Rapunzel drives a wagon through the forest, and tells her husband Marcus that she's stopped because she found them something to eat. The sick Marcus apologizes for putting the burden of protecting their family on her. Rapunzel tells her daughters that their lanterns will connect them and she'll go ahead to get food from the house garden. When she gathers the vegetables, Gothel appears and demands to know who is trespassing in her garden. Rapunzel says that she was taking good to provide for her family, and Gothel says that it's rare to find someone who comes there just to take her radishes. She asks what Rapunzel would sacrifice for her family, and Rapunzel says that she would do anything.
Gothel throws some dust down and wind whips around Rapunzel, teleporting her to a tower. She goes to the mirror and discovers that the ground is hundreds of feet below. Gothel appears behind Rapunzel and says that there's no way out. She reminds Rapunzel that she agreed to pay any price for her family's happiness, and they'll never find her. Rapunzel yells out the window for her family... including her daughters Anastasia and Druzilla.
Druzilla comes to see Victoria in jail and Victoria asks why she's there. Her stepdaughter asks for the Anastasia's body so that she can wake her sister up. Victoria figures that she wants the magic within Anastasia, and Druzilla points out that Victoria can only get out by sharing Anastasia's location. Victoria says that she can get out on her own, and dismisses Druzilla's feelings. After a moment, Druzilla smiles and tells Victoria to have fun in prison. As Druzilla goes, Victoria says that when it comes to family, she always finds a way to escape.
Back at Jacinda's apartment, Lucy tells her mother that she's glad to be back. Lucy asks if they can invite Henry over, and Jacinda says that they'll think about it. Once Lucy leaves, Sabine asks about Jacinda's involvement with Henry. Jacinda says that she checked at the bar and discovered that he went to san Francisco with Regina.
Weaver meets with Victoria, well aware that she met with Druzilla. Victoria says that she only spoke with her because she knew Weaver would come to her. She asks for help getting to Anastasia, and asks why he's pretending that he's concerned Gothel is out of the tower. Weaver claims not to know what she means, and Victoria tells him about the love he's lost and the Dagger. She offers him information about the Guardian in return for his help, and calls him Rumplestiltskin. Weaver tells her that she has a deal and calls her Rapunzel.
Months go by and Rapunzel counts the days, letting her hair grow and spreading the braids throughout the tower room. Chinese lanterns drift by the tower in their hundreds, and Rapunzel looks around the chamber. She then uses her braid as a rope to climb down.
Victoria emerges from the station as Rogers arrives. Weaver comes out and tells Rogers that he failed to get a warrant. The judge dismisses the case again Victoria, and Rogers asks what he got from the arrangement. He threatens to dig it up himself, and Weaver warns him that he's already done enough damage going off on his own. Weaver gets into the car with Victoria and asks where Anastasia is, and Victoria tells him that they have to get what they need to wake Anastasia.
Later, Victoria goes to Jacinda's apartment and tells her that she's removing all claims of custody from Lucy. She assures Jacinda that there is no custody, and explains that Jacinda has passed the test she set for her years ago. Victoria says that she's glad that Nick is back in Jacinda's life, and claims that while she was in prison she realized that Lucy's happiness mattered. She gives Jacinda Lucy's doll and says that she's proud that Jacinda never gave up.
Rapunzel follows the lanterns to the house where a teenage Anastasia is letting the Chinese lanterns drift. Druzilla comes out and says that they should go in, and reminds Anastasia that it's been six years. Rapunzel steps out of the shadow sand hugs her daughters. Marcus comes out and husband and wife embrace. She explains that she trader her freedom for their happiness, and Marcus daughter Ella comes out and calls Marcus "father". Marcus tells Rapunzel that Ella is his stepdaughter. His step wife Cecilia comes out and asks who Rapunzel is.
Druzilla and Gothel are in a car and watch as Victoria goes to a flower shop with Weaver. Gothel warns that it's a mistake to underestimate Victoria, but Druzilla figures that she always takes the wrong path.
Anastasia and Druzilla come to see Rapunzel, who serves tea. Marcus joins them and says that he needs to speak to Rapunzel privately. Once they're alone, Rapunzel says that Druzilla slips further away every day. Marcus assures her that it will take time, and gives Rapunzel her old cloak from the night she disappeared. He points out that he'd be dead and their daughters in the streets if Rapunzel hadn't made her deal, and assures her that he still loves her. However, he says that he also loves Cecilia and Ella, and abruptly leaves.
Once Rapunzel is alone, Gothel appears and admires Rapunzel's resourcefulness for escaping. She insists that she kept her part of the deal, and hoped that Rapunzel would eventually escape. Now she's curious to see if Rapunzel will sacrifice someone else's happiness for her own. She gives her a mushroom that she gathered from Wonderland, and says that Rapunzel can use it to kill Cecilia and have her family back. Rapunzel throws it in the fire, and Gothel says that Rapunzel may find happiness her way. if not, there's her way. The mushroom appears on the table, unharmed, and Gothel disappears.
Jacinda has Nick check the paperwork and he confirms that it's all legitimate. She hugs him in relief and they kiss, and then Jacinda backs away and says that she doesn't want to do it. Jacinda says that it's not about him, and she wants him to have a relationship with Lucy. Once Nick leaves, Jacinda sees Henry's mixtape that he made for her on the table.
Rogers goes to Weaver's storage locker and sets off the fire alarm to open the electronically locked door. Among the items that Weaver has gathered is a hook hand. There's a box with files on Victoria, Druzilla, Rogers, and the others, and Rogers wonders what Weaver is doing.
