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Once Upon a Time Round Table: "The Stranger"

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The identity of August Booth was established this Sunday on Once Upon a Time.

Now, as the freshman smash barrels toward its first season finale, Round Table panelists Jim Garner, Molly Harper, Nick McHatton and Christine Orlando are here to breakdown "The Stranger." Gather around below and join them!

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What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Jim: I loved the scene of Geppetto and Pinocchio on the raft. It did such a great job of capturing the feel of a live action storybook with they whale and Pinocchio's wooden form.

Molly: I loved the first few minutes of the show in which it seemed like everybody was telling Regina off. It was like an organized, "The gloves are off, now tell the Evil Queen what you really think of her" Day.

Nick: I really loved watching how Emma and August came into this world, and his plea to convince her. I love the chemistry the two of them share together.

Christine: I liked the scene where August was desperate to convince Emma that she's the curse buster. "You're our only hope," August says; and Emma responds: "Then you're all screwed." For some reason I really related to Emma in that moment.

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Why do you think Regina went to such lengths to try and seduce David?
Jim: Regina, for all her faults, wants to be loved, or at least lusted after. Graham filled that role until recently, now she is lashing out as things are no longer all under her control. I did have to laugh when both of the women I watch this with were yelling "no, no, no, no!" when Regina went to kiss David. Clearly they have strong feelings about this.

Molly: I think it was a last ditch effort to disrupt the curse or at least ruin Mary Margaret's happiness in some way. I think it shows how desperate she's becoming.

Nick: Regina needs recognition and admiration from someone, no matter if it's in Storybrooke or Fairy Tail Land. Plus, if it means she can potentially ruin something else in Snow's life, she'll do it. So her trying to seduce David, no matter how futile it is, is completely within her character.

Christine: Well, she's probably lonely since she turned her boy toy's heart to dust and let's face it... David's hot. Add to it that it is one more great way to hurt Mary Margaret and there's no reason for her not to try and seduce David.

Geppetto: Caring father or black-mailing jackass?
Jim: While I understand the love of a father, clearly Geppetto has some issues given that he black-mailed the faires into letting Pinocchio go into the Wardrobe. But when things changed and he decided on his own that a seven-year old boy is a better choice to watch a baby than her mother, he crossed into jackass territory.

Molly: A little of both. I can't blame him for wanting to save his son. In the story, I always thought Geppeto was weirdly blind to Pinnochio's faults. I think the show is staying true to that. (Speaking of weird dads, was Mr. Ruskin not the creepiest foster dad ever? Gah!)

Nick: Caring father. It doesn't matter how good or nice someone is, when it comes to parents protecting their children, it's hard to find a boundary and caring about right and wrong. He knew what he was doing, and he knew the consequence, but he would rather his son be safe even if it meant that the curse may never be broken.

Christine: I couldn't blame him for being willing to do anything to save his son. It's not as though he wanted a space for himself in the wardrobe. Yes, sending a seven-year old to protect a baby was foolish, but I get his motivation.

Who is seeing reality? Emma seeing August's leg normal or August seeing it wooden?
Jim: Didn't we establish last week there was no magic here? I wonder if August is seeing what he needs to see to be motivated to do the right thing. I was actually surprised that Emma was in such denial given her recent request to read the book.

Molly: I think maybe August's guilt is making him feel and see things that aren't there.

Nick: Both are correct. Emma doesn't have much of a connection to fairy tale land, she was there for what, a few minutes? Her entire life and upbringing have been brought seeing things through the lens of the real world, so while August can see his true form manifesting itself, she doesn't believe and she doesn't have any reason to.

Christine: I think perspective is reality. August is from the fairy tale world so he sees what he believes is happening. Emma doesn't believe in magic, which supposedly doesn't exist in Storybrooke so she doesn't see any of it. Which reality is real is anyone's guess.

Any storybook characters we haven't seen that you hope to make an appearance before the season finale?
Jim: Have we seen Ariel yet? Could they work in a mermaid? Have we seen Rapunzel? I'm guessing they need something for season 2.

Molly: I was sort of hoping that the 12 Dancing Princesses would roll through town as a ballet troupe...

Nick: It feels like we've went through almost all of the iconic Disney fairy tale characters. I'm ready for them to back off from introducing so many characters and working with these ones.

