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A Thread for All Seasons: This Story Is Over, But Still Goes On.

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From @Camera One in the old thread.

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Emma's line about food preparation in the Enchanted Forest and Granny's line about meatloaf reminded me how even back then, it was often the little moments that endeared the show to me. 

I love these little lines that fill it out and make them seem like real people. 

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4 hours ago, superloislane said:

Adam said he believes Captain Swan had a deeply romantic, epic adventure in season 6 so...

He probably thinks the whole season was one big romantic adventure.... the adventure where they said I love you to each other again and then one lied to the other about their impending death and then the secret was revealed and then they moved in together and then the other lied to the first about shears and then they got engaged and then one lied to the other about killing the other's grandfather and then the other broke off the engagement and then one got kidnapped and then they reunited and got married knowing they may die three minutes after the reception and then one got amnesia and couldn't remember the other one without help and then they had dinner with people who tried to exterminate the whole family.  *Swoons*

Edited by Camera One
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So, I just rewatched the season 2 episode "The Evil Queen" and it has, bar none, the most rage inducing Regina moments I have seen so far in my rewatch. Not only, in the present, is she planning to destroy Storybrooke, killing everyone while taking off with Henry, but the flashback feature her going amongst the people in disguise and,poor Regina, realizing everyone hates her. This after killing a whole village for not telling her where Snow White is. Even Rumple points that last fact out! I just wanted to tell her to shut up and stop murdering people if she was so worried about not being liked!

On a side note; while I am not too crazy about Neal, he provided the most enjoyable moment for me in the episode when Emma is looking for stuff on Tamara in their room, with Henry doing lookout using warning tactics Emma told him to and Neal just goes "Oh h... no! I taught her that!" Realizing Emma was in the room.

Edited by MadyGirl1987
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One of the recurring annoying "themes" is the villain who ruins people's lives going on about not having "the love of the people".  It got worse and worse over the course of the series, and also extended to Zelena and Anastasia in the "Wonderland" spinoff.  It's not rocket science why the citizens hated them... are these characters supposed to stupid or what?

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3 minutes ago, Camera One said:

One of the recurring annoying "themes" is the villain who ruins people's lives going on about not having "the love of the people".  It got worse and worse over the course of the series, and also extended to Zelena and Anastasia in the "Wonderland" spinoff.  It's not rocket science why the citizens hated them... are these characters supposed to stupid or what?

Right? I'm supposed to feel bad for you that people have an issue with your evil ways?

Another thing that stuck out to me is that we see the beginning stirrings of Hook's redemption in this episode. When he goes down to get the trigger to destroy the town with Regina, he mentions how their constant focus on revenge could be why nobody likes them and that he has nothing to look forward to once Rumple is dead. He says getting revenge is an ending, not a beginning. I didn't catch that the first time I watched the episode but it struck me as an important moment for his character. It also shows why his might be the only successful redemption arc in the show. He has self-awareness the others like Regina don't.

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7 minutes ago, Camera One said:

One of the recurring annoying "themes" is the villain who ruins people's lives going on about not having "the love of the people".  It got worse and worse over the course of the series, and also extended to Zelena and Anastasia in the "Wonderland" spinoff.  It's not rocket science why the citizens hated them... are these characters supposed to stupid or what?

Regina: "When Snow White is dead, then they will see my kindness."
Rumple: "Through the charred remains of their homes. Yes, I'm sure that will be perfectly clear."

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This show is equally stupid in terms of what it expects of "good" people. Remember how Snow was portrayed as the one in the wrong for rejecting Regina after she came upon the slaughtered village? Regina was totally all set to be good and then Snow ruined it by getting upset at a village full of dead people including children. Snow needed to be more forgiving and understanding. Really, show?

Or there was that weirdness in the Zelena centric, which I don't remember at all except for the part where the woodsman was all remember how I was your buddy for five minutes back when we were kids? Give up your magic and fix my problems and we can be friends again. And then Zelena was bad for not doing so. Man, she's the worst. We should totally ignore the murders she committed and feel sorry for her, but not giving up her magic for some random, which would leave her completely helpless in a land full of people out to kill her, makes her an awful, awful person. No wonder she doesn't have any friends. And I'm pretty sure he didn't tell her that was the price when she initially did offer to help either. If you're truly good, you must  be completely selfless and self-sacrificing. And dumb.

Oh and then there's the idiocy that Emma must die. She has no right to fight back. Defending herself was beyond the pale and would make her the evilest evil ever.  Dark Swan was worse than Rumpel because she didn't tell everyone what happened and tried to fix things herself. Yep. Totally worse than flaying a man alive or turning him into a snail and crushing him or murdering your wife. Twice.

