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Recap / Once Upon A Time S 7 E 15 Sisterhood

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Season 7, Episode 15:

Sisterhood

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When the Candy Killer attacks, Ivy will have to risk what remains of her family, while Jacinda and Henry grow closer and Roni questions her relationship with Samdi. Meanwhile, Drizella faces an unthinkable challenge in her attempt to join the Witch's Coven.

Tropes

  • Adaptational Heroism: This incarnaration of Drizella makes a Heel–Face Turn.
  • At the Crossroads: When Gretel and Drizella are in the woods looking for the magic flowers, they reach a crossroads and have to decide which way to go; they end up splitting up and agreeing to meet back there after they find what they seek. The symbolic meaning of the trope appears too, since as soon as they separate, Gothel appears (it turns out, to both of them) and reveals one of them must kill the other to join her Coven. It then comes down to deciding which is more important, staying alive (and achieving what they want), or not taking a life. Drizella at first chooses the latter, but is eventually forced to choose the former.
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  • The Atoner: Ivy/Drizella becomes this for good at last, choosing to give her life rather than kill Anastasia and then, after this wins her sister's trust back, giving her the magic bean so they can go home together and rebuild their lives.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • In the Enchanted Forest portion of the episode, it's built up to look like that after befriending Gretel, something terrible would happen to her so as to once again leave Drizella alone and unloved (considering we already know she goes through with casting the Dark Curse). After it seems likely one of the other competing witches will be responsible, Gothel's ultimatum to Drizella makes it seem she will be the one to have to kill Gretel as the price for entry into the Coven. But then it turns out Gothel made the same offer to Gretel, who is just as determined to join...and so she tries to kill Drizella, forcing the latter to kill her in self-defense.
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    • On Anastasia but not the viewer: it looks like Ivy really means her apology and atonement, and is going to take her sister home with her—but then instead of pulling out the magic bean, she has a handful of sleeping dust she blows in Anastasia's face.
    • At the end of the episode, when Nick discovers he has a flat tire and is left alone fixing it on a darkened street after Rogers and Henry depart, the moment is played up as rather ominous, complete with a back shot of him coming up to his trunk as if he's about to be attacked—suggesting the earlier dismissal of any danger to him from the "Candy Killer" was Tempting Fate. But it turns out he is the killer himself, and was never in any danger.
  • Batman Gambit: Gothel's plan, both past and present. In the Enchanted Forest she counted on the selfishness inherent in witchhood to make either Gretel or Drizella kill the other, both to preserve her own life and to obtain the vengeance she craved by joining the Coven; as part of this she also counted on Drizella's insecurity and loneliness without her family to overcome either a desire for friendship or an unwillingness to kill. In the present, she counts on, again, Ivy's self-preservation instinct and Anastasia's hatred and anger over her sister's betrayal to either unlock or corrupt the latter's power, giving her what she wants. Her plan succeeds in the past (albeit only because Drizella has no choice but to kill or be killed), but fails utterly in the present.
  • Cain and Abel: Anastasia very briefly becomes the Cain to Ivy/Drizella's Abel, which is what Gothel wanted, before the sisters' bond is restored.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The magic lanterns, already revealed to have been how Victoria/Rapunzel found her way back to her family (and ironically, to have been the idea of the daughter she thought so little of because she didn't love or remember her), are also how Drizella and Anastasia expressed their love for one another and found their way back home/to each other when lost. And Ivy uses them one last time to lure Anastasia in for her and Samdi's plan.
  • Darker and Edgier: This version of the Hansel and Gretel story. Although both of them still live and the Witch is left to die in her ovennote , Hansel ends up badly burned and scarred, with a broken mind, and is never the same again, while Gretel herself turns to witchcraft (if, rather amusingly, with a candy theme).
  • Deal with the Devil: Thanks to him preying on her insecurity (and vulnerability without magic), Ivy ends up making one of these with Samdi/Facilier—he will give her a magic bean to help her escape the killer and get back home, but it will require her to lure in her sister so her life can be sacrificed to charge up the bean. Thanks to Gothel's interference, this doesn't happen, and Ivy's own strength of heart lets her get out of the deal without paying the price.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Referencing the Coven of the Eight that Gothel wants Drizella or Gretel to join, the brief Hope Spot where it seems Drizella and Gretel could start their own, and the love between Drizella and Anastasia that the whole episode hinges upon.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • All over the place in just about every interaction between Nick, Henry, and Rogers once The Reveal is made at episode's end, but the biggest would have to be Rogers wryly warning Nick about the Candy Killer's M.O., Nick blithely assuring him he hasn't received any chocolates, and him wishing Rogers good luck in finding the killer. Although the fact Rogers also just inadvertently tipped Nick off that he and Weaver are investigating the case moves it from dramatic to ominous. It does prove Weaver was right that "if you take a different path, it'll lead you to what you're looking for."
