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S03.E16: It's Not Easy Being Green

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I don't think Zelena has read the fine print, either. She never understood why Rumple was casting the curse, and she's impatient, so I could see her going through the steps and ingredients without thinking it through, just going "yeah, I've got this." Her magic seems to be instinctual, so she just does it without understanding all the elements and steps. I could see her ticking "true love baby" off the list because it was part of the curse without realizing that could be her undoing.

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I can't decide what I think about Zelena. I felt bad for her in this episode because it is hard to have no one in your corner. At the same time, she is unhinged. I just keep thinking that it's a shame she doesn't realize that everything she wants is actually horrible. Bad as her father was, she was almost certainly better growing up with him and a loving mother than abusive, cruel Cora, and Rumple is worse. If Zelena had been willing to talk to Regina, maybe things could have gone better for both of them. 

 

I thought Rumplestiltskin's rejection of her made sense despite her power. Rumple doesn't care about mentoring or having powerful allies. All he cares about is having a tool to manipulate for the curse. Choosing Regina meant that Rumple actively interfered in Regina's life to make her as desperate, unhappy, and evil as possible. Zelena was already unhappy but what she wanted was acceptance. It wasn't just that what she loved most at that time was Rumple--that's something that could have changed in the future--it's that the more Rumple accepted her, the more stable and happier Zelena would become (and thus, the less likely to cast the curse).

 

This episode did remind me that as much as the show seems to want me to see Rumple as an ambiguous figure, he's just a horrible, horrible person. 

 

I'm also caving on Robin/Regina. I hate the way the relationship was set up, and it makes zero sense for a character like Robin Hood to pursue a character like Regina without more of an adventure to bind them together but dang if their scenes together haven't been hot. If there must be a forced romance storyline, at least the actors can bring the chemistry. 

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Zelena was already unhappy but what she wanted was acceptance. It wasn't just that what she loved most at that time was Rumple--that's something that could have changed in the future--it's that the more Rumple accepted her, the more stable and happier Zelena would become (and thus, the less likely to cast the curse).

 

No, Zelena was mentally ill. She was and never would be stable because she was sick. All of the villains on this show have been nutjobs, but I always felt that there was some sanity behind them. Zelena wasn't all there and needed psychiatric help. It's hard to remember what things happened in which episodes, so I won't go into specifics, but the more details and backstory we were given about Zelena, the more uncomfortable I became with the way she was portrayed. It was upsetting. I was never rooting for her defeat, I just wanted her to get the help she needed.

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No, Zelena was mentally ill. She was and never would be stable because she was sick.

 

Perhaps Rumple's acceptance wouldn't have made Zelena healthy, but it does seem like it would have made her happy. Which still would have made her less likely to cast the Storybooke curse. 

 

In any event, my point was that Zelena was seeing Rumple's approval as some kind of referendum on her worthiness when really all it had to do was with his selfish need for a tool. Regina would have been better served by Rumple leaving her alone. With Zelena it's less clear to me and it sounds like there's more to be revealed, but she certainly would have benefited from a fuller understanding of Rumple's agenda.

Edited by Zuleikha

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Perhaps Rumple's acceptance wouldn't have made Zelena ill, but it does seem like it would have made her happy. Which still would have made her less likely to cast the Storybooke curse. 

But for how long?  As unstable as she was, even if Rumple had picked her and mentored her, how long would it have been before some minor "slight" would start the cycle again?  Maybe I've watched too much Criminal Minds, but people who are obsessed and unstable have a completely unrealistic set of expectations and demands set up in their heads--and any deviation from that can be devastating.

 

Rumple feeling off one night and not wanting a meat pie or thinking she looked better in orange could've been enough.

Edited by Mari

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Perhaps Rumple's acceptance wouldn't have made Zelena healthy, but it does seem like it would have made her happy.

We had a glimpse of this sort of scenario in Kansas. It transpired just as Mari explained it - one little thing caused Zelena to go haywire once again.

 

I agree Zelena was mentally ill right off the bat, even before she met Rumple. She always seemed more deranged and not thinking clearly than "evil". Who turns people into flying monkeys from what they saw on a circus poster, anyway? She was just so insecure and ridiculously paranoid that I can't buy she was simply a good person who made wrong choices.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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Perhaps Rumple's acceptance wouldn't have made Zelena healthy, but it does seem like it would have made her happy. Which still would have made her less likely to cast the Storybooke curse.

The real issue about the curse casting was that it required the caster to kill the thing she loves most, which in Zelena's case seemed to be Rumple. He wasn't worried about her becoming too emotionally healthy to cast the curse. He couldn't have her cast the curse because that would defeat the purpose of even doing it if he was dead. He seemed perfectly willing to let her keep living in his castle and studying under him, but he still wanted to focus on Regina as the curse caster. That was the dealbreaker for Zelena. Even if she had the things she wanted, she couldn't deal with him still also training Regina. It didn't seem to sink in that no one would want to be the one to cast the curse, that she was the one actually getting the better deal in all this -- she got the magical training without the sacrifice. She had the most poisonous kind of jealousy, where not only does she want something, but she doesn't want anyone else to have it.

