Once Upon a Time's Michael Raymond-James Hails 'Bold' Twist -- Plus: Burning Qs Answered!

Once Upon a Time Neal DiesOnce Upon a Time‘s Michael Raymond-James decided to “break radio silence” with a series of Twitter messages on Monday, the day after his character, Neal Cassidy/Baelfire, was killed off of the ABC series.

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The alum of such series as True Blood and Terriers made clear that he neither quit nor was he fired, but instead was the subject of a “bold storytelling choice,” by Once creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis.

Raymond-James also begrudgingly addressed/dismissed a rumor that he had trashed a trailer, as well as shot down a rumor that he recently filmed a pilot in Vancouver. Instead, he said, “When I decide what comes next I will let everyone know here. So stay tuned….”

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Here and the actor’s tweets; below them, a brief Q&A with cocreators Horowitz and Kitsis.

TVLINE | When in mapping out Season 3 did you decide upon Neal’s fate?
ADAM HOROWITZ | It was pretty early on. And as soon as we realized where it was going to go — and it was not a decision that was made lightly — we talked to Michael and we all kind of huddled together to come up with the best way to do it.
EDDY KITSIS | We kind of started setting it up in Neverland; watching his father sacrifice his life had a profound effect on Neal. And what we really wanted to tell is: What happens when the kid who was always the moral compass loses his father [Rumplestiltskin], they make up and then he finds himself, like father like son, repeating that same obsessive quest to get back? But when [Neal] realized there was a price to be paid, he didn’t run from it, he did it, so that his son [Henry] would see him as a hero the way that he eventually came to see his father.

TVLINE | Moving forward, what storytelling pros outweighed the cons?
KITSIS | The biggest con for us was we love Michael Raymond-James and we love that character. For us, it was a creative decision and it was an evolution in the character.
HOROWITZ | It was a storytelling choice but one that was made in the context of the larger story we’re trying to tell. When you’re telling a serialized show, you reach a point where you see the avenue it’s leading you towards and what’s going to happen there. You then have a choice — you can try to resist it and do something that doesn’t feel organic, or you can be true to it, even if it’s painful. And that’s what we did. We leave it to you and the audience to judge how you feel about it, but for us as storytellers, that was where it felt like it had to go. We didn’t want it to be exploitative, we didn’t want it to be about shock, that’s why it wasnt in the promos…. It was something we wanted to be emotional and real.

TVLINE | Will Neal’s death spark additional motivation for everyone, in the battle with the Wicked Witch?
HOROWITZ | It will. It will raise the stakes for the characters with regards to the Wicked Witch and what’s going on in Storybrooke, but even more importantly, on the larger canvas of how these characters are growing and interacting, for the story beyond this, this is a pivotal moment for many of them.

TVLINE | Best case scenario, would you have liked to shoehorn in a final scene between Henry and his father?
KITSIS | Of course.
HOROWITZ | In the sense of for the character, yes, that would have been great. But for the storytelling, this is the way we wanted to do it. That’s the tragedy of it, and that’s something they’re all going to have to deal with. But yes, I wish Neal could have had an emotional farewell with his son, like his father did with him, but that’s not how it played out.

TVLINE | Of course, some are choosing to see this as your endorsement of the Emma/Hook ‘ship as canon….
KITSIS |
The thing is that with us, we ‘ship Once. We don’t take a particular side.
HOROWITZ | The truth is, we love the passion behind ‘shippers, behind what’s canon or not canon, what could be canon…. It’s fantastic. But the thing that’s sometimes hard to understand is that from our perspective, we’re looking at the show from a story we’re trying to tell.
KITSIS | We look at it as: In Emma, you have a character very similar to Regina. These are two characters with walls up, and the only one who got beneath them was Henry. So it’s about their pursuit of allowing love to come in again. They’re both very scarred by it and frightened of it, so for us it’s about watching Emma make a natural evolution to when she does decide to act upon it.

TVLINE | And, as you told me previously, Michael could come back for a flashback down the line….
KITSIS | Absolutely. We would love that.

TVLINE | But this is the last we’ve seen of him this season?
KITSIS | Oh, you never know…!

 

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188 Comments
  1. April says:

    I don’t care if it was bold. It sucked. And I don’t accept it.

    • RichCD says:

      You are absolutely right. Everything this show is doing now is landing with a big ‘thud.’ Neal’s death had zero emotional impact for the audience, and, apparently, the characters. Hard to believe this is the same group of people from the last two seasons.

      • David says:

        Speak for yourself. My wife and I were very moved. A fitting end to Neal, and if I’m honest, a welcome one.

        • Jenine says:

          Honestly cried my eyes out for two hours over his death. He was genuine and I think he added so much hope to the story. His relationship with Emma and the birth of Henry, his son, formed the paternal and adoptive link between the Charmings, Regina and Rumple making all these characters related and a family. That is so central to the story. They are all family. Only because of Neal and Emma’s specific relationship together. Without Neal, Henry wouldn’t exist, the Charmings and Rumple wouldn’t be grandparents, and Regina wouldn’t be a mother. A common interest wouldn’t exist, a common motivation between them all, “For Henry.” His character was developed because it made all these story lines even possible– the story would be lost without these connections forged by Neal. Michael Raymond James I love to watch act, and his performance in all episodes I identitied with and enjoyed. I hope the writers understand this will not move the story forward, but make it more difficult to watch without him. Just as Rumple dying only made the audience wish for his return, I and many others wish this for Neal.

          • Jilljill says:

            That is exactly what I think! I can’t believe they would just get rid of someone that important to the story line! It’s unnecessary and stupid. And even though it’s final now, I refuse to accept that somehow, he’ll be back.

          • Cory says:

            I don’t believe Neal’s death will hinder the story, I actually feel that it will indeed help move it along. Neal’s death will be a motivator in different ways. The first being the obvious of making Emma and the others even more determined to destroy Zelena. Second, Emma has her shield up right now and is deflecting any real notion of romance. Neal’s death can change that by her reflecting on it and the time she had with him realizing “Hey…I didn’t give my first love a full chance when I had him and actually had him with memories and broken curses…so maybe I should try here.” … it will also be a motivator for Regina’s love life… Seeing Emma’s shot at romance gone with Neal’s sudden death, could motivate Regina to give Robin a real chance and allow herself to actually develop feelings and pursue a relationship with him. For Rumple, even more motivation to break free of Zelena’s hold on him and destroy her, as well as a way to ensure that he stays on a path of good instead of returning to his evil ways… Neal sacrificed himself so that Rumple could help save everyone once again, Rumple won’t waste that… not any more.

