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

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36 minutes ago, Camera One said:

Granny's has been re-built on their backlot set, so that explains why they over-use it so much.  The number of Storybrooke permanent sets they have could be counted on a hand, which is part of the reason why Storybrooke always felt so small.  Though I suppose that's the case with most shows, to only have a few permanent sets.

Over time, it has become increasing obvious how much more the restrictive the budget has become. The writers never seemed to deal with it creatively. They'd always blow the budget on something stupid like Clone Queen costumes.

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A lot of it was their horrible worldbuilding.  They never bothered exploring the town beyond the Main Street.  Beyond the recurring characters who essentially became extras, there was no town.  Now, Hyperion Heights is even worse, but it really shows their limitations as writers of a fantasy/sci-fi world.

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13 hours ago, Rumsy4 said:

I saw a gifset on tumblr of the scene where Mary Margaret interrupts Captain Swan pancake time to plan the wedding. MM shows Emma a wedding planning album she's been putting together for Emma ever since the first Dark Curse broke, apparently (no clue when she had the time). And then, the very same episode, the writers have her actually open her mouth and suggest GRANNY'S DINER as the perfect spot for Emma's wedding. A whole album of ideas years in the making, and that grimy little eatery was the best location a mother could think of for her only daughter's wedding. 

The weird thing about it is that they established that there was a church in town, since they had Blue lying in state there, and it was a pretty, non-fussy church, the sort of place even non-religious people might have a wedding. The Charmings had a wedding conducted by An Impressive Clergyman, so this wasn't a foreign concept to them (come to think of it, what happened to that clergyman in the curse? Shouldn't he have been in Storybrooke?). Wouldn't the church have at least been on the list of possible wedding venues? But I guess they wouldn't have had as good a view of the oncoming curse from inside the church. Or there was that empty mansion on the edge of town, which is exactly the kind of spot that gets rented out as a wedding or reception venue.

12 hours ago, Camera One said:

The Writers rarely write from the perspective of what the character's natural response would be. 

That's one of the key problems with the series as a whole. The characters do what the plot requires them to do rather than allowing them to have any kind of natural reaction. The plot needed them to have the wedding in a venue suited for a song and dance number (that still makes no sense) and that allowed them to see the curse coming. Never mind that there were other, more obvious, locations for a wedding. Never mind that they'd just said they were going to hold off the wedding until the current crisis was over, before suddenly deciding to have the wedding the very next day. Never mind that it would have been unlikely to be able to pull together a wedding like that in one day. Never mind that it seems unlikely that they'd have spent time having a wedding when they knew a disaster was about to happen. Wouldn't it have been a better use of their time to do something about the curse?

But you can apply the same logic to them accepting Regina's "redemption," Emma's reaction to Regina after seeing the Evil Queen try to execute her mother, Henry's reaction to almost everything, etc.

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11 minutes ago, Rumsy4 said:

Regular means they are paid regardless of appearances. But they also cannot work anywhere else. That's why poor Michael Socha was going stir-crazy, sitting around doing nothing. Wonderful for his portfolio. 

Maybe making a character a regular on this show is like buying a toy for a child.  Once they have it, they throw it aside and want a new shinier toy.  Whereas a guest star is like going the store everyday and playing with it for awhile but having to put it back on the shelf.

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4 minutes ago, Camera One said:

Maybe making a character a regular on this show is like buying a toy for a child.  Once they have it, they throw it aside and want a new shinier toy.  Whereas a guest star is like going the store everyday and playing with it for awhile but having to put it back on the shelf.

So what you're saying is that A&E are Apple Store customers.

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1 hour ago, Camera One said:

Maybe making a character a regular on this show is like buying a toy for a child.  Once they have it, they throw it aside and want a new shinier toy.  Whereas a guest star is like going the store everyday and playing with it for awhile but having to put it back on the shelf.

You joke, but that is probably it.

With guest characters, the actor has the option of deciding to do something else.   A&E probably reenacts this every time an actor chooses them over another potential project.

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I think I'm finally done with this show. I haven't seen tonight's episode, but it donned on me that I wasn't all interested in seeing it either. I don't care about Alice and Robyn's meet cute because these are characters I don't care about. Drizella was, I kid you not, the last character I had any interest in, and she's going to die next week most likely. It has taken seven and a half seasons, but I've reached my breaking point. I'm not going to stop watching, and I'll participate in the Grand Rewatch, but my heart is no longer in the show at all. I dislike it. Below are a few of the major reasons why, personally.

The plots are boring. Nothing interesting ever happens on this show. There's no clever turns or enticing developments. The twists are both predictable and contrived. I honestly can't remember the last time the show caught me off guard in a good way or left me with, "I can't wait to see what happens next!" These writers consistently choose the laziest and blandest possible routes for every single storyline. There are no exceptions. Some people complained about it, but what drew me into the show initially were all the crazy cliffhangers. The writers knew how to keep you on your toes. However, as time went on, the consequences diminished more and more. Now, even the initial reveal/twist/shocks are not that great. The majority of the screentime is spent on characters standing around talking about nothing and doing nothing. That damn status quo A&E are so desperate to protect is what killed the show for me. How can you be so creatively bankrupt with a premise like this?!

The characters are as bland as dry wheat toast. Even my former favorites, like Zelena and Regina, are just smiling wallpaper now. None of the characters on the show have a shred of agency. Who cares what decisions they make when the plot will just "course correct" them five minutes later? There's not even a point to them being fairy tale characters. Zelena is nothing like the Wicked Witch, Regina is not the Evil Queen, and WHook is not Captain Hook at all. Not even character development excuses it. Their pasts do not inform their presents. 

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To misquote Harvey Dent, “You either end a television show at the right time and have it memorialized with fond nostalgia, or you overextend it long enough to see it turn into an object of dislike and indifference." 

