For the characters who have been known as "Guardian", see Guardians.
"The Guardian" is the eighteenth episode of Season Seven of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by David H. Goodman & Brigitte Hales, and directed by Geofrey Hildrew. It is the one hundred and fifty-first episode of the series overall, and premiered on April 20, 2018.
Following Nick's death, Weaver discovers the Dark One Dagger has been taken and sets out to get it back, even if it means betraying Roni's trust. Meanwhile, Margot takes Tilly on a date, but their time together takes an unexpected twist. In a flashback, Rumple, desperate to be reunited with Belle, pays Alice a visit.
*: Only in archive footage
- The title card features the word "Once" formed by the orange flowers in the Cave of the Departed.
- The title of this episode was revealed by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on January 28, 2018.
- Rose Reynolds confirmed that she did not make Tilly's Troll drawing herself.
- As of this episode, Robert Carlyle overtook Jennifer Morrison's position as the cast member with the second largest number of appearances throughout the show.
- The bookstore that Tilly and Margot visit is called Dodgson's Books, a reference to Lewis Carroll's real name, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.
- The Seattle events take place after "Chosen" and before "Flower Child". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- The New Enchanted Forest flashbacks take place after the main flashback events of "The Girl in the Tower" and before Lucy's eighth birthday in "The Eighth Witch".
- Mr. Gold laments Belle's death in this episode. Belle passed away in "Beauty".
- Mr. Gold says that he received a letter from Gideon, saying he is doing well in his studies, referring to how Gideon was accepted into the Elphame Academy in "Beauty".
- Mr. Gold first met Alice in "Beauty" when he came to the New Enchanted Forest.
- Nick is found dead in this episode after he was killed by Mr. Samdi in "Chosen".
- Mr. Gold has had the Dark One's Dagger in the police station evidence room since "Eloise Gardener".
- Margot first met Tilly in "The Girl in the Tower", and they got to know each other in "Breadcrumbs".
- Henry was held hostage by Nick in "Chosen".
- Wish Hook met the other Hook in "A Pirate's Life".
- Hook asks if Mr. Gold can cure his poisoned heart, referring to how Wish Hook's heart was cursed in "Knightfall".
- The budding romance between Alice and Robin was first seen in flashbacks during "The Girl in the Tower".
- Henry talks about how he was kidnapped by Nick, referring to events in "Breadcrumbs".
- Roni is using magic to save Henry, and she was given this magic by Mr. Samdi in "Sisterhood".
- Alice's habit of talking to her stuffed toys was first seen in "The Girl in the Tower".
- Samdi told Roni during "The Girl in the Tower" of his intentions to get the dagger.
- Alice's magic abilities were seen in "The Girl in the Tower".
- This is not the first time Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin has tried to goad someone into crushing another person's heart. As Rumplestiltskin, he urged Regina to crush a horse's heart in "The Doctor". When the Darkness took on Rumplestiltskin's form inside Emma's head during "The Dark Swan", he persuaded her to begin crushing Merida's heart.
- The last time Samdi warned Weaver against trying to kill him and spoil his chances of reuniting with Belle was in "Sisterhood".
- Henry finds the results of the blood test he took to help Lucy in "Secret Garden". Nick first showed him the test results in "Chosen".
- Rogers points out that Drew is helping Samdi, but Drew explains that he didn't have a choice, referring to events in "A Taste of the Heights" and "Chosen".
- The bubbling cauldron in the bar's backroom was last used by Kelly in "Breadcrumbs" to help Roni make the potion for curing Henry.
- The origin story of how Rumplestiltskin's name got on the dagger was shown in "Desperate Souls". The last time his name reappeared on the dagger to replace the Dark One before him was in "Swan Song".
- Mr. Gold had the Darkness taken out of him was in "Operation Mongoose Part 1" when the Apprentice absorbed it into the Sorcerer's Hat, though he consequentially sought out a way to regain the Darkness in "Swan Song".
- Mr. Gold hears Belle's last words to him, which she told him in "Beauty".
- Alice keeps her promise to stay with Mr. Gold and help him to remember the good person he is, which was implied in "The Eighth Witch".
- Mr. Gold's habit of spinning was seen in "The Eighth Witch".
- Roni says that she Anastasia left with Ivy, which took place in "Sisterhood".
- Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog appears.
- The skulls and orange flowers in the Cave of the Departed are a reference to the sugar skulls and orange marigold flowers from Coco.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode features Rumplestiltskin from the Rumplestiltskin fairytale, Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story, Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Robin Hood from the ballad.
- Alice has a white rabbit plushie in her home, a reference to the White Rabbit from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- Alice gives Robin a pocket watch from New Wonderland, a reference to the White Rabbit's pocket watch from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- While visiting the bookstore, Margot takes out the travel books The Traveler's Key to Ancient Egypt: A Guide to Sacred Places by John Anthony West, Insight Guides Bali & Lombok, Fodor's Big Island of Hawaii, The Rough Guide to India, Journey to Machu Picchu: Spiritual Wisdom from the Andes, and Trekking in the Himalaya by Hashmat Singh and Pallas Das.
- The song playing in the background when Tilly arrives at the bar with a candy treat and an apology for Margot is "I've Gotta Go Home" by Johnny Copeland.
- The framed photograph of Belle French which Mr. Gold conjures is taken from a behind the scenes photograph of Emilie de Ravin from the filming of the Season Six episode "Changelings".
- The chief medical examiner mentioned on Nick's medical examiner report is S. Laflamme, a reference to production staff member Sierra Laflamme. The director of public health is S. Thompson, a reference to art department coordinator Sharon Thompson.
- A white rabbit plushie, a tea set and a chess set can be seen in Alice's cottage, a reference to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- A decorative box is sitting on the table in Alice's home. It is one of two decorative boxes that were sitting on the coffee table in Regina's living room in the Season Three episode "Bleeding Through" and the Season Six premiere "The Savior" (one of them could also be seen on a side table in the Season Six episode "Murder Most Foul"). The same boxes were used to decorate the living room in Gothel's tower in "Eloise Gardener". One was sitting on a shelf, while the other one was sitting on the bedside table.
- When Rogers searches Nick's apartment, a letter from an "N. Westlake" is lying in a cupboard; a reference to graphic designer Neil Westlake.
- Byrne Creek in Burnaby doubles as the New Enchanted Forest for the scenes outside Alice's cottage.
- The scene where Tilly and Margot walk down the streets of Hyperion Heights chatting and eating candy apples was filmed on the south sidewalk of 400 West Pender Street in Vancouver, British Columbia.
- CORTEX Boutique, a store in the Western Canada building at 414–420 West Pender Street in Vancouver, doubles as Dodgson's Books, the bookstore Margot and Tilly visit.
- The inner courtyard of 100 Powell Street and the inner courtyard of East Cordova Street in Gastown, Vancouver, double as the back of Nick's apartment building for the scene where Rogers chases and corners Drew.
- Gastown's Koret Lofts at 55 East Cordova Street in Vancouver doubles as the exterior of Samdi Holdings.
|French||"Le Gardien"||"The Guardian"|
|Italian||"Il Guardiano"||"The Guardian"|