Once Upon a Time "New York City Serenade" Review: Pawed by a Flying Monkey

Once Upon a Time S03E12: "New York City Serenade"


After all the debating amongst Once Upon a Time fans over who Emma’s love interest would be, after all the intense speculation over Captain Swan vs. Swan Queen vs. Thief Face and more, the show made a bold choice in having Emma Swan’s first canon love interest be an Evil Flying Monkey. Sure, the Evil Flying Monkey was disguised as a human being named Walsh (Covert AffairsChristopher Gorham), but make no mistake, at no point was it NOT, in actuality, an Evil Flying Monkey. Sure, it worked at a furniture shop and it shared dinner dates and big kisses with amnesiac Emma, but secretly it was dreaming of shooting through the horizon or enjoying a big pile of bananas and peanut butter crackers. “I was starting to like you,” the winged primate disguised as a person growled before barreling toward Emma, then spreading its wings and shooting into the sky. Emma didn’t even seem that surprised. Yow. Bold choice of bestiality, yo! 

And just so we’re all clear on the OUAT canon relationships count: gay couples, zero, Evil Flying Monkey + a human lady, one.



Once Upon a Time's highly anticipated mid-season premiere opened a year prior to the meat of the episode/moments after the show's last sojourn in the Enchanted Forests of Vancouver. Walking Corpse Phillip and pregnant Aurora were living in a stone gazebo in the middle of a soccer field, passively aggressively arguing about much food they'd been needing to forage because SOMEONE had been eating more than her share, when immédiatement the entire population of Storybrooke minus Rumple materialized in front of them! Ginnifer Goodwin was overjoyed to be reunited with her wig.




The costumes in which our heroes returned raised a lot of questions: Was Charming’s blouse stained with fresh blood because they’d been returned to the exact physical state they were in when the first curse was enacted (and Charming had been slashed by Regina’s guards)? Has Snow returned to being physically postpartum? And where did Neal get his rakish little Samwise Gamgee ensemble? 

Aurora and Phillip were quick to welcome the group back to the Enchanted Forest. Regina, returned to her “Cher as Styled by Bob Mackie for the Oscars 1986” attire, was suitably annoyed to roll right into another chirpy princess, but despite her 'tude there’s no arguing that the royal family had never been on better terms. In fact, Snow and David wanted Regina to come back to the castle and live with them, because what would cheer the People of the Enchanted Forest and give them more hope than seeing the Rebel Forces embrace their world’s Darth Vader? IDK guys, you've been gone for 28 years... maybe the peasants have grown accustomed to not paying taxes and self rule? But, imaginary politics aside, the idea of Regina, Snow, and Charming all living in the castle together was kind of darling. As they skipped off practically arm-in-arm, Aurora and Phillip decided not to warn them that a TERRIFYING NEW BIG BAD was lying in wait! (Shady, you two. Mulan would have told them!)



Meanwhile back in New York City (A YEAR LATER FROM THE LAST SCENE HENCE THE PRESENT DAY phew), an Evil Flying Monkey disguised as a human was treating Emma to an extremely tiny dinner. And then it surprised her with a proposal couched in an ice cream sundae! Emma really had to think this through. Sure, Walsh did romantic, impromptu things like skittering up a tree to get her a coconut, and he was the most enthusiastic “Peekaboo” player she’d ever met, but something still felt off. Maybe her “superpower” sense was vaguely tingling, since literally every moment with Walsh was technically a lie? LOL, JK, Emma’s “superpower” is about as effective as a coin toss minus a coin. 




Look I didn’t bring up this super weak and inconsistent plot device, it was unfortunately directly referenced in this very scene by Hook, who rushed to grab Walsh’s seat when Walsh went to powder his nose. 




Hook, dressed as appropriately as ever, offered Emma an address to visit if she wanted to know the truth, and appealed to her superpower to judge whether or not he was a Firefly cosplay enthusiast run amok or telling the truth. Moments later, a rattled Emma walked out on Walsh’s proposal, though he assured her that even if she didn’t want to marry him, he’d be happy as long as they spent the rest of their lives together—which, what? Oh, Evil Flying Monkeys can be so SMOTHERING in relationships!

Emma went home and played video games with Henry, who had a truly flattering new haircut. While talking about bringing a new dad into the family unit, Henry talked some SMACK on Neal, a moment that was on one hand very sad for Henry (that he’d lost all memory of his dad) on the other FINALLY SOMEONE TALKING ABOUT NEAL ON THIS SHOW WAS MAKING SENSE.


Meanwhile back in the medieval hellscape of the Enchanted Forest (a year previously) Charming got very worried about Hook packing up his horse and heading off to the Jolly Roger. Charming legitimately thought Hook was going to move into the castle with him and his wife, and was super disappointed that he wasn’t. “You’re not coming with us?” Charming asked, chin trembling. “Where are you going?” beat. “Take me.” he mouthed. Then Neal showed up in his Hobbit fanboy costume and said he was going to continue to look for Rumplestiltskin in the hopes that Rumple could return him to Emma. At which point Snow seriously lost her cool.





SNOW. YOU HAVE LEARNED NOTHING. Impossible things happen in your world, by my count, every two minutes and 45 seconds. Despite knowing that your daughter never recovered from your abandonment, and you swearing you would never leave her, you’re ready to do it all over again. “There’s no way to cross over. It’s impossible. Don’t even try. Let’s move on. We’re going to have more babies so NBD really.” And Charming was just as bad, all, “We have to move on, even if we could cross over they wouldn’t remember us... we gave them their best chance.” Shame on both of you, Snow and Charming! It’s pretty funny that your whole relationship’s tagline is “I will always find you!” but when it comes to your daughter you’re like “Eh she’s got her best chance whatever.” The next time I drop some food on the floor I’m just going to be like “Eh, I gave that spaghetti its best chance. Go on, spaghetti. Live your life. I won’t interfere.” 

Ahem! All this is imaginary, I know, I know. Anyway. Emma, back in Present-Day New York City, had put on the most unfortunate pants.




Just nasty tartan boxy felty things, but luckily she wasn't going anywhere fancy as the address Hook had given her was merely Neal’s apartment! (Sad trombone) But wait—Henry’s camera was in Neal’s apartment somehow! Hook met Emma on the building’s stoop and offered her some poppers, but Emma had arranged for cops to be there in waiting for Hook. Henry’s camera in hand, Emma contemplated this latest turn of events and hit up a one-hour photo stand.

BACK IN FAIRY FOREST A YEAR PREVIOUSLY: Belle and Neal were giving each other the nod about secretly looking for Rumple’s dagger, which, sure. And news had reached Snow that the Queen was missing! Snow and her hyper-shaped eyebrows tore off into the woods to find Regina on her knees, digging about in the forest floor! Yes, Regina was burying a heart... her heart.









Guuuyyyyyyys. Regina is just always, far and away, the most compelling character, isn’t she? This was such a simple, lovely little detail. Regina burying her heart so she wouldn’t miss Emma Henry anymore. It would've been a poetic enough device even without the knowledge that this is exactly the same mistake Regina's mom made, but the fact she went off and did it without telling anyone is so poignant it hurts. What a devastating way to remind us of how completely isolated Regina still is, and how much she sacrificed by leaving her family, and how much it bothers her. And there's also the fact that her actual heart was GLOWING RED under a web of lacy darkness. I don't use the term "feels" often because I am 87 years old, but this gave me more Feels than the Animal Collective album of the same name. Of course, Snow’s solution to Regina's tragic situation would be a whole lot of boy talk, OF COURSE, but luckily that was briefly forestalled by an Evil Flying Monkey.





