Slight spoilers may be talked about below, so please be sure to watch the latest episode before reading on!
Once Upon A Time returned for it’s seventh season with a quasi-reboot of the series. This time focusing on an adult Henry Mills and his adventures in both the fairytale realm and Seattle’s Hyperion Heights neighborhood due to the urging of his daughter, Lucy — who Henry, due to being in a cursed state himself, doesn’t remember at all. This, for long time viewers, may feel like a giant rethread of season one and for the most part it is.
Lucy comes across just like young Henry use to be, and believes in all the fairytales being real. While Henry and Cinderella — Lucy’s mother, and who doesn’t know of Henry in the real world — calls it all make-believe for Lucy and effectively takes on the role of Snow and Prince Charming this season. Even the way that Henry and Cinderella meet is a direct parallel to how Snow and David met in the original season, hostel at first but effective as a team. in the episode long flashback. Victoria — Cinderella’s evil step-mother and Lucy’s step-grandmother — even feels like season one’s evil Regina, with how she knows everyone is in a cursed state.
The only wrinkles to this redux of a plot is the inclusion of Regina, Rumple and Hook who may or may not be under a cursed state; there’s certain winks given here and there for them to be undercover and immune to the new curse. But it’s mostly something that requires a keen eye to spot.
There’s an inclusion of a different realm’s Alice from Alice In Wonderland in the plot as well, but her motives is shrouded in mystery and she seems to have taken on the role that Rumple had in seasons past. She is the most intriguing aspect of this new season and I wonder what exactly she’s up too. Is she keeping an eye on everyone for Victoria or will she have her own agenda?
“Hyperion Heights” didn’t feel like the strongest of season openers for the series, mostly because they had to spend more time setting up the real world setting of the Seattle neighborhood and introduce Roni’s Bar, Victoria’s Offices and even the Police station settings. The creators are effectively starting the show from scratch and a clean state, so for long time viewers it’ll be very jarring since we’re so used to Granny’s Dinner, Regina’s House or even Gold’s Pawnshop with everyone back in Maine. The cityscape at times feels a bit soulless but hopefully, over time, it’ll get more personality as we see more of it.
It’s such a strange feeling, almost like you’re watching a completely different show that isn’t Once Upon A Time and instead is a spin-off featuring only a few familiar characters. However, being that its like this, it’s the perfect time for people who always wanted to see the show but didn’t want to indulge in a huge backstory of the previous seasons, to jump in and start watching.
Now next week looks to bring the series back on track with Emma returning in flashback which would hopefully explain her absence this season along with what happened to the Charmings, Belle and the others.