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!
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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