Once Upon a Time "Selfless, Brave, and True" Review: Bait and Switch

Once Upon a Time S02E18: "Selfless, Brave, and True"


You know what I love when I follow a series for two years? A standalone episode that almost exclusively involves characters I don’t know. Also, a big bad/main villain who is not exactly threatening and who's only popped up in the last couple episodes. Especially if we spend the whole episode with that big bad in exclusion of spending time with main characters who are in limbo/amnesiacs/dying, while still not being clear on her motivations by the end of the episode. Oh wait, I hate ALL that. Yet I still enjoyed last night’s episode, right up until the fourth act when OUAT went truly off the rails and any semblance of "suspension of disbelief" was exploded by a grown man made out of wood morphing into a little boy in a blouse.

Don’t get me wrong, the cinematagrophy for this specific episode was gorgeous. The woods have never glowed so much and the Bladerunner version of Hong Kong displayed an impressive use of neon signs and laundry by the art department. I genuinely loved Snow blowing off steam by listening to Joan Jett and firing arrows into the woods. And then suddnely she ran into August, as betrayed by Eion Bailey in a rubber mask/ping-pong-ball CGI tracking suit, and things started to swirl towards the drain.

Here’s the thing, August is a ridiculous character, period, as a wooden CGI monstrosity, but somehow last night’s moments with flesh-and-blood August were even worse. Bailey, perhaps realizing this would be his finale, was chewing the scenery like a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers villain, telegraphing temptation and pain with all the subtlety of Charlie Chaplin in The Great Train Robbery. I’m guessing he just wanted to make it count because he knew that as of this episode, yet ANOTHER child star would be taking his place in the cast. 

I can’t talk about anything else until I’ve processed this. WTF was this? How does a tasered piece of wood being unselfish = a boy in a Peter Pan hat? Where did those clothes come from? Shouldn’t he have at least been in a scaled-down leather jacket? I’m sure Marco is psyched he gets to a-be a-with 'is a-boy again but... like, what!? WHAT?! DO REASON AND RATIONALITY MEAN NOTHING TO YOU, WRITERS OF OUAT?!!?

WHY HAVE YOU GIVEN US A BIG BAD VILLAINESS OUT OF NOWHERE?! AND MYSTICAL ASIAN STEREOTYPES?! A FU MAN CHU MUSTACHE ON A "DRAGON MAN" IN 2013?!!? 

I need to catch my breath. I need to just... phew. "Selfless, Brave, and True" was at times gorgeous, entirely engaging, and it had some nice spots of character development. Emma and Henry sort of made up about her lying about Neal. Emma and Henry were very cool about meeting Dad’s Girlfriend, who is never an easy person to meet. Henry was totally suave about keeping the conversation chill while Jennifer Morrison pretended to eat carbs. And yet... I don’t know. 

However, I love the woman playing Tamara, Sonequa Martin-Green. For real, she is an amazing actress who committed to a part that honestly wasn’t much on the page  and really sold it as best she could. Kudos. But I already have a big bad villain in Storybrooke I’m invested in, and her name is Regina Mills, and she stole the show with one line about fish.

Blackened Sole. This one-liner!!! Delivered like a Domino’s pizza with crack sprinkled on top: hot, fresh, quick and I’m going to be clawing out my own eyeballs until I get another one. 

I know the show was trying to draw a parallel between Pinocchio’s redemption and Snow’s own struggle of "Should I just drop down and die right now, or can I still give my life meaning?". But if redemption means being morphed into a memory-wiped 8-year-old, count me out. No thanks. Although maybe this means he no longer has all that pesky Hep C from his sex tour of Phuket.

There was a really interesting moment last night where Snow slapped the taste right out Marco’s mouth. I guess having a blackened heart will turn you into a slap-happy bitch who will cut loose on an old man like he’s a red-headed stepchild. Suddenly, I love Dark Snow as a character, and I only wish Granny had been within her wingspan. Like, if we’re going to regulate the elderly, let’s do this right. 

Normally I’d put Henry first in line for five across the eyes, but the kid was surprisingly mature and awesome while leading a conversation between his biological mom, biological dad, and Tamara, keeping things light when that situation was colored a deep awkward marine. Tamara and Neal can jump off a pier holding hands, character-wise. The writers need to do something with Tamara to make me give a damn, and photos of her grandma and implying she had the most sophisticated techniques man has developed inside her hotel room bathroom are not enough.


Remember that part? That part where she showed up to the Dragon’s Turnip Room and told him she had had the magic vial tested with the most sophisticated techniques available? Like, did you fly to CERN and back to Hong Kong in 12 hours? What the hell are you talking about? Don’t drip that magic vial on a pregnancy test and then come lecture this man about chemistry. Although if he was really magic, why would a taser kill him? Why would a taser kill a piece of wood?

Sometimes mystery makes suspense more palpable, makes a situation entertaining. Other times, mystery is a device used to buy writing time. Wrapping Tamara up in all this mystery is one of those two things, and not the "entertaining" one. There are so many fantastic dynamics in place right now: Hook on the loose, Regina in mourning, Snow going dark. To spend a whole hour with characters we barely knew felt cheap. I feel like I didn’t get to see OUAT this week.


QUESTIONS:

... Do you miss Regina being a big bad/interacting with characters who are not Ethan Embry? 

... Tamara: What’s her deal? Was that a taser or a special magic-deflating taser?

... August: now played by a child actor going forward?

... How did you like this week’s episode?

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I can't help feeling that Geppetto's involvement with the curse has been completely swept under the carpet by these writers. There was so much potential that has just been completely ignored!

