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S03.E02: Lost Girl

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Peter Pan offers Emma a map that will help her find Henry, but she must come to terms with who she is in order to use it; Mr. Gold gets unexpected advice; Charming works to stop Snow from accepting a deal from the Evil Queen.

 

Note: please use spoiler tags when referring to major events that happen after this episode to allow new viewers to choose to be spoiled.

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Pros:
* Mother/Daughter moments with Snow and Emma. Yay!

* Pan's mind game with Emma.

* Camelot reference.

* "I"ll make sure you get 14 years of bad luck!"
* "If this were Excalibur, I couldn't do this!" Love Rumple.

 

Cons:
* Weak fairybacks that never had to exist.

* Weak David Dreamshade twist at the end 

that never really mattered.

* Emma Orphan plot that 

basically stops after this episode.

* No Emma flashbacks! That would have worked so much better than the lame Regina/Snow chapter.

Edited by KingOfHearts

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I was surprised that there was no mention of the fact that Hook had already identified her as an orphan way back when they climbed the beanstalk. Just Emma mentioning that to Snow might have changed her view of the pirate just a little bit...

It would have reminded the audience of their instant connection and his insight into her character as well.

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I think they're just really resistant to Emma flashbacks. If there was ever a time that screamed for one, this episode was it. The Snow flashback made no sense and had no connection to the present. I don't care what they're selling. That crap is for the birds.

 

Is DVD commentary allowed? They said the Snow flashback was to parallel the journey that Emma is going through. Snow is attacked by self-doubt and so is Emma. Except while Snow is attacked by self-doubt, what Emma is going through isn't merely self-doubt. Being a "lost girl" is her identity, not a case of momentary self-doubt. I don't know what they're smoking but ep. 99882343 of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner was not the same thing as Pan messing with Emma. Inserting a flashback of Rumple whose problems lie a lot closer to Emma's would be more appropriate even.

 

But the 2 scenes of Pan and Emma was when I went, man Robbie Kay is going to be awesome in this.

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Is DVD commentary allowed? They said the Snow flashback was to parallel the journey that Emma is going through. Snow is attacked by self-doubt and so is Emma. Except while Snow is attacked by self-doubt, what Emma is going through isn't merely self-doubt. Being a "lost girl" is her identity, not a case of momentary self-doubt. I don't know what they're smoking but ep. 99882343 of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner was not the same thing as Pan messing with Emma. Inserting a flashback of Rumple whose problems lie a lot closer to Emma's would be more appropriate even.

 

Exactly how I read the episode, so the DVD commentary only confirms what I thought. Some in the audience seemed even to like it, from what I read in reactions afterward, although others did find the fairy backs useless and boring. There was a superficial emotional parallel between Emma and Snow, both having doubts, if anything they do will make a difference to the better, but for Emma there was a whole lot of more levels beneath that self doubt, while for Snow it was "just" a moment of doubt seeing how Regina's vendetta against her endangers others.  

What one should watch in a 24 hours loop and then watch again Regina's silly outburst to Emma in the final episode of season 3. Come again, the good don't think about the consequences of their actions?

I agree, having a moment of self doubt about your actions and having a deep going struggle to find and define yourself are two very different things. It's funny and scary how little the writers seem to get their own characters at times.

 

It can make a bit of sense looking at it as a mother-daughter bonding moment, both struggling, though in different degrees, with what people, and they themselves at times, see in them and expect, Snow as the rightful regent, Emma as the savior.

 

It would have been though more important IMO to give more insight of, and that means show not tell people, Emma's emotional "landscape", think a lot of people don't get her. This episode was THE chance for it, and they missed it.

 

I liked the moment Emma and Snow had, when Emma accepted being a lost girl. It was great 

and utterly destroyed in the rest of the season. What followed in the next episodes, and then in the second half makes no sense to me looking at this scene. It was like it never happened. It's a key moment of my frustration with this show

Edited by katusch
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What's so weird is that they were supposedly paralleling Emma & Snow, but what was the peak moment between the two in the present where Emma accepts being a Lost Girl was originally written as an Emma/Hook scene per the commentary

and seeing as the Emma/Snow conversation was added in subsequent drafts, it might explain the 180 from Snow saying it was her job to make Emma feel not like an orphan to two days later saying Emma's not enough and she wants another baby. I know Snow White was forced into the confession in Echo Cave, but way to destroy the beautiful moment and tenuous connection that they built between the two of them here.

. Knowing that they initially wrote it where they didn't even really connect Snow's past to Emma's crisis in the present, it shows that these writers had no real grasp on whatever parallel they claim to have been drawing between the two.

 

I just didn't really see a parallel between Snow's self doubt and Emma's complete identity crisis. They are totally separate things. And having Emma accept being a Lost Girl by having her tell us about her childhood experiences instead of showing them to us still pisses me off. They just wrote Snowing v Regina part 342384 and pretended that it fit into an episode where Emma needs to accept her orphan status. If you're going to ignore Emma's backstory, why not at least do some sort of Neverland fairyback about the Lost Boys or focus on Bae's time there? This was one of the better episodes of the entire season, but it's also one of the most disappointing in terms of where it could have gone both in helping the audience better understand Emma and with more development of the Emma/Snow relationship. 

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It would have been though more important IMO to give more insight of, and that means show not tell people, Emma's emotional "landscape", think a lot of people don't get her. This episode was THE chance for it, and they missed it.

 

Exactly. When the episode aired, I remember actually liking the parallel between Emma in the present and Snow in the flashbacks, but mostly because I like when they parallel Emma's journey with her parents' in the first place. It was only after the new-episode, Snow/Emma feels died down that I was like, "Hey, wait a second ..."

 

I don't know why they're so allergic to showing us how Emma came to be the way she is. I mean, yeah, we can speculate that it's because it would reflect too poorly on the villains they have on redemption tracks, but honestly, show, give us something. We've spent countless episodes on how and why the Evil Queen became the Evil Queen, we've spent a few episodes on Rumple and the Dark One, but nothing on how Emma got to be the way she is? I mean, even when they show us a legitimate reason for her walls (Neal), they backtrack on it. What the hell, show?

 

Because Emma is, essentially, a blank slate, there should be far more story attention on her. Everyone else (minus Henry and Neal) on this show already existed in some form or another in the fairy tales the show is based on. And yes, I get that the show subverts these stories and puts its own twist on them, but that doesn't change the fact that, say, Snow White is an already established character. Emma is not. Emma didn't exist prior to this show. As such, the audience has zero idea what her life was like, so we have to rely on the show to give us this information.

 

We have a couple of offhand sentences from Emma and a few story implications. (And if you're more than a casual viewer and read interviews, you have Jennifer Morrison's headcanon, which feeds into how she plays Emma.) But that's it. We have no idea, for example, why Emma ran away from the system at 15. (This is only story implication: in "Tallahassee," August said he'd been looking for 17-year-old Emma for two years. A child ages out of the foster system at 18.) I have guesses but they're only guesses. We have no idea why Emma never connected with any of the families she lived with growing up. We have no idea how many of her years were spent in actual homes or how many we spent in group homes.

 

This was the perfect episode so show us even a tiny fraction of Emma's backstory. We talk a lot about how much sympathy Regina gets from the fandom at large, but one of the big reasons she gets it is because the story focuses on her backstory. We've seen every little slight in Regina's past, real or imagined. With Emma, we've gotten nothing. Just think how much more understanding some of those fans would be if we'd seen a similar scene to Cora magically binding Regina and Regina promising to be good, only with a blonde teenager in Regina's position.

 

It wouldn't even have to be as graphic as that. Show a little girl sitting alone on a bed, hugging a baby blanket. Show a little girl sitting by herself at recess because she's in yet another new school.

