Once Upon a Time Recap: A Hero's Death

Once Upon a Time Neal DiesThis Sunday on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, a months-old TVLine scoop came to pass, leaving our Storybrooke heroes shell-shocked. (Click here for scoop on the tragic twist.)

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IN FAIRY TALE LAND OF THE PAST YEAR…. | Belle, confident that there must be some way to resurrect Rumplestilstkin, searches her beast’s library with Neal. Neal comes to believe in their mission, and that he can also somehow find a way back to Emma, whose necklace he still carries. As Belle lights a candelabra, a face appears in the flames —  man named Lumiere, who claims he was “trapped” in this form by The Dark One. But with the promise of being restored to his human self, he agrees to help Belle and Neal, by leading them to a key that will open the Dark One’s vault. But after Belle and Neal exit, it is revealed that Lumiere is doing the Wicked Witch’s bidding.

Later, out in the woods, Neal and Belle find the location of the vault, and just as they are about to open it Belle catches the candelabra in a lie. Lumiere  comes clean, but Neal forges ahead with opening the vault (“to hell with the cost”), even as Belle warns that he may end up helping the Wicked Witch control Rumple. As The Dark One’s form rises from the chamber, Neal begins to die. Rumple runs to his boy’s side, and even when the Witch shows up to make him choose — protect the dagger, or Bae — he releases the blade. As Neal then merges with his father, it drives Rumple “mad,” the too many voices in his head. Lumiere then does a solid by distracting Zelena, allowing Belle to escape.

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IN STORYBROOKE…. | Belle — now aware of Rumple’s resurrection — hangs back with Hook at Gold’s shop, where Neal comes barging in, faint. At the hospital, Neal relates how after he saw Emma and Henry drive across the town line, he found himself running through the forest, now with an odd brand on his palm. In private with Emma, Neal asks to see Henry, but she shares how their son now has happy memories — and only the worst ones of, as Neal puts it, “the jerk who abandoned him.” Later, Neal and Killian bond over green Jell-O and talk of their past together, in a surprisingly romantic scene. Hook thus allows Neal a head start in fleeing his hospital bed.

Zelena visits Snow White, who’s anxious about not feeling recent baby kicks. But that changes when Z pours her patient a tall glass of OJ. Regina meanwhile bumps into Robin Hood (or, more accurately, one of his arrows), while scouting the farmhouse for intel on her new nemesis. They get to wondering if they’ve met before, and flirt some over talk of whiskey, but Regina abruptly leaves when she spies the tattoo of her “soul mate” on his arm.

Out in the forest, Emma and Charming find Rumple, who’s babbling about there being “no room” in his noggin, and thus is unresponsive to their Qs about the Wicked Witch. Not helping matters is an attack by a flying monkey. As Charming fends off the creature, Emma chases after Rumple, only to find Neal. She updates him on Henry’s NYC life and friends, and her almost-engagement to a flying monkey. He says he just wants her to be happy, with whomever, since they were never able to find Tallahassee. Belle then phones Emma with news of the brand on Neal’s hand and what it likely means: that he opened the Dark One’s vault, and thus can’t possibly be alive. At that instant, Neal doubles over, his face morphing back and forth with his father’s. Neal urges Emma to use her magic to pull Rumple from him, sacrificing his own life so that his father can help in the search for the Wicked Witch. Emma does just that and Rumple returns, quickly ID’ing Zelena as the green one’s alter ego. Once Upon a Time Neal diesBut Neal’s fate has nevertheless been sealed. And with his dying breaths, he returns Emma’s necklace to her, thanks Rumple for teaching hm the value of a true sacrifice, and asks Emma to tell Henry that, in the end, his father was a good man.

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Later in the woods, Rumple taunts Zelena, saying that now that she has been exposed, she’ll never get close to Snow White’s baby or “whatever your unholy desires are.” But she says it’s no matter, since she again has control over his “beautiful brain.”

As the hour closes, Emma meets up with Henry to relay a version of the truth — that she actually came to Storybrooke to help his father, whom bad people wanted to hurt. Alas, she was too late, though his father died “a hero.” As for the culprit? “They got away,” Emma says, oddly not opting for the simple female pronoun. “But I’m going to find them.”

Is Neal indeed gone? Yup. As series cocreators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz told TVLine in January, a major character would be dying during Season 3B — “for real,” they made clear — at which point his/her portrayer, meaning series regular Michael Raymond James, would leave the show. So, 49 percent of TVLine readers guessed right. (UPDATED: The producers and MRJ answer some burning questions.)

