‘Once Upon a Time’ (Season 7): Operation Next Chapter

The long-running fairytale drama Once Upon a Time returned to ABC about two weeks ago with the start of a new chapter; in fact, grown-up Henry and his adopted mother Regina made an agreement they would start a new operation: Operation Next Chapter.

But that operation has gone off the rails because of a new curse set in a new town – Hyperion Heights in the State of Washington – with a whole lot of new faces and a few returning ones as well. The operation has also gone off the rails because of those changes to the format of the show. At the end of season six all of the main characters in Storybrooke, Maine finally got their happy endings and maybe that is where the show should have rightfully ended.

The introduction of a grown-up Henry and the alternate realm Cinderella should have felt like the continuation of Snow White and Prince Charming’s love affair – after all they are Henry’s biological grandparents. But sadly it hasn’t come across that way for many fans and the dwindling viewers of the once-highly-rated series. The chemistry just isn’t there between the two – try as they might to make Henry and Cinderella the new star-crossed lovers.

The curse in Hyperion Heights feels a bit too forced while the alternate lives of Regina, Rumple and Hook – who was revealed in last Friday’s episode to actually be the alternate world Hook morphed from an overweight, former alcoholic into the Storybrooke world doppelganger – seemed a bit uninspired and, honestly, not all that interesting.

Even the villains – Lady Tremaine aka Victoria Belfry (bats in the belfry, anyone?) and her seemingly push-over daughter Drizella aka ivy Belfry – don’t even come close to how scary the Evil Queen was during the first season. [As an aside, I cannot stand the eyebrows on the beautiful face of Gabrielle Anwar and have to wonder just what is going on with her face?!] Both of those characters are simply hateful not frightening. They don’t even come close to the same love-hate feelings that the Evil Queen/Regina Mills exuded during the debut season of the show.

I do have to say it was great to see the real Captain Hook and Emma Swan reunite with Henry in the alternate realm when he sent that message in a bottle after being captured by Lady Tremaine not to mention that we learned that they are going to become parents, but it just seemed, well, lackluster to say the least. This should have been a joyous celebration, but the enthusiasm has severely waned much like how the ratings have severely dropped over the last few seasons of the show.

How do you feel about the “next chapter” of the show? Do you like the relationship between grown-up Henry and Cinderella aka Jacinda? What do you think about the new curse and the new town of Hyperion Heights? Please share your thoughts in our comments section below.

The next new episode of the 7th season of ‘Once Upon a Time’ will air on ABC on Friday, October 20 at 8 PM.