On Once Upon a Time Season 2, Episode 14: "Manhattan," we finally learned what August (Eion Bailey) showed Neal (Michael Raymond-James) to convince him to abandon Emma (Jennifer Morrison): A piece of paper that simply said "I know you're Baelfire."
We could argue for ages about whether that simple message was enough to justify Neal letting Emma take the fall for his crimes (and we have a feeling Neal and Emma will have that very argument themselves at least once more).
Morality aside, this revelation raises another question: Where the heck did August get that information? And no, "being from Fairytale Land" is not an adequate explanation.
August/Pinocchio was a young child when he was shoved through the magic cabinet and into our world. There is literally no reason he should know that Baelfire exists, not to mention who he is in our world. After all, how many people even knew that Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) once had a son, yet alone where he ended up?
And that's not the only thing August knows about that he really shouldn't. As we learned in Season 1, he is aware of the Dark One dagger and the control it can have over Rumple. While it's possible that he learned about that as a kid, it doesn't seem to be particularly common knowledge.
So, how did he come to know so much? We have four theories.
He has traveled to other worlds. It's possible that August found a way to travel to other worlds. If that's true, then he could have run into someone who filled him in on Rumple and Bae. Who? We don't know, but the writers could come up with just about anyone, especially since it sounds like Bae has traveled to other worlds, too.
He met the author of the fairytale book. In Season 1 it became clear that August knew about Henry's (Jared Gilmore) fairy tale book, and he even made changes to it. This led many fans to assume August wrote it. But what if he just knew the original author, whoever that is? Obviously whoever wrote the book knew a lot about the goings on in Fairytale Land, and perhaps would have been able to identify Bae in our world.
That typewriter is magical. August is very, very attached to his typewriter. Does it, perhaps, have the ability to tell him about Fairytale Land? That would explain why he literally showed Nealfire the typewriter in a box with the message written out, as opposed to conveying his point in a less cumbersome way.
The Blue Fairy. As many fans across the interwebs have noted, in Season 1, when Rumple asked August how he found out about Bae and the dagger, August said, "a fairy told me." Which fairy knows all about Rumple's history? Oh, that's right: The Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy), who is also a big part of August's story.
Maybe Blue told August as a child, before he was tossed to our world, though that still wouldn't explain how he figured out that Neal is Bae. But maybe — this is more of conspiracy theory, but we rather like it — Blue's not as innocent as she appears. She's a very powerful figure, so it's possible that she retained her memories under the cuse, or at least found a way to get them back early. If that's the case, it's possible she was in communication with August from within Storybrooke.
How do you think August came to know so much about Rumple and Nealfire? Share your theories in the comments below!
Catch the next episode of Once Upon a Time on Sunday, March 3 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.