Hong Kong, 2011
After a night of drinking, August wakes up in bed next to a woman... and realizes that his leg is turning into wood. He wakes up Isra, the woman next to him, but she can't see what's happening to him.
David prepares breakfast for Mary Margaret, who is sleeping bed. Emma sees what he's doing and wonders what he's doing. When he explains, Emma tells him to drop the gentle treatment. Henry comes down and Emma tells him to get ready to see Neal, and then tells David that Mary Margaret is the only one who can help herself. Once they leave, Mary Margaret gets up and starts packing some supplies. She tells David that she's going to go off in the woods for some time alone, and David says that they may soon have harvested enough beans to go home. Mary Margaret says that won't what change what she did and asks for some time alone.
Emma takes Henry to Neal's room at the boarding house and Henry asks Neal to go through his storybook and show him what happened there. Once Henry leaves, Neal tells Emma that Tamara checked on Hook, and confirmed that he escaped from the storage room. Neal also tells Emma that he invited Tamara to Storybrooke. Emma points out that there are too many strangers in town, and advises Neal to tell Tamara the truth about who he really is. Tamara calls and says that she's ten minutes away, and Neal suggests that Emma stay and get to know her.
Mary Margaret practices archery in the woods until she misses and goes off after the arrow. When she finds it, she discovers that someone has broken it in half and left it behind. She spots a trailer nearby, sitting in the middle of the woods, Mary Margaret goes inside and asks if anybody there, and a mostly-wooden August limps out of the back to greet her, the other half of the arrow stuck in his side.
August waits in the hospital ER until he's called. The doctor doesn't see anything and assumes that August is delusional, and doesn't believe him even when August drives a scalpel into his neck. The orderlies come in to take him away, and August runs off. A man, Quon, finds him, and says that he can take him to a man, The Dragon, who fixes the kind of problems that August has been yelling about.
August explains that when the curse lifted, he could move but he remained transformed. He blames himself and figures that the transformation is his punishment, but Mary Margaret assures him that everyone misses him, including his father. August doesn't want Emma and Marco to see him like that, but takes an interest when Mary Margaret says that Neal has come to Storybrooke. Once she explains that Neal and Emma aren't together, August says that he had hoped things would work out and he could find redemption. Mary Margaret insists that he deserves a second chance, but August tells her that she never did anything wrong or needs redemption. He tells her to leave and not tell anyone that she saw him.
When Tamara arrives at the boarding house, everyone has bagels and Henry asks how she and Neal met. She explains about how Neal bumped into her, spilling coffee on her, and loaned her a scarf to hide the stains. Tamara called him back to return the scarf and they've been together ever since. As Henry and Emma leave, Henry tells Neal to hold onto the storybook. Once they're alone, Tamara tells Neal that Henry has his spirit, and Neal says there's something he needs to tell her. He explains that he's from The Enchanted Forest and shows her the storybook. Neal explains that they're real and his history, but Tamara figures that he's making some kind of excuse to force her away. She saw how Neal and Emma were looking at each other and figures that they still have something going.
Quon takes August to The Dragon's shop. As August waits, the next patient goes in, dropping her cell phone. When August offers it to her, Tamara turns, takes it, and thanks him.
Greg is having pie at the diner when Regina comes over and introduces herself. She explains that she's Henry's mother and thanks him for calling her when he ran into Henry. Regina admits that she finds Greg familiar but he claims that he's never been to Storybrooke before. As Regina leaves, Mary Margaret comes in and Regina taunts her briefly before leaving. Mary Margaret goes to Emma and Marco at the counter and tells them that she's found August and he's still in wood form. They go to get the Mother Superior, hoping she can help August as the Blue Fairy. As they leave, Tamara sits nearby at the counter and overhears them.
Tamara comes back to the waiting room and sends August in. After she wishes him luck and leaves, August goes in and The Dragon asks why he's there. August starts by showing him his right leg and asking if he can see the problem, but The Dragon says that's not the leg that is bothering him. He's able to see August's left leg, the wooden one, and addresses him as Pinocchio. When August wonders if The Dragon is from his land, the physician simply says that August is wasting his time and energy on his affliction. He says that he can help August but will require something close to his heart that cannot be replaced. The Dragon points to his neck and August takes out the necklace he wears around his chest. It is on the string that Gepetto used to give Pinocchio life. August hangs it over and The Dragon then asks for $10,000 and tells him to bring it that night.
The Mother Superior explains that she talked to August when he first transformed, but there was nothing he could do for her. As part of her magic, August had to be selfless, brave, and true, but he failed and now he is transforming. Mary Margaret thinks that everyone deserves a second chance, but the Mother Superior says that August will have to find his own path.
August goes to a bar to count the few funds that he has. Tamara is at the bar and calls him over, and then pays for her drink with money from a large wad in her purse. She offers a toast to second chances and August asks what brought her to The Dragon. Tamara explains that she had a rare form of cancer and traveled the world for a cure until she found The Dragon. August claims that he has a skin condition that will kill him, and Tamara assumes that The Dragon cured him. She explains that The Dragon asked for a personal item from her, and she gave him a photograph of her grandmother. Tamara's phone rings and she steps away to take it. August looks at her purse, hesitates, and then steals the money and quickly walks out.
Tamara comes to the trailer to see August.
August returns to The Dragon and the physician takes out a glowing vial of red fluid. He asks for the money and August starts to hand it over, and sees the photo of Tamara's grandmother. As he moans in pain, The Dragon says that one must know how to interpret the body's signals. When August asks if he can cure him, The Dragon says that he can stop the transformation but warns that it's only a symptom and August must cure himself. August hands over the money and takes the vial. As he goes outside to drink it, Tamara approaches him and demands her money. August runs through the crowd but drops the vial as he clutches at his leg in pain. Tamara takes it and says that he deserves his fate, and walks away.
Tamara can see August as he really is and wants him to do something for her. She says that he owes her and tells him to leave. He refuses until she explains why, and Tamara says that she's human. However, she focusses on how she survived the cancer. The vial cured her, and Tamara says that she still has some of it yet and it can cure him. It's in her apartment in New York, and all August has to do is go get it... and never come back. August realizes that she's Neal's fiancee and asks if her and Neal are there to take the magic. Tamara tells him that Neal has nothing to do it, and tells August that he's still a man willing to do anything to save himself.
Greg goes back to his room and finds Regina waiting for him. She tells him that she realized that they've met before and calls him by his childhood name, Owen. Regina shows him the lanyard keychain that he gave her as a boy, and Greg says that no time has passed for her. She wonders why he's there and Greg says that he's looking for his father. Regina claims that Kurt left shortly after Greg did and he never came back, but Greg doesn't believe her. He refuses to leave without his father but Regina says that she'll let Granny know that Greg is checking out. If he doesn't leave, Regina promises that he will disappear.
As Mary Margaret, Marco, and Emma go to the trailer, Marco blames himself. He admits that he sent Pinocchio through the wardrobe with Emma. Mary Margaret realizes that she could have gone with her daughter, and slaps Marco when he tries to apologize. He insists that he deserves it, but Mary Margaret says that she's not herself and apologizes. She forgives him but Marco says that he left Pinocchio with an unbearable burden in the name of love. Marco enters the trailer only to discover that August is gone.
August drives out of Storybrooke in Tamara's car.
Tamara returns to The Dragon and demands the truth. He points out that she lied about the sick, and wonders why she sought him out. Tamara explains that she's been looking for someone with magic for a long time. She takes out the vial and admits that she's used every technique to analyze it, and has confirmed that it doesn't create a single element found in the world. The Dragon says that he treats afflictions that have no other cures, and points out that Tamara stole it. She says that she paid for it and now she can't risk anyone else finding The Dragon. Tamara takes out a taser and advances on him, but The Dragon breathes flame from his mouth and says that she hasn't met the real him. He rises into the air but Tamara uses the taser until he dies. She picks up her photo and walks away.
As August drives out of town, the photograph of Tamara and her grandmother falls out of the visor. He sees it and drives back to Storybrooke. He goes to the sheriff's department and calls Emma on her cell phone. As she starts to warn him, Tamara comes in and cuts the phone line. August tells her that he went back to see The Dragon a few days later and found him dead. When he saw the photo, he realized that Tamara went back to kill The Dragon. He came back to warn the town and redeem himself, but Tamara says that he won't and electrocutes him with her taser.
As David, Mary Margaret, Emma, Marco, and Henry return to the station, August staggers out and collapses. Marco runs to his son and August apologizes, and then tries to whisper a warning to Emma. He dies before he can, just as Neal arrives. Mary Margaret says that it can't end this way and Emma vows that he won't have died in vain. Henry remembers the Blue Fairy's words about being brave, truthful, and unselfish, and says that there's still a chance. The Mother Superior arrives and says that if August's actions were truly brave, truthful, and selfish, there's a chance she can save him. Marco begs her to try and the Mother Superior takes out her wand and transforms August into a young living Pinocchio. Tamara comes up and sees the whole thing, and realizes that Neal was telling the truth. Emma asks Pinocchio if he remembers what happened to him before, but the boy doesn't remember.
Emma and Mary Margaret embrace and the family leaves, while Neal tells Tamara that he'll understand if she wants to leave. Tamara says that she's there for him and that they're both lucky to have found each other.
New York – November, 2011
August finds Neal in New York City and tells him what is happening to him. He plans to go to Storybrooke to help Emma break the curse and cure him. Neal points out that if Emma breaks the curse, Marco will remember who he is and come looking for him. August promises to send him a postcard if he breaks the curse. As he drives off, Tamara secretly watches the entire exchange. She then approaches Neal and stages the incident with the coffee so that she'll have a reason to meet him.
As Emma and Henry return to the apartment, Emma apologizes to her son for lying to him. She promises never to lie to him again and asks him not to push her away. Henry says that they won't and they hug. Meanwhile, David asks Mary Margaret for the truth. Once he promises not to get mad, Mary Margaret explains that she went to see Regina so that she would kill her. But when Regina pulled out her heart, they realize that it was darkened. Mary Margaret hoped to deal with it herself, but wonders if redemption is worth the price. David assures her that she isn't like the others and tells her that knows her heart better than anyone.
At his room, Greg gets a call from his girlfriend. When he wonders where she is, Tamara comes in and tells him that Neal is in the shower, and they don't have much time. They then close the door, kissing.