Poll and discussion: Episode 20 “The Stranger”


My initial thoughts and comments after the jump (spoilers if you haven’t yet seen the episode). Please chime in with your comments.

So August was Pinocchio after all. I would have rather he had turned out to be Bae or Henry’s father, but I can live with him being Pinocchio. And maybe — I say, clinging onto my highly improbable theory — he still could be Henry’s father! Though Henry’s father is probably (the real) Bae.

Question: Why won’t August tell his father who he really is? I understand that he is ashamed of deserting Emma as a child, but Geppetto said he could forgive a son of his who was trying to make amends.

Regina coming on to David was pretty funny. If she still had her magic powers, I think she would have turned him into a frog on the spot after he said no. Question: Why do you think she was trying to seduce him? Is it because she really needs a new lover after killing off her old one? Or is she trying to drive a new, deeper wedge between David and Mary Margaret, now that Katherine is not standing between them? Or is it both?

How far do you think Emma is going to get on her way out of town?

I think Emma now probably does believe, on some level, that what August and Henry’s book say are true — but she just can’t deal with the responsibility of being the savior. Do you think she will come around some time this season (not much time left — only two more episodes)?

You think David will tell Mary M that Regina tried to seduce him?

50 responses to “Poll and discussion: Episode 20 “The Stranger”

  1. I’m glad that MM and David finally got some backbone. I almost expected David to give in to Regina. In Storybrooke he seems to have a deer stuck in headlights type of personality. If David knows whats good for him he should tell MM. It might help him on his path to redemption. I think Emma is being rash and from seeing the preview I hope it doesn’t come back to bite her and end up hurting Henry. I really wanted Emma to believe, but if she did all willy nilly then there wouldn’t be anywhere for the story to go. Loved tonight’s episode.

  2. I actually think Emma believes less. And thinks that August is a sociopath.
    I wanted August to be Bae, and I really don’t like that he’s Pinocchio. But they did a nice job with it. I’m rooting for Bae being Henry’s dad.
    I think Regina wanted to seduce David to ruin him and MM. That’s just how she rolls.
    I remember reading something about *itty bitty spoiler* Emma not believing this season *end of itty bitty spoiler* but I could be wrong.
    Her running of with Henry was really dumb. I mean, like, Mary M-running-away-from-jail DUMB. I guess bad decision making runs in the family. David, Mary M, now Emma.

  3. Also, anyone else catch those LOST shout outs?
    The plane, the time being 8:15, which we’d already seen before, and the smoke monster when they flashed back to the pilot? Nice :)

  4. I loved this episode! I really like MM’s talk with Regina.
    I originally thought that Regina was just lonely and sad after hearing MM’s little speech, but at that part where Regina and David were in her house and she picked up the note from Henry, wasn’t it blank? I didn’t understand that part. If it was blank, then I think she was trying to seduce him, but then where was he?
    I kinda hoped Emma would believe, but I guess it does help prolong the story. Her decision to run away with Henry is definitely not gonna work out well.

    • Regina wrote the note in a child’s handwriting and planned the entire car trouble thing which is why the note was empty inside. After losing the frame job she is already trying a new plan to make mm miserable- this time by seducing david. She is a psyco. If David kissed Regina in that scene I would stop watching this show.

  5. Once always has me on the edge of my seat. I love how the writers contrast real life with fairytale and how both are intertwined but remain separate. I absolutely loved the “kill her with kindness” monologue from MM to Regina & Henry to Regina – The fact that she is no longer getting way with doing whatever she wants to whomever she wants is great! They’ve lived 28yrs in fear of her enough already! Also, I was starting to get really annoyed every week with her constant bullying.

    August is not Henry’s dad – he purposely left and resided half way around the world – he told us that tonight – also, earlier episodes Emma spoke about Henry’s dad being some guy she got mixed up with.

