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For the characters who have been known as "Guardian", see Guardians.

I came to test Alice. I believe she's destined to become a great hero, a protector of the Dark One dagger known as the Guardian.

Mr. Gold to Hook (Wish Realm)

"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.[2]


Deleted Scenes

"A Promise"

This scene is included on the Blu-ray edition of "Once Upon a Time: The Complete Seventh and Final Season", but not the DVD.

After going to the back room of Roni's, Lucy asks Roni where they are there for the antidote for her father's poisoning. Roni explains that she's working on it and he's her son too. After Lucy apologizes and hugs her, Roni, in tears, assures her granddaughter that she will cure Henry. However, Lucy tells her adoptive grandmother that she has a feeling that something bad happens soon if they don't break the curse. Roni tells her to not worry and gives her the cherries that she wanted.



Guest Starring



*: Only in archive footage



Production Notes

  • During the scene where Rumplestiltskin and Hook put aside their differences, Rose Reynolds and Tiera Skovbye. who were still in the background of the shot, were given a tea-spread and biscuits. According to Rose, she was constantly trying to feed Tiera biscuits.[7]

Event Chronology

Episode Connection

  • 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 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".
  • This is the second time Weaver endangers Henry's life by stealing magic meant to cure the latter. The first time was in "A Land Without Magic", where he stole the true love potion from Emma.
  • 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".


Fairytales and Folklore

  • HIDDEN DETAILS: A chess set is sitting on the table in Alice's cottage and a basket of yarn sits on the floor.[11] Chess is an important theme in the story's sequel Through the Looking-Glass, and the yarn is a reference to the ball of worsted that Alice is trying to wind up while her kittens are playing in the sequel's opening scene.
  • Alice gives Robin a pocket watch from New Wonderland, a reference to the White Rabbit's pocket watch from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Popular Culture

Props Notes

  • HIDDEN DETAILS: The golden photo frame around the picture is a reference to Mr. Gold's name.
  • CREW NAMES ON PROPS: The chief medical examiner mentioned on Nick's medical examiner report is S. Laflamme,[16] a reference to production staff member Sierra Laflamme. The director of public health is S. Thompson,[16] a reference to art department coordinator Sharon Thompson.

Set Dressing

Filming Locations


International Titles



  1. Porter, Rick (April 23, 2018). ‘Dynasty’ adjusts down: Friday final ratings. TV by the Numbers. “Once Upon a Time (...) 2.12.”
  2. 2.0 2.1 Once Upon a Time: The Guardian (4/20). Disney ABC Press (April 16, 2018).
  3. File:718Title.png
  4. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (January 28, 2018). "Here's another #OnceUponATime #titlespoiler -- hope to see ya 3/2!" (screenshot)
  5. TwitterLogo.svg @RoseAReynolds (Rose Reynolds) on Twitter (April 20, 2018). "I totally (didn't) draw that picture." (screenshot)
  6. File:718DodgsonsBooks.png
  7. Once Upon A Time Season 7 Episode 22 Review w/ Rose Reynolds – AfterBuzz TV. YouTube (May 21, 2018).
  8. TwitterLogo.svg @MysticKid (Steff) on Twitter (April 21, 2018). "Brilliant nod to Coco!" (screenshot)
    TwitterLogo.svg @InkTankGirl (Brigitte Hales) on Twitter (April 20, 2018). "Thanks! And @GeofreyHildrew did a fantastic job shooting it!!" (screenshot)
  9. File:TWGeofreyHildrew-718.png
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 File:718LikeMyBracelet.png
  11. 11.0 11.1 File:718IAm.png
  12. File:718ReceivedALetter.png
  13. InstagramIcon.png emiliede_ravin (Emilie de Ravin). May 13, 2017. "Dear #oncers. I wanted to tell you guys myself, but it seems the news was already released :/ ... I won't be returning to (...)" (archive copy)
  14. File:718NeverSeen.png
  15. File:718ActuallySeenThings.png
  16. 16.0 16.1 File:718OurLawyerTurned.png
  17. File:718Books.png
  18. File:718HyperionHeightsMap.png
  19. File:714VeryHappyBirthday.png
  20. File:318ThrowingKnife.png
  21. File:601WhyAreYou.png
  22. File:612Robin.png
  23. File:707ImprisonRapunzel.png
  24. File:707AbandonThisBaby.png
  25. File:718SearchingCupboard.png
  26. File:TWAviewfromabroad-718.png
    Gittins, Susan (February 14, 2018). ONCE UPON A TIME in Burnaby’s Byrne Creek Ravine Park. Hollywood North Buzz.
  27. 27.0 27.1 TwitterLogo.svg @rogerdlee (Roger Lee) on Twitter (February 2, 2018). "#OUAT will be filming at the bookstore at Pender & Richards on February 8th" (screenshot) (filming notice)
  28. Once Upon A Time shoots a scene for season 7 with Rose Reynolds & Tiera Skovbye in Vancouver last week.. Canadagraphs (February 14, 2018).
  29. Lau, Lucy (March 20, 2017). Environmentally minded Cortex brings upcycled fashions to downtown Vancouver. The Georgia Straight.
    (Note the identical layout, lights and counter)
  30. File:718EnteringBookshop.png
  31. Gittins, Susan (February 7, 2018). FINAL SEASON: ONCE UPON A TIME's Tilly (Rose Reynolds) at the Fremont Troll Set in East Vancouver. Hollywood North Buzz. “And an afternoon/evening shoot at a book store in downtown Vancouver.” (Notice the real-life house number and building name over the door, and the name Dodgsons Books on the windows, in this photograph.)
  32. File:TWyvrshoots-718.png (filming notice)
  33. Gittins, Susan (February 7, 2018). FINAL SEASON: ONCE UPON A TIME's Detective Rogers (Colin O'Donoghue) Chases a Perp. Hollywood North Buzz.
  34. 55 E CORDOVA - KORET LOFTS. Albrighton. Retrieved on August 29, 2019. (In the gallery, swipe to the right until you get to number 24, which is an exterior photo of the building.)
    Alternate exterior picture of the Koret Lofts
    File:718SamdiHoldings.png (notice the identical roofing above the windows, the design of the steps and the red building in the background)
  35. Gittins, Susan (November 14, 2013). SHOOT: ONCE UPON A TIME's #CaptainSwan (Jennifer Morrison & Colin O'Donoghue) in Stanley Park as NYC's Central Park. Hollywood North Buzz. “On Tuesday, Once Upon a Time shot scenes at Strathcona School and in Gastown's Koret Lofts, part of a recent shift out of studio and back into more on-location filming in and around Vancouver.”
  36. File:718GoldWithDagger2.png
  37. In French, there are different potential translations for "Guardian", depending on the gender of the individual. "Gardienne" means "Female Guardian".
  38. In Portuguese, there are different potential translations for "Guardian", depending on the gender of the individual. "Guardiã" means "Female Guardian".