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S03.E03: Quite a Common Fairy

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As the search for Henry continues, Hook suggests tracking down Tinker Bell in the hope that she will lead them to Peter Pan's camp, while Neal devises a plan in order to get to Emma. Meanwhile, back in fairy tale land, Tinker Bell offers to help improve Regina's life.

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Quite a common story about Regina.

I still love how Blue implies Tinkerbelle should have let Regina fall and die.  That's how the good guys should think.

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"Underdog" Regina has someone willing to help her find happiness and then we see her self-sabotage it while screwing over the person offering to help. I do like how Emma gets to snark at Regina. So how did you screw her over? Did you steal her halo? It's nice when someone is able to acknowledge that that's basically what Regina does. She destroys lives.

Also, Neal is horrible and Robin is a moron. I love how it takes Neal approximately two seconds to plan to use Roland as bait. And then Robin gives in because he inexplicably goes along with Neal's idea that he owes Rumpel for not killing him. These people are seriously messed up.

Edited by KAOS Agent
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I do love that Emma immediately realized Regina did something to Tinkerbelle. This should be their go to reaction when it comes to Regina. Poor sad Regina was so miserable in the past but when presented with a chance to leave and happiness she won't do it. Nope, doesn't go and screws Tinkerebelle over. Let's listen to Regina in the past complain about her life. She's only Queen and can do whatever she wants. Her husband leaves her alone and she's able to have all the time in the world for magic lessons with the Dark One or gang out with Tinkerbelle. No real duties. And once again she didn't have to marry Leo.

I laughed at Blue's response that Tinkerbelle should have let Regina fall to her death. Well, that would have solved everything. Regina dies and a million or so people don't die or get Cursed by Regina. Where's the downside? Same when Tinkerbell has Regina's heart. Why is it a bad thing if Tinkerbelle crushes it? Regina only murdered, cursed and stole hearts of millions of people. She deserves it. 

Ah, yes and Neal. Taking one look at Roland and deciding to use him as bait. Yeah, that really makes me love him. Robin going along with it because Rumple didn't kill him. Hey, he only tortured Robin. I still remember Television without Pity's review and thought about it during the re-watch. 

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I don't mind Neal suggesting using Roland so much as I mind Robin going along with it. Neal  is pretty sure that his own son is in danger, so he's desperate. He also thinks -- rightly -- that he isn't putting Roland in all that much danger ,as they do have a credible plan for making sure Neal's the one who winds up leaving with the shadow. But from Robin's perspective, Neal wanting to get back to Emma and help rescue Henry should not be nearly enough of a reason to put his son in any danger.

With the usual caveat that, after everything she's done, I never really find it credible when Regina is depicted as a non-sociopath, Regina actually isn't terrible in the Neverland scenes. I especially like her "What I always do" when Emma asks her what she did to Tinkerbelle, where you really do get a sense of regret and self-loathing. But the flashbacks are just another part of the unconvincing "poor Regina" narrative the show wants to sell. Regina calls herself a prisoner, but then, she also claims that Snow "had her fiancée murdered," which shows us how reliable she is. And as Snow adored Regina at the time of the marriage, and Leopold seems to have at least been a decent guy, if things have deteriorated since then, it is presumably Regina's own damn fault.

Then we have Blue's reason for not letting Tink help Regina, which -- like last season, when people were blaming her for killing Archie, rather than for one of her many, many, actual crimes -- is a strawman that manipulates us into sympathizing with her. Even at this point in the story, there's some really good reasons Blue could have had for refusing to help. Namely "She's already killed one innocent person, is plotting revenge against a child for an well-intentioned mistake, and willingly entered into the marriage she is now complaining about - which would make her pursuing true love with another man complicated in any case." Instead, she blames her for being Cora's daughter and learning magic from Rumple, which shouldn't on its own be enough to make her unworthy of aid. 

The soulmate thing is stupid anyway. Unless there's some magical mechanism for making sure all true soulmates meet at the most opportune time and place, presumably tons of people don't wind up with their soulmates, and manage to have perfectly happy lives anyway. If Regina had married Daniel, she and Robin Hood wouldn't have wound up together- and Robin seems to have been happily married to Marian. Even now, after losing her, his life doesn't seem to be "ruined." So the whole concept is incoherent.

