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ONCE UPON A TIME Recap & Review: “Breadcrumbs”

Henry is searching for a story in two worlds in ONCE UPON A TIME Season 7 Episode 16, entitled “Breadcrumbs.”

The disadvantage of such a talented ensemble cast of well-developed characters is that you’re always left wanting more. In this week’s installment of Once Upon a Time, we would have loved more time with Kelly (Rebecca Mader), Margot (Tiera Skovbye), Tilly (Rose Reynolds), and Sabine (Mekia Cox); however, the bulk of the hour was spent with Henry (Andrew J. West), who was on a journey to find his story in both Hyperion Heights and the magical kingdom.

Prince Henry of Storybrooke

The flashbacks this week show us a despondent Henry and a misguided Hook (Colin O’Donoghue). They are hunting a dragon with Henry’s beloved Cinderella (Dania Ramirez), only to discover that the dragon migrated weeks earlier, and they’re able to recover his plunder without incident. Henry had been hoping for a battle, a way to prove himself to Ella so he would have something to offer her.

Hook has an idea; he takes Henry to a pub, where they find Blackbeard recruiting crew members for the Jolly Roger, which he has taken from Mr. Smee. Hook explains that he holds the map to Davy Jones’ locker, where a great treasure lies. They’re going to take over the Jolly Roger, find the treasure, and bring back a special ring for Ella, one with a real story to it.

Hook and Henry hide in barrels on the deck of the ship, emerging that night when the coast is clear. They confront Mr. Smee, who says that only a few members of the crew are still loyal to Hook. Suddenly, Blackbeard and his crew ambush them. Hook cautions Blackbeard not to kill Prince Henry of Storybrooke, to which Blackbeard replies that he’ll kill him after they’ve proved that the map to Davy Jones’ locker is legitimate.

The treasure is found, but Hook manages to free himself and Henry, and they engage in battle with the crew. Henry quickly ends up in battle with Blackbeard, which lasts for only a moment before he is able to disarm him. Then Blackbeard reveals the trick – Hook set it all up so that Henry would have a good story for Ella. He was trying to help Henry out in the same way that the “other Hook” did. This backfires for two reasons: 1) Henry finds out, and 2) before they can head back to shore, a huge storm comes up out of nowhere.

Hook tries desperately to sail them out of the storm, but a whirlpool follows them no matter which way he turns. Henry realizes that it must be magical, and the best explanation is that Davy Jones wants the ring from his treasure back. He climbs the mast and throws the ring into the whirlpool. Just like that, the whirlpool disappears and the waters are calm again. Hook points out that this is a great story for Henry to share with Ella, but Henry says he doesn’t want that anymore; all he wants is a great life with the people he loves, and he hopes that will be enough for Ella.

(Spoiler alert: yes, that’s enough for Ella!)

He takes Ella to a pretty lake that is, as he explains, nothing but a pretty lake – maybe the one place in the magical kingdom where nothing epic ever happened. He tells her that he would like to build a house for the two of them right there by the lake. Then, he pulls out a ring.

Henry: “It’s just a pretty ring. Like me and this lake, it doesn’t come with anything else. Ella, I can’t offer you a legend, but I can offer you my heart.”

Ella: “Can I say yes now?”

Henry: “I really wish you would.”

Everyone together now: Awwwww.

Henry Mills, podcaster

Meanwhile, in Hyperion Heights, Henry visits the bar in search of Roni (Lana Parrilla), but finds Margot instead. Margot tells him that everyone in the bar listens to his podcast, to which he replies that hopefully, someday he’ll get paid for it. He runs into Nick (Nathan Parsons) on his way out. Nick is looking a little down; when Henry asks why, Nick explains that he tried to land an important client last night, but she got away. (This is very creepy when you remember what we learned last week: Nick = Hansel = the candy-killer.)

