In Season 3, in the mid-season finale, all the people from Storybrooke had to go back to the Fairytale land, and Emma and Henry were left in the real world. It was said they would have a happy life with fake memories, and would not remember anything from their "magic time". And it would be once and for all and forever and it is not possible for them to get the memories back and neither to go back to the fairy-tale land. And also it would not be possible for the fairy-tale people to go to the real world again. Still, in the first new year episode it was soo easy:

  1. for Hook to come to the real world again and find Emma,
  2. for some other (until now unknown) creature to be there and know about Emma,
  3. for Emma to remember again with just some simple potion which Hook gave her.

How was this all so simple? Doesn't it go against everything stated before?


Not really, no. It's been amply demonstrated previously that memories CANNOT be erased. Everyone in Storybrooke who was without their memories regained them when the curse broke. Belle regained them again after they were again removed and replaced by her Storybrooke memories.

Both Rumpelstiltskin and (to a lesser extent) Regina have shown considerable skill in manipulating memories, changing them, hiding (but NOT removing) them, and adding them. In Once Upon a Time, true memory seems to be like true love - it can be hidden, but not destroyed. Even the dwarf who is pushed across the town line and loses his memories seems to regain them (he's later seen with the other dwarves, with his axe, and not being freaked out by magic) though it isn't referenced in-show.

Rumpelstiltskin learns a considerable bit about memories to restore Belle's memories and craft the spell that protects memories outside of Storybrooke. Regina sees these spells, possibly becomes aware of how they interact with her own spells, and there's sufficient 'off-screen' time for her to have studied them and/or discussed them with Mr. Gold before

his death

Since Regina is almost certainly working with the main cast against Wicked, it's only reasonable to assume that she was able to craft the potion that restored Emma's memories. Perhaps, given that Storybrooke and its residents are back, this was made easier.

Thus, I would argue that it doesn't go against everything that was stated before but is a logical extrapolation of the past events. As for how Hook returned to New York, well, that's part of the mystery this season looks to be exploring.

  • that may be true, but then the thig I do not understand is, why the authors write such lines making the characters say "it is not possible" bla bla... though they should know by now, that everything is possible, ans every spell can be broken. They come to the fairyland again with almost no hope to see Emma again.. Where is the "we will always find each other" ? – Asped Mar 20 '14 at 19:43
  • 1
    @Asped: in colloquial english, "impossible" and "so improbable that is hardly bears thinking about" mean the same. Also, people (especially villains) tend to overstate the strength of their positions. For reference: Boris "I'm Inveencible" Greishenko in Goldeneye. Also, people forget things. Things like, "Our family always finds each other." Season 3, episode 1: The 'forever' split family finds each other again...demonstrating that they do find each other. – Jeff Mar 20 '14 at 20:14

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