I can’t offer you a legend, but I can offer you my heart.Henry
Starring Lana Parrilla, Colin O’Donoghue, Andrew J. West, Dania Ramirez, Alison Fernandez, Mekia Cox, and Robert Carlyle
Episode 16: Breadcrumbs
“Breadcrumbs” sees the Candy Killer storyline reach a dramatic head, while both flashback and present day action revolves around Henry making a big decision that will affect the course of the rest of his life.
It’s quite a busy episode plot wise, and it definitely suffers from some of the other issues with Season 7, which is that it’s far more sensationalist in its plot instead of rooting itself in the more human, emotional moments. The reveal of the Candy Killer, as Nick, otherwise known as Lucy’s cursed Dad, otherwise known as Jack, and now, also, known as Hansel, perhaps wasn’t entirely surprising, but it is questionable why the show has introduced yet another villain with only a few episodes left to tie up the action in Hyperion heights for good.
This instalment saw Henry drawn into the quest to bring the Candy Killer to justice, with the news that the murderer was obsessed with his book, which allowed for some wonderful moments of Henry and Rumple working together. Rumple’s references to his history with Henry were sweet, and it was nice for there to be an acknowledgement of their history together, even if Henry is currently unaware of it.
Elsewhere, there was a touching moment between Tilly and Margot, as they bonded next to the beignet truck where Tilly is now working. It goes to show that some pairings really don’t need a meaningful amount of material within an episode to make it count, and it’s important relationship progression even though it isn’t especially plentiful. It’s also nice to see the positive impact Tilly is having upon Margot even in Hyperion Heights, as she helps heal the discord between Margot and Zelena.
A large part of the conflict within this episode derives from Henry trying to decide whether to take a job offer in New York or not. It’s quite handy that Regina isn’t in this episode, actually, as I’m certain if she got hold of that news she would have had a lot to say about it. He quite wants Jacinda to persuade him to stay, but she doesn’t want to pull him away from his career. Fortunately, he takes the sight of a glass slipper embedded in his wheel on the way to the airport as a sign and resolves to return to give things a go with her after all.
Unfortunately, it’s at this moment where Henry ends up at Nick’s mercy in the car, as he notices Nick’s severe burns and identifies him as Hansel. Henry is the only person aware of his identity and is trapped within Nick’s flat, while Nick plots to murder Zelena next. Since the storyline has reached this climactic point, I imagine it’ll probably be wrapped up fairly swiftly.
In terms of the link between the action in Hyperion Heights and the New Enchanted Forest, there isn’t very much of one thematically, unfortunately. The New Enchanted Forest journey follows Henry as he tries to live up to the legacy of his family with his proposal to Ella. Frankly, this flashback could have happened at any point, and wasn’t really a huge part of this episode anyway. The proposal wasn’t all that touching, either, mainly because the show was yet again telling us why Ella was so great instead of actually demonstrating it to us.
Ultimately, this episode had a massive amount of plot in, but not very much heart. While Henry is now in mortal peril, there’s still not too much emotionally tying the audience into the events in Hyperion Heights, and with so many obstacles magically appearing in our quest to get rid of the curse, it’s starting to get needlessly frustrating.
You can watch Once Upon a Time Seasons 1 – 7 on Netflix. Seasons 1 – 4 are now available on Disney+ in the UK. It is also available on home media and other digital platforms for purchase or rent.