    When August spoke with Gepetto in the driveway – he told him “if I had a son” this implies to me that he knows he never COULD or HAD a son. How would August explain, who his mother was, he if said “I’m your son” he couldn’t very well tell him – you made me out of would – he’d think he was crazy – and become distant

    Regina is relentless in trying to fill the void that her mother left her by taking her true love away from her. Though Snow was a child, she broke a promise which is what shaped Regina to who she is today.

    • August was living a self-centered selfish life…he could have gone back just check on her…saw her beauty and things got complicated. Then he really felt guilty!
      So I think I’ll believe August is Henry’s father until otherwise proven.
      And while I’m at it somehow he is also Bae!
      I like living in my own little world. Lol

      • Ha ha — that’s how I think — I wish August could be Henry’s father and Bae — even though I know I have to accept that he’s not going to be either of those things.

        • Here’s what I think:

          August is Pinocchio. He was 7 when Emma was born, and they both came to the World Of No Magic (aka “here”) at the same time. Bae came to the the World Of No Magic a little before either of them, possibly but not necessarily in the same place. But he was 13 when he left, so: 6 years older than Pinocchio/August and 13 years older than Emma. August/Pinocchio may have shirked his duty as the Saviour’s Protector, but he never forgot his past. For 28 years, he knew he was still Pinocchio. I’m sure Bae would always remember where he came from, and who he was, too.

          I think Bae is Henry’s father. He probably doesn’t know there are any other people from Fairy Tale Land in his world, and Bae and Emma probably hooked up completely by coincidence (as much as anything is ever coincidental in the Lost/OUaT universe).

          But think about the repercussions of this. If Bae is Henry’s father, that makes Henry Mr. Gold/Rumplestilskin’s grandson. And with Henry as his grandson, that’s going to put Mr. Gold/Rumple firmly against Regina when the time comes to really pick sides.

          Mr. Gold also becomes far more motivated to help Emma get Henry away from Regina. And Mr. Gold knows who both Emma and Regina are…

          • Since mr gold seems to always be a few steps ahead of everyone, maybe he already knows that Henry is his grandson- and why mr gold convinced Regina to adopt Henry. If not, he arranged Henry’s adoption to bring Emma into SB to take down Regina.

  6. Amazing episode. At this point I think Henry is the person who can get Emma to believe. She probably thinks August is crazy and you really can’t blame her given the way he’s been behaving. I think Geppetto acted rather selfishly in insisting that he would only make the wardrobe if his son could be saved. If Emma did buy August’s story she could very well blame him for the fact that she was raised in foster homes as it was his father’s fault that she escaped FTL without her mother. I think Regina, more than anything, wants to drive a wedge between Mary Margaret and David and I’m glad David didn’t give in to her. As far as telling Mary Margaret what happened—–she and David aren’t communicating all that well at the moment and I’d hope that Mary Margaret would first tell him that Regina was the one who framed her, then Regina’s actions might make more sense to him and he could start to put two and two together. Next week’s episode looks even more amazing. Can’t wait!

  7. If there is no magic in our world why should August turn back to wood. As a matter of fact then everything that Mr Gold and Regina have done has been by their own wits unaided by anything supernatural. Also I don’t understand why Regina obeys Mr Gold when he says please if there is no magic. I know it was a feature built into the curse by Rumple, but logically it shouldn’t matter. To execute the feature one would think there would have to be magic. Similarly as Mr Gold pointed out to August in “The Return” that the knife couldn’t harness any magic to control him because there was no magic in our world to do that.

    No magic means everyone in Storybrooke is on a level playing field.

    The question we all should be pondering is if there is no magic here then how will Emma break the curse? Maybe the writers can clarify that better.

    Are there other characters such as Jefferson that remember? I can see a possible weekly secret meeting of those who do. )) As a mob maybe the killing of Regina destroys the curse. Not sure why that would do it. I guess we don’t know what back doors Rumple has possibly created for this curse, once again it seems like the need for magic would be required to make them work.

    Some things to think about…

    • It does seem like there must be some magic in SB. In addition to the things you mentioned (August’s leg turning to wood, the power of Rumple’s “please”) there was also the way that Regina killed Graham by squeezing his heart — and the way she was able to keep her heart-in-a-box collection in the first place. Also, the way that no one can leave SB without something bad happening to them. What enforces that, if not magic?