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2 hours ago, companionenvy said:

Then we have Blue's reason for not letting Tink help Regina, which -- like last season, when people were blaming her for killing Archie, rather than for one of her many, many, actual crimes -- is a strawman that manipulates us into sympathizing with her.  Even at this point in the story, there's some really good reasons Blue could have had for refusing to help. Namely "She's already killed one innocent person, is plotting revenge against a child for an well-intentioned mistake, and willingly entered into the marriage she is now complaining about - which would make her pursuing true love with another man complicated in any case."  Instead, she blames her for being Cora's daughter and learning magic from Rumple, which shouldn't on its own be enough to make her unworthy of aid. 

I definitely agree about the strawman and that this episode was designed to have the viewers sympathesize with Regina.  At this point, I'm not sure if Blue would know Regina killed the gypsy in the forest, or that Regina was plotting revenge.  I think learning magic from Rumple - which would no doubt be dark magic - was a legitimate argument for why she was unworthy of aid.  Considering Tinkerbelle was using fairy dust on Regina when there were others out there who needed help.

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even Tink blame her for things that aren't really her fault rather than focusing on the things that are, which manipulates the viewer into sympathizing with the villain.

Tinkerbelle's anger in the present was indeed very displaced.  The whole setup was to ensure the audience was sympathetic to Regina and be afraid that she would be in danger.

It's another "What a shame, Regina was soooo close to getting over her revenge and getting her happy ending.  She was so unfairy judged (I was going to fix that typo but it actually fits)... such an underdog like Hollywood writers and me".

Edited by Camera One
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9 hours ago, companionenvy said:

He also thinks -- rightly -- that he isn't putting Roland in all that much danger ,as they do have a credible plan for making sure Neal's the one who winds up leaving with the shadow.

I'm not sure why anyone thinks Roland is out of danger after Neal leaves with the Shadow. He came back to the Darlings' house again and again and took multiple children. Why would they believe that the Shadow won't come back for the kid it originally came for? Also, you don't risk a four year old like that unless it's a life or death situation and even then it's highly questionable. Bae had survived for a century or more in Neverland. Neal was in the Enchanted Forest for like one day at that point. He hadn't even begun to explore ways to get to Neverland. There was no reason for Neal to believe that the danger was so dire as to put another child at risk no matter how minimal they think it might be.

I did like that they clearly made that scene fun for the child actor and didn't try to get him to act scared or terrify him. He was obviously loving whatever was going on during filming.

9 hours ago, companionenvy said:

Regina calls herself a prisoner, but then, she also claims that Snow "had her fiancée murdered," which shows us how reliable she is.

Regina was also sitting at some random outdoor pub with no guards or supervision, so it's hard to give credence to her prisoner claim. There are way too many flashbacks where we see Regina out alone unworried about being spotted during her marriage to believe that her activities were curtailed in the manner she pretends.

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Too bad we never got a flashback where we saw Snow and Leopold on their tour of the kingdom admitting it was a mistake to bring Regina the Sadsack Queen into the family.

Edited by Camera One
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13 hours ago, Camera One said:

Too bad we never got a flashback where we saw Snow and Leopold on their tour of the kingdom admitting it was a mistake to bring Regina the Sadsack Queen into the family.

Or thanking their lucky stars she wanted to stay home.

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16 hours ago, KAOS Agent said:

Regina was also sitting at some random outdoor pub with no guards or supervision, so it's hard to give credence to her prisoner claim. There are way too many flashbacks where we see Regina out alone unworried about being spotted during her marriage to believe that her activities were curtailed in the manner she pretends.

That was weird to me. The Queen is out randomly having a lunch with a stranger in broad daylight? Did no one notice she was missing? Did no one recognize her? Was there a line about a glamour spell that got cut? You've got Belle who was actually imprisoned, and then you've got Regina who apparently has no detrimental ties at all. Regina is one of those people who complains about how their life sucks because of circumstances out of their control, only for the reality to be that it's their own dang choices. She can change things any time. It's especially annoying when you compare it to other characters of the show who really had no choice and had to make the best of it.

Sometimes I think Regina has a bigger victim complex than all of Tumblr put together.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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Completely unneeded flashback. Only there for the soulmate revelation. I’d much rather have seen a flashback of Tink helping Bae.

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There's so much I hate about this episode.

