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  1. That one scene changed my opinion On Brec Bassinger's acting, up until now I thought she was, you know, good enough as a teenage superhero in a fairly light-hearted story, but the weight of emotion she put across in a fairly small change of expression-so you could actually believe Douchetube Sam wouldn't notice it at all-was very impressive. You could see her little heart breaking in that moment and it was great because I am an awful monster. The point where she went back in to hug Pat is the best payoff for that heartbreak, I think, any punishment you could dish out on Sam doesn't change anything, but it's very cathartic after that to see that she does have someone who'll act like a real father.
  2. @CCTC regarding Rumple's characterisation. I think I read an interview where Carlyle said he thought of Rumple as a solid baddie and didn't think he should get a happy ending. Is it possible there was a bit of dissonance between the writing and the acting?
  3. Quick question for those paying more attention than I was; I seem to remember someone saying they didn't know if Shiro Ito could be killed-hence he's still very spry even though he must be over 100. So what is the likelihood of him not being really dead?
  4. This is a pretty interesting idea, I don't think it would have gotten on to tv and o don't think it would have been successful if it had because you'd have 5he same (kind of) show with the same actors playing different people and a lot of long term fans would find this confusing and infuriating. Still as an idea it's pretty interesting and it might have been a good way to drop all the baggage of the last 6 seasons-which had at that point reached a level of convolution usually reserved for superhero comics. As far as which characters would be which... Wish Hook and Alice could pretty easily just be Rapunzel and Rapunzel's dad-this gets rid of an inconsistency that's been noted here, that Killian Jones is defined by the fact he's determined to the point of self destruction, so he wouldn't leave his daughter alone because of a heart attack curse laid on him. If he wasn't Killian Jones but some hapless farmer who, somehow, had lost his daughter to a terrifying witch, itd be a lot more believable that he'd be scared off and that the rest of his arc could be him trying to atone for abandoning his child (which a lot of normal people would do if Gothel was, as in the Grimm version, 'feared by all the world') I'm not sure who Regina and Henry could be, maybe it would be best not to make them mother and son, at least if we're using the same actors - although maybe she could be some kind of immortal being. Have to think about that one. Rumpy-Rumpty Tumpty... Could you make him Humpty Dumpty if he'd been healed by some dark magic that was keeping him alive when all the King's horses and men couldn't? (Never been clear on what they thought the horses were going to contribute there anyway...) Actually seriously I wondered if you could bring in The Black Cauldron-its not something Disney is proud if anymore but it's a pretty fun and distinctive little movie. Rumple could be someone brought to life by the Cauldron, maybe he's the Horned King or one of his minions, who wants to destroy it so he can die. I think there's a possibility there. Not sure what you'd do with the rest of the characters. I thought their take on the Cinderella story, where Cindy's mother was the stepmother, was kind of interesting, but it really tangles (eeyyy!) things up by making that part of the Rapunzel story as well. Tiana and Naveen and Facilier could just be jettisoned entirely or swapped out for basically any prince, princess and evil wizard. Make them Prince Ivan, Maria Morevna and Koschei the Deathless and aside from some viewers being confused by black people having Russian names you'd lose (and gain) nothing.
  5. In my head cannons it's an entirely new timeline some indeterminate time after Henry's graduation, and the United Realms Curse deleted the entire future after it was cast and reset the universe, or sheared them off into a new timeline Abrams-Trek style. Also at the end of this episode the universe was going to implode due to the weight of all these paradoxes, which is why the curse was necessary. Regina just pitched it like 'hey, wouldn't it be fun if we merged the whole fictional multiverse? Don't that sound neat?' because her family had had a really rough day and she didn't want to worry them. She's nice like that. Baby Swan was just conceived earlier, so it's not the same baby as in the original timeline- if you want a reason why I'd guess that Past Rumple either left town after the merging or got killed with the other Rumples and the Swans decided to try fir a baby once he was out of the way, whereas originally it took that extra 5-10 years before they were sure he was really gone. No, really, if you were Killian Jones would you bring a child into the world with THAT as your neighbour? Or even with the possibility he'd come back? With all your history? I wouldn't. None of the other Ginas are at Roni's coronation because, shit, would you go to see a better version of you get crowned Queen of Everything? Original Henry has had enough of all this nonsense and he, Grace, Violet and Enchanted Forest Hansel have formed a band called 'The Death of the Author' and gone touring around New England in nice towns with no magic fairy tale bullshit. 'Hello Greendale! Are you ready to rock?!'