Regina’s battle cry of “I don’t run from monsters, they run from me”—expect to see that as a tattoo someday, possibly on my lower back, as I get more into fire-dancing and round purple sunglasses. The monkey beast fetched her up in his monstrous monkey paws and Snow saved her and then Robin Hood showed up with his band of Merrie Men—including Little John, who got a plus-sized serving of sass from Regina herself when she told him to show “a little respect... or a little restraint at the buffet.” Like, WHAT. Guys I know Regina is our only hope of someone cracking a joke on this show, but who has the presence of mind to slide in a fat joke five minutes after nearly being lifted off into the heavens by a dragon/simian hybrid? Oh Regina. 





Regina is now on an extended hike with Robin Hood, her Assigned Soulmate via Fairy Dust, so consider yourself officially mandated to start caring for this pairing by decree of our corporate overlords. 






Emma, meanwhile had gotten Henry’s pictures developed and was losing it over the pictures. What be this Storybrooke place?! I never lived in Boston!! Who is this hot brunette?! Thanks to the overburdened state of the East Coast police system due to socially profitless drug laws, Hook had been released and was once again offering Emma a memory-restoring potion. This time, she was game, and EMMA WAS BACK! 






Yeah, happened quick, I know, but I could not be happier that Emma’s memory was restored so quickly. We all saw far too much of her walking around obliviously with a troubled squint on her face in Season 1 for that to ever be suspenseful again. This time Emma knows the truth about her Fairy-Tale past, but Henry (the one-time Truest Believer) does not. The small tragedy in the evaporation of Emma’s amnesia is that she’s lost “being a mom” again, which awwwww. Cue FEELS.

There was only one loose end to sew up: Henry had invited Walsh over and had also arranged for a sleepover with a friend so that his mama and her Evil Flying Monkey suitor would have the place to themselves, suggesting that yes Emma has been EFFING AN EVIL FLYING MONKEY FOR MONTHS, so now she had to break the news to Walsh that they would not be getting married, and he turned into a flying monkey, and I wrote in my notes, “LOL girl you been sleeping with a dragon?!” but that was my mistake because obviously he was an Evil Flying Monkey.





But importantly he’s a MALE flying monkey so it’s all good, right? My desk is getting a small dent in the place where I pound my forehead.

Emma and Hook packed up Henry and headed back to a re-materialized Storybrooke, where David and Snow had been hilariously chilling?! LOL YOU ARE NOW IN THE SAME DIMENSION, A COUPLE HOURS AWAY FROM NYC AND YOU STILL COULDN’T BE BOTHERED TO GO FIND EMMA?? Well they’re having a replacement baby anyway so probably they were like “Eh, she’s got her best chance or whatever let’s get caught up on Game of Thrones instead.”



Aside from not understanding how the Charmings could get back to Storybrooke and still not bother looking up Emma when Hook was out there fighting the fight to restore her memory, I did love the little bow on Snow’s maternity dress. 

After months of promising us a look at the Wicked Witch, we got a blink-and-you’d miss it shot of her. She has the Queen’s blood! That means something! Look I don’t know. She’s got Regina in her sights, and that’s good because the more time we spend with Regina, the better OUAT show tends to be. Good things happened: I’m super glad everyone is back in Storybrooke. It’s fantastic that Emma’s memory has been restored so quickly. It’s an interesting shift in dynamic that she will now be trying to convince Henry that all this stuff is real. The crazy train is pulling out of the station, and I'm getting on board. We'll know in a few more stops whether it's headed in the complete wrong direction.


QUESTIONS:

... Is Walsh better, worse, or just as bad as Greg and Tamara?

... Are Aurora and Phillip super shady, or just trying to give themselves their best chance?

... Are Snow and Charming negligent parents?

... At what point do you think Henry will regain his memories, and will it involve a kiss on the forehead from Regina?

... How long 'til Rumple returns? Next episode, mebbe?

... How did you like “NYC Serenade”?


Comments (354)
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Jun 02, 2014
WHY IS RUBY IN THAT SCENE WHERE THEY ALL POOFED BEFORE AURORA AND WE'RE NOT SEEING THE SLIGHTEST BIT OF HER ALL SEASON? I want Ruby back and I'm disgusted to see her in that shot but no actual appearance by her. And I've absolutely no idea the fuck they're doing with this show anymore... I can't keep track of what's happening at all, especially when it's all beyond retarded. What was the point of the mid-season finale if it's all right back to where it was prior?

All in all Lily, I adore your captions and I look forward to reading them the very second after I watch an episode. Because goddammit, you're so right about so many of these things in a hilariously sarcastic way. Corpse Phillip, Baby-Machine Snow, Chirping Gimini (I lost my breath at this), Schoolgirl Boycrazed Snow, Emma abandonment-addicted Charmings, and not to mention MVP Regina love... Oh god I can't wait to get to read your upcoming reviews.
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Mar 24, 2014
OMG!!!! ROFL.

Shame on both of you, Snow and Charming! It’s pretty funny that your whole relationship’s tagline is “I will always find you!” but when it comes to your daughter you’re like “Eh she’s got her best chance whatever.” The next time I drop some food on the floor I’m just going to be like “Eh, I gave that spaghetti its best chance. Go on, spaghetti. Live your life. I won’t interfere.”

I was cracking up in my class when I read this.

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Mar 16, 2014
Okay, just two things.

1) About Aurora and Phillip not telling everyone about the Wicked Witch; they were doing it because they were afraid for their child. If Emma had done the same thing because someone threatened Henry, her goodness wouldn't even be questioned. People would be defending her left and right, saying she was just being a good mother and doing what was best for her kid. Just saying.

2) About Snow and Charming not going to New York to find Emma once Storybrooke is back and they're back in it - they said the curse was reset, right? In the original curse, no one could leave the town line without losing their memories, except for Regina, or people who hadn't been cursed (like Neal or Hook). So, even if they wanted to find Emma, them going to New York to find her wouldn't make any sense at all whatsoever, because the second they crossed the town line, they would forget who they were and Emma along with it.

However, Snow's "we should just give up" speech to Neal back in the Enchanted Forest was pretty OOC, especially for someone who has been pretty consistently sickeningly optimistic.
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Mar 13, 2014
First of all you bring the scrumptious Chris Gorham on the show, and he's a freaking evil monkey? Yuck!
"the People of the Enchanted Forest and give them more hope than seeing the Rebel Forces embrace their world’s Darth Vader?" First kudos on the Star Wars reference, still laughing with that one, but remember Darth was a good guy at end of Episode VI.

- You think we will be seeing Walsh again. Worse, when he's a monkey
- Pissed at Aurora & Philip for not speaking up
- I just think they don't know how to be parents.
- They will drag out the Henry not having his memory thing for sure. What it will entail for him to have them back, is anyone's guess.
- We want Rumple, no WE NEED RUMPLE (let it be next episode)
- It was a fun episode (putting evil monkeys in Emma's bed aside) but I think the walking to the castle in the Enchanted Forest was taking too long.

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Mar 13, 2014
Actually, in defense of Snow and Charming's parental skills-I do agree that shipping Emmar to Maine via portal as a newborn was risky, but the queen also would have killed the infant at that stage. She wanted that kid in opening episode and not to raise it. Plus spending 28 years in personalities not your own and then adjusting to your true again is tough. Emma is an adult and they have done what they could to build a relationship. They have spent most of their time getting hit with a crisis. Not much bonding time. The writers trying to put a shield up on no hope in enchanted forest land was silly. Any curse can be broken if you have right magic or true love. Neal is the bad one-as a kid he was great, but his adult self is not reliabe. He was not cursed. He could have crossed that line with Emma but he went back to the enchanted forest. Emma and Henry deserve better than Neal. He is too weak.
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Mar 13, 2014
The last ep was a good series final, this kinda feels like here we go again all over!
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Mar 13, 2014
Haha. I only read the captions and laughed so hard !!! I love this !
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Mar 12, 2014
you are one thirsty ho by proxy Snow OMGGGGG !!!
The best...

