Apr 23 2012 11:52am

Once Upon a Time Season 1, Episode 19: Daddy Issues

August Booth aka The Stranger in Once Upon a Time*******SPOILERS*******

After a few weeks without Once Upon a Time, we finally get back to the “who the hell is The Stranger, aka August Booth” storyline. We kick the episode off with August in bed having some sort of a leg spasm, and he twitches so hard he falls out of bed. Alas, that doesn’t knock him out bad enough, so he staggers over to place a call to someone (we never do find out who) and says that the plans need to move faster (again, we still have no idea by the end what the “plans” are).

He ends up meeting up with Henry in hopes they can get Emma to believe that they are all fairy tale characters faster and to get a welcome home gift for Mary Margaret at Mr. Gold’s. Henry walks in and provides a distraction so that August can sneak into Mr. Gold’s backroom to look for something. Too bad he isn’t as stealthy as he thought he was, because Gold catches him. August makes some excuse about thinking that he was in the front of the store and not the back, but Gold is on to him.

(Need to catch up? Check out previous Once Upon a Time recaps: Episode 13 | Episode 14 | Episode 15 |Episode 16 | Episode 17 | Episode 18)

At the hospital, Emma goes to visit Katherine, and Katherine remembers only that she was in a car accident and someone helped her out and then drugged her. No idea who it was.

Mr. Gold in The ReturnMeanwhile, Mr. Gold and Regina are fighting because Gold was supposed to make a tragic accident happen and kill Katherine so that it could be pinned on Mary Margaret. Gold took it to mean just something tragic, not necessarily to kill her. Regina brings up that Gold created the Storybrooke curse, so they should be in this together, and she can’t figure out why he betrayed her. Gold says she’s got to figure some things out for herself.

In a flashback, a kid runs into the road and is hit by a cart and donkey. The driver realizes that it’s Rump’s kid and panics as in waltzes Rump in all his green sweaty skinned glory. His son tells Rump not to worry—he wasn’t hurt—but Rump sees the blood on his son and turns the driver into a snail, then steps on him. Gooey!

Back in the present, David pays a visit to Katherine where he apologizes for everything, she forgives him, the end. Boring!

At Emma and Mary Margaret’s, they are throwing a big old welcome-home bash and everyone but Regina’s been invited…oh, yeah, and David, who gets kicked out by Emma. She isn’t playing, either. Henry gives Mary a card from all her students that says “We’re so glad you didn’t kill Ms. Nolan,” which was probably the only funny part of the entire episode. And Em sends him off with David. Mr. Gold strikes up a convo with Emma and asks who August is, but Em has no idea. He asks if she trusts August and she smacks Gold down with “More than I trust you.” OUCH!

Rumpelstiltskin and son in Once Upon a Time episode 19Flashbacking again to Rump’s son, who refuses to let his dad heal his wound with magic. He says that his dad is different now and asks if there was a way to make him go back to the way he used to be, would he do it? Rump says he would, but that they know the only way for him to go back is with the dagger (no not the BDB) that would kill him. But he agrees and makes a deal with his son that he will go back if the kid can find a way. Maybe this is what August is looking for in the present time? I so wrote that down before watching the rest of the episode! Go Super Detective Nat!

In the present time, we find Mr. Gold breaking into August’s room and checking out his desk. There’s a donkey statue that looks a helluva a lot like Donkey from Shrek. Then he finds a drawing of the sword used to kill Rump. Ruh-roh. He sets off to follow August.

Emma ends up meeting with Sidney about the bug he planted in her office and that’s when she realizes he’s in love with Regina. Could she be any slower on the uptake about this?

Past time again finds a bunch of kids sword fighting in the forest. Rump drops his son off to play with them while he takes care of business. But the kids won’t play with him because of who his father is, so he sits down to watch. A little girl comes to sit with him because she’s not afraid of his father.  She ends up telling him about a being that is more powerful than Rump that can help them save his father. Rump ends up coming back and scares the girl off, which his son explains to him. Turns out the business that Rump had to take care of was killing their maid because she saw the drawing of the dagger meant to kill him. Too bad she was mute, which Rump says doesn’t mean she can’t draw.

In the present again, August is being followed by Gold and he ends up stopping to talk to Mother Superior. After August talks to her, Gold confronts her for information, which she ends up telling him. Turns out August was telling her about his father—he came to town to Storybrooke to find his father after a long separation. All signs are pointing to Gold/Rump as his father.