  6. So, King George-leys think about what he could have been in season 2 onward In season 1 King George is clearly a nasty piece of work, but unlike Regina or Rumplestiltskin, our headline villains, he seems to be driven by practical concerns rather than emotional ones. He needs an heir so he bargains with Rumplestiltskin and he needs his heir to make an alliance so he blackmails David. He does horrible things to David in order to get his way, but you could easily make him a man who thinks he's, if not a good person, then a person doing what needs to be done. Tywin Lannister, basically. But Tywin Lannister lives in a world where dragons are mostly dead and things mostly make sense. George doesn't. All the military acumen and shrewd investment in the world won't help against people or things that can topple your castle and turn your army into geckos with a flamboyant wave. So in spite of all his political power he is, from a certain perspective, an underdog, a man trying to establish some kind of order in a world of madness. Look at that scene where Regina interrupts Charming's execution, he's talking back to her like she's just an annoying friend who's calling him at work, when she could snap him in half with a gesture. He might be evil but that's pretty ballsy, that's 'shout at a tiger and it'll assume you're scarier than it is' type logic. In Fairytale Land he was a king, in America he's a lawyer. I think that was a big missed opportunity in season 2. He has no superpowers, but he has contacts, he knows all the important people from the Enchanted Forest, and there must be some people who'd respect his rank as a king anyway. Furthermore, he knows the law and the way the real world works. If he can avoid getting vaporised by an angry magic person that makes him pretty dangerous, he could be a political force in the town and - depending on how you wanted this to work- he could threaten to get the real world involved, which is not something anyone wants. The existence of Storybrooke is existentially terrifying for every and any government in the world, it shows that borders, records, human memory and the laws of physics are basically useless in stopping people and creatures, some of them literally monsters, from SOMEWHERE ELSE arriving and doing whatever they want. If there's going to be an anti magic faction in season 2, don't half ass the idea of some secret society of witch Hunters. Here you have a powerful, connected character with existing beef with the heroes who has every reason to want the magic gone, both for personal gain and potentially as a matter of principle. Murdering some random and trying to pin it on the friendly werewolf is not what I'd expect from a guy with his skill set.
  7. In Robin Hood's case it kind of makes sense he'd think he owed Rumplestiltskin since Rumpykins skinned him alive - repeatedly- and that kind of thing will mess with your perspective. Reek! Reek! It rhymes with shriek!
  8. I think the President must have got the brain scramblies after Alder puppeted her, otherwise it'd take about two minutes for her to look at everyone's confused faces a d figure out what happened. I also have to wonder about the whole coup idea. It seems very naive for Petra or the President to think the immortal general who is probably the most powerful political figure on Earth is just going to step down. I'm actually reminded of But... I don't expect the head of the witch army intelligence service to be that naive. There are clearly people who think Alder has been doing this a bit too long, at the least there's Petra, Wade and Indian General Lady. Was the goal here actually to push her to do something desperate so that they could use that as a pretext to bring her down for good? I mean if there's a ... A witch FBI of some kind, I imagine they could take a look at that video of Wade's speech, compare it with her previous speeches and compare it with Alder's speeches and come to some interesting conclusions. Alder's got a very distinctive kind of delivery. Then they could interview all the people who Wade must have told about her plans, like her speechwriter, and the camera crew when she was making the announcement. I'd imagine removing Alder without kicking off a civil war would be really difficult given that there is a consistent stream of young soldiers willing to give their lives for her. I'd imagine her to be almost a figure of religious devotion given how long she's been around and how she's shaped history. Ps. Oh, this episode had a very well acted scene in our Epic Love Story which made it a lot less believable that it'd have a happy ending. Poor Rae. It's very sweet that you didn't turn Rae over to your bosses, Sea Hag, but I think you've got to provide some proper context about why you killed poor Porter and all those thousands of other people before you get to 'water under the bridge, smoochy times to resume' Might also want to think about your 'Muggles Must Die' stance since your twu wuv's beloved father is one.
