Once Upon a Time’s midseason finale, “The Eighth Witch” reveals the circumstances leading up to the Dark Curse being cast, and sets the stakes for a huge dilemma. Check out our full recap! (First aired Friday, December 15 at 8pm ET|PT on ABC.)
“The Eighth Witch” takes us to the Fairy Tale Realm, where we move forward in time to see that Henry and Ella are married, and little Lucy has been born.
If I’m being honest, as a viewer, it does feel like we’re missing some context in this rapid shift of events. This is especially the case when Drizella interrupts Henry’s happy presentation of Lucy to his friends and delivers a message/prophecy: “A curse is coming. On your darling child’s 8th birthday, all your lives as you know them will end.”
The Heroes aren’t so concerned… apparently Lady Tremaine is now on their side, and with help with Regina and Zelena, they use blood magic to trap Drizella as a stone statue.
Those eight years pass, a time of peace and prosperity: Tiana has been made queen and I’m wondering if she and alt-Killian have hooked up yet. In any event, the day of Lucy’s 8th birthday arrives and the celebration is interrupted, this time by Mother Gothel and her acolytes. They free Drizella and promise that their Dark Curse will be cast.
Henry and Ella try to be optimistic for Lucy’s sake, but they’re working on a contingency plan to keep Lucy safe if Regina is unable to stop the curse.
Regina’s first stop is the Emerald Acres Farm to call upon Zelena for help. Zelena knows all about Gothel. Drizella, and their dark Coven of the Eight. She was even invited to join them. We also get to see a grown-up Robin Jr., beautiful, blonde, and as badass with a bow/arrow like her father. She’s also very much in love and wanting to make sure that her significant other is protected in the event of the curse.
— Once Upon A Time (@OnceABC) December 23, 2017
Alt-Killian goes to see Rumple, who is mysteriously back in his gold form, to ask for help to prevent the Dark Curse. All Rumple has to offer is a white elephant. It won’t prevent the curse, but it can help to keep his most important relationship in tact–that is, Alt-Killian’s relationship to his daughter, Alice. As for Alice, herself, she feels a deep sense of loyalty to Rumple and promises to stay by his side for the time being. Yet, Alice is also concerned about losing a true love if the Dark Curse is cast. She asks Alt-Killian to give her love a letter.
Henry takes Lucy (on his motorcycle) to the original enchanted forest and a tree that has the same magic that took Emma to Storybrooke. Henry plans to cut down the tree and have Tigerlily build a wardrobe that will take him and Lucy to a world without magic. They’ll be able to find their people and use the Fairy Tale book to help the others believe again when they’re cursed. Tigerlily takes Lucy back to her place to sleep. But as night falls, Henry is still out in the forest trying to cut down the tree. This is where Gothel and her coven come for him. Henry is able to get to Lucy, which brings us back full-circle to the beginning of the Season 6 finale. Henry wakes Lucy up, gives her to Fairy Tale book, and tells her to run. Lucy finds her mother and tells them that Gothel and Drizella have Henry. But what if this is a trick?
While Gothel and Drizella prepare to case the Dark Curse, they’re interrupted by Lady Tremaine. She tries to tell Drizella that Gothel is only using her, but Drizella is too far gone. Drizella will make her mother think that she is the one who cast the curse to save Anastasia. And then Drizella will get rid of Anastasia forever. She knocks out Lady Tremaine just as Regina, Zelena, Ella, Alt-Killian, and Jack (and the Beanstalk)/Nick arrive. They’re ready to do whatever is takes to stop Drizella from casting the Dark Curse. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done. Gothel and Drizella have poisoned Henry. Unless they go to a land without magic, Henry will die. So, of course Regina casts the curse to save her son. This also explains Regina’s heartbreak in “Wake Up Call” because if the curse is broken and magic comes back, Henry will die!
— Once Upon A Time (@OnceABC) December 17, 2017
Across the Fairy Tale Realm, the others scarmable before the curse arrives. Rumple gives Alice Belle’s teacup, the key to unlocking his memories. Robin and ALice, our two young lovers reunite and say a tearful goodbye. (But what haven’t we seen Robin in Hyperion Heights?!) And Alt-Killian makes a major sacrifice by givive Ella the white elephant, so that she can preserve her relationship with Lucy.
