‘Once Upon A Time’ 7×17 Review: “Chosen”

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In the most recent installment of Once Upon A Time, an episode titled “Chosen”, we learn the connection between Zelena and Hansel – and why he wants to kill her. This episode was Lana Parrilla’s directorial debut and it also highlighted the amazing actress that is Rebecca Mader. It’s a powerful episode – with a powerful message. That the past sometimes doesn’t stay there. In the case of Zelena, her days as the wicked witch are coming back to haunt her, and not in a good way.

Just as she has found love in the cursed world – the past comes to light – and she ends up having to explain some of her past to her fiancé – Chad (played by Kip Pardue). It’s not always easy – but in the end – love prevails when Chad tells her he still loves all the parts of her – even the wicked part that’s left trapped deep inside. She decides to go back to San Francisco with him at the end of the episode, which leaves her daughter, Margot (Robin) with Regina in Hyperion Heights.

We learn what Facilier has been up to – and it isn’t good. Prince Naveen (Drew) is awake thanks to him and Facilier is manipulating him to get to Sabine (Tiana). We learn how Nick, or Jack, or Hansel – whoever he claims to be – woke up. Surprise, surprise. It’s Facilier. By the end of the episode, Hansel and Facilier face off – and well you can only guess it doesn’t end well for someone – hint – it’s not Facilier.

If you remember from “Breadcrumbs” – Henry was left in a bad spot. Tied up and kidnapped by Hansel. Jacinda is left thinking he’s in New York from a text Hansel sent her from Henry’s phone. However, things begin not adding up when Rogers informs Jacinda someone reported Henry’s car broke down with a flat and that he never made it to the plane. The pieces come together and Rogers saves Henry from his predicament. It all ends with a sweet reunion between Jacinda, Henry, and Lucy.

We get the final part of the cure for Henry from Regina so they can break the curse. Things begin to come together.

It’s an episode that explains a motive for our killer – and moves the plot forward. At this point in the show, we can’t have filler episodes, and luckily this one isn’t. Every episode MUST count! There are FIVE episodes left. How will they cure Henry, break the curse, and get a happily ever after in five episodes? We will have to see.

The only bad part of this episode was that the end was interrupted by Donald Trump, and I won’t get into that here.

Wicked Always Wins

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In flashbacks, we see a green, fully powered Zelena in Oz. She’s pushing out other witches so she can be the most powerful in Oz. She has an encounter with another witch who has Hansel and Gretel captive and Zelena ends up getting hurt. She ends up being found by a blind man – who she finds out eventually is the father of Hansel and Gretel. The man is trying to find his kids and Zelena withholds the info that she knows where they are. When Hansel and Gretel escape and find their way home – the dad is mad at Zelena because he finds out she knew where his kids were and didn’t tell him. That she used him to get back to health after her injury.

Zelena tries to make it up to him by restoring his sight – sight she stole from the other witch in hopes of forgiveness. He refuses her offer. It backfires on Zelena terribly. Let’s just say that this backfires on her terribly – and despite her saying she’s TRYING to be better – wicked ALWAYS wins. She even says it to the other witch when she steals her sight.

This event is what taints Hansel’s idea of witches. Between Gretel’s death at the hands of Gothel and Drizella – seen in “Sisterhood” – Hansel has had it and once he awakes in the present day – he begins his crusade. Gothel being his big prize, due to what happened to Gretel. However – at the end of the episode – Facilier kills Hansel in the holding room of the jail in Hyperion Heights. All because he wants the pleasure of ending Gothel himself so he can get Rumple’s dagger.

It explains things. It reveals things. It pushes the plot forward. This late in the final season. We need this for a show so close to its series finale – and it does not disappoint.

Zelena’s Crisis 

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In present-day Hyperion Heights, Zelena is being targeted by the “Candy Killer” – which we know is Hansel – or Nick – or Jack – or whatever he is called. When she takes the candy given to her to the attention of Rogers and Weaver – she puts Margot (Robin) in the protection of Weaver until she can sort it out with Hansel and face her past.

In one of my favorite conversations of the episode, between Zelena and Rumple – he tells her that the witch he used to know that is always gonna be deep inside her – just like The Dark One is deep inside him.  That it always will be and that maybe she should let a little of her out – despite not having magic. Even Regina says she can still be Kelly and Zelena in different ways. These characters have faced massive trials to redeem themselves, but they can’t be fully redeemed and they all know it. In this scene, Rumple gives Zelena her old necklace – that he had in his evidence room. It meant a lot to her to have it back and it seems it provided her with the strength to push through to apprehending Hansel. The only part I really hated about the conversation was when she brings up his situation with Belle to get him to help her. Seriously! Bad aim there, Zelena.

Eventually, we see Zelena and Regina prepping to face Hansel at the bar with a baseball bat and a crowbar. When Hansel calls, Zelena learns that her fiancé is kidnapped by Hansel. When she goes to rescue Chad, she knocks Hansel out despite wanting to kill him – and calls the police to come get him. Which leads to them talking at the end of the episode and her revealing some of her past to him – just not the fairy tale parts. He says he still loves all of her and she puts her ring back on.

