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Once Upon A Time

Once Upon a Time – A Taste of the Heights (7×12)



A Taste of the Heights? The Heights tasted pretty bland.

While the Heights are very much alive after Victoria Belfrey’s death — you would think that she was singlehandedly ruining this town or something — there’s simply something missing when it comes to the characters and plot.

Henry launched a podcast aptly titled “H Town” (he totally stole that from Queen Bey) where he reveals he’s still a bit skeptical about Belfrey’s real estate acquisitions. I mean, not enough to actually spend any time looking into them but still, you know that the hesitations are there. That’s kind of how every storyline feels to me. It starts off promising and then it falls short before reaching its goal, turning into a pile of nothingness.

While everyone believes things are seemingly back to normal, we’re reminded that this town is still under a curse and worse, a coven is forming right under their noses.

Those who are “woke” are trying to get to the bottom of it specifically Weaver and Rogers, who are investigating the death of Dr. Sage, one of the few people in town who knew that Henry was Lucy’s real father.

Further investigations reveal that someone is actually killing witches. Why? No one is really sure but given Victoria’s death and the fact that she has Anastasia, it’s probably bad.

Dr. Facilier aka Samdi shows up in town looking for Roni. At first, it seems like she made some kind of deal with him as she alluded to having dealings with him back in the Enchanted Forest.

But the writers decided to throw us for a loop and reveal that those dealing were of the romantic nature?

Roni and Samdi? How, what, why?

Regina hasn’t had a love interest for quite some time as she’s been grieving over the loss of Robin Hood. Given she’s been on the right path for so long and done with her wicked ways, falling for someone as conniving as Facilier is unlike her.

Which is what makes it so intriguing.

It actually seems like Samdi is the bad boy Regina just can’t seem to shake. She knows she shouldn’t be getting involved, but she just can’t say no.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Facilier arrives just before Tiana’s coronation to warn her of a beast that needs to slayed.

Everyone tells her to shrug him off but she’s a noble Queen that has to do right by her people so she goes towards danger where she meets Naveen, Prince of Macedonia.

Immediately, they get off on the wrong foot and can’t stop taking digs at each other throughout the whole hunt. Usually, that’s a sign of two people falling for each other.

As they split off from the group to go seek out the gator, Tiana believes he’s only doing this for the fame and recognition; an ego boost, if you will.

Naveen admits that he’s actually avenging his brother’s death. The gator killed him and ruined their plans of ruling together.

And just when it seems like they’ve steadied the rocky waters, Tiana spots one of Facilier’s belongings in his bag and pulls out her spear.

Naveen falls overboard, right into the gator’s mouth but Tiana saves his life by slashing the gator with the said spear.

She drags Naveen to shore but it’s too late, he’s already between worlds.

Facilier shows up and Tiana orders him to save Naveen, he owes her that much. He obliges but poofs Naveen away because someone has to pay the price for such powerful magic.

Tiana returns to her kingdom visibly upset that Facilier made her go through all of that just to retrieve a pendant from the gator’s belly.

While we don’t know what this necklace actually means, Facilier shows up to give it back to Regina before planting a romantic kiss on her.

So yeah, whatever was going on between them was definitely serious, but it doesn’t really make sense unless the writers believe that this could be another Rumpel and Belle story where the villain-turned-hero redeems the trickster.

Introducing a love interest this far in the game seems rather odd. Will they even be able to elaborate on their story?

Sabine (Tiana) and Naveen (Drew) reunite in the Heights during the food festival, Taste of the Heights. They are in direct competition as Naveen is also serving up Cajun food and someone reported her for not having the proper food permits.

She blames Naveen because this is “something he would do,” but he admits it was probably his silent partner, Mr. Samdi.

He decides to help her by giving up his permit. After all, her stuff tastes better anyway. They team-up and the beignets are a hit.

However, we later find out that was the whole point — Samdi “needs” something from Sabine and ordered Naveen to get close and make her trust him.

Aside from the coven of witches, Regina’s questionable romance decisions, Rogers falling out with Tilly (which I thought was the whole point of the Eloise Gardner story) and Zelena’s uncertainty of what to tell real-life husband, Chad, we’re also dealing with that stinking curse.

Lucy’s feeling like her old self again, which means she’s plotting how to bring her mother and Henry together.

