Once Upon a Time "Second Star to the Right" Review: The Diamond Goes Pear-shaped

Once Upon a Time S02E21: "Second Star to the Right"


Whoooo, talk about a way to turn my day of sombreros and margaritas into a night of broken sobs. Cinco De Mayo went out with a bang with last night’s “Second Star to the Right”—between the tequila, taquitos, and sobbing, maybe we should all have taken a sick day today just to get the poison out, babies. Who can read work emails with that promo just replaying in our heads? It occurred to me to just enter “F-ck You OUAT” 600 times as the review for this, but to be fair, “Second Star to the Right” was entertaining. Credit where credit is due, this was in many ways a great episode. An entertaining, exciting, riveting episode that thoroughly camped out in my brain and is still rattling my nerves and working my imagination today.

In true Kitsis & Horowitz style, they’ve essentially turned the last three episodes of the season into an epic movie split up into thirds, tying together a number of very recent elements and characters. Usually this is where I'd go off on a rant about how a big three episodes after six months of treading water and sustaining low-level dread is sort of a wasted storytelling opportunity. I’m going to try to rein it in and just say that apparently, there are two schools of thought in serialized dramatic television:

1.) A truly compelling premise and strong characters can bring about a near-endless amount of conflict to mine episode after episode, with characters growing organically and inevitably into their storylines as developments unfold every week.

2.) Put a really huge cliffhanger at the end of your season that functions like a giant Goosebumps chapter break and hold your audience’s favorite characters hostage so they have to come back just to know WTF they’ve been watching.


Hahaha! Oh guys I am so bitter. But aren’t we all, after watching Regina weep in silent anguish for four hours as a nerd in a tweed coat tried to break her down? (AND FAILED, I might add.) The only thing that made the torture scenes of Regina bearable were how “Yippee Ki-Yay Motherf-cker” she was about the whole ordeal. While I was proud of Regina’s strong attitude (compare her stoic response in between torture sessions to Snow flopping around like a fish when faced with the same electric voltage), I got nervous because Lana Parrilla, Method like she is, was breaking capillaries in fully portraying Regina’s ordeal.





For once, the FTL was a sweet escape from the Storybrooke storyline. I loved the sinister interpretation of Peter Pan as this horrifying wraith, creeping in and stealing little boys. I’d never really seen the horror movie element of Peter Pan before, but OUAT managed to take the same scene we’re all familiar with, the lamps going out and the window flying open, and with a subtle change in background music and cinematography it was one of the creepiest things I’ve seen on network TV.

Also, brilliant explanation for why those kids were sleeping with umbrellas and saucepans as they do in the original stageplay. Bae volunteering himself to protect Wendy and her brothers and his subsequent flight through Wonderland—it was all gorgeous and eerie and spectacularly well done.


(Yes, even if Wendy for some reason was going to bed every night with full-on pageant make up and hair. Whatever, girl was amazing. Hope she’s going to join the spinoff Wonderland series ABC is possibly producing. She was waay too big of a presence for this little cameo.)

Young Bae was similarly amazing. It takes a child actor (tween actor?) of rare presence to pull off Dickensian street urchin and a collared nightdress.

All I know is, I really didn’t give too much of a sneeze about Bae before this episode, and now he’s sort of a hero. The child version, that is. Grown-up Bae was still hauling that scarf around town and taking unearned moments with Emma. How did someone so brave and heroic become an abandoning slouch who didn’t look up Emma after she was released from jail because he “couldn’t forgive himself”? Well, then at least present yourself for the ass-beating she deserves to give you!


Their entire romantic arc this episode was so completely unearned and chemistry-free. I respected the character of Emma exponentially less for carrying a torch for a man who had, no two ways about it, abused her as a teenager and then left her to take the rap for him and skipped out on the rest of her life. Given the number of women who are actually left to take the consequences of a shared action by their partner, be it a jail sentence or a baby (like 90 percent of female inmates are incarcerated because they drug-muled/prostituted/whatever at the behest of their man) vs. how many of the guys have legitimate, multi-dimensional excuses for their behavior, I don’t see why the writers would reward Neal with our hero’s continued affection. And even aside from social responsibility, these actors have barely shared the screen this season. Compare the masterful development between Henry and Emma in Season 1 to the five minutes of half-hearted banter Neal and Emma have exchanged. Ugh. So when this happened:

I did a bit of a fist pump. Not going to lie. Please, little girls watching this, don’t forgive an inexcusable, disrespectful man who wounds and abandons you just because he tells you he’s sorry. And I know he’s coming back, even if Emma hilariously tried to spell it all out for us with the epically expositional line: “But you’re shot! You’re going to die no matter what world you fall into!” We have not seen the last of  this doofus.



Also, if you look at the timeline of the series, Neal has known Henry for approximately one week. Emma has spent maybe two weeks under the same roof and otherwise bought him a lot of ice cream. Yet Neal is screaming “HENRY! WE CAN’T LEAVE HENRY ALONE! ONE OF US HAS TO LIVE!” Um, remember how Regina raised Henry all alone for most of his life until this show began? He’s got all he needs, no matter what happens to you two coconut heads. I know Henry is fast and loose with whom he calls mom, but that’s who Regina is, both legally and in every other way that matters. The narrative’s continued rejection of a loving, affluent, educated adoptive single mom in favor of two legitimate criminals who knocked boots and therefore are “parents”… it's sincerely baffling. Like jump in that hole already, Neal. (Michael Raymond-James I love you always and forever. Just talking to Neal here.)

But Neal and Emma were not the only characters who made me want to bite a wooden spoon like a battlefield amputation was taking place. Let us never forget Mr. Gold’s response when Snow asked why he had Regina’s tears:

"Because I do." Thank you, OUAT writers, for at least being open about having absolutely no f-cks left to give. It’s almost refreshing at this point. I thought it was an interesting device to sync up Snow with Regina’s feelings and thoughts and sights, though it was baffling how little they were able to do with the information The smell of sardines should have been the first thing Mary Margareet mentioned, but to both her and David it was a total after thought. Mary Margaret listed almost everything else first. "It was cold. There was pain. Shadowy. My feet were untied. There was a ceiling. Gray. Sort of damp. My mouth tasted nice, kind of minty. I had an A-line skirt on. Ten fingers, ten toes. Also, the stench of sardines but not sure if that's relevant."

The cannery has been mentioned in previous episodes and y’all have had 28 years to get familiar with Storybrooke’s exports and small businesses, so the fact that it took every Charming involved about 45 minutes to understand the significance of the smell of sardines—well, I'm actually not that surprised, given their track record. And then they all almost shot each other in the cannery, great job coordinating your rescue mission, braniacs. Why must so much of the suspense of this series be predicated on the condition that we expect the Charmings to screw up? Oh Charmings, you mean well, you really do, like a toddler who tries to get clean by crawling in a washing machine.

Also, who knew making sardines involved such intense machinery? Respect to the sardine workers out there and the giant battleships they appear to work in.

To recap this recap: Neverland—amazing! Regina’ s torture—pure anguish, but well handled! Charmings—slow on the uptake, but an interesting plotline! Emma and Neal, ugh. And now the part of the episode I’m still not sure if I even want to acknowledge is the one about the Mendels. (Named, I’m sure in homage to Mendel the monk and his bean-plant experiments which became the basis for understanding genomes.)

