Once Upon a Time Post-season Debrief: Can Y'all Make Any Sense of These 12 (!) Dropped Storylines?

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I’ve never been able to resist a loose end. I see a string coming out of my jeans, ten minutes later I’m sitting bottomless in a pile of denim. OUAT is choc-a-bloc with loose ends; Season 2 ended our season with all five of our favorite characters and Prince Charming on the Jolly Roger, ropin’ and riggin’ and sailin’ their way toward Neverland. Writers, you can’t chuck the tangled web of expired plot coupons behind that easily! I try not to pull apart the story logic in reviews, because OUAT is about emotional justice, not making intricate, logical plots, but since this is going to be on my mind all summer anyway, please join me in nitpicking to our heart’s content the many dropped storylines and abandoned story devices OUAT has left to dangle in the wind.


1. KATHRYN

She’s Regina’s only Storybrooke friend, David Nolan’s Storybrooke wife, and she slapped Snow silly and got Snow thrown in jail/put Snow perilously close to going on trial for homicide when she mysteriously disappeared. The show implied she took off for Boston after she got out of the hospital. Where is she now? Was she affected when the curse broke? I can understand how awkward it would be for Kathryn and Snow to keep running into each other around town. Still, I’d love to know if she leapt out of her seat midway through a Friday-night viewing of Black Swan with the sudden realization she was a fairy-tale princess.


2. HEART IN A BOX

When Kathryn went missing, her heart was supposedly found in a box by Ruby. No investigation into whose heart it actually was. Either the Feds really dropped the ball on this one, or Emma burnt up the police report with a Hot Toolz-brand curler while touching up her ‘do at the station.



3. RING OF KEYS

Remember how it was revealed that Regina had a ring of keys to all the buildings in Storybrooke? That came in handy for about 1.5 scenes and then was never referred to again. Not much to see here, folks, just calling this one out as a big ol' dollop of plot spackle.


4. SIDNEY GLASS

So you’re telling me, when magic returned to Storybrooke, an all-powerful genie wasn’t affected? Didn’t regain the ability to grant wishes or, say, unlock a door? Or he wasn’t, at the very least, returned to his cursed state of living in Regina’s mirrors? Not even in that Forever 21 dressing room at the back of her tomb? Or was Gus Fring/Neville just not returning your calls, OUAT casting person?


5. HEARTS

According to OUAT, there is nothing a bitch can’t do with a heart, from eavesdropping on people to controlling people to outright killing them. It’s been established that removing the heart takes magic (Hook was briefly given the magic power to remove hearts by Cora) so how was Regina operating Graham’s heart in Storybrooke—as we saw her do when she needed someone to chase around Greg Mendell’s dad—before the curse was broken? For that matter, how did she keep Daniel’s body preserved all those years?

Also, if removing someone’s heart, as Cora did to herself, removes their emotions, then how did Graham form enough of a crush on Emma to plant that smooch on her in Season 1?

ALSO, remember in Season 2, when Mulan just shoved Aurora’s heart back in with absolutely no magic or idea how to do it? Because I do. I SEE U OUAT.


6. OH SO PHILLIP IS ALIVE?

We all saw the wraith suck Phillip’s soul out of his body and skidoo off back to whatever Rite-Aid Halloween display the wraith had come from in the first place. Yet we saw Aurora, Phillip, and Mulan greet Neal’s body on the shores of the Enchanted Forest. SO. How did they reunite Phillip’s soul with his body? Writers got all summer to come up with something, but do NOT be surprised if we never get an explanation.


7. MENACING MOP GUY… WHY SO MENACING?

Why the creepy mop guy? Was there once a plotline that involved him that ended on the cutting-room floor? Or does he betoken another realm based, like Frankenstein’s black-and-white-movies world, on the oeuvre of Gritty Movies from the Late '70s Starring Jack Nicholson?


8. GRUMPY & NOVA

While many couples who had been torn cruelly apart in Fairy-Tale Land found each other, Grumpy appeared to continue pick-axin’ for diamonds and Nova appeared to continue hanging out with the Blue Fairy at the nunnery. Not that I was ever especially fond of this couple, but considering how much screen time Grumpy got, you’d think the show could've snuck in one reference to Nova, even if they had to do things Mulan-style and put a chain-link veil over the lower part of an Amy Acker lookalike’s face.


9. CHIP IN PIECES

This is a really small thing but it truly bothered me. If Rumple could effortlessly reassemble Chip, why didn’t he do that immediately and not just when Belle needed the cup? He was just going to keep a jumble of porcelain together in a velvet bag?


10. SNOW’S DARK HEART

Snow’s heart was getting increasingly darker there for a while (I loved that satisfying slap she gave old Marco in the woods), but apparently she put the brakes on that heart-darkening, perhaps even reversed it by… ingesting Regina’s tears? Experiencing the pain Regina went through? Not sure. I sort of feel like the writers could have done more with Dark Snow and I wish we had seen a little more of that alleged character. Wish she'd called up Dr. Whale and told him he was an ungenerous lover, then told Charming that David Nolan was a real creeper. You know, gotten some things off her chest.


11. MAGIC & DIAMONDS

Okay, this one is advanced math for me, but: All magic comes from diamonds that are mined by dwarves, then ground into powder and distributed by fairies. Except True Love, which is the greatest magic of all and can break any curse. When Rumple poured True Love juju into the well, he caused diamonds to grow that were later mined by the dwarves, but how were he and Regina suddenly able to use magic? They were what, harnessing the power of true love? Didn’t Rumple LOSE his power when confronted with True Love’s kiss? Also didn't Mr. Gold steal all the magic from the diamonds at one point in "Queen of Hearts" before Regina helped Emma and Snow climb out of the well and if you can do that then why even grind them in the first place? And where did the Blue Fairy get new magic from if they took all the magic out of the diamonds? Y’all. 


12. MEMORY CURE  

Now that there’s a memory cure that the Blue Fairy made offscreen (Grumpy basically said “The Blue Fairy made this offscreen, Mr. Gold. Just pretend it’s a storyline we’ve been following all season and ignore the fact we just thought it up”), can the Blue Fairy synthesize MORE of this potion so Storybrooke people can come and go? What could she possibly be doing that’s more important than that?


So yes. After a season of telling you we must not dissect gossamer, consider this the post where we get into the nitty-gritty and really hash out the dead-end storylines, redonkulous story devices, and other things that made us go HMMMMM. Get it all out of your systems before Season 3. Because I bet none of these points will be addressed, there will likely be a whole new setting and another cavalcade of weird and wild adventures, and I could not be more excited for them.

Finally, feel free to spend your summer playing with these OUAT paper dolls.


QUESTIONS:

… This whole post, basically. Plus your own questions! OUAT hive mind, let’s do this!

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