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S03.E16: It's Not Easy Being Green

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With Rumpelstiltskin as her slave, Zelena challenges Regina to a fight to the death and shocks the Evil queen with the reveal of their familial connection, and the town lays Neal to rest. Meanwhile, back in the past in the land of Oz, a jealous Zelena asks the Wizard to send her to Fairy Tale Land after discovering that she has a sister, Regina, and that Rumpelstiltskin is training her to become a powerful force to be reckoned with.

 

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Epic battle between evil and wicked was a bit of a let down.  I would have thought the one Zelena loved best was herself rather than Rumple (and still would have made it impossible for her to cast the curse.)  Literally turning green with envy explains Zelena's skin color, but I would have liked some other more inventive or original reason.  As usual Carlyle's acting (especially grieving his son) was top notch.

Edited by Worsel

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Am I the only one who is super relieved that Walsh was originally human?

I really want Henry to find out soon what's really going on. Maybe he'll somehow come across the OUAT book (which I assume still exists?) and he'll magically remember like Emma in Season 1.

Oh, crap...I just realized what'll probably happen. I bet Zelina will tell him. I don't know how or when, but I bet he will find out in the worst way possible.

I loved Hook and Henry together. Very sweet. And I am really loving Regina with Robin Hood. Honestly, I'm kind of falling in love with him myself.

Overall, I am totally enjoying this story arc. Maybe I'm a sucker because it's Oz related, but I don't care. Love it!

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I'm incredibly exhausted, so take this with a grain of salt, but:

An improvement on last week, but I really wasn't feeling this week. I sooo don't care about Regina's crisis of confidence, Regina/Robin, Hook and Henry bro'ing it up (way to totally spill the beans, Hook, by the way), and how anticlimatic Zelena and Regina's "showdown" was (though I loved when Zelena sent Regina flying through the clocktower). So this episode was pretty much 'meh' for me. It was filler, but not very interesting filler, tbh.

Thought Mader is much better as psycho present Zelena than past Zelena, so the fairybacks kind of left me cold. They all totally just screamed "retcon," too. Look at this very convenient letter that Regina reads all the time that we've never seen before! Etc.

This half-season has a great premise, but the writers are just not doing well with it. Every episode this season has been pretty flawed.

I'm actually kind of rooting for Zelena against Rumpel. You reap what you sow, Rumps.

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Look at this very convenient letter that Regina reads all the time that we've never seen before! Etc.

When I heard what was in that letter, I totally thought it was possible that the Wizard lied to Zelena and she wasn't Cora's firstborn, but when Rumple was talking to Zelena about Cora's child casting the Curse, he kind of confirmed it. I was hoping he was just going along with her delusion, but I guess not.

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Whoa!  I did not expect the Wizard to be Walsh.  I guess that makes his relationship with Emma slightly less icky, though still ... gross.

I couldn't stand how whiny young Zelena was.  She starts typically naive (I just want a family!!) and then it's simple jealousy that makes her evil and (somehow) turns her green?  So petty.  Color me disappointed.  I was starting to enjoy the creepiness of her character, but this episode threw her back to the side of someone I'm completely uninterested in (though I am really curious about who her father is).

I actually liked the Hook and Henry moments this episode.

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Kryptonite!  I swear, this was my first thought when Zelena first visited the Wizard.

I thought of Superman when the couple found Zelena's basket at the beginning.

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Zelena's reason for hating Regina is almost as stupid as Regina's reason for hating Snow, which makes me much less interested in her. I am still curious about who her father is though. Did Rumple know Cora had a baby before Regina? His letter seemed to indicate he knew.

The showdown was kind of disappointing too, but I'm still enjoying this more than Neverland!

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One of the things that have been really top-notch this half-season is directing. That first scene, with the dirt... Chilling and beautiful, just as they intended.


I'm not overly fond of how easily Zelena (and, god, does her name annoy me) overpowered Emma. Emma's magic is supposed to be strong, right?


I loved, loved, loved Walsh as the Wizard. I wonder what will make him eventually like Zelena?


"Stick to the lasagna, lady."



The way Regina put her heart into the ground bothered me. Like, at least put it in a tissue or something.

