|Family & Friends|
Marcus Tremaine (stepfather)
Anastasia Tremaine (stepsister)
Drizella Tremaine/Ivy Belfrey (stepsister)
Emma Swan (mother-in-law)
Regina Mills (mother-in-law)
Neal Cassidy (father-in-Law)
Rapunzel Tremaine/Victoria Belfrey (stepmother)
|Relationships:||Henry Mills (husband)|
Driezella Tremanie/Ivy Belfrey (formerly)
|First appearance:||Hyperion Heights|
|Last appearance:||Leaving Storybrooke|
Ella, also known as Jacinda Vidrio in Hyperion Heights, is a fictional character in ABC's television series Once Upon a Time. She is portrayed by Dania Ramirez, who became a series regular in the seventh and final season. She is the true love of Henry Mills and the mother of Lucy.
Development and characterization
Before First Curse
As a child, her mother remarries, and Ella gains a step-family. However, the return of her step-father's first wife Rapunzel causes a stir within the family that leads to her mother being poisoned and feeling their realm to New Wonderland, Anastasia almost dying, and her step-father Marcus' death in the hands of Rapunzel and a Prince. Since then, Ella becomes a maid in the household for Rapunzel, whom now goes by her surname: Lady Tremaine.
Before Fifth Curse
Ella attends the ball to exact revenge against the prince who she believes killed her father. On her way, she meets Henry Mills and robs him of his motorcycle. Lady Tremaine kills the prince before Ella has the chance but frames her for the crime, sending her to flee and Henry helping her fight off the guards. Henry and Ella go on the run together and are joined by Henry's mother Regina and the wish realm version of Hook. Henry and Ella eventually get married and have a daughter named Lucy, but on Lucy's eighth birthday a curse is cast which takes them to Hyperion Heights.
During Fifth Curse
Ella, cursed as Jacinda Vidrio, is a fast-food worker battling her stepmother Victoria Belfrey for custody of Lucy in Hyperion Heights. When Henry returns to Hyperion Heights, he and Jacinda start to fall in love all over again. Complications arise in the form of Lucy's father Nick and Jacinda's stepsister Ivy. Lucy later finds out that if the curse breaks then Henry will die, so she prevents Jacinda and Henry from sharing true love's kiss. Eventually Henry's heart is cured and the curse is broken.
After Fifth Curse
With the curse broken, Jacinda regains her memories as Ella, and is able to reunite with Henry. However, complications with the Wish Realm version of Rumplestiltskin arises. Following his defeat, Regina decides to unite all the realms to one by recasting the Dark Curse. Once all the realms are merged, Ella attends Regina's coronation to the Good Queen with her family.
The character of Jacinda, fairy tale counterpart Cinderella, and Dania Ramirez's performance have garnered mixed to negative review from critics.
Matt Webb Mitovich spoke highly of the new iteration of Cinderella by noting that "the spunky warrior princess has proven unpredictable", though going on to criticize her real world counterpart by stating "We 'get' that there is an irony to the aformentioned warrior princess being so down on her luck and downtrodden in Hyperion Heights. But the Lucy/custody arc already feels endless/repetitive, and her clashes with Ivy never crackle." In addition, Mitovich compliments Ella and Henry's relationship in the fairy tale world as being "extremely charming" but notes there to be "little evidence of actual chemistry" between the Hyperion Heights versions of themselves.
Mark A. Silba gives a negative review of Dania Ramirez's performance, describing her casting as a "bold and terrifically progressive choice" but that "Ramirez's lackluster delivery of lines and uninspired expressions made her almost 'trendy' to dislike. The actress' performance negated the daring casting, but the attempt was still noble."