            I understand the upsetting responses Neal’s death has… trust me, I didn’t want to see him go either and I cried like a baby, but the Once creators have yet to let me down… especially when it comes to the bigger picture.

          • Kristle says:

            I agree completely. Neal was a vital character, and what about true love? Such an important theme on this show, and from the first time we saw Neal, it’s the picture they seemed to be painting. Emma & Neal. They could be worlds apart, but find their way back to each other, much like Charming and Snow. I can’t imagine Emma growing in any other relationship like she did with Neal. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Captain Hook, but I’ll be very disappointed if they pursue any kind of real relationship between those characters. I really hope that they bring Neal back, despite all the “this death is really a death” talk, because it’s awful.

          • sorensendash says:

            I kind of agree with the OP, and I kind of agree with the dissenting opinions. I wasn’t move by the death because I was just too pissed, Lot of my anger stemmed from the way Neal’s death came about. It was just so hard to swallow (if anyone should know better than messing around with dark magic, it was Baelfire). i love the actor so much, his energy is very down-to-earth which was refreshing for such a high drama show and his roguish nature made his “bad boy” past way more believable than the pansy, fancy-boy Hook. Not to mention, as others have pointed out, his character was fairly integral to the story-line. He didn’t come off as a toss away character, so the way they kind of just tossed away his character felt like a betrayal to me as a viewer.

            Also, i hate the Emma/Hook ship, and really wanted Emma and Neal to get back together. It never made sense why their relationship never rekindled in Neverland after his fiance turned out to be a mole for Pan. Neal and Emma were both still in love with one another – each stated it several times, he didn’t actually betray her in the way they make it seem but made the choice to postpone his life with her so that she could pursue her greater destiny, he always – *always* – tried to put her needs first, and unlike Hook he didn’t come off as a persistent lech just out for a hook-up (I haven’t liked Hook since he took off with Rumpelstiltskin’s wife — another character I couldn’t stand; I didn’t feel sorry for Hook when Rump killed her, just sorry for Rump’s continued descent into darkness and Bael for being abandoned by his mother and losing his father to darkness).

            The trust-issues Emma had were fine season one, they gave a good springboard for the character to grow off of, but now it’s frustrating and I feel it weakens her as a character a lot. Supposedly she’s grown and matured but her unwillingness to open her heart and love again, after everything that’s happened, is ridiculous and reeks of being nothing more than a ploy to create conflict that doesn’t make sense being there anymore.

            Neal’s death ended the show for me, it came right on the coattails of their wrapping up that pathetic attempt to catch lightening in a bottle twice in Wonderland (you know, I’d of happily watched Alice and the Knave quest together season after season – the chemistry between those two was great, but the Alice/Cyrus romance made me physically sick, the queen of hearts was portrayed by a brilliant actress but was better as a villain instead of the heel-faced-turn she pulled off so fast I’m still trying to figure out what hit me and her reunion with the knave didn’t make sense and seemed vastly unjust for both character and I had trouble hating Naveen Andrews), so I’ve kind of lost faith in the show and its writers. If Neal’s not coming back, that’s fine, neither am I.

      • Guest says:

        Bold my ass, they repeadly “killed” Baeevrytimethey needed an excused to manofacture “angst”: it didn’t work the first, the second nor the last time. It’s sloppywriting and IMO they know it.

      • WorldTraveler9 says:

        It may have had “zero emotional impact” for you, but for me it was very emotional. I cried — a lot. While i wish the writers could have found a way to keep Neil alive, I’m interested to see how his loss will impact the overall story.

      • Mar says:

        I felt it was a very emotional episode. Even people who ship Emma and Hook got emotional; unexpected. It’s making me even more intrigued by the show. This can effect many characters : how Emma will change her mentality about love and cherishing what you have, how it will impact Henry, Rumpelstiltskin will be either furious or more heroic, Hook will probably distant himself from Emma or probably the other way, and so on.

      • Beanie says:

        Wrong, I was very upset at the death of Neal. Wanted him and Emma to have there happy ending. I feel there was no need to kill him of, other then so Emma could end up with Hook. Which I really don’t like them with each other. And I like Hook and Emma, just not as a couple.

    • Joey says:

      It was neither bold storytelling nor was it good storytelling. I’m aware that MRJ needs to say this sort of thing so he doesn’t completely trash his career, but I did expect more than this from A&E. Also, I believe what they said here goes against what they said previously, how the character killed off won’t even be appearing in flashbacks, so really, can you trust a single thing they say?

      • WorldTraveler9 says:

        How would not saying anything “trash” his career? A look online indicated that people were coming up with all kinds of theories as to why he was leaving the show. And where was it written that the writers said the character would NOT be back in flashbacks?

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Nope, A&E never said the killed-off character wouldn’t possibly appear in flashbacks. (Curious, does anyone actually read ALL of the words I type?)

    • Alichat's says:

      I found it to be more of a lazy choice than a bold one.

    • kimu says:

      Not happy. I think you guys missed the boat. Henry should have been apart of this ending. The character you have given us in Henry would not accept this. I feel cheated.

    • Candace says:

      And to people who think this was said because we miss Neal, it really wasn’t. Neal was an OK character, but his connections to the rest of the characters were important. Honestly, he should have ended up with Emma and Henry and they should have killed off Hook (despite my love for him). If they were going to kill him off then it should have been done with some real zeal and build up. For example, when it appeared Rumple was killed, there was a lot of build up across several seasons culminating into him making a sacrifice for himself. Even though Rumple was far more important, his death seemed more complete. The right way to end things. Neal did sacrifice himself, which was key, but there was no sadness. The moment was sudden and then he was gone. The rational was to make it seem like there was a real threat that the characters could die. However, this was an epic fail. Neal made a mistake, killed himself and there you go, he is gone.It didn’t make the witch seem more or less evil since she didn’t do it. It really just continued the flaw that Rumple had like nobody learned from his mistakes. Totally anti-climatic and surface level. What is disturbing is that he was a long standing character. The fact that he died was disturbing, but how he died seemed very unimportant. This problem or great evil that they were facing has yet to rear its head entirely and they really just killed off Neal too soon. Neal getting killed or sacrificing himself in the very last episode after everyone has attempted to fight off the wicked witch and they’ve finally gotten Henry’s memories back…that would have been a better time. More build up, a climax, and dramatic turn. Classic good storytelling. What these writers are doing is coming across as they are trying too hard and the story suffered. I will miss Neal, but more importantly I am just disappointed. Bring back Maleficent and then there can be a witch-off…much more interesting.

