In the twelfth episode of season 7 of Once Upon a Time, titled “A Taste of the Heights,” Tiana has a confrontation with Dr. Facilier that leads to a memorable encounter with a fellow royal. Meanwhile, in present-day Hyperion Heights, Rogers and Weaver investigate a recent murder, Sabine runs into an old friend, and some new faces come to town in the wake of Victoria’s death. (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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Tiana Meets Prince Naveen
In flashbacks, everyone is celebrating on the day of Tiana’s coronation. Alas, before she can be crowned Queen, Dr. Facilier arrives. We learn that Facilier has some kind of history with Regina, as he apparently knew her during her Evil Queen days. Facilier says he’s brought Tiana a gift and that said gift is a glimpse of her future. He tells her that her kingdom will be plagued by a terrible beast. Tiana doesn’t believe him, but he tells her to go to the docks to check out his story. After he leaves, Tiana tells the others that she has to know if he was telling the truth or not, so she heads for the docks to search for this beast.
Tiana takes Wish-Hook and Ella down to the docks and they discover evidence of a recent beast attack. While they are searching for a trail to find this beast, someone new arrives. This new hero turns out to be Prince Naveen and he believes that he is meant to slay the beast using his enchanted spear. Naveen and Tiana end up challenging each other over finding the beast and Tiana says that she plans to show this Prince what a real hero looks like.
During the hunt, Tiana and Naveen continue to flirt by taunting one another about their hunting abilities. Alas, things get serious when they find a man who was attacked by the beast. Tiana tasks Wish-Hook and Ella with getting the man to a healer while she and Naveen continue to hunt the beast.
Facilier Saves Naveen, But At a Cost
While they are sitting in wait for the beast, Tiana learns that Naveen is hunting the beast not for glory, but because it killed his brother. Naveen talks about how he and his brother planned to rule together but now he has to go it alone and he never wanted that. Tiana suggests they make a royal alliance, at least while they hunt the beast. Sadly, this alliance appears to be over when Tiana spots something belonging to Dr. Facilier among Naveen’s belongings. Tiana assumes this means that Naveen is working for Facilier and while they are arguing, the beast attacks their boat and knocks Naveen into the water. Tiana uses Naveen’s enchanted spear to slay the beast, which turns out to be an alligator, but not before it gravely harms Naveen.
Tiana pulls Naveen to safety, but he’s not doing well after the beast’s attack. Just then, Dr. Facilier arrives. He uses magic to retrieve something from the dead alligator’s stomach that he couldn’t retrieve until the alligator was dead. Tiana tells Facilier that he owes her for slaying the beast so she demands that he use magic to save Naveen’s life. Facilier does as she asks, but as soon as Naveen is restored to life, Facilier sends Naveen off to parts unknown via magic. Facilier tells Tiana that Naveen will have to pay the price for Facilier saving his life and he won’t be released until the debt is paid. Tiana vows to use her resources as Queen to find Naveen, but Facilier doesn’t seem worried that she might succeed.
Tiana returns to her castle to continue the coronation and meet her subjects. She asks her friends to join her in greeting the members of her kingdom because she’s going to need her friends’ help to rule.
After the others leave with Tiana, Regina stays behind because she knows Facilier is there spying on them. Facilier shows Regina the item he got from the dead alligator — it’s a necklace — and Regina recognizes it as something she wore during her Evil Queen days. Regina asks Facilier what he’s really after and he says, “I miss my Queen.” Regina and Facilier then make out and I don’t know how I feel about this new development. (On the one hand, Regina and Facilier have good chemistry. On the other hand, Facilier is clearly not someone who can be trusted and I hope he doesn’t try to sway Regina back to the dark side.)
A New Face Arrives in Hyperion Heights
In present-day Hyperion Heights, Jacinda (aka Ella) and Lucy visit Sabine at the food truck where Sabine (aka Tiana) is preparing food for the upcoming fair. Lucy offers to help Sabine with the fair, but Jacinda jokes that Sabine is a control freak. Sabine claims Jacinda is wrong, but also suggests that Jacinda and Lucy spend some quality time together in the wake of Lucy’s recent illness. Lucy likes that idea, but she wants to invite Henry to join them and Jacinda eventually agrees.
(While Lady Tremaine/”Victoria” was killed in the previous episode, the only mourning we see for her is when Jacinda and Lucy put flowers on her grave. Drizella/”Ivy” doesn’t appear in this episode so we don’t know how she’s dealing with her mother’s death.)
Henry is once again at Roni’s bar when the lights start flickering. Just then, someone new arrives. It’s Facilier, only he’s going by Mr. Sandi. He tells Henry that he’s looking for “Roni”/Regina because he’s an investor. “Victoria” apparently chased him out of town, but now that she’s passed away, he has returned to help “improve” the Heights. “Sandi” wants Henry to tell “Roni” to call him. He then leaves in another flicker of lights.
