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S03.E15: Quiet Minds

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Figured I'd open a thread for tonight's episode well in advance, although I motion that we follow the TWOP practice of not posting until the ep has finished airing at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central.

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WHAT THE HELL was this episode??? I mean...WHAT THE HELL was this episode????? Were the writers on crack when they wrote it??????? What? What? WHAT????

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All I really took away from that episode is that Henry's voice is changing and it's kind of adorable. Kid's still not a good actor, but he is a little bit more precious to me now. 

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When they had the close up on Emma holding Henry's hands like that, I though she was going to magically restore his memory completely on accident.

I liked that he called Emma on the BS at the beginning of the episode.

I don't trust Hook. At all.

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Yay!

~Neal's dead!  Neal's dead!~

~It's your birthday!  It's you birthday!~

~Dance like you mean it!  Dance like you mean it!~

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So, it would appear that Zelena wants her own savior. Creating a curse and trying to get close to Snow's baby, she wants her hands on Emma 2.0.

They certainly seem to be moving this story along at a faster clip than the Neverland arc. I certainly didn't expect them to learn the Witch's identity so quickly. As long as they don't venture into Ryan Murphy territory, I approve.

Regina and Robin certainly had more chemistry this week. I have to admit that I really enjoyed seeing her get flustered like that after all this time. And her freak out upon realizing Robin's true identity -- I'm much more interested in the storyline to see how Lana Parilla plays it than the actual romance.

Oh, Emma. God, Jennifer Morrison just sells it every time. I'm hoping this makes her realize that Henry knowing the truth, good and bad, about his family and past is better than a happy but empty life of video games. Not to mention the fact that I think she needs to keep the promise that she made him to not lie to him again, even if he doesn't remember it.

I like this Belle. Can we keep her, please?

Edited by kennyab
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Zelena is pretty psychotic. 

Neal's death was sad.  I'm not fan of the character, but I thought they did it well.  I was convinced he was going out with a whimper.  And now Zelena has complete control of Rumple. 

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This episode just had so many things that I wish had happened sooner:

  • Hook apologizing to Belle (sarcastically, but still)
  • Snow wishing she could be a badass and help
  • Hook hugging Neal, because they know each other outside of Emma, yeesh
  • Snow realizing she's a dumbass for trusting Zelena
  • Emma and Neal basically being FRIENDS
  • Zelena commenting on Neal being dumb
  • Belle being super smart
  • Neal dying...

And I started giggling so much when Hook gave Neal the jell-o, remembering the deleted scene.

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I feel very slow but was it Neal who sent Hook to get Emma?  Or was it Rumple?  That is where I'm confused.  When they shared a body, one physicality was dominant but both were inside the head so... who the hell was Hook talking to?  Was he talking about Emma or Mila?

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And I started giggling so much when Hook gave Neal the jell-o, remembering the deleted scene.

Coincidentially, my mom and I just watched those for the first time last night.

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I feel very slow but was it Neal who sent Hook to get Emma?

 

I think we still don't know who sent Hook to get Emma.  I know Neal thanked Hook for going to get Emma, but I took that as general thanks for doing something important rather than "thanks for doing the thing I asked you to do."  I could be wrong about that, of course.  

In other news, this episode sucked.  I didn't care at all about Neal, but what a weird and sucky way to go out.  

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I feel very slow but was it Neal who sent Hook to get Emma?  Or was it Rumple?  That is where I'm confused.  When they shared a body, one physicality was dominant but both were inside the head so... who the hell was Hook talking to?  Was he talking about Emma or Mila?

I thought at first that Neal sent the message, but Neal didn't even remember how he got the mark on his hand, so I don't think he knew what happened the last year as Neal.  Rumple is a whole other ballgame though.  if anyone has retained his memories, it's likely to be him especially since Zelena didn't seem able to control him with Neal being melded in there and whatever. 

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What I want to know is where Neal was before this episode. He didn't show up in town before people started disappearing, and he had the same story of going from seeing Emma drive off to being back in Storybrooke.

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OK, between this and the TWoP discussion, I feel like Nealstiltskin. Am I Neal here and Gold on the other board? Or is it the other way around? There are just too many voices on my boards! Or it may just be the red wine.

And yea, I need to rewatch. I thought Neal said to Hook, "So you got my message?" which made me think Neal sent it. But then he doesn't remember the burn on his hand. Ugh, show. You're so confusing this week! At least you were clear about who died.

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What I want to know is where Neal was before this episode. He didn't show up in town before people started disappearing, and he had the same story of going from seeing Emma drive off to being back in Storybrooke.

Neal and Rumple were one and the same.  The magic that brought Rumple back killed Neal so Rumple merged their bodies...hence the voices.  When he barged into the shop, that was just when Neal took over their shared body.

The only reason I had a tear in my eye was because Emma and Rumple were sad.  Since these are TV characters, I don't feel too bad saying "see ya Neal".  Also, Zelena calling him "dumber than a bag of hair" made my day!!!

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OK, between this and the TWoP discussion, I feel like Nealstiltskin. Am I Neal here and Gold on the other board? Or is it the other way around? There are just too many voices on my boards! Or it may just be the red wine.

We are both.

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I don't know about this episode.  On the one hand, I'm glad they finally figured out who the Witch was, but on the other hand, it was so convoluted, that I can't wrap my head around it.  I think I need to rewatch to see what was going on.

RIP, Neal.  I was meh on you the whole time, but, hopefully, with your death, Hook and Emma can feel free to release their passion for each other.  :)

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Jennifer and Robert broke my heart. Sadly, MRJ does nothing for me. He'd take me out of that scene and then Jennifer and Robert just sucked me right back in. It's those two who sold that scene at all. Absolutely hate how they retcon what really happened back then. Neal had a choice and he made the wrong one.

Loved the jello scene.

Loved Belle and her looks towards Hook. Happy we got a sorry no matter how uncomfortable he was doing it.

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I'm actually really enjoying Zelena as the villain.  She says some of the things I've been thinking--I had to agree with her assessment of both Neal and Belle, for example.  Does that mean I don't have to seriously entertain Belle's theory that Neal and Emma were True Loves?  Because I'd really like to poke that idea with a stick.

And Belle loves Rumple?  Even the dark parts?  Now that statement I have some issues with.  I'd understand if she'd said she loved the good man fighting against the dark parts, but she specifically loves the dark parts?  Because those parts are pretty darn dark, and that pretty much completely negates leaving him in season 1 because of his bad behavior.  And what if he gets rid of the Dark One curse?  Will he still be her True Love?  Because the show has  seemed to indicate that at least some of his behavior is because of that curse.

This was the first episode in a long time where I actually enjoyed Neal and his interactions with people not Rumple.  I had to rewind the Hook hug twice, and Neal's conversation with Emma in the forest was very nice, even if I did want to pointedly remind him that yes, he did have a choice.

Edited by Mari

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Does that mean I don't have to seriously entertain Belle's theory that Neal and Emma were True Loves?  Because I'd really like to poke that idea with a stick.

Right?? No True Love does what Neal did to Emma, sorry. His hands weren't as tied as he (and the show) likes to pretend they were.

My poor Emma. :(

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Well, Belle does have "Lacey" as part of herself, so maybe she does like the dark parts.  Lacey did.

Interesting episode.  Not that sad about Neal - he took the easy way as he was wont to do.  I was happy to see Belle back to her generally smart self.  And I think that Hook knew Neal had a hand in bringing Rumple back.  He was definitely saying goodbye with that hug.

I'm handwaving Belle's statement about true love.  She never saw Neal in action with Emma, so I'm guessing she's trying to put the best light on it.

Also, does anyone know how what Neal told Belle the necklace meant compares to what Emma told him the necklace meant (in Manhattan) and to what he said when he gave it to her in Tallahassee?

Edited by greystreak98

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I am not ok. Somebody hold me.

Hook was totally hugging Bae goodbye. He knew. He knew! He knew Neal was a deadman.

And I cried so much. I'm such a sap.

But there. Hook apologized to Belle. And protected her to make up for it. (Loved that exchange).

But I am not ok.

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Wow - I feel like I definitely need to rewatch this sucker just to process it all.  Overall pretty emotional, but I knew that was going to be the case going in.  Not sad to see Neal go, but really felt bad for Rumple.  I hate to think what Henry's going to do now once he gets his memories back and learns Neal's truly gone.  That is NOT going to be a good conversation with Emma.  

Loved pretty much all of Hook's scenes.  His attempts to make nice with Belle were long overdue, and the Jello gesture was just too much.  I laughed loud and long at that one!  His hug with Bae was more touching that I thought it'd be, but I ultimately felt like it was just another box to check on "Neal's list of goodbyes."

Anyone else completely distracted by whatever the heck it was they had Belle wearing during the flashback scenes?!  I mean what the heck was that?!  Who wears sheer leggings with shorty shorts in the middle of winter??  I was freezing on her behalf.  Not to mention she just looked skanky (for lack of a better word).  Meh.

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(Brought over from TWOP.) Back with thoughts after processing this bananas episode (and also watching The Good Wife):

So...I want to be a writer for Once, because obviously your job involves lots of drinking the "magic potion" whiskey, because that's all I have to explain the second half of this episode. The weird thing is the first half of this episode was actually rather good--I was amazed at how much I was enjoying a Neal/Belle episode, I thought it was tight and reasonably well-scripted, and I liked Neal more than I pretty much ever have. (It's like Michael Raymond-James drank an espresso, because Neal had way more energy and was way more animated than he's ever been before.) And then...then the second half hit.

They really needed to spread this episode over two, because the back half was way too rushed. Terribly and horribly. It was like the worst elements of S2 with plot-plot-plot and check! Rumpel's back! Check! Zelena is revealed! Check! The Charmings know! Check! Neal has to do something impulsive and dumb to further the plot! Check! Something crazy and ridiculous and magical happens and it's not really explained and is totally contrived? Check! Let's zip along with everything! Like...what an unceremonious way for Rumpel to be brought back and Zelena to be outed. So rushed and so...blah. It was all so anticlimactic (not his death, but everything around it). It was just really not well done. It wasn't poorly done, per se, but it was not well done. I did tremendously enjoy the Daddy and Daughter moment of Emma and Charming busting down the doors in unison, though (also their chat in the forest, though I'd been spoiled for that--love that Charming is Emma's sounding board). And at least Snow's terminal stupidity can no longer endanger Emma and David...but I fear any damage to the bambino may already be done, if that was Wicked's plan.

So...Neal. I'm no Neal fan, but I'm also a little easy (no, not like that), and I liked him more in this episode than I have before (the ridiculous "Neal had no choice" ginormous retcon the show is trying to sell aside--come on, Adam and Eddie, we all watched Tallahassee). As I said above, he was way more animated than usual, and he and Emma also had more chemistry tonight in their little walk than they ever have before (Emma's little laugh was sooo cute--I want to see more of walls-down Emma like that). So I felt a little bad when he died, but more because poor Emma functionally had to kill him than anything else. The death scene was okay...I mean, it was well acted by everyone (especially Jen Morrison--she was better than Bobby Carlyle in that scene, which is not something I thought I'd say, I actually thought he was too flat), and I genuinely felt bad for Emma if not so much for Neal or even Rumpel--but it was so...anticlimactic and rushed and weird. (It didn't help that the sound was really, really poor, at least on my TV, I couldn't clearly hear a lot of it.) Ultimately I second everyone who says that this felt a little like them writing off August.  Like they had to, so they were like "well, this will just be a check episode." And I think it sucks that Henry and Neal didn't get to see each other again.

Also, I call bs on this death being "to move the plot forward" or "plot dictated." There had to have been something happening bts, because I'm pretty sure there were 46934064568 other ways to bring Rumpel back, and everything else around the death was...weird. I'm seconding InsertWordHere, too--they so clearly have absolutely no long-term plan.

Colin's playing "ambiguous" really well. In retrospect, that last scene with Neal in the hospital? Could totally be interpreted as "Hook knows this is the last time he'll ever see Neal and is saying goodbye." I did laugh that Hook was like "we're bros, we shouldn't have let a woman get in between us"--it's like the writers were apologizing to the fans for all the complaining we did on that. I did like that hug. Finally those two actually act like they have hundreds of years of history, not all bad.

Other things...I kind of forgot Robin and Regina happened. They had more chemistry tonight (and Robin trying to put the moves on Regina in the middle of Wicked's house was hilarious, like are you going to get hot and heavy on Wicked's dining room table for her to walk in on?), but they were way overshadowed by everything else. Feels like it should've been in a different episode. I don't care about Regina's existential crisis fear of being happy in an episode where people are dying and the Charmings are trying to save Storybrooke. Robin's hair is 500% better though.

Oh, and Belle being totally unimpressed with Hook was comic gold on all fronts. I laughed. Harder than I should have.

Overall, after the first half I was ready to say this might be the best episode of 3b. Now I think it's...weird. It wasn't bad, necessarily, but just so weird.

Oh, and apparently Hook and Belle are dumb enough to stack a bunch of boxes in front of the door for protection. In a magical shop. Full of magical items.... Yeah, clearly those two don't represent "Brains."

Edited by stealinghome
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I'm reposting here from TWOP as well...

I like Neal, and I don't read spoilers so I didn't even know someone was going to die.  So I'm a little bummed out.  I had a bad feeling halfway through the episode when they seemed to be covering the bases of every loose end that Neal had.  Not very well, I must say.  Clearly, the writers are not changing their minds with the "I didn't have a choice.. you know that!" without actually explaining why he didn't have a choice if they really meant for Neal not to have a choice. 

 

This was the first episode in a long time where I actually enjoyed Neal and his interactions with people not Rumple.

Me too.  I enjoyed his scene with Emma walking through the forest, and that was really sad he didn't have one last scene with Henry.  I actually thought he had chemistry with the kid.

I even enjoyed Neal's scenes with Hook (what an awkward hug... almost seemed like they wanted to go a whole other direction with those two guys), as well as his scenes with Belle in the flashbacks.  I did laugh when Neal went, "What the hell" when Lumiere lit up.

The way they had that scene at the beginning of the episode with Zelena telling that flying monkey to find Rumple, I actually spent the first half of the episode expecting Neal to turn into a flying monkey under Zelena's command to smoke Rumple out. 

I like Belle being smart, but they just had to throw in lines like "Rumple may have seemed cold and hard, but deep inside..."  Why would she be saying such a thing to supposed victim of Rumple?  Talk about insensitive.

The Regina/Robin Hood scenes bored me. 

Does Henry look older with every episode or what?  That was a really nice scene he had with Emma by the fireplace.  I'm glad they inserted a nice mother/son bonding scene there.  I'm still sad there won't be any more Neal/Henry scenes.

As for the death scene, how painful was it for Emma to have another man die in her arms like that.  Jennifer Morrison knocked the scene out of the park.  I didn't think the actor who played Neal was that bad, though Robert Carlyle expressions were also heartbreaking.  It's kind of unfair that Neal/Bae had to die in the end to save Rumple.  I can't believe I'm saying this but I almost wish the Blue Fairy came up out of nowhere and said, "Hey, anyone want him to turn into a 15-year-old?"

As stealinghome said, the ending was way too rushed and they could have done a very satisfying reveal of Zelena as the Wicked Witch, with Snow playing an active role in figuring it out.

Edited by Camera One
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Everyone keeps posting that Zelena wants the baby so it can be her saviour, but I keep coming back to what the show has said several times. She is looking for the one thing that Rumple most wanted, but could never have. To me that means that Zelena is looking for a true and loving family.

Perhaps her goal is to weasel her way into the royal family. Or maybe to earn Regina's respect and love, then, once welcomed to the fold, she will be the baby's step-aunt.

Also, I don't think she put anything in the OJ. It's just an old midwives trick (no pun intended).

I am seeing the WoO tropes in Rumple being the scare crow and Charming as the cowardly lion, but I don't think Hook is the tin man. I see that role as being Zelena. Now, who's the Wizard who's Dorothy? I have my theory on that, but I'll save it for now.

Edited by FLutterby

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I did laugh that Hook was like "we're bros, we shouldn't have let a woman get in between us"

More than bros - Hook was essentially his step-dad.

Oh, and Belle being totally unimpressed with Hook was comic gold on all fronts. I laughed. Harder than I should have.

