The new season of Once Upon a Time premiered on ABC on its new night. With it came a new cast as well as a new setting. If you missed what happened at the end of last season, you can read my season six recap and review.
The episode starts with the original Henry Mills leaving Storybrooke. Turns out he’s going to another realm on his motorcycle to figure out what his story will be. Then, we time jump to the older Henry crashing into Cinderella on her carriage and time jump again to the present time where Henry’s working in Seattle as an Uber driver. Then, we see Lucy knocking on his door to tell him she’s his daughter. Just like how Henry did years ago when he found Emma.
However, Henry has no idea who she is. But Lucy knows him as being a successful author of the book, “Once Upon a Time” but obviously believes it all happened (because it did, he just doesn’t remember it). So, she tries to convince him to come to Hyperion Heights, AKA the new version of Storybrooke. But he thinks she’s delusional and tells her to leave. The next day, he discovers Lucy took his laptop from his desk drawer (although I’m not really sure how) and left him a note to go to Roni’s, a bar in Hyperion Heights. Roni, however, turns out to be Regina, who also doesn’t remember the past.
Back in the enchanted forest, Henry tells Cinderella about her story. Or at least how her story’s supposed to end and tries to help her get to the prince. He initially tries to teach her how to drive his motorcycle (given that he ran down her carriage) only for her to shove him off the bike. Later, Henry gets to the ball to discover Cinderella’s actually there to kill the prince because spoiler, he killed her father.
In Hyperion Heights, Cinderella, or Jacinda (her new cursed name), stands up to her jerk boss when she runs late and he fires her. In this new version of Storybrooke, Jacinda’s evil stepmother, Victoria, is buying out everything in the city. But no one knows why just yet. It also turns out that Victoria wants Lucy to live with her permanently because she doesn’t think Jacinda’s capable of taking care of her. Jacinda later finds Lucy in an abandoned park throwing seeds into a dead garden in front of a dried-up well. She clearly has her father’s believer spirit in her and has hope that things will change. She then tells her mom that she found her dad and it eventually leads them to Roni’s bar to return Henry’s laptop. Jacinda and Henry talk for a while and he’s clearly attracted to her, but they ultimately don’t recognize each other.
Henry Gets Stuck in Hyperion Heights
Later, Henry’s car gets stolen so he goes to the police station where he finds Hook, who is the only person there who’s willing to help. Henry finds Lucy still at the park and she, again, tries to convince him that she’s his daughter and that this is their home. He apologizes but insists once again that he’s not her dad. Then, we finally get a glimpse into the fake backstory that came with this curse. He says he had a family: a wife and a daughter. Unfortunately, they died in a fire. Then, Jacinda pulls up as Henry leaves, wanting to take Lucy away to Bainbridge Island to start a new adventure. But thanks to Hook’s help, Victoria finds them. After that, he’s made detective alongside his new partner, who’s none other than Mr. Gold.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Cinderella plans to kill the prince for killing her parents with Henry’s dagger. She doesn’t end up going through with it, but her stepmother does. To make matters worse, she pins the murder on her. So, she runs and fights everyone off at the ball with Henry’s help, telling her to meet him at the portal at midnight. However, she doesn’t show up. But her glass slipper does. So, Henry decides to help her instead of going back home to Storybrooke. At the end of the episode, Roni gives an inspiring speech about standing up to Victoria by not giving her ownership of her bar. She refuses to give into Victoria’s reign of terror unlike many other business owners in Hyperion Heights. During her speech, the flowers in the park start to grow and Hook starts to recognize Emma in Henry’s book.
Overall, the new season of Once Upon a Time shares a lot of similarities to their first season. Lucy’s now the new Henry, Henry’s the new Emma, and Victoria’s like the new Regina. And this new curse, much like the first one, causes everyone to forget who they really are. However, the cast this season is much more diverse than when it started and Roni acts as another source of hope in this town.
Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see where the writers will take these characters once the curse breaks. I’m also curious about how they’ll address old characters, especially Emma, Snow, Charming, and Belle. But despite the massive changes in cast and location, the show continues to create stories around iconic fairytale characters while keeping its hopeful spirit.