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S03.E20: Kansas

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Maybe Zelena isn't defeated by water, but the pendant is.  Regina gets a hold of magic water that she could use to restore Henry's memory of her, or defeat Zelena, and she chooses to use it to defeat Zelena.  That would imply some sort of sacrifice with actual stakes.

Or Snowing's baby vomits (also green) on the pendant and it's de-activated and Zelena is powerless.

Edited by Camera One

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1 minute ago, Camera One said:

Or Snowing's baby vomits (also green) on the pendant and it's de-activated and Zelena is powerless.

Or the baby uses light magic. Baby Zelena summoned a tornado and took down a tree, so anything is possible.

Edited by KingOfHearts

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I have a question.

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GLINDA: These are my sister witches... each represents a special part of magic - love, wisdom and courage.  Together, our abilities are far more powerful than they can ever be on our own.   We can do things that no one else can.

Uh, like what?  The lesson was "If you work together, you're stronger", but Zelena was more powerful than the other three combined.  

These "special parts of magic"... was there any plan to explore them further?  I don't remember them being mentioned again.  

What happened to the other two witches of Oz?  

Edited by Camera One
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6 hours ago, KingOfHearts said:

I have zero problem with Regina being the one to take down Zelena since it is her sister and the arc was "Wicked vs. Evil". Regina was built up to be the hero. What I didn't like was the lame-ass way Emma was neutered and light magic shooting out of Regina's butt.

I do think that this particular villain had to be defeated by Regina. It would have been random for anyone else to have defeated Regina's sister. But I think a lot of the problem is the structure. They really didn't set Regina up to be the hero (aside from the sister thing). The arc was structured as though Emma was the one they needed. The story kicked off when she came to town, which makes it seem like she's the critical part that gets the story started. There's a lot of focus on her learning to use her magic, Zelena sent Walsh to spy on/watch/whatever Emma, Zelena spends a lot of time on the kiss curse to remove her magic, and it turns out that the curse was cast to reach Emma. Then Emma doesn't do anything. The "the wizard can't fight the villain, so the apprentice has to step up and win the battle" thing is a tried and true trope, but in that case, the apprentice is the protagonist. The characters in the story may not see him as important, but he's the viewpoint character the audience focuses on. It feels like a huge letdown when the protagonist is the "wizard," with the story focusing on her training and preparing while the "apprentice" just stands around snarking, and then the apprentice comes out of nowhere to fight the battle. Even though Zelena is Regina's sister and therefore the conflict should be between them, Regina is mostly off in the subplot about her relationship with Robin in this arc. Aside from that one battle on Main Street, Regina's not really much of an active player in the fight against Zelena. She stands around and snarks in both past and present. It's Neal who raises Rumple and sends the message to Hook to bring Emma. It's the Charmings who talk to Glinda and learn how to defeat Zelena, and then they're the ones to make the sacrifice to cast the curse. Zelena mostly interacts with Hook, Snow, and Rumple. There's so much screen time devoted to getting Emma to town, Emma practicing her magic, the curse that can remove Emma's magic, the curse to reach Emma, etc., only for all of it to end up being utterly irrelevant. The only thing that would have been changed if Emma hadn't come to town was that she wouldn't have brought Henry, so Regina couldn't have broken the curse with a TLK. If Regina had seen Robin's tattoo during the Missing Year, then they didn't even need the curse. She could have apparently channeled the light magic from love and beat Zelena in the Enchanted Forest. Too bad Robin didn't roll up his sleeve before Charming had to have his heart ripped out.

They needed to have restructured the story to get to the Hero Regina moment. Start with them waking up in Storybrooke, so it feels like that's what kicks off the story, and Emma just shows up later rather to find them all trying to figure out what's going on with the flying monkeys than it being Emma's arrival that starts the story. Have the curse be because they learned that Zelena sent Walsh after Emma, and they know she's helpless, not because she's the only one who can defeat Zelena. Spend a lot more time on the conflict between Regina and Zelena, with more interaction between them and less interaction between Zelena and everyone else (maybe skip the midwife stuff so that the primary relationship isn't between Zelena and Snow). Skip the Emma magic training. I guess we'd still need some reason Emma doesn't have magic, so there's still the kiss curse, I guess.

But we'd still have the problem that just a few days ago, Regina wasn't pure enough in heart to pass through the portal, and now she's doing light magic. Her dark magic wasn't powerful enough to fight Zelena, and now light magic she's never even tried before is super-powerful. She can have a true love's kiss with a kid she never had a great relationship with and hasn't had a chance to fully reconcile with. All she had to do to be able to channel the powerful love magic is see a guy's tattoo. The Oz witches were dim enough to give an unstable super-powerful person an amulet that would channel and intensify her power to the point that even united they couldn't face her. It's all a cascade of stupid.

I think a better Regina vs. Zelena showdown might have been to use that concept of blood magic. All through the arc, Zelena was taking advantage of Regina's blood magic, so what if Regina had managed to use that link to make something backfire on Zelena, make that tie between them Regina's strength and Zelena's weakness? That would have been less bizarre than the sudden light magic. And that wouldn't require de-powering Emma for it to work. Emma couldn't have fought Zelena because she's not related, and that's why the Oz witches couldn't fight her.

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But I think a lot of the problem is the structure. 

And therein lies the brilliance of this arc.  The genius of A&E is in non-traditional storytelling.  What we expect isn't what we get.  There are so many movies and TV shows out there with the same boring tried and true structure with plot coherence and thematic depth, but the point of this show is to subvert all those all narratives of fairy tales, which this arc did beautifully.

34 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

The arc was structured as though Emma was the one they needed.

Instead, it's the triumph of the dark horse, the underdog - Regina.  It's also a clever parallel to the Wizard of Oz story.  Dorothy thought she needed The Wizard of Oz to bring her home, just like the characters thought they needed Emma.  But Emma was the Man Behind The Curtain, or in this case, the Woman Behind The Walls.  The characters needed something, or in this case, someone, that they had suppressed and oppressed and ignored - a strength ready to shine.  Zelena wanted Regina's heart, and Regina is essentially the Tin Woodman.  She didn't realize that she held the greatest love of all within her heart. 

34 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

Regina is mostly off in the subplot about her relationship with Robin in this arc. Aside from that one battle on Main Street, Regina's not really much of an active player in the fight against Zelena. She stands around and snarks in both past and present. It's Neal who raises Rumple and sends the message to Hook to bring Emma. It's the Charmings who talk to Glinda and learn how to defeat Zelena, and then they're the ones to make the sacrifice to cast the curse. Zelena mostly interacts with Hook, Snow, and Rumple.

Which supports the narrative that Zelena's flaw was that she didn't have friends.  Regina did.  It was a group effort.  Regina's friends held the oil can which allowed the Tin Queen to shine.

Edited by Camera One
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