|Season 7, Episode 4|
|Airdate||October 27, 2017|
|Written by|| Dana Horgan|
|Directed by||Mark Garris|
The Garden of Forking Paths
In the episode, Rumpelstiltskin’s life with Belle is explored and the consequences that awaits the couple, while in the present day Weaver must deal with a suddenly unstable Tilly when Victoria demands that she be bought back under his control, and Ivy takes Lucy out for Halloween that goes awry.
View the Beauty Gallery.
Halloween-themed decor is featured in the background.
In the Characters' Past
In Storybrooke and years afterwards
It has been a year after The Final Battle, as Gold and Belle enjoy life as a family with their son Gideon. Gold tells Belle that he has acquired a family travel book so they can document their adventures. Fast forward to many years later, and it appears that age has caught up to Belle and Rumpelstiltskin. Rumple has now grown tired of being The Dark One and wants to rid himself of the cursed immortality and Darkness once and for all. He takes the Dagger and throws it into a river, only to see it return to him. As the years continues to go by, Gideon is preparing to go to college, while Rumpelstiltskin and Belle discuss the Dagger. Rumple comes up with a solution, which is to take it to a place called The Edge of Realms.
As Rumple and Belle arrived to the Edge of Realms, the two come to the conclusion that they shouldn’t dispose of the Dagger, but Belle believes that they should try something simpler. The two decided to build a nice home for the family, where they live out their final days as a couple. As Belle checks the drapes, she collapses on the floor, and a distraught Rumple believes that he can bring her back by taking Belle to a bright setting sun that would revive her, only to discover that Belle had kept the truth from Rumple on the prophecy of how to dispose of The Dagger, because she wanted Rumple to believe that their love will supersede death. As Belle nears death, she asks that Rumple let her go but tells him that once he is rid of The Dagger that he’ll return to her, and suddenly, Belle passes away.
At Belle’s grave, Gideon offers to take The Dagger from Rumple, and use it to transfer the Darkness from Rumple into himself, but his father refuses, not wanting another one of his sons to be lost because of his Darkness. He also reveals that he already has someone else ready to hand the Dagger over to, revealing this to be a mysterious Guardian.
Sometime later Rumple ends up in the Magical Forest and meets Alice.
It’s Halloween Day in Hyperion Heights, where Weaver is having a brief but awkward conversation with Tilly, who is wearing a rabbit mask. Later on in Victoria’s limousine, Tilly surprises Victoria and tells her that she knows about who she is before Victoria used pepper spray on Tilly and end up taking Tilly’s backpack. Victoria then talks to Weaver about Tilly’s actions, and insists that Tilly takes her pills, as it keeps her from remembering that she is actually Alice. Victoria warns Weaver to do this or he’ll pay dearly. The situation with Tilly spills over into the disagreements between Rogers and Weaver to the point of him telling Rogers that he doesn’t care about anyone. Hours later, Weaver finds Tilly to ask her why she stopped taking the pills. Tilly believes that everyone in Hyperion Heights are all pieces of the same puzzle, but they’re all "wearing masks" (a reference to the Halloween theme of the episode). Weaver asked Tilly to elaborate further but she said she’d rather show him.
The two then head at the train tracks for the answer, and while en route Weaver handed Tilly a sandwich that was secretly laced with the pill’s ingredients. Suddenly Tilly, having bitten into the sandwich, begins complaining about the pills making her small and in a White Rabbit-eqse fashion bails out of the vehicle. When Weaver catches up to Tilly, she insists that she is this close to revealing the answer and pulls out the iconic chipped teacup in front of Weaver. She refers to him as Rumpelstiltskin, and even though this triggers a flashback, Weaver doesn’t seem to remember his past and still deems Tilly as crazy. Tilly then takes Weaver’s gun and fatally shoots him in order to prove that he is immortal. Hours later at a hospital, Weaver is in a comatose state, where he sees a vision of Belle's spirit, before regaining consciousness. Weaver tells Rogers that it was a robber who shot him and orders for Tilly to be let go, in order to let off Tilly. Rogers and Tilly play a game of chess in the waiting area of the hospital, with Tilly now back on her pills and oblivious again of her previous life as Alice.
In between the situation, Lucy is getting ready for trick or treating, but Jacinda’s costume gift is immediately taken out as trash by Ivy, who has been tasked with taking her step-niece around the neighborhood to get candy. However Ivy’s distraction with her cell phone just gave Lucy the opportunity to give Ivy the slip. Around the same time, Roni consoles Henry after trying to get used to having lost his family, but suggested that he move on and try to find happiness again by pursuing Jacinda. Henry then visits Jacinda at her workplace but the conversation is cut short when they learn that Ivy lost Lucy, and since Jacinda can’t leave her job, Henry volunteers to help find Lucy. Later that night, Henry catches up with Ivy, and as they search for Lucy, Ivy tells Henry about how she feels about her mother, saying that she feels alone and always on the wrong side of things. Henry then figured out where to find Lucy and Ivy finds her. The three then returned to Mr. Clucks, but Ivy insists that Jacinda take Lucy trick or treating with Henry.
Afterwards, Victoria confronts Weaver with blackmail if he doesn’t keep Tilly on her medication, but Weaver isn’t having any of this. During the confrontation he refers to Victoria as his old endearment word, "dearie", implying he is "awake" from the curse. Meanwhile, at Roni’s, Ivy treats Henry to a few drinks as a thanks for his helpful encouragement given earlier on the bench.
The montage of Belle and Rumple building their house together consists of s lot of references to Disney's 2009 animated movie "Up", inclusive of the building process of the house, the house itself, the twin chairs, the picnics, and the background music.
As with “A Pirate’s Life,” both Carlyle and de Ravin knew about the outcome of their characters before production began on the episode. This was also the third episode in the series run to reveal an LGBT character, this time being Alice/Tilly.
- It was confirmed on July 22, 2017, that Emilie de Ravin (Belle) and Giles Matthey (Gideon) would return for just this one episode.
- When Tilly is talking to Victoria in the car, in conversation she says "who are you?". Which is a reference to the Disney movie Alice In Wonderland where the catepilar asks the same question. She was also wearing a rabbit mask, also reference to the White Rabbit.
- At the end of the episode when Henry and Ivy are in the bar, there are three women dressed up as Winnifred, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson from Hocus Pocus.
- While Tilly and Weaver talk at the park bench, a male extra can be seen walking by wearing Elsa's coronation dress from Frozen
- The music playing while Belle and Rumple are building and decorating their home is the opening song from Up, when Carl and Ellie are decorating their home
- The family that orders at the fast food place that Henry goes to is dressed like The Incredibles.
- The music that played while Belle and Gold danced in their home was the theme from the Beauty and the Beast movies.