A new storybook opens as Season 7 of Once Upon A Time moves from Maine's small town of Storybrooke to the urban, west coast Hyperion Heights. The premiere had its hands full with introducing an adult Henry Mills, altered personas for a few fan favorites and a large cast of new characters. Amidst all the changes, the fairy tale series still managed to sneak in many Easter Eggs that honor the roots of the show. Here are 5 things you may have missed in "Hyperion Heights."
Warning: mild spoilers for Once Upon A Time Season 7, Episode 1 ahead.
1. The Swan
After ending a shift driving for the car service Swyft, a disgruntled Henry returns to his apartment, tossing his keys onto a table. As the keys land, a silver swan can be spotted on the key chain. The swan is a reminder of Henry's mother Emma Swan, set to return for a final appearance in Season 7, Episode 2. The adult Henry in Hyperion Heights may not remember his epic past and incredible family thanks to the newest curse, but he still carries a sign calling to his true identity via the swan.
Before launching #OnceUponATime, showrunners Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis were heavily involved with another hit ABC series: Lost. From the chocolate Apollo Bars to Belle watching the show Exposé in the hospital, the showrunners have never been shy at nodding to the rich universe of Lost. The number 815 is sacred to all Losties, as Oceanic Flight 815 is the fateful plane that crashed on the Island in the first place, and the digits appear in the reoccurring number series 4 8 15 16 23 42. When Emma first arrived in Storybrooke, the clock tower was stuck at 8:15 as it had been for all 28 years of the original Dark Curse. The clock hands didn't move until Emma decided to stay in Storybrooke at the end of the pilot episode, signaling the first step towards breaking the Dark Curse.
815 reappears in the Season 7 premiere as the numbers on adult Henry's apartment door. Fans can spot it as he opens the door to his daughter Lucy in a scene highly reminiscent of when Henry knocked on Emma's door in the pilot episode.
3. Flying With Peter Pan
As Henry tries to convince Lucy that he's not who she thinks he is, the Author throws his daughter's words back into her face. Among these rejections is that he once flew with Peter Pan. This is a reference to the Season 3 premiere when Henry first arrived at Neverland. Chased by the Lost Boys, Peter Pan pretended to befriend Henry and even gave him fairy dust to fly away from their common "enemies." Henry would soon learn that the boy was actually Peter Pan, not only leader of the Lost Boys, but also his great-grandfather. His elder relative schemed to steal Henry's heart — the Heart of the Truest Believer — in order to gain immortality. As magical as flying over Neverland was, Lucy didn't exactly pick the fondest memory from Henry's forgotten past.
4. Frog Legs?
Cinderella/Jacinda and her evil step-mother receive the most focus from the cast of new characters, but others such as Princess Tiana (Mekia Cox) are introduced as well. Tiana is Jacinda's roommate in Hyperion Heights, but also made a flashback appearance at the royal ball. A waiter offers her frog legs but she politely declines. It's a subtle, amusing nod to the character's The Princess and the Frog roots and it will be delightful to see her character explored in future episodes.
5. Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack
The #Lost references didn't stop with 815. When audiences first see Jacinda in Hyperion Heights, she's sprinting towards her job after a late start. Her job turns out to be working at a chicken restaurant, from which she quits after rude treatment from her boss. She tries to take control of her own story/life, but when that fails thanks to her evil step-mother, Jacinda returns to work at the chicken restaurant by the end of the episode. The name of the restaurant? Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack, the same restaurant chain Hurley worked at and later owned after winning the lottery in Lost.
This is the second time Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack has appeared on Once Upon A Time. Rumplestiltskin and the Queens of Darkness rolled through a different location's drive-thru in Season 4, Episode 13 "Darkness on the Edge of Town." In fact, the voice of Daniel Dae Kim (the actor who played Jin on Lost) took their order in that episode. Given the importance of Jacinda's arc, fans will likely see the Hyperion Heights' Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack location again in Season 7.
What other Easter Eggs did you catch in the Season 7 premiere of Once Upon A Time? Let me know in the comments!