I mean, the fact that Pinocchio went through the portal is the VERY REASON that Snow and Emma were separated, isn't it?

In this episode, Marco tells Mary Margeret and Emma the truth, and it was all forgiven and forgotten in ONE SCENE!! WHAT?!? He comes clean and they both just, forgive him? Just like that?

Mary Margaret slaps him, and then Emma's like "Hey what was that for? He said he was sorry!" .......WHAT!?! Emma, this guy's actions are the reason you've grown up without a family! And have serious emotional problems! And have had a terrible life in general!

And then Mary Margeret was all like "Oh, I'm sorry for slapping you, Marco. It wasn't me it was the 'Darkness in my heart'." ......Uh, NO!! it's totally justified, because it's his fault that you missed your daughter growing up, which is like, the biggest regret in your life and is totally eating away at you all the time. You literally talk about it ALL THE TIME!!

I can't help feeling this subject should have lasted a few episodes, or at the very least one full episode. But like, three lines of dialogue and it's dealt with? If it wasn't for Mary Margaret's annoying and totally hypocritical "dark heart" story arc we might have got some interesting drama out of this.

August and Marco have such potential as characters and I think the actors that play them are great. I'd like to say that I hope they become more involved in season five, but I somehow doubt it. OUAT seems far more interested in clogging their show with CGI/Pixar characters now than actually using the great characters they already have at their disposal.

Also, who is the dragon? He's clearly from the FTL. Could that not have been explored further? Again, wasted potential.
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OUAT lost me a long time ago, so I decided to just enjoy the ride...
I actually liked Tamara, I find the actress that plays her really good! What I didn't like is a taser killing two magicals, one made of wood. And why did August have to turn back into a little boy??
I'm enjoying these new storylines connecting fairy tales characters to real world characters! I think they could be really fresh and bring us something new!
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Oh one thing... When everyone was cursed and Mary Margarette was suspected for Katherine's murder, David went to the doctor, got hypnotized and remembered some things from his former life. Hence, something like this could happen to Pinokio too.
I will be disappointed if they don't make some tries (even failed) to hypnotize him so as to make him remember.
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1. Do you miss Regina being a big bad/interacting with characters who are not Ethan Embry?
Nah. It doesn't matter who she's talking to, Lana Parilla steals the scene. She's a FANTASTIC actress! (no I don't know her personally)

2. Tamara: What’s her deal? Was that a taser or a special magic-deflating taser?
No idea. If the writers were trying to make her unlikeable, it worked. I don't like her. Or that strange device she was using.

3. August: now played by a child actor going forward?
Not necessarily. If magic exists in Storybrooke, he could grow up as fast as he, um, grew down. (?!)

4. How did you like this week’s episode?
I like all the episodes. Can't wait for the next one.
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Two weeks ago I started reading your reviews. For other shows I find reviews boring and that's why I always skip to the comments to get ideas about what happened. But your reviews are so funny that I had to go to the first one you wrote and read them all. The only problem is that when I go and see again one episode, I can't help laughing like crazy at the most inappropriate moments. Good thing I'm always watching this show alone, otherwise It would be really hard to convice anyone that I am a mentally healthy person. Thank you very much for the the reviews you write offer us and keep up the good work!


As it has to do with this episode:
- Do you miss Regina being a big bad/interacting with characters who are not Ethan Embry?
I like nice-Regina and I believe it's possible to happen. I reckon that ANY person can change, but this is hard and the first requirement is that this person really want to change. But Regina never wanted to change. She only wanted to have Henry's love and that's why she played nice. She could change only if she somehow regretted what she did and then tried really hard. So, we saw many nice-Regina episodes but in none of them was she really changed. Moreover, as much as I like to believe that anyone can change (especially someone that till 19-20 was a nice person), Regina is an awesome villian. Maybe it would be a waste to have her be nice.

- Tamara: What’s her deal?
Well, idk. But only one thing explains the "you are not gonna believe this". Owen was searching for his father but didn't expect to find magic. At the same time he had an affair with Tamara who was searching for magic but didn't know about Storybrooke. So he did the travel alone there and when he saw the magic he let Tamara know of their incredible luck to find magic coinsedentaly.

- August: now played by a child actor going forward?
To be honest, although August provided us with an eye-relaxing view, he was a jerk. Not only did he not take care of Emma but he also made her life worse. Additionaly, I'm pretty sure he spent that 20.000 dollars. If he was played by an uglier actor, I'm sure anyone would hate him. And even at his last moments he didn't just go back to save Snow/Emma etc, he went back so as to save himself too, as he thought that doing something unselfish would save him. Becoming a child is the best happy end this "character" can have. At least now his father can grow him up and help him adopt moral values.
Yes, August is dead but I never really liked him as a "character".

