A Fan Theory by Peter Pizzola
I have a new theory about what the effects of the new curse will be in "Going Home" and how it will impact the rest of the season. What if this curse is more personal in nature, allowing each person to revisit a pivotal moment in their lives, and see how things would have gone if they had made another decision?
I base this theory off of some clues from the press release for the episode. For example, the cast list includes Dave Mathews (doctor) and Joy Castro (nurse), who were both present at Henry's birth. Maybe this means Emma revisits this moment and sees what her life would have been like if she had not given up her son! The cast list also includes Tony Perez (Valet - a.k.a. Regina's father). Perhaps Regina revisits the time she cast the Dark Curse, and witnesses what would have happened if she had not killed her father! I noticed that Christopher Gautier (Smee) is also present, who is connected to Hook. Maybe the pirate sees the consequences of not going to Neverland in pursuit of revenge! I also base this theory on the latest script peek from Adam, which shows a flashback conversation between Belle and Rumple that I gather is about Baelfire. Maybe Rumple sees what would have happened if he had not kicked Belle out of his castle but had opened himself up to her and given up his magic!
Adam and Eddie also said in a recent interview that the second half of the season would feature a compelling new form of storytelling. I theorize that instead of the traditional flashbacks, each episode will show each character's vision of their alternate future, where they had made another choice. Scenes have already been shot that show Emma and Henry and New York - maybe that is where mother and son ended up after her decision. Also, if Regina chose not to enact the curse, she would still be in the Enchanted Forest, where she could conceivably meet Robin Hood!
Keep in mind, I am not saying that each character physically travels back in time to relive these moments (that would get messy), but just becomes burdened with the knowledge of what could have been. I still have no idea how these glimpses of possible futures affects the characters in the present. Maybe it helps them reevaluate their lives, and come to term with past mistakes. Maybe this knowledge is helpful in the ultimate battle with Rebecca Mader's new villain character! We need only wait and see!