On the midseason premiere of the ABC fairytale drama, a new curse was set in motion, an old curse was broken and a new, mysterious villain was introduced. So what went down in “New York City Serenade?”
After having both her and Henry’s memories wiped, Emma’s living happily in NYC. She’s doing great at her job, she’s a loving mother with no memory of ever giving Henry up for adoption, and she’s even got a hot new boyfriend, Walsh (hello, Chris Gorham!). While out to dinner with her new seemingly-perfect beau, he proposes to her, but she realizes that she needs time to answer. She’s not ready for that kind of commitment, as she’s only known him for a few months. Of course, Henry’s totally okay with it, but he doesn’t seem over the moon about it either.
Also complicating matters? The fact that the random pirate that showed up on her doorstep in the final moments of the midseason finale to kiss her just won’t go away. That’s right, Hook is desperate to get Emma to remember who her family is because they need her help one year after the reset. Hook got a message telling him that a new curse has been activated, but he doesn’t know by who or why. Since kissing her didn’t work (so they don’t share true love, interesting), he sends her to Neal’s apartment to jog her memory. That only pisses her off more, since her memory of Neal is that he left her to take the fall for him in jail and thinks Neal put Hook up to harassing her. Emma gets him arrested after he tries to get her drink a vial of potion to kickstart her memories, because hello, you don’t just drink a stranger’s “potion” in NYC.
But after Emma sees some photos of her and Henry in a town called Storybrooke that Hook left behind, she has enough doubt to spring Hook from jail. She tells him that she has a good life now with a man she loves — and the pain on Hook’s face is clear. But he gets her to drink the potion … and she remembers everything! Hook is overjoyed.
Before Emma can drive off with Hook and Henry to Storybrooke to get to the bottom of the new curse, she realizes she has to end things with Walsh, because she can’t be with someone she can’t share everything with. He wouldn’t believe her even if she told him the truth, right? Wrong. Because while Emma is trying to let Walsh down easy, he turns into a flying monkey and attacks her. Thankfully the Savior still has some moves up her sleeve and sends him flying over the ledge, and she realizes she was never truly free from Fairytale Land. She was just ignorant.
Hook, Emma and Henry (who still doesn’t have any memory of FTL, because there was only enough potion for Emma) head off and find Storybrooke completely back, despite the fact that one year ago it vanished. Everyone’s back with the town, and even curiouser, they all remember who they are. So while David and Mary Margaret have a happy reunion with Emma — all shocked that the other remembers who they are — they don’t understand what’s going on. None of the Storybrooke residents have any memory of the last year. Plus, Mary Margaret is pregnant!
Unlike the residents of Storybrooke, viewers will slowly learn the story of the past year thanks to flashbacks to Fairytale Land. Immediately after the reset, one year ago, all the fairytale characters were sent right back to the Enchanted Forest. The group all remember the past 28 years, and are resigned to rebuilding their lives together. Even Regina! But when the group finds Sleeping Beauty and her Prince, the expecting couple doesn’t warn them about some “evil woman” for fear of their own lives.
On the way to their castle — which Snow, Charming and Regina plan to live in together — Regina tries to bury her heart in the ground to avoid her pain over losing Henry. Snow convinces her to put it back in and find happiness in a new way, and it’s such an interesting dynamic to see these two once-rivals working together. Their happy moment is cut short, though, because they’re attacked by a flying monkey. Walsh? They’re saved by Robin Hood and his Merry Men! Even though viewers know Regina and Robin are fated to be true loves, it’s clear from the two of them that they have no inkling of their destiny. Sparks fly … but they’re not of attraction.
Back in the castle, we finally get our first glimpse of the Wicked Witch as she is finishing some potion, adding a drop of Regina’s blood the flying monkey stole, presumedly making the new curse. “Wicked always wins,” she says to herself in the mirror, smiling … well, wickedly.