    • swirlmind88 says:

      it wasn’t bold. it’s just what they SAY. it was pointless and stupid storytelling. leaving Gold/Rumple dead would have been bold.

    • Jessica says:

      I don’t accept it either and it broke my heart! I refuse to watch Once anymore until he comes back. It isn’t a happy ending for Emma or Henry without him. If he comes back, I will catch up on the series, but until then, I just don’t care anymore.

    • Jessica says:

      I don’t accept it either and it broke my heart! I refuse to watch Once anymore until he comes back. It isn’t a happy ending for Emma or Henry without him. If he comes back, I will catch up on the series, but until then, I just don’t care anymore.

  2. I love Michael Raymond-James and I’ll really miss Baelfire.

    • ArchieLeach says:

      there is still a chance we could see young Baelfire.

      • Delirious says:

        Call me crazy, but I get the feeling he’ll be back eventually. It’s all magic and fantasy, and show canon/rules change constantly, so he could be back in the (near?) future. And my impression is that he will…

        • Jamie says:

          This is what I keep telling myself to get by, but in my heart I know I’m setting myself up for great disappointment.

          Oh well, never lose hope.

        • James says:

          People seem to have forgotten about Graham, who was a clear fan-favorite back in Season 1 as well as the fact that the deaths of any major or minor characters in the Once universe have all stayed death. Rumple obviously is the exception but so far, he’s the only one brought back from the dead.

      • Mary says:

        I don’t know. I have a horrible feeling that they’re going to just totally drop all of the unknown story of Bae. Of when he arrived in this world and everything in between then and when he met Emma. Everything in between his leaving her and finding out he was in New York. There’s so much he still had yet to do, like make a relationship with his son and break the father abandoning the son cycle they showed as having started with Malcolm. Now they’ve effectively made Neal do just that instead of letting him live to be with Henry.

  3. Missy Kelly says:

    Maybe a bold choice but honestly, I am in mourning over here – 2 great characters meet their end in two weeks – waiting for funeral info for the Good Wife.

  4. John NYC says:

    Class act.

  5. HeatherC says:

    It might have been a bold choice but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. It was poorly written, totally OOC for Neal, a very badly hidden secret, and a total cop out for the show (the acting barely saved it for me). So life sucks and then you die? That’s the message of this show?! I thought it was about love, family, and happy endings. I guess you only get that if you’re a villain. I could have accepted Neal’s death if the story made sense (like him actually doing something brave to save his son or Emma which would have been actually in character) but that episode was one big WTH for me in so many ways. That said, MRJ is a total class act and I have SO much respect for him. I didn’t know much about him until he came to Once and now I’m a total fangirl who can’t wait to find out what project he’s going to be doing next. I hope another show snaps him up right away so he’s back on my TV again soon. Thanks for everything Michael and BOO to the writers for a poor choice and a badly written story. =(

    • Name That Tune says:

      Totally agree with you. It was poorly written. Now the story moves on. But what is Rumple’s motivation for hanging around for immortality without his son?

    • Meredith says:

      But his death was in the service of his son. The entire reason he unlocked the vault of the dark one was so that Rumple could help him get back to Henry. There have been plenty of unhappy endings thrown into this show.

      • A.B. says:

        Who he did not get to see.

        • rowan77 says:

          I do wish there was a scene where Henry “met” Neal, but I get when you only have 41 minutes to tell a story, you must use an economy of scenes to get you there in a compelling, but not overly long way.

          That said, if Henry had met him, only to find out later that the man he met was his father, and he was denied the right to connect with his dad before Neal’s death would possibly start a nice conflict between Henry and Emma. As it is, there’s not way in hell she’s going to be able to hide the truth about his connection to the people of Storybrooke from him forever. And hopefully he won’t take it too well. Henry needs to start acting like a teenager. He’s too agreeable. I’d love to see some real rebellion (that doesn’t have to do with convincing everyone they are storybook characters).

    • Emgee says:

      I’m sick of people saying something is “poorly written” without offering anything on how it could have played out differently or better. Yes, I will miss the character, yes I’m sorry to see him go. But just because you are displeased with WHAT happened, doesn’t mean it was poorly done. HOW was it poorly done? HOW was it out of character for Neal/Baelfire?

      • Girl in MD says:

        Thank you @emgee I totally agree with you all the comments on here of how the episode was poorly written or people who are angry shippers this show is not about one couple it’s about a group of people an their quest it was inevitable that a character was going to die in the back half of this season just cause it’s a character that many people shipped to be with Emma now it’s poor writing?

      • Paz says:

        Finally someone thinking about the story with judgement. Yes, we all have a favourite character and yes, if that character dies, you’re going to be bummed. BUT, seriously people, pipe the f down! It wasn’t bad writing and it wasn’t out of character. What Neal did was to protect the 3 people he loved most in the world, Rumple, Emma and Henry. If they are going to kill a character, this is the way to do it. Or would you have preferred he got murdered by a freaking flying monkey?

      • Allie says:

        It was poorly written because Neal has been absent for all of this story arc. Suddenly he’s thrown back in, and the audience has thirty-five to forty minutes to bond with him before he’s killed off. In the realm of effective storytelling, he needed more onscreen time this half-season to make his death have the necessary emotional resonance for a major character. The execution made it feel like the show was just throwing him away after making such a huge deal about his absence for three episodes.

        • Ivy says:

          Exactly. There really needed to be more build up. I am indifferent to Neal, but story wise I think events prior to his death should have been drawn out. It was odd to me that Neal told Emma he wouldn’t survive if she split him and Rumple apart, but she really did not seem to have an issue with doing it. I thought she would have looked for alternatives before splitting them almost instantaneously. I had thought that she would have Neal try to “switch” back to Rumple (which could have been possible, since we have seen Rumple already) or find a way to do so. I also thought if Neal could switch back in to Rumple, then Rumple (or Regina) would try to find a way to safely split him and Neal up as well as reveal the Wicked Witch’s identity. It doesn’t seem like Rumple would let Neal give up his life, especially considering all of their back story. If anything I expected that Rumple would have been the one to give up his life so that his son could live. I’m not necessarily upset Neal died, but I’m bothered that Emma was so quick to split him without considering alternatives, or consulting others like they usually do. They always have hope even when their chances are slim.