Now that it's essentially over and I know there's never any justice, it's all the more enraging. On a positive note, it leaves me with very little interest in rewatching since many of the things I liked and wanted to see happen never did. Everything else is rage inducing.

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Good people are held to different standards.  Another Season 6 example is how only Ashley had to apologize to the stepsister, not the other way around.  

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 It's a nice trick for really amping up the stakes when David goes into the sleeping curse so he can communicate with Snow, and it becomes not just that Snow and Emma have to get back because they want to get back, but also because it's the only way to save David

This is from @Shanna Marie on the previous thread.

I never liked the episode Into the Deep although Queen of Hearts right after it is one of my favourite episodes. I couldn't get into the plot of David being under the sleeping curse and in fact it took me out of the story because him going under it in the first place was so stupid and unnecessary. He went under because Henry got burned the last time he was there so David was 'protecting' him but Henry had to go to that room anyway. Anytime he went to sleep he went to that room so he would go there that night and David stupidly put himself under a sleeping curse just so he could see Snow which was the real reason he did it (I'm still a little annoyed that in the burning room, David didn't ask Snow about Emma and if she was ok but just said their little I will always find you thing. That's your daughter David!) He left Henry and the welfare of the town in the hands of Regina and Rumple who have cursed the town and sent wraiths around town and in the very next episode, nearly kill Snow and Emma! It was so stupid.

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The Burning Sleeping Room was a really clever concept, but poorly thought out and subsequently ignored.  I really enjoyed "Into the Deep" (the whole conversation about how there were different ways to get into a Sleeping Curse, including getting pricked by a needle was a fun call-back to "Sleeping Beauty"... it was that type of stuff that made me like the show), but yeah, it doesn't make a lot of sense.   

The CGI and the whole "design" of the room was truly horrible, though.

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Making David find the red room was kind of pointless. It's great the writers wanted to worldbuild and say newly cursed victims went to a different room, but that ultimately added nothing to the story but temporary suspense. It took him like two minutes max to find Snow. 

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I remember all of the discussion about the horrors of the sleeping room when David and Snow were cursed last season.  It added a lot of continuity to the show and gave it some depth.  It also helped drive the story when they sought vengeance on the EQ for doing that to them by making sure she got her happy ending before she undid the spell.

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24 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

Making David find the red room was kind of pointless. It's great the writers wanted to worldbuild and say newly cursed victims went to a different room, but that ultimately added nothing to the story but temporary suspense. It took him like two minutes max to find Snow. 

Adam and Eddy struggle with world building and it's more and more noticeable each season.  They come up with ideas and concepts, but the execution ultimately doesn't work each time.

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3 hours ago, CCTC said:

I remember all of the discussion about the horrors of the sleeping room when David and Snow were cursed last season.  It added a lot of continuity to the show and gave it some depth.  It also helped drive the story when they sought vengeance on the EQ for doing that to them by making sure she got her happy ending before she undid the spell.

Yeah, that's on my growing list of plot details they totally dropped. It was kind of a cool concept, and it made the sleeping curse even more cruel, but then they dropped it entirely, probably because it made Regina look bad and made it even more unlikely that her victims would be totally cool with her afterwards. By season six, a sleeping curse was no big deal.

In general, I'm finding that this isn't a great show for binge watching. It's too inconsistent. Things happen because they need them to happen for whatever plot development in a particular episode, regardless of what was established previously or what would be in character. I guess it's not so bad if you watch one episode a week, with a big gap between half seasons and an even bigger gap between seasons. Then you might forget the details along the way. But if you watch multiple episodes back to back, it's jarring. If you happen to watch episodes that span a gap (A season to B season, or between seasons) back to back, you'll get whiplash. Like Emma going straight from her steely-eyed declaration that it was all Regina's fault to inviting Regina to the potluck because she deserved a second chance. I think there was actually a gap between episodes when they aired, so maybe that declaration wasn't fresh in the later episode, but I watched them all in one night.

However, there is some fun in rewatching just to be amused at how much things change. Like the confrontation between Belle and Hook on the Jolly Roger, when she tells him how good Rumple's heart is, unlike Hook's black one -- it's amusing to watch that knowing that there will come a time when she goes to Hook for protection and shelter when she's afraid of Rumple.

15 hours ago, MadyGirl1987 said:

Another thing that stuck out to me is that we see the beginning stirrings of Hook's redemption in this episode. When he goes down to get the trigger to destroy the town with Regina, he mentions how their constant focus on revenge could be why nobody likes them and that he has nothing to look forward to once Rumple is dead. He says getting revenge is an ending, not a beginning. I didn't catch that the first time I watched the episode but it struck me as an important moment for his character. It also shows why his might be the only successful redemption arc in the show. He has self-awareness the others like Regina don't.