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On 24/03/2018 at 1:41 AM, Shanna Marie said:

Or there was that empty mansion on the edge of town, which is exactly the kind of spot that gets rented out as a wedding or reception venue.

 

The only sensible thing about that wedding was not choosing that mansion where Rump ripped out Killian's heart, Rump tried to trap Emma in the hat, Rump's kid tried to kill Emma with a spider and  where Liam waa unnecessarily (& OOC in my opinion) cruel to Emma in the Underworld equivalent.

The wedding should have been on the JR moored at the docks where those who got seasick could sit on the dock. 

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22 minutes ago, PixiePaws1 said:

The wedding should have been on the JR moored at the docks where those who got seasick could sit on the dock. 

Do people even get seasick on a moored ship? It was a dumb reason not to hold the wedding there. The location was as stupid as the hideous wedding dresses. 

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I think it's funny that Ariel's flashback was all about building a friendship with Snow, since they never interacted in the present. I still don't understand why the writers made Ariel's first centric a standard Regina vs. Snow episode. Her story had nothing to do with it at all.

Edited by KingOfHearts

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13 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

I think it's funny that Ariel's flashback was all about building a friendship with Snow, since they never interacted in the present. I still don't understand why the writers made Ariel's first centric a standard Regina vs. Snow episode. Her story had nothing to do with it at all.

Probably because they wanted The Evil Queen as Ursula.

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5 hours ago, Camera One said:

Probably because they wanted The Evil Queen as Ursula.

Lana asked for it and naturally got it. I am surprised that they added that scene at the end with real Ursula pissed at Regina for impersonating her. 

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1 hour ago, andromeda331 said:

Lana asked for it and naturally got it.

Yup. And that's one more item in the list of Lana's requests that were granted by A&E. Seriously, she must have had some dirt on those two. lol

Edited by Rumsy4
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Is the Dragon Mulan's father or is he Lily's father?

Will they ever hold a mayoral election in Storybrooke?

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I can't think of just one.  I guess I would ask the Blue Fairy why/how she became a fairy and whether she feels embarrassed over the mess-up with Fiona.

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On 3/24/2018 at 8:01 PM, Rumsy4 said:

Do people even get seasick on a moored ship? 

Yes.  A moored ship still rolls with the tides, which causes the queasiness.

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Another fun one: What is the biggest or saddest wasted opportunity, or storyline that was left dangling? I have to go with some of the classics: The Land of Untold Stories, Nova and Grumpy and their star crossed romance, and Emma finding out Regina killed Graham. All seemed perfect for more drama and interesting stories...and yet were tossed away at the altar of Regina time or the next shiny toy. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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The worst wasted opportunity for me was the unused bean in the season 6 finale. I just knew Hook was going to use it while falling to save his life and get to Emma all in one shot. Then they just didn’t.

I was so disappointed during the first watch of that episode it took me completely out of the episode for the rest of the show actually.

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

Another fun one: What is the biggest or saddest wasted opportunity, or storyline that was left dangling? I have to go with some of the classics: The Land of Untold Stories, Nova and Grumpy and their star crossed romance, and Emma finding out Regina killed Graham. All seemed perfect for more drama and interesting stories...and yet were tossed away at the altar of Regina time or the next shiny toy. 

 

The hands down biggest wasted opportunity was cursing everyone back to the EF except Emma/Henry and then once Hook finds them, pulling a never mind...amnesia... we decided to do Wicked instead.  They had literally reset themselves perfectly to take a second bite at the apple and explore all the relationship and duality issues that they glossed over the first time around and nothing.

That one also killed the hopes of most of fandom that they show could turn itself around.

Edited by ParadoxLost
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7 minutes ago, daxx said:

The worst wasted opportunity for me was the unused bean in the season 6 finale. I just knew Hook was going to use it while falling to save his life and get to Emma all in one shot. Then they just didn’t.

 

This show has an entire armory of Chevoks Guns that are just hanging on walls, never going off when they so obviously should. 

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

Nova and Grumpy and their star crossed romance

What's funny is that this actually got addressed during the "Good Morning, Storybrooke" segments. Grumpy and Nova broke up in Storybrooke.

S5 has always been a mixed bag for me and hard to judge. 5A got a lot of praise from Emma fans, but I found it boring/depressing. The highlight was definitely how thematic it was. The show could rarely pull off high drama, but it did there. The arc would have truly made a mark if there were any references to Emma and Hook being Dark Ones after 5x12. Biggest downsides: Freaking Merida, Dark Swan's moping, Rumple's arc, and Camelot's army of dropped plots. The pacing was very strange, but that could be said of most arcs. It just came out more there because the highs were particularly high, and the lows very low. I don't faint at the sight of Captain Swan kissing, and I've always had issues with Emma and Hook's characters. Therefore, I didn't get the same kick out of it as others did.

5B I liked slightly better because other characters got more of a spotlight and it was less angsty. The show recaptured some of its roots and had a little fun. Underbrooke was an awesome, underrated concept. The dead characters provided a gold mine of material for the writers to work with. Surprisingly, the Rumpbelle pregnancy subplot wasn't that bad. Rumple being honest about who he is and saying that Belle actually had a fondness for his darkness was a little satisfying. Belle killing Gaston came out of nowhere.  As for the cons, Emma's and Hook's stuff particularly sucked after all the great story in 5A. "Firebird" is probably the episode I hate most of S5, other than the finale. Hades was too two-dimensional and I really didn't buy his insta-relationship with Zelena. The finale is terrible and doesn't need to be recapped at the moment.