That scene was perfection. From Emma making Hook volunteer, to his obvious distaste at doing so, to Belle's reaction, and Hook's (oh so sincere) apology, I loved every second of it.

"You tried to kill me... twice!"

"Sorry?"

Dying.

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Was I the only one who almost screamed at the tv for an Emma or Rumple's goodbye True Love's Kiss? I mean, that'd have been a great callback to either Graham's death (though no kiss was there, either) or the S1 finale where familial love undid the curse.

I would have absolutely loved it if the writers totally changed the way the story was going halfway through and have Zelena and everyone else be forced to get their sh*t together with no time react after an early curse-breaking. Of course, it'd have led to even more disjointed moments later on, but an actual plot twist that alters the dynamic would be great, IMO.

Also, reposting this from the Nealfire thread as it is appropriate:

Quiet Minds really left me feeling... awkward, for lack of a better word. For a character that is so central to absolutely everything the overarching story hinges on and directly related to three of the most important plot-starters and movers (Rumple, Emma and Henry), the episode felt more like a quick wrap-up for some pesky and inconvenient plot element than a proper send-off to a main character. They can revisit him in flashbacks, but I still think a moment between him and Henry and the Charmings re: Tallahassee will leave an important character arc unresolved.

On a different but not unrelated note, considering The Hug of All Awkwardness that took place, IMO Hook is the one who should have been an emotional wreck at Gold's shop, not Snow and Belle; I know he's not about grand emotional displays and they are (and the hug itself was such a display and showed he must have known what was coming), but he'd still be the most organic, given he's the one who actually knew Baelfire for an extended period of time.

Edited by samhalliwell

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I liked this episode! I'm sorry for Neal's fans. He had so much potential.. it is ironic that 3.15 was his best episode (in my opinion)

I'm relieved they all know who Zelena is. I loved all Hook's scenes. That scene with Neal was beautiful. I loved the hug it was everything I've wanted for them.

I really liked the action scenes and the emotional ones. JMo and Robeert Carlyle nailed it!

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Just because I'm really nitpicky tonight: anyone else bothered by how Snow's idiocy seems even worse after the way she acted through this episode? How the HELL is it that the "best tracker in the room" couldn't home in on the GIANT EMERALD IN THE CLOTHES OF THE MIDWIFE SHE MET PRECISELY WHEN THIS CURSE STARTED, at any point prior to it being revealed? I hope they show Zelena inserting a mind-hazing clause into the curse, because otherwise it's just silly and a disservice to Snow's character.

Edited by samhalliwell
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I was bawling like a baby.  That hug gutted me, much more than Neal's actual death.  When Hook lets his guard down I agree those moments are powerful. 

At the time I didn't interpret it as Hook knowing something (like Bae was going to die), but the actors, Colin and Michael, saying goodbye to each other.  They're not going to work together anymore and I can imagine it was a sad day on the set.

considering The Hug of All Awkwardness that took place, IMO Hook is the one who should have been an emotional wreck at Gold's shop, not Snow and Belle

We saw Hook from the back and when David put his hand on his shoulder he turned a bit and we got his face in profile.  He was visibly upset, just quietly so.  His eye had that shiny "just about to cry" look.  Manpain.

It's a real shame they didn't explore Neal's connection as Baelfire more during the run of the show.  We only got hints and pieces (besides the flashbacks) such as knowing how to sail the Jolly Roger.

On a lighter note, even though the first time was a deleted scene, I love the running gag of Hook trying to figure out the properties of hospital jello.  He's absolutely baffled by the stuff.

Edited by GreyBunny

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GreyBunny, I do need to rewatch so I can catch the details better (besides rewatches being fun regardless), but I suppose I didn't notice Hook' subtle emotion in that scene because I found Snow and Belle's overt sadness weird and that took me out of the scene a lot.

I still think revisitting Bae/Neal is a very likely possibility, what with Barbara Hershey and Rose McGowan both coming back to play a character that was killed off almost a year ago, so getting backstory shouldn't be an issue (even if closure will).

Edited by samhalliwell

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So, a Jeckyll and Hyde episode. Nice twist.

The retcon of Neal's "no choice" continues. I hope this episode marks the end of that. I've seen Talahasee, I have eyes. And "I had no choice, you know that" is not what happened.

