‘Once Upon A Time’ 7×16 Review: “Breadcrumbs”

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We are now three-fourths through the final season of Once Upon A Time, and the story just keeps dragging me in. Despite the many criticisms I’ve had of this season, the reason I still look forward to the show week after week and writing these reviews is the overall story-line of Henry Mills being explored in this season. “Breadcrumbs” is by far one of the best episodes of the season so far.

His love story with Ella, seeing him be a dad to Lucy, his connection to Wish Hook, Regina, and the many others. The journey all these characters are taking to meet one single purpose – save Henry from dying so they can break the curse. That’s it – that’s the whole journey there. Saving Henry.

We see Lucy and Zelena team up in this episode to work on the start of breaking the curse now that Regina has magic – that she got from Facilier in the last episode. Regina is off searching for an ingredient – which explains her absence from the episode. I love seeing them all determined. They all want the curse to break – for various reasons – but they also all want Henry to live. This is the underlying theme of it all. Henry must live, and this episode pushes this.

This episode pushes forward the need for the curse to break soon. We have a witch killer on the loose, and he’s targeting Zelena! Now, this case is hitting to our core set of characters and we learn why our killer is doing what he is. Even better than this though, is who he is in the fairy tale realm. I knew something was off. I knew Nick wasn’t Jack. He smelled fishy – and now we know why.

On the other side of things, we get an epic adventure with Wish Hook and Henry on the Jolly Roger. It’s an epic adventure full of Glass Believer feels that makes Henry realize that he doesn’t have to do much to woo Ella. That he just needs to be Henry. This plays over in the cursed world too when Henry gets a job offer that he is serious about taking, but Jacinda and Rumple are not wanting him to leave at all. They both have their reasons. Turns out, Henry NEVER makes it to the airport. Can I say predictable? The way it’s done isn’t, but the fact that he never made it to the plane is.

Then, there’s Rogers and Tilly, and Tilly working her first job for Sabine. It turns out she’s not good at making beignets, but is amazing at selling them. She tells Rogers at the end of the episode that she enjoyed her first day on the job, and that she even met someone who she felt saw the real her.

One of the things I love the most about this season is how the connection of the magical realm counterparts shines through in the cursed world. Everyone from Henry and Jacinda to Margot and Tilly have these connections and seeing them explored has been one of the best parts of the season so far.

Now, let’s get more specific with it all. Shall we?

Henry’s Job Offer – And The Glass Believer Feels

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In this episode, we get a central arc on Henry – as it should be – as this season focuses on him and his journey. His story. His journey to love, happiness, and of course the journey to find a way to save him – so they can break what seems like an unbreakable curse.

At the beginning of the episode we see Henry, Ella, and Wish Hook on a journey and Henry is determined he’s going to play the hero. He has Charming’s sword. He wants to kill the dragon terrorizing the village – and partially – it’s to impress Ella. However, he’s disappointed that the dragon has left the cave and that they only find a man trying to bask in it’s stolen treasure that was left behind.

Ella takes the man back to the village, and after she leaves – Wish Hook asks Henry why he was so disappointed and we get Henry admitting that he wants to propose to Ella, but he wants to have the perfect ring. I mean, come on nothing’s more amazing than the magical ring Snowing has. Henry seems to feel that he has something to live up to because of them. The kiss between Henry and Ella in the cave – before she leaves – is one of those show-stopping kisses that these types of stories are made of.

Turns out, Wish Hook has just the idea. He takes Henry on this epic journey that brings them face to face with Blackbeard, who now has command of the Jolly Roger, and Wish Hook and he have a history. Smee is the only one still loyal to Wish Hook, and of course, there’s treasure involved.

Wish Hook has the map to Davy Jones’ treasure – and was going to try to use it to get something that would cure his poisoned heart. However, he sacrifices it so Henry can gain access to a magical ring amongst Davy Jones’ treasure. What a friend, that Wish Hook. I’ll get more into this later, but amongst it all, Henry realizes he doesn’t need anything flashy to woo Ella. That she will accept him for who he is.

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This leads to Henry’s very sweet – feels and tears – inducing proposal to Ella at the end of the episode.

“Ella, I don’t know how my story goes. I wasn’t born in a land with magic, and I may not get a fairytale life with a perfect ending, but you are the best and bravest woman that I have ever met, and if you could make a leap of faith with me, I’d like to build house right here for the two of us, and we can see what kind of life we can make together. It’s just a pretty ring. Like me and this lake, it doesn’t come with anything else, Ella. I can’t offer you a legend, but I can offer you my heart.” – Henry
“Can I say yes now?” – Ella
“I really wish you would.” – Henry

It’s really sweet, and as I said a feels and tears-inducing part of the episode. The happy kind, of course.

