'Once Upon a Time' Mid-Season Premiere Recap: All Roads Lead to Storybrooke
'Once Upon a Time' Mid-Season Premiere Recap: All Roads Lead to Storybrooke
Linda Martindale
Linda Martindale
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Once Upon a Time finally returns this week with new episodes! And the cheers sound around the world! After vanquishing Peter Pan, we mourned the disappearance of Rumple and most of us spent a good portion of the mini-hiatus wanting him back. This week, the new "big bad" arrives and I feel like this is setting the show up for another visit to a different fairy tale land next year. Are you ready? I am!

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The Enchanted Forest

We open with Phillip galloping to Aurora. They see the purple cloud and know something is happening. Recognizing magic, they run. As it disappears, the Storybrooke crowd is there. Charming has blood on his shirt from the first episode. When discussing where to live, Snow tells Regina that she is coming with Snow and Charming. After Aurora and Philip send them on their way, Aurora says they have to kill her (which her?) because she would kill their child.

Jiminy (the cricket) tells Grumpy that townspeople are popping up everywhere. Charming tells Grumpy that the miners should pass the message around to regroup at the Queen's castle. Hook has no intention of going to with the rest but sets out on horseback to find the Jolly Roger. When he tells the Charmings that he is a pirate, Charming tells him he had hoped he had changed. (And Snow is looking pregnant, folks.) Neil wants to stop by his father's castle, but the Charmings tell him Rumple's gone.

As the group travels, Belle tells Neil that he will see Emma again. As Snow remembers the last time she was at Regina's castle, Grumpy reports that Regina is missing. She is in the woods burying her heart. Snow finds her and reminds her that she knows how Regina is feeling. She's lost her daughter for the second time. Henry would want Regina to be happy and Snow will help. Regina puts her heart back and starts to cry. Snow senses someone watching and they look up to see a flying monkey, I believe. Regina hits it with fire, but it attacks. Robin Hood comes to their rescue. They ask what attacked them, but Robin has no idea.

Robin joins the group and asks Neil about Neverland and whether Neil found his son. Neil tells him he did and that Henry is safe. Regina is having trust issues where Robin is concerned, but Snow thinks he is okay and cute. Upon arriving at the castle, there is a protection spell around it, which Regina didn't cast. She isn't happy that her castle has been hijacked and wants to attack, but Snow wants a plan first.

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New York City

In New York, Emma has a date with Walsh, who has become part of hers and Henry's lives. As dinner is served, Walsh steps away and Hook sits down. He has an address which will prove that all is not what it seems. While they talk, Hook realizes that Regina's magic worked. He tells Emma to use her superpower to try and figure out what is "off."

When Walsh returns, he has hidden an engagement ring in her dessert and goes down on one knee, asking her to marry him. Emma flees the restaurant with Walsh behind her. He promises to give her time to accept. At the apartment, we learn that Henry suspected this would happen and encourages his mom to marry Walsh.

The next day, Henry goes off to school and Emma goes to the Wooster address. There, she finds Neil's camera with Henry's name on the tag. She meets Hook in the park where he offers her a potion that will restore her memory. Instead, she has him arrested but takes the camera and film with her.

Later, Henry tells his mom to marry Walsh, who will be coming to the apartment that night for a date. As she sends Henry inside, she pulls out Neil's photos to see pictures of her earlier visit to New York. Bailing Hook out, he finally convinces her to drink the blue potion and her memories come pouring back. Emma is not sure they are true, but she and Hook go back to the apartment where he catches her up on the year that has passed.

As they talk, Walsh arrives and she takes him out on the balcony and tells him she must return home. Walsh suddenly says he wishes she hadn't drank that potion. Wait a minute -- how did he know about that? It turns out he's a flying monkey who tries to kill her. After going over as Walsh and turning into the monkey, he attacks again and Emma slays him, causing him to evaporate. Hook rushes out and Emma tells him what happened. She now realizes that what she thought she had is not in the cards for the "savior."

The next morning, Emma and Henry breakfast and Henry senses something is up. Emma asks him if he believes in magic. He tells her that if it gets him a present, he believes! When Henry asks about Walsh, Emma tells him it will be just the two of them. She's taking him to Maine on an adventure. As Hook arrives to join them, Emma introduces him as Killian. On the way out the door, Emma stops to get one last thing -- her red leather jacket. The Savior is back!

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As Emma arrives in Storybrooke, everything looks familiar. She parks and steps out, surprised that the town is back. Hook returns his hook to his hand, telling her that no one knows what the curse is this time. Emma heads off to see her parents. Charming recognizes her immediately and tells her that they have no memory of the last year. Snow rushes out to greet Emma and is pregnant. Emma wants to know how Storybrooke has returned.

And Lurking for Next Week...

Somewhere in the Enchanted Forest, the flying monkey gives the wicked witch Regina's blood. Smiling, the witch starts her revenge. She says, "She may be evil, but I'm wicked and wicked always wins!"

Next week, Regina identifies the foe, Storybrooke gets a visit from the flying monkeys and Regina and the new big bad have a discussion. 

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8pm on ABC.  

(Image courtesy of ABC)