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

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1 hour ago, Camera One said:

I don't think I interpreted Hook as thinking the world can't resist his charms so why can't Emma?

Yeah, that was just...weird. At this point, I expect the absurd morality, but this just seems not at all what was on screen.

Like, who has been fawning over Hook lately? Cora? Aurora? Snow? Tink? He's an absurdly attractive, charming bad boy, so I would assume he didn't have to work too hard to pick up random tavern wenches whenever he pleased, but no one in SB has been remotely impressed with him, except for maybe amnesiac Henry. 

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I could buy S2 or even 3A Hook being frustrated in that way, but by the time 3B rolled around, Hook was interested in only Emma. He didn't care about bad boy pride. He was frustrated because he loved her, not because she was the only girl who wouldn't go to third base right out of the gate.

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4 hours ago, Camera One said:

He is getting fed up because it's like the entire world cannot resist my charms, why is one person I fall in love with so resistant to me.

If that's what they thought they were showing, they did it wrong.

It did seem like "I'm so pretty, gotta love me" was one of his go-to moves when he felt threatened or cornered, but did we ever actually see it work? Team Princess tied him to a tree and was going to leave him for the ogres. Cora called him out on it. Emma was never impressed. Tink shot him down in the past and present. Ariel slaps him every time she sees him. When someone has actually liked him, it's not been because of his charm. I don't think he even charmed Milah. She was drawn to the adventure he promised. If they wanted to contrast the way he's able to charm the whole world with the way Emma resisted him, we needed to see someone actually liking him.

He doesn't even seem to be trying to charm Emma in 3B. He knows exactly why she's resisting him: she's resisting everything about her true identity, including not only him but also her parents. He never really puts the moves on her. He just challenges her to get real about why she's planning to run back to New York. Yeah, he hopes that the life she makes in Storybrooke would include him, but he's pretty patient about it. He's made it clear that he's interested and available, and he's trying to be there for her, but I don't get any sense that he's tried to charm her and doesn't understand why she's not receptive. What he doesn't really understand is her drive to run from everything, including her family. Once you know that he gave up the Jolly Roger to get to her, it adds a bit of subtext to his behavior, where we know what he did to reach her and it must be painful that she's trying to escape from a life that could include him, but I never get a "why aren't you falling into my arms?" vibe from him. That's part of what made the kiss curse so silly. I never got the impression before the curse that he'd even been on the verge of kissing Emma.

4 hours ago, Camera One said:

We're very excited about the possibilities for Michael and all the characters.

I'd actually kind of forgotten that this character was ever even on the show. That's another one where I'd love to know what was going on behind the scenes. He didn't appear in the mother show until the Frozen stuff had started, so it wasn't a case of their plans for him abruptly changing once they got to use Frozen, unless they'd already signed him on before Frozen came up. Was this a case of the network saying "we like this guy from that spinoff, so let's keep him under contract by bringing him over to this show" or did A&E get enthusiastic about him in their ADD way, sign him on, then forget about him when it came time to actually write the episodes? It sounds like it hurt his career and family life for him to be stuck as a regular who seldom appeared but who had to be available, and the network wasn't getting their money's worth of having him as a regular who had less than a minute of screen time per episode. They didn't even allow him an early out when they realized they weren't going to use him. It was all so bizarre.

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Adam decided to "answer" some fan questions today!  Enjoy the treat.

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An Anxious Gay‏ @AnAnxiousFan 6 hours ago

Why was there never a holiday themed episode of Once Upon a Time (besides Halloween)

Adam Horowitz‏ @AdamHorowitzLA

Replying to @AnAnxiousFan

I feel like we did some

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Brian Beatty‏ @BrianBeattyTW 6 hours ago

@AdamHorowitzLA Hi Adam quick question regarding Once Upon A Time. What is the explanation if any for how Wish Hook could interact with other realms years prior to the Wish Realm being created by the Evil Queen Serum's Wish? Thank you for your time.

Adam Horowitz‏ @AdamHorowitzLA

Replying to @BrianBeattyTW

more specifically?

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And that second question was plenty specific. I'd respect him more if he would just admit "We wanted to bring Wish Hook back for s7, so we ignored the logic and hoped no one would notice." 

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4 minutes ago, companionenvy said:

And that second question was plenty specific. I'd respect him more if he would just admit "We wanted to bring Wish Hook back for s7, so we ignored the logic and hoped no one would notice." 

I'm surprised he even replied with a "more specifically?" when he knew full well he wouldn't be able to explain it.  To make it seem like the question was at fault indicates arrogance or complete ignorance of their own errors.

Edited by Camera One
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1 hour ago, Camera One said:

complete ignorance of their own errors.

This.

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2 hours ago, Camera One said:

I'm surprised he even replied with a "more specifically?" when he knew full well he wouldn't be able to explain it.  To make it seem like the question was at fault indicates arrogance or complete ignorance of their own errors.

Adam would ask that then delete the tweet so they couldn't answer.

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Just now, KingOfHearts said:

Adam would ask that then delete the tweet so they couldn't answer.

Is that evil or wicked or just inner darkness?

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Logic is clearly for losers. 

The "Heroes Dont Kill" catchphrase/moral stance has always been annoying on this show, but its not only annoying, it becomes increasingly stupid and insulting as the show goes on. We just got to Regina tossing the "heroes dont kill" thing as to why they dont kill Zelena, as her big Hero Moment...just one episode they killed a bunch of Flying Monkeys, who were at best, random flunkies, or at worst, innocent people, even their friends and neighbors, who have been brainwashed and transformed by the bad guy, without a second of angst or histitation. Not only is the idea that ever killing anyone ever stupid, its insulting to the people who have HAD to kill in times of war, or in self defense. Oh yeah, if someone tries to murder you, dont try to fight back! Just announce that you have hope that they wont murder you and your family! The soldier who stormed the beaches at Normandy shouldn't have been trying to shoot the Nazis! They should have just asked them nicely to stop trying to commit genocide! Now the allies have hearts just as dark as the Nazis! *is physically ill*

Yeah, a bit dramatic, but its so black and white, in the way that even fairy tales never were. I never remember Gretel angsting about pushing the wicked witch in the oven! I guess it wouldn't be such an easy catch phrase to say "Heroes try their best to end conflict peacefully and without bloodshed, and do not resort to killing except as a lost resort", or thats a bit too complicated to explain to Henry, the kid who somehow creates the moral groundwork of this entire universe. Not only a kid, but a particularly immature kid who will be perpetually 8 for his entire life. Whether or not good guys kill is a decent question to bring up, and many heroes of many genres grapple with it, but at least they usually give some kind of reason behind it (like Batman believes he doesent have the authority to kill people) or have characters talk about it and debate, even if we dont always understand or like the answer. There is no reasoning behind why the heroes supposedly dont kill, other than "we should find another way" whatever the crap that means. Even leaving behind "another way" always means "some deux ex machina shows up at the last minute to save the day or the rules of the universe totally change for no reason" its so stupid and half assed, and since no one ever talks about WHY its so important to never kill, no one really has any times to grapple with the morality of it. And when they do, we get Snows Black Heart crap. It doesent hurt that most of the villains they fight are these uber powerful magic types, who can seemingly do anything, and cant be jailed or put on trail (or at least, its never brought up) so its hard to imagine doing anything BUT killing them to stop them, or dumping them somewhere else, where they become someone elses problem. Maybe if they had more villains who were less all powerful (until the last episode of the arc) or were less over the top evil and murderous, this could have been dealt with more, but, unlike with regular human criminals who can just be sent to jail, these villains are so evil, and so powerful, it looked like they would have to resort to killing, just to make the bloodshed stop. I mean, how many people are dead because "heroes dont kill" now? At what point, does that phrase become less heroic, and more selfishly refusing to do some dirty work and feel actual moral conflict?