I think that's a key to his redemption and what's missing in Regina's supposed redemption. Hook actually articulates what he's learned and gives a reason why he stopped his quest for revenge. We never learned why Regina stopped trying to kill Snow. She never said she was wrong, never said that she'd learned that revenge was pointless. If you don't know why she changed, it's hard to believe that she really has changed. With Hook it also helps that although he gave up trying to kill Rumple, he didn't become friends with him, didn't stop hating him. He just stopped letting the thought of Rumple control his life. With Regina, I think they took it a step too far, with her becoming friends with the person she devoted most of her life to destroying. It's not believable from Snow's perspective -- why would she want to be friends with someone who murdered her father and destroyed so much of her life? -- but why would Regina want to associate with someone she feels ruined her life? There was such an abrupt pivot, and without her saying anything about realizing it wasn't Snow's fault, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

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1 minute ago, Shanna Marie said:

it's amusing to watch that knowing that there will come a time when she goes to Hook for protection and shelter when she's afraid of Rumple.

This might have bothered me more than anything about last year.  This was completely forgotten and not even addressed when Belle reconciled with him.  I actually found it a little disturbing how easily they put the couple back together and brushed Gold's truly abusive behavior under the rug.  Not to be melodramatic, but it really gave me the vibe, if you love your abuser enough you can change him.  Plus, for a show that brags that it is about empowering women, way to completely sideline the mother in the plot to save her son.  

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3 minutes ago, CCTC said:

I actually found it a little disturbing how easily they put the couple back together and brushed Gold's truly abusive behavior under the rug.  Not to be melodramatic, but it really gave me the vibe, if you love your abuser enough you can change him.

Watching Belle and Rumple in season two really creeps me out. It's like a dramatization of those Dear Abby lists for how to spot a potential abuser. He isolates her from her family -- hiding the fact that he knows her father is in town while he knows she's looking for her father. He has control over her job and living situation. He keeps swearing he'll do better but then goes behind her back or finds loopholes. Finding out that he set the wraith on Regina as a way of getting her in spite of his pledge to Belle not to hurt her should have been a deal breaker. Then there's learning that he murdered his wife (a history of abuse is a red flag) and he withheld the truth about that when she asked him directly. The whole confrontation at the town line was very much a case of people doing things for plot purposes rather than for any reason that made sense. What woman with half a grain of sense would get in a car with a man and go with him at night to the town line after learning he murdered his wife and after watching him beating a man nearly to death? And then if you know that crossing the town line will wipe her memory, why would he stand and have a heartfelt conversation with her on the town line? Why take that chance? If she'd twisted her ankle in her ridiculously high heels, she'd have lost her memory even without Hook showing up.

I've come to the conclusion that Belle and Rumple exist in separate universes because there are mutually exclusive things going on with them. Belle believes he's good at heart, and I don't think the show wants us to see her as delusional or as the kind of woman who writes love letters to serial killers. But the show keeps showing that Rumple is evil at heart, that while he might occasionally do something good to save someone he loves, he's willing to screw over everyone else to get what he wants. We saw that his heart was literally black and corrupted. There is no way that Belle can be right about how good Rumple's heart is while he is truly evil and driven by a lust for power that's never satisfied. Redemption is a pattern of behavior that shows a change. Hook was redeemed because he really did want to do better, and he kept trying. He may have had some slips, but he consistently pulled himself together and tried again. Regina may not have said why she was changing, but her behavior did change on a consistent, ongoing basis. Rumple's good deeds were the inconsistency. He had a couple of big, showy sacrifices, but otherwise he was scheming, hurting others, lying to Belle, and willing to let everyone else die for him to get what he wanted.

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“They felt that with some of the principal characters, particularly with Snow and Charming, that we had taken those characters on an incredible journey over six seasons and that we had run out of runway a little bit with those stories,” Dungey said.

This quote infuriates me.  They singled out Snow and Charming when A&E didn't even try with Snow and Charming.  Run out of runway?  What runway?  

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Talk about delusional.  I'm sure Season 7 will be as "spectacular" as Season 6.  

Season 6 will always be remembered as the season with two Regina's and a crappy Aladdin. Not even the Captain Swan wedding or the musical episode was all that memorable. 

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I just finished my re-watch of the Frozen arc.

God, I hate how they write Regina. If they want to give her a redemption arc, fine. They should've ended it with her using light magic to defeat Zelena and moved on from there. But they continued to write the "woe is me, everyone hates me for no reason" crap. In one episode she tells Robin that he and Henry are the only ones in the town that believe in her. Um, hello, but wasn't Snow giving you yet another hope pep talk in the previous episode? And the idiocy of the author is the one who dictated her actions is so annoying. Robin finding an alternate Page 23 only shows that if you had made better choices, that is what your life could've been. They just keep writing her as a petulant child who never owns up to anything. The fact that they have Snow White of all people, apologizing to her for stuff is so infuriating.