          • Rebecca says:

            Agreed. And he was only absent for 3 episodes, because the writers would clearly rather use the screentime for Captain Swan (*throws up*) Than for at least some form of buildup to Neal’s death. But they didn’t. That’s just sloppy writing IMO. This episode was the last chance for the writers to prove to me that they don’t suck and they failed miserably. I mean, we didn’t even get a Neal flashback episode prior to his death? I feel so incredibly cheated from this. Even Cora and Malcolm!Pan got those, but it’s clear that the writers never really gave a damn about Neal/Bae compared to their precious Captain Hook who gets all the screentime and to live. While Neal/Bae (a good and decent man) has to die just so the CS fans can continue to get pandered to. I hope this show gets cancelled and burns in hell. THAT’S how I feel about all of this.

  6. JC says:

    While I will take his word for it (that he did not quit and was not fired), the way they chose to do this feels decidedly odd. While I’m not surprised about the death – I guessed it would be Neal all along – I expected it to be woven into the main storyline more organically, and have more of a build up. The way they did it, with Neal barely appearing in the first three episodes of this half, and then only returning for his write-out, feels a lot like how characters get written out when actors have decided to leave (or get let go), such as the Cote de Pablo exit earlier this season (as I recklessly bring two fandom hornets’ nests together), and I think that’s why so many people have been speculating that he wanted to leave. It just feels too abrupt. If we’d had a side arc of Belle and Neal working together leading up to this over a few episodes, it might have worked better. I don’t know. Just my two cents.

    • JM says:

      I completely agree. The story needed more build up to have an impact. TPTB had said all along that Neal would be tempted by the dark side. Where was that struggle?? I certainly didn’t see it. Belle just stood there and yelled at him, instead of trying to grab the key away or really trying to stop him. Neal just went and opened the vault, no hesitations whatsoever. I was looking forward to him really being tempted with greater moral challenges. Just such a disappointment.

      • Sharon says:

        I think his dark was side fairly obvious actually. He behaved in a very Rumple-like manner in 3A with regards to getting to Neverland. He used a freaking toddler to bait Peter Pans shadow. He looked for a magical solution to his problem, which has been defined as taking the easy way out. Exactly like Rumple.

  7. Good Riddance. Never liked him.

  8. Rachel says:

    That’s a classy man right there. I’m glad he came out and addressed everything. It’s much appreciated. We’ll miss you, Neal and Michael.

    • Jamie says:

      Very classy indeed. Might’ve made his death a little easier to cope with if he had been a complete a-hole though :)

  9. Stormy says:

    My two cents worth is that while MRJ is a fine actor, he’s a definite type. And that type did not mesh with the Baelfire character. It became more and more apparent that he was miscast. While every principal male in the cast [except Henry] is going around with a precise clipped accent, he sounded too street.

    • Name That Tune says:

      Here’s the simple answer for a part that may be miscast. You recast it. Been done a thousand times on network TV – Darren on Bewitched is the #1 example of this.

      • Ella says:

        Seriously, I barely shrugged at Bruce Banner changing face in the Marvel films, there’s no reason they couldn’t have cast someone else if MRJ was the problem. The problem was more that they thought their honeypot lie in Hook and Captain Swan. Yeah, we’ll see how that works out for them. *snort*

      • abz says:

        I think recasting would have been fine if he was in just one episode like what they did with Sean Maguire taking over Robin Hood from Tom Ellis. However, they missed their opportunity and MRJ has been in too many episodes that any recast would be pretty stupid.

    • dioxinblues says:

      I agree and have since the beginning. This guy is a terrific actor…on “The Wire” or “Sopranos” or some other gritty show. There he’d be excellent (and I hope to see him in such a role). But OUaT isn’t that type of show and as a result his character never actually seemed to fit the milieu. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

    • JM says:

      I don’t know. Remember when we first met him, he was living out of the car that Emma stole. then they went on to do more robberies. That sounds pretty street to me.

      • Stormy says:

        Not the point. It wasn’t about how he lived, it’s about how he spoke. You don’t spend 100+ years with people who have brit accents and end up speaking like you were raised in inner city Detroit. Rumple, the Darlings, Pan, Hook all have precise clipped speech. MRJ didn’t ring true. Ever.

  10. Mary says:

    MRJ is great. Glad to see the back of Neal though #notsorry

  11. Nic says:

    I didnt care for baelfire he was annoying n a bad dad who thought he was entitled to a relationship with henry even though he abandoned Emma. Hey Neal how could i tell u i was pregnant when i was in prison. Farewell Bae u wont be missed.

  12. Neal lover says:

    In a way I’m glad that they killed him off. Neal’s character was never fully developed and even I, as a big fan of his, was frustrated with that. He was nothing more than a plot device to the Emma and Hook love story. I loved Neal very much, he was the boy who definitely knew the meaning of sacrifice, no matter what the show said last night about him only learning what it means.

    But I’m glad he is no longer there to give angst to Emma and Hook. It was a disservice.

    • Really says:

      And this is why I can’t stand captain swan shippers. Reducing neal to an obstacle for hook and emma? Are you insane. How disrespectful to his character. They would be no curse, no purpose of the show, no herby without Neal. Deal with it. Captain swan is so forced I can’t. Swanfire was true love. It’s canon.

      • Mary says:

        Actually it was established by Adam and Eddie before that just because you truly love someone doesn’t mean you end up with them.

        I completely agree with Neal lover – who never said they were a CS shipper by the way. You’re making yourself look like an idiot.

        And ps. stop being such a hater. People like you disgust me. And no I don’t particularly ship CS before you ask.

        • You speak the truth! says:

          ^^^Thank you, Mary!

        • Charmella says:

          No that person didn’t specifically say the words they were a CS shipper but I think the words “I’m glad he is no longer to give angst to Emma and Hook. It was a disservice” kind of allude that having Neal there was a disservice to Emma and Hooks relationship. SOunds to me like a CS shipper but apparently one that also loved Neal which seems kind of rare among CS shippers. I don’t think that poster was making themself look like an idiot at all. That person made some very valid and true statements regarding how CS shippers were about Neal whether the original poster thought that way or not.

      • Liam says:

        Actually no. It’s not at all canon that Emma and Neal are true love. Try again.

        • Emily says:

          @Liam, The Swan necklace (that Neal gave to Emma) survived the curse and Belle said that that’s because it was born of true. Just like the engagement ring that Charming gave to Snow in season 1 that survived the first curse (the green ring that Mary Margaret wore). Emma and Neal were true love.

