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Come on, kid. It's Arizona. It's not hell.

Cleo Fox to Emma src

Phoenix, Arizona is a Land Without Magic location featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the sixth episode of the second season.


During First Curse

In 2001, Neal works as a janitor at a high-end jewelry store in Phoenix. The manager is a drunk and often forgets to lock the cases to the expensive watches sold by the store. Neal initially tries to resist temptation to steal them, but eventually he takes a couple of cases of watches and takes a train to Portland, where he hides the watches in a locker at the train station.

Neal falls in love with young woman named Emma, and tells her about the watches. When Emma learns that there is a warrant out for Neal's arrest, she offers to get the watches for him, but is arrested for possession of stolen goods. She is sent to a minimum security prison in Phoenix for eleven months. One day, Emma tests positive on a pregnancy test when she receives mail from Phuket containing the swan keychain and car keys. ("Tallahassee")

Sometime during her pregnancy, Emma decides to give the baby up in a closed adoption. She gives birth as a clock strikes 8:15 and the lights flicker as the child is born. The doctor informs Emma that the baby is a boy, and offers him to her, imploring her to change her mind. Emma refuses, believing she simply isn't fit to be a mother. . As the doctor takes the child away, Emma cries. ("The Heart of the Truest Believer")

After being given up by Emma, the baby is placed in the care of an adoption agency. He is placed with a family in Boston, but the adoption falls through at the last minute and the boy is put up for adoption again. Sidney Glass speaks with the agency and finds out what happened, and informs Regina, who is looking to adopt a child. ("Save Henry")

Sometime after her prison term has ended, Emma steals from two convenience stores in Phoenix and is arrested. A bail bonds agent named Cleo Fox provides the funds necessary to release Emma from jail, but Emma skips bail and runs away before the trial. In 2009, Cleo tracks Emma down in Maine and apprehends her, intending to bring her back to Phoenix. Emma makes a deal with Cleo where she promises to go quietly to Phoenix if Cleo will help her find more information on her birth parents. However, when the search fails to desired results, Cleo tries to convince Emma to come back with her to Phoenix to start again and start building a new life after Emma has served her sentence. Cleo states that they are going back to Phoenix tomorrow. However, she is killed in an accident before she can follow through with the plan. ("Firebird")

After First Curse
When the dark curse is undone, Emma and Henry leave Storybrooke while their memories are altered by Regina. According to the new memories given to them by Regina, Emma and her son have always been together. Emma now remembers giving birth to Henry at the prison hospital, but instead of giving Henry up, she decides to keep him. She asks the doctor to give the baby to her so she can hold him and smiles in wonder as she gazes at her newborn son. ("Going Home")

During Second Curse
Emma and Henry are brought back to Storybrooke by Hook, but the boy remembers nothing of the town or his time there. As Emma and Henry spend time at Granny's Diner, Mary Margaret and David enter, and Emma introduces them as old friends. Mary Margaret lies to Henry and says that she and Emma were cellmates in Phoenix, after Mary Margaret was arrested for banditry. ("Witch Hunt")



Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale

  • Emma recalls the last days before the childbirth and being "holed up in a dusty jail cell" with "not a soul to help her".[3]
  • Emma recalls after she gave birth to Henry, she was only allowed to hold him for a moment ("a warm, soft, crying thing who'd looked up at her with cloudy eyes") before the nurse pulled him away from her.[4]
  • In "The Price of Gold", Regina only notes the longest place Emma stayed in is Tallahassee. In the book, she counts off Phoenix, Nashville, Tallahassee and Boston when confronting Emma about her habitual past of moving around constantly.[5]


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


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