“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.
Once Upon a Time – The Eighth Witch (7×10)
It’s time to learn the truth about this new curse and most importantly, who cast it.
This season has been surprisingly enjoyable but admittedly, hard to follow. You almost have to draw one of Weaver’s detective boards to trace every single string considering one person has about 10 aliases.
Lady Tremaine aka Victoria Belfrey aka Rapunzel didn’t cast the curse. Nor was the villain responsible for all the darkness in Hyperion Heights.
Turns out, it wasn’t even Drizella that cast the curse although it was her brainchild. The curse was cast by someone much more experienced; someone who cast the first ever curse on Storybrooke, our dearest Regina.
It wasn’t by will, of course, but the lesser of two evils. Goethel and Drizella gave her two options: either she let Henry die from the poison or she saved him by casting the curse. It’s in a parent’s nature to save their child so obviously, Regina went to the latter thus thrusting them all into a world without magic.
And once again, Regina’s alter-ego “Roni” is tasked with the same choice. We find out that the important person in San Francisco was sissy and powerful witch Zelena, who had taken on the persona of a soul-cycling (pedaling?) instructor Kelly. One of the more enjoyable points of this season has been to see our favorite characters out of their fairytale cloaks and in more obscure clothing like fitness attire and rock band t-shirts…. I’m looking at you Regina!
At first, Kelly is pissed to see Regina but that whole storyline really served no purpose because within minutes, Regina had her old friend taking a shot of liquor that was laced with the truth serum. Immediately after remembering her real identity, Zelena was grateful to see her sis and to help with the heroic task at hand. The only problem? She was to wed a muggle. I’m kidding, muggles don’t exist in this realm but still, “Kelly” was living a pretty modern life and actually found love, which is more than we could ever say for Zelena. Will she eventually find her way back to him when she helps save her magical family?
Back in the magical realm, we learn more about the origin of the curse. As we already know, Drizella vowed to make her mother suffer by casting the curse, which according to the prophecy would happen on Lucy’s eighth birthday. Why? Probably so it could mirror Henry’s storyline when he found Emma and thus not have any real meaning. Henry and the squad stopped Drizella by blood magic but come that eighth birthday, Goethel and the Coven of the Eighth broke the blood spell proving that one, they aren’t to be messed with but two, it’s about to GO DOWN.
Henry, a little too familiar with this story, decided to take little Lucy to the Emma’s wardrobe tree. If they were all about to get snatched up by a curse, they needed someone on the other side to remember. Thus, that’s how Lucy is so “woke” this whole time.
Unfortunately, since Rapunzel made her beliefs waver, she’s been in a deep slumber that even true love’s kiss cannot awaken. This time, Henry is the one that believes because he is so connected to Ella and Lucy mentally and he truly wants there to be a world where he is her father, and Lucy doesn’t.
And of course, we need them both to believe for the curse to be broken.
Except that if the curse is broken, Henry dies. And if it isn’t, Lucy dies.
And all of this because her own grandmother thought that raising her daughter Anastasia from the dead was better than just letting go and accepting her new, more modern family.
This version of Rapunzel has really surprised me, especially because she was a woman willing to risk everything for her family but got so corrupted by greed and needing that “happiness” for herself. Little does she know that happiness through magic always comes at a price.
Drizella isn’t even the ultimate villain in all of this; she’s just a girl who was looking for a motherly figure and latched on to the wrong one. Gothel may not look the part but when you think about her tricking Wish Hook into sleeping with her and speeding up the pregnancy in order to escape the tower, you know she’ll screw over anyone to get what she wants.
Drizzy was better off literally listening to her mom in this case because once Gothel got what she wanted and forced Anastasia to harness Drizella’s magic, she disposed of her into the well. Will Rapunzel and Drizella team up now to get their daughter/sister back?