  13. Bye MRJ! says:

    MRJ you are a classy man. Tbh I never liked your character on OUAT though, so I’m kind of glad to see the back of you.

  14. Anne says:

    Honestly Neal felt like a spare part to the storyline already filled with a lot of characters. I’m glad he’s gone because he was never fully developed and was reduced to only a representation of pain for the main character. So I’m glad he’s dead, if only because it will give a little bit more time to fully developed characters.

    • Emily says:

      Neal was the reason for the show in the first place. He’s the reason Rumple groomed Regina to cast the curse. Without him, none of it would have happened, so what they should have done is give his character more focus and storylines to develop him. His character was treated terribly by the writers and didn’t deserve to go like that.

  15. Ezzie says:

    Since he was first introduced Neal was only important in that he gave Emma a bottomless pit of trust issues. That much was obvious when they put him in the same episode Emma met Captain Hook, and it’s fairly obvious (to me anyway) that those two are true love. Emma told Neal that she hoped he was dead so it would be easier on her – so she could move past her pain. He was a representation of her pain, nothing more. His storyline was more involved with his father but even that relationship was a touch dissatisfying.

    Overall a good decision to kill Neal off. You will be missed MRJ!!!!

    • Charmella says:

      I really would like to know how it is obvious. So far she acts disgusted by him and talks to him with sarcasm. I have seen no true love there yet. He is very self serving. Have not seen him do anything regarding most of the characters on that show that shows his genuine concerns for others. He is all about Emma. He has made no efforts to bond or know her son whatsoever, the most important person in her life. YOu want her to be with someone who has not even show any interest in her son. I don’t get why people think he could be her true love and not see any of those things.

  16. Eli says:

    Didn’t like how they did this at all, but maybe it will finally give me a reason to quit this crazy show (I lie, Robert Carlyle will never let me quit).

    I really hope MRJ will find a project more worthy of his talent. Is there a role for him on Gotham? (Clearly I’m still bitter about Terriers).

    • Joey says:

      If they do decide to recast Bullock with someone else, please please please let them do a Terriers wrap-up movie!

  17. Kerry says:

    While I’m not terribly upset that Neal’s gone, his death was poorly done. I assumed it was a result of him wanting out, but this is just odd. If it was a “bold story choice” I would have thought they’d actually write A STORY. This was a plot that could have played out over several episodes, but instead it was rushed and wrapped up in 40 minutes. The character (and all of his relationships) deserved more than that.

  18. Adrienne says:

    Neal’s death was so poorly executed. It felt rushed, like they just wanted to get him off the show. I think it was a big mistake and hope they bring him back. I am not a fan of The Emma/Hook relationship, it makes no sense for them to be together.

    • Anonymous User says:

      Deal with it, quit whining.

    • Nathalie says:

      I agree. I really hope they bring him back. I really think the only reason he was killed off is for the connection he has with the Wicked Witch of the West that Regina has with her as well. If this doesn’t go where I think it will go and there is no plans to bring him back even if we have to wait till the next season, I will stop watching the show. Whatever story they come up with can’t be better than Emma ending up with Neal and Henry being with his real father. Maybe it will even be the wicked witch who sorts out her mom and daddy issues and helps find a way to bring Neal back. Who knows. one can dream.

  19. Leah says:

    While I’m not sad that Neal is gone, I thought this was the first time Neal seemed like Bae! FINALLY we have the passionate boy who would readily sacrifice himself. I thought the death was well written.

    • Lita says:

      Well, in Second Star to the Right, Neal also sacrificed himself by letting go of Emma’s hand so that Henry wouldn’t lose both of them. He also went to Neverland to rescue Henry despite being wary of Neverland. So this was not the first time Neal self sacrificed.

      • Letta says:

        Actually I think Neal was one of the most selfish characters on the show. But we’ll have to agree to disagree.

        • Charmella says:

          How can you disagree when that person stated truths there. Those things did happen. Neal did all those good things. YOu didn’t point out any of the selfish things in your comments to show anything different. Sure you might name the same reasons many people do that were explained in Season 2 yet people refuse to see those reasons. And in this episode where he died when Emma tells Neal that Henry has no memory and he only knows what she knew before her memory came back that he abandoned her and he states but you know why I did that and she says “I know that now” but she didn’t then. That again tells that she held no bad feelings for him after she understood he always loved her and did not abandon her because he didnt and yet people seem to want to keep twisting that. What he did was unselfish there so that she could break the curse. But so many are ignorant to what Season 2 explained about all of that and what in this episode was again reconfirmed. Did you miss his childhood. Did you see how he hated the things his father did and not want people harmed. Did you see how he sacrificed himself to save Wendy and her brothers. Why are you overlooking all the many times he sacrificed himself and calling him one of the most selfish characters when that just is not true. Here the person above and I have named a number of times he was unselfish so that can’t make someone one of the most selfish. He was really the least selfish character going back to his childhood.

  20. Jared says:

    Neals death was far from organic. It honestly just felt like the writers didn’t know what to do with his character after Neverland. It also doesn’t help that Emma and Neal have zero chemistry whereas hook is now being written as a character who is changing for the better and the viewers are rooting for.

    • Joey says:

      For the record, I honestly think Emma and Hook have zero chemistry, Neal and Emma had chemistry off the charts, and I /stopped/ rooting for Hook when they got to Neverland because his feelings for Emma appeared out of thin air. And he is not changing for the better. He does “heroic” things to look better in Emma’s eyes, not because he genuinely wants to be a better person. It’s more like, “Oh, if I do this, maybe Emma will like me!” I haven’t seen Hook do a single thing that would make me think he’s not going to get something out of it.

      • Charmella says:

        You are so right. I don’t see chemistry there either. People seem to think there is chemistry because it is two attractive people. Neal and Emma did have it. That very first episode where it shows the two of them together you really could feel their attractive for each other and how into each other they were. All I have ever seen with Emma regarding Hook is her disgust towards him. She gave him a kiss but when she did I felt it was just going through the motions. It really had no feeling behind it at all. I feel those Emma HOok fans are blinded by it. He is all about himself even when it comes to her. He wants to win her over for his own selfish feelings. If he really cared about her he would also be interested in her son and trying to bond with him but he has not. He would also bond more with her parents but I’ve only seen just a tad of him with Charming but he surely has no relationship at all with Snow. If Hook is changing for the better it is sure a very very slow process. For I just still see him as superficial.