NOTABLE QUOTABLES:
* “You know he tried to kill me.” “Extenuating circumstances.” “Twice.” “Sorry…?”
* “You’ve got yourself a partner.” “I don’t remember asking for one….”
* “You didn’t tell him the price!” “Oops!”

Want more scoop on Once Upon a Time, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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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312 Comments
  1. BelleRumpleFan says:

    Poor Neal! I hate to see him go.

  2. Emma says:

    Stop assuming that all CS shippers “wanted this to happen” and that were all celebrating and happy. I’m a huge CS shipper and I’m not happy Neal died. I loved the character and I’m hoping there’s some way they can bring him back! He was a great man and I wanted to we him find happiness! So lay off the CS fandom, were not all assholes. Thanks.

    • Addie says:

      As someone who liked Neal/kind of shipped SF, I appreciate that. However, going on Tumblr you unfortunately see a lot of CS shippers celebrating the death and how it means that they’re obviously “endgame” now. There were CS shippers celebrating it back when the rumors first started! I’m sure you can understand why so many people who don’tt ship CS react negatively to those shippers.

      • Kristin says:

        Tumblr is mostly comprised of emotionally-stunted millenials who only represent a subset of the Once fanbase – and a pretty immature one at that. The CS “shippers” you’ll find there do not represent the fandom at large. I like CS and I like Hook and I also liked Neal. I wish he’d had more of a storyline, particularly involving his relationship with his father. I in no way wanted him to die and would’ve preferred to see his character better fleshed out. I feel there were a lot of wasted opportunities there on the part of the writers and showrunners, but what are you gonna do? In the end, the actor wanted off the show.

        Anyway, I understand why CS fans have the nasty reputation they do, but we’re not all 12-year-old bullies or adults who act like 12-year-old bullies. Really.

    • Meredith says:

      I completely agree. As a fellow CS shipper it makes me very sad to see other people, especially the CS shippers, treating Neal’s death and the SwanFire shippers with such disrespect and malice. I loved Neal. He had such a hard life and he was such a good man, he couldn’t have done anything better. Hate and rude comments aren’t okay, no matter what opinion you have. I’ve been seeing some very distasteful people on tumblr, glad i am not the only one who disagrees with the way they are acting.

      • Heidi says:

        I’m a CS Shipper as well and I am NOT happy about Neal being dead. There are idiots in every ship that make everyone else look bad. But to be fair, if Hook died it would be the exact same thing with the Swanfire shippers.

        • Cheeky says:

          I agree to give certain ships the benefit of the doubt. It just so happens that a small portion can have a very loud voice because of sights like Tumblr that pretty much threaten people if they don’t believe in their ship (I’m looking at you Johnlockers)
          It’s fun to have a ship, but watch the show for reasons other than that.

  3. Chris says:

    I am a Captain Swan shipper AND (for the most part) I liked the character of Neal. As much as I and everyone saw this coming I was not prepared for his death scene, which was beautifully done. Im still wracking my brain over wether Neal’s death is justified in terms of his characters arc, but it was still one of the shows best episodes. No one can deny that.

  4. oncerhj says:

    Okay so I hate that neal is dead. I am super upset about it. Hook should die. Emma and neal belong together. Henry needs his dad. I hope that necklace beings him back. Really keeping hope alive. Kinda makes me want to give up on this show as it seems Emma never gets to be happily ever after.

  5. Jennifer says:

    What strikes me the most is that as sad and tragic as Neal’s death was it would have packed a much bigger emotional punch if it weren’t a rehash of what happened less than a year ago.

  6. J says:

    I believe that if there were no such things as spoilers, then Neal’s death would have truly become surprising or even shocking. but we live in a world now where people spoil it for us so we knew it was coming.

  7. Amelia says:

    OMG NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  8. Cassi Healey says:

    With their talk of true love throughout the episode, I’m really hoping he isn’t gone for good. I won’t be surprised if he’s the one who stays dead, though. Loved MRJ as Neal. I wish he would’ve gotten to see Henry one last time if he isn’t coming back.

  9. Reblogged this on THB Files and commented:
    Can we please have the moment of silence to Neal Cassidy who died in the episode. So sad. RIP Neal. (Sorry for the spoilers).

  10. Kiely says:

    Very dramatic episode tonight! I think that Neal’s death will be pivotal in driving the rest of the season. Although, I admit, I expected him to be the death predicted, especially since we knew Rumple would be safe. Snow, Charming, and Regina are too essential to the plot lines and backstory, and are really the foundation of the show. Emma and Henry are the ones who connect the rest of these main characters and with Hook, we have our former big bad looking for redemption. Add to that, there seemed to be a lack of chemistry between Neal and Emma, and you end up with Neal’s death. Before anything else, let me say I don’t ship Hook/Emma or Neal/Emma. Yes, Neal made decisions that he thought were best, but when the original curse ended and he got that postcard from Storybrook, he chose not to go back and look for Emma. There were poor choices made and those would have always been detrimental to their relationship. With this ending, we have Neal dying a hero and leaving that legacy behind for Henry, rather than his bad decisions. Yes, it leaves Emma open for a relationship, but hopefully that will be put on the back burner and give Emma a chance to discover who she is and not worrying about a love triangle.
    Have to add, loving the chemistry between Regina and Robin Hood!

  11. 'A' is Alive says:

    I guess the 2013-14 Broadcast Season is just the season of deaths. Like omg, these past months its all been about deaths in the tv shows. Good Wife? Glee? (That one was unavoidable though.. -sigh-) DeGrassi? Teen Wolf? And others! Like, what in the world?!

  12. Jilljill says:

    I really hope the keychain has some significance. I am just so disappointed that they did this to Neal again. Isn’t it like the third time he “died” this time though… Ugh! I really hope he’s not gone, because if he is, then so am I. I’ll be done watching. Just when Emma and Neal finally get to bond… I can’t help but think something’s wrong. I hope he’s not going to stay dead!

  13. Nikkie Hannings says:

    I hate the fact that Neal and Henry never got to reconnect. It makes me feel like the story isn’t finished. Also why talk about the necklace if it didn’t lead anywhere?

    • Kiely says:

      I’m hoping the necklace is significant too. With the whole premise of the show being true love, maybe it will provide some type of protection for the rest. There really is no purer love than that bond between a child and parent. Neal sacrificed his life for his father’s, hopefully that act will play an important part in upcoming episodes

    • Name This Tune says:

      Yeah that’s the piece that is wrong with this. At some point, Henry will get his memory back. This is just flat out wrong. Don’t care 2 twats about Emma and Hook, but Henry deserves to know who his father is.

  14. One pissed off lady says:

    I am so mad! Neal had so much potential. If they don’t bring him back, at least for Henry’s sake, I will stop watching. I don’t give a crap who Emma ends up with Henry needs his father.

  15. Nikkie Hannings says:

    ^^^^^ same here

  16. JC says:

    The real shocker of the episode was that they found out the Wicked Witch’s identity so fast. That one I didn’t see coming.

    • Addie says:

      Same! I figured they would considering I saw the spoiler pictures of the showdown but I thought that would be when they’d learn who she was. I’m afraid that she’s going to do something to make them all forget though.

  17. A.B. says:

    BOOOO! What’s sad is that MJR was probably told when he was first being recruited for this show that his character was going to be big and pivotal to the series and once hooks character was introduce and many people were more interested in him they basically threw him to the background. So I call B.S. on the writers, Eddy and Adam, who say they know how and where this show is going. It seems to me that they are pandering to the outspoken masses. They had a great actor and they didn’t use him to his potential so who can blame him for looking elsewhere. And I’m not hating on hook cause I’ve also seen him in movies and think that he is also not being used to his full potential and should also go and work in movies again. Eddy and Adam ruined the Baelfire storyline.

  18. Kre says:

    Good episode, though I thought the death would come closer to the finale. Also how naive is Snow??? If everyone is looking for this witch in disguise, why trust the first new person you meet. In her eyes every new person in Storybrook should be a suspect just as a precaution.

    • Amanda says:

      I completely agree. Why are the writers making Snow so naive and (are I say) stupid? Seriously, there is a witch on the loose and you don’t know who she is, so you hire a stranger to look after you and your unborn baby? Huh?!

  19. Crazy says:

    First ya steal Bae’s mom and now ya wanna steal Henry’s mom. I’m beginning to see why you’re a pirate.

  20. schris413 says:

    You slept with my grandma, tried to kill my grandpa and now you want to sleep with my mom? Are you kidding me? Does anyone think of Henry in all of this?

  21. Caroline says:

    I think killing Neal made sense. Rumple has always said that there is a price for magic and now he has paid the ultimate price in not only losing his son but in basically having Neal sacrifice himself to save his father. This puts Rumple back in the game but he’ll never be the same! It will also affect Emma now and Henry when he gets his memories back. I am sorry for the Neal fans and the Neal/Emma fans but I think this will end up being good for the show!

  22. robinepowell says:

    I am sorry that Neal had to die before Henry got a chance to remember him again. Even if he and Emma never got a relationship going again.

  23. Alyssa says:

    Regardless of ships people support, Neal’s death makes the most sense as far as conflict/drama on the show. We pretty much knew they weren’t going to kill Emma, Regina, Snow, or Charming. The other options were Neal, Hook, Rumple, Belle, and Henry. As far as developing new story lines on the show, Neal would have the biggest impact on the biggest number of characters. Henry or Rumple could have also been big, but not as big. Rumple would really only affect Belle and Neal in a dramatic way. Everyone else, at least to an extent, would be somewhat glad/relieved that Rumple/Gold was gone. Henry is the only other character whose death could cause as much drama, but in terms of story, it was just less likely. By killing off Neal, you open up a large number of story lines for some of the big names on the show. Emma, for example, now has to deal with losing the father of her child and first big love. How will it impact her going forward? It’ll complicate things with Hook because she’ll be hesitant to jump into something with him just after someone so important to her died. It’ll complicate things with Henry because she knows the truth about Neal, and he doesn’t. It’ll leech out to Snow and Charming because their daughter is hurting, and they’ll want to try and help. Rumple, because of the way Neal died, will deal with guilt over losing his son, feeling that it was his fault. Additionally, it’ll complicate things with Belle to an extent because Rumple will be so distraught over Neal’s death that he’s sure to try and push her away. Henry, when he gets his memories back, will have to deal with the idea that when his father died, Henry hated him, as well as the fact that he never got to say goodbye. Henry hurting will, in turn, affect Regina. Even Hook will be impacted at least some by Neal’s death (outside of the CS ship) because he and Neal were once so very close. It’s sure to cause Hook pain that someone he cared for is dead. No other character on the show, who really had a chance of being the one killed off, would spark the same number of possible story lines and give the writers as many options on where to take the characters from here on out. Plus, if MRJ wanted out of his contract, then it works out. All the best to him.

  24. Mike Q says:

    This show is starting to feel like a cancellation victim in a year’s time.

  25. Michele says:

    Honestly, he never really fit for me. It always felt the most convenient of the ‘family twists’. I had hoped it would be Neal who met his fate. I look forward to seeing what this sparks in the universe.

  26. Amanda says:

    …before hook stole her mother, now he stole your girl. Ok!!! that’s fairy tale. You a good guy and nothing good will happen for you!! Of course it’s’ not fanservice it’s’ just planing since the begining. by the way Thanks for the lesson how fairy tales must be. The evil queen can find her love, but neal can’t.

    • Kat says:

      Women are not objects, you can’t steal them.

    • abz says:

      Please go back and watch because you’ll realize that Milah CHOSE to leave Rumple and be with Hook. And should Emma choose to be with Hook, it would be on her choice and on her terms. He never stole them.

  27. Moop says:

    Congratulations to MRJ on his escape from this show!!! Seriously Eddie and Adam are driving this show into the ground, just like Lost. Looking forward to the Storybrooke-was-purgatory-the-whole-time series finale.

  28. Sue says:

    I like that OUAT isn’t afraid to kill someone off, even someone who is popular. Honestly, I was more upset when the sheriff died or when Regina killed her father. Though Neil is a major part of the story I felt that he did not resonate with me as much as some characters like Emma, Regina, and Mr. Gold.

  29. Mia says:

    I love this development, a friend called it and I was THRILLED for it to happen. Yes it was sad, but I never felt the actor brought much to the show. Occasionally there was something great between Gold and Neal, but he rarely connected or made an impact. The idea of who Bae was, of Henry’s father or Emma’s love, was MUCH greater than what the character brought. I applaud the actor and the writers for finally accepting that.

    • abz says:

      I think you described it perfectly. The character had his moments once in a while, but he will always have a larger impact on the show for me as young Baelfire than he ever will as Neal.

  30. Amanda says:

    Wow, I did not see Neal’s death coming. I actually forgot about the spoiler that someone would die. I have mixed emotions about it. On the one hand, I always felt that Neal as Baelfire was kind of lame and that his excuse for ditching Emma (thanks for nothing Pinnochio) was really weak. One the other hand, the actor who played him was very good and his scenes with Rumple were really the best he had. I never felt like he had chemistry with Emma (a long history, yes, but no chemistry), but I really thought the writers would milk this so-called love triangle with Emma, Neal and Hook. So, that’s a suprise as well. I feel very bad for Henry, because his memories are wiped and I think this will hurt that much more when he gets them back. Big death, but I also agree with others, we’ve seen him disappear before, seemingly dead and seen the reverberations so this also kind of seems like a rehash, albeit a more permanent demise.

  31. A says:

    Sorry don’t believe for a second that he is gone for good

  32. 777 says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that Emma is being completely selfish about wanting to keep Henry’s memories the way they are?

    • Stormy says:

      I’d say misguided rather than selfish. She wants to spare him pain, without realizing that dealing with strife in life is what builds character. She’s spent her whole life putting up walls so no one else could hurt her and doesn’t know any other way to operate. JMO

  33. murley says:

    I am sorry to see Neal go. I was a fan of the character and I especially loved his storyline with Rumple. I prefer the romantic storyline of hook and Emma because their chemistry is more apparent to me, I find their interactions more entertaining and there is an appeal to watching them journey towards one another. And ultimately the more entertaining story is the better one in a tv show. But I still really liked Neil and his history with Emma and wish he could have had a happy ending being Henry’s father. That said his death with have the greatest emotional impact on the most characters and has the potential to shake things up in an interesting way. As far as “fan pandering”, it seems just as likely that the Hook/Emma pairing is the story they want to tell so the things that happen to further that pairing are just… The storyline.

    • Joey says:

      I think the reason why a lot of fans of the show are upset though is even if Hook/Emma is the story they want to tell….why is it that they want to tell that story? Did they see an opening in the story for that to unfold, or are they simply writing it this way because they believe that their fans want this to happen? Now…I’m speaking as honestly as I can, but I have never, not in all my time watching, and believe me, I’ve been one of those fans who tries to specifically analyze a lot of scenes, I have never, ever, seen any hint of anything genuinely romantic from Emma towards Hook. In fact, the only romantic notions I’ve seen from Hook towards Emma have been since they got to Neverland in the first place. They had set up some interesting Hook/Neal bro-ship things in the penultimate episode of the second season, but it seemed like when they looked at some internet comments or twitter comments, they thought “Well, let’s stick Emma and Hook together!” The Hook/Neal scene tonight felt tacked on, like they had been called out for forgetting about setting this up at the end of S2 and needed to stick it in to satisfy people. Really, based on what I’ve seen, this is what happened.

      • murley says:

        Fair enough but I think you need to remember that is YOUR experience watching the show. Where you see no chemistry, others do. From the get go watching their scenes together I saw a spark in their banter and wondered/hoped that Hook might become a love interest. I saw something different than you did. And for all we know, what I saw was what the writers intended. I am not saying that is the case but I am saying you might want to consider that possibility. You seem convinced of your perspective but there is no more evidence that it is true other than that is how it seems to you. Of course you are entitled to your opinion but if you are going to argue with everyone on these articles who has a different perspective than you just remember that you are only arguing your personal opinion, not facts. I know it can be frustrating to watch a show you like go in a different direction than you want it to and pursue a storyline or relationship you don’t like but I really think you either have to accept the direction the show is taking or move on from it because otherwise it will be a very frustrating experience. This is supposed to be entertainment! Life is full of crappy things that actually suck. Let the fun stuff be fun.

  34. Joanna says:

    Isnt anyone else at all suspicious about Neal’s death? I think Hook is behind it. He let him go into the woods and hugged him as though he knew it were the last time he would see him.
    Hook may still be bent on revenge from Rumple killing Neal’s mother. Allowing Neal to die would be the ultimate form of revenge and to eliminate Neal from the love triangle.
    Hook may not be the hero we all hoped he would be.
    AND He avoids disclosing his part in the past year he separated from the group.
    Emma senses he is up to something and her keen perception of honesty does not fail.
    Hook fans are in for a great disappointment.

    • Sophie says:

      I don’t think hook is behind his death, hook would never kill milah’s child, but i do think he may have known something about it, because he is the only who still has his memory,and he let him run off with a farewell hug, which is slightly out of character, lets be honest. This episode pretty much shows that the wicked witch and Lumiere had more to do with this then hook. From what i can see as well is that by the title of the episode ‘the jolly roger’ its gonna explain what hook was up too

      • Joey says:

        “hook would never kill milah’s child”, but he had no problem tossing him to the murderous Peter Pan, right?

