In the season 7 premiere of Once Upon a Time, titled “Hyperion Heights,” Henry Mills (now played by Andrew J. West) is all grown up and is drawn into new adventures thanks to his daughter Lucy and her mother…Cinderella. While Henry and Cinderella begin to fall in love in the past, Lucy brings Henry to her neighborhood in present-day Seattle and that’s where Regina, Hook, and Rumple come in. Alas, the characters we know and love are now going by different names and living new lives thanks to yet another curse.

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Henry Sets Out to Find His Story

As the episode begins, we see Henry (as played by Jared Gilmore) about to set off on an adventure. Apparently, a few years have passed since we last saw the characters, as Henry has just graduated from high school. Instead of going off to college, Henry is heading off through a portal to another realm. As he explains to Regina, he found many different storybooks in the Sorcerer’s mansion and they all included different versions of the stories/characters we know and love. The only thing they all had in common is that Henry wasn’t in them. There is only one Henry Mills in existence so Henry decides it’s time he stop writing other people’s stories and go off in search of his own.

After bidding a touching farewell to Regina (if this is the last scene we get of Lana Parrilla and Jared Gilmore, it was a lovely way to close out that relationship) Henry leaves Storybrooke behind for parts unknown. When he next see him, it is in a new realm many years later and Henry is now an adult. Adult Henry is speeding around on his motorcycle when he literally crashes into someone. This person turns out to be Cinderella, albeit a different Cinderella than the one we know.

After causing her to crash her carriage, Henry offers to give Cinderella a ride to the ball so she can find her prince and finish her story. After some hesitation, Cinderella agrees and Henry shows her how his motorcycle works. Cinderella then decides to shake things up by stealing his motorcycle and heading to the ball by herself.

Henry later follows her to the ball and realizes that she’s not there to fall in love with the prince. Instead, she’s there to kill him because he killed her father. Henry tries to talk her out of her revenge mission, saying that he knows of a place where she can start over, but Cinderella is determined to avenge her father. Before Henry can stop her, he passes out because he’s been drugged.

When he comes to, the woman who drugged him introduces herself as Alice. Apparently, she is there because she knows Rumple and Henry’s grandpa is trying to look out for him. Alice says that this isn’t his story and bad things happen when you get involved in someone else’s story. Yet Henry refuses to leave when he knows Cinderella needs his help.

While Henry is with Alice, Cinderella gets the prince alone and puts a dagger to his throat. Alas, she cannot go through with killing him. This is where her step-mother, Lady Tremaine, comes into the picture. Lady T kills the prince because he rejected her daughter, but his younger brother did not. Lady T sets Cinderella up as the prince’s killer and sends the guards after her. Henry tells Cinderella to take his bike and meet him where they first collided. A portal will open there at midnight and they can take it to his land. Henry and Cinderella fight off the guards and Cinderella escapes.

Later that night, Henry goes to the portal, but Cinderella is nowhere in sight. All Henry finds is her glass slipper and he chooses to miss the portal in order to stay behind and help Cinderella. Operation Glass Slipper is a go.  

Welcome to Hyperion Heights

Cut to the present day and we find Henry in Seattle, trying and failing to write the follow-up to his first book, aka the actual storybook. As we saw in last season’s finale, Lucy arrives on his doorstep and tells him that she is his daughter. Henry, of course, has no memory of this because of the curse. Lucy tells him that his writer’s block is due to his not living his own story and she asks him to come to her neighborhood, Hyperion Heights. It’s where their family and the other fairy tale characters are now living.

Henry tells Lucy that his book was just fiction and he’s not actually related to any fairy tale characters. Lucy insists that their family needs his help because her step-grandmother is trying to bring new people into the neighborhood in order to push out all of the fairy tale characters and separate them. She says her mom, aka his true love Cinderella, needs him. Henry, disillusioned now thanks to the curse, says Cinderella will just have to save herself.

