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Once Upon a Time S03E14: "The Tower"


I didn’t quite understand why “The Tower” bothered me so much until I saw the promo for next week’s episode:


Uh, you catch that? “Never make a powerful woman maaaaad, because payback can be a real witch!”

Well, ummm, it’s more like she’s a WICKED woman, right? Or are we saying that just any powerful woman will turn on you like a demon scorned if you cross her? Or maybe all powerful women are necessarily evil? Try this phrase on for size: “Never make a powerful man mad, because payback can be a real witch!” Hmmmm. Doesn’t quite fit, does it?

It’s not just the fact that Once Upon a Time has been transparently using “witch” as a surrogate term for “bitch” in the last three episodes. It was hearing the Wicked Witch of the West labeled as a “powerful woman,” coupled with "The Tower"'s A-story, that sent my “Castration Anxiety” meter spinning—namely, Zelena stealing Charming’s sword. A sword is obviously the most textbook phallic symbol out there except for maybe towers, and then Regina underlined its significance as a symbol, as a totem of Charming’s “courage" (read: masculinity, virility, and so on). Dearies, I don’t have to dust off my Freud to decode the message here: Powerful women are out to emasculate you, dudes! And how did Zelena steal Charming’s “sword” ? By making Charming say his worst fears aloud: by making him emotionally vulnerable. Sheesh.








Granted I’m a paranoid conspiracy theorist typing from inside a tinfoil-covered refrigerator box in a back alleyway, but that reading makes a lot more sense than what "The Tower" baldly insisted that the story we'd just seen was about. (At what point will characters just start looking directly into camera and flow-charting each episode's story logic? Season 4, or next week?) And you have to admit, of all the magical knickknacks this show has hastily presented to serve shamelessly as plot devices, Night Root was the weakest. Even more transparent than the Cave of Secrets, y’all. 

Night Root is an anti-anxiety med that makes you trip out, basically. You face your own fears (represented by yourself, except with your voice pitch-shifted and wearing a ghillie suit). You then have to say your fears to your Evil Self and then slay your Evil Self! And then your weapons turn up in Zelena’s purse? Oooooh guys I don’t know, I think we needed one more draft, writers. One more draft, my pretties, might have done the trick!  Because unless you were trying to craft a super-obvious castration anxiety metaphor, then nothing about this A-story made sense. 


It’s not Josh Dallas’s fault, he was fantastic as he always is when he gets his spotlight episodes. And I loved Rapunzel! Winningly played with the requisite doe-eyed innocence by Alexandra Metz. But why, why OUAT did you (A) center this thread so much on Charming when you had such a lovely guest star, and (B) turn Rapunzel into a confused allegory for overcoming self doubt?!?! Rapunzel is a gruesomely gritty story about puberty and parental possessiveness and the rebellion of adolescence but nope! For OUATRapunzel is about that time your perfect brother died because you couldn’t even swim right so you took some bad Night Root and tweaked so hard you ended up at the top of an eight-story tower somehow and grew nine stories of split ends while being terrorized by your own drugged hallucinations for years. But guess what, that’s ultimately a heroic choice because we all know how EVIL powerful women are! Better a guilt-ridden agoraphobic shut-in than a bitch! 





Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of moments in "The Tower" to enjoy once you’d successfully grayed out the “WHAT? NOPE” alert in your brain. For example, Emma in a ballgown! Stunning!!




Let’s be real, we’d waited three seasons for this and it did not disappoint. The whole Charming dream sequence was heartbreaking and lovely and then the transition into “creepy nursery” was pretty hilarious. You will never hear me complaining about an actor suspended horizontally on wires getting sucked into a wormhole. YES.




Charming woke from the dream to “news” that Snow was pregnant. Considering Snow is about 90 pounds and sporting a baby bump the size of a basketball, Charming’s Stable Stash must have been getting some mileage for him not to have noticed. He went out for an early morning tipple to steady his nerves, which was when Robin Hood came along and gave him the lowdown on Fairy-tale Zoloft. Pretty sure one of the Merrie Men is dealing pills. That was when Charming ran off to do roots/trip out/ save Rapunzel from a non-witch entity/confuse the living hell out of all of us.






Like always, Storybrooke’s storylines were far more compelling. We had Zelena sexily shaving a fluttery, manic Rumple’s face while telling him her daddy taught her how to do it. If Rumple turns out to be her dad, this scene was truly disturbing; if not, then who’s the father?! Humpty Dumpty? The ancient Roman god, Janus? Old sourpuss Mr. Wilson from Dennis the Menace? Remember: There are no limits! Literally any form of fiction that Disney can acquire the distribution rights for could potentially be another dimension. 


Then Zelena raced off and shamed Belle for being both a spinster and a widow simultaneously, which made me cackle, and then stole some Night Root as part of her devious plan to nab Charming’s Excalibur tool mighty shaft weapon. During her interview with the Charmings, Snow talked nervously about the baby bump that had literally sprung up overnight. And honestly, that is a kind of terrifying scenario: waking up nine months pregnant.






Across town and sauntering through the forest, Hook did not lose even one opportunity to needle Emma about dating an Evil Flying Monkey, which she was surprisingly humorless about. (Her grim-faced “I didn’t know” made me crack up because yeah, that’s the problem girl! You can’t even tell when you’re dating an Evil Flying Monkey! #MoreLikeStuporpower) This made Hook and Emma exploring the random Kansas farmhouse (complete with storm cellar) all the more enjoyable.


I ADORE this set, and the bike with the basket right out of Wizard of Oz was a thoughtful touch.


In a much warmer area of Storybrooke, Regina had an actual meaningful moment with Henry. She made a knowing remark about Storybrooke being one big family (quite literally the case) and grilled him about who Emma had dated in the last year. 





That’s when David entered his fairy-tale 'shroom experience and, thinking he had spotted the Bitch Witch herself, held a broadsword and a flip phone at the same time, providing as crystallized an image of the appeal of OUAT as I have ever seen. A flip phone and a sword! Aw man this show is like Game of Thrones at the mall, in the best way.


Having received his message, Hook tagged along with Emma and Regina to rush to David’s side, where they found that their prince had had his sword stolen and been knocked to his knees by a manifestation of his unconscious. It happens! Regina explained that the Wicked Witch now had his sword and then Emma and Regina and Hook and Charming marched down to the Kansas-style storm cellar where they saw Rumple’s spinning wheel. And then Charming painstakingly explained to the audience that the straw, plus the gold, plus the cage, plus the spinning wheel = Rumple is back. Thanks for the very necessary clarification! Maybe that was a studio note? Maybe the original script had them just going down into the cellar, seeing the spinning wheel, and giving each other the nod but then Disney was like, “EXPLAIN THAT THEY KNOW RUMPLE IS ALIVE FOR THE 8-YEAR-OLDS. JUST GO AHEAD AND THROW IN A LINE. A BULLET POINT IF YOU WILL. FOR THE 8-YEAR-OLDS AND EVERYBODY ELSE PLAYING DRINKING GAMES DURING THE SHOW.” I feel like OUAT's writers might get that kind of note quite often.




In the Fairy-Tale conclusion, Rapunzel—after defeating her fear via a makeover—returned to the family she had fled, and Snow was like, "Wow what a pretty young princess P.S. where the hell were you all last night?" Charming was all, “Babe, just roaming around the forest in a cold terror about being a father, NBD." And Snow was like, “Don’t worry—WE are going to be the best father ever.” And Charming smiled, gulped, and quietly imagined Hook standing on the deck of the Jolly Roger. Charming could almost hear the waves, he could almost smell the salt coming off that vast, open horizon as endless as opportunity that surrounded Hook on all sides.


QUESTIONS:

... Who do you think is Zelena’s dad?

... Should we fear powerful women and their ceaseless efforts to snatch our swords?

... Is Snow getting progressively dumber?

... What are the telltale signs you are dating an Evil Flying Monkey?

... What was Hook doing all year (putting together a pleather trousseau for Emma/making out with a scarecrow dressed in her old peacoat)?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 11/27/2016

Season 6 : Episode 9

Next Episode

AIRS ON 12/4/2016

Season 6 : Episode 10

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This... this... YOU ARE JUST THE BEST CRITIC EVER!!! My favourite kind! The type that makes my laugh out loud and choke because I'm one twisted wench living on watching shows fail and making fun of them(I'm feeling particualrly evil today). The Aunti Em. HAHAHHAHAHAHAAAA!!! xD

"Is it a demon? We can't tell for certain." Ginnifer's FACE. Priceless.
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Regarding: "If Rumple turns out to be her dad, this scene was truly disturbing; if not, then who’s the father?! Humpty Dumpty? The ancient Roman god, Janus? Old sourpuss Mr. Wilson from Dennis the Menace? Remember: There are no limits! Literally any form of fiction that Disney can acquire the distribution rights for could potentially be another dimension."

Well then, isn't it obvious? Darth Vader!
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Green Goblin for Zelena' s dad!
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So I was catching up with OUAT and watching this episode (can I call it an episode? It was so bad it barely resembled one). I just had to watch it while reading this review. HAD TO. It was my only hope of having some thread of enjoyment watching this mess. I love you, Lily Sparks.

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If Zelina nicked Rumpel with the Dark Blade to get his blood, why didn't it kill him? Why didn't it kill him the last time?
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Lily, thank you so much for writing these reviews! I love your reviews on a great episode - they just make it better - but they're even more important for a poor episode like this one. They help me cope with the unintentional ridiculousness and the problematic aspects. I started watching the episode and couldn’t deal with it, so I read this review first, and it really helped. I could imagine Charming asking about his bangs, silently agree with comments about Rapunzel’s inexplicable cry for help or Regina’s jealousy of Walsh, and so many other things. And I loved this comment, it’s so true: “Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of moments in "The Tower" to enjoy once you’d successfully grayed out the “WHAT? NOPE” alert in your brain.” It did have a lot of good moments. Emma in the ballgown was so cute. And Regina and Henry. Speaking of which -

Nobody seems to have any clue about Regina’s pain at losing Henry, and I hate it. Snow’s all sympathetic because she keeps giving her daughter up so she like totally knows what it feels like. So despite having been in Emma’s life for maybe a year she thinks that equates to Regina giving up the son she’s raised his whole life. Robin showed his “understanding” of Regina’s situation because he was so lost after his wife died but then their baby son gave him something to live for. ROBIN, YOU ARE TALKING TO A WOMAN WHO HAS JUST LOST HER SON FOREVER, AND HE WAS EVERYTHING TO HER. HOW IS THE FACT THAT YOU STILL HAD YOUR SON SUPPOSED TO HELP HER FEEL BETTER?

Charming's story could have been so much better by just dealing with his emotions instead of adding in a whole new thing (nightroot). He could have gone for the alcohol, run into Snow instead of Robin Hood (because why even?), actually talked about his disturbing dream, and become closer to his wife instead of lying to her and saying he was happy about the baby. She would understand – she gave Emma up as well. And then Rapunzel could have actually had a story that was about her. Because I agree it just wasn’t treated fairly. Her character was just used to make a point that had nothing whatsoever in common with her actual fairytale, and I’m sure she’ll never be seen again. I guess at least she wasn't dead (poor Lancelot – I was so disappointed). And on the subject of people of colour, I really want to see Mulan! Where on earth is she?
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Crazy idea, but is it possible that Neal is the new Dark One?
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Is just me or they trying to make us feel sorry for Robin Hood?, because every time he is like "my wife used to or my wife this or that". No matter how they want to doing it, the relationship of Regina and Robin feel really forced....can we guess why? Lol
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That cell phone sword pic is hilariouse!!!
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I love reading your reviews. After I watch the episode, I cannot wait for this to come out. I always appreciate the critical (especially feminist) perspective you bring. On that note, I didn't notice the phallic reference until you said something. When I first saw the title of "The Tower" I was so excited because in tarot, the Tower card is the one that symbolizes destruction, distress, ruin and disguise. I tend not to give most TV writers that kind of credit for thinking that way, but I do for OUAT because I think they're just that awesome.

Your interpretation also makes sense, but considering all the princesses it has turned into good female role models I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. I am a total fairy tale junkie but always hated the weak and "come save me, my prince!" type of females usually portrayed. Even the "evil queen" is given a kinder backstory and explanation for her behaviour.

Though I do agree that Snow White continues the decline on the intelligence and favorite character scale.

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First if all, I always watch the show looking forward to your reviews! You are great and supper funny!
And I agree: Snow is getting dumber and more annoying.
Best part of this review: "Oooooh guys I don’t know, I think we needed one more draft, writers (...) then nothing about this A-story made sense." Lol
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Does anyone else think Rebecca Mader looks like Nicole Kidman? A little bit?
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im not an SQer but i enjoy this review/recap every week, but is there any other funny ouat recap out there i can read that much less SQ? please? anyone can give me the link? i'd really appreciate it, thanks :))
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I always love reading Lily Sparks' recaps (you're awesome Lily Sparks!!), but I must agree. Although, this week's was no where near as bad as last week's. :/

Also, am I completely off my rocker here, but did I just catch a whiff of a possible Charming/Hook ship in the last paragraph? Has Prince Pirate always been a thing?
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YESS. they are a thing! the brotp ship called Captain Charming ;))
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;D
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I liked the evil David. Both Ginnifer and Josh are excellent actors but I hardly remember that because their characters are so annoying. This evil version of Charming was fun to watch. I immediately thought the Wicked Witch took his courage, he is very suitable for the lion role.

I don't have a clue about Zelena's dad, looking forward to it. The father-daughter scene at the beginning was pretty sweet though. This show revoles around family ties a lot and I actually like it, even though some of the decisions can be rididulous at times, I'm only waiting for the character that ends up being his own grandad now.

I was a bit surprised by Rapunzel because in our translated versions of the fairytale she's been called something like "Carroty" or "Cobhead" (as in ear of a grain plant) so it was kinda deep in my head that she'd have a golden/reddish hair. But then I thought it kinda suits well that a black girl has a hair so strong it grows a hundred meters and carries the weight of a grown man (my hair would crack if a baby tried to climb it). The whole story felt pretty irrelevant though, I hope she'll be in Storybrooke and have something interesting to do on later episodes.

I really love it how jealous Regina seems to be of Emma and David of Hook. Prying to their private lives and disapproving their relationships. Yes I bet David is very scared that Emma couldn't resist Hook since he can't himself. Like father like daughter.

I wish they brought Neal back not for the love interest of Emma (because I think that ship has sailed, they only worked together on Tallahassee) but so we could see MRJ again and hopefully give him an actual plotline so that he could be something else than the jerk that dumped Emma.

Rumple was bit better, I like.

Also, not to mention the huge tummy Snow had, from knowing a pregnancy without actual tests and giving birth takes less than 9 months. (Even with tests it's usually couple weeks short.) How overdue is she? Is it a demon baby after all, one that hatches for 12 months?

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Regarding the Rapunzel being cast as a black woman issue: 1) I thought the actress did a great job, and it's always nice to shake up the stereotypic image of who might be a princess; 2) but yep, I did find it token casting, as the writers never manage to produce a substantive story about a POC; 3) bottom line, if any of us were truly color blind, our clothes would clash :-)
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I don't know if this is technically a spoiler or not but...Lana Parrilla confirmed that Zelena is in fact Regina's sister. Apparently when she first found out she said, "This can't be! I'm an only child!" Later in the tv guide article she states, "As we move forward, other things are discovered, and we learn that she actually is her half-sister," she says. "It's quite jarring for Regina. She feels completely betrayed yet again by her mother. She's not too happy about it"
So there you have it. She talks about some other stuff regarding the storyline and other aspects of the show. here is the link: http://www.tvguide.com/News/Once-Upon-Time-Lana-Parrilla-1079568.aspx?rss=keywords&partnerid=gatehouse&profileid=celebs
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ALAS! That's too bad. Still, it does sound like Regina was skeptical of the tale enough to be build some story around her detective work...which should be more fun to follow than the story just being true just because it is.
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I was bored with this episode. But your review and take on it made me laugh and notice stuff I didn't while watching. Thanks for that! Although the scene where Emma & Charming had their father/daughter dance made me squirm a little. It just looked and came off wrong for me b/c they are the same age. That part always makes it hard for me to believe in them as Emma's parents.
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ok, Rapunzel's storyline makes sense to me, it was not great but the nonlinear narratives made it look pointless. cuz we know david didn't take the shrooms in FTL, (same herbs that the WW put in his tea in SB ?? ) could robin be working with WW?!.. i mean he suggested it to david, but he was interrupted by Rapunzel, knowing that her story is more relatable to david's, the point of telling it, is why it was showed in parallel to what was happening to him in SB, a lesson that he's unable to recall, i mean he was supposed to lose his mojo in FTL right?...so the WW's trying to get back at them in SB. thank god they have a savior!!

may be the following eps will have focus on each of ouat caracters same as charming in this ep! which might be a bit boring!!
david's dream was disturbing!! so it was the shavin scene..
hook is hidin sth.. euh emma used her super powers on him !! may be he's distracting her same way hood does with regina..

Lily keep'em coming! your views re very much enjoyable.
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Snow is getting gradually PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE-R! I loved all her snide comments to David a la "oh heyyyyy baby, why were you in the forest all night?" "it sounds like you don't really WANT to meet the secretly evil midwife"

What the eff has happened to Neal? Also yes, if Rumple is Selena's father then the shaving scene is insanely creepy. Having said that, he did pork her mother, so the scene was decidedly creepy anyway. With regards to your last post - homosexual relationships: 0 , human-flying monkey relationships: 1, incest or at least implied incestuous undertones: 1. What's up with that OUAT? Never mind the whole why is Neal not like "Hook, first you stole my mother now you want to doink the mother of my child? Dude."

ANOTHER WEIRD THING. Why does Snow always call David 'David' even in fairytale land and he always calls her Snow even when in Storybrooke? Isn't Charming more like his 'real' name, so shouldn't they be using that??
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They assumed that Neil has been turned into a flying monkey. Also, in a past episode it was reviled that David's real name IS David. Charming is a nickname Snow gave him.
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I don't know if Neal actually knew that Hook and his mom were involved. I don't think Rumple ever told him, he lied or something.
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He did... but I don't think Emma ever found out. So maybe she doesn't get the creepiness.
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He did, Hook told him when he was a boy. Right after they met in Neverland.
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Yes, Neal knows that his mom and Hook were in love. Hook told him so when he was on his boat as a kid. Can't remember the episode but it basically went like this:

N: "You destroyed my parents' marriage."
H: "I loved your mother and she loved me and we had planned to go back for you once you were old enough."

I don't remember if he told him that Rumple is the one who killed Milah though.
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  • Couldn't quite remember if Neal/Bae knew or not.
  • I don't believe so, otherwise I think there would have been a confrontation about that and there has not been one. Plus, if he knew Rumple killed his mom he might not be so eager to find and get his dad back.
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I didn't pick up on the Courage/Masculinity thing. I assumed it was a reference to the Cowardly Lion from oz.

Which could imply that Rumple is the scarecrow (he's lost his mind, and has something to do with straw), and Regina could be the tinman... we already saw her try to take away her heart once, maybe Zelena will try to finish that task.
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Yeah I was thinking about the lion too but it is kinda hilarious how many phallic symbols there were.
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I keep my ipad at the ready when watching OUAT and as soon as it's over I read Lily's review. This week I find the review far more entertaining than the show. I especially love the Charming Y or N questions to Regina. Please keep those coming. I also appreciate you pointing out the bizarre silence that greeted Charming when he finally got to Rapunzel. I thought, WTF? I do love that no matter how much snow is on the ground we can count on Hook to bare his chest hair.

Telltale sign of dating a EFM - Him constantly pushing the banana smoothies. Really, what kind of guy drinks those?

Missed Regina big time.
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childrens show with a review that looks like it was written by a blind 5 year, an unfunny blind 5 year old
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I think we've all been blinded by your horrible use of grammar, so thanks for that. See you next week!
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I love how you tried to be funny there by insulting the reviewer and epically failed.
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Adam & Eddie!!! glad you could join us.
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i see your attempt at humor failed again
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Well we have our Once version of the Cowardly Lion, probably soon to be stripped of courage via broken sword. Taking bets on who the others will be! Regina for Tin Man! Emma for Scarecrow!
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1) Not sure yet. Does it have to be a character from Oz? That would make the most sense but since Cora wasn't from Oz, I'm not sure.
2) Probably
3) I think so. I couldn't believe she wasn't more suspcious of the midwife that's a total stranger to her.
4) Hmmm.
5) Going back to his pirating ways.

Overall this episode was a bit slow for me. Hopefully it picks up a bit next week - it looks like it probably will.
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Remember: not everyone got swept up in the first curse (Robin and the Merry Men, Aurora, etc). Plus, her and everyone else caught in the the curse that brought them back can't remember a whole year of their life, and they are trying to find the evil queen that is actually Zelena all along. Charming was a little suspicious of her and Snow seems a little nervous about this pregnancy along with Charming. So of course Snow is not thinking clearly.
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You know what i don't understand. they are back in storybrooke and cursed again. They know the townpeople and who they really are in the Enchanted Forest...why nobody wondered who the new lady is who is helping out Snow?? She always wears something green....and still nobody notices.
I have to say, that this episode was really about Charming and the whole Rapunzel storyline what a waste. It could have been so good. They only used that whole part, because of the witch who put her there and not about Rapunzel. So they could use the same type of witch to attack Charming..
Hook and Emma really should get layed by now, The tensin between them is going to burst...
Emma looked so lovely when she was dressed like a prinsess and danced pretty good...i liked...
Missed the chats between Evil Queen and Wicked this episode..
All with all, nice episode with some small irritations and flaws...
At least Rumpel is free again...whatever that means...!!
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I would guess she's really not the only new person there, the curse took the whole forest again. But it is kinda disturbing that they don't bother to show us those others, to viewers it seems it's the old gang and Zelena, and the gang goes around like "who could this witch be?".
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Also, that scene where Hook tells Emma that he's glad her heart is broken because that means it still works? Uhm, okay. That was just an awful thing to say but sure, why not. It just makes him sound like a selfish asshole and I think Hook seriously needs to back off when it comes to Emma. He's always in her hair, trying to push himself on her and be like "hey I've know you for a month but I really love you so why don't you want to be with me?"

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I was wondering if Emma ends up Tinman "without a heart" because of this remark.
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He's a little stalkerish. I really wish someone would get him a suit of contemporary clothes. Or even different leather gear. Starting to be the elephant in the room "why haven't you changed pants in 1 year"
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I don't even understand why the producers have opted to keep him in the same outfit ever since he showed up. Is he hiding something underneath or what? I'm surprised he's even alive at this point considering all the diseases he could catch with his poor hygiene. Why would Emma date a guy like this? Gross.
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If he was walking around in Las Vegas no one would notice.
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Okay, so, first time commenting here.

First, I love these recaps. They're often better than the episode itself, like for this one.

A few thoughts:

- I've seen many people believe that Emma is Dorothy, but after this episode I see her more as the TinWoodman. My explanation is quite simple: although her heart cannot be ripped out (apparently), she still refuses to feel anything for anyone that is not her son. That's why she's not choosing between Hook and Neal. At this point, she's not trusting herself to open her heart to anyone.

- For me, Regina is Dorothy. That would explain the rivalry between her and the Wicked Bitch Witch. Plus, in the story of Oz, all Dorothy wants is to go back home, to her Aunty EM & her Uncle HENRY. I mean, come on.

- Regina was surprised when Henry told her about Walsh's proposal and she certainly thought about her conversation with Emma in the car when Emma told her that her life in NYC was so good she almost didn't come back. I'm still convinced that Regina feels more than she lets on for Emma.

- JMo/Emma in that dream sequence at the beginning was beautiful.

- I still can't bring myself to like Hook. I did like him back in season 2. Then his character changed so suddenly that it lost its appeal. I guess I could like him more if he changed his clothes a little and didn't look like he hasn't showered in 300 years. The fact that I find CaptainSwan utterly ridiculous doesn't help.

- I like Neal. Not necessarily with Emma even though I did like the episode of their past together. Him letting her take the fall and go to prison for him was crappy, but I still like him better than Hook. I also suppose that's because deep down he isn't much of a threat to SwanQueen, which I ship with all my heart, always and forever, until the day I die.

- I was honestly bored during all the Rapunzel scenes. White, black, blonde, redhead, whatever really, the storyline was just boring.

- I was SO SURE that Rumple was Zelena's father! But after that creepy shaving scene, I don't know. I mean, if she doesn't know he's the father and only know her birthmother is Cora, then I guess it's okay. If Rumple is her father and she knew about it and still looked like she was trying to turn him on... GROSS.

- Not enough Regina in this episode.

- I still somehow believe that Robin Hood is working with the WW but might end up trying to betray her for Regina once he falls in love, and then be killed. Or something.

- Still wondering about who's going to die this season. They said a REGULAR, and I really don't see Neal as regular enough to be the one to die. I'm hesitating between Hook, Snow or Charming and Neal. However, if they kill Henry... Good. That means we could have Dark Regina & Dark Emma next season! Bring it on!
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Thank you so much for your comment. WHAT IF: and this is a crazy thought, but if Ginnifer Goodwin wants to maybe hang out with her brand new IRL baby, it would make sense for them to "kill her off" then possibly bring her back later? It's hard to imagine what that show would be without her but logistically she is the only regular I can see with a good reason to get off the gravy train.
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Yes, that's why she's on my list of potential death. I think the producers said that the death of one character (permanent death, apparently) would force another to leave as well. But I've read that on Tumblr, I believe, so let's not take this as the absolute truth. However, if Snow died, then Charming would probably need some time off to grieve which would give both Ginny & Josh time with their newborn. But then what would they do with Snow's baby on the show? Babies/children are so annoying on a TV show. Just look at The Walking Dead.
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I really hope this show gets renewed for many more seasons! It's just so much fun to watch you never know what crazy twist and Fairy tale / movie they pull into the plot and twist completely upside down and inside out! It's the only fun show left on tv not even the sister show is this fun! Pysch canceled :(
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What race would make the best Rapunzel?

I know my hair is incredibly thin and weak and my hair would be pulled out by the first few steps up the tower.

I beleive it would be an Asian correct? They have the strongest hair and possibly the fastest growing too, no?
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Yes, can’t wait to bring back an unhinged Rumplestiltskin. I will not be happy until he goes full-on Frances Begbie on that witch’s ass.
I am so glad I found this site- I have never laughed so hard at reviews of anything, ever. I want to start watching the other shows you review so I can read more. You’re an artist.
Some notes on Hook: wasn't till I read your reviews that I realized just how insignificant he actually is …which is interesting, because yes, although he’s easy on the eyes, he’s one of the most talented actors they've got on this show (and not just because he’s British, but I do admit, the lack of accents does annoy me, I mean Aurora? Really? She pulled one off for Showtime…) ahem, and lately he just follows Emma round and quips the occasional witticism. His role was so much more compelling when he was constantly turning his cloak. Captain Hook has lost the plot in these last few episodes after his triumphant return with Emma. Please, writers, let him be up to something shady. Give him a new girlfriend (sorry Captain Swan, but Emma ain’t budging), question his morals, do something brilliant before you have to kill him off. Because the guy has serious charisma, and mark my words, Hollywood will soon come calling. And just like 50 Shades of Graham, we won’t be seeing any Captain Hook cameos.
I also really like the analogy of the Oz characters, hadn't thought of that. But if we don’t get to meet the real Dorothy I will be really disappointed…
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I usually love these reviews, but I can't help but wonder. Why does every story has to become a feminist manifesto and a debate on the role of powerful women in modern society? Are all powerful women rotten? Well, all I know is that THIS powerful woman, the Wicked Witch, IS rotten. Deal with it, girls. And by the way, if I watch Scarface, I won't think he represents all men, powerful or not, so I think the reputation of my gender is safe.