Even though she fell into a deep slumber, she still remembers everything Belfrey told her: all of these stories are real!

She’s so adamant, she turns in for the night at 6:3opm just to give them some alone time.

While she’s hanging out, she magically gets a page from the Storybrooke that reveals true loves kiss will actually kill Henry Mills.

She stops them right as they are about to lock lips but what happens next? She’ll definitely need to turn to Regina, who will obviously help her because she knows Lucy is telling the truth.

Once Upon a Time was far more interesting when it seemed like Belfrey’s was behind everything. This episode simply didn’t captivate me the way the series once did. Maybe it’s because I don’t really know what the point of the coven is and why Regina’s allowing herself to tempt fate.

Hopefully, this all ties back into the curse somehow and we slowly make our way back to Storybrooke before the final episode.


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Once Upon A Time

Once Upon a Time – Secret Garden (7×11)



Once Upon a Time Secret Garden

It’s the beginning of the end, which means stakes are at an all-time high on Once Upon a Time.

The past, at Tiana’s Palace, and the current, in Hyperion Heights, timelines mimic each other with Gothel trying both times to perform the Resurrection Spell.

It’s been seven seasons, yet some of these characters still don’t understand the cardinal rule of magic: it always comes with a price.

Gothel requests the Resurrection Amulet from Regina and Zelena in exchange for saving Lucy’s life.

As you may recall, before the series went on a winter hiatus, Lucy went into a deep slumber while Rapunzel aka Victoria Belfrey woke up her beloved daughter, Anastasia.

Zelena and Regina are desperate to save both Lucy and Henry — if the curse is broken, Henry dies, but if they don’t do anything, Lucy dies — yet they know how much magic this amulet wields and refuse to just hand it over to someone who, obviously, has ulterior motives.

This isn’t Zelena’s first rendezvous with Gothel; she has a penchant for stealing children and once

Rapunzel doesn’t think twice, stealing the amulet and delivering it to Gothel, who drains Anastasia’s power, erases her memory and begins sacrificing Drizella.

A life for a life. You’d think that would be ingrained in Rapunzel’s brain, yet once again, she’s so desperate to right her wrongs and bring back Lucy, she doesn’t realize that fixing her mistake will just cause more mistakes.


In her first attempt at the spell back at Tiana’s Palace, Gothel manipulated Robin, Zelena’s daughter into disowning her mother and pledging loyalty to her.

When Zelena gave up on trying to persuade her daughter to make the right choice, Gothel was going to use Robin as a sacrifice, however, Nook (new Hook, get it?) convinced Zelena that love was stronger than magic.

She stormed in there in the nick of time and sacrificed herself.

That’s when Robin realized just how much her mother really loved her; even after she had been the worst daughter.

To save her mother in return, Robin used her archery skills to scare Gothel off, until her next attempt in Hyperion Heights.

A mother’s love is the strongest type of love, never wavering, even when the relationship has been rocky.

Even though Rapunzel and Drizella went at each other’s throats all season long, when she realized her daughter was about to die, she sacrificed herself instead.

Earlier in the episode, Rapunzel questioned how Regina cast an evil curse and still ended up considered a hero and it’s because of her redemption. In life, Rapunzel was a terrible person, but in death, she made a noble sacrifice and found the heroine in herself. Her death wasn’t in vain.

Drizella was stunned by her mother’s selfless act, so there’s no telling where she’ll go from here.

Will she harbor resentment for Lucy, who opened her eyes the minute Rapunzel hit the ground? Will she blame Anastasia?

I definitely feel for Anastasia who was reunited with her mother only to be told she’s a monster and then have her memory erased. What does Gothel have planned for her? Will Drizella save her?

Back at the hospital, no one could diagnose Lucy because, as we know, the nature of wasn’t medical, it was magical.

Henry, who unbeknownst possesses the heart of the truest believer, gave blood to see if he would match as a donor. He lied to Jacinda telling her he wanted to make sure they covered all their basis, but mostly, he considered that she may have been telling the truth when she gave to his apartment.

As expected, the blood tests proved that Henry was Lucy’s biological father, but sadly, it seems like they’ll never find out the truth as someone with a black glove  — who may or may not be Gothel or A from Pretty Little Liars — poisoned the doctor, stole her hair (no idea why?), and got rid of the test results.

Maybe it’s for the best though. Henry and Jacinda would obviously question the possibility, eventually breaking the curse.