The wee Emma flashback at the beginning of "Snow Drifts" was effective, and they didn't do much beyond showing a tweenage Emma watching with tears in her eyes as yet another little girl found what Emma herself had always wanted but never had.

Basically, make the viewers understand where Emma's coming from instead of giving us Round 34646 of Regina vs. Snow.

Edited by Dani-Ellie
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They should've kept that scene Hook and Emma. Making it Snow and Emma, did no favors for Snow and it's not consistent with how they've written that relationship anyway. Snow is incapable of understanding where Emma is coming from and I don't think she understands who Emma fundamentally is either.

That doesn't change after this episode

  She sees "my baby girl the Savior." The other problem with the parallel that they're trying to draw is Snow wants to be a leader of her kingdom. She was born into it and was trained her whole life.  Snow knows who she is and her place in the world. Her "doubt" is because Woegina threatened her, it's not really a doubt that the kingdom doesn't belong to her. On the other hand Emma just plain hates and rejects her savior status. And everytime she tries to tell Snow being a "savior" ain't all that, Snow just goes "But you're THE SAVIOR, OMG" in total valley girl accent.

 

I think the way they've written Emma is the stereotypical brooding cold hero. Rough childhood, romantic betrayal, made their own way in the world, has walls the size of the Great Wall of China, and emotionless all fits the dark hero trope. She's like Bale's Batman, or any number of heroes from those trashy romance novels, like ahem the dude from 50 Shades of Grey.  The problem is while audience finds the brooding hero swoon-worthy, it's harder to make it work in a woman. It's acceptable that men don't show emotions. That's manly and sexy. Not so much in a female character. So we don't get the emotions in the present and we don't get the past story to help us connect. They've handicapped her character every which way.

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I think the way they've written Emma is the stereotypical brooding cold hero. Rough childhood, romantic betrayal, made their own way in the world, has walls the size of the Great Wall of China, and emotionless all fits the dark hero trope. She's like Bale's Batman, or any number of heroes from those trashy romance novels, like ahem the dude from 50 Shades of Grey.  The problem is while audience finds the brooding hero swoon-worthy, it's harder to make it work in a woman. It's acceptable that men don't show emotions. That's manly and sexy. Not so much in a female character. So we don't get the emotions in the present and we don't get the past story to help us connect. They've handicapped her character every which way.

Replying in the Emma Swan thread.

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They should've kept that scene Hook and Emma. Making it Snow and Emma, did no favors for Snow and it's not consistent with how they've written that relationship anyway. 

I think having that scene be Snow and Emma was the right idea -- the problem was how they followed on. I think it would have been too weird for it to have been Hook at that time, or it would have had to have been written very differently.

While she pretty much bawls every time he comes within a 100 meter radius of her towards the end of the season

, at this point, they're nowhere near close enough for her to be doing big teary revelations with him. Maaaybe if he revealed he was abandoned first, but I'm still not sure she would have opened up to him or let him push her into revealing something like that. No, I think Snow was the right person to hear it,

the writers just shouldn't have let it happen without consequences or even basically mentioning it again.

 

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I think having that scene be Snow and Emma was the right idea -- the problem was how they followed on. I think it would have been too weird for it to have been Hook at that time, or it would have had to have been written very differently.

While she pretty much bawls every time he comes within a 100 meter radius of her towards the end of the season

, at this point, they're nowhere near close enough for her to be doing big teary revelations with him. Maaaybe if he revealed he was abandoned first, but I'm still not sure she would have opened up to him or let him push her into revealing something like that. No, I think Snow was the right person to hear it,

the writers just shouldn't have let it happen without consequences or even basically mentioning it again.

 

Replying in the relationship thread.

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This and "The New Neverland" suffer the same flaw: a boring Snowing fairyback that adds NOTHING and has slim to NO bearing on the present-day plot. I definitely agree that a full Emma flashback about her childhood would have been so much more effective.

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After rewatching, that revelation that the scene was originally planned to be Hook makes so much sense. While there's a strong argument for that revelation coming in a scene between Snow and Emma, they should have scrapped what was written instead of changing the names because the scene as written doesn't fit Snow at all. For one thing, I don't see Snow even noticing something odd about Emma hesitating about killing/hurting the Lost Boy. That's pretty much Standard Operating Procedure for Snow at that point in the series, while she's stuck in "killing is bad" mode. I also don't think Snow would recognize "Lost" enough to figure out that Emma would have had anything in common with the Lost Boys. On the other hand, Hook has fought against Emma and would have immediately noticed any change in her fighting style, and he'd already recognized her as a Lost Girl back when they first met. I think it does fit with his personality and Emma's personality that he'd be able to recognize what she really was and goad her into admitting it and that she'd have an easier time admitting it to a stranger than to her parents. They were pushing her earlier to admit that she was the Savior, since that's how they see her. I don't think they grasp the "Lost" bit because they know they didn't willingly abandon her, that she was wanted and desperately loved. Probably the best way with this setup was for the scene to be with Hook but for Snow to have approached just in time to hear Emma admit that she was an orphan and lost girl and to see the map appear, which would be magical proof that it was true, and that would be a devastating revelation for Snow. I think there's a way that the scene could have happened with Snow, but not with that setup.

 

I wonder if the fairyback was always planned to be with Snow and Regina or if they came up with that after changing who had that scene with Emma. It really doesn't map because Snow was learning/remembering just how awesome she was, with the help of the people who loved her, while Emma was having to admit just how much her life sucked. I don't see how anything Snow learned in the flashback applied at all to the present day. They really should have done an Emma flashback there, like showing the time in her life when she first became conscious that she didn't have parents, that no one wanted her, and then perhaps a later flashback of her running away as a teen because she knew she didn't belong, and then seeing her as a Lost Girl on her own on the streets. If the big scene had been with Hook, then they could have dramatized the story he told Bae, showing wee baby Killian finding himself all alone in the world, so we knew why he recognized that in her. It just doesn't work with flashbacks of Snow, who's never been lost in that sense. She always knew who her parents were, always had an identity, always knew that they loved her. Then after they were gone, she always had people in her corner who had her back, from the Huntsman who defied Regina and let her go to Red, Charming and the Dwarfs, to villages that were willing to die to protect her. Snow has never experienced anything like what Emma went through or even encountered anyone like that, so a flashback of her was totally irrelevant, unless they were trying to contrast how different their lives were, but then that should have changed the big scene. As it was, it came across like she was one-upping her daughter with a humblebrag -- I understand how difficult things were for you because I had this one hard time in my life that I got through when all the people who loved me reminded me how awesome I was, so you should just admit that you're really a Lost Girl. Huh?

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I liked the scene as it played out between Emma and Snow, but mainly because it was one of the only few honest dramatic moments those two have ever had (post season 2A). After reading your alternate scenario above, Shanna Marie (where Emma has her "Lost Girl" revelation to Hook and Snow overhears), I think your version makes far more sense and really, the rest of the episodes would've played out as is 

minus Snow saying to Emma "It's my job to change that". In retrospect, I could've done without Snow ever saying that to Emma considering Snow epically failed to follow through (and arguably, she pretty much did the total opposite by writing Emma off as a "loss". You suck, Snow. You. Suck.)

Edited by FabulousTater
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I have to disagree. I know that the show wants me to believe that Emma and Hook have had some ~deep spiritual understanding of each other since 'Tallahassee' (to which I say, wtfever, that is not what I saw in that episode), but at the time of 'Lost Girl,' Hook is literally twelve hours removed from being an enemy of Clan Charming and involved (however unwittingly) in the plot to destroy the town. Twelve. Hours. Having Emma open up to Hook to the extent she did Snow in this episode would have been way too much too fast. It would've yanked me right out of the story and made Captain Swan feel even more forced.

