Episode Four of Once Upon A Time’s seventh season continues this season’s emerging trend.
In a flashback, Belle and Rumple prepare for Gideon’s first birthday, setting up for the focus of this episode: The Gold family—they’re far more interesting than the Charmings, thankfully. Rumple gives Belle a gift. A blank scrapbook and promises her he will give her what she always wanted: to see the world.
Cutting to the present, Weaver meets with Tilly (Alice). He claims that the deli gave him the wrong order, but it just so happens to be her favorite: orange marmalade. Tilly, wearing a white rabbit mask with a little monocle, starts saying things that hint that she knows of the curse: “Bet you didn’t know you’re wearing a mask too.”
The scene changes to Ivy, sitting behind her desk at work, while Jacinda approaches her. Ivy picks up the phone and tells security that there’s a “trash situation” on the floor upon seeing her stepsister. Jacinda is only there to drop off Lucy’s Halloween costume. Here we find out that Jacinda cannot trick-or-treat with Lucy this year thanks to Victoria and Ivy has to do so. Ivy clearly doesn’t want this, referring to Lucy as a “little monster”. Jacinda makes an attempt to convince Ivy to let her take Lucy. Ivy refuses as she doesn’t want to risk her mother finding out.
I hate to repeat myself but here it goes: Jacinda’s actress still hasn’t improved. She still lacks facial expressions and, as if to make things worse, if her lines aren’t delivered with failed emphasis, they’re delivered without any emphasis. In the scene with Ivy, she just blurted all her lines out, without a break or even a breath. People do not talk like this. People breathe and pause when they speak. If they blurt everything out at once, it’s out of fear or anxiety, which was seriously lacking in this scene.
Other than Jacinda, I like seeing Rumple and Belle. The development with Tilly, however, was my favorite. I expected and predicted that Weaver/Rumple knew about this curse or had a hand in it—and I still have this suspicion based on later events in this episode—but I didn’t expect Tilly to know about it. This was an excellent twist and it only improved later thanks to Victoria’s motivations.
Speaking of, it’s about that time to address the motivations. After Tilly breaks into Victoria’s car and has a short conversation that ends in her taking some pepper spray to the face, Victoria summons Weaver to her office. Tilly left behind a bottle of pills in the car and Victoria wants her medicated. She orders Weaver to drug her. Weaver refuses—Tilly is his best informant—but Victoria blackmails him. She has videos of where he’s been and threatens to expose him if he doesn’t work for her and do what she wants.
We skip to Roni’s bar where Henry is trying out her new drink—the poison apple—and sulking about seeing his family’s graves. Roni tells him he must move on and that he can’t spend his life holding onto ghosts. She tells him that he can love again and even suggests asking Jacinda out to a Halloween event.
The scene cuts to Weaver and Rogers. Weaver expresses that he doesn’t want to drug Tilly. She has something on Victoria and it scared her. He wants to know what that information is. Rogers suggests that he actually cares about Tilly. Weaver snaps that Rogers is the savior of lost girls, proving he knows about the case Rogers is looking into. Weaver leaves, adding that the only person he cares about, is himself.
Oh no, am I slipping? I am enjoying aspects of this episode! The twist with Tilly is interesting and Victoria drugging her to keep her quiet is a good turn. I’m not sure I like that she appears mentally ill, genuinely in need of her medication.
Oh good, I’m not slipping. I loathed the scene with Roni. With Lucy constantly belittling Henry’s loss, I hoped there would be some sort of reaction there. That Henry would do more than drink his problems away and ask another girl out. It’s glossed over so quickly that it removed the purpose of having the graves in the first place.
In the past, Belle, Rumple, and their son Gideon travel through the fairy tale realm. Belle has clearly aged over time and their son is at least ten by this point. They pause at a bridge where Rumple hopes he can abandon the dagger and the burden of being the Dark One. Rumple’s goal is to become mortal, like Belle, and live the rest of his life with her. While Belle is happy to live her life with him, Rumple can’t bear the thought of watching her age and die while he remains immortal. The attempt fails and they promise to find a solution.
