In the nineteenth episode of season 7 of Once Upon a Time, titled “Flower Child,” flashbacks reveal Gothel’s origin story as she seeks revenge when her home is destroyed. Meanwhile, in present-day Hyperion Heights, Tilly is forced to make a dangerous decision when someone she loves is put in danger, and Lucy is disappointed when Henry and Jacinda’s new closeness doesn’t lead to the result she was hoping for. (As before, if a character is awake, I will refer to them by their real name or put their cursed name in quotation marks.)

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Gothel’s Backstory is Revealed

In flashbacks, we see a young Gothel watching a group of girls try on fancy dresses. When the girls are out of view, Gothel sneaks into their home and begins to touch the dresses. She uses magic to fix the flower decorating one dress, but she’s caught in the act by the girls. Instead of being angry or scared, the girls are intrigued by Gothel’s magic. They ask Gothel if she’ll teach them magic and they invite her to a fancy party being thrown the next day.

When Gothel returns to her home, we see that she lives in a magical grove with magical beings. It turns out that Gothel has altered her appearance in order to look human, but she is actually a tree nymph. Gothel’s mother tells her that no matter how much she is drawn to humans, she will never belong in their world. She also tells Gothel that she has a destiny to be the future leader of their people, aka the “Mother” of all magic. Gothel’s mother says that she cannot exist in both the magical and human worlds, but she has faith that Gothel will embrace her destiny.

The next day, Gothel is thrilled to be attending a fancy human party with her new friends, but it turns out they merely lured her to the party in order to harass her. They call her an abomination and tell her that she doesn’t belong in their world.

When Gothel returns home after the party, she finds that the grove has been destroyed. Gothel rushes to her dying mother’s side and her mother explains that humans attacked their home and killed everyone. With her dying breath, Gothel’s mother encourages her not to seek revenge against the humans and to instead take the magic inside of her and start anew.

Alas, Gothel ignores her mother’s advice and heads back to the party to confront the humans who took everything from her. Gothel starts attacking the humans with her magic, but when she targets one girl, the girl counters with magic of her own. This girl tells Gothel that she hid her powers all these years because she was afraid the humans would come after her. Gothel asks this girl to join her, and she becomes Gothel’s first new “sister.” Gothel then finishes what she started and kills the remaining humans who attacked her home.

After dispatching all the humans from the land, Gothel and her new sister return to the destroyed grove. Gothel explains that she has now turned this realm into a Land Without Magic, and they will return to it one day. For now, she and her new sister are traveling to a new realm to find others like them. (According to the title card, these flashbacks apparently took place thousands of years ago, so I guess it took Gothel a very long time to form her coven and return to the Land Without Magic.)

Gothel Makes Her Move

In present-day Hyperion Heights, “Eloise”/Gothel arrives at the police station to magically compel one of the cops to help her “wake” the rest of her coven. Whatever the cop does works, and Gothel is thrilled that she has her sisters back. She tells her sisters that it’s time for them to get back what once was theirs.

Meanwhile, at the station, Rogers (aka Wish-Hook) is questioning “Drew”/Naveen. Rogers looked into the report on “Nick”‘s death and realizes that something impossible happened to “Nick.” Naveen explains that “Nick” was killed via magic wielded by “Samdi”/Facilier. Rogers isn’t quite ready to buy into the magic/fairytale angle, but he knows something weird is going on. Naveen tells him that a war is coming and no one is safe.

Later, “Eloise”/Gothel is stalking Tilly (aka Alice). Gothel approaches Tilly and tells her that she’s her mother. Gothel claims that she’s sorry for abandoning Tilly, and she claims she wants a second chance. “Eloise” says that if Tilly forgives her, she’ll finally feel wanted. However, Tilly doesn’t need “Eloise” because she already has people who care for her.

After her encounter with “Eloise,” Tilly goes to see Rogers (aka Wish-Hook). She tells him what happened with “Eloise,” and despite how crazy it sounds, he believes her. Together, they go to see Henry because they want his help in figuring out what’s going on with “Eloise.” Once they arrive at Henry’s place, they see that Henry has begun putting together information of all the crazy happenings in the Heights. Henry tells them that he now believes his book might be true and he’s been looking for proof.

Meanwhile, “Eloise”/Gothel heads to the bar to see Margot (aka Robin). She chats up Margot for a bit before using magic to compel her into giving up a drop of her blood.