Rumpelstiltskin’s sonFlashbacking once again, we see Rump’s son in the woods trying to find the being that is bigger than his father. Turns out, that being is the Blue Fairy (Mother Superior’s alter ego). He tells her all about his father, and she says she can send them both to a place without magic. She also says that his son is the only thing keeping him human, so she gives him a magic bean. Insert Jack and the Beanstalk joke here. The bean will save them both: one bean to rule the world. Heh. Rump agrees to try the bean, even though fairy magic will take all his power. Someone’s a bit power hungry, but will he follow through for the sake of his son?

Back to the present, Gold goes to visit Dr. Hopper to talk about what he’s found out about August and how he might be his son. Gold say’s he isn’t sure it’s his son but if it is he did some very bad things that he doesn’t think his son will forgive him for. He actually thinks his son (August) is going to kill him. Archie says all he can do is tell him the truth. Gold ends up meeting with August in the woods and tells him he knows who he is.

Meanwhile, in the past, Rump and his son set out with the magic bean that ends up opening a portal into a different realm. Rump is panicking about it and his son says its time, but Rump chickens out and his son disappears into the portal. Rump starts to scream that he would have gone with him. Epic sad. Too little, too late there, Rump.

Daddy???Present time Storybrooke finds Gold and August talking, Gold telling him that he is so sorry and that he should have gone through the portal with him. Long story short, after a wicked reunion scene (the tears—I cried, damnit) we find out that August is NOT Gold/Rump’s son after they dig up the dagger and August tries to use the enchantment to control Rump. Gold says he knows that he isn’t his son because his son knew there was no magic in this realm. Turns out August is from the other world and he is dying. The Blue Fairy told him about the knife. He says something about “that woman,” but I haven’t the slightest clue who she is… Anyone? Gold ends up letting him live with the words “You’re going to die either way; this way I’ll get something out of it.” Nice one, isn’t he?

In the final past scene, Rump gets the Blue Fairy to show up, and she says there is nothing she can do to reunite him with his son. He figures that he has all the time in the world to come up with a curse that will bring him to his son. The fairy warns him that the curse will hurt this realm, but he doesn’t care.

And in the present, Regina has Sidney confess to Emma about abducting Katherine even though Em knows it was all Regina’s doing. She tells Regina that it is a new ballgame and she’s taking Henry from her.

What did you think? Wasn’t Gold/Rump awesome in this episode? Who do YOU think August is, and who is “that woman”? We’re getting close to the end here, people!


Natasha Carty reviews Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy on her website Wicked Little Pixie and lives in Toronto, Canada, with her cat, Seamus.

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Christopher Morgan
1. cmorgan
I stand by the fact that Gold makes the show. Between him, Henry, and Regina none of the other characters stand a chance.

I did get a little sucked in by the August/Gold father/son deal. I thought it would have been a cool twist. But as soon as Gold thought that it were the case I knew it wasn't meant to be. Can't have anything so obvious a character will pick up on it in good old Storybrooke. And I fear that we aren't done with the stupid Snow/Charming centered episodes...
Tatiana deCarillion
2. decarillion
I'm still on the August-is-Pinocchio bandwagon, especially in light of the preview they showed for the remainder of the season's episodes!

That said, I am still trying to figure out if August's name is an anagram for something else, but not having too much luck on that front LOL

When August was talking with Gold, I thought August referenced, 'the savior' (meaning Emma)--did I hear that correctly?

As to who August was talking with on the phone, I assumed it was Henry--but, by the end of the episode, I was thinking that there is someone else there, helping him--someone we haven't met yet, perhaps?
Darlene Marshall
3. DarleneMarshall
I like the August = Pinnochio theory, but then why is he dying (and twitching)?

Again, I'd watch Robert Carlyle read the Storybrooke phone book at this point, short as it is. He's the finest actor in that cast, and only Regina/EQ comes close to equalling his performance.
4. wsl0612
@decarillion, I too thought it was Henry on the phone with August in the beginning and I still do. Also yes I agree that August referred to Emma as the savior. Isn't that what Henry thinks she is? @darlenemarshall, I think August is Pinocchio and the reason he's dying is that he needs magic to stay a real "boy". Magic doesn't work in our world so he needs to go back. I told my BFF that I think August is slowly turning back into a wooden marionette, hence the spasms. But I'm not sure how he escaped Storybrooke in the first place and can remember who he was/is. Also my BFF told me she read a post on another site that postulates that Henry is the only one in Storybrooke who is aging and that's how he figured out something was up. He probably saw none of his friends were getting older and even though he might have brought it up they all looked at him blankly and then he must have gotten suspicious about something EQ was doing which led him to find the book, etc. I really liked this epsiode.
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