- How did you like this week’s episode?
I prefer the main story but if they find a way to explain this mess, I won't bother. There is only one thing that scares me. Tamara is with the bad guys so soon Neal will be single. August is dead. Rumble tried to convince us that Emma still had feelings for Neal. Hence... NO! I don't want them together. A person that puts somebody else in jail just because Pinokio said so is not a good choice. I also hate the "the best end is that biological mother and biological father are a couple". As for the profecy, Neal could be with Emma for 11 years (17-28). They could have a child, Neal could slowly make Emma believe. Then Henry would be 10 years old and this would remind Neal of his unsolved father issues. So they go at storybrook and break the curse (maybe even with the true love kiss?). I honestly think that Neal and Emma's break up didn't change the root of things, it only changed their lives. Yes the show wouldn't be interesting then but this doesn't make August less abusive or Neal less coward, dumb and jerk. So no, Emma deserves better. She didn't stay so long single just to be with somebody that is capable of betraying her just because a stranger said so.
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Slightly pathetic admission to make. I've just read all of your reviews from the beginning. They're great and help me deal with the three week gap. I kinda get the impression that you're not a fan of Belle, but for me, she was always my favourite Disney princess, and to have her being played by an Aussie just makes my day. So with the next episode set to be at least in part about her, I can't wait. But your reviews make it bearable. So thank you. Also, I kinda liked the idea of Pinnochio being turned back into a kid. He's basically being handed a second chance, one where he doesn't remember how badly he screwed up. In a way I wish all the characters could get this. It's reached a point where I'm not sure there is such a thing as happily ever after. But if Belle and Mulan decide to ride off into the sunset, I might change my mind ;)
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Why when someone is dying do they always START with the "I am so sorry...I love you...and you, and also I left some lasagna in the oven..." and NOT with the "Oh, I died so I could stop this woman, I better let you know who she is before I croak?" It always pisses me off! If I was dying with a big pertinent secret I would blurt it out and THEN move on if I could to the "I am sorry blah blah" part. I mean surely saving everyone is more important than a deathbed apology?
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who was the dragon?? somebody from Mulan??
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I was wondering the same thing. I haven't seen the Mulan movie and won't get a chance to for a while. Anybody have any ideas?
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I saw it but don't know if it had that big of an impact to make to the show and in that kind of role, maybe from Mulan2 I haven't seen that one...
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I didn't even know how to feel about this episode. But this...yes Lily. Yes, yes, yes! I sound like an Herbal Essence commercial, but I don't care. This about sums it completely. I was watching, and blinking, and scratching my head, and trying to figure out why the hell this even was! Like I don't even know. It did feel like we didn't even get to see it, and now, now we have to wait...again. For a new episode.
-Yes. Her sole appearance in this episode was the best. The fact that she could be onscreen for mere seconds and still be that awesome, speaks to how talented Lana Parilla really is.
-I don't even know. I don't know if I like her. I don't know if I don't like her. I don't know if I'm just happy that we have a character of another hue that isn't dead...yet. I don't even know. I like Sonequa. She's great. Her character though is just.....eh. What is she? What does she want? Why am I supposed to care? What is the meaning of this? Why is she using Neal? Why is she making out with Owen? Why do I find that so grotesque? WTF was with that taser?! Taser/Stun gun? Really?! She took out a mystical Asian stereotype and a mother fudgin man of wood with a mother fudgin taser? W.T.F? I couldn't with that. I just couldn't. Did Neal, father of Henry, former lover of True Love personified...Emma, son of Rumple freakin Stitskin, possible Lost Boy, the always amazing Michael Raymond James...did he just become a plot device? Why aren't they doing anything with his character? I feel like it's a waste of someone so talented to not be doing anything yet. Maybe I'm just being impatient though. The idea of him bringing in this woman who used him and is wreaking havoc and him being this poor hapless sap who hasn't really shown what he's capable of yet is a bit annoying.
-You know you are badass when you're rocking out to Joan Jett and shooting arrows.
-Ugh. August. I actually liked August when he came into the picture, but this? This was just sad. I didn't like the flashbacks much. I felt like it wasn't even necessary. And then his reward for being a good person is to go back to being a little boy, with no memory? Like WTF is that?! So warped! I didn't like that at all. Why? We didn't need another kid into this mix. I'll take adult August please. I was done by that time. Done.Ugh.
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Cracked up at your Herbal Essences commercial comment. :)
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lol! Always happy to amuse! Thanks?! :)
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The part where August gets tasered was the WORST. EVER. I literally was screaming at my TV at that point. And really, I was kinda following along with this rabbit hole type of storyline of random girl trying to steal magic but WTF? It was bad enough Asian Dragon gets beat by taser and can't even last long enough to breath real fire instead of just snorting red smoke out of his nose but c'mon! And of course she and Owen are the real item 'cause duh, they're the two strangers that were able to get into Storybrooke. An absolute face-palm moment right there. If they can bring real August back and get rid of annoying boy (who was even worse than Henry has ever been in this series), I'll be ok with it but making him a man-child again was so not cool.
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While I saw Owen and Tarra working together the instant we saw her in NY (that she was "Her")...

The fact that they were able to get into Storybrooke isn't a big deal. We had a whole episodeS dedicated to the issue of: now that the curse is broken, people will start coming to town. Prior to Owen appearing (when they were debating to leave the town) and after Owen arrived.

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**Slight Spoiler Alert: future episode titles, trailer**

What I hope is that August is lying about the memory loss. That he wants to make up for what he has done and thus is the child to be the undoing of Rumplestilskin.
Thus the finale episode titles means Neverland so that means Henry is getting sent there directly by Gold, for safe keeping/detoured, or he wishes himself there. That means next season Emma, Hook, Neal and possibly others, maybe Regina,.. ...are going there on the search for Henry. leaving behind August, Charmings, possibly Regina or Neal or both to try and get back on Gold and get rid of his magic and thus August can once again find the dagger or another way to bind his power.

As for Robin Hood coming into the picture, I'm very surprise they are already doing that in season 2. I hope that the world Sherwood Forest is in encompasses all old English legends, so like King Arthur is from that realm too. Cause i don't want a realm for every book.
By that rational, and what was said at Paley fest that Wendy's London in not our London, Wendy, Alice, Jim Hawkins, Long John Silver...and such should be another world.

