|The Eighth Witch|
|Season 7, Episode 10|
|Airdate||December 15, 2017|
|Written by|| Jane Espenson|
|Directed by||Ralph Hemecker|
One Little Tear
In the episode, which served as the mid season finale, Lucy’s life hangs in the balance as Henry and Regina travel to San Francisco to bring back a former resident whom Regina is very familiar with, while Eloise and Ivy is ready to welcome Anastasia to the new world but Weaver and Victoria are about to find out the consequences, and Rogers and Tilly track down a mysterious symbol that is tied into Lucy and Anastasia’s connection. In the past the aforementioned events served as the catalyst of how the curse began with a surprising twist and a unexpected sacrifice.
View the The Eighth Witch Gallery.
The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco is featured in the background.
In the Characters' Past
In the New Realm, everyone gathers to help Henry celebrate the birth of his daughter Lucy. But Drizella has shown up to dampen the festivities by warning them of a new curse that will be cast. Unfortunately she is suddenly frozen in stone by Tremaine with the use of blood Magic that was poured on the wet ground, but not before she warns them that within eight years upon Lucy’s Birthday that she’ll have a surprise waiting for everyone.
Eight years later, the prophecy does come true, as everyone gathers for Lucy’s Birthday, only to be interrupted by the arrival of Gothel, who not only restores Drizella back to life, but bought along company: a group of cloaked witches. Before they leave with Drizella, Gothel warns them that the Dark Curse is coming soon. Henry and Ella comes up with a plan to protect Lucy from the curse while ensuring a way to help Regina prevent it from happening.
In another realm, Regina tracks down her sister Zelena and gets a greeting from Robin, who is now 25 and has followed in her father’s footsteps as an archer. When Regina warned Zelena of this new threat, she agreed to help. Zelena tells Regina that Gothel and her fellow witches are part of a group known as the Coven of the Eight, who happens to be more powerful than they expected. Meanwhile, Hook tracked down Rumpelstiltskin, who has given up his life as Mr. Gold after Belle’s death. Rumple tells Hook that he can’t stop the new curse, but he can give Hook and Alice hope when they’re bought into the new world by giving him a white elephant carving so he and Alice can remember each other if they’re reunited.
The event that was shown as a flashforward during The Final Battle is revealed, with Henry and Ella agreeing to send Lucy away to the New World using the same plan that Snow White used to send Emma before the curse consumed them. Henry returned to the Enchanted Forest with Lucy to coordinate with Tiger Lily as he plans to build a magic wardrobe for Lucy. However, it appears that something has followed Henry to the realm and he runs to the cabin to save Lucy and he gives her the book and she escaped before he is caught. Instead of going to the tree, Lucy returned to the palace and tells Ella that Henry was kidnapped by the Coven of Eight. Tremaine decided to seek out the Coven on her own but Drizella already had set a scheme to make her mother believe she had cast the curse in order to help her bring Anastasia back to life and made her collapse on the ground under a spell. With Regina and Zelena returning to discover what has happened with Henry, they learned that Drizella has poisoned Henry, and the only way to save him is to send Henry to a land without magic. Drizella needs Regina blood to cast it. With Henry's life on the line, Regina casts the Dark Curse, which consumes the entire realm.
Before they’re engulfed in the black smoke, Rumple gave Alice the chipped cup that will regain his memory and reminding her what to do if it doesn’t work, and is joined by Robin, who embraced and kissed Alice, thus revealing her true love she alluded to in the present day. At the palace, Hook gave Ella the White Elephant so she and Lucy can be together, thus sacrificing his chance to reunite with Alice.
Jacinda rushes Lucy to the hospital after her collapse. The tear that Victoria used on Anastasia caused Lucy to slip into a coma, thus rendering her ability to being a true believer. Sabine offers to help Jacinda by calling everyone to fill them in on Lucy's condition and she says she'll ask Rogers if he can find out where Lucy was in the hours prior to her collapse.
In San Francisco
Meanwhile in San Francisco, Regina enlisted Henry in helping her meet someone who happens to work in a fitness center. Pretending to be new members, the two see the bike trainer leading the group, Kelly, who happens to be Zelena under her new cursed identity. Kelly, who still believes that Regina is still her sister Roni and stealing boyfriends (referring to Henry), is bitter over having fired her daughter from the bar and doesn’t want to go back to Seattle with Regina. Using a potion to restore her memory, Regina offered Kelly a drink of whiskey and Kelly reluctantly accepted. After a sip, Kelly suddenly remembers her previous life as Zelena and the sisters are reunited for real. However, Zelena tells Regina that she is getting married soon, making it difficult to help Regina return to Seattle, but agrees to put the wedding aside to do this.
In Seattle, after Henry's return
Prior to the sister’s reunion, Henry learned of Lucy’s coma, so he returned to Seattle to find out what he can do. Jacinda suggests that he read the storybook to Lucy in the hope that he can give Lucy the belief that maybe he is her father and he can save her with True Love's kiss, but when he kiss her forehead, nothing happened. After Henry called Regina regarding Lucy Regina tells Zelena the only way to break the curse could have consequences and implications. If she doesn't break the curse, Lucy will likely die. However, if she does break the curse, Henry will die. Both sisters now must find a way to restore their powers in order to save them.
With Anastasia alive again, Victoria is trying to get her to assimilate to the new world. However, Weaver has shown up and tells Victoria about what she has done by placing Lucy in a coma so she can revive her daughter. Victoria is more upset that Weaver believes that Anastasia might be the Guardian that he’s been seeking. A skeptical Victoria agreed to take Anastasia to a location with Weaver to test out the theory. In a lab room, Weaver has Anastasia pick out which of the five knives is the Dagger, and suddenly she causes a rumble that allowed the knives to direct itself to a cabinet and Weaver finds the real Dagger. Unfortunately, Anastasia became more disturbed when Eloise finds her and she knocked Victoria and Weaver out. A scared Anastasia runs away, only to see a surprised Ivy, who gave her a pair of bracelets to control her powers. Afterwards, Rogers and Tilly, who have been tracking down a series of strange symbols that have shown up around the area, visits the lab and find a unconscious Weaver, who informed the two that the Coven of Eight are in Hyperion Heights right now.
Unfortunately, Ivy tricked Anastasia by bringing her to Eloise, as she hoped to get even with her sister by absorbing her powers with the bracelets, only to discover that Eloise betrayed Ivy by rendering her powerless by having Anastasia reclaimed her powers with the bracelets, as she was the chosen one to follow Eloise/Gothel. Ivy/Drizella is then sent to a well hole, joining Rapunzel/Victoria as her prisoner. Gothel then takes Anastasia to a secret location to show her the wardrobe of the Coven of Eight, telling her that they are in Hyperion Heights and she knows where to look for them.
The episode received mostly positive reviews from critics, although some thought it wasn't as strong as the previous episodes, but were impressed with how it kept the twists and dark overtones throughout the story.
Paul Dailly of TV Fanatic gave it a 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Entertainment Weekly's Justin Kirkland gave it a B-.
- Zelena's cursed self, Kelly, is a Spin instructor, a type of indoor cycling. This is a nod to the Wicked Witch's iconic bicycle.
- Roni (Regina) puts a potion in MacCutcheon whiskey and gives it to Kelly (Zelena) to force her to remember her Storybrooke life. MacCutcheon Whiskey first appeared in Lost, where the actress who plays Zelena also featured.