As a whole, S5 was perhaps a little too dark and bleak. The first half featured your favorite heroes forced into villainous roles, and the other half was set in the land of the dead. However, the writers did show at the time that they there was still juice left in the tank. It wasn't obvious that they ran out of ideas until Clone Queen showed up. Taking everything (including the finale) into account, I'd pit S5 after S2 but before S4.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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Never bothering to explore what Rumple with a clear heart would be like.

Never drawing a firm line between cursed and EF personalities and dealing with integrating them.

The total failure to really play with fairy tale character visits the big city for the first time.

Complete failure to mine the details of any land they visited.  Oz, Neverland, Camelot, Underworld.  All of these could have been more interesting than they were.

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2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

What is the biggest or saddest wasted opportunity, or storyline that was left dangling?

I'm going to have to say 3B. No arc or season had more wasted potential. What was framed to be a major reset became nothing more than Zelena cackling all over Storybrooke like any other Big Bad.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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The biggest missed opportunity was not exploring Emma's relationship with her parents. That seemed to be what the whole of Season 1 was building towards. S2 jumped straight into plot-overdrive. I remember being disappointed at how little the storyline was actually dealing with the fallout from the curse. Little did I know 2A was actually amazing in retrospect. 

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2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Another fun one: What is the biggest or saddest wasted opportunity, or storyline that was left dangling?

That really is how I "count sheep" at night, thinking of these. Though the current list is of unresolved story lines, not necessarily sadly wasted opportunity, just things that were inexplicably dropped or never dealt with.

  • There was Graham's murder, which makes everything to do with Regina ring hollow since she never owned up to it and even had the nerve to berate Emma for ruining her life.
  • There's Regina's vault of hearts she ripped out and apparently hasn't returned. I could see her not knowing how to return the ones her mother took (though how many of Cora's hearts were likely to be in the vault? Was she running around secretly ripping out hearts all that time she was married to Henry Sr.?), but if Regina ripped the hearts out so she could control people, wouldn't she have to know which heart went with which person in order to control the right person?
  • There's the entirely offscreen rescue of Philip -- we went from them thinking he might be doomed, with no idea how to save him from the fate worse than death that Emma rushed to save Regina from to him being perfectly okay at the end of the season, and never a word about how that happened. It wasn't even like Mulan found the Thingamabob of Whatever in the same bag Hook had Aurora's heart in, so they were left with the solution to the problem. I guess there's also the way Aurora and especially Philip just vanished once they were in Storybrooke. We saw Aurora a couple of times, but there was never a word about Philip. Was he one of the flying monkeys who was killed? Was he just offscreen working a regular job?
  • We never did find out what Sydney got up to once Ingrid freed him. Is he still obsessed with Regina? Pissed at her?
  • Did Guinevere ever get de-sanded and figure out that she was being brainwashed? Did she get to end up with Lancelot?
  • Did Nemo and Liam 2.0 end up going down with the ship, or were they able to save the Nautilus?
  • Not that I super care about Lily, but it was weird how they brought up her and her parentage as though it was going to be a storyline, and then it was just dropped. If they didn't plan to deal with it, why even make it a thing?
  • What happened to Will? Is he still moping around Storybrooke? Did he go back to Wonderland? In my headcanon (though this doesn't fit perfectly with the series, but it still fits better than taking things at face value), the events of season 4 happened before the Wonderland spinoff, so his relationship with Belle was his rebound after Ana rejected him to marry the king. While our gang was off in Camelot, that's when the White Rabbit came to get Will to go find Alice.
  • Wasn't August sick the last time we saw him, with some problems from being de-aged and re-aged? How's he doing?
  • Did supposedly good and heroic now Zelena ever free Glinda from the place where she trapped her?
  • Is Blackbeard still rowing around Neverland?

And that's just the present-day storyline stuff. There was lots of stuff from the past that never got covered but that I was curious about.

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The failure to really use Emma, Snow, and Charming in storylines in their last season.  I prefer / trust a show that makes use to what they have while they have it than one that pre-emptively gets the audience used to an actor being gone.  The latter just convinces me the writing isn't strong enough to handle cast shake ups.

For that matter, the inability to give both Snow and Charming a story at the same time post season 1/2.

Having Jekyll/Hyde being part of land of untold stories instead of Black and white Frankenstein world.  They should have done a Dorain Gray flashback episode to explain the non aging in S7. 

I think leaving Regina and clone queen split was a major misstep. 

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6 minutes ago, ParadoxLost said:

I think leaving Regina and clone queen split was a major misstep. 

They just could not let go of the Evil Queen.

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We could probably fill a book with wasted opportunities.

  • Belle rebuilding the relationship with her father could have been a good storyline.  Belle deciding she was done with Rumple forever and sticking to her decision at the end of 4A could have strengthened Belle and made her an actual character who stood on her own.
  • Rumple and Neal's relationship was explored to its fullest potential.  Neal and Henry could have been nice to see.  
  • Red became a regular, but she never got her due.  I thought her work at the Sheriff's office in Season 1 was a great launch-pad to a possible career but it was dropped by the end of the episode.  Red and Granny could both have been fleshed out more, with more centrics.  I had been hoping when I first watched this show that it would be like other shows about small towns and eventually they would expand and explore the supporting characters but that never happened.  They could have made Storybrooke more of a working town, to explore the problems with governance, and the culture shock, and with more mashups of former fairy-tale characters, but that was pretty much dropped after the first season or so.
  • The Blue Fairy and the nuns had so much potential for world-building.  And connecting them to great sorcerers like Merlin and Glinda.  Instead, they were all completely incompetent when things got bad.  
  • Blowing off Cinderella as a one-episode character, never exploring Aurora's backstory, and wasting Maleficent and Lady Tremaine who could have been epic villains.  
Edited by Camera One
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24 minutes ago, Rumsy4 said:

They just could not let go of the Evil Queen.