I do like the casting of Tinkerbell. It's another one that seems right out of the book illustrations. I just hate that the character is so far from the book character, even though the title of the episode is a reference to the way the book character was. She was a "common fairy" because she cursed like a sailor (though all we heard was chimes). Book Tinkerbell was sneaky, so jealous of Wendy that she plotted her death, but so loyal to Pan that she drank poison to keep him from doing so. Show Tink is just kind of a sad sack.

I'm not a fan of the "soulmates" concept because it's generally lazy writing -- why bother writing a relationship that shows a couple are true soulmates when you can just say they're soulmates? It takes a lot of the tension out of a story if you tell us up front they belong together. The only way to have conflict is to have the supposed soulmates hate everything about each other and be total opposites until they accept that they're soulmates and fall in love (and you'd think that soulmates would actually get along and not be total opposites) or to have some kind of external conflict, like a Romeo and Juliet situation. It gets icky if one (or both) of the soulmates is married to someone else. I really hate that implication that Regina ruined Robin's life, given that he seems to have been happy with Marian and he loves his son.

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And it's even worse, given what we later learn about Marian being who turned Robin's life around and that Regina was the reason Robin lost her -- that would be the real way Regina ruined his life.

Then there's the way that Tink is basically encouraging a married woman to cheat. Worse, she's a queen, so cheating on the king would be considered treason.

And then there's the mess with Neal and Robin, and Robin feeling obligated to put his 4-year-old son at risk because Neal's father stopped torturing him and showed him a sliver of decency.

I did like the scene in Tink's home, with that moment of bonding between Emma and Snow.

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No matter where you go in the multiverse, there will always be someone there whos life was ruined by Regina! Regina: the second she enters your life, everything goes down hill! I almost laughed at Regina ranting to Tink about how Snow just runs around "sharing secrets" and how she "had my fiance killed", thats just so Regina. She rewrites history to make herself look better, and has an obsessive hatred towards a little kid, for reasons that are utter nonsense. Also, why isnt she with Snow and Leopold anyway? Why is the queen just sitting around, lunching with some random fairy at a picnic spot? I always thought that queens had a bit more to do, especially in a monarchy? 

There is a lot to like in this episode. As far as Regina flashbacks go, at least they resisted the urge to have her slaughter countless innocents to make us feel bad for Regina, and Rose McIver is really great as Tinkerbell, both the cheerful younger one, and the cynical Neverland one. I spend a lot of this episode wishing we saw more of her, and her history with Hook and Pan, and how she ended up in Neverland in the first place. That sounds like a way better story than just hearing about how much it sucks to be Regina for the billionth time. I kind of love Blue telling Tink that she should have just let Regina fall. Oh, the lives that could have been saved! Of course, its not for any of the real reasons to want to take Regina out, its for a really stupid reason. 

You know, I get why Neal is so desperate to get to Neverland to save Henry that he would use a kid as bait, but its super messed up that Robin was apparently alright with it after just a short conversation. Because, of course, he owes Rumple for only torturing him, and not killing him! I swear, this show...

Poor Mulan. I forgot thats when this whole love triangle thing was, I felt so awful for everyone involved. 

Spoiler

And, of course, she doesn't end up paired with anyone or get any resolution to her lost love. Why would we want that?!?

The soulmates thing is so stupid, and raises so many freaking questions. Does everyone have a magic pixie dust soulmate, or at Regina and Robin just lucky? Then why isnt it ever brought uo again? If fairies know about this, why dont more of them tell people about it? Does that mean if Regina really had married Daniel, it wouldn't have been a happy marriage anyway, because they arent soulmates? Because if Regina not going into the tavern ruined not only her life, but his life too, doesn't that mean her life with Daniel, and Robins life with Marian, would just be awful and miserably? Because, yeah, isnt it nice to know that Robin Hood and Maid Marian, one of English lits most famous couples, are basically just settling for each other, and were clearly miserable, and her dying was the best thing that could have happened to Robin? Well thats just AWESOME. 

Spoiler

Of course this leads to Outlaw Queen, a couple that ranges from dull at best, to disgusting at worst, and will lead to Marian being just an obstacle to get beyond, and Robin stuffed into a fridge to give Regina more angst. One of the great heroes on western folklore, killed as an afterthought, after he did nothing but cheat on his wife with her killer. Isn't that something to look forward to?!

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It's funny how..

