REVIEW: Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 19 – Flower Child

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 19 - Flower Child

Mother Gothel’s origin is explored while familial relationships are revealed in this week’s episode of Once Upon a Time.

After seeing the backstories of the mother and daughter antagonists this year (Rapunzel and Drizella), it was time to explore what drove Mother Gothel to do all the villainous things she has done so far. Considering how big of a threat she has been all season, her origin story did not disappoint. Turns out, she was really a tree nymph, and the daughter of the Mother of all tree nymphs. She possessed very powerful magic and was fascinated by human culture (why magical folk are always intrigued by boring mortal ways of life is always beyond me.)

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 19 - Flower ChildBut after she is humiliated by a spoiled human princess, Gothel finds tragedy awaiting her when she returns to her magical grove. The princess also had all the tree nymphs slaughtered and their home destroyed because the humans considered them abominations. This was a cruel act and one that makes you understand why Gothel hates humanity so much. There’s a message of environmental conservation in all of this but it’s mostly lost in all the magic and weird familial relationships on the show.

Though, it seems strange that the tree nymphs survived for centuries but had no means to protect themselves against human torches and axes, crude weapons at best but no match for real magic. Or maybe it’s because all of their magic was concentrated in Gothel somehow? Which can account for her being able to single-handedly decimate her enemies, and then find an ally in another closeted witch. She vows revenge against all humans and begins to put together her coven.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 19 - Flower ChildBack in Hyperion Heights, Gothel manipulates a policeman to help her gather her sister witches and to kidnap Tilly and Rogers. She reveals herself as Tilly’s mother and tells the girl that Rogers is her father. And because Tilly has a heart of a believer, she immediately accepts these two truths. Before either father or daughter can process this new information properly, Tilly is put in an impossible position where she needs to share her magic and complete the circle of the coven for some sinister purpose.

Once Upon a Time episodes that don’t feature Regina or Rumple are almost always duds because without the charisma of either one of them, the supporting cast can’t always sustain much interest. Luckily, there were a lot of major revelations made in just one episode, speeding up the plot (sometimes a bit implausibly) as we hurtle towards the finale.

Henry is convinced by the DNA results that he is somehow Lucy’s father and he attempts to convince Jacinda of the same. Of course, the only explanation he can find is that everything in his Once Upon a Time book is actually real which is a tricky line of reasoning to use with the rational Jacinda.

Lucy conspires with Samdi, of all people, to help heal Henry so that breaking the curse will be possible. The smooth doctor is cooperative, probably because the scheme is to his best interests, and he uses his magic on one of the glass slippers that Lucy finds.

Henry and Jacinda finally kiss but there is no big, curse-breaking moment. Everyone remains cursed in Hyperion Heights but Henry is still alive somehow. It’s rare for True Love’s Kiss not to work on Once Upon a Time so either something Facilier or Gothel did made this go awry. We’re going to need Regina and Rumple to come back and sort all of this out.