Warning: This recap for the “Hyperion Heights” episode of Once Upon a Time contains spoilers.
Once Upon a Time … now Twice Upon a Time?
The fairy-tale drama has received a major makeover for Season 7. With many of the original cast members gone, the story is resetting almost entirely. And yet it feels as familiar as ever.
Instead of Emma venturing to Storybrooke — with her biological son, Henry, trying to convince her that fairy tales are real — it’s Henry in those same shoes. He’s an adult now, with no memory of who he used to be. To him, those tales are just a fictional book he once wrote.
Now his young daughter, Lucy, finds him. And just as her dad was when he was young, she is a true believer. She makes it her mission to convince him that fairy tales are real, he’s a part of them, and he can save their family.
Will Henry, like Emma before him, learn to believe again?
Here’s a rundown of the premiere episode…
Hero of the week: Henry
The Henry who grew up before our eyes (played by Jared S. Gilmore) is departing Storybrooke. He has graduated from high school, and he wants to explore the realms mentioned in other fairy-tale stories. With one last farewell to his adoptive mother, Regina, he zooms away on his motorcycle…
Years later, adult Henry (now Andrew J. West) is tearing through a version of the Enchanted Forest and nearly collides with Cinderella’s carriage. She’s on her way to the ball to meet her prince, but now her ride is messed up! Henry offers to take her on his bike — only for Cinderella to steal it and take off.
At the ball, Cinderella carefully avoids her wicked stepmother, Lady Tremaine, and annoying stepsister Drusilla. She’s about to meet the prince when Henry taps her on the shoulder. He has realized that she not only stole his bike, but also his dagger. Cinderella doesn’t want to fall in love with the prince — she’s here to kill him in revenge for something he did to her family.
Henry pleads with her not to kill the prince, but to journey to another realm with him. As Cinderella walks away, he gets woozy. He wakes up to find himself a captive of Alice (yes, from Wonderland). “This isn’t your story, Henry Mills,” she warns him. “When it’s not your story, bad things happen.”
Henry refuses to go home, though, and once free, he finds Cinderella. But before she can kill the prince, he’s shot … by Lady Tremaine. She’s angry that the prince rejected Drusilla, so she wants his younger brother to take over and marry her daughter.
The guards swarm, and Henry and Cinderella team up to fight them off. She runs off, but when Henry goes to meet her at the appointed place, she’s not there. One glass slipper is, though, and when the portal opens to whisk him off to another realm, he lets it close. Henry is determined to find Cinderella.
Villain of the week: Victoria
In the present day, Henry is trying to start a new novel in his Seattle apartment when a girl named Lucy shows up at his door. She tells him that his fairy tales are real and that cursed characters are living in the neighborhood of Hyperion Heights — including his true love and her mother, Cinderella.
She steals his laptop to force him to venture to Hyperion Heights, where he meets local bartender Roni … aka Regina, his mother (though neither knows it, because of the curse).
Meanwhile, Lucy’s mother — whose real-world name is Jacinda — is trying to keep her life together. She loses her job, then discovers Lucy missing. And the stolen laptop is just the icing on the bad-day cake. Jacinda returns it to Henry and apologizes, and their first meeting is filled with sparks.
Unfortunately, Jacinda’s life is about to get worse, thanks to her stepmother, Victoria Belfrey (aka Lady Tremaine). Victoria wants Lucy to come live with her and uses knowledge about the no-good-very-bad-day against her stepdaughter. So, Jacinda decides to take Lucy and try to flee to Bainbridge Island.
Henry’s car is stolen, and he teams up with police officer Rogers (aka Captain Hook) to track it down. Victoria happens to run into them at the police station, where she is reporting Jacinda and Lucy’s disappearance. She leans on Henry, and his desire for his returned car, to spill the beans about Lucy’s fantasy of running away to a peaceful island.
Drusilla arrives at the ferry station to take Lucy away, and gives her fairy-tale book to Rogers. He flips through it and spies an image of Emma … and something stirs deep within his memory.
But he doesn’t have long to dwell on that because he learns that he’s getting a promotion to detective and a new partner … Weaver, aka Rumpelstiltskin!
Jacinda returns to her workplace to ask for her job back, and makes a wish at the well that her daughter believes in so much.
At her bar, Roni tears up a contract for Victoria to buy the place. She isn’t going to let her push everyone around anymore.
“Things can seem hopeless, when suddenly someone gives the rest of us inspiration,” Roni declares.
And in his apartment, Henry types on his laptop: “Once upon a time…”
Once Upon a Time airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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