  21. James D says:

    Good on you MRJ way to be a gentleman about it. Not sure I agree that it was bold. too me it seemed like a clear cut case of “we have no gd clue what to do with this character so lets just kill him off.” i found that whole episode poorly constructed and written. I wasn’t effected by his death like I should of been. it’s a real shame they had such opportunity to develop the character and his relationship with the others especially Hook, they loved the same women and yet had this father/son sort of dynamic, it was pure gold if delt with properly which it was not IMO. we’ll see who things play out, but for me personally i was dissappointed last night. Really hope MRJ gets a good pilot soon.

  22. Lysh says:

    I didn’t really find his death very organic. I don’t know. It was just odd. But I agree that he would like to be seen as a hero, especially to Henry. I’m glad MRJ broke his silence. I’ll miss him as part of this cast. He’s a cool dude.

    Thank you for the Adam and Eddy interview, too!

  23. X says:

    Hook is the one who needed to go, he has no purpose.

  24. Len084 says:

    I kinda always felt Neal was a plot device (not a standalone character/and not intergrating him with other characters was obvious) and he did it again in this episode… he moved the storylines and things for other characters, his father to choose him not power, Emma to finally get her closure which she had, but this is again finality. Hook/Bae – the boy he remembers fondly. Belle and Rumbelle back together, Neal sacrificing for his dad… Rumpel as far as i can tell was never going to have his son back long term at all, you cant have power, Belle and Neal… magic has a price.
    i always felt Neal was going to die way back in s1 and then in s2, and the cause would be for his father/family overall Neal’s arc was about his dad and his son thats it) Neal was about his father and his son… to be there for his son, but sadly it was never going to be just like Rumple who was never going to have his son… i mean seaosn 2 Rumple said its all my fault he is dead… and then Pan again in the winter finale hinted a death between Bae or Belle.
    I will admit for me, the writing was always meant to be Emma/Hook from the get go and the structure of Emma’s centric episode, Neverland arc, the goodbye, and then the New York City Serenade episode.. and the moments they shared, and kept sharing, and Hook doing things that you do in love/true love.
    For me it has always been about Emma’s journey and her to overcome issues and heal, and be ready to fall in love with the man who says who he is. NYCS episode again laid that out well. She moved on, she is capable of moving on

    I wish MRJ the best, i hope he gone on to do a pilot season, coz they had those didnt they last month or so.

  25. Whatevah says:

    Why do writers always act like they have no control over their “story”..pfft.

  26. Jillian says:

    Why upgrade him to series regular this season if they were just going to kill him off halfway through? Doesn’t make sense

  27. Kelsi says:

    SOOOO basically let me get this straight:

    1. Have your mother abandoned you for a pirates life without saying goodbye
    2. Then your dad abandons you by choosing magic over you and leaving you alone to fend on the streets
    3. Then you sacrifice your life for an entire families because “it’s the right thing”
    4. Then you meet the pirate that your mom abandoned you for and he sells you out to a psychopath with a god-complex (peter pan) just because you figured out he wants to use you to kill your father
    5. then you spend god knows how many years STUCK IN A CAVE on an island you can’t get off of
    6. then when you finally get off the island, you meet the girl you love and want to marry, only to be told you have to sacrifice that, too because she’s the “savior” and she needs to get back to her family and you do it because you love her and you know that she always wanted a family and so did you but at least for hers its possible so you let her go
    7. when you finally move on from that heartbreak you find a girl who you think actually is in love with you and you open yourself up to it finally
    7. then later the girl you’ve been in love with for years finds you and you find out that 1a. your dad cursed AN ENTIRE KINGDOM to find you again and 2a. you have a son with her you never knew about.
    9. You take the time to apologize to her. For everything. And admit that you were wrong for leaving her before. She accepts it and finally things start looking up.
    10. You find out that the woman you’re engaged to was lying to you the entirety of your relationship and never loved you. Then she shoots you.
    11. Not only do you give up being with the woman you’re actually suppose to be with but you sacrifice a life together with her and your son because you know your son needs her so you sacrifice your life (again) for the sake of someone else.
    11. except jk you’re still alive and your family is grieving you and now you do everything you can to get back to your family to tell them you’re not really dead.
    12. except when you do you find out the pirate who screwed your mom and gave you up to a psychopath now wants to get in bed with the woman you love.
    13. but you tell her that because you care about your family that making sure your son is okay is the most important thing not a love triangle.
    14. Then as soon as you get your son back, reconcile with your father and finally get a chance at healing wounds between you and the woman you love, your father dies and sacrifices himself FOR YOUR HAPPY ENDING.
    15. Except then you get separated from your kid and woman you love. Again. And can never see them again. Ever. Oh and they also won’t remember anything about you except the bad parts. But you promise you’ll see them again because “it’s not over”
    16. Then you get exactly one episode in which you don’t even get to SEE your son and because you care about the woman you loves happiness more than your own you tell her that you’ll be happy as long as she is despite not being with you and then the writers decide “eh, to hell with second chances and happy endings” and kill you off. AGAIN. But hey, at least you got to say goodbye to your dad.

    Yeah. Great writing. A+ skills. If you honestly think this was a respectful way to send off Neal, you’re kidding yourself. I didn’t care whether he ended up with Emma or not (though it was clear he loved her) but the death was not only rushed but did not do his characters justice. Basically a show about family, hope, second chances and true love = “sacrifice everything for your whole life and then die alone without your happy ending because eh life sucks and then you die”. I won’t be watching the show anymore. It’s gone downhill from S3 but this was the straw that broke the camels back for me.

    • Joey says:

      I mean, that explains it in a nutshell. Here, take this horrible life, and guess what? No happy ending for you, even though you’re a great person.

    • Jus says:

      this is spectacular! LOL.
      Thank you so much!

    • Addie says:

      Yep. It’s basically the show’s equivalent of “Life sucks then you die.” Well guess what? I’m not watching this show to see what real life is like, I’m watching it for the fairy-tale characters who all get happy endings in the end!

    • JM says:

      Really good points about Neal’s life.

    • Lita says:

      Agree, Kelsi, agree.

    • HeatherC says:

      This describes my feelings perfectly. Thanks for putting into words how a lot of Neal fans are feeling right now.

    • jane says:

      That about sums it up for me too! Life sucks and then you die! Could we try to do this one over a bit less BOLD, please?

    • Ivy says:

      Thank you for this post! I want to add that Emma was not just the woman he loved, but she was likely his true love. It was mentioned that Emma’s necklace he had with him survived through the curse because of true love’s magic or something.