    • Drizella once loved Anastasia dearly, and their devotion to one another was what got them through hard times and led them home when lost. But thanks to this being poisoned by their mother's return, Anastasia's death, and Drizella's status as The Unfavorite, she ended up hating and resenting the one who once meant the world to her.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Gothel is so certain of both Ivy's insecurity and selfishness, and Anastasia's hatred—and so confident in her "family" being the only thing that matters to either of them—that she never sees coming Ivy being willing to sacrifice herself instead of her sister, or that this would convince Anastasia to forgive her. She also seemed to somehow think Ivy would be willing to renew their deal despite the fact she stole Ivy's magic for Anastasia, killed Victoria (who had confessed her love as she died) and tried to kill Ivy herself. Granted, Ivy's insecurity and isolation made her very much a doormat with seemingly no other options but Gothel's protection, but that's still a rather stunning lack of understanding on the latter's part.
  • Forgiveness: The episode is all about Ivy desperately wanting to earn this from Anastasia so they can be a happy, loving family again. She also asks for it from Regina, who is understandably still too angry over Henry and the curse to offer it—but she does say she understands Ivy now, and gives her "the gift I always wanted—someone to believe I could change."
  • Happy Ending: Rather than one or the other dying in a bid for power that would put Gothel that much closer to triumphing, Ivy and Anastasia are able to come together as true sisters again, then escape via magic bean back to the Enchanted Forest to start over again, free of killers, witches, and evil magic.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Ivy/Drizella finally completes hers this episode.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Unlike in the past with Gretel, Ivy realizes she can't place her own life above that of her sister, and that all the terrible things she has done have to have a cost...and so she stops defending herself and offers her life to atone. This ends up saving both of them from Gothel's scheme.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • In this episode the audience finally learns that Anastasia, not seen since her magic was used to awaken the Resurrection Amulet, had run away—probably because she awoke at Eloise's apartment all alone, with no memory of how she got there, and took advantage of the opportunity to escape her captor. So the end result is that neither Gothel nor Ivy knew where Anastasia was, and have thus spent much of their offscreen time trying to find her for their own purposes.
    • Also, all of Gothel's machinations with the Tremaine family come back to bite her when, after Ivy reveals what is at stake, sincerely apologizes, and offers her life, Anastasia turns on Gothel and rejoins her sister...leaving Gothel, powerless against Anastasia's magic, no choice but to leave in bitter defeat.
  • Internal Reveal: Somewhat inverted—Rumple reveals to Regina (who already knew) that he knows Facilier is after the dagger; she would have revealed it to him except she somehow thought she could convince Facilier to change his mind. As for how Rumple knows, "Did you forget my business is knowing secrets?"
  • Irony:
    • How ironic is it, for Gothel, that the sisters reunite in their mother's office? Their mother tried to sacrifice one to save the other and tore their relationship apart because of it. Now, with the memory of her hanging over them, they're reunited as true sisters in her office.
    • Speaking about Victoria's office, it is Anastasia, who Victoria originally favored, who ends up destroying it, whereas Ivy took good care of it.
  • It's All About Me: Originally this was Drizella's main motivation, closely tied to fear—that she would always be lesser, unloved and alone, and so all she can do is protect herself and gain power at any cost. She almost falls into the same trap in the present, being willing to sacrifice Anastasia's life to get home and away from the cult killer, but thankfully snaps out of it in the end.
  • Karma Houdini: Somewhat downplayed for Ivy/Drizella. Aside from killing Gretel (which admittedly she absolutely did not want to do), we have no idea what all she had to do as part of the Coven of the Eight, but we know she did cast the Dark Curse that tore everyone apart and specifically poisoned Henry's heart to keep it from being broken by True Love's Kiss...yet because she shows remorse and love for Anastasia, and offers her life to save her sister, she gets forgiven, gets her back, and gets to go home. On the other hand she does tell Regina she would cure Henry if she could (implying the poisoning was really Gothel's doing, as it was for Hook), and Regina admits she was mostly manipulated by Gothel into doing all she did. It also can't be denied that getting Anastasia and her Guardian magic away from both Gothel and Facilier is a good and important act.
  • Karma Meter: Implied by Rumple after he explains to Regina why he let the Guardian leave—that not only was getting her and her magic away from anyone who wanted to use it for evil more important than his quest to reunite with Belle (and therefore "this day was good for us all"), but that every good deed he does itself gets him closer to Belle. But see also the trope below.
  • Loophole Abuse: When Rumple threatens Samdi if he tries to bring any harm to him or those he cares about, the witch doctor slyly points out that if he were to kill him that would guarantee he'd never get back to his wife on the Other Side...to which Rumple hisses that he'll find a loophole, and a way to make him pay.
  • Mythology Gag: Not a direct quote, but when Rumple gives the above threat to Facilier, he notes he'll make sure all of him "gets back to the Other Side" (as in, his Villain Song "Friends On the Other Side" in the Disney film).
  • Operation: [Blank]: Lucy's plan to get Nick, Rogers, and Henry to have a friendly night at the arcade? "Operation: Bromance."
