“Never rely on magic. Magic isn’t power because magic can be taken.”
Who would have thought that the only way to save Once Upon a Time was to hit the reset button?
In his quest to find himself, Henry embarked on a journey to the different realms, eventually landing in Hyperion Heights aka the new Storybrooke.
The opening scene of season 7 is a goodbye to Jared S. Gilmore as Henry Mill. is most likely the last time we’ll see Jared S. Gilmore as Henry because
Next time we see Henry and his motorcycle, which never ran out of gas through the years, he’s much older and a LOT hotter. Is it bad to admit that I have a slight crush on Henry? Because I really do.
I didn’t think I’d enjoy this season as much as previous ones mainly because of all the changes and new character but I will say, it was kind of nice to go back to the beginning; to a time when Emma Swan didn’t believe that Henry was her child or that magic existed. Except instead of Emma being the non-believer, it’s Henry, who gets a knock on his door after working a long shift as a Swyft driver only to find a young girl claiming to be his daughter.
The girl tells him that he has to remember in order to break the curse that’s been placed upon him and the people of Hyperion Heights, which Henry, who is so far removed from the teen he was back in Storybrooke, is convinced is an up and coming neighborhood.
It sounds all too familiar, which is how we know little Luce is telling the truth. The question is – how did we get here?
Fast forward to when Henry was in one of those realms rushing to make his portal when he crashed his motorcycle into a new-version of Cinderella. Almost immediately, Henry is smitten and she uses that to her advantage to steal his ride. When he finds her at the ball that night – because remember Henry is the author and he also knows the outcome of these fairytales – he realizes she’s not there to win the prince’s heart, she’s there to kill him.
As he tries to prevent her from making a trivial mistake, he passes out and wakes up in a cave being help captive by “Alice from wherever.” Apparently, she’s a “girl who travels” and doesn’t like being defined by that one destination Wonderland.
She reveals that she’s been sent by Rumpel who is trying to prevent Henry from messing with a story and causing mayhem. “When it’s not your story, bad things happen,” she warns him but Henry doesn’t care because he’s got a crush and it’s his duty to help Cinderella. Also, I feel like not being able to change the stories that are already written sort of defeats the purpose of Henry’s soul-searching journey but whatever.
He returns to the castle but he’s too late. Cinderella confronted the prince, was about to stab him but backed at the last minute. Instead, her evil step-mother Victoria stabbed him because she wanted his brother, the successor, to fall in love with her daughter Drizella. Then, she yelled for the guards to arrest Cinderella for murder. Evil stepmothers are the worst in any version of a fairytale.
Henry distracts the guards telling Cinderella to take his motorcycle and meet him at their spot. At midnight, the portal will open up and they can leave this land. When he arrives at the spot, he purposefully stays behind after finding her glass slipper, a sign that she’s in trouble.
Back in the cursed real-world, Henry ventures to Hyperion Heights after he realizes Lucy stole his computer. Once in town, he follows orders and marches into Roni’s, a bar run by Roni, although you might know her better as Regina/the Evil Queen. One thing the series does so well is re-incarnate these characters into different roles using curses and spells.
Roni and Henry bond a bit and she tells him she’s selling her bar to Victoria Bremley, the woman who is buying up the town to separate all the fairytale characters, as Lucy put it. Bremley is also Lucy’s grandmother, I should note and a Miranda Preistley meets Cruella meets typical Storybooke villain with her chiseled jawline.
When Jacinda, the cursed counterpart of Cinderella, walks into the bar to return Henry’s laptop, they are immediately smitten with each other. In the cursed world, Jacinda is a single mother who is working at a chicken shack to upkeep sole custody of Lucy. Victoria, her step-mother, is adamant about ruining her life and when she gets wind that Jacinda quit her job, Lucy ran away to a strange man’s home and that she was day drinking with Henry Mills, who she knew just a little TOO much about, she barges into Roni’s to tell her she’s taking custody of her granddaughter.
Feeling a bit defeated, Jacinda decides to run away but of course, the curse does everything in its power to keep her there.
Henry also tries to leave the town but finds his car has been stolen. He waltzes into the police station looking for some help and finds it with rookie officer Rodgers aka Captain Hook. It’s nice to see that Emma’s love of the law has stayed with him even if he has no recollection of who she is.
After successfully tracking down Lucy and Henry’s car, Victoria puts in a good word for Hook and he’s promoted to Detective. His new partner is Mr. Gold aka Rumpel aka Weaver. Of course, Gold probably still remembers everything cause he’s got friends in all the right places so this shall be a rude awakening for Hook.
And speaking of friends everywhere, Alice is also in this land serving as Gold’s messenger but her name is Tilly. She runs to inform him that Henry arrived and seeing as it seems Gold is back to his evil ways, I wonder if Gold will try to help his grandson break the curse. How did she get on the dark side? Why does she have potions?
I always love to see which of the characters will have a “breakthrough” first. Henry is the only one that can break the curse but true love is a powerful tool so when Hook is handed Lucy’s fairytale book, he obsesses over a picture of Emma Swan clearly recognizing her or sensing that there is something familiar about her face. That’s definitely how deja vu works by the way.
After a pretty heartbreaking fight with Lucy, who simply cannot accept defeat, Henry tells her he’s not her dad because he had a family and they died in a house fire. When he finally leaves town, he decides to visit his late wife and daughter at the cemetery but when he arrives at the address, he’s shocked to see it’s just a parking lot. A random pedestrian informs him it’s never been anything else. And the flower’s he’s holding – Cinderella’s favorite.
Following that whirlwind day, Henry arrives at home and finally knows the first thing to write to start his second book. We all know this line to well… once upon a time.
So basically, Regina, Hook and Rumpel are the only familiar faces that have found themselves in this new curse. Since no one else is in Hyperion Heights, these 3 must have been in the same realm as Henry when the curse was enacted. Otherwise, why else in no one from Storybrooke under this curse. And where is Emma? How are they going to explain her exit?
When will Henry finally realize little Lucy is telling the truth?
Are you digging this new reboot? I love that we’re back to the beggining although this time Henry is Emma and Lucy is Henry. It’s a comfortable and familiar place with the promise of new adventures on the horizon as the setting is much different than when the series first kicked off. At the core, this show still works, I just hope Henry’s story is captivating enough. I’ve always found his character to be kind of a snoozefest but that might seemingly change with someone new and mature portraying him.