  9. Well that was fun, I'm going to stick around for the next season mainly to find out about the world the show has created, which I think is a really neat idea and with so many different avenues to explore. The characters and plots are alright but what I really want to see is more of how this world works. Like as a worldbuilding question... None of the witchunters have guns... That's weird, they had guns in the 1700s, you can see the revolutionaries in a portrait in the opening credits, but by the 2000s this international anti witch conspiracy relies on running up to witches-who can vaporise them by making scary noises- and cutting them up with knives. That's kind of odd. And the witches themselves carry these weird whips as sidearms, rather than pistols. What's up with that? I can see artillery being effectively dead once everyone started putting together their own units of STORM WITCHES but apparently small arms have gone the same way. That seems like it might be something deliberate on Alder's part. I don't know what the Camarilla's rationale is but... I think Alder is probably building one for them. If it comes out that she's just used magic to control the President and then seriously looks at an alliance with the Spree, the creepy racist terrorists who have killed X Thousand muggles and are killing more every day, to stop the witch killers... Well that's probably going to alienate a lot of muggles. Plotwise I am glad Anacostia was using Scylla... Scylla is really grating and it wasnt really credible that she could even start to Hannibal Lecture a career soldier like Anacostia. I think Anacostia probably feels sorry for her, she's essentially a bereaved, angry child who fell in with the bad guys and they've turned her into a WMD to commit their war crimes. It's tragic. But Anacostia was warning the cadets that the Spree prey on people like that, the idea the Spree are 'actually human' wouldn't be news to her and wouldn't make her change her mind. That dead parents story about how her veteran war-witch parents wouldn't save themselves from a car crash because it was against regs sounded stupid, too. I hope that was a lie. I also agree Abigail has been short-changed a bit... I think that's to do with her being the leader, I think a lot of writers (especially for a show like this) have a hard time writing good leadership. It's a fair bit more nuanced than 'I am naive-disillusion me' or 'I don't want to accept my Special Destiny,' or even 'I am doing bad things for the Greater Good,' and with her coming into the role it's even harder sinc with the Generals you can show other people respecting and deferring to them. Hopefully she gets a chance to shine next year.
  10. You could have given Emma a nice foster family who all died in a house fire which left her so traumatised she didn't make a good impression on any of the others. I think I might be stealing that from another show but I can't remember which one. Anyway I still think that you've basically got a story where the birth mother's concern then love for her birth child is the main thing that keeps her in town to save both him and the whole of his community and their TRUE LOVE is the thing that saves everyone. Meanwhile Regina even wanting to adopt a child rather than making one of her own the normal way is a sign of her deficiency and emptiness, see how she tries to 'adopt' Hansel and Gretel in the flashback. Same idea-she wants a real, loving relationship but can't have it so she tries to get it by force. The fact Emma isn't maternal and doesn't want to be a mother are: in the first case, irrelevant, because things like skills and resources are shown to be the things that villains rely on, see 1) Regina insisting on how she's the one whose taken care of Henry, which is worthless because she doesn't really love him. 2) Rumplestiltskin becoming the Dark One to protect his son from death and persecution, which drives Bae to flee the universe because he's so horrible. 3) Cora insisting that she's doing everything for Regina's own good, refusing to let her ruin her life 'after everything I've done!' just before killing her boyfriend, after years of Vader-choking her when she spoke out of turn. George fits in their somewhere because he's a king with huge resources who adopts/kidnaps Charming, but as has been pointed out we didn't know if his relationship with James was good or bad in season 1. I want to put something in the Should Have Happened thread about George because there's a big missed opportunity there. I also do realise half my examples are bad bioparents. But I'm giving examples about how making your main goal the safety and/or opportunities for your child are seen as the priorities of evildoers. 2) The fact Emma doesn't want to be a mother is part of her hero's journey, it's one of those famous WALLS of hers she has to let down along with having friendship and a love interest (which she didn't have on season 1 but everyone knew was on the way at some point). Accepting a mutual love with her child is one of those things she needs to do in order to heal herself as well as saving the town. Giving him up for adoption when she had pretty good reason to think she couldn't look after him could, in fact, be read as a big mistake because he ended up being taken in by someone evil who made him unhappy (and was ultimately the cause of all his mother's misery; I'm sure there's some kind of allegory for poverty in there somewhere) I'll say actually that while I don't THINK you were meant to read her giving him up as a mistake, rather than her being a tragic victim of circumstance- I do think it adds an extra layer of drama that she probably gave him away hoping someone with Regina's wealth and status would take him in and give him the life she couldn't, and that she'd quite possibly feel a breach of trust that, all magic shenanigans aside, someone with so much could still make him feel so awful when they should have been looking after him. -So that all bring said I'm not sure if a more positive depiction of one or more adoptive/foster parents would have changed things a lot. I may have jumped the gun there. I'm not sure who could fill the role there and be a major enough character, Jefferson could have been part of an interesting storyline if he'd been a major character. I think @Shanna Marie once posited a backstory for Hook where he was an urchin adopted by a noble family, I don't think George would give adoption a good name since he'd probably always be a bad guy. Graham? I mean he seemed to like his wolf, I get the impression he preferred his adoptive wolf family to humans. That being said if he always cried when they killed a deer they'd probably laugh at him and call him a wimp. I also think the comments about his badly they depicted the foster system and how every other instance after season 1 besides Gina and Henry seemed to dig in their heels on the 'blood is all' stance are pretty accurate. To say nothing of the awkwardness of essentially rewriting time through dialogue to erase abuse.
