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Once Upon A Time

Once Upon a Time – Hyperion Heights (7×01)

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“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.

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Once Upon A Time

Once Upon a Time – Homecoming (7×21)

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Once Upon a Time Homecoming

Henry was barely reunited with his family for 24-hours before they got whisked away by Wish Realm Rumpel on Once Upon a Time. They can’t ever catch a break.

The penultimate episode sets up the series for the finale by putting mostly everyone in danger as they face off with the enemy Rumpel was never able to defeat: himself.

And while I’m sure the fairytale showdown, complete with reinforcements brought by Tilly and Alice, is going to epic, the set-up was rather boring.

Yes, they brought back elements that paid homage to some of the earlier episodes including the author’s pen, Seer’s prophecy that the boy will be his undoing (who knew it was Henry?) and even, teenage Henry, but overall, it didn’t have the pull I was hoping for so close to the end.

Glitter-face Rumpel tells Hyperion Heights Henry that he’s going to make good on that threat to his family. If he wishes to see them again, he has to hand over HH Rumpel’s copy of the dagger.

Henry runs to Hook, Rumpel and Regina for help and the latter declares what we’ve known for years now: we don’t negotiate with villains.

After they are transported to the Wish Realm, they are split up with Regina and Henry arriving at Rumpel’s castle while Hook and Rumpel arrive at the place where he first became a coward.

There are random appearances by Peter Pan and Cruella de Ville which should be sentimental but feel more out of place than ever. Bringing back characters for the sake of bringing back characters doesn’t do anyone much good.

Peter Pan’s return was brief and dull. What were we supposed to garner from that? That Wish Rumpel is a lot more dangerous than the one we’ve come to know pretty well in HH? I could tell you that.

Rumpel traps Jacinda and Lucy in a snowglobe and as an incentive to hurry up Henry, makes it start snowing. If he doesn’t hand over that dagger, they’ll freeze to death.

HH Rumpel is all like “I have a plan,” and to be fair, he does. Hyperion Heights Hook, previously Wish Realm Hook, calls in a favor with Ariel who gives him her remaining drops of squid ink which he then uses to freeze Wish Realm Rumpel. Essentially, he’s willing to kill himself to eliminate the threat but Regina stops him.

Taking matters into his own hands, Henry knocks out Hook and heads to the retrieve the Author’s Pen. But just cause HH Henry is an adult and father now, it doesn’t mean he’s any smarter.

Wish Realm Rumpel was after the Author’s pen the whole time and HH Henry walked right into it. Henry reminds him no one but him can use that and Rumpel is like “I know, meet the Wish Realm version of yourself.”

It’s always a pleasure to see Jared S. Gilmore, especially in a villainous role; he’s the kid we see in the beginning of the episode looking to save a Princess but being thrust into the friend’s zone.

Truth be told, the most realistic part of this whole episode is the outcome of what being friend zoned can do to you. I feel your pain evil Henry.

It’s also pretty bizarre to see two versions of Henry facing off against each other. How do you stop yourself?

It’s possible that the reason I found this episode to be so mundane is that I’m genuinely quite confused by the whole Wish Realm/Storybrooke/ Hyperion Heights/ Whatever Else I’m Missing timeline. They’ve gotten so convoluted, it’s hard to keep up and realistically, I don’t even want to keep up.

With Tilly and Alice grabbing friends from Storybrooke, can we bet on Storybrooke Henry arriving to help out his other alter-ego’s?

I did like that the series addressed how the curse affected everyone including Sabine who had lost her sense of self and didn’t know how to be Queen Tiana again.

Other than that, I feel like the series vastly underused her and Prince Naveen.

What was the point of having her? To make beignets?

It’s clear that “Homecoming” was meant to be more of a set-up for the final hour with our fairytale friends and foes.

Let’s hope next week brings a lot more action, more compelling storytelling and an end to these timelines and realms once and for all.

Will everyone get their happily ever after or will there be a tragic ending?

I’m sure you already know the answer to that question, we just have to see how all of heroes are going to get there and defeat the Dark One once and for all.

My guess is that Rumpel will have to make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good and kill himself. It’s the only way that I can see him fully redeeming himself so that he can reunite with Belle. And seriously, HH Rumpel has been working on better himself for quite some time now, he deserves some peace and happiness.

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Once Upon A Time

Once Upon a Time – Is This Henry Mills? (7×20)

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Once Upon a Time Is This Henry Mills?