So they referred frequently to “headquarters,” then called their mission “sacred” and just basically ran around with sticks up their butts the whole episode, acting really self-righteous and implying they were very important people with a far-reaching agenda supported by a sinister shadow organization. So they are like… magic terrorists? They are like anti-magic al Quaeda? Like, I really can’t. I really can’t care about these two, except I found myself weirdly glad when Greg found out his dad was now a skeleton.

That’s what you get for being nosy, Greg: a pile of damp bones.  

While Tamara is kind of my new hero for indirectly blasting Neal into Neon Green Hell, being unclear on her motives does not make me more intrigued about her as a villain. In another show’s hands this device could read as frightening, thanks to a powerful villain who is incredibly driven by mysterious motivations, but in this case it feels like the writers are leaving themselves space. Which, fine, that’s okay, give yourselves wiggle room... but then maybe don’t make your villains keep announcing a bunch of expository dialogue about how mysterious they are. Especially when they are in plain clothes. Its like Storybrooke is being attacked by two RPG-ers who didn’t read their character profiles all the way through.


It was a huge relief when Regina was saved, and while I don’t understand the Blue Fairy helping her (also, why was this all-powerful figure like, chilling during all this? The Charmings should have her on speed dial. Get to work, lady.) 

I did love her look of embarrassment when she found out the Charmings saved her.

Like, that’s pretty humbling. I also loved how she then awkwardly had to tell them about her plan to sweep them all to hell and was totally unapologetic about it. The promo for next week's finale seems to heavily imply she’ll sacrifice her life for Storybrooke’s. I don’t want to believe OUAT would kill off Regina, but the fact that so much of this season has been dedicated to her redemption arc makes me wonder if they’ll pull those kind of shenanigans. (Although photos from the finale would seem to place her on the boat you know all of Storybrooke will board when sh-t goes down.)

Is that why Lana is stacking bills doing promos for Fantasyland? (Don’t judge, girl probably got 100k for an hour of work and then got to go on all the Fast Pass lines without even getting Fast Pass.)

So now is the time for predictions guys. What will happen next week? Are you dreading it or excited? Will they tie it all together or blow it all to hell? And also...


QUESTIONS!

1. Neal: nothing can kill him, or he's off the show?

2. Emma loves Neal: justified?

3. Lacey’s influence on Mr. Gold—do you secretly love it?

4. Next season is Neverland-centric, that we know; so do Eddie and Adam just want to film in Hawaii again or… ?

5. Will Hook save the day with his ship and some beans?

6. Will you watch season 3 if they kill off Regina?

7. What. Is. Happening?

Comments (168)
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"Please, little girls watching this, don’t forgive an inexcusable, disrespectful man who wounds and abandons you just because he tells you he’s sorry."
YES. Same goes for Regina: a serial killer/genocide-er/monster DOES NOT CHANGE in real life.
I'm still rooting for both Neal/Emma and Regina's redemption because it's a TV show....but I think in general it sends the wrong message about relationships. (Come to think of it, this started in the very beginning when we were rooting for Mary Margaret and Charming while he was still married....)
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"Um, remember how Regina raised Henry all alone for most of his life until this show began? He’s got all he needs, no matter what happens to you two coconut heads. I know Henry is fast and loose with whom he calls mom, but that’s who Regina is, both legally and in every other way that matters. The narrative’s continued rejection of a loving, affluent, educated adoptive single mom in favor of two legitimate criminals who knocked boots and therefore are “parents”… it's sincerely baffling."
^This. Did we miss the part where Regina killed hundreds of people, continually raped a man for years, displaced and enslaved an entire population for 28 years, and spent at least a year trying to convince Henry that he was crazy. Then this year we get her trying to kill off Henry's entire family (right in front of him), cast a love curse on him, and erase his memory. All while plotting/committing even more mass-murder and destruction with Mommy Dearest? Please. Good parent my ass. If all that shit doesn't make her a criminal then I don't know what does.
Emma and Neal are by no means perfect. But leaving a child in the care of a person like Regina is not an option. Henry's relationship with Regina is less about the portrayal of the relationship between adoptive parents/child and more about the portrayal of abusive parents/child.
I find the fact that people ignore Regina's emotional/mental abuse of Henry disgusting.
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THANK YOU!
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-Hopefully the former. My love of Michael Raymond James is strong. I can't allow myself to believe that he was around for all of a few freaking minutes and they wasted his greatness the way they did. Bae was a badass. Neal was just...there. I hated that. I wanted to see him DO something be more involved somehow. Play a role. A bigger role. And I agree, one of my biggest annoyances is how they completely crap on the adoptive parent thing. Regina whether you love her or you hate her is Henry's mother. Plain and simple. She adopted him. She raised him. In any other circumstances folks would scoff and get all "biotch puhleeze" if the reformed criminal birth mother who willingly gave her kid up came back demanding to be the sole parent of her child. That frustrates me to no end, how everyone just ignores that.
-I think so. At this point in the series we've come to realize that no one is perfect. If you'd have asked me in the beginning of last season if I'd find myself not even rooting for the quote on quote "good characters" I'd have thought you were screwing with me. When did the Charmings become so insufferable and kinda stupid? I actually miss when they didn't know who they were yet. Point me in the direction of a character on this show now who is worthy of justified love and I'll run to them. Each of them are as screwed up as the next batch. Neal is no saint, but neither is Emma. Match made in heaven. Plus...MRJ.
- No. Honestly I don't like Rebellious Belle/Lacey (ReBelle if you will). Who is this woman? She has these serious fifties PInk Lady vibes, but kinda more sadistic or something. I don't know. It's entertaining at times, but I don't love it.
-Aloha.
-I'd imagine he'll have a part to play since they love keeping him around. Not the best character, but he's easy on the eyes.
-Sure. Just to see how a show like this can go on without Regina.
- I.Don't. Know. I want to scream and yell and roll my eyes at this madness. I do. But I keep watching it because...it's madness! So only in a StoryBrook world will religious zealots and science geeks do the unthinkable and join forces against magic. Two enemies join forces against a common enemy. Magic is unholy and unscientific.
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I happen to be a doc, and a shrink at that. And Lily's advice is right on. Interesting that you had such a strong reaction.

Other than saying that, I'm not gonna engage you in dialogue about this point - other than to say that I also hope that Lily doesn't quit her day job - although for very different reasons than yours :-)
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Quote from the author, " Please, little girls watching this, don’t forgive an inexcusable, disrespectful man who wounds and abandons you just because he tells you he’s sorry."

Glad you're a T.V. critic and not a child psychologist!!!!!!

Don't forgive? GREAT advice... Not! That's right little girls, go through life incapable of a decent relationship with a man, don't reconcile with your lousy father regardless of what's possible because you're incapable of forgiveness and unable to get over your crap.

Maybe you can recommend the little girls some anti-depressants and other prescription meds?

John Mayer wrote a song about gals like you...

Definitely don't be giving advice to kids and don't quit your day job writing reviews like this one I thought was decent till I stumbled across your personal issues.
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Note to the author:

Not crazy about how you're projecting your man-hatingness and obvious abandonment issues on Michael Raymond-James's character. You know he isn't whatever guy you hate who did you wrong that you're projecting on him. He started out a good kid and turned out pretty fing good for being the "dark one's" kid and all. And Emma was a p.o.s. thief just like him, anti-hero, whatever you want to call it, and deserved every day she got in jail, in fact, if you really weighed the penance vs. her crimes, it was a slap on the wrist. So, if possible, keep your judgment and man-hating crap to yourself. Just because he's a man and you have daddy issues or whatever, no one is above redemption, certainly not someone who has been through the wringer like him. And just because you can't forgive whatever dude in your life did you wrong, it's a TV show, and it's perfectly ok if the fictional characters in there do and get over their daddy/abandonment issues like you obviously can't.
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Yeah, man. What's with the aggression and the very personal attack? Twice, at that. Mommy issues? Chill.
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A man-hating crap, just because of advice - not to forgive? Maaan, if anyone who read this was as superficial as you are - they'd be thinking that YOU must be a woman hating man, who occasionally slaps his gf. IF you have one, that is.