I think one of the bigger problems with S7 is that they did let go of the Evil Queen.

It was the last step to making Regina the heroine.  They cut out any dimension that Regina had by separating out the EQ because they removed any internal struggles she had along with it.  They don't even flashback to EQ anymore (and who would have thought I'd ever say that with a tone of complaint.

Its just that on a relative basis I can't stand Roni compared to Regina or EQ.  She's so boring.

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30 minutes ago, ParadoxLost said:

Its just that on a relative basis I can't stand Roni compared to Regina or EQ.  She's so boring.

She bears no resemblance to any iteration of Regina we've known. 

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4 minutes ago, Rumsy4 said:

She bears no resemblance to any iteration of Regina we've known. 

Well, these Writers have a gift of creating so many characters out of one.  It's too bad we didn't get another season since it would have been fun to see Ronny, Regi, Gina, Ron-ron and Rongina.  

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4 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Another fun one: What is the biggest or saddest wasted opportunity, or storyline that was left dangling? I have to go with some of the classics: The Land of Untold Stories, Nova and Grumpy and their star crossed romance, and Emma finding out Regina killed Graham. All seemed perfect for more drama and interesting stories...and yet were tossed away at the altar of Regina time or the next shiny toy. 

 

3 hours ago, daxx said:

The worst wasted opportunity for me was the unused bean in the season 6 finale. I just knew Hook was going to use it while falling to save his life and get to Emma all in one shot. Then they just didn’t.

I was so disappointed during the first watch of that episode it took me completely out of the episode for the rest of the show actually.

 

3 hours ago, ParadoxLost said:

The hands down biggest wasted opportunity was cursing everyone back to the EF except Emma/Henry and then once Hook finds them, pulling a never mind...amnesia... we decided to do Wicked instead.  They had literally reset themselves perfectly to take a second bite at the apple and explore all the relationship and duality issues that they glossed over the first time around and nothing.

That one also killed the hopes of most of fandom that they show could turn itself around.

 

2 hours ago, ParadoxLost said:

Never bothering to explore what Rumple with a clear heart would be like.

Never drawing a firm line between cursed and EF personalities and dealing with integrating them.

The total failure to really play with fairy tale character visits the big city for the first time.

Complete failure to mine the details of any land they visited.  Oz, Neverland, Camelot, Underworld.  All of these could have been more interesting than they were.

 

2 hours ago, KingOfHearts said:

I'm going to have to say 3B. No arc or season had more wasted potential. What was framed to be a major reset became nothing more than Zelena cackling all over Storybrooke like any other Big Bad.

 

2 hours ago, Rumsy4 said:

The biggest missed opportunity was not exploring Emma's relationship with her parents. That seemed to be what the whole of Season 1 was building towards. S2 jumped straight into plot-overdrive. I remember being disappointed at how little the storyline was actually dealing with the fallout from the curse. Little did I know 2A was actually amazing in retrospect. 

 

2 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

That really is how I "count sheep" at night, thinking of these. Though the current list is of unresolved story lines, not necessarily sadly wasted opportunity, just things that were inexplicably dropped or never dealt with.

  • There was Graham's murder, which makes everything to do with Regina ring hollow since she never owned up to it and even had the nerve to berate Emma for ruining her life.
  • There's Regina's vault of hearts she ripped out and apparently hasn't returned. I could see her not knowing how to return the ones her mother took (though how many of Cora's hearts were likely to be in the vault? Was she running around secretly ripping out hearts all that time she was married to Henry Sr.?), but if Regina ripped the hearts out so she could control people, wouldn't she have to know which heart went with which person in order to control the right person?
  • There's the entirely offscreen rescue of Philip -- we went from them thinking he might be doomed, with no idea how to save him from the fate worse than death that Emma rushed to save Regina from to him being perfectly okay at the end of the season, and never a word about how that happened. It wasn't even like Mulan found the Thingamabob of Whatever in the same bag Hook had Aurora's heart in, so they were left with the solution to the problem. I guess there's also the way Aurora and especially Philip just vanished once they were in Storybrooke. We saw Aurora a couple of times, but there was never a word about Philip. Was he one of the flying monkeys who was killed? Was he just offscreen working a regular job?
  • We never did find out what Sydney got up to once Ingrid freed him. Is he still obsessed with Regina? Pissed at her?
  • Did Guinevere ever get de-sanded and figure out that she was being brainwashed? Did she get to end up with Lancelot?
  • Did Nemo and Liam 2.0 end up going down with the ship, or were they able to save the Nautilus?
  • Not that I super care about Lily, but it was weird how they brought up her and her parentage as though it was going to be a storyline, and then it was just dropped. If they didn't plan to deal with it, why even make it a thing?
  • What happened to Will? Is he still moping around Storybrooke? Did he go back to Wonderland? In my headcanon (though this doesn't fit perfectly with the series, but it still fits better than taking things at face value), the events of season 4 happened before the Wonderland spinoff, so his relationship with Belle was his rebound after Ana rejected him to marry the king. While our gang was off in Camelot, that's when the White Rabbit came to get Will to go find Alice.
  • Wasn't August sick the last time we saw him, with some problems from being de-aged and re-aged? How's he doing?
  • Did supposedly good and heroic now Zelena ever free Glinda from the place where she trapped her?
  • Is Blackbeard still rowing around Neverland?

And that's just the present-day storyline stuff. There was lots of stuff from the past that never got covered but that I was curious about.

