This article is about the episode. For the location, see Hyperion Heights (location).
- “Once Upon a Time there was a magical forest filled with fairy tale characters.
One day a powerful curse trapped them in a city which had no magic. And each of them forgot who they really were.
This is how it happened...”
"Hyperion Heights" is the first episode of the seventh season of ABC's Once Upon a Time and the one-hundredth and thirty-forth episode of the series overall. It aired on October 6, 2017 and was written by show creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and directed by Ralph Hemecker.
In the season premiere episode, Henry leaves Storybrooke in search of his own story. Years later in another realm, he encounters a troubled Cinderella, changing the trajectory of his quest forever. When Cinderella's evil step-mother, Lady Tremaine, poses a threat, Henry discovers that following his heart will require him to make more difficult choices than he ever could have imagined. Years later, a young Lucy finds a disillusioned Henry at his home in Seattle, determined to make him remember his true self in order to defeat the curse afflicting the fairytale characters of Hyperion Heights.
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. He explains that he discovered that there's different versions of characters they've already met and know, and he wants to find his own place among them. 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.
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. Seeing the woman in a blue dress and glasses slippers, Henry realizes that he just interrupted a classic story. He just knocked the story this realm's version of Cinderella off course. Wanting to get her story back on track, Henry 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, 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.
- This episode holds many parallels to the "Pilot".
- The opening of the episode features title cards.
- A new location is featured, in which cursed fairytale characters live.
- A child who believes, tries to convince their parent, fairytales are real.
- The evil stepmother in the magical realm, lives in high authority, in her cursed life, and terrorizes her step-daughter.
- Both episodes end with the curse showing signs of weakening.
- Much like Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, Lady Tremaine is seen obtaining the Fairy Godmother's wand. However, unlike her counterpart, this Lady Tremaine believes true power comes from fear not magic.