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Having Emma open up to Hook to the extent she did Snow in this episode would have been way too much too fast. It would've yanked me right out of the story and made Captain Swan feel even more forced.

But Emma wouldn't have been revealing anything to Hook he didn't already know, and Emma knows that. Hook called her an orphan to her face back in the season 2 episode "Tallahassee". I don't think it would've been that far of a stretch for Emma to then say to Hook, "Hey, you were right. I'm still that orphan." And in "Tallahassee" Emma showed that she could admit emotional things about herself to Hook -- she admitted to Hook that she was in love once, and it wasn't a flippant remark by Emma in that episode. It cost her to admit that out loud to him. So there is precedence for Emma and Hook revealing emotional events in their past to each other.

 

ETA: I'm not saying it didn't come across as a lovely scene as done by Jennifer Morrison and Ginnifer Goodwin as is, I just think (in retrospect) the revelation playing out between Emma and Hook (instead of Emma and Snow) would've been plausible.

(and in the long run would've mitigated some of the perceived damage done to Snow's character as a result of that scene)

Edited by FabulousTater

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For me, the problems with Lost Girl goes beyond any given scene or fairyback. It was an early sign of how limited the creative vision of the show has become. It's all about "shocking!! twists!!!" but it's completely devoid of new revelations.

 

That adult Emma feels like an orphan is not a new revelation. We knew that before the first commercial break in the pilot. It was a point repeated periodically throughout S1 and S2. And I'm not saying it's not an important point. But the show itself is treating it as if it were a new revelation. It's the writers' factory reset for Emma, but with each passing season, it gets more and more shallow. Nearly fifty episodes into a show that'll be lucky to make it to 100, I would like to think we could start dealing with the deeper layers of why Emma still feels like a "lost girl," even now that she understands why Snowing did what they did, even now that she's embraced her own role as Henry's mother, even now that she sits at the center of a community that sees her as a leader. That can take a variety of different directions more interesting than the one we've been presented with.

 

(Same with Rumpel's conversation with VisionBelle. "I'm a coward...." yadda yadda. Fine. RealBelle told him that 34 episodes back. He told her that 20 episodes back. He told the audience that 38 episodes ago. We got it, guys. He's a coward and he usually makes the wrong choices. Do something more meaningful with it or move on. Or - here's a whacky thought - show, don't tell.)

 

I realize part of this is just early-season, get-the-less-attentive-viewers-back-up-to-speed stuff. Still, it's not like any of these characters are so deep and multifaceted that the average viewer won't be able to keep up if they aren't beaten with the orphan/coward/Woegina stick every four episodes.

 

Personally, I think they lost an opportunity to delve into the moral issues of Neverland. Instead of seeing herself in the Lost Boy, how about have Emma and/or Snowing confront the fact that getting her son back means she might well have to kill other mothers' lost sons?

Edited by Amerilla
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That adult Emma feels like an orphan is not a new revelation. We knew that before the first commercial break in the pilot. It was a point repeated periodically throughout S1 and S2. And I'm not saying it's not an important point. But the show itself is treating it as if it were a new revelation.

 

Kicking this over to the Emma thread.

Edited by FabulousTater

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So there is precedence for Emma and Hook revealing emotional events in their past to each other.

That's what I was thinking, that it's not because they have such a bond that they open up to each other, but at this point in their relationship, they open up because they're relative strangers. It's almost like pouring out all your angst and secrets to the random person sitting next to you on an airplane. It's a relatively safe place to vent because you don't expect that person to become part of your daily life, and that person isn't going to be hurt or otherwise affected by the revelation. Hook has already called Emma a Lost Girl, back when they first met, and it would be entirely in character for him to have approached Emma after the fight, remarked on the fact that she hesitated before hitting the Lost Boy and guessed that it was because she recognized what she saw in his eyes. Then it would have been in character for her to angrily respond that okay, maybe she did, maybe the real truth is that she isn't a princess or a savior or a mother, but that she's just some orphan lost girl nobody ever wanted.

 

It seems like it would have been harder to admit that to her mother (and that was probably the purpose of Pan's game, since it would stir up discord). She's been really good about not hitting her parents with how much her life has sucked. If she's been thinking that all along and holding it in, then Hook's remark might provide the opening for it to all come flooding out. It would be the kind of moment that might create a bond, but not come from a bond. And the way Emma is, it would give her more of a reason to avoid him later.

 

The conversation happening between Hook and Emma instead of Snow and Emma not only makes more sense in subsequent episodes

not only because of the do-over baby stuff Snow says, but if Hook heard Emma talk about being an orphan, that would have provided a stronger motivation for his efforts to save David so Emma wouldn't have to be an orphan.

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I loved the "Lost Girl" conversation being between Snow and Emma. The argument I made back at the end of 2B was that Emma's character wasn't working because she didn't have enough history and connections to the general story. That conversation was an important part of upping the emotional stakes, and Jennifer Morrison/Ginnifer Godwin did a great job acting it. I really want more of that between Emma/Snow/Charming and some bonding between Emma/Regina as well. 

 

The "Lost Girl" stufff does, however, feel a bit like spinning wheels. We know Emma was lonely and wanted to find connections, and she's found them. She understands why her parents gave her up, why they couldn't look for her, and she's been in a position where she's done the same. I don't think it's wrong that she still has identity and abandonment issues, but that there should be some more of a dent based on everything we saw happening in S1 and the time she and Snow spent together in 2A. I am so glad that the show did not do an Emma flashback, though. I do NOT need a Lifetime special about the horrors of the foster care system.

 

Also in the real world, a healthy, white, newborn girl like Emma is more likely to have been quickly adopted than abandoned to the system. She was literally the most in-demand kind of baby, so it's show contrivance that she had such a loveless life instead of being raised in as stable a home as anyone can get.

 

I agree that the fairyback was stupid. I think there was an idea there that could have worked. Snow appeared to be fairly sheltered before the banditry in the woods and not to have been raised for leadership or to have much experience with it. Putting Snow on the same path (although with opposite connotations) through a genuine struggle about what it means to embrace her identity as queen and leader could have paralleled. But the way it was done with Charming disrespecting Snow's choice and tricking her into a confrontation with Regina was lame. It didn't make Snow seem like a good leader, and it didn't help me like Charming (which I'm still waiting to do). Also, the more times Regina and Snow have direct confrontation scenes, the more ridiculous it is that Snow is still alive instead of being disintegrated, heart ripped out, transmogrified into a wooden statue or what have you.

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Also in the real world, a healthy, white, newborn girl like Emma is more likely to have been quickly adopted than abandoned to the system. She was literally the most in-demand kind of baby, so it's show contrivance that she had such a loveless life instead of being raised in as stable a home as anyone can get.

 

Emma had a family until she was three, and then they returned her to the system when they had their own child (per the pilot). That is probably the single most damaging thing that could have ever been done for her. Toddlers don't get adopted as quickly as babies, and a three-year-old whose entire life had been uprooted and who'd had the only parents she'd ever known give her away to strangers is a challenging child. She'd be hurt and confused and angry and scared, and she wouldn't be old enough to properly express those emotions so they'd come out as outbursts and bratty, defiant behavior. (When my brother and sister-in-law first took custody of my nephew from his mother, the social workers already wanted to label him as emotionally troubled. He was two months shy of his third birthday. He would have had a tough time of it in the system, and turning his behavior around has been a lot of hard work for my brother and sister-in-law.)

 

I'm not sure how quickly she could have been adopted out, either, because I'm not sure what the laws are in Maine and how long the search goes before the state terminates parental rights.