The next day, Henry is looking for his laptop only to find that it’s missing. What he does find is a note telling him to go to Roni’s bar if he wants his laptop back. Once Henry arrives at the bar, he runs straight into Roni, aka Regina! Alas, thanks to the curse, Henry and Regina do not recognize each other. “Roni” gets him a drink and they chat. Apparently, she’s about to lose her bar to the woman who has been buying up the entire neighborhood.

Meanwhile, Cinderella — who goes by Jacinda under the curse — is not having the best day. After quitting her job because she doesn’t want to apologize to her jerk of a boss, she realizes that Lucy is missing. When she tracks her daughter down, Lucy says she left to find her father. Jacinda ends up meeting Henry at Roni’s bar and they immediately hit it off. Jacinda opens up to Henry about how she wants to leave the neighborhood and start a new life on this small nearby island. Unfortunately, their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Lady Tremaine, who goes by Victoria under the curse.

Victoria is unimpressed that Lucy snuck out in the middle of the night and she says that what Lucy needs is stability so Lucy will be moving back in with her, permanently. Jacinda rushes out to find her daughter, leaving Henry with Victoria. She tells Henry that his presence isn’t helping anyone and he should leave before someone gets hurt.

When Henry tries to leave, he discovers that his car has been stolen. He heads to the police station and this is where we find Officer Rogers, aka Hook! Rogers and Henry hit the pavement to look for Henry’s car and Henry runs into Lucy. Henry says that he needs to find his car and go home, but Lucy insists that he is home. Henry eventually says that Lucy can’t be his daughter because he had a family once and he lost them. Apparently, Henry’s cursed memories include a deceased wife and daughter who supposedly died in a fire.

After Henry leaves, Jacinda finds Lucy and tells her they are leaving town.

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All Stories Start Somewhere

Jacinda tells Lucy that her step-grandmother intends to take custody of her, so Jacinda thinks they should leave and start a new life on the nearby island. Lucy doesn’t want to leave without Henry, but Jacinda asks her daughter to believe in her the way she believes in fairy tales. Alas, before they can leave, the police track them down.

Back at the police station, Victoria is looking for Jacinda and Lucy because they’ve disappeared. She tells Henry that she cares about her girls and just wants to help Jacinda build a better life for Lucy. She asks Henry if he knows where they have gone and Henry apparently gives up Jacinda’s plan to take Lucy to the island.

Jacinda later tracks Henry down as he’s leaving town in his newly-found car and they have an argument. She’s disappointed that he gave up her whereabouts, but he insists that he didn’t ask to be dragged into her family drama. They don’t part on the best of terms.

Jacinda is forced to ask for her job back and Henry heads home alone. However, before going home, Henry stops by the cemetery seemingly to visit his dead loved ones, only the cemetery is nowhere in sight. Interesting. As the episode comes to an end, Jacinda makes a wish in the old wishing well and Henry starts writing his book because the only inspiration they needed was each other.

In Other News…

After helping track down Lucy and Jacinda, “Rogers” is promoted to detective and introduced to his new partner Weaver, aka Rumple! (Earlier in the episode, we see “Weaver” torturing someone so I don’t know if he’s undercover as a bad guy or if he’s just a dirty cop.) Later, we see Rogers looking through Henry’s book and coming across a drawing of Emma.

“Roni” decides not to sign over her bar to Victoria because Jacinda’s defiance of her step-mother inspired Roni to stand up to the woman. Victoria is used to pushing people around, but Roni thinks it’s time she learns what happens when someone pushes back. Victoria tells Roni she will regret this decision, but Roni isn’t one for regrets.

What did you think of the premiere of Once Upon a Time season 7? Are you enjoying this new take on the story? What do you think of adult Henry? Are you sensing the sparks between Henry and Cinderella? What’s your take on Rumple’s cursed persona? Is he still walking the line between good and evil? How will Lucy get Henry to believe in fairy tales again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Once Upon a Time
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(Image courtesy of ABC)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV