The Box, Part 2

After watching episode 6, of season 2, there is one, major question on EVERY Oncer’s mind- What was in the box?

I’m calling it ‘Once Upon A Time: The Box, part 2’.

Most of you can remember the mystery surrounding August’s box from last season. Thankfully, it didn’t take our writers long to tell us what was in it.

This time around, it’s a total guessing game. The only clue we have is that it makes Neal believe August. What was in it? How long will we have to wait to find out?

It seems necessary to recall August’s words to Emma from last season, in regards to the box:

August: “… you really want to know what’s inside it? … I’m going to make you wait. You’re going to have to wait a longtime and watch me carry it around; hauling it to strange and mysterious places, and with each passing moment the mystery will become more tantalizing, your imagination will inflame, but so will your frustration- never knowing, only guessing, what could possibly be inside that box.”


In episode 6, “Tallahassee”, we, finally, got a glimpse of Emma’s past. We learn how she acquires her famed, yellow, bug, and learn how she meets Neal Cassidy.


We first, got a glimpse of Neal, in the beginning of a strange, opening scene, for season 2 of OUAT. Season 2, immediately had us buzzing with questions. Who was that guy in New York, and who sent the postcard?

Of course, majority of us, jumped to Bae- with some ideas thrown in about him being Peter Pan; Jack, from Jack and the Beanstalk; or Bae who is Bae/Peter Pan. Then there was the idea of him being Bae/Peter Pan/ Henry’s father. Maybe Henry’s father/Bae, but not Peter Pan.

Who is he? In the synopsis for episode 6, we finally got a name- Neal Cassidy.

Is he also Bae? Can he still be Bae? If he is Bae, is he also Peter Pan?

We know, now, that Jack is dead (unless those bones weren’t Jack’s…um…) – we can rule Jack out for now.

Is he Bae? Everyone wants to find Bae! I believe so bad, every new guy with dark hair and dark eyes, is going to be Bae, until they finally reveal Bae- if there IS still a Bae to be found.

What do we know about Neal? I’m still thinking Neal could be a pseudo-name, but for now, I think it’s safe to say- he’s Henry’s father. Unless someone knocked-up, Emma, in prison, Neal is Henry’s father. I don’t think Emma got booty in jail. I feel completely confident that Neal is the father.

After seeing the episode, my first reaction was that there is NO WAY, now, that Neal is Bae. Other Oncers have made some compelling cases, for how he could still be Bae, which have made me withdraw from totally ruling out the possibility, but I believe that likely-hood, is pretty slim.

For some Oncers, the chances of him being Bae, rest on the mystery of the box. August asks Neal if he believes in magic. Neal simply states that he bets August does. August said he’ll show him something to prove magic is real. Then we see August open his box, Neal seems to be shown magic is real, and then August closes the box, and we have NO IDEA what’s inside the box.

What could August have shown Neal, to prove magic exists- so, instantly? It had to be something highly compelling.

This is where the Neal-Is-Bae-Theorists make their case. What if August showed Neal the sketch of Rumple’s dagger? If Neal is, in fact, Bae- these theorists have reasoned, showing him that dagger WOULD make him believe August.

My problem with this theory is that if it were Bae, after being in our world all this time, and having someone suddenly show him proof of this connection to his father, Rumple- I believe, his first reaction would be to take a pause on the conversation about Emma, and jump to asking August a million questions about his father. He didn’t mention a word about Rumple, or ask ‘how do you know about my papa?’ I would expect him to ask about Rumple.

Could Neal still have a Fairytale Land connection? I really don’t think so. I believe Neal is Emma’s true love and Henry’s father.

The Hook-ers and SwanQueen-ers are already screaming, ‘No’, at me- I can hear it already.

Before this episode, I have been hardcore #WoodenSwan – an August/Emma shipper, but after seeing this episode, it seems Neal and Emma are owed a reunion. I love August, but wow, he screwed up A LOT. First of all, taking that money from Neal that Neal trusted him to give to Emma was so shitty of him! Unfortunately, even when we’re supposed to, or should be mad at August, Eion Bailey just oozes this quality or something that makes it impossible to be mad at August.