Rogers and Tilly discuss their theories about “Eloise” with Henry. Henry easily accepts the idea of “Eloise” being a witch, and he thinks that she must not have a lot of magic in this realm. Henry believes that if they can prevent the coven from restoring their magic, they can stop whatever “Eloise” has planned. Alas, just then, Rogers gets a call from the very same cop Gothel compelled. He gives Rogers a “lead” into order to lure Rogers and Tilly into a trap.

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Gothel Manipulates Tilly

While they’re waiting for an “Eloise” sighting, Tilly talks to Rogers about how she always wanted a mother. Rogers tells her that biology doesn’t make someone a parent. He then promises her that he will help her figure out the truth, whatever it might be. Later, she thanks him for everything he’s done for her. She also expresses how lucky she feels that he showed so much kindness to her even though she’s a stranger to him.

When they spot “Eloise,” Tilly and Rogers follow her right into the trap she set up. While the compelled cop grabs Tilly, Gothel and her sisters capture Rogers. While keeping them captive, Gothel tells Rogers and Tilly that she is a witch. Gothel then claims that if she knew Tilly was “special” like them, things would’ve been different for her. Gothel claims the coven is Tilly’s family, but Tilly wants to know about her father. Gothel actually reveals the truth that Rogers (aka Wish-Hook) is Tilly’s father. She then threatens to kill Rogers unless Tilly helps her with a spell.

After taking a drop of blood from both Tilly and Rogers, Gothel says they have all the ingredients they need for the spell. Rogers pleads with Tilly not to go help Gothel with the spell, but Tilly is convinced that Rogers is her father. Because of that, she says she cannot be responsible for his death. Tilly then joins the rest of Gothel’s coven and they cast the spell. Alas, the episode ends before we can find out exactly what the spell was or what consequences it will have for our heroes.

Lucy Turns to Facilier For Help

Early in the episode, Henry and Jacinda (aka Ella) are discussing the blood test results that reveal Henry as Lucy’s father. While Henry is convinced the test results are real, Jacinda isn’t so sure. After all, she would remember sleeping with Henry, wouldn’t she? Henry now believes that Lucy was right and his book is real. He tells Jacinda that he loved her from the moment they met and he always wondered how love at first sight was possible. Now, he thinks maybe it wasn’t love at first sight because they knew each other from the fairytale realm. Henry ends up freaking Jacinda out with his fairytale theories, so she leaves to go to work.

Across town, Lucy goes to visit “Samdi”/Facilier. She tells him about “Weaver”/Rumple stealing the magic they need to save Henry’s life, and she asks him if he can get more magic. Facilier says magic is difficult to find in this realm, but he thinks they can get some if Lucy can find an object that represents her parents’ love. Of course, Facilier isn’t doing this out of the goodness of his heart. Facilier shares Lucy’s desire to break the curse because he will need magic in order to survive whatever Gothel has planned.

Lucy heads home and starts searching through boxes of her mother’s things. When Jacinda gets suspicious of her activities, Lucy admits that she’s looking for proof that Henry is her father. Lucy and Jacinda search through her old belongings and find several items from Granny’s diner. In a bag with Granny’s logo, Lucy discovers the rest of the glass slipper and takes it as proof that her mother really is Cinderella.

Later, Lucy takes the glass slipper to Facilier. He uses the magic found in said slipper to draw the poison out of Henry’s heart so that he won’t be harmed when the curse is broken. It appears that Facilier’s spell worked, and Henry is now cured.

Jacinda invites Henry over to her place to tell him about the slipper. While Jacinda is starting to believe that she might be Cinderella, she still has too many memories of her life as Jacinda to fully embrace her former self. Instead, she tells Henry that she wants to kiss him, not as her fairytale counterpart, but as Jacinda. Henry and Jacinda FINALLY share their first kiss. Alas, something must’ve gone wrong with True Love’s Kiss because the curse is still intact, much to Lucy’s disappointment.

What did you think of this episode of Once Upon a Time season 7? What do you think Gothel is trying to accomplish with that spell? Is she merely trying to restore her former home/the magical grove or does she have something else up her sleeves? Are you surprised by how easily Tilly accepted that both Gothel and Rogers are her parents? While it appears that Facilier cured Henry, is this cure permanent or will the poison return to Henry’s heart? Why didn’t Henry and Jacinda’s kiss break the curse? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV