Once Upon a Time EPs Tease Midseason Finale's 'Devastating' Twist, 'Compelling' Spring Story Arc

Once Upon a Time Fall Finale SpoilersThis Sunday at 8/7c, ABC’s Once Upon a Time conjures its midseason finale — as in the last episode you will see until March 9, as a result of the ambitous new split-season scheduling. As such, the stakes and the drama are especially high.

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When last we tuned in, Emma, Regina et al discovered that Peter Pan had A) swapped bodies with kindly Henry, B) used his shadow to dispatch with the Blue Fairy and C) pinched the Dark Curse Regina used years ago to power down the Enchanted Forest and transplant its denizens to Storybrooke, Maine, sans memories.

If the puckish lad casts the curse anew, Rumplestiltskin has noted, there would be no way to undo it, seeing as the “true love” loophole would not be woven into it. That’d leave everyone stuck in time unaware of their true selves, with Pan to lord over them in this “new Neverland.”

Having failed in his original scheme — to steal the heart of the truest believer (aka Henry) — “Pan has regrouped and come up with a Plan B that is probably even more devastating and intense,” series cocreator Adam Horowitz tells TVLine. “It’s going to test all of our heroes to see if and how they can stop him, and at what cost.”

Because even though Pan is playing in a brand-new sandbox far from the Neverland realm, his particular brand of evil levels the playing field — and then some. Notes cocreator Eddy Kitsis, “We learn very quickly that he is a villain unlike any we’ve faced, and there is no ‘home field advantage’ for us.”

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Whether the Storybrooke heroes can somehow thwart Pan’s plan and save their sleepy burg, the show bosses aren’t saying. But as the Neverland arc’s final hour unfolds, you can count on closure on assorted fronts.

“The midseason finale is meant to tie up all of the arcs and loose ends from the first half of this season, while also endeavoring to carry over the story into what we are hoping is a compelling new mode of storytelling in the second half,” says Horowitz. Adds Kitsis: “By the end of Episode 11, most of the loose ends are tied up. Like, ‘Does Tink get her wings back?’ — all these questions will be answered. It will feel very much like a season finale, and we are very much setting up what will be a season premiere in March.”

As for what that second “non-stop” run of 11 episodes will look like, Horowitz previously told TVLine that it won’t be a deep-dive into a new realm a la Neverland, but instead a narrative that is primarily focused, Season 1-style, on Storybrooke and The Enchanted Forest. “It’s a different kind of story,” he says, “that is a direct outgrowth from the climax of the winter finale and the fallout that comes from it.”

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Casting Mystery: Lost’s Rebecca Mader to Play Which Villainess?

Although the split-season scheduling — which ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and (to a lesser degree) Revenge are also trying out this year — is something the Once creators desired, did it come with cons as well as pros? Did crafting a midseason cliffhanger that must bridge a 12-week (!) hiatus bring with it an extra-heavy burden? “It does,” Kitsis allows, “but as writers, it frees you up, because you’re not trying to stretch one story through 22 episodes. You’re not coming back in the middle [of the season] trying to dance until you can ramp up for the end.”

So as the midseason finale comes to a climax, viewers can count on new questions to be raised and the threat of a new-yet-familiar evil — an iconic, yet-to-be-identified villainess played by Lost‘s Rebecca Mader — to be introduced (via a new promo following the episode). Hopefully, it’s all tantalizing enough to reel people back in come March 9.

“We have some intriguing surprises in the season finale,” Horowitz teases. “We’ve obviously been building to this all season, with the mindset of using it as a launching pad for the second half of the season. We hope the audience digs in and sticks with us!”

In the latest Spoiler Alert!, we discuss Once Upon a Time’s Rapunzel casting controversy

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Megan says:

    Very disapointed to see the curse being brought back again. Don’t the writers have anything in store other than bring back an arc of 2 years ago? We already lived the ”curse/no-memories” storyline.

    • Danyelle says:

      why assume Pan actually does it? the producers are saying he might not.

    • Crysania says:

      But honestly, we don’t even know if he’ll succeed, if they’ll combat it in some way and something different will happen. I suspect it’s not going to be identical to season 1 at all.

      • Megan says:

        Even if he doesn’t succeed, really hoping it won’t, it’s still not very original of them to have their big mid-season finale turning around that. Are they already out of ideas? Didn’t last long. Even the flashbacks are already starting to get a bit useless without adding anything new/useful to the story and/or the understanding of the characters.

