In the wake of Varian's betrayal, Corona is preparing to celebrate Rapunzel's nineteenth birthday, but Rapunzel is still trying to cope with the recent traumas she had just went through. As Eugene shows her the many presents her subjects got for her to cheer her up, Rapunzel finds a timing cylinder with a note that tells her to wind it, where it plays an eerie tune. Outside of Corona, the mysterious rocks continues to sprout and began making their way to the kingdom.
Meanwhile, Rapunzel and Eugene find Cassandra working in a stable after she told them that Frederic found out about the night she helped her sneak out of the kingdom prior to her coronation by reading her journal. To make matters worse, this will be Cassandra's final job in the kingdom as she will be sent away to a convent tomorrow. As the trio prepare to confront the King on the matter, an automaton suddenly appears and attacks the three. Deducing that Varian must've rebuild it to attack them, the three retaliated and eventually defeated it by jamming its timing cylinder. As the Captain was discussing this with Fredric, Rapunzel barged in and confronts her father on what Varian want. Though Fredric tries to downplay the situation, Rapunzel has had enough of his lies. As a result, Fredric goes on taking a drastic measure by having her locked in her own room and being kept under heavy surveillance for her own safety, something that Eugene would accuse him for due to what she had similarly went through. Even when Arianna visits her, she is unable to change his mind, but understands that it's not the right choice for her daughter.
Determined to find the answers, Rapunzel orchestrates a plan to escape the castle. While Lance distracts Pete and Stan with a faux present delivery, Eugene, Maximus, Pascal, the pub thugs, and Cassandra, who was about to leave to a convent, will break her out. After they help her escape, Rapunzel enlists the gang to help in finding out what Varian wants. Before they could get into any details, a strange fog started to roll into the kingdom. By this point, Varian announces his presence in Corona, informing them of Frederic's lies and the kingdom's impending destruction from the growing black rocks. With his intention of making Corona pay for ignoring his plea for help, Varian unleashes a giant monster raccoon into the fog to terrorize the citizens, injuring many royal guards in the process. In the midst of the chaos, the Captain is injured, but Cassandra managed to lead the remaining guards to help Rapunzel trap the creature, which later transformed back into its true form: Varian's pet raccoon, Ruddiger. Unfortunately, while they were doing this, Varian had snuck into the castle and kidnapped Arianna.
When news of this reaches Rapunzel and Frederic, he insisted that they should launch a desperate assault on Old Corona in retaliation. At his home in Old Corona, Varian has Arianna tied up and explains that she is only being used as leverage to have Rapunzel come to her rescue, hoping to use her hair to free his father Quirin from the amber, but not caring for the well-being of the kingdom and its people.
Later that night, Rapunzel visits Frederic in his bedroom, as he is lamenting on losing another family member. Instead of arguing further, Rapunzel comfort sher father and assures him that they will rescue Arianna. With their differences now put aside, Frederic finally tells Rapunzel everything that he knows and what he was keeping from her. On the night Arianna was gravely sick while she was about to give birth to Rapunzel, Frederic was desperately searching for a miracle that would save them both. That was when he would found it in the form of the Sundrop Flower, that would save his wife and their unborn daughter. However, he was warned that if he removed the flower from its resting place, he would be unleashing a terrible darkness that would endanger the kingdom. He wanted to believe it, but at the time he was desperate to save his family. And ever since the rocks start spreading throughout Corona, he chose to ignore the problem, hoping that if everyone were to do the same that it might go away. He then reveal to Rapunzel that he had known about these rocks for a while and that she is somehow connected to them. This was the reason why he kept constant eyes on her, but these actions were not as a king, but as a father. Thought he stated that a king might not know what to do about this kind of problem, Rapunzel assures him that a father would. With this assurance, Rapunzel and Frederic decides to formulate a plan to save their kingdom.
Gathering the citizens of Corona into the castle to discuss the problem, Frederic orchestrated a plan to begin their attack on Old Corona to stop Varian and save the Queen. While the citizens and the royal guards led by Cassandra and Eugene lead a direct assault to keep Varian busy, Rapunzel and Frederic will sneak into his home to free Arianna. As Eugene and Cassandra’s party are fighting Varian’s army of automatons outside, Rapunzel, along with Frederic and Pascal sneaks into his house and attempt to ambush him. However, they find a stuffed dummy in his place and are caught in his trap. Varian then demands that Rapunzel use her hair as a tip of a drill he was using to free his father from the amber or else he will keep harming her family, even going as far as pouring one of his chemicals on a black rock next to the Queen that will encase her in the same amber. Fearing for her mother’s life, Rapunzel complies.
