|Season 7, Episode 1|
|Airdate||October 6, 2017|
|Written by|| Edward Kitsis|
|Directed by||Ralph Hemecker|
The Final Battle
A Pirate's Life
In the episode, a new chapter begins for the now adult Henry when his daughter Lucy finds him in the hopes of restoring the memories of their family, as they’re now cursed in a Seattle neighborhood called Hyperion Heights, while Henry’s encounter with Cinderella sets the stage for a new adventure and how the new curse began.
View the Hyperion Heights Gallery.
Seattle's backdrop and the Space Needle are featured, alongside a new set of animations and transitions for the title logo, as well as a modified opening of the theme song.
In the characters' past
With everyone's story now fulfilled, Henry plans on setting out to find his own story by travelling to new realms described in the storybooks found in the Sorcerer's mansion. Though Regina worries he's too young to be leaving home, he assures her that he will be fine, taking August's motorcycle with him as he uses a magic bean to open a portal into another realm.
The Magical Forest
Years later, as Henry rides through a forest, he narrowly avoids a collision with an oncoming carriage, resulting in the woman inside being thrown to the ground. Realizing he has met this realm's version of Cinderella, he offers her a ride to the ball as an apology. Cinderella, however, knocks him out and takes the motorcycle once she's been shown how it works, with Henry chasing her. At the same time, Lady Tremaine is about to set off for the palace, having clipped the Fairy Godmother’s wings and taken her wand. When questioned why she is doing this, she explains to Drizella that magic has no power compared to fear, a point she drives home by destroying the Fairy Godmother.
As Cinderella arrives at the ball, she tries to make her way to the prince, but is confronted by Henry. When pressed why she stole his bike and a dagger of his, she admits that she had an ulterior motive for coming to the ball; she plans on killing the prince, as vengeance for ruining her family and driving her father to an early death. Henry tries to talk her out of it and gives her a hyacinth flower for luck, telling her that he is returning to his own realm at midnight, and that she could start a new life there. Before he can pursue her any further, however, he blacks out and learns that his drink was drugged by Alice, a mysterious woman ordered by Rumpelstiltskin to keep a eye on Henry. Despite her warnings of the dangers of meddling in someone else's story, Henry chooses to stay and help. As Cinderella meets the prince, she pulls out the dagger, but eventually has a change of heart. Unfortunately, Tremaine takes the opportunity to kill him for turning down Drizella, and frames Cinderella for the murder. As the guards close in, Henry breaks out of his trance and helps Cinderella to escape, reiterating his offer and telling her to meet him where her carriage crashed.
After escaping the palace, Henry returns to the carriage and prepares to open a portal, assuming Cinderella has abandoned the idea. Upon discovering one of her glass slippers, however, he takes it as a sign, and chooses to remain in the new realm to undertake "Operation Glass Slipper".
Henry is now making ends meet as freelance cab driver, struggling with writer's block after the failure of his book, Once Upon a Time. When Lucy arrives at his apartment, she tells Henry that she is his daughter and that his family needs him, although Henry refuses to believe her and turns her away. The next day, Jacinda, Lucy's mother, shows up late for work at Cluck’s Chicken, but quits when calling out her boss for his bad temper. When she returns to her apartment, she tells her roommate, Sabine, about having quit her job, but is stunned to find that Lucy has snuck out without her knowledge. In Belfrey Tower, Jacinda's stepmother Victoria grows increasingly irritated with what she sees as Jacinda's irresponsibility, and plans on taking full custody of her granddaughter, all while buying out smaller businesses and raising rent to push the cursed inhabitants out of the neighborhood.
