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Recap / Once Upon A Time S 7 E 7 Eloise Gardener

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Season 7, Episode 7:

Eloise Gardener

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In pursuit of revenge in the Enchanted Forest of the Wish!Realm, Hook seeks a dark and powerful magic, but an encounter with Rapunzel could alter his fate forever. Meanwhile, in Hyperion Heights, Ivy’s plot to take down Victoria intensifies and has unexpected consequences for Jacinda and Lucy. Rogers enlists Henry and Tilly’s help in his ongoing quest to find the missing Eloise Gardner, but what he discovers isn’t what meets the eye.

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Tropes

  • Abusive Parents: Gothel who, after sleeping with Hook and accelerating her pregnancy, has no compunctions with leaving her newborn daughter to suffer her curse and starve to death without anyone taking care of her. Fortunately Wish!Hook turns out to be a good parent and stays with his daughter.
  • Actually, I Am Him: Rapunzel, the prisoner Hook decides to free from the evil witch, turns out to actually be Gothel. Which is a rather clever Continuity Nod to the previous witch holding Rapunzel turning out to actually be her (or rather, her fear-double).
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: One of the "gnomes" in the witch's garden turns into a raging giant when someone seeking the magic flower sings the wrong song.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: We can now add Gothel to the list of major villains in this season.
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  • Big Bad Wannabe: Lady Tremaine was already showing signs of this when Drizella turned out to be the actual caster of the Dark Curse. Now that she has been arrested with Drizella in charge of everything Victoria Belfrey had and Gothel out in the field, Tremaine is really this.
  • Brick Joke: Victoria says that women's footwear is the constant bane of her existence.note 
  • Composite Character: With a twist—Wish!Hook, because he climbs the tower and rescues whom he thinks is Rapunzel, is Flynn Rider (right down to the leather outfit, snark, and devilish, seductive ways). Also like Flynn he's an orphan, thanks to his father selling him and his brother into slavery and his mother's death.
  • Disappointed in You: After Tilly gives Rogers the fake page from the journal in a deliberate misdirect set up by Weaver to get Rogers off the case, she arrives after Rogers frees Eloise Gardner from Victoria. When she tries to apologise Rogers admits that he's sad and says "you're not the person I thought you were." The fact that he is saying this to his daughter makes it doubly heartbreaking.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted. Gothel's seduction of Hook while disguised as Rapunzel paints her in an immoral light.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Gothel can only escape the tower if someone else of her bloodline takes her place.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Hook is disgusted by the thought of Gothel abandoning their child in the tower so that she can escape.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Wish!Regina can't understand why Hook is abandoning his revenge, since she can't conceive anything more important.
  • Eviler Than Thou: It's made clear that Victoria is scared of Gothel being free. Given the later episodes, we can understand why Victoria has kept Gothel locked up. Because Gothel will fuck up all the shit if she gets the chance.
  • Express Delivery: For the third time in the show, this time thanks to the magic golden flower from the witch's garden, so that the baby can be born overnight and thus allow her escape.
  • For Want of a Nail: It's revealed that the nail responsible for the divergence between the Wish Realm and the normal Enchanted Forest is the Charmings depowering Regina before she could cast the Dark Curse.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Ivy gives Rogers the means to access the tracker on Victoria's car so he can follow her and find out what she's hiding—knowing he will discover her mother with Eloise Gardner. Victoria is guilty of holding her prisoner, but by making it appear she's a kidnapped runaway he's spent years looking for, it means Victoria will be arrested, thus leaving Ivy in charge of the company so she and Gothel can continue their scheming undisturbed.
  • Glorified Sperm Donor: Gothel tricks Hook into impregnating her, so that their child can take her place in the tower.