Christine: No, but what I am waiting to see is Mr Gold find out that Regina has Belle locked away. That's going to be awesome.

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    22 Comments New Comment Subscribe

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    @Sioned:

    It's interesting, not only were there few happy endings actually happening in FTL (though Regina only cared about Snow's, everyone else was collateral damage anyway) but the magic seemed to actually be dying in FTL - this is the last magic bean, here's the last enchanted tree, and so on. I don't know what that means in the big picture, but I do think it's intriguing to think about.

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    I cant believe the hoopla about Emma being raised in foster care! That is not reality, it must have been part of the curse, that is why she never fit in or maybe ragina had a hand in that as well.. Because there is no way in today's reality that a blonde hair, light eyed caucasian baby as cute as she was would not be adopted. People buy less attractive babies. Emma's struggle was for some extra magical purpose. And who in the heck is Henry's dad..."Bea"? Would that be a shocker!

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    @kate. I get where you are comming from with Alice being emma and i think i may change my previous assumption that the mad hatter was married to Alice and that's how he got the daughter. I always felt with all the different Alice stories and inturpetations would eventually hook up with the hatter as she went to reality and grew older and came back to see the hatter was the same age because time moved differently in wonderland.

    Kitanishi-h-mcdonald

    Any storybook characters we haven't seen that you hope to make an appearance before the season finale?
    This season? not really. we have enough characters for now. although it would nice if cliffhanger involved some character we did not see yet.

    Kitanishi-h-mcdonald

    Geppetto: Caring father or black-mailing jackass?
    I'd say, he is person who is a black-mailing jackass BECAUSE he is a caring father. Its an interesting flaw, makes him multi-layered.

    Who is seeing reality? Emma seeing August's leg normal or August seeing it wooden?

    Emma is literally the "schrodinger's cat of the curse". Her denial and insecurities affect her own magic and make HER reality be warped and different from everyone else's.

    When she believes she believes, when she does not, its not here FOR HER.

    That also explains why her lie-detector power sometimes works and sometimes does not.

    Kitanishi-h-mcdonald

    What was your favorite scene from the episode?
    "then you're all screwed" scene hands down. Its such a strong establisher of Emma's character and what she is about and highlights her flawed nature and insecurities.

    Why do you think Regina went to such lengths to try and seduce David?
    Two reasons mainly.

    First of all she wants MM to HATE her. To put her through stuff she gone through, in a way. This was already evident with her trying to "relate" to MM in the questioning with Emma about the box scene, but now its quite obvious.

    Second of all, she does seem to have a soft-spot for David. Regina tends to seek for connection, to be appreciated, but till she is capable of actually being herself and not pretending, people like Henry or David will keep rejecting her.

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    My one concern with the theory (even though it's my own) is 'Skin is the one who created it, and he is the one that made sure it had an escape clause in Emma. Wouldn't his escape clause be to get the magic back that he was loath to give up in the first place - so if he can't get Bae back in this world, he can at least get his power back?

    Marisa1983

    An idea has crossed my mind from the beginning and Sioned, you're right. The characters are starting to get their happy ending here, because of Emma. That's got me thinking that maybe their happy ending is just this. Maybe breaking the curse means they'll never get back to FTL, but remember who they are and live happy here...

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    Oh and to add to the list of faerytale characters that should appear in s2 - how about Dorothy (WoO) and Goldilocks, the girl with the red shoes?

    THey're not going to run out any time soon - Grimms wrote hundreds of Storys, Andersen wrote dozens. But I agree I'd like to see some of the existing characters' stories expanded upon.

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    I have decide to stop over-thinking the magic issue in Storybrooke.

    But now we're at the tail-end I feel compelled to comment on something else I've noticed - Regina's plan is backfiring. Big time. Her goal was to strip away happy endings, but (with Emma's help) a lot of these characters are getting happy endings they never got even in FTL: eg Thomas went missing, but Ashley,Sean and Alexandria are a (mostly) happy family unit; Hansel and Gretel got to reunite with their father which didn't happen in FTL; etc.

    It makes me wonder if 'breaking the curse' won't actually mean a return to FTL, in which case, well, August may be screwed.




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