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

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On 2/7/2019 at 4:05 AM, companionenvy said:

and might have character-assassinated Hook to the point where I couldn't even enjoy Captain Swan fanfic. 

To be honest they very nearly did that but with the way Emma was treating Hook in season 6. If I think too hard on the way she treated him I get quite soured but I have to remember this wasn't in character and was purely to serve the plot so I can dismiss it as not being a character flaw in Emma and blsme bad writing.

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4 hours ago, daxx said:

I get quite soured but I have to remember this wasn't in character and was purely to serve the plot so I can dismiss it as not being a character flaw in Emma and blsme bad writing.

Honestly, I just pretend S6 never happened. That was not my Captain Swan and I refuse to acknowledge it. 

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21 minutes ago, profdanglais said:

Honestly, I just pretend S6 never happened. 

I was thinking about this, and really, there was nothing worthwhile in Season 6 except maybe "The Other Shoe" and "The Song in Your Heart".  It was either bland, bad or downright insulting and damaging.

I would include the trash that was the Season 5 two-hour finale in with Season 6.

So maybe it's possible to think of the series as ending with "Last Rites".  And "The Song in Your Heart" is an epilogue minus the last 30 seconds.  

One could also say each character had a different "final" episode after which the essence of the character was essentially lost forever.  Henry's last episode was "Queen of Hearts".  Snow's last episode was "Lost Girl".  Belle's last episode was... um, this one is a toughie, let's say "The Outsider".  Rumple's last episode was "Going Home".  I think Emma, Hook and David might be able to go with "Last Rites".   Did I leave someone out, LOL?  Regina... probably "Going Home".

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

So maybe it's possible to think of the series as ending with "Last Rites".  And "The Song in Your Heart" is an epilogue minus the last 30 seconds.  

But then you have S7 with its debatable right to exist. It's horrible, but it's not nearly as damaging as S6. At least it concludes Regina, Rumple, Henry, and Zelena's arcs. It's also got WHook and Alice, who were great. A lot of it didn't need to happen (like the Tremaine family melodrama and Tiana's whole storyline), but I'm okay with it being canon for the most part.

28 minutes ago, profdanglais said:

Honestly, I just pretend S6 never happened. That was not my Captain Swan and I refuse to acknowledge it. 

I can't really do this because I think the issues Captain Swan had in S6 were the issues they already had, just magnified about ten times. Hook was always thrown around (sometimes literally) by Emma's emotions, and at some points I thought he deserved better. In S6, their entire relationship revolved around Emma's issues. I really don't think her overreaction was out of character because she had gotten so moody. I just don't think CS should get a free pass compared to all the other couples. It was easier to ignore their flaws in previous seasons because the relationship was in earlier stages and they weren't always the focal point of the plot.

Edited by KingOfHearts

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6 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

But then you have S7 with its debatable right to exist. It's horrible, but it's not nearly as damaging as S6. At least it concludes Regina, Rumple, Henry, and Zelena's arcs. It's also got WHook and Alice, who were great. A lot of it didn't need to happen (like the Tremaine family melodrama and Tiana's whole storyline), but I'm okay with it being canon for the most part.

To me, the show had been so damaging to my favorite characters since 2B that this isn't a series where I draw the line at what's canon and what's not.

S7 was almost like a spinoff.  Throw in the two "Wish Realm" episodes from S6 and we've basically got ourselves "Once Upon a Time in The Wish Realm".

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36 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

the issues Captain Swan had in S6 were the issues they already had, just magnified about ten times

It's the magnification that's objectionable. Yes CS had issues, and especially with the whole Dark Ones/Underworld thing, but instead of having them work through it like a loving and committed couple, they brought teh melodramzz and it was just insulting, to the characters and their relationship. I'm not having it. 

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12 hours ago, KingOfHearts said:

In S6, their entire relationship revolved around Emma's issues.

Did it really though? Killing David's dad was pretty much Hook's issue. He got all broody and stupid about it. Then they made it into a ridiculous melodramatic soap opera where no one's actions felt real and I mostly just rolled my eyes.

Added to the awfulness of the Captain Swan soap opera, we got the fun Emma is going to die storyline. How exciting! Let's tear apart the only decent thing in her life and top it all off with death! Just thinking about it all makes my blood boil. Poor, poor Regina is so misunderstood and deserves all the good things in life because reasons, while Emma's entire childhood was sacrificed for Regina's happy ending that she was bored with in about six minutes and then Emma was required to die to save everyone again. But this show is all about hope and is never bleak. I hate ever getting invested in a show that wrote this travesty of a story. 

Edited by KAOS Agent
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Season 6 started off focused on Emma and the depressing "accept death without WALLS™" arc, but I agree the second half was more about the usual Hook arc of "shiver me timbers the skeletons in the closet™".  Neither was enjoyable or fun to watch. 

Add that to Regina feeling sorry for herself and blaming her other self (literally), Snowing laying down to die and sleeping on the sidelines (this time literally), and Rumbelle playing morality ping pong (the baby edition), it was everything we had seen before except completely lifeless and with no redeeming qualities.

At least 5B had a distracting new-ish setting, and 5A, 4B and 4A had some nice shiny toys from Frozen, 101 Dalmatians and Camelot. 

Season 6 was boringly all Storybrooke, all the time, with a double dose of everything wrong with the show.

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5 hours ago, KAOS Agent said:

Did it really though? Killing David's dad was pretty much Hook's issue. He got all broody and stupid about it. Then they made it into a ridiculous melodramatic soap opera where no one's actions felt real and I mostly just rolled my eyes.

It was, but that's not why they broke up. It was Emma's trust issues.

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1 hour ago, KingOfHearts said:

It was, but that's not why they broke up. 

No no. According to the writers that wasn’t a break up. It was a romantic and passionate adventure. 

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43 minutes ago, RolloTomasi said:

No no. According to the writers that wasn’t a break up. It was a romantic and passionate adventure. 

#relationshipgoals

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I just rewatched that scene.

Seriously, I have to commend the actors for trying the hardest with that scene.  Especially with lines like these.

Quote

EMMA: You know them [Snow and Charming].  You know they would forgive you.  That's who they are!

A normal person would not easily forgive someone who killed their father.  Yet on this show, we're supposed to believe that Hook could assume David would just forgive him?  That's ultimately what happened but still.