    • murley says:

      Just because a story is tragic doesn’t mean it is not well written. All this list told me is that Neal’s story is consistent and sad. And for the record I really liked the character of Neal and was sad to see him go. I think his death is interesting from a story perspective but I wish they had spent time in the preceding episodes telling the story of his time in Fairytale land with Belle and developing his choices as a mirror to Rumple’s more. I think it would have made his death more impactful and shown the parallel in a clearer and more interesting fashion. I like what they did but wish they did it better.

    • Charmella says:

      I absolutely loved your post. You told his whole life honestly and truthfully and respectful to that character. And I agree with your final thoughts on how they handled his character. I cared about this character so much because of how we were shown his childhood, the only character we really had seen a lot of his childhood past and this ending was not good for that child I loved from the beginning.

    • Kristle says:

      Perfect Kelsi. Just perfect. Neal was completely screwed over. I’m devastated, and honestly debating dropping this show as well. So much for true love.

  28. Ana says:

    I cried my eyes out seeing Neal go. However, I absolutely agree with Adam and Eddy – it DID feel organic and story wise it made a lot of sense for Neal to sacrifice himself for the ones he loves, just like his father did for him.
    It was beautiful in all its tragedy…

    I very much dislike the suggestion that Neal’s death is “facilitating” Hook and Emma’s story in any way. I always undesrtood what noth Adam and Eddy meant when they said there is no real triangle between those 3 because there wasn’t. They told the story of Emma’s heartbreak, the reason why she’s put up all those high walls and also showed a possible futire for her with someone who understands her and who might prove to be everything she ever needed. They started doing that since Tallahassee.
    I believe in Emma and Hook because of the way their story is told – I love their story
    which has been set up a long, long time ago. Their mutual affection (especially Hook’s), and their growing intimacy has been developed completely independent of Neal and has been part of almsot every single episode this season. Hook and Emma are being set up as a true love couple and it’s such a joy to see it play out in real time. They would have happened if Neal had stayed alive or not.
    Losing Neal was tragic – and it left me heartbroken – but it was done in the best, most meaningful way possible. I’m so grateful that Hook, Emma and Rumple got closure – that was really important to me. I particularly wished for a scene between Hook and Neal – maybe because I knew Rumple and Emma would certainly get such scenes but wasn’t sure Hook would – never did I imagine it would be THAT beautiful and moving…

    Kudos to Adam and Eddy – they did a really brilliant job and I trust them with my heart because they just know how to tell a story! I wish I could tell them in person how much I loved every single aspect of Quiet Minds.

    • MP says:

      I think I love you. What you have written is exactly what I feel.

    • Shar says:

      Are you saying this because you are obviously a Hook and Emma fan? Emma and Hook’s story, what story? Emma and Neal have more of a story that was set up long before Emma knew Hook. I don’t know if Emma and Hook would of happened even if Neal stayed alive, my opinion is Hook would of went back to sailing the seas and I don’t think Emma would of went with him but who knows how it would of played out. Who knows how it will play out now……

    • Charmella says:

      I am so lost on what love story you are seeing in Emma and Hook. You mention mutual affection and say especially Hooks. You should say only Hooks. I have not seen any affection on her part towards him yet. I have not seen a love story at all.. People seem to think there is love it seems because it is two attractive people. Growing intimacy? what do you mean. In one of the last few episodes Hook is going to stay with Belle and she looks at Emma and says do you realize he tried to kill me twice. He then says “sorry” that really sounded kind of flip. Emma then says “you really know how to charm the ladies” with a look of disgust on her face and sarcasm in her voice. Are people just missing that. I dont see love there and why would you want her to love a man who could talk like that to someone else. He has not once tried to bond with her son that she loves. Why would people want Emma’s true love to be a man who has not done these things like bonding with even her parents. Sure some with Charming but it is not of much depth and none with Snow. All I have ever seen with Emma regarding Hook is her disgust towards him. She gave him a kiss but when she did I felt it was just going through the motions. It really had no feeling behind it at all. He is all about himself even when it comes to her. He wants to win her over for his own selfish feelings. If he really cared about her he would also show care and concern for her family and friends. He has not. A true love should be an all around man who cares about others needs before their own. Hook is not that type of man. I just still see him as superficial.

  29. Maki says:

    He deserved a better end. After so much sufferin to go away so easily is someway sad and disappointing. I felt really for Neal even though I’m Captan Swan fan his live was so screwed up and there was so many space to tell his story but the writers inroduced him to early and he really didn’t stood a chance to survive this.

  30. eh says:

    I was touched by Neal’s last moments, but overall, I’m HAPPY he’s gone. He never integrated fully with the other characters. He was always on the outside.

    But that doesn’t mean you won’t be missed MRJ!

  31. Jess says:

    I’m so saddened by this. I adored Neal and it’s really disappointing he’ll never his happy ending, but thee murderers will. OUAT will never be the same again for me personally. It’s about hope and happy endings, but Neal had a horrible life and was a good guy and a hero, and had to die?

    I do agree with anyone who says they did it because they no longer knew what to do with Neal because they wanted to go down the Hook-Emma lane instead.

  32. Richard says:

    A great end to a lacklustre character. I completely enjoyed the episode and was very touched by Neal’s last moments. Now it’s time for Emma and Captain Hook to get together! :)

    • Jolly says:

      I admit, was never a big liker of Neal – he just didnt come across that well as in terms of a standalone character, and his attitude towards Emma on the whole. But i think since he finally got on side with his father, he truly i guess learnt what true sacrifice is, i mean i would assume he heard Belle talking about how much she loves Rumple and why, that she accepts every part of him (which i like to think Neal realised he never accepted Emma on the whole, who she was and why she was, he never wanted to be part of that world with his father, and her – and that costed him, that again is his bad choices and again choosing dark magic as a means to an end)
      I was touched by Neal’s last moments, and i saw Bae – that boy! Shame i couldnt before.
      Again for me and the writing was always going to be Hook/Emma however long that would take (because Hook is the guy who will and has to break her abandonment cycle of ppl she loses or leaves her, show her there is one man who will always come back to her no matter what, love her etc – which is what she needs to be shown – actions), coz the choice is still in Emma’s favour as in is she willing to fall in love again after the Walsh fiasco etc… that she is still holding that part of her coz she is scared. its was never really about Neal with Emma. it was always the issue with what happened and being abandoned that was the main cause.

  33. Katherine215 says:

    I hope his death means that people who didn’t “ship” one couple or the other can finally read the comments of a OUAT article without wading through a million comments about ship wars.

