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...
Regina asks Henry if he's sure about it. He tells his mother that college isn't anywhere and he needs to leave now that they have their happy endings. Now he needs to figure out what his story is. When Henry returned to the Sorcerer's mansion, he found hundreds of other books with stories he knew told differently. He's not in any of them, so he figures that he needs to determine where he belongs. Regina hugs him and he tosses his last magic bean to make a portal. He then drives off into the portal on his adventure.
A New Realm, Years Later...
A now-adult Henry drives down a road and comes to a woman in a carriage. He swerves and misses her, and she goes off the road and falls into a patch of flowers. Henry runs over and sees her glass slippers, and realizes that it's Cinderella
In Seattle, Henry drives people through the city via an Uber-like service. Later he goes to his apartment and looks at his laptop where he's started a story but can't go any further. A young girl, Lucy, knocks at his door and says that he's her daughter. He lets her in and Henry says that he doesn't have a daughter, and Lucy tells him that the curse changed his memories. Lucy complains that the place is a dump and sees that he's having trouble writing, and says that he has some work to do. Henry closes his laptop and says that he's not writing because he's not writing his own story. She invites him to come to Hyperion Heights, saying that it's like Storybrooke in his story, and he can meet his true love and break the curse. Henry insists that none of it is real, but Lucy tells him that he returned all the happy endings and now he has to do it again. Her grandmother, Cinderella's mother, is trying to bring real people in so the fairy tale people move away and get separated. Everyone will lose each other, just like Henry lost Cinderella. Henry doesn't believe her, and tells her that Cinderella will have to save herself.
In Hyperion Heights, Jacinda/Cinderella runs to the diner where she works, and her boss Louie complains that she's late. When a co-worker Carl spills some chicken, Jacinda tells him that he's a jerk. Louie demands that he apologizes, and says that the job is the best she can do so she doesn't have a choice. Jacinda refuses and quits.
Henry wakes Cinderella up and confirms that she's okay. She complains that he broke his carriage and scared off her steed, He explains that he was heading home and the portal would soon close. Cinderella says that she was heading home and needs help now that Henry broke her carriage, and admits that she has a prince to find. Henry offers her a ride on his motorcycle and she accepts, smiling.
The next day, Henry discovers that his laptop is gone. There's a note from Lucy telling him to meet her in Hyperion Heights if he wants it back. he drives there and finds a statue of a troll beneath the bridge. Continuing on, Henry drives into the area of downtown Seattle and arrives at the location: a bar named Roni's. A girl, Tilly, drops down and looks at him for a moment and then walks away. Henry goes into Roni's and finds a woman Roni there... who is Regina.
Roni doesn't recognize Henry, and he sits down to have a drink. She explains that Victoria Belfrey is buying everything and bringing folks in, destroying the community. Henry asks her what she would say if he said that he was her son.
Henry shows Cinderella how to drive the motorcycle and gets on, and asks how her story ends. He tells her that the Prince has to find her most, and she leaves him the glass slipper as a sign. Cinderella says that she doesn't believe in signs and says that the story could use a twist, punches Henry off the motorcycle, and drives off on it.
Jacinda returns home and tells her mother Sabine that she quit. She says that she'll figure something out, and Sabine warns that her stepmother won't be happy. Jacinda says that it's time for Lucy to go to her, and checks her daughter's room. Lucy has left some pillows propped up under the pillows, and Jacinda worried that her stepmother will kill both of them.
Victoria arrives at Belfrey Towers and her personal assistant Ivy spots her. She warns the employees to look busy, and when Victoria comes in she demands to know where her granddaughter is. she tells Ivy to stop succeeding and goes into her office.
Lady Tremaine--Victoria--abducts Cinderella's fairy godmother and cuts off her wings. When the Fairy Godmother wakes up, Tremaine introduces her daughter Drizella--Ivy--and tells her that she needs to learn what real power is. She has the Fairy Godmother's wand, but tells Ivy that magic isn't power because magic can be taken while fear lasts forever. Tremaine uses the wand and turns the Fairy Godmother, and tells Ivy to have Cinderella clean it up if she ever returns.
Jacinda finds Lucy at an old well in the middle of a lot, and Lucy says that she's making a wish before her grandmother Victoria demolishes it. Her mother doesn't believe it, but Lucy tosses in a quarter that she found and makes a wish. Nothing happens, but Lucy tells Sabine to wait. She then tells Jacinda that she found her father.
That night, Jacinda goes to Roni's with the laptop that she took from Lucy. She gives it to henry and apologies, and promises that it won't happen again. Henry stares at her, and finally says that he's relieved. He tells Jacinda that he'd remember if he met her, and Roni gives them some drinks on the house.
Cinderella arrives at the bar and makes her way in past Princess Tania. She approaches the Prince, but Henry comes up and invites her to dance. She reluctantly agrees and points out that she stole his dagger, and takes it from her. Cinderella admits that she came there to kill the Prince because he killed her father and she's been locked up sweeping floors ever since. Henry says that they'll kill her and it won't be a happy ending, and says that he knows a land where people start over. He invites Cinderella to come with him and find her own story, but she refuses to let her father go and runs over to the Prince. Henry staggers and collapses, and realizes that the serving girl Alice--Tilly--drugged him. He soon finds himself imprisoned in an underground cellar, held by plants, and Alice introduces herself.
