If you’ve been waiting all summer for curses, princesses, magic potions, and storybooks good news: Once Upon a Time is back.
Season 6 ended with the latest curse broken, as Emma Swan — for like the 15 billion time — proved herself to be the Savior. All’s well that ends well! Except, that Season 6 of Once Upon A Time didn’t end with a peek into the lives of our favorite Storybrooke characters later on down the road. Instead, we got a glimpse at Adult Henry’s new life in Seattle on the night his young daughter, Lucy, shows up at his door with the same message he brought his mother six seasons ago: Your fairytale family is in trouble, and you’re the only one who can save them.
With that, OUAT basically cleaned house, with a handful of cast members departing the series: Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jared S. Gilmore, and Emilie de Ravin. That was the old OUAT, this is the new OUAT, and now we’re in Hyperion Heights. This is where Lucy and her mother, Jacinda, live — oh, and btw, Jacinda is really Cinderella, completely with a wickedly evil stepmother.
The Season 7 opener, “Hyperion Heights,” is basically like the OUAT Pilot 2.0. We’ve got all these characters — some familiar, and some brand new — who, thanks to a curse, have completely forgotten their life in the ~new~ Enchanted Forest, including Henry. It sure sounds like he remembers his grandparents, and his time in Storybrooke, and even wrote a novel about them, appropriately titled “Once Upon A Time.” But then he grew up, moved away from home, and got married to a nice lady and had a kid. However, they sadly died in a fire and now Henry is, rightfully so, sad and mopey and can’t write anything else.
But, did his wife and kid really die in the fire?? Probably not, because his memory is playing tricks on him because THAT’S THE NEW CURSE. It can be assumed that the wife and child he thinks died are Jacinda and Lucy, since we know they’re destined to be together. True love and stuff like that. But, neither one of them can just remember it right now. Got all of that? Great. There’s more.
Our returning characters can’t remember much of anything, either. Regina is now “Ronni,” and she runs the bar in Hyperion Heights. Ronnie isn’t thrilled to be handing over her watering hole to Victoria Belfrey, who also happens to be Jacinda’s stepmom, aka Lady Tremaine. There’s also Hook, or ahem, Rogers (as in the JOLLY ROGER, and r u kidding me, Once Upon A Time), who at the start of the episode is a police officer, by the end of it he’s made detective. His partner? Rumple, who everyone is calling Weaver, and also he’s roughing people up in back alleys. Just go with it.
Meanwhile, off in this version of the Enchanted Forest, Henry accidentally runs Cinderella off the road with his motorcycle, prompting a very odd meet-cute for the two of them. Cinderella’s on her way to the ball, and Henry teases her about her “story” and how she’s going off to find the prince, but will probably lose her slipper along the way. This Adult Henry really has to work on keeping major fairytale plot points to himself.
But, Cinderella isn’t looking to dance with the prince, she’s looking to murder him because he destroyed her life (and no, we don’t know how he did that). Cool. She doesn’t go through with it, but Lady Tremaine steps in and murders the prince anyway, blaming Cinderella. Now she must flee the ball — but first, pause for an epic sword fight — with Henry urging her to meet him at their prior crash site. Henry’s knows a new portal is going to open up, and begs Cinderella to come with him to his world, where they can start over.
If you think this is going to have a happy ending, you’re wrong, because we’ve got all season for that. Cinderella doesn’t show up at the portal, and instead leaves her glass slipper behind. Back in the real world, Lucy is sent off to live with her step-grandmother, leaving Jacinda alone. Henry, meanwhile, finally starts on a new book having finally found inspiration from Lucy.
Make sense? Wonderful. Because the old Once Upon A Time can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Because it’s dead.