By Natalie Abrams
October 06, 2017 at 09:00 PM EDT

Once Upon a Time

  • TV Show

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season 7 premiere of Once Upon a Time. Read at your own risk!

Once Upon a Time has officially cracked open a new book, trapping some of our favorite fairy tale characters in a new curse and kicking off what’s hopefully a long road ahead as the show heads in a different direction.

So here are the basics of what happened in the premiere: Young Henry (Jared Gilmore) left Storybrooke to find his story. Years later, Henry (now played by Andrew J. West) crosses paths with Cinderella (Dania Ramirez), the catalyst for what viewers know will be an epic love story — though their initial meeting does not indicate that.

After they literally crash into each other, the glass-slippered princess steals Henry’s motorcycle so she can kill the prince at the ball. Twist. (By the way, that prince is played by Liam Hall, who will portray Slade Wilson’s son on Arrow this season.) But Cinderella decides not to kill him at the last second. Another twist: Lady Tremaine (Gabrielle Anwar) does and frames her, so Cinderella must escape with the aid of Henry. (Side note: Henry was dosed by Rose Reynolds’ Alice, who was working for Robert Carlyle’s Rumplestiltskin, because apparently bad things happen when you take part in a story that isn’t yours.)

That’s all fine and good in fairy-tale land, but all these dynamics are wildly different in the Seattle-based cursed neighborhood of Hyperion Heights. Jacinda is a single mother working to stay afloat — at Mr. Cluck’s Chicken Shack, a cheeky reference to Lost. Henry is a Swyft driver, which is the equivalent to Uber. He wrote a book called Once Upon a Time, which told the stories of the first six seasons, but it didn’t sell. He has writer’s block until Lucy (Alison Fernandez) shows up at his door and claims to be his daughter. He, of course, doesn’t believe her because he’s cursed.

Eike Schroter/ABC

After Lucy steals his laptop, he goes to Roni’s bar to get it back. Roni, by the way, is Regina’s (Lana Parrilla) cursed alter ego, so the two don’t know that they’re mother and son. This is also where he first meets Jacinda as well as Victoria, a.k.a Lady Tremaine, the vicious Miranda Priestly-like developer who is gentrifying the neighborhood to push out the fairy tale characters. After Jacinda tries to leave town with Lucy, a fact Henry spills to Victoria, her stepmother decidedly takes custody of Lucy, a real twist of the knife considering they’re already under a curse!

Henry also crosses paths with Rogers, otherwise known as Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), when his car is stolen — clearly to keep him in the neighborhood. Officer Rogers is a uniform cop who ultimately is promoted to detective by hour’s end. His new partner? Weaver, a.k.a Rumplestiltskin, who appears to be a corrupt cop seemingly in Victoria’s pocket. (The mystery behind Gold’s new character is finally solved!) Sure, we got a lot of answers, but the premiere raised just as many burning questions. Here’s our attempt at breaking them down:

  • Who cast the curse? Unlike how the pilot revealed Regina was to blame for the Dark Curse, we still don’t know. A fairly obvious answer is that Lady Tremaine did it, but is that too obvious?
  • How did Regina, Hook, and Rumple end up cursed? No answers during the premiere, but the producers have previously teased that the trio are among those who answer Henry’s call for help, which we’ll get to see during episode 2.
  • Why is Hook in Hyperion Heights, but not Emma? It’s one of the biggest burning questions of the season, and unfortunately, the premiere gave no clear indication of why. When Rogers saw Emma’s picture in Henry’s book, there did seem to be a glimmer of recognition.The good news is that viewers will get more answers during the second episode, which features the return of Jennifer Morrison for an “emotional curtain call.”
  • What’s the Hyperion Heights version of the clock tower? In the pilot, the Storybrooke clock tower was frozen at 8:15 — another reference to Lost — but it started working again when Emma (Jennifer Morrison) decided to stay in Storybrooke. It appears that the community garden may be the equivalent, as Cinderella’s lucky flower begins to grow after she makes a wish in the wishing well. Also a candidate: The clock ticking could be the equivalent to Henry’s writer’s block abating by the end of the hour. Henry’s arrival certainly seemed to spark something, at least, within Roni, who ends up not selling her bar to Victoria by hour’s end.
  • What did the prince do to Cinderella? She aimed to kill him at the ball, explaining to Henry that he took everything from her. No answers now, but surely there will be more in the upcoming flashbacks.
  • What are the consequences of Henry being in a story that’s not his? Alice drugged him during the ball, all but threatening him that bad things happen when you’re involved in a story that doesn’t belong to you. Could the curse be one of those consequences?
  • Why is Alice working for Weaver and Rumplestiltskin? Not only does Alice do his bidding in the fairy-tale world, but her Hyperion Heights alter ego Tilly tells Weaver as soon as Henry shows up. How are they connected? TBD, of course!
  • Where is Belle? Speaking of Weaver, it appears Rumple is back to his evil ways, and Belle is nowhere to be found. What has happened to her? Another TBD question, but we should get answers in the Rumple-centric fourth episode, which features the return of Emilie de Ravin.

Once Upon a Time airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. For more on what’s ahead this season, read our interviews with the cast and executive producers here.

Episode Recaps

Once Upon a Time

Everything you’ve ever read about fairy tales is true—the residents of Storybrooke are living proof.

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  • 7
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