In these two back-to-back episodes of season 7 of Once Upon a Time, titled “Eloise Gardener” and “Pretty in Blue,” we finally get some of the answers we’ve been waiting for. In the first hour, Wish-Hook has a life-changing encounter in the past while Rogers continues his search for the missing girl in present-day Hyperion Heights. In the second hour, Henry and Ella follow Alice to Wonderland in the past while Jacinda reconnects with an old friend in present-day Hyperion Heights. (From here on out, 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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Who is Hook’s Daughter?

As the first episode begins, we find Wish-Hook in the Wish Realm just before the Evil Queen was set to cast her dark curse. Alas, the Evil Queen herself arrives to say that Snow and Charming stole her magic so she doesn’t have the power to cast the curse. She does, however, have an offer for Hook. She gives him a map to a tower that is said to contain magic strong enough to defeat an immortal, as Hook is so desperate to do. In return, she wants passage out of the realm on his ship.

Hook follows the map to the tower but when he finally climbs inside, he is not alone. Hook meets Rapunzel and she explains that she has been imprisoned in the tower by the witch whose magic he seeks. She tells him that the witch grows magical golden flowers in her garden and she needs that magic to escape her prison. Hook realizes if he can find these golden flowers, he could use one to imprison the Dark One. Since Hook is a bit taken with Rapunzel, he decides to help her, too. Hook asks Rapunzel to tell him where the witch’s garden is so he can go there and steal the magic they both need.

Hook and Smee make it to the witch’s garden and after a bit of trouble involving a giant magical garden gnome, Hook finds the golden flower. He tells Smee to head back to the ship while he goes to the tower to save Rapunzel. She admits to being surprised that he came back for her and he says he’s just not good at abandoning people. He asks her how she is going to use the flower to escape her prison, but she tells him not to worry about the details and then distracts him with sex. (This sex turns out to be non-consensual because “Rapunzel” isn’t who she claims to be. I really wish the writers had learned from the Robin-Zelena situation and not gone this route again. It’s creepy and gross.)

The next morning, Hook gets one surprise after another. The first is that his night with “Rapunzel” resulted in a baby. The second is that “Rapunzel” is actually the witch, Gothel. Gothel explains that the only way she could escape her prison (which the real Rapunzel trapped her in) is by leaving someone of her bloodline in her place. Thus, she needed Hook to give her a baby so she could leave said child behind in the tower prison. Gothel offers to help Hook with his revenge mission against the Dark One, but he declines her help so she leaves him behind as she finally leaves her tower prison.

Later, Hook tells the Evil Queen that his ship will take her to another land, but he won’t by on it. Hook turns over his ship to Smee because he found something more important than his revenge mission. Hook then returns to the tower where he sings to his new daughter who he decides to name Alice after his deceased mother. Yep, that’s right. The show finally confirmed that Alice/Tilly is Hook’s daughter.

Rogers Solves His Missing Girl Case

In present-day Hyperion Heights, Rogers (aka Wish-Hook) begins the episode at a crime scene. The victim is the man he questioned about the Eloise Gardener case. Rogers believes it cannot be a coincidence that this man died the day after he questioned him. “Weaver”/Rumple arrives and tries to throw Rogers off the scent, but Rogers is obsessed with finding the missing girl.

Henry finds Rogers pouring over his files for Eloise’s case and offers to help him. They track down Tilly (aka Alice) because she gave Rogers good information before and he’s hoping she can help him again. Tilly says “Eloise Gardener” sounds like a runaway and agrees to check around to see if anyone knows who she is.

Alas, when they meet up later on, Tilly tells Rogers that she heard from Eloise’s boyfriend that Eloise is dead. She was killed in a car accident. Tilly produces a drawing the dead girlfriend made that matches one in Eloise’s sketchbook so Rogers is convinced the deceased girl was Eloise. However, when he later spills something on the drawing, the ink runs and that’s something that never happened with the sketchbook because the ink was so old. He now knows that the drawing is a fake.

