Thursday, May 10, 2018

Once Upon A Time 7x20 Review: “Is This Henry Mills?” (Reality Check) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Is This Henry Mills?”
Original Airdate: May 4, 2018

It took twenty episodes to get here, but Once Upon A Time is finally back! The third-to-last episode of the series is what any fan should have been waiting for: classic Once Upon A Time trailblazing back into the rebooted final season. While there are only two episodes (which air May 11 and May 18) of the series remaining, the show has found itself again — just in the nick of time. This final three-episode arc is going to bring the emotion, story, and characters full circle and give all of us loyal fans the finale we have always hoped for.


Many curses have been placed on the characters over the seven seasons OUAT has aired, but none has been harder to watch play out than this season’s duplicate of the original curse. The rebooted seventh season has been dull and dragged out an old storyline far too long to be interesting. However, it seems that the the show's creative team has realized their mistakes and decided to right them now. In the previous episode, Lucy helped Facilier clear the dark magic out of Henry’s heart so that true love’s kiss wouldn’t kill him. The long-awaited Henry/Jocinda kiss happened, but the curse wasn’t broken.

This episode picks up with Regina and Lucy feeling helpless because Henry has lost his sense of belief. They spend a majority of the episode trying to convince Henry of the truth that he has been failing to accept. In a last-ditch effort, Regina digs up the Once Upon A Time storybook from Victoria Belfrey’s grave and has Lucy bring Henry to the bar. Regina believes that if Henry touches the book, he will remember who he is and gain his belief back, much like how Emma finally believed in magic when she picked up the book in the first season. Stupidly, Regina and Lucy tell Henry that all he has to do is touch the book to break the spell, which was just lazy writing. Of course, Henry touching the book doesn’t do anything.

Regina is distraught that Henry isn’t her Henry anymore and tries one last time to reason with him by showing him the picture of them together when he was a boy. Henry still doesn’t believe that the picture is real, and Regina goes on to show him the adoption papers that she had signed way back when to prove that she is Regina and his mother. Henry asks that if the stories are real, why aren’t the rest of the heroes with them in Seattle? This is one of the million dollar questions FINALLY asked by a main character in this episode. Shockingly, Regina reveals that the curse not only brought them all to Seattle and wiped their memories, but they were also brought back to a specific moment in time. Yeah, I wasn’t expecting time travel either, and it really doesn’t make any sense at all.

However, the time travel thing does allow for one of the most special moments of the entire series to occur after Regina tells Henry that they, including versions of themselves, are still in Storybrooke, thus why the rest of the original cast is missing. Henry chases a very upset Lucy home and finds that Regina had slipped the picture and papers into his bag when he wasn’t looking. Since he is still curious, Henry takes another look at the papers and sees that Regina’s phone number is listed. The little part of himself that still believes that maybe the whole magic thing could be real wins out, and Henry dials the number to see if there’s another version of Regina out there.

Much to his surprise, younger Henry (Jared Gilmore) picks up the phone. This is a wonderful moment not only because adult Henry is talking to his younger self on his high school graduation day, but it also is what adult Henry needed to wake him up and remember who he is. The moment he hears his own voice, the old Henry is back and has a really nice conversation with his younger self that is definitely worth watching. With Henry’s belief intact, he reunites with Lucy and then runs off to find Regina. Meanwhile, Regina has decided that she must fight Gothel on her own because no one else seems to be able to stop her from recreating her tree nymph world.

Right when Henry arrives to the site of their less-than-epic battle, Gothel knocks Regina out. In a beautiful role reversal moment, Henry goes over to the unconscious Regina and tells her how sorry he is for not believing everything. Henry begs Regina to wake up and kisses her forehead. True love’s kiss breaks the curse exactly like it did in the first season, which is a quintessential Once Upon A Time moment. Everyone gets their memories back and converges to where Regina, Henry, and Gothel are in time to help stop Gothel. In the end, it’s Alice who overpowers Gothel. Alice turns Gothel into a tree and ends that threat once and for all.


So, the big question is what’s next now that the curse is broken? The last two episodes are going to be very interesting because everyone is awake with their original memories and personas, magic is alive and well, and a version of a character is back to wreak some havoc before the final page is turned. The end of the episode features Rumple finding his precious Belle scrapbook at Facilier’s office. Rumple wants to kill Facilier for taking his book, but since he has become a better person, he can’t go through with it. Facilier is then literally stabbed in the back by Wish Realm Rumplestiltskin, who appears out of nowhere.

Wish Rumple kills Facilier and faces his other self. Essentially, Wish Rumple wants the Dark One dagger and will do whatever it takes to get it. It’s unclear how Wish Rumple broke free of the Wish Realm and ended up in Seattle in whatever timeline they are currently in. Question one for the last two episodes: what kind of damage will Wish Rumple cause?

The other interesting part of the last two episodes is the return of almost every character that has appeared in the series. The penultimate episode will feature a plethora of supporting/recurring characters from the past seven years, while the series finale will feature the return of the original cast/main characters. The second question for the finale episodes is: how will all of these characters come back to the show? With the time travel component introduced in this episode, maybe there will be more time traveling in store for us. Or maybe more Wish Realm versions of characters will come through to Seattle much like Wish Rumple.

I, for one, am hoping that we will simply see this year’s characters travel to Storybrooke in the finale and reunite with the original characters for a happy ending. Whatever happens, I finally believe that it will be everything that the show has always about and will be the ending that the fans and characters deserve.


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