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Speaking of infuriating:

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The initial idea to relaunch Once Upon a Time first came to the showrunners in Season 4, which was when they realized they wanted to start writing to "our own end."

So they had two seasons to give a proper ending to the characters getting the boot and this is what we got.

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They knew they wanted to wind down Emma's story in Season 6

So why did they ask her back for Season 7 in the original plan?  

I'll continue the rest in the Spoiler thread...

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“We were coming from ‘Lost’ so we thought of a five-year plan, and I think around Season 4 we wanted to write toward our own endpoint, and if the show was successful enough, or the network had interest, then we would reboot it,” executive producer Edward Kitsis says.

Oh, what a load of BS.  This is either a blatant lie or it illustrates utter incompetence.

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Kitsis: “We think this new casting, moving forward, is going to touch on maybe some of the things that people wanted that we didn’t do in the first six years,” he said. “But, as far as regrets, I mean who remembers?

Nice philosophy.  Usually, if you don't learn from (or even remember) your mistakes, you will never improve.  

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Kitsis insisted this is not a way to re-do the past six seasons.

“It’s network television, you have to go on the fly,” he said. “On cable, they get to write eight episodes and then go film them. We don’t have that luxury. Was everything we did perfect? No. But you know, rock ‘n roll is messy, and we move on. What we are doing is updating the show in a way that feels fresh to us and that we feel is more reflective of today,” he said.

Excuses, excuses.

Edited by Camera One
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45 minutes ago, Camera One said:

Oh, what a load of BS.  This is either a blatant lie or it illustrates utter incompetence. 

Both, I think. Their ego knows no bounds, so they want to insist they were in control of all creative decisions in the face of the criticisms they're facing over the Season 7 Not!reboot. It's similar to Adam insisting that they knew Marian was Zelena all along. They clearly didn't write it that way from the start. So, if they'd really planned it all along, why not leave clues?? A&E don't seem to get that insisting that they knew they were winding up all major storylines back in Season 4 makes them look even more utterly incompetent than the Zarian debacle did. 

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Considering they knew that Ginny and Josh didn't want to continue from the planning stages of Season 6 and they still wrote what they did shows their utter lack of ability or care to provide satisfying closure on original core characters.  

Considering they knew Jennifer was leaving in the planning of 6B, and they still wrote what they did shows their utter lack of ability or care to provide satisfying closure on arguably their MAIN character.

It basically shows they don't know how to pace anything.  

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The initial idea to relaunch Once Upon a Time first came to the showrunners in Season 4, which was when they realized they wanted to start writing to "our own end."

 
 

Ah, so is that why Season 3 was the last truly good season of the show?

Edited by Curio
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As much as I like the Team Princess part of 2A, it's also a case study in how watching episodes back to back and rewatching can weaken this show. While the individual episodes can be a lot of fun, if you put the stuff from Cora and Hook's side of the story in chronological order and factor in what we later learned, it makes no sense at all. They were clearly writing to get the episodes they wanted without having a clear plan of what the villains were up to and why.