Henry gets a call about his podcast, and immediately runs to tell Jacinda. He’s been offered a job! A company called Siren Media wants him to come to New York for an interview, and if it goes well, the job is his. Unfortunately, this would mean two things: 1) he would have to move to New York, and 2) he would subsequently have to stop producing H-Town, because he would no longer live in Hyperion Heights. Jacinda acts excited for him, but it’s pretty clear she doesn’t want him to go – and as Sabine points out to Jacinda later that day, Henry doesn’t really want to go, either. He reached out to her so she could tell him not to go – and give him a reason to stay.

As he’s packing for his interview, Henry finds a piece of what appears to be a glass slipper in a drawer. Before he can think too much about this, Detective Weaver (Robert Carlyle) shows up on his doorstep. I had to go back and review the second episode to remember why Henry might have a beef with Weaver – at Lucy’s ballet recital, Henry jumped in to defend Jacinda from Weaver, only for Weaver to elbow him in the face. It’s understandable that Henry is not delighted when Weaver asks him for help now. However, Weaver manages to convince him that they need his help finding the candy-killer, because the killer appears to be obsessed with Henry’s book.

Henry agrees to accompany Weaver to the evidence locker to take a look at the killer’s copy of his book, which has notes written in everywhere. After awhile, he gets frustrated and goes to leave, saying he has a plane to catch. Weaver asks him to keep trying.

Weaver: “I wouldn’t dismiss those stories just yet. You see, even though you can’t admit it, I think you’re quite a lot like your namesake. He was my favorite character.”

Henry: “Of course he was. Everyone loves a little kid full of hope and belief.”

Weaver: “Yeah, I didn’t like him because he was full of hope and belief. I liked him because he fought for those things. And I can tell you’re not giving up just yet.”

You can imagine this is one of those scenes that will mean immensely more to Henry when the curse is broken and he remembers who he is. Henry inspires Rumplestilskin! Aww. Anyway, Henry admits to Weaver that he wrote himself into the book to connect with the stories. Then he realizes that the candy-killer did the same thing; he think he’s a character in the book, and they need to figure out which one he is. It doesn’t take him long to figure out that the candy-killer thinks he’s Hansel. Once that’s established, he takes his leave, but Weaver points out to him that he doesn’t really seem to want to go to New York, and his namesake in the book always knew the right path.

Henry checks his voicemail, but has no new messages; dejected, he heads for the airport. Naturally, he doesn’t get past the troll bridge before getting a flat tire. He discovers a piece of glass in his front tire, which looks oddly like a piece of a glass slipper – the second one he’s found that day. Just as he’s considering this, Nick stops and offers him a ride. He asks Nick to drive him to Jacinda’s so he can tell her how he feels. The glass slippers have to be a sign.

While they’re driving, Henry tells Nick what he’s discovered about the candy-killer. After some jokes about lederhosen and gingerbread, Nick reaches over to grab something, and Henry notices the burn scars on his arm. Henry asks him to drop him off at a hotel so he can catch the airport shuttle, then just asks to get out of the car, but it’s too late; Nick injects him with something that knocks him out. He comes to in an apartment, presumably Nick’s, and Henry urges him to turn himself in because they’ll think he’s insane. Nick refuses, saying that in that scenario, he would have to stop killing… and he’s not done yet. He takes one of his candy boxes and leaves. We know from the next scene with Kelly and Margot that Kelly is his next target.

A few additional notes:

  • Rogers got Tilly a job with Sabine at the food truck. She’s not great at making beignets, but she’s popular with the customers and came up with the idea of giving out free samples.
  • Tilly and Margot are a cute pair. Tilly proves to be a good listener, and gives Margot some good advice about her relationship with her mother. Margot also appreciates the beignet Tilly accidentally made in the shape of a (literal) heart.
  • Roni is apparently off hunting for some magical moss that’s an essential ingredient in the potion Kelly is brewing, with the help of Lucy (Alison Fernandez).
  • And Lucy is back to shipping her mother with Henry.

There can’t really be only six episodes left of Once Upon a Time, can there? There are so many more stories to be told in this world. Here’s hoping that they won’t leave us hanging!