. Also it was good to finally see Geppetto again–it was odd how quickly he disappeared from the show, given how important he was to its premise, so it makes sense to have him around again now that the season’s coming to an end.
Emma kidnapping Henry is as bit of a strange move at this point, but it makes me wonder whether she’s really acting out of desperation or if she has some kind of plan. Leaving Storybrooke is a significant thing in this show, since Emma and Henry seem to be among the only people who are capable of doing it–I wonder whether Emma’s really starting to believe, and perhaps she realizes that if she can remove Henry from Storybrooke, Regina won’t be able to pursue her? We’ll have to wait and see–not long ’til the end now.
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