Anyway before we get these new characters, I am upset that season 1 story lines have not been tied up before all these new characters showed. Yes, some actors may have moved to other shows but surely they can show for an episode to close their story.
- Like are Abigail and Frederick living together in her house or did she go to Boston right before the curse struck thus with no old memory and Frederick can't cross town lines. Will he join with King George against David?
- I'm sure Prince Thomas do not want to be working at a cannery. Why isn't he leading a faction to go back to the enchanted forest?

So questions:

I) Season 3: Who do you think should be Team Storybrooke and who is Team Neverland?
My guess:
Neverland: Find Henry!
: Emma, Hook, Neal, Smee
Storybrooke:
Plot 1: Bind Gold
:Gold, Belle, Red, Regina, August, Snow, Charming
Plot 2: We Want to Go Back !
Leroy, Whale, Red, Granny
(& if they come back Royalties: Thomas, Cinderella, Abigail, Frederick)

II) What unfinished plots from these seasons do you want to get closed?

III) What world exist, should exist so far (Iheavily Disney here)
1) Our world? / Storybrooke
2) Enchanted Forest
3) Wonderland
4) Neverland
5) B&W Frankenstein (is this where old horror movie classics are from ? So does Dracula, Wolfman and such come from here?)
6) Oz (or is this just technicolor movie land?)
7) English Legends: King Arthur, Robin Hood
8) Victorian Novels England: Wendy's London, Treasure Island, Alice, Dickens, Sherlock
9) Regency Era : Jane Austen
10) Arabian Nights
11) Enchanted Animal Kingdom( ie where talking animals come from) :Dumbo, Mickey,Darkwing Duck/Duck Tales, Jungle Book/Tale Spin, Rescuers, Aristocats, Lion King
12) Steampunk : Metropolis...
13) Futureworld : Someplace that has spaceships and robots
14) Frontier land (ie Westerns): Davy Crockett...
15) Musicals: where everyone lives in song and dance (ie the musical episode)
16) Atlantis (Ariel might come from here if you follow the rest of the Little Mermaid movies)
17) Toyland (ie Mother Goose Land)
18) Pulp Magazine/Dime Novels: Zorro, Lupin...
19) Fae world (Labyrinth anyone?,)
20)Muppet World
...I'll stop there for now




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I'm totally with you on the Season 1 open ends. At the end of S1, David said Abigail decided to stay in Storybrooke because he was going to take her apartment in Boston (he was on the way out of town when the curse was broken), so she and Frederick should still be around but they haven't even been mentioned. Jefferson and Grace, Cinderella and Prince Thomas and baby Alexandra who should be walking by now, Dreamy and Nova, Sidney and the others in the dungeon - shouldn't Belle have told someone to go save those people? We shouldn't have so many unanswered questions at this point in the series, particularly when we've had to endure such terribly flat new characters this season. The excitement of Season 2 was "What happened to everyone after the curse?" So far, they've blown it. Showing where these characters are in Season 3 would feel misplaced, so I can only assume they've been omitted from the series if not our memories.
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oh yeah, i forgot i wanted to add
21) Hundred Acre Woods
22) The Grid (Tron)
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omg Hundred Acre Wood, YES!
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23) Mount Olympus :Hercules
24) World where inanimate objects are alive: Beauty an the Beast, Herbie, Cars
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Unfortunately, that would mess with FTL, as that is where 'beauty and the beast' are from...
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How would it mess it up? They could just avoid the B&B one since that is only so in the Disney version. I suppose though they can just be magiked items or just be like Kit.
Well that world can just be ignored.
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Speaking of Peter Pan, when will be revealed that Neal is him? Next episode?
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- I always miss Regina, but having her take a back seat for an episode or two just makes me appreciate her more when she comes back. I can say with confidence that Regina is not going anywhere anytime soon.

- I hope Tamara is defeated quickly, as we don't need any more villains at the moment, thank you very much. But yes, it must be a special magic taser. That's the only explanation.

- Sigh...it appears adult August is gone and has been replaced by a child (whom I don't need to see on a regular basis). It's sad for the actor, and I always liked August. I would have much preferred to see him return to his normal self (memory intact please). Then he could have ratted out Tamara as well.

- This week's episode definitely gave us new information, which I'm sure will all tie in to the main storylines over the remaining episodes of the season. Nevertheless, not one of my favourites.
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I always like the tight writing for Once but this episode has one really idiotic insult my intelligence really?writing by the writers. A great magician man, the Dragon, that can literally cure anything and clearly knows magic and was about to turn into what was clearly to be a dragon, is killed by a simple tazer without so much of a fight by a unskilled human lady. U have gotta be kidding me right! OMG-seriously? I was expecting some fiery action given his steamy red breath and elevating demeanor above the ground. Sometimes I not sure how these writers are wired but please take a break and come back with something logical ya?
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I just feel sorry for everyone involved in this episode.
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"How is he, my papa?" Gag me. WHAT IS THIS SHOW ABOUT NOW? When OUAT first started, I was like, "Hey... maybe this could be my new LOST!". Then as it got cornier and cornier, it became obvious that OUAT was in no way even close to quality of LOST, but it was still a fun show, great characters, most importantly didn't seem to kidding itself about what it is. What's OUAT about now anyway? Now it's about Regina hating Snow again? When the first season ended, I thought the flashbacks and maybe even the story of the 2nd season would be about "taking back the kingdom" like what Snow told Charming at the end. What happened to that storyline? What happened to Mulan and Aurora? What's the point of the Giant? This is the worst episode yet, I swear, ten times worst than LOST's worst episode. It's sad how this show treats their characters like old tissue.
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""taking back the kingdom" like what Snow told Charming at the end. What happened to that storyline?"
I think this storyline continued with them actually attacking the kingdom. Regina said to the head of her Kingdom's army "I don't care how many men you will lose, keep them distracted till I find snow". Then Regina found snow but it was a trap. Fairies immobilised Regina and they had her in jail. Then they gave her a last chance to apologise but she didn't. Yet, Snow stopped the execution and made a deal with Rumble. Snow let Regina free but Regina attacked her and daggered her. Nevertheless, this was also a trap, the dagger was spelled and from that time Regina couldn't harm Snow in THAT world. That's when Rumble adviced Regina to throw a curse and go to another world (and that's how season 1 starts). SEE s02ep10.