Zelena decides to leave Hyperion Heights with Chad for San Francisco to finish planning her wedding. She decides she’s going to fight for her happy ending. Is this the last of Zelena we will see in the final five episodes? Will we see this happy ending they’ve set up for her?

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Before she leaves, she gives Regina a big hug – that Margot (Robin) promptly says “that looks like a goodbye hug”. She also hands Margot her necklace and tells her that she wants her to wear it as her maid of honor at the wedding in a few months time. When asked if she wants to leave, Margot says she likes it in Hyperion Heights and that she has a friend (Alice/Tilly) and she wants to see where it goes, and with Zelena knowing the truth on the real relationship the two girls share – she teases her about.

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So, do we see this happy ending come into play for Zelena? With five episodes left – and all that stuff.

Henry’s Predicament

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At the end of “Breadcrumbs”, Henry is kidnapped by Hansel and tied up in his apartment. Once he’s awake Hansel confronts him about things. Informs him he has his memories. Even tells him he’s Lucy’s father – with the paperwork proving it. Henry doesn’t believe it at all. Let’s just say Hansel is trying to say that even Regina and Zelena are not good – because they are witches – no matter how much they’ve both tried to be better people.

That’s how much what happened to him hurt him. It’s understandable.

There are some emotional scenes here and they are amazingly acted by Andrew.

On the other side of things, Rogers is on the case. He gets suspicious because Henry’s car is found with a flat tire and Rogers checked with the airline that he never made it to his flight. When he brings this up to Jacinda she gets concerned because she got a text that says his interview went well. However, when Rogers informs her that Henry never made it to the airport – and that the text she got sounded off because he called her “J” and not Jacinda, she knew there was something off. Henry only calls her Jacinda. Nick and Sabine are the only characters to have called her “J”. When asked about “Nick”, Jacinda also reveals the scars on his arms and that he’s very self-conscious about them.

So, Rogers to the rescue! He goes to the apartment and finds Henry and rescues him. Explains the situation.

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Once rescued, he shows up at Jacinda’s apartment and they get a sweet reunion with a hug – and an almost kiss that was interrupted by Lucy. I get why – Regina needs to cure him or he dies if he kisses Jacinda. I’m so ready for the curse to break because more and more characters are aware, except the few we need to be aware. Please let Henry be cured soon – I know will have to be soon. Everything is coming together for the final five episodes, and I’m excited to see how the curse breaks. How everyone reacts to each other when it does. I’m sure it will be epic.

What Is Up With Facilier?

In this episode, we learn that Facilier has been using Drew (Prince Naveen) to manipulate Sabine (Tiana). We see Drew with her at the Rolling Bayou. He’s helping her make beignets. He FINALLY convinces her to give him her recipe and once he gets that he makes a batch for Facilier who uses some of the powdered sugar on a voodoo doll that he eventually uses to kill Hansel. Hansel meets his demise because Facilier wants to be the one to kill Gothel, since she is also after Rumple’s dagger.

Oh, and surprise, surprise – Drew KNOWS he’s Naveen. He’s been awakened by Facilier. It is also revealed that he was the one who woke up Hansel – for purposes of eliminating some of the witches – but when Facilier realizes the big target is Gothel – for the only sake of what she did to Gretel – he kills him. Again – it’s only because he wants to kill her himself.

It looks like a set up that will begin to take shape next week, if the promo has anything to say about it. He wants Rumple’s dagger.

So, with Hansel dead – where to next? Is Facilier the next person who will go around killing people??

Conclusion

This episode was amazing. It highlighted Rebecca Mader’s brilliant acting skills. It was Lana Parrilla’s directing debut, and for someone who hadn’t directed anything before – she did a fantastic job.

The episode revealed so much about the connection between Zelena and Hansel. I pushed forward the plot – which is pivotal since these are the last FIVE episodes of OUAT ever. What’s left? I ask.

Here’s a list of things I THINK are left:
  1. Cure Henry
  2. Break curse via True Love’s Kiss
    1. Preferably with Glass Believer
    2. However – it would be interesting if it were another couple
    3. Either Mad Archer or Tiana and Naveen
    4. But with all the build-up on Glass Believer – I’m positive it’s them. They have been paralleled to Snowing after all. It’s that epic of a romance.
  3. Get happily ever after
    1. Which characters will get a happily ever after?
    2. Well, if all goes well – all of them – even Rumple – even if he has to die to get his with Belle.
    3. We know we get to see Emma again. Snowing again. See Storybrooke again. The finale spoilers are hard to miss and are pretty easy to find. Besides – they have been promoting it.
    4. I’m expecting a good ending for the show.
  4. Which characters will die before the finale? I couldn’t begin to know – I am expecting someone else to die.

That’s it. Will we see Zelena again? I’d love to see her appear again with her fiancé once the curse breaks.


Here’s the promo for next week, titled “The Guardian”:

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

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