        • Ryan says:

          I feel like there is still a ton of potential for the present day storyline and that there are many opportunities left for the writers to explore (what happens when these people return to the Enchanted Forest, as planned? How do they rebuild? What does the power structure become? How do the people who were left behind accept them? Do they all go back or do some stay in our world? If some stay behind, how do they survive without the rest of the Storybrooke residents?) but the flashbacks have actually been my huge problem with the show since last season and it’s why I’m waiting to watch season 3 until it’s all over and I can blow through it in a weekend. The flashback device worked in season 1 because there was so much to learn but now they’re becoming useless and unnecessary (mainly the Snow/Charming ones that just fill the time between how Snow met and the curse being cast) and they weigh down the episodes because we already know the outcome for most of the flashback stories so why pay attention the flashbacks? There have been too many “Jack goes on vacation and gets a tattoo” episodes. They need to reinvigorate the show by changing up the flashback device. Heck, I’d accept them just completely copying “Lost.” Set an end date (two or three more seasons) so a concrete direction established and use flashforwards for variety’s sake and maybe this time around the church happily-ever-after will satisfy certain people.

          • Megan says:

            ”I feel like there is still a ton of potential for the present day storyline and that there are many opportunities left for the writers to explore”

            Totally agree with you and that’s why I’m annoyed about them bringing the curse back. So much new stuff the writers can explore, so much cliffhangers they can give, so much potentiel for big mid-season finales just with some of the stuff you said.

            Instead they decided to threath us with possibly bringing the curse back and returning in the Storybrooke/no memories story. Instead of being excited about the mid-season and news adventures thinking ”I hope they’ll succeed/no-succeed cause this and that is at stake and this and that could happen”, I just wish they’ll stop Pan so we won’t have to start all over again.

          • meresger says:

            I agree completely. All of the present day stories are undermined by time allotted to the flashbacks. With fitting in all of the action scenes, no characters actually have meaningful conversations, for instance, longer than 2 minutes, and those tend to be reduced to Hallmark movie sappiness, Regina whining, Emma being contradictory, and Hook looking sexy while talking like a bad romance novel. Without the time to really weave together the present events, it has all become very scatterbrained. They really SHOULD set an end date so they are working toward something and can plan an outline. Reverting to this curse trope is annoying, and I can only presume the spoiler photos of everyone in FTL clothes while Emma, Henry, and Hook are off in NYC is related to it, unless they are going to use the flash forward/flash sideways devices, which I really hope they don’t. That actually annoyed me on Lost and is when I stopped watching as it was even more annoying than the flashbacks. I want to see the character development as it is happening, but as it is, when an entire season is encompassing one month or a couple of weeks — and I have no idea how they are going to account for 11 year old Henry going through puberty — it’s just hard to get invested in the characters. I think this is why a contingent of fans resort to watching for superficial randiness like wanting to see Emma and Hook have sex instead of what the core concept of the show is supposed to be about: family and redemption, which has gotten kicked to the back-burner far too often for the flashbacks and badly written tunnel of love type romance moments. I started watching to see Emma’s journey for herself, her becoming a well-adjusted person, and the other characters owning up to their mistakes, crimes, regrets, but with that annoyingly vocal fanbase who has to post comments just to say stuff like “Emma and Hook forever!” the writing is suffering and becoming a soap opera of love triangles and teased potential love affairs for goodies and baddies alike. Ugh. This is not why I fell in love with OUAT and it is making me fall out of love with it very quickly this season.

          • Jori Johns says:

            I think that In the forth season the flashbacks might get to be a bit more important because we want to know what Regina put into their memories. But so far I completely agree with you, the flashbacks have been useless, like I mean, I don’t really care about ther whole madussa thing. Kind of pointless. But Once Upon A Time is something that gets me through the week and something that Ilook forward to. I just wish that Neil woukd get out of the picture and Hook and Emma would be together and raise Henry. Team hook!!!

    • Jus says:

      let’s wait and see, but I agree that “no-memories” storyline will be at this point absolutely redundant. Mainly because, the whole character development will be erased.
      They won’t do this. Right? RIGHT?

    • BrianR says:

      Since the curse requires the sacrifice of what you love most Pan would have to kill himself to enact it. I’m pretty sure that’s all he does love.