Yes, it's about redemption, and fighting for love and affection and DESERVING her emotions again. Which, here - due to crappy, rushed and inconsistent writing, did NOT happen. Not in the whole three meaningful scenes they shared (one of which was wasted on his self-pity of him “not being able to forgive himself”) so yes, from this standpoint, no - she should NOT forgive him. Not until he really DESERVES it.
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I would love to see Graham in the OUAT spin off!! That would be AMAZING! What do you think Lily? :)
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1. Nothing can kill him :S
2. Nop, but in her defense... love is never justified
3. No, I hate the hole Lacey story
4. Hahahahaha who wouldn't want that...
5. That would be awesome... I love Hook, and he'd redeem a little after punch Belle
6. Probably not
7. That is one good question

I totally agree with the creepy Peter Pan shadow! I have this feeling about Bae becoming Peter Pan, and I do not like that feeling.
I don't wanna see Tamara anymore, I do not care about her mission and her anti magic Al Quaeda group, but sadly I can see they have a story there with the picture of her and her grandma that they showed us in the China episode with Pinocchio... Boorriiinggg!!!

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3rd season OUaT AND new OUaT in Wonderland!

Maybe that's why they haven't been tying up the storylines... I hope this means we get to see more from Cora (if it shows the early years), since she was great fun. Plus Jefferson, who is way underused on OUaT lately.

2 nights a week, or back-to-back? Either one is good for me, eh?
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1. Neal will definitly be back
2. Justified
3. I love it, but I hope Belle will be back soon
4. We'll see
5. Probably
6. Jup
7. I don't know!
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Neal was way hotter/better in True blood. Here he just seems sloppy to me (with that belly hangin' out, which didn't matter in T/B).
I absolutely love Rumple as the bad guy with Lacey, at least he's not trying sooo hard to be good and just failing when he's so close to the goal… But he aces being the fuck-you-guy.
ROFL on the Mary-margaret can't take shit and Regina taking it like a bawsss.
Oh and Neal and Emma suddenly loving each other after not seeing each other for 10 years and Neal was just in love with Tamara a sec ago? This show is killing me. If it weren't for Regina and Rumple (and now his relationship with Lacey which, oddly, I kinda enjoy).
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Maybe the torture didn't faze Regina because Cora used to do worse when she was late for dinner, y'know?

Rumplestiltskin/Gold is my favorite! And Lacey is interesting...
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Hey Gold, these two a-holes are trying to destroy magic. Can you take care of it? Thanks. And that arc is done...

Hugo is gonna be a sad giant dwarf now his beans are gone.

Can OUAT send Henry to Neverland so we can never think about him again?
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Hey, i don´t like all this negativity with Emma, Henry and Neil because Henry loves them and he worried about what can happen to them cause they are family no matter how little time they spend together and i love the idea of Emma and Neil as a couple raising Henry they look so damn cute together. I will love to see the reaction of Snow and Charming when Neil And Emma were back together it will be awesome. By the way you miss the daughter and father scene of Emma and David it was so cute and sweet finally having a moment alone.

1.- He is just hurt in another world so he is coming back.
2.- He is the love of her life besides everything and she never stop loving him. They just need to do some work together.
3.- She is encourage him to kill Henry so NO I DON´T.
4.- I don´t know.
5.- I hope so.
6.- I love Regina but i love Once to so yes i will.
7.- MASSIVE DESTRUCTION AND AN EPIC EPISODE I CAN´T WAIT TO SEE!!!!!!
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How did Lacey encourage Henry's death? Undermining Rumplestiltskin's efforts to be good, yes- but I don't think she's advocating child murder. Dumping the kid (and the rest of the FTL characters!) by the side of the road while they go to Vegas- yeah, I could see that...
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Well in the season finale episode he was breaking the string when Henry was playing so i think the advice " Don´t let anyone stop you", or sort of, Lacey said to him he take it the wrong way. So it was his interpretation of it.
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Do the writers really think anyone's going to believe that Neal is dead? It's really insulting for our IQ. But then again, most of this season's writing is, so...
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Why did Neal have to disappear?

Maybe so when they push the "Curse-reset" button, Storybrooke has someplace to go! Wasn't the original Curse tied to finding Bae? And if he isn't gone, the rest of the town might not go anywhere.

I just hope they leave Greg and Tamara here.
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I was expecting Snow to finally understand Regina's true intentions, but I guess the smell of sardines really is what matters the most.
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All the confusion. ALL OF IT!! Also if they kill of Regina shits gonna get broken.
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I'm losing interest in this show with so many characters flip-flopping personalities. So if next season ends up in Storybrooke, at least that'll be an interesting diversion.

I also didn't like how Regina "just killed" the boy's father, and am hoping there's more to that story, like maybe the father was also part of the anti-magic's original members, or that the skeleton isn't actually his father, and Regina just said it was his father under duress of torture.
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Why would she not kill him? He was an outsider. If she let him leave, he could bring people in Storybrooke. And she has no reason to keep him a prisoner, he had nothing to give her. Moreover, Greg's father was at least 30-35 years old. Greg was like 10 and now is 35-40, hence 25-30 years passed. Thus, should he be alive, Greg's father would be 55-65 years old. Doesn't seem that rational to be alive.
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There was so much build-up about the Dad, then such a minor reveal: "I killed him", then the son digs up a skeleton. As much build-up we had to watch, I'd expect more reveal.
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Regina didn't seem to care for the dad whatsoever. She just enjoyed the child's company and the way he made her feel. I think the episode mostly served on showing another aspect of Regina, explain the curse and why Regina wanted to adopt a child, not on developing the relationship of Regina with the father.
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T and G get answers from Home Office so quickly it has to be an inside job, someone inside Storybrooke, doesn't it? Could it be Blue Fairy? In the finale preview clip, someone told Greg to use a dwarf axe in the mines to release the trigger. Could Blue Fairy's purpose be to keep magic and fairy tale characters out of the real world? Maybe the fairies perceive that as their mission, keeping the characters and magic safely in stories? We haven't found out yet who wrote Henry's book, but I'm guessing it was part of Blue Fairy's "preparations" right before the curse hit. Maybe fairy dust sprinkled on the book made it so the first person who opened the book would believe?

Here's hoping Neal lands in the capable hands of Mulan and Aurora! I'll watch if Regina is killed, because they'd likely bring her back like they do Jamie Dornan. I hope Greg and Tamara don't get carried into Season 3. This whole boring mission thing can end this week with any luck!
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Why not Jefferson? He's been watching everyone for years! or Sydney- if magic disappears, he's free of the mirrors and such; maybe even free of loving Regina.

I really miss seeing Jefferson and I'd like to see him come back.
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Totally agree, I miss Jefferson as much as Graham, and both of them had great chemistry with Emma! Didn't Jefferson beg Emma to make magic with his hat? Jefferson could be watching all this unfold, but I don't think he's responsible for this Home Office mission against magic...could the anti-magic science be tied into Dr. Whale?

Regina has locked Sydney away,so I don't think he is capable of running an operation incognito even though I agree he would benefit if magic goes away. (If he survives the destruction of Storybrooke.) I still believe it'll be tied in to Blue Fairy!