Now we know that coming to Storybrooke was NOT August’s first attempt to make right on his deal with his father, in regards to Emma. Ultimately, he has come to Storybrooke to fulfill his duty.

I still, beyond the Eion-factor, can’t totally blame August. He was only 7 years-old. Who in the world thinks a 7 year-old, boy has the ability to care for an infant? Honestly, the blame here really goes to Geppetto. Though, we can’t really be mad at him either for trying to put his kid first, as has been the theme with so many other parent-child relationships on OUAT.

I feel bad for Neal and Emma. Neal really did seem to love Emma, and they were so cute and happy together. It’s sad how they got broken up. August really needs to set things right by Emma and Neal.

At least, we know August was simply doing what he thought he had to, in order to get Emma on track with her destiny. I’ve seen people compare his work in the shadows, to the way Rumple worked in the back to manipulate Regina, but I call b/s here. Rumple and August had totally different motives for why they were doing, what they were doing.

The synopsis for “Tallahassee” mentioned that ‘a fellow thief’ would try to make an honest woman of her- I thought that ‘fellow thief’ here was referring to Neal, but have realized that ‘fellow thief’ wanting to make an honest woman of her was August. Neal is a thief too, but seriously, so is August.

I hate that Emma got stuck in prison, but August, most likely, thought time in prison would scare her, and make her sit and think about what she was doing in her life.

Imagine if Neal and Emma did settle-down in Tallahassee with baby Henry- Emma would have NEVER gone to Storybrooke to break the curse.

At least in the end, it seems, this time around- August has truly been committed to righting his wrongs by Emma, and he did keep his promise to Neal, to send a postcard.

I just know Neal is on his way to Storybrooke to find Emma.

Just to note: I’m pretty sure August is responsible for Henry making it to Storybrooke. How he managed that, without having met Rumple, I don’t know. There’s a missing hole there between Rumple acquiring Henry to give to Regina, and how exactly, Rumple knew Henry was the savior’s child. I also believe August, did, write that book. He came back to add pages, we know that. I believe he’s the reason it exists to begin with. Regina said he looked familiar. She might have seen him poking his head around town to check-in on Henry, and plant the book for Snow to give to Henry. He’s probably the reason it looks like Emma has some sort of magic protection on her door, when she’s living in Boston. Knowing that August has been working in the background all this time, opens up a whole lot of other ideas on other ways he could have meddled in Emma’s life.

I know after this episode, a lot of fans have jumped on the Hook and Emma ship- popularly dubbed ‘#CaptainSwan’. I can’t lie, here. Emma and Hook had amazing chemistry dripping off the screen. Hook is sort of a lost boy himself, it seems. Hook, Emma, Neal and August all have that in common. August may have had Geppetto- but he was very young when he went through the portal. He’s had to survive on his own in many ways, also. I’m sure Bae could easily join their ranks.

Hook and Emma did/do have a connection, but I believe the real cause for their chemistry was only due to Emma being reminded of her times with Neal. She still has the car, and she wears the pendant he gave her around her neck. She probably wears the pendant, more for, the same reason The Giant wears the bean- to remind her of what she cannot trust. For her, she’s taken that to be love, which is part of why she has been so guarded emotionally.

I believe though, even as she has seemed to demonize Neal in her mind- considering the way she spoke of ‘Henry’s father’ to Snow, she still has a part of her holding on to her past with Neal. She really loved him, and wants to know why he left. She still went to Tallahassee, and stayed there for 2 years. I agree with another fan that she was probably waiting to see if he’d show up.

I predict a meet-up between August and Neal in the near-future, and when Emma gets back, I bet Neal will be already in Storybrooke. August may still be Wood- and I bet telling the Charming family the truth will be the way he becomes a ‘real boy’ again.

After this episode, I’ve converted to shipping Emma and Neal. I’m trying to trend Neal and Emma as #SwanNClyde on Twitter, in honor of our OUAT Bonnie and Clyde. I can’t wait for them to be reunited.

Aside from Emma and family, OUAT promises to have many more twists and surprises in-store for us. Next week Ruby/Red takes center stage.

Feel free to comment on my blog, and share your own theories.

Thanks for reading.