  11. I find it kind of tricky to disentangle their behaviour from the fact that the good one is the biological mother and the bad one the adoptive mother, particularly since, to me, truth is easily as important a theme in season one as love and much more of one than HOPE. The villains do everything by lying and people are hurt by lies in various ways throughout the series, and our hero has to free a whole community imprisoned by lies, she has her alleged 'superpower' where she can tell lies from truth, she sees what Henry truly needs and feels, she is truly willing to risk and sacrifice for him and she is his TRUE mother-biologically and emotionally/socially. To me it's very difficult to separate these things and say the one isn't related to the other because it fits really well, even though I'm kind of awkward about the fact that it does fit so well. I don't think it's explicitly a metaphor for adoption, in fact I think you can use it as a metaphor for pretty much any abusive or manipulative relationship. But it does feed into the theme of lies Vs truth where Henry, the almost central character and/or central quest object, is imprisoned by lies in the form of his adoptive relationship.
  12. Responded to these two in the All Seasons Thread because I think this is an interesting topic
  13. That seems a bit like putting a plaster* on the stump where a leg used to be. The entire central conflict of season 1 is the conflict between the evil, lying, manipulative, illegitimate adoptive parent and the pure, virtuous, honest and legitimate birth mother. The whole thing is about how Emma is The Saviour due to her destiny, due, essentially, to inherent factors surrounding her birth, and that parallels the fact she has to save Henry because of inherent factors around his birth (because she gave birth to him). Adding #notallstepmothers as a coda wouldn't change the fact that the entire rest of the season is about a heroic biomom whose biological relationship gives her a more valid connection to her child than the woman who raised him for ten years. *Band aid That actually feeds into the anti-adoption narrative. Storybrooke is full of people who have been taken from their legitimate and rightful lives and forced to live under false identities and in false relationships. In the same way Henry is separated from his rightful and legitimate parents and forced into a false relationships with a false mother under a false identity as her son. Plus in fairyland Regina was a false Queen who played a false role earlier as snows stepmother where her real, legitimate biological parents were good and kind both as parents and as rulers (from what we can see; Leopold could have been burning down villages for not sending his daughter a nice enough birthday present but it wasn't on screen so we'll assume he wasn't) and Snow was of course good and kind and brave as she was the legitimate biological daughter of the real legitimate king who was presumably the real legitimate biological son of an earlier king and so on.
  14. It is very hard to believe the Zarian storyline was the original idea, seems more likely to me that they wanted to bring Marian back for a love triangle, couldn't get the actress booked for enough episodes so they had to put her in the corner then out of the shoe again, then they decided to being Mader back so they threw this whole thing together. The way she replaced Marian in the flashback is very jarring because it's a level of offhand power I don't think has been shown before-she just reintegrates after dying and turning into goo then vaporises her and somehow glamours up to be completely indistinguishable from this woman she's never met-down to her metahysical metaphorical organs I mean if she can do that why does she never show or use that level of power again. Every other witch-kill at least leaves a body. I mean if she could do that why not kill Hook and Emma when they open the portal and glam up as Emma, who everyone in town knows and respects, has a position of authority and who is loved and trusted by Regina's beloved son? Wouldn't that put her in a better position to mess with her? Eh. I had another way that the Zarian debacle could have made more sense-wjat if when Lena turned into goo she fell through the portal and then basically ate Marian, absorbing all her memories and mannerisms in the process... BUUUUUT.... This was a disguise that was a bit too good and she actually effectively became Marian while the Zelena personality struggled to reform and reassert itself. She only really became Zelena again after she and Robin left town. But even so she might have a bit of Marian in her. What I would have followed that up with is a S7 flashback in which Zelena wants to atone for her misdeeds in some way to be a better mother, so she makes her own version of Jekyll's potion to separate Marian out of her so she can get another chance at life.
  15. I recently watched The Man in the High Castle-there isn't really much overlap I suppose, but there is a theme of What Might Have Been-less with the world than with the characters and particularly If there's a Once character he matches at all it would be Rumplestiltskin* (oh, Robert Carlyle played Hitler once, so there's a link as well 😛) but none of them match him that closely. I don't think there was much of an exploration of what he -or the other villains- could have been if they'd taken a different route. I wonder if it would have been interesting to see an episode with a real alternate timeline, e.g. Rumple goes down the portal with his son, Regina runs away from her miserable marriage or Hook's brother doesn't get killed. * For some reason I ended up wondering what the Once characters would be in a dystopic or nazified wotld- the Charmings are almost boringly obvious as resistance fighters who talk about Hope all the time, and Rumplestiltskin seems like he'd slap on an armband and 'heil' away as long as it secured him some power and the ability to protect the 1-3 people in the world he thinks have some value. Hook I can see as a partisan who's gone off the rails and just shoots everyone he thinks might be a collaborator. Emma, Regina and Henry were the only ones I couldn't decide on.
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