  • Pet the Dog: What does Samdi do after he succeeds in escaping Victoria's office with a vial of Anastasia's magic? Gives it to Regina, no price attached other than "to see your smile", so she can hopefully use it to cure Henry's heart. Of course he shouldn't be taken at his word, but in this moment at least he did seem sincere. He also claimed that he knew all along that Anastasia would not die.
  • The Power of Love: Seems to be the source of the magic that helps Anastasia and Drizella "find their way home" with the ghostly magic lantern, and it's explicitly how Ivy gets through to her sister and is likely what helped power the bean to get them home. Summed up best when Ivy tells Regina that she finally understands what she had tried to teach her.
    Ivy/Drizella: Family and love...I always thought they would make me and my magic weak. But I get it now...they're the strongest magic of all.
  • Put on a Bus: Upon repairing their relationship, Drizella and Anastasia return to the New Enchanted Forest to start their lives anew.
  • The Reveal: At the very end of the episode, the audience gets to learn the cultist "Candy Killer" is not Gothel (or working for her)...it's Nick. Though why, and whether this is just part of his cursed persona, remains to be seen. Which means the whole bit at the police station was not Gothel misleading Rogers, but simply her continuing to be a Manipulative Bitch to Rogers to get in his head. Although if she did muddle Tilly's memories while taunting her, it seems she took advantage of Nick's frameup to distract them (perhaps from her search for Anastasia?).
  • Sadistic Choice: Ivy/Drizella faces this three times over.
    • In the past, Drizella has to either kill her new friend Gretel, or she'll never be able to join the Coven of the Eight and get the power she needs for her Dark Curse. She refuses...only to be forced to do the deed so as not to be killed by Gretel herself.
    • Facilier makes it clear Ivy is in this situation in the present as well. Stay in Hyperion Heights, probably get killed by the cultist murderer, and leave Anastasia to the mercies of either the same killer or Gothel; or escape back to the Enchanted Forest with a magic bean, but only if she sacrifices her sister's life to power it. She starts to go through with it, hating herself all the while...but then the third scenario crops up.
    • The final confrontation in Victoria's old office, as Ivy herself spells out: she can kill Anastasia (again in self-defense), which will allow Gothel to steal both their magic, or Anastasia can kill her, which will darken her heart; either way, Gothel gets the Guardian's powers and is that much closer to obtaining the Dark One's dagger. Thankfully Ivy finds another way out of it.
  • Secret Test of Character: The test to join the Coven of the Eight turns out to be this—the search for the golden flowers and the fact there were two positions open were both lies, with the real test being whether the prospective witch would be willing to do anything, particularly kill, in order to join.
  • Take a Third Option: How Ivy convinces Anastasia to forgive her—rather then one of them killing the other, she willingly drops her weapon and offers to let her sister kill her as penance for her crimes against Anastasia and everyone else...while also warning her what will happen to her heart if she does, and professing her love as the reason why she'd do this.
  • Title Drop: Several times from Drizella, Gothel, and Gretel, but the most meaningful would be after Drizella and Anastasia refuse to be manipulated into killing each other.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: New!Gretel dies in the same episode in which she appears.
  • Wham Shot: The last shot of the episode, of the candy boxes and the killer's child mask in the trunk of Nick's car.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Facilier's plan with Ivy. If she goes through with what he offers her, she goes back to the Enchanted Forest, Anastasia is dead and thus can't be used by Gothel any more, and he has her Guardian powers—which will surely allow him to claim the Dark One's dagger but even it not, it also means Gothel can't use them either. If she doesn't, she gets killed by the cultist murderer, Anastasia is likely to be as well, and every witch who dies is one less enemy magic-user for him to worry about. And when the ritual gets interrupted, he manages to escape with just enough of Anastasia's magic to give a bottle of elixir to Regina for Henry's heart, which is what he claims he wanted all along.
  • You Are Not Alone: Drizella has believed for most of her life that she is alone—her stepmother abandoned her family, her actual mother ignored her in favor of her sister, her sister died, her father died. Because of this, magic and vengeance are all she had to count on, and it's this that Gothel employed to accomplish her goals. But in the end, she realizes the truth of the trope when she understands that she always needed her sister, and that as long as they were together, they would always find their way home.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Nick and Rogers challenge Henry to date the first woman who comes in the arcade door. Who is it? Jacinda—because her dinner date with Sabine happened to be at a restaurant next door. Also, after the "bet" she and Henry make seems to end in failure, when she tosses the game token herself back at her apartment, it lands right in the glass.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!:
    • Following from the above, just as it looks like Henry will succeed and land the token in the glass (thus "proving" everything Lucy believes is true and he and Jacinda really are destined to be together), the glass gets picked up and moved out of range.
    • Facilier has all the ingredients necessary for the ritual, and is just about to prick Anastasia's finger to drain her magic and life, when suddenly the entire office starts shaking. Ivy accuses him of doing it, but it was actually Anastasia's Guardian powers, because Gothel had arrived and woken her up. And she's pissed.
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