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I loved the Oz scenes tonight! There was so much speculation about who would be Dorothy, the Wizard, etc and I don't think anyone guessed Zelena was Dorothy or Walsh was the Wizard. Other than that, I agree that there seems to be a lot of retconning going into this storyline.

I was a little let down by the Zelena/Regina showdown. Zelena has the power of the Dark One behind her and THAT was how she went about trying to get Regina's heart? I guess she probably didn't think Regina would know what she was after but still, giving your enemy 8 hours to prepare a defense seems a little odd for someone who thrives on the element of surprise. 

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OK, on one hand, of course, Zelena had a tragic childhood, right up to a bad foster dad.  On the other hand, at least it felt like, this time, the show did it in a way where it didn't feel like they were excusing her behavior.  I actually felt like the show purposely wanted me to think that Zelena was already slightly unhinged, and all these events just made her go full-blown wicked.  I can live with that for now.  Walsh being the Wizard of Oz was a nice touch, and I hope this means we will be seeing more of Chris Gorham in future episodes.

Tink!  I love Tink!  Loved her trying to give advice to Regina about Robin, and just being "Why do I bother?", when Regina responding by...well, being Regina.

Neal's funeral: that was one of those things were I really noticed who wasn't there, which I'm sure is just actor availability.  But, still, I was just like "Well, I guess Ruby, Grumpy, Dr. Hopper, and Dr. Whale had better things to do, then attend the funeral."

Evil vs. Wicked ended up being a letdown, but I did like how Regina outsmarted Zelena.  But round 2 better be more explosive.  And the final round better just be epic.

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An enjoyable episode. Not an epic battle between Evil & Wicked, however.

Hook was sweet and awkward with Henry and adorable.

The Wizard was a nice surprise for me. 

Bell is horrid. Why was she afraid to go in the cage? The dramatic music and her reaching for him as if he were hanging off a cliff was just over the top.

As for Zelena's love for Rumple, I thought she saw him as a father figure. I've always thought that may be a possibility for the story plot. Rumple and Cora were intimate and she could surely have had his child and kept it from him. Who remembers the conversation they had about her giving him her child? Only if it was his, or something like that.  Help me out here.

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Just reposting from my thoughts here as a record (it's the same as what I posted on TWOP):

The episode was alright.  I'd have to agree that each episode so far has been seriously flawed in one way or another, though there are some good moments mixed in there.

Zelena kills people because she was jealous of her sister?  Surprise surprise, another questionable motivation as usual.  Can't wait for the next villain who turns evil because someone tripped her (oh wait...) 

Zelena's adopted mother seemed quite loving, and Young Zelena seemed quite normal with actual emotions in her scene shaving her father.  But she finds out she was an orphan and suddenly she's crazy jealous and vengeful?  I didn't buy the transition.  She turns green with envy but no one else does?  Is she the only envious person in the entire universe? 

Cora already wanted to be royalty all along?  Since when?  And if Rumple's contract specified her first born, why would she care about changing it to her first born with Rumple?  Rumple also didn't bother to snoop around to see if she had any children previously?

The reveal of the Wizard wasn't very satisfying to me.  I was surprised it was Walsh, but he was a guest character we saw for the first time four episodes ago.  How did he figure out how to use all those magical objects anyway? 

I must say I actually felt something between Regina and Robin for the very first time when she gave him her heart.  And now I have that "Last Christmas" song in my head.  But what is up with his lines, "Deep down, you want to talk."  He's really in touch with his emotions, isn't he.

Why did Belle seem so angry when she was throwing dirt onto Neal's coffin?  That was a bit odd the way she stabbed the shovel into the ground. 

So this episode's Babysit-Henry storyline goes to... Hook!  I actually did like their scenes together, since it was the only ones actually dealing with the emotional fallout of Neal dying.  Typical that the episode after, everyone is already distracted by something else.  I was mildly amused when Henry asked how his father could have been a boy when he met Hook even though they're the same age.  Hook didn't even try to answer the question and Henry seemed to forget about it.  Huh?

Snow, Charming and Emma do not ask, wonder or worry why Zelena was so fascinated by Snow's baby?

I had to laugh when Zelena threw Regina through the clock tower, and Emma, Charming and Snow decided to take the elevator up. So much for Emma using magic when it's a crucial moment.  Why not take the stairs for some rousing cardiovascular exercise while you're at it.

Meanwhile, the Blue Fairy went off to do what?  Set up sales sheets for this year's candle sales?

This episode was structured around the duel between Regina and Zelena, which didn't work for me, since it was obvious Regina wasn't going to die.  That made it seem like filler from the start.  If Zelena wants Regina's heart so much, why not just take her by surprise last episode, or the one before that, or the one before that?  Why not follow Regina to the woods?  An evil villain would not act the way she is acting.  Hopefully, her inaction will actually make sense in the grand scheme of things, because right now, it definitely doesn't.

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Cross-posting from TWoP:

I thought this episode was pretty good, but is anyone else finding Zelena's constant taunting a bit tiresome? I was about to say "all talk and no action," but that's not really accurate. She has done things, but there's just been so much talking. Monologuing to Rumpy in his cage, yammering on to Snow about her baby, blathering to her monkeys, and now in this episode sneering at all and sundry, but especially Regina. It's a small thing, but it's starting to bug me. Maybe I'm just cranky tonight.

I like Robin and Regina. No particular reason, I just do. And I loved Tink trying to be a good friend to Regina and getting all exasperated.

Edited by Melgaypet
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Did anyone else notice:

In episode 1 when Regina crashes Snow and Charming's wedding she said: "My gift to you is this happy, happy day", and tonight Zelena said: "My gift to you is this sad, sad day"?


I'm glad they explained how Zelena got her green complexion. Hmmm....green with envy. Pretty clever.

Thought it was cool that Walsh was "The Wizard".

Nice scenes between Hook and Henry. I can't belive how much Jared Gilmore has matured from season 1 until now.

As usual, stellar acting from Robert Carlyle. However I'm was disappointed in the interaction between him and Belle when she went down the cellar to free him. I'm a hard core Rumbelle fan, but I'm just not feeling her lately. It's almost as if Emile de Ravin is just phoning it in. And I wanted so badly for Rumple to add "I love you, Belle" after he told her to run. Ah well, I guess that's what fan fiction is for.

Glad to see Tinkerbell this episode

and next week Ariel again.

During the episode I turned to my guy and asked:  "Okay, so we know Cora is Zelena's mother, but who is her father?" (for awhile I was sure it was Rumplestiltskin, but now I'm almost 100% sure he isn't)

my guy: "It's Darth Vader"

me: "Don't joke about it. I wouldn't put it past the creators to do something like that."

Admin note: As a courtesy to your fellow viewer please stick events beyond this episode (including previews) in a spoiler tag, thanks. I've edited the post. Thanks!

Edited by David T. Cole
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I'm not overly fond of how easily Zelena (and, god, does her name annoy me) overpowered Emma. Emma's magic is supposed to be strong, right?

Emma's magic is also still pretty passive and instinctive in nature because she hasn't yet learned how to control it the way Rumpel, Regina, Cora, and Zelena have.  That kind of control only comes with training and experience, which is why Zelena was able to have Rumpel knock Emma on her ass so easily.

Edited by legaleagle53
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Emma's magic works well if it's about to kill her or if not doing magic will cause everyone to die.  Otherwise, not so much.

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But Zelena in Czech etc has a short e. zehlena. Not zeLIna. Nice catch though.

I agree the motivations are not convincing, though I prefer the idea of romantic rivalry to sibling rivalry.

This show really has it in for adopted parents, doesn't it. First there's young Henry hating the only mother he's ever known (until the last few seasons) because he's convinced she's the evil queen (I really loved it when there was the possibility he was just plain wrong about her).

Now, one out rust from drunk daddy and her whole upbringing by Peasant Mommy doesn't count.

Anyone else feel that what Zelena saw in the past isn't the whole truth? I think there's going to be more to the abandonment story.

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My assumption on the abandonment story was that it would somehow be Cora trying to reneg on a deal for her firstborn by hiding her away in Oz and pretending Regina was her only child. Zelena's envy seems all out of proportion to anything we've seen, but as stated upthread I guess it makes about as much sense as Regina's hatred of Snow. Guess it runs in the family.

