REVIEW: Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 8 – Pretty In Blue

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 8 - Pretty In Blue

In the second episode of Once Upon a Time this week, Cinderella and Henry finally kiss and a new, dangerous curse is revealed.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 8 - Pretty In BlueComing in from the reveal that Alice is Hook’s daughter, we are treated to some heartwarming scenes between father and daughter back in the wish realm. There is clearly a deep affection between them, though they are both afflicted with a torturous curse. Seeing them reunite briefly only to be separated again by the curse was compelling, and allowed for a short (and fairly unnecessary) trip to Wonderland, full of green screen and sketchy CGI, as usual.

I’m less invested in Henry and Cinderella’s love story since it’s already a given, and the only really compelling aspect of it is that they are separated by the curse. Too much of their backstory feels like a re-tread of familiar territory in Once Upon a Time, particularly of Snow and Charming’s epic love story. Henry even points this out when they both get trapped in a net, EXACTLY like Snow and Charming back in the day.

I don’t know why the Once Upon a Time writers feel the need to repeat story beats when they could develop a new romance in fresher, more interesting ways. But I suppose they don’t want to experiment with a formula that worked the first time. Nevertheless, the lack of risk-taking leads to some pretty dull “romantic tension” between the two main characters we are supposed to be rooting for.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 8 - Pretty In BlueThere were several “almost kiss” teases before Ella finally decided to open her heart and give in to love, after Henry’s heart is almost poisoned and cursed by Drizella.

Speaking of this new curse: the poisoned heart, where one cannot touch or be near a beloved or risk killing them, is an interesting addition to Once Upon a Time lore. It poses a new ordeal not only for couples with True Love (Cinderella’s parents, Cinderella and Henry eventually by the hints Drizella’s been giving Regina), but also families (Hook and Alice). The curse is apparently administered through a mushroom from Wonderland, as Drizella demonstrates. She clearly is more successful in her mission by the time she casts the curse on Hyperion Heights.

There was a short but intriguing scene where Regina tries to ally with Rumple, who stubbornly refuses to admit to her that he’s awake. As usual, he wants to keep his cards close to his chest. It’s implied that he needs the Guardian in order to finally rid himself of the Dark Curse, and it’s also hinted that this guardian is actually Alice, which accounts for his connection with her in Hyperion Heights. But we’ll have to wait a bit more before this connection is explained.

Once Upon a Time, S7 Ep 8 - Pretty In BlueEven with Victoria Belfrey in jail, Jacinda can’t get Lucy back because of some problems with social services. Drizella and Gothel are in cahoots to try and wake Anastasia up, for some mysterious reason, but Belfrey managed to outsmart her wily daughter and has Anastasia’s body hidden away somewhere.

A new complication arrives in the Heights in the form of Nick, Jacinda’s ex, and Lucy’s father supposedly (what Lucy calls a Katherine Nolan situation, with reference to the first season of the show). The handsome, cool lawyer (and former drummer) makes Henry feel threatened and puts the romance between him and Jacinda on hold (no help from Regina there, since she’s trying to save Henry from True Love’s Kiss as well). But in the flashback, “Nick” is actually a friend of Henry’s named Jack (and is probably associated with a certain beanstalk). As more is revealed, more questions and mysteries arise on Once Upon a Time.