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Once Upon a Time - Greenbacks - Review: "I Don't Need a Hero If I Can Be a Hero"

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Hey, Once fans! This week's episode focused on Tiana, played by new cast member Mekia Cox. SpoilerTV's own Rantsofafangirl interviewed Cox about her role this season, so look for that on the site later this week.

REAL WORLD, many years ago

(Quick note: I have not seen The Princess and the Frog, so I'm sure I will miss a few references in this episode. I know, I know, it’s on my list to watch. Feel free to share in the comments any references you catch! )

Tiana/Sabine is hosting an estate sale with her mother and Drizella/Ivy is perusing the wares. Tiana and her mother discuss that if they don't make enough money from the sale, they'll have to sell the castle. But everything would be solved if they could only find "a prince who could save us." I suppose this is because a prince would have money and would move them into his castle. I don't love that, but I suppose that's just the way it is.

That night, a hooded Tiana is walking down around the docks of the bayou, looking for a traveling soothsayer who can help her find her prince. The beggars around the docs recognize her as the princess and start swarming her, but a beautiful, rich voice cuts through the madness and calls Tiana towards him. Seriously, this guy should do radio. 

“Princess, enchante, a tip of the hat from Doctor Facilier,” the very well-dressed man says, tipping his top hat towards Tiana. And um… I just really hope they make this guy a permanent cast member, let’s leave it at that. The voice matches the face. Has Disney announced plans for a live action The Princess and the Frog yet?

Facilier ushers Tiana into a room draped in red cloths and other soothsayer necessities, telling her that there is a prince in her future that will solve all her problems. Well, that was easy. Where do I go to meet my own Doctor Facilier?

They sit down at a table and he pours out a bowl of... something that looks like melted crayons or colorful chicken bones. (I'm assuming this is a reference to the movie.) He “reads” them the way people read tea leaves.

“The path before you is quite clear... You will find the prince you seek this very night if you follow the red crow,” he promises.

So Tiana heads out, looking for a red crow, and apparently lost her cloak at some point because she's wandering around the woods at night in full princess jewelry. C'mon, you're smarter than that.

She comes across a bar called the Crimson Crow and walks in, showing off those shimmering jewels for all to see. She is IMMEDIATELY cornered by a guy who has noticed exactly what I just warned her about, but a man pulls a sword on the would-be thief and scares him off.

Tiana's savior's name is Prince Marius, and he speaks like he’s in a Shakespeare play while asking her to dinner. Good grief, that was fast.

Tiana brings the prince back to her castle and gives him a tour - wait, I thought they were going to dinner. She sure is trying to escalate the timeline here. The pair look at the her father's firefly ruby medal, which he won for bravery. Then she turns away and the prince steals the medal.

Welp, so much for happily ever after. Tiana throws something at him and takes the medal back, and her erstwhile prince apologizes. He didn't want to do it, but Dr. Facilier made him - the soothsayer turned the prince's love into a frog and demanded the medal for her release.

Well, that's a bummer. I really liked Facilier. (Everyone who's seen the movie is probably laughing at me right now.)

The prince gone, Tiana and her mother have a heart to heart, and the backdrop of this scene is really beautiful. And I finally figured it out, her mother is the mayor in Riverdale! It was driving me crazy!

Her mother tells Tiana that her father's legacy wasn't the castle or the medal, it was Tiana herself. "We already have everything we need, everything our people need... All you have to do is embrace it."

Tiana goes back to visit the Dr. Facilier (woo-hoo!), who’s making a Voodoo doll. She gives him her father's medal in exchange for the woman/frog he kidnapped.

Doc smiles, saying that the ruby in the medal is going to "set him free," as he's had one foot in this world and one foot in a less pleasant place for a long time. He grasps the ruby (which he very easily slid out of the medal, I guess?) and the room starts to shift and shake. He says he's going to keep both the ruby and the frog, but Tiana pulls a sword on him.

He stabs the Voodoo doll and she collapses, but she's able to knock over a table to distract him long enough to grab the frog and run off. Facilier squeezes the medal and is surrounded by black smoke that looks very similar to the black smoke that would surround Regina when she was the Evil Queen. He disappears...

Tiana goes to the docks to meet Prince Marius and presents him with the frog. “I finally figured out I don’t need a hero if I can be a hero.” she says. There's a rumor that the prince is holding a ball (the one we've seen in other episodes,) which mesas the castle will be open. She’s going to use that opportunity to turn the tide.