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The funeral is really lovely. The camerawork and visual direction is amazing on this show, I forget that sometimes when I’m railing about the writing.

Zelena tormenting Rumple during the funeral is pretty bad even for a villain.

Shouldn’t magic be accepted in Oz, I mean it’s Oz!

Colin doesn’t like sharp things near his face, 😂 

Leather conditioner and eyeliner, 😂 look at that Hook, her heart is melting just a tiny bit.

Don’t even bother with her Tinkerbell.

Bex really is gorgeous and towers over Regina.

oh, the sister drama, which is no drama at all since we know this already.

The Emerald city cgi looks decent compared to some. I like the silver slippers.

“I always thought it was about me.”  This is the most Regina line in the entire series.

Once again Rumple shows himself to be an excellent teacher. Tells Zelena to use her anger, which works for her, worked for Regina also. Back in season two told Emma to think of who she is protecting, which worked for Emma.

Oh no Rumple, you are Zelena’s happy thought. 

The sextant is exactly like a gps, not, poor Hook. Love this conversation. He looks good for freezing at night near the shore in January. 😂 

“You’re turning green dearie, envy will do that to you.” 😮

What was the deal with Zelena’s bright green gloves and Regina’s bright red? They look so odd.

“You’re insane.” “Besides the point. “

”You’ll have to kill me.” “Well if I must.”  Bex and Robert play well off each other.

Why does she keep burying her heart in the woods, isn’t there a better way to hide and protect it?

gag, “can’t steal something that’s been given to you.”

“You cant just take him back to New York and pretend none of this was real.” Oh, we’ll be hearing this a lot. Hook is right so of course Emma shuts him out and runs.

Walsh again, weird they added him back as the wizard but never even used it for anything and Emma never found out. Kinda pointless.

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It's interesting to read the old posts, since we were transitioning from TWOP at this point in the series, so we're finally getting to stuff we wrote when the show was airing for the first time.  

I liked the beginning of the scene where Zelena went to see Oz, and it was sort of like the books.  But that video replay of Cora giving Zelena up was too much.  So magic could basically pull up "video footage" of anything that had happened before?  Why was there a need to figure anything out?  Why not just do a replay?  How did the Wizard magically put the shoes on Zelena?  

Rumple taught Zelena all his tricks?  Was he really that stupid?  

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15 hours ago, daxx said:

“I always thought it was about me.”  This is the most Regina line in the entire series.

Doesn't she say "It's always about me" in some episode?

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15 hours ago, daxx said:

Shouldn’t magic be accepted in Oz, I mean it’s Oz!

It would've been interesting if Oz had this prejudice against "wicked" magic, while folks such as Glinda had "good" magic. But Zelena should've been outcast because she was green or used dark magic, not because she had magic at all. So Zelena had an abusive adoptive father... so? Did everyone else in Oz mistreat her? Was her father the only who hated magic, and if so, why? Zelena's backstory doesn't make all that much sense. Being super jealous of Regina's existence all of a sudden just because of what the Wizard said feels very contrived. Most people would be envious of Regina's lifestyle, so why is Zelena the only one who turns green over it? I like the "green with envy" idea, but Zelena never seems envious of anyone or anything else. Just Regina. 

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That's exactly my problem with the whole backstory.  Zelena changed the moment she found out about Regina not being able to do magic.  It was essentially another 180 flip in personality.

They might as well have made Zelena become green because she was mean to Kermit the Frog.

Edited by Camera One

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16 hours ago, daxx said:

Shouldn’t magic be accepted in Oz, I mean it’s Oz!

This goes back to the utter lack of worldbuilding. They never could figure out how magic fit into the worlds. Sometimes, people are all like "eh, whatever." Sometimes it's like "OMG! Magic! I've never heard of it!" Sometimes it's "Magic is evil and unnatural!" but it's so inconsistent. Here, the Wizard is apparently in charge of Oz, and he doesn't seem to be a tyrant (even if he is a fraud), so magic seems to be known and accepted, so why does Zelena's adopted father hate magic so much?

1 hour ago, KingOfHearts said:

Being super jealous of Regina's existence all of a sudden just because of what the Wizard said feels very contrived. Most people would be envious of Regina's lifestyle, so why is Zelena the only one who turns green over it? I like the "green with envy" idea, but Zelena never seems envious of anyone or anything else. Just Regina. 

The really crazy thing is that the thing that sends Zelena over the top and starts her turning green isn't Regina's lifestyle. By that time, Zelena was living in Rumple's castle, so she had a similar lifestyle, and probably with fewer restraints while not having to live with people she hated that she had to pretend she liked. Zelena had one-on-one magical lessons from Rumple. What flipped her out was the fact that Regina still also had these things and that she wasn't the one chosen to do the spell that would require her to give up the thing she loved most. Rumple probably could have explained it better and with less sadistic cackling, but he did explain the cost and that being chosen for the curse wasn't a good thing, but that was still what started her turning green.