All of these! There were so many great storylines that were just dropped. Reversing the Curse at the end of Season Three there was so much potential. Everyone but Emma and Henry sent back to the Enchanted Forest. How did it feel to be back there? Did anyone want to make changes or introduce ideas from Storybrooke? Even though I don't know why Neal would be sent back since he wasn't part of the Curse how did he feel to be back after being gone for so long? The fallout from the Curse there should have been so much fall out from it. From what people did under the Curse that they never would have done David's treatment of Kathryn and Mary Margaret, Thomas's father arrange with Rumple to get rid of his grandchild, anger towards Regina, deciding what to do with her charging her or something, seeing the newly reunited Charming family attempt to adjust to being together Mary Margaret trying to figure out her role as mother to a grown child with issues and a child of her own plus pain from how much she and David and from learning Emma didn't have a nice childhood. Figuring out that political system in Storybrook would they have new elections and who all would run? Just all the Kings and/or Queens? Or would peasants run too? Or would they just decide to make a committee with all the rulers? How well would it really work having so many different rulers and kingdoms in one town? What about the courts? Or the sheriff station? Would any soldiers or knights end up police? Would any of the knights or really anyone chose not to go back to their old roles? For example is there any king, queen, prince or princess that doesn't want to be one anymore? Or a knight decide he wants plumber or take classes? If a real redemption from Regina that she started in the beginning of season two that would include returning the hearts, admitting what she did to Graham, realizing she was wrong for targeting Snow for something her mother did and showing real guilt at what she did. Neal confronting Rumple over the death of his mother, trying to build a relationship with his son, and working out his issues with Hook. Belle leaving Rumple and it being for good then moving on with her life. Having all the pieces of Maleficent together and not using them. Not exploring Red, Granny and the other side characters.   

I really wanted them to discuss Emma's plan for getting rid of the Dark One's power by killing Zelena. It still bugs me that everyone immediately acted like that was a horrible thing. It makes sense that some would but it also would make since that some might be interested in that if it meant getting rid of the Dark One power forever. This is something that plagued their lands for centuries, they all had been manipulated and/or screwed over by the Dark One, any and all murders committed by Dark Ones and now they finally knew of a way to get rid of that magic forever. But no one is interested? No one wants to discuss it? No one remarking how nice it would be to no more Dark Ones ever? No one remarks that it might be worth it? No one is sick and tired of dealing Dark Ones? No one remarking that 'well its not like Zelena's a good person or anything she's done a lot of bad things so maybe its not as evil'? Debating if that would justify murdering her. Maybe have Belle wondering if there were other ways to get rid of the Dark One powers that they weren't aware of since they didn't know of this one and deciding to look into it. Have someone ask if they don't find another way and someone else is murdered by the Dark One how their going to feel about that? Or the next time a Dark One screws them all over again? They had a chance to stop it forever and didn't take it? 

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8 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

Wasn't August sick the last time we saw him, with some problems from being de-aged and re-aged? How's he doing?

I think he was just sick after being tortured by Rumple and the queens of darkness (and Regina!). But the last time we saw him, Hook and Charming came to him in Storybrooke asking about Charming's dad and the Pleasure Island pages of the storybook and then he rode in on his motorcycle to give the pages to Hook (who then recognised Charming's dad as the guy he killed) and that's the last time we saw him. So I guess he's just building his relationship with his dad in offscreenville.

The biggest disappointment for me is not exploring the Emma/Snow/Charming relationship. That's the biggest one in the whole show for me considering just how important that relationship actually is for three major characters and it should affect their 'friendships' with other major characters too. They had the most fascinating relationship on the show and it was never explored - I just can't wrap my mind around the thinking that went into that. They could have done so much throughout the seasons. How do Snowing feel about being the parents to an adult? What about all the issues Emma had with them - did that all just go away? Whenever the writers had a story about Snow (it was always Snow!) saying or doing something really insensitive to Emma (I want another baby, yelling at her about magic and keeping the baby away from her, just constantly ignoring her etc), I always got my hopes up that they would finally explore it - but it never happened. Oddly, I always wanted a split between Emma and Snow for a while and Charming would have to go between them or choose a side and we would delve into those relationships. 

Some of the other disappointments are tied to them not exploring that relationship - even though Ginny did the voiceover for the Dark Swan promo and it was laid out in the s4 finale that Snow and Charming would be the ones to help rid Emma of the Dark One, instead they didn't get to speak to her for about 10 episodes! And the Ingrid stuff - I thought it would have been amazing to see Snow meet Ingrid since they were both Emma's 'mothers' (which would have also fit with the show always putting an emphasis on Emma and Regina both being Henry's mothers) but of course they never had a scene together at all! 

The beanstalk adventure in the s6 finale and not having Hook get to Emma with the bean (and maybe true love kiss her memory back!) and that entire curse. It seems like everyone was expecting that to happen because they pretty set it up as happening but of course...it never happened! As it was the beanstalk adventure was totally pointless, Emma barely got to do anything at all and nothing was satisfying in any way. But that's par for the course for this show.

Camelot - it needed to be explored way more. Especially since I love the Arthurian legends.

And of course, Graham. I don't even know if I have to explain it since I'm sure everyone knows what I mean. The fact that Emma NEVER found out about it and Regina clearly didn't care about it but was still treated as a great victimised hero who Emma needed to give a happy ending to, is actually pretty disgusting and I'm never getting over that. This is a drama show isn't it? Or it's supposed to be one - but it's like these writers choose to ignore the most dramatic parts of their own show. Having Emma find out about that would have caused so much drama between everyone but God forbid anyone gets mad at Regina!

Edited by superloislane
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The sad thing is, even if Emma had realized how Graham had really died, somehow she’d have ended up apologizing to Regina for it. 

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17 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Another fun one: What is the biggest or saddest wasted opportunity, or storyline that was left dangling? I have to go with some of the classics: The Land of Untold Stories, Nova and Grumpy and their star crossed romance, and Emma finding out Regina killed Graham. All seemed perfect for more drama and interesting stories...and yet were tossed away at the altar of Regina time or the next shiny toy. 

