Once Upon a Time is back with a packed lineup of new cast members and a totally rebooted premise for Season 7.
There's a new curse in town, but this time Regina (Lana Parrilla), Rumple (Robert Carlyle), Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) and Henry (Andrew J. West) are the ones who can't remember who they are. The premiere was full of homages to earlier seasons (like Henry carrying Emma's swan pendant on his key chain — OMG too cute!), but the one thing that was totally new? Rumple's cursed identity.
Instead of seeing the suave and calculating pawn shop owner Mr. Gold we're used to, we got what we can only assume is a corrupt cop, Detective Weaver, whose methods of interrogation break several Miranda rights — and maybe the Geneva Convention? Wherever he draws his moral line, we can assume it's probably going to clash with that of his new partner Officer Rogers, a.k.a Hook.
Rumple and Hook have always had a tense relationship given their shared history with Rumple's wife, so to see them partner up — under the influence of a curse, no less — should either be super comedic or it will end in tragedy. It's a toss up really. Mostly, it's just sparking ideas for a buddy-cop spinoff.
Most of the episode focused on setting up the love story between Henry and Cinderella (Dania Ramirez) both in the Enchanted Forest and in Hyperion Heights. There are still quite a few mysteries to solve in order to explain how this new curse came about, but can we just say... this curse is kind of low-rent when compared to Regina's in Season 1.
For one, Lady Tremaine's (Gabrielle Anwar) curse seems like a half-baked attempt to create a few flimsy aliases. Like come on, you didn't even build the cemetery where Henry's fake dead family is supposed to be buried? That's just lazy spell work. Rumplestiltskin would be so ashamed — if he could remember who he was, that is. And what about Tremaine turning her favorite daughter Drizella (Adelaide Kane) into her assistant? That's just cold!
So far, this season is shaping up to be a fresh new take on a story we've loved for the past six years, while still remaining faithful to the heart of the show. Plus, the next few episodes promise to deliver closure on characters we've left behind like Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Belle (Emilie de Ravin), Zelena (Rebecca Mader) and more.
Once Upon a Time airs Fridays at 8/7c on ABC.