If it's something in the bloodline that gives her magic, then you'd think it would happen to Regina, too. Regina should have turned all kinds of colors, given the way she felt about Snow. She never outright said she was envious of Snow, but I think that's a lot of what it came down to, especially when she was upset that people liked Snow more than they liked her.

16 hours ago, daxx said:

What was the deal with Zelena’s bright green gloves and Regina’s bright red? They look so odd.

I must confess that I liked Regina's bright red gloves enough that I got a pair. I'd just bought a new winter coat that was black, while my old one had been bright blue. All my accessories were black, so I was thinking of adding some pops of color, and when I saw Regina's outfit in this episode, I got some red leather gloves and I knit a bright blue scarf out of that fun fur yarn.

I thought the funeral scene was well done, if a bit overwrought considering how little most of these people knew Neal. It was a nice touch for Hook to have been essentially treated like the chief mourner, going first with the dirt on the grave, since of those people he probably knew Neal the best. And it was a nice touch for the ex-Lost Boys to be there (I wonder what happened to them during the curse reverse), since they also knew Neal.

I really liked the dynamic here between Hook and Henry.

Spoiler

There was so much potential to that relationship hinted at during this arc, and then suddenly Henry was anti-Hook, except when he wasn't. It got to be like the Captain Charming stuff, where there would be the one big episode in which abruptly David would hate Hook but change his mind about him. I would have liked to have seen more like in this episode, where Hook was teaching Henry things from his world and Henry was eager to learn.

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Zelenas backstory...well it aint exactly Wicked

Her backstory really is rather contrived, so much of it seeming to exist just to get Zelena to the point where she wants to get to Storeybrooke and start the plot, preferably with Regina, for once, not actually doing anything to deserve getting revenged on. There are some aspects of the backstory I like. I like Walsh actually being the Wizard of Oz, although I wish they had used him more. I like the green with envy as a metaphor for one of her big issues as a character, although I do wish we had gotten more on how and why this is happening (is this just something that happens to magic users when they get jealous? Are there tons of green witches and wizards running around?), but it works alright. However, her jealousy about Regina is pretty ridiculous, as the show has bleated on for three seasons now about how much it sucks to be Regina, and how Cora was the Worst Mom Ever, so her jealousy just seems really stupid and petty. I guess Regina and Zelena really ARE sisters! They both launch violent renege campaigns over stupid petty accidental slights!

Also, what is it with this show doing "people hate and fear magic users" plots out of nowhere every once in awhile? Its so random, and poorly thought out. Its pretty consistent with A&Es approach to tropes, with them seeing other, better stories doing stuff (like, for example, prejudiced against magical creatures or people with powers), and they try to do it too...just without any of the world building or plot threading that those stories used to make those tropes work. I mean, why does Zelenas adopted dad hate magic so much? The guy lives in freaking OZ, magic is everywhere! They live within walking distance of the WIZARD of Oz! Its so poorly explained and stupid, and seemingly only exists to push Zelena towards the Wizard, and her road to villainy. I mean, is magic generally feared by the public? What about Glinda and the good witches? Is her dad just the local bigot, who also goes on tirades about munchkin immigrants taking all the jobs when he gets a few drinks in him? 

The funeral is really well shot and and acted, even though the constant drama about his death is super overwrought. Most of these people dont even know Neal, or have no memories of him, and while I can see everyone feeling bad about his death, or at least feeling bad for Emma and Henry, all of the sadness is seriously melodramatic. I do really like the plot with Henry and Hook though, its really well done, and I really can feel the care that Hook had for Neal, and his sadness over what all happened with him,

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I do wonder how Regina reacted to Neal's death. That had to be a little awkward, considering she didn't know him that well and he's Henry's dad. It had to be weird going to the funeral. She's just kind of there because everyone else is. Why did she even decide to go? It's like there's this "group mentality" where everyone shows up to random plot things only because they're main characters. There's not much of a reason for her to be there. Did the other characters think it was rude of her to skip out? She never had an ounce of respect for Neal. The only time she ever acknowledged his existence is when she referred to him as "this person". Did she just go for Henry's sake? She's there looking sad and it's treated like a big deal, but Neal's death is actually quite inconsequential to most of the people there. 

Of course, Regina immediately forgets all of it when Zelena walks into Granny's. (But then again, everybody but Emma did. It's pretty convenient Henry wasn't there.) Zelena's monologue was a way for the writers to quickly move to the next shiny thing. 

Edited by KingOfHearts
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I always thought most everybody at the funeral was there for Emma and Henry (mostly Emma since Henry didn't remember his father). Hook, Belle, Tink and the Lost Boys would be the only people who were there for Neal himself.

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1 hour ago, KAOS Agent said:

Hook, Belle, Tink and the Lost Boys would be the only people who were there for Neal himself.

Belle was probably just there on behalf of Rumple. At this time, she doesn't remember having spent time with him in the Enchanted Forest. Did she even speak to him otherwise? Without memories of the Missing Year, she hardly knew him, so she was probably sad for Rumple's sake but not exactly mourning on her own.

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