" What happened to Mulan and Aurora?"
We will most likely find out in the future but to be honest, I don't care whatsoever.

"What's the point of the Giant?"
The Giant was brought by Cora and as she herself said he was just a distraction so they have time to find Rumble's dagger.
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I have to say again how I am just so pissed about the replacement of August with that annoying little child
I realized that they started to take out all the best characters out of the show
Cora then August
What next Mr Gold and Regina to be replaced by Bambi and Dumbo ??? Great show maybe they can blame it all on some rock in the middle of town or meet in some after life purgatory that would explain it all :) not
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I guess the writers never played pokemon...
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*sigh*
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I must say, this episode wasn't great. I only had to watch for 20 seconds to be like "Why!?". And then I just felt confused the whole episode. Mostly it's the small stuff that bother me, like why would a grown man sleep fully dressed while sleeping next to, what appeared to be, a naked woman? I just don't understand what the writers want me to think.

I know your can't think about the logic of this show to hard (to prevent mental illness) but how can you taser a man made out of wood and how can you taser a magical dragonman to death? Didn't he do some sort of crazy ninja teleport thingy at one point? Why didn't he just do that again?

Also, I just have to put it out there, that kiss at the end might have been the most Unsexy and akward kiss I have Ever seen. Once again I'm not really sure how the writers wanted me to feel about that, but if their plan was to make me feel uncomfortable well, congratz then. Spot on!

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Am i the only one who doesn't get the "Deathly taser?" he was obviously a "Dragon" (i guess lol) and he died...by taser...i dont get it
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Aw I kinda liked the idea of Emma and August together. Guess it would be a bit awkward now that he's a toddler. Lame story twist.
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I think the worst part about August turning into a boy is that he lost his memory.
(I wonder if she did it on purpose so that he wouldn't reveal things he knows, such as the knowledge of the dagger.)

It makes no sense in the scope of things. How can he remain on the straight and narrow if there is nothing to prompt him to stay that way and his last memories are from the point that made him do no good? August wanted to change because he felt guilty and ashamed of all the things he had done and the aftermath it had created. So if he has no memories, he therefore has no guilt or no first hand knowledge of what his actions can cause, and therefore no real motive for being good.

I thought it might have been a fun plot that August was young but retained his memory. Therefore, Emma and Neal and everyone else wouldn't beat him up cause he is in child form. And it would be interesting to see him lament about other things he can't do anymore til he grew up. So,while I doubt it, I hope he lied about the memory loss cause Tamara was right there at that moment.

Shouldn't this mean that now, August is a sure contender for that prophesy about the Dark One?

And while yes, august is made of wood, his body may still have to run on something other than wood that can be charged. thus I am more upset at the Dragon getting killed by electrocution.

Maybe with August being a kid again, Henry will have a companion when he wishes himself (or is sent to) to Neverland.

---
And I am pissed that Tamara is a villain. I hate it when a love rival is justifiable out of the running because of heinous deeds. It's too convenient, unrealistic, and such a crappy plot maneuver. Hopefully, she has a good back story to make her bearable.
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I remember a game we played as kids, we'd sit in a circle and each one of us would add a part to the story as it became our turn. That's what this week's ep felt like.

Tasers usually don't kill 100% humans, yet a taser killed a mostly wooden man? Next week's ep needs to be awesome to make up for this clusterfuzzle!
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Ok, some things in this episode didn't add up with Tamara...espcially in the end...when she met Owen...beacuse Owen was calling someone from the beginning with text like: You won't believe what is going on here and making videos etc...assuming that he has send them to Tamara....but Tamara was already aware of magic...so how did she wind up with Owen...?? Very confusing.....also like how the hell did she test that bottle with liquid??? Where did she test it..??? Did she really had cancer???...i think that they have used her character a bit too strong for her first appearance in this series....!!

I am glad that Snow is slowly getting back to herself again...we have already enoug vague people walking around in the OUAT...some of them should stay clear like snow and charming...

I want to see Emma develop her magic...somehow i think that she is strong, maybe equally strong as Regina....or stronger...!! They are not using that....it is a shame...!!

August is a little boy again....hahahhaa i really loughed aboutt the screencaps above...hahahahha...really funny...!!
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Didn't like that August reverted back to a boy again, but I think I he was just being used as a plot device. Hopefully that's not the end of his story, that would be pretty lame.

I didn't get how the taser killed him either, or the Dragon guy. Hopefully that gets explained at some point or the Dragon reappears - he was interesting.

Tamara became too bad too quick. Hard to find any sympathy for her. Would have been nice to get an explanation as to what the heck is going on there.
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In the opening scene August woke up to find himself with morning wood.