And that leads me back to my original point. Its less "Heroes dont kill", its more "Heroes dont kill characters the writers want to keep around, or if it inconveniences Regina". So Snow and Charming can mow through countless mooks working for Regina or whoever, who were probably just doing their jobs, but if its Regina? Well, shit, we know her name, so she cant die! Emma goes down a dark path and is evil and bad that she killed Cruella, who she thought was about to  murder her son and was an unrepentant sadist and sociopath, but Charming can kill Sir Percival out of hand and no one bats an eye, even though his only crime was trying to avenge his family and friends murders by Regina. But, he was trying to hurt Regina, so HE can be killed! Regina can kill countless people out of hand and its never brought up, but when Snow kills Cora to stop her from killing the whole town? She has been corrupted by evil, and she should have Found Another Way! So not only is the "Heroes Dont Kill" thing stupid and insulting, its super inconsistent. Some people can die, and some people deserve to live? And most of those people are the villains? Seems just a tiny bit fucked up. "Oh, we cant kill Zelena! We know her name! Those countless other people we killed? Well, they dont have names, who gives a shit about them!"

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5 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Its less "Heroes dont kill", its more "Heroes dont kill characters the writers want to keep around, or if it inconveniences Regina".

Then there's the related motto on the show -- "But they're family!" That ties into the heroes don't kill characters with names thing. If you're related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the main characters, not only can you not be killed, but everyone must go to all lengths to save your life, no matter what you're done, what you're dying of, or whether you deserve it. Never mind that saving you might doom thousands of other people to die. They can't let you die because you're family. I think Rumple benefited the most from that one. They had multiple chances for the Dark One to die, and in situations where he'd more than earned it and truly had it coming, but they kept moving heaven and earth to save him because he contributed genetic material to Neal, who contributed genetic material to Henry. With any guest villain not related to any of them, they'd have considered it poetic justice for the villain to die of the consequences of their own evil (allowing them to vanquish the villain without a hero having to kill anyone), but with Rumple, it was considered a great tragedy for him to die because he was family.

5 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I mean, how many people are dead because "heroes dont kill" now? At what point, does that phrase become less heroic, and more selfishly refusing to do some dirty work and feel actual moral conflict?

It did start to sound like Snow was putting her own conscience ahead of the well being of her people. It was more important for her to be able to take the high road and say she'd done the right thing than for her to make sure her people were safe -- and the show seemed to agree with her because she was considered right when she let Regina go rather than executing her, and she was considered wrong for killing Cora to stop her from becoming a Dark One. I can't help but compare her to Ned Stark on Game of Thrones, who was a good guy, but who caused so many deaths because of his need to act according to his conscience and do what he felt was the right thing.

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6 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

And that leads me back to my original point. Its less "Heroes dont kill", its more "Heroes dont kill characters the writers want to keep around, or if it inconveniences Regina". 

The problem was exactly this.  The strings behind the puppets were so obvious that it was hard to get lost in the story and believe that these characters were making actual decisions true to their personalities.

Edited by Camera One
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I was thinking about how as much as I love the season 3 finale (that we're on in the rewatch), the setup for it is so awful and clumsy, and that got me wondering what came first -- did they come up with the idea to do a Back to the Future thing for the season finale and came up with an arc to set it up, or did they come up with the idea that the villain would be the Wicked Witch and her goal would be time travel (because naturally, that's what I think of with Oz and the Wicked Witch), and then decided that the capper for it would be to send Emma on a Back to the Future adventure?

Either way, the dots don't connect really well, and if you think your way through the plot, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

It's especially ironic that they put the plot about Zelena knowing how to do a time travel spell around the same time that they were airing the part of the Wonderland arc in which Jafar is trying to break the rules of magic (including changing the past), and it's a really complicated spell that takes him centuries to pull off and that requires not only his power but the power of a great enchantress plus three genies. I know Jafar wanted more than just changing the past, but it's a pity he didn't know about Zelena's spell because he could have saved himself a lot of trouble. Did they ever say where Zelena got this spell? Because it doesn't seem that hard or complicated. What was stopping anyone from having done it before? You'd think Rumple would have run across it, and it would have really solved all his problems if he could have gone back in time and kept Bae from leaving. How did a psycho with minimal magical training manage to come up with this spell that no other wizard or magical person has managed in all this time?

Was she planning this all along? Would she have been able to find other sources for the ingredients, or did she require specifically Rumple's "brain," Charming's "courage," Regina's heart, and Snowflake's "innocence"? (and they were really stretching to come up with a fourth item and make it fit what they wanted to do) If she needed those specific items, and that's why no one has been able to pull off the spell, then did she just luck out that they happened to come back to the Enchanted Forest? Was she just sitting around and moping before then, and she only decided to try the spell when she learned the Charmings were pregnant and she had a chance at a True Love baby? Or was she planning to use Philip and Aurora's baby but it was more fun to use the Charmings'?

Basically, the whole story is that Zelena, who grew up in a land ruled by good witches, was ostracized because she had magic powers, then she learned about her half-sister learning magic, went to Rumple, got to live in his palace and be trained, but she got mad that he was still choosing Regina to do the curse because she'd have to kill him to enact the curse, so she flounced back to Oz, where the good witches let her join their group. She went for five minutes without magically stalking her sister, so they gave her a pendant to ramp up her powers, then she got insanely jealous of Dorothy and freaked out on the other witches, banishing them. Somewhere along the way, she found a time travel spell and went to the Enchanted Forest, where she threatened Philip and Aurora into warning her if the Storybrooke gang came back (how did she know they'd come back where Philip and Aurora were? Why did they? Weren't they from an entirely different kingdom?). Somehow, she lucked out and Regina and the others returned maybe a week or so after Zelena got there (since there was no sign of her there during the Team Princess adventure or Neal's brief return when he was hanging out with Philip and Aurora). Zelena made sure to let them all know she wanted their baby, so they had time to do something to try to stop her, and she doesn't seem to have done any of the other preparation. And then once they got to Storybrooke, she let her flying monkeys patrol openly so they all knew there was a threat. Her plan might have succeeded if she'd done the prep work in the Enchanted Forest, then played it cool in Storybrooke and managed to snag the baby as soon as it was born.

