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

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9 hours ago, Kktjones said:

Anyway, I just don't understand how they get to call this a show about hope. What does that even mean? That you can always hope for things to work out?

I guess if you have a villain-centric perspective, there's all kinds of hope. You can be a mass murderer who doesn't regret the murder, only hates to have it brought up in conversation, and end up with all your victims being your friends and putting themselves on the line to help you, and you get to keep the position you stole, with that even being validated by some of the people you tormented and who you still mock and belittle. You can be a power-hungry mass murderer who's repeatedly been willing to kill people or let everyone die so you can get what you want, and you'll still get accepted as a family member by the people you've been willing to throw under the bus after you make one good decision. Or you can go from a revenge-driven killer to a hero who works for the greater good and who is accepted as a family member by other heroes after you realize the error of your ways, try to make amends to the people you've hurt, and get killed protecting them, and then earn a second chance at life from a god.

I guess there's also Emma, who went from being alone to being part of a big family and group of friends and having love, and Henry, who has the big family he always wanted, plus magic powers.

But just about everyone else is stuck in a world that isn't their home and stuck in jobs they didn't choose for themselves. The person who coldbloodedly murdered Marian for no reason other than to steal her identity has equal good-guy status with the heroes. The person who murdered Milah and then obliterated her soul to cover up for his own deception is right there with the family. Sucks for Marian and Milah. Snow is the rightful queen who had her throne stolen from her, but she's still in the job she was cursed into as a punishment while the person who stole her throne still gets to keep her power and even gets "Queen" stenciled on her office door.

I'm actually okay with a good redemption story. I think there is some hope in someone who's able to turn his/her life around. But I don't think that someone who was evil should get to keep the results of their evil after they turn good, especially when the person who deserves it and whom it was stolen from is right there and not getting it back. If Regina were truly good, she'd have handed over the mayor's job and title of queen, and not just when she was in a "I don't want to work because my boyfriend dumped me" snit. I'd also have a problem with Hook being made sheriff and having David working under him or being made library director and Belle's boss -- but even there, he wasn't the one who created that position for himself and for them so that he would rule over them. If he got elected sheriff in an honest election, I'd be okay with it. He was willing to give up the Jolly Roger -- twice -- and only got it back as part of a plan to help both Ursula and the good guys and only got to keep her the second time because of Gideon's spell keeping him and Blackbeard away from Storybrooke (I wonder if Blackbeard will be showing up again to claim his ship).

I'm finally moving ahead with 2B, but I have to say, that stretch after "The Miller's Daughter" makes me want to hurl both Regina and Henry into an active volcano, with Neal as company. The moral messages we get in "Welcome to Storybrooke" are so twisted and tangled that they form knots. It doesn't even hold true for the length of one character speech before it doubles back and contradicts itself. There's also a massive cognitive dissonance between all those flashbacks of Regina being truly evil and hurting people and their attempt to portray her as wounded victim in the present (even as she's plotting to force Henry to love her, planning to kill everyone, and wiping Henry's memories). It's like "ooh, she was sooooo evil, it's delicious, but she's also sad, and she's still doing horrible things, but it's totally justified because she's sad and because the heroes stopped her murderous mother from becoming the ultimate evil, which makes them just as bad as she is."

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17 hours ago, CCTC said:

She really was an over-achiever when it came to killing.  She was adept at different ways, styles, number of people, cold blooded and calculated, heat of the moment, for kicks etc.

Mass murderer, serial killer, spree killer -- That's Our Regina!

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47 minutes ago, Rumsy4 said:

Both in LOST, and in ONCE the hero has to give in to "destiny" in order to finally succeed. That's a big volte face from Emma's inspiring "you got to punch back" attitude... But Emma had every reason to be skeptical and cold with her life experiences. But season 6 took it too far with the savior shakes and other crap. Jack had an arc that lasted through the Show. Emma kept repeating hers every season. As did most of the main characters on ONCE.

It's really quite pathetic how the characters keep repeating the same arcs over and over.  In Ginnifer Goodwin's exit interview, she is asked this question:

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INTERVIEWER: How do you think Snow has changed over the years?
GG: I think she let more and more of Mary Margaret in.

How is that character development?  Taking on more and more characteristics of a persona that was forced on her, that was meant to cause her pain.  And yet that's apparently, her character's "happy ending"?  

It got me thinking about this interview that Ginnifer Goodwin gave back in 3A.  Even then, she comments on how Snow gives everyone the benefit of the doubt and then, "Gee, isn't it a shock that we lied to [Snow] again."  She also asks why Snow would be "endlessly right to trust Rumple, which I can't figure out as an actress. What is it that they have coming that he always does right by them somehow?   And, Snow White is right to trust that he will?"

That was back in 3A.  And how many times since then has Snow and the main characters trusted Rumple again since then?  And then included him in the final The Last Supper?  It's not hard to see why the actors may have it up to here with the nonsense if they already found it questionable so early on.

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One thing that I found to be overused to the extreme is the storyline of a curse affecting or threatening to affect Storybrooke. Even Season 4's storyline of Anna/Elsa/Snow Queen mirrored it in a way, since an ice wall was put up around the town and the Snow Queen was planning on making the town kill themselves so it could be just her, Emma and Elsa.

Peter Pan's Neverland episodes were probably my favorite, since the gang had to use new methods to defeat the villain rather than just merely being put into a situation where they could break the curse with "true love's kiss". And even he was written as someone who got in on the "fun" in the end, as he tried to put a curse over Storybrooke after he snuck his way back with the gang.

And we're gonna get more of the same in Season 7. I'm really, really hoping they at least shake things up and make the episodes interesting in a different way than they were from the previous Seasons' curses.

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1 hour ago, Virtual Side said:

One thing that I found to be overused to the extreme is the storyline of a curse affecting or threatening to affect Storybrooke. Even Season 4's storyline of Anna/Elsa/Snow Queen mirrored it in a way, since an ice wall was put up around the town and the Snow Queen was planning on making the town kill themselves so it could be just her, Emma and Elsa.

Peter Pan's Neverland episodes were probably my favorite, since the gang had to use new methods to defeat the villain rather than just merely being put into a situation where they could break the curse with "true love's kiss". And even he was written as someone who got in on the "fun" in the end, as he tried to put a curse over Storybrooke after he snuck his way back with the gang.

And we're gonna get more of the same in Season 7. I'm really, really hoping they at least shake things up and make the episodes interesting in a different way than they were from the previous Seasons' curses.

I liked the Neverland episodes too. It looked like they had figured out how to use each character and it would take team work to get Henry back. Rumple left the group early but we had group of people working together who didn't completely trust each other. Charming and Snow weren't happy that Regina or Hook were with them and they weren't kissing Regina's butt. They needed to send a message to Henry, Regina took a heart and sent him to give Henry the message, Pan gave Emma the blank map and Emma tried to figure out what it meant she and Snow talked it out until she figured out what the clue was, Hook warned against going into a part of Neverland and was proven right when they did just that. Regina tried to do use magic on the map and it back fired. They were able to convince the Lost Boys to help by promising to take them with them.  It could have been a lot better of course learning about Hook and Bae's time in Neverland, building off Emma and Snow's talk about being a lost girl, Snow being forced to chose whether to stay in Neverland with Charming or leave with Emma would have been really good. How does she chose between the daughter she never got to raise or the husband she only spent nine or ten months with? But the best part was really seeing them work together and using the different skills and knowledge from each character. If they had kept it that way the series could have been so much better. Instead of the crazy random ways of defeating the villain we got later. Regina suddenly having white magic and Emma's stupid reason for losing her powers, Belle finding the gauntlet, etc. 

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The Evil Queen's wish for Emma to have never been the Savior is never actually granted. Emma never actually loses her Savior status, she just thinks she does. Even in the Wish Realm, she was able to use her Savior magic to stop Henry from killing Regina. If genies are only bound by the rules of magic, and are capable of creating entire realms filled with sentient beings, why can't they strip Emma's destiny away? Yes, genie wishes have unexpected consequences, but don't they always at least do what they say they're going to do?

There was no point in making Aladdin a genie, other than the writers needing a genie. Aladdin being trapped in a bottle is never used as a plot point. Why couldn't they just get Jafar or Sydney? That would have been great.

Edited by KingOfHearts

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Did they ever address what happened to the Dragon after they realized that EQ had his heart?   Was he ever mentioned again after the episode he was used as a weapon, or did he perish in that episode and I just was not paying attention?

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3 minutes ago, CCTC said:

Did they ever address what happened to the Dragon after they realized that EQ had his heart?   Was he ever mentioned again after the episode he was used as a weapon, or did he perish in that episode and I just was not paying attention?

Regina mentioned later that she returned his heart and got him out of the mirror.

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1 hour ago, KingOfHearts said:

Regina mentioned later that she returned his heart and got him out of the mirror.

I am probably being nitpicky, but from a story-telling stand point, wouldn't that have been a good thing to show?  It would have treated the character and people invested in the character with a little respect and given some closure.  Plus, Regina and the Dragon could have had  a conversation that would have helped her do some soul searching when coming to terms with her darker side.  She could have addressed the serious damage she had done in the past by stealing people's hearts.

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5 minutes ago, CCTC said:

She could have addressed the serious damage she had done in the past by stealing people's hearts.

