‘Once Upon A Time’ 7×01 Review: Welcome to Henry’s Story

As I get up early on this beautiful Saturday morning to write this review, I still can’t stop smiling. I had many concerns about the new season and the route that they were going to take with this beloved show. We all had our concerns. They are probably the same ones.

My point is, we shouldn’t be worried. Yes, it’s different. However, the characters that remain, Regina, Hook, Rumple, and yes even Henry, are still with us. It’s different, but if the show stayed the same, then how would it be fresh and new? Any show has to evolve to stay on the air and keep the fandom focused.

This is what Once Upon A Time did. Last night, it evolved into something new. Better? Can’t say quite yet. We’ve only had one episode air, but I can say it’s new. It’s exciting. I like it.

This is the part of the journey of OUAT that turns from Emma to Henry. This is Henry’s story and all his trials and triumphs along the way. We have watched him grow up the past 6 seasons, now we see him in his adult years. Finding love, a family, and dealing with what his life throws at him. Even if it is another curse. So, let’s go there…

THE CURSE

As we know, another curse has been enacted upon the characters we all know and love, including Henry. This curse has been enacted by Lady Tremaine (Gabrielle Anwar), who is Cinderella’s (Dania Ramirez) evil step mother.

Lady Tremaine, or her cursed counterpart Victoria Belfrey, is just as much of a bitch as I expected her to be. Along with Lady Tremaine comes Drizella (Adelaide Kane), Cinderella’s evil step sister. In the flashbacks in this episode, they give Cinderella what you expect. You know the story. We all do.

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This is why I’m sure this curse has everything to do with Cinderella and Henry’s love and the birth of Lucy. That has yet be revealed to us yet, but it would parallel Snow and Charming’s story with Emma. I love parallels and I’d be all for that. We will have to see how all that comes to be over the course of the season.

We all know this curse is different. For one, we aren’t in Storybrooke anymore. No small town full of fairy tale characters that can’t leave because they will lose their memories. No, not this time. They are in a small up and coming neighborhood outside of Seattle, Washington called Hyperion Heights. That’s where the episode title comes in.

These cursed fair tale characters are living real lives, working real jobs, and struggling like the rest of us. To me, that’s, well… realistic. I’m going use this section to cover what our four developed characters are doing while under this curse.

In this world, Henry is a cabbie. Yes, a cabbie. I never thought of him in this profession. The first scene where he is driving fares and seeing a couple make out in the back of his car is quite good at setting up the despair he has in his life. However, you quickly learn he’s still a writer and he drives fares around Seattle to pay his bills. I’m glad he’s still a writer. After all, he’s THE author. Who is Henry if he doesn’t write?

Later in the episode, we find out that in his cursed state that Henry thinks he lost his wife and child in a fire. He also tries to find the cemetery the are buried in put flowers in their graves, with no success because there isn’t one. The one thing about cursed Henry is he has no hope. Can I say if I could hug a fictional character right now, it would be him. Henry having hope is what makes this show, so my ultimate hope is that Lucy can bring it back to him.

Also, and I’ve said this before Andrew J. West was amazingly cast as an adult Henry and his performance was superb. I can’t wait to see more from him this season.

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Regina’s cursed counterpart is Roni. She runs the local bar. She’s still got many of the characteristics that make her the character we love. I still see Regina, and some aspects the Evil Queen, peek out of Roni. Lana, you nailed it. I loved every scene with Roni. Especially the one at the end of the episode where Roni tells Victoria she won’t sign her contract. I was like, yes! There’s Regina! This woman is tough. I like tough, determined women on my TV screen.

Let me just say that all the scenes between her and Henry still had the connection that they always had. I still felt it. I loved the Henry and Roni scenes at the bar and I’m looking forward to seeing more of them in the future.

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Hook, or Rogers as he is now called, is a cop. A good one. I have a few questions about him, but I’ll cover that later on. He seems very on the straight and narrow and takes pride in his work. Even earns a promotion by the end of the episode. The only thing about this promotion is that now has to work with Rumple’s cursed counterpart. Hook and Rumple have always been enemies, so the dynamic they can use here will be fun to watch.

I never complain about Colin on my screen, just when there’s not enough. One of my only complaints on the episode, not enough Hook. Considering he doesn’t even come on screen until almost halfway in, I know I’m not the only person feeling it.

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Next up is Rumple, he’s still a very sketchy character. Of course he is. He’s still, in some form, The Dark One. That incredibly dark being is still in Rumple and no curse will hide that fact. He goes by the name of Weaver. He’s a corrupt cop. I’m surprised by the law enforcement route, not that he’s corrupt. That doesn’t faze me at all. Again, only complaint is that he’s just not in the episode enough. I never thought I’d see the day where I’d complain about too little Rumple, but here it is. I must say Bobby did an excellent job with what he was given.

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THE FLASHBACKS

This episode was full of flashbacks, mostly about Cinderella and Henry. So, let’s use this section to go through them.