Meanwhile, they were setting up Emma's "There's no place like home" moment by having her talk constantly about how great New York was, but all they showed us was the kind of life she could have easily replicated in Storybrooke. Henry supposedly had friends, but there was no mention of him texting or talking to his friends back in New York, even when he didn't have his memories. There was no mention of Emma having friends other than Walsh, and with all her talk about "stuff like that doesn't happen in New York," she seems to have forgotten that a flying monkey was sent to date her in New York. I guess that was all about her wanting to leave so she could see if she missed Storybrooke, but that whole thing was awfully clumsy.

All of it was so awkward that it does kind of seem like they really might have reverse engineered it, with a bit of handwaving, to do a Back to the Future story that would involve a "there's no place like home" resolution. And it's not even the worst arc.

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4 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

I was thinking about how as much as I love the season 3 finale (that we're on in the rewatch), the setup for it is so awful and clumsy, and that got me wondering what came first -- did they come up with the idea to do a Back to the Future thing for the season finale and came up with an arc to set it up, or did they come up with the idea that the villain would be the Wicked Witch and her goal would be time travel (because naturally, that's what I think of with Oz and the Wicked Witch), and then decided that the capper for it would be to send Emma on a Back to the Future adventure?

For sure I think it was reverse-engineered.  It wouldn't be unfathomable that a "Back to the Future" type time travel scenario was on their to-do list.  Maybe they had already settled on doing Wicked.  So it could be a case of them marrying together (or more appropriately, forcing together) oil and vinegar.  I could totally see the whole "There's no place like home" concept popping up in their discussions of Oz as a way of providing Emma with an "arc" even though it wasn't developed beyond having Emma repeat over and over again how she wants to go back to NYC when we knew full well she would end up staying in Storybrooke.  I think they must have also come up with Marian-returning-from-the-Past twist for the finale when they first brought Robin Hood on as Regina's love interest.

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Did they ever say where Zelena got this spell? Because it doesn't seem that hard or complicated. What was stopping anyone from having done it before? You'd think Rumple would have run across it, and it would have really solved all his problems if he could have gone back in time and kept Bae from leaving. How did a psycho with minimal magical training manage to come up with this spell that no other wizard or magical person has managed in all this time?

They never did tell us the origin of this spell so it just felt like another thing they pulled out of their you-know-where.  

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Was she planning this all along? Would she have been able to find other sources for the ingredients, or did she require specifically Rumple's "brain," Charming's "courage," Regina's heart, and Snowflake's "innocence"? (and they were really stretching to come up with a fourth item and make it fit what they wanted to do)

I had a huge problem with that originally.  Like why did she literally need Regina's actual heart when she could use Rumple's symbolic brain made out of gold yarn?  How did she figure out Philip and Aurora's baby wouldn't do, but Snowflake could?  Just from gut feeling because she was the most amazing magical student ever?  The whole brain/heart/courage thing was a clunky way to work in Oz references.

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Basically, the whole story is that Zelena, who grew up in a land ruled by good witches, was ostracized because she had magic powers, then she learned about her half-sister learning magic, went to Rumple, got to live in his palace and be trained, but she got mad that he was still choosing Regina to do the curse because she'd have to kill him to enact the curse, so she flounced back to Oz, where the good witches let her join their group. She went for five minutes without magically stalking her sister, so they gave her a pendant to ramp up her powers, then she got insanely jealous of Dorothy and freaked out on the other witches, banishing them. Somewhere along the way, she found a time travel spell and went to the Enchanted Forest, where she threatened Philip and Aurora into warning her if the Storybrooke gang came back (how did she know they'd come back where Philip and Aurora were? Why did they? Weren't they from an entirely different kingdom?). Somehow, she lucked out and Regina and the others returned maybe a week or so after Zelena got there (since there was no sign of her there during the Team Princess adventure or Neal's brief return when he was hanging out with Philip and Aurora). Zelena made sure to let them all know she wanted their baby, so they had time to do something to try to stop her, and she doesn't seem to have done any of the other preparation. And then once they got to Storybrooke, she let her flying monkeys patrol openly so they all knew there was a threat. Her plan might have succeeded if she'd done the prep work in the Enchanted Forest, then played it cool in Storybrooke and managed to snag the baby as soon as it was born.

When told sequentially like that, it really made no sense.  Don't forget the projector where you could actually watch any past event like it was a TV.  Why didn't Glinda seek Zelena out when she was a little girl, after she came over in the tornado?  Why wait until after Rumple had corrupted her?  

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9 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

How did a psycho with minimal magical training manage to come up with this spell that no other wizard or magical person has managed in all this time?

My guess is her realm hopping silver slippers played a part in her getting that information.

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Half the fun of this show was not knowing for sure what was going to happen next, even at its most predictable. There was always HOPE that it would get better, that Emma would talk to Mary Margaret about their issues, that Regina would finally apologize for wronging the Charmings, that characters who didn't get to interact would get a chance to. A&E hinged so much of the show on Shocking!twists and cliffhangers. Now that the show is what it is and always will be, it's hard to look at it with any optimism. Rewatching is difficult (at least for me) because there are so very few good moments or fun adventures. It was always about the surprise of what would happen next. That's gone, leaving us with the Gouda Queen of the Multiverse and two Henry's.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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21 hours ago, Camera One said:

Don't forget the projector where you could actually watch any past event like it was a TV.  Why didn't Glinda seek Zelena out when she was a little girl, after she came over in the tornado?  Why wait until after Rumple had corrupted her? 

Glinda really did screw up, but then little about Zelena's background makes much sense.

I also forgot in my plot description the fact that Zelena sent Walsh to keep an eye on Emma (or possibly some other agenda, since we don't know what he was really doing there) even though Zelena seems to have been planning to do her spell while in the Enchanted Forest, so there was no reason to worry about a memory-less Emma who was stuck in the World Without Magic. Emma was zero threat to Zelena's plans at that point. And how did Zelena send a flying monkey to New York at a time when supposedly travel to our world from other realms was impossible? Even if she sent him earlier, before the curse reverse, how did she send him instructions? She would have had no way of knowing Emma would be there before the curse reverse. And why did he go along with her orders? He acted like he was Emma's enemy, like he hated her, but they were both Zelena's victims, and Zelena was nowhere near to be monitoring him, so why would he have attacked Emma? That bit of the story makes no sense. And then there's the kiss curse, which Zelena decided to do after she'd easily defeated Emma in their encounter on Main Street, and for which she'd have either had to send flying monkeys to stalk Hook back in the Enchanted Forest, when she'd have had no reason to think he would even matter, since he was separated from the whole group, or she'd have had to look him up on the magic history projector and somehow know exactly how he felt, then get all of Ariel's history so she could impersonate her.

22 hours ago, Camera One said:

When told sequentially like that, it really made no sense.

Most of the plots in the series made no sense when you tell them in a straightforward way, though I think season seven may be the most ridiculous. This arc, though, seems to be the most obvious in having the strings showing, where none of the plot events make much sense from the point of view of the characters and are strictly there for effect or to set something else up.

