"One Little Tear" is the ninth episode of the seventh season of ABC's Once Upon a Time and the one hundredth and forty-second episode of the series overall. It aired on December 8, 2017. It was written by Chrisopher Hollier & Adam Karp and directed by Steve Pearlman.
Victoria strikes a deal with Weaver in an attempt to free herself from jail and wake Anastasia, but the cost of saving one life could mean the loss of another. In a flashback, we learn Lady Tremaine’s surprising connection to another classic fairytale when Mother Gothel offers to help her family. Meanwhile, Jacinda and Nick share an exchange that could alter her future with Henry.
Flying lanterns is featured in the background.
In the Characters' Past
In the Magical Forest, Rapunzel, who in the future will become Lady Tremaine, tries to get radishes from Mother Gothel's garden to save her sick husband and to feed their hungry children. Gothel agrees to give her the radishes in exchange for trapping Rapunzel in her tower. After 6 years of captivity, Rapunzel manages to cut off most of her hair and use it as a rope to climb off the tower. She succeeds in doing so only to find out her husband remarried to Cecelia gaining a stepdaughter, Ella.
Rapunzel is not pleased to see her husband moved on (along with Drizella); however, Anastasia did not lose hope her mother would return and was the one who sent up lanterns every year to guide her home. Marcus is left torn about what to do as he will not heartlessly abandon Cecelia and Ella, just because his first wife returned. Seeing she no longer has a place in her own family, Rapunzel decides to leave. However, Cecelia invites her to stay; though she cannot remarry Marcus, she can still live with them and help out (effectively becoming a maid, setting up Rapunzel's hatred and cruelty of Ella in the future.) Years later, on Ana's birthday, Cecelia asks Rapunzel to stop working and enjoy her daughter's party. However, a very bitter Rapunzel declines.
Gothel reappears and tempts her into making Cecelia flee with a mushroom from New Wonderland. Rapunzel at first disagrees, only to become increasingly jealous of Cecelia (with the last straw being Anastasia calling Cecelia "mother" in gratitude for a gift) and ends up making her flee to New Wonderland. Her husband chases her, but eventually gives up and comes back to Rapunzel to make a perfect family. One day, Anastasia falls through thin ice, along with Ella, when the former was trying to help the latter get off of the ice. Marcus, however, ended up only saving Ella and not Anastasia. Gothel manages to save Anastasia's last breath at the price of keeping her in the tower. Unknown to Gothel, Rapunzel takes the potion that sends people to the tower and uses it on Gothel, leaving Gothel trapped in the tower until someone in her bloodline takes her place, which in the future will be Alice.
In the present day, Victoria is confronted by Ivy, who wants her mother to give up her plan to revive Anastasia, which falls on Victoria’s deaf ears. Victoria later strikes a deal with Weaver to help him find the Guardian in an attempt to free herself from jail and wake Anastasia. Weaver agrees and acknowledges her as Rapunzel, revealing Tremaine's true identity while also divulging that he is awake and remember his life as Rumpelstiltskin.
With Weaver releasing Victoria, a furious Rogers isn’t happy about this, so he starts looking into a storage area that Weaver keeps hidden and discovers a treasure trove of information on everything about the residents, including Rogers. Later on with Sabine’s help, Rogers discovers that Sabine had once been confronted by Weaver involving the Dagger previously. After he caught up with Weaver to demand answers, Weaver tells Rogers that he was doing all this in order to find Belle. Rogers believed him and agreed to help Weaver.
After she is released, Victoria strangely gives full custody of Lucy to Jacinda, claiming to be a changed person after jail but used surveillance set up in the apartment to spy on Jacinda and Nick, who later came by to verify the the custody papers as authentic, then gave each other a brief kiss. Victoria then goes on a mission with Weaver to find Henry's original Once Upon a Time storybook for a unknown reason, while being knowingly tailgated by Ivy and Eloise, who are also after the book, but Ivy fails to stop Victoria from taking the storybook to Lucy.
At the hospital, Victoria shows Lucy her family's life story. Using a deceiving ploy to end her beliefs, she convinces Lucy that happy endings aren't real, since Victoria didn't get hers. She also shows Lucy video footage of Jacinda and Nick kissing and telling her that Henry and Roni left town, but lies about Henry giving up on Lucy, which completely shatters Lucy's belief in happy endings, causing her to cry. Victoria uses her tear to use on Anastasia, allowing her to wake Anastasia, but also causing Lucy to apparently collapse into unconsciousness upon returning home to Jacinda. The sudden awakening of Anastasia is also watched from afar by an upset Ivy.
- Anna Cathcart who plays tween Drizella also played Dizzy Tremaine, the daughter of Drizella in Descendants 2.
- Using the belief of one person can be used to revive another. However, it appears to be an exchange of fates.
- In a twist on the usual Cinderella story, Ella is revealed to be the step sister and not the original daughter.
- Rapunzel shows all her cruelty was out of anger towards Ella and her mother for "ruining" her family.