Can August Do What It Takes To Heal Himself?

On this episode of Once Upon a Time, called "Selfless, Brave and True," Mary Margaret discovers where August has been hiding and why.

Once Upon a Time season 2 episode 18

This episode begins with Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) still feeling down on herself and David (Josh Dallas) still wanting to treat her with kid-gloves. Emma (Jennifer Morrison) has different ideas and thinks her mom needs to pick herself up and move on. Mary Margaret decides to try and goes to the woods for some time alone to do just that. What she finds is August (Eion Bailey) hiding in a dirty old trailer. I've been wondering what happened to him ever since we saw him open his eyes when the magic returned to Storybrooke and now we know. It turns out August may have woken up, but he is still made out of wood.

Last week's Once Upon a Time recap: The price of vengeance >>

The reason August is still wood is that he did a very bad thing, actually quite a few bad things. The return of magic couldn't take back the fact that he hadn't been as selfless, brave and true as he promised the blue fairy he would be when she made him a real boy. When he began turning to wood, he went to see an old shaman and found another woman seeking help. The woman was Tamara (Sonequa Martin-Green), who is now in Storybrooke visiting Neal (Michael Raymond-James) and claiming not to believe one word he says about being from a magical kingdom. But Tamara Neal knows and the Tamara August knows are two very different people. It seems she's in cahoots with Owen (Ethan Embry) and has been looking for anyone connected to magic for a very long time.

August discovers Tamara's secret and though he has a moment of weakness and almost runs away to seek the bottle of potion she says will cure him, he comes back to make things right. He decides to warn Emma and everyone else about Tamara, but she attacks before he can and leaves him gravely injured. August uses his dying breath to try and warn Emma, but expires before he can give her a clear message. Just when we think all is lost, Henry realizes that his last act is indeed selfless, brave and true and should be enough to cure him. The blue fairy waves her wand and poof. August is a little boy again.

Work begins on Once Upon a Time spinoff >>

OK, so if you were happy with that ending for August, you may want to stop reading right now and skip ahead to my favorite bits. Because I'm about to indulge in a mini rant. I understand that that was supposed to be happy and yes, of course, I'm glad little Pinocchio isn't dead. But why did they have to make him a kid again? I adore Eion Bailey and I am utterly disappointed that they've once again found a way to keep him off the show. Why can't he be made into a permanent or semi- permanent character?

Alright, now that my mini rant is over, let's take a look at my favorite bits, shall we?

My favorite bits —

I know it was wrong, but I totally giggled at the name of that place where August woke up.

Poor August discovering that his lady friend couldn't see his wooden leg.

Not being at all surprised to find out that Hook escaped.

Emma advising Neal to tell Tamara everything.

Mary Margaret playing herself a little Joan Jett.

August asking how his papa was doing. Aw.

My poor heart breaking when August called himself a "wood pile of failure."

Laughing out loud when Neal told Tamara that he was from a place called The Enchanted Forest.

Seeing Tamara behind that scarf.

Sort of giggling at the surprised look on August's wooden face when he saw Tamara at his door.

Sonequa Martin-Green in Once Upon a Time season 2 episode 18

"For someone who spent his entire life running, you should be in better shape."

Everyone's shock when Mary Margaret slapped Marco. Whoa!

"You haven't met me, at least not the real me." I guess they don't call him The Dragon for nothing.

August going back. Yes!

"I counted on you to wanna save yourself."
"Maybe that's what I'm trying to do."

August realizing that only he could fix himself.

Literally cursing the show out loud at the mere thought that they might kill August.

NO WAY! I'm with Mary Margaret, it CAN'T end like this.

I know that was supposed to be a happy moment, but all I could think was that I was very mad that Eion Bailey will no longer be on the show.

What did you think of this episode of Once Upon a Time? What exactly do you think Owen and Tamara are up to in Storybrooke? Were you happy at the way August's story ended in this episode?


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Comments on "Once Upon a Time recap: Retribution at last"

Zachery March 29, 2013 | 4:02 PM

I love the character of Tamara! It is refreshing to have a new villainess now that Cora is no longer alive. I have a feeling that The Dragon is connected to Mulan. He could be Mushu! I would love that. In the episode where he came to Storybrook it was made clear that he had steered a pirate ship before more than likely Hooks. I think Neal is suppose to be some equivalent to Peter Pan. I would love to think that maybe Tamara would be Tiger Lilly. It would explain why she wasn't magical but still very intrigued by it.

Rachel March 25, 2013 | 10:25 PM

I loved the kid playing Pinocchio since his first big character arc ep... but I'm seriously upset about what they did to August. I honestly think the only real explanation is that the writers knew the chemistry between August and Emma would screw up the annoying "true love" arc they seem to be setting up with Emma & Neal. Of course, now the person Emma was vibing with is suddenly about 10 years old, which is a whole bunch of levels of creepy. (Does he even remember growing up? His life alone on the road, drinking and general debauchery? I couldn't decide from his quick conversation with Emma, and I can't decide which option is worse.) Beyond the romance, though, August was a really wonderful, interesting, flawed and screwed up delight to watch... and now they've basically just wiped out his entire character. He's not just off the show somewhere, he's not even just dead. He's been reset, like all of his struggles and everything that he's learned from them never happened. His sad childhood, his mistakes and his attempts to repent for them were realistic and powerful, and I looked forward to the moment when he could meet up with his father again and try to rebuild their relationship. Instead, the show just basically told us that sometimes you're too screwed up to make things right again, and your only hope is to reset your entire life. It was played up as a joyful moment, but to me it was just depressing.

Sarah March 25, 2013 | 6:01 PM

I can't believe August turned into a little boy! This is so awful. I was waiting for Eion Bailey to come back on the show and now this happens. What the hell is wrong with the writers? How can a grown man puppet turn into a little boy? Ughh I just had to vent. I'm still in shock and so disappointed from that ending. I would've rather him just die instead of turning into a kid... but seriously, who is Emma supposed to be with now? Neil? Oh god help us...They keep killing off all the guys I love, like Graham. Emma just can't find romance on this show. Her men are either evil(Hook), die(Graham), turn into little boys(August), or all she's left with is sorry Neil. :/

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