*jiminy crickets*
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Late to this weeks train wreck/party so this will be quick: WTF!!!!! Since when do people die from tasers (other than those with a heart condition)? And I know its been a while and I slept through most of my science classes but I thought wood didn't conduct electricity. So why would a magical wooden man die from some? Come to that how does a magical wooden man die period? And how awful was that make out scene at the end? And why.do all these bad guys have to come crawling out.of the woodwork? Why can't one or 2 be enough?

I like to think I'm pretty good at suspending reality to follow a fantasy show, I mean heck I watched seasons 6&7 of supernatural with very little complaint, but OUTA crossed a line from fantasy to stupidity this week.

P.S. Dear TV.com; we need an app for your site. My phone doesn't like me to log in to the mobile site and when I for manage it I get kicked off after 10 mins so posting is getting.frustrating.
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All I can hope is that they wanted to make us all debate this nonsense for the next 3 weeks1 But it's possible that Tamara was working with "Greg" when she was in Hong Kong- maybe he's made a crusade of debunking magic while trying to find a way back into Storybrooke? There's a good quarter-century for Owen to grow up and work on it...
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Oh yea and what a horrible script this week. Setting the action and logic aside the lines had me.cringing all the way through.
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LOL I AGREE SO MUCH!!! XD XD XD spot on comment.
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"... Do you miss Regina being a big bad/interacting with characters who are not Ethan Embry?"

Oh yeah. Feels like the writers gave her a couple big episodes, then decided she needed a rest. Well *we* didn't need a rest, you stupid writers.

"... Tamara: What’s her deal? Was that a taser or a special magic-deflating taser?"

I keep hoping she ends up being Tiana from "The Princess and the Frog", but I know that's not happening. It would be more interesting than whatever it is they have planned, but still not happening. And yeah, it's a magic taser, because . . . magic, and um . . . a wizard did it. Also it could be the Force Lightning Taser because screw you, viewers, that's why.

"... August: now played by a child actor going forward?"

And now hopefully never seen again, because his plotline was boring and went nowhere, as this episode proved. And it's kind of a good thing he doesn't remember anything from his adult life, because who wants an 8-year-old running around knowing where a Cantonese hooker's G-spot is? Precocious wouldn't even begin to describe how annoying that would be.

Also, "as betrayed by . . .": Nice.

"... How did you like this week’s episode?"

Worst of the season for me. Outsiders meddling in Storybrooke could have been interesting, and the season's not over yet so there's still a chance, but this one just had me yawning and occasionally cringing.

But not during the cool-like-snakes Joan Jett part. Why don't the writers realize we need more of that, and fewer hugs and children?

The best part was "The Dragon", and his death (if death it was) was a stupid mistake on the part of the writers. Another magician who might rival Regina and Cora? is he somebody we know from fairy tales? Some entirely other mythos altogether? An actual Chinese dragon? Now we'll likely never know, which is made worse by the fact that he *almost* got a reveal before we found out that smoke wizards are vulnerable to tasers.

Excuse me, *magic* tasers. Because screw you, viewers, that's why.
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Aren't all of the princesses from the enchanted forest human? like snow and aurora... So when Tamara was waiting in line outside the dragon's (whichever character he is) door, she was wearing what looked like middle-eastern-ish clothing.. Princess Jasmine anyone??
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Forgot to mention this was the first time I seen this August guy.
Also I do like Regina being the evil one however, I do hope she changes her evil ways and can have a relationship with Henry and Emma again.

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I really enjoyed it a lot.
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Thank you for your positivity!
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ugh, the biggest problem I'm having with this show is it acting like Snow killing Cora was a moral issue. The woman was TRYING TO KILL SNOW & HER ENTIRE FAMILY. Surely, self defense is a justifiable reason for killing someone evil. If the show keeps trying to convince it's audience that Snow did something bad when she's done nothing wrong that will most likely be why I stop watching. Didn't snow kill people in the enchanted forest with her bow and arrow while she was on the run from Regina? What's the difference.
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The show doesn't think so- Snow does! That's why she's lying in bed moping. Call it delayed adolescent depression? Or maybe it's just the whole "mother" thing- Snow of all people has some real hangups about mothers and mothering.

I agree with Emma- she doesn't need breakfast in bed, she needs a good swift kick! But Snow was especially convincing when shetold August he could redeem himself because she was trying to convince herself as well...
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yes ;p apparently killing multiple nameless henchmen doesn't count as murder.
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Yeah but I guess they're trying to make a point that it would have been ok if snow had just killed Cora point blank. But no- she manipulated her DAUGHTER into doing it instead. Which is a thousand and one times worse.
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Also, Snow is a fairytale character whose heart is supposed to be pure as snow. That is the premise of the show and they will always return to that - meaning that its based on fairy tales. And there is some difference between killing to defend your life while being attacked, and killing somone in a pre-meditated fashion. And using her daughter in the plan as well! Don't get me wrong, I wanted Cora dead (certainly if the choice was between her and Gold), but I appreciate why this was a defining moment for Snow that she is having trouble dealing with.
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I hear what you're saying, but I don't think that ANYONE can be pure at heart, even in Fairy Tale Land.

I would have preferred it if Snow just let Regina gave Cora her heart back, without all the dark-candle-magic. It would have given both a chance at happiness, and given Storeybrooke (especially Snow) a rest from their evil. With some powerful mother/daughter magic, they could have even cured Rumple/Gold!

But all that would have ended the show. And we don't want that.
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.. Do you miss Regina being a big bad/interacting with characters who are not Ethan Embry?