Quote

HOOK: This isn't just about them.  This is about ME.

This line is totally out of context but still.  Their go-to line for Regina.  And really, the whole David's father's murder was about him, not about David.

Quote

EMMA: We have to stop hiding things from each other.  The man I fell in love with would know that.  

Actually, "the man you fell in love with" was hiding things from you in 3B and then 4A and then 4B.

I hate the Writers for writing lines like this when they had Emma keeping secrets from Hook earlier in the season.  It makes these words seem hypocritical. 

They keep doing this to the "heroes", either intentionally or not.  Maybe A&E see them as all hypocritical so that's why they're grey and we shouldn't be too critical of Rumple or Regina because none of them are "perfect".

A lot of shows throw wrenches into relationships leading up to a wedding, but this had got to be the least enjoyable way of doing it.  It didn't help that they then had Emma seemingly finalizing the separation by packing Hook's stuff and giving up on them as a couple.

But at the end of the day, it was all worth it because we got that awesome adventure with Hook and Tiger Lily.

Edited by Camera One
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I think a lot of the relationship issues in Captain Swan were actually the result of story structure issues, and probably not even meant by the writers to be actual issues. For one thing, he's a reforming villain, so he has to prove himself and show his transformation by doing heroic things and making sacrifices, but since he doesn't get to interact much with anyone but Emma, that means he mostly does heroic things and makes sacrifices for Emma, which makes their relationship look one-sided. She's expected to be saving the world all the time, so her heroism is more general but Hook's heroism is focused on Emma. Then there's the fact that she's the protagonist, so she's the one going through all the emotional character arcs. He's the love interest, so his role is being supportive. Again, it looks one-sided because she has all the angst and he has all the support. But because it's TS;TW, she's the protagonist who isn't allowed to have the victory or be part of the resolution, which means that she doesn't get to balance the scales much by being the one to save him (with the exception of her giving up her power to do CPR on him, which was about getting her out of the way for the big confrontation). We really see that in the 4A finale when she's not even allowed to have the on-screen realization where she puts together the clues in the odd things in his behavior that she's remarked upon and knows he's in trouble, and she doesn't get to react onscreen to seeing him that close to death. The result is that it looks like she's oblivious when he's in trouble and desperately trying to signal her, and like she's not all that affected by him being in jeopardy, so their relationship looks very one-sided. But I don't get the impression that the writers realize they're writing a one-sided relationship in which he'd give everything he has for her while she kind of likes having him around to give her pep talks but he's not a high priority for her.

Then there's the fact that each character is only allowed to have one trait that's explored, so there's lots of "WALLS!" from her and all the guilt and moping from him. When they do decide to actually write relationship issues for them, that's all they have to fall back on -- her finally dropping her WALLS and getting hurt when his guilt makes him act like he doesn't trust her.

22 minutes ago, Camera One said:
Quote

HOOK: This isn't just about them.  This is about ME.

This line is totally out of context but still.  Their go-to line for Regina.  And really, the whole David's father's murder was about him, not about David.

Though I think the idea behind that line does make sense and was what she wasn't getting, that even if David could forgive him, he couldn't forgive himself, and he felt so bad about what he'd done that he couldn't face David.

It's interesting that when they have a former villain who really does feel bad about what he's done, he's depicted as being in the wrong for feeling bad and for assuming that others will be angry at him for murdering. This show is crazy. It's like "I'm angry that you have no faith in us because you think my father and I will be mad at you for murdering my grandfather."

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20 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

Though I think the idea behind that line does make sense and was what she wasn't getting, that even if David could forgive him, he couldn't forgive himself, and he felt so bad about what he'd done that he couldn't face David.

That's why I said the line was out of context.  But still, the dialogue could have been phrased in a different way, like "I know you and your family will forgive me - the problem is I cannot forgive myself", etc.  

Quote

This show is crazy. It's like "I'm angry that you have no faith in us because you think my father and I will be mad at you for murdering my grandfather."

LOL.  When phrased like that, it really is laughable.

Edited by Camera One

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42 minutes ago, Camera One said:

I just rewatched that scene.

Seriously, I have to commend the actors for trying the hardest with that scene.  Especially with lines like these.

A normal person would not easily forgive someone who killed their father.  Yet on this show, we're supposed to believe that Hook could assume David would just forgive him?  That's ultimately what happened but still.

This line is totally out of context but still.  Their go-to line for Regina.  And really, the whole David's father's murder was about him, not about David.

Actually, "the man you fell in love with" was hiding things from you in 3B and then 4A and then 4B.

I hate the Writers for writing lines like this when they had Emma keeping secrets from Hook earlier in the season.  It makes these words seem hypocritical. 

They keep doing this to the "heroes", either intentionally or not.  Maybe A&E see them as all hypocritical so that's why they're grey and we shouldn't be too critical of Rumple or Regina because none of them are "perfect".

A lot of shows throw wrenches into relationships leading up to a wedding, but this had got to be the least enjoyable way of doing it.  It didn't help that they then had Emma seemingly finalizing the separation by packing Hook's stuff and giving up on them as a couple.

But at the end of the day, it was all worth it because we got that awesome adventure with Hook and Tiger Lily.

Honestly, I really think A&E do completely see the Heroes that way. I couldn't begin to guess how they'd see it that way. But they are always talking like they completely believe Regina is this victim who's had the worse back story and the worse happening to. They always seem really confused when people keep pointing out what a murdering psycho she is or how she's never apologized, or anything. They never really seem to understand those questions. They seem to really believe Snow deserved everything that's happened to her. Even when people point out that Snow was ten and that Cora was the one who killed Daniel or that Regina didn't have to marry Leopold after she got rid of her mother. She was free to do whatever they want. They want us to see she's miserable as Queen when what they show is she's free to do whatever she wants, come and go as she wants, has all the power of being Queen, money for her lavish dresses, somehow has her own knights, and all the time in the world to learn magic from the Dark One. Its the same with Cora they completely believe Cora was in the right and Eva was this horrible monster for telling Leo the woman he was in love with was pregnant with another man's baby. They don't see anything Cora did wrong by lying, trying to trick Leo into marriage, or that Leo gave her a chance to come clean AND he probably would have understood and still married her. The only thing he might have done was not let her baby be heir and even that's fifty-fifty. 

