REVIEW: Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 7 – Eloise Gardener

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 7 - Eloise Gardener

This week on Once Upon a Time, the identities of Hook’s daughter and her mother are revealed, while Detective Rogers finally resolves his missing girl case.

Several theories were confirmed in this first of a two-episode special of Once Upon a Time, but the reveals did not have such a massive impact considering fans had pretty much guessed what they would be weeks ago. Nevertheless, it was good to have some ideas validated at last. Victoria Belfrey’s prisoner turned out to be Mother Gothel after all, and Alice was Hook’s long-lost daughter, as I and many other fans guessed several episodes ago.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 7 - Eloise GardenerIn a long flashback to the wish realm, we saw Hook and the Evil Queen team up for revenge, with the source of much-needed magic a princess trapped in a tower. Hook climbs it and meets Rapunzel (re-cast for this season) and apparently becomes the Once Upon a Time version of Flynn Rider.

The showrunners made the most of Colin O’Donoghue’s musical ability once more, as Hook was forced to sing something to find the magical golden flower (and to escape the wrath of a cursed giant garden gnome – don’t ask, just go with it). He brings the flower back to Rapunzel, who eagerly shows her appreciation by hooking up with the captain (pun intended). The next morning, with the help of a little magic, there’s a new baby, and Rapunzel reveals herself to be Mother Gothel.

The only way to escape her magical imprisonment was to leave a member of her bloodline in her place, so she tricked Hook into impregnating her and then she joined the long list of negligent parents on the show. The Once Upon a Time tradition of parental abandonment as a source of trauma continues.

But luckily for the baby, Hook decided to break this cycle and put off his revenge in order to raise the child, smiling and singing her lullabies and just being a good dad. Good for you, Hook.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 7 - Eloise GardenerBack in Hyperion Heights, Detective Rogers tries to solve the case of Eloise Gardener. He seeks help from Tilly and, under Weaver’s orders, she feeds him false evidence. For a moment he sinks back into despair, but then he finds something that leads him to arrest Victoria Belfrey and to rescue the prisoner she has in her basement, none other than Mother Gothel herself.

Not being awake, Hook simply believes her to be the missing girl he has been searching for for years, and Gothel plays her part to perfection. He expresses his disappointment in Tilly and she watches sadly as (unbeknownst to her), both her parents ride away in an ambulance.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 7 - Eloise GardenerAgain, Alice being Hook’s daughter came as a surprise to no one, but it was good to get that family secret out into the open so that we could explore more of their family dynamic. When the curse is eventually broken, it would be great to see how the father and daughter will re-connect and if there was any hope of reconciliation with the woman who used and abandoned them both.

So far, Gothel hasn’t shown any signs of being redeemable but this is Once Upon a Time, where even the villains get a second chance, so who knows?

Since we got two episodes this week, the next might show us a little more about this strange little family.