Back in the times of Season 1, aka 2011, August is enjoying his life filled with worldly temptations, until the clock strikes midnight, er, 8:15. As we know, Emma has just arrived in Storybrooke for the first time and the clock has begun to move. The time-binding curse is starting to weaken. And as we also know, this is the time when August, half a world away in Phuket, feels the connection, literally. His leg, although invisible to others, is turning to wood.
Before the wood can spread, August seeks out medical help. But no doctor can help him, until he runs into the answer. The Dragon, a man known for his healing powers, can cure anything. This may be the answer, but as we know (since we know so much already), all magic comes with a price. An irreplaceable object and 10 grand.
While August has a priceless object, he doesn’t have the money. But his luck changes. A woman named Tamara, whom he’d seen visiting the Dragon and claiming to be diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, calls August over to the bar. They share a drink and Tamara, indiscreetly, pays for her drink from a wad of bills. Most like she’s packing $10,000 dollars in her purse.
Since August hasn’t learned his lesson yet, when Tamara gets a phone call and leaves the bar, August can’t help but nab the bills and high-tail it back to the Dragon. The Dragon, a wise Chinese magician, sees through August. He can see that August is turning into wood, but more than that, the Dragon knows that any cure will have to come from within. No magic can cure the heart.
But August just nods and takes the vile of glowing, magical liquid.
Later, Tamara returns to the Dragon and kills him, but not before revealing her desire for magic. She’s been searching everywhere and she finally found it in that vile of liquid. Whatever is in that bottle didn’t come from this land. It’s pure magic.
Mary Margaret overhears from beneath the covers and decides to take some action. She needs some time to think. Alone. In the woods. With just her bow and arrow. But after a few bulls-eye shots, one misses and hits something just beyond the trees. There’s crashing and Mary Margaret bravely chases the sound.
What she finds is a beaten down trailer. Inside is a familiar face, albeit, wooden. August has been camping/hiding out in the woods. He’s let everyone down. He’s not selfless or brave or true. He’s anything but. And look where it’s gotten him. Pretty soon he’ll be solid wood.
Mary Margaret pleads for him to come back to town. Surely there’s an answer. Surely the Blue Fairy could give him a second chance. Everyone deserves a second chance, no matter what they’ve done. Right? But August refuses. Mary Margaret wouldn’t understand. She couldn’t. She’s Snow White for crying out loud. Her heart is pure.
While Mary Margaret doesn’t share her recently sordid actions, she finally leaves August to his grief. But she doesn’t stop trying to find the answer.
Meanwhile, Neal has some news for Emma. That fiancé he has back in New York, well she’s on her way to Storybrooke. Right now. As in, she should be here any minute.
Rightfully shocked, Emma tells Neal that if she’s coming here, then Neal better be able to tell the fiancé who he really is. When the fiancé shows up, Emma, Neal, Henry, and the fiancé all share some nice bagels. The fiancé shares with Emma how Neal and she met. It’s a funny story really. She ran into him, spilled some coffee on her blouse, Neal offered his scarf to cover of the damage, and voila! The rest is history. Or is it?
Emma just smiles and excuses herself from the awkward moment, taking Henry with her. This is Neal’s chance to reveal himself. But the fiancé thinks he’s crazy. She stomps off. When Neal’s ready to tell her the truth, no some fairy tale, then she’ll listen. But maybe it would be better if they just took some time off.
What Neal doesn’t know, is where the fiancé goes next or that she’s not who she’s claimed to be. Her name is Tamara. And she’s in town searching for something of great value but always comes with a price.
Tamara invites herself in and reveals her true nature for being in Storybrooke. She wants magic and she plans to get it. But August can’t be here. After what he did to her back in Hong Kong, well, let’s just say that August owes her. That vile that the Dragon gave away, she didn’t use it. She never had cancer. It’s in her apartment in New York. August can leave and go get it. But once he leaves, he can’t ever come back.
August doesn’t want to leave, but he doesn’t want to be wooden either. So he takes the bribe and her car and hits the road. But just outside Storybrooke, a small picture falls out of the car visor. It’s a picture of Tamara and her grandmother. Putting two and two together, August makes a U-turn and races back to save the town from Tamara.
His first call is to Emma, who’s in the woods tracking down his trailer. But his warning isn’t fast enough. Tamara’s on his tail and has cut the lines. While August tries to live up to his better nature, Tamara has other plans. Whipping out her Taser, Tamara shocks August into near unconsciousness.
In the woods, while tracking down August’s trailer, Marco reveals that the wardrobe that he made could have held two, but he made the Blue Fairy tell Snow White there was only enough magic for one. Snow White could have gone with Emma, but he wanted to save his boy.
Mary Margaret punches Marco, who tried to apologize. Mary Margaret’s shocked by her actions and tries to apologize, but Marco takes the blame. He deserved it after what he did.
Henry remarks that August’s last actions prove that he was trying to be selfless, brave, and true. If so, then the Blue Fairy can turn him back to a real boy. When she does, the wooden August transforms into the little-boy Pinocchio. A young boy without memories of what just transpired or who he was trying to warn them against.
And just as the transformation took place, Tamara had appeared. Sweetly, she apologizes to Neal and the two decide to stick it out.
David assures her that she can redeem herself. He knows because he knows her true heart. And it isn’t black. It can’t be. She’s Snow White.
Meanwhile, Regina confronted Greg Mendel. There was just something about him that was familiar to her. It wasn’t until she remembered the plastic key chain that it came to her. Greg is Owen. And he’s searching for his father. But too bad because his father isn’t here anymore. He left…or disappeared…soon after Owen left.
Owen isn’t satisfied. He won’t leave until he finds his father. No matter what threats Regina sends his way. And what’s more, is the mysterious caller “Her” is here. Just outside his Bed and Breakfast door.
Greg smiles as he opens the door to his cohort and lover. She’s none other than…
1) Can Mary Margaret’s heart turn pure again?
2) Where is Owen’s father? Did he really just “disappear?”
3) What is Tamara’s and Owen’s end game? What will they do with the magic? Does Owen really know who Tamara is?
4) Who else is excited for Robin Hood?!
Come back in 3 weeks to see an hours-worth of Once Upon a Time Behind the Scene footage on ABC—April 14 at 8/7c. And then on April 21, an all-new Once Upon a Time.
The countdown is on for Season 2’s finale!