Gothel, like Rumpel, is looking for the prophesied Guardian, a person who would give her life for someone else’s. She thought that person was Rapunzel when she first trapped her in the tower but obviously, she succumbed to her jealousy and greed when she poisoned Cinderella (Jacinda’s) mother to win back her husband. And all of this really explains why she hates Jacinda so much. Not only does she blame her for taking away her husband and family, she also blames her for Anastasia’s near “death.” This adds a layer of depth to Lady Tremaine, who up until this point just seemed like a villain turned pesky resident. There’s a bit of sympathy for her because you can obviously understand how terrible her situation was but then you realize she failed to learn from any of it and continues to ruin families and happy endings.
As for Rumpel, he consistently gets closer to reuniting with Belle only to have the rug pulled out from under him. Maybe I missed it but why would the Guardian take the dagger from him if she was already such a powerful witch?
And speaking of witches, I’m a bit excited to venture into this very dark magic territory with our heroes. Up until now, we haven’t really succumbed to the darkness fully but a coven of eighth witches inhabiting a city with no magic and fighting a group of heroes seems like much fun. Who are these witches? Why is she gathering them? What does it have to do with the Guardian?
How does Eloise Gardner fit into all of this? The reason Wish Hook has been looking for her this whole time is because in the fairytale world, Eloise is Robin, Zelena’s grown up daughter who is also romantically involved with his daughter, Alice. Let’s hope this LGBTQ love story is better than Mulan’s feeble attempt.
Both Hook and Alice want to reunite with Eloise but I don’t really understand why her notebooks would have the symbol of the coven. Is she a powerful witch also? If anyone were to be involved with the coven, I would think it would be Alice since she is Gothel’s daughter.
After some spotty episodes, that midseason finale really re-hooked us. See you in 2018 Oncers!
Once Upon a Time – Wake Up Call (7×06)
Where there’s a curse, there’s someone who started it and those who are ready to break it.
On this week’s Once Upon a Time another original character was “woke,” but this time, not of her own free will.
It was actually all a ploy of Ivy’s aka Drizella in the other realm and she is much more wicked than she’s lead us to believe. For starters, those who assumed she was the one who cast the curse were right. As we dug a little into her backstory at the less-loved child, we found out she had a specific connection to the town’s bartender aka the Evil Queen Regina.
Pre-curse in the other realm, Regina was feeling a bit unimportant after realizing that Henry is grown and no longer needs his mommy to help him and fight his battles. As she searched for purpose, she stumbled upon Drizella, who seemed to be in need of some motherly guidance. Having plenty of that to offer, Regina took to the girl and helped her tap into her inner magic, which Lady Tremaine had suppressed all these years.
During their lessons, they stumbled upon Rumpel who told Regina all about his long and fulfilled life with the late Belle. I guess I missed it last week but they lived in a place where time essentially stopped so while a lifetime went by, it was only a mere few moments in Storybrooke hence why no one else aged. Time really is a fickle thing.
Rumpel immediately realized that Regina wasn’t just helping a lost girl, she was feeding right into Tremaine’s plan. Would this evil queen really have no idea what her daughter was doing? Heck no. Turns out, she wanted Drizella to unleash her magic because then she could use her pure and full of belief heart to awaken her precious Anastasia.
Obviously, this didn’t sit well with Drizella who vowed to destroy her mother. Regina tried to stop her knowing that going down an evil path would never bring her happiness but it was too late; she’d planted the seed of victory in Drizella’s mind. So she brought her “prince” to the castle and killed him in order to turn her heart black. That way, she would be of no use to her mother. And by that smile on her face, you could tell she thoroughly enjoyed it.
Regina once again tried to foil the plan but Drizella credited her with finding the perfect plan to make her mother suffer eternally — yet another curse. As we know from the Evil Queen’s curse, these things can get messy and heroes always have a way of figuring them out. With that tidbit in mind, Drizella said she’d find a way to create a curse that would be unbreakable.
I guess there’s a reason why Drizella looks like a young Regina. The only difference is that she has no redeeming qualities while Regina, despite all her flaws, did. Maybe if Drizella finds love?
Which brings us to present day Hyperion Heights. Roni is mulling over the picture she’d found in Victoria Belfrey’s secret tower. They believe the photo must be photoshopped since there’s no way (or is there?) that it could be real. Lucy gets wind of the photo and is ecstatic, claiming that it proves her theory that they are mother and son. Based on their behaviors even under this curse, it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch.