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Mar 12, 2014
I loved this episode! I am a HUGE CaptainSwan shipper, but I loved how Emma just had tears in her eyes when she saw him and nothing physical happened during this episode, the writers just focused on how they have bonded as friends and how she trusts him (lol he was left to babysit Henry AWWWW) and he really does always put her first. "You came back to save my family?" "I came back to save you." I SHIP IT I SHIP IT THE SAVIOR OF THE SAVIORRRR
That being said, I really wish they would give Neal somewhat of a storyline even if it's getting obvious who Emma is going to end up with. When Hook gets back, they give him all these meaningful metaphors (no one thought he was really going to go find the Jolly Roger, did they? "She's out there somewhere, all I have to do is FIND HER." I'm drawing parallels to the ever present theme of family and true love finding each other on this show. And when he sexily gallops off into the distance, Snow and Charming smile like, DUDE HE NOT GONNA FIND THAT SHIPPPPP (OMG SHIP HES GOING TO FIND HIS SHIP)
However, when Nealfire gets back, they don't bother to make any effort. He does the obvious thing, "i have to get back to Henry and Emma" duh. But Snow and Charming are like, "NO SHE'S ALREADY TAKEN IN OUR WORLD WE DON'T APPROVE."

I love Regina's character and the complexity of her and the way Lana plays her, so I can't wait to see her interact further with the Wicked Witch and Robin. Does anyone have a head canon where Regina meets Robin's son, Roland (like the family of triple Rs) and Roland reminds her of Henry and she grows closer to Robin because of that. That would totally be worth of some screeching.

Snow and Charming. Eh. They've never been my favorite characters on the show, just because I felt they were so predictable. It's Snow White and Prince Charming. We know they're true love because the show reminds us every episode and we know they will always find each other because the show reminds us every OTHER episode. They are set in stone. So theres no risk and it's frankly sometimes a little boring. Sorry, Snowing.
They're the most controversial and fickle parents EVER, even though I do sort of see what they were getting at this episode. I guess they feel like they've done the best they can for Emma, even though they've only had a relationship that lasted for about a year and a half (and Snow got way more time with her). They feel like they can't cross realms ever again, but I guess if they got the chance they might go see Emma for a weekend and introduce her to her little bro/sis.

Belle...if only they had written more of an independent storyline for her, but everything she does comes back to Rumple...I know this is controversial, but I feel like she's a girlfriend character. *shudders* DON'T MURDER ME DON'T MURDER ME RUMBELLERS I LOVE THEM TOGETHER JUST WISH THEY WOULD GIVE BELLE SOME MORE STORYLINE. Since either she or Neal is going to die in 3x16, I think, maybe they won't bother.

EWWWW Walsh is a flying monkey. First of all, Walsh isn't the best first name. Second of all, it was HELLA creepy when his eyes turned all red.

Love the previews of the WW she looks awesome!!! Even though I can't help feeling "Wicked always wins" is the same as "Peter Pan never fails".

I LOVE CAPTAINSWAN. So excited for their relationship, they definitely have the most in common out of Emma's previous suitors and I feel like they go so well together, almost like Rumbelle where Emma brings the good out of Hook &33
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Mar 12, 2014
Loved the episode! You had to keep up to know what was going on, but really liked it.

Emma living the normal life...did anybody saw some weird outfits she was wearing...anyways...Henry had the same haircut as in season 1, but looked older and bigger...
Emma dating a creepy monkey in a very cute guy...creepy if you think about it...if they had sex, then she actually screwed a monkey hihihihihihihih..
Loved how everybody was back i the enchanted forest...
Didn't get why Charming had blood on his shirt..did i mis something??
Loved how Hook didn't gave up on Emma, couldn't believe when she got him arrested..that was fun to watch...
Then she took the potion and remembered everything. Now she is back in Storybrooke and everybody is back too, but don't remember anything from the last year...of what happened in the enchanted Forest.....so that means for the rest of the series, we are going to get flasbacks but this time from a year period...ok cool...
Of course the savor is now back and she will have to do something impossible to save everybody again...
Wonder what happend to Regina in that year...Evil vs Wicked...so cool
Loved how Snow talked into Regina and made her put her heart back and even saved her...nice job Snow..just hope that the Evil Queen didn't get to soft to kick the ass of the Wicked Witch...
So excited for the next episode...really like it...hope Henry will not be very annoying...
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Mar 12, 2014
Charming had blood on him because they were taken back in the garb they left in and remember one of the black knights stabbed Charming right before the curse hit when he had Baby Emma?
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Mar 12, 2014
I don't think this episode was very good but it did a lot of stuff that needed to be done.

I cracked up at the Cricket picture, that was exactly what I was thinking when watching the episode. The eyebrow-comeback was also hilarious.

Snow and Charming are really the most annoying characters ever. Even all the evil guys are more interesting and likeable, shame really, I really used to love Ginnifer.

Speaking of which, I called Ginnifer being pregnant ages ago, so yay for me? Still think they should have skipped more than a year to make Henry's age more suitable. And Diablo III product placement, wuut?

I like the dynamic of Neal and Belle, I hope they get Rumple back soon. Also I agree with Lily about Mulan (prince whatever and Aurora suuuuuck compared to her). What happened to Mulan? Will she come back and fall in love with Red or something, that would be a handsome couple.

The ginger b.. witch is a good one too, I hope the character is gonna be miles better than what she had in Lost. She was even more annoying that Charming, who indeed really seems to be in love with Hook. (This is a really really weird love-octagon or something, worse than the 30 year old soaps.)
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Mar 12, 2014
I don't understand Snow. Wasn't she just preaching to Regina to have "hope!" Doesn't she tell everyone to not give up and to have hope?!? So where is her "hope" that she'll be reunited with her daughter again. She really is over Emma and is so ready to replace her with a new daughter. Just awful.
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Mar 12, 2014
No kidding!!! "Have hope that you will see Henry again and that things will get better! As for my daughter, meh, whatever." Remember when her heart was blackening and she got so angry about how Pinocchio's dad didn't tell her there was room for two in the tree stump? Then she was ready to send Emma off and stay in Neverland forever. She's constantly teetering back and forth. There's so much inconsistency in how she behaves towards Emma.
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Mar 12, 2014
I loved the quip about the spaghetti - I couldn't be that generous to my pasta because my dogs would eat it. In fact anything that's dropped on the floor they eat........I try not to drop on the floor for the same reason.

I need Rumple - I'm sorry, but I just can't care until he comes back................I'd even settle for another amnesiac at this point just so long as it was him.

Oh and yes - Snow and Charming are the WORST parents ever; which, considering they're supposed to be heroes and 'good guys' tells me a lot about fairytales.......
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Mar 12, 2014
Gotta say, I liked NYC serenade better than many other episodes- I was quite unimpressed by the slow rythm, and yet abundance of facts, during the beginning of the last season. But, well, what left me unimpressed are the Charmings... I mean, ENCHANTED FOREST. If you don't find magic to bed the rule, where then? And, ok, every magic act needs a price, but, again, MAGIC? Honestly, I'd rather prefer Regina, at least she suffers and buries her heart because she doesn't want to hurt any longer, but snow and charming, five minutes later they are, all, let's move on and find you someone to sleep and have babies with! " which was, like, totally eyebrow rising, lol. :)
btw: am I the only one who was kind of glad to see that Christopher Gorham was a stalkerish evil flying monkey? Because, I was.