In Hyperion Heights, Lucy and Ivy are clearly suffering while trick-or-treating. Lucy is dressed as a skeleton, with a paper bag over her head with a crudely drawn skull. Meanwhile, Ivy is looking at her phone and clearly desperate for the night to end. Lucy insists the area is boring and wants to go to a haunted house. Ivy refuses. She’s already mad that she’s missing the annual masquerade ball. Lucy calls her out on this: Ivy wasn’t invited. She isn’t missing anything. Ivy snaps that perhaps Lucy should make the bag a year-round accessory. Lucy huffs off to the nearest house to get candy and swaps with another kid. She gives this Elsa-dressed girl the paper bag, the big box of Milk Duds, and runs off. Ivy doesn’t notice immediately, refusing to look up from her phone, but when she does realize it, she panics: “Mother is going to kill me!”
That was a big chunk of summary so I’ll just review a bit here. Rumple and Belle are setting up for heartbreak. Not to spoil anything, but it was clear to me at this point that Belle was going to die well before Rumple.
I find that I love Ivy. Besides the fact that she can actually act and sells her character, she’s sassy but clearly, fears her mother. As rude as she is, and even though talking to a child that way probably isn’t something to condone, I quite enjoy her lines and her delivery. I also enjoy that Ivy is the only one that has any sense to worry about Lucy when she vanishes. I nominate Ivy for Queen of Common Sense.
The scene shifts to Tilly under the troll bridge. Weaver approaches her. Tilly’s medication has obviously worn off by this point and she’s referencing Alice in Wonderland frequently—saying she’s ten feet tall for example. Tilly, here, reminds me a lot of the Jefferson Airplane song “Go Ask Alice”, swapping drugs for mental illness in this case. Weaver really wants to know what she knows about Victoria because it makes Victoria fearful. Tilly struggles to remember but knows to take him to the railroad to remember.
Back in the past, an aging Belle and Rumple continue to search for a way to get rid of the dagger. Gideon enters proudly announcing he was accepted to a university. Rumple is happy and proud but not ready to let his son go. He feels as if he hasn’t had him long enough. Belle reminds him it’s been 18 years and it’s time for him to find his own way. Belle redirects Rumple’s attention. She’s found a prophecy that will let the Dark One become mortal and abandon the darkness. They must travel to the Edge of Realms where the brightest sunset will occur.
In the present, we skip to Henry about to ask Jacinda out while she’s at work. Ivy bursts in and interrupts the scene, saying that she has lost Lucy. They bicker a little about the missing girl. Ivy suggests that Jacinda is running around with Henry, hoping he’ll be her “baby daddy”. Jacinda counters with he’s her friend and Ivy wouldn’t know what one was. It seems this hit a nerve with Ivy, she backtracks and changes the subject to “we need to find your spawn”. Jacinda can’t leave because she’ll be fired. Ivy leaves, saying she’ll find her on her own then. Henry puts his number in Jacinda’s phone and has her text him a list of Lucy’s usual places so he can look with Ivy.
Back with Weaver and Tilly. As they drive to where Tilly insists they will learn the truth, Weaver insists that Tilly eat that orange marmalade sandwich. As she does, she realizes Weaver stuck the pills in the sandwich, drugging her. She feels deeply betrayed and says Victoria’s pills make her feel foggy and forget herself. She leaps out of the moving car to force Weaver to follow her.
I have two main hang ups about this whole thing with Lucy. One: Lucy runs around all the time and no one has shown any concern for her before. Why is it suddenly the end of the world that she’s off leash? Two: Finally someone does have common sense and worries about a child running around on her own like this.
I don’t have much to add with Rumple, Belle or Tilly. The use of Tilly’s character and the fact that she knows that they’re not from Hyperion Heights is cool. I also knew at this point in the episode that Belle would likely die before Rumple was mortal.
In the fairy tale realm, Belle and Rumple reach the Edge of Realms. It could be years before the sun sets because time flows differently there. Belle and Rumple construct a house by hand—and it turns out really well for their lack of magic use. It slips into a montage where we see Belle aging but the couple lives happily together. It’s also set to a variation of Beauty and the Beast from the animated film. Well done overall. As an elderly Belle opens the curtains, she falls from the chair. The scene ends with her looking weakly at Rumple.