I was going to say that there are so many that I don't even know how I'd narrow it down to a top 10 (or 20, or 50...), let alone just one, but then:

15 hours ago, Rumsy4 said:

The biggest missed opportunity was not exploring Emma's relationship with her parents. That seemed to be what the whole of Season 1 was building towards. S2 jumped straight into plot-overdrive. I remember being disappointed at how little the storyline was actually dealing with the fallout from the curse. Little did I know 2A was actually amazing in retrospect. 

I think this would have to be it. It started out so well, with Emma getting sucked into the vortex shortly after finding out their true relationship and Snow, without hesitation, being all "Nope. Not doing that again." and jumping in after her. And then... Pretty much nothing. So much interesting territory to cover between all three of them, and we got basically none of it. Definitely the most egregious of the very long list of missed opportunities.

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1 hour ago, kingshearte said:

I think this would have to be it. It started out so well, with Emma getting sucked into the vortex shortly after finding out their true relationship and Snow, without hesitation, being all "Nope. Not doing that again." and jumping in after her. And then... Pretty much nothing. So much interesting territory to cover between all three of them, and we got basically none of it. Definitely the most egregious of the very long list of missed opportunities.

Agreed. Their bond and the long process of becoming a family again should have been the heart of the show. It should have taken a lot longer. Instead it was a blink and you will miss that one time Emma was rightfully angry that they basically shoved her in a tree to fend for herself as an infant. There should have been a lot more trust building. There should have been more resentment when they had another baby they would then get to raise. That was the perfect chance to really explore Emma's sense of abandonment and her resentment at never having the loving family she was meant to have. Of course that would mean also harboring great anger toward Regina, so I guess that is why it all got swept under the rug.

For me, a Regina/Evil Queen fan in the beginning, the saddest, wasted opportunity was that they never really showed us the process of Regina's redemption, they never really let her work for it. I wanted her to get her happy ending, but only after earning it. Only after owning up to what she did, making true amends with the people she hurt, breaking down at the destruction she caused. Instead it seems like it was on her victims to forgive her rather than her earning their forgiveness. It could have been an amazing story and instead it is one of the most hated by almost everyone and that is a damn shame.

Also, the million times Belle could have grown a fucking backbone and left her abuser. Actually, if they wanted Belle to have a happy ending, they never should have made Rumple the Beast. That, to me, was their biggest mistake. If they kept him the Beast, then Belle's story should have had a short, tragic end. He should have killed her for one of his ridiculously convoluted plots instead of the show trying to sell them as a love story.

Those, Regina's unearned hero status and them totally destroying Beauty and the Beast, are what drove me away from the show. I came back this season because of the promise of new characters but we all know what a disappointment that turned out to be.

Edited by Mabinogia
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22 minutes ago, Mabinogia said:

Also, the million times Belle could have grown a fucking backbone and left her abuser.

This is the one that actually makes me feel disgusted. They showed a stalking controlling objectifying relationship on-screen, and gave them a long life and a happy ending (essentially) off-screen. The ultimate moral of the story seemed to be that a woman can reform a bad man if she persists and gives up her own hopes and dreams for his sake. 

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I think the poor handling of the aftermath of the curse was the main thing that sent the series off down the wrong path of missed opportunities. That includes not just Emma's relationship with her parents, but also Regina's "redemption" and the entire situation of the town in the aftermath. Most of the problems can be traced back to poor decisions in 2B. When you look at that half season, it looks almost like they were flailing, like they had no idea where to go from there and what to do. The problems with the town started in 2A, I guess, but they could have course corrected in 2B instead of flinging lots of random plot lines that really had little to do with each other.

If I could go back in time and take over the show, I think I'd keep the Team Princess side of the story more or less the same. At the time, I was disappointed because it wasn't what I expected or wanted, but now I rather like it. I like the fact that Emma got thrown in head first. She couldn't even pretend to deny who she was or what the whole truth was when she ended up actually in the fairytale world, actually saw the nursery that was to have been hers. That adventure allowed her to see her mother on her own turf. The problem in 2A is that they faltered in really dealing with the curse fallout in Storybrooke. These people had been ripped out of their lives and forced to change identities, and the most they could muster in response was one halfhearted torches and pitchforks mob that gave up and went away? George was a king who'd lost his throne, there was a power vacuum after Regina was driven out of the mayor's office, and at least part of the town's population had to have been from his kingdom (since Snow and Charming were at his castle when the curse hit). Would he have really bothered with something as petty as framing Ruby for murder because she was a werewolf? Wouldn't he have tried to take over the town? Or there was Cinderella's father-in-law, another king in that town. Or Prince Eric. Or whatever Belle's father was, who lived in a castle and felt responsibility for his people. All these rulers, and nobody's stepping up to try to take over? Possibly countered by someone who likes the idea of real elections? So all that needed help.

Even though the execution of the Greg and Tamara plot was terrible, the concept of an anti-magic movement was actually a pretty good fit for the aftermath of the curse. People who'd just had their lives upended by magic would likely have been easy recruits, and Emma coming to term with the fact that she had magic would have been more dramatic against that background, plus adding to the difficulty in her dealing with her parents. If we drop the poor victim Regina storyline and -- radical idea here -- drop the Cora storyline and just focus on the curse aftermath and the anti-magic movement, this arc would be a lot better. Cora's a great character and made a perfect villain, but the only role she played once she came to Storybrooke was to add to the poor victim Regina thing, since her revelation that she'd engineered everything didn't make Regina have any kind of epiphany and her death was only about Snow's black heart, which is another plot line to drop entirely. We kind of need Hook around this time because of his attack on Rumple in New York, which coincides with finding Neal and getting Tamara to town, so maybe Hook ditches Cora before coming to Storybrooke because although he's still bent on revenge, he has enough of a conscience to not want to bring Cora to Emma's town. Then have Cora instead of Zelena have taken over the palace and have set up her own kingdom when the curse is reversed. Regina coming home to find herself facing her mother would have been interesting, and that would have been a good time to really dig into a Regina redemption plot coming from her realizing what her mother had really done.