Later on, Henry discovers his laptop missing and finds a note to meet at Roni’s Bar to get it back from Lucy. After a brief encounter with a woman named Tilly (Alice from the ball) he goes to Roni’s, and is greeted by the eponymous owner, who happens to be Regina with her memories stripped by the curse. Meanwhile, Jacinda finds Lucy at the wishing well in the community garden, who tells her that she found Henry, despite her mother's skepticism. Jacinda then returns the laptop back to Henry, and the two are encouraged by Roni to share a drink. However, Victoria shows up, ready to buy out Roni’s bar and to deal with Jacinda, telling her that she'll be taking full custody of Lucy. Henry attempts to defuse the tension between the three, but is warned by Victoria to stay out of her business. Afterwards, Lucy meets him at the garden, and attempts to convince him about the curse, only for Henry to reveal that his wife and child perished in a fire years ago. Finding that his car has been stolen, Henry goes to the nearby police station, and reports it missing to a cursed Killian Jones, who now lives as Officer Rogers with no memories of his past life. In another part of town, Tilly enters an abandoned warehouse to find her boss, Rumpelstiltskin, now living under the cursed identity of Detective Weaver, and informs him of Henry's arrival.
Back at the garden, Lucy is planting seeds around the well, when Jacinda arrives to take her to Bainbridge Island across the lake, so they can be together and escape from Victoria. When they arrive at the town line, Jacinda's car breaks down and the elevator to the docks has been closed, which Lucy believes means they’re trapped in Hyperion Heights, much like the residents of Storybrooke were. At the police station, Victoria interrupts Henry and Rogers to ask the officer to help find Lucy and Jacinda, believing that Henry knows something. Victoria's daughter Ivy and Officer Rogers find the pair, who have decided to stay and fight Victoria's claim. As Ivy gives Rogers Lucy's Once Upon a Time book, and insists that it be thrown away, Rogers catches sight of a specific page featuring a picture of Emma Swan.
Later that night, Victoria returns to Roni’s with a contract to have Roni sign over the place. Unfortunately, Roni changes her mind and tells Victoria that she is not selling out. Having been inspired by Jacinda's decision, she tells Victoria that she won’t be ordered around by her, and this is just the beginning. At the same time, Rogers examines a picture of Emma Swan in Lucy's book, and learns that his new partner is Detective Weaver. Henry begins work on a new story, and Jacinda returns to her job at Cluck’s Chicken. On her way home, Jacinda finds a quarter and uses it to make a wish at the well, causing a hyacinth flower to sprout out of the ground.
"Hyperion Heights" was directed by Ralph Hemecker and written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. In January 2017, while season 6 was still in production, ABC president Channing Dungey spoke of a possible "reset" of the show's narrative. After much speculation, executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis later confirmed that certain characters would have their storylines wrapped up and that the back-end of the sixth season had been written with the season 7 narrative change in mind. Despite the major changes from seasons past, the showrunners have said that they do not view season 7 as a reboot of the show: "We're more thinking about it as a hybrid of a lot of things. We're paying homage to the original premise, but there are certain characters who are returning and some who are not. It's a combination of a lot of things, but what we're trying to do is go in a new direction but stay true to the spirit of what the show has always been." ABC renewed the series for a seventh season on May 11, 2017. The premiere date was revealed in July, along with announcement of the new timeslot, Fridays. The table read for this installment began in July 7, 2017.
- When Henry throws his keys on his counter, his keyring has a swan on it. Emma Swan is his mother.
- Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Josh Dallas, Emilie de Ravin, Jared Gilmore, and Rebecca Mader are no longer credited as series regulars.
- The name Jacinda is a variant form of Hyacinth, the name of the flowers that keep popping up throughout the episode.
- The show has been moved from Sunday nights to Friday nights.
- Andrew J. West, Dania Ramirez, Gabrielle Anwar, and Alison Fernandez are now credited as series regulars.
- Most, if not all, of the season 7 filming locations are centered around Columbia Street (usually between Sixth and Eight Streets) in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.
- Henry's apartment number is 815. The clock tower in Storybrooke was stuck at 8:15 until Emma broke the curse.
- When Lady Tremaine has the fairy godmother's wand and says that magic isn't power, the line is in direct opposition to Rumpelstiltskin's belief that magic is power.