 

It may be plot contrivance, but it's not entirely unheard of. :)

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I'm not sure how quickly she could have been adopted out, either, because I'm not sure what the laws are in Maine and how long the search goes before the state terminates parental rights.

In the states I've had experience in, it actually isn't that big of a stretch.  Emma wasn't just a regular dumpster/drop-off baby search.  (And how sad is it that that's an actual thing?)

 

Emma would show no signs of drugs or (most likely) alcohol in her system;  Mom wasn't using.  Baby was healthy, full term.  Plus, Emma was wrapped in a hand made, hand spun blanket that was  embellished with a baby girl name.

 

Those are not things that scream "Baby abandoned by parents."  Any parent that could afford or cared enough about their baby to either make or buy that blanket would not usually just leave their baby on the side of a road in a blanket, when they could've dropped her off at any hospital no questions asked.  That screams something else happened.

 

They then would have been unable to find any trace of Emma.  No relatives, no one who dropped her off there--and the people they tracked down as possibles would've been dead ends.

 

They would not likely have tried to (or been easily able to) terminate parental rights until they figured out what happened, and by the time they decided that was never going to happen, Emma would've been out of the golden zone for adoption.  She'd've been left with her long-term foster parents, with the hope that it would turn into adoption.

 

Instead, they returned her at three, which is old enough that it doesn't matter how white or blonde or female or healthy she was.  She wasn't an infant.  (And I know from personal observation how hard it can be to find adoptive parents for a white, healthy, toddler boy half Emma's age.)

Edited by Mari
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I really want more of that between Emma/Snow/Charming and some bonding between Emma/Regina as well. 

Just curious about your perspective on the Emma/Regina relationship--Regina's pretty consistently condescending and unpleasant to Emma--she doesn't even seem to like or respect her--and, frankly, is the reason Emma ended up abandoned at the side of the road with no family.  She's never apologized, and they only thing they have in common is where they live and Henry. 

 

If you had your 'druthers, how do you think the relationship should progress?

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If you had your 'druthers, how do you think the relationship should progress?

 

I don't know how I'd write it if I were in charge of the show. I like them as both antagonists and as reluctant allies with a respectful undertone. (I always felt that beneath Regina's terror/resentment of Emma displacing her in Henry's life/ending the curse, Regina does like and respect her in a similar way to her frenemies relationship with Rumple). I guess my ideal, since I'm a Regina fan and want her moved solidly to the protagonist side of the show but with plenty of snark, would be to have them more as respectful, reluctant allies, but where respectful means that they don't actively work against each other rather than that they're polite to each other. I'd like plenty of snarky comments both ways! 

 

Something I'd like to see in future episodes is Regina teaching Emma magic. Rumple's gone, so Regina is literally the only person who Emma can learn from right now. It would be a new dynamic for Regina/Emma for Regina to be in the teacher role and Emma in the student role. There would be some juicy trust issues since Regina would be presumably reluctant to teach but could be written as doing it for the self-interest of increased safety and getting Henry and themselves safely out of Neverland. And of course, Emma would be reluctant to trust Regina in any way but would do it for the same reasons. This would also be an opportunity for the show to write some desperately needed ground rules on magic (which I know they won't do because then they'd have to figure them out! but like Snow, I am ever an optimist). Done really well, it would also be an effective way for Regina and Emma to negotiate their relationship as co-parents with Henry. Finally, it would end the Emma never uses magic except at the most important, plot contrived ways.

 

I was skeptical of the Neverland setup, but I think it has potential to be a stroke of genius for fixing some of the character issues from last season. It's forcing a focus on the relationships among the most central characters (plus Hook) in a setting that allows a nice balance of conversation and action. With Neal in the Enchanted Forest, the show doesn't even have to force fairybacks in where they don't fit (although clearly they still might! but at least they don't have to). Emma's character benefits from her being central to the plot, and she's back at the center again. I love Hook as a character and the actor playing him, so I'm good with Hook getting bumped up in importance, too. 

 

They then would have been unable to find any trace of Emma.  No relatives, no one who dropped her off there--and the people they tracked down as possibles would've been dead ends.

 

Wouldn't a lot of that depend on what August said happened? I don't need the show to be realistic with Emma, but if there is to be a flashback establishing more about what happened with Emma, I think the above points to what I'd be interested in seeing.. what did August say about who he and Emma were? Was there a search for relatives or did August say something that led away from that? Were August and Emma believed to be siblings? What happened to baby Emma after August ran away from their home? Was she replaced with the family she mentioned or was that initial home the one who gave her up at 3? (Also, how did Emma get from the end of "Tallahassee" to the competent bail bondsman we saw at the start of S1) So I guess the show could have done Emma flashbacks in a way that I would have liked without needing to get Lifetime special about it. Now I am sad that they didn't do that instead of the Snow/Regina, rinse-repeat.

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I could see some of those ideas for an Emma/Regina friendship working, provided Regina was able to actually see someone other than herself as an actual person, rather than another action figure in her own personal story.

 

I guess my problem with it is that I don't understand why someone--particularly Emma, since Regina has repeated victimized her and her entire family and been completely unremorseful--would want to be friendly with Regina.  It makes sense that people want to watch someone they see as sassy and dramatic, but when it comes right down to it, Regina is not someone that people would want to be friends with.  She's selfish, she's mean, and she's incapable of seeing that other people have actual feelings, too. 

 

Narcissistic sociopaths might be entertaining, but they're not exactly pleasant company at family meals or relaxed social gatherings.

 

Wouldn't a lot of that depend on what August said happened?  . . .Was she replaced with the family she mentioned or was that initial home the one who gave her up at 3? (Also, how did Emma get from the end of "Tallahassee" to the competent bail bondsman we saw at the start of S1)

 

I could be misremembering--it's been a while since I really paid attention to that particular episode--but I think August came through the wardrobe at a different time than Emma, and he didn't stick around waiting for her.  He'd've been found at a different time and place.

 

In my state, homeless/at risk, etc. kids are often placed in an emergency foster situation.  A lot of times, that emergency placement would be a group home of some sort, which are often licensed by ages, which could explain how August and Emma ended up at the same one;  they were both under 10.  It's not usually long-term, with initial paperwork for 2 weeks to 30 days.  It's possible to get extensions depending on the situation and how difficult it is to find an actual long-term foster home, should it be needed.

 

In those circumstances, he could easily just be the kid with imagination and psych issues that is telling stories--and even if he told the truth, who would believe him?

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I guess my problem with it is that I don't understand why someone--particularly Emma, since Regina has repeated victimized her and her entire family and been completely unremorseful--would want to be friendly with Regina.

Probably for Henry's sake. They don't need to go shopping together or anything, but being civil is probably the best thing to do since they're co-parenting. They're having to work together to go save their son, so I could see why trying to cooperate would be ideal in the practical sense. It's definitely an interesting juxtaposition between the two of them, and I suppose it's worth exploring in the crazy universe of Once.

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Probably for Henry's sake. They don't need to go shopping together or anything, but being civil is probably the best thing to do since they're co-parenting.

Yeah--that I get.  Being civil to your child's other parent is pretty much the minimum you owe your child, provided that the other parent is nonabusive.

 

The problem is that Regina has been abusive--both to Henry and to Emma.  At this point in the story, she's at least realized that she's been mistreating Henry.  That's a baby step.

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I could be misremembering--it's been a while since I really paid attention to that particular episode--but I think August came through the wardrobe at a different time than Emma, and he didn't stick around waiting for her.  He'd've been found at a different time and place.

 

Regarding this, Wee August is the one who "found" Emma.  The newspaper article states "7 year old finds baby on the side of the road" or something to that effect. They were in the same foster home before he ran with the other kids.  August is a crap adult, but the responsibility they put on a child is pretty unfair.