Rogers goes to confront “Weaver” because he knows his partner was behind this deception. Rumple admits that he deceived Rogers on “Victoria’s” order (Lady Tremaine threatened to kill Rogers if Rumple didn’t get him to drop the case.) Rumple warns Rogers that he doesn’t know what’s really going on here. Rumple claims he’s just trying to protect Rogers, but Rogers doesn’t believe him. Before Rogers leaves, Rumple tells him that “Eloise Gardener” isn’t the person he’s really looking for.

Rogers Saves Eloise Gardener

While Rogers is digging into the Eloise Gardener case, “Victoria” discovers that the mysterious witch she’s been keeping imprisoned (who we now know is Gothel) was visited by someone else. Lady Tremaine eventually realizes this person is “Ivy” and that’s how she figures out that Drizella is awake. Gothel says that Drizella wants to see her mother suffer, but Lady Tremaine isn’t ready to admit defeat just yet. She takes Gothel from the top floor of her office building and plans to hide her somewhere else.

Since Rogers now believes that “Victoria” is the one who kidnapped “Eloise Gardener,” he manages to track her to the warehouse location where she planned to imprison Gothel. When he arrives, Rogers puts Lady Tremaine in handcuffs and frees Gothel from her prison. As Gothel is taken to safety, Victoria is taken into custody. Before she’s hauled away by the cops, Lady Tremaine and Drizella have a little chat and Lady T warns her daughter that she doesn’t know what she’s released into the world by freeing Gothel, but she will find out.

While Gothel is getting examined by the paramedics, Rogers tells Tilly that he is disappointed in her for working with “Weaver” to deceive him. Poor Tilly looks so devastated that she hurt him.

In Other News…

-Regina gives Jacinda (aka Ella) a job at the bar and while they are working together, she suggests that Jacinda might want to rethink going on a date with Henry. Regina claims that Jacinda, bringing a new man into her life while she’s trying to get custody of Lucy, could hurt her case with social services. Jacinda takes Regina’s advice and cancels her date with Henry. Regina is heartbroken to be hurting Henry but Drizella reminds her that if the curse is broken by their True Love’s kiss, the people Regina loves will suffer.

-Despite her step-mother’s arrest, Jacinda does not gain custody of Lucy. Instead, Lucy is taken away by social services until they can look over her case.
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Alice and Hook are (Temporarily) Reunited

As the second hour begins, Wish-Hook is reunited with Alice in the past, but to disastrous results. Poor Alice thought she found a cure to the curse that poisoned Hook’s heart and prevented them from being together, but upon their reunion, Hook is hurt as soon as they touch. Alice then realizes that the “cure” was fake so she runs away before she can hurt her father again. Henry and Ella chase after her, but she disappears through a portal. When Ella realizes the portal is to Wonderland, she decides to follow Alice and Henry goes after them both.

In Wonderland, Henry soon realizes that Ella didn’t go through the portal simply to find Alice. Ella admits that she came to Wonderland looking for her mother. Apparently, her mother and her step-father were once very much in love. They even made magical lockets connected by their love that would allow them to find one another if they were ever separated. Alas, Ella’s mother abandoned them and her father spent a year searching for her before his magic locket stopped working. Ella’s step-father thought this meant that his wife stopped loving him so he gave up the search and returned home a broken man. Her mother’s actions are the reason Ella doesn’t believe in love and why she’s been hesitant to pursue it with Henry despite their obvious connection.  

Since Ella’s mother’s last known location was the Infinite Maze, Ella uses a potion to shrink down in size so she can enter the maze and search for her mother. Poor Henry gets left behind because they only have enough potion to shrink one person. Ella eventually finds Alice in the maze. She also finds the locket that belonged to her mother. Alice explains that she knew Ella’s mother, but that she was killed during a fight with a Jabberwock. Alice then explains that Ella’s mother never abandoned her and her step-father. It turns out that Ella’s mother was cursed by the same poison preventing Alice and Hook from being together. Ella’s mother left her family to protect them.