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These are the writers who thought that Cora apologizing to her daughters for wiping their childhood memories was enough to get her into heaven, so obviously mass murder and torture is pretty low on their list of sins, but relatively minor infractions that mess with family is a path straight to hell. Look at poor Milah. She became a mindless, tortured husk and her sin was leaving her son with the father who loved him so she could have a happier life. Not the best action for a mother, but it's not murdering an entire village and then turning their zombified corpses into your own personal army level evil either.

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Another issue with the Captain Swan relationship is that he had walls as bad as Emma's, if not worse, since at least everyone knew she had walls and was hiding things while he hid things so well that no one ever knew that anything was hidden. However, I'm not sure they wrote it that way on purpose or even knew they'd written it that way. It was just a result of him being the love interest rather than the protagonist, so he doesn't get the scenes of talking about his feelings like Emma did, as well as their overall allergy to writing aftermaths of anything. Regardless of whether or not they intended it, what we got on the screen was him never showing any reaction to all the trauma Rumple put him through with the heart and acting like having been killed and being the Dark One never even happened, which means some serious emotional walls if he won't let his pain show. We were never even sure how much he'd shared with Emma about his background. But while Emma got castigated for shutting people out, no one seemed to notice it with Hook. In fact, he's usually written as though he's very open, even though they keep forgetting to let him react to anything that happens to him.

And I think this impression changes the way you take the infamous season six fight/(not)breakup. If you're seeing that he has some walls that are so impressive that no one has noticed them and he's putting up walls even against himself by trying to block out the memory entirely, the whole fight has a different tone. They're so much alike, but she's getting annoyed by the trait in him that she's been struggling with herself, and perhaps part of her sense of betrayal is not just what he's hiding from her here, but also the realization that he's been hiding his walls from her all this time.

But I think that's giving them too much credit and reading too much into it when it was really just a dramatic contrivance to separate them for a couple of episodes.

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In some ways, Rumple also had Walls™.  He used The Dark One as armor.  He rarely let anyone in, except for dear Belle, who could see his inner goodness, but she was often shut out again.  

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18 minutes ago, Camera One said:

In some ways, Rumple also had Walls™.  He used The Dark One as armor.  He rarely let anyone in, except for dear Belle, who could see his inner goodness, but she was often shut out again.  

Weirdly, he was actually pretty open about his flaws and his feelings. I guess the Dark One armor made him feel strong enough to be vulnerable. Most of his walls were about hiding what his latest scheme was, putting on the harmless facade while he plotted everyone's death. He told Belle he was weak and always made the wrong choice and would always choose power over everything else and that he was a coward. Unfortunately, her response was "He's so honest! And modest!"

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16 hours ago, Camera One said:

In some ways, Rumple also had Walls™.  He used The Dark One as armor.  He rarely let anyone in, except for dear Belle, who could see his inner goodness, but she was often shut out again.  

Didnt Charming say Regina had WALLS too and that made her like Emma?

Edited by KingOfHearts

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16 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

Weirdly, he was actually pretty open about his flaws and his feelings. I guess the Dark One armor made him feel strong enough to be vulnerable. Most of his walls were about hiding what his latest scheme was, putting on the harmless facade while he plotted everyone's death. He told Belle he was weak and always made the wrong choice and would always choose power over everything else and that he was a coward. Unfortunately, her response was "He's so honest! And modest!"

Rumple actually got pretty real in 5B, which made it harder to put all the blame on him for Rumpbelle's issues. Belle knew exactly what she was getting and he was upfront about it. It's not like she got baited, though that doesn't absolve Rumple either. He was far better at being vulnerable than Regina or Zelena. At least he had self awareness. (Except he stopped there and didnt actually change his behavior. Regina changed her behavior but had no self awareness.)

Edited by KingOfHearts

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A lot of the WALLS stuff depends on how you define WALLS. Is it all avoidance of intimacy, or only when it's out of fear of being hurt?

Rumple's terrible about intimacy, but his problem is that he's so selfish that it's hard for him to have a truly intimate relationship, considering how much time he spends lying and scheming. His fear in intimacy is that he'll be forced or expected to change, and he doesn't really want to change because that means giving up power.

Regina certainly seems to have avoided intimacy, given that she rejected all opportunities to have any kind of real relationship and instead used her human sex toy, but was that out of fear of intimacy? She was nervous about Robin at first, but then she dove right in. With everyone else, she does tend to use snark as a defense mechanism when things get emotional, so I guess that could be considered WALLS, but at the same time, when she has an emotion, she makes sure everyone knows how she feels.

Emma has generally taken the "I'll reject you before you can reject me" approach, and she understandably has a fear that if people really knew her, they'd reject her, plus she has a lifetime habit of self-sufficiency that makes her want to solve her problems herself without dragging anyone else into it, which would also show weakness that might get her hurt.

I think Hook's similar to Emma, but better at camouflaging it. He wears his heart on his sleeve and dives head-first into relationships, but behind that, there's a lot he keeps hidden because he feels that the more people know about him, the less they'll like him. At least, that's the way it comes across on-screen, since he's very reluctant to talk about his past unless he feels that what he has to say can help the other person, and he seldom talks about how he's feeling -- if he's hurt, scared, worried, struggling, etc. (or the writers just don't like writing conversations and emotional reactions, but the on-screen result is the same). He also has that "I'll handle it myself" problem, with the sense that people will reject him if they think he can't handle it or if they knew he was having any trouble at all. Is that WALLS?

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What is considered a Wall™?  That is certainly a very relevant question.

A Wall™ keeps other people out.  Emma has the Classic Wall™ because she had been let down so often by people in the past that she is afraid of opening up and feeling happy with others since humans had always left and abandoned her in the past.

In that way, Emma's Classic Wall™ is different from other characters' Walls like Rumple and Hook.  

Edited by Camera One
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I had some questions about The Apprentice.  So please tell me all of 3B, he was looking for the Sorcerer's Mansion to get the Hat Box back.  Clearly, he didn't know it was there since the Hat Box was just sitting on a table for anyone to steal.  And was Ingrid looking for The Apprentice?  I'm surprised she hadn't iced him to try to get the Hat Box back. 