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Mar 12, 2014
I gotta say, your reviews of OuaT are some of my favorite reviews of any show, and probably about half the reason that I still (hate)watch the show. Keep doing you, girl. Keep doing you.
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Mar 14, 2014
That makes my day. Thank you very much!
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Mar 12, 2014
LOL, JK, Emma’s “superpower” is about as effective as a coin toss minus a coin.

I very nearly spit out the milk I was drinking when I read this. It's extremely and excruciatingly accurate.

I love that as soon as the wicked witch began speaking, I knew it was Charlotte (Rebecca Mader) from LOST. Maybe it's ridiculous, but I still love anytime LOST is referenced (eg. Henry playing level 23) or a former LOST actor appears. Awesome :)

I figured Walsh was evil/not who he said he was (honestly I was thinking he'd be the Tin Man or Scarecrow or something) because normal doesn't exist on this show but when he revealed himself as a FREAKIN FLYING MONKEY I just about threw up in my mouth. Beyond disgusting. Emma has just about the worst track record going - the father of her child who left her locked in jail, a huntsman/sheriff who was secretly with Regina, a pirate whose former love-of-his-life was the mother of Emma's son's father, and now a flying monkey.

I really liked this episode, besides the fact that Snow and Charming have changed their whole outlook on life in basically one episode. "Nothing is impossible" to "It's impossible". Although, it is my understanding that that the citizens are stuck (again) in Storybrooke, but maybe I misunderstood? Also, Charming said it felt like yesterday to them and the last thing they remember is saying good bye. I guess they wouldn't have really had time to look yet? Who knows. Snow was all prepared to stay in Neverland with Charming (was his poison issue resolved btw? I can't remember) after just reuniting with Emma, so it's not totally surprising.
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Mar 12, 2014
I thought you would comment the shameless Diablo product placement.
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Mar 11, 2014
Gay couples? Seriously, we do not need gay people in EVERY show these days. It would actually be refreshing to NOT see that happen in OUAT, but it's too late anyway since they already messed with the Mulan-Aurora-Philip trio, which was beyond ridiculous!

I'm glad Regina didn't bury her heart afterall. I would prefer it if we didn't see her be a heartless killer (which, ironically, she was with the heart inside her) again this whole season. I would like to see less of the Regina vs. Emma drama regarding Henry. I want them to focus more on the new wicked witch.

It was fun to see lovely Christopher Gorham. Just a shame that he is a bad (monkey) guy...

Aurora and Phillip are not shady, they are just scared for themselves and their baby.

I love that there is a chance Rumple will be back! He is the BEST character in this show! I hope they will wait a few episodes before he's brought back though, because after they keep saying things like: "it's impossible!" it is kinda silly if they bring him back simple as that already in the next episode...

I love the new Wizard of Oz theme and the actress playing the wicked witch is Charlotte from Lost, right?

Perhaps the Charmings didn't look for Emma because they are trapped in Storybrooke again, so how could they?

I also loved seeing Robin Hood again. I hope he will be a regular from now on. I also want to see more of Ariel. I really want more of Aurora and especially the gorgeous Phillip. :D I don't care to ever see Mulan again though. They messed up her character so bad it made her annoying.
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Mar 12, 2014
Statistically it is rather improbable that there wouldn't be any gay people in Storybrooke. We already got one one-sided gay romance here, why not have a working one too? I don't mean they'd need force it but I'm pretty sure it's not really hard to write in another gay character, it could also be someone we already met, I don't think everyone's sexuality has been declared very clearly.

And because there was that one gay (or bisexual) character and the show also has a lot of other same-sex friendships that are borderlining on sexual, it might start to feel that they are really avoiding gay couples on purpose. I also don't see how Mulan was "messed up"? The gay part again? I thought it was very sweet, she seemed to care and love them both.
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Mar 14, 2014
So if a TV show doesn't have at least one gay character it means they are avoiding it on purpose? They are a small minority, so no, it is not more probable there is a gay character in Storybrooke - it is more likely that there isn't.

No, Mulan was messed up because first she liked Phillip (and Phillip died BTW and suddenly he was alive again) but then the writers changed it so that she had a girl crush on Aurora instead, excep there was no real build-up story to justify that sudden change of heart. It was poor writing, they just changed their mind apparantly.
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Mar 15, 2014
No, like I said: after introducing Mulan's crush and having several friendships that already hint towards it, not ever giving an actual couple does feel like they are avoiding it on purpose.

I never said all shows need to have gay couples (it is really not needed especially in shows that only follow like 6 people, but when we follow a whole town or a land, it is kinda unlikely that there would only be one person). I don't know that many people but several of them are gay/bisexual. It's not that rare.

And I stand by my statement that it was only sweet that Mulan loved them both. She didn't go back and forth. First she cared about Philip and then noticed that she had feelings for Aurora too.
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Mar 11, 2014
I liked the eps! I can't answer all questions, but here it goes:

1. In Aurora and Phillip's defense, the eminent threat can take away their baby. Can you imagine that creepy giant sharp-toothed monkey taking away a new-born. YIKES! You can see Aurora is conflicted and wants to tell the gang, but Phillip is against it. I can only assume that they don't want their child to have the same fate as Emma (grow up without her parents) On that note: isn't Mulan rolling with the Merry Men? I certainly missed her. If only Mulan was there, she could help protect the baby.
2. Love to see Sass Queen is back!! I thought it was surprising to see Regina and Snow bonding and walking side-by-side!! I am glad that their feud is put to rest, finally. Oh, and I cried when Regina was burying her heart, she was stalling and half-hoping that someone would talk her out of it. It was sincerely sweet to hear Snow convince her not to do that. I cried some more.
3. Ew. Flying monkey business; if I were Emma, I'd be disgusted for life. Did not see that coming. Good lord, the things they put Emma through. Thankfully it's said and done; I don't want to discuss any further.
4. I thought that the whole domestic-mom-Emma with a chill-but-caring-normal-teen-Henry was really nice, they were bffs with each other. There's just something about it that's very compelling to me, even if it was fake. I wish they had explored it for at least another eps? Oh well. It's interesting how the tables have turned and Henry is not the truest believer anymore. Somewhere in hell Pan is crying. I do hope Regina triggers his memory with a TLK, that would be like a full circle after all she's done to get him to safety.
5. Hook always has Emma's best interest in mind, so I don't think he's working for the WW willingly. I mean, we all know how he DREADED working with Cora, he only did it because he wanted revenge. If anything, he's being forced to. I'm taking this with a grain of salt though. He seems SO DONE with these curses and Emma not having a happy ending, it's visible.
5. In defense (and charge) of the Charming's, leaving town could mean they forget Emma for good. But to move on and have another baby still doesn't sit right with me. Who knows, maybe part of this behavior is the WW's doing? Wishful thinking. I just miss badass Charming and Bandit Snow from season 1 so much. We can kiss bamf Snow goodbye now with the baby coming along, or?
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Mar 12, 2014
The love sassy Regina. I like sassy Regina and bonding with Snow now necause they have played out the revenge, hate, etc., with those 2 as far as they can go. Now Regina needs to become a whole person-but with sassy-damn i love Lana!
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Mar 11, 2014
I missed this show; and by that, I actually mean I missed these reviews-- best thing about OUAT.
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Mar 11, 2014
great episode but WHERE IS RUMPLE ??
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Mar 11, 2014
Can I just point out how heartbroken Regina is going to be when she sees Henry again after thinking that she never would again, and he doesn't remember her?
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Mar 11, 2014
That's going to really suck but can't wait to see LP do that scene. She'll be awesome.
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Mar 11, 2014
"The next time I drop some food on the floor I’m just going to be like “Eh, I gave that spaghetti its best chance. Go on, spaghetti. Live your life. I won’t interfere.” - ROTFL! Lily you're the best...Oh and that screencap of Emma "Hwuh?!?!" prb the best one of Emma ever...
Walsh was pretty terrible, I knew he would be tho since he was played by the guy who turned out to be the killer on Harper's Island...cheesy villains are his forte apparently.. I don't think he was quite as bad as Greg and Tamara tho, the worst duo in history... In fact I still have a hard time getting "Tamara" out of my head while watching "Sasha" on TWD... Her acting is really horrible at times..
Aurora and Phillip are just straight up shady....and ur right Mulan would have spoken up, cuz she's an honorable person...
Snow and Charming are all over the damn place...they've made it seem in the past like they were so happy to have the chance to know Emma and Henry ...and then the minute things get rough, they're pretty much like "eh, nbd, let's just make some more babies..." Snow and Charming's Happy Little Family, Take Two.
I don't think Henry will get his memories back anytime soon, I think since they gave Emma hers back so quickly that they're gunna draw out this reversed dynamic between them for a while... I do think in the end Regina will play a part in returning his memories.
I hope Rumple returns next episode! &3 Robert Carlyle, miss him.
New York Serenade was a pretty good episode, I enjoyed it..there were of course some ludicrous plot points, but that's OUAT for you...
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Mar 11, 2014
Nah, he's also great playing the nice guy. He's starred in some stuff as a central character (Jake 2.0 / Medical Investigation / Odyssey 5 / Covert Affairs). And in those he's usually the competent nice guy