How, exactly? Robbing it? Falling in love with that prince? Or by baking amazing pastries?

She wants Marius and his true love to join her at the ball, once he kisses her and turns her back into a human, of course.

"About my lady love, I kind of misled you before," the prince says, and suddenly I’m very worried that this is a grown man genuinely in love with a frog and she was never human.

But he leans over, kisses her, and…. He turns into a frog too. Okay, I did not expect that. Is this what happens in the movie? The two frogs hop away and Tiana just goes “huh.” I agree.


We open on Belfrey/Tremaine carrying a tray with tea and two cups through the industrial-looking holding cell where we met that mysterious woman a few episodes ago.

The tea is a peace offering - Belfrey is trying to destroy Lucy's belief so that she can she her "beloved Anastasia" again, but that's proving to be a challenge. She wants advice from the mysterious woman.

"Belief is a weed, it grows wide and deep," she advises, and I guess she's taken on the role of early seasons Rumplestiltskin now, talking in riddles. "If you want to destroy it for good, you have to uproot it."

For all this completely unhelpful advice, the mysterious woman is rewarded with some tea, but she gets angry that it's not her special brew.

I would say that this is literally the definition of "don't bite the hand that feeds you," but I guess she has enough sway over her captor to make demands.

At Belfrey's office, Lucy is waiting in the lobby, within sight of Ivy/Drizella's desk. I guess this girl has just been designated the official babysitter, despite the fact that she clearly doesn't adore kids.

In walks Jacinda's roommate, whom Lucy calls "Aunt Sabine." (I know that the family ties on this show are impossible to keep track of, but I'm almost positive that she is not actually Lucy's aunt in this cursed world, and this is simply a term of endearment.)

Sabine/Tiana is there to drop off some of her famous beignets, as one does, but Ivy tries to kick her out, saying it's private property. Um, Ivy, break your no carbs diet for like two seconds and eat some of those beignets, girl. I bet they're amazing.

Before Sabine can leave, Belfrey strolls in to drop off a list of herbs she needs Ivy to fetch her for the special tea, then whirls and drops a bomb on the baker: She's increasing her rent 8%.

At Sabine's shock, Belfrey sweetly says that it's a family discount, since she could double the rent. Man, this lady is the absolute worst.

Sabine shows a little backbone and threatens Belfrey right back, but they both know she doesn't really have anything to threaten.

Over at Roni's, Detective Rogers/Hook and Henry are going through all of the notes Rogers has about the missing girl cold case. He reveals that he has made it a habit to carry around the girl's sketchbook. Which is sweet, since we know he's subconsciously looking for his daughter, but also a tiny bit worrisome for normal detective behavior.

After Rogers leaves, Roni/Regina wants to know why Henry had a drink with Ivy the other night. When he starts defending Ivy, Roni remarks that she's seen this story before. "Believe me, it doesn’t end with you happy.” While this is a rather personally invasive thing for a bartender to say to a customer, she's also totally right. Henry doesn't like her sticking her nose in his business, which means he also knows that she's right.

Sabine goes to visit Jacinda/Cinderella at Mr. Cluck's to tell her that her stepmother is a supervillian who isn't content with simply taking Jacinda's daughter away from her, she has also hiked the rent.

But Sabine has an idea to escape her evil clutches: beignets! She's filled Mr. Cluck's kitchen with a bunch of ingredients (which, I'm sorry, but there's no way she got all of that in there without Jacinda noticing,) and says she wants to do a pop-up beignet shop. They'll run it from inside the chicken chain's kitchen while Jacinda's manager is out of town.

Which, for the record, is definitely illegal.

Jacinda doesn't like this plan at all, but she kind of doesn't have too much of a choice, since Sabine spent ALL of their rent money on the ingredients. Okay then, I guess we're making illegal pastries!

Rogers is walking down the street, flipping through the sketchbook and he sees a drawing of what appears to be a tunnel. I suppose this will be significant in the future since they camera lingers on it for a few seconds, but it wasn't mentioned again this episode. When he enters the station, another cop is trying to get cuffs on a perp and Hook notices that the arrested guy has a tattoo on his wrist that matches a sketch in the girl’s notebook. It looks like a sort of compass or a clock, with prongs sticking out of it. Or maybe a ship's wheel?