Like Walsh, the Wizard turned flying monkey, being sent to monitor Emma. There was really no reason for Zelena to do that, and it ended up not mattering at all. We don't even know what became of Walsh. It seems like some of the flying monkeys poofed away when shot or otherwise hurt, and they then reverted back into humans when Zelena "died," but they didn't bother to follow up on Walsh. The only reason for that bit of plot was to give them some action/danger and reinforce Emma's decision to go to Storybrooke, plus an excuse for Hook to make jokes about her nearly being engaged to a flying monkey. I guess they also needed her to be involved with someone to show how great her New York life was, but he couldn't be a truly viable romantic prospect (I guess they learned their lesson with Tamara to not have a love interest dragged from New York to Storybrooke, and I'd hope Emma would be smarter than that). Making him turn out to be a flying monkey was an easy way to get him out of the way. And yet, no one mentioned her dating a flying monkey sent to spy on her when she brought up how safe her New York life was.

Or the kiss curse, which was clearly just to create romantic tension between Hook and Emma, to get Emma out of the way so Regina could be the hero, and so that there would be some suspense about Emma and Hook getting back to the present, since that wouldn't have been a big deal if Emma had her powers (and knew it). There was no real logic for it within the story. There was no reason for Zelena to have threatened Philip and Aurora, no reason for David to go off in search of drugs to make him less nervous about being a father. The arc was a string of incidents done to set other things up but that were unnecessary for the characters' actual stories.

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9 hours ago, KingOfHearts said:

Rewatching is difficult (at least for me) because there are so very few good moments or fun adventures.

I've found I have a similar problem. The deeper we get into the rewatch the less interested I am in the story because the aspects of the show that I really loved were diminished as time went on. I loved the Emma/Snow relationship in S1. The two never had a single one on one conversation with each other lasting longer than 30 seconds post S3.  There's nothing to look forward to with that. Worse, I know that what will happen is what I consider to be the total destruction of the relationship. Just thinking about 4B is enraging. It's all downhill from there.

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4 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

I also forgot in my plot description the fact that Zelena sent Walsh to keep an eye on Emma (or possibly some other agenda, since we don't know what he was really doing there) even though Zelena seems to have been planning to do her spell while in the Enchanted Forest, so there was no reason to worry about a memory-less Emma who was stuck in the World Without Magic.

The only explanation I can think of is Glinda's Book of Records, though technically Glinda said it tells the past, the present and the future of OZ.  So what was the Book of Records referring to Zelena or Dorothy?  It was supposed to be a "sorceress" so we could rule out Kansas, right?  

10 hours ago, KingOfHearts said:

Half the fun of this show was not knowing for sure what was going to happen next, even at its most predictable. There was always HOPE that it would get better, that Emma would talk to Mary Margaret about their issues, that Regina would finally apologize for wronging the Charmings, that characters who didn't get to interact would get a chance to. A&E hinged so much of the show on Shocking!twists and cliffhangers. Now that the show is what it is and always will be, it's hard to look at it with any optimism. Rewatching is difficult (at least for me) because there are so very few good moments or fun adventures. It was always about the surprise of what would happen next. That's gone, leaving us with the Gouda Queen of the Multiverse and two Henry's.

Yes, despite the "shocking" surprises, ultimately, there was little to no actual payoff, in terms of scenes you would look forward to seeing again.  

It really is amazing how far HOPE held up while watching this show.  Right from mid-2A, I was already beginning to be disappointed with the unsatisfying character moments for the Charmings and it went downhill from there.  But even in the latter half of 5B, I was still clinging onto HOPE.  Heck, I think part of me was still hoping for something when we heard everyone was returning for the series finale.  The ultimate lesson of this show is where HOPE gets you, LOL.

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You know, with the re-watch starting the Marian story, its really reminding me of this super awkward elephant in the room, that often gets overlooked when it comes to discussions of this show, in the midst of its many, many faults. This show has some real issues with their treatment of POC  characters. I mean, its always been there, but watching the show again, its...awkward, to say the least.

Especially as A&E are obviously so proud of themselves for adding more POC to these European stories, in roles that traditionally go to white actors, but they really dont DO anything with the actors they cast, and they are often so expendable, they come off as tokens, not as actual attempts at inclusion. Like look at Marian. They cast a non white actress to play a character that is traditionally white. But instead of being the usual Marian from Robin Hood stories, she is a a roadblock to the Regina/Robin ship, and she exists to be a complication to Regina, then she is put in a coma and exists to cause Robin and Regina angst, then she gets killed quickly off screen, and no one really cares, and the woman who murdered her and raped her husband is welcomed by the good guys with open arms, and everyone cheers for Robin and Regina. Or Tamara, who was a one dimensional asshole who existed to be the bad fiance for Neal so that Emma didnt look bad for still being into him, and she reveals her true evil ways, and is also killed off quickly and never mentioned again. Or even the poor fairy god mother who gets killed by Rumple, who is never mentioned again, even by Cinderella. Most non white people are villains, are unceremoniously killed off quickly, or are not given much or any development.   The most used POC people they have on the whole show for most of its run are Sidney (bad guy who is known for being slavishly devoted to Regina) and Mulan (who is awesome, but underused, and never got a happy ending), and...Regina. Regina is the most visible POC character on the show, obviously, but its pretty noticeable that she is also by FAR the lightest skinned POC on the show, to the point that most people didnt even know that she was Latina until Lana clarified, and apparently she is supposed to be Hispanic on the show as well, as her fathers side of the family was played his Hispanic actors, although you would never know otherwise. So the darker skinned the people become, the less important they become on the show. 

I mean, the Hyperion Heights stuff was pretty consistently lame, but at least they had a few more non white actors around. Granted, they were mostly shallow one note characters, but so was everyone else, so, progress? 

And not even get me started on how they handled LGBTQ issues. Oh, thanks for that sad, sad breadcrumb, A&E! Here is your Woke sticker, you did the absolute bare minimum! Again, at least the last season actually had a gay romance as a major plot. Also pretty rushed and half assed, but it was actually less rushed and half assed than the main hetero romance, so, again, progress? 

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19 hours ago, Camera One said:

Yes, despite the "shocking" surprises, ultimately, there was little to no actual payoff, in terms of scenes you would look forward to seeing again.  

I find that there are scenes, or possibly moments, but no more whole episodes from season 4 on. My challenge in this rewatch will be to actually watch straight through. Otherwise, I can get through a typical episode in under 20 minutes if I just watch the parts I like. They managed to throw in just enough good moments to keep you holding on to hope, but I don't think there's an entire episode that really works for me in the rest of the series. Instead of a good episode with maybe one or two eye-roll-worthy scenes, there are bad episodes with one or two decent scenes. Starting in season 4, you'd be better off watching clips on YouTube.