 

Also, regarding this episode, it's still one of my favorites of the series.  

And I still loathe what happens 4 episodes later

 Yes, Snow, it's your job to make Emma feel better.

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I guess my problem with it is that I don't understand why someone--particularly Emma, since Regina has repeated victimized her and her entire family and been completely unremorseful--would want to be friendly with Regina.

 

She hasn't been completely unremorseful, though. She's made baby steps forward towards genuine change, and it was not very long ago in show time that she intended to sacrifice herself to save Henry and Storybrooke. I believe it was to Emma that she had the line about living so much of her life as the Evil Queen but wanting to at least die as Regina (and if not Emma, it was to Snow). Regina's not the type of character who's going to prostrate herself for forgiveness or wrap herself in sackcloth for repentance, but I think it's been made explicit both that Regina regrets many of her choices and that Emma recognizes that Regina regrets her choices. Remember that Emma was Regina's biggest advocate in "The Cricket Game."

 

I also think since Emma met Cora, Emma gained insight into how and why Regina came to be the Evil Queen. I don't see Regina and Emma as very similar people, but I do think their lives have some similar tragedies. It's implied that Emma survived abuse of some kind while she was in foster care, and we know that Regina was physically and emotionally abused by Cora (and I'd argue Regina was also emotionally abused by Rumple, but I don't think Emma has any idea about the twisted nature of Rumple/Regina's relationship). Emma never went as evil as Regina, but Emma was certainly not a good person while she was conning and thieving on her own and with Neal. I think Emma recognizes that Regina is at a turning point where she can become a better person, and that regardless of whether Regina deserves second (or third... or fourth) chances, it will be best for Henry if Regina achieves that. Emma and Regina have also had high stakes times of working together in both season finales, so I think the groundwork is there for mutual tolerance if not actual friendship.

 

Plus, right now Emma's options for sociability are the parents that she has many unresolved issues with, the uncomfortably flirtatious pirate, or snarky Regina. Out of that grouping, I think Regina's actually the most emotionally safe. She's the only one in the group who's not trying to earn anything from Emma right now.

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She's made baby steps forward towards genuine change, and it was not very long ago in show time that she intended to sacrifice herself to save Henry and Storybrooke. I believe it was to Emma that she had the line about living so much of her life as the Evil Queen but wanting to at least die as Regina (and if not Emma, it was to Snow). Regina's not the type of character who's going to prostrate herself for forgiveness or wrap herself in sackcloth for repentance, but I think it's been made explicit both that Regina regrets many of her choices and that Emma recognizes that Regina regrets her choices. Remember that Emma was Regina's biggest advocate in "The Cricket Game."

 

It was mere days ago that Regina was actively planning to murder all of Storybrooke and run off with Henry. Emma was Regina's advocate in "The Cricket Game" because she was willing to give Regina a shot at changing her ways. Then Regina ran off with Cora, aided in the murder of Johanna, threw Hook down to his death by Maleficent and planned to destroy the town and everyone in it. Her change of heart only occurred because she was going to die too and didn't want Henry to be alone. Thus, she was sacrificing herself only for Henry and only because she was responsible for the entire problem in the first place. So less than two days ago Regina had once again planned to murder Emma and her entire family. I wouldn't want anything to do with a "friend" like that. 

 

I liked Regina the most during 3A since she did seem to turn off her ultimate victim crap and demonstrate some form of self awareness, but she's still all about Regina. I won't address the regrets thing because it's best not to say anything about that. Ever.

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I also think since Emma met Cora, Emma gained insight into how and why Regina came to be the Evil Queen. I don't see Regina and Emma as very similar people, but I do think their lives have some similar tragedies. It's implied that Emma survived abuse of some kind while she was in foster care, and we know that Regina was physically and emotionally abused by Cora (and I'd argue Regina was also emotionally abused by Rumple, but I don't think Emma has any idea about the twisted nature of Rumple/Regina's relationship).

 

Out of that grouping, I think Regina's actually the most emotionally safe. She's the only one in the group who's not trying to earn anything from Emma right now.

True, they did both have some abuse in their backgrounds, but one of them went on to be an abuser, a rapist, and a murder--while blaming other people for that, and not acknowledging she was wrong--and one didn't;  she went on to run away and in desperation commit a series of fairly petty crimes before turning her life around. 

 

Since the child they share is one  of the people who was abused--well, whether the writers acknowledge it or not, Regina is trying to earn something from Emma:  Henry access.  Which, until she takes more than a few baby steps, she should never, ever get.

 

Personally, it's difficult to see how Regina is safe, considering her response when she doesn't get what she wants is to lash out at other people and only a few days ago she was planning to kill everyone because she didn't get what she wanted.  I tend to see a good deal of her better behavior as manipulation, I guess.

 

 

(Also, how did Emma get from the end of "Tallahassee" to the competent bail bondsman we saw at the start of S1)

 

I meant to respond to this earlier, but forgot.  Since it hasn't been addressed, I could be jossed later, but most likely she was pushed into finishing high school while locked up.  At least in my state, things like that are pushed very hard--particularly for juvenile offenders.  At seventeen, Emma would probably have even been in a juvenile facility yet (my state keeps juveniles in the juvenile detention center until their eighteenth birthday, even if they were convicted of a crime that would eventually move them to an adult prison).  Our local juvenile detention center has an on-grounds high school, and if the teen has a high school diploma, often college classes are an option.

 

Emma's smart, and could easily have left her year there with far, far more job skills than she went in.  If she was matched with a good parole officer, she could've ended up with someone willing to do a little mentoring--or matched up with a good mentor.

 

I liked Regina the most during 3A since she did seem to turn off her ultimate victim crap and demonstrate some form of self awareness, but she's still all about Regina. I won't address the regrets thing because it's best not to say anything about that. Ever

 

 

Yes, "Regret" does become a very, very loaded word after a few episodes,

doesn't it?  I was started to enjoy the Regina screen time again right

about the time that stupid tree happened and made everything she did and said

before that a case of "Regina has regrets because she doesn't have what she

wants." or manipulation of others, depending on the situation.

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Regina is trying to earn something from Emma:  Henry access.

 

I don't think this is what the show has portrayed to this point (obligatory disclaimer that of course, I don't know what's to come). Emma does not control access to Henry. Henry controls access to Henry. Regina has always sought time with Henry and approval from Henry directly from him, and Emma has no legal standing over Henry. If Henry decides he wants to go back to living with Regina, Emma has no practical ability to stop Henry (nor do I think she would even try since she respects Henry's choices unless there were a specific reason to believe Regina was dangerous to Henry).

 

In any event, Regina is certainly not trying to earn Henry access from Emma on the grand road trip through Neverland since Henry is captured with Pan rather than with Emma. Right now, their interests are tightly aligned: both want to make it through Neverland alive, rescue Henry, and return to Storybrooke. 

 

Moreover, on a meta level, whether people like it or not, Regina is one of the central characters of this show. Emma suffered in 2A and 2B because absent the Savior arc, she had no meaningful connections with the stories being told. I argued then (and still believe) that Emma's character didn't need to be in 2B at all. The emotional weight came from Snow/Regina/Rumple/Cora (with Charming, Hook, and Belle logical secondary characters). Emma and Regina have a tie to each other's stories, but it's weakly developed at this point. Using Neverland to deepen that tie can only be good for making Emma matter as a character for everyone who isn't simply an Emma fan (and alternately, for making Regina continue to matter for those audience members who just want her executed already). It's why I'm cautiously optimistic about the Neverland set up.