  1. Cora gets Hook to flip on Regina by letting him know about the curse. The plan is for her to create a dome that will keep them in their world and with their identities, even as they're frozen in time, so that when the curse breaks, they can go to the world without magic, where Hook will be able to confront Rumple where he's not magical or immortal.
  2. The curse breaks (the time part), and the people in the Coradome gather into a refugee settlement. Cora takes on the identity of Lancelot to serve as leader, while Hook poses as a blacksmith wounded by an ogre. But why? Did they have any plan for getting to the world without magic? When it seemed as though everyone was frozen, it made a little more sense, but now we know that the whole world was frozen in time, and it was possible to travel and have adventures during the curse. So, why hadn't they come up with a magic bean, or some other form of travel, during all that time? Why hadn't they gone up the beanstalk to get the compass and/or look for a bean? Why bother infiltrating the settlement? Why bother disguising their identity? Wouldn't it be more like Cora to declare herself queen of the land? They had no reason to think people from the curse would be coming back, so they wouldn't need to hid their identities. Mulan knew Lancelot and said she'd seen Hook around, so they'd been in those roles before Emma and Snow showed up.
  3. Team Princess shows up, and Cora gets Emma to talk about back home. As "Lancelot," Cora lets them go and follows them. Emma torches the wardrobe so Cora can't use it, and Cora collects the ashes.
  4. Hook changes into his full pirate regalia to meet with Cora for a spot of "mwa ha ha-ing" as they talk about having the ashes. But if Cora has the ashes and they know where the compass is and have the magic cuffs for getting up the beanstalk, why don't they just go get it?
  5. But instead, Cora goes on a murder spree, ripping out the hearts of everyone in the settlement, in a way that kills them without her crushing the hearts, so she can later use them as zombies. It's not clear which of two possible things is happening here. Is it a plan to have Hook infiltrate Team Princess and use them to get the compass? If so, it's a really dumb plan. We know Cora and Hook later go back to the beanstalk and get Tiny to bring with them, so there's no reason they needed Team Princess. Team Princess didn't know about the wardrobe ashes or the compass until Hook told them. Or did Cora go on her murder spree, Hook hit his limit and protested, so that she flung that stuff at him and trapped him, and then what he told Team Princess was more or less true and he really was willing to side with them to get what he wanted without dealing with Cora? That makes a bit more sense, but I'm still not sure what the murder spree was all about. The whole thing is counter productive. If they'd skipped that and just gone after the compass, they'd have been in Storybrooke while Team Princess was still wandering around, looking for a way home. The beanstalk climb was one of my favorite bits in the entire series, but there really is no logical reason for it.
  6. They go back and forth with the compass, Team Princess wins and jumps through the portal, but Hook snagged the dried bean from the beanstalk, which apparently they revived in the Lake Nostos water. Offscreen, they capture Tiny and load him into the Jolly Roger for the trip to Storybrooke. Which is probably a better plan for them than if they'd used the wardrobe ashes and compass. They were a lot better off coming to Storybrooke in the Jolly Roger with a captive giant than they would have been climbing out of the well.
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13 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

It's also a case study in how watching episodes back to back and rewatching can weaken this show. While the individual episodes can be a lot of fun, if you put the stuff from Cora and Hook's side of the story in chronological order and factor in what we later learned, it makes no sense at all. They were clearly writing to get the episodes they wanted without having a clear plan of what the villains were up to and why.

I think the bottom line is *thinking* about the show weakens the show.  It's more the rewatching and factoring in what we later learn that weakens the show the most, as opposed to watching back-to-back, at least for me.  I've rewatched back-to-back every season with a friend of mine who visits occasionally (she still hasn't been back for 6B), and usually, I find that watching back-to-back actually does make the show more engaging in some ways, since each episode picks up where the last one leaves off.  When you watch back-to-back (as opposed to having a week to think it over and dissect), a lot of the details are easy to forget or blend together because the show in each new episode overwhelms you with a whole bunch of new (ultimately irrelevant) MacGuffins or crises.  Occasionally, the dropped plot points stick out more (the more egregious example I think is "Find Nimue" in 5A) but that's the exception rather than the rule in my own experience.

Each time I've rewatched, I'm usually half a season ahead of my friend.  I think re-watching the earliest seasons now that we've seen all the retcons, repetition, broken rules and lack of payoff before half the cast was dumped, especially in Season 5 and 6, would hugely weaken the show if I went back to watch it all over again.   That's why with series that I really like that go downhill, I need a few years of downtime before I can go back to rewatch and then pretend the later seasons don't exist.  I do that with quite a few shows, actually.

Edited by Camera One
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I was filling out one of those "fun" surveys and when it asked "What's your current favorite TV show", the first answer that came into my mind was still "Once Upon a Time".  And "What's your all-time favorite TV shows", "Once Upon a Time" came up in my mind as well, despite having watched so many better written shows.   This show's hold is so stubborn, and it's hard to fathom why since intellectually, I know the show hasn't given me satisfaction for years.  I guess a lot of my fondness for fairy tales, mythology, folktales, fantasy books and Disney animated films are mixed together with this show, and the concept of a mashup and the unreached potential still can't be shaken.

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Latest interview (Ksitetv) with "spoilers" but this is not a spoiler.

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KITSIS: Look: We know it’s a risk to do this, but that’s what makes it exciting. We knew going into last year that we had that six-year plan.

Give it a rest with the six-year plan crap.  Think if you repeat it enough times, we'll believe it?

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1 hour ago, Camera One said:

Give it a rest with the six-year plan crap.  Think if you repeat it enough times, we'll believe it?

Well to be fair a couple years ago when someone asked JMo how long she expected the show to go she said six years.

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9 hours ago, Camera One said:

It's the "plan" part that gave me pause.

Agreed. It's obvious that they had no prior plan for Season 6. They were flying by the seat of their pants. It's incoherent and retreads old ground in the worst possible way. Even if they had had a six-year plan, their original outline for the series must have changed so much that they could not use any of their S6 plans beyond "Emma Swan gets married". 

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Has everyone already pre-ordered Season 6?  I know I'm camping out in front of the store Monday night, since it is released August 15th.  They released a deleted scene today featuring the monarchs of the cutting room forest.  