And returned them. Seriously--this should have been Regina's Quest in Season 4, and not Operation Stupid. It's bizarre that Regina's been shown to still have hearts in her vault. 

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12 minutes ago, Rumsy4 said:

And returned them. Seriously--this should have been Regina's Quest in Season 4, and not Operation Stupid. It's bizarre that Regina's been shown to still have hearts in her vault. 

Yes! That would have been a much better story for her and actually show real growth in the character. 

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2 hours ago, Rumsy4 said:

And returned them. Seriously--this should have been Regina's Quest in Season 4, and not Operation Stupid. It's bizarre that Regina's been shown to still have hearts in her vault. 

Who knows who else she has locked up in the asylum.

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The thing I don't understand is - if Regina mentions she freed the Dragon in a throwaway line, why not just free him at the end of that Mirror episode?  They don't need to worry about the Dragon being able to help everyone because he's as useless as any of the other good guys.  There was an extended scene in the deleted scenes of the Mirror episode where Henry says "What about the Dragon?  He's still trapped", which was important since the episode made it seem like everyone just forgot about him and no one cared.  That's more than they did for Glinda.  Who knows where the hell she is now.  Evidently not in Oz, since she didn't attempt to help Dorothy at all.  Wouldn't it make more sense for Zelena to have some flashbacks with her instead of Random Tin Man By Name Only?

And regarding Aladdin, no Savior was needed to save Agrabah.  If Aladdin had stayed the Savior, then who would the Black Fairy fight the Final Battle against?  What if Emma had cut away her Saviorness as well?  Would Agrabah have been untouched by the Final Battle stuff with Emma, if it had its own Savior?  Why did Emma have to accept death?  It would have made zero difference either way, would it?  

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8 hours ago, KingOfHearts said:

Yes, genie wishes have unexpected consequences

Mostly to kill cool characters (RIP, Lizard), and like any other magic, according to the whims of A&E.

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Which reminds me, did we ever find out what happened to the Dragon or who he actually was and how he could perform magic in the LWOM?

Regina released him after the Evil Queen trapped him in a mirror. There's never an explanation for how there's magic in LWOM. It's implied that he's possibly Mulan's father.

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He could also be Lily's father.  I don't get why they had to tease he lost a daughter in that flashback when they had no plans to go any further with it.

Maybe after Regina released him, he reunited with Maleficent and Lily and now he's happily living in Storybrooke. 

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He could also be Lily's father.  I don't get why they had to tease he lost a daughter in that flashback when they had no plans to go any further with it.

I thought this as well, then A&E said later he wasn't.

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6 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

I thought this as well, then A&E said later he wasn't.

Really?  I forgot that it's not just the show, we also need to read everything on Twitter and Interviewers to know what happened, LOL.

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3 minutes ago, Camera One said:

Really?  I forgot that it's not just the show, we also need to read everything on Twitter and Interviewers to know what happened, LOL.

By now you should know that everything important happens in OffScreenVille!

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Remind me again... why didn't everyone just leave Storybrooke before The Black Fairy's curse struck?  Considering how few people attended Emma's wedding, I'm guessing that's where everyone went.

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"As the Savior's belief fade, so do all the realms of story."

I don't really understand this.  The realms existed before Emma believed.  So who was the Savior before that?  And before that?  So could Aladdin make himself the Savior again and believe to save all the realms?

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Emma as the savior to break the season 1 dark curse as the child of true love for Snow and Charming who were the primary target made sense.  They should never have tried to expand that beyond that setting.  They still could have gone the route with her being a hero and discovering and coming to terms with her own magical power.  When they made her a savior in a bigger sense, they just bogged her down and Emma the kick-ass bounty hunter became someone always worried and weighed down by the unrealistic expectations of being a savior.  When they tried to further expand the savior mythology, it just made it worse, because it does not seem like they really put much thought into what they had already written and shown and did not even bother to have something that seemed well through out and consistent.  

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10 hours ago, CCTC said:

t does not seem like they really put much thought into what they had already written and shown and did not even bother to have something that seemed well through out and consistent

This is the root of almost all the problems after season 3. 1-3 hold together pretty good, but then the retcons seriously start in season 4.

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23 hours ago, CCTC said:

Emma as the savior to break the season 1 dark curse as the child of true love for Snow and Charming who were the primary target made sense.  They should never have tried to expand that beyond that setting.  They still could have gone the route with her being a hero and discovering and coming to terms with her own magical power.  When they made her a savior in a bigger sense, they just bogged her down and Emma the kick-ass bounty hunter became someone always worried and weighed down by the unrealistic expectations of being a savior.  When they tried to further expand the savior mythology, it just made it worse, because it does not seem like they really put much thought into what they had already written and shown and did not even bother to have something that seemed well through out and consistent.  

