Once Upon A Time Season 3 Review “New York City Serenade”

Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 12 New York City Serenade (24)

I don’t want to be prematurely optimistic, but I like the reboot in Once Upon a Time. We pick up a year later with our fairy tale folks back in the Enchanted Forest and Emma and Henry living in the real world. As we saw prior to the midseason break, Emma’s peace is short lived thanks to the reappearance of Hook.

Emma & Henry

Emma and Henry live in a super sweet apartment and Emma has returned to her bounty-hunting gig. By all accounts, they both are happy. Emma has a new man in her life, Walsh, who is devoted to her. We see them go off on a romantic evening to the scene of their first date. You know where things are heading, but when Walsh steps away for a moment, Hook takes his place at the table. He tries to convince Emma that this isn’t the life she is supposed to have. She dismisses him, again. When Walsh returns, he pops the question. It might be that Emma is a commitment phobe, it may be that what Hook said is gnawing at her, but she tells Walsh that she needs time to think about it.

There was something kind of nice about seeing normal Emma, who doesn’t have to run around all the time asking, “Where’s my son?” Her life does look pretty great. The problem is that Hook says she has to remember her past because her parents are in danger. If Charming and Snow hadn’t been in danger, I think I would’ve wanted Emma to just stay where she is (though I know that wouldn’t work what with the show needing her story).

Emma finally decides to drink the potion that Hook gave her and all of her memories from Storybrooke come rushing back. She decides that the only thing she can do is take Henry and return to Storybrooke to find her parents. Before leaving, though, she’ll need to break it to Walsh. As Emma tells him she’s leaving, she thinks she’s breaking his heart, until he turns into a winged monkey and attacks her. A couple things here…I like that Walsh turned out to be evil. I didn’t see that coming. But, Emma has been dating this guy for eight months and, undoubtedly, sleeping with him. The fact that he turned into a monkey is pretty gross.

Emma, Henry, and Hook hop into her beat up Bug and journey back to Storybrooke. That’s when things become intriguing.

The Enchanted Forest

All of Storybrooke’s inhabitants are dumped back in the Enchanted Forest. Charming and Snow don’t seem that put out and have reconciled themselves to having lost Emma and Henry. I was a little surprised by that. Regina is devastated by the loss of Henry. In another twist that I didn’t see coming, Snow decides that she and Charming will share the castle with Regina and they can all live together. Most surprisingly…Regina agrees! I have always liked the kinder gentler Regina. I like that she can be an evil badass when she needs to be, and prefer that she’s not evil simply for the sake of being evil.

Regina decides that she can’t live with the pain of losing Henry, so she tears out her heart and buries it in the forest. It is a great scene when Snow stops her and convinces her to put her heart back – that it’s better to feel the pain of the loss than nothing at all. It was a sign of significant character growth that Regina is willing to face her loss. I also liked that she kept referring to the castle as “our castle.” There may be some hope for Regina after all. Pretty please.

But, things aren’t ever happily ever after for this lot. Which is actually ironic considering they are fairy tale characters. A winged monkey attacks Regina and Snow. They also discover that a spell blocks their path to the castle. Of course, we know who is responsible.


Emma, Hook and Henry arrive in Storybrooke and discover that everyone is back in the town. I didn’t really follow how this all worked. They were all in the Enchanted Forest, now they’re back, but they weren’t supposed to be allowed back…. I have mixed feelings about everyone reuniting back in Storybrooke. I kind of liked the idea that it was gone and we were onto a new frontier.

Snow is pregnant, which isn’t shocking since Ginnifer Godwin is and they mentioned Snow wanting another child last fall. I just really don’t want this to turn into a situation where the baby is kidnapped and we spend another season going through the whole, “I have to find my child,” scenario again.

I can’t tell what direction they’re going to go in next, which is nice. I am hopeful that all of Henry-centric stories are a thing of the past. Rebecca Mader looks fantastic as the Wicked Witch, so I’m excited to see what she does with the part.