I was also wondering about Ingrid.  So where did Ingrid go in the Missing Year?  Did she resign herself to death in the Season 2 finale when the fail-safe was about to kill everybody?  She was going to let Zelena ruin her plans to reunite with Emma?  Was she trying to get the Urn back from Rumple?

The Apprentice was willing to put Emma under risk by telling Ingrid about her, just to get possession of the Hat Box that he later lost.  He also went out of his way to talk to Lily and August, but couldn't care less about speaking to Snowing or Emma even though he could've.    

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23 hours ago, Camera One said:

I was also wondering about Ingrid.  So where did Ingrid go in the Missing Year?  Did she resign herself to death in the Season 2 finale when the fail-safe was about to kill everybody?  She was going to let Zelena ruin her plans to reunite with Emma?  Was she trying to get the Urn back from Rumple?

If you do the "put the plan in chronological order" thing with Ingrid, it starts to get really silly. Her goal is to unite with Elsa and Emma as three magical sisters who can love and support each other and stand together against a world that hates magic, and the three of them together can do the Shattered Sight spell that will get rid of the nonmagical people. To accomplish this, she needs to encounter Emma at a time when she's receptive to this message -- so after she learns she has magic and when she's starting to maybe feel the judgment of everyone else. And she needs Elsa out of her urn, which Rumple has, and which is presumably stuck back in Rumple's castle during the curse. She may also need the ribbons. She can't do much during season one because there's no magic in Storybrooke and Emma doesn't yet believe, though you'd think she'd have snagged the ribbons and maybe Anna's necklace from Rumple's shop during the curse when he didn't know what they were or what their value was. But you'd think she'd have been really worried when Rumple and Regina were doing the spell that would have killed Emma upon her return from the Enchanted Forest. Did she sense the magic that was being done then?

What did she think about Regina? Was she considered as a possible ally, another "magical sister?" Or Cora? Surely she wouldn't have wanted to be destroyed by the failsafe with everyone else, and couldn't she have just frozen it? It was just lucky that Emma remembered she had powers in time. Was Ingrid really going to die rather than blow her cover? And what about the "New Neverland" stuff? She couldn't have detected what Pan was up to and stopped it? Again, she was lucky Regina decided to reverse the curse. But what did she do during the Missing Year? She had a golden opportunity to sneak into Rumple's palace and snag the urn before Neal brought him back. I don't think Zelena had moved into Rumple's palace yet. Or did she go back? If Hook and Neal did, she should have.

She was willing to stand by and let Zelena take Emma's magic away from her, when that was the thing she wanted Emma for? And if Zelena's plot had succeeded, there would have been no Emma, so no third magical sister. Was she just sitting around and waiting for the urn to show up miraculously? It's a pretty long shot that Zelena would manage to do the time travel spell but not be actually able to travel in time, so that Emma then went back in time, got locked in Rumple's vault with Hook, Hook got curious, opened a cabinet, and took out the urn, and the urn got pulled into the time vortex. That can't have been her plan. But what was the plan, and why didn't she act sooner?

That's the problem with the "this person was there all along, you just didn't notice them" kind of retcon. If you don't think it through, you end up with all kinds of situations where that person would have taken action because her plan would have been ruined or she'd have been killed, and she could have stopped it. (Now I'm picturing Ingrid sprinting out of the mine tunnel because she was heading there to freeze the failsafe, but Emma stepped in first, and now Ingrid has to get out of there before they see her. They could have had some fun with flashbacks showing things from the first few seasons with Ingrid inserted in various ways.)

Then after Elsa miraculously, and due to no action by Ingrid, does show up, Ingrid's brilliant plan to win over her two magical sisters is to show them how much people hate magic by using her magic to do horrible things in town, frame Elsa for it, then appear in her Snow Queen guise and take credit for doing the horrible things and framing Elsa while doing more horrible things. It's like she learned nothing from the way things happened back in Arendelle. Doing horrible things to the people her targets care about isn't going to make them side with her.

The Apprentice stuff is even crazier, but that's fodder for another post.

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After reading @Shanna Marie's post, I'm actually upset we didnt get a "Expose" type episode showing what all these characters who've been there all along were doing during the events of the show. It could've been a hilarious tongue in cheek way to address plot holes without sacrificing the drama. That's one of my absolute favorite Lost episodes.

Edited by KingOfHearts

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1 hour ago, KingOfHearts said:

After reading @Shanna Marie's post, I'm actually upset we didnt get a "Expose" type episode showing what all these characters who've been there all along were doing during the events of the show. It could've been a hilarious tongue in cheek way to address plot holes without sacrificing the drama. That's one of my absolute favorite Lost episodes.

I only saw the first season of Lost, so I didn't see that episode, but was there some other show where they later introduced a character who was supposedly there all along, then did a series of flashbacks showing them just missing some of the key series events? Ever since I posed that, I've had this nagging sense of deja vu, like I've seen something like that before -- the main characters met the new person and acted like the person was new, and the new person acted offended and said they'd been around for a while but the main characters just never noticed. Then there were a bunch of quick clips showing some of the major events of the series up to that point, with the new character always seeming to just miss them. They used actual clips from the series and edited in the new character. Like, the main characters would run off, chasing the bad guy, then just after they were gone, the new character would run into the location they'd just left, breathing heavily and calling out, "Hey!" Am I imagining this, or has someone done it? (It might have been an animated thing. It seems like something they'd have done on Phineas and Ferb.) We could have had Ingrid striding purposefully into the mines to stop the failsafe, then wincing at the explosion and sprinting away before she could be caught in there, Ingrid on the roof of the barn, about to freeze Zelena to keep her from casting her spell, but then Regina pulls light magic out of her backside.

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13 hours ago, KingOfHearts said:

'm actually upset we didnt get a "Expose" type episode showing what all these characters who've been there all along were doing during the events of the show. That's one of my absolute favorite Lost episodes.

And ironically, A&E wrote that one.  You've been a fan for many years, LOL. 😄

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On 2/12/2019 at 10:02 PM, Camera One said:

I had some questions about The Apprentice.  So please tell me all of 3B, he was looking for the Sorcerer's Mansion to get the Hat Box back.  Clearly, he didn't know it was there since the Hat Box was just sitting on a table for anyone to steal. 