They really shouldn't have. It was simple and it made sense. They really shouldn't have tried to expand it. Just have it part of Emma's story like glass slippers are in Cinderella. Her job was to break the curse. She did that. I really liked the idea she had magic power because she was the product of true love it was a nice contrast to the villains. When Cora wasn't able to rip Emma's heart out it was at really great scene. Cora finally facing someone she couldn't rip her heart out and was good. If they did expand it then it should have been Rumple figuring out that was the key to the Curse he wanted to cast, or he even could have tried to do the same thing on other couples long before the Charmings either have it not work (making it clear it could only be a certain couple like Pan was looking for Henry) or something keep happening to prevent that. Maybe the fairies to keep him from casting the first or something. That could have made Rumple more desperate and/or explain why it took so long to cast the Curse. 

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When did they first expand the definition of the Savior to just a catch-all she has to save the world?  Two conversations that stick out in my memory is at the end of 3A when she has a heart-to-heart with David saying she's always going to be a Savior and she's never going to have a normal life.  The second one is when she tells Elsa in 4A, "Get this.  I'm a Savior.  I don't even know what that means."  Neither do we, Emma.  Neither do we.

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2 hours ago, jhlipton said:

Rumple being a savior (with his mother and father???) pretty much destroyed any vestige of "specialness" the word might have had.

Just like "magic has consequences", they're only rare when the heroes need them.

This made me wonder.  What the hell was Rumple supposed to save the world from?  His mother was the one who created the Dark Curse.  Was it one of those self-fulfilling prophesies?

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1 hour ago, Camera One said:

When did they first expand the definition of the Savior to just a catch-all she has to save the world?  Two conversations that stick out in my memory is at the end of 3A when she has a heart-to-heart with David saying she's always going to be a Savior and she's never going to have a normal life.  The second one is when she tells Elsa in 4A, "Get this.  I'm a Savior.  I don't even know what that means."  Neither do we, Emma.  Neither do we.

In my opinion, Emma straight up explained what being a Savior means to her during her speech while she was fighting Gideon during the Final Battle. That she is hope and light and that she will spread that goodness by helping others and not giving in to her darker impulses. I think that what being a Savior means is different to each Savior.

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36 minutes ago, Camera One said:

This made me wonder.  What the hell was Rumple supposed to save the world from?  His mother was the one who created the Dark Curse.  Was it one of those self-fulfilling prophesies?

Good question. There wasn't a threat from anyone then. Unless it guessed who his parents would come and it would be his job to kill them.

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I was reading an old interview after the Season 3 finale.  Our old morality thread has fallen into the river of lost souls, but this reply from Eddy really encapsulates their morality equivalency.

Quote

TVLINE | Moving on to Maid Marian: Obviously the Regina fans are none too happy this morning. To quote one, “Why did you go to the trouble of redeeming her only to crush her heart all over again?”
HOROWITZ | Heres the thing: What we feel like we’ve done with Regina over three years is grown the character.... We’re throwing a challenge in her way. 
KITSIS | Also, there’s Emma’s side of this — does she feel any guilt? She saved someone’s life, but in a lot of ways crushed someone’s [life], just like her mom did. We’d like to play out the reality of all this.

Snow and Emma... crushing lives since once upon a time.

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TVLINE | But Robin Hood did think Marian already was dead before Regina went to execute her, right?
HOROWITZ | To clear it up: In Season 2 we saw Marian ill, which is why Robin was trying to steal the wand from Rumple. And then she was cured, and she went on to give birth to Roland. In Season 3, Robin Hood talks about how he lost his wife — not from the illness but a whole separate thing. So something clearly happened that we’ll explore next season, where they were separated and she died — and he certainly didn’t think the Evil Queen killed her. There’s a story there to be told.

Was there a story to be told?  Because I don't think they ever told it.  We never saw the backstory and the moment when Robin Hood found out/assumed Marian was dead.

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14 minutes ago, Camera One said:

She saved someone’s life, but in a lot of ways crushed someone’s [life], just like her mom did

Dear God.

Eddy Kitsis and his strange skewed morality comments about Regina strikes again!

Sure Emma saved a woman from being murdered by Regina but she obviously should have allowed her to murder Marian because poor, poor Regina deserves her victim's husband as her boyfriend...

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2 hours ago, oncebluethrone said:

I think that what being a Savior means is different in each episode.

Fixed that for you.

2 hours ago, andromeda331 said:

Good question. There wasn't a threat from anyone then. Unless it guessed who his parents would come and it would be his job to kill them.

"I'd rather marry a duck-billed playpus
Than end up like old Rumpoleus Rex!"

(To be fair. Oedipus didn't kill Jocasta -- he just triggered the events that made her kill herself.)