 

 Robin's poor judgement here is completely consistent with what we see of his character later. He couldn't tell his own wife was actually Zelena, he was fine dating the woman who murdered his wife and countless others, and he let Hades babysit his daughter. (Not to mention his unncessary trip to the Underworld left his son an orphan.) He doesn't have much discernment, does he?

Edited by KingOfHearts
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7 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Poor Mulan. I forgot thats when this whole love triangle thing was, I felt so awful for everyone involved. 

Oh, that's the other thing I hated about this episode, and I'm afraid I'm not really on Team Mulan here because she's kind of being a jerk (in her favor, she doesn't go through with it, but it seemed to be the pregnancy news, not the realization that she was betraying her friend, that stopped her). She and Philip were already friends before she met Aurora. She knew Philip was in love with Aurora because they were trying to find and save her. She knew a True Love's Kiss worked to wake Aurora, so she had magical proof that Philip and Aurora were true love. Even thinking about making any kind of move on Aurora was a jerk move. Not every thought and feeling has to be expressed, and telling your friend's significant other that you love them is being a lousy friend. They were a couple before either of them met Mulan, and it's not like their relationship was disintegrating, since the TLK worked. Friends don't do that kind of thing. The whole "if you love someone, you have to tell them, even if they're with someone else and happy" thing is such a Hollywood trope, and it makes me furious every time I see it.

7 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Because if Regina not going into the tavern ruined not only her life, but his life too, doesn't that mean her life with Daniel, and Robins life with Marian, would just be awful and miserably?

Which would mean that Regina wreaked all this havoc and murdered all those people over the loss of someone who wasn't even her soulmate and her life and his would have been ruined if Snow hadn't told Cora and they were prevented from running away together.

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8 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

Friends don't do that kind of thing.

What do you mean?  One of my best friends tried to kill my mother for years (she tried to kill me once too - we laugh about it now), another married someone who was ultimately responsible for ruining my childhood, and a third left me to die in an apocalyptic situation (don't worry, he changed his mind in the last moment and shiver me timbers when I think how he used to joke about jabbing his sword into me!).  I would totally adopt a fourth best friend who tells my significant other that they're in love with them.

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45 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

Which would mean that Regina wreaked all this havoc and murdered all those people over the loss of someone who wasn't even her soulmate and her life and his would have been ruined if Snow hadn't told Cora and they were prevented from running away together.

Its almost like this stupid retcon retroactively makes the whole inciting incident of the series totally pointless! Like finding out that Rumple had the means to travel worlds and find his son just laying around in his storage closet, and this whole centuries long Machiavellian scheme to create the curse was a huge waste of time! Or that maybe, just maybe, this show has really crappy and inconsistent world building! But on this show? Nooooooo! 

I mean, sure they cant remember major details of how this world works, or character motivations of the main heroes, but they can really remember the important things throughout the seasons, like how Robin gives zero fucks about the safety of his family, or how the Evil Queen is a sexual predator who should be on a list somewhere! Priorities! 

And that smirk when Regina heard that Greg was dead! Like she is just thinking "Well, thats another murder I can get away with! Only 7,998 to go!" 

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51 minutes ago, Camera One said:

What do you mean?  One of my best friends tried to kill my mother for years (she tried to kill me once too - we laugh about it now), another married someone who was ultimately responsible for ruining my childhood, and a third left me to die in an apocalyptic situation (don't worry, he changed his mind in the last moment and shiver me timbers when I think how he used to joke about jabbing his sword into me!).  I would totally adopt a fourth best friend who tells my significant other that they're in love with them.

Well, when you put it that way, it sounds practically healthy. However, most of those actions were depicted as being bad at the time (well, aside from Belle marrying Rumple). The show sort of wavers on whether Regina was really justified in trying to kill Snow, but generally shows that the murder attempts were bad, and Hook was immediately guilt-stricken about leaving because he knew it was the wrong thing to do. But the whole message of the Mulan part of the story in this episode was "if you love someone, you should tell them, no matter what!" and no, you shouldn't if that someone is married/getting married to your friend and you know they're truly in love with each other. The show seemed to be saying that Mulan wimped out by running off to join the Merry Men instead of telling, or maybe that she only didn't tell because Aurora was pregnant but otherwise she would have tried to split up her friends and that was the right thing to do.

The whole thing is also annoying because they only threw this in because of fan pressure. When Philip and Mulan were introduced, it was made really clear that Mulan was in love with Philip and only tolerating Aurora for his sake. But the shippers got excited about the hate turning into respect while Mulan was fiercely protective of Aurora and the physical imagery of the heart return, so the writers threw this in, then tried to claim representation credit for it.

