Say what you will about Once Upon a Time's flaws, but this show sure knows how to take a risk. In the Season 3 winter finale (Season 3, Episode 11 — “Going Home”) the show once again exploded its basic premise, wiping Storybrooke off the map, sending most of the characters back to the Enchanted Forest, and — most shocking of all — replacing Emma and Henry's memories with happy memories of Emma raising her son. WTF? Where can the show possibly go from here?
Well, the promo for Season 3, Episode 12 — “New York City Serenade" gives us a lot of info to digest. Let's break it down and see what it has to tell us about the new normal in the Once Upon a Time world.
1. Aurora and Phillip are back! The promo opens with Aurora and Phillip looking confused. "What's that?" Aurora wonders.
2. Return to the Enchanted Forest. The next shot seems to provide the answer: the gang is back. And, apparently, back in their old wardrobes and hairstyles. Breaking the curse really did change things!
3. But they're back in Storybrooke, too? Despite that change, there are also some shots of the characters in Storybrooke. While some of these shots are old footage, others are definitely new — for instance, the moment at :08, where Belle asks "do you know who cursed us" at what appears to be a town meeting. It also doesn't make sense that this shot would be a flashback to Storybrooke before the curse was destroyed, since the townsfolk always knew Regina cast the curse the first time around.
Another shot that is definitely new is at :15, where we see Whale (yay!), Charming, and Hook in a hospital. "What did this to him?" Whale asks Charming.
Could the characters be sent back to Storybrooke again? Maybe by the Wicked Witch of the West? Things to ponder...
4. Snow and Regina face danger. At :11 Snow and Regina appear to be in danger in the Enchanted Forest. We can probably expect to see a lot of this kind of thing, since the Enchanted Forest wasn't exactly hospitable last time we saw it, and there's a new big bad in town...
5. The Wicked Witch of the West! And that villain is, of course, the Wicked Witch of the West, who the promo promises "invades Storybrooke" (again, a hint the town isn't gone for good). In the promo, we see OUAT's version of this character walking through what looks like Regina's castle. Clearly, she invades the Enchanted Forest, too.
6. Emma in doubt. At :12 we see Hook continue to try to convince memory-wiped Emma that her parents are in danger. Skeptical Emma is back, y'all. We also see this at :19, when Emma looks at some sort of scroll and says, "That's not possible." Is this Hook trying to give her some sort of evidence of her true past?
Check it out for yourself!