Once Upon a Time finally returned this week after an insanely long hiatus. Things picked up a couple of months after we left off… and without the villain in town, ordered had been restored to Storybrooke. Belle and Hook were working on finding a spell to release the fairies from the sorcerers hat. Emma and Hook were happy as clams. Regina was still looking for her happy end after Robin Hood left the two with his wife and child. But of course, happiness doesn’t last forever. Rumpel was crashing at Urusula’s apartment in New York after getting booted from Storybrooke working on a plan to unite the “Queens of Darkness” and score them their happy end.
We get taken on a journey to the forbidden forest, many years ago. The flashback scene shows the Queens first meeting with Rumpel at Maleficent’s castle. Rumpel betrayed the three queens, using their powers to fetch a dark curse and then leaving them inside to get killed by some flying beast that feeds on the heart of the purest evil… in this case, it tried to attack Maleficent, but Ursula saved her using her tentacles.
And history repeats itself. Rumpel is getting together the Queens once again. But this time, he has to put all of his trust into them. Not the other way around. Belle finds a spell that she has a “professor” translate– that professor being Rumpelstilskin. When they perform the spell, it definitely releases the fairies… but also the flying beast with them.
Now, the quaint town of Storybrooke is being attacked by a monster… and Regina thinks it’s after her. The Queens of Darkness use Rumpel’s phone to give her a call and basically explain that they were informed Storybrooke is a place that gives villains second chances… and that’s exactly what their looking for.
Emma and Regina figure out how to fight off the big-bad themselves– throwing him over the city line where he disappears into black dust. But, since they promised to help the villains in exchange for advice on how to get rid of the beast, they feel like they owe it to them to let them in. Snow and Charming present their warnings, but Regina has turned over a new leaf…. and she knows she can’t ask for happy endings without allowing others to get them as well.
This is all part of Rumpels plan however. Once Ursula and Cruella get into the town, they sneak him back inside at night. Rumpel admits he will be lying low and working from behind the scenes while these two try to blend in and make friends. He’s also going to try to resurrect their dead friend, Maleficent. How? Not sure, but the “dark one” definitely has his ways. The ultimate goal– to find the author of the fairytales and force him to give them happy ending. Regina and Emma are also looking for the author however, and found out this week that said author and the sorcerer are NOT the same person. The clues do lie in Henry’s storybook and he’s been reading into it to see if they get any closer to figuring out his identity.
The final scene reveals Snow and Charming secretly meeting up with Ursula and Cruella. Snow advises that they can stay in their town on one condition– they don’t ever speak about what happened between them in the enchanted forest. Hmm… what secrets are they harboring? Why wouldn’t she want anyone– especially Emma– to not know? And will the Queens honor the deal? I say nay. They’ll definitely use that to get Emma on their side…. considering she’s actually the one the beast was after– she’s the one with the biggest potential for darkness.
Photo Credit: ABC/Once Upon A Time
Once Upon a Time – Homecoming (7×21)
Henry was barely reunited with his family for 24-hours before they got whisked away by Wish Realm Rumpel on Once Upon a Time. They can’t ever catch a break.
The penultimate episode sets up the series for the finale by putting mostly everyone in danger as they face off with the enemy Rumpel was never able to defeat: himself.
And while I’m sure the fairytale showdown, complete with reinforcements brought by Tilly and Alice, is going to epic, the set-up was rather boring.
Yes, they brought back elements that paid homage to some of the earlier episodes including the author’s pen, Seer’s prophecy that the boy will be his undoing (who knew it was Henry?) and even, teenage Henry, but overall, it didn’t have the pull I was hoping for so close to the end.
Glitter-face Rumpel tells Hyperion Heights Henry that he’s going to make good on that threat to his family. If he wishes to see them again, he has to hand over HH Rumpel’s copy of the dagger.
Henry runs to Hook, Rumpel and Regina for help and the latter declares what we’ve known for years now: we don’t negotiate with villains.
