‘The Stranger’ was directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton. Writers were Ian B. Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss.
In pre-curse FTL, Geppetto (Tony Amendola) and Young Pinocchio (Jakob Davies) wash up on shore after being attacked by the whale Monstro. The puppet boy sacrificed himself to save his father. After witnessing his selfless act, The Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy) uses magic to make him a real boy.
Geppetto later blackmails The Blue Fairy. The realm needs his carpenter skills to create the enchanted wardrobe. It would act as a portal sending Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and newborn Emma to our world. He’ll make the wardrobe but only if Young Pinocchio goes through first. His son would then act as Emma’s protector.
Those with knowledge of this plot are Geppetto, Young Pinocchio, The Blue Fairy and Jiminy Cricket (Raphael Sbarge). When Jiminy complains Geppetto forces him to remain silent. Reminding him of his role in the deaths of his parents. The Blue Fairy tells Prince Charming’s (Josh Dallas) war council only one person can go through the wardrobe.
In SB, The audience learns the reason for August’s (Eion Bailey) leg pain. It’s turning into wood. He’s Pinocchio. He wants to help Emma break the curse. He’ll also help in her battle against Mayor Mills (Lana Parrilla). But he isn’t having much luck with the skeptic. He asks Rumple (Robert Carlyle) to steer Emma in his direction. Which he does.
The good: Loved how Young Pinocchio’s origin was tied to the magic wardrobe. Will we ever see Young Pinocchio’s adventures? How did August know Emma was in Storybrooke? Has he been keeping track of her? Rumple getting his revenge. The pawnbroker does business with Marco (Tony Amendola) while August watches helplessly.
If August had gotten Rumple on his side, things would’ve been easier. Recruiting August into Operation Cobra was brilliant. Loved how August mentored Henry and was his buddy. Emma’s responses to August’s story. She discovers he’s the boy who found her.
The bad: Pinocchio abandoned baby Emma for a life of adventure and wickedness. Reverting to wood was the only reason he tried to fulfill his mission. Would’ve liked it better if Pinocchio stayed in Emma’s life. As her work hard play harder globe-trotting big brother. He enjoyed life and provided for Emma.
Her eclectic childhood made Emma a Jane of all trades. With her latest job being a bails bond woman. He never told her the truth but he kept her safe. Then Henry tracks them down. Forcing Pinocchio to admit the truth about their FTL origins.
The ugly: August not showing the evidence he had in his room first. Like newspaper articles and stuff from FTL. Then taking Emma on a “back to the past” road trip. If he wrote Henry’s book and had the original manuscript. Maybe that would’ve planted seeds of belief in the Sherriff.
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