The first one is when Henry leaves Storybrooke and tells Regina. All my nostalgia for this show is in this one scene. I just loved it and it was an amazing way to not only being the new season, but Henry’s journey.

The next one, Henry quite literally runs Cinderella and her carriage off the road is amazing. Just in that one scene alone, there is so much chemistry between Cinderella and Henry that I instantly saw the spark. She wasn’t even conscious for this scene, and yet there’s something there. I don’t even know how, but there is. I just loved it!

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In the next flashback, Henry asks her upon her waking up if she has a prince to find. My first thought is, “Henry, you are a prince.” He may have not been raised as one, but by blood he is in fact royalty. These writers are slick, I tell you. Our prince gets his princess. I love it!

Then there’s the quips about Henry’s motorcycle. Eventually, though Cinderella shows how much of a bad ass she is and punches Henry out and steals his motorcycle. I was like, “Dang, girl!” My point here is,  this new Cinderella is amazing and that’s only from this one scene.

In the next flash back, we get our first look at Cinderella’s evil step mother and step sister. In it, Lady Tremaine cuts the wings off of Cinderella’s fairy god mother’s wings off and then vaporizes her. I was like, WTF? This woman has no chill. I always thought that Regina was the worst when she was in her full blown evil queen stage, but Lady Tremaine is worse. Way worse. This new villain we have could give our Evil Queen a run for it all. Oh, that’s a scene I need. Lady Tremaine and the Evil Queen. Not as Roni and Victoria, I mean the real deal. In flashbacks, I want to see them interact in the flashbacks. That would be epic.

I’m moving on now. To the next flash back.

It’s the ball. It’s very beautifully done. The special effects that went into making it look like an elaborate ballroom were spectacular! You also see Tiana for the first time. I really loved her quip about the frog legs. That ties in quite nicely.

The scene with Henry and Cinderella dancing is what shippers dream of! This stuff is good. The chemistry is off the charts! I’m pretty sure I was shipping before this scene, but there was no doubt in my mind once this scene ended that I was a Glass Beliver shipper. Yes, that’s the official ship name given to Henry and Cinderella. All I can say is I’m here for it!

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Then, Cinderella reveals she’s not really at the ball to get a prince, like we all assumed. She’s there to kill him! Yes, kill him! I was shocked too. Apparently, this particular prince killed her father so I rightfully don’t blame her for it. Especially since she’s living with Lady Tremaine and Drizella.

Let’s just say Cinderella has her motive, but she can’t follow through. Just when you think she actually did do it, in swoops Lady Tremaine and kills the prince. This bitch is beginning to irk me now. Like what did Cinderella do to you, woman? Why try to pin a murder on her? Yes, that’s what she tried to do. Like I said, this villain gives the Evil Queen a run for her money.

Once, Lady Tremaine accuses Cinderella, Henry offers her a chance to freedom by bringing her back to what I guess is Storybrooke. Our Henry, he will forever be a the knight in shining armor. I just love this ship so much already that I’m going to be heartbroken if the story doesn’t play out as I expect it to.

Oh, and before I move on from this amazing scene, Henry actually sword fights in it! Wonder who taught him that? Hook? Charming? Both? Oh, it love that he can use a sword!

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In the next moments, after Henry offers to bring Cinderella with him to wherever he’s going, he gets dosed by something in his drink and falls asleep. When he awakens, he realizes that Alice (from Alice in Wonderland), or as she says, “Yes, that one!” has tied him up and is trying to warn him. To me, the whole scene is very trippy. The symbolism used is quite amazing, though.

In this scene, Alice tries to warn Henry that Rumple doesn’t want him to do something. I’m assuming it’s falling in love with Cinderella. Well, too little too late Rumple. Anyways, I just found the whole trippy, and I’m being honest, unneeded. Maybe it’s importance will make itself known later in the season, but right now it feels out of place.

In the final flashback of the episode, Henry is waiting to go back to, again guessing Storybrooke here, and is waiting for Cinderella. When he doesn’t find her, he freaks out. So much so, that he lets the portal close before he can go through. All he finds is a glass slipper. This scene is so iconic. My shipper heart exploded! When he picks up the slipper and says, “Operation Glass Slipper is a go!” I was just like, “Yes! Henry! Go!” It’s so iconic, yet so Henry. I just loved it!

Now, let’s move on back to modern times….and the cursed world.

THE MODERN WORLD

Dispersed between the flashbacks, just like any other OUAT episode are scenes of what’s happening in the modern world.

In this world, we see what’s come of all our characters and I’ve already touched on this some above for the characters we already know and love. What about the new ones? What did the curse do to them?

CINDERELLA

In the modern world, she’s Jacinda. She’s a single mother to Lucy. She has a roommate, Sabine (Princess Tiana). She has a crappy job.

In the scene with her boss at the beginning of the episode, I about wanted to punch his lights out. I’m surprised she didn’t. The fact that she called him a jerk to his face and quit made me happy. Yes! Stand up for yourself. No woman gets spoken to by a man like that. EVER!

