For those who have been anxious to see something finally happen between Ivy/Drizella and Anastasia, well, this one’s for you! Once Upon a Time finally brings the sisterly rivalry to a head, and, well, we’ll have to see if the ends justify the means with these two. Meanwhile, Henry and Jacinda finally start to figure out whether what they have between them is real, and … do we finally know who the serial witch murderer is? Let’s take it from the top.
The episode begins with a flashback to Drizella and Anastasia playing hide and seek in a creepy wood when they are very young. Driz loses track of her sister for a scary spell, but thanks to their shared magic, some lanterns pop up to show her the way — and with their magic combined, these lights keeping working to help them find a path home, too. “As long as we’re together, we can always find a way back home,” Ana says as they sweetly embrace.
Too bad their relationship is so fractious in later years, as Drizella laments to a slumbering Anastasia, “You said you’d never leave me.” She says she wants to punish their mother and that perhaps her sister is the way to do that. The Evil Queen shows up to offer her help with the curse, pointing out she’s got a “head full of steam” at present, but when she impolitely declines — that is, jacks our friend up by the throat — Gothel reveals it’s actually her, testing Drizella for how committed she is to the cause of breaking this curse. She invites her to join her coven, signified by the same symbol from the other side, or to spend the rest of her days alone.
Similarly, Ivy gets a visit from Gothel offering her to join her quest for the Dark One’s dagger. She’s in danger — as evidenced by the delivered box of chocolate in the lobby — and if she doesn’t want to become the next witchy victim on the serial killer’s list, she needs to join Gothel’s group. Here, too, she hesitates, knowing Gothel never means what she says and charges an even higher price than Rumple on his worst day.
Meanwhile, Roni gets a visit from Jacinda and Lucy. Jacinda’s looking forward to a night out with Sabine, which gives Lucy and Roni/Regina a moment to talk shop. It’s bad enough Lucy’s having to keep the secret of her true parentage from, well, her true parents, but she’s also watching him suffer in solitude. Regina reveals that before the town enchantment, he used to be quite close to Hook and Jack, who are now known as Officer Rogers and Nick the Curse Dad. Lucy decides to play matchmaker and get the three together at Flynn’s, where they can play arcade games and bro-down about Henry’s achy, breaky heart. Good times.
Rogers being tied up leaves Weaver to investigate a new lead all alone — after working on repairs to a cup that looks an awful lot like Beauty and the Beast‘s chip, as a quick nod to Belle. They’ve located Anastasia running around by herself, but by the time he hits the site where she was spotted, she’s long gone. Instead, he finds Regina, whom he’s a little grudgey against, considering she hasn’t told him about her quasi-boyfriend’s big plans to steal his dagger. She says she hoped she could change him before it was too late but that she’s on Team Gold now since she knows just how dangerous Samdi/Facilier can and will be if he gets to Anastasia’s magic first. .)
Ivy’s decision to go forth alone, albeit with some pepper spray, proves problematic right away as she’s attacked in the parking garage with a knife. Fortunately, she’s able to fight off her aggressor fast enough to get away and take shelter at Roni’s bar, but she knows good and well that the fight for her life is nowhere near done. She gets some sympathy from Roni/Regina because she knows she’s been coaxed into cursing the whole town by Gothel (cue the eyeroll for how many times Ivy/Driz is going to blame someone else for her hideous decisions in this episode). But they still aren’t on great terms.
One person who does want to be her new best pal, though, is Facilier, who shows her how he knew of her garage attack: it’s all drawn out in his cards. And next up for her is a tombstone right next to her sister, unless she’s willing to sacrifice Anastasia to get back to the other side, where she belongs. Looking at that prediction, she feels she has no choice but to raise some new lanterns to hopefully get her sister’s attention. Tsk tsk.
Back in the other realm, she faces a similar test. She decides to take Gothel up on the offer of joining her coven to get some help with the enchantment on Ana, but she finds there’s some competition afoot. Several girls are told to scatter through the woods, separately, and the first two to find some special flower she’s hidden out there will win the chance to join her club.
Drizzy meets Gretel (her brother Hansel is off dealing with his post-traumatic stress and burn scars from their last encounter with a hungry witch), who wants to pair up. After all, Gothel did say two of them could make it through the competition. The two have an immediate kinship, and they make good partners, too. The problem comes when they separate, ever so briefly but long enough for Gothel to offer each a psi with the promise that each is the one (yes, that whole two-winner concept was a bluff) she wants and must kill the other to pass the real test. Drizella doesn’t want to kill Gretel, but when Gretel produces her own weapon and refuses to back down and break off into their own, gumdrop-summoning coven, she stabs her in the back. It’s The Hunger Games meets the Brothers Grimm. Emphasis on grim.