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From the "All Seasons" thread:

What got me about this one was that the theme between the past and present wasn't about believing in oneself, it was about affirming who you really are. Snow became a leader and fought back against Regina while Emma discovered that her identification as the Saviour and sheriff and daughter and mother were not her main markers, but rather that she is a Lost Girl. That really sucks as the answer to the question of Who am I? for a thirty year old woman.

Yeah, that made the parallel get really icky. If they were going to show Snow learning to believe in herself in the past and that meaning accepting that she was the rightful queen (why isn't she called a queen ever? She became the rightful queen the moment her dad died, and yet she's still called a princess), then the parallel to that would have been Emma accepting that she was a princess. Or that could have been a parallel to Emma stepping up and being a leader. But to parallel that with a story where Emma has to accept and face the fact that she's a Lost Girl orphan, it totally sucks. I think the show was kind of trying to do the thing about being a leader and Emma believing in herself that she could solve the puzzle of the map, but the execution made the parallel be Snow learning with the help of her friends that she's capable of being a leader and therefore is going to fight to get back her kingdom, compared to Emma being encouraged by her mother to accept that she's a Lost Girl.

 

I do like that Emma did this in a scene with her mother, but once they decided to switch that from Hook, they needed to rewrite the scene. It made more sense for Hook being the one to prod her into that realization, given that he'd already pegged her as a lost girl from the moment he met her (and that does make you wonder why he doesn't suggest that earlier, since he would probably have known exactly where Pan was going with that -- it would have to be a painful truth. Why would Pan create a game out of finding her inner princess?). But would Snow have pushed her into realizing that? For the scene with Snow, it needed to be that Emma had already figured it out for herself but was holding back from admitting it because she knew it would hurt her parents. She needed to have Snow tell her it was okay to say it.

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I think the writers were writing a very simplistic parallel in this case.  Whereby Snow with the support of someone who loved her was able to face her fear of fighting against Regina, and Emma with the support of someone who loved her was able to face her fear, which above all else was verbalizing how she felt inside and opening up.  Admitting she cried herself to sleep as a little girl and that she still felt like an orphan would have been much more difficult in front of Snow than in front of Hook. To me, that made the scene more meaningful, affecting and significant.  Still, some of the lines were wonky.  I don't think the intention was to state that Emma = Lost girl.  The island was forcing that repressed identity to resurface, and by having the courage to voice it to someone who she felt safe opening up to (for the first time in a long time), this diffused and prevented the destabilizing effect that Peter Pan wished to inflict on Emma.

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I think the writers were writing a very simplistic parallel in this case.  Whereby Snow with the support of someone who loved her was able to face her fear of fighting against Regina, and Emma with the support of someone who loved her was able to face her fear, which above all else was verbalizing how she felt inside and opening up.  Admitting she cried herself to sleep as a little girl and that she still felt like an orphan would have been much more difficult in front of Snow than in front of Hook.

 

But as originally planned, that scene was meant to be between Hook/Emma. Hook was not a "loved one" at that point, there was just some mild flirtation going on. The basic parallel of opening up to a loved one doesn't fit with their original intent. I also don't buy that Emma would have opened up to Hook like she did in that scene with her mother. It's why the later Hook/Emma scene where she walks away makes more sense. So I'm back with their original intent being accepting who you really are and the dialogue both in the past and present backs that up. Here's both Snow's & Emma's moments of clarity:

 

Emma: It's just on this island... I... I don't feel like a hero or a savior. I just feel like what I've always been. An orphan.

... (map appears) ...

Emma: What happened?

Snow: You accepted who you are.

 

Here's Snow's realization in the past:

Snow (to Regina): You told me to stop denying who I really am. Well, that's exactly what I'm doing. This is my kingdom, and I will fight for it!

 

That's a pretty clear parallel. And then they took it further by having Snow tell Emma that her being an orphan is the truth and that it's Snow's job to change that. It's also very obvious throughout the series to this point that Emma is not feeling the Saviour or the hero title. I don't think she believes herself to be either of those things, so it would make sense that the map wouldn't define her that way either. Neverland was clearly having an effect on her, but I think they were trying to say that regardless of where she was Emma = Lost Girl. The response from Snow was simply to give hope that she doesn't need to stay that way.

Edited by KAOS Agent
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I don't believe I ever liked this episode. The Emma/Snow conversation gets a lot of praise, but that's only because...

Spoiler

... it's the only one they'll ever get from now on.

 

I hate the flashbacks. They're pointless and don't need to exist. You could erase them and the canon would be unscathed. 

Spoiler

All we get out of them is the Excalibur namedrop. Rumple mentions he can't destroy Excalibur, which is interesting since we later find out it's partially the Dagger.

The whole orphan thing with Emma is good but it doesn't really go anywhere until 3B. (Though, I doubt the writers were thinking that far ahead when they wrote this.) In retrospect, this episode feels cheapened because the Snow/Emma stuff gets steamrolled in the Echo Cave, Rumple's crying over the doll gets even more pathetic, and the flashbacks are filler. It sets up things that don't really pan out. 

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On 9/8/2015 at 10:24 PM, KAOS Agent said:

That's a pretty clear parallel. And then they took it further by having Snow tell Emma that her being an orphan is the truth and that it's Snow's job to change that. It's also very obvious throughout the series to this point that Emma is not feeling the Saviour or the hero title. I don't think she believes herself to be either of those things, so it would make sense that the map wouldn't define her that way either. Neverland was clearly having an effect on her, but I think they were trying to say that regardless of where she was Emma = Lost Girl. The response from Snow was simply to give hope that she doesn't need to stay that way.

I like that interpretation.  

It doesn't matter to me that the flashbacks or Emma accepting her orphan status doesn't go anywhere because the plot on this show is pretty much a dud half the time anyway.  To me, this is an example of using the setting to actually provide a character moment/study.  That realization gives Emma the strength to fight to find Henry.

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I liked this episode then and still do. Its the last time we get to see a good Emma and Snow scene, I loved Hook being proven right about where not to go, I liked seeing Regina's magic backfire. The magic felt like a call back to Jefferson explaining in the Had Trick that each place has its own set of rules. The Lost Girl felt like a call back to Hook's comment about an orphan is an orphan. 

I really wish we got to see Snow follow up on her telling Emma it was her job to fix. The scene was so perfect from Emma not wanting to talk and worrying about hurting Snow's feelings and Snow listening but her expression. Yes it does hurt. Of course it would and Snow was originally going to go with Emma. 

I liked the flashback the dwarves giving Charming a hard time and Excalibur not really being Excalibur but something Charming made. Seeing Snow fight Regina. Even was able to strike her.

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I remembered kind of liking this one, but I almost couldn't get through it this time around.

One thing I'd forgotten was that in the flashback, Regina outright said she took Snow's rightful throne from her. I'd been thinking the writers either just didn't know how succession works and thought that since Regina was queen because of being married to the king, that meant she'd become queen upon his death or they were writing a world in which that was how it worked, but they knew and Regina knew and Snow knew that the throne was Snow's. So why did Snow not become queen? Even before they won the war, Snow would have been considered the rightful queen by her subjects, then she should have been formally crowned after they won the war, yet she's always referred to as "princess."

Spoiler

And worse, even when Regina is totally a hero, she's treated like she's the actual, rightful ruler, with Snow never being acknowledged as queen. There's a whole episode of flashbacks about Snow deciding to take back her kingdom, and yet she never actually takes the title in the whole series.