Actually, I miss seeing Regina as the No.1 Tortured Soul of this town. However, I would exchange that for some earthbound evil - overworking the help and sleeping around with other peoples' husbands (or wives) would be a good start.

... August: now played by a child actor going forward?

The writers could have written it a whole lot better.

... How did you like this week’s episode?
Not my cup of tea. Not at all.

I have one more thing to say, and that's in defense of Geppetto. If he had built the magic portal for just Emma and her family - knowing full well that his son would likely perish during the coming curse - he would not have been just a good person, he would have been a saint. When he told the Blue Fairy that Pinocchio must go, too, he was being a normal parent.

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Do we "know" Ponnochio would die? After all, fairies turned into full grown humans, a Cricket turned back into a man, etc.

Was Gippetpo just concerned that Pinnochio would suffer like the Reston them (as a real boy)? If so, then slightly selfish that a BABY go through the fend for itself rather than his son to suffer the same as everyone else.
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Yes, the Blue Fairy could not deny Geppetto's fear that Pinocchio would die. She was uncertain but thought it highly probable. Seeing as the curse would take away magic, and Pinocchio operates by magic, he no longer would be a child should he be sent in with everyone else, thus he had to be sent in before the curse hit.
And the original plan was that pregnant Snow would go in with Pinocchio, but Emma was born so no more Snow.

Personally, I believe it selfish that the man who creates the portal not be allowed to save his son's life and in place there would be an adult royal. I am all for saving children first.
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I agree- Pinocchio would have likely been deanimated when the Curse hit. And Snow might have made a great mom for the pair of them. But it didn't work out that way.

If Geppetto had made his bargain with the group as a whole, instead of just the Blue Fairy, it would have been less morally ambiguous. Perhaps that ambiguity contributed to August's tendency to make bad decisions?
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I was sad there was no Rumple this week!
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When i was watching the episode my first thought on seeing Tamara was: Hey it's Pocahontas! I know Pocahontas is not African American but Tarara looks like Pocahontas. And one other thing, after the taser part, I remembered when Rumple visits Dr. Frankenstein. Perhaps the life giving electricity logic of that world solves the problem/plot hole of killing magical characters with a taser. Maybe, Tamara = Frankenstein's bride.
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I still think she's princess jasmine... I mean, harem pants and a headscarf? Come on..
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have u missed the part when she says that she is not from there land that she is just human?!
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Lily and you commenters have covered almost everything wrong and momentarily enjoyable about this episode. The one thing that gets me is the blackened heart. By this metric, when we saw Cora's heart, it should have been a lump of coal, yet it was clean and ruby red. Are they saying your heart is blackened only if you actually feel bad about your actions?
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Even 2 days later, I can't make up my mind about my feelings on this episode. On the one hand, August! On the other hand, WTF?

The theory I'm going with on the taser (and I'm sticking to it) is that she has a massively strong taser that is capable of sending enough electricity to stop the heart. They are out there so she could have managed to get access to one. Now how it stopped August, I don't know. The only thing I can think is that his semi-lifelike state has something similar to a hear that can be stopped. I mean, he is capable of dying so there's gotta be something there right?

So called Tamara being "HER" weeks ago. But seriously, WHY? She's human, ok. But what's her dire need for some magic? There's just too much with that that doesn't make sense to me. But I'm supposed to suspend my logic for this show so whatever.
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that's what I thought too. but the very fact that his body is made of wood should have stopped the electricity from spreading beyond the point of contact :/
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Well I have read that the producers wanted to clarify that this isn't some normal off the street taser. It's "special". So it must have some magical properties to it.
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That just sounds... Lame. Lol. Did she get her taser from the Men in Black? Lol
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If she went to MIB and that's ALL she got, I'm even more disappointed in her than I already was.
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Disappointing episode...too many Flaws
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Perhaps Tamara is both Tiger Lily AND Tiana from Princess and the Frog, just like Rumple is both Rumpelstiltskin/Beast.
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I enjoyed this episode not because of the quality but the multitude of things happening, the main problem of the episode is focusing it on a character just introduced in the last part of the season feel forced. so many WTF moments like Tamara killing The dragon with a taser despite him being one of the most powerful magicians around, August succumbing to the taser despite being made of wood. Its like the writers assume that with all the ridiculous things happening in Storybrooke there is no more need of reasoning to the show and everything will be accepatable to viewers. Ethan embry should move on as he is dragging the show backwards with the weak script and i was really hoping Reginna will smite him in this episode. OUAT was interesting last season beacuse of the well defined pattern of what is expected of the show and Good vs Evil thing but now things just occur randomly with no clue to what will happen just like the latter seasons of Lost.

1. Yup, the Evil Queen should return as this softy side is not doing much for the character and the show as a whole.

2. The only explanation has to be her Grannie dying due some magical stuff so trying to get revenge or just their to make her boy toy happy.

3. I adore Adult August & its among the WTF moments of the episode that he turned to a boy.

4. Filler, So much happened but it was random. And absence of Rumple really showed in the episode.

5. Kill Tamara & Owen
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We needed an episode with these characters in order to be introduced to more of their story (= Tamara) in order for the show to move forward into a new direction storywise. It's only good to get a break from the usual characters IMO. If it was only about Regina/Snow then their story could be done with in 1 season alone.
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"Reason and rationality"??? This is a show about MAGIC!

I really liked the episode and that August turned back into his original boy form again. I thought it made perfect sense. He lived his adult life in an unhonest way and he changed back into wood. If he were to live, then it shouldn't be as a grown man again, but back to basics - a second chance, a new beginning. The fairy gave him back his innocence. I like that he didn't die for good. The story of Pinocchio is about a BOY for christ's sake, so what didn't fit the story was him being adult. He served his part in the story as an adult, for now it's a happy ending for both him and his father.