After they are transported to the Wish Realm, they are split up with Regina and Henry arriving at Rumpel’s castle while Hook and Rumpel arrive at the place where he first became a coward.
There are random appearances by Peter Pan and Cruella de Ville which should be sentimental but feel more out of place than ever. Bringing back characters for the sake of bringing back characters doesn’t do anyone much good.
Peter Pan’s return was brief and dull. What were we supposed to garner from that? That Wish Rumpel is a lot more dangerous than the one we’ve come to know pretty well in HH? I could tell you that.
Rumpel traps Jacinda and Lucy in a snowglobe and as an incentive to hurry up Henry, makes it start snowing. If he doesn’t hand over that dagger, they’ll freeze to death.
HH Rumpel is all like “I have a plan,” and to be fair, he does. Hyperion Heights Hook, previously Wish Realm Hook, calls in a favor with Ariel who gives him her remaining drops of squid ink which he then uses to freeze Wish Realm Rumpel. Essentially, he’s willing to kill himself to eliminate the threat but Regina stops him.
Taking matters into his own hands, Henry knocks out Hook and heads to the retrieve the Author’s Pen. But just cause HH Henry is an adult and father now, it doesn’t mean he’s any smarter.
Wish Realm Rumpel was after the Author’s pen the whole time and HH Henry walked right into it. Henry reminds him no one but him can use that and Rumpel is like “I know, meet the Wish Realm version of yourself.”
It’s always a pleasure to see Jared S. Gilmore, especially in a villainous role; he’s the kid we see in the beginning of the episode looking to save a Princess but being thrust into the friend’s zone.
Truth be told, the most realistic part of this whole episode is the outcome of what being friend zoned can do to you. I feel your pain evil Henry.
It’s also pretty bizarre to see two versions of Henry facing off against each other. How do you stop yourself?
It’s possible that the reason I found this episode to be so mundane is that I’m genuinely quite confused by the whole Wish Realm/Storybrooke/ Hyperion Heights/ Whatever Else I’m Missing timeline. They’ve gotten so convoluted, it’s hard to keep up and realistically, I don’t even want to keep up.
With Tilly and Alice grabbing friends from Storybrooke, can we bet on Storybrooke Henry arriving to help out his other alter-ego’s?
I did like that the series addressed how the curse affected everyone including Sabine who had lost her sense of self and didn’t know how to be Queen Tiana again.
Other than that, I feel like the series vastly underused her and Prince Naveen.
What was the point of having her? To make beignets?
It’s clear that “Homecoming” was meant to be more of a set-up for the final hour with our fairytale friends and foes.
Let’s hope next week brings a lot more action, more compelling storytelling and an end to these timelines and realms once and for all.
Will everyone get their happily ever after or will there be a tragic ending?
I’m sure you already know the answer to that question, we just have to see how all of heroes are going to get there and defeat the Dark One once and for all.
My guess is that Rumpel will have to make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good and kill himself. It’s the only way that I can see him fully redeeming himself so that he can reunite with Belle. And seriously, HH Rumpel has been working on better himself for quite some time now, he deserves some peace and happiness.
Once Upon a Time – Is This Henry Mills? (7×20)
Henry Mills found himself… literally.
Once Upon a Time is nearing its series finale but the citizens of Hyperion Heights are still trapped under curse brain.
Last night’s episode found Regina desperately trying to wake up Henry after the usual remedy, true love’s kiss, didn’t work.
For mere mortals, the thought of a storybook fantasy being real is wildly impossible so it’s no surprise that Henry isn’t easily convinced. But for someone with the heart of the truest believer, everyone expects it to come a little more naturally.
None of this is as surprising as Regina’s timeline reveal; the curse that Eloise cast sent them tumbling through time and they are existing in the same time as a younger version of Henry and Regina.
It seems that young Henry is once again the key to yet another curse.