As much as I enjoy what Rebecca Mader does with Zelena and the energy she brings to scenes, plot-wise, Zelena has been a total mess. If you make her not exist, it fixes a lot of problems. Her very existence required a silly retcon that led to Leopold marrying the daughter of the woman he almost married but didn't because he found out she was stealing from him and planning to pass off the baby she was pregnant with as his child. Then she was the reason for the whole fake Marian debacle, the rape baby, Cora's instant redemption, and weird Hades plot. We'd have to find another reason for the time travel, but she was just the setup for that, so there could be something else that happened, and some other way that Arthur got the upper hand in Camelot (if we even ended up with that plot line after course correcting earlier in the series). So, yeah, drop Zelena and replace her with Cora during the missing year. I guess there would have to be another villain in the present day because they'd know who Cora was, unless Cora was disguising herself, or something like that.

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42 minutes ago, Rumsy4 said:

The ultimate moral of the story seemed to be that a woman can reform a bad man if she persists and gives up her own hopes and dreams for his sake. 

But she didn't even really reform him! The moral I got was, women need to just turn a blind eye to what an evil dick a man is for the sake of true love. It frustrates me because Belle was the "smart" "princess". She was the one who read books. She should have been smarter than to let Rumple lie to her over and over and over and over and over... She wasn't a Rapunzel locked in a tower and desperate for human interaction, or a Cinderella who's life was such crap she needed an escape, see also Snow White. Belle was a nice, normal, sensible girl with no royal responsibilities, who saw past a curse to the man behind it. Oh, it just pissed me off.

If they had allowed Rumple's redemption to stick the first time it would have at least been slightly like the real story, but he kept sliding back over and over again. Belle should have left him countless times, but there is no way she should have let him anywhere near their son. He had proven by that time that he had no real interest in changing and he was harmful to everyone around him.

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Did Rumple even acknowledge that he was abusive when he magically held her prisoner on Hook's ship?  I had problems with them having an abusive relationship for awhile, but some of that season 6A was pretty on target at showing the abusive  and controlling/possessive dynamic in a fairly realistic way, that I actually thought they might go with Belle realizing it was toxic and truly moving past it.  It was probably the most interesting Belle had been in ages, but instead she ended up depending on him and then faded into the background doing nothing active in the plot involving a great peril to her son.  I don't know if they even discussed what had happened earlier when they reconciled, except for maybe in vague terms.

When I was re-watching season 1 last summer, it included skin deep.  Maybe my viewing of it is colored by everything that has happened since then, but it was never a healthy relationship from the very start, and I saw enough from Rumple to see why Belle started to fall for him, esp. for after what he had already done to her.

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48 minutes ago, CCTC said:

  I don't know if they even discussed what had happened earlier when they reconciled, except for maybe in vague terms.

She helped him kidnap Blue or something. She's the same as him. She just needed to accept that Rumple would always love power.

1 hour ago, Mabinogia said:

But she didn't even really reform him!

I suppose he didn't murder anyone at the Edge of Realms because there was nobody around to murder. But that's proof enough for Belle and the writers that Rumple's good now. Plus the Guardian nonsense proves that he has a good heeeeeeeart. He wants to die! And reunite with Belle!!

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1 hour ago, Rumsy4 said:

Plus the Guardian nonsense proves that he has a good heeeeeeeart.

They can say he has a good heart till they are blue in the face. They have never SHOWN me that Rumple has anything but a shriveled up, black, selfish, evil heart. Even his "good deeds" were self serving. Thing is, I am okay with Rumple being that way. I like Rumple that way. But I HATE that Belle loved him and put up with his shit all that time and that she thought that asshole was the best she could do. Have some self respect sweetheart. If I were her friend I'd have been doing daily interventions until she snapped out of it and realized he was toxic. It would have made for a better story, too, IMO. She still loves him, she wants to help him change, but she realizes that for her own health and sanity she has to let him go. Especially after she had a child. She should have put Gideon? (I stopped watching around then, so I think that's their kid but I could be wrong) before everything else and gotten him away from his bad influence of a father. 

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Belle's another one of those things I'd fix in season two, and it's such an easy fix. The whole Lacey plot ended up being meaningless because it never came up again. She never showed any sign of thinking about what she'd seen and done as Lacey. It was totally forgotten, and at the time it just got in the way of Rumple and Neal dealing with each other at all. So instead of wiping her memory as a way to separate them, I'd have her ditch Rumple when she learns that Rumple murdered his wife and when she sees Rumple gleefully beating Hook almost to death. Someone having murdered their previous partner is about the biggest, reddest relationship red flag you can have, and Belle sticking with him after that, especially after watching him almost murder someone else, was not something a good, intelligent person would do. There aren't too many women who'd willingly get in a car with a man, alone, at night, and go to the edge of town after something like that. So just have her ditch Rumple. Hook follows Rumple to the edge of town to try to take advantage of the moment when he steps across the line to test his memory spell so he can kill him in a moment of mortality, but Hook gets hit by the car before he can get a good shot. Then Belle avoids Rumple until after 3A, when she takes his sacrifice as a sign that he changed. (I'm sure we could come up with some other way for Rumple to send a message via Ariel without relying on "the strength of our love.") Belle could then still marry him at the end of season 3, thinking that he's come back to life a new man. But then 4A has to be the absolute end of the relationship because her taking him back after that makes no sense. The only way I can think of to fix that is to do more with him in "clean heart" mode, so that, again, she thinks he's really changed. If that happens, then learning he hijacked Hook's sacrifice to take on the darkness again has to be the absolute ending. There's just no way to have her take him back after that and have a long and happy marriage when he had a chance to be mortal, with a clean start at life, and he chose otherwise.