Neal is sloppy on purpose, probably to show how the years of regret and not forgiving himself have taken their toll on him. I like his character a lot!
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I love your review, and especially your point about Regina being Henry's mother. She is his mother in every way that matters, but they don't seem to care. She raised a good kid, and if they'd just trust her, then maybe she'd actually feel capable of moving on and just being Regina. I think she and Henry would accept Emma as a secondary parent figure, but he has no need of Neal whatsoever. And if Henry wants to swordfight, he has his grandpa for that (and Snow could teach him a trick or two as well, if they weren't so gender-biased). I really really want to see Snow play-swordfighting with Henry - I don't care if she's his teacher! Also archery.

1. The show doesn't need Neal. Henry - as you rightly pointed out - doesn't need Neal. Emma also doesn't need Neal. He can live, I just don't want him back.

2. No. Emma is far better off without Neal. He may have been good for her that first time around, but too much has happened since then - he abandoned her, and no matter what he says, he DIDN'T take her place. Actions > words.

3. I far preferred Belle's influence on Gold. I want her back. :-/

4. I'm far more interested in Neverland now that we have the creepy shadow holding the kids captive, though I don't see how it can last more than a few episodes?

5. Maybe. I quite like Hook.

6. Hell no. If they kill Regina I'm gone.

7. I'm not sure anybody knows what's happening.
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One of the only drawbacks from the last episode was the Diamond thing .. They had it AGAIN analyzed in under 2 hr , and found out everything about it , seriously what did they do ? give it a sniff ? Even so n, if they have quantum computers to analyze it , the trip to the main office and back being so fast , that would mean that the main office is exactly outside of storybroke ?
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Oh , BTW . I think Lacey , who has a thirst for power and darkness will seek out Rumple's Knife in the future ?
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Dang, girl, excellent review! I do hope that we get to see the show that you, and some of your colleagues at TV.com, are writing.

A question for you: As the Ouat writers are such a classic example of the parable ‘The Emperor Has No Clothes’ – recognizing that oh so very human pitfall as you obviously do -how are you and your co-authors attempting to guard against this? I would, honestly, love to hear your thoughts.
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Girl who played Wendy is on Hemlock Grove, hopefully they do a second season with her!
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Again I repeat like I said in the LAST reviews comments, Mary Margaret is useless. Really, the smell of sardines was an afterthought to mention? Also, when Charming is about to run after Mendel she stops him because apparently helping her move Regina RIGHT THIS moment was more important than catching the dude who tortured her near to death. I mean, they had JUST established that Emma had a radio so they could all communicate, wouldn't it have made more sense to let David go after the bad guy and ask Emma and her big brawny baby daddy to help her carry Regina out? Another complaint, if you were standing near a big swirling portal of doom would you standon its rim and do that whole "Oh gosh, you saved me, oh wow we should get to an ER asap!" thing? No, you would get as FAR away from it as possible so you know, the ground doesn't give out LIKE IT DID! Ugh, the Charming family are a bunch of idiots.

Last side note, why does Storybrooke always look so effing cold and overcast? I live in NH, right below Maine where Storybrooke is based and I can tell you...we get warm sunny days too! Maine isn't Alaska FFS
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I've decided I'm just along for the ride, haha. I just can't see them killing off Regina. I guess then only Gold / Rumple would be the true antagonist but Regina is too important to be offed.
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1. Neal: nothing can kill him, or he's off the show? I think he'll come back, the interesting/potentially redeeming thing will be how. I was sad to see him go because he and Henry were starting to get to know each other better and now that's been put on hold...again...hopefully not for another 10 years.

2. Emma loves Neal: justified? Yes. Every thing about their relationship says they shouldn't be together, but stranger things have happened. Besides they seem like they could be (if they ever get their sh*t together) the "cool parents" everyone always wished they had.

3. Lacey’s influence on Mr. Gold—do you secretly love it? No, I think it's creepy. I know he has the endgame of eventually kissing her to break the magic spell but this in between time is really uncomfortable. Hopefully the payoff will be worth it for Gold and for the audience.

4. Next season is Neverland-centric, that we know; so do Eddie and Adam just want to film in Hawaii again or… ? I think it'll be cool. It's a world we haven't really explored yet. And, maybe that's where Neal landed?

5. Will Hook save the day with his ship and some beans? Hmm. Not out of the goodness of his heart, there has to be something in it for him. It could be anything though, from his ultimate wish to kill Rumple to the promise of a kiss from Emma (or someone who doesn't think he can go jump off a cliff...). His loyalties are flexible. In the end, Hook's ship might be the only chance the Storybrooke residents have of escaping the demolition of the town.

6. Will you watch season 3 if they kill off Regina? Dunno. She's not the entire reason I watch, but not having her on the show would be a huge loss.

"The narrative’s continued rejection of a loving, affluent, educated adoptive single mom in favor of two legitimate criminals who knocked boots and therefore are “parents”… it's sincerely baffling."= I see your point but completely disagree with it. I don't see this situation as an attack on single moms but more of an emphasis on blended families. Obviously I use the term loosely, but the combination of the Charmings, Emma, Neal, Tamara, Henry, and Regina has created this interesting family dynamic. Also obviously, not everyone gets along all the time or even most of the time. People hold grudges, threaten each other, accuse each other, hurt each other emotionally or physically, save each other, are right or wrong about each of those things and then have to deal with the consequences.
Plus, the fact that Regina is legally Henry's mom while at the same time being one of the most evil and despised characters on the show does not make her a better mother than Emma. If Regina had to serve jail time for every person she's ever killed or maimed her sentence would far outlive her mortal life!
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Before I read anyone else's responses, just gotta say- LOVE your last photo!

I did kinda feel "under the boot" Sunday night; but after thinking about it awhile, I'm not quite so miffed. The creepy Peter Pan was awesome, I suspect Regina's tear may have been a tuition payment, and David didn't screw up quite so badly as usual (after all, he didn't shoot anyone at the cannery!)

Who wanted to see Tamara and Emma REALLY get into it? Be honest...
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There's literally no point to this show without Regina. Without Regina it's just a bunch of sinfully stupid people who would somehow manage to cut off body parts with chainsaws by accident.
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Ugh, Emma and Neal. So here's the thing - not only did I totally love Neal as a kid in Victorian England, but, I've actually always liked adult Neal as well - or at least, I'm interested in the character. I'm not sure I could say I actually like him. However, I do not buy his romance with Emma AT ALL. They have zero chemistry, I have no idea why she likes him. I kind of like them with Henry, trying to be a little family or whatever, but the two of them as a couple - hell no. Just no. And the bit at the end where they were like 'I LOVE YOU'... yeah, that was just awful. Honestly, she was better off with Graham or August. Heck, she'd even be better off with Hook, at this point.

So, yes, I do think Neal will be back, and I kind of would like for him to be back - just not as Emma's one true love, or whatever.

I did love Emma and Charming's little father-daughter moment at the end, though, where he was comforting her. That is the kind of little character stuff I am looking for, OUAT. More of this, please.

I'm tentatively excited about next season's Neverland-centric season. Tentatively, because I would not be surprised if the writers screw it up, but for now, it looks like it could be awesome. I've always liked Hook, and maybe they can actually use him well now, and the whole premise with this shady Peter Pan character seems interesting.

I will watch Season 3 if they kill of Regina - she is far from my favorite character, BUT, I really hope they don't. Because she is freakin' amazing on this show, and there's so much more they can do with her, if they stopped being so lazy about her character already.

