Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Once Upon A Time 7x18 Review: “The Guardian” (Into the Darkness) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“The Guardian”
Original Airdate: April 20, 2018

Don’t you love when a show starts a plot, randomly drops it for no reason whatsoever, and then brings it back after several months just because they can? That’s pretty much the story of the latest episode of Once Upon A Time, and it makes this one feel very out of place. However, we do get a great performance by Robert Carlyle in this Rumple-centric episode.


The plot-of-the-week brings up the months-old story of Alice being the guardian that Rumple has been looking for. In case you need a refresher, a person pure of heart can be the guardian of the Dark One dagger and be the ultimate light above the darkness for all eternity. Back at the beginning of the season, Rumple felt that Alice could be this guardian that could take the darkness out of him so he could eventually reunite himself with the deceased Belle. After mentioning it in one episode, the whole guardian thing was pretty much dropped, with the exception of mentioning that Anastasia could also be a guardian.

Alice’s storylines in both the fairy tale realm and Seattle haven’t even mentioned the whole guardian thing until this episode. In the fairy tale realm, we see Rumple in a shrine for Belle that is straight out of Coco. This terrible “reference” to Disney-Pixar’s latest success is even more out of place than the impending guardian storyline. Rumple decides to test Alice to see if she really is a guardian by telling her that she can cure her father’s curse by taking Facilier’s heart out of his chest and crushing it. Alice and Rumple go to Facilier’s tent residence, where she takes his heart.

Unsurprisingly, Alice can’t crush Facilier’s heart and puts it back where it belongs. It is a little upsetting that Facilier could have been out of the picture a long time ago. Rumple gets his answer and decides to tell Alice what she really is and the power that she can wield. During the reveal, Rumple’s dagger speaks to Alice, proving her guardian status. She summons the dagger and starts pulling the darkness out of Rumple. However, Rumple realizes that if Alice successfully traps the dark magic, then she will be immortal and have to live with protecting the dagger forever. Rumple decides that he can’t take Alice’s normal life away from her and takes the darkness back, and he transforms into the old scaly Rumple of the past. The act of pure selflessness proves that Rumple has changed and is also becoming pure of heart.

Back in Seattle, Rumple and Hook find Nick’s dead body in the precinct, and Rumple notices that his dagger is missing. He assumes that Facilier must have stolen the dagger since he killed Nick; but when confronted about it, Facilier denies that he took it. Rumple starts to stumble into madness and goes as far as stealing the only bit of magic that Regina has in order to locate the missing dagger. After an all-day search, Rumple runs into Alice, who has been hearing voices since the morning. Rumple searches her backpack and finds the dagger stashed away in there, making him realize that Alice had inadvertently guarded the dagger. So Alice is still the guardian and will probably wind up taking the burden that Rumple once protected her from by the time the series ends.


Other than the dueling Rumple/Alice storylines, the only other plot that occurred was Henry trying to make sense of learning that he really is Lucy’s father. Henry goes to the police station to convince Hook to let him talk to Nick, but winds up convincing Hook to let him go along to Nick’s apartment since he is dead. Hook reluctantly agrees, and Henry finds the medical record that proves that Lucy is his child. More confused than ever, Henry brings the document to Jacinda and shows her the wild truth. Henry even says that he verified the document’s authenticity with the hospital, which causes them to both be very confused. Hook also has a bit of a reality bender when he learns that Nick was killed from a single stabbing of the heart from the inside, which of course was courtesy of Facilier’s voodoo doll. Hook and Henry both don’t know how to explain the magic that is becoming more and more apparent, so it seems like they might start believing soon.


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