(But to tell the truth, I don't care how rotten Zelena is. That beautiful smile of hers, no matter how fake and insincere, would totally disarm me.)

But it is somehow ironic that the qualities Wicked is searching came from men, isn't it? She got David's courage and Rumpel's mind, apparently. But I believe she'll get the heart from a woman because, obviously, girls don't think much and are afraid of roaches and mice, but do a lot of feeling.

Zelena shaved Rumpel without water or hot soap. Ouch! That can hurt a lot.

So, David needed to get rid of his fears? Why not schedule an appointment with Dr. Cricket? But, nooooo. David needed a quick fix. The fastest way out is always better. I figure Dr. Cricket doesn't have many patients in a town where pains can be magically swept away.

And I thought Rapunzel was a blondie... What shampoo does she use? And speaking of which, I didn't see any bathroom facilities in the tower top.

David Nolan is a man torn between two worlds. I loved the scene which showed him with one sword in one hand and one cell phone in the other. What if his courage was in his phone?

How can Storybrooke have two such different climate zones? It looked like an episode of Game of Thrones, when they show warm King's Landing and then the next scene in the Winterfell forests.

Clever way to get rid of the excess amount of actors. Turn them into flying monkeys. The characters, not the actors.

Zelena WANTED David and Emma learn she had Rumpelstilskin. Otherwise, why leave so many clues? (The spinning wheel, the gold straw, which could have been magically removed.) David doesn't have to be Columbo to put two and two together.

All in all a weak episode that sidetracked from the main story. They could have shown just one quick scene of Zelena stealing David's sword and get done with it.
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Roaches and mice aren't that bad. I can deal with them.

Snakes and spiders - that's totally different story.
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Spiders are cool cause they eat bugs. Snakes are cool cause they eat mice.

Roaches, Rats, Mice, and Squirrels are icky and are evil house invaders.

Right now Squirrels are my biggest enemies. But like rats they eat through anything.
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Squirrels really? I've always thought they were cute. But then, I've only seen them in cages, and since they are not found living in the wild in my region, they are only seen as pets, like hamsters.
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I feel conflicted about roaches and mice: they deserve to live, but are our natural enemies. As for spiders, I put them in a jar and release them in nature! Never had problems with snakes. I guess this is a thing in the country, but I live in the city.
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I love your reviews of the episodes, they always make me laugh, but I really love Snow. She's my favourite character, and though I do think she is a little "oh I'm gonna trust whoever happens to be on the doorstep" right now, she is not at all "dumb." I absolutely love Snow and her utmost goodness in any situation, and though this may annoy people to no end, I love Snowing too. (I mean they're getting married and they're pregnant in real life, what more could you ask for?!) Okay sorry for the rant, I just always feel the need to defend Snow and Charming about basically anything.
I loved the Emma and Charming dancing scene too, such a sweet moment. It actually freaks me out how much I think they're father and daughter when they are practically the same age. Both actors play their relationship extremely well.
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I agree. Snow has always been more of a trusting person. She even gave Regina a lot of chances in the [ast even though she did not have to. That's just how she is.
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Did I miss you talking about how Zelena got courage from Charming and presumably will be getting a brain and a heart in later episodes?
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I had my doubts about the identity of Zelena's father but after watching the sexy shaving session ( during which I had one and only thought: no not his face ! or his hair ! ... just don't touch him witch ! ) I'm sure it's not Rumple and there is the fact that she needed his blood to break the seal so they are not blood-relatives. Moving to the baby situation, and just bear with me I can be slow sometimes, so Charming you wake up to find yourself back in Storybrooke, your wife is pregnant and you have no idea whatsoever about what happend during the last year and what's the first question that pops into your mind ? Am I gonna be a good father ? thank god you're pretty !
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One thing people didn't consider; she got Regina's blood before breaking the seal on the castle, then claimed they were sisters. Now she used Rumple's blood to break the bond, and there's a suggestion he could be the father somehow. Regina has also said blood magic can't normally be broken, surely she would think of such an obvious thing?

So I'm inclined to think that using someone's blood ONLY works if you're related to them, like how you can only accept blood of a similar type, if you're not related to the person who's blood you're using, the magic can "tell", but it's possible to fool it by mixing the family member's with your own.
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I think she is lying to Regina about being related to her... its a head game... I seriously doubt her story...
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So she took Rumple's "Mind/Brain" and the Prince's "Courage", who's "Heart" will she take, Snow's or Emma's? And what is the manifestation of their heart, the kids? Hasn't Henry been kidnapped enough?!
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I loved how quickly Charming went for the mind altering drugs solution.

Robin: I heard there was this herb that can take away aaalll your worri-
Charming: See ya.
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Hakuna matata, man.
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Overall, episode wasn't that interesting. Not only was the Repunzel story really stupid (did it give us anything on what happened in this episode in the real world?), but... the way this is going is really silly.