I think I mentioned in the season 3 finale episode thread that they kept pulling me back with the season finales. In the first three seasons, I'd be on the verge of giving up, but then the finale would come along and revive my interest, to the point I was eager to see the next season. I remember being really excited about 4A because the season 3 finale seemed to have been a positive sign. They'd gone back to the feel of season one, with more adventure and romance and character moments. I even was hopeful about the Regina/Robin/Marian thing because it offered a chance to reboot Regina's botched redemption. Either she was going to backslide and then have the chance to be properly redeemed this time, maybe with some actual contrition and apologies, or they were going to treat this as a kind of epiphany for her. After that whole scene when Robin talked about what he went through when he lost Marian, she would realize that she was the one who caused him that pain, and it would serve as a wake-up call for the kind of pain she'd caused others. Then when she was separated from Robin, she'd realize that's what she'd put Snow and Charming through, and she would start making apologies.

I had all kinds of fun mental fanfic playing in my head about what was going to happen next, and then 4A ended up being a huge letdown. And then they stopped even doing finales that made me excited about the show. I guess I was just committed (or should have been committed) and couldn't let go, still holding on to hope that they'd pull themselves together and do something that lived up to the show's potential.

10 minutes ago, tennisgurl said:

Like look at Marian. They cast a non white actress to play a character that is traditionally white. But instead of being the usual Marian from Robin Hood stories, she is a a roadblock to the Regina/Robin ship, and she exists to be a complication to Regina, then she is put in a coma and exists to cause Robin and Regina angst, then she gets killed quickly off screen, and no one really cares, and the woman who murdered her and raped her husband is welcomed by the good guys with open arms, and everyone cheers for Robin and Regina.

The really frustrating thing is that Marian was a great character, and the actress did a wonderful job in bringing her to life. She transcended the writing. Just imagine what she could have done if they hadn't put Marian in an ice coma and let her actually challenge Regina and hold Robin accountable. Picture Marian running for mayor against Regina, getting the Merry Men on her side when Robin ditches her, adjusting to our world and liking the idea of women having rights. It was such a huge slap in the face to find out that she was murdered off-screen so the villain could replace her, and none of her time in Storybrooke was real.

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4 minutes ago, profdanglais said:

Not to mention Merlin, who was played up as this amazing powerful wizard and then turned out to be pretty useless. 

Tonight on "60 Minutes", we sit down with Blue, Glinda and Merlin to discuss who is the most useless in all the realms.  

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1 minute ago, profdanglais said:

Not to mention Merlin, who was played up as this amazing powerful wizard and then turned out to be pretty useless. 

Another interesting character played by a wonderful actor who put a lot into his portrayal, and he ended up being pointless and mostly ignored.

Then there's Ursula. We never did learn what she did as a villain to be considered a Queen of Darkness, and there was no follow up to her and Poseidon. It's a pity that they couldn't have used Hook having them as allies when he was doing his realm-hopping adventures. It would be handy for a sailor to have Poseidon owing him one.

I don't know if it's entirely a racism thing or just the fact that they came up with a lot of great characters, cast great people, and completely failed to do anything with them. The fact that this happened a lot to people of color may have just been due to the fact that they did try to cast POC in so many guest roles. They did similar things with Red, Will, Maleficent, Robin (though they kept bringing him back), Whale, Archie (when they didn't dig him up to perform weddings), Blue, Glinda, Aurora and Philip, etc. It was like the process of creating a character and maybe doing one episode of backstory made them bored with the character and ready to move on. If the character stuck around, they were relegated to being human scenery. Like David, say, who got one episode a year to do more than stand in the background.

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Don't forget Greg/Owen, Dorothy, Milah, Gaston, Cruella, Guinevere, Lancelot, Jasmine, Aladdin, Hyde, Snow White, etc. They had Shiny Toy Syndrome. They were like toddlers in the sand box. They'd play with a toy for a few minutes and then get bored with it, throwing it off to the side. Occasionally they might pick one up a while later only to be unceremoniously dropped once more, but others were never to be seen again.

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Yeah, its hard to tell with this show if its "the writers struggle with writing people of color" or "writers have the attention span of gnats and have zero interest in any characters except for their two favorites", or if its a bit of both. What gets me is that you can tell they want a diversity cookie for casting POC or adding in their half assed Ruby/Dorothy romance, when they have done absolutely nothing to deserve their own pats on the back. But, its kind of just how they role in general. Announce a character or story with much fanfare, and forget it or them instantly.

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The rewatch plus some work I've been doing on story structure has made me realize that one of the problems with the show is that their plots aren't matching their character arcs. There's a huge structural disconnect.

Even if they came up with the show with the concept of the Evil Queen getting a happy ending, the series is framed with Emma as the protagonist. They really do the whole hero's journey thing in establishing her character. We see her in her "ordinary world," doing her job and being good at it, but we can also see that she's got a wound that needs to heal. She's so alone that her birthday dinner is a fake date sting operation, and then she goes home to have her lonely little cupcake. But then Henry shows up with the call to adventure, telling her she does have a family and that she's the Savior needed to save her family from a curse. She initially refuses the call to adventure, but then after learning more about the situation, she decides to stay in Storybrooke, thus crossing the threshold into the story world. Not only is there the external plot about her in conflict with Regina, weakening Regina's hold on the curse, and then eventually breaking the curse, but she's also the character who has a character arc. Ideally, a character arc should be a kind of inner tug of war between competing self images, philosophies, or views of the world. In order to resolve the external plot, the character has to make the right choice, and the process of coming to that choice is usually a painful period of growth that forces the character to face her fears and pain. In Emma's case, her view of herself has been that she's a loner who doesn't need anyone, and she's not cut out to be a mother. That's her armor, her inner red leather jacket. But in coming to Storybrooke, she's forced to consider that she's been wrong. She could be a member of a community, a friend, a mother. She goes back and forth between these views, and there's even a point where she's on the verge of leaving and going back to her old way of life, telling herself that she's doing it to be a good mother to Henry. Ultimately, the key to breaking the curse is to choose her identity as mother. There's also a bit of a sub-arc with magic, where in order to be Henry's mother, she has to believe in magic, since not believing means not believing in him, and she can't truly be his mother (in an emotional sense) if she doesn't believe in him. Note that although she has to learn to use her magic every season and the WALLS! are an ongoing issue, once she truly accepts her role as Henry's mom at the end of season one, she never goes back on it. That bit of growth sticks.

I think one of the reasons season 2 is such a mess is that it doesn't have any real structure at all. They come close to making Regina the protagonist with the emotional arc, with her being tempted to go back to evil while trying to be good, only to nearly backslide but then make the right choice, but it doesn't quite work as a character arc. One problem is that they were too vague about "evil" and "good," with them momentarily treating the magic like alcohol, where she has to swear off it entirely, even to the point of having to apologize for using magic to save Henry from zombie Daniel, but then later she goes back to using magic all the time with no one caring. Then her "choice" of the right thing isn't really a choice. She doesn't realize what the right thing to do is and choose to do it, regardless of the cost. If Henry hadn't caught her, she wouldn't have had a qualm about doing the spell to prevent Emma and Snow from coming back via portal. And then she goes right back to evil a couple of episodes later. It's not a real growth arc if the character immediately reverts. It would have worked better if Regina's struggle had been between revenge and Henry, and she couldn't have both, then thought the portal spell was a way to have both, but then Henry caught her and she really had to make a choice. 2B is an even bigger mess and still isn't a growth arc for Regina. I think the only character who really had a growth arc there was Hook, who chose to give up revenge when he realized it didn't solve anything.