When Hook hugged Neal and said he sometimes forgets that Neal was Bae, I nodded - yes, Hook, it's hard to remember. Also, the scene was so well acted it hurt. We could have got so much more out of these two actors, if they had better material!

I never liked Neal, so the episode didn't get to emotional for me. It was a good sendoff (minus the retcon, naturally). Poor Emma. All men just die in her arms. (I'm a bad bad person, but I chuckled a bit when Emma said, AGAIN, that Neal's dead. He had the habit of doing that... A lot.)

I appreciate the irony, though: Rumple lost everything to get his son back, but in the end he also lost his son because of his bad choices. In the end, Neal was just a plot device, which is terribly sad.

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Neal is dead?  Now, Snow's going to have to burn all he Team Neal shirts and flags, since I kind of suspected she was almost invested in that ship more then Emma herself.  On the other hand, Charming can now back his new BFF, Hook, with no restrictions!

In seriousness, while Neal's dead was sad to watch and well acted by everyone, I really wasn't a fan of his, so I rather he go, and Michael Raymond-James (someone I do like), can find a gig that will suit him better.

So, Rumpel is now more or less the "brain" Zelena needs.  I wonder who is "courage" and who is "heart"?  And what does she want with Snow's baby?

Regina and Robin are going way to fast for me.  I get it, Robin.  Regina is hot.  But she was the Evil Queen, so maybe wait a few days to make sure she's change for good, because putting the moves on her.

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So, Rumpel is now more or less the "brain" Zelena needs.  I wonder who is "courage" and who is "heart"?  And what does she want with Snow's baby?

Regina and Robin are going way to fast for me.  I get it, Robin.  Regina is hot.  But she was the Evil Queen, so maybe wait a few days to make sure she's change for good, because putting the moves on her.

Charming was stated to be courage last week, I think. Everyone' money seems to be on Hook being heart, even if many characters fill that particular bill IMO. 

Also, on the Regina/Robin thing: I think Robin's aggressive approach and Regina's welcoming reaction are supposed to be both a callback to the totally cold and uninterested first moment they spent together in 3x12 and a callforward to the fairybacks showing their relationship in the lost year we're bound to see in the next eps. Another small tidbit that just came to mind, what with the other gazillion things happening in the episode. Lol.

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I agree Outlaw Queen is moving too fast, although I enjoyed them this episode more than I have before so I think it'll be alright in the end. I like that they're making a point that Regina is/was rejecting the potential for a new "true love" (most likely because of Daniel).

Although I didn't particularly care about the Neal character, I thought the episode succeeded in being emotional, but it was so rushed. Even the fact that they learned the Witch's identity in Storybrooke felt almost too early. Tbh, I didn't love this or the Rapunzel episode, so I hope the next episode picks up because I think this current storyline has more potential than anything they've done since the first season and I'd hate to see it wasted.

I thought Rumpel seemed strangely unaffected by Bae's death. I mean, yeah, he cried, but he seemed normal when he was talking to the Witch. I thought, if anything could, Bae dying would be the one thing that would break Rumpel. But maybe they thought they've showed Rumpel's regret over Bae enough already, so didn't go that direction.

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Not a fan of this episode. Too many boxes being checked, even if I hadn't been spoiled and guessed the person was probably  Neal, they telegraphed it a mile away by having him basically say good-bye to everyone and showing how much "fun" he and Emma were having. I did like hearing Emma laugh though, Jen has such a great laugh. And her, "fine, let's go," response it the woods, accompanied by an actual pout made me smile.  Neal sometimes brings out teen Emma.

Neal's death did nothing for me, and I don't hate the guy totally. I think it sucks that he didn't get to talk to Henry one last time. I think it sucks that after 200, 300 years or whatever, Neal and Rumple had about a week total (Storybrook and Neverland, in which they still barely talked. I would say the writers are trying to teach a lesson that bad things happen to bad people, ergo, Rumple doesn't get his happy ending but that is so different from the story they have been telling that it doesn't work. And the fact that finding Bae was the whole reason the curse was even enacted? Don't get be started, what a a freaking mess. The actual death scene? Bleh. Jen tugged at my heartstrings but the dialogue Michael was spouting was just so stupid that I couldn't get into the scene at all. I thought Robert was oddly flat as well. It's weird, because in the ep. when Rumple was dying from the potion, I totally loved their scene together. I thought it was very well done. I thought there was more emotion when Rumple kissed his father good-bye then this scene. It just felt really off.