    • g says:

      It does open the possibility of everyone going back to FTL, except, perhaps those who can leave Storybrooke without losing their memories – Regina, Hook, Emma, Neal, Henry ( but which version?), sending Rumpel, Belle, and a few others back to FTL. Pan hasn’t cast the curse just yet, so that does give Rumple and Regina some time to counteract it with some sort of protection spell. We’ll see what happens on Sunday.

  2. Hopefully one of the consequences is they have to kill Pan in Henry’s body and we get to keep Robbie

    • Kiarup says:

      That’t would be great. It’s like 3 weeks that I’m hoping the same thing! Robbie is much better.

      • TQ says:

        Robbie Kay is great. But I thought in the scenes in which he had to play Henry he wasn’t as good as in those as Pan. Didn’t work that well for me. He was a great Pan, but he isn’t Henry and there’s no point IMO in forcing him into that role just to make him stay on OUAT. We already have a Henry and it’s not Robbie Kay. Robbie will have a bright future on other projects and maybe he can return to OUAT in flashbacks in the future.

      • Anon says:

        It is beyond me why people feel it’s okay to make snarky comments about a child.

        • Helena says:

          Not just snarky, people get downright nasty and rude! Do they forget that they’re talking about an actual 12 year old kid? But it’s fine, cut him down because Robbie’s hot.

          Robbie’s a great actor and an attractive kid, but Jared Gilmore is a great kid, too. He’s a perfect Henry.

          • Gemma says:

            …or you could just not assume people like Robbie because he’s attractive (to some, at least)? Nothing against Jared Gilmore, but he’s always been the weakest link in the show. I appreciate that he’s a kid and, fair enough, he’s doing the best he can do. But when I’m supposed to invest in all of these relationships that revolve around one kid, it would help if I actually cared about the kid. Robbie Kay has managed to win over this fandom in the span of less than 10 episodes – most of which he was being a dick. Why? Because the actor has *something* Just because you don’t agree with that assessment doesn’t give you some superiority to dismiss those fans. I’m sure Jared Gilmore is a sweetheart, and he’s done an okay job with an okay part…but I’m not going to apologize for wishing we’d had someone else in the role.

          • Anon says:

            I am not claiming “superiority to dismiss fans” of Robbie Kay. Particularly as it would mean “dismissing” (whatever that means) myself.I have enjoyed his role as Peter Pan immensely and was eerily impressed by his physicality as Henry – he nailed it. I am expressing bewilderment and disgust at those who would snarkily disparage a child on the internet.

          • abz says:

            Whether or not certain people find Robbie attractive or not is far from the reason many are pushing for a permanent switch. Like someone else posted, Jared is the weakest link of the show and just not that interesting to watch and the acting is not that great. Robbie and the show are just a perfect fit and in 10 episodes, he has put on a better performance than both seasons with Jared.. Jared seems like a great kid, but he’s still young and I think he needs a little more time to grow and develop his acting further. Maybe it will improve. Some child actors are naturally great, some are awful and some just need more time to grow.

          • Lara says:

            Okay, Jared is an okay actor. He does an adorable Henry. That being said? Compared to some of the other kids on tv? Yeah he isn’t even in the same calibre as any of the kids on game of thrones, even Carl on the walking dead.. but to be fair they haven’t given him much to work with until recently.

          • Kiarup says:

            Never thought Robbie is hot, I just think Jared is not a good actor. He may be a wonderful kid, but not a good actor. In three years I was at least hoping for improvement but that’s not happening. There are a lot of kids acting, some are great, some are not. Robbie is a great Pan and maybe a “not-so-great” Henry, but Jared is a not good Henry and an even worse Pan.

          • Laura Testa says:

            I LOVE THAT IDEA!!! KILL HENRY and keep the actor ROBBIE KAY!!!! Jared Gilmore SUCKS as an actor!

        • Joey says:

          Jared is putting his acting out there for all the world to see, and his craft shouldn’t be critiqued because he’s a child? Yeah, I don’t think so. Ever since he grew out of his precocious phase circa S1, his acting has been lacking…a lot.

          • Anon says:

            Your statement says more about you than it does about the child actor in question.