The thing is... he's a well known TV actor that has starred on shows. If you ever see a known TV actor not doing much on a show... it tends to mean something big and interesting is coming. In a mystery... it usually means he's the murderer.

You don't waste the money hiring a guy who used to have his own shows to be a glorified extra.

In THIS case, I imagined he'd be a bad guy. But it could just as easily have gone the other way... that perhaps he was a good guy and was going to follow Emma on her trip because he thought she was in trouble.



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Mar 13, 2014
This is actually starting be a problem to me especially in procedural shows where they usually catch the bad guy at the end of the episode. It's always the guy/girl you've seen in other shows.

I remember Walsh from Ugly Betty and Covert Affairs, so definitely a nice guy for me (saw Harper's Island too but already forgot about it).
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Mar 13, 2014
Yeh, it's almost disheartening. No matter how interesting the case... it gets spoiled the instant you see a familiar face pop up with very little to do in the episode.

US Network crime dramas have turn into a variable form of Where's Waldo . Only instead of a guy in stripes, you're just on the lookout for someone familiar.
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Mar 17, 2014
Yep, me and my sister just imagine the same actors just walking from one set to another. It's like musical chairs but with TV shows instead of chairs.
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Mar 11, 2014
What I want to know is where the hell is Tink? Wasn't she like two feet away from Regina and the Charmings (which definitely needs to be a band somehow) when the curse happened?
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Mar 12, 2014
I'm just glad that Ruby was there :) It was nice to see her quickly again.

Someone (I think Grumpy?) did say to Charming that people were slowly popping up all over the forest, so that's probably the writers' excuse for that.
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Mar 11, 2014
Maybe she WAS there, but was a tiny fairy again... you just couldn't see her :-) Maybe she earned her wings back after all.

All kidding aside, availability was probably an issue.

But hey, it's magic. If it just used everyone's general location from the town then there are going to be a lot of dead people. People on the 2nd/3rd story appearing 20 feet off the ground and falling to their death. People appearing inside of a tree or boulder. etc.

So just pretend nothing weird is going on and move on :-)
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Mar 12, 2014
I do know that Think will be in at least one episode this season, because there are pictures of Rose McIver on set.
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Mar 11, 2014
Yep. It seems that when the whole town shifted to the enchanted forest, only 10 people showed up?
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Mar 15, 2014
Again, they explained that townspeople were popping up all over the forest. We don't need to see everyone all at once. At least I don't.
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Mar 15, 2014
I don't either. Even a film student in his first year would have simply gone for a closer shot so we wouldn't see an empty forest in the background.
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Mar 11, 2014
I think this episode was completely perfect, evil-flying-monkey-in-a-relationship-with-Emma aside.
Still, it kinda bummed me that they returned to Storybrooke so fast, i was hoping to see them more in the Enchanted Forest but i'm sure that will happen as they show us what went through that last year they forgot.
I also think Snow and Charming are HORRIBLE parents and i feel for the new baby to be cause they'll probably dismiss him/her at the first sign of trouble.
Oh, and I laughed a lot with the screencaps, they were hilarious XD
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Mar 11, 2014
Question, I recall hearing somewhere that this was to be OuaT's final season. And a short one at that.

Is that true?

Or am I getting my news confused. Wikipedia mentions something about the UK not picking it up next year but I guess that just means they don't want to air it OVER THERE anymore.
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Mar 15, 2014
I think you're confusing it with Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
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Mar 12, 2014
No, OUAT has been renewed for a fourth season :D yay!
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Mar 11, 2014
I was looking forward to this review as much as the premier itself. You did not disappoint! Thanks for the laughs.

Anytime I decide to abandon my responsibility for anything I'm going to use the line "I wanted to give it it's best shot."

Are there any one hour photo development thingies left in the world? Couldn't Emma have looked at the photo stream on her phone, which she no doubt synced up with her ipad mini (nice product placement), and seen photos of her with the Storybrooke gang? We know she has a selfie with Mary Margaret.

Can't wait for next week's review show!
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Mar 15, 2014
Yes you can still get photos developed. Probably at Walmart.
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Mar 12, 2014
Well for Emma it is like those years never happened, so there would be no evidence on her phone or anything like that even with supreme technology.
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Mar 11, 2014
Let me tell you
That spaghetti will be super depressed, Lily
Don't let the spaghetti go!!!
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Mar 11, 2014
Wow. Woah! I haven't been following ANY of the online discussions (or spoilers) BUT boy oh boy: Did this episode beat us over the head with Captain Swan and Regina & Hood (I do not want to acknowledge this ship via name)! Seriously, it's like ease up network people & scared show runners, WE GET IT! Emma and Regina will never be canon! But please stop giving me whip lash!

Ok. Breathe.
Yes, I'm a little [.............] PISSED! But really?? So bestiality is all good, as long as it's not same-sex-bestiality: BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE SICK! Ugh.
The "Emma in a relationship with a Flying Monkey" is really a new kind of OUAT whack. I mean, at least they could've made it that he can only turn into a flying monkey in Fairy Tale Land but this way.......just imagine what that thing was doing to Emma while she slept!? (Don't imagine)
This show is flat-out trolling a large part of its fandom with this Emma-in-a-relationship-with-a-FLYING MONKEY plot. Don't you think?
I mean after all of the horrible things that have happened to her, surely finding out that the man you were sleeping with for 8 months was a DRAGON/MONKEY hybrid has to leave some serious scars! I'm sure they'll just gloss over it with an express ticket to Captain Swan. Sigh.

OTHER NOTES:
- Wtf is wrong with Snow and Charming? They have got to be the worst ("fictional") parents in the history of prime time television. "We gave her her best chance!" Ugh! I don't know if they're selfish a-holes or just unbelievably stupid. I mean Snow was just insufferable with her chilled out attitude regarding Emma (and Henry). Regina couldn't think about anything other then her son but Snow was already making plans to never see her daughter again?! I don't get it. Snow as a character, deserves way better then being a deadbeat mother. I really hoped that the writers would fix Snow and Charmings neglectful ways toward their daughter and grandson but: Nope! The Charmings were as ignorant and (unintentionally) cruel as ever. Oh and they got busy real quick with a replacement baby!? Ummm....I really hope the writers pull something out of their a**holes challenged intelligence and make The Charmings better parents/characters now that they're back in Storybrooke with a baby on the way.