That back-stabbery is symbolic of what happens in Hyperion Heights, too, as Drizella takes advantage of Anastasia’s belief that she has a magic bean that can take them to a new realm together. Instead, she poisons her sister mid-hug and hands her right on over to Facilier. “If it comes down to you and me,” she tells her cruelly, “I choose me.” Indeed she does. .)
Henry and company are having a blast with beers and Galaga games, but Rogers and Nick want to shake the podcaster out of his one-man-show slump. They instruct him to ask out the next girl who walks through the door, and he reluctantly agrees. If Jacinda’s going nowhere, why not give it a shot with someone else. Fate being the trickster that it is in this show, though, it’s her who walks through the door next. Of course.
The two proceed to go back and forth over whether they’re meant to be and if true love is real, and Jacinda challenges him to make a quarters (well, token) shot into a far away cup to prove there’s something to this idea of fate, but the bartender pulls the glass back before his coin is close enough to sink. From the looks of its trajectory, it definitely would’ve made the “million to one” shot, but now we’ll never know, so Jacinda takes off to have her meal with Sabine, and Henry’s left to finish commiserating with the guys again.
Ivy/Drizella doesn’t seem to mind much that she may have just sealed Anastasia’s fate by giving her to Facilier, but she does bother to ask if it’ll hurt, not that she cares that much, in all likelihood. He doesn’t answer that question and is ultimately interrupted by Ana waking up. Gothel has arrived out of nowhere, as she so often does, to interrupt their little party and wake Ana up so that her sister can have a long-overdue reckoning. If Drizella is out of the picture, she’ll be able to steal Ana’s power way more easily, so she’s rooting on the turned tables to put Drizzy in that grave she’s been trying to avoid in all this.
Fortunately for her, Ana’s not the killing type and takes her at face value when she says she’s been manipulated into doing all of these things by Gothel and that she really does love Ana and is ready to take her punishment. Ana decides to go the path of forgiveness and puts down her shard-of-glass weapon. Gothel’s left to run scared, and Facilier, well, he just kinda takes off amid all the drama.
By the time Weaver and Regina show up, the fun’s over, and instead they get to send the sisters off with farewells to their home realm. Regina’s not delighted that the curse on the town is still in place and that her son is in mortal danger, but like Ana, she’s willing to overlook Drizella’s bad deeds as mere manipulation by Gothel. They’ve broken curses before, and they can do it again, she promises.
Meanwhile, Weaver is willing to let the guardian go without a fight, knowing it means he’s that much less likely to be reunited with Belle, because he thinks by tallying up his good deeds he’s really giving himself a chance to be ready for a reunion with her.
The sisters embrace, use their magic bean to go, and face the new-old world together, and that’s that. .)
Upon returning to her bar, Regina is miffed to find Facilier there. After everything he’s done and threatened to do? It turns out, though, that the whole reason he wanted (or at least he says this is the truth) time with Anastasia was to siphon off some of her magic to give to Regina so she could rescue her son. With that, she’s truly touched.
One person who’s yet to be charmed by Facilier, though, is Gold, who approaches him in the street to warn that he’ll not be getting his hands on that dagger, no way, no how. Count on this feud to be continued …
Also, as Henry, Rogers, and Nick all leave the bar, Nick finds he’s been gifted a flat tire as a prize for all his supportiveness this evening. He decides to change it alone and wishes the other beaus farewell, even telling Rogers that the answer to his case is probably right under his nose; well, we see that he’s got a trunk full of chocolate boxes, a mask to match the one that Drizella’s garage attacker wore, and more.
At the same time, Jacinda finally convinces herself of fate, as she decides to throw the token behind her resting head into a cup on a kitchen counter, and, ZING. She sinks it.
So, let’s tally up where we’re at shall we?
- Drizella and Anastasia have finally found their happy ending, albeit at great cost to one another and others around them.
- Gothel’s still sneaky but she’s finally on the defense.
- Tilly’s been eating all of Rogers’ food, apparently.
- Nick’s probably the psycho coven killer.
- Facilier is either playing Regina or about to get creamed by Gold or both.
- Henry and Jacinda both know they have “true love,” and now Regina might have a cure to allow them to finally pursue it.
Is there a happily ever after in sight for everyone or what?