Sadly, at the end of the episode, she does go back and ask for her job, but I do understand why. However, in that first scene she made me feel so empowered.

Through the episode, Jacinda has many issues. After all this time, she has to still up with Lady Tremaine (Victoria) and Drizella (Ivy), even in their cursed counterparts they make good villains. All I feel is sympathy for Jacinda throughout the whole episode.

Also throughout the episode, she keeps running into Henry. Even cursed, they have chemistry! I ship this so hard.

Then there’s Lucy, the scenes with Lucy are amazing. The bond between mother and daughter gives me so many feels. There’s just nothing Jacinda wouldn’t do to protect Lucy from Victoria and Ivy, and these scenes prove it. She even tries running away with her.

LADY TREMAINE AND DRIZELLA

As I stated above, their storylines interweave with Jacinda and Lucy.

Lady Tremaine, much like in the flash backs is very powerful. She’s been trying to push all the fairytale characters out of Hyperion Heights gradually. She’s ruthless to everyone, even Ivy (Drizella’s cursed counterpart).  Like I said, the character gives Regina from the early seasons a run for her money. It’s a great new villain that I’m looking forward to seeing be brought down eventually.

Ivy, as we know her is just her mother lap dog. She’s a bitch, yes. Honestly, I’m going need more episodes to get a read on her. This was all I got from the character.

WHAT DIDN’T MAKE SENSE OR I DIDN’T LIKE

Things in this episode didn’t make sense to me. Here’s the list:

  • Rogers. Where’s the hook? Captian Hook with NO HOOK. He has a glove on the hand that normally has the hook. Did Rogers get a prosthetic? He can’t regrow his hand. He was using quite normally in a few scenes. I want more information on this.
  • Jancinda and Lucy’s car overheats as they try to leave Seattle. Is this like in Storybrooke where the cars in town would have issues when they tried to leave? I’d like this explained. Is this just a coincidence?
  • The portal Henry uses to leave Storybrooke and then again to try to get back looks like the portal the Ghost Rider uses on Agents of SHIELD. Did it always look like that? Don’t remember these portals looking like that. I just think they could be made to look better than that.

THE QUOTES

The many quotes that I loved throughout the episode:

  • “You just don’t remember because you’re cursed. This why you’re not writing now.” – Lucy
  • “Kid, none of that was real. Snow White isn’t my grandma, my shrink isn’t Jiminy Cricket, I never flew with Peter Pan, and I never crashed into Cinderella’s carriage.” – Henry
  • “I’m not some magic fairy tale character who can swoop in change your life. She’s gotta do what we all do. She’s gotta save herself.” – Henry
  • “Midnight, huh? Then what, the place turns into a pumpkin?” – Henry
  • “Imagine if I walked through that door and told you that I was your son?” – Henry
  • “Never rely on magic. Magic isn’t a power. Because magic can be taken. But fear. Fear lasts forever.” – Lady Tremaine
  • “I was starting to wonder if really did have a kid, but clearly, I don’t. Because meeting you, I’d definitely remember.” – Henry
  • “You should know by now your Grandpa is looking out for you.” – Alice
  • “Trust me, when it’s not your story, bad things happen. When bad things happen, I want to be far, far away.” – Alice
  • “When someone needs help, I help them.” – Henry
  • “No story is perfect. It just needs to start.” – Lucy
  • “It’s not the car, it’s the curse. It wants us to stay here.” – Lucy
  • “The thing is. I do care about my girls.” – Victoria “You sure do have a funny way of showing it.” – Henry
  • “You have such a big and beautiful imagination, and I know why you want to believe in fairytales. Because life is hard. You gotta believe in something. Just this once, can you believe in me?” – Jacinda
  • “Operation Glass Slipper is a go!” – Henry
  • “Your step daughter, she inspired me.” – Roni “By running away?” -Victoria “By not giving in to you. You are so used to pushing people around, I think it’s time you felt what it’s like when someone pushes back.” -Roni
  • “This is my bar. This is my Home. It’s my life.” – Roni

I came into this episode hoping for it to be good. I miss a lot of characters. Mainly Emma, Snow, Charming. However, what they did was amazing and I definitely think that if they do it right, that they have an amazing season on their hands. I really loved it. Especially Henry and Cinderella. Henry and Lucy were awesome too. All in all it was an amazing episode. We all have issues with certain things, but I hope I’ve made my point with what they were, which wasn’t much.

I can’t wait for more Glass Believer!


The next episode on Once Upon A Time is entitled “A Pirate’s Life” and it airs on Friday, October 13, 2017 at 8/7c on ABC.

I’ll be live tweeting on @fangirlishness next Friday, so come join me! Until then, Oncers!

Kayla Blackwell

I’m a fangirl of many things. Currently a writer for Once Upon A Time, but I have many intrests that include comics, country music, and science fiction movies. Basically, I’m a nerd and I blame it on being raised by a single father. Thanks, Dad! I’m a huge fan of the DCTV shows (Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash) and a Chris Wood fangirl forever. Mon-El of Daxam, you have my heart.

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