Henry Mills found himself… literally.

Once Upon a Time is nearing its series finale but the citizens of Hyperion Heights are still trapped under curse brain.

Last night’s episode found Regina desperately trying to wake up Henry after the usual remedy, true love’s kiss, didn’t work.

For mere mortals, the thought of a storybook fantasy being real is wildly impossible so it’s no surprise that Henry isn’t easily convinced. But for someone with the heart of the truest believer, everyone expects it to come a little more naturally.

None of this is as surprising as Regina’s timeline reveal; the curse that Eloise cast sent them tumbling through time and they are existing in the same time as a younger version of Henry and Regina.

It seems that young Henry is once again the key to yet another curse.

The moment in time is explained with a visit to Storybrooke where “young Henry” is preparing for graduation and can’t decide if he wants to stay home or go explore. It’s a full-circle moment as this is the time period where season 7 started.

As much as I enjoyed the reboot and getting to know a new town, I didn’t realize how much I missed Storrooke until we were back there walking the streets and running into locals.

After Hyperion Heights Regina tries to jog Henry’s memory with birth certificates, pictures and the storybook itself which she apparently dug up from Victoria Belfrey’s grave, Henry decides to tempt fate and calls the number listed on his birth certificate.

This leads him to have a bizarre conversation with himself where he even gives his younger self some real-world advice.

And Henry knows that Regina is telling the truth because he remembers having that conversation when he was graduating.

Yes, it’s complicated but what else could you expect from the writers of Once Upon a Time? They’re pros at fudging up timelines and making the impossible, possible.

What does this mean for his mom and the rest of his family? Will they come to his aide while still living with teenage Henry? Will they return to the Enchanted Forest and back to a parallel time period? All those quotes about going home have to mean something, right?

I will say, I loved that the reason true love’s kiss between Henry and Jacinda didn’t work was because it was always Henry and Regina. It mirrors how Emma woke up Henry in season one.

So, Henry remembers everything again, he is reunited with his family, everyone else is blissfully aware that the past few months have been a terrible nightmare concocted up by Drizella, Mother Gothel has been turned into a tree,

What now?

Well, the story will end with Weaver trying to overcome himself, or rather, the Wish Realm version of Rumpelstiltskin.

The Wish Realm version returned to kill Dr. Facilier and will serve as the two-night finale’s greatest villain.

While I love that the focus reverts back to Rumpel who is exceptional, what was the point of introducing Regina’s love story with Facilier. Aside from a few booty-calls, which were very out of character, it went nowhere.

The problem with OUAT is that they don’t do justice to supporting characters. Gothel, Belfrey, even Facilier were talked up as the big bads but none of it came to fruition. In the end, they were bland and unimportant.

I can see that happening with Alice/Tilly, as well. She’s supposedly the one who can save Rumpel but is she even going to play a major role?

Much like the reformed villains, the Evil Queen, the Wicked Witch, and Hook, they were forced to face the demons inside them and overcame.

If they could do it, so can Rumpel who has come a long way since being the coward.

I’m willing to bet that when he defeats himself, he’ll finally be allowed to reunite with his beloved Belle.

But first, Wish Realm Rumpel will steal Henry’s family to motivate him to get the Dark One’s dagger which will reunite him with his family including Snow, Charming and Emma!

Finally!

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Once Upon A Time

Once Upon a Time – Flower Child (7×19)

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Once Upon a Time Flower Child

We’re just two episodes from the series finale of Once Upon a Time and while we learned all about Gothel’s origin story, we still have a lot to wrap up.

For starters, why didn’t true love’s kiss break the curse? Drizella said that was the answer so finally, a very resourceful Lucy manipulated Facilier into being a hero and figuring out a way to have the “illness” removed from Henry so that when he kissed Jacinda, the curse would break and he’d survive.

Lucy stumbling upon the glass slipper in her mother’s belongings was a bit too easy. Really, who keeps a broken shoe in a memory box?

But it was the proof Jacinda needed to believe Henry’s theory that maybe Lucy was right and all the “crazy stories” in his book were real.

And it was enough for Facilier to use in his voodoo spell.

Facilier didn’t need too much convincing because restoring everyone’s memories would be beneficial if he was right about what Gothel was plotting.