  34. Mark says:

    I’m not a fan of “Captain Swann” at all. I wanted Emma with Neal. And I’m very upset over this development.

    However, I didn’t feel like his death was forced at all. It felt to me like the results of the last few weeks. We hadn’t seen Neal because he and Gold were trapped in the same body and Gold was imprisoned. There wasn’t much else they could do with the character without destroying that plot point. I’m not sure how it would have been spread out over several episodes.

    Neal’s was a Greek tragedy put into one episode.

  35. K. says:

    I for one won’t miss him, not because of who Emma should be with but his character never had much to do! I think he just didn’t fit…. Also for me Emma had more of connection with August or Hatter than anyone!

  36. Shari says:

    LOVE Captain Swan and like others said think they have been set up as the true love endgame pairing ever since Tallahasse BUT I still wept like a baby at Neal dying. So tragic. I really thought he and Emma would make great friends and co-parents to Henry. And while I agree that it felt rushed, only because we didn’t see any of him for the first 3 eps back from break, I think overall it did make sense because like someone said above Neal was always kind of a plot device – he hadn’t had a centric episode in forever and seemed there soley to move Emma and Rumple’s stories forward, not his own.

  37. Elle says:

    I never liked his character. I’m sure Michael is a lovely person though.
    I didn’t care for his storyline, the personality of the character and the relationship with Emma. It was all very uninteresting.
    A little less focus on Emma/possible love interest and a little more Once/well written storylines.

  38. kingstar says:

    Don’t forget that Neal is over a hundred years old.

  39. LuLu says:

    While I like MRJ as an actor, I wasn’t found of his interpretation as Neal. I could never bond with the character, so to speak. He always felt awkward & out of place among the group. I’m not sorry to see Neal go. From the moment we saw the character in season 1 as a boy, I knew that was a tragic character.

    • JM says:

      Of course, he was awkward and out of place, he lived in the Enchanted Forest, in Neverland, and in the Storybrooke/current land and all not by choice. All his life, he never had a ‘home’ so it fits that he feels this way.

  40. Manu says:

    I don’t buy for a second what TPTB are saying. It wasn’t a bold choice, it was a cowardly way to get rid of Neal and move on with the Hook/Emma nonsense, as per the fandom’s request.
    – There was no real closure for Neal, not getting to see Henry was downright cruel.
    – The circumstances made no sense, since when can Emma perform such an important act of magic, so quickly, without any help? Why would she do it in the first place? The Emma I know would’ve never done it, not when they could’ve found out who the WW was in other way while gaining time to figure out a way to separate Rumple and Neal without killing Neal, the father of her son, the man she claimed she would always love.
    – Pretending that Neal’d learned from Rumple the value of sacrifice as if he hadn’t done that exactly that, time and time again, since he was a little boy was actually insulting. He grew up all alone because his father sacrificed him for power, and he did nothing but sacrifice himself for the people he loved since. Having him die so Rumple could live was the worst send off possible.
    – Hook remembered his history with Neal right on time to pretend like he cared and redeem himself from his childish ways, something which would not’ve taken place if it wasn’t because Neal was about to die.
    Michael deserved much better; we, Neal fans, deserved better. I wish nothing but the best to Michael in his future projects, he’s a classy person, and an amazing actor. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next.

  41. jerrired says:

    Thanks Matt for the interview. I stand by my statements on the comment section of last night’s recap. This interview didn’t convince me otherwise. However, no need to rant and moan about it anymore. All I can ask is that going forward the series gets back to the roots that made many of us fans in season 1 and some of season 2. That now that the triangle and ship war is finally over, Hook has won. No need for “shippers” to obsess over it anymore. So can the writing just improve? I can get behind any production decision as long as I feel the writing still compels me to tune-in. Here’s hoping Once gets back there.

    As to MRJ, I really hope he gets something else to work on soon, and now I will have to finally see Terriers.

  42. Pat says:

    I felt that the death scene of Neal was well done, even though I was sadden by it. To see Rumple and Emma going through the anguish of watching Neal die was heartbreaking and I do believe that is what the producers and writers were striving for. This definitely was the shining moment for the character of Neal to become a hero and he pulled it off beautifully.I have watched this show from the beginning and I never shed a tear, until that scene from last night. So Bravo to the producer’s and the writer’s but most of all to the three actors who pulled this scene off and who were able to pull at my heartstrings!

  43. Mel says:

    Life sucks, then you die. Then a pirate who had a huge hand in your crappy life gets your happy ending. It’s awful. It wasn’t planned all season. They’re lying. I’ve lost all respect, and now I’m 100% done. But MRJ is amazing.

    • PM94 says:

      Okay, thanks for watching the show! Take care!

      • Charmella says:

        I hate flip sarcastic replies like that. You are totally disrespecting that person’s opinion. That poster made a point and if they don’t want to watch the show anymore after this that is their right. A lot of people were bothered by the way that was written so there is no need to disrespect those fans by being short and flip like that. I have no idea if you are Hook fan but if you are and he had been the one died instead maybe you could better understand an opposing view and relate to it.

  44. kyliekeelee says:

    It feels like Lost 2.0 a bit – a little Charlie mixed with Boone. All I’m saying is: it better pay off, because I was ‘shipping Neal and Emma. The commenter who pointed out that Baelfire was the impetus for so many story lines is so right. It’s a true tragedy, and it better have the larger purpose the creators are talking about…although, I knew Rumple’s death wasn’t permanent. It was too quick for such a seminal character.

    Of course: they live in a world of magic. Who knows what kind of save can be conjured? I’m not counting on anything, but strange things happen all the time on this show…

    • Hannah says:

      Unless magic can make the writers bring back a character they had no intention to write for, I don’t see many possibilities.

  45. Addie says:

    MRJ seems like a genuinely good guy, between these tweets, his tweets last week about raising funds for a boy with CF and other interviews, I hope he finds something even better in the future. I think A&E are a little full of it acting like they had no choice but to kill off Neal, but I’m used to seeing that kind of stuff in interviews. I’ve never really cared that much about Emma’s love life, so I hope the rest of the season is good!

  46. CLM says:

    I am really sad by Neal’s passing however I do think it was a good way to write him off, the death made logical sense. The thing I do not agree with is the fact that I believe this show is about true love, and I think Emma and Neal were true love, so writing him off was not a good decision and the writers have basically put her and Hook together which I do not think is right.

  47. Emma says:

    At least Neal had a death of his own choosing. Grant and August