In season 3, we're back to Emma being treated like the protagonist in that she's the one with the real growth arc, but she's not really connected to the main plot. 3A sets her up at the center of things as she takes the leadership role. She's the one forced to confront her past in admitting that she's a Lost Girl, but then she later uses that to help save the day when she's able to get the Lost Boys to help them. She's also forced to confront other difficult emotional truths, like her feelings for Neal, Hook's feelings for her, and her parents' confessions. She even wins a very fairy tale-like "real mother" test when she's the one who knows Panry is an imposter. But Rumple's the one who has to ultimately confront Pan because Pan's his father. I think they thought they were writing a character arc for Rumple, but there's no real process there. He just sits there, crying over a doll and having conversations with Shadow Belle. Part of the problem is that they held off on the surprise twist revelation that Pan was his father, which meant they couldn't really do anything about that relationship until late in the arc. But the result is that we watch Emma being put through the emotional wringer while her suffering has little to do with the main plot, so there's all the trauma, none of the triumph. Ditto in 3B. We get the Ordinary World setup again with her life in New York, then Hook shows up with the call to adventure, which she refuses until she later takes the potion and enters a new world. She spends the arc struggling with where she belongs. Which life does she really want? Where is home? At least there, she does have to make the right choice in order to get back to the future, but that's separate from the main plot of the arc, which is about Regina and Zelena. But Regina doesn't really get a character arc.

Actually, the weird thing about Regina is that while she gets the bulk of the screen time, she never really gets a true character arc, mostly because they're so reluctant to make her struggle. She gets huge reversals, but there's no process, no weighing two options representing two potential paths in life and having to choose one. Her big leaps are often forced, like in season 2, where she only makes the choices she did because she was trapped into them, not because she truly made a choice. If she hadn't been caught, she'd have chosen something else and been fine with it. In 3B, when the plot is linked to her, we do see the turning point of her using light magic, but there's no struggle to get there. She's not spending the arc trying to figure out where she fits into things, is she still the Evil Queen or can she be different, is using magic a bad idea because of the link to darkness or can she embrace the light. She mostly just stands around and snarks, and her embrace of love involves her seeing the tattoo that means he's her guaranteed soulmate, so there's not even a struggle to choose love.

So we have Emma constantly being put through the painful growth stuff and being forced to question who she is while having a minimal role in the external plot, so all her suffering ends up having nothing to do with being able to resolve the main plot. It's like the character journey is developed independently of the plot. They did have the right people dealing with most of those showdowns. What they needed to have done was set up the plots differently so that they were connected to the character arcs. Don't make all the villains related to other characters, make the resolution more of a team effort, with the character arc having something to do with Emma being able to trust in the others or step up and lead the team. Or if they're going to downgrade Emma from being the main character, don't give her the growth arc that puts her through all the pain. Let her sit one out and just be on the sidelines making snarky remarks.

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We should have an episode showdown after the re-watch - a contest between two great episodes like - "A Tale of Two Sisters" vs "Sisters".  Who am I kidding, I won't be able to choose.  I'm not sure which pair of sisters are more inspirational to me.  Elsa and Anna, or Regina and Zelena.  Or the trio of sisters Ingrid, Helga and Gerda... love their bond.  Oops, I can't believe I almost forgot Ivy and Anastasia!  Tsk tsk to me.  What a wonderful sisterly story that was.  No one does family stories like this show.  

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19 hours ago, Camera One said:

We should have an episode showdown after the re-watch - a contest between two great episodes like - "A Tale of Two Sisters" vs "Sisters".  Who am I kidding, I won't be able to choose.  I'm not sure which pair of sisters are more inspirational to me.  Elsa and Anna, or Regina and Zelena.  Or the trio of sisters Ingrid, Helga and Gerda... love their bond.  Oops, I can't believe I almost forgot Ivy and Anastasia!  Tsk tsk to me.  What a wonderful sisterly story that was.  No one does family stories like this show.  

 

The only relationships that matter are with family or potential family. All the others are optional and/or boring.

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I was thinking about Hook's hand.  I wonder if the reformed Rumple in Season 7 ever told Hook that his hand wasn't truly cursed.  

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34 minutes ago, Camera One said:

I wonder if the reformed Rumple in Season 7 ever told Hook that his hand wasn't truly cursed.  

Or was it? Otherwise, it's odd that the hand he had when he was at his best made him act worse than he did when he was devoting his life to revenge and that a right-handed person who hasn't had a left hand in centuries was suddenly leading with his left hand. A curse was the only explanation.

However, you do have to wonder if the reformed Rumple who was apparently so close to Hook that Hook was not only invited to Rumple's son's birthday party but was also bringing something ever thought of offering to restore the hand without a curse attached. Or what Belle thought about that hand in a jar her totally reformed and good-hearted husband kept in his shop and if she ever suggested they offer to restore it without a curse attached.

But then I'm still stuck on how Hook's soul in the afterlife still had a hook and how that hook still had the spells put on the real-world hook. I guess it had a soul, like the pen.

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I can't decide if 4A or 4B was the major tipping point for the show. It'll be interesting to reanalyze S4. To me, this is the season with the furthest drop in overall quality. There's a distinct tonal shift between S3 and S4, almost as if it's a completely different show going onward. S3 effectively tied up the last few remaining threads from S1. (Neal, Emma accepting her place in Storybrooke, Regina becoming a "hero", Rumpbelle getting married, etc.) The character development stops at this point and there's never any more until S7, where Regina, Rumple, and Zelena all change into different people for some reason. In S4, there seems to be less care put into the show's style, the sets aren't as great, and the story loses a lot of its grandeur. The scale of everything shrinks a lot. 

S1-S3, S4-S6, and S7 all seem to be separate shows.

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The weakest aspects of 4A for me were the Plot B and Plot C involving Rumple and Regina.  The majority of the "Frozen" stuff and focusing on Emma back in the center I thought recaptured some of the original fairy tale wonder of the show which went down the drain in 3B.  In terms of the shifts, I thought S1-2A was one show, then 2B-5B (hit and miss all over), then the crappy S6 and then the questionable S7.

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4A is really weird, because at times it almost seems like two different shows. It has the Frozen stuff, which is still quite good (some of the Ana flashbacks are kinda of lame, but they arent god awful), and Emma still got lots of development, and the main characters still actually felt like the main characters, which is certainly more than what later seasons would give us. Its almost separate from so much of the Regina/Robin grossness and the nonsense of Rumple and the Author. Maybe because A&E were actually excited to play with such bright, shiny toys, or maybe because Team Disney was overseeing the Frozen brand, but I remember really enjoying the arc, and it seems to be holding up well so far. The other stuff, has actually aged even WORSE, especially knowing what all come next. Its like the writers still cared about the A plots, but the B and C plots are just terrible and are nonsense and boring at best, and disgusting and infuriating at worst. 