I was going to do my usual "let's put their plans in chronological order" thing with the Sorcerer/Merlin and the Apprentice, but the joke there is usually that either the actions don't match the goals at all or the actions are a ridiculously convoluted way of going after the goal, and the problem is that we never actually learn what Merlin and the Apprentice are trying to do, so there's no way to know whether or not their actions make any sense.

So, there's the hat box. Do we ever learn where it came from? Did Merlin make it? Why? The Apprentice seems to be devoting his life to keeping it away from the Dark Ones, but is that it? Is there any purpose to the hat? Any reason to not just destroy it?

And there's the issue of the Sorcerer's mansion. Why is there a mansion? We learn that the Sorcerer is Merlin and that Merlin has been in a tree all this time, so how does he have a mansion? It might have been interesting if the mansion turned out to be the tree translated into Storybrooke by the curse, except the curse is still in place when they go to Camelot, and Merlin is in the tree there. Regina did the same curse spell, with the only difference being using David's heart instead of her father's and Snow being the one to crush it to complete the spell, and there are no fake curse identities. So why is there a mansion there in curse 2 that wasn't in curse 1? It seems like it would have had to be something triggered by someone else, inserting something into the curse. But why? If it's the Apprentice, then why would he have put the hat into the world where Rumple was? None of that made any sense and it was never really explained. It was just there.

The Apprentice's actions also don't make much sense. Maybe he sent Ingrid to our world after Emma because he knew there was no magic and it was a double cross on his part, since he figured Emma would be safe without Ingrid having magic, but then why did he help August and Lily, but not Emma? And wasn't he the one who gave Ingrid the scroll that allowed her into Storybrooke? That wasn't a double cross on her, and it put Emma in danger. Why was he just sitting around in Storybrooke in curse 2 instead of finding the mansion and the hat box?

Then we have all the Author/Pen stuff. We don't know why Merlin thought an Author was necessary, why he created a magic pen that could alter events. We have a magic pen that can alter events, but the Author isn't supposed to use it to alter events, but it was a great idea to help Regina find the Author so he could change her fate, but it was a terrible thing for Rumple to get the Author to change fate. It's the kind of burst of illogic they'd have used on the old Star Trek to make an evil computer blow up.

Basically, Merlin/the Sorcerer and the Apprentice are scapegoats for creating whatever plot device the writers needed, but without any reason or explanation.

Really, Merlin is the real life destroyer on the show. He was largely to blame for the existence of the Dark One, through his gullibility and lack of caution (and typical of this show that the Worst Evil That Ever Evilled is created by killing a mass murdering serial rapist), and he completely failed to deal with the Dark One, instead letting himself be locked up in a tree by her. He turned the Holy Grail into a sword that causes wounds that can't be healed. He created the pen that can change fate and gave it to the Author with a warning not to use it to change fate. He messed with Arthur's mind, starting when he was a kid, basically turning him into a monster.

As a result of things Merlin did, there are all the lives of people who became Dark Ones who were affected. Rumple's life was altered and his son's life was pretty much ruined by his father becoming the Dark One. Milah was killed and Hook lost his hand and wasted a century or so on revenge. An already slightly corrupt Cora was turned into a serious threat and corrupted further, and Regina was corrupted and turned into a threat. The whole kingdom was cursed. Emma's life was ruined. Then Emma and Hook were harmed yet again and Hook was killed. Then there was the Author stuff, where Lily's life was affected and Emma's life was affected, yet again. Merlin sucks.

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Thinking back on Season 1, I always wondered if Emma ever actually looked at the pages that Henry tore out of The Book and gave to her. If she did, how could she ignore the pic of a baby with a blanket exactly like hers that said "Emma" on it? I know she was just playing along with Henry's "delusion" when she burned them, so I'm assuming she never actually looked at them. She didn't seem interested in The Book until her Jefferson encounter.

ETA: I still haven't gotten around to watching Season 7 since I bought the blu-ray. Someday...

Edited by Writing Wrongs
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4 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

Really, Merlin is the real life destroyer on the show. He was largely to blame for the existence of the Dark One, through his gullibility and lack of caution (and typical of this show that the Worst Evil That Ever Evilled is created by killing a mass murdering serial rapist), and he completely failed to deal with the Dark One, instead letting himself be locked up in a tree by her. He turned the Holy Grail into a sword that causes wounds that can't be healed. He created the pen that can change fate and gave it to the Author with a warning not to use it to change fate. He messed with Arthur's mind, starting when he was a kid, basically turning him into a monster.

As a result of things Merlin did, there are all the lives of people who became Dark Ones who were affected. Rumple's life was altered and his son's life was pretty much ruined by his father becoming the Dark One. Milah was killed and Hook lost his hand and wasted a century or so on revenge. An already slightly corrupt Cora was turned into a serious threat and corrupted further, and Regina was corrupted and turned into a threat. The whole kingdom was cursed. Emma's life was ruined. Then Emma and Hook were harmed yet again and Hook was killed. Then there was the Author stuff, where Lily's life was affected and Emma's life was affected, yet again. Merlin sucks.

That is so true.  Between Merlin, The Blue Fairy, Tiger Lily, Tinkerbelle, Glinda and Grand Pabbie, countless lives were destroyed.

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1 hour ago, Camera One said:

That is so true.  Between Merlin, The Blue Fairy, Tiger Lily, Tinkerbelle, Glinda and Grand Pabbie, countless lives were destroyed.

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic, because it's actually kind of true.

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I wasn't being sarcastic, LOL.  The Blue Fairy totally dropped the ball by letting her fairies run amok.  There was Tinkerbelle saving Regina from jumping off a cliff and Tiger Lily giving Fiona all the tools to become The Black Fairy.  If Fiona had stayed a human, Rumple the Savior would not have turned evil.  Glinda was the idiot who gave Zelena that pendant.  Grand Pabbie erasing everyone's memories and their advice about Elsa's powers made everything worse.  

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2 hours ago, Camera One said:

The Blue Fairy totally dropped the ball by letting her fairies run amok.

She also lied about the wardrobe, making it so Emma would have to grow up alone. Even after Fiona became a Black Fairy, she didn't keep tabs on her. How the heck did she not know what was going on? She let it slip to Rumple that the Dark Curse existed. She didn't bother to make sure Baby!Rumple had some kind of guardian or fairy godmother. Who was in charge of protecting the Pixie Dust??

Edited by KingOfHearts
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9 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

Merlin sucks.