- WHAT HAPPENED TO RUMPLE? I hope we find out very soon. I'm thinking he might be familiar with Wicked and a threat for her.

- Did that scene with Wicked putting Regina's blood in a vial happen in present day or one year ago (I'm thinking the latter)? So Wicked is obviously responsible for the new curse (lol curse again! This show!) so she must've already done something to Regina via the blood? I'm guessing Regina is in trouble in present day since we didn't see her?

- So, I'm assuming we will be getting NEW flashbacks from now on? Flashbacks of what happened in FTL and Emma's "new" life during the past year? THIS could be a nice chance for some fresh/interesting stories.

- I wonder how Henry will be now that he's the one that doesn't remember. I hope he gets a good storyline (not another magic potion) and some character development. His voice is (almost) starting to break and he's grown. Let's hope this means better acting from Jared too.

- Oh please OUAT writers make Wicked a three dimensional and compelling villain! I hope her "beef with Regina" is over something interesting (and preferably doesn't involve fairy dust!).

I know I sound like a grump but for all it's (and my) flaws, it's still kinda nice to have OUAT back. I didn't realise that I missed it until this episode but I did.
Even better, it's great to be able to read Lily's hilarious musings (unfortunately this is the only show I watch - that she reviews). Lily you crack me up! WELCOME BACK!
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Mar 11, 2014
At least it was over quickly (flying monkey walsh) but Emma and Regina have actual charisma together, and the men pale next to them. But they will not play that out. Flying bat monkey love is apparently okay.
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Mar 12, 2014
It is very sad that network TV still frowns upon same-sex love. And when they do "approve" of it and include into a show, it's usually very over-the-top, unrealistic, comedic and never from the lead character.
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Mar 11, 2014
I laughed out loud several times during this review. Thank you.
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Mar 11, 2014
This episode was good enough, but strangely enough it feels like this series is starting all over again. Last season wrapped it up pretty neat, every loose end was fulfilled and every storyline came to an end.
This new series has to develop all those storylines all over again. No missing dads, children, awkward relationships etc. I really wonder how they're going to pull that off.

And about the lack of gay themes, it does begin to bother me that the series has no interest in the obvious freudian themes in fairytales. It's completely sexless which is strange and unfitting for this genre. It just needs more sex.


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Mar 11, 2014
Oh, Lily, what the show lacks in humor, your reviews sure don't.
You totally cracked me up :)


Overall, horrible episode, so the concept of this new season is to go back to storybrooke - AGAIN?!?
Bah, I was hoping we'd actually be in the forest this time around.

And shouldn't everyone in storybrooke show up in the forest? It seemed like there were what? 10 people total?

Where are the faires? The mad hatter? Charming's ex-wife and her hubby? Where's Charming's evil step dad? The Giant? Even if they didn't want to show the actual characters, they should have at least used a lot more extras in the background.

The wicked witch looks horrible, terrible makeup job.

And I'm not even getting into the absurdity of Hook's arrest.
The guy has no name, no papers, birth certificate, driver's license etc
How was he arrested and let go so quickly?!?
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Mar 12, 2014
The writer's excuse for only 10 people showing up was that there were people coming in at different places depending on where they were in Storybrooke, and we know where those people were when the curse broke.

It's a TV show, Hook had to be let go for the drama, they weren't going to base it upon anything legitimate.
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Mar 11, 2014
Woah - check out Henry who done got the acting lessons and also the best lines from the writers in the break. Nice job kid!
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Mar 11, 2014

Oh, this show. I all at once hated and loved this episode.Loved, mainly because I’ve had to go so long without its mind melting absurdity. Like many other commenters, these reviews make the show WAY more entertaining because: Hey! We're not alone in our criticisms! The ending threw me a little bit, honestly. I know lots of people are overjoyed about this new Storybrooke aspect but my immediate thought was "WTF. It’s not real." And Snow and Charming's not-so-subtle avoidance of response was on par with our politicians. I understand that the previews for the next episode make it seem that people in Storybrooke are being change into these flying monkeys, but what if that’s because they ALREADY WERE flying monkeys? For reals, the FTL to Storybrooke return made no sense whatsoever. (What in this show does?)

I have to say that I was super perturbed by their giving Emma her unhappy past back immediately. I’m all for things moving forward, it just seemed that the storylines that they could utilize are always rushed through and the crap we don’t care about goes on for eternity. (Poor Ethan Embry and his crummy, crummy character) I was excited to see Hook get chained up and hauled away. I was like: YES! Drama? What’s he going to do now? When will Emma visit him in jail to search for the truth and mark her territory? But no, sadly he was in the clink for thirty minutes. Two and half of which he spent eating bologna, because that’s what wardens do. Hand out bologna and spam to those incarcerated for being a flasher.

I seem to be the only one thinking that this whole “Wicked Witch” theme is ridiculous. Maybe it will grow on me. I sure as hell was not jazzed on the idea of Peter Pan becoming involved but Robbie Kay’s eyebrows and insane annunciation made me a believer (Clap those hands! Maybe he’ll come back!). I personally loved all of the dark, creepiness that they gave Pan and his ilk. When I was a kid, he always reminded me of a more appealing version of the kid catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Aurora didn’t surprise me with her flagrant lack of good Samaritan attitude, she’s always been about herself. And in this situation, if it were me and my unborn child, I would TOTALLY trip someone when running for my life from a zombie. But WTH is Phillip even doing there? Can the undead even spawn children? I have hated Charming/David since the episode he woke up. He seems like a complete gold digger. And a stupid, stupid one at that. He’s always in defense of them and their crown but gives up on things that are truly important? He’s always pushing that with love and hope anything can be accomplished, now he’s like “I’d rather go thrift shopping."

SERIOUSLY. I mentioned his rap façade a while ago and I’m so glad I am not the only one who saw it. What are they thinking with that hair and get up? Except to totally remind me I’ve only got twenty dollars in my pocket.

The situation with Snow and Regina made me do a happy dance in my brain, until it got overly sappy. Come one. Regina is one hardened beeyotch.She’s not going to give up her pain and be all on board a family reunion road trip. NIGHTMARE for anyone normal. And then have that entire family hold up in her house and dirty her sheets. I dig that she’s not alone anymore, I do.But this insta-friendship seemed like the phony bologna Cady Heron was fed by REGINA in Mean Girls. Let's have her rip that heart right back out so we can see Lana Parilla let loose with her awesome chops.


Please, please, PLEASE let there be a convincing and engaging plot in the upcoming episodes somewhere. Wardrobe people burn those pants of Emma’s—I thought that she was wearing the most Debbie Harry/stripper pajamas set I’ve seen outside Frederick’s of Hollywood until I saw the boots. And for the love of MAC, please fix the Wicked Witches makeup. Lip liner, even coverage. Something.

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Mar 11, 2014
"What are they thinking with that hair and get up? Except to totally remind me I’ve only got twenty dollars in my pocket" -Priceless...hahahahahha
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Mar 11, 2014
Hilarious review, I have missed your recaps and this show so much!

Loved your NZ shout out and comments on Emma's ridiculous pants; I seriously thought they were just pyjamas until I saw her wearing them with boots. Amnesia really did screw her up.
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Mar 11, 2014
I mean, thank god for condoms
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Mar 11, 2014
One word: eww, just eww. The moment he turned into a monkey I said that's gross. If that was me I would have had to have taken the flask Hook keeps handy and chugged it, then taken a hot shower for three hours.
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Mar 11, 2014
... Is Walsh better, worse, or just as bad as Greg and Tamara?

