In the season 7 mid-season premiere of Once Upon a Time, titled “Secret Garden,” Zelena’s daughter Robin enters into a dangerous relationship with Gothel in order to hone her magical abilities. Meanwhile, in present-day Hyperion Heights, Zelena makes a deal with Gothel in order to save Lucy, and Drizella’s long-standing feud with Lady Tremaine finally comes to a head with deadly results. (As before, if a character is awake, I will refer to them by their real name or put their cursed named in quotation marks.)
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Zelena Searches For Her Daughter
As the episode begins, we find a teenage Robin spell-casting with her friends back in good old Storybrooke. Alas, when Zelena arrives, she is none too pleased to find her daughter practicing magic without her knowledge. Zelena tells Robin that she doesn’t understand the forces she’s toying with and Robin mocks Zelena for no longer having magic of her own. (It’s a low-blow, but not fairly predictable for a rebellious teenager.) After fighting with her mother, Robin storms off and winds up disappearing in a cloud of magic.
When she realizes Robin is missing, Zelena heads to the Enchanted Forest (the 2.0 version we’ve been seeing all season) to find Regina. She tells Regina that the spell Robin was practicing was a summoning spell and what it brought forth was Gothel. After Gothel took Robin, Zelena blames Regina for her daughter’s disappearance, since Regina gave Robin the spell book in the first place. Zelena tells her sister that she’s going after Gothel on her own, but Wish-Hook has another idea. Since Gothel cursed his heart to separate him from his daughter, he wants to help Zelena take Gothel down. Zelena eventually relents and allows the man she dubs “Nook” — as in, “New Hook” — to tag along on her mission to find her daughter.
When they finally track Robin and Gothel down, Robin explains that she wasn’t actually taken, she chose to run away. Gothel then gives Robin the choice to leave if she wishes, but Robin chooses to stay. She does, however, tell Zelena and Wish-Hook to leave. (Also during this scene, we learn that Gothel and Robin are working with a witch we see via crystal ball. This witch is Madame Leota and she is apparently very vital to Gothel’s plans.)
Later, Wish-Hook gives a magic-less Zelena a pep-talk, explaining that love is stronger than magic any day. All she needs to do is use said love to show Robin how much she means to her. (How long has it been since I mentioned how much I love this version of Hook? Because I feel like it can never be said enough that Wish-Hook is one of the best things about this season.)
Zelena Gets Her Magic Back
Gothel shows an eager Robin something known as the “Resurrection Amulet” and explains that they can use it to resurrect Gothel’s witch friend, Leota. Alas, in order to bring Leota back to life, a sacrifice is required. Robin learns that Gothel doesn’t want to her help with her magic, she merely wants to use Robin as the sacrifice to save Leota. Luckily, Zelena arrives and offers to trade places with Robin. When Robin sees that Zelena is willing to sacrifice her life to save her, she realizes just how much her mother loves her. Robin then uses the archery skills she inherited from her father to save her mother and stop the ritual. Zelena and Robin are then reunited and back on good terms.
Later, Robin tells Zelena that she never really cared about magic, she just thought she had to because her mother is the infamous Wicked Witch. Since Gothel channeled Robin’s magic into the amulet during the ritual, Robin is able to give her magic to Zelena. With her magic restored, Zelena finally feels like herself again. She then tells Robin that they’ll have to hide the amulet in a safe place so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Anastasia Learns the Truth About Her Mother
In present-day Hyperion Heights, Henry and Jacinda (aka Ella) are sitting vigil by Lucy’s bedside when Regina and Zelena arrive at the hospital. Henry tells “Roni”/Regina that he feels helpless, but “Roni” encourages him to not give up on Lucy. After Henry is out of ear-shot, Zelena remarks about how hard it must be for Regina to be near her son but for him not to know who she is. Yet, that is not their biggest problem. The sisters discuss the fact that if they break the curse to save Lucy, Henry will die, but if they don’t break the curse, Lucy won’t survive. Regina is determined to find a third option and she knows they can do it together, as sisters.
While Lucy’s family is waiting for her to wake up, Gothel is trying to win Anastasia over to her side. She does this by informing Anastasia of all the terrible things Lady Tremaine did to save her. Lady Tremaine admits to her crimes, including putting Lucy into a coma in order to wake Ana up. Once a heartbroken Anastasia leaves, Gothel drops Lady Tremaine back into the well where she’s been keeping her prisoner. Drizella is also trapped in said well, but at least she can find joy in her mother’s suffering.
Later, Gothel stops by the hospital and tells Zelena that she plans to use Anastasia’s magic to bring Lucy out of her coma. However, Gothel needs Zelena to do something for her first.
