Season 7 of the long-running ABC fairy-tale drama Once Upon A Time began with a question. How do you continue a much loved series with only 3 returning series regulars?
For show runners Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis the answer was simple; start a new story.
This story takes place after Henry decides he wants to find his own story and journeys into the enchanted forest. As a result of his magical meddling he is transformed into an adult Henry played by Andrew J. West, thus completing the needed preface for the soft reboot. He stumbles upon Cinderella (Dania Ramirez), though it is not the version he has become accustomed to, she is not interested in getting a happy ending. This princess is more interesting in getting revenge.
This was teased of course in the last episode of season 6, along with a defining conclusion for most of the previous series regulars. That warm closure was nice, and honestly I totally understand the need for a clean slate. Season 6 definitely felt like the end of that story. This new season introduces some of our favorite characters in totally new roles. Hook is now a police officer, haunted by his past, Mr. Gold is still on the edge of the law, and, in one of my favorite changes, Regina is now Roni an a local bar owner with some serious attitude and a monologue that Snow White would be proud of.
Season 7 consisted of a lot of changes, and therefore was one of the most expositional episodes of Once Upon A Time I have ever seen, but it was necessary. I am very excited to see a matured Henry and the implications that means for his past. I am also looking forward to some of the more diverse casting decisions and the new take on old stories that this version Cinderella presents to the Once Upon A Time universe. All in all, I am intrigued by this new approach and am willing to stick it out and read the fill in the holes of this new tale.
And with the words Once Upon A Time… the story continues.