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44 minutes ago, Camera One said:

Has everyone already pre-ordered Season 6?  I know I'm camping out in front of the store Monday night, since it is released August 15th.  They released a deleted scene today featuring the monarchs of the cutting room forest.  

That scene was really needed to drive home Charming's desperation and emotional investment. It spoke volumes about his line of thinking during 6x10/6x11. We lost that in favor of Emma and Wish!August meandering through the forest and talking about high tea?

Edited by KingOfHearts
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After the touching opening montage they had the episode after the Charming and Snow were cursed, they really underplayed what they were going through and at times even made jokes about it making it seem more like the curse was a mildly irritating situation.  A scene like that was cut would have been nice to remind viewers what they were going through and the high price of the separation.   Actually the show could use more heart felt scenes in general, showing there were some consequences for what was happening.    It would help give the show some heart, which it has shown less of with each passing season.  Dallas and Goodwin can do some decent acting when given some good material, it is too bad they were so misused (or note used) in the later seasons.

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I probably will buy season 6 because I have a bunch of Best Buy rewards points, so it will be practically free, and because I'm a completist. Besides, there is the musical episode, and I can probably get an entire writing seminar on what not to do based on this series. I doubt I'll spring for Blu-Ray, though. There weren't any particularly spectacular visuals in season 6 to make it worthwhile. Nothing on a par with the Jolly Roger at sea with the mountains in the background.

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Rewatching the episode where we find out how Rumple's father is Pan and I love the flashback. You can see where Rumple got his flaws from. It kinda makes it even more tragic that he fell victim to the same cowardice and self-interest his father displayed, although he seems to actually care for Bae and tried to be better as a father when his father did not. Also think the actors who played young Rumple and his father did a great job. Especially the father. There were scenes he was giving off the same  energy ImpRumple can give off. I even noticed he did the giggle ImpRumple will do, multiple times.

If they had stuck with the Rumple we see in the Neverland arc, facing his past and being conflicted over doing the wrong thing or falling into old patterns, instead of the Rumbelle drama we have gotten, the show could have done much better stories with him and both he and Belle's characters would have been better served.

Edited by MadyGirl1987 · Reason: Spelling
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Agreed.  The big sacrifice that Rumple made at the end of 3A should have been his exit.  If the Writers wanted him to stay, they needed to commit to a course of earned redemption.  The on-again-off-again cycle with Belle was a disservice to both his character and Belle's.  If they broke up permanently, they could have both developed individually in Season 4 and 5, and then an earned romance could have occurred in Season 6.  The way it was written, Rumple's actions in 4A pretty much made him beyond redemption, yet he would be just as despicable in 4B and again at the end of 5A and 5B, and then again in 6B, and yet we were still expected to find his inclusion in The Last Supper poignant.  

Practically every main character on this show's major character arc has been mishandled in this way, at one point or another.  The only ones that made it through with a relatively coherent character "journey" were Hook and Zelena.  I would say Rumple lasted relatively longer than most, since his character crumbled in Season 4A, along with Emma by 4B.  Henry, Snow, Belle and Regina were destroyed in Season 2B.  David never even got a chance, but by 3B, it was crystal clear there was no need to hope that he'd get a character journey of any sort. 

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39 minutes ago, Camera One said:

Agreed.  The big sacrifice that Rumple made at the end of 3A should have been his exit.  If the Writers wanted him to stay, they needed to commit to a course of earned redemption.  The on-again-off-again cycle with Belle was a disservice to both his character and Belle's.  If they broke up permanently, they could have both developed individually in Season 4 and 5, and then an earned romance could have occurred in Season 6.  The way it was written, Rumple's actions in 4A pretty much made him beyond redemption, yet he would be just as despicable in 4B and again at the end of 5A and 5B, and then again in 6B, and yet we were still expected to find his inclusion in The Last Supper poignant.  

Practically every main character on this show's major character arc has been mishandled in this way, at one point or another.  The only ones that made it through with a relatively coherent character "journey" were Hook and Zelena.  I would say Rumple lasted relatively longer than most, since his character crumbled in Season 4A, along with Emma by 4B.  Henry, Snow, Belle and Regina were destroyed in Season 2B.  David never even got a chance, but by 3B, it was crystal clear there was no need to hope that he'd get a character journey of any sort. 

Rumple sacrificing himself would have made for a perfect exit. It was such a good scene with Rumple remarking "I'm villain and villains don't get happy endings". 