If you’ve been wondering “why Hyperion Heights,” well, it turns out this town, and specifically, the theater, is the where it all began thousands of years ago with a tree nymph named Gothel.

Who would have thought that Gothel was once an innocent creature meant to spread magic amongst her people?

Gothel’s story starts with her spying on rich princesses trying on fancy dresses. For starters, we know that she’s jealous in nature and resents people having what she couldn’t.

She sneaks into their home and while looking at the dresses, uses magic to fix a flower. She’s caught by the girls who are impressed by her abilities rather than scared and intimidated like most people. They welcome her into the sisterhood and invite her to a ball the next day.

When Gothel returns home to her magical grove, her mother warns her about the true nature of humans. She informs her that no matter how much she tries, she’ll never fit in and that her real destiny is becoming the “Mother” of magic for her people.

Gothel disregards her mother’s warning but realizes just how wrong she is when the girls turn on her and call her an abomination before dousing her with mud.

As she returns home distraught she finds the grove was destroyed and burned to the ground by the humans. With her dying breath, her mother encourages her not to seek revenge so naturally, that’s exactly what Gothel does.

Fueled by anger, she crashes the party and begins killing the humans with magic starting with their “queen bee.” Seraphina, the only girl who seemed to feel guilty for what happened, counters her spell revealing that she too is a witch.

Gothel sees an opportunity for a new “sister” and extends an olive branch. She brings Seraphina back to her destroyed grove and deems this realm the “Land Without Magic.” In her final moments, she vows to return here one day to restore it to its former glory.

That seemingly took thousands of years but is the basis for the curse that she forced Drizella to cast. Poor Drizzy, she thought she was doing this to hurt her mom but she was just a ploy in Gothel’s bigger scheme.

There wasn’t any love for Gothel since she’s done some terrible things and made a lot of people miserable, but can you blame her? Her story isn’t exactly one the evokes hope and makes you believe in the goodness of humanity.

In the present day, Eloise Gardener is preparing for the ritual, approaches Tilly and confesses to being her mother.

Tilly might be weird, but she’s not a fan of cult-leaders coming up claiming to be her mother.

She defends all the terrible things she’s done by saying “the world was cruel, so I turned cruel,” which is the equivalent of “they made me do it.”

Tilly runs off to Detective Weaver with these delusional claims but he isn’t weirded out at all; not after Prince Naveen (Sebastian) told him about the existence of a coven and magic.

They turn to Henry for some help and while they expect him to be dismissive of their delusional hypothesis, he’s completely on board because he too believes something odd is happening in this town.

How else would you explain the paternity test confirming Henry is Lucy’s father if they never even had sex?!

The desk sarg calls in with a tip about a gang of hooded women at the theater so Weaver and Tilly go to check it out.

Tilly ponders about how odd it is that the truth is seemingly in close proximity of everyone yet they don’t know it’s there.

That’s the real curse.

When they enter the theater, they realize its a trap so that Eloise can get her hands on her daughter.

She tries to encourage her to help the coven complete the spell as Weaver begs Tilly not to do it.

However, Eloise has now revealed that Weaver is Tilly’s father and if she doesn’t do as she says, she’ll kill her.

Always with the dramatics, Eloise.

Tilly finds herself at an impossible crossroads but recognizes that she would never be able to live with herself if she let her father die.

In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, Tilly has really become the heart and spirit of the show. She definitely made this version worth watching and even made up for Jacinda’s lack of enthusiasm.

As she becomes the final member of the coven, the spell is complete.

Now, we’re back to Jacinda and Henry who have accepted the idea that they really are a fairytale couple.

But like I mentioned before, the kiss did not break the curse so, at this point, everyone is out of options, especially as Gothel becomes the all-powerful one.

So, what now? How do they break a curse when the creator of it is no longer around?

Will Gothel’s spell go through? Will it flood the realm with enough magic to save everyone?

How will they incorporate our original characters into the end?

There’s still so much to wrap up here that I don’t think two episodes will suffice.

  • What’s the story with Tiana and Naveen? Why was Facilier using him and why did they make it a big deal?
  • Will Weaver ever reunite with Belle? Will he find someone other than The Guardian to take over his dagger?
  • Will Tilly and Rogers be allowed to reunite once the curse breaks?
  • How are any of us getting back to Storybrooke?
  • Will Gothel die?
  • Will Regina end up with Facilier?
  • Will we ever see Kelly/ Zelena’s wedding?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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