          • Steph says:

            Actually Anon Joey is being very reasonable and accurate in her/his comment. Jared is getting paid to do a job that, well, he’s not doing very well. Not his fault, if he doesn’t have the natural talent for it, but then he shouldn’t be on television. So I don’t understand where you’re pulling this “says more about you” comment from. It looks like Joey IS talking about “the child actor in question”…

    • liz says:

      lol I had a similar thought. Robbie bring such a fantastic chemistry to the show. Though Henry is super ‘good’ and wholesome – I’d miss the darkness of Pan. Not much there to work with for the actor lol

  3. Ryan says:

    I’m going to ask an off-topic question. What do you mean by “and (to a lesser degree) Revenge” in regards to the midseason hiatus? Doesn’t “Revenge” return in March with OUaT? That’s the same length of a hiatus. Or are the rumors about “Revenge” airing a 3 episode “mini-bridge-arc” in January true? Because I remember the new showrunner mentioning the season being structured as three parts: 10 episodes culminating in the shooting, 3 episodes of self-contained story to bridge the two halves, and then a 9 (?) episode story-arc closing out the season (presumably the fallout of the shooting). And now, back to you, “Once” fans…

  4. Babybop says:

    Is it bad that I want the curse to work? I don’t think it will be a remake of season 1 at all… Didn’t they said something in the preview like, everyone will be sent back to where they came from, i.e. The Enchanted Forest? I’m interested to see what happens… This season has been so much better and I love that I’m looking forward to it every week again.

    • Stormy says:

      But Emma, Henry, Wendy, Michael, John, Hook and Pan didn’t come from The Enchanted Forest.

      • xav says:

        Emma did come from there. She was born there.

        • Stormy says:

          OK, but did that mean where they were pre curse of where they were at birth. Because Henry would be completely alone. Bae was elsewhere when the curse fell would he end up in the EF, London, Neverland?

          • Babybop says:

            I’m confused about that too… I figured Emma and Henry wouldn’t be affected because they weren’t part of the original curse… Even though I guess Emma was… Did anyone else hear that in the preview or was that me making it up in my head? Ha ha.

  5. greysfan says:

    By devastating, the first thing i thought of is that blind item that a major character is going to die but then iirc its been said that its not on an ABC show. OR was that just to throw us off the scent? To this, i really hope this is the end of Pan because i really didn’t like how this story went on for as long as it did. There were filler episodes in there and it wasn’t until the last couple of episodes that it got back to a good thing. To the curse possibly returning the thought of that is off-putting. Season 1 all over again? Thats how i see it. We will see what happens.

  6. Jake says:

    Is the blue fairy really dead? It seemed kind of weird how easily she was killed.

  7. Maki says:

    I guess this curse will take away only the People Regina brought with herself. The tear up scene of Emma and Hook from the preview is probably from after the curse hits. I believe it will be a strong episode and I really look forward to it. And now looking at it I belive Mader’s character could be Aurrora’s Mom, remember she said Malificent was attacking her as well. doubt she was a ray of sun.

  8. abz says:

    I really love this ABC split season thing they’ve been doing this season for some of their shows. I don’t mind a two week break if needed, but the fact that we’ve had near non-stop episodes of Scandal, OUAT, Revenge and Grey’s has been pretty amazing. It was so awful last year with the constant breaks every 2-3 weeks. I hope they continue this. I don’t mind the long wait knowing that we will get a non-stop run of new episodes. Other networks should take note!

  9. GeoDiva says:

    Depending how things end up in SUnday’s episode, I may not be back for part 2 in March. This season has been dull and everything I loved about OUAT when it first came on is gone. I guess magic does have its price.

    • Helena says:

      I agree, and that makes me so sad. This show has so much potential, and season one was truly magical. But they’ve just been pushing this show downhill ever since. Season two, especially the latter half, was just absolutely awful. This season so far has just been dull and frustrating, and that sucks because it was my favorite show. At this point I don’t really know if they’ve been delivering enough to keep people’s genuine interest and excitement over a three month break. Last year’s breaks were ridiculous, but a whole other summer hiatus is too.

  10. Natalie says:

    I still don’t get how Pan can cast the darks curse if he doesn’t have someone he loves to take his heart .-.

  11. Erica says:

    I think the villain is Ursula, not the Wicked Witch.

  12. Larc says:

    These long mid-season hiatuses are ridiculous. If writers aren’t capable of coming up with an entire season uninterrupted except briefly around the holidays, maybe they should look for another line of work. It was done successfully for years. There’s no reason it can’t be done now.

