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Once Upon a Time: New York City Serenade

“Just because you believe something is true does not make it real.”

The reset of ‘Going Home’ has breathed new life into the series in a way that I never thought it could. The characters’ new circumstances make everything feel fresh and exciting, and the restructuring of the show’s mythology makes the total failure of this season’s opening arc nothing more than a painful, and incredibly boring, memory.

I think the best part of ‘New York City Serenade’ was how balls-to-the-wall it was. Very little time was wasted in moving things past Emma’s amnesiac stage, and getting everyone back to Storybrooke. Her fake life in New York may have given her what she always wanted, but I’m glad we didn’t have to watch another entire season of her trying to believe everything all over again, regardless of how hard it would be for her to leave her new, easy life go.

Henry being the one who has to be convinced could be interesting, especially since he’s older (and taller) than he was when we first met him. That impressionable kid is long gone, so it might take more than a book of fairytales and caricature drawings to persuade him this time around.

Another super thing about this episode? Emma and Hook’s abundance of screen time together. Their chemistry built up a lot over the course of the Neverland arc, and this episode showed that it hasn’t changed much since they were last together. If anything it’s gotten even crazier. I can’t stress enough how much I love his part in the series right now.

Walsh on the other hand reeked of “let’s throw a new love interest in here,” so I was kind of delighted when he turned all primal and sprouted wings. Way to throw the clichéd triangle out the window, guys! We already have Neal, so we don’t need any more guilt trips to keep Emma and Hook apart.

I wonder if he avoided this new curse and has kept his memories of the past year? I think it would be better if he did, if only to speed up the exposition of those missing twelve months. I’m looking forward to seeing how the flashbacks will work for the rest of the season now that we have a year’s worth of uncharted territory to explore.

My last review talked about how much ‘Going Home’ said about how great this show could be when it was doing everything right, and ‘New York City Serenade’ didn’t falter once in that regard. I’m happy to say that I am officially an advocate for Once Upon a Time again.

4.5 out of 5 flying monkey would-be-fiancées


Aurora has no spine. How quickly did she leave Snow and the others go without a warning of what was waiting for them?

Regina taking her heart and putting in pack in her chest was a great moment. I’m excited to see how she fares against the Wicked Witch.

She was on screen all of twenty seconds and I already love Rebecca Mader on the show.

He Said, She Said

Snow: “I promise you, it will get better, with [your heart]. Right now it might be causing you pain, but I promise you it will let you feel something else soon enough.
Regina: “What’s that?”
Snow: “The one thing Henry always wanted you to find: happiness.”
Regina: “I can’t be happy without him.”

Originally posted at PandaTV.


  1. I made longer comments about the current story arc in the subsequent episode, but there's just one thing I had to mention here. In the moment when Emma got the red jacket out of her closet, did anyone else get a vibe of Spike getting his trench coat back in Season 7 of Buffy? Just me? :)


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