Previously, on Once Upon a Time: “Going Home”
A Year Ago in the Enchanted Forest
Aurora is impatiently waiting for her beau.. Allen, John.. Phillip, yes that is his name is galloping toward a romantically decked out gazebo. Through a brief exchange we learn that Aurora has wasted no time getting pregnant. I guess all that time sleeping made her a bit randy. An ominous purple cloud engulfs their lovely picnic. They run to escape the cloud, but to no avail. The mist dissipates and our motley crews of Storybrookians have returned to the Enchanted Forest. Aurora and Phillip look both surprised and weary of their arrival. When Regina lifted the curse anything that was previously destroyed had been restored, that includes Snow, Charming and Regina’s castle, Three’s Company anyone? Bael wants to make a pit stop at Rumple’s place to pick up some magic items in hopes of getting back to Emma and Henry. Hook also has other ideas regarding their return to the Enchanted Forest. He has a ship that needs to be found and treasure to be plundered. Ahoy. Charming spins his wheels trying to dissuade both from breaking away from the group. He is not successful. Hook rides off and Bael lingers.
Snow finds Regina burying something in a densely wooded part of the forest away from the others. Regina is burying her heart; she doesn’t want to endure the pain of missing Henry. Snow gives one of her Snow speeches about love and loss and moving on. Regina digs up her heart and places is back into her chest. The duo is being following then attacked by a flying monkey. The creature tries to make off with Regina, but is thwarted by a well-placed arrow. Sir Robin of Locksley saves the day. I might have audibly squeed when he arrived. Le sigh, Sean Maguire.
They rejoin the gang and set off for the castle. Upon arrival Regina senses there is something amiss. A magical force field is in place, and it is not Regina’s handwork. Regina waves her hand across the barrier and it glows green. Reggie is not having it, she wants to know who is eating her porridge and she wants to know now. Robin offers is basecamp as a temporary refuge for our displaced fairytale friends, they accept.
Aurora and Phillip steal a few moments alone after the gang arrives. Aurora tells Phillip they have to tell HER they have returned. Phillip is hesitant, Aurora reminds him of the wrath they may have to endure if they don’t.
A Year Later in Our World
New York City
Emma is dressed semi-tramptastic ensemble to meet someone for dinner. It’s Walsh
(Christopher Gorham), her new-to-us boyfriend, the camera conspicuously shows a scare on his neck. Bad shaving accident? Mishap at his furniture store? They have a lovely dinner and polite conversation. He disappears for a few moments and Hook arrives. He goes one to tell her he knows her better than she knows herself. He wants and needs her to remember who she is in order to save her family. Hook offers Emma a piece of paper with an address, tells her visit that location then meet him in Central Park. She takes the slip of paper and disappears as swiftly as he appeared. Walsh returns to the table, and dessert follows shortly after. Emma is distracted and declares she is stuffed and couldn’t eat another bite. Walsh reminds her of their first date, when she scarfed down enough food for a grown man and insisted on an ice cream sundae. She relents and Walsh spins the dessert around to reveal an engagement ring. This would be romantic if Hook hadn’t just swashbuckled his way into Emma’s life yet again and made Walsh look like look like a hipster simp. Of course Emma doesn’t accept the proposal , she says nothing. Walsh is very understanding and just wants to be part of Emma and Henry’s life. He lets Emma have her space and she goes home. Henry asks about the date and proposal, he has gotten substantially more mature and perceptive in the last year. Emma hems and haws about the night’s events as they play video games. He encourages her to consider the proposal and that Walsh is nothing like Neal, he won’t leave her.
The next day she visits the address, finds some familiar items: dream catcher from her yellow Bug, Neal’s clothing and Henry’s missing camera. She remains in denial, but meets Hook in the park, he offers her a potion to restore her memory. She handcuffs him to a park bench then calls the cops over, claiming he assaulted her; Hook is taken away by the officers. Emma can’t shake the nagging feeling that something is wrong and Hook may be right. She develops the photos in Henry’s camera, they include images of her and Henry in Storybrooke, but she has no memory of ever being there.
She returns to the police station the following day to post Hook’s bail. She drinks the potion and all her memories come flooding back. Hook and Emma are in her apartment, she has to break up with Walsh, then find and save her family. Walsh arrives at the apartment and she takes him to the rooftop to talk. He knows she is going to break up with him and starts tossing out ideas why. Emma states that someone from her past has resurfaced and she needs time to take care of things. Walsh gets feisty: “I wish you wouldn’t have drunk the potion. I was beginning to like you.” His eyes flash red and he dives off the roof transforming into the flying monkey we saw earlier. WHAAAAA?!?! He comes back and tries to attack her, she is able to fend him off with a pipe; he falls off the roof again and disappears into a puff of smoke into the streets of New York.
The next morning a distracted Emma attempts to make Henry breakfast. She tells him they are going on an adventure and he gets to miss a day or more of school. Hook knocks at the door and he is introduced as Cilian, her new client. They hop in the Bug and head back to Storybrooke (so much for my theory of shenanigans in NYC). Henry is sleeping in the car when they arrive, the streets of Storybrooke are empty. Hook is left to keep Henry company, while Emma looks for Snow and Charming. She arrives at their doorstep, hoping they know who she is, they do. Charming explains that they were in the Enchanted Forest then they had returned to Storybrooke and t they cannot remember the past year. Emma is confused by how they know a year has passed. A very pregnant Snow pops down the stairs and embraces Emma. Well, that is a way to tell the time.
Back in the Enchanted Forest – A year ago
The flying monkey arrives at the castle and meets with a svelte woman dressed in black with skin of green and strawberry blonde hair. The monkey has something for her; a few drops of Regina’s blood obtained when he tried to kidnap her. The woman in black takes the blood and adds it to a potion bottle and states: “Wicked always wins.”
Phew. I’m mildly satisfied with OUAT’s return to our Sunday night line-up. They moved a little too quickly into the Walsh storyline and reveal for my taste. I expected more than one episode based in New York, since it looks like they are playing with the timeline of events as per usual and we should get to see how Emma met Walsh and what she was up to over the course of a year. The gang has some splaining to do and I assume that will come in the form of additional flashbacks. It still seems all too easy for Emma, Henry and Hook to return to Storybrooke. The biggest plus side of this new storyline: they are out of the jungle.
Next week brings more wicked fun and hopefully more flashbacks of the past year.
What say you, OUAT fans? Did you love it? Did you hate? Were you just as happy to see Sean Maguire and Colin O’Donoghue as I was?