Merlin seems nice and all, but he's actually one of the worst characters on the show. Charisma can't erase all the damage he caused. I'd put him in the same boat as Jacinda, Merida, and Dorothy.

(Sorry for the double post. Looks like auto-merging is gone.)

Edited by KingOfHearts
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22 hours ago, Camera One said:

That is so true.  Between Merlin, The Blue Fairy, Tiger Lily, Tinkerbelle, Glinda and Grand Pabbie, countless lives were destroyed.

You know, when you say it like that, you can kind of tell why people in this universe have such a ridiculous hate on for magic and people that use it! The supposed good magic users are ineffectual and stupid at best and manipulative and deceitful at worst, and the bad magic users are constantly on God Mode with their powers, and are a bunch of petty murderous psychopaths!

Its like this whole show can only exist if the good guys are as dumb or make as ridiculous and petty choices as possible, especially anyone with the actual power to make real change. Not that the bad guys are much better mind you, but at least they usually accomplish something eventually!

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On 2/15/2019 at 5:14 PM, Camera One said:

Between Merlin, The Blue Fairy, Tiger Lily, Tinkerbelle, Glinda and Grand Pabbie, countless lives were destroyed.

I think Merlin's the primary Big Bad here. Blue wouldn't have been able to do much harm if Merlin hadn't screwed up and allowed the Dark One to be created and hadn't managed to do anything to stop it. Tiger Lily telling new parents that their newborn infant was destined for doom was a boneheaded move, but she might have inadvertently saved them from an even worse evil. Given how Rumple turned out when raised by the reasonably good and sane spinsters and without any powers, imagine how he, with all his personality flaws, might have turned out if he'd been raised by Malcolm and Fiona, with all their personality flaws, and if he'd had great magical powers. I have a feeling he'd have ended up making a pretty good inkwell for that magic pen that needs dark Savior blood.

And there's another thing with Merlin -- seriously, dude, a magic pen that writes using blood? And worse, the blood of something good like a Savior, but turned dark? And you designed it to work that way? Or was that a bug in the system that he didn't anticipate? The pen was just supposed to be able to record things using ordinary ink, but some twisted Author along the way accidentally discovered that if you use dark Savior blood as ink, you can use it to alter fate and make people do things.

Did we ever learn where Saviors came from and how that works? Because it sounds like Merlin's style, too. That's exactly the sort of thing he would have come up with (I mean, once they retconned the bit about Emma only being the Savior of the Dark Curse because her DNA was woven into it as a back door and decided that Saviors were some kind of ill-defined overall thing).

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12 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

And there's another thing with Merlin -- seriously, dude, a magic pen that writes using blood? And worse, the blood of something good like a Savior, but turned dark? And you designed it to work that way?

Yeah, that was just disturbing, not to mention nonsensical.

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Did we ever learn where Saviors came from and how that works? Because it sounds like Merlin's style, too. 

Maybe he came up with it after he lost his beloved Nimue as a way to build an Army of Saviors against evil.  Maybe he should have had the Apprentice guarding the Shears of Destiny. 

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From the 4A Finale Thread (to avoid the spoiler tagging):

2 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

This is another place where it's really obvious that they came up with the Zelena twist later (or really, really suck as writers) because the "I'll let him choose" thing with Marian and Regina is wildly out of character for Zelena. Her whole issue is that she's not the one chosen. She's not going to create or allow another situation in which Regina is going to be chosen over her. Even having the frozen heart thing planned that would force Robin to end up with her doesn't work for that because it still means Robin didn't choose her over Regina. He was just stuck with her. It goes against everything Zelena is for her "revenge" on Regina to be to let Regina's boyfriend choose Regina over Zelena, then be forced to reluctantly stick with Zelena. Would Zelena ever create a situation in which she was the second choice over Regina, and she'd then be stuck in a world where she had no magic with a man she didn't love who wished he were with Regina, just to take Regina's boyfriend away from her and then not be able to see Regina's misery?

If they hadn't decided Marian was Zelena yet, I wonder what their plan was.  Was Marian going to be killed off in 4B leaving Robin Hood free to return?  At the same time, since they loved the Zelena actress so much and would have wanted her again, I wonder if they wouldn't have been trying to come up with ways to bring her back by this point.  

A&E are really bad writers since there was literally nothing in 4A which indicated she was Zelena and surprise "twists" are duds if there were no clues or build-up.  If I had to imagine thinking like them, maybe they thought Zelena was playing with Regina's feelings by telling her she would let Regina have Robin, and then pull the rug from under her by becoming "sick" knowing the only "solution" was for Robin to leave Storybrooke with her.  It looks like Zarian wasn't using magic at all in Storybrooke (though that makes no sense either, since even as Marian, she could have done magic on the side).  

If Marian hadn't told Regina that she could have Robin Hood, would Robin have chosen Regina anyway?  Because it sure sounded that way in the conversation on the park bench.  

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13 hours ago, Camera One said:

If I had to imagine thinking like them, maybe they thought Zelena was playing with Regina's feelings by telling her she would let Regina have Robin, and then pull the rug from under her by becoming "sick" knowing the only "solution" was for Robin to leave Storybrooke with her.

If that's what they intended, then they didn't pay much attention to their own character. That kind of subtle mind game to psych out Regina seems like something Pan might have done (now, there's an AU: Marian was Pan all along). But the key part of Zelena's personality is that not being the first choice freaks her out entirely. She completely flipped out when she learned she had a sister her mother chose to keep while she was discarded. She turned green with envy -- literally! -- because Rumple chose Regina to cast the curse instead of Zelena, even though Zelena was the one living in his palace with him and even though casting the curse was no prize. She went full-on evil over the fear that the other witches might choose Dorothy over her or might choose Dorothy at all so that Zelena might have to share the attention and might not be the prophesied Chosen One. This is not someone who would set up a revenge scheme that involved encouraging Robin to choose Regina, then forcing him to go with Zelena as the second-best choice. I don't think Zelena would have been able to get out the words about Regina winning over "Marian" without giving herself away. That whole scene in the diner with Marian is so wildly out of character for Zelena. She'd have been turning green and pouting and raising a fuss.

13 hours ago, Camera One said:

If Marian hadn't told Regina that she could have Robin Hood, would Robin have chosen Regina anyway?  Because it sure sounded that way in the conversation on the park bench.  