        • Captain Hook Fan says:

          What are you talking about? Please don’t hate on Hook! I didn’t hate on Neal. BTW, what? Hook didn’t throw Neal to Peter Pan! What on EARTH are you talking about? And also I agree Hook wouldn’t kill Milah’s child. We saw how much Hook loved Neal like he would a son. And we know how Neal died. He wanted to bring back Crocodile (Rumple) and did the trade of lives, not knowing the cost. Then Rumple sort of hugged Neal and made him be inside of him. So when Neal left Rumple’s protection it killed him. While Hook might’ve HELPED Neal and Belle, he did not want him dead. Plus it could’ve just as easily been Belle who died for Rumple.And if you’re thinking this for Captain Swan vs. Swanfire reasons, Hook knows Emma would hate him if he killed Neal. He’s not stupid! He just wears too much guyliner & mascara. (Lol) Anyway, this all proves that Hook had little or nothing to do with Neal’s death. Just because you hate Hook doesn’t mean we all do.

    • John NYC says:

      Hook didn’t arrange for Neal to unlock the Dark One’s vault and gain the debt of a death. That’s what killed Neal. And the was the Wicked Witch of the West’s doing.

  35. abz says:

    I knew there’d be so many people on here complaining about fan pandering. I get that people liked the character, but I did not expect this much anger over him. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the saddest) of TV deaths for me, I’d rate Neal a 3. It doesn’t even compare to any of the recent deaths on Sons of Anarchy, The Good Wife, and Person of Interest.

    I’m good with what happened. I mean it sucks for Henry that he won’t have his dad anymore, but on the plus side, there is more opportunity for them to work on bringing more Regina into Henry’s life. :)

    I just did not like MRJ in this role at all. Poor acting in my opinion and the emotions tried to display were rarely believable. No energy or life in the character. It actually felt like I was watching an actor trying do his job rather than an actor believably embodying a character. Sometimes this show does casting extremely well and other times they don’t (Kristin Bauer as Maleficent is another example of a terrible casting choice even though she’s great in True Blood…..On a unrelated note, after having recent watched the new Maleficent trailer, it just makes me mad how OUAT destroyed Maleficent :/)

    I was kind of disappointed with how predictable his death was. I mean right from the announcement of a character death I knew it’d be him. He just always seemed like the most expendable character. I guess maybe after The Good WIfe my expectation level of shows has just increased. I just kind of miss when OUAT would surprise me with its twists and turns and revelation. The show still entertains me and I’m loving Wicked, but with a lot of the storylines I just feel like what I expect to happen will happen and its not as fun. Neal being Baelfire, Regina and Zelena as sisters, Rumple being alive, Neal being the one to die, etc. Maybe I should avoid reading spoilers but I doubt I will.

  36. GeoDiva says:

    There was no chemistry between Emma and Neal. Time to move on.

    • Name This Tune says:

      This is where you are messed up. It is not about Emma and Neal. It’s about Neal and Rumple. And Neal and Henry. Because Emma can be with whatever guy she wants. But there are 2 other people that Neal mattered to. And Henry’s parents can co-exist as friends. They can play out the Hook romance without this. But now it feels like pandering to one segment of the audience. And I don’t care about it. I am not going to be able to watch any Emma – Hook scenes.

  37. GuyAwks says:

    It’s about time, I’ve been waiting 2 seasons for this. I don’t even care that much about Captain Swan (although I am pretty excited about it now). Neal is just a useless distraction on this show.

  38. Neal&&Emma says:

    Now That Neal [Bae] Is Dead … I Don’t Think I Want To Watch It Anymore … Its Not Fair That They Killed Neal Off This Soon … He Barely Got To Be A Father .. True Loves Kiss Should Bring Him Back Or Something !!! He Needs To Be In The Show . !!! His Father Might Go Back To His Old Ways And Poor Henry .. What Happens When He Remembers ??? Cs Isn’t The Way To Go ! I Root For Emma And Neal !!!!

  39. Sara says:

    This show kept getting worse and worse but Neal’s death is the last straw for me. Such an abrupt and pointless death. I think I’m done with OUAT.

  40. Scott says:

    Neal was not a major character. He’s been missing for most of both halves of the season, so his death has hardly any impact, and little emotional buy-in from the audience. About all it means is that yet again the show bosses have lied to their audience. No wonder ratings are down.