      • Good point! I guess the knifes inability to harness magic threw me off.

        • Of course…Rumple/Mr. Gold COULD have been bluffing about the knife having no power. I wouldn’t be surprised if it did have power in this world; otherwise, why would he guard it so carefully? But of course he’s going to tell Pinocchio/August that it doesn’t have any power…wouldn’t you?

    • The reason why August is turningback into wood is because there is no magic in the real world. You have to remember that he was made of wood so if there is no magic than it makes sense the he can longer be a “real boy”.

      • The Blue Fairy warned Pinocchio to be brave truthful and unselfish and he would always be a boy or human. Him abandoning Emma as a baby and not being in Storybrooke when she arrived with Henry to convince her that the curse was real is what started him down the road to destruction by turning himself back into wood.

  8. My guess is that Rumplstiltskin/ Mr. Gold’s son is Henry’s father. He got sent to this world, but hasn’t yet shown up. He’s gotta be tied in somewhere…

  9. Why won’t August tell his father who he really is?
    One of two reasons, I think: first, it would hurt too much if his father didn’t believe him, thought he was crazy and second, because he can’t make his father believe him – only Emma can break the curse.

    I really hated him being Pinocchio – felt like it changed the story in the Pilot, and it rehashes Snow and Charming not getting to raise their kid, and he looks nothing like child Pinocchio.

    Loved Henry lighting into Regina with the “good will win” and “of course, you’re the Evil Queen” bits. I love that kid.

    Mary Margaret’s speech to Regina was lovely. So very true. But it’s a bit of a repeat of both what she wrote in her note when the Huntsman was supposed to kill her and what everyone told Regina before she enacted the curse (it won’t make her happy, leaves emptiness, etc.)

    Someone should have told David Regina framed Mary Margaret and was partially responsible for Kathryn’s disappearance.

    I really hope Bae isn’t Henry’s father: I liked Bae, and Henry’s father is supposed to be not a good guy.

    • Bae is supposed to be “not a good guy,” but of course, that’s according to Emma. He could be “not a good guy” because he ran off and left her, for all we know.

      Also, Bae might believe that he himself is “bad” because of who his father is…

      I like the idea of Bae being Henry’s father, because that makes Rumple/Mr. Gold Henry’s grandfather…and THAT gives him quite a stake in the Emma vs Regina custody battle…

  10. I liked what Henry says to Regina… “Good will win!” (Goodwin?)

  11. I hate Emma. What is it going to take to make her believe something? Henry, Hatter and August tried to tell her. She’s beginning to irritate me. Also, did anybody else notice Geppetto getting choked up when he was talking about his son?

    Love the show, but it’s just keeps bringing us back to square one. Which is nowhere.

    • *when he was talking about a son in the garage with August*

    • Emma is my second favorite character.
      I feel like she’s not always a good decision maker, or judge of character, but she always gets where she needs to be (with some assistance from Gold), like when she became Sheriff and all that.
      You’re saying we always come back to square one, but I think we’re just moving forward in a more subtle way.

  12. I agree with Believers ideas about the curse. The conditions of the curse are becoming blurry. The SB community is already breaking away from the Regina regime, but when the curse is finally defeated will they all flash travel to FTL? or live out their lives in this world? There must be some magic in SB because Regina was able to kill the huntsman by crushing his heart in that vault, and when Emma and him kissed they flashed memories of FTL and so did MM & David when they first kissed. Not being able to leave SB is also evidence of a curse/ magic. How is the curse broken? Does Emma have to kill Regina? That would mean Emma takes over Regina’s evilness. I wonder how far out of SB Emma and Henry will get, and how it will effect the situation of the curse, August’s wood problem, and the parental/ legal issues of kidnapping Henry. Emma is a fugitive outlaw now. Must run in the family. I hope Henry can knock some sense into her, like how Emma did for MM.

