REVIEW: Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep20 – Is This Henry Mills?

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep20 – Is This Henry Mills?

Once Upon a Time finally went full circle with another curse broken by True Love’s Kiss all while introducing a timeline twist and the real villain of the season.

Just when you thought Once Upon a Time could not get any more confusing, this episode revealed that Mother Gothel’s curse transported everyone not only to Hyperion Heights and a Land Without Magic, but also to a different time. Regina and Lucy discovered that they had been transported to the past, particularly in the time right before Henry left Storybrooke. It’s a pretty interesting twist, all things considered, and it conveniently explains why no one else from Storybrooke has come to help those were cursed.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep20 – Is This Henry Mills?In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Adam Horowitz talks more about this:

“Everybody in Storybrooke would have no idea that anyone was gone or in trouble, so no one would come after them…What’s been going on throughout the whole season, the reason that Emma’s never shown up, or nobody’s ever come to look for them, is as far as they’re concerned, everybody’s back in Storybrooke and fine.”

The rest of the episode was spent with Regina and Lucy trying to get Henry to believe again since the curse didn’t break after he kissed Jacinda last week. Mother Gothel explains that he has lost his heart of a believer because the adult world and the pain of losing his family made him jaded and cynical. This is slightly inconsistent with him starting to believe in magic just a few episodes ago but the plot gets what it demands. We at least got cool flashbacks to young Henry and Regina just when the former was struggling about which direction to take in life.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep20 – Is This Henry Mills?After trying to explain everything to adult Henry, Regina storms off in frustration. But in one of the most interesting scenes on the show, Henry calls Storybrooke and speaks to a younger version of himself. Talk about timey-wimey! But it was effective and moving to see the older Henry inspire his young self to go out into the world and have his own adventures. After living in the shadow of his illustrious family, it was his turn to make his mark, and so he did, on a long, painful, but also wonderful journey which was essentially season 7.

Henry regains his belief and arrives just in time to see his mother defeated by Mother Gothel. Luckily, he gives her True Love’s Kiss that breaks the curse, a really cool parallel to when Emma kissed him way back in season one. Everyone’s memories and magic are restored and there are joyful family reunions all around.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep20 – Is This Henry Mills?The closing scenes showed Rumple coming face-to-face with the villainous Samdi but not killing him. But in a new twist, Samdi is stabbed in the back by wish realm! Rumple (in scaly glory) and he is revealed as the true villain of the season and, given that we are about to watch the Once Upon a Time series finale, the villain of the whole show. Edward Kitsis talk more about this in an EW interview:

“One of the most fearsome villains that has ever been on the show was Rumplestiltskin…Wish Realm Rumplestiltskin is a version of Rumplestiltskin without Baelfire or Belle. So, you are talking about a Rumplestiltskin without hope. He is unleashed.”

Horowitz adds:

“With the arrival of Wish Rumple, chaos is unleashed. It forces our characters to not just confront him as an antagonist, but to confront many things about themselves, and it’s an unexpected roller coaster ride where we purposely tried to create a zag where you thought we’d zig.”

So, we’re in the home stretch now but I think the Once Upon a Time showrunners have chosen a very interesting final villain to be faced as opposed to Mother Gothel or her coven. The series really has always been about complicated individuals facing their inner demons and it would be most fitting to see how they triumph over their darkness as the curtain falls on their stories.