Tilly runs to a building and says that she needs to see Weaver. The bodyguard lets her in to where Weaver--Rumplestiltskin--is holding a man's head underwater in a tub of water.
Henry confirms that Lucy's father is gone, and Jacinda says that it was just a fling but she ended up with Lucy. He asks her what she would change about her story, and Jacinda says that every day she sees an island in the bay and imagines having a home there with her daughter. Henry tells her that it sounds perfect. Victoria comes in and demands to know why Lucy is sneaking out of her apartment in the middle of the night. Jacinda says that she'll fix it, and Victoria points out that day-drinking is how she got into trouble I the first place. She tells Jacinda that as of tomorrow, Lucy moves in permanently with her. Jacinda walks out and Victoria tells Henry that he's not helping anyone, and Lucy is a lonely girl. She warns him that Lucy isn't the answer to whatever hole he's trying to fill, because in the real world people get hurt and if that happens then he'll be sorry that he came there.
When he goes to his car, Henry discovers that someone took his car. He goes to the police station to report the theft, and the desk sergeant isn't interested in helping. Another officer, Rogers--Hook--comes over and says that he'll help. Rogers gives Henry a form and says that they should hit the pavement. Henry agrees, saying that he has to get out.
When Henry asks Alice to release her, she gestures and the plants leaves her. She realizes that he's from Wonderland, and she angrily says that she's from other places as well. Alice refuses to let Henry go because it isn't his story, and addresses him by name. She tells him that Rumplestiltskin is watching out for Henry, and warns that it when it isn't his story then bad things happen. Henry asks if she's going to stop him, and Alice tells him that she'll be far away. She advises him to go home and forget Cinderella, but Henry insists that he helps people who need help and walks out.
Henry finds Lucy planting seeds and tells her that he's looking for his car and going home. She insists that he is home, but Henry says that he's not the one to save her. As he walks away, Lucy tells him that it didn't happen with Emma right away because of the curse. Henry finally says that he had a wife and kid and lost them, and they died in a fire. Lucy insists that those are his cursed memories and they are his family. She tells him that he can't write because no story is perfect, and he just needs to start. Henry says that he's sorry and walks off. Jacinda pulls up and tells Lucy that they're going to live their story.
As they try to drive out of Hyperion Heights, the car engine stalls. Lucy tells Jacinda that it wants them to stay there, and Jacinda sees a nearby walkway to the island and tells her daughter that they're walking.
Cinderella and the Prince talk, and she draws Henry's knife and says that he destroyed her family. However, she realizes that she can't kill him. The Prince starts to thank her... and Tremaine stabs him in the chest, killing him. She tells Cinderella that the Prince rejected Drizella, but his younger brother had. Tremaine hoped that Cinderella would kill him, and calls to the guards accusing Cinderella of killing the Prince. As she runs, she finds Henry and he gives her directions to his motorcycle. He then attacks the guards and Cinderella grabs a sword and defends herself as well. She runs out and Henry makes his escape.
Back at the station, Rogers tells Henry that he hasn't found his car and asks for more time. Victoria comes in and demands that Rogers find Lucy. Henry says that he's trying to leave, and asks if he knows where Jacinda and Lucy went. When he says that he doesn't know, Victoria tells him that she cares about her girls but Jacinda tends to make mistakes. She can't solve her problems by running away, and offers Henry his car in return for his help finding Jacinda and Lucy.
Lucy sits down on a bench and tells Jacinda that she's not going. Jacinda warns her that they can't stay, and tells her that Victoria wants Lucy to live with her permanently. She wants to go to the island, and tells Lucy that just for once, she has to believe in her. Lucy says that she believes and hugs her, just as Rogers and Ivy pull up. Ivy says that Henry told them about Jacinda's island fantasy, and takes Henry's storybook from Lucy's backpack and tells Rogers to get rid of it. As Ivy leaves with Lucy, Rogers thumbs through the book and hesitates.
Rogers returns Henry's car, and Jacinda joins him. He says that the police found it, and Jacinda abruptly tells him goodbye before walking away.
Henry rides to the motorcycle near the portal and calls to Cinderella. The clock strikes midnight and the portal opens. Before going in, Henry sees Cinderella's glass slipper nearby and picks it up. The portal closes, and Henry says that Operation Glass Slipper is a go.
That night, Rogers returns to the station and the desk sergeant tells him that he made detective thanks to Victoria's influence. He introduces Rogers to his new partner... Weaver. Weaver assures him that they'll do great work together.
At the bar, Roni considers the papers to sign over her property as Victoria looks on. Roni finally says that she's not going to sell, and Jacinda inspired her by not giving in to Victoria. She tells Victoria that it's time to learn what it feels like when someone pushes back, and it's her home and her life.
Jacinda goes back to the restaurant and asks Louie for her job back. She apologizes and he rehires her.
Henry goes to a cemetery with flowers and discovers that the cemetery is gone. A passing woman says that it's been empty as long as she remembers.
Rogers looks at the storybook and a picture of Emma.
Jacinda cleans up the restaurant and finds Lucy's quarter on the floor. She takes it to the well.
Henry returns home and starts writing.
Roni tells Victoria that eventually, someone gives the rest of them inspiration.
Jacinda makes her wish.
Henry starts writing "Once upon a time..."
The flower that Lucy planted starts growing.
Roni tears up the papers, and Victoria tells her that she'll regret it before leaving.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 7, 2017