As Corona’s royal guards and citizens battle the automatons, Eugene noticed that Varian had shielded their timing cylinders, making victory against them seemingly impossible. He would eventually found out that the automatons can also be defeated by having them skewered on the black rocks, and instructs everybody to use this tactic.
As Varian puts the drill to work, Rapunzel’s hair begins to react with the amber. But the amber did not break as he had predicted, and all his continued attempts to do so are draining Rapunzel of her strength. Ruddiger, horrified by Varian’s action, eventually frees Pascal, who then frees Frederic, and then Arianna. As Varian has a breakdown at his failure, Frederic and Arianna comfort Rapunzel. With his sanity now pushed over the limit, Varian blames Rapunzel for all of his troubles and attacks the royal family with a large automaton, bent on having his revenge on Rapunzel.
When they run outside, Varian uses his automaton to hold Arianna and Cassandra hostage and attempts to crush them to death to make Rapunzel suffer. As Rapunzel horrifically looks on, the black rocks finally converge and surrounded her, much to Frederic and Eugene’s horror. However, when her hair touched the tip of the rocks, they sprout away from her and skewer some automatons. Now recalling when Frederic told her that she is connected to the rocks somehow, and Varian in one of her nightmares telling her to face her destiny, Rapunzel summons and controls the rocks to destroy the remaining automatons and defeats Varian. Afterward, the rocks break a hole in a wall that separates Corona from the outside world, and begin to lay flat to form a pathway.
Defeated and arrested for his crimes against the royal family, an unstable Varian vows to make his father proud as he is taken away. On Rapunzel’s insistence, Frederic promises to find help for Varian, and vowing to find a way to free Quirin. Now realizing that he is wrong about the rocks being a threat to Corona, and that they are pointing her to somewhere outside of the kingdom, Frederic encourages Rapunzel to listen to her heart and follow the new path to her destiny. And should she ever feel lost, the lanterns will help her find her way back home. With her mother’s support, and Eugene and Cassandra by her side, Rapunzel begins to follow the rocks to an unknown destination.
Sometime later, a mysterious warrior examines the path that Rapunzel and her entourage took, and unsheathed a sword that sliced one of the rocks.
- Mandy Moore as Rapunzel
- Zachary Levi as Flynn Rider, Feldspar
- Eden Espinosa as Cassandra
- Clancy Brown as King Frederic
- Julie Bowen as Queen Arianna
- Jeremy Jordan as Varian
- James Monroe Iglehart as Lance Strongbow
- M. C. Gainey as Captain of the Guards
- Sean Hayes as Pete
- Diedrich Bader as Stan
- Peter MacNicol as Nigel
- Richard Kind as Monty
- Pat Carroll as Old Lady Crowley
- Jeff Ross as Hook Foot
- Paul F. Tompkins as Shorty
- Mackenzie Hancsicsak as Little Girl
- This episode was originally titled "Rapunzel and the Fate of Corona".
- Rapunzel turns nineteen in this episode. Since this episode covers Rapunzel's 19th birthday, it takes place exactly one year after the events in Tangled.
- Belle's ballgown from Beauty and the Beast briefly appears.
- Shorty briefly sings "Wind in My Hair".
- This is the second time the closing theme "More of Me" is not featured, the previous being "Queen for a Day".
- Rapunzel discovers her father read her journal in this episode.
- From it, he learns that Cassandra snuck her out during the events of Tangled: Before Ever After.
- The mysterious warrior that cut one of the rocks has the same mark on their hand that is seen on Quirin's, and visibly on the mysterious man from Tangled: Before Ever After.
- Clips from previous episodes are played during the "Set Yourself Free" number including: "Tangled: Before Ever After", "What the Hair?!", "Queen for a Day", "The Return of Strongbow", "Under Raps", "Challenge of the Brave", "The Quest for Varian" and "Rapunzel's Enemy".
- Cassandra's betrayal can be hinted earlier in this episode as she sings 'Prove they can trust me.' in Ready As I'll Ever Be.