Next, Rogers goes to the food truck and finds Sabine there. He says that he's there to check on the Cluck fire, and she makes him a sketch of the knife that was used to jimmy open the back door. Weaver talked to her the day before and kept shoving it into her hands, asking her if she felt anything. The dagger is the Dark One's dagger.
Victoria takes Rumplestiltskin to a basement and Weaver sees Druzilla and Gothel flying them. When he points it out, she says that she knows and there are plans for them. Stores in the basement are spell components and Victoria explains that she can use them to reunite with Anastasia. Rumplestiltskin says that he had a son and never stopped trying to make amends with him. despite that, he lost him. Victoria tells him not to compare his grief to hers, and Rumplestiltskin warns that there are costs involved with reunion and he paid them. She says that he knows that she can't stop, and will give him the information on the Guardian when she has Anastasia. Before she goes, Victoria tells Rumplestiltskin that Druzilla hasn't been his daughter for a long time.
Rapunzel is serving at a part her family is hosting for Druzilla's birthday. Cecilia comes over and says that she should be spending time with her daughters on her birthday. Once she leaves, Marcus comes over and assures Rapunzel that their girls need them. Rapunzel says that she gave Druzilla a gift and she didn't even smile. As Druzilla opens a present from Cecilia and calls her mother, Rapunzel storms off and goes to the kitchen. The mushroom is there, and she squeezes its poison into Cecilia's cup.
Druzilla and Gothel enter the basement and find Rumplestiltskin waiting for them. He says that Victoria is long gone, and Gothel tells Druzilla to go ahead while she talks with Rumplestiltskin. Once Druzilla leaves, Gothel says that she tends to their needs and offers to tend to Rumplestiltskin's. He says that he's fine, but Gothel points out that he seems glum. She asks about Belle, and Rumplestiltskin angrily tells her not to say her name. Gothel tells him that he can get back to Belle with her help, but he refuses to serve anyone and says that Victoria and Anastasia will soon be reunited. She says that waking up Anastasia will cost an innocent's belief, and asks if he knows where his great-granddaughter is.
Victoria approaches Lucy at ballet school and says that she wanted to give something to her. It's the storybook, and Victoria tells her that she was right and fairy tales are real. However, she invites Lucy to come with her and she'll tell her the rest, and Lucy goes with her.
Outside, Victoria and Lucy sit on a bench and Victoria tells the girl that she's Rapunzel. She took Tremaine from Marcus when they married. There's a picture in the storybook of Rapunzel poisoning Cecilia, and Victoria explains that Gothel tricked her. She says that she needed to be with her family, and thought that the poison would cause Ella to flee. However, Marcus chased her to Wonderland. When he returned, they were reunited but Cecilia came back and the story didn't end there.
Once Rapunzel and Marcus are reunited, they watch as the three girls make a snowman. Ella goes out on the frozen lake to get a hat for the snowman, and the ice cracks beneath her. Anastasia goes after her and they both fall through the ice. Marcus dives into the water and brings out Ella, and he tells Rapunzel that he could only grab one.
Anastasia is in a private clinic room, in a coma. Victoria takes Lucy there and says that Lucy needs to see Anastasia so that Lucy would know how the world really is, even for people in the storybook. She says that she sacrificed everything for her family and all she got was pain. Fairy tales are real but happy endings aren't. Lucy insists that her family's story is different, and says that her family is Jacinda and Henry and they'll all be together. Victoria tells her that it's too late and shows her a video of Jacinda kissing Nick from earlier,. She says that Henry means nothing to Jacinda, and her story and Lucy's are the same. They were both separated from the ones they loved, and now Henry is gone. As Lucy cries, Victoria tells her that when beliefs fail them, they have to let them go. She tells Lucy to do so, and Lucy sheds a single tear onto the storybook before running off. Victoria takes the book and holds it up to Anastasia.
Rapunzel takes Anastasia's body to Gothel and asks her to help. Gothel locks Anastasia's last breath in her body, and says that she's going into the tower. When Rapunzel objects, Gothel says that she sought after a hero pure of heart: the Guardian. Rapunzel couldn't resist the temptation to harm an innocent, and Gothel hopes that someone else in Rapunzel's bloodline is the Guardian. When Rapunzel swears to climb the tower and rescue her daughter, Gothel says that she has sealed it with blood magic.
As Gothel reaches for her potion, Rapunzel reveals that she stole it from Gothel. She tosses it down and the whirlwind teleports Gothel away. Rapunzel then promises Anastasia that she'll bring her back.
Victoria uses an eyedropper to pick up the tear.
Rumplestiltskin searches for Lucy and an officer with him finds her backpack but no sign of the girl. He tells the officer to report only to her. As she leaves, Rogers arrives and asks Rumplestiltskin who he's looking for. Rumplestiltskin insists that it's his business, but Rogers tells him to spit out what he wants to tell him. His partner says that he's looking for someone like Eloise, and he thought Victoria could help him but he's wrong. Rumplestiltskin explains that he would do anything to get to his wife. Rogers believes him and offers to help, and Rumplestiltskin agrees. He says that they have to find Lucy.
Lucy wanders the streets.
Victoria approaches her comatose daughter.
Lucy returns home and Jacinda asks her what's wrong.
Victoria puts the tear on Anastasia's forehead, and the girl wakes up.
Lucy collapses unconscious.
Victoria tells Anastasia that she saved her and hugs her daughter. Druzilla comes to the door and looks in, and then turns and walks away.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 9, 2017