Once Upon a Time (S07E05) “Greenbacks”

This week we’re gifted with the story of Princess Tiana, or Sabine as she’s known in Hyperion Heights. The back and forth between pre-curse and current Sabine takes up much of the hour although I’d say the most important moment of this episode doesn’t even involve our Princess.

In response to Victoria raising her rent (by “only” 8%) Sabine is desperate to find more income. Reminiscent of The Princess and the Frog she turns to delicious cooking, this time in the form of beignets. Sabine recruits Jacinda to work with her, using Jacinda’s current workplace as a staging ground for a pop up restaurant.

Pre-curse we’re seeing Tiana and her mother in financial straits, forced to auction off most of their belongings. Tiana’s Mother is concerned that they still won’t make the money they need and will be forced to auction off the castle. She and Tiana decide that what’s needed is a prince coming to the rescue. Tiana sets off to one. Knowing OUAT and The Princess and the Frog we all know this is not a “prince to the rescue” situation. Thankfully I’ve never felt pandered to in that way from this show.

Meanwhile in Hyperion Heights Rogers is revisiting the case of the missing teenager with Henry. Why with Henry you ask? Why not – aren’t down on their luck fiction authors always who detectives go to? Henry and Roni have another heart to heart chat, this time with her warning Henry to steer clear of Ivy, “This story doesn’t end with you happy.” I keep thinking about Henry being drawn to Ivy and it feels so out of character. He’s always been the good guy, even cursed, for him to turn from his true love to the Evil stepsister feels shady.

Rogers gets a break in his case when he spots a tattoo matching a drawing in the missing teenager’s journal. It’s on the wrist of a man who was picking a fight with another police officer. The fighter tells him that it’s a symbol for protection, with the eerie follow up of, “that’s a very powerful rune, I’d hate to meet whatever evil she was pushing down.” I don’t think that bodes well.
Meanwhile, back in the Enchanted Forest, Tiana finds a voodoo Doctor who will lead her to her prince. He gives her sufficiently vague directions and sends her out to “follow the red crow.” She is accosted, rescued, wooed, and is sure she’s found her prince. But, as with all things OUAT, it’s not that easy.

Turns out he’s a commoner, trapped by the voodoo Dr and told to steal her father’s medal. On the medal is the Firefly Ruby, which we’ll learn has some special, unexplained powers. Bringing the ruby to the Doctor is the only way he’ll let Marius’s true love go. One of my favorite scenes in this episode is when Marius kisses his true love to break the curse. Instead of the frog turning into a princess we see Marius take his true form as a frog. A fun little twist.

In Hyperion Heights Sabine and Jacinda’s pop up, restaurant goes terribly when a fire is set in the kitchen, losing them everything, including Jacinda’s job. Jacinda is furious at herself and at Sabine and initially lashes out. Anything that puts her stable future at risk is unacceptable, Lucy has to come first. Thankfully she comes around and by the end realizes that hope has to win. She works with Rogers to buy a used food truck, hopefully, she and Sabine will be independent women soon. Well, maybe not soon, that food truck was in seriously rough shape.

There was lots of biting commentary towards Ivy by Victoria tonight. That’s one seriously mean lady. From “I’m not interested in your trevails” to “not all daughters are created equal.” I have no idea how Victoria expects any loyalty from Ivy. Which leads us to the biggest twist of the episode. Ivy strolling into the lair of the creepy unknown woman and making it crystal clear that she knows exactly who she is. Ivy isn’t cursed!! So there is our second (or third?) big bad of the season. Such a fabulous twist!!