The flashbacks seem like they were trying to find parallels, but they were totally out of step. Snow was having to learn to believe in herself by believing that she was the rightful queen and true leader, but they related that to Emma having to learn to believe ... that she's a lost girl orphan? It's like "You can do it! You can believe that you're nobody!" But the problem with that is, that's the one identity that Emma was embracing. Her problem was that she still felt like an orphaned lost girl even though she found her parents and learned the true story of why she was given up, since she still had the experience of growing up alone. That wasn't the identity she was struggling to embrace. That was already how she saw herself. She just didn't want to say it out loud to her mother. It would have been more of a parallel for her to have to learn to embrace a leadership role and see herself as a princess who was born to lead (though that would have required changing the rousing speech at the end of the previous episode about being a leader). It really was more that Snow had to recognize that her daughter was a lost girl, but that still doesn't track with Snow learning to believe in herself.

Now that I know that the "lost girl" scene was originally written for Hook rather than Snow, I can see it, especially the first part of the scene. I'm not sure Snow would have recognized Emma seeing herself in that boy, but it was a good callback to Hook recognizing Emma as an orphan on the beanstalk. Really, the whole thing was kind of a mess because it was sort of Snow's epiphany when it was supposed to be Emma's epiphany, and it was all tied to that believe in yourself stuff. It might have worked better if Snow was the one Pan gave the map to and she had to recognize who Emma was, then the flashbacks had been about Emma's childhood as a lost girl and maybe having to survive against clever bullies like Pan.

I wonder if the parallels between the dwarfs being suspicious of David and David being suspicious of Hook were intentional. David's just so dumb in the present. I can see not wanting to be buddies with Hook, but deliberately disregarding the warnings of the guy who survived a century or so in this place and who is here of his own free will to help them when he didn't have to return to this place is just stupid.

This show really doesn't work well with binge watching. Even just watching two episodes in a row, you see the wild inconsistencies. In one episode, Regina is astonished that she's considered a villain. In the next episode, there's a flashback in which she gloats about having taken Snow's throne away from her. If Regina had considered herself fully justified in doing that, would she have bothered trying to get Snow to cave and declare her the queen and held hostages to make that happen? In one episode Snow's giving hope speeches and talking about how she never gives up, and the next episode is about Snow wanting to give up.

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6 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

This show really doesn't work well with binge watching. Even just watching two episodes in a row, you see the wild inconsistencies. In one episode, Regina is astonished that she's considered a villain. In the next episode, there's a flashback in which she gloats about having taken Snow's throne away from her. If Regina had considered herself fully justified in doing that, would she have bothered trying to get Snow to cave and declare her the queen and held hostages to make that happen? In one episode Snow's giving hope speeches and talking about how she never gives up, and the next episode is about Snow wanting to give up.

Yes, I was thinking about that with the inspirational positive thinking line Snow gave in the previous episode, with the polar opposite messaging in the flashbacks for this one.  If anything, Charming was the overly optimistic one.

Regina as the Evil Queen was so overpowered that making Snow think that she was holding a real magical weapon when she wasn't could be construed as tricking someone to go on a suicide mission.  Yes, Snow needed to believe in herself, but Bandit Snow or not, she was no match for Regina/The Evil Queen.  It's almost funny because sometimes they have Charming being overprotective, and then he puts Snow into incredible danger here.

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I think this is a really strong episode, in that it doesn't invalidate Emma's experiences. Instead, it exposes the naivete of Snow's perspective. Early in the episode, Snow (or possibly Charming, I don't remember) says that they've learned that "it is never too late," which had me rolling my eyes  - yeah, you all found each other, but only after Emma had gone through 28 years of hell. But then, the show actually acknowledges this directly when Snow tells Emma, in their final scene "and then when we found you, it was too late." Similarly, Snow and Charming (kind of adorably, it must be admitted) sitting there all smiles trying to encourage Emma to acknowledge that she's the savior is juxtaposed with the scene where Snow has to give Emma emotional permission to admit that Emma still thinks of herself as an orphan. And, crucially, she doesn't tell her she's wrong, make Emma responsible for her pain, or present it as Emma's failing, instead acknowledging that it is her job to change that. Just a lovely scene.

I see the complaint that the parallel between Emma and flashback Snow isn't perfect, but I'm not sure that it is supposed to be: those scenes (and Rumples, for that matter) are tied broadly by the question of finding yourself, but the fact that finding herself, for Snow, involves a triumphant assertion and finding herself, at this point, for Emma involves acknowledging her lingering feelings of abandonment seems to be part of the point. 

I'm not sure that I have a ton to say about Pan, but I do want to acknowledge how fantastic Robbie Kay is in the role. It is a shame he doesn't seem to have done much since. While I'm praising acting, I also have to give LP some credit for the moment when she tells Emma "You said you wanted to be a leader. Now lead." It could have been typical Regina snark, but as LP played it, I think for the first time you could see some grudging respect and even encouragement coming through.

10 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

David's just so dumb in the present. I can see not wanting to be buddies with Hook, but deliberately disregarding the warnings of the guy who survived a century or so in this place and who is here of his own free will to help them when he didn't have to return to this place is just stupid.

Given how bizarrely antagonistic David is to Hook - no, he shouldn't like or trust him, but the total hostility is over the top -- I'm going back to the head-canon I developed at the end of season 2: as David has been essentially gaslighted into forgiving Regina and Rumple for real, horrific abuses against him on the grounds that they are "family," he's taking his suppressed rage out on Hook as the only remaining, acceptable target for his anger.

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4 hours ago, companionenvy said:

I see the complaint that the parallel between Emma and flashback Snow isn't perfect, but I'm not sure that it is supposed to be: those scenes (and Rumples, for that matter) are tied broadly by the question of finding yourself, but the fact that finding herself, for Snow, involves a triumphant assertion and finding herself, at this point, for Emma involves acknowledging her lingering feelings of abandonment seems to be part of the point. 

I kind of feel like you're giving the writers too much credit here. A lot of the problem is they're trying to do too many things at once, and the result is that they're all over the place.

There's the "believe in yourself" thread with the flashbacks of Snow learning to believe that she can beat Regina and become a queen, paralleled with Emma believing that she can be a leader and can solve the map puzzle that will get them to Henry.

But then there's also that thread of Emma admitting that she's a Lost Girl. As I said, that's not really been a thing with her. That's who she sees herself as. The issue is admitting it to her mother. She's been holding back because saying it is painful to them. And the real issue is that it's not true. It's how Emma sees herself, but she was never truly an orphan. She had parents who loved and wanted her, who didn't "abandon" her. It's the way she feels, and it's what her experience was, but it's not the truth of who she really is. Who she really is would be the princess and Savior, and those are the parts she has trouble accepting. That's where I think the parallel with the flashbacks falls apart. Snow really was a rightful queen, and in accepting that, she was able to do more than she realized and stand up to Regina. She thought the sword was a magical sign of who she really was, but she was just drawing upon her own inner worth. But Emma isn't really a Lost Girl, and all she did was admit it to make a magical object work. She didn't draw on her inner strength or true nature or anything like that. The sword was fake but the map was real.

Pan's game really was a psychological torture to try to put a rift between Emma and her parents by making Emma tell her parents that she was a Lost Girl, but the map didn't tell who she really was, so I guess that was a lie.

4 hours ago, companionenvy said:

Given how bizarrely antagonistic David is to Hook - no, he shouldn't like or trust him, but the total hostility is over the top -- I'm going back to the head-canon I developed at the end of season 2: as David has been essentially gaslighted into forgiving Regina and Rumple for real, horrific abuses against him on the grounds that they are "family," he's taking his suppressed rage out on Hook as the only remaining, acceptable target for his anger.

There's anger, and then there's childish, and "I don't care if you lived here for a century and you're telling me that this way is dangerous because it means facing the plants that grow the deadliest poison known to man, we're going this way because you said not to, so there," is on the childish end of the scale and could jeopardize the mission. But I guess David does end up paying for ignoring Hook's advice. He didn't end up getting poisoned just because of disregarding him, but they got in that situation because going along with Regina's plan meant going into a place Hook said to avoid, so it sort of falls into the same category.

