Monday, April 9, 2018

Once Upon A Time 7x16 Review: “Breadcrumbs” (Tough Decision) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

Original Airdate: April 6, 2018

It’s another jumpy episode of Once Upon A Time that only offers a little bit of information and barely moves the overarching story forward. I couldn’t tell if the episode was all over the place to throw the audience off from thinking about the main story, or if the writers just don’t know what to do anymore. Most of "Breadcrumbs" revolves around distracting from thinking about the Candy Killer, even though his identity was revealed in the previous episode. It’s another confusing structure that makes less sense the more you think about it.


Thanks to an unsurprising reveal, we know that Jacinda’s ex, Nick, is the Candy Killer. Most of this episode plays around with the concept of who the Candy Killer really is, while making you forget about him with trippy plot movement. Rumple enlists Henry’s help in trying to identify the Candy Killer when he finds a copy of Henry’s book at the scene of the latest crime. To say that the book is marked up with plenty of notes is an understatement. Rumple knows that the killer must be someone who thinks — or knows — that he is a fairytale character and thinks that Henry could figure it out, since his book appears to be the killer’s inspiration.

Rumple’s plan is also two-fold: he wants to catch the killer and subconsciously make Henry believe that his stories could be real. It does work, to an extent, and Henry figures out that the killer must think he is Hansel based on the notes and specific underlined words in the Hansel and Gretel part of the book. This is a bit odd because at least ten episodes ago, Nick was introduced as Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk in the fairytale realm. Nick’s real identity becomes more of a mystery to the audience because he might not be who he says he is.

The other part of Rumple’s plan works too, as Henry grapples with going on a trip to New York for a job interview. Henry isn’t sure whether he should stay in Seattle and pursue Jacinda, or take his career to the next level and move across the country. By having him take a closer look at his own book, Rumple has convinced Henry to believe in a little magic. Henry gets a flat tire on the way to the airport and takes it as a sign that he isn’t meant to leave Seattle. While I was thinking that this curse acts a lot like the Storybrooke curses and won’t let him leave town. As Henry is starting to change his flat tire, Nick shows up and offers Henry a ride.

Henry decides that he shouldn’t leave town and wants Nick to take him to Jacinda’s apartment so he can declare his feelings. Yes, Henry asks Jacinda’s ex to take him to see her and then acts super surprised when things don’t go the way he planned. Nick kidnaps Henry after Henry sees a burn on Nick’s arm, thus revealing that he must be the killer. Nick reveals to Henry that his real name is Hansel and hasn’t been called his real name in a long time, leaving the bigger question of why he hid his true identity unanswered. Hansel is still working on getting revenge for Gretel’s death, but it doesn’t seem like he knows that it was Drizella who killed his sister. So Henry is kidnapped, Nick is Hansel, and we aren’t privy to why Hansel hid his identity or how he is awake when the curse has yet to be broken.


In between the one important storyline of the week, tons of useless scenes occur to take the focus away from the main plot. I can’t figure out why the episode was so choppy in terms of storytelling or what purpose it served. Honestly, it was more annoying than anything for things to constantly jump around without focusing on one story or another for more than two minutes at a time. It is also frustrating that unnecessary flashbacks plagued another episode. Does anyone really care about Henry wanting to go on an adventure with Hook to feel special enough to deserve to be with Ella in the fairytale realm?

Henry wants an epic story of his own, so Hook fakes one by getting Blackbeard and the crew of the Jolly Roger to take them on a journey to Davey Jones’s locker to pillage the treasure that is hidden there. Hook and Henry’s journey isn’t the only fake thing in these scenes, as the CGI was terrible. The quality of the visuals was just as awful as the waste of time B-plot. At least Henry realizes that he is special enough the way he is and doesn’t need some extravagant ring with an equally tantalizing tale. He then proposes to Ella at the end of the flashbacks.


Most of the episode is Henry-centric, but there are some nice moments between Hook and Tilly in Seattle. Hook helps Tilly get a job at Sabine’s food truck and starts acting more like a father to her than he realizes. Since they are spending more time together now, it will be a really nice moment when the curse is eventually lifted and Hook and Tilly learn that they are father and daughter. Hook also flirts with Sabine a bit, so it will be interesting to see if anything develops there. Speaking of flirting, Tilly sees Margot (Seattle name for Robin) at the food truck and has a good conversation with her. The two are connecting so it seems that everyone is finding each other again.


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