Back in Hyperion Heights, though, Henry has a dilemma. He gets a job offer in New York to help people produce podcasts due to his work on “H-Town”. By the way, so glad they brought the podcast back up, because I really expected it to be a one-time thing, and it has so much potential to be used in the plot.

He wants this. He sees the opportunity. However, he also doesn’t want to leave because of Lucy and Jacinda. There’s FINALLY something starting. Jacinda is sad that despite it, he decides to leave anyway. It’s just too good of an opportunity.

Multiple times, people try to stop Henry from leaving. Whether it be Sabine, Rumple, or Lucy. They are all like, “Don’t let him leave! Don’t let him go!” I almost expected some crazy movie style thing between Jacinda and Henry at the airport with her begging him to not leave. Luckily, he doesn’t make it that far – and that reason isn’t good.

I just hope that Henry realizes, after having found TWO pieces of a broken glass slipper in Hyperion Heights, that he and Jacinda are each other’s true loves. That the stories at real, and that they SLOWLY work themselves back together. No kissing on the lips until they know they can break the curse without Henry dying. Those pieces of glass slipper are not a coincidence. Nope, not at all.

The Candy Killer – The Clues Left Behind

Last week, we learned that Nick – or Jack – was the “Candy Killer” or witch killer. This week, we learn more about him and that he isn’t who he says he is at all.

I knew something was off with this guy. Turns out, Nick is actually Hansel and he’s very aware of this. He wrote notes in a copy of Henry’s book and apparently, he left it at his last crime scene. Rumple takes it and asks Henry to look through the notes in it.

The notes lead Henry, Rumple, and Rogers to piece together that the killer “thinks” he is Hansel because he actually corrects parts of the story in the book. When Henry ends up getting a flat tire, Nick offers him a ride to the airport. You guess this doesn’t end well. When I was watching it – and maybe it’s cause I knew the truth – but I was like this won’t end well. Not at all.

In the car ride, Henry catches a glimpse of Nick’s arms and they are all scarred up from burns – from well we know what from. Henry pieces together the words written by the killer and the burns and realizes a little too late that Nick is the killer. Before Henry can truly confront him, Nick drugs him and drives him back to his apartment, where we see Henry tied up.

Let’s just say that this doesn’t get resolution yet. Nick still has Henry tied up in his apartment when the episode ends – but Henry knows the truth and I can bet he’ll be fighting to get out and tell Weaver and Rogers very soon.

Hansel is killing these witches because they killed his sister, Gretel, which was shown in the previous episode in a flashback. So, now that the truth is out – how will it be resolved? It needs to be sped up soon – because his next target is Zelena!

Captain Cobra 2.0 – Or Wish Hook and Henry’s Big Adventure

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As I mentioned above, Henry and Wish Hook go on this pretty amazing adventure on the Jolly Roger and have an encounter with Blackbeard, run into Smee, and an encounter with Davy Jones.

One of my favorite parts of these flashbacks is seeing Wish Hook want to try to live up to what Killian has done for Henry. He even teams up with Blackbeard – shocker – to try to get the ring for Henry. It disappoints Henry, but he eventually reassures Wish Hook and that he would trust any version of him to pilot a vessel in any realm. It’s epic – and it ends in the bro hug depicted in the gif above.

After the ring is acquired, Davy Jones isn’t too happy and creates a magical storm meant to sink the Jolly Roger, but Henry returns the ring to save them all.

This adventure is eye-opening for Henry. This flashback notes how brave Henry can be and I just love it. It’s truly a highlight of the episode. He realizes that he doesn’t need some magical ring to woo Ella.

Some of my favorite lines in this episode came from this scene. It added a tone of humor to it and Colin and Andrew portrayed it to perfection. I mean, Wish Hook introduces Henry as Prince Henry of Storybrooke. (I mean – he is a prince!) Then there’s them sneaking onto the Jolly Roger in pork barrels.

This line from Henry made me laugh:

“Yeah, I definitely smell like pork. Let’s never do that again.” 

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I just loved this and the mention of Original Hook and the connection that Henry and him share – after all that man is his step-father. This part of the episode had quite a few throwbacks to the original characters and their origins. It lets us know that these characters haven’t been forgotten.