So much better. So, so much better. The monkey is a legit kinda creepy bad guy (and not just because of the whole bestiality thing, but yes, that's creepy too), his path back to the Big Bad for this semester of show is well-established and simple, so anything they reveal about him has a much better chance of not being falsely "mysterious", and his CG wasn't half bad (only like 46% bad). Plus, he's Auggie, which is nice.

... Are Aurora and Phillip super shady, or just trying to give themselves their best chance?

I really dislike these Discount Charmings, and I don't really care what they're up to. Their role here was nothing but as plot conveyance, so maybe we'll get lucky and not see them again. But with both Aurora and Snow pregnant, I'm sure we'll see some royal baby shenanigans here one way or another.

... Are Snow and Charming negligent parents?

Yes.

... At what point do you think Henry will regain his memories, and will it involve a kiss on the forehead from Regina?

Either near the end of the next episode or the one after (because it's a limited, repeat plot device), or in the penultimate episode (in time to Save The Day somehow).


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Q2
Mar 11, 2014
Loved this episode, lots of stuff going on and it moved at a good pace. I'm looking forward to the next 10. I'm sure it will be all over the place, but that't what we expect. I still want Neal to go away.
Missed your reviews, Lily, I always LOL.
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Mar 10, 2014
I LOL'd at the caption "Slap that monkey Regina." It was good to see Emma's signature red leather jacket again and didn't know Henry was a Diablo fan I was playing it earlier.
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Mar 10, 2014
Honestly, Walsh is STILL a better mate for Emma than Neal is - flying monkey and all.

Regina/LP remains the best thing about this show.
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Mar 11, 2014
Yeah right, an evil creature is better than a person Emma and Henry love...

Sorry, but you shippers are ridiculous! Admit it, you don't like Neal because he's not a pretty boy. You can't say Hook is a better person (he's not), so it means you just prefer "hot bad boys"... guess evil monkeys are better than you!!
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Mar 16, 2014
I didn't mention Hook at all. I don't like Neal because he's a jerk and that's pretty much it. Has nothing to do with anyone else. And if I were going to ship Emma with anyone, it'd be Regina. So maybe I like hot bad girls.

And that evil flying monkey paid more attention to Henry than Neal ever did so, yep...still a better choice all around.
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Mar 12, 2014
I hate how that is ALWAYS the excuse that some Neal and Emma shippers give. That, and "Hook locked her up too! Plus, he's a bad guy! And he stole Milah!"
Come on. You don't think Regina or Rumple are bad people (they've murdered and probably done way worse than Hook with their magic). I don't know that you personally believe that, but accusing someone of liking Hook better than Neal for his looks when the original comment gave no evidence of that is shallow and makes you look bad.
Emma obviously trusts Hook as a friend at least now because he was the one who fought to bring her memories back. Neal had, what...4 lines? And half of them were angsty where he was scrunching up his forehead trying to make us feel sorry for him....again. Sorry, Neal - Baelfire - WHATEVER - that tactic doesn't work on all of us, and it CERTAINLY does not work on Emma. Why don't you try to get your words to match up for your actions FOR ONCE?
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Mar 11, 2014
I still don't understand what Neal has done that takes away from the initial sting of him abandoning Emma. Just because Pinocchio knew he was a fairy tale character, how does that justify him agreeing that Emma was incarcerated? Even if he saw they shouldn't be together, couldn't he have called off the Watch Smuggling Sting and just broken up with her? And then he didn't look her up for 11 years, he just handed over what looked like 1,000 in small bills to Pincocchio, went to NYC and got engaged to one of Peter Pan's minions. And he's said several times he never looked Emma up because he was AFRAID SHE WOULD BE ANGRY AT HIM. THat is what we call a "scrub" and it boggles my mind anyone sees it as anything other than a huge step down in Emma's self confidence and self worth to resume a relationship with him.
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Mar 11, 2014
Me thinks dost thou protest too much?

Have you noticed that Ariel McRoy never mentioned Hook? Your subconscious is here at works dude...

It's nothing to do with good looking bad boys (Neal isn't exactly a troll under the bridge btw...)

It's because he is a total douchebag who left Emma and has never done anything about it. He constantly ran away from problems instead of dealing with them.

As much as it hurts my brain to mentoin Tamara, you realize they were engaged? He was going to spend the rest of his life with that woman and yet she is dead and doesn't give a damn?

If that guy would have made a move on my daughter, I'd chase him off with a shot gun.
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Mar 11, 2014
I'm sorry but I must disagree because you are generalizing a who group of people who dislike a character because of a superficial reason. I for one am a teenage girl, who is this show is marketing "hot bad boys" to and I have very different reasons for disliking Neal.
We don't like Neal because he was too much of a wimp to seek out Emma after he knew she broke the curse and fulfilled her "destiny" (which BTW left her with deep mental scars that caused her inability to want to form close relationships to people) because "he was afraid she would never forgive him". Like really?
I personally don't think MRJ is bad looking at all, I actually think he's quite handsome (I wish he would shave his upper lip though, that thing's nasty) but Neal is a disgusting character who took advantage of an 18 year old girl into getting deeper into the crime of thievery, got her pregnant and left her because August told her she had a destiny and didn't even try to fight for her. August and Neal are both responsible for leaving Emma feeling abandoned and worthless. It really doesn't make sense that he had to leave her anyway, couldn't they have just found Storybrooke together and break the curse together? Because that's what real love is. That's what we saw Regina do with Henry, choosing to forget about the Savior coming to Storybrooke to raise her son the best she could. The worst part is, and I repeat again, he CHOSE not to seek her out even AFTER she fulfilled her destiny because he was afraid. That's just sick.
The case here isn't "Setting your love free and if they come back it's yours", because he essentially abandoned her. He never even took the fall for HIS crimes. Emma did her time and paid her consequences for her actions, but what did he do? Run away to Vancouver scot-free. Just because he felt guilty doesn't excuse any of that. Feeling sorry is not enough. He should have turned himself in if he was going to let Emma go to prison. They both should have turned themselves in, but then that would've been a really boring show wouldn't it if there were only black and white characters.
So no, it's not that superficial when it comes to Neal-hate. I don't care if people like his character or not but it seems obvious that Lily and many other people who watch OUAT don't like his character for many reasons beyond that as he essentially shattered Emma's willingness to trust people.

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Mar 12, 2014
Very good points there.

I personally don't hate Neal and sometimes it annoys me a bit how people go on about how horrible he is considering this show has characters that have killed tons of people (and other creatures). But I think the best thing about Neal is MRJ. His talent is pretty much wasted with this char. I understand that Neal was a boy whose father abandoned him, but why is he still the exact same character but in a 35-yo body now? Not very interesting or attractive to be honest.

I still like MRJ a lot but they should do something about Neal, seriously. And that something probably would have to be a thing that does not involve Emma. I don't really feel the chemistry now (though the backstory episode was nice) and I have a hard time believing that a grown woman would fall for the same douche she did when she was a teenager.

