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All three of these ideals are major themes within the show, with abandonment being explored the most at the moment. What are your thoughts on the way these themes have been/are expressed? How about the treatment of these themes in the rest of Season 3? Talk it up!
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Now that the issue of abandonment is being resolved amongst most of the main characters, who do you think will forgive vs. seek their revenge in the 2nd half of the season? Right now we're kinda seeing a "blanket" forgiveness, but I'm not convinced it will stay that way (and I hope it doesn't for the sake of some dramatic tension!!).
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I hold to my earlier statement- forgiveness isn't something you only do once and everything's all hearts and rainbows. It's work. You need to consciously choose to let go of anger and guilt- sometimes not because the person deserves to be forgiven, but because YOU deserve to be free of that burden.
This, my friends, is one root of the dramatic tension we all enjoy watching! Now that there is no common goal to unite our protagonists (I refuse to say heroes and antiheroes, it's too cumbersome; but closer to the truth)- What will happen next?
Will Regina and Snow bond over the loss of their children? or will Snow forget Emma?
Will Hook and Regina (as the two who will definitely remember her) bond over their mutual love of Emma and leather, not necessarily in that order?
Will Belle's kiss restore Rumplestiltskin once she uncurls from her fetal position, and how will she feel about Neal smiling through the entire death scene? (Dear old Dad may understand, after all- but I think Belle's gonna be pissed!) Will Neal be jealous of a new little half-sib, especially if the tyke shows magical talent?
These offer wonderful grist for the mills- both for forgiveness and as opportunities to be forgiving
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I think one of the big "abandonment" themes has actually been the cyclical nature of it. There actually is a cause and effect here; there's a reason that the abandoned often become the abandoners.

When a person gets abandoned by somebody who's supposed to love them, then:
  1. They feel unworthy of love, and
  2. They are afraid to get attached, because deep down, they believe that attachment leads to getting hurt. But,
  3. They're still human, and need human companionship. So,
  4. They seek out human companionship. But
  5. This leads to getting attached, which scares them. So
  6. They flee.
Or, in the case of Emma and Henry, because she feels unlovable, this naturally extends to believing that she can't be a mother. In a way, she made the responsible choice, or what she felt to be the responsible choice; her son would be better off with somebody else, then he would be with her.

If Neal hadn't abandoned Emma when he did, Emma would probably eventually have fled their relationship as well. I'm not saying this to criticize - far from it. I'm just saying... that's probably what would have happened.

And in the case of Rumple and Bae, Rumple also feels unworthy of love, but he's fooled himself into believing that he feels otherwise. But he's addicted to magic, so he couldn't go to a world without it. Also, I should point out that, technically, Rumple didn't abandon Bae. Bae wanted to run away with him, and Rumple decided last-minute to stay where he was, while Bae disappeared. I wouldn't say that's abandonment, so much as "failing to do everything in your power to stop your child from running away."
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I agree with you until your point about Rumplestiltskin and Baelfire. Rumple's split-decision was him letting go of Bae's hand. Bae slipped into the portal, but Rumple realized at the last minute that he didn't want to part with the power he'd grown accustomed to. He valued his self-worth and feelings of heightened confidence over continuing to ruin, so he thinks, the life of his son.
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Since everyone's been focusing on the Neverland Avengers current main cast, what about Neal? Should we grant him sympathy for his parents abandoning him or do his ridiculous mistakes with Emma cover up his childhood?
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Problem is Regina didn't abandon Henry, Henry abandoned her. Any kind of resentment over it seems misplaced to me when the parent that actually raised him never gave up on him.

Same goes for Emma: since she gave her child for adoption she should be qualified to understand her parents giving her up. It seems all the more unbalanced to me, because she expected this instant!family!thing! with her biological son, but couldn't bring herself to offer it to her biological parents.

Hook himself wrecked a home when he seduced a mother, to blame the wronged husband is all the more hypocritical when there's an abandoned child in the middle. More so because he experienced their loss himself when his lover got killed.

The contradiction of it makes it hard for me to invest in the concept to begin with.
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I disagree with your view of Regina/Henry. To me, Regina's affection is misguided towards Henry. Sure, she wants the best for him, any parent does for their child. What I see from Regina is a spoiled Queen trying to show love the only way she knows how: through gifts (literal or not). She was shown "love" in that sense by Cora. It was Henry Sr. who tried desperately to show her what love truly looked like. She also caught a glimpse of that love with Daniel, but, in my opinion, it wasn't enough to show her how to love someone else.

Regina also spitefully kept Henry to herself. She knew exactly who Emma was, Storybrooke- and FTL-wise, and didn't want Emma to have any right to him whatsoever. She relinquished that control in Season 2 because she was beginning to understand the real love of a mother to her child. She wanted what was best for Henry because she wanted him to be happy, not because she would get something out of it in return.
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But Regina didn't get anything out of Henry: her stepdaughter still hated her guts, she still didn't get to marry Daniel, her mother was still trying to control her life.

Henry didn't fix any of these problems for her yet Regina didn't quit on him any more than she did on Snow White back when she was a little girl: once this woman starts raising a child, she never quits. No matter how loveless, difficult or ungrateful the task would get.

Makes it hard to see Henry as an abandoned child.
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Eh do you forget a small detail? That Regina sent the huntsman to kill Snow when the latter had just lost her father and Regina was the only parent left? Seems like worse than quitting to be honest. And Snow didn't hate Regina when she was married to her father.
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Snow White was old enough to marry by then, she was never poisoned, stabbed or abandoned by Henry's mother when she was a little girl.

Say what you want about Snow's revenge, she wasn't an abandoned child any more than Henry is today. Only difference is: she's aware of it.
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Yeah, I understood Emma at first not understanding her parents giving her up, before she found out who they were and why they had given her up - because it had seemed that her parents had just left her on the side of the road. That's pretty bad. Whereas she gave Henry up for adoption. That said, now that she knows why they gave her, I guess you could say she should be a bit more understanding. But I think probably when you've felt that way your whole life, it's hard to let go of.

I agree Hook deserves way more blame than Rumple, but I think you can't put it on all on him - it's on Mila too. I think Rumple had a point when he found her again and asked her how she could have left Bae, without even a goodbye, letting him think she was dead. Mila herself definitely could have handled that better. She was basically too cowardly to face her husband and her son and tell them she was leaving, so she had Hook lie for her instead. That doesn't sit well with me.

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Then again, Mila doesn't let Hook off the, well, hook.

Same as Cora leaving Rumpelstiltskin doesn't let him off the hook for leaving Belle, Pinnochio leaving Emma doesn't let Bae off the hook for leaving her as well, or them leaving her doesn't let Emma off the hook for leaving her next lover.

Just because a fairytale character gets abandoned by his or her lover doesn't mean it gets a free pass any time he or she wants to abandon someone.
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Regina has been Revenge incarnate; if Emma does in fact symbolize Forgiveness as some theorize, then there's a certain symmetry. But Emma's got to forgive herself first.
Just about every character on the show has had to deal with abandonment in some form or other- whether actions taken pre-Curse, while Cursed, or post-Curse. I think that's part of what Pan is doing right now- "Let's band together because we all feel unloved". No accident that it's teenagers he's calling- let's face it, adolescence makes almost everyone feel socially awkward, left out, etc.
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Agreed! Emma is definitely hard on herself for her past. I feel like her forgiveness upon herself is much like her magic right now: there, but not yet fully tapped into.
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My own experience is that forgiveness isn't something that you do once- you've got to keep on doing it until the need goes away. And it may come back when least expected... Plus, it's harder to forgive yourself than other people.
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