‘Once Upon A Time’ 7×09 Review: “One Little Tear”

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All I can say is wow. Like I wasn’t expecting this kind of episode from Once Upon A Time.

Going into the episode, I knew I was going to get Lady Tremaine’s backstory. I was not expecting her to have been Rapunzel. I also wasn’t expecting to hear Rumple so blatantly call her that.

There were twists, reveals, and surprises  galore in this episode. I found it to be the best of the season so far.

RAPUNZEL

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In this episode, we get Lady Tremaine’s backstory. And it’s a doozy. She’s Rapunzel.

You see her with her husband and children (Anastasia and Drizella). While looking for food, she runs into Mother Gothel (or as I call her – the Witch). Mother Gothel doesn’t take to kindly to Rapunzel trespassing on her property and locks her in the infamous tower we know from the story. Rapunzel trades her freedom for the safety of her family.

Now, the show doesn’t give an exact amount of time she’s locked up, but it was enough time for her children to turn into teenagers and for her husband, Marcus, to remarry.

I like how she rescued herself with her hair instead of having to be rescued by a man. This show has some amazing strong female characters, so I love this change. Once she’s reunited with her children and now ex husband (because he thought she was dead), she learns about Cinderella and also this lovely new woman the man she loves has moved on with and married. To be near her kids, she works for Marcus as a servant. It was an interesting dynamic that made me actually feel sympathy for the villain. It’s a painful and difficult situation.

Rapunzel gets jealous. Marcus stays devoted to his new wife. She deals with it for sometime, but hearing Drizella call her step mother “Mom”, makes Rapunzel furious, and rightfully so.  In comes Mother Gothel with a solution to her problem. A poison mushroom. For a while she says she won’t use it, but the aforementioned incident makes her use it, thus murdering the new wife. Let me just say that this isn’t the way to deal with that, Rapunzel. Murder is not an option, ever.

Now, my thoughts about this twist to such a classic tale are that I never pictured Rapunzel as a villain. However, now that I now Lady Tremaine’s backstory, despite me not wanting to, I can now sympathize with her some. She’s had many things happen in her life. I can’t sympathize with her being a murderer, and the fact is no one knew what she did. Her husband took her back.

We’ve seen since early on in the season that her driving force has been to bring Anastasia back to life. In this episode, we learn how she almost died. Mother Gothel preserves her last breath with magic and when the time comes, Rapunzel can resurrect her.

Seeing the scene with Cinderella, Anastasia, and Drizella playing on the ice made me gasp. Both Cinderella and Anastasia fell through, but Marcus could only grab Cinderella. Making Rapunzel furious and Anastasia “dies”. In Rapunzel’s mind, her husband loves Cinderella more, even when she was his step daughter from the other marriage. So, now I can see why Lady Tremaine/Victoria is how she is with Cinderella/Jacinda, even if it’s not even her fault.

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In Hyperion Heights, you see Victoria and Rumple talking. He knows who she is. She knows of his dagger and his mission for the guardian. I love the way they bounce off each other. And in true Rumple fashion, he’s made a deal to get Victoria out of jail. Something Rogers didn’t take too well. I’ll talk about that later.

She shows up at Jacinda’s apartment, hands over paperwork that takes away all her claims to Lucy. I just really hate how later in the episode she tells Lucy that the stories are real, but she breaks Lucy’s belief about Henry being her father (he really is) by showing Jacinda kissing Nick (who is her father in the cursed memories). It breaks her belief and she cries. Victoria traps the tear and uses it to resurrect Anastasia at the end of the episode.

It will be interesting to see how Anastasia begins to adapt to her world again and what this development brings to the show.

ROGERS AND RUMPLE

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Remember earlier when I referenced a fight between Rumple and Rogers? Well, I wanted to cover it separately. The dynamic of these two characters hasn’t changed much over the course of the show, and with Rumple awake and Rogers still cursed, it’s quite interesting.

Rogers jumps on Rumple for releasing Victoria from jail. We all know Rumple isn’t actually very moral when it comes to some of the things he does, so I’m not surprised he found a way to get her out of jail with a legit charge on her.

Then, Rogers get suspicious, and he finds Rumple’s, I guess bunker. He even finds his hook. I do doubt he knows it’s his, but it’s there. I was wondering where it ran off to. Nice to see it again. He also sees files on the residents of Hyperion Heights and confronts Rumple about it. Rogers knows something is up. How long until he’s awake and knows he’s wish Hook?

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I just wanted to say that I’ve found this dynamic interesting over the course of season 7.

JACINDA

I just wanted to talk about Jacinda right quick. In this episode, she thanks Nick, who she thinks is Lucy’s dad (due to the curse), for helping her get custody of Lucy back. Sabine tries to convince her to date Henry. Yes, Sabine! Yes, Henry is the choice, but Jacinda knows Henry left for San Francisco with Regina. There are times where shows add unnecessary drama for plot, and the Jacinda/Nick stuff is that, however it did serve to help Victoria wake Anastasia, but truthfully, Lucy’s broken. How will Jacinda help her? What will she say to Victoria?

And what about Henry? What is he going to say? How will Glass Believer finally get their happily ever after? But, hey, what endgame doesn’t come with angst, right?

MOTHER GOTHEL AND RUMPLE

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So, the exchange between Mother Gothel and Rumple in this episode had me intrigued. What type of past do they have? She knows about Belle. She knows he’s The Dark One. And as you can see, Belle’s death still very much haunts Rumple and he can’t even hear someone say her name. He’s fighting to get off the dagger so he can die, presumably so he can be with Belle again. Mother Gothel knows this too. She taunts him with it. And he even brings up what happened with Baelfire, a topic just as touchy as Belle’s death.

It was an interesting scene and it makes me want to see what kind of history they have for her to know that he’s searching for the guardian. I love how she’s like, “Do you know where your great granddaughter is?” So, does this make Rumple search for Lucy? Or Victoria? I just find this dynamic intriguing.

DRIZELLA

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In this episode, Drizella is shown in flashbacks of course, but as Ivy you see her confront Victoria about how unloved she is. The second choice. Even in flashbacks, you can see how she is often off alone. She witnesses her sister awaken and walks out of the hospital in tears. What could this mean for Drizella? I’m still speculating she cast the curse. What does it mean for the curse now that Anastasia’s alive again?

QUOTES

  • “Orange looks better on the women on that Netflix show.” – Drizella
  • “She can team up with all of the seven dwarfs for all I care.” – Drizella
  • “I don’t serve anyone.” – Rumple
  • “I can’t shake the feeling that there’s something you want to tell me, so spit it out!” – Rogers to Rumple

MVP OF THE WEEK

Do I have to choose one? The performances in the episode were just fantastic. Everyone involved did an amazing job. This will be the rare week that I just can’t pick just one actor that shined above the others. So, kudos to all on such fantastic performances in such an amazing episode.

CONCLUSION

So, “One Little Tear”, which I found to be the best episode to date of the season, not only provides a backstory with a twist to Lady Tremaine, but it breaks Lucy’s spirit. How will Lucy recover? Is there trouble for Glass Believer? Anastasia’s awake, Drizella’s mad at Victoria. Rogers is onto Rumple. How will this all play out? I guess we will have to see.

The mid season finale, titled “The Eighth Witch”, airs next week and word has it that Zelena’s back in town. I did miss seeing Regina and Henry in this episode, but my speculation is that they left to go ask Zelena for help with Victoria and Mother Gothel.

Here’s the promo:

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

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