Victoria visits her witch in the tower with an offer of tea, and attempt at nice words and questions about how she stop Lucy believing in everything (so she can resurrect her daughter Anastasia and see her again because of convoluted woo-woo reasons). The Witch responds with some convoluted babble about rooting out belief like a weed and speaking of weed, she wants her “special herbs”. Which has Victoria sending Ivy out shopping and treating her awfully.
Ivy seems to have finally had enough and contacts Henry to say she’s totally ready to bring evil mummy dearest down. Except Henry is at Roni’s and Roni has views about Ivy in that a) she can’t be trusted and b) Henry needs to be getting it with Jacinda already. To which Henry snarks that Roni isn’t his mother
Hahah yes, subtle there Once Upon a Time, real subtle. Of course her response should be “excuse you, you are only 7 years younger than me!” (actual ages of Lana Parilla and Andrew J West and hey I get magic time jumps and all but in a none-cursed world Roni being all maternal over a guy who is more within dating age range than child age range is a bit weird)
Roni responds by stealing his phone next time Ivy calls and deciding to intercept the meeting and go see Ivy to challenge her for stealing Jacinda’s man and generally being terrible. To which Ivy wants to be clear that not everything’s about Jacinda and she hates her mother too - and to prove it she takes Roni to the secret floor, where they find nothing. The witch is missing. But Roni does find a picture
Later, after Victoria is utterly terrible to Ivy telling her what a useless, awful daughter she is, Ivy returns to the secret room and the witch. She apparently told the witch to hide - and it’s apparent the witch and Ivy are manipulating Victoria, Ivy at least believes she’s the one in charge, not Victoria (by the look on the Witch’s face, she thinks she’s in charge and both Victoria and Ivy are kidding themselves)
Ivy also demands to be called Drizilla, her magic world name. It looks like we have another character who remembers who they were; who was expecting it to be her?
Far more dramatic than a side character being awake we have Roni going to Henry, apologising for all the phone stealing and showing him the photograph she found. It’s a picture of her - but in her Regina days in Storybrooke. She recognises herself, but not the place, her clothes or the boy with her. Henry recognises the boy - it’s him
So they’re going to be all confused about how they don’t remember each other and, hopefully, about how he’s aged but she hasn’t.
The second sideplot involves Killian trying to find Eloise Gardener, the missing girl he’s obsessed with - and one thing he has of her’s is a notebook she doodled in. He sees one of the symbols tattooed on the wrist of someone who was arrested and causing a fuss in the police station - but when he follows up with the man, he insists he got it off a fellow prisoner and it’s supposed to ward off bad mojo. He apparently believes this as he thinks anyone using the rune must be facing something terrible
But when released he calls someone (Victoria?) to say someone is looking for the girl - so another plot line up in the air
This week the main story is of Sabine - Tiana. Upon visiting Lucy with her fabulous beignets, Victoria informs her that they’re rent is going up. This doesn’t faze Sabine, because nothing fazes her - and she has a plan
Since her beignets are the best things ever (and I do love anything resembling a doughnut, so I agree. Even if Sabine’s look overcooked. And oh my gods my random beignet picture search turned up a beignet croqembouche filled with praline and I don’t even care I’m making one) she intends to mass produce and sell them. Specifically putting all their rent money into lots of ingredients and taking over the chicken shop where Jacinda works
Jacinda isn’t a fan of this huge risk, especially since it’s not the first time Sabine has had a big ambitious plan that hasn’t turned out that great. But Sabine is excellent at selling her idea, makes a great speech, ropes in Lucy and before long Sabine is cooking up a story - and people are lining up for her beignets. They start making plans for a food truck, Lucy designs a logo for the bags and everything is looking great
So Victoria steps in - but not before having and adoring a beignet herself because everyone loves beignets (or they have no soul. Yes that includes you, person heading to comments to say they don’t like beignets - you’re soulless and should address this deficiency with more beignets) - and has a goon burnt the chicken shop down
In the aftermath of that Jacinda lashes out Sabine - she’s tired of her plans and schemes and risks and above all tired of Sabine giving her hope in a world that simply doesn’t have any. Sabine leaves (not apologetic but not challenging either), giving her the money they earned so she can get by on rent and until she gets a new job.
Lucy desperately begs Sabine not to go, that this is all Victoria’s planning, she can’t give up on her dreams - and even throws in a “you’re running away”. But Sabine is clear - even she cannot fight everything
Thankfully Jacinda catches herself and catches up with Sabine to apologise; she recognises that every time she has been depressed or down or despairing, Sabine is there to bring her back up and really Jacinda should be doing that for Sabine from time to time
I like this a lot - the genre has a lot of protagonists who lean on their friends but don’t give anything back. I like that Jacinda acknowledges she has relied on Sabine a lot but not given the same support back. I like that she recognises she hasn’t been a great friend and that Sabine deserves better from her
And she has got Sabine a truck - a cheap food truck from an impound auction that Killian directed her to - so they can really start the beignet business. Again with the rent money so she’s showing a lot of faith in Sabine
The flashbacks are also about Sabine - Princess Tiana - forced along with her mother Eudora to auction off some of their treasures due to being increasingly impoverished after her father died and whoever the new king is is just not great. Tiana comes up with a plan, supported by her mother, to find a rich prince to save them
She goes out to the magical soothsayer for guidance and meets the people of her kingdom - they’re poor, desperate and beg her for help even though there’s nothing she can do. She’s shocked to see this but helpless
She sees Dr Facilier who uses prediction woo-woo to tell her where to find her prince. She follows the cryptic clues, is nearly mugged and saved by a prince, honest. Said conveniently placed prince is all romantic and comes home with her hoping to steal the super special ruby her dad left her. Tiana objects and confronts him - he explains that Dr. Facilier has his true love locked up and turned into a frog and he’ll never see her again if he can’t give him the ruby
She kicks him out - but has had a revelation which she talks to her mother about. She realises she’s been super self-centred and not realised how desperate her people where: her mother blames herself as well for keeping Tiana sheltered
Tiana confronts Dr Facilier with the ruby and demands the frog in exchange, sacrificing part of her wealth for a stranger. Facilier is impressed by also amused since the ruby “frees him” or all his cosmic power anyway - and he intends to keep the frog too, for funsies. He has a voodoo doll of Tiana (what he preprepared one to target her?) in case she objects - but some table flipping and sword swinging later she manages to drive him off and has the frog to return to the fake prince
Who is even more fake than first imagined because when he kisses the frog he too turns into a frog. Yup she just gave up her family’s wealth and released and evil magic guy for a frog’s romantic life. She considers this a win though so who am I to argue?
But the main message from this isn’t the frog - but that Tiana doesn’t need a hero, she doesn’t need to marry a prince: because she is a hero. And she’s going to the palace - which is presumably the path that led her to set up the resistance