The curse penetrates every corner of the Realm…
In Hyperion Heights, we catch up with Jacinda and Lucy in the aftermath of Victoria’s success at waking Anastasia up. Lucy now in a coma, is rushed to the hospital. Jacinda and Sabine try to be proactive by notifying Henry and Officer Rogers to see if they can find out what happened.
All this time, Regina/Roni and Henry have been in San Francisco and Regina has a plan. First things first, they find themselves in a spinning class. Why? Because Zelena’s Hyperion Heights alter-ego (Kelly) is a SoulCycle instructor! It turns out that Kelly is not happy to see her sister. Apparently, Roni is responsible to encouraging Kelly’s daughter to run away from home and college.
— Once Upon A Time (@OnceABC) December 14, 2017
Henry is finally able to get in touch with Jacinda, who tells him about Lucy being in a coma. He takes the first plane back to Seattle to be with them. Regina realizes that time is of the essence and acts quickly to restore Zelena’s memories–she spikes Kelly’s drink with the magic serum and, with a little prodding, Zelena is back! Regina tells Zelena about Gothel and Lucy. They need to get back to Hyperion Heights. Zelena is ready to help, but there’s a dilemma. Kelly’s engaged to be married. (Who is Kelly/Zelena’s new boo thang?!) Zelena leaves with Regina anyway because heroes put their family and people first, no matter what it means for them personally. And Regina and Zelena are definitely heroes now!
Back in Seattle, Rogers investigates Lucy’s mysterious illness and Tilly comes to him. She claims that Lucy’s coma is indicative of something bigger happening, something that has to do with the picture/tattoo in Eloise Gardner’s book.
When Henry arrives, he tries to comfort Jacinda. (Note that Jacinda calls Henry, but not Nick, the deadbeat father. WELPS.) She suggests he read to Lucy from his book of fairy tales and he reads the part of the book where young Henry is cursed from and Emma saves him with True Love’s Kiss. Henry realizes that he would do anything to save Lucy and is overwhelmed with belief. He kisses Lucy… but it doesn’t work. Though we want so badly for Henry to believe again, TLK does nothing because Lucy doesn’t believe anymore. 🙁 Regina and Zelena know that the only way to save Lucy is to bring magic back. But if they break the curse, then Henry dies. What a dilemma!
— Once Upon A Time (@OnceABC) December 29, 2017
Meanwhile, Victoria is overjoyed that Anastasia is awake and watches over her as she adjusts to her new world. Rumple/Weaver comes to Victoria with concerns about how Lucy paid the price for Anastasia to be alive. Perhaps it’s worth it to Rumple it it means that he’s found the Guardian in Anastasia. If this is true, she’d be able to take the Dark One dagger and save Lucy. This means that Victoria has no choice but to allow Rumple to protect Anastasia. They take Anastasia to Rumple’s lockerroom, where she’s able to use her magic to detect the real Dark One dagger. She’s afraid, but Rumple assures Anastasia that her magic can be used to help and heal.
As they’re working, Gothel comes to find Anastasia. Anastasia becomes so distressed that her power knocks out Gothel, Victoria, and Rumple. She runs away and Drizella just happens to be there, promising to help. We know this isn’t true. Drizella gives Anastasia bracelets that supposedly will dampen her magic. Drizella takes Anastasia to meet Gothel. Drizella attempts to steal Anastasia’s magic, but it all backfires. This was Gothel’s plan all along. She has transferred Drizella’s magic to Anastasia, and now Anastasia will be powerful enough to help resurrect Gothel’s Coven of the Eight from the darkness.
How do you ask us to choose between Henry and Lucy? You know that Henry will do anything to save his daughter, even sacrifice himself. However, if Rumple is right about Anastasia, she might be strong enough to overcome Henry’s illness…
Once Upon a Time airs Fridays at 8p/7c on ABC and will be back on March 2, 2018!