Last, I really, really hate Zelena being around Baby Charming. When she touched Snow's stomach I really wanted Snow to chop her hand off. If something happens to this baby, if the Charmings don't get to raise one of their kids, I am going to be all kinds of pissed.

Edited by BelovedMaeve
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First and foremost...what the hell was Belle wearing in those flashbacks?! Holy cow that was a bad look. Wow, wow, wow.

Secondly, this show has a terrible habit of forcing all the character development that should have been sprinkled throughout many episodes into one episode and then killing that character. Seriously. How many things have we been dying to see with Neal, and we finally get them right at the end. Thank you, thank you show, blah, blah, blah, but it's too late! I literally laughed out loud when Neal screamed because I had no emotions for him because they'd done nothing to flesh out his character over the years. You can't just shove scenes like the one between Neal and Hook (which was awesome) in 10 minutes before you kill a guy. You need to give that stuff time to sink in with people, time for it to become part of the fabric of a character so that people can really feel for the character. Geez. Of course it probably didn't help that Neal's been pretty much fine the whole episode and then Belle tells Emma on the phone (which Neal can't even hear) that he's going to die, and right then he starts to die. Really? Ha!

In other news, can I just say, I had no idea that space in the back corner of the Charmings' apartment was the bathroom! Ha ha! I always thought the door to the bathroom was straight across from the front door, on the other side of the kitchen. When I read fics and stuff that's how I visualize it. Oops.

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I found Snow and Belle's overt sadness weird

 

I'm not sure either were really sad for losing Neal, so much as they were sad for the people they loved who lost Neal. Snow believes Neal was Emma's true love, and now Emma's lost him. Belle knows Rumple must be devastated and he can't even mourn properly, locked away in a cage.

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Colin's playing "ambiguous" really well. In retrospect, that last scene with Neal in the hospital? Could totally be interpreted as "Hook knows this is the last time he'll ever see Neal and is saying goodbye." I did laugh that Hook was like "we're bros, we shouldn't have let a woman get in between us"--it's like the writers were apologizing to the fans for all the complaining we did on that. I did like that hug. Finally those two actually act like they have hundreds of years of history, not all bad.

 

Hook had that whole dialogue about how Neal must've delved in some really dark magic and the whole paying the price for it.  When I was watching the show, I had that moment of that's right, if you bring someone from the dead, then someone has to die to take their place.  Maybe Hook zeroed in on that and knew that it was just a matter of time.  Clearly didn't make it any easier for him.  But Hook knew Baelfire who was awesome and Neal who was meh!

Regarding the whole true love thing.  Emma might've been Neal's true love, but it doesn't mean he is hers.  I don't think it's a two way street.  I wonder how often Neal thought of Emma during all those years.  I'll venture not often.

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"Excellent. Now do we suspect there may be some kind of connection between Ben and Glory?"
Awwww, that Hook/Neal hug was all kinds of sweet. And I'm doubly glad that it happened (along with the accompanying conversation) before Neal died. Looking at it from Neal's point of view, at least the upside of not remembering the last year is that he didn't remember dying the first time. And this time he got to die with the two people who loved him most: his father and Emma.

But why, when Gold was trying to save Neal in the Fairy Tale Land flashback, didn't he throw the blade to Belle instead of right in front of Zelena? Isn't the rule that whoever has the blade controls the Dark One? That would have taken away Zelena's control of Gold completely.

On a related note, I know that Emma and Charming had to rush back to Storybrooke to make sure Zelena wasn't making a skin suit out of Mary Margaret, but they thought it was a good idea to just leave Gold out in the woods by himself? And I realize he was grieving and in shock from Neal's death, but he couldn't have mentioned that Zelena is totally controlling him? What's to stop her from commanding him to kill any of them? Is Belle still going to love all of him, even the dark parts, if he kills Mary Margaret?