I'm just bummed Tamara and whats-his-name didn't bite the dust. Does this mean they will be back? I was kind of hoping we could be done with them. Forever.
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Emma seems to have practically no chemistry with the majority of the people on this show with the exception of Hook and Regina. That girl is just not very personable
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I was wondering what happened to Neal after he left Rumple in their FTL and before he arrived in NYC.
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While I really didn't like this episode I was upset when Neil was sucked away. Only because OUTA seems to have a revolving door on most of their characters: just when you start to get to know them is when you should start looking for how they will die/turn into little children again/lose their memories/get sucked into another dimension/thrown off a clock tower. Oh yea and he will definitely be back.

In real life, Neil would be a loser and Emma should be demanding child support. However this is TV and I'm a sucker for fictional true love (don't believe it really exists, but like stories about it) so yes I want them together.

Love Lacey...which probably means she'll be gone soon.

I may not watch season 3 even if she sticks around. Given how choppy and not interesting this season has been I could easily lose interest with the next 3 or 4 months off. Particularly since cliff hangers just frustrate me instead of getting me excited.

Here's my theory: The fail safe isn't going to work the way Regina thought it would and it's going to suck everyone to Neverland where...Surprise! Neil is.
OR
Everyone is going to run across the town line and lose their memories and have to venture off into the real world with their fake ones. (I know, I know, they both suck, but that's what I expect from this show now. I'm not sure why I keep coming back except I really want their stories to go back to the quality of early days season 1)
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I like Lacey too; but did you catch the look when she asked Gold if he could keep her young forever? Soo unlike Belle, but he had to be wondering if she was playing him like Cora did...
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It'd be pretty hard for Emma to demand child support from Neal for a kid that isn't hers.
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1) Neal will be back. They wouldn't devote all this time to him becoming Peter Pan if he wasn't going to be back.

2) Emma loves Neal, but I think it's more that she loves how Neal was treating Henry and seeing how they could be a good family.

3) I hate sinister Lacey. I certainly hope when they travel to Neverland that all the characters with lost memories get their memories back.

4 & 5) It could be a combination of wanting to film in Hawaii and that frankly Neverland has a portal to Fairy Tale land already since Hook traveled from Fairytail Land to Neverland and then back. It will also certainly be more interesting than the Ogre Wars would be.

6) Yes, I would watch if they killed off Regina because we don't know what new worlds they are still going to use. I still think we're eventually going to see someone travel to teh world of the Wraiths.

7) I can't say I like the destruction of Storybrooke, but I think they are going to try and make this sinister organization more involved in season 3. I get the sneaky suspicion that this sinister organization will be able to travel to Neverland and that everyone is going to be forced to unite together, including Regina, Hook, and his pirates, to stop them from destroying the magic of other worlds.
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1. Neal: nothing can kill him, or he's off the show?
Sigh. He'll be back, pot belly and all. Not that there's anything wrong with pot bellies, but did they need to accentuate the guy's shlub factor quite so much?

2. Emma loves Neal: justified?
Not really, but it is excusable. I suppose we have to give benefit of the doubt to the things she knows about him from all their time together that we don't know. But the writers sure did do a piss poor job of showing us what's so darn great about Neal.

3. Lacey’s influence on Mr. Gold—do you secretly love it?
Not really. I think his reversion to form was too convenient and unbelievable.

4. Next season is Neverland-centric, that we know; so do Eddie and Adam just want to film in Hawaii again or… ?
Eh. Don't care. I'll quasi-enjoy it the same way I did this season.

5. Will Hook save the day with his ship and some beans?
Probably, yes.

6. Will you watch season 3 if they kill off Regina?
If she leaves this show, she'll end up in Wonder Land.

7. What. Is. Happening?
I think the "secret society" was founded by Wendy, because in her experience magic=evil.
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Not a bad episode. The whole shadow thing was rather disturbed. I'll never look at Peter Pan the same way again. That and I get the feeling that the Shadow is NOT Peter Pan, but still his shadow, just making mischief. Maybe Baelfire helps Peter capture the shadow and this helps everyone to get what they want. Might be possible. Anywho, on to Lily's review questions.

1. Neal: nothing can kill him, or he's off the show?

Nah, Neal's coming back. Come on. We all know it's happening. If he actually died off screen it'd be way too pathetic. Everyone else who died, did it on screen and epically, even Jiminy's fake death was epically shown to us. So Neal isn't dying yet.

2. Emma loves Neal: justified?

They say love is blind. She's been carrying a torch for him all these years and people often have issues about loving the people that have hurt them the most. That makes the whole love thing psychologically logical, but the show really should have done a bit more background screening for us to believe in it.

3. Lacey’s influence on Mr. Gold—do you secretly love it?

It's interesting. Although I do personally think that when Belle finally resurfaces that she's going to be disgusted with herself, not to mention Rumple, even though she might forgive him. She'll be horrified by the idea of what she's been up to.

4. Next season is Neverland-centric, that we know; so do Eddie and Adam just want to film in Hawaii again or… ?

Maybe, I hear Hawaii is nice. So why not? LOL!

5. Will Hook save the day with his ship and some beans?

No. I think Regina will save the day to be honest. Although it's possible that everyone will get on Hooks ship (squash on like Sardines. Get it? Sardines? NVM) and be saved as long as Hook steals the beans from Tamara and Greg the wussies.

6. Will you watch season 3 if they kill off Regina?

Of course I will. I'm a sucker for seeing how the story ends. So whether Regina kicks the proverbial bucket or not I'll still be watching.

7. What. Is. Happening?

I don't think they're gonna kill Regina to be honest. The conflict between her and Snow is all built up too much for them to kill her off now. But I think Emma will track down Greg and Tamara and kick their piddly asses. (at least I'm hoping so because they annoy me so much)
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1. No I think Neal will be back
2. I don't understand how she can still love him after what he did to her.
3. Lacey is bad news! And Rumple is so bloody creepy these days what happened??
4. Haha! I hope they still stay in Vancouver!
5. I hope so, it'll give both him and Regina the chance to be heroes
6. Definately not
7. I have no idea but I'm scared!!
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I don't even know what to do with the fact that Neal was rescued by Hook as a child. Like am I supposed to feel differently about him now? Especially juxtaposed with him being sucked into a portal as an adult, then immediately cutting to him getting pulled out of the water by Hook. Did they have a scene with grown-up Bae but not want to commit to another season of salary? Good flashback storyline, but really disjointed with the rest of the episode.
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Thoughts- Was Milah still on the ship when Hook rescued Bae? Does Hook even know Bae is Milah's son? (Can't see a pirate paying much attention to a little kid when he's busy drinking with his crew, but who knows?) How much does Bae know about Rumplestiltskin, Hook, and Milah?
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1. They would've killed him on camera if they wanted him dead. I would be (happily) surprised if he doesn't show up.

2. Well, I don't know. Seems like she never stopped loving him and all she wanted was an apology so that she could give it another try. Were I her, I wouldn't be able to trust a guy like this ever again so I would prevent myself from loving him. But well, it's Emma. She's not smart, she "can detect lies" so she doesn't follow the common logic but her emotions.

3. I have to admit that she is less boring. I don't know. Is it really true that bad people are more interesting or does that occur only in movies and tv sereis?

4. I wouldn't mind resting my eyes by looking at some beautiful landscapes. Maybe it's time they changed land as looking at a city was undeniable worse than looking at the FTL. I prefer them with the swords, arrows etc. Hook hasn't seen a gun before hence there will be no guns there, hopefully.