4B is when I remember the show really going down hill, and never recovering. Every plot was a mess, A, B, and C plots were just nonsense, and it really began messing with the characters, retcons were everywhere, and the very foundations of how this world worked seemed to fall apart. Yeah, it still had some good episodes and some characters and moments that I liked, even a few arcs that turned out alright, but the show started to run on a very half assed kind of way, becoming very very hit and miss, with even the hits not getting to the highs that earlier seasons gave us.. Even the costumes, sets, and effects started to become much lower in quality. Its like the show just gave up for some reason, and just didnt learn when to die with a shred of dignity. 

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4B took the B and C plots from 4A (the Rumple betrayal plus the Apprentice mythology and the Regina "Find the Author" subplots), and they combined into the main driving force for 4B.  Rumple joined Regina in having the goal of finding the Author, who became the Big Bad after allying with Rumple.  The Queens of Darkness were mildly entertaining (okay fine, only Cruella)... I think that must have been the only positive.  Everything else was beyond insulting.  As you said, the retcons.  Emma got the retcon with her unfair treatment of the poor Lily.  Snowing got the horrifying eggnapping retcon.  Belle was pretty much destroyed for good.  We got another rape storyline.  I wouldn't be surprised if A&E were just itching for 4A to end so they could do all their favorites motifs in 4B.  

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The 4A finale was where the show tipped into total awfulness. That whole episode was a mess. They were in such a hurry to set up 4B that they failed to deliver a decent conclusion to the story that they had been telling. Rather than having Emma or Belle put together the hints about Hook and Rumpel that had been peppered throughout the season, they literally had something fall off a shelf and that was it. Emma almost seeing Hook die - the thing she was so worried about in episode 3? Meh. No big deal. He's fine. Better go have drinks with Regina. All of this on top of Emma getting her memories of Ingrid back - this time with the full picture - and then watching Ingrid die. No emotional fallout from that either.

Then we got 4B where the show really fell into the unrelenting bleakness that it never came out of. No one smiled. No fun adventures. Just all consuming endless depression. I obviously continued watching the show, but the end of 4A was where my excitement and interest in this show waned. 5A really crushed my interest and then I was just watching to see how bad it could get. 

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5 hours ago, KAOS Agent said:

The 4A finale was where the show tipped into total awfulness. That whole episode was a mess. They were in such a hurry to set up 4B that they failed to deliver a decent conclusion to the story that they had been telling. Rather than having Emma or Belle put together the hints about Hook and Rumpel that had been peppered throughout the season, they literally had something fall off a shelf and that was it. Emma almost seeing Hook die - the thing she was so worried about in episode 3? Meh. No big deal. He's fine. Better go have drinks with Regina. All of this on top of Emma getting her memories of Ingrid back - this time with the full picture - and then watching Ingrid die. No emotional fallout from that either.

Then we got 4B where the show really fell into the unrelenting bleakness that it never came out of. No one smiled. No fun adventures. Just all consuming endless depression. I obviously continued watching the show, but the end of 4A was where my excitement and interest in this show waned. 5A really crushed my interest and then I was just watching to see how bad it could get. 

Yeah, that's where it started and it never stopped. No real fallout, no real pay off, and as nice as it was to have Belle kick out Rumple her reasons are for because he lied to her rather then was going to let the entire town die except her and Henry, what he did to Hook and what he almost did to Emma. The falling off the shelf was so bad! All of the weirdness of Hook around Emma which looked like they were planting seeds came to nothing. Rumple was only discovered by something falling off the shelf and Anna asking hey who's Mr. Gold right before she and Elsa are about to walk through the door. It never recovered from that. 4B was so bad and it didn't get any better in 5A or 5B. Even the big important stuff ends up meaning nothing or pushed off to the side. Hook comes back from the dead! Who cares because Regina's boyfriend is dead and no one can be happy when Regina isn't. Robin's raped. Who cares Regina and her sister feud is more important. Arthur and Camelot! Who cares they don't even bother to finish that story and everyone is still sanded. Emma becomes the Dark One and is the worse one ever. Even if all she did was take a heart and try to save Hook! That's still worse then village massacres and everything Rumple's ever done. The Underworld! Who cares no one gets to make peace with any of their relatives except Regina, Rumple kills Milah again and no one finds out, oh and CORA GETS INTO HEAVEN. Land of Untold Stories! Ah, who cares because they kept forgetting about that, the only ones we saw made no sense as to why they ended up here, Edmond Dantes! Who cares. Jekyell and Hyde! Who cares they were dead early on. The Evil Queen! She did random stuff, was turned into a snake or something for awhile and then got redeemed! Emma is in trouble! The Black Fairy wants her dead oh she'll just let her kill her. Hook is great! Right up until he remembers he murdered David's father oh well who cares? An episode or two later no one does. Wish World! Thank God Regina ruined everyone's lives especially Emma's so she can thank her for the horrible childhood and not growing up with her parents. I don't even know why I didn't bail sooner. It really wasn't worth it for the small seconds of good like Hook and Emma in the flowers in Camelot or the Other Shoe.  

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6 hours ago, KAOS Agent said:

the end of 4A was where my excitement and interest in this show waned. 5A really crushed my interest and then I was just watching to see how bad it could get. 

This is about it for me too. I was so disappointed in the 4a finale. Sigh.

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The big issue with 4A, aside from the horrible Robin/Regina plot, was that not only did they not stick the landing on the dismount, they did an epic faceplant on the dismount, then accused the judges of not understanding how innovative they were being, that everyone lands on the dismount, and this was unexpected and surprising, so should have been scored higher.

It wasn't quite so bad with the Frozen side of things, aside from the anticlimax of the Shattered Sight spell that was supposed to be serious but was played like a Marx Brothers movie. I think it was appropriate that the non-magical family member was the one who was able to reach Ingrid, since that was her issue. But since there had been such an arc for Emma about coming to terms with her magic as part of her, Emma not being in on the resolution of that story line means she should have played a key role in the resolution of the other story line. Or at least been allowed an emotional reaction to something.

So, Emma finds out that she did have a loving foster parent she's been forced to forget. She had a time in her youth when she was actually happy until it went horribly wrong. Now she's been reunited with this woman only to have to see her die. Ingrid's story is rather tragic, since, unlike certain other villains, she really was a victim. She was horribly treated, didn't mean to do harm, then got punished, which is enough to warp anyone. And then she gets a harsher punishment (death) than worse villains. But Emma doesn't get to react to any of this. There's no emotional resolution to that plot. Likewise for Elsa and Anna. They barely react to the death of their aunt, their only family, and then they're cheerfully off back to Arendelle for Anna's wedding.