As Alice is telling Ella that she got the fake “cure” from Drizella, Drizella herself arrives in Wonderland. She tells Henry that she gave Alice the fake cure so Alice would guide them all to Wonderland and Drizella could procure a poison to use on Henry. Drizella plans to poison Henry’s heart so he and Ella can’t use True Love’s kiss to break the dark curse she plans on casting. Luckily for Henry, Alice and Ella come to his rescue before Drizella can poison his heart. With Henry safe and Ella’s belief in true love restored, Henry and Ella share a magical kiss.

They return to Hook and give him a chess piece from Alice. Alice wants him to know that they will be reunited again once she finds the real cure. Henry and Ella leave Hook to continue recovering as Tiana approaches them to tell Henry that his friend has arrived. This friend turns out to be someone named Jack who was the first real friend Henry made in this realm.

Jacinda Asks Lucy’s “Father” for Help

In Hyperion Heights, Jacinda is determined to get Lucy back from social services and Sabine (aka Tiana) suggests that the best way to do that is to find a lawyer. Apparently, Jacinda already knows someone who is a lawyer and that person is the man she thinks is Lucy’s father. This man, Nick (aka Henry’s friend Jack), meets Henry at Roni’s bar but things gets awkward once Jacinda explains her connection to Nick. Even though Jacinda hasn’t seen Nick in 10 years, Henry is worried that their previous connection will keep him from having any chance with Jacinda. However, after a suggestion from Lucy, Henry decides to impress Jacinda by fixing her up food truck so she and Sabine can get their business started. Alas, when Jacinda and Nick return from a fancy romantic dinner, Henry decides to give up on the idea of being with Jacinda.

One thing complicating Jacinda’s chances of regaining custody of Lucy is a truth Jacinda ends up admitting to Henry. It turns out that “Victoria” never won custody of Lucy because
Jacinda signed over her parental rights. Lady Tremaine had her so convinced that the court would take Lucy away from her permanently, that Jacinda agreed to let “Victoria” raise Lucy on the condition that Lady Tremaine would let Jacinda see Lucy.

Luckily, Jacinda’s honesty in court is enough to win her custody of her daughter again. Nick goes with her when she picks up Lucy and Jacinda introduces him as her father. Lucy still believes that Henry is her father, but she doesn’t actually say that in front of Nick.

Regina Asks Rumple for Help

After Regina discovers that Drizella and Gothel are working together, she turns to “Weaver”/Rumple for help. Regina knows Rumple is awake, but Rumple keeps feigning no knowledge of what she’s talking about. Regina keeps pressing him to admit his true identity and team up with her, but Rumple won’t budge. After telling him that Belle wouldn’t want this, Regina says she’ll find help somewhere else. (During this conversation, Regina reveals that she cannot ask anyone from Storybrooke for help because they cannot get to Storybrooke and no one there can know where they are.)

Since she gets no help from Rumple, Regina decides to head to San Francisco to track down someone who can help her. (This person has to be Zelena, right?) Since Henry is nursing his heartbreak over Jacinda, Regina asks him to come with her and he agrees to the road trip. When Jacinda stops by to see Henry the next day, she learns that he left with “Roni”/Regina.

In Other News…

-“Eloise”/Gothel stops by the station to give Hook a thank you present in the form of baked goods, but Regina throws the “gift” out as soon as Rogers tells her who it is from. Regina also encourages Rogers to give Tilly another chance. Rogers takes Regina’s advice and pays Tilly a visit, chess board in-hand. He thinks they should start a weekly game because even though it solved his missing girl case, he still feels like something is missing.

-Now that Gothel is free and Lady Tremaine is locked up, Drizella says it’s time for them to wake up her sister Anastasia. It turns out that Anastasia has some magic Drizella believes belongs to her and she can’t get it until Anastasia is awake. Drizella manages to track down where her mother hid Anastasia’s coffin, but when they open it, Anastasia isn’t there.

What did you think of these episodes of Once Upon a Time season 7? Where did Lady Tremaine hide Anastasia’s body? What do you think of this “Nick”/Jack guy and the newly created Henry/Jacinda/Nick love triangle? Why didn’t Rumple admit to being awake? Is Regina right that it has something to do with his search for the Guardian? Did Alice and Hook find the cure to Hook’s poisoned heart in the past or are they only able to be close in Hyperion Heights because it is a land without magic? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV