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The Guardian
Season 7, Episode 18
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Airdate April 20, 2018
Written by David H. Goodman
Brigitte Hales
Directed by Geofrey Hildrew
Episode Guide
Flower Child

The Guardian is the eighteenth episode of the seventh season and the 151st episode overall of the American fantasy-drama series Once Upon a Time. Written by David H. Goodman & Brigitte Hales, and directed by Geofrey Hildrew, it premiered on ABC in the United States on April 20, 2018.

In the episode, Weaver takes matters into his own hands when his Dagger is stolen, while Margot and Tilly go on their first date, and Henry is conflicted over the truth that he could be Lucy’s father. In the past, Rumpelstiltskin encounters Alice in their first meeting as he tries to rid himself of the Darkness.

View the The Guardian Gallery.


Opening sequence

Flowers adorned the series' fonts.

In the Characters' Past

It has been an eternity for Rumplestiltskin since Belle's passing while enduring his life in the new Enchanted Forest realm. As he deals with the loss of his wife, Facilier shows up and offers a chance to communicate with Belle by having Rumplestiltskin give up his Dagger in exchange. Knowing Rumple, he doesn't want to make a deal involving the Dagger and it leads to a battle that Rumplestiltskin wins. Facilier however does tell Rumplestiltskin that Belle wants him to find the Guardian, a person who is ready to take possession of the Dagger and lead Rumplestiltskin out of the darkness, but if he fails the Dagger will become the sole possession of Facilier.

Later on in the Forest, Rumplestiltskin watched Alice and Robin while staying hidden, but (Wish) Hook catches him and warns him to stay away (as in this realm Rumplestiltskin is still a villain), despite claiming that Alice might be the Guardian he was looking for. Hours later and with the Darkness ready to consume him, Rumplestiltskin got the opportunity to see Alice and tells her that he has a way to break the curse put on her father's heart and that Facilier has the magic they need, but he won't give it up without a fight. Alice says she'll do whatever it takes to reunite with her father, but is horrified when she learns what it will take.

When Facilier arrives, Rumplestiltskin tests out Alice's proof of being the Guardian by having her rip Facilier's heart out, but despite being desperate to save Hook, she refused to crush it and runs off. However, Rumplestiltskin did tell Alice that she was indeed the Guardian that will take possession of the Dagger. As they start the transfer, Rumplestiltskin hears Belle's voice coming from the Dagger. Realizing that this would become a burden on Alice, Rumplestiltskin holds off on giving up the Dagger until he found the perfect way to rid himself of the darkness, and wants Alice to be happy with Robin so she won't have to deal with the burden of the Dagger.

Later on, Alice convinced Hook that Rumplestiltskin was a changed person, a decision that would change the outcome in which the Wish Realm Hook and the Enchanted Forest Rumplestiltskin became friends.

In The Present Day

At the police station, Weaver and Rogers are about to question Nick about the murders, only to discover him dead. Weaver realizes that Samdi is responsible for Hansel's death, he leaves Rogers to lock down the building to stop Samdi, only to discover that its too late as Weaver finds the Dagger missing and believe its in Samdi's possession. Later on, Weaver visits Regina for help and tells her why he wants the Dagger back and to acquire some of the magic she's using to save Henry, but Regina turns him down. However, she agreed to confront Samdi about the Dagger. When Regina went to visit Samdi, he admitted to killing Hansel but it wasn't him who took the Dagger. Weaver doesn't buy Samdi's claim when he later confronted him and is ready to shoot Samdi, who reminded Weaver that he can't kill him without risking a permanent separation from Belle. Knowing the implications, Weaver is determined to find The Dagger, no matter the cost.

Weaver later resorted to desperate measures by stealing the magic ingredients from Regina without her knowing in order to create a tracker spell, which eventually leads him to Tilly. The voices Tilly was hearing were coming from the Dagger itself, thus revealing her as The Guardian as Weaver discovers, but at the same time believe that she never acquired or stolen the weapon. With the Dagger back in his possession, Regina visits Weaver and discovers who was the Guardian. She then confronted him on stealing the magic from her, thus ending any chance of her saving Henry. Feeling betrayed, Regina tells Weaver its over between the two.

Meanwhile around the same time, Margot meets up with Tilly (during the time she began hearing the “buzzing” coming from the Dagger she was unaware of), and the two plan for their first date together. The women visit a book shop, where Margot showed Tilly travel books on places she has seen upon learning about Tilly's desire to travel one day, only to be interrupted by the Dagger's voices again and the date abruptly ends. Later on at Roni's, Tilly catches up with Margot to apologize for ending the date, but Margot isn't worried about this, saying she understands and still wants to be there regardless.

In between the events, Henry is still confused over why “Nick” tried to kill him and as he explained what happened to Jacinda, he was more concerned about the test results that “Nick” showed him. He later asked Rogers (who was checking surveillance to see who last visited Hansel but Samdi had it altered) to return to the apartment to find the evidence. Rogers also noticed another surveillance camera of Drew near the police station, thus giving Rogers suspicions about him. As the two returned to the apartment, Henry finds the paperwork, but then he and Rogers heard sounds and chased down the intruder, who they discovers its Drew. It turns out that Drew was trying to find a way to protect himself from Samdi, and tells the two that Samdi was responsible for Nick's death but was afraid to go to authorities in fear of how powerful Samdi is, and points to how “Nick” actually died. When they see the autopsy results that discover Nick had died from a stab but from within instead of through the body, Rogers began to suspect something isn't right in this town, as Drew alluded earlier.

Henry later shared the results of the blood test with Jacinda after having it confirmed at the hospital. The discovery has Henry and Jacinda realizing that Lucy was telling the truth, about everything, all along.

Casting Notes

Both Allison Fernandez and Mekia Cox are credited but don't appear in the episode. Although uncredited, archive sound of Emilie de Ravin is used.



The episode received mixed to positive reviews, with the storylines fleshing out a lot more than in the previous outings.

TV Fanatic gave the episode a 3.3 out of 5 stars.

Entertainment Weekly's Justin Kirkland gave the episode a B.


  • The bookstore that Alice/Tilly takes Robin to is called Dodgson's Books. (The name is seen briefly on the door.) Charles Dodgson is the real name of Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland.
  • Episode first aired on 4/20 (April 20th) in America, at about 14:28 into the runtime, when Tilly (Alice) and Margot (Robin) walk into the bookstore, the number on the door is also 420.
  • As of this episode, Robert Carlyle overtook Jennifer Morrison's position as the cast member with the second largest number of appearances throughout the show.
  • The title card / theme used in this episode is of Mexico's Day of the Dead, also taken from Disney's Coco (2017).


Margot: Huh. Mom-and-pop bookshop. Excellent choice.
Tilly: Actually, it's pop-and-pop. And this isn't even the best part.
[leading her into the shop]
Tilly: This is one of my favorite spots in the whole city.
Margot: Why's that?
Tilly: Because from here, you can go anywhere in the world without ever taking a step.
[indicating a map on the wall]
Tilly: See?
Margot: Huh. That is the best description of a bookshelf I have ever heard.
Tilly: Yeah, well, when your world is small, you do anything you can to make it bigger. Probably sounds crazy to someone who's actually seen things.
Margot: Not at all. Let me tell you, there were lots of days when traveling like this would've been a hell of a lot easier. Like any time I took a bus. They almost always broke down on the side of the road in some tiny, little town, usually while it was raining.
Tilly: Really?
Margot: Yeah. It happened so many times, I started picking up these little souvenirs. I got this one in Thailand. Ooh! This one I got at this amazing little village in Peru. This one's my favorite. I got this one in the farthest place from Hyperion Heights you can go before you start coming back.
Tilly: Mm. Wonder if I'll ever have an adventure like that.
Margot: Oh, you will. I can tell these things. You are gonna have lots of adventures.
Tilly: Turns out you were right. You really can put candy on anything.
Margot: I see that.
Tilly: Okay. So, here's the thing about me. I'm never quite sure what kind of day it's gonna be. Sometimes I wake up and the whole day is good, and then... sometimes it's not. And I don't want you to see the not-good days. Not yet, because it can be a bit too much for some people.
Margot: I get that. But you don't have to worry, because it won't be too much for me, no matter what kind of day it is.
Rumpelstiltskin: Can you hear me, Belle? It's me. I know it's only been a short time since I began my journey without you... but it feels like an eternity. I received a letter from Gideon. He's doing well in his studies. Our son misses you, Belle. Terribly. And so do I.
Dr. Facilier: That's good. Quite good. Let it all out. After all, there's no greater pain than being separated from true love; especially for an immortal like you, Dark One.
Rumpelstiltskin: I don't know who you are or why you're here. But I suggest you go.
Dr. Facilier: The name's Facilier, and I came to help. You see, anyone can come here to talk to the dead. It's hearing them that's the trick. You came to ask the Belle if the girl you met, named Alice, is truly the Guardian. If you're really so interested in surrendering your power, perhaps I should take it from you instead.
[he conjures a voodoo doll and sticks it with a pin, but nothing happens]
Rumpelstiltskin: You honestly think a pin cushion is gonna work on me?
Rumpelstiltskin: If you truly can hear my wife, then tell me, what did she say?
Dr. Facilier: The Guardian has to be pure of heart. But the only way to know is to test Alice. Belle says you have to hurry.
Rumpelstiltskin: Why?
Dr. Facilier: Because she sees there's still darkness in you, and she's afraid that without her, you'll succumb to it first.
Rumpelstiltskin: [letting him go] Don't worry, Belle. I'll find the Guardian in time. I promise.
Dr. Facilier: Oh, you better hope you do. Because if you don't, I'll be there to pluck your precious dagger from you. Good luck, Dark One.
Rogers: So what do we do when we talk to this head case? Do we call him Nick, or is it Hansel?
Weaver: Ah, it doesn't matter. All he's gonna be responding to soon is a number on the back of an orange jumpsuit.
Rogers: [finding Nick dead] Should we get help?
Weaver: I don't think we have to bother.
Rogers: What the hell happened? You think it's some kind of medical condition?
Weaver: [finding a voodoo doll pin on the floor] No. There was someone here with him.
Rogers: How? The door was locked, and we're the only ones with a keycard.
Weaver: [realizing something, he hurries out] Lock down the building. Now!
Margot: Hey, van Gogh. Whatcha drawing?
[Tilly shows her a drawing of the troll statue]
Margot: Wow. Very lifelike.
Tilly: Eh, I don't know. Can't seem to get him right today. I woke up with this terrible buzzing in my head. Do you hear it?
Margot: I don't think so.
Tilly: Great. Must be me, then.
Margot: You know what I think? You need to get out of your head a little bit. It's good for the soul. And it just so happens that I know the perfect way to do it.
Tilly: Oh, yeah?
Margot: You are spending the day with me. We're gonna do some eating, some walking, maybe some more eating. I'm a big fan of food.
Tilly: Is this... like, a date?
Margot: I hope so, or else I'm wasting a whole lot of lip gloss right now.
Jacinda Vidrio: I'm just so happy you didn't get hurt. How did I make such a mistake with Nick?
Henry Mills: You can't blame yourself, okay? Nobody realized he was crazy.
Jacinda Vidrio: Y-You still haven't told me much about what he said to you. Maybe talking about it would help.
Henry Mills: Yeah. Um, thank you, but to be honest, I... I just don't think I'm ready yet.
Rogers: Weaver, what the hell is going on?
Weaver: I have a hunch who killed our suspect. This one I intend to follow up on.
Rogers: So I guess I'll take care of all the actually, bloody police work, then.
Weaver: Well, you go ahead. Pull surveillance footage, dust for prints, follow whatever part of the book you like. Just don't get in my way.
Rogers: What the hell's gotten into you? I've never seen you like this.
Weaver: Like what?
Rogers: Scared.
Robin: Sorry to keep you waiting. Here, one letter from your dad.
Alice: [taking it, she hands over another letter in return] Oh.
Robin: And I also brought you this.
Alice: [Robin gives her a brightly colored friendship bracelet] Oh, it's beautiful.
Robin: Everyone back home in Storybrooke makes them, and when you're finished, you're supposed to find someone to swap with.
Alice: Oh. Well, I'm afraid you're gonna be terribly disappointed, because I don't have anything for you in return.
Robin: Oh...
Alice: Oh! No! Wait. I do have this.
[she hands over a pocketwatch]
Alice: It's from one of my adventures in Wonderland.
Robin: That's amazing. I've never seen a watch that moves backwards. I wish I'd done as many exciting things as you.
Alice: Yeah, well, as much fun as traveling realms is, I'm starting to learn you can have a lot of other adventures just staying put; good ones, too.
Robin: Well, I should get going. Your dad will be wondering how you are. I'll see you soon, Alice.
Alice: Yeah. I hope so.
Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones: I think Alice has had enough visitors for one day. See, I don't care that everybody thinks that you're a hero now, including my less-dashing other self, because I know the truth of who you are, Crocodile.
Rumpelstiltskin: Lower the blade, pirate. I'm here to help.
Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones: You want to help her? Heal my heart so my daughter and I can be together again.
Rumpelstiltskin: I can't. Gothel used dark magic to curse you, which means any solution would be just as dark. No loophole can get around that.
Season 1
PilotThe Thing You Love MostSnow FallsThe Price of GoldThat Still Small VoiceThe ShepherdThe Heart Is a Lonely HunterDesperate SoulsTrue North7:15 A.M.Fruit of the Poisonous TreeSkin DeepWhat Happened to FrederickDreamyRed-HandedHeart of DarknessHat TrickThe Stable BoyThe ReturnThe StrangerAn Apple Red as BloodA Land Without Magic
Season 2
BrokenWe Are BothLady of the LakeThe CrocodileThe DoctorTallahasseeChild of the MoonInto the DeepQueen of HeartsThe Cricket GameThe OutsiderIn the Name of the BrotherTinyManhattanThe Queen Is DeadThe Miller's DaughterWelcome to StorybrookeSelfless, Brave and TrueLaceyThe Evil QueenSecond Star to the RightAnd Straight On 'til Morning
Season 3
The Heart of the Truest BelieverLost GirlQuite a Common FairyNasty HabitsGood FormAriel (Episode)Dark HollowThink Lovely ThoughtsSave HenryThe New NeverlandGoing HomeNew York City SerenadeWitch HuntThe TowerQuiet MindsIt's Not Easy Being GreenThe Jolly RogerBleeding ThroughA Curious ThingKansasSnow DriftsThere's No Place Like Home
Season 4
A Tale of Two SistersWhite OutRocky RoadThe ApprenticeBreaking GlassFamily BusinessThe Snow QueenSmash the MirrorFallShattered SightHeroes and VillainsDarkness on the Edge of TownUnforgivenEnter the DragonPoor Unfortunate SoulBest Laid PlansHeart of GoldSympathy for the De VilLilyMotherOperation Mongoose
Season 5
The Dark SwanThe PriceSiege PerilousThe Broken KingdomDreamcatcherThe Bear and the BowNimueBirthThe Bear KingBroken HeartSwan SongSouls of the DepartedLabor of LoveDevil's DueThe Brothers JonesOur DecayHer Handsome HeroRuby SlippersSistersFirebirdLast RitesOnly YouAn Untold Story
Season 6
The SaviorA Bitter DraughtThe Other ShoeStrange CaseStreet RatsDark WatersHeartlessI'll Be Your MirrorChangelingsWish You Were HereTougher Than the RestMurder Most FoulIll-Boding PatternsPage 23A Wondrous PlaceMother's Little HelperAwakeWhere Bluebirds FlyThe Black FairyThe Song in Your HeartThe Final Battle
Season 7
Hyperion HeightsA Pirate's LifeThe Garden of Forking PathsBeautyGreenbacksWake Up CallEloise GardenerPretty in BlueOne Little TearThe Eighth WitchSecret GardenA Taste of the HeightsKnightfallThe Girl in the TowerSisterhoodBreadcrumbsChosenThe GuardianFlower ChildIs This Henry Mills?HomecomingLeaving Storybrooke
Down the Rabbit HoleTrust MeForget Me NotThe SerpentHeart of StoneWho's AliceBad BloodHomeNothing to FearDirty Little SecretsHeart of the MatterTo Catch a ThiefAnd They Lived...