  41. Pat says:

    Well I have to say, that the death scene of Neal made me cry. To see Rumple with the look of devastation and crying, also to see Emma cradling Neal in her arms and she is crying, well that whole scene just did me in. Now as for Mary Margeret, what the heck did she drink? Please do not tell me it was straight up OJ, because we know that is not how the witch works. Also, I love the scene between Robin and Regina at the farmhouse. I definitely can see these two getting together even though we slready know that Regina was fortold this because of the dragon tatoo that she saw on Robin’s arm. Next week looks pretty exciting so I cannot wait for it.

  42. And Captain Swan sails on. Good bye Neal!

    • Name This Tune says:

      If A&E are pining their hopes on Hook and Swan, they made a mistake. Because only a few rabid fans care about that.

      If you bring Rumple back without Neal, then what was the point of Neverland? Especially the way Rumple is now – powerless.

      • Anonymous User says:

        Deal with it, Neal isn’t even that popular of a character, Rumple can still live on.

        • Name This Tune says:

          Really? Because what is Rumple’s motivation? Belle?

          They might as well do away with the Rumple character. He has no purpose on the show.

  43. Definitely an emotional episode. While watching, I wasn’t sure if I was fond of it or not. It took me about an half hour afterwards to decide that I really did quite like it. I did, however, feel the death scene was rushed a bit. I know it’s something that’s hard to do with a show that only has 45 minutes to pack everything in, though.

    I’m trying to decide if I felt Neal’s death was necessary or not. I’m more of a Captain Swan shipper than a Swan Thief shipper lately, but I do appreciate the friendship that Emma and Neal could have had. I liked how they touched a bit on it this episode before he died. They gave him a proper ending with giving him the opportunity to make peace with everyone. I thank the writers for that.

    But I don’t think it was bad writing. The stakes have to be high on a show like this. They’ve already been set high from the start — after only 7 episodes they killed Graham, a fan favorite. I think that should go to show not everyone is safe. Sad to say, but deaths give the surrounding characters room to grow. It shows differing sides of characters. As sad as they are to watch and read, deaths are quite necessary sometimes.

    Neal’s death showed consequences to actions as well as the reality of life. This show is about hope — that’s what fairytales encompass. But this show is also about taking fairytale characters and putting them in a real world setting — a real world where bright and happy endings aren’t always there 24/7. Our characters are 3 dimensional now, they’re not just Disney characters who sing at the drop of a hat, they’ve been given real world persona’s as well. While Neal’s death was a tragic ending and certainly heartbreaking, it shows the crushing reality of consequences in both the fairytale world and this world. It doesn’t equal bad writing because they killed off a favored character — it shows the ability to convey a message and push characters into developing.

    I’ve always been taught in writing that if you’re story is becoming boring or the stakes aren’t high enough, kill someone off. No matter how much it hurts. But encompass it and give the death meaning. I felt like Adam and Eddy did that — and even though Neal’s death will resonate deeply and sadly, he will be remembered as the hero Emma so wanted him to always be.

    RIP Neal.

  44. Captain Hook Fan says:

    I am so sorry for you, Neal fans. God Bless You so well that it makes up for it. That hurt for me to watch and made me cry, and I’m even a Hook fan. I never wanted any of the good people to die. He was a good man, Neal was. I am so sorry for your loss. I’m crying as I type this message. I don’t know what I’d do if it was Hook because even Neal’s death has made me cry. I didn’t even get THIS upset when my favorite Harry Potter character died (Sirius). Anyway, I just wanted you to know that not all Hook fans are happy of Neal’s death, because I’m extremely upset. The reaction of other characters was also very upsetting. You could tell that they were feeling very sentimental (Even Hook, so stop hating on him. I don’t hate Neal). For instance, Hook and Charming hate each other, yet Charming was seen putting his hand on Hook’s shoulder out of grief. Overall a very depressing episode. :,(

  45. spotteddog says:

    People, people, people – before blaming one ship or fan pandering for the death of the Neal character – consider that Michael Raymond-James might have wanted off the show. I think the guy was too talented to play such a level-3 character. Good luck MRJ – it was fun.

    • Name This Tune says:

      I wonder why everyone assumes he wanted off the show. I think he understands that the character was written for a specific purpose and it was a limited role from the beginning. But the way they ended his role sucks.