In Hyperion Heights, the scene shifts to Ivy crying alone on a bench while looking for Lucy. Henry approaches her. The two bicker a bit at first, but Ivy admits eventually that without her mother’s approval, she has nothing. Henry bonds with her, saying everyone has baggage. He advises her to take a chance and do the scary thing. Once they’ve gotten their bonding moment out of the way, Henry shares the list with Ivy. Ivy instantly knows that Lucy is at the third on the list—the Haunted House, since she hasn’t shut up about it since.
Breaking in here because obviously, she’s at the haunted house! Couldn’t you have thought of that right away? She’s not exactly hard to figure out! Kid complains about wanting to go to the haunted house, ditches her chaperone, naturally she’s at the haunted house!
Ivy, I take back my Queen of Common Sense nomination. You’re a step ahead of the others, yes, but only when the plot demands it.
Other than that, the biggest issue with the scene is that there is instant chemistry between Ivy and Henry. Or a least there is more chemistry between Henry and Ivy than there is between Henry and Jacinda. Of course, that’s not really hard to do since Ivy’s actress can actually act.
While Henry and Ivy head to the haunted house, Tilly shows Weaver Belle’s chipped teacup, promising that he told her all she had to do was show him that to bring his memories back to him. The scene shifts suddenly to Belle in Rumple’s arms at the Edge of Realms. She admits that she knew the translation of the prophecy meant that she must die for him to find a solution and he would find a path back to her. Belle tells him the story of Beauty and the Beast as she dies.
Back with Tilly, the teacup failed to jog Weaver’s memory. Tilly lunges forward and grabs his gun while trying to remember his name.
“Why are you doing this?”
“Because you told me to, Rumplestiltskin!”
Till fires as she delivers her line, shooting Weaver in the chest.
The scene shifts again to the fairy tale realm, where Rumple and Gideon stand over Belle’s fresh grave. Rumple tells his son that he must pass the dagger to the guardian, whoever that is. He magically transports himself into the woods and instantly runs into Alice.
Weaver wakes in the hospital, seeing Belle above him as he regains consciousness. Rogers comments that the bullet was removed and that he is immortal. Weaver repeats “immortal” with some dazed clarity. Rogers comments that it was a joke and shifts to Tilly. She’s in the waiting room, back on her pills, and she feels terribly. Weaver says that she can go. Rogers is to file a report saying a masked robber did it and leave Tilly out of it.
Suddenly, we shift to Lucy returning to her mother. Jacinda, expressionless as ever, scolds Lucy for running away and thanks them for finding her. Ivy suggests they all go trick-or-treating together, after all, there’s an hour left. Ivy says she’ll “deal with mother” and leaves them. Henry refuses to join, saying he’d feel out of place. He pretends he wasn’t going to ask Jacinda out, but instead was going to ask her to look over his blog posts about the community gardens once he finishes it. He leaves, leaving Jacinda disappointed—or she’s supposed to be, but it’s hard to tell.
In the hospital, Victoria approaches Weaver. Weaver is on his game and says “I’ve discovered something else, dear.” Rumple’s back, everyone. Victoria’s in trouble now.
Ivy shows up at the bar, with better drinks for Henry. She takes a seat with him and pours him a glass. Henry says it must be difficult for her to face her mother. She says “Yep, now you’re going to drink with me until I’m ready to face her.” The episode closes on a possible hit between some mutual interest.
This episode topped the others for me in many ways. Anything with Weaver and Tilly, or Rumple and Belle, and Ivy, was fantastic. As usual, anything with Jacinda was frustrating. I want to care about her, but I don’t because she needs to improve her acting desperately. She’s not a believable character because she lacks expressions or fails to deliver her lines in any sort of believable way.
The biggest plot hole here was the urgency to find Lucy. She runs around all the time without supervision. Why is it suddenly a big deal that she’s alone now?
Lastly, the scene with Ivy and Henry hinting at some possible romantic interest. The biggest problem here is that there’s chemistry. I would vastly prefer them as a couple simply because Ivy has personality. She’s not wooden when she acts, she has actual characterization. Jacinda lacks all of this, which makes it impossible to see any chemistry with Henry. By default, Ivy has much more chemistry with Henry purely because she can act. Jacinda needs to either get better or the writers better be prepared to follow through on this Ivy/Henry pairing because it’s going to be a thousand times better than pairing him with Jacinda.