5. I don't think they have to count on Hook. They are hundrends (?) of people and he is just one. They could just steal it. Someone should know how to drive it. Moreover, should they count on Hook, that means Rumble will be left behind to die which could kill the show.

6. I doupt it. Maybe I would give it a try but I'll most likely get disappointed fast, thus I'll give up on watching.


I liked this episode. Bae's story is quite interesting and I'd like to learn more. I liked that at last Bae gave an apology to Emma. Love confessing was a little too early but maybe it's justified by the fact that they would lose each other forever, thus they couldn't have another chance. But maybe that's why Neal left her hand ("oh she said she loves me. What a mess, I don't want this. Let's just say that I love her too so as not to hurt her feelings. Oh lie-detection is on. I'd better leave the hand fast or she'll know"). Was nice that all cooperated to save Regina and the fact that she seemed to appreciate it (now we don't know for how long). It was sad to see her getting tortured though. Hope writters would never again do something like this. It is just weird and akward, made me wish they would show no more scene of Regina&Greg till the episode was over.

Greg's so annoying but at least it made sense that he didn't seem like a bad guy. Nevertheless he was so stupid to believe that his father would be kept alive. Tamara is just whatever. Seriously, we live in an era where financial war is everywhere. People are committing suacide every day, politicians look only for their own profit and not their people's one. All are scared and affraid of what may happen next. And what? There is an organization that has unimaginable power and cares about this world. That organization, except for fighting for saving everyone by getting involved in financial and political stuff, they just go around searching for magic. With the power they have they can save like 80% of the planet but they prefer to destroy magic that affects what? 10? 100 people per year? It's rediculous. I don't want to learn more about it. Just leave them behind and go somewhere else, where we can all forget that this happened.
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Really, a psychopath? Pray tell, how come Regina managed to raise such a fine young lad, then? The one who (albeit being irritating and fickle) is so good and righteous, who clearly differentiates right from wrong? Derr. He should be torturing puppies left and right, if you had any clue what you're talking about.
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She's unbalanced at the very least. Though I don't know what she'd classify as in the psychology handbook.

The previous episode alone showed she was a bit cray-cray. Let's kill a whole town for not answering my question. Let me tell my son that I'm going to kill everyone he ever knows... and be SURPRISED he wasn't OK with that.

Granted, the previous episode seemed a LITTLE bit like a ret-con about her stability. She has kind of seemed "off" in the past, but the previous episode was really out-there.

Ignoring that though: she punished an entire kingdom for not loving her enough. She cursed Graham the hunter to be her concubine for lying to her. She left the Mad Hatter behind in Wonderland and thus knowingly orphaned his daughter. She kidnapped and imprisoned Belle in a tower. She had a one-armed-man "kill" her mother. Emotionally manipulated a genie that obviously cared for her, into killing her kind and generous husband. Tried to kill the young daughter of said kind and generous husband.

Lots of crazy and evil stuff.
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Don't get me wrong, I'm not justifying any of the things she's done, or the choices she made, but don't forget - all of that happened in S2. You know, the season that is totally erratic and annoyingly inconsistent for ALL characters (while Regina is simply shizoid now, Emma is completely unrecognizable - from ridiculous hat, down to unbelievable "I need/love you" that made me wonder who the hell this person was, and what did she do to S1 Emma that I knew and loved) apart from maybe Rumpel. He's been unapologetic selfish b*stard from the get go (and I loved him for that) so right now, I find it ironically hypocritical - that most of this one-sided Regina hate comes from - his fans. And I find that as utterly ridiculous.
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I like Regina. I like her as the antagonist. AND I actually liked that they were writing her as trying to turn around and be a decent person for Henry.

Really, she is the best part of Once Upon a Time.

I might not have agreed with all of the child-raising stuff she did in S1 but I also don't agree with some of the child-raising stuff I see here in real life. That being said, there are worse parents out there. She appeared to genuinely want to love Henry and did everything she could AS A MOTHER. We didn't see that much bad-for-Henry stuff going down in Season 1. So the whole Regina vs Emma as the mother was interesting: one abandoned Henry and wanted to take him away from a woman who's cared for him "for as long as he can remember"

The problem *was* her "other" life. And how deep down inside she's a genocidal villain willing to kill or punish whoever she feels wronged her.

Though now in Season 2 they amped up the "penance" thing which was OK, but then did a 180 and amped up her psycho-nature like 500%. Now it's hard to even justify letting her continue being the mother.
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@kanniballl

I think that the problem lies in writers’ indecisiveness. I appreciate the fact that they don’t want to lose her as an antagonist (by allowing her to redeem self, where she was going in first 8eps?) thus pushing her into pointless out of character “but she’s evil, she’s bad!” situations. The Cora storyline made partial sense (though honestly, I did believe that her love for Henry would prevail, but…) and yet everything else, from “stay, I’ll kill your father but pls be my kid and I swear I’ll learn to make a better lasagna”, all the way to “kill them all” made absolutely - none. Especially because she orders that… wipeout (or genocide, if FTL had Storybrooke-sized populus, you are probably right) and then, she is genuinely surprised to learn how much people hate her? I mean, really. Did they really have to dumb her down, THAT much?
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@sunny-dee

Again, like I said it's debatable. Though I think "war crime" is a minimum description of that episode. And admittedly that whole episode was out of character for her. She never seemed that cray-cray before.

A large scale slaughter of an entire village might be considered genocide by some. Especially since we don't know the socio-political aspects of FTL or what percentage of FTL's population they consisted... I imagine a chunk since almost FTL's entire population fits inside Storybrooke.

Being spitefully vengeful might be a motive, but motive doesn't come into play into the genocide definition. If I kill an entire region on a lark because of their religion OR because I just want a really big parking lot it doesn't change the end-result. An entire region is dead

But as I said, even here in the real world the "scope" of what it takes to qualify as genocide isn't set in stone anyway.
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@kanniballl
Scales notwithstanding, I’d just call it simply - spitefully vengeful?

@xaverie
As I already said, it’s a moot point. Because everything happening in S2 was ridiculously inconsistent. So yeah, whether you'd call her genocidal or homicidal, it doesn’t have any influence whatsoever on my initial point: that 20-30 years later, for ten whole years - she HAS been a decent mother to Henry. And while I wouldn’t necessarily blame Emma for abandoning him (like I do blame Neal for abandoning her) I do believe that NONE of them make even remotely better parents, including his sanctimoniously self-righteous grandparents (minus Rumpel, who is at least not facetiously apologetic about his utter selfishness) who just...feed him junk food, not send him to school, and my personal favourite - let him run around with TNT. Just because of what, genetics? Puh-lease.

Kanniballl was totally right, I also LOVED Regina - as a phenomenally layered antagonist. But, S1 Regina. The one that made me stick around during this fragmented, choppy, badly-written, let’s-waste-time-on-pointless-characters and dumb-everyone-down-for-the-sake-of-stupid-plot, catastrophe of a season? Well, after seeing what they did to Emma (from stupid hat, down to pass-me-the-bucket inconsistency of "needing/loving" Neal, after everything?) well, no thanks. I’m so NOT there for S3.
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@xaveria

Actually, it's debatable. We recently saw her kill an entire village because they wouldn't answer a question.

The legaly definition of genocide leaves some fuzziness, since it is "the deliberate and systematic destruction of, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group" There is much discussion about what qualifies as the "in part" section.