Without the scene in the diner with Marian telling Regina she could have Robin, it almost might have worked (though there were still other issues and problems with that retcon). If "Marian" had never told Regina she could have Robin, then it might have worked to have Zarian thinking she'd won because Robin was glad to see her recovered and now she'd get to take Robin away from Regina and get to watch Regina suffer from not being chosen. She's happily playing with Roland, feeling smug, but then she hears Robin telling Regina that he chooses her because he's moved on and he has to set a good example for his son by leaving his wife to be with his wife's would-be murderer, and Zarian completely flips. That's when she uses her magic to fake still being under the frozen heart spell so Robin will have to choose her (but it's an empty victory because she's still stuck with Robin, knowing she's second choice to Regina -- it's something Zelena might do in a panic, not something she would have planned to do).

More in character for Zelena would have been for her to have raised holy hell after being revived and tried to turn the whole town and Robin against Regina.

13 hours ago, Camera One said:

If they hadn't decided Marian was Zelena yet, I wonder what their plan was.  Was Marian going to be killed off in 4B leaving Robin Hood free to return?  At the same time, since they loved the Zelena actress so much and would have wanted her again, I wonder if they wouldn't have been trying to come up with ways to bring her back by this point.  

That's probably going to remain one of life's little mysteries unless someone in the know one day writes a tell-all book about the making of this series. Of course, A&E are probably claiming that this was planned all along, so there's no way to get them to talk about what they were really planning back when this was happening. I was expecting something bad to happen to kill Marian to make some kind of point about how she was always really supposed to die and fate stepped in to set things right, so Emma did no good at all in saving her, and Regina would realize she was actually getting a happy ending. Though I'm not entirely sure they were planning to bring Robin back initially. I think that was just part of their Biggest Victim Who Ever Victimmed thing for Regina, the Poor Regina Can't Catch a Break mantra, and Regina would get the chance to write her happy ending with Robin, but then nobly not do it. I think there was some kind of fan outcry, and was that the character return associated with the Internet rumors about Sean being fired?

I don't know about how they decided to bring Zelena back. They did leave an open door, since her "death" when Dorothy melted her looked a bit like Rumple killing her, but within that there was a lot of room. We could have had a flashback of her sneaking through the portal after Hook and Emma left but before Elsa left the urn, or she could have just appeared in Regina's vault. The Marian switch was probably the least convincing and most convoluted way they could have gone, so naturally they chose that one.

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2 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

If that's what they intended, then they didn't pay much attention to their own character. But the key part of Zelena's personality is that not being the first choice freaks her out entirely. She'd have been turning green and pouting and raising a fuss.

Quote

The Marian switch was probably the least convincing and most convoluted way they could have gone, so naturally they chose that one.

The Marian option would be the biggest "twist" and they always build their arcs around twists, so as you said, that would be their natural choice regardless of intrinsic character qualities.  4B was basically built around two of them - Lily was Maleficent's daughter who was victimized by Snowing and rejected by Young Emma!  And Marian was Zelena all along and she's pregnant!  At least the first one seemed to be planned out earlier, since they included Lily in 4A.... I wonder when they came up with the "Wouldn't it be cool if Snowing were the ones who ruined Lily's life?"

I was still thinking from A&E's perspective that maybe they believed Zelena wouldn't care about being first choice because she simply didn't care for Robin Hood or even wanted to be his first choice.  In that case, her only goal would be to mess with Regina's head.  The part which is least convincing to me is that she would be willing to go to a place with no magic.  Was her goal to rape Robin Hood all along and carry a baby to spite Regina?

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2 hours ago, Camera One said:

The Marian option would be the biggest "twist" and they always build their arcs around twists, so as you said, that would be their natural choice regardless of intrinsic character qualities. 

I think the other issue was that they were reeling from the backlash about crypt sex, so something that was a huge twist and that retroactively made the crypt sex not so bad, since he wasn't really cheating on his wife (even if they thought he was), was the ideal solution.

I'm not really sure this even qualified as an arc. It was more like some random thing that happened during the arc, and it undermined the arc, more than anything. Regina wanted to find the Author to make him give her a happy ending, then she found out she could have Robin anyway (even if he'd always be tied to Zelena through the rape baby) before she even found the Author and decided she didn't need him anymore. Marian turning out to be Zelena pretty much made the whole arc pointless and meant that the heroes played right into Rumple's hands in giving him exactly what he wanted to make the Author write him a better ending. They went through all that for Regina, only for her not to want it, after all, and that then put them all in danger. At least if Regina hadn't got Robin back because Marian turned out to be Zelena, Regina would have possibly learned something or made a true sacrifice instead of them doing all that and her getting what she wanted without the aid of the Author. I hate this plot so much.

2 hours ago, Camera One said:

I was still thinking from A&E's perspective that maybe they believed Zelena wouldn't care about being first choice because she simply didn't care for Robin Hood or even wanted to be his first choice. 

But since her fixation is with Regina always being chosen over her, I don't think it matters who's doing the choosing. Regina could be chosen as the sacrifice to be thrown into a volcano, and Zelena would pout because Regina's always the one who gets chosen.

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I was reading a TV Line interview with A&E previewing the Season 4 finale.

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TVLINE | Are we going to get more reaction from Robin Hood, to Zelena’s masquerade and pregnancy? I was surprised that he wasn’t more affronted by what was foisted upon him, and instead was all, “I cahn’t leave her here”?
ADAM HOROWITZ | He didn’t seem affronted? I guess we cut out pretty fast….
EDDY KITSIS | We are going to get into his reaction and give it a proper “What just happened?!” scene in this week’s episode.
HOROWITZ | There’s a pretty extensive scene at the beginning, where we get his reaction.
KITSIS | He and Regina have a pretty lengthy talk about it.

This reminded me that to A&E, dealing with reactions was basically having a scene about it, extra points if it's "pretty lengthy".  We're always surprised by their lack of follow-through but this is their M.O.

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TVLINE | What are we to make of the look Belle gave us as Rumple walked away after restoring her heart?
HOROWITZ | Ahhh, what a look that was….
KITSIS | That look said to me she isn’t over him. But that doesn’t mean she’s ready to forgive him, either. That’s the thing about that man and why he told us he’s a difficult man to love. Because just when we’re ready to hate him, he does something completely selfless like get your heart back and then not ask for anything in return — and does not kill your new boyfriend.
HOROWITZ | I’ll just say that I loved that moment that you pointed out. Emilie [De Ravin] was just wonderful the way she played that. Without any dialogue, what she said about how she feels I thought was beautiful.