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It's funny how they had Emma in a sanitarium, trying to convince her that what she believed wasn't true. They used the same sort of thing in Buffy's Normal Again and Charmed's Brain Drain.

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Unlike in those episodes, the main character (Emma) doesn't succeed in realizing that the asylum world is fake.  She doesn't get convinced by her loved ones to remember her old self.  She doesn't actively save the day.  I suppose Emma did willingly come back from Boston (fixed... I wrote New York before), but that was just so unsatisfying, unlike the emotional realization that occurred in previous shows that have presented this scenario.  As usual, A&E can't even write a proper heroes' episode without making them pathetic in some way and giving the ultimate deciding action to a misunderstood villain (in this case, Rumple since he's the one who kills Fiona and shatters the dream world).

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2 hours ago, Camera One said:

 I suppose Emma did willingly come back from New York, but that was just so unsatisfying

It was incredibly unsatisfying because, like most of the emotionally important moments on this show, her epiphany happened offscreen. Obviously they wanted to preserve the surprise twist of her coming back to help Henry, but it means we had to listen to her tell Henry about what changed her mind instead of seeing it. Not to mention it would have been like a thousand times more satisfying if Hook had used his magic bean, found her in Boston and TLKed her memories back. (Sorry, I'm still bitter about that one!)

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15 minutes ago, Kktjones said:

Not to mention it would have been like a thousand times more satisfying if Hook had used his magic bean, found her in Boston and TLKed her memories back. (Sorry, I'm still bitter about that one!)

While I was watching the episode this was my expectation, I was so disappointed in this episode.

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3 minutes ago, daxx said:

While I was watching the episode this was my expectation

I was spoiled for Emma & Hook's reunion on Main Street, so I knew this wasn't going to happen, but boy did it seem like they were setting it up that way in the first half of the finale. So glad I was spoiled and knew to avoid any and all expectations or I would have been really disappointed as well!

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It was just not fun to watch fail after fail.  Henry fails trying to convince her in the psychiatric ward.  Henry fails trying to convince her on the rooftop where she got married.  Henry fails trying to convince her some other way I can't even remember.  Nothing jogs any memories in any location she visits in Storybrooke.  She encounters nothing from her parents.  She freak'in goes all the way to Boston.  Then, suddenly she shows up out of the blue, which was not a shocking surprise, plus she still didn't remember anything anyway.  

And then the whole Black Fairy subplot is made moot because it's STILL Gideon who tries to kill her and succeeds (only light can defeat light, don't you know?).  She might as well have let him "kill" her ten episodes before, have Henry TLK her and then we could have had half a season to watch them live out their happily ever afters.

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I finally made it to the end of season 2, and I have to say that there are a lot of similarities between 2B and season 6. Both strike me as almost like being the raw product of a brainstorming session -- you know, the kind of meeting that's about throwing out ideas, where you aren't allowed to analyze or criticize the ideas. But instead of assessing the ideas and then taking a couple to develop further, they just took everything that was on the whiteboard and said, "okay, there's our season." In 2B, we had Cora's quest for power, ended midway through (as abruptly as the Jekyll/Hyde threat was), Hook's quest for revenge, Rumple's quest for his son, Rumple dealing with Belle/Lacey, Snow's dark heart, the bean field and discussion about going back, Regina flip-flopping between hero and villain, Greg and Tamara and the Home Office plot, the Neal/Emma stuff, and Regina's scheme to kill everyone. And I think I've forgotten a couple. All these plot lines pop up or fade away at random. The thing that was The Most Important Thing in the World for a character becomes no big deal an episode later.

I feel like you can see the seams where they changed their minds about stuff. I don't know when they got the clearance to use Neverland or decided to drop the anti-magic crusade, but it kind of feels like they'd filmed the present-day parts of "Second Star to the Right" but not the flashbacks (since the flashbacks have an entirely separate cast), or else maybe had filmed flashbacks they decided to scrap when they knew they had to set up Neverland. The speech Greg and Tamara give to Hook to explain their cause makes absolutely no sense if they're really working for Pan or if Pan set up what they're doing (if Pan set all that up as a scheme to find the Truest Believer, then it's even more convoluted than Gideon's plan to open a bar in order to get Savior's tears so he could keep Hook away and kill Emma to open the portal so the Black Fairy could come through and fight Emma). The way they describe their cause in the next episode has subtly shifted, so it makes more sense then. The flashbacks don't really mesh with the episode, as Neal doesn't actually play a big role in the episode other than falling through the portal. So it seems like up until they were in the process of making that episode, they really were trying to write a people against magic story, and then they abruptly changed their minds and decided that the entire people against magic thing was just a front for Pan.

