Sunday, March 18, 2018

Once Upon a Time, Season 7, Episode 12: A Taste of the Heights

So in a completely unexpected twist, Victoria Bellfrey/Rapunzel died last episode leaving us something of a void where the prime antagonist should be, especially with Eloise/Mother Gothel being content to be cryptic and lurking in the background

Henry also has a podcast now, since someone on the writing team decided he needs to have some kind of income. This turning his experiences in Hyperion Heights into a story with some heavy editing to actually explain his motive for hanging around (I mean, really “suspicious property developer is buying real estate?! WHYYYY?!” is a bit of a weird motivation given this is what property developers do). He is also being pushed towards Jacinda again since we kind of forgot about that, with Lucy definitely getting in there to push them together in an ultra-creepy kind of way. Especially since after Victoria showed her the magic book, she’s realised that all her beliefs are true and she just needs Henry and Jacinda to have true love’s kiss so she can return to a medieval kingdom without electricity or indoor plumbing.


Except some shadowy figure in her room (where she’s retreated to give her parents more privacy because ucky ucky ucky) leaves a page from that storybook - the page that reveals if they break the curse Henry dies -so now she’s trying to break her parents up again. Teenagers are more stable than this child.

But this episode’s true focus is Sabine/Tiana, because she’s about to launch her food truck serving awesome cajun cooking at a food festival

This also involves flashbacks to her coronation - having led the resistance to victory against  Victoria (apparently? I mean, did that happen? They all seemed to hang around in camp while Henry and Jacinda developed sexual tension without doing a huge amount more). Now everyone is prepared to hail her as queen because she’s all kind of awesome

Except Dr. Facilier turns up; most conveniently since we’ve got rid of that pesky Victoria villain. He is all kinds of sinister but apparently has some kind of history with Regina. In her
Evil Queen days anyway. Everyone suspects he has a sinister motive, but he reveals there’s a big alligator in the swamp eating Tiana’s subjects. Being Tiana she declares she will go out personally and slay the monster and save her people because she’s awesome like that

She’s also going to seriously crash and burn as a monarch if she doesn’t learn how to delegate. You’re queen lady, you don’t have a spare army hanging around?

She sets off with Jacinda and Killian follow for… I don’t know, moral support. Regina, the super powerful magic wielding awesome force of nature is left behind because… because they kind of have to otherwise she just steals every scene

Instead they run into Naveen, a prince from a neighbouring kingdom who is here on an alligator hunt. Tiana is not having this, if any royalty is going to cause massive instability and constitutional crisis in their kingdom by killing themselves in a random monster hunt they could delegate to a minion (or visiting sorceress queen with killer dress sense, just saying) then it’s going to be her. And she’s definitely not accepting help because she’s totally doing everything alone and she resents his light hearted adventuringness

While he chides her for refusing to accept help, deciding to do everything alone and, y’know, not understanding how government works. Personally i blame Jacinda & co for Tiana’s independent streak - after all she had to do all the Resistancing thing alone because everyone else was too busy sorting out their own love life rather than actually helping.

Naveen also shows a serious side, his brother who was going to be his co-ruler went and ruined it all by getting eaten by said Alligator so he’s now on a revenge trip rather than running his kingdom and dispatching some minions and, guys, princes, princesses, kings and queens, it is not your job to handle your own shit. This is what knights are for. They hang around wearing sheet metal with lots of spiky stuff; send them erranting already.

So now we have two rulers who have no idea how to delegate who, nethertheless, get over hating each other, starting to like each other and learning how it’s ok to work together. Still don’t have any idea on how to delegate, but at least they can team-work with their fellow royalty, I guess.

And then the alligator nearly eats Naveen. She saves him, sort of, but he’s seriously injured and dying. And this is when Facilier turns up - he’s gone through all this to retrieve a necklace the alligator has eaten. Which is a bit out of the way to get some shinies back but hey, it amuses him. With but then has to be Facilier who shows up conveniently, to use magic to save him. Facilier tries to barter because resurrection is super expensive but she points out she’s just got his magical bling back so he damn well owes her and can pay up right now, thank you very much. Good on Tiana for standing by her guns. He agrees, brings Naveen back to life - and then vanishes him because Naveen still owes him for the life thing. Well, Tiana tried.