    • Brandy says:

      You realize that the other shows do the same right?Wheather it a split season with 12,episodesbig break,12 episodes or like most broadcast network shows with mid Jan-March with one new episode, three weeks of reruns /preemptions , two new episodes a month off.You realize also that most broadcast network shows havev22-24 episodes to last 37 weeks,there will be breaks.Its been this way for several years.You realize cable shows like Walking Dead,PLL do the same split schedule?Or that for cable shows with only 13, the wait between seasons can be 9 months?TV has changed since the 90s & before when shows had more than 22.The cast & crew of tv shows works almost every day of the week 16 or more hour days and they need days off/vacation time just like you.They need time to write and produce all the episode,film, post production ect.It takes one to two weeks to film a single episode or 40 hours to film a half hour episode.Plus, if the season started in Sept and took only a month off for the holidays,the season would would in Feb-March and people would complain about nothing to watch til June when summer tv starts.Also,advitisers have “sweeps” in Nov,Feb and May to set ad rates/prices.Im not saying I like it, but that’s ways it’s been away for years.

      • Mike R. says:

        This, seriously this is how it has been for years, and I’d much prefer 11 weeks uninterupted compared to what we had last year, 1 week on 3 weeks off, 1 newm 2 weeks off. It was ridiculous.

  13. Spotteddog says:

    You know, Pan is such a twist that his own death may be the trigger of the curse. Pan might let Rumple kill him, with his final revenge being the re-enactment of the curse. I do agree, though, that I don’t think the curse is going to go quite the way Pan thinks.

  14. Shelley says:

    You know it really frustrates me that there seems to be no pleasing people. The hiatuses suck but then we’ve been really lucky to have pretty much 11 straight episodes. I hate the wait 3 weeks, have 2, wait 2, have 3, … game they played last year. At least we’ve had regular episodes. And last year, everyone complained how the middle episodes were drawn out and that the show lost it’s mojo & yet there were no personal moments between characters etc. This season, the writers have given us an arc for 11 episodes with good character moments and one big adventure. I am actually more interested in the show this season than last years. Let’s see what the mid season finale brings.

  15. Mike R. says:

    I’m looking forward to the finale, I think these last 10 episodes have been a return to form, 2b was a disaster, and I honestly think the return to the curse is exciting, and hopefully they can deliver us a solid mid-season finale that will give me a solid idea of the 3b will be.

  16. Kre says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Hook was never affected by the curse because he was with Cora when Regina first cast it right?

  17. prish says:

    I hate cliffhangers, but the husband will be ok. We’ll watch all past 4 episodes on Sunday, since he didn’t want to watch them alone. Thanks to this site so I’ll know the stupid cliffhanger, ahead of time. (just in case the suits are interested)

  18. Grace says:

    The title of the episode is Going Home. I have a feeling that in order to avoid being recursed (or cursed for the first time in some cases) they’re gonna have to end up abandoning Storybrooke and get back to the Enchanted Forest.

    That would also open the door to Regina and Robin Hood finally finding each other, since he’s not in our world.

    • g says:

      I think there are some leaked photos that might suggest that, but something happens to Regina and Rumple during the escape. And it looks like Rumple stabs Pan and Malcolm appears. Which could be interesting indeed.

  19. Margaret Fisher says:

    All I can say dear Once writers, is if you kill Rumple and ruin Belle’s happy ending with him, I shall have to hunt you down ~_~

  20. Cass says:

    just… please keep peter pan. ;____; he’s my fav so far. somehow, keep him! XD

  21. Jo says:

    I never understand people who constantly bad mouth a tv show they clearly still watch every week. Don’t like it, how about instead of bad mouthing the writers, actors, anyone else you can think of you stop watching and stop commenting better yet have a go at writing a hot tv show yourself

    • Megan says:

      You are aware that just because people don’t blindly love and worship every single thing the show doesn’t mean they’re haters attacking every single person who work on the show, right? We are allowed to be disapointed in a couple of things and yet love the shows, be attached in the characters and, more importantly, hope it will get better.

      Every shows has bad episodes and/or seasons, if everyone would run away everytime they see something they don’t agree with, nobody would watch anything.You can love a show, love an episode and yet have 2-3 bad points.

    • Steph says:

      You can love something and still criticize it. Season 1 reeled me in with characters I’ve grown to love dearly (ie. Emma), which is pretty much what keeps me watching. I’m not happy with a lot of what they’re doing with her character, but I can still criticize and hope that it gets better.

      But if you keep track of the ratings, Jo, people HAVE stopped watching, so if you tell the audience to go somewhere else if they don’t like it… they will.