So that scene alone could go either way.
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@sunny-dee

Nooooo. She was NOT a genocidal villain. That is NOT the right word. Homicidal. Possibly even suicidal at times. But there has been no genocide at all on the show.
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Regina can't ever feel loved enough. She doesn't have any more faith in love than Emma does- at least not as it applies to herself. Blame Cora for that; and possibly for giving Regina an excuse to explore the most vindictive side of her nature.

She tried to be a good mom to Henry; she wasn't doing so badly before Emma came along, except when she treated Henry as though he were crazy for figuring out the Curse existed. (Oddly enough, Henry's ability to ferret out the truth of such things could be a genetic inheritance from Emma- it would make her "lie detector" ability more a facet of her magic, and potentially his)
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We agree, then. Only, she WAS a genocidal villain (though, this could be argued, she could also be seen as oblivious, narcissistic, petulant child with too much power on her hands - as previous episode’s writing made her seem) who has, with this curse – gained a new beginning? And if there weren’t ridiculous inconsistencies of S2 (like that whole insipid “why don’t I force you to stay and be my kid” Owen storyline) she WAS a good mother to Henry. Overbearing and controlling, yes. Making him feel crazy (but how the hell do you explain a Ground Hog’s day to someone?), yes. But still WAY better than any of the Charmings. All. Together.

And don’t even get me started on Neal, who as a parent (of whole 5 mins) can’t be better than a 300yr old statutory rapist who left the girl he “loved” in prison because of… ghowknows why. That whole story is even more detestable than their “shall redeem Regina, or shall we leave her as a villain” indecisiveness, that made my once favourite character... well, not much into a psycho, but more into this erratic, sad, lonely person that can’t be seen with empathy anymore, due to cringe-worthy, BAD writing.
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I must say Lily, this is probably one of your funniest reviews. I haven't laughed like this on an OuAT review ever and there have been a lot worse episodes than this one (like you said, this was actually half entertaining). Please continue the sarcasm and funny commentary, oh and more charming-bashing is definitely a good way to keep your readers happy. :)
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1. I'm afraid he is alive and S3 will be the "Let's find Neal and Henry fest".
I am so happy for your review. Around the net every other article is praising Neal and telling what an epic love story Emma and Neal have and most of the time I feel like I'm watching an entirely different show.
2. From their convo on the beach (and the previous episodes) it didn't look like Emma was in love with him, I guess that "ILY" was only a reaction because Emma never get a closure before. I think Emma will always love Neal but I don't think she is in love with him, even if tis is what A&E will go for: PREDICTABLE!
3. Nope. I don't like Lacey and Gold's new storyline.
4. Maybe they miss Lost XD.
5. I think so. Hook will help the two idiots + Emma and Regina.
6. No. I'm already having difficulties watching now.
7. I think A&E are too worried about plots instead of actual storylines and this is why it felt
strange to see Emma confess her "love" while Neal was about to fall into the portal or why it felt strange hearing Snow's motivations to save Regina. And heck it felt strange seeing David comfort Emma because the two of them didn't have a minute together this season.
I miss S1 with all my heart :(
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Yeah, I don't see why people think the whole Emma + Bae thing is "sweet"

The two of them did a Bonnie-and-Clyde run with small-time crimes, and banged a lot.

Then on the word of a stranger that happened to know his name, Bae set her up with the cops so she'd stay in jail for X years and never visited or wrote. Then waited for a post card from said mysterious man a over a decade later.

Fine, perhaps they are / were truly in love. Perhaps fate intervened. That is sad.

But they had an adrenaline-based relationship of crime and deceit. How exactly was this relationship supposed to survive?
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The idea of Emma reuniting with the father of her son pushes buttons- of course people will say it's "sweet". And Emma's made so many questionable choices that they MIGHT get back together (hope not). The person you love at 17 is seldom the one you belong with for the rest of your life.

Even if they did come to some understanding for Henry's sake, there's way too much crap between Emma and Neal to be dismissed by a "True Love" kiss. I thought August and Graham were much better for Emma than Neal has proved to be. And maybe it's easier for Emma to love someone who's fatally wounded than it is for her to deal with him on a daily basis, y'know? No dirty socks in the living room, etc.
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*this
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1. I'd be fine with nothing but flashbacks of young Baelfire since he's so much more likable and the kid who plays does a fantastic job. And doesn't mumble. Always a plus.
2. Nope. Ridiculous writing, I don't even know what to say to that except I feel sorry for the two actors that they had to play this and keep a straight face.
3. Lacey's shown more personality in a handful of episodes than Belle has shown all season. So yeah. Part of me secretly loves it.
4. I think Eddie's favorite fairytale is Peter Pan. I don't have an opinion on it yet. I'd like to see more of the scary shadow and where he comes from first.
5. I think Regina has some leftover beans and Hook as the ship - combined effort, I'd say.
6. Nope. I mean, they're obviously not going to kill her off and if the writing had been better I'd have given it a chance if they did, but with the poor writing in the second half of this season it's only my love for some of the actors and characters that keeps me watching and Lana/Regina is def. one of them.
7. Let me know if you find out. Coz most of the time this season? I have no idea.
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I have to admit I was not expecting the twist on the Peter Pan story to be dark but it worked well. Although I don't like the whole Greg/Tamara/Home Office thing I did read a comment that intrigued me. The comment was that Wendy or the Darling family in general were the ones who started the home office after what happened to Bae with the shadow. It makes sense considering the people behind it seem to hate magic and after what Wendy saw she seemed to hate it too and they mentioned magic being in this world before which could've been a reference to that event. Like always. Lana Parilla was fantastic, still sarcastic even while being tortured.
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I wonder if we'll ever see how Regina got to adopt Henry in the first place. Something was mentioned about Gold being involved but still I want to know the whole story.
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Agreed- there's more there than we've been told. Only Gold's comment an episode or two back (about the irony of Bae as Henry's father) stands against the theory that Emma (product of True Love) was sent out into the world to attract Bae. Even if their meeting was a true coincidence, it's still pretty amazing that Henry ended up in Storybrooke, as the lodestone for both parents.
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Ha! Why haven't I been following these Once Upon a Time reviews? They are hilarious.

Really though, thanks for being so critical. There's plenty to love in this show (mostly Rumple and Regina) but there's also a crap ton of crap.

One thing that really had me WTFing in this episode was Tamara attacking Emma & Neal. Like -- she was gone. Free and clear. But then she circles back to whack Emma over the head and shoot Neal. He goes down. Once again, she's free to book it. But then she's all "don't make me do it!" and points the gun to his head. The freaking hell? Then she goes and uses the (only?) portal bean to suck him and Emma into another world. Um... That could have been used to suck a lot more magical and important/threatening characters out of the world you don't want magic in, lady! I was just baffled by how much sense none of this scene made.

I also continued to be beyond sick of Snow's self-righteousness. Exactly none of her actions seem to be motivated by true goodness and sacrifice. It's always about what it would do to her - "How can I live with myself if...?" Here too it's just about relieving guilt and literally purifying her precious heart. With Charming saving Regina was just about duty in that she's "family". They both suck. New low by being rescued by them indeed.

The Lacey persona of Belle is interesting. It's an intriguing new dynamic to their relationship - her actually influencing him *negatively*. Of course this is like crack to him, finally being able to stretch his dark wings AND hang on to his woman for once. And I loooove that Belle's Storybrooke persona is a two-bit hustler with about as much class as your average B-movie stripper. It's so not her...and yet so something that part of Rumple craves. To be what he thinks of as himself. Although - we all know it's gonna have to end soon because this woman is as much Belle as any random woman on the street. It's not who he truly loves and the longer she stays that way the longer the real Belle is essentially dead. And she's been through enough.

