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Recap / Once Upon A Time S 3 E 12 New York City Serenade

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Season 3, Episode 12:

New York City Serenade

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After Rumplestiltskin sacrificed his life to stop Pan from enacting another curse, Regina obliterated her original curse, which erased Storybrooke from existence and whisked its residents back to Fairy Tale Land – leaving Emma and Henry back in our world with no memories of Storybrooke.

But all is not well back in the Enchanted Forest when Hook comes calling on Emma in New York City in an attempt to jog her memory so that she can once again help her fairy tale family and friends out of a desperate situation.

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Tropes

  • Badass Boast: Two. Ironically, from both of Cora's daughters. Guess being absolute, evil badasses runs in the family.
    Regina: I don't run from monsters, they run from me.
    Zelena: The Queen may be evil...but I'm wicked. And wicked always wins.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When Hook appears in front of her at the restaurant, Emma puts her phone down and leaves her right hand lingering near the knife, because she is intending to stab Hook.
    • Also Emma when Walsh becomes a flying monkey. She beats him so much with a pipe that he falls off a building and smashes into the ground.
  • The Bus Came Back: Philip and Aurora; Red Riding Hood (who just appears with the main group, even though she wasn't there on the highway at the end of the previous episode); Jiminy (lampshaded by Grumpy: "Where you been?").
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Winged Monkey which seems to be trying to kidnap Regina instead scratches her to get some of her blood. Although Zelena claims she gets into the crypt by being of Regina's bloodline, it's quite possible she got in using this blood.
  • Continuity Nod:
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    • Hook, Emma, and a sleeping Henry arrive back at Storybrooke at...8:15 PM.
    • When the fairy tale characters arrive back in the Enchanted Forest before Aurora and Philip, they're all wearing the clothes they were last seen in when the curse was cast, and Charming's shirt even still bears the tear and bloodstains from his valiant last stand against Regina's black knights.
    • When Snow and the others meet up with Robin and his Merry Men, not only does Robin reach out to Bae and ask him about his son (referencing how he helped Neal get to him in Neverland at the start of the season), he has a happy reunion with Belle thanks to her being the one who released him from Rumple's dungeon (and convinced him to spare his life, after seeing him use the wand to heal Marian).
  • Dark Secret: The fairy tale characters all return to the Enchanted Forest to encounter Philip and Aurora who are expecting a baby and tell them the ogres from the previous season have been defeated and the kingdoms are all rebuilding and finding peace again. But unbeknownst to them, there is a new threat: the Wicked Witch of the West has taken up residence in Regina's castle and is terrorizing the land with her Winged Monkeys.
  • Disposable Love Interest: Walsh, for Emma, once she regains her memories. Worse than usual—not only does she have to leave him behind to go save her family, but when she tries to let him down easy he turns out to be a Winged Monkey who tries to kill her.
  • Hurting Hero:
    Hook: What was that?
    Emma: A reminder that I was never safe, and that the life I wanted is not in the cards for the savior.
  • Iconic Item: Emma's red leather jacket, which she puts back on when it's time to go back to Storybrooke.
    Emma: I just need one last thing.
  • Iconic Outfit: While it isn't identical to the film version (or even that used in Wicked), the Wicked Witch's outfit here is still distinctively hers, particularly the hat.
  • Match Cut: Between the knight in Henry's video game and Charming.
  • The Mole: Downplayed, but during Aurora and Philip's hasty whispered conference after the others arrive back in the Enchanted Forest, it becomes clear they (and probably everyone else in the kingdoms) have been forced to become this for the Wicked Witch, giving her information in return for their freedom and their lives. At the very least, they do reluctantly plan to tell her about the return of Snow White and the others.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Regina vanishes from the group; when Snow White finds her, she is secretly burying something in the woods, making her think the Evil Queen is up to her old dark magical tricks. But instead she is...invokedburying her own heart, so she doesn't have to feel the pain of losing Henry.
  • Pac-Man Fever: Henry and Emma talk about Diablo III in ways players of Diablo III don't, like talking about "beating level 24".
  • The Reveal: Multiple ones.
    • In-story of course there's the one when Emma drinks the memory potion and recovers her time in Storybrooke.
    • When Emma develops the photos in Henry's camera, showing places she and he had, to her knowledge, never been.
    • Emma (and the viewers) finding out that Walsh is a Winged Monkey.
    • How Emma finds out just how the people in Storybrooke know they've lost a year's time: the camera pans down to reveal Mary Margaret is pregnant.
    • And the end-of-episode invoked reveal of who the new Big Bad is.
  • Shipper on Deck: Snow White, for Regina and Robin Hood.
  • Signature Item Clue: Henry's camera is still in Neal's old apartment, revealing he and Emma had been there at some point. Becomes even more significant when she develops the film on it and finds pictures of places they'd never been and people they'd never met...
  • Stealth Pun: Snow White and Regina have a heart-to-heart in the forest...while the latter is burying her own heart.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: Variation—the pregnancy was both planned and known about by everyone when it happened, but thanks to the curse taking everyone's memories of the last year, from their perspective it is now the next day after Emma and Henry left Storybrooke and Mary Margaret is suddenly pregnant.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Although the appearance of Winged Monkeys and the protection spell around the castle having a distinctive green color were fairly good indicators of who the new Big Bad was, the episode acts as if The Reveal of the Wicked Witch of the West at the end is a surprise. However, thanks to all the TV promos (including a commercial airing right after the mid-season finale of the previous episode) everyone knew who she was long before this episode aired.
  • True Love's Kiss: Hook tries invoking this by kissing Emma so she gets her memories back. It doesn't work and she has the natural reaction to being kissed by a stranger—kneeing him in the groin.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Mild form, in which Walsh uses a sundae in the manner of their first lunch date together to display his engagement ring.
  • We Can Rule Together: Snow White offers this to Regina as a means of giving the people hope after they all return from the curse. Even more amazingly, she accepts.
  • Wham Line:
    Walsh: I wish you hadn't drank that potion.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Until she drinks the potion, Emma thinks she's dealing with a simple Stalker with a Crush, or else someone connected to Neal and helping him worm his way back into her and Henry's life. If this had actually been the case, her actions would be both appropriate and rather awesome, considering she meets Hook as agreed so as to find out his story...and once he tries to offer the potion reveals the whole thing was The Sting and she had the cops waiting to move in and arrest him.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Hook, after his initial mistake in trying to kiss Emma (thinking True Love's Kiss would restore her memory), tries for a more sincere and downplayed version of this, even acknowledging at several points that what he says sounds insane and she's right to doubt him. Despite this, and him never getting out-of-control or frantic (save when she had him arrested), she still doesn't believe him until she receives evidence she can't dismiss out-of-hand.
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