Once Upon A Time: “New York City Serenade” (S3Ep12)

I was really worried about this episode of Once Upon A Time. And yeah, it was kind of messy and confusing and was rather spoiled by the promo, but it was still a lot of fun and it was just super excited that this hot mess of a show it back.

The episode opens with a guy riding a horse across a field. At first I thought it was going to be Charming (Josh Dallas) and a reference to the pilot, but it was actually someone worse.

1 not mulan

Oh hi, NotMulan.

NotMulan (Julian Morris) and Aurora (Sarah Bogler) see purple smoke coming toward them. They freak out for a moment and then all the Storybrooke character minus Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Henry (Jared Gilmore) plus digitally added Ruby (Meghan Ory!) appear and tell them what happened.

The timeline of this episode kept confusing me, but luckily my straight friend, who was being less distracted by #queerytales and Lana Parrilla than my other friend and I, was there to remind me that anything happening in the Enchanted Forest was directly after the last episode and everything in New York was happening a year later.

So a year after the last scene, mind-wiped Emma meets her boyfriend whose name I couldn’t remember so I just called him NotRegina (Christopher Gorham). It seems serious between them because he has done things like helped Henry with a science project.

2 emma and auggie

Covert Affairs has me convinced that he is blind.

As soon as NotRegina leaves for a second, Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) comes to sit down and convince Emma that the rest of her family is in trouble and she needs to believe in the curse. Yeah, just like August did in season one. It’s a plot reset, but it was still kind of fun to watch. He gives Emma an address and tells her to go to it to find the truth.

Back in the Enchanted Forest a year ago, Regina (Lana Parrilla) is back in full-sass mode and Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) is back to actually being cool. She wasn’t as great in Storybrooke. She decides that the Charmings and Regina are going to return to the palace. Regina seems a little nervous about the idea but hides it behind more sass.

3 sass


Aurora and NotMulan make it clear that someone else is in charge in the Enchanted Forest and she is cool with tell that totally-not-the-wicked-witch person and betraying Snow and the others. Apparently that is what Aurora and Phillip are like without Mulan.

Back in New York, Emma’s NotRegina proposes to her. Because we needed more dudes in this love triangle. She tells him she will think about it and goes home to play video games with Henry. Even though Regina rewrote most of her memories, she kept it in that Neal (Michael Raymond-James) left Emma to take the fall for his crime and end up pregnant and in jail.

4 not annoying

Emma and I were equally shocked about Henry not being annoying

In a confusing timeline thing, Hook in the Enchanted Forest says goodbye to Charming and leaves the group to go find the Jolly Roger and I guess eventually find a way back to New York and to find Emma.

But, Snow and Charming are quick to accept the fact that there is no way in hell they or Neal could possibly get back to the regular world and see Emma and Henry again.


Parenting: You’re doing it wrong

Back in New York, Emma — dressing way different from how the regular Emma does — sees Henry off to school and then goes to the address Hook gave her. It’s Neal’s apartment in Manhattan and because it’s not in Storybrooke it stayed when the curse took everything else. The dream catcher is there so Emma knows it’s Neal apartment. So, is a camera with Henry’s name on it, which makes Emma start to question all the craziness that Hook has been saying.


Major plot device/probably a continuity error

Emma then goes to Central Park to meet Hook. She is still confused. Hook tells her if she drinks a potion he has she will remember everything. She doesn’t and gets him arrested. Is she a cop now? Her job was never explained.


It’s not a roofie. You can trust me, I’m a creepy guy dressed like a pirate.

Even though there are a ton of problems with this episode, there was one incredibly good scene. Back in the Enchanted Forest, Regina left the rest of the group. Snow goes after her and finds her burying her heart in the woods. Regina tells Snow she can’t be happy with her heart and without Henry (and Emma). Snow says she just had to leave Emma (and Henry) too and they can find happiness without them because it is what they would have wanted. Regina puts her heart back in her chest and agrees to go to the palace with Snow.


Your actresses are this good. Please OUAT, keep the plot good too.

That was a great scene on its own, but I also love it in contrast to how Regina fit in with the heroes in the first part of this season in Neverland. In both she felt like she didn’t belong, but in Neverland Emma was there to tell her she did and convince the others she was a hero too. Without Emma, Regina has to do something drastic for the group to even notice her.

Of course this is Once Upon A Time, so that scene is followed  a flying monkey attacking them from a bush and them being saved by Robin Hood (Sean Maguire). Great, Regina’s true love.


And he doesn’t even have Mulan with him.

Back in New York, Hook gets out of jail and Emma drinks the potion. Her memories come back with Henry, Regina and then everyone else in that order. She brings Hook back to her apartment to discuss everything. He tells her he come back to save her and that everyone was cursed back into Storyebrooke but they can’t remember what happened to them. Emma also calls what Regina gave them a really good dream.


Always the rum with Disney pirates.

Then Emma’s NotRegina turned into a flying monkey because of course he did.


This is your cue to switch teams, Emma.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, everyone reaches the palace but it is protected by a spell. And the promos already ruined the surprise of who did it.


Is Wicked coming?

So a year after that scene but a few hours after the flying monkey in New York scene, Emma, Hook and Henry head to Storybrooke, which looks just like it did at the end of the last episode. Emma leaves Hook at the yellow bug and says she is going to find her parents. She heads to Mary Margret’s apartment and finds Charming inside. He tells her he and everyone else in town has no memory of what happened over the last year and it feels like she just left. Emma asks how do they know it has been a year then. And Snow walks down the stairs to relieve that she is about to drop a baby, which everyone expected because Ginnifer Goodwin is about to drop her and Josh Dallas’ baby in real life because they are that disgustingly cute.


Marriage, babies, Disney!

Really this was just a complete reset of the plot from season one. So, we are probably going to spend the rest of the season with the heroes trying to figure out what happened while we are told exactly what happened through flashbacks to the Enchanted Forest. But, Emma has her red leather jacket and Regina’s Evil Queen theme song was playing when Emma rolled into Storybrooke. I can’t wait for Regina and Emma to have a scene together. Swanqueen shipping aside, Lana Parrilla and Jennifer Morrison have the best dynamic on this show and the show is just missing something when they are not together.


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