    • Given that Gothel conceives Alice purely to escape the tower and has no interest in raising her or even making sure she won't starve to death there, she can be considered a Glorified Egg Donor. Hook, on the other hand, decides to become a devoted single father.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Gothel made the tower and cast the sealing spell on it in order to trap Rapunzel, only to become victim to it herself.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Eloise Gardner, as the curse name of a witch who posed as Rapunzel (named for rampion, from the witch's garden of the fairy tale), a witch who in turn has been shown to have power over plant life (a "green thumb", as Drizella puts it).
    • Also Hook names his daughter after his beloved mother.
  • Moving the Goalposts: When Victoria is arrested, Jacinda thinks that she can get Lucy back, only for her to still be taken by social services. Whom Ivy "tried to stop". (It's never confirmed, but it would be perfectly in-character for Ivy to have called social services herself.)
  • My Greatest Failure: It turns out this is why Rogers is so obsessed with Eloise Gardener—because thanks to his cursed memories, he believes that the night she vanished, he was drunk and thus not out patrolling her neighborhood like he was supposed to be, so he blames himself. Considering what happened that led to his separation from Alice (the real Eloise he feels a bond with), it's fitting that his feelings and memories were shifted to this.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When Hook meets "Rapunzel", she's holding a frying pan.
    • The key to "Rapunzel" escaping is a certain golden flower, although unlike in the film it is the source of magic that can trap an immortal, not healing power or Rapunzel Hair. Also, rather than its power being activated by a song, singing must be used to identify it in the garden.
    • To the original fairy tale: the witch having a garden, from which a plant must be stolen for a pregnant soon-to-be mother. Inverted however in that it's the witch who asks for it to be stolen (in order to free her from a spell), and that it's the theft which actually enables the pregnancy (or at least its acceleration).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Weaver/Rumple, determined to keep Gothel from getting free, uses Tilly to mislead Rogers with a fake drawing and a story purporting to reveal Eloise Gardner's death in a car accident. Instead, Rogers figuring out the whole thing was a ruse to make him drop the case, and that he did this at the behest of Victoria, leads the detective to a search at Belfrey Industries that eventually culminates in Victoria's arrest, Gothel/Eloise getting free, and Ivy taking over so that the two sorceresses' plans are much, much closer to succeeding.
  • Oh, Crap!: Victoria when Gothel reveals Ivy has always been awake.
  • Out-Gambitted: Victoria realizes too late that her "useless" daughter has been playing her like a fiddle since day one and just set her up so she can take charge of the company for her own plans. Underscored during Ivy's gloating "good-bye speech", in which she reveals she was the one to poison the tattooed Mook so as to raise Rogers' suspicions and get him looking in the right direction.
  • The Reveal: Eloise Gardner is the witch imprisoned by Victoria, who is Gothel, who is the mother of Hook's daughter, who is Alice.
  • Spotting the Thread: Rogers realizes that the drawing allegedly made by Eloise is too new to have been made prior to her supposed "death", since the ink is too fresh and still smears when wet.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Wish!Smee gets promoted to being Captain of the Jolly Roger just like he always wanted when Hook decides to stay with his daughter.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Past!Wish!Hook being able to interact with Another Realm's timeline over 30 years prior to the Wish Realm actually being wished into existence.
  • Villainous Valor: After Hook brings her the golden flower (and spends the night with her to provide the means for her escape), Gothel gives him the petal she promised him to use against Rumple. She also offers him the chance to join her, so she can help him get his revenge and he can help her get hers, just as Cora did (although whether she would have followed through is debatable). As a sign of his inner heroism (and how he too is now diverging from the original timeline), Hook refuses so as to raise their baby—which also subverts the trope, since this valor is actually a sign he isn't a full villain any more than the original Hook was.
  • Wham Line: Hook naming his daughter Alice.
  • Wham Shot: Rapunzel turning into Gothel. Also Eloise Gardener turning out to be Gothel too.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Hook could have left his daughter to rot in the tower while he got his revenge, and no one but he and Gothel would have ever known. Instead, he chose to stay and look after her.
  • You Are in Command Now: Hook passes control of the Jolly Roger over to Smee.
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