Also the Neverland introduction was amazing. It succeeded very surprisingly well in being truly unsettling. The shadow figure, the island of crying children... *shudders*

And Hook continues to be a sexy mother******.

That is all.

P.S. Actually, I want to add - why does Michael-Raymond James always get such skeevy, terrible characters? I've seen him play - other than lame ass Neal - a pervy rapist and woman beater on Black Snake Moan, a pervy serial killer on True Blood, and some random sketchy guy who got killed on The Walking Dead. Somehow he has always shone through these parts and struck me as a really intriguing actor/guy. I want him to have better.
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Tamara wanted Neal on her side. Maybe she already got informed by the Office what the crystal was and wanted to save Neal. But he didn't share her vision so she had to kill him.
Moreover, she was holding a bean container that had 3 or 4 beans in it. In Regina's office there was a bean-plant with more than 10 containers. There should be 30-100 beans in Tamara's bag.
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Okay, I can see her having more beans and using one as a quick exit strategy, but again, she already had her exit and then came back and then had yet another chance to leave and stayed. Her attack just doesn't make sense to me. We can theorize that maybe she got a call or something but that's really just fan-wanking it.
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The time I saw her I thought she was back to save Greg. However Greg disappeared (without her help).

You know, with this show you shouldn't read into things too much. Nevertheless, maybe I can give you a decent answer.
She thought Regina was dead so none could know that Tamara was involved. Came back to distrack Neal/Emma or to save Neal, thus Neal saw her and could reveal her secret. Knowing that Neal wouldn't cooperate and would try to stop her, she had to kill him.
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Neal is so blah. Bae is awesome. I find it hard to reconcile that strong, sweet child with idea that he became boring, "meh" Neal.
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I think Wendy started the anti-magic league after the shadow took Bae/Neal. And OUAT is filmed in Vancouver, I think.
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Maybe along with Alice and Dorothy who all have legitimate reasons to live the rest of their lives in fear too...
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Anyone know where OUAT is actually filmed? I noticed the older Darling boy was the boy from the Canadian show Seed so was curious if they film in Canada, or if he got a bigtime us tv role (bit part as it were).
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Vancouver, Steveston specifically stands in for main street Storybrooke.
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Arggh.. Mary Margaret's character is just so revolting .. Someone needs to knock some sense into her.. One episode she wants to abandon Regina.. one episode they all want her gone.. the next episode they really really want to save her.. and the reasons they give are just sooo pathetic... I won't be watching this show if they kill off Regina.. That woman is single-handedly carrying the show (with Mr. Gold too).. I really don't give a rat's ass about what happens to Mary/David...
1. Probably not..
2. Nope
3. Yup
4. No idea
5. I doubt it..
6. Hell NO
7. One can never know while watching OUAT !!
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First thing first, stop insinuating anyone who goes to Therapy is crazy. Regina didn't even know Henry knew about the curse before Emma mentioned the book and he was already having therapy with Hopper.

Let's proceed then.

Someone who puts Henry's needs before their own are not the couple who shipped their child through a wardrobe.
Someone who puts Henry's needs before their own is not the woman who first let her child go (even if I think that was the right thing to do what does Henry think?) and then told her little boy his father died,(God how is it not messed up to meet your father your mother said was dead)
Someone who puts Henry's needs before their own is also not the woman who tried to drive away the child's adoptive mother and when Magic returned, took the kid and tried to house arrest him.

BUT

She is the woman who fought tooth and nail with the most powerful woman in Storybrooke to make sure Henry was safe and loved. Someone who struggles everyday to mother a kid she hasn't know for ten years. She tries.

She is someone who willingly let her child live with Emma or the Charmings when there was literally nothing stopping her from 'killing the people he loves' except that little boy who she keeps putting before him, someone acknowledged the fact that she was not being a good parent and wanted to change; someone who took in a dark green curse so Henry's birth mother can come across. She tries.

They both didn't start out as parents, but God. But put in Cora and her manipulations and then her death, and all the threatening Regina business, I am sorry but Regina reacts more violently and she wouldn't if there was no trigger. But there always is. You make her kill her own mother and she grasps at a love curse to get the only inkling of family left. You tell her that they're going to take Henry to enchanted forest and leave her she is definitely not react in a healthy way. She needs help and the only thing that keeps her going is Henry. And to take away the only parental figure a kid's known for majority of his life isn't healthy.

I also have a very selfish reason, the fact that both Emma and Regina had the worst childhood and unhealthy family structures, I want them to have a stable family with Henry. Neal, I don't know. He did have a terrible time, magic/Rumpel destroyed his family. But for him Henry seems like a gift, when Emma and Regina had to earn their titles. I am not saying its a necessity to be a parent, but he didn't even look for Emma as soon as the curse broke because he was scared of not being forgiven. Dude! No!

But the thing is, we can speculate, it's Henry's choice at the end who he wants in his life.
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Regina may not have known about the Book; but I think she knew Henry was obsessed with fairy tales. Pretty sure that's mentioned in the first episode. She's a demanding, possessive, vindictive woman who truly wants to be what she thinks of as a good mother- BUT remember that she learned her definition from Cora; it's surprising Henry isn't more dysfunctional.

Emma threatens everything Regina has ever accomplished in her life- she's the Savior as well as Henry's mom. So they are antagonists from the get-go. (Greg/Tamara/Neal have been a petty distraction from this central conflict) Emma has even fewer parenting skills than Regina, and fewer resources; but she tries. She vacillates between treating Henry as an equal and trying to be the grown-up, even though she's emotionally more of an adolescent. Any hurt Emma has caused Henry is because she wanted to protect him- proving once again she doesn't really know much about kids.

I agree that Henry is more of a "gift" to Neal tham to either of his moms. At 11, Henry wants a man in his life. I'd rather see Henry interact with his grandfathers than his father, since Neal's kinda lame- how much of that is traceable to Tamara and her scheming, IDK.
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1. Though it's true they don't have a lot of chemistry, I am getting tired of no new romance on the show and Neal and Emma's is as close as its going to get. While their romance itself isn't new, it's appearance this season is. If they killed him off? Who would they come up with instead? Nope. He is definitely alive. But who knows how long in season 4 it will take to find him.
2. Kinda answered both 1 and 2 together.
3. Nope. I personally hate the bad boy/bad girl facade. And it doesn't really serve a purpose on OUAT. I'm sick of Rumple being evil and I hate that Belle (refuse to call her Lacey) is now somewhat evil in nature as well. Return her memory in the finale, and spend next season doing major work on Rumple's personality, writers please.
4. Hmm. Hadn't heard that so I'm not sure.
5. Who knows, I'm with other people who want him off. His character didn't need to be this involved in the season. While the actor did a good job, it's time he sail back to Neverland somehow or be killed off.
6. Seriously? The writers cannot be that stupid. Lana carries the show sometimes.
7. Who knows! This season has been really strange for me to want to watch. I want new villains for next season, ones that are fairy tale characters that no one would see coming.
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1. Probably the first one, hoping its the second.
2. Not really, but definitely don't want them together (which means they will be)
3. No
4. I have no clue!
5. Wouldn't mind if Hook died, he's overstayed his welcome imo.
6. Helllll no! If Regina dies, so does my interest in this show.
7. All I know is that that HQ that Greg and Tamara are talking about better not be the big bad for season 3. Do NOT add any villains outside the core cast to the show! It only ruins things! *glares at Revenge and the Initiative*
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