We may have saved Lucy, but the curse is far from over.

And the worst? That’s yet to come, according to Weaver aka Rumpel. He’s ‘awake’ and trying to stop Gothel but it’s complicated since his partner, Nook, isn’t.

Nook still thinks Gothel is Eloise Gardner and doesn’t really believe Weaver, who tells him that there’s a dangerous cult-sacrifice happening in several greenhouses spread out around town. I don’t blame him — that doesn’t sound believable at all.

But when they find Drizella holding her dead mother’s body in her arms in the middle of a greenhouse, Nook begins to trust that Weaver is onto something. How long before he realizes who he really is and that his mission is to find his daughter, Alice?

And what is Gothel really planning that has villainous Rumpel so scared?

Other Thoughts

  • I love that Robin and Regina have such a strong bond considering Robin Hood was her aunt’s true love. And that Regina is considered the “cool aunt.”
  • Seeing Zelena and Regina working on the same side not as The Evil Queen and The Wicked Witch but as sisters melts my heart.
  • Will Zelena stick around and help her run things at the bar?
  • What’s happening to her wedding?
  • Why is Robin in Phuket? Archery competition possibly?
  • I could not stop laughing at the opening scene where Robin (that’s where Polly from Riverdale disappeared too) was trying to do a spell and was interrupted by a cell phone. Oh, modern witches!
  • Is there anything better than Zelena making a Jay-Z, Blue Ivy and Beyonce reference? Or Zelena being called the “Beyonce.” I adore when the two worlds mix

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Once Upon A Time

Once Upon a Time – The Eighth Witch (7×10)



Once Upon a Time The Eighth Witch

It’s time to learn the truth about this new curse and most importantly, who cast it.

This season has been surprisingly enjoyable but admittedly, hard to follow. You almost have to draw one of Weaver’s detective boards to trace every single string considering one person has about 10 aliases.

Lady Tremaine aka Victoria Belfrey aka Rapunzel didn’t cast the curse. Nor was the villain responsible for all the darkness in Hyperion Heights.

Turns out, it wasn’t even Drizella that cast the curse although it was her brainchild. The curse was cast by someone much more experienced; someone who cast the first ever curse on Storybrooke, our dearest Regina.

It wasn’t by will, of course, but the lesser of two evils. Goethel and Drizella gave her two options: either she let Henry die from the poison or she saved him by casting the curse. It’s in a parent’s nature to save their child so obviously, Regina went to the latter thus thrusting them all into a world without magic.

And once again, Regina’s alter-ego “Roni” is tasked with the same choice. We find out that the important person in San Francisco was sissy and powerful witch Zelena, who had taken on the persona of a soul-cycling (pedaling?) instructor Kelly. One of the more enjoyable points of this season has been to see our favorite characters out of their fairytale cloaks and in more obscure clothing like fitness attire and rock band t-shirts…. I’m looking at you Regina!

At first, Kelly is pissed to see Regina but that whole storyline really served no purpose because within minutes, Regina had her old friend taking a shot of liquor that was laced with the truth serum. Immediately after remembering her real identity, Zelena was grateful to see her sis and to help with the heroic task at hand. The only problem? She was to wed a muggle. I’m kidding, muggles don’t exist in this realm but still, “Kelly” was living a pretty modern life and actually found love, which is more than we could ever say for Zelena. Will she eventually find her way back to him when she helps save her magical family?

Back in the magical realm, we learn more about the origin of the curse. As we already know, Drizella vowed to make her mother suffer by casting the curse, which according to the prophecy would happen on Lucy’s eighth birthday. Why? Probably so it could mirror Henry’s storyline when he found Emma and thus not have any real meaning. Henry and the squad stopped Drizella by blood magic but come that eighth birthday, Goethel and the Coven of the Eighth broke the blood spell proving that one, they aren’t to be messed with but two, it’s about to GO DOWN.

Henry, a little too familiar with this story, decided to take little Lucy to the Emma’s wardrobe tree. If they were all about to get snatched up by a curse, they needed someone on the other side to remember. Thus, that’s how Lucy is so “woke” this whole time.

Unfortunately, since Rapunzel made her beliefs waver, she’s been in a deep slumber that even true love’s kiss cannot awaken. This time, Henry is the one that believes because he is so connected to Ella and Lucy mentally and he truly wants there to be a world where he is her father, and Lucy doesn’t.