Incidentally, how would there be that many people in a world without magic willing to join a crusade against magic? Greg/Owen had cause, but would anyone else have actually run into magic, or were they all religious zealots of the sort who burn Harry Potter books because they think they teach magic and witchcraft? Wouldn't Storybrooke, a town made up of people victimized by a magic curse, have been prime recruiting ground for an anti-magic crusade? The town was created by magic, but there are only a very few magical people there. Even if they hadn't done an abrupt switch to "it was all a scheme from Pan," that storyline was underbaked.

I also still really feel like they were setting up a relationship between Emma and Neal at that time. It doesn't even really look like they were bringing Hook in for a triangle. There was all the talk about how Emma's suspicions of Tamara were just her being jealous, and Henry wanting to help Emma because he wanted her and Neal to get back together, plus the big, dramatic "I love you" at the portal. That's a lot of anvils for a character they were supposedly planning to kill because that was the most logical story outcome for him.

The writing gets really clunky in places, where people say things or make decisions that are purely about what the plot needs rather than what people would say or do, and there are all kinds of continuity errors. Didn't the giants talk about it taking a hundred years to bring in a crop of beans? And yet we have a whole field from one sprout in a matter of weeks. Emma completely freaks out at the thought of her parents wanting to use the beans to go back to the Enchanted Forest, but there was a whole field of them. If Regina hadn't destroyed them, then they could have commuted more easily than if Emma had moved to Boston or New York while her parents were in Storybrooke. The way Regina figured out about the beans had the plot strings showing. Emma warned her about being the person Henry wanted to be before she lost him forever, and Rumple had just warned her about not being able to have everything, that if she got her revenge, she'd lose Henry. Why would Regina in that context leap to the conclusion that Henry was going to be leaving forever, rather than the more obvious explanation that would have fit with what would already have been on her mind, that in pursuing her revenge, she'd cross a line that would make Henry turn against her forever? Then there was all the Greg and Tamara stuff, with her being on his phone as "Her" instead of a name, purely to hide info from the audience, or them talking to each other in private about "The Package," again purely to hide info from the audience. Maybe if one of them had been in public on the phone, but why use code words in private? Who does that? Tamara was supposedly bringing Neal's stuff in the U-Haul that also had Hook, but his apartment was still full and fully furnished a year later. I guess having Hook locked in the back of the truck was both about sneaking him into town (though it would have made more sense to get him on their side before bringing him into Storybrooke) and about having a lot of Hook's scenes being seated, given how badly Colin was limping through the last couple of episodes. If he had a few days of shooting where he didn't have to stand, that would have helped, especially if they were the first few days back after he broke his leg.

And then there's the Regina "redemption." They continued writing her as more or less irredeemable, like they were setting her up for a downfall, what with the village slaughter and plan to kill everyone in town. There were perhaps a few seeds for redemption planted, with Rumple in the present warning her that she couldn't have Henry and revenge and Rumple in the past pointing out that people hated her because she terrorized and slaughtered them, not because Snow existed, and the Hook echoing both points, that revenge is pointless and only ruins your own life, and people not liking them because they do horrible things. But none of that came up in her redemption. There's also the point that she truly convinced herself that Snow was evil and her revenge was justified, and meanwhile Snow saw the slaughter and decided she couldn't be forgiven -- and the two of them later became friends without ever reconciling that. Regina never renounced her belief that Snow was the truly evil one, and Snow never addressed how she got over the slaughter and changed her mind about Regina.

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After the season 2 finale I also thought they were going the Neal/ Emma route. I was terribly disappointed in that since I'd been waiting for more Emma /Hook stuff. I didn't know about Colin's leg. If not for that the end of the season might have had a different feel. It seemed pretty clear there was a triangle when I watched them at Comicon.

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On 9/3/2017 at 9:44 AM, oncebluethrone said:

That is not what I meant. The definition of Savior does not change every episode. 

It sometimes seems like it.especially in 6B.  What does "savior" mean if the son of an evil fairy and an irresponsible man-boy is a "savior".  Emma had to "cleansed" before she could the savior, and she was the product of The Truest Love.  Then we have the stupid shears which can "de-savior" anyone -- does another person then become the Slayer Savior?  Or is there not another savior until two random people have a child "destined" to be the savior?  (I hate Buffy Seasons 6 and 7, to the point of pretending they don't exist, but Season 7 handled the shift in Slayer mythology a lot better than OUAT has). 

As for what a savior means: for each savior: it meant nothing to Rumple, since he was a baby when he was "de-saviored".  For Aladdin, it meant saving Agrabah, then not caring, then helping Agrabah again, then helping others,  For Emma, it's meant breaking the First Curse, then helping others, then part of her "destiny" to fight the Blue Fairy (in terms of 6b, it didn't matter whether Emma was a hero or a villain or a hermit, her being a "savior" meant she was going to fight the Blue Fairy.)

