Back in Storybrooke, the tale told is a bit more woeful, and Charming’s counterpart David is not quite as forthright and brave (and he’s a bit of a jerk on top of it). Tired of sharing David with his wife, Mary Margaret has had enough. She wants her beau to tell Kathryn the truth and end their loveless marriage. Although David complies, telling Kathryn he wants to end it, he doesn’t mention Mary Margaret at all (he says, to avoid hurting her feelings), but that backfires spectacularly when Mayor Regina Mills (Lana Parilla, also known as The Evil Queen) spills the truth. And when Kathryn confronts her rival in a busy school corridor, the young teacher’s reputation is besmirched. Everyone in town is casting her knowing furtive glances and avoiding her. And someone has painted “Tramp” in read across her car windows. (Of course we learn who that someone is later in the episode; it’s Regina, naturally!)
Horrified, hurt, and embarrassed, Mary Margaret blames David, emphatically breaking things off with him. In the meantime, Kathryn attempts to leave Storybrooke, having been accepted to a law school in Boston. But we all know that no one can leave Storybrooke, and when we last see her, she has vanished from her crashed car, which has been discovered by a guy who looks an awful lot like Frederick from FTL. Like I said at the top, it’s never easy in the world of Once Upon a Time.
But sometimes, good things happen—or at least appear to happen. The handsome stranger lurking about Storybrooke these past few weeks has a name—August W(ayne) Booth (Eion Bailey). And having, a few weeks ago, recovered Henry’s storybook from the wreckage of the old playground, he has made a new copy of the tome, painstakingly rebinding it with new pages that he creates in what looks like a darkroom.
August then places the new copy of the storybook back into Henry’s lockbox and waits for Emma to find it, placed surreptitiously and deliberately right behind her car. Henry is, of course, thrilled to recover the book. But I have to wonder whether August changed anything (significant or not) in his recreation. More and more I believe that August represents the tales’ teller. What do you think?