REVIEW: Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 11 – Secret Garden

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 11 - Secret Garden

Once Upon a Time resumed its seventh season with an episode about the complex relationships between mothers and daughters and the sacrifices mothers are willing to make to protect their children.

Not the first time the show has tackled this particular familiar theme (and if I’ve learned anything in the past seven seasons, this will not be the last time), but it was interesting to see more of Zelena and Robin’s relationship as well as some sort of resolution to Drizella and Rapunzel’s fraught relationship.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 11 - Secret GardenWe have not seen much of Robin since the mid-season finale and seeing her difficult relationship with her mother (and with magic) gave the character a bit more weight. She was behaving as an annoying teenager for most of the episode, and I wondered at how easily she let herself get manipulated by Gothel. And then, it seemed pretty sudden that after seeing the ill effects of magic just once, she so easily gave it up. At least she restored Zelena’s magic, and the look of relief on the former Wicked Witch’s face was something.

Regina and Zelena didn’t really do much to change the course of the story, though I enjoy watching them bond as sisters and move on from their former hostility. For all their planning and discussion about whether or not to break the curse, both of them proved fairly ineffectual in this episode. It revolved around another never-before-mentioned magical MacGuffin, the resurrection stone, which could bring the dead back to life but, of course, with a price. At this point, one learns to just accept every random magical item Once Upon a Time introduces for the space of one episode. It doesn’t pay to think about how such a powerful artifact could have made a difference in previous story lines.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 11 - Secret GardenRapunzel proved that she is the go-to person when one wants things to get done, although she did end up paying a heavy price for it. Her redemption came a little too quickly and conveniently, though it did make a very big impact on Drizella. If this was to be Rapunzel’s last appearance, I’m fine with it. But this is Once Upon a Time, so not everyone stays dead. My money’s on Drizella and Anastasia (and maybe even Lucy) teaming together to bring their mother back to life.

Mother Gothel needs to GO. Seriously. But we haven’t seen her “tragic backstory” yet so I guess we’ll have to wait for that episode. There was a hint at how she wanted to resurrect the witch in the crystal ball but not much was made of that. Perhaps that’s a story for another time.

There was also a subplot with a doctor finding out that Henry is Lucy’s biological father, though the audience has known that since FOREVER, but apparently the DNA test results will be faked by some sinister force. For a moment I thought the doctor was going to be a familiar fairy tale character. Turns out, she was just another innocent victim in the Mills family drama that is Once Upon a Time.