She heads back to her palace to swear she will find Naveen again while also accepting she does need some occasional help now and then. So she wants everyone to join her at her coronation. Which is nice

While Regina waits to see Facilier - because that’s her necklace he’s returning to her and this is going to end so very very badly. Especially when they kiss. Oh Regina, no.

Let’s return to the present and Tiana/Sabine. She goes to the big event to sell her food and meets Drew - Naveen’s cursed identity. And he has his own food truck in direct competition. We get from their history that they went to cooking school together but that he kind of had a lot of things dropped in his lap while she had to struggle a lot more.

They quickly fall out when Tiana is getting shut down by the police for not actually having her food safety certificates. She blames Naveen because she was ratted out by an anonymous tip. Naveen claims innocence but also notes his business partner is Samedi - Facilier’s cursed identity - and he probably did it. She is duly pissed off at being ruined like this

Which… um… ok but you didn’t have the certificates, Sabine. These regs exist for a reason and I’m sure you’re not spitting in your beignet banners but having fallen unfortunately ill because the very nice sandwich shop lady had grasped the idea of wearing gloves had not grasped that she should change them maybe once a month or so. Yes anonymous tipping is not a nice thing but you’re not innocent here.

Naveen gets all guilty and decides to dump his own food truck (also, rather quickly brushed over, he’s actually really bad and flunked out of chef school because he fails so bad). So instead he dumps his truck and joins Sabine reinforcing the idea that Sabine doesn’t have to control everything and she can totally ask for help (since earlier she’d refused help from Lucy and Jacinda). Which would I guess be a lesson but rather than “it’s ok to ask for help” I think the true message is “damn it lady, do your paperwork or you’re going to be saddled with a ‘helper’ in a tiny food truck who has already admitted he can’t cook”. But hey, moral lesson I guess.

Of course then we learn that Drew/Naveen is actually ingratiating himself because Samedi/Facilier has Nefarious Plans and this will Not End Well.

Also in Hyperion heights we have Samedi/Facilier deciding he wants to see Regina, ostensibly to check out her bar for investment. Both Zelena and Regina are duly suspicious as they know exactly who he is and Do No Trust him. They test him to see if he’s awake and he pretends not to know who Regina is… but they don’t really buy it. What is worrisome is that Regina goes to see him, in his flat. He is awake and she goes in

Oh. Regina. No.

And we have Rumple and Killian doing some more investigation into Eloise/Mother Gothel and her “cult” (since Killian still isn’t awake). Killian’s beating himself up over Victoria’s death and Rumple is being surprisingly comforting and directing him to more investigation - to which they find Lucy’s dead doctor as well - poisoned and had a lock of her hair removed. They follow up on what she did before dying and visit a bakery she visited. There they find a cagey blind baker who is Clearly Hiding Something

So they come back later for some breaking and entering, as you do (hey they’re not real cops. Maybe they’ve learned all they know about police work from crime dramas - in which case breaking and entering is standard). They find the baker, unconscious in a room filling with gas and missing a lock of hair. They do managed to save her but we have a pattern now

Rumple takes this to the bar, to Zelena and  Regina and admits, yes, he’s awake (and wearing an unfortunate amount of denim). They look at the pattern of deaths, including some removed tattoos (which Regina has unfortunate Cursed Identity knowledge of) and realise both the doctor and the baker were members of Eloise’s sinister coven. They’re not behind these murders: witches are being targeted

Which for Regina, Zelena and Rumple is probably quite worrying



Oh no


Please gods the last thing Regina needs is another tragic, dramatic, inevitably doomed love romance.

I feel we badly need a royalty 101 course for, well, everyone on this show. Delegate people. You cannot run a kingdom if the queen literally has to go around and do everything herself

Also Zelena is like my avatar in this show, doling out all the one liners I want to: from mocking Henry for virtually living in the bar to snarking about the Dark One in denim. And it says something that seeing someone in head to toe leather with golden skin is fine but you just can’t handle the denim.

A witch hunter is a twist - and at this point I kind of think you need some twist rationing on this show. If Mother Gothel ends up being the good guy I’m going to need to Have Words with someone