I think those who hated this are mostly women who wanted to see more of the "hot" man pinocchio, lol. Luckily for them there are so many other good-looking guys in this show and now we'll get another one - Robin Hood.
I just really hope they won't pair Robin with Belle in some way, because both of them have other partners. It's sad that Belle will now be a bad girl (Lacey). Poor Rumple...

I also don't get what's so bad about the stereotype of an Asian man having that beard. If he is Mushu, then it fits.

I think it's great that Tamara turned out to be a bad girl because now, as expected, she will not be with Neal for very long and he will be free to be with Emma again. :)

Another great thing is that there is a new villain, new storyline, new characters, instead of just having the usual Regina vs. Emma/Snow fight. This is like the major plot of the show of course, BUT it gets tedious fast and if the show is going to last a while then they need other problems to deal with.

Now I hope they will go to Neverland where Tamara might be from. She obviously have some connection with Hook. I wonder when we get to meet Peter Pan, lol.

I love how they write this show so far. It all fits together so well and this episode was no exception.
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Peter Pan is Neal
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So.. the crops are coming along very nicely, soon they will have enough to go home, dont they only need one ?. anyway let's not cut to a scene with the farm and go to phuket instead.

If one thing this episode has achieved successfully, is it topped the previous episode in number of "what the f@$%" happened moments.

I especially loved the dragons confrontation build-up to " I'm a mothaf@#$ing fire breathing Dragon Yo!" and then "Oh Sh!t, Electricity! my only weaknesses. DEAD!"... what the hell.

what baffled me even more was the "dead wooden adult male corpse" turning into a living boy from lala land with silly attire and all, and amnesia. it's like really what use are you if you can't remember anything. someone! we can say you died to become this piece of tragedy.

also loved it when emma suggested to her dad that her mom should "suck it up and get over the fact that she killed the evil witch and saved everyone. snow is such an attention-whore, yeah we get it, you killed someone "ooooohhh", get over it.

what ever happened to the mad king who tried to frame prince charming, who when his plan failed escaped miraculously by "running away" from a god damn crowd of people who where standing right next to him, with pitch fork and all about to kill prince charming.
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lol obviously Mr. Dragon must have been a Flying/ WAter type Pokemon. that explains his weakness to electricity XD
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Nooooooo! HOT AUGUST IS GONEEE!!! (killed off another character that had any semblance of attractiveness about them).... *sobs alone in the corner*
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Wow. I actually liked this episode. Which, reading all the comments now, is cracking me up sooooo much. Mostly because it just made me realize that I have been hating this hot-mess of a show so much these past few episodes that an episode with basically all new characters got me all excited. Plus this Tamara character looks like a lot of fun! Regina was brilliant as usual. So let's make them meet! Yesssss. Imagine the possibilities!

And can I just say: Emma = Gabrielle. Remember how Gabrielle used to have boyfriends who would magically dissapear and later never even showed up anymore because the writers realized that nobody wanted to see that shit cause she belonged with Xena?? I see what you're doing writers. I see it. Swan Queen 4 life.
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Emma=Gabrielle LOL
I didn't think of it like that, but you've got a point. I for one have no problem with anyone and everyone either of them getting involved with disappearing till they're together.
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"Plus this Tamara character looks like a lot of fun! Regina was brilliant as usual. So let's make them meet! Yesssss. Imagine the possibilities!" - well she apparently is owens gf and he has it in for regina sooo..
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Do you miss Regina being a big bad/interacting with characters who are not Ethan Embry?
Yes, I need some Regina/Emma time. Where ee at?

Tamara: What’s her deal? Was that a taser or a special magic-deflating taser?
it was a run of the mill Taser and they part sucked

August: now played by a child actor going forward?
Yep, seems that direction

How did you like this week’s episode?
good plot builder
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...back to a little kid? COME ON! that's a stretch even for a fairy tale lol and I don't see how a taser killed him if he's wooden.. but whatever
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I could talk about this episode ridicules taser scenes (the killing of the dragon who stupiedly got close to Tamara and haven a wooden character electrocuted really ?)
but what really pissed me out is Augest replacement,
Why the hell would the writers of the show take out the best "Good" character out of the game and replace it with an annoying little child (we already have an annoying little child on the show who's name is Henry).Almost all the "Good" characters on the show except for Augest (Emma,Snow,Charming ,The Blue Fairy..) are really stupid naive pathetic and ridiculas they really bring down the show to a level of a children show.This show is mostly driven by the "Bad" guys (Mr Gold,Regina,Cora) and every episode with them make the show more dark and more mature. Augest is the only "Good" guy who's episodes keep the same level of maturate as the "Bad" guys so why the hell take out of the game ??? why ???
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Can we place bets on how many episodes until the Charming Family of Dunces realize that Tamara is *evil*??
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3 episodes til they figure out she's evil. Another 6 seasons trying to figure out how she keeps escaping from the one never-guarded jail cell. 4 more forehead wrinkles for Emma as she repeatedly tries to frown her into submission. 0 ounces of my patience remaining.
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More wrinkles (and a bad hairstyle) when Emma figures it out first + everyone else accuses her of lying and falling into the jealous ex stereotype.
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Good point! Sowing suspicions about your ex's fiancee is a classic, after all- and David isn't sure Neal is good enough for his little girl, so he'd probably accuse Emma of being unfair...

Let the fun begin!
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