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1 minute ago, Shanna Marie said:

But then there's also that thread of Emma admitting that she's a Lost Girl. As I said, that's not really been a thing with her. That's who she sees herself as. The issue is admitting it to her mother. She's been holding back because saying it is painful to them. And the real issue is that it's not true. It's how Emma sees herself, but she was never truly an orphan. She had parents who loved and wanted her, who didn't "abandon" her. It's the way she feels, and it's what her experience was, but it's not the truth of who she really is. Who she really is would be the princess and Savior, and those are the parts she has trouble accepting. That's where I think the parallel with the flashbacks falls apart. Snow really was a rightful queen, and in accepting that, she was able to do more than she realized and stand up to Regina. She thought the sword was a magical sign of who she really was, but she was just drawing upon her own inner worth. But Emma isn't really a Lost Girl, and all she did was admit it to make a magical object work. She didn't draw on her inner strength or true nature or anything like that. The sword was fake but the map was real.

Pan's game really was a psychological torture to try to put a rift between Emma and her parents by making Emma tell her parents that she was a Lost Girl, but the map didn't tell who she really was, so I guess that was a lie.

Emma may not really be an orphan, but I think she very much is still a Lost Girl. And even on the orphan count, Emma's truth is that she grew up unloved without parents. Now she has parents, but they are her peers, not credible mentor figures. So while knowing that her parents really did love and want her has to help, psychologically speaking, I'm not sure "I'm an orphan" is a wildly inaccurate statement, except in the most technical sense. Not that Pan isn't screwing with her, too, but that doesn't mean he's wrong.

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The parallel thing is off because it wasn't fully developed the way intended and because they write the flashbacks first and then try to shove a square peg in a round hole to make the parallel fit in the present. I'm still stuck on how it worked better to have that be a Snow/Emma conversation simply due to its necessitating Snow to realize the true psychological damage Emma's childhood had on her. It is too late to fix it. Given this show's later ret-cons, this realization should have devastated Snow. If this had been a Hook/Emma conversation then the only person affected is Emma and it's not like this is some shocking revelation to her. Her hesitation to name herself an orphan was mostly influenced by her mother's presence. That made it a much more hurtful game than if she'd been talking to Hook. I wonder if that was the reason it was changed and not because anyone in the writers room ever cared about or realized that Emma/Snow was a major draw for the original audience and a scene between the two addressing the past was a good idea.

Note that this was listed as Ginny Goodwin's favorite scene at the end of the entire series, which says a lot about how she felt about the Emma/Snow relationship and also how the show dealt with it over the remaining seasons.

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I love the Snow/ Emma scene and I’d never want to lose the scene after, the “perhaps I would”. Truly still in my top 10 CaptainSwan scenes for the whole series. You see Hook putting his heart on his sleeve and Emma’s walls slam up visibly as she shoulders past him. Beautiful!

Spoiler

I’m still torn, as much as I’d hate to lose the two above scenes I think I could stomach the echo cave scene where Snow essentially says Emma isn’t enough if Snow didn’t know she still felt like an orphan. Same with the scene where she tells Emma she’s staying in Neverland with David.

Both of these scenes would be more palatable if the lost girl scene had been with Hook instead.

Him recognizing her as an orphan would have also made more sense but held less emotion since he’s not hurt by that realization.

Edited by daxx
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Nobody makes me bleed my own blood! Nobody!"-Regina, probably. 

I always remember enjoying this episode, and although it does have some groan worthy scenes, I still think its a strong outing. As others have said, the Emma and Snow scene is really great, especially knowing what lies ahead for their relation, which makes me appreciate the scene, and makes it a million times sadder. And we had some great Captain Swan stuff, and while the flashbacks are basically pointless, it was still nice to see Snow and Charming having some adventures, and working to take down Regina. Although, I continue to wonder what happens between all of these episodes, and Cricket Game. Its like Snow had some other flashback that explained her still wanting Regina to be her mommy, that we never got to see. 

Hook and David just have such a weird relationship, even here. David is way more angry towards him than Regina, which is truly bizarre to me. Regina is the person who ruined his life, while Hook is basically just some random guy to him. I do like their back and fourth at times, and that Hook was right to warn them off the forest with the poison. If only Charming wasn't so freaking stubborn and weird sometimes!

Yeah, Emma isnt technically an orphan, but she certainly grew up feeling like one, and hasn't really moved on from that. She does know that she has parents now, who want and love her, but she grew up feeling unwanted and unloved, and felt lost in the world. Plus, Pans big plan seems to be creating discontent among the Nevengers (which is really easy, considering all their issues), and him playing on Emma's abandonment issues is right up his alley. And while Snow wanting to just jump right into being mom to Emma, Emma still had a whole life without a family, and thats always going to be something they need to deal with. 

Is it me, or do the "Lost Boys" look more like "Lost Econ majors"? 

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On 11/4/2018 at 7:17 PM, tennisgurl said:

Yeah, Emma isnt technically an orphan, but she certainly grew up feeling like one, and hasn't really moved on from that. She does know that she has parents now, who want and love her, but she grew up feeling unwanted and unloved, and felt lost in the world. Plus, Pans big plan seems to be creating discontent among the Nevengers (which is really easy, considering all their issues), and him playing on Emma's abandonment issues is right up his alley. And while Snow wanting to just jump right into being mom to Emma, Emma still had a whole life without a family, and thats always going to be something they need to deal with. 

I think it might have helped if they'd phrased it differently, so that Emma had to say who she believed herself to be, and she was reluctant to do so. Or Snow had to be the one to say who Emma really was. And it would have helped if they hadn't mixed messages. I think the thing that makes it really iffy is adding the "believe in yourself" message to the "face who you really are" message. In the flashback, it wasn't so much about Snow acknowledging that she was born to rule as it was about believing in herself and having confidence, and that didn't parallel well with Emma having to admit that she was an orphan lost girl. That made it sound like something that would have been in Galavant, like if Sid had to make the map work by facing his true self, and Galavant told about how he realized he was a hero (possibly in a flashback with a musical number), then Sid said, "I believe I'm a hero!" but nothing happened, and then he said, "I knew it. I'm just a nobody," and that's when the map worked, and Galavant said proudly, "I knew you could be a real nobody."

But I think in general I don't like the thematic flashbacks, where the flashback story just shares a vague theme with the present-day story, like "hope," "courage," or "believe in yourself." The flashbacks work best when they're like in season 1, when they told a story of their own that set up the present. That's hard to do, so it also works okay if the flashback sets up the present or gives us some important info about the world or a character. Ideally, you need the flashback because the present-day story wouldn't make sense without it, or you'd miss some important context. In this case, not only is it not a great parallel, but it's utterly irrelevant. If you didn't watch the flashback, it wouldn't at all change the way you see the present, other than you might think Snow is less of an idiot. The flashback doesn't even tell us anything in context with the series, since after all this, Snow doesn't take the crown, is never queen, and lets Regina keep living in the palace that should be Snow's.

And then there's the fact that the Snow vs. Regina flashback is irrelevant to this story line. The flashbacks should be about the Neverland characters or about the aspects of their lives that are related to Neverland. Snow believing that she can be a rightful queen has nothing to do with it. A better fit if it had to be Snow vs. Regina might have been Snow when she was first cast out of the palace, before she met Red and was utterly on her own, with Regina pursuing her. Or picking up Bae's story after Pan got him (to set up Neal's return). Better would have been Emma's time in foster care, maybe dealing with a Pan-like bully.

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