And of course, we need them both to believe for the curse to be broken.

Except that if the curse is broken, Henry dies. And if it isn’t, Lucy dies.

And all of this because her own grandmother thought that raising her daughter Anastasia from the dead was better than just letting go and accepting her new, more modern family.

This version of Rapunzel has really surprised me, especially because she was a woman willing to risk everything for her family but got so corrupted by greed and needing that “happiness” for herself. Little does she know that happiness through magic always comes at a price.

Drizella isn’t even the ultimate villain in all of this; she’s just a girl who was looking for a motherly figure and latched on to the wrong one. Gothel may not look the part but when you think about her tricking Wish Hook into sleeping with her and speeding up the pregnancy in order to escape the tower, you know she’ll screw over anyone to get what she wants.

Drizzy was better off literally listening to her mom in this case because once Gothel got what she wanted and forced Anastasia to harness Drizella’s magic, she disposed of her into the well. Will Rapunzel and Drizella team up now to get their daughter/sister back?

Gothel, like Rumpel, is looking for the prophesied Guardian, a person who would give her life for someone else’s. She thought that person was Rapunzel when she first trapped her in the tower but obviously, she succumbed to her jealousy and greed when she poisoned Cinderella (Jacinda’s) mother to win back her husband. And all of this really explains why she hates Jacinda so much. Not only does she blame her for taking away her husband and family, she also blames her for Anastasia’s near “death.” This adds a layer of depth to Lady Tremaine, who up until this point just seemed like a villain turned pesky resident. There’s a bit of sympathy for her because you can obviously understand how terrible her situation was but then you realize she failed to learn from any of it and continues to ruin families and happy endings.

As for Rumpel, he consistently gets closer to reuniting with Belle only to have the rug pulled out from under him. Maybe I missed it but why would the Guardian take the dagger from him if she was already such a powerful witch?

And speaking of witches, I’m a bit excited to venture into this very dark magic territory with our heroes. Up until now, we haven’t really succumbed to the darkness fully but a coven of eighth witches inhabiting a city with no magic and fighting a group of heroes seems like much fun. Who are these witches? Why is she gathering them? What does it have to do with the Guardian?

How does Eloise Gardner fit into all of this? The reason Wish Hook has been looking for her this whole time is because in the fairytale world, Eloise is Robin, Zelena’s grown up daughter who is also romantically involved with his daughter, Alice. Let’s hope this LGBTQ love story is better than Mulan’s feeble attempt.

Both Hook and Alice want to reunite with Eloise but I don’t really understand why her notebooks would have the symbol of the coven. Is she a powerful witch also? If anyone were to be involved with the coven, I would think it would be Alice since she is Gothel’s daughter.

After some spotty episodes, that midseason finale really re-hooked us. See you in 2018 Oncers!

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Once Upon A Time

Once Upon a Time – Wake Up Call (7×06)



Once Upon a Time Wake Up Call

Where there’s a curse, there’s someone who started it and those who are ready to break it.

On this week’s Once Upon a Time another original character was “woke,” but this time, not of her own free will.

It was actually all a ploy of Ivy’s aka Drizella in the other realm and she is much more wicked than she’s lead us to believe. For starters, those who assumed she was the one who cast the curse were right. As we dug a little into her backstory at the less-loved child, we found out she had a specific connection to the town’s bartender aka the Evil Queen Regina.

Pre-curse in the other realm, Regina was feeling a bit unimportant after realizing that Henry is grown and no longer needs his mommy to help him and fight his battles. As she searched for purpose, she stumbled upon Drizella, who seemed to be in need of some motherly guidance. Having plenty of that to offer, Regina took to the girl and helped her tap into her inner magic, which Lady Tremaine had suppressed all these years.

During their lessons, they stumbled upon Rumpel who told Regina all about his long and fulfilled life with the late Belle. I guess I missed it last week but they lived in a place where time essentially stopped so while a lifetime went by, it was only a mere few moments in Storybrooke hence why no one else aged. Time really is a fickle thing.

Rumpel immediately realized that Regina wasn’t just helping a lost girl, she was feeding right into Tremaine’s plan. Would this evil queen really have no idea what her daughter was doing? Heck no. Turns out, she wanted Drizella to unleash her magic because then she could use her pure and full of belief heart to awaken her precious Anastasia.