Roni decides to help Lucy investigate the truth so that she could give up her delusion once and for all while Henry goes to make a move on Jacinda, who has been icing him out ever since Ivy posted pictures of her and Henry from their “drunkoween.” Girls will be girls.
Henry chooses the “Breakfast Club” approach; he arrives holding a boombox as Jacinda is fixing up her food truck. He blurts out some stuff about not being able to get her off his mind and so they have their first date right then and there. At this point, I’ve stopped rooting for them simply because I don’t like Jacinda’s off-putting attitude. She acts like the whole world owes her something because life has been hard for her.
Meanwhile, Roni and Lucy get to business. They head over to Weaver’s and ask for a favor. Because this might be a cursed neighborhood but Weaver aka Rumpel is still in the business of granting favors. He agrees to look up if a Regina Mills ever adopted a child in Boston under the condition that Roni “owes him one.” It’s a risky deal but one she makes because I think she too is a bit curious to find out the truth.
We know Rumpel is “woke” so he knows who Regina and Henry really are. I was surprised that he didn’t foil the results and gave them to her untouched. Was he hoping someone else would finally see through the curse?
Roni is floored and confused by the results. Regina’s signature is identical to hers. But she doesn’t remember any part of this. She doesn’t have much time to ponder it though because in waltzes Ivy, who has been glowing about the fact that her mother was suffering from a migraine today. She drugs Roni’s drink and the first assumption is that she’s going to kill her. After all, these two didn’t get off on the right foot pre-curse and Roni is so close to figuring out the truth.
But death is the easy way out and as we know, Drizella wants everyone to suffer, including Regina. The drink floods her mind with memories of the Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke. And now that Regina’s back, Drizella tells her the truth about the curse: if it’s broken, everyone she loves — Henry, Jacinda, Lucy, Hook 2.0 — will die.
So basically, Regina is woke only to sabotage Henry and Jacinda’s relationship. Since they’ve been heating up, it’s only a matter of time before they kiss and true love’s kiss is the way to break any curse. How did we seriously not think of this six episodes back? That’s fairytale rule number one. How did Lucy not think of it? We could have saved so much time although maybe it’s better this way because if they did break the curse, they would have died.
The last scene with Regina and Henry together was heartbreaking; she now remembers that he’s her son but he has no clue about any of it, nor can he.
Hook 2.0 or should I say Detective Rogers continues his search for Eloise Gardner with a little help from Tilly/Alice. Who wouldn’t want a little of her wacky wisdom to solve a case? Using a bit of a riddle, she tells him to tap into the clues he already has, which leads him back to the dude with the rune tattoo. Except that seems to be a dead end because the guy is deader than dead. And it probably has something to do with the fact that he warned someone that Rogers was looking for the girl. Things aren’t looking good for Eloise right now.
Are you happy with the twist that Drizella is behind all the madness and not Lady Tremaine? I think she makes a much more compelling villain than her mother, who is just a cold hearted woman who wants her daughter back. But did Drizella always want her mother to be “woke?” Or did that part of the curse mess up? And who is the enchantress in the tower?
Once Upon a Time – Greenbacks (7×05)
There’s a new villain in Hyperion Heights and she might just be running the show under Victoria’s very nose.
Two major revelations come out in this week’s episode.
- Ivy is also “woke” and in cahoots with the witch in the tower.
- Regina finds a photo of her and a random kid, which Henry points out is him. Well, this is awkward, especially after that “mama bear” comment.
When Regina realizes that Henry and Ivy are getting closer, she becomes a little overprotective. It seems like she’s not sure where it’s stemming from but she knows that Ivy is bad news so she wants to protect him from making a mistake. And she doesn’t necessarily trust that Ivy wants to help them bring down Victoria so she goes to investigate.
What we didn’t realize until later is that Roni’s actions are feeding right into Ivy’s plan. She spied her mother going to the tower where the witch resides, and took Roni up there, which is where she found that picture. It’s unclear if she wanted her to find it but why would she want these two knowing that they have history that they don’t remember. Unless Ivy wants them to wake up as well?!