The problem with that whole relationship is that they worked so hard to map the iconography from the movie onto a relationship that had almost nothing to do with it and that ran counter to the themes of the movie and fairy tale. Instead of actually developing what was really there and treating it honestly, they wallpapered on imagery borrowed from other movies -- first Beauty and the Beast and then Up. There really was no "there" there for anything other than a really warped, abusive relationship. The thing they entirely missed from the movie was that he changed before she fell in love with him. She didn't fall in love with him until after he stopped growling and throwing temper tantrums. There's even a whole song about there being something there that wasn't there before. Belle fell for Rumple before he changed, just on the hope that maybe he could change. I don't know if they realized how ironic it was that they made his heart actually be a shriveled up lump of coal after all her talk about his good heart. I doubt they even made that connection, since it was all about plot, plot, plot and they didn't consider that they were contradicting something that they kept repeating. It was so weird how it was such a theme that Rumple really was a good man, but they didn't want him to actually be good and had him do evil at every opportunity.

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9 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

It was so weird how it was such a theme that Rumple really was a good man, but they didn't want him to actually be good and had him do evil at every opportunity.

And it's all the more disturbing that the writers believed in all the ridiculous stuff that Belle kept on saying about Rumple's inner goodness.  It was appalling when they heralded that threatening elevator scene in 6A as such a big meaningful moment for Rumbelle.

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Back to the wasted opportunity discussion ...

I think the biggest wasted opportunity is the entire premise of the show. They've got a bunch of fairytale characters from a variety of stories living together in a small town in modern Maine, and after season one, they're aware of their fairytale identities while also having memories of living in modern America. And yet they did very little with that. As the series progressed, you could almost forget that these were fairytale characters. Stuff like the Three Bears Day Spa or Bo Peep running the butcher shop was really fun, and there should have been more like that. Those "Good Morning, Storybrooke" segments on the DVDs should have been things done in the show, like the Boy Who Cried Wolf being a TV reporter. I also loved the snippet heard on the radio, giving the weather forecast downtown and near the ice wall. There should have been culture clashes, with some people wanting to revert to their real identities while living in Storybrooke and some people fully embracing their curse identities and the modern world. Did they start a jousting team at the high school or did some of the kids still want to play basketball, for instance. Did the bands who played at Ye Olde Tavern start playing live music at Granny's? They missed a lot of opportunities to play with the fish out of water concept, with the fairytale world and small-town life being utterly foreign to Emma or with the people who didn't have cursed memories, like Hook, Robin and the Merry Men, Aurora, and some of the people from curse 2. The little bits of culture clash stuff they did with Hook, like his phone with the "Emma button," were so fun and Colin played it beautifully, it was a shame they forgot that Hook wasn't totally acclimated.

And it's not just for the fun stuff. There was a lot of potential drama to mine there. Regina should have been a villain for more than one season. Even after the curse broke, she could have been trying to do something to reinstate the curse or to try to get control back. At the very least, she should have been an antagonist for longer, even if she wasn't the Big Bad. I've mentioned the multiple rulers who were in the town who might have tried to take over once they got their memories back, and there should have been people demanding real elections. The sheriff campaign in season one was fun, but imagine the fun they could have had with Granny or one of the dwarfs running for mayor against a royal. They should have delved into attitudes about magic and had people wanting to do something about it. Were there families split up by the curse having to figure out what to do now? Like Jefferson's daughter, who now remembers her father, but then there were the people who were her parents for years. There were people from multiple kingdoms in town. How did they all get along? Or was there a case where the curse made a peasant and a king neighbors? Would they continue their friendship after they remembered who they were?

The relationships were part of not using the premise. What's it like to have parents the same age as you are? When Snowflake was born, Emma actually had more parenting experience than her parents, with that year in New York with Henry (and whatever false memories of that other life she retained). They brought up David's Papa Bear protectiveness with Hook, but that seems like something we also should have seen Emma hash out with her father. Then there was the relationship between Rumple and Neal, which was really the catalyst for everything, but that wasn't dealt with. Neal and Hook. Neal and Henry.

Just in all this stuff, they had material to last them several seasons without having to bring in a lot of outside Big Bads. The show might have worked better on the procedural or mystery series model, where the plot was mostly episodic, dealing with a case of the week, and the character and relationship stuff formed the overarching arcs. Let Emma deal with a different issue related to the fallout of the curse each week while carrying over the town trying to deal with Regina, Emma and her parents, and the romantic and friendship stuff. The way they do now, the emotional and character stuff is so stop-start, so when the plot goes to something else, the characters are put on hold.

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The modern-day download was almost an excuse for them not to do more fish-out-of-water conflicts and moments.  I think the download should have been a little less comprehensive.  For example, if Snow and Charming had gone to New York City, would they have been overwhelmed by it all?  It seemed like they would be, given how Gold was very uncomfortable with the whole airport/airplane experience. 

The fish-out-of-water stuff was always very brief and/or used as a passing joke.  We saw that very briefly with Robin Hood, I guess, who did not have a Curse download.   This week, we got one with Alice seeing a smartphone and a car for the first time.

But as you said, even if they did have Curse downloads, there should have been an internal conflict between modern ways they lived with during the Curse, and the medieval ways they were used to.  They did not explore this at all in 3B when they were all forced back.

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