Television Recap & Review - Once Upon A Time (Episode 314 - Tower)

This entry features a recap of the episode "Tower" and does contain SPOILERS.  If you don't want to know what happens in the episode, please come back later and read.

THE RECAP
We start in the Enchanted Forest.  Charming is wandering through a castle.  He opens the door to a nursery and he wonders why he's there.  He says it's all wrong.  He turns around and Emma appears before him in a gown.  She tells him she's nervous about the ball as she's never danced.  Charming is confused, but he dances with her.  It's as if Emma had always lived in the Enchanted Forest.  She said she should have been there, but she's not because he found her.  Suddenly, everything goes creepy and Emma is sucked away by some force.  Charming wakes up and he's with Snow during a happier time.  Snow tells him she's pregnant and Charming, at first, is startled, but tells her he's thrilled.  Yet, he has a look of fear on his face.

Photo: ABC
In Storybrooke, David, Mary Margaret, Regina, Emma and Hook are meeting about the Wicked Witch and what to do.  Regina volunteers to protect Henry.  Emma reminds Regina that he still sees her as the mayor and nothing else.

Back at Zelena's place, Zelena goes down to visit crazy Rumplestiltskin.  Zelena eggs him on.  He wants to attack her, but she has his dagger.  He tells her to go ahead and kill him, but Zelena says she's not there to kill him.  She starts shaving him with his dagger.  She tells him about her father and how she had to learn how to shave him.  He asks her what she's after and she tells him that it's something against his very nature, but that she can't wait that long for.  She then goes off to his shop to discover Belle.  Zelena asks for "Mr. Gold" and Belle says he died.  Zelena is looking for a gift for Mary Margaret's soon to be born baby.  When Belle goes to look for a gift, Zelena places a spell on her and goes to the safe where she grabs something out of it.

In the meantime, Charming, Hook and Emma are investigating Regina's office.  They find some berry stain on the floor and David is able to identify around where the berries grow.  David gets a call from Mary Margaret who wants him to come home to meet her midwife.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Charming is in the stable and gets a drink.  Robin Hood enters and shows him some arrows he got from Regina for helping her break into the castle.  The two chat and Charming tells him he can't escape this feeling of dread.  Robin tells him of a root that helps overcome fears.  He tells him where to find it, but it's in a haunted part of the forest.

Back in Storybrooke, David meets Zelena for the first time.  David seems rushed, but he's a little wary of her.  Mary Margaret says she knew her nanny growing up.  Zelena makes some tea and enchants David's cup.

Photo: ABC
In the Enchanted Forest, Charming races off to find the nightroot that Robin Hood told him of.  He hears a cry and follows the voice.  He discovers a tall castle and begins to climb it.  Half way up, he discovers a rope made of hair and climbs it.  When he gets to the top, he discovers a woman.  She says she hasn't seen people in such a long time.  He introduces himself as "David" and she introduces herself as Rapunzel.  She tells him about her parents and about losing her brother and this terrible fear coming over her.  She says she went there to take the nightroot when a witch kidnapped her.  Charming says he'll rescue her, but Rapunzel said the witch won't let her.  Suddenly, the candles blow out and Charming sees a hooded figure approaching.

Back in Storybrooke, David, Mary Margaret and Zelena talk.  David keeps raising his cup to his mouth, but hasn't really taken a sip.  Zelena says that they should get any fears they have out in the open.  David says he doesn't have any fears and they all raise their cups in cheers.  David finally takes a sip of his tea and then leaves to go back to investigating.  David drives out into to the forest and grabs his sword.

Meanwhile, Regina takes Henry out for ice cream and they walk in the park.  Henry tells her he thinks Storybrooke is great.  He tells Regina says he thinks they went to Storybrooke to escape her fiancee.

And, in other parts of the forest, Hook and Emma are looking around as well.  Hook asks Emma if she considered marrying her fiancee and she said she had and got her heart broken.  The two have a brief moment, but Emma walks away.  They then discover Zelena's farmhouse.  At the same time, David is looking at a spot where the berries grow.  He feels something is watching him.  He tries to call Emma, but gets her voice mail.  He thinks he's found the Wicked Witch and says he's going after her.