The only good thing about Neal has been his alliance with Belle and I hope he gets a decent storyline that way (but dear god not another love triangle).
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Mar 11, 2014
No, Neal is just a tosser.
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Mar 10, 2014
BTW did anyone got the answer for the fact that why Neal and Hook was sent back to Enchanted forest even though they were not brought to Storybrooke due to part of curse?
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Mar 11, 2014
This issue was discussed in forums before the mid season break. There were other characters that didn't come through the curse (Ariel and Giant for example)


The show made no attempt to explain it, but the way we excused it for them is that Regina didn't undo the curse but rather Storybrooke itself.
Ergo, anyone inside the town was sent back.
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Mar 11, 2014
Oh my gods, that's a great point! Also, August came through the wardrobe, so where's he, in his creepy child form?
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Mar 10, 2014
After all that time in Storybrooke, don't you think they will miss flushing toilets, razors, oil of olay, hair salons, and hamburger helper?
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Mar 11, 2014
YES!
This thing bothers me big time on all occasions of this show. It's as if they think that every day comforts mean nothing.

Not just technology, think about Regina or even Cora. They were queens, and they just tossed it all out for what?
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Mar 10, 2014
Ok, putting aside the whole Swan Queen bussiness, I don't understand why Emma wouldn't like to clean the palate with some hot piratey lovin' (after 8 months of monkey dating!). Maybe because he didn't step into the whole "hero phase" and help her in the ridiculous rooftop battle? Pls, don't make the "mommy and daddy back again" nonsense in the future episodes. It's enough we got the Charmings always finding each other.
IDK if they are the worst parents, suppose they didn't really have much time to commit to this all grown up kid of theirs.

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Mar 10, 2014
My favorite line of this episode was Hook and Henry confronting each other about their clothes. One other thing, I was hoping that the show would milk Emma's memory loss a bit more.

... Is Walsh better, worse, or just as bad as Greg and Tamara?= At this point I don't know what to think. But Christopher Gorham is way too talented to just be in half of one episode so I don't think we're done with him. But honestly Greg and Tamara are pretty much the most pathetic bad guys OUAT has ever come up with.
... Are Aurora and Phillip super shady, or just trying to give themselves their best chance?= I've never thought these two were the brightest bulbs in the box so I'm sure they're doing what they think is best...for themselves. I didn't like how they totally abandoned any responsibility (or even decency) for helping out their fellow Enchanted Forest residents.
... Are Snow and Charming negligent parents?= this bit of the story didn't sit right with me either. Maybe they are too hurt by having to leave Emma to want to deal with any of it.
... At what point do you think Henry will regain his memories, and will it involve a kiss on the forehead from Regina? Could be. I think it will be interesting though no matter what happens or when.

... How long 'til Rumple returns? Next episode, mebbe?= Hopefully not too long, but I'm not really sure.

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Mar 10, 2014
I didn't get a chance to respond to Lily's questions because I was still stunned by the flying monkey affair. But I think I'm coming to grips with the fact that Emma exchanged bodily fluids with someone whose hobbies include flinging feces at people. Whatever. If Disney test marketing is okay with this, who am I to judge the activities of two consenting simians?

... Is Walsh better, worse, or just as bad as Greg and Tamara?
It depends on what you mean by "better." If by "better" you mean freaky as f*@# and kinda hilarious and intriguing in a sick and twisted way that makes you secretly feel better about the losers you dated because at least they weren't actual monkeys, then oh hellz yeah! The only way it could have been better is if they named him George instead of Walsh. (Seriously, that name should have been her first clue. Who the hell names their baby boy Walsh?). I'm hoping that Walsh makes another appearance because I want Regina to find out about him. Comedy gold. "Can we really trust your judgment on this, dear? After all, you slept with a monkey."

... Are Aurora and Phillip super shady, or just trying to give themselves their best chance?
Totally shady. What harm could it have done to warn the gang that Greenie was squatting at their castle? They have Regina on their side now. Bring it.

... Are Snow and Charming negligent parents?
I think you guys are being too hard on them. I actually admired what the Charmings did in this episode. Here's how I see it: basically the Charmings and Storybrooke have been nothing but one giant clusterf*ck in Emma's life. Regina gave her a happy ending. She reversed Emma's greatest personal regret -- giving up Henry. And then to top it off, she gave Emma a sh!t ton of money and a swanky apartment in Manhattan full of really expensive looking art. Emma and Henry were totally happy being lobotomized of their Storybrooke memories. They didn't even remember there were people they should be missing. They were just happy and oblivious. Why ruin it for them? In fact, I'll go one further and say that what Neal wants to do is truly selfish because if he succeeded in getting back to our world and giving Emma back her memories, he would have just reduced her again to a life of mourning for her lost parents because there would have been no guarantee that Emma could get back to the Fairy Tale Land to be with them. And also there would be a very good possibility that Neal would unravel some bad juju by trying to get back to our world after Regina told them all that they were never allowed to return. So, once again, Neal is being a tool. The Charmings are actually being selfless here in letting Emma go and be happy.

... At what point do you think Henry will regain his memories, and will it involve a kiss on the forehead from Regina?
They'll milk that one for all it's worth. Don't expect him to remember any time soon. But when he does, I sure hope it involves a kiss on the forehead from Regina 'cuz... awww.

... How long 'til Rumple returns? Next episode, mebbe?
Hmmm. Give it a little more time I think before Gandalf the Grey, er, I mean, Rumple the Gold returns as Rumple the Platinum.

... How did you like “NYC Serenade”?
Really enjoyed it. Loved Lily's review of it even better.
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Mar 10, 2014
Why are the villains still the only decent parents on this show?
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Mar 11, 2014
Oddly enough - Because villains go after their selfish needs. Because of that they understand selfish needs and that other people might enjoy them too, ergo they actually know how to make people happy.

Heroes usually sacrifice themselves for the greater good, ergo, they expect other people to do the same and as a result expect them to be less happy themselves.
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Mar 11, 2014
This is such a good point JasonMelvil. Case in point being Snow and Charming who are so self sacrificing they've put their daughter through hell and completely fumbled the ball trying to protect her, Charming almost got himself killed on Neverland so as not to be an inconvenience, Snow didn't want to send a mirror to talk to Henry on principle whereas Regina just does what ever it takes to keep Henry safe. Bottom line is that Snow and Charming sacrifice their kid's happiness for their bizarre moral code, whereas Regina selfishly puts her kid first no matter what.
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Mar 11, 2014
Pretty much :)
Evil a lot of times comes with the attitude of "its for the greater good"

Sometimes, they actually get it right ;)
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Mar 10, 2014
Because even a villain can love their child beyond reason
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Mar 10, 2014
Aurora and Phillip are jerks. I was super irritated at Snow and Charming for giving up so fast on ever seeing Emma again, and then Neil just goes along with it like "yeah whatever I guess. NBD." He had lived in New York for most of his life and now he's stuck in the crap hole that is the Enchanted Forrest. Not to mention he's always giving Rumple a hard time for abandoning him, now he's doing the same! I would work night and day to find a way back. So worthless Neil!
Realizing I had sex with a flying monkey would give me nightmares. I wonder what kind of STD's you can get from that.
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Mar 11, 2014
Umm... Neal and Belle went out to find Rumple *because* he might know of a way back to Emma.
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Mar 11, 2014
Neal and Belle talked about finding Rumple... you were not paying attention, hate is bad for your mind and soul!! ;-)
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Mar 12, 2014
No he wanted to, but Snow talked him out of it.
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Mar 10, 2014
Wait was I the only one who thought that the snow and charming in storybrooke were fake and just those monkey things, especially when they tried to avoid Emma's questions?
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Mar 11, 2014
Honestly, that never crossed my mind. I would have to say probably not since they made Snow prego and all. If they were all monkeys and Emma wouldn't know the difference anyway, why bother.
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Mar 10, 2014
interesting theory, never though of that.
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Mar 10, 2014
Nope. The same thought crossed my mind.
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Mar 11, 2014
Ditto to all that!
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Mar 10, 2014
I did love that Emma deliberately put on her armor (The Red Leather jacket). When that happens you know Swan means business!
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