Then they seem to have run out of time to wrap up the rest of the story because they jump straight from "Who is Mr. Gold?" to finding Rumple in the clock tower. Never mind all the clues they actually set up -- the voice mail and Emma's missing phone (do they not know that the voice mail is on the server, not the phone, so Emma could check it from any phone?), Hook kissing like he was saying goodbye forever, Hook managing to signal Emma that something was wrong. Belle's not mad about anything but Rumple lying about the gauntlet, since him giving up the gauntlet was what made her realize he loved her. No worries about him lying to her all this time, using her as an alibi to cover his crimes, making her feel bad about using the dagger to control him when the dagger was a fake, trying to kill the whole town, trying to kill Hook as part of a ritual to get ultimate power. They did an arc of Emma coming to terms with her power, but she doesn't get to do anything but be frozen in the big confrontation. They did an episode about Emma's fears about losing someone else she loves, but we don't get to see her react to finding her current boyfriend close to being killed.

I think the Frozen arc was pretty good, and I even like the Rumple arc. The setup was silly and it got redundant, but the actors really sold it. And then the finale pretty much trashed the entire half season.

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19 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

The big issue with 4A, aside from the horrible Robin/Regina plot, was that not only did they not stick the landing on the dismount, they did an epic faceplant on the dismount, then accused the judges of not understanding how innovative they were being, that everyone lands on the dismount, and this was unexpected and surprising, so should have been scored higher.

So, Emma finds out that she did have a loving foster parent she's been forced to forget. She had a time in her youth when she was actually happy until it went horribly wrong. Now she's been reunited with this woman only to have to see her die. But Emma doesn't get to react to any of this. There's no emotional resolution to that plot. 

Then they seem to have run out of time to wrap up the rest of the story because they jump straight from "Who is Mr. Gold?" to finding Rumple in the clock tower.

They did an arc of Emma coming to terms with her power, but she doesn't get to do anything but be frozen in the big confrontation. They did an episode about Emma's fears about losing someone else she loves, but we don't get to see her react to finding her current boyfriend close to being killed.

The "funny" thing is how common this is on this show.  This start a character arc for Emma and it fizzles out or the "arc" is so simple it can be boiled down to a repetitive line said several times.  3A started off about Emma dealing with being a "lost girl" and the heroes' leader and then... 3B was apparently about Emma figuring out what "home" was and then... 4A was about Emma dealing with her magical powers and then... heck, 5A started off about Emma dealing with becoming the Dark One and then...  5B started off being about Emma saving Hook and then it became all about Hades and Zelena and Regina reconciling with her dead parents.  It's always a bait-and-switch with Emma.  

I guess it gets even worse when you analyze other "heroes" like Charming, who doesn't even get an arc, and Snow, who gets something new like dealing with being mayor, and we don't even see her decide not to be mayor and the next half-season, Regina is back in her old office setting fire to Snow's painting.  And they're supposedly besties.  Or Belle, who has a pendulum arc where she always ends up back at the same place (how clever, she's Cogsworth!) and it's always only about whether she should take Rumple back.

It also became a pattern as of 3B that the penultimate episode of a half-season wrapped up the loose ends with the "defeat" of the big bad, and then the finale sets up for the next arc.  

Edited by Camera One
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I discovered that the deeper we get into the rewatch, the less interesting it is to discuss the characters or their actions. In S1-S3, it felt like the characters were developing and changing and their actions were more in line with how I'd expect that character to respond. The longer the show went on, the more they depended on random plots that required the characters to act in a certain way. It didn't matter if that was something completely out of line with the individual character. There is little point in analyzing or assessing the characters or where they might be going because everyone was hostage to the plot. And of course, once you know that nothing is ever going to come of any of it, there's nothing interesting to parse.

The only other character bits we got were those same pieces that were set in stone in the Pilot. No matter how many times Emma demonstrated growth and change in her attitude towards relationships, it didn't matter. Her Walls were the inevitable fall back for drama with Emma. Snow had "hope". Regina was the sad victim who doesn't deserve the hate, but always gets to be nastily snarky. Rumpel is evil, but totally a teddy bear at heart and it's just that terrible curse that makes him bad. Charming is just there.

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The same sort of thing happened with the plots - you couldn't analyze, theorize, or speculate because nothing made any sense. The incredible lack of consistency in regard to worldbuilding was outlandish. A&E were so obsessed with being "unpredictable" that they became predictably unpredictable. Whatever you thought was going to happen, if you didn't take the writers' meta into consideration, was not going to happen. But if you guessed what A&E would do, you'd probably be right. You can't delve deeper into the lore of Camelot, create timeline graphs, or explain how the magic system works, because none of it points anywhere. It's an endless maze with no exit. 

13 hours ago, KAOS Agent said:

Snow had "hope"

She either had "hope" or she was an eggnapping fiend who wanted to lay down and die in the face of danger.

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Season 4-5 raises a lot of questions.  Why the Sorcerer's mansion show up this time when it didn't before?  Why were all the empty books in there?  What was the equivalent of the Sorcerer's mansion in the Enchanted Forest?  Why did The Apprentice come over this time?  Why didn't he make a portal to escape living in the same time as Rumple?  The Apprentice went to talk to August and Lily, but why didn't he seek out Snowing or Emma about what happened?   Why would The Sorcerer make a Pen that can force people to do stuff against their will?  Why did Merlin create the role of an Author, or did such a role pre-date him?  Can we even figure out any of these?

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3 hours ago, Camera One said:

Season 4-5 raises a lot of questions.  Why the Sorcerer's mansion show up this time when it didn't before?  Why were all the empty books in there?  What was the equivalent of the Sorcerer's mansion in the Enchanted Forest?  Why did The Apprentice come over this time?  Why didn't he make a portal to escape living in the same time as Rumple?  The Apprentice went to talk to August and Lily, but why didn't he seek out Snowing or Emma about what happened?   Why would The Sorcerer make a Pen that can force people to do stuff against their will?  Why did Merlin create the role of an Author, or did such a role pre-date him?  Can we even figure out any of these?

A&E Rumple has the answer - "Your questions are pointless."

This will all be explored in the spinoff that's totally happening in a couple years according to the dynamic duo.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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Today marks the one-year anniversary of Once’s cancellation. It was quite the birthday present. 🙃

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Part of me wishes it wasn't cancelled so I could be continually disappointed for the next several years while laughing hysterically at coat hangers and Prehistoric Victorian 1980s prom dresses.

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9 hours ago, KingOfHearts said:

Part of me wishes it wasn't cancelled so I could be continually disappointed for the next several years while laughing hysterically at coat hangers and Prehistoric Victorian 1980s prom dresses.

Totally.  The whole "I would like a favorite show to end on a high note" ship sailed a long time ago and I would have enjoyed watching the whole thing run aground for several more years.

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9 hours ago, Camera One said:

Totally.  The whole "I would like a favorite show to end on a high note" ship sailed a long time ago and I would have enjoyed watching the whole thing run aground for several more years.

I would agree, but they probably would have made Emma's life even more canonically miserable (likely in the form of having her and Hook lose baby Hope and not meet her again until she was at least as old as pilot-Henry), and might have character-assassinated Hook to the point where I couldn't even enjoy Captain Swan fanfic. 

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