The moment in time is explained with a visit to Storybrooke where “young Henry” is preparing for graduation and can’t decide if he wants to stay home or go explore. It’s a full-circle moment as this is the time period where season 7 started.
As much as I enjoyed the reboot and getting to know a new town, I didn’t realize how much I missed Storrooke until we were back there walking the streets and running into locals.
After Hyperion Heights Regina tries to jog Henry’s memory with birth certificates, pictures and the storybook itself which she apparently dug up from Victoria Belfrey’s grave, Henry decides to tempt fate and calls the number listed on his birth certificate.
This leads him to have a bizarre conversation with himself where he even gives his younger self some real-world advice.
And Henry knows that Regina is telling the truth because he remembers having that conversation when he was graduating.
Yes, it’s complicated but what else could you expect from the writers of Once Upon a Time? They’re pros at fudging up timelines and making the impossible, possible.
What does this mean for his mom and the rest of his family? Will they come to his aide while still living with teenage Henry? Will they return to the Enchanted Forest and back to a parallel time period? All those quotes about going home have to mean something, right?
I will say, I loved that the reason true love’s kiss between Henry and Jacinda didn’t work was because it was always Henry and Regina. It mirrors how Emma woke up Henry in season one.
So, Henry remembers everything again, he is reunited with his family, everyone else is blissfully aware that the past few months have been a terrible nightmare concocted up by Drizella, Mother Gothel has been turned into a tree,
Well, the story will end with Weaver trying to overcome himself, or rather, the Wish Realm version of Rumpelstiltskin.
The Wish Realm version returned to kill Dr. Facilier and will serve as the two-night finale’s greatest villain.
While I love that the focus reverts back to Rumpel who is exceptional, what was the point of introducing Regina’s love story with Facilier. Aside from a few booty-calls, which were very out of character, it went nowhere.
The problem with OUAT is that they don’t do justice to supporting characters. Gothel, Belfrey, even Facilier were talked up as the big bads but none of it came to fruition. In the end, they were bland and unimportant.
I can see that happening with Alice/Tilly, as well. She’s supposedly the one who can save Rumpel but is she even going to play a major role?
Much like the reformed villains, the Evil Queen, the Wicked Witch, and Hook, they were forced to face the demons inside them and overcame.
If they could do it, so can Rumpel who has come a long way since being the coward.
I’m willing to bet that when he defeats himself, he’ll finally be allowed to reunite with his beloved Belle.
But first, Wish Realm Rumpel will steal Henry’s family to motivate him to get the Dark One’s dagger which will reunite him with his family including Snow, Charming and Emma!
Once Upon a Time – Flower Child (7×19)
We’re just two episodes from the series finale of Once Upon a Time and while we learned all about Gothel’s origin story, we still have a lot to wrap up.
For starters, why didn’t true love’s kiss break the curse? Drizella said that was the answer so finally, a very resourceful Lucy manipulated Facilier into being a hero and figuring out a way to have the “illness” removed from Henry so that when he kissed Jacinda, the curse would break and he’d survive.
Lucy stumbling upon the glass slipper in her mother’s belongings was a bit too easy. Really, who keeps a broken shoe in a memory box?
But it was the proof Jacinda needed to believe Henry’s theory that maybe Lucy was right and all the “crazy stories” in his book were real.
And it was enough for Facilier to use in his voodoo spell.
Facilier didn’t need too much convincing because restoring everyone’s memories would be beneficial if he was right about what Gothel was plotting.
If you’ve been wondering “why Hyperion Heights,” well, it turns out this town, and specifically, the theater, is the where it all began thousands of years ago with a tree nymph named Gothel.
Who would have thought that Gothel was once an innocent creature meant to spread magic amongst her people?
Gothel’s story starts with her spying on rich princesses trying on fancy dresses. For starters, we know that she’s jealous in nature and resents people having what she couldn’t.