  22. Larry says:

    Gonna miss Blue’s twins.

  23. Diane says:

    I just want them to keep Pan on! I don’t want them to kill him. He has so much potential in the show! I stopped watching half of the second season, it was so dull and all about relationships and what not and then the Neverland arc season happened and it was honestly the best episodes they had!
    I’m really going to miss Peter Pan and the Neverland arc if they get rid of it. It had so much potential and all they really did was just use it for the Charming family. What a waste. I mean I understand that they are the general main characters, but they are getting annoying and the Neverland arc could have been a breath of fresh air and it was till they had to make it about the Charming family.
    I hope somehow, someway they keep Peter Pan, I saw the spoilers for Rumple stabbing him but not everything is as it seems.

  24. Sid says:

    So we have mini finale

    I am guessing Tink will get her wings back

    I am hoping for a big moment between Emma/Hook because they have been built up from the start and we have seen their arc over these 11 episodes… so something has to happen here… because there is something there and they have hope with each other. Hook has moved on and finally found someone he loves, and he has done all the things to put Emma and her happiness first. And Emma does have feelings for him which i hope we see verbalise,

  25. Joanna says:

    IMO, I’m disappointed in some of the decisions they’ve made of late (And I think it’s really due to pandering to ‘fans’ who don’t see the show IS diverse) and I really do hope that once those things crash and burn, we can get back to the show we loved in the first season. :/

  26. Steph says:

    I’m really disappointed if the new curse is permanent. I really wanted to see a return to Season 1 form with quieter character moments. I suppose the split between EF and Storybrooke means that there will be SOME focus. It’s just not very encouraging how the writers keep going from one world to the next, promising awesome story lines with lackluster results. I suppose I’ll wait and see, though.

  27. Cass says:

    Whoopee, devastation! Exactly what I’ve been waiting for!

  28. B says:

    Tonight is the night! Excited!

  29. Steve Greer says:

    There are several problems with the mid-season finale. One, according to the rules of the curse, ONLY those brought to Storybrooke by Regina’s curse would be sent back to the Enchanted Forest. So what was Neal doing standing there instead of in the car with Emma and Henry? Neal, Emma, and Henry were never sent to Storybrooke by Regina’s curse. So Neal has to be stranded somewhere other than in the Enchanted Forest. What? None of the other characters caught this obvious mistake? Boooooo. And Boooo to the writers as well. Under fairy tale rules, no character who redeems himself, or herself, can meet with an untimely demise. It’s like happy endings, in fairy tales there ARE rules and it doesn’t matter who the writer is, if you violate the rules, well, then your story can no longer get us to suspend our disbelief and is likely to end up in the trash can. Rumple redeemed himself by taking out his evil father turned Pan (the boy WAS his undoing, it just wasn’t Henry) and saving everyone else from Pan’s magic. And the rules are, you can’t die from that kind of courageous act of selflessness. Booooo again to the writers. I certainly hope their explanation of how Rumple survived is a whole lot better than their blunder over leaving Neal behind and out of the Volkswagen. Without Robert Carlyle, this show’s ratings slide is likely to continue and season 3 could be its last.

  30. connor says:

    I think Jared does as well as he can with what he’s given: Henry’s supposed to be a nice, likeable little boy, and the writers give him lines they consider appropriate to the character. It’s rather like the Charmings: they’re supposed to be the good guys, but quite frankly, when they aren’t being hypocritical, they’re boring.

    No offence intended to anyone who doesn’t share my opinion, but imo Snow’s just an older version of the entitled little snip who snarked at a servant for daring to try on her tiara. Her announcing “We’ll take back our kingdom” was hilarious: she talks as if the kingdom belongs to the people who live in it, but doesn’t see anything incongruous whatever about her expectation that once the fighting is over, *she* will be the one occupying the palace, being waited on by and giving orders to the other ‘owners’. I’d love to have seen someone reply “I’m supposed to risk my life so you can get your castle and servants back, and then go back to my dirty hovel? Er — no, I don’t think so.”

    I might warm up to Snow if at some point she ever evinced any awareness that if her mother hadn’t humiliated Cora, most of what happened after wouldn’t have, because what drove Cora was pain and anger and the desire for revenge. Frankly, if I’d been Cora, I’d have wanted to pay Snow’s mother back in kind and in spades as well. Maybe you see these things differently if you grow up with the idea of royalty, so to speak?