Henry Asks to Be Tested
Zelena tells Regina that Gothel offered to save Lucy’s life if Zelena hands over the Resurrection Amulet. Since both Regina and Zelena know that the amulet comes with a terrible price, they don’t intend to hand it over to Gothel, However, Regina thinks if they can find it first, maybe they can figure out how to use it to save Lucy without needing to pay the price of such dark magic. They start their search at the bar because “Victoria”/Lady Tremaine was always so desperate to buy it out from under “Roni” and there must be a reason for that.
Meanwhile, “Weaver”/Rumple tells Rogers (aka Wish-Hook) that “Eloise” is part of a “cult” and their symbol is the one he’s been seeing around town. “Weaver” says that “Eloise”/Gothel was seduced into this “cult” (which we know is really a coven) and now she’s trying to bring others into it, namely Anastasia. Rogers doesn’t believe that “Eloise” is capable of this and he intends to prove her innocence. (I know Wish-Hook is cursed, but seeing him defend the woman who abused him and separated him from his daughter is really uncomfortable.)
Back at the hospital, the doctor decides to run some blood tests on Lucy’s family members in case an emergency arises and they need a donor. She’s going to test Jacinda and Lucy’s “father” Nick (aka Jack), but Henry also asks to be tested. Despite his failing to wake Lucy up with true love’s kiss in the mid-season finale, there’s still a part of Henry that believes in their familial connection.
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Drizella is Not Having a Good Day
Lady Tremaine and Drizella are still trapped in the well, but Lady Tremaine is determined to escape in order to save Anastasia. She manages to use her shoe to hit the lever for the rope so they can climb out of the well. Once they escape the well, Lady Tremaine suggests they team up to save Anastasia, but Drizella isn’t interested. She then points out to her mother that the lanterns she credited to Anastasia — the ones that gave Lady T. the hope when she needed it most — were all Drizella’s idea. (This is a great scene that really makes you feel for Drizella.)
Later, Rogers goes to “Eloise”‘s home to check on her and he begins to suspect that she’s not alone. “Eloise”/Gothel manages to cover her tracks while Anastasia hides from Rogers’ view, but Rogers knows something is up. He shares his suspicions with “Weaver”/Rumple and “Weaver” tells him about a ritual he believes the “cult” is trying to enact. This ritual involves human sacrifice so they need to track the “cult” down and stop them before anyone gets hurt.
Over at the bar, Zelena manages to find the amulet hidden in an old sign. (Apparently, their cursed personas once owned the bar together, but “Roni” took it over once “Kelly”/Zelena left town.) Alas, before they can hide the amulet, Lady Tremaine arrives and steals it.
Lady Tremaine delivers the amulet to Gothel who uses Anastasia’s magic to restore it. Gothel then sends Ana off to rest while she starts the ritual to save Lucy. As before, the resurrection ritual requires a sacrifice and Gothel summons Drizella to serve as said sacrifice.
Lady Tremaine Dies!
Despite all the years of abuse and neglect she put Drizella through, Lady Tremaine manages to find her inner humanity when she sees her daughter dying in the ritual. (I suppose there’s still a bit of the old Rapunzel in Lady T. after all.) Lady Tremaine then puts herself in Drizella’s place and sacrifices her life to save her daughter. Before she dies, Lady Tremaine apologizes to Drizella and tells her that she loves her. (I’m not sure this single moment of heroism is enough to make up for all the horrible things Lady T. did, but it does keep with the show’s central theme of hope and redemption.) The ritual works and Lady Tremaine’s death is enough to bring Lucy out of her coma. Alas, poor Drizella has spent so many years hating her mother that she has no idea how to feel about her death. (It will be interesting to see what Drizella uses as her motivation from here on out since it was her hatred of Lady Tremaine that fueled her for all these years.)
“Weaver” and Rogers manage to track down the ritual site, but only after the ritual has taken place. They find “Victoria” dead and “Weaver” warns Rogers that things are about to get very dark. (Haven’t they already reached that point? I mean, we did just have a ritual sacrifice, after all.)
Back at the hospital, Lucy’s doctor gets the results of the blood tests and learns that “Nick” isn’t Lucy’s father, but Henry is. Before she can share this news, she drinks from a poisoned bottle and dies. The mysterious person who poisoned her then takes a lock of the dead doctor’s hair along with the test results. Does Hyperion Heights have a serial killer? If so, why did said killer target Lucy’s doctor?
What did you think of this episode of Once Upon a Time season 7? Who is this unknown killer and what are they after? Are you surprised that Lady Tremaine/Rapunzel/”Victoria” sacrificed her life to save the daughter she never seemed to care about? How will Jacinda react if she learns that Lady T. sacrificed herself to save Lucy? How long will it be before Rogers and the others are woken from the curse? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
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Contributing Writer, BuddyTV