Rumple Acting More Like a Grandfather Than We’ve Ever Seen Him

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Rumple in this episode is more of a grandfather to Henry than we’ve seen him all season. It has to be killing him knowing that Henry doesn’t remember their connection – but there are moments where Grandfather!Rumple shines through.

His words to Henry about the job in New York are especially touching and one of my favorite quotes of the episode happens to be from Rumple.

The gif above only highlights part of it, but I just got the feels with the whole thing:

“Henry Mills was my favorite character in the book. He always knew the right path, and I just hate to think his namesake would choose the wrong path.”

Most of the episode he tries to push Henry in the right direction to help find the killer, but you can tell he’s subtly telling him with the quote above he disagrees with the move to New York. Henry is the last family Rumple has, so it’s fitting that he doesn’t want Henry to leave. Besides he knows that Regina is working hard to break the curse and save Henry.

To do this, Henry needs to be nearby. Again, this has to be killing Rumple that the only family he has nearby has no clue that they are actually family. It shows with this episode that parts of Rumple are good. That he can do unselfish things. Parts of his redemption have not regressed.

I loved this Rumple a lot!

Tilly Gets A Job

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The other part of this episode explores Tilly and her first day working for Sabine at the Rollin’ Bayou, thanks to Rogers. Tilly may not be the best person to make beignets, but she sure knows how to sale them.

I just loved Rogers joking with Weaver about Tilly needing a job because she’s costing him way too much money on organic marmalade. Even cursed, Rogers is such a good Papa – getting his daughter a job.

I want to see more of Tilly working for the Rollin’ Bayou! She’s such a quirky character and this is just a perfect job for her. At the end of the day, when Rogers comes to get Tilly – she tells him she had a great first day and that she even met a girl! Rogers looks like the proud Papa he’d be if the curse wasn’t active.

 

Tilly and Margot – MadArcher Meet Again

 

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While Tilly is handing out beignets for Sabine, she runs into Margot – who in “The Girl In The Tower” saves her from being ran over. They begin to talk and Margot opens up about her issues with her mother, which we see earlier in the episode.

Margot doesn’t know why her mom is so shut off, but we know from a scene with Lucy that Zelena has realized she can’t say anything due to the curse.

Ironically, the beignet that Tilly hands Margot is shaped like a real heart – by accident Tilly says. However, I call it a sign. Even in this one little scene, you can see their connection and I love it so much. Even the Margot with a “T” at the end, not the beginning joke is so cute.

Tilly even tells Rogers when talking of Margot:

“You know, it’s like she really saw me. Saw me for who I really am.” 

That’s something important and special. I love the connection they have.

Margot and Zelena

As noted above we seen Margot struggling with how closed off her mom is since her return. Now, we know why. Zelena makes it clear why, but Margot can’t know this because of the curse – and what Zelena calls Margot sending her to the loony bin. She fears her daughter may think she’s crazy. It’s a legit concern.

It is mentioned by Margot about the wedding that Zelena was planning with her fiancé, Chad. Zelena mentions she misses him. Will Chad be appearing soon? Because this is the first real mention of him since Zelena has arrived in Hyperion Heights. Is this set up for his arrival?

Margot is also the one who reveals to Zelena that she has a box of chocolates waiting for her – thinking they are from Chad. Zelena knows better. Yep, this is definite set up for Chad arriving. I can bet on it.

Conclusion

This episode really was one of my favorites of the season and it really highlighted the urgency that they need to save Henry before they can break the curse. A curse they dearly want to break. Everything from Henry figuring out his “friend” is not who he says he is (and is a serial killer), to the epic feels inducing marriage proposal for Glass Believer, it was epic.

All the feels. The connections. The love for Henry. The journey that is continuing. That’s why I watch. How will Henry escape Hansel? Who will he tell first? How does this end – because I’m betting it’s not going to be good for Hansel.

Tilly was adorable in this episode – and so was her interaction with Margot.

Zelena is the next target – I have a feeling this will be explored next week, as the promo below notes that next week’s episode is centered on Zelena. I’m expecting Chad to appear.

Kudos, OUAT  writers for an episode that I truly fully enjoyed. It’s one of the first ones all season. This episode highlights the reason and journey of the season – Henry. His journey. His life.


Here is the promo for next week episode, titled “Chosen”, which was directed by Lana Parrilla:

Once Upon A Time airs Fridays at 8/7c on ABC.

 

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