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19 hours ago, Camera One said:

Practically every main character on this show's major character arc has been mishandled in this way, at one point or another.  The only ones that made it through with a relatively coherent character "journey" were Hook and Zelena.  I would say Rumple lasted relatively longer than most, since his character crumbled in Season 4A, along with Emma by 4B.  Henry, Snow, Belle and Regina were destroyed in Season 2B.  David never even got a chance, but by 3B, it was crystal clear there was no need to hope that he'd get a character journey of any sort. 

This is one of those things where binge watching works against you because it becomes even more obvious without a break between episodes when the characters are all over the map. Regina's arc from the end of season one to the end of season 2 is particularly erratic -- frames Mary Margaret for murder, has everything crumble around her, realizes she's turning into her mother and relents, starts trying to be good and stops using magic, fears her mother's return so much that she's willing to risk killing Emma and Snow to stop her, feels sorry for herself for not being invited to dinner, resents being invited to dinner, is angry at being suspected of murder, finds out her mother framed her, teams up with her mother, learns that her mother set everything up, feels that she's on the right side of things, is a victim because her mother was killed, plans to murder everyone, stops her own trap, is hailed as a hero. That moment when she learns what her mother did to set it all up and kills Johanna in spite of Snow caving really is a moral event horizon. It's so hard to buy her "redemption" after that since that wasn't where she turned around.

But Snow is almost as bad. Even as Mary Margaret, she's spunky. She's calling herself Snow and is a total badass during the Team Princess adventure, then she's angry at Regina, but then she starts with the "I'm Mary Margaret here" routine and she does her usual caving, then decides that Cora needs to die, which is apparently a bad thing in spite of the danger Cora poses, and all her previous decisions that led to great suffering and death among her people are said to be the right decisions, but then after she does kill Cora she falls apart, and then she pretty much falls off the story radar.

With Hook, it's his backstory that goes all over the place, but it's not so jarring because he only gets one or two centric episodes per season, so even if you're binge watching, you don't necessarily notice the weirdness. His present-day story flows pretty well from ambiguous villain (showing he might have potential for better) to villain, to realizing where and how he screwed up, to trying to help and gradually having to earn acceptance and trust.

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3 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

They haven't even managed to keep Henry's age straight during the first six seasons. He's ten at the beginning of the series, in October, but Mary Margaret has him in her class and says she teaches fourth grade, so he must have turned ten between maybe August (depending on when they start school) and October. Otherwise, he should have been in fifth grade. Then maybe a year goes by during season one, and when he meets Neal in season two, he says he's eleven. 3A took only a week or so, and then there's the missing year, which made him twelve -- and Regina states that he's twelve in 3B. It gets wonky after that. 3B took only about a week (after the missing year). They stated that 4A took two weeks. There's the 6-week gap between 4A and 4B, then maybe a month or two during 4B. 5A happens right after that and takes 2 months or so (the missing 6 weeks, plus a couple of weeks back in Storybrooke). But they say that Henry's 13 during that arc. Another month or so in the Underworld, then maybe a few months during season 6, and then he's 14. Meanwhile, Snowflake, who was born when Henry was 12, is still an infant.

So, Henry's age is never going to make sense, no matter what they do. It would be weirdly consistent with the way they've written his age for him to be in his 30s after ten years go by and also have a 10-year-old daughter who was born when he was in his late 20s. On the upside, now that the have an adult actor, they won't have to worry about fudging his age when the show moves at a glacial pace and he's suddenly five or six years older than his character -- assuming there's more than one season left -- because he's not likely to grow six inches taller and his voice is through changing. However, they're right back there with Lucy. It's a very bad idea to cast children in a show that only covers a couple of weeks in a season. Didn't they learn that lesson on Lost?

 

2 hours ago, Camera One said:

They needed to cast a child for Season 1 to work, but their problem was not writing to explain the aging.  There could have been multitudes of explanations since this show has magic.  "Lost" also could have explained Walt's rapid aging since again - they were on a supernatural island.  

Now, let's see if A&E fall into the exact same traps with Lucy.

 

17 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

Or they could have allowed time to pass. Let the show breathe a bit. Season one passed in more or less real time. They could have continued that and not been so far behind in Henry's aging. They didn't have to write most of their arcs taking place in two weeks or less. They didn't have to do drastic cliffhangers at the end of every season so that no time passed between seasons. They also needed to age all the children at the same pace. They can't have Henry age from 12 to 14 while Snowflake, who was born when Henry was 12, is barely sitting up on his own when Henry is 14.

It is indeed unfathomable why they didn't let more time pass in the interludes between half seasons.  When they did do the "6 weeks later", they could have just made it "6 months later".  To me, the easiest time to age Henry up would have been what he went through in Neverland, especially after switching bodies with Peter Pan.  

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I always thought mid season 3 after Going Home would have been more poignant and helped age up Henry if it had been 2-3 years instead of one.