I'm surprised Lily skipped the two dumbest parts of the episode:

1) Regina said she went over her office with a comb, and yet completely missed the berries stain? Seriously? Not to mention isn't there a CSI team in town? Wasn't one mentioned during Katherine's "murder" investigation in season 1? Heck, even if you're looking for the magical one, isn't Ruby equipped with super tracking nose?

2) So Emma and Hook get to the witch's house and just randomly ignore it to get to the cellar? Really? She's not even attempting to search the house itself?
And she completely drops looking into the cellar cause Hook told her...
Anyone want to take bets he's working with the evil witch (or Rumple)?


Also, come on... Are they really going to do the dumb cliche thing of setting up counterparts to the oz gang?
Rumple meddling with straw and lost his brains = scarecrow
Charming lost his courage = cowardly lion

So... Tin man is a person of metal losing his heart - Hook most likely.
Emma is obviously Dorothy.

Who's Toto? Henry?

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They did address your first point in the episode - Emma clarified that Regina had only been looking for magic, not physical evidence. Which does make sense because Regina isn't any kind of forensics expert.

Even though I really like the theory that Hook is playing some kind of double game, because they really need to explain what he did during the past year, in that scene I do think Hook gave excellent advice, because I too was thinking, "Really, Emma? You know this is a witch you're up against, you know she has flying monkeys and who knows what else, and you're just going to descend into a dark enclosed space with no magical backup on your side?" If she had done that, well, it would be an action straight out of every horror movie where the dumb teen gets killed going alone into some creepy basement. Yeah, technically Emma wasn't "alone" since Hook was there, but Hook doesn't have magic, so Emma was alone for all practical purposes. Calling Regina was the smart thing to do.
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I was literally screaming at Emma and Hook: "Get into the storm cellar! Britt Robertson is inside! Save her from the Dome!"
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Okay... This is another one of those "can anyone please explain this to me?"

Everyone lived in the enchanted forest till Regina casted the curse and they came to our world.

So... How come our world has their lives as stories?

It can't just be the curse, because people outside (us) knew them.


Even more strange, if the cursed people came back to the enchanted forest with their dual-memories (fairy tales and stroybrook persona) then how come david didn't know anything about Repunzel?
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Because obviously Rapunzel was one many who escaped the curse (Aurora, Mulan, Robin, etc). Plus, I don't think that before the original curse that Charming and Snow were king and queen long. They knew Cinderella, but they had not met Rapunzel nor had they met Aurora Phillip until Snow and Emma were trapped in FTL and then David met them when the curse/Regina sent them back.
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So, apparently the OUAT-writers can't add. Snow already looks quite pregnant at the beginning (and knew she was pregnant) and than it say's 'Nine Months Later'. The kid would have been born and at least a 1,5 months old by than.... ;)
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I think that she's actually pregnant so the writers didn't have much to work with. I missed where it said 9 months later. It seemed like they were pretty settled in, so I guessed they were about 6 months in. Either way, the baby bump definitely is noticeable in the beginning and is NOT big enough for end-term. If I were guessing, I'd say she looks like tops of 7.5-8mo.
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I didn't dislike the episode, but i did hate the fact that they decided to make Rapunzel black. I mean, wth? We all know that character to be a white girl with long golden hair, it makes no sense that they changed her race entirely, just seemed to me like they wanted to appear non racist and all inclusive or whatever which is dumb to me, cause if u aren't a racist then you wouldn't pull an unecessary stunt like that. We have Disney princesess of all races, so really, no need to do that.
Besides that and Charming's poorly climbing skills (when u could really tell he was wearing a harness) i was overall disappointed.
The rest of the episode was ok, that's why i don't say i disliked it, but wasn't thrilled by it. Worst ep of the season so far I think.
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Re Charming's climbing skills, how did he climb back up the tower once Rapunzel cut her hair off? And how did Rapunzel climb down? Come to think of it, how did she get up there in the first place??
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"We all know..."? What some apparently don't know is that pan-Euro-Eastern fairy tales like Rapunzel have been around a lot longer than Disney, luv.
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Of course i meant based on the disney movies, which is also what this show is supossed to be based on. Tangled is my favourite Disney movie, maybe that's why the drastic change was such a shock to me.
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I agree with the colorblind casting and wish they'd do it more often. There are so few good parts out there written specifically for WOC, and little girls who aren't white should get to see a Princess that looks like them.
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It's pretty simple: Is Rapunzel's race and hair color in any way germane to her story or characterization? If not, then there's no reason to not cast colorblind and just pick the actress they like best. Nothing of import was changed by her being a black woman rather than a white one - now, if Rapunzel had had short hair, THAT would be a different story. I quite liked the actress myself - I only wish the writing had been a little better.
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Why shouldn't Rapunzel be black? There's no reason why not, there are several versions of that fairytale and the original archetype is from Persia.

And that's not how racism works. Representation is a huge problem in OUAT. I really hate it when people not only can't admit to their own racism but have to call others the racist. OUAT needed representation desperately and she made a beautiful Rapunzel.

There is one black Disney Princess. There are very few black Disney heroines in general. There's also an Asian "Princess", a Native "Princess", an middle eastern Princess and.... that's sort of it. If they'd have stuck with the original designs for Frozen Anna would have been Saami.