She sneaks into their home and while looking at the dresses, uses magic to fix a flower. She’s caught by the girls who are impressed by her abilities rather than scared and intimidated like most people. They welcome her into the sisterhood and invite her to a ball the next day.
When Gothel returns home to her magical grove, her mother warns her about the true nature of humans. She informs her that no matter how much she tries, she’ll never fit in and that her real destiny is becoming the “Mother” of magic for her people.
Gothel disregards her mother’s warning but realizes just how wrong she is when the girls turn on her and call her an abomination before dousing her with mud.
As she returns home distraught she finds the grove was destroyed and burned to the ground by the humans. With her dying breath, her mother encourages her not to seek revenge so naturally, that’s exactly what Gothel does.
Fueled by anger, she crashes the party and begins killing the humans with magic starting with their “queen bee.” Seraphina, the only girl who seemed to feel guilty for what happened, counters her spell revealing that she too is a witch.
Gothel sees an opportunity for a new “sister” and extends an olive branch. She brings Seraphina back to her destroyed grove and deems this realm the “Land Without Magic.” In her final moments, she vows to return here one day to restore it to its former glory.
That seemingly took thousands of years but is the basis for the curse that she forced Drizella to cast. Poor Drizzy, she thought she was doing this to hurt her mom but she was just a ploy in Gothel’s bigger scheme.
There wasn’t any love for Gothel since she’s done some terrible things and made a lot of people miserable, but can you blame her? Her story isn’t exactly one the evokes hope and makes you believe in the goodness of humanity.
In the present day, Eloise Gardener is preparing for the ritual, approaches Tilly and confesses to being her mother.
Tilly might be weird, but she’s not a fan of cult-leaders coming up claiming to be her mother.
She defends all the terrible things she’s done by saying “the world was cruel, so I turned cruel,” which is the equivalent of “they made me do it.”
Tilly runs off to Detective Weaver with these delusional claims but he isn’t weirded out at all; not after Prince Naveen (Sebastian) told him about the existence of a coven and magic.
They turn to Henry for some help and while they expect him to be dismissive of their delusional hypothesis, he’s completely on board because he too believes something odd is happening in this town.
How else would you explain the paternity test confirming Henry is Lucy’s father if they never even had sex?!
The desk sarg calls in with a tip about a gang of hooded women at the theater so Weaver and Tilly go to check it out.
Tilly ponders about how odd it is that the truth is seemingly in close proximity of everyone yet they don’t know it’s there.
That’s the real curse.
When they enter the theater, they realize its a trap so that Eloise can get her hands on her daughter.
She tries to encourage her to help the coven complete the spell as Weaver begs Tilly not to do it.
However, Eloise has now revealed that Weaver is Tilly’s father and if she doesn’t do as she says, she’ll kill her.
Always with the dramatics, Eloise.
Tilly finds herself at an impossible crossroads but recognizes that she would never be able to live with herself if she let her father die.
In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, Tilly has really become the heart and spirit of the show. She definitely made this version worth watching and even made up for Jacinda’s lack of enthusiasm.
As she becomes the final member of the coven, the spell is complete.
Now, we’re back to Jacinda and Henry who have accepted the idea that they really are a fairytale couple.
But like I mentioned before, the kiss did not break the curse so, at this point, everyone is out of options, especially as Gothel becomes the all-powerful one.
So, what now? How do they break a curse when the creator of it is no longer around?
Will Gothel’s spell go through? Will it flood the realm with enough magic to save everyone?
How will they incorporate our original characters into the end?
There’s still so much to wrap up here that I don’t think two episodes will suffice.
- What’s the story with Tiana and Naveen? Why was Facilier using him and why did they make it a big deal?
- Will Weaver ever reunite with Belle? Will he find someone other than The Guardian to take over his dagger?
- Will Tilly and Rogers be allowed to reunite once the curse breaks?
- How are any of us getting back to Storybrooke?
- Will Gothel die?
- Will Regina end up with Facilier?
- Will we ever see Kelly/ Zelena’s wedding?
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