In short (too late!), the definition of savior has varied more per episode than by season or by savior.

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There are many unanswered questions and a lot of BS that various characters spew.  In the very first episode of 6A, Jafar reveals that the hand shaking happens to "every" Savior.  How many has there been?  The Oracle told Emma that her visions were a small piece of "the end of your story, Savior"... uh, no, it wasn't.  And then later, Hyde (who has met other Saviors?) declares that whenever there's a Savior, there's a villain who brings them down and every Savior dies (were there a whole slew of loser Saviors who ran off to The Land of Untold Stories or something?).  Meanwhile, Emma has her own warped definition of Savior in episode 2, "Because I'm the Savior.  If I don't help people, then who am I?" when Archie asks if the Savior can't take a day off.  Then in episode 3, The wise Evil Queen declares "That's the tragic thing about being  savior.  You have to keep saving people.  But once you're off the chessboard everything falls apart."  Uh, since when.  99% of the time, Emma doesn't even save the day.  

The "definition" of anything on this show continually shifts.  It took us six episodes in 6A to find out that the Shears of Destiny doesn't just work on the Savior.  You can use them to change the fate of anyone!  Why are the fates of people pre-determined?  Why would using the Shears on Belle immediately mean Gideon won't hate Rumple?  

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How did Aladdin manage to keep his Shears?  You'd think it would have ended up in Gold's shop.  He couldn't "sense" these all powerful shears were in Storybrooke? 

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4 hours ago, daxx said:

After the season 2 finale I also thought they were going the Neal/ Emma route. I was terribly disappointed in that since I'd been waiting for more Emma /Hook stuff.

In previous rewatches, I thought they were setting up a Hook/Emma thing in "Tallahassee" because the present day and the flashbacks lined up to show Neal being a louse and abandoning Emma while Hook was working at her side, taking risks for her, and cheering her on. Now, though, I wonder if the sense that there might be something between Hook and Emma was a case of the acting/cast chemistry and that writing idiot savant thing. I'm not sure they did plan those parallels. They were likely writing for plot and needed Neal to abandon Emma (to create the circumstances of Henry's birth) and needed a reason for Emma to betray Hook. They may not have even noticed that what they set up also had Hook doing the opposite of Neal. Then a lot of the connection and chemistry had to do with the performances and acting choices. Colin did that intense eye contact thing and improvised tying the bandage with his teeth (while maintaining that intense eye contact), and then put a lot of enthusiasm into Hook's support of Emma. The result was probably a lot more heat than was planned. The reason I've started wondering if that's what happened is that aside from a bit of innuendo during the fight by the portal and then in the hospital after Hook was hit by a car, they pretty much dropped any hint of anything between Hook and Emma for the rest of the season. She doesn't react when he's mentioned, and he doesn't seem to be at all interested in her -- doesn't make any attempt to contact her when he's back in town, doesn't seem to care about her hanging out with Neal. It's his memory of Bae that makes him turn the ship around. It's only later that they retcon it to suggest that he was also influenced by Emma. The Hook/Emma relationship only seems to pick up again deliberately in the writing in the season 3 premiere, when they have their private little wake for Neal and his line about fancying her when she's not yelling at him. So, it does seem like Neal was the plan from the start and they didn't count on Neal making such a bad impression on viewers and Hook making such a good impression, so they changed plans between seasons, first to making it a triangle and later to giving up on Neal. That's where I wonder if someone at the network had a say. If it was the writers who decided that Neal just wasn't working for them and they were going to go all-in with Hook, I don't think they'd have bothered sanctifying Neal after he was gone. Or I guess that could have something to do with the fact that they apparently recruited MRJ for the role and felt bad about then writing him out.

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They obviously did that to make fans who miss him feel better (even though it doesn't) and to convince them they cared about the character (when they never demonstrated they did).  Given what we now know about A&E, it's not a surprise at all that they were more interested in Hook.  He's an ex-villain with sassy one-liners and has "bad boy" appeal but puppy dog eyes.  They always prefer writing redemption stories.  Given their disinterest in writing ordinary life, why would they be interested in Neal's backstory after Neverland?  In fact, they never bothered to show Baelfire's transition to Neal.  After "Manhattan", they had him doing nothing in Storybrooke, despite potential meaty stories with Rumple, Henry or Emma.  He got the kidnapped victim role in 3A, before they killed him off, using his flashback centric to feature Rumple and the Pied Piper instead of using MRJ.   They may have considered doing a triangle for longer than they did, but probably got bored and/or knew along that Neal would be the perfect sacrificial lamb to ensure they can get villain Rumple back. 