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Liked the bonding between Hook and Henry. Hook seems to have had the most character development this iteration. Regina seems a close second - actually trusting Robin. Carlyle remains by far the best actor of the crew - being able to communicate pages of meaning with a subtle look.

It seems from Zelena's plan that we are in for another reset if she has her way - to which I say nooooooooooo. I realize there needs to be a threat to give the show its raison d'être - but there must be a way outside of resets to do that.

The wizards shadow did look a bit like Jefferson.

This episode filled me with a sense of foreboding that none of the character/relationship driven B plots will ever be really addressed.

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The reveal of the Wizard wasn't very satisfying to me.  I was surprised it was Walsh, but he was a guest character we saw for the first time four episodes ago.  How did he figure out how to use all those magical objects anyway?

 

I thought it was refreshing that the Wizard was a totally new (well, four-episode old) character and not the usual suspects. Plus it keeps the original idea about the Wizard being an ordinary joe who stumbled into a magical realm while turning the story on its ear by having him become Zelena's lackey. Gets rid of some of the inbreeding and helps keep Oz as its own unique place. I'm good with that.

Zelena's adopted mother seemed quite loving, and Young Zelena seemed quite normal with actual emotions in her scene shaving her father.  But she finds out she was an orphan and suddenly she's crazy jealous and vengeful?  I didn't buy the transition.  She turns green with envy but no one else does?  Is she the only envious person in the entire universe?

 

I figured that was a side effect of the magic slippers, hence the Wizard's warning.

Meanwhile, the Blue Fairy went off to do what?  Set up sales sheets for this year's candle sales?

 

I think the fairies are in the same position as S2 - they know who they are, but they don't have any fairy dust. They have to start mining again and building up a usable amount, which took a bit of time last year. They've only been back for a couple of weeks, and they're already down some of their miners, who are now flying monkeys. It also explains why they haven't been able to make up a memory potion for Henry. It took until the end of last season for them to collect enough.

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Here's the thing: we're already suspending belief and common sense to accept the premise of the show, and that's an easy thing to do when the writing and the acting are compelling.  Usually, they are.  But the consistently one-dimensional Zelena and all the loose ends in the plot are stretching to the point where things are unsatisfying and sometimes silly.  Time for the writers to focus more clearly.  Zelena's annoying, and the fairies aren't making much sense either.

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I'm actually kind of rooting for Zelena against Rumpel. You reap what you sow, Rumps.

 

Yeah, but just when you think you've got him? Boom! He gets you with some fine print! He'd be exhausting to deal with. 

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So here I am trying to get my reluctant SO to enjoy the show along with me, and then the line: "Tinkerbell, Robin Hood. Robin Hood, Tinkerbell". And he walks out. Sigh. Love this show!

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So Zelena (The other Slavic language, Polish, has the world "zielona", pronounced /ʑɛˈlɔn̪ɨ/ ) was a relatively miserable young woman who became green with envy for Rumple -I have this effect on women - Stiltskin.

If she was so worked up towards revenge and she could jump between realms at a click of the heels, why didn't she strike sooner? Ok, perhaps she waited till the curse was cast (what was she doing during these 28 years? Why didn't she age?). But once the curse was lifted... why didn't she attack during the 2nd season? Or the beginning of the 3rd?...

(Answer: because the writers didn't think her up yet)

Other things:

- great montage during the funeral. I was really impressed with that scene and the dirt hitting the coffin = Rumple falling to the ground.

- Emma finally realizing that she needs to practice magic. At least that's what I think the effect of the brief fight with Rumple had on her.

- Hook bonding with Henry. I liked it. And I don't like Henry.

- Robin and Regina. Not to subtle on the whole "have my heart" metaphor... I'm kind of thinking it's all to heavy handed, and the only way of making it interesting for me would be once Regina opens to Robin fully in comes another man with a lion tattoo. 

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I cannot believe that nobody in town has at least tried to throw some water on Zelena.  And if they don't deduce that she's also going to be after someone's intelligence, that can only be proof that nobody has any.