Back in Mr. Cluck’s kitchen, the roommates are still arguing about Sabine's plan. Jacinda is afraid to do anything risky that would make it harder for her to get Lucy back, but Sabine gives her a rousing speech. “When you love someone, you fight like hell for them.” Convinced that they're doing this all for Lucy, Jacinda finally gets on board

After running all around town to multiple shops, Ivy presents her mother with the herbs she requested.

“Enough complaining," Belfrey snaps. "Don’t think for one second that I wouldn’t trade in my own daughter for an actual assistant. It’s time you shut up and earn your job title.”

Um... wow. Just, wow. That’s really harsh. I've been on the fence with Ivy, but I'm now completely on her team. Time to quit, honey.

Ivy goes back to her desk where she can see security cam footage of everyone in the building - that's a handy little feature - and watches her mom open a special panel in the elevator that takes her to a secret level. (The dungeon, I'm assuming.) She calls Henry and says she has the dirt on her mother that he wanted.

Still at Roni's - which sees fewer customers on a daily basis than Granny's ever did, judging by the consistently low numbers of extras - Henry tells Roni the he has a lead from Ivy. He spills that Victoria has spent a lot of time on a secret room on the “top floor” of her building - huh, figured it was a dungeon under the building.

Roni doesn't buy any of it, encouraging Henry again to drop Ivy altogether and go after Jacinda. “Henry, you’re genuine," she insists. "The reality is, Ivy isn’t.” Lotta people hating on Ivy this episode.

That comment starts some tongue-in-cheek banter about how she's not his mother and he doesn’t really appreciate her advice. Fair enough. Henry leaves to go to the bathroom and Roni sees a text from Ivy on his phone telling him where to meet her and straight up responds to it and deletes all evidence.

Time for a baking montage and now I really, really want a beignet. Also, I don't see any chicken in the kitchen, at all. Are they still selling chicken?

Lucy bursts into the kitchen - the adults in her life sure do fluctuate between really caring where she is and not at all caring - and is loving this whole beignet thing. She suggests they stamp all the bags with a firefly image, thus making it their official logo.

That's actually a really good idea. BTW, this is still definitely illegal.

Sabine has all sorts of ideas of what to do with their booming business and after literally one hour of selling beignets, the roommates have decided they’re on the right path and everything’s going to be fine. Seems a little early for that - have you made your rent back yet at least?

Back in her office, Belfrey is eating a beignet and finds it delicious. She calls up a guy named Ralph and says, “Ralph you know that place selling beignets? Wreck it.”

Wait, we’re doing Wreck It Ralph now?

At the station, Rogers is interviewing the arrested guy with the familiar tattoo. The guy says it's the Seattle Mariners logo, which is really close, actually. Rogers explains that it’s from a missing person's case 10 years ago, a girl named Eloise Gardener. I think this is the first time we've heard the girl's name.

Arrested guy says he was serving a jail sentence during the time, which is where he got his tattoo - a cellmate told him the symbol wards off evil. He warns that it's a very powerful symbol, so if Rogers' lost girl drew it, he’d hate to face whatever evil she was looking at.

You know, I really thought the reboot would give Hook a chance smile and joke around again, but he's back to being as serious and down as ever. Hook was at his most entertaining when he was a full-on pirate scallywag, so it's kind of a bummer seeing him still so solemn.

At Mr Cluck’s popup beignet shop, business is booming. The manger will absolutely find out about this.

And apparently, he'll find out sooner rather than later since the entire kitchen catches on fire! And Jacinda's immediate reaction is to WAVE A TOWEL AT IT. I mean, I guess she could have been trying to smother it, but it definitely didn't look like that. They ring the fire alarm, but it's crazy that sprinklers didn't automatically go off way before this point - they make chicken back there, they have to be prepared for grease fires.

Either way, it's time to evacuate as their dreams literally go up in smoke.

A fire truck arrives at the scene and Mr. Cluck's is basically just smoking embers at this point. Lucy and Jacinda run up to talk to Sabine on the sidewalk.... And by "talk to," I mean Jacinda is here to yell at Sabine.

She comes out swinging, furious, and blames everything on Sabine. Um… lady, I know you're freaked out right now, but you’re also responsible. Yes, Sabine suggested it, but you agreed to it. I would be really angry about her using the rent money, too, but you could have just as easily suggested they use the kitchen at Roni's and not risk your job.

She keeps ranting at Sabine about how life won't get better than this and she needs to stop giving people hope and should give up on her crazy dreams. "If this is help, I don’t need it,” she declares.

Okay, I’ve been on the fence about it, but I officially don’t like Jacinda. She's too busy getting angry at everyone around her for how unhappy she is is to actually do something to improve her life.

I mean, I definitely understand her fury: she just lost her job because she burned the building down, she doesn't have rent money, and she is never getting her child back at this rate. But watching this scene just made me realize that she's been like this all season. Nothing is her fault, everything is someone else's. What do y'all think?

(Also... Shouldn't they be more concerned about getting arrested and/or sued?)

Sabine just stands there and takes all of Jacinda's anger, then hands her all the money they made from the beignets - she says there’s two months rent in there, which will tide Jacinda over until she finds another job and roommate.

And Jacinda just takes the money like she deserves it and stares Sabine down, not saying thank you or anything. I just... I don't know, man.

Back at Belfrey's office, Roni shows up to meet Ivy in the lobby. She accuses the girl of wanting to take one more thing (Henry) away from her stepsister. Okay, they've got to figure out her non-cursed relationship to Henry soon, because this is definitely inappropriate behavior for a bartender.

Ivy is forced to explain her plan, so she takes Roni to the penthouse dungeon, where the mysterious prisoner is nowhere to be found. Roni sees something in a nearby shelf - either a note or a picture, it looks like - and is shocked.

At the apartment, Sabine is packing and Lucy is following her around. Where is Jacinda? She's certainly not at work. Sabine thinks it’s time to give up on her dream, but Lucy says that’s what Belfrey wants her to believe.

Then the child tells the grown woman that what she’s doing “Isn’t growing up, it’s running away.” Honesty, if in real life we all followed the advice of children the way they do in TV shows, the world would be a starry-eyed disaster.

As Sabine is leaving, Jacinda runs up to apologize to her on the sidewalk. (Okay, now where's Lucy?) She says that Lucy talked sense into her. So she BOUGHT A FOOD TRUCK from the police impound lot using the money they made.

So now they have no money, no jobs, and an empty truck. Man, these girls would not survive in the real world. They're excited about the new adventure and I'm excited to see how Belfrey sets this truck on fire.

Sabine goes to visit Rogers with the beignets as thanks for helping Jacinda get the food truck from the impound lot. Wait… Are these two going to get together? They have good chemistry!

Rogers looks really happy to get the beignets (oh yay, a smile!) and then delivers the funniest line of the season thus far: “It was confiscated in a drug sting, you should probably clean it really throughly, bleach, really high heat..”

Rogers tells her whatever happened to Cluck’s was deliberate, and they both know exactly who's responsible.

Cut to the tattooed guy from earlier, watching the station from outside. He calls someone while staring at Rogers. “We've got a problem, someone's looking for the girl.”

Belfrey is scrolling through Instagram, or in this case, “PictYourThis.” She sees a picture of Sabine and Jacinda on their food truck. Ivy interrupts, asking if there's anything she can do for her mother, which Belfrey uses as an invitation to talk about how not all daughters are created equal.

Okay, are we to assume that Anastasia is also her daughter?

“It’s embarrassing watching you flailing around, Ivy. Not understanding all the things you’re capable of - all the ways you’re going to fall short. Think about it and fix your makeup.”

Oh, she's so awful!

Back at Roni’s, Roni is sitting at the bar, tearing up. She confesses to Henry everything she did, then shows him what she found at the dungeon: a picture of Regina and young Henry back in Storybrooke She’s confused since she’s never owned clothes like that and she has no idea where that is or who that kid is. But Henry does, since he recognizes himself.

Ivy is back at the dungeon, where the prisoner sneaks up behind her and she jumps, frightened.

“You're the one who asked me to hide,” the prisoner says.

Wait, WHAAAAAT?? Oh wow, they know each other! I did NOT see that coming. I was just making my #TeamIvy t-shirt, Ivy! Why are you doing this?

Whatever plan they had seems to have worked, as Ivy says, "They might even trust me as much as mother does." She's done a good job of convincing Henry and Roni that she's on their side.

Oh and by the way, Ivy says,

"Don’t call me Ivy. It's Drizella.”


I really liked this episode! I love Tiana/Sabine and I think her personality is a great addition to the show. What did everyone think? Did I completely miss out on half the fun since I haven't seen her movie? I'm assuming she has a prince of her own in the movie, right? I hope we get to meet him!

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