Previously, on Once Upon a Time: “New York Serenade”
A Year Ago in the Enchanted Forest
The gang is quite befuddled by the identity of this new magical foe. Gathered in the forest making plans to Storm The Castle from underground. A flying monkey swoops down from above trying to steal away Robin’s son. The Evil Queen(TEQ)provides cover, saves the boy and turns the winged creature into a cute stuffed toy. I can’t let that slide, she turned it into a modern toy that does not exist in this world, and no one batted an eye. After the run in with the flying simian, the gang determines the new nemesis is The Wicked Witch of the West. Who is very real, very powerful and very dangerous.
The Evil Queen knows those lands like the back of her hand and believes she can enter the castle through a series of underground tunnels. She insists on doing it alone and under the cover of night. Robin wishes to accompany her as repayment for her saving his son. She does not relent. Later in the evening The Evil Queen makes her journey to the castle and who is trailing her? None other than our favorite bandit Robin of Locksley. He knows the monkey was not actually after his son and will travel with her this evening. She relents and basically tells him to stay out of her way. They arrive at the door to the crypt; it is open. TEQ is confused because it was sealed with blood magic and there is no way to break a blood magic curse. Apparently there is, if you get a monkey to nab a few drops of the caster’s blood. Anywhoodle. TEQ and Robin gather a few items for what appears to be a potion and make their way to the bedchamber. TEQ is making a sleeping spell, she is so distraught over the loss of Henry she would rather sleep until he finds her. Henry is her one true love and only he can break the curse. Robin is thwarted at his attempts to stop her from making the potion. She promises to lift the spell on the lands and castle, but after she is taking a forever nap and he can do nothing about it. She lifts the curse and signals for the Merry Men to make their way inside. As she is about to prick her finger, she is greeted by a surprise guest.
Present Day in Storybrooke
At the diner: Hook, Emma, Mary Margaret and David are trying to get a handle on the events of the past year. Hook has his memories but he was out to sea when he received a message via bird to retrieve Emma from New York. He assumed it was from Mary Margaret because well, that is her thing. Although we haven’t seen her call on the aide of woodland creatures to save ANYONE; maybe a bit of foreshadowing: woodland creatures vs. flying monkeys. Grumpy busts into the diner like Kramer and tells everyone the 7 dwarves are now 2; the rest have gone missing. Emma Swan is on the case.
The next morning Henry is having breakfast at the diner. Of course, everyone in town knows and remembers who he is, while he is just enjoying the new long weekend adventure. He has an awkward meeting with Mary Margaret, David, Red and Regina. Mary Margaret introduces herself as Emma’s former cellmate, who was imprisoned for banditry. Umm okay.
Emma pulls Regina to the side to give her the down low on why she has returned and why Henry is oblivious to all that is going on. They devise a plan to snuff out the culprit. Robin and his Merry Men are acquainting themselves with a new fangled cross bow. Little John misses his target and gives chase, in a clearing near the edge of town a flying monkey snatches LJ in his talons and off into the wild blue yonder. LJ is found in another part of the forest with a bloody shoulder. They take him to the clinic to be seen by Dr. Whale.
Emma has had enough with these monkey-flying monkeys, in this monkey-flying town. She calls town hall meeting. Grumpy is still in a huff about his missing brothers and declares the only person powerful enough to cast a memory spell is the same person who did it the first time around: Regina. Regina shows up at the meeting, the townsfolk have already lit the torches and started swinging the pitchforks. Regina gives her best “I wish a monkey-flyer would,” face casts a quick spell and vanishes into a puff of dazzling purple smoke. The town is in a tizzy. The camera slowly zooms in on our no longer green mistress, The Wicked Witch, a slight smirk graces her face.
Emma meets up with Regina as she tries to recreate the memory retrieval spell. It doesn’t work. Emma decides to use her old con-artist tricks to get villain: send someone to cry wolf, telling all within earshot that Regina is working on a potion that will restore all their memories.
Back at the clinic
Mary Margaret is reading the Storybrooke version of :What to Expect When You Are Expecting: A Horror Novel, by some jerk. No seriously, that book has millions of women freaking out about pica. Back to our tale: a plain woman with red hair, who we now know as Zelena, introduces herself to Mary Margaret as a midwife. She also greases MM’s ego a bit, Of course I know who you are, I mean you are Snow White. MM eats this up and invites her to sit down. Grumpy comes in yet again to cry wolf about Regina’s potion making skills. Emma and Regina return to the her office to find the magical ingredients destroyed and a cloaked figure hiding in a corner. The bandit disappears in a puff of green smoke.
L.J. is being restrained. He is writhing in pain, out sprouts a tail, fur, talons.. Next thing you know our docile friend is a red-eyed monkey. He breaks his restraints, screeches and flies off. Clean up in aisle one, I think David had an accident.
In the Enchanted Forest
TEQ is face to face with The Wicked Witch. TEQ, has no idea who she is; The Wicked Witch is disappointed, and proceeds to do what all villains love, give their Bio of Wickedness, yawn, get to the good stuff. The Wicked Witch reveals herself as TEQ’s half-sister; Cora had her first and sent her off to OZ. (I hear tiny violins.) TEQ shuts that guilt trip down, Oz may not have been a walk in the park but Cora was no less awful. Zelena was also under the tutelage of one Rumpelstiltskin but he chose TEQ to cast his spell, bitter much? Zelena decides to let Regina suffer versus heading off into a long slumber. She issues a challenge and flies away on her broom.
Regina’s face says it all: Challenge accepted!
Back in Storybrooke:
Regina has put together the pieces to lead her to the Wicked Witch as the enemy, but why? Mary Margaret thinks banditry is a thing in the new world, she is less than a threat. What purpose does it served to attack Storybrookians?
In what appears to be a basement, Zelena delivers a tray of food to a cage. What’s in it? More monkeys? NOPE, RUMPELSTILTSKIN!!! And he is crazier than a bag of cats. She kicks the food under the cage, he begins to chant: “ Feed the madness, and it feeds on you.”
Great follow-up to the spring premiere.
Some people are convinced this episode explains the blood-magic. Maybe I am having a timeline issue, BUT she retrieved Regina’s blood and placed it in a vile after the gang returned to the Enchanted Forest. She obviously used the blood for something. I may have to re-watch the spring premiere for better clarification.
What say you friends?