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30 minutes ago, daxx said:

I always thought mid season 3 after Going Home would have been more poignant and helped age up Henry if it had been 2-3 years instead of one.

There was so much untapped potential for 3B.  With a longer time jump, we could have seen:

- Emma and Henry living a life together for longer

- Snowing grieving the loss of Emma once again, while dealing with making the Enchanted Forest habitable again as monarchs, maybe with the help of Aurora, Philip and Mulan and trying to find a way back to Emma

- Snow dealing with a return to her childhood palace for the first time since her father was murdered

- all the townspeople (Grumpy, Granny, Archie, Gepetto, Blue, etc.) and selected guest stars (Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, Lost Boys, etc.) adjusting back to medieval way of life with no modern conveniences 

- Neal and Belle dealing with Rumple's sacrifice and "death"

- Hook realizing he could not go back to his life as a pirate, no matter how hard he tried

- I would add Regina, but we already saw her dealing with losing Henry, finding a new love, trying to be a nicer person, bantering with a new adversary, dealing with her mommy issues, etc.

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24 minutes ago, Camera One said:

There was so much untapped potential for 3B.  With a longer time jump, we could have seen:

- Emma and Henry living a life together for longer

- Snowing grieving the loss of Emma once again, while dealing with making the Enchanted Forest habitable again as monarchs, maybe with the help of Aurora, Philip and Mulan and trying to find a way back to Emma

- Snow dealing with a return to her childhood palace for the first time since her father was murdered

- all the townspeople (Grumpy, Granny, Archie, Gepetto, Blue, etc.) and selected guest stars (Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, Lost Boys, etc.) adjusting back to medieval way of life with no modern conveniences 

- Neal and Belle dealing with Rumple's sacrifice and "death"

- Hook realizing he could not go back to his life as a pirate, no matter how hard he tried

- I would add Regina, but we already saw her dealing with losing Henry, finding a new love, trying to be a nicer person, bantering with a new adversary, dealing with her mommy issues, etc.

All these would have been great to see! It would have been fun to see if anyone tried to incorporate any ideas from the modern world. 

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On 8/17/2017 at 1:13 PM, Camera One said:

It is indeed unfathomable why they didn't let more time pass in the interludes between half seasons.  When they did do the "6 weeks later", they could have just made it "6 months later".  

They're just bad at continuity, especially time continuity, in general. They'd put time references in the episodes, indicating how much time had passed, and then forget entirely about it and treat it like it was passing in real time. I think we saw a lot of that between 3B and 4A, where they acted like Regina had been dating Robin all summer, when it had actually only been a couple of days. Or when they apparently forgot that Snow not only had a small baby she was breastfeeding, but she'd just given birth two days earlier. I would say that it was just Granny and the dwarfs being jerks and forgetting, but there was the line about the "nightly screaming" when she probably wouldn't have been home from the hospital long enough for there to be a "nightly" anything. Not to mention that tower of light that went up for the time portal an entire day before anyone noticed it.

And then there's the way they seemed to completely forget about the passing of seasons in the real world, which never really lined up with what was going on in the show, and they didn't seem to pass the word on to the set decoration people. The only two episodes given specific date stamps were the pilot, with Emma's birthday, and the season one episode taking place on Valentine's Day. But that Valentine's Day episode was obviously filmed during the fall. They seemed to have sort of hidden that during the Storybrooke parts, but they let the glorious colors show in the flashback, which was okay because those events weren't necessarily happening in February. But then in the following episode, they seemed to have forgotten that the previous episode being in February meant the next one would be in February or March, so it looked quite fall-like, and the Leaf Lady seemed to have gone nuts strewing leaves all over the streets. They had camera close-ups of feet crunching through leaves, and the shots of the trees showed all the fall colors.

There was the polar vortex that hit while they were filming 3B, which meant they got lots of really atmospheric shots in the snow, but then 4A started just a few days later, when there was a real-world heat wave. That arc lasted two weeks, then there was the six-week gap, and then we had snow on the ground again. Another couple of months, and there were pumpkins at the pumpkin farm. And then again in 6A we had pumpkins in an October episode. They have a show that's not passing in anything resembling real time, but the visuals look seasonal for the time of year the episodes would be initially shown, or else look like the season in which they were shot. I don't get the impression that they kept any kind of timeline because they certainly didn't use any of the tricks shows tend to use to fake the appropriate season -- no brushing snow off things between takes and making the actors wear thermals and go without coats, no throwing scarves around their necks in hot weather to at least suggest that it might be cold. Storybrooke has a funkier climate than Westeros, only instead of a winter that lasts for years, they have a winter that lasts for a day or two, followed by a summer that lasts for a week, followed by a week-long autumn, with another winter a couple of months later, then a few days of summer, then fall again.

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