As much as I don’t like Ivy aka Drizella, she’s a much more compelling villain. We feel bad for her because of how Victoria treats and degrades her, but behind her back, she’s the one manipulating people, running the show and working with a powerful witch. Will the two destroy Victoria? So far, Victoria has been pretty one-dimensional and everyone is seeing right through her “torture tactics” so Drizella is a welcome change, especially because she’s much more reminiscent of the Evil Queen in season one.
But what is she plotting with the witch that she needs them all to trust her? Was she always “woke?” Did she cast the curse?
Sabine’s storyline mimics her origin story as Princess Tiana.
Back in the magical realm, Tiana and her mother were having a property sale to make some money following their father’s death. Apparently, even taxes are a bitch in a fairytale (thanks a lot, Trump!)
Her mother tells her that she needs a prince to save them, which is pretty terrible advice no matter how beautiful your ballgown is because feminism. Tiana, girl, you do not need a man to save you, make you rich or tell you your worth. Thankfully, she figured all that out on her own and so did her mother, who apologized, but not before seeking out advice from Dr. Facillier, a Voodoo sorcerer from New Orleans, who tricks her into thinking that she’s going to meet her Prince at a bar.
Following his advice, she does meet a lovely man named Robert, who is dressed like a Prince but disappoints, as they all do, when steals her father’s, Firefly Ruby. Turns out, Facilier promised to release Robert’s lady love, which he turned into a frog, if he stole the ruby.
Once Tiana realizes that her father’s legacy lives on inside her, she returns to face Facilier, give him the ruby in exchange for the frog. If you hadn’t noticed, he dabbles in magic and the ruby, much to her surprise, is filled with magic that her father most likely used to go from poor to rich. Hey, we’d all do it given the chance. He disappears in a cloud of black smoke, she takes the frog and reunites her with Robert, who upon kissing his love, turns into a frog as well. A reversed love story is sweet, nonetheless.
Back in Hyperion Heights, Victoria admits she’s raising Sabine and Jacinda’s rent. If she can’t destroy Lucy’s belief, which is the only way she can get her daughter Anastasia back from the dead, she needs to uproot it by slowly taking what Lucy loves most.
Being the dreamer and thinker, Sabine decides to sell her famous beignets at Mr. Cluck’s to make a little extra cash. The pop up is a wild success because who doesn’t love beignets? Even Victoria seems to enjoy them; briefly, because she’s evil, remember?
And since she’s evil, she cannot let Sabine succeed so she sends one of her guys to burn Mr. Cluck’s to the ground, which drives a wedge between Jacinda and Sabine. I tried to like Jacinda a lot but really, she’s just the worst. No wonder Henry hasn’t made his move, all she does is whine and complain and say things for people like her will never change. Of course, they won’t if you constantly accept defeat, even when your daughter and your best friend are trying to be helpful. What a martyr.
As always, Lucy talks some sense into her mother, who apologizes to Sabine and gifts her with a food truck that Det. Rodgers helped her score for cheap.
This really is the romantic introduction for Rodgers and Sabine; turns out, she found her Prince Charming after all. But, she didn’t need his saving! Well, he does tell her that the fire was deliberate, which really means it’s not bad luck, it’s all Belfrey.
Rodgers also inched a bit closer to finding Eloise Gardner, the girl who was missing for 10 years, when a man with a tattoo similar to the one she drew in her notebook is booked at the station. The perp admits that he just got the tat to ward off evil in prison but then revealed it might mean more by saying he’d hate to see what evil the girl was facing.
And in a pretty predictable twist, he was actually the guy involved with Eloise’s disappearance cause he makes an ominous call to someone to let them know that someone’s “looking for the girl.” Who do you think Eloise is in the magical realm?
To sum it all up, we still don’t know who the locked up witch is but at least she’s got an ally in this fight, Rumpel, Drizella and Lucy are all “woke,” Henry and Regina have #TBT pictures together, and Henry may be involved in some love triangle with two step-sisters. And the evil step-sister might actually be the better choice over the bratty and pessimistic one.
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