  13. Wow I can’t believe it. It makes scence that august it Pinnocio because remember he said he was sick in the last episode. I think August won’t tell his dad that he is Pinnocio because he is slowly turning into wood and figures he will die anyways. That will make Geppetto even more saddened because he loves his son very much. I’m rooting for Bae being Henry’s father because remember he fell into the land without magic in ” The Return”? I also can’t wait to see the next episode to find out how far Emma and Henry can go, etc. There’s only 2 more episodes left and it’s making me nervous!!

    • Running is no way to settle a custody battle. Emma will end up in jail and Regina will have the upper hand again. I’m sure Henry will change her mind or maybe August will block to road leading out of town with his bike causing her to crash.

  14. Ok did Emma not say that Henerys father is dead? Cause I’m pretty sure she did. Also it would be nice if the dad was Bae but if that is true then he would be dead if I am remembering correctly. No way that August is the dad now that it is revealed who he is.

    • Emma told Henry that his father was a firefighter who died so he could think his father was a hero…later that episode she told Mary Margaret that it was a lie and Henry’s father wasn’t a nice guy.

  15. How did Henry get into Storybrook??

  16. I agree w/ the theories that there must be SOME magic in SB in order for Regina to crush the heart, the curse to ‘stick’, etc. Maybe it’s ‘residual’ magic? Magic that is so powerful that it can ‘hold it’s own’, but new magic can’t be created? Just spit-balling there.
    I also agree Bae could be Henry’s Dad. If he was 14 when he left FTL, he would be 14yrs older than Emma. If Emma had Henry at 18, Bae would have been 32. Now that Emma is 28, Bae would be 42. Of course this is all relative and speculative. Bae used a different mode of transport to get to our world, so he could have got here later — or sooner….who knows how that time/space thing works. LOL

    Still wondering who August was on the phone w/ in the last episode. Some people say Bae. I personally think it could be Bae or the Blue Fairy. Remember when Gold had August up against the tree and Gold wanted to know how August knew about Bae/the knife etc? August replied “A little fairy told me!” So, the Blue Fairy told August/Pinocchio that whole story. The question is…WHEN did she tell him that story? Did she tell him in FTL or SB? There was a part in this episode when the Blue Fairy told Gepetto she had to “prepare” for the curse. Prepare for what??? The Blue Fairy also knew about the whole 28 -years-to-break-the-curse thing. Like she knew as much as Rumple did. Maybe Mother Superior/Blue Fairy knows who she is in SB? She was, of course, very powerful. Maybe she is biding her time and keeping her mouth shut so nobody suspects she knows anything? Maybe waiting for Emma to work a little magic and things to come together a little? Jefferson seems to think Emma brought some magic to this world. Anybody else think Mother Superior might know who she really is?

  17. Mind In Disguise

    #1. The curse won’t end until Gold/Rumple finds his son. After all its the reason he made the curse.

    #2. Henry’s father isn’t dead. I believe she told Henry that rather than tell him the truth because she thinks its better than Henry knowing the truth.

    I can definitely see Season 2 involving Emma starting to believe, and secret meetings with Hatter, Pinocchio, Emma, Henry, and Gold to plot an overthrow of Regina. Gold will play that like a fiddle, sometimes helping and sometimes hindering, because his (Gold’s) goals aren’t yet met and also because he wants an ultimate Rumple like power in this world.

    I don’t see Henry’s dad (no doubt Bae) getting into the picture until at least season 3 or beyond. And while Emma is the only one that can break the curse, Gold won’t allow it until he has found Bae. In fact, it might be that overthrowing Regina won’t break the curse… but rather will require killing Rumplestiltskin instead. And Gold + Bae may work to prevent it.

    Gold won’t want to go back to FTL as anything other than Rumple, and Bae won’t want to go back to FTL land at all. That should make for some interesting twists and plots taking place as all that plays out.