I loved that Emma told Hook to stay with Belle just by raising her eyebrows. And I loved Hook's stilted offer to stay with Belle. Ha! That moment made me think that maybe he hasn't been lying this whole time because it was so awkward.

When Zelena touched Mary Margaret's belly with her black gloved hand, I thought aaaack, A from Pretty Little Liars is here!

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Regarding the whole true love thing.  Emma might've been Neal's true love, but it doesn't mean he is hers.  I don't think it's a two way street.  I wonder how often Neal thought of Emma during all those years.  I'll venture not often.

Or is it possible that they had true love potential, but walking away  and basically rejecting that love for 10 years changed them both enough true love was no longer there?

Because the show's stated you can have more than one true love--maybe purposely rejecting it can break it?

Plus, Belle said it.  I'm not sure Belle's the most reliable relationship analysis person on the show.  Or anywhere.  Not after that darkness comment.

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Or is it possible that they had true love potential, but walking away  and basically rejecting that love for 10 years changed them both enough true love was no longer there?

Because the show's stated you can have more than one true love--maybe purposely rejecting it can break it?

Plus, Belle said it.  I'm not sure Belle's the most reliable relationship analysis person on the show.  Or anywhere.  Not after that darkness comment.

I could see that.  Neal was just so very misguided.  What I find too bad with his death is we will never know what happened to him between the time he left Neverland and met Emma and what happened to him after that meeting with August.  There are a lot of loose ends.  Drives me nuts when writers do that.  Just goes to show how much of a plot point Neal was.

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Jennifer and Robert broke my heart. Sadly, MRJ does nothing for me. He'd take me out of that scene and then Jennifer and Robert just sucked me right back in. It's those two who sold that scene at all.

Agreed.  I only cried because Robert cried.  Real tears from both of us.  The man is brilliant and has more than earned an Emmy.

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Some intensely emotional scenes in an episode I liked rather well.

The plots are always on speed and this was no exception. It is just in the DNA of the creators to move things along like they are lightening rounds, then let the fandom deal with their own spinning heads in the week between episodes.

Some plot holes were filled and others created. The entire first half was ripe with mini-closures, and some really rich interactions. Belle/Hook was entertaining. And my emotional involvement kicked in when Hook hugged *Bae*. A pleasant moment.

Neal was a LITTLE more animated/into things even though I feel his character was still on the down side of intelligence. The actor usually sleepwalked through his scenes and it wasn't that big of a stretch to feel like he had asked to be out of the show. He was not supported well by any of the plotlines.

Emma and he had a great little scene in the woods basically coming to grips with the fact that they were once in love and mistakes were made, and they were comfortably in the OUAT reality that they would be connected through Henry, but otherwise, good friends.

Whether Emma ever lets down the walls to Hook remains to be seen. But that is where the smolder still lies for couplings in this series.

Carlyle is always a pleasure.

I still think Zelena in green looks goofy. Her teeth are way too much of a distraction and her little girl Nicole Kidman voice keeps her from sounding menacing. BUT, one has to appreciate her growing wickedness when she ever so slightly stopped herself from stepping on Neal's head while he lay lifeless on the forest floor!

Enjoyed the Robin/Regina banter and can continue to enjoy them as long as I pretend that this Robin Hood has absolutely nothing to do with the legend Robin Hood and that Marion is still adventuring with him through eternal folklore.

Once we get through the understandable chaos of fandomshock/denial/anger/hatred/projection horror over losing a character whose death was fairly well telegraphed, this season has the potential to be a lot more fun.

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I enjoyed the Robin and Regina scenes, especially when she saw him with Roland at the end. I super enjoyed the whole Emma Neal comparing bad fiancées, though. One a flying monkey, one Grandpa's hench(wo)man!

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I super enjoyed the whole Emma Neal comparing bad fiancées, though. One a flying monkey, one Grandpa's hench(wo)man!

I did, too. See, Show? If you'd kept them like this and not had Neal complicit in sending Emma to jail, maybe I could have been a SwanFire shipper!

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So I guess with Rumple dead, the Dark One curse was over, no new Dark One was created when Rumple died because he technically killed himself.

 

Then Neal resurrected the curse.  Dumbass, dumbass, dumbass, dumbass.

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