Across town, “Weaver” shows Rogers (aka Wish-Hook) a photo of Lucy’s deceased doctor. According to the medical examiner, she died of natural causes but “Weaver”/Rumple doesn’t believe that. He tells Rogers that the woman is missing a lock of her hair. Since she died at the same time as “Victoria”/Lady Tremaine, Rogers says it must’ve been another “cult” member who killed her. They decide to investigate the doctor’s death in the hopes of getting a lead on this “cult.” (As Rumple knows, the “cult” is actually the coven Gothel is forming.)
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Lucy Wants Her Parents to Share True Love’s Kiss
Sabine is still working to prepare for the fair when Drew arrives. Drew is the cursed persona of Prince Naveen and he apparently has history with Sabine. He left town to work at his parents’ restaurant but he’s back for the fair. Alas, Drew isn’t there for Sabine’s food. Instead, he is also participating in the far and he’s apparently selling the same kind of Cajun food Sabine is known for. It looks like they will be competing for customers.
Back at the bar, Henry tells “Roni” about the investor who was looking for her. Once Henry leaves, Regina tells Zelena that this so-called investor is Facilier. Regina finds it suspicious that “Sandi” would return to town just as the coven is being formed. They need to figure out if Facilier is awake like they are or if he’s still under the curse.
Henry arrives at Jacinda’s place where he is greeted by Lucy. He brought some board games for them to play, but Lucy pulls him aside to tell him that “Victoria” recently showed her another storybook and revealed that Lucy was right about everyone being under a curse. (The now-deceased “Victoria” showed Lucy this other storybook before Lucy fell into the coma so this is the first chance Lucy’s had to tell Henry about it.) Henry is reluctant to believe Lucy’s tale about the storybook, but Lucy says that once he shares True Love’s kiss with her mother, the curse will break and everyone will know the truth.
Sabine Runs Into Trouble
In the course of their investigation, Rogers and “Weaver” visit a bakery where the deceased doctor stopped to purchase baked goods on the day of her death. The baker at said bakery is a blind woman who claims that she can’t help them with their investigation. However, “Weaver” and Rogers know this baker is hiding something.
As the fair gets underway, Sabine is told that she cannot participate because she doesn’t have a permit needed to sell her food. Sabine says she mailed in the necessary papers, but she just hasn’t heard back yet. Sabine asks the cop how he knew about his missing permit and the cop says he received an anonymous tip. Sabine automatically assumes it was Drew who sent in the tip so he could steal all of her customers. Yet when Sabine confronts him, Drew claims he knew nothing about the anonymous tip. He suspects that his silent partner, Mr. Sandi, might be behind the tip since Sandi guaranteed Drew’s success at the fair.
Later, “Mr. Sandi” stops by Roni’s bar. Zelena pretends to be “Roni” and “Sandi” acts as if he doesn’t know the difference. This convinces Zelena that Facilier must still be under the curse.
During their night-in, Lucy makes a quick exit by claiming she’s tired so that Henry and Jacinda can be alone. Lucy then spies on Henry and Jacinda from her room and she is pleased when she sees how well things are going.
Drew approaches Sabine and offers her his permit so she can participate in the fair. After all, she is a far more talented cook than he is and they both know it. Sabine decides to take the risk and accept Drew’s help. Permit in hand, Sabine begins selling out of her truck and her food is a hit with everyone at the fair.
Someone is Targeting Witches
Later that night, Rogers and “Weaver” return to the bakery to snoop around but they are surprised by the smell of gas from the stove. They then discover the baker on the floor. She’s still alive, but a lock of her hair is missing and someone clearly attacked her. Rogers and “Weaver” realize that whoever killed the doctor tried to kill the baker, too.
Over at the bar, Regina and Zelena are surprised when Rumple stops by. He decides to drop the cursed act now that his former ally, “Victoria”/Lady Tremaine, is dead. Rumple stopped by to let them know that another citizen was just attacked. It turns out that both the doctor and the baker were members of the coven. Regina then realizes that someone is killing witches.
Back at Jacinda’s place, Lucy is actually getting ready for bed when she discovers a page from the storybook on her bedroom floor. The page reveals that Henry’s heart has been poisoned and he will die if the curse is broken. Lucy then rushes into the next room to stop Henry and Jacinda from sharing True Love’s kiss. Luckily for Henry, Lucy gets there just in time to stop her parents from breaking the curse.
As the fair comes to an end, “Sandi” pays Drew a visit. It turns out that “Sandi” ordered Drew to gain Sabine’s trust with the permit ruse because “Sandi” needs something from Sabine. Poor Sabine is completely unaware of this deception.
As the episode comes to a close, Regina visits “Sandi” at his place. Despite what Zelena thought, Regina knows Facilier is really awake. She wants to know why he’s really in town and Facilier invites her in. As Regina enters his hotel room, I wonder why it is that Regina keeps being drawn to this guy and if she’ll be able to use their previous connection to figure out what his endgame is.
What did you think of this episode of Once Upon a Time season 7? What did you think of the connection between Regina and Dr. Facilier? What do you think Facilier is after in Hyperion Heights and why does he need Sabine to get it? Who is killing witches and will they start to target magic users outside of the coven? How will Lucy continue to keep Henry and Jacinda apart? Will Regina and Lucy end up teaming up to keep Lucy’s parents from breaking the curse with True Love’s kiss? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
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Contributing Writer, BuddyTV