I was really disappointed by this episode.  As others have noted, the origin of Zelena's rage being pure jealousy for her sister is just not credible -- especially since that rage developed about two minutes after she learned of the existence of that sister.  Also, for every other fairy tale character for whom we've gotten backstory, the story includes whatever we know as the fairy tale version.  There might be more before or after the events of the fairy tale, and we certainly get a lot more context eplaining things like motivation, but Snow White lived with dwarves and fell asleep after eating a poison apple, Pinocchio was a puppet brough to life, and Rapunzel had long hair and lived in a tower.  But what we've seen of Zelena seems to omit almost every detail of the Oz stories.  It's just disconcerting to have the rules changed halfway through the third season.

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If she was so worked up towards revenge and she could jump between realms at a click of the heels, why didn't she strike sooner? Ok, perhaps she waited till the curse was cast (what was she doing during these 28 years? Why didn't she age?). But once the curse was l

ifted... why didn't she attack

We haven't seen the slippers in the present day (or even a year ago). She may have lost them at some point.

Also, for every other fairy tale character for whom we've gotten backstory, the story includes whatever we know as the fairy tale version.

We also got huge deviations early on, such as Red and the Hatter's back stories. The level of adherence to the source material has varied wildly for a long time. Edited by kennyab

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So - Zelena took David's courage.  She wants Regina's heart.  Who's brain will she be after, cause I'm thinking there isn't a real obvious choice here. Who is the scarecrow? 

I'm sorta rooting for seeing Zelena's plan come together.  I mean you can't have too many curses/resets can you?   

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She might need the whole town's brains as they don't seem to be the brightest.  Rumple is probably as good as it gets, followed by Hook.  On the other hand, given Zelena wants Regina's dark and blackened heart, if she wants a really stupid brain Belle and Snow need to watch out.  It really could be anyone.

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Didn't Zelena make some mention of Rumpel's brain at some point? I could swear that happened. But plot points fly by so fast on this show, I do tend to lose track.

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Worsel, I was also sure Rumpel was going to tell Zelena that she loved herself. To me, it really fits better with her sudden onset of hatred for Regina (and her father, maybe?). If it's all about her, it seems easier to believe that anything can "earn" her ire. Regina did it merely by existing.

BTW, that scene with Zelena and her father ... did that seem off to anyone else?

ItalianAngel73:

In episode 1 when Regina crashes Snow and Charming's wedding she said: "My gift to you is this happy, happy day", and tonight Zelena said: "My gift to you is this sad, sad day"?

I caught that too! Plus there was the exchange about not wanting a present and getting it anyway. Nice callback.


Singsong:

So - Zelena took David's courage.  She wants Regina's heart.  Who's brain will she be after, cause I'm thinking there isn't a real obvious choice here. Who is the scarecrow?

 

Oops. Forgot to address this. I'm pretty sure it's Rumpel. She has twice mentioned his brain and Rumpel and Scarecrow have straw in common.

Edited by Ysabet
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Didn't Zelena make some mention of Rumpel's brain at some point? I could swear that happened. But plot points fly by so fast on this show, I do tend to lose track.

I too believe that she mentioned Rumpel's brain last night, though I can't remember what exactly she said. But it definitely implied to me that he's "brains" (which would fit).

It's weird that 2 of the 3 attributes she wants come from the show's villains.

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I assume that she is after Rumple's brain. However, Belle is also supposed to be really smart, so maybe they'll throw a curveball at us.

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"Zelena" is a Slavic word for green.

I know. I'm Serbian. That's why I find it annoying - not on the show, but whenever I read the name.

Edited by CinnamonCat

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I enjoyed the moment when Snow mused about what Zelena could possibly do: "We're already in Storybrooke. We've already lost our memories. What else could she curse us with?" I'd say scale of 1 to 10, Snow's brain is probably fairly safe from Zelena.

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So Zelena turned green out of envy? Wasn't there an early episode, like S1 or something, where Rumple warns Regina about some kind of spell because they're 'hard on the system' or something like that and he implied she could turn green? I always thought in this show that was how you ended up green, using that type of magic...whatever it was that I can't remember at the moment. Am I crazy or was that a thing?

I must be in a mood this week because I watched the episode and just didn't care about anything either way. Felt very "meh" about it all. I'll have to rewatch sometime.

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I was also sure Rumpel was going to tell Zelena that she loved herself. To me, it really fits better with her sudden onset of hatred for Regina (and her father, maybe?). If it's all about her, it seems easier to believe that anything can "earn" her ire. Regina did it merely by existing.

I was expecting that too!  I think it would have been kind of awesome if Rumpel had said what Zelena loved the most was herself.  Instead it was Rumpel she loved the most. (What, in the one hour you knew him? / Rumpy voice) 

Petunia846, it was in S2, Ep2, "We are Both"

Rumpel: Careful, Dearie, these are straight up spells. Rough on the system.

Regina: I don't care if they turn me green.  I'm getting my son back!

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I'm completely over every single villain having a tragic backstory.  I've been through this storyline so many times already with OUaT and I'm so sorry but I don't give a damn about her pain, no matter what caused it.  I'm also over the inability of the writers to catch a clue when it comes to writing story for Rumple and Belle, and I think Rebecca Mader is so OTT that she's gone from camp to psychotic loon when it comes to acting choices.

I keep telling myself that the show will get better but I don't think Adam or Eddy have a clue what they're doing when it comes to story arcs.

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I actually thought that Zelena's turning green was due to the power of Rumple's suggestion that she was starting to turn green with envy.  In other words, she did it to herself.

Also agree that I'd like to know if Zelena was born pre or post Cora meeting Rumple.  Did she make Rumple change the terms of the contract to 'her first born with him' because she already had a child? But if so, if she didn't know where the child ended up, how could Rumple?  Or was she already pregnant at that time and thought she had to save her child - but still hid her away because it was "too soon" to help her obtain royalty?

Will we see the other Oz characters at some point?

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So Zelena turned green out of envy? Wasn't there an early episode, like S1 or something, where Rumple warns Regina about some kind of spell because they're 'hard on the system' or something like that and he implied she could turn green?

Petunia846, it was in S2, Ep2, "We are Both"

Rumpel: Careful, Dearie, these are straight up spells. Rough on the system.

Regina: I don't care if they turn me green.  I'm getting my son back!

Wow. They could get the Emmy for Show Bible Consistency. But was it just a happy accident in the writing room? Because this is like the mother of Not!PlotHoles. And you guys are way better at remembering this show than I am.

I was expecting that too!  I think it would have been kind of awesome if Rumpel had said what Zelena loved the most was herself.  Instead it was Rumpel she loved the most. (What, in the one hour you knew him? / Rumpy voice) 

My mind went to: Does this mean he is her father?

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The way Regina put her heart into the ground bothered me. Like, at least put it in a tissue or something.

Right?!?!?  I mean, she'd take better care of a sandwich than she did her heart.

Loved Hook and Henry, but then, they're my two favorite characters on the show.  Glad they got rid of Neal so Emma and Hook can couple up.  That's mostly due to my inability to understand how Neal Cassidy is a fairytale character.  Who are they going to give us next: Jay Gatsby?  Makes as much sense.

Ltg.jon, I agree with everything you said.  Throw the water already!  And the turning green with envy is such a dumbed-down idea.  One weirdly colored character -- Rumplestiltskin as a gold guy -- I can live with.  This is just unimaginative.  

 

I thought this episode was pretty good, but is anyone else finding Zelena's constant taunting a bit tiresome?

Yup.  This character has zero depth, and as a result, I haven't been able to work up any interest in her.

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But glad it was the new guy instead. Where do I know that actor from? Think think think.

His name's Christopher Gorham and you could know him from Covert Affairs, Harper's Island (where I know him from!), or Ugly Betty.

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Just throwing this out there but could Henry be the brain? Can't figure out how it will come together (not saying he is stupid but I am not good at plots) but he did seem to be the "brain" when it came to the book. Or could Snow's baby be the brain? Since Zelena said she didn't want the baby "yet".

In the previous episode, Zelena said to Rumple that she loved his brain.  So it's probably not Henry.

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If Zelena is trying to prove to Rumple that she can cast his curse, then maybe Snow's baby is playing the Emma role in her version of the curse.

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I dunno. Rumpy designed the Dark Curse to be broken, that was Emma's role. Regina didn't read the fine print. Why would Zelena cultivate a savior to break her curse?

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