This is why they believed Rumbelle worked.

"Just when we're ready to hate him, he does something completely selfless" was going to be their pattern every single time and they consider that enough for us to buy the relationship.  

I would have to say the number one change I've had during this rewatch is just how much I despise Rumple knowing how many times he will backslide and be forgiven.   

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I noticed something strange, and I'm not sure if it was intentional or not. In 5x08, Zelena is reading her unborn child the story of Hansel and Gretel. She has a contraction and remarks, "you must love this book as much as your mom". Why would she like it if her run in with Hansel revealed in S7 was so unpleasant? She got rejected again. That wasn't exactly a gleeful memory.

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16 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

I noticed something strange, and I'm not sure if it was intentional or not. In 5x08, Zelena is reading her unborn child the story of Hansel and Gretel. She has a contraction and remarks, "you must love this book as much as your mom". Why would she like it if her run in with Hansel revealed in S7 was so unpleasant? She got rejected again. That wasn't exactly a gleeful memory.

Dear fan,

Thanks for noticing another one of our Easter Eggs!  We totally had the backstory of Zelena and Gretel in mind when we wrote this episode!

Your heroes everlasting,

A&E

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Because just when we’re ready to hate him, he does something completely selfless like get your heart back and then not ask for anything in return — and does not kill your new boyfriend.

Yes, saving his wife from a dire situation she was only in because of his bad actions and not killing someone, at no cost or risk to himself, is completely selfless and so very romantic. Ugh. Let me guess, these writers are the kind of husbands who consider it "babysitting" when they look after their own children and expect some kind of payback from their wives for "helping out" -- and then think this qualifies them as husbands of the year.

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Emma having the greatest potential for darkness isnt a bad idea in of itself, but it doesn't really work in retrospect. She had all the darkness in her fetus given to Lily and in 5A, she never actually becomes evil. I dont see how you can say someone has the potential to be the evilist evil to ever evil, then do nothing with that. She never even came close. It's kind of just a shocking twist to keep you on the edge of your seat in 4B. Dark Swan was incredibly inconsequential to everybody who wasn't Hook or Zelena.

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6 hours ago, KingOfHearts said:

Dark Swan was incredibly inconsequential to everybody who wasn't Hook or Zelena.

Don't forget about poor little Henry! The heartbreak she inflicted by making his girlfriend of two days break up with him was worse than anything Cora or Regina ever did as a mother. It was enough to send Henry on a dark path to mass-murderhood (murderdom?). Thank goodness he has one truly good and heroic mom in Regina - she kept him in the light and on the right path!

Edited by Kktjones
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So begins the Author plot, a plot line that is not only bad, its so bad and poorly thought out that it actually starts to wrap the very fabric of space and time, and raises so many massive existential questions, and implies so many horrible, tragic things about the lives of billions of sentient beings, and then just ignores them and moves on, leaving only confusion in its wake. 

And it really sucks for me, because one of the questions I was most interested in from the very first episode, was finding out who wrote Henry's book, and how these stories went from existing in this other universe to be told in the "real" world? It was such an interesting, and I was so interested in the idea of combining a fantasy story and meta fiction and the implications of what that would mean for the people in this fantastical world, and I became even more existed when they introduced the whole multiverse. And then...the Author. 

I mean, what are the implications here? Are ALL stories real and just happening somewhere else, or just some of them? If they are all happening, how much have the evil Author, and any other Author who pulled the same shit he did, impact what people have been doing? How many weird OOC moments have been affected by the Author dicking around with people? Or, whatever, we watch TV or a movie or read a book or whatever, are we actually watching actual events that really happened, like some kind of demented snuff film? 

With the Authors, is that what we have to look forward to? Some overpowered psychopath ruining countless lives to "make the stories interesting", or some creepy creeper driving around the multiverse in his unmarked white van while he watches people in their most intimate and emotional moments, as he writes down everything for the entertainment of as unwilling voyeurs? How many people have died while the Author just sat there scribbling on his stupid little notebook? Is there some kind of Author Prime Directive? Every time we watch characters in an intimate romantic moment, or dying or suffering or having an emotional moment, do we have to remember that there is some old guy with binoculars watching as it all goes on (presumably jerking off furiously) and is running off to tell us? Or some even bigger creeper who is playing with the lives of countless sentient beings for shits and giggles, while we watch and eat our popcorn of despair? 

There is so, SO much more, I will probably get on to that later on as the re-watch continues, but the implications of this are so fucked up, and so far reaching, that it full on influences how engage in media. Thats how crazy this gets for me!

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7 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

With the Authors, is that what we have to look forward to? Some overpowered psychopath ruining countless lives to "make the stories interesting", or some creepy creeper driving around the multiverse in his unmarked white van while he watches people in their most intimate and emotional moments, as he writes down everything for the entertainment of as unwilling voyeurs? How many people have died while the Author just sat there scribbling on his stupid little notebook? Is there some kind of Author Prime Directive? Every time we watch characters in an intimate romantic moment, or dying or suffering or having an emotional moment, do we have to remember that there is some old guy with binoculars watching as it all goes on

Now that we can see the bigger picture, we know from Season 5 that actually the Author can write the stories by sleeping.  The Author can be in the Underworld and write a story that takes place in Storybrooke or in Oz.  So the Author doesn't even have to travel.

Why have an Author at all?  Why not just have a Pen that can write by itself?  Or a Book of Records? 

In Season 7, we don't see Adult Henry authoring much of anything so it's not a full-time job.  If there's already a German Snow White and a French Snow White in their own Storybooks, are there seriously even more out there in further Realms of Story whose stories are still not written?  How many times does the same story play out in different variations?  What the hell is the point of writing all their stories down, anyway?  Whose stories are important enough to write down?

A&E stole a bunch of stuff from "Lost" to make the selection of The Author mysterious, but as we discussed recently, we still don't know why Merlin created The Author in the first place, or why the Pen has the ability to write things that control other people.  Which means the "mythology" wasn't even completely fleshed out.

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