We are one episode away from the end of the first season of “Once Upon a Time,” everyone! This week’s episode, “The Stranger,” does one thing very successfully–stretching Emma’s “I don’t believe anything” storyline.

Sure, this show has done it before, such as in the Mad Hatter episode, and to be frank, it has to in order for the show to have several seasons as well as have Emma have realistic reactions and thoughts about the whole idea of Storybrooke/Fairy Tale Land. But I just hope she starts believing in fairy tales soon, because otherwise, August is going to die.

Speaking of August, he’s the guy who kinda caused all of Emma’s denial–he promised his father Geppetto that he’d look after her. That’s right–August is Pinocchio! How he got the name August is still a mystery, but that’s not really the aim of the show, I guess. What is the aim of the show is revealing how Pinocchio became August.

In Fairy Tale Land, Geppetto and Pinocchio, who is carved from an enchanted tree, are in perilous waters, trying to get away from a whale. Pinocchio sacrifices himself to save his father, and to reward Pinocchio’s bravery, the Blue Fairy turns him into a real boy. As with all magic, there are rules–if he behaves and always tells the truth, he will stay a real boy.

Later on (a few months later, perhaps), news spreads of the Evil Queen’s plan to send everyone into a world without magic. The Blue Fairy asks Geppetto to build the magic wardrobe in order to send Snow White and Emma to our world, where Snow will groom her into becoming the Savior. However, Geppetto is adamant that Pinocchio be the one to go–no one knows what will happen to Pinocchio once the curse happens, and Geppetto wants Pinocchio to be safe. The Blue Fairy basically has no other options and has to agree to Geppetto’s plan, but when Jiminy Cricket tries to talk Geppetto out of it, Geppetto gets mad, saying that he took away his parents (if you recall, when Jiminy was a man, he helped his parents turn a little boy’s parents into wooden dolls–Geppetto was that kid).

Geppetto’s final instructions to Pinocchio are to protect Emma and see that she grows up to know of the magical world so she can do her job as the Savior. However, once in the real world, he’s faced with temptation and instead of resisting, he gives in and leaves Emma alone. It’s only 28 years later–the time when Emma is supposed to be charged with being the Savior–that August realizes that he’s gotta get back onto his job, but it might be too late since 1) he’s already turning back into wood and 2) he might be too late to convice Emma that the magical world is real.

Meanwhile, all of Regina’s plans are falling in on themselves and people like Henry and Mary Margaret are standing up to her. Regina’s plan to seduce David even backfires. Hooray!

We’ll see what happens during the season finale!

(Photo credit: Jack Rowand/ABC)

By Monique Jones

Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.

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