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26 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

The whole thing is also annoying because they only threw this in because of fan pressure. When Philip and Mulan were introduced, it was made really clear that Mulan was in love with Philip and only tolerating Aurora for his sake. But the shippers got excited about the hate turning into respect while Mulan was fiercely protective of Aurora and the physical imagery of the heart return, so the writers threw this in, then tried to claim representation credit for it.

I totally forgot about that. 

Since we now have

Spoiler

The wonderful Ruby Slippers to look back on fondly.

I wonder if they had any further plans for Philip/Aurora/Mulan beyond this.  Or if at this point, the toddlers through the shiny toy over the fence and it was lost.

Edited by Camera One

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9 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Its almost like this stupid retcon retroactively makes the whole inciting incident of the series totally pointless! Like finding out that Rumple had the means to travel worlds and find his son just laying around in his storage closet, and this whole centuries long Machiavellian scheme to create the curse was a huge waste of time! Or that maybe, just maybe, this show has really crappy and inconsistent world building! But on this show? Nooooooo! 

I mean, sure they cant remember major details of how this world works, or character motivations of the main heroes, but they can really remember the important things throughout the seasons, like how Robin gives zero fucks about the safety of his family, or how the Evil Queen is a sexual predator who should be on a list somewhere! Priorities! 

And that smirk when Regina heard that Greg was dead! Like she is just thinking "Well, thats another murder I can get away with! Only 7,998 to go!" 

Yes, they are excellent at undermining their own stories and forgetting important things. They could have come with ways to explain why Rumple was unable to use other options. They could  have shown Rumple trying other options and failing, getting desperate and finally turning to the Curse. They could have shown the fairies working against him by hiding many of the other options or that magic was working against him since he was the Dark One. Nah, instead went with showing almost a dozen different ways he could have made it over but waited as centuries passed and zero guarantee or really zero way to know if Bae was killed at any point or died of old age. Bae was in Neverland for how long? He couldn't take time out of his busy schedule of manipulating everyone to eventually curse them and go collect his son. 

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13 hours ago, Camera One said:

I wonder if they had any further plans for Philip/Aurora/Mulan beyond this. 

Spoiler

Still forever bitter that the damning of Philip's soul never came up during the Underworld arc, which Mulan had an episode in. Surely, they saved him from the Underworld just like Emma was doing for Hook.

14 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Like finding out that Rumple had the means to travel worlds and find his son just laying around in his storage closet

It still bothers me that Rumple had a crystal ball he could've easily found Bae with. Like, if you're going to put that in retcon in, you need to show something like Rumple being too afraid to go to Neverland.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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8 hours ago, KingOfHearts said:

It still bothers me that Rumple had a crystal ball he could've easily found Bae with. Like, if you're going to put that in retcon in, you need to show something like Rumple being too afraid to go to Neverland.

Hello,

You know when you're looking in the cupboard for paprika and it's there, but you just can't see it?  

That's what happened with Rumple and the crystal ball.

Hope that helps,

A&E

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4 hours ago, Camera One said:

Hello,

You know when you're looking in the cupboard for paprika and it's there, but you just can't see it?  

That's what happened with Rumple and the crystal ball.

Hope that helps,

A&E

So the reason this show exists is because Rumple didn't have an optometrist?

That explains a lot.

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Up until the reveal that he had the crystal ball that would have clearly shown him that Bae was in Neverland for a century, I always thought that Rumpel understood that there were other options to get to Bae, but he needed to have his magic available too. It's how Rumpel works. He claims it was all about Bae, but his magic was still more important. He wanted to have his cake and eat it too. As far as I can tell, none of the other methods of getting to this world would have allowed him to return to the Enchanted Forest. It would have left him stuck here because there was no magic in the world. He knew that there was a prophecy that he would reunite with Bae, so there wasn't a worry about that. He had time to figure out a way to have it all.

Neverland, however, is not so difficult to get to and it has magic. It also showed that there was a way to get to the Land without Magic and back from Neverland. The writers stopped putting any thought into worldbuilding during S1 (and most of that thought was not their own, but I suspect that of the network and their mentors, who do care about that kind of thing). They don't care that they've basically destroyed the whole basis for their story. 

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