As one story comes to a close, another one begins. Once Upon a Time heads out to Seattle as another curse unfolds and new characters take center stage.
Season 7 kicked off with a premiere that felt as though a new show had just begun. In a way it did, this is a new book, completely different story and in theory you don’t need the first six seasons to follow along. There are some familiar faces, but the premise of this story is completely new. This was a risk. One that seems like it may work. This episode followed the formula that got Once Upon a Time on the map, which is risky but this does give them more creative room to play around.
There are a lot of similarities between this episode and the pilot. A lot of parallels. Henry and Lucy are more or less following the same stages that Emma and Henry did. She needs to get him to believe, the only difference being he once did believe. He’s also cursed. Emma didn’t have cursed memories, she escaped the dark curse and grew up on the streets. She had a hard life. Henry, on the other hand, has cursed memories. We know what his childhood consisted of. He got trapped in another realm after deciding to go look for Cinderella instead of taking the portal home.
Victoria (Lady Tremaine) is very much Regina-esque in that she’s in charge. She may not be mayor but she’s buying everyone out and has her paws in everything. Of course her entrance was more Meryl Streep in The Devil Wear’s Prada than Evil Queen. Her daughter (Drizella) also seems to have a bit of Regina in her. Not to mention, Adelaide Kaine looks like she can be related to Lana Parrilla. This show is known for their familial connections so I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up being a long lost cousin or something — which reminds me, when are they announcing Regina fathered Maleficent’s child? Lily looks more like her anyway.
Cinderella is definitely a badass like Snow was. Her love story with Henry is following the course of Snow and Charming’s. There’s something there, but she hits him over the head. And if he’s about to risk his life and bring his loved ones into something to save her, he’s definitely got that Charming blood running through his veins.
There were a lot of little anecdotes that gave a shout out to classic Disney or Once Upon a Time book 1. Henry asking Roni what would she do if he came in and said he was her son was comical. There was a little glimmer in his eye when he said it, that might not have been intentional, but maybe they are getting bits and pieces of their old lives back. Hook takes pause when he sees a picture of Emma and Rumple/Weaver seems like he’s still awake. Rumple is always awake, I’d be surprised if he wasn’t.
My favorite scene of the night was the last one — Roni’s hope speech. Roni being the one to give the hope speech is ironic, seeing as Regina hated them, but it’s one speech that really sinks in. She says that just because your life isn’t where you want it to be you don’t quit. You don’t give up on it. Things will get better. This too, shall pass. Things always get better. Roni is going to be the beacon that keeps these characters together, you can already see it. There is a moment in her monologue that was very reminiscent of Kate Beckett from Castle, Beckett’s monologue was one where she was making a big decision. Roni is doing that here when she’s saying no, we’re not giving in.
Overall the episode was solid. This premiere was way better than the last two premieres. This season has a higher potential at great storylines than the last few seasons. It’s different, there’s no doubt about that, and if you are looking for the same show you’ve watched this isn’t going to be your cup of tea. However, if you can put aside that most of the OG cast is out and this isn’t what we’re used to, you might enjoy it. Season 1 of the show is still the strongest. This has potential.
Once Upon A Time returns with an all new episode next Friday, October 13, at 8pm on ABC.