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2 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

In previous rewatches, I thought they were setting up a Hook/Emma thing in "Tallahassee" because the present day and the flashbacks lined up to show Neal being a louse and abandoning Emma while Hook was working at her side, taking risks for her, and cheering her on. Now, though, I wonder if the sense that there might be something between Hook and Emma was a case of the acting/cast chemistry and that writing idiot savant thing. I'm not sure they did plan those parallels. They were likely writing for plot and needed Neal to abandon Emma (to create the circumstances of Henry's birth) and needed a reason for Emma to betray Hook. They may not have even noticed that what they set up also had Hook doing the opposite of Neal. Then a lot of the connection and chemistry had to do with the performances and acting choices. Colin did that intense eye contact thing and improvised tying the bandage with his teeth (while maintaining that intense eye contact), and then put a lot of enthusiasm into Hook's support of Emma. The result was probably a lot more heat than was planned. The reason I've started wondering if that's what happened is that aside from a bit of innuendo during the fight by the portal and then in the hospital after Hook was hit by a car, they pretty much dropped any hint of anything between Hook and Emma for the rest of the season. She doesn't react when he's mentioned, and he doesn't seem to be at all interested in her -- doesn't make any attempt to contact her when he's back in town, doesn't seem to care about her hanging out with Neal. It's his memory of Bae that makes him turn the ship around. It's only later that they retcon it to suggest that he was also influenced by Emma. The Hook/Emma relationship only seems to pick up again deliberately in the writing in the season 3 premiere, when they have their private little wake for Neal and his line about fancying her when she's not yelling at him. So, it does seem like Neal was the plan from the start and they didn't count on Neal making such a bad impression on viewers and Hook making such a good impression, so they changed plans between seasons, first to making it a triangle and later to giving up on Neal. That's where I wonder if someone at the network had a say. If it was the writers who decided that Neal just wasn't working for them and they were going to go all-in with Hook, I don't think they'd have bothered sanctifying Neal after he was gone. Or I guess that could have something to do with the fact that they apparently recruited MRJ for the role and felt bad about then writing him out.

A&E said in an interview once that they'd always planned to have Hook fall in love with Emma and for me the beginning of Captain Swan was Tallahassee. The set-up is obvious in my opinion when you go back and rewatch the episode and it wasn't obvious when I first watched it. From what I can tell, they were never planning on having Neal and Emma get back together. This is based on Neal being the person who caused Emma to build her walls in the first place and because nothing in 2B or 3A told me she was interested in rekindling their relationship. And because most of Neal's screen time had to do with his relationship with his father and Henry and not his past with Emma. I also think it's possible that Neal was always meant to be killed off because baelfyr means sacrificial fire in Old English (according to oldenglishtranslator.co.uk when you translate "funeral" to Old English) (I've seen another translation that says it means funeral pyre).  As far as Hook goes, I think he was to obsessed with his revenge quest at the time. I think that he might have been considering giving up his revenge before Emma betrayed him because he compared the dead magic bean to her as something that was once full of hope and possibility, but is now dried-up and useless. 

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53 minutes ago, oncebluethrone said:

A&E said in an interview once ...

We know how very accurate all their interviews are, especially about what they "always planned".

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I just saw a deleted scene from 5A I've never seen before, with Guinevere and Snow working the soup line.  The dialogue was poorly written (they've really lost their ability to write meaningful heart-to-hearts) and ultimately pointless, but I did like the concept of them actually showing the Camelot refugees, and having Snow interact with the memory-less Guinevere.  We saw so little of it in the actual episodes, and they made the same mistake again with the Untold Stories people.  It's bizarre how much Guinevere got ignored... I really don't get it.  I guess she was as "boring" as Marian to A&E.

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One way they could have fixed Regina's snark was deflecting it to the villains. No one was offended when she called Cruella and Ursula, "pound puppy and fish sticks". It was actually kind of a funny line. Another possibility would be for her to reflect what the audience is thinking. When she told Rumple in 3A, "What is this? Amateur hour?" It was satisfying because we were all shaking our heads at Rumple for believing Shadow!Belle was real. But no one related to Regina making a pregnancy fat joke to Snow, and her calling Hercules "wonder boy" was incredibly forced. Even calling the Blind Witch "child muncher" was pretty tone-deaf, considering she herself sent her most of the children she ate. I'd be perfectly fine with Redeemed!Regina's snark if it was in better taste.

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1 hour ago, KingOfHearts said:

she herself sent her most of the children she ate. I'd be perfectly fine with Redeemed!Regina's snark if it was in better taste.

Sorry, Charlie, we don't want children that taste good; we want children with good taste!

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1 hour ago, jhlipton said:

Sorry, Charlie, we don't want children that taste good; we want children with good taste!

I sort of made a pun there and didn't realize it. I'm disappointed in myself for not seeing it!

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