Photo: ABC
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Rapunzel is worried that Charming will be killed by confronting the witch.  Rapunzel takes a swing with his sword, but no one is there.  The witch is above and attacks him.

Back in the real world, David also takes a swing at a tree, thinking the Wicked Witch is there.  But, it turns out that he sees the witch he kidnapped Rapunzel.  She knocks him out.  At Zelena's farmhouse, Emma and Hook go to take a closer look.  Emma notices a storm cellar and they check it out.  Hook wonders if they should go down without some magical backup.  Emma agrees and decides to call Regina.  Back in the forest, David wakes up and sees the witch before him.  He stabs her and takes her hood off and she looks like David.

Flash back to the Enchanted Forest and the witch reveals herself to look like Rapunzel.  Charming tells her that when she took the nightroot, it allows her to overcome her fears by facing them and she needs to face the witch in order to defeat them.  Rapunzel is too afraid and David knocks the witch out of the window.  He tells her she needs to cut away her fear in order to have what she wants and leave the tower.  The witch begins to climb her hair and Rapunzel cuts her hair (signifying her fears) and the witch disappears.

Back in Storybrooke, David fights his own fears in the form of the witch.  The witch says that the fear makes him weak and begins to choke him.  David says he fears not being a good father, but it won't let it stop him.  He stabs the witch and it disappears.  Emma, Hook and Regina arrive and David says that it wasn't the Wicked Witch after all.  Emma and Hook tell them that they think the farmhouse they found is the Wicked Witch's place and they go off to find her.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Charming takes Rapunzel home and they are happy to see her.  Snow asks him why he was there and Charming tells her that he was there because he was afraid.  David expresses his fears about how he wasn't a good father to Emma and how he's afraid of how he will be with the new child.  But, now, he feels better.

Photo: ABC
Back in Storybrooke, David tells Emma, Hook and Regina what happened.  Regina tells them that she thinks the Wicked Witch has now stolen David's courage when his sword was lost during his battle with the witch.  Back at the apartment, Mary Margaret thanks Zelena for coming by.  Zelena tells her not to be scared as she is there now.  Meanwhile, at the farmhouse, the group descends into the storm cellar.  The storm cellar is open, though, and they discover a cage.  They realize that Rumplestiltskin had been held in the cage.

THE REVIEW
This was an interesting episode because, I think, this was the first time that one of the fairy tale characters featured was such a departure from the Disney version.  Yes, the versions in Once Upon A Time are different and often have involved mash-ups, but, often through named characters or similar outfits, you could kind of believe that they might be one in the same.  But, with Rapunzel, the story changed drastically.  And, no...this is not about the change in her race.  That didn't bother me.  But, what kind of did was the lack of references to the Disney version.  No reference to Flynn Rider, which, as a fan of Tangled, I would have loved to have seen.  The witch in the story could have been Mother Gothel, but, at the same time, she was a very different character being a manifestation.

That said, I did like the idea of the witch representing your greatest fear and that it was Rapunzel who was keeping herself locked up in the tower because she was too afraid to face her fears.  And, I like the symbolism of Rapunzel's hair and how she needed to literally cut away her fears.

I'm very curious to see what Zelena has in store for Rumplestiltskin and what it is she can't wait for.  Rebecca Mader as Zelena has a certain level of creepiness that makes her a great villain.  She seems even more evil (or should I say "wicked") than Regina herself which is nice to see and frees Regina up to be part of the side of right.  But, this is not to say that Regina has gone totally soft.  Although, in this episode, we see less of her, probably because they've spotlighted her the last few episodes.

I also like how Emma's and Hook's relationship continues to play out.  You know there's some feelings there, but, Emma just had her heart broken and she's not going to just jump back into something.  Plus, we still need to see what happens with Neal.

Overall, I enjoyed the episode, but it felt more like filler which, at the same time, was disappointing because it featured Rapunzel who is one of my favorite Disney princesses...

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