They didn't "make" Rapunzel black either way, she had no given skin colour in the Charlotte Rose De La Force version at least. She did have golden hair in that version, but then again Rudaba had black hair.
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I so saw this comming, which it's what always happens with a touchy subject and everybody walks around in eggshells, i always speak my mind, no matter what. No, i am not a racist, I think racism is one of the stupidest things u can ever think of, and racists are short minded people.
All I am saying is that to me it's ridiculous to change so drastically the appearance of a character like that. Don't u think if they made Snow black or Belle black would have been weird? just as weird as if one day Tiana from The Princess and the Frog appears in the show portrayed by a white actress, there's no difference. They should portray the characters as similar to as they actually are.
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I'm sorry, but I can't ever have a problem with someone turning a white character black - Only because it will always be dwarfed by Merlin making Gwenevir black.
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Season 3b has been great so far. I hope they start doing a better job with Robin. I want him to be a strong character. Disappointed to see Neal in next week's promo
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LOL! brilliant review. I loved 'alcohol won't solve your problems, that's what drugs are for.' and I really hope that Mr. Wilson does turn out to be her dad. that would make my day.

I guess her dad has to be green or really, really evil. Since it isn't Rumple, I'm stumped. The only other person I can think of who is green, male and not necessarily 'good' would Frankenstein's monster but they've covered that story. Maybe it's Kermit the frog? Or the frog prince?
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Or the Incredible Hulk
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Well actually - along the Wicked-line it could also be the wizard himself
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Telltale sign you are dating an Evil Flying Monkey: The bananas.
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Show of hands, who else initially thought David's fear was James back from the dead?
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He's dead? When did he die? I totally blacked that out
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James was killed while training to slay Midas' dragon. King George coerced David into taking his place by threatening the family farm. It's pretty much the OUaT version of The Prince & the Pauper.
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Until this episode, I was convinced that Rumple was Zelena's father...but now that that's been debunked, I am convinced that either Rumple OR her father is the Wizard.

And as far as stealing things goes...she's already stolen a symbol of courage (the sword hilt), and in enacting the curse, she double-popped "brain" and "going home" by sending everyone to Storybrooke without their memories. Which means, if Rumple trained her in the dark arts, it's only a matter of time before she completes the quadrifecta (is that a word? It is now) and steals a heart...all that's left to determine is whose (probably Henry's, because stuff like that always happens to him).
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She cannot steal Henry's heart, Regina spelled his heart so that would never happen again. It was in the episode where they got him back, and they were on the ship. Regina and Henry were below and she spelled his heart so it could not be taken out. Pan tried and was confused that he could not take it out and so ended up being forced to switch shadows/souls with Henry instead.
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No, I think you missed the mark. The stealing one's brain is not the memory loss of the town - It's Rumple's insanity.

He lost his mind - And he is constantly dealing with Straw.
He's the scarecrow.

As for him being her dad, I fail to see how it's debunked. She could have refered to an adoptive dad rather than her biological one.
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So - if Emma starts seeing Hook, she can introduce Henry to him like this: this is my new boyfriend, who is also your ex-step-grandfather.

Nice.
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I personally think meeting Snow's baby is worse. That kid is Henry's uncle and Henry is the baby's uncle as well. That's more of a loopy-loop.
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I was gonna say WHAT?! but ohhh, now I get it. You think of Regina as Snow's stepmother still. I don't think of them as kin like that but I see where you got it from if you do.
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Well she was her stepmom since Snow was like 10 which is the same time Henry came into Emma's life. So if you think of Emma as being a mom to Henry then you have the think the same of Snow and Regina.
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Well "was" as in Leopold is dead, thereby severing the family ties. Regina is no longer married to Snows dad because of death, therefore no longer her step-mother.
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People just like to keep denying that Regina has the most parental experience. And the Charmings, who act like they have the most, basically have the least out of all the main cast members (Belle having the least).

And "was"? People don't stop being parents after people grow up. Otherwise there goes the majority of the OUaT plot.
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WAS is the key word there
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I've got the family tree so confused at this point I think I need you to explain that.
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Because Henry and Snow are both Regina's adopted/step kids making Henry the uncle. Baby and Emma are both Snow/Charming's children making the baby the uncle.
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Thank you. I got how the baby was the uncle but I hadn't thought about the Regina and Snow stepmother connection that makes Henry the baby's uncle and also his grandmother's step brother. This show is awesomely weird.
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that post gave me headache. :-)
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Forget swords, how many snatches does a bandersnatch snatch? Wait, wrong OUaT.
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It's me or Hook had "TRAITOR" written all over his face when Emma asked what was he hidding? I think he was sent back to Emma as part of the Wicked Witch's plan (in fact, for a while I thought it was Emma having her memory back which sent everyone back to Storybrook). He kissed Emma just in case she was his true love, but as apparently she is not he just kept along with the plan. Now he is feeling moderately guilty.
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That's what I intially thought, but then again, when it's too obvious it's possible there's a 3rd party at work.

He could have been dealing with Rumples directly, as in Rumple sent him to bring Emma and help them. And perhaps he wa the one to set him free.
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I like this theory :)
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Btw, is this the first time we've seen cell phones in Storybrooke? Is time still standing still here? If they had cell phones last time they were in Storybrooke you'd think everyone would realize sooner something was off when the clock on their phones never changed...

If time is standing still why does Snow need a midwife? She's not going to go into labor until they get back to the Enchanted Forest, right?
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As for your first question... Hate to state the dumb cliche here... But that's part of the magic of the curse. You could also say, how come they never noticed they have the same days over and over again... The curse did it.


As for the second question, I don't think time is frozen with this curse. Keep in mind that even with the curse in place, magic is still around in Stroybrooke. So it seems like whatever variation Zelena used on the curse, doesn't reset them exactly to square one.
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