Obviously, this didn’t sit well with Drizella who vowed to destroy her mother. Regina tried to stop her knowing that going down an evil path would never bring her happiness but it was too late; she’d planted the seed of victory in Drizella’s mind. So she brought her “prince” to the castle and killed him in order to turn her heart black. That way, she would be of no use to her mother. And by that smile on her face, you could tell she thoroughly enjoyed it.

Regina once again tried to foil the plan but Drizella credited her with finding the perfect plan to make her mother suffer eternally — yet another curse. As we know from the Evil Queen’s curse, these things can get messy and heroes always have a way of figuring them out. With that tidbit in mind, Drizella said she’d find a way to create a curse that would be unbreakable.

I guess there’s a reason why Drizella looks like a young Regina. The only difference is that she has no redeeming qualities while Regina, despite all her flaws, did. Maybe if Drizella finds love?

Which brings us to present day Hyperion Heights. Roni is mulling over the picture she’d found in Victoria Belfrey’s secret tower. They believe the photo must be photoshopped since there’s no way (or is there?) that it could be real. Lucy gets wind of the photo and is ecstatic, claiming that it proves her theory that they are mother and son. Based on their behaviors even under this curse, it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch.

Roni decides to help Lucy investigate the truth so that she could give up her delusion once and for all while Henry goes to make a move on Jacinda, who has been icing him out ever since Ivy posted pictures of her and Henry from their “drunkoween.” Girls will be girls.

Henry chooses the “Breakfast Club” approach; he arrives holding a boombox as Jacinda is fixing up her food truck. He blurts out some stuff about not being able to get her off his mind and so they have their first date right then and there. At this point, I’ve stopped rooting for them simply because I don’t like Jacinda’s off-putting attitude. She acts like the whole world owes her something because life has been hard for her.

Meanwhile, Roni and Lucy get to business. They head over to Weaver’s and ask for a favor. Because this might be a cursed neighborhood but Weaver aka Rumpel is still in the business of granting favors. He agrees to look up if a Regina Mills ever adopted a child in Boston under the condition that Roni “owes him one.” It’s a risky deal but one she makes because I think she too is a bit curious to find out the truth.

We know Rumpel is “woke” so he knows who Regina and Henry really are. I was surprised that he didn’t foil the results and gave them to her untouched. Was he hoping someone else would finally see through the curse?

Roni is floored and confused by the results. Regina’s signature is identical to hers. But she doesn’t remember any part of this. She doesn’t have much time to ponder it though because in waltzes Ivy, who has been glowing about the fact that her mother was suffering from a migraine today. She drugs Roni’s drink and the first assumption is that she’s going to kill her. After all, these two didn’t get off on the right foot pre-curse and Roni is so close to figuring out the truth.

But death is the easy way out and as we know, Drizella wants everyone to suffer, including Regina. The drink floods her mind with memories of the Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke. And now that Regina’s back, Drizella tells her the truth about the curse: if it’s broken, everyone she loves — Henry, Jacinda, Lucy, Hook 2.0 — will die.

So basically, Regina is woke only to sabotage Henry and Jacinda’s relationship. Since they’ve been heating up, it’s only a matter of time before they kiss and true love’s kiss is the way to break any curse. How did we seriously not think of this six episodes back? That’s fairytale rule number one. How did Lucy not think of it? We could have saved so much time although maybe it’s better this way because if they did break the curse, they would have died.

The last scene with Regina and Henry together was heartbreaking; she now remembers that he’s her son but he has no clue about any of it, nor can he.

Hook 2.0 or should I say Detective Rogers continues his search for Eloise Gardner with a little help from Tilly/Alice. Who wouldn’t want a little of her wacky wisdom to solve a case? Using a bit of a riddle, she tells him to tap into the clues he already has, which leads him back to the dude with the rune tattoo. Except that seems to be a dead end because the guy is deader than dead. And it probably has something to do with the fact that he warned someone that Rogers was looking for the girl. Things aren’t looking good for Eloise right now.

Are you happy with the twist that Drizella is behind all the madness and not Lady Tremaine? I think she makes a much more compelling villain than her mother, who is just a cold hearted woman who wants her daughter back. But did Drizella always want her mother to be “woke?” Or did that part of the curse mess up? And who is the enchantress in the tower?

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