      • Addie says:

        Around the time that the death rumors started, there were also rumors that an actor wanted off the show (and the death would be the way they’d leave). I don’t know if Neal was intended to be a short-term character, but I do know that Adam and Eddy approached MRJ personally to play him and whether you like it or not, Neal had ties to a lot of people. I’m not surprised if it was due to all the hate he got from fans, looking at some of the replies he gets on Twitter makes me sick.

        • Name This Tune says:

          From interviews with MRJ last year, it seems that this was a limited role. I don’t think he expected it to last more than a season.

          But obsessed fans turn molehills into mountains.

  46. WTactualF says:

    I’m not a shipper and I watch this show objectively and Neal wasn’t a very good character. I adore MRJ and think he’s a wonderful guy, but Neal? He let Emma go to jail for him WHILE she was pregnant!

    Besides that, Emma kept the necklace to remind her of how sh*tty Neal treated her.

    I can see some great character development for both Rumple and Emma.

  47. LaLa says:

    Eh. I liked Neal, but I’m not torn up over this. There’s just too much else happening in this show. Hope to see MRJ somewhere else soon.

  48. Allison says:

    There are questions I have about this show. Just what is the Wicked Witch after? Why is she so pissed and why does everyone have to suffer because of it? Couldn’t she just tailor it to the one person that put the bee in her bonnet?

    Meh, anyway, I am glad Regina finally realized that Robin Hood was her true love after seeing the lion tattoo on his arm. I was nearly in tears as I thought that yes, this is perfect for her! He is her true love and he has a child and he is darn cute to boot! Then I thought, she will without a doubt push him away and that adorable son could hate her for all that she is worth…so yeah…there’s that… :(

    Looking forward to the episode next week as it promises to be awesome! Here’s hoping! :)

  49. Anita says:

    Who cared about Neal? He was the most boring character ever!!! They will forget about him in one week. Thank God he’s really dead!!!

    • Melissa says:

      That was cold but true. I don’t care that Neal died and was actually kinda relieved not to be subjected to a love triangle or his boring, mashed mouthed delivery. I cant even believe he is the same actor from true blood cause i enjoyed him there. It’s like he’s cursing his agent all the time in his head while on set for getting him involved in such a crap show. I so enjoyed the idea o this show in season 1 but the writers choices have been so consistently soap opera-ish that i cant watch but wen i do i cant without rolling my eyes. At least there some witch butt kicking next week. Thank god for the witches. The only trully interesting characters.

  50. Ana says:

    I cried so hard watching certain parts of Quiet Minds…even though most of us expected it to be Neal it was still so heartbreaking – however, if he had to go, he left in the most meaningful way possible. I’m so grateful for that to Adam and Eddy…

    It was so important to me that three characters would get closure with Neal before he had to go…one of them was Hook. Their scene in the hospital where Killian impulsively hugged Neal and showed him how much he cared about the Neal – the once boy for whom he was willing to give up his revenge in order to be a family and give him a home – was my favorite scene of Quiet Minds – it was beyond beautiful. So well written and perfectly executed by MRJ and Colin.
    As were the scenes of closure Emma and Rumple had. Especially Rumple. It’s wonderful that Adam and Eddy brought the show full circle, showing Rumple choosing his son over the dagger – and therefore over his power – in the Enchanted Forrest. Rumple saving Neal by “absorbing” him was a nice twist that I didn’t see coming – I’m so glad not everything gets spoiled!!
    Emma accepting Neal’s decision to protect his family and “helping” him die a hero’s death was also such a vital moment and clearly showed that Emma has let go of Neal (romantically) a long time ago – for those who hadn’t seen the clear signs since the Echo Cave – and is able to make her piece with this huge loss and move on – to find her Tallahassee with somebody else….namely Hook. It was wonderful to see how those two communicated wordlessly many a times throughout the episode – their growing intimacy has been building for a while now and I’m more convinced than ever that Hook and Emma being each other’s true love has been the plan for a very, very long time now. Their story just adds up and it couldn’t lead anywhere else but them together, whether Neal would have given his life or not.
    I’m so glad Adam and Eddy gave Neal’s choice to sacrifice his life so much purpose…he really deserved that.

    I also loved David’s pat on Hook’s shoulder, acknowledging that he’s aware that Neal’s death isn’t just a loss for Emma but also for Killian.

    There are a million other things I could mention – not least amongst these Robert’s impeccable performance or how surprised (positively) I was that Zelena’s true identity is out.

    Adam and Eddy really know how to tell a story – I don’t think there’s anyone around at the moment who does it better than those two. Quiet Minds definitely proved that.

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