Friday , March 1 2024
August finally proves to be "selfless, brave and ture" in warning Storybrooke of imminent danger, but is he too late?

TV Review: Once Upon a Time – “Selfless, Brave, and True”

I’m really liking the way the various narratives are finally weaving together so nicely in ABC’s hit Once Upon a Time. In this week’s episode, focusing on the long-lost Pinocchio (aka August Booth, played by Eion Bailey), we learn how his story interweaves with Baelfire’s (Michael Raymond-James), Baelfire’s fiance Tamara (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the enigmatic Greg Mendell (AKA Owen, played by Ethan Embry). Phew! 

Quickly turning back into wooden puppet form, August appears back in Storybrooke after having failed to forestall the transformation after hooking up with a mysterious magician called Dragon (Tzi Ma). All the while he’s been stalked by Tamara, who, it turns out, is in confederation with Owen..I mean Greg. Tamara is the “her” on Greg’s cell phone. Hmm. 

Presumably, Owen has been searching for Storybrooke for 28 years, and somewhere along the way he confederated (ok, well, hooked up) with Tamara. I wonder how long that’s been going on? So she attaches herself to Baelfire to gain access to Storybrooke. I imagine that Owen has been looking for “magic” and other supernatural delights since his dad was taken captive by Regina (Lana Parrilla). Tamara has been following the magic trail wherever it leads like Woodward and Bernstein “followed the money” during Watergate. 

That it has led her to Storybrooke is no wonder. But what do she and Owen want? Is it all about finding Owen’s dad or is there something more to it? I do know Tamara’s going to break Bae’s heart But we all know he’s destined for Emma’s (Jennifer Morrison) arms again at some point, don’t we?

All of this is wrapped around August’s return and eventual demise (as August Booth, anyway). Finally learning what it means to be brave and selfless, August gives up his life rather than cooperate with Tamar, whom August believes is there to harm the good citizenry of Storybrooke. He uses his last breath to try and warn Emma of the imminent danger posed by Tamara. Although he may be too late, he is rewarded with his life-long wish. To be human, redeemed from a life of wooden puppettude. He is not, however, turned into the flawed adult August, but is returned to the truer, untarnished version of himself as a small boy.

Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) also learns a thing about giving into the darkness when she must tell August the very words she needs to hear for herself. That everyone deserves a second chance as long as redemption is possible, and that includes Mary Margaret herself. And by the end of the episode, while not cured of her depression, she is beginning to come out of her funk just a little.

To me, there are several open questions about this week’s episode. First, who the heck is Dragon within the weave of the Once Upon a Time tapestry? Second, who is Tamara? Is she a human with a fairytale axe to grind? Or is there something more to her? And finally, is this the last we’ll see of August? 

Next Sunday night (March 31), ABC will air a repeat of “Queen of Hearts” as an “enhanced” episode, featuring on-screen text that will let viewers behind the scenes. “The Miller’s Daughter” will get the “enhanced” treatment the following week, April 7. “The Price of Magic,” a Once Upon a Time special will air April 14. 

New episodes return April 21 with “Lacey,” an episode that dives headlong into Belle’s story, followed by the final three episodes of the season, including a two-part finale! 

In observance of Passover, my Let’s Talk TV Live show will not air this week, but I’ll return next Monday to bring us up to date about Once Upon a Time, Game of Thrones and a lot more.

About Barbara Barnett

A Jewish mother and (young 🙃) grandmother, Barbara Barnett is an author and professional Hazzan (Cantor). A member of the Conservative Movement's Cantors Assembly and the Jewish Renewal movement's clergy association OHALAH, the clergy association of the Jewish Renewal movement. In her other life, she is a critically acclaimed fantasy/science fiction author as well as the author of a non-fiction exploration of the TV series House, M.D. and contributor to the book Spiritual Pregnancy. She Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (

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