    Here’s I believe it will all go, through the course of several seasons. In the near future will be more character introduction. Then Henry and the meeting group (mentioned above) working on convincing each character who they are. The series can soak up a lot of time doing that. Then they go onto to trying to overthrow Regina only to find out nothing takes them back home. Then Bae enters the picture… the group figures out what needs to happen to actually go home, and both Gold and Bae try to prevent it. Probably Regina gets involved to try and facilitate it so she can get her power back…

    Truly the curse itself is already broken.

    • I like these points…. The curse is broken in a sense that magic cannot be created anymore, however they are still stuck in SB like prisoners without their memories or knowledge of truth. What do they need Emma for then? Why is she always being called the savior to defeat the EQ? Is it only she needed to move in and stirr up some logic with the local, or is there something more that she has to do? I think there is more to it- unless this is a 1 season show. If they drag out the show with too many backstories people are going to watch something else. I know I will. I am expecting a huge twist or reveal for the finale.

    • I like your thoughts

  18. Why did August build that albatross contraption of a lock for MaryMargaret’s front door. Can’t they just go down to the HomeDepot and buy another lock? Surely Regina doesn’t have skeleton keys for all Craftsman deadbolts! :)
    Also, doesn’t anybody in SB have a TV? Can’t they tell their cars from 1984 are out of date and they need to buy new ones? That must be some powerful curse to keep cars in good shape that long. No wonder Regina’s battery died. :)

  19. Well, in regard to Pinocchio and Geppetto: Geppetto told Pinocchio ” You will find me again, and on that day I will look at you with pride. You will be a great man, my son.” So it is peculiar that Geppetto did not recognize him. I wonder if it is because August did not watch over Emma, so his father did not recognize him. Either that, or Emma has to believe before Geppetto recognizes him?

    Also, I do believe that Emma told Henry that his father was dead because she did not want him going out looking for him. I do believe Mr. Gold’s son will be shown to be Henry’s father. He may have been a good person in FTL, but may have been disillusioned by the fact that his father would not come with him and chose to remain in FTL, rather than give up the power. So we may find that his son may have made some bad choices once he got to our land due to feelings of abandonment. IDK, We’ll find out…

  20. I loved this episode. I found myself getting frusterated with Emma, but I can’t blame her for the thick wall she’s put up. EVERYBODY has flaked/ditched her since she was literally a baby. August was merely the first. Then the next time happened when she was three. God only knows what else happened to her. For all we know, she suffered childhood abuse of some type. Since she’s come to SB, she’s been shown kindness and friendship, but that doesn’t make up for 28 years of the other automatically. I’d be disappointed if she just “magically” did a 180.

    August is responsible for a lot of this. If he’d watched over her, I’m not saying she never would have suffered, but he would have been a light in the dark. Heck, he didn’t even come look for her when he was eighteen or she was eighteen.

    As for running off with Henry, she’s not thinking straight. August’s little show brought up 28 years of pain for her, and she’s just reacting. Her default position is to run away (no wonder) and she’s just blacksliding. That’s normal. Hopefully, Henry can get through to her without anyone getting hurt.

  21. I don’t blame Emma for taking off. She’s seen Regina frame Mary Margaret, she’s seen her do a whole lot of crazy shit and finds herself losing evert time! She probably thinks that running away from Storybrooke will be the only real solution. She might even discover some more truths about what August has been telling her once she is away. As much as it KILLS Me, I am glad that Emma just doesn’t say oh yeah August I believe so where is my sword to fight off the Queen. It gives a bit of realism into how she is having a hard time believing. I don’t blame her even though it still drives me MAD!

  22. i think august didn’t tell ‘geppetto’ who he is because in my opinion, not everyone in storybrook realizes who they really are. most of them, as we’ve seen in snow and charming, are going to need to be convinced right along with emma. i bet only regina, gold, sidney, and now august know the real story.

    • Sidney doesn’t know who he really is. He’s whipped by Regina. He’s in love with her and can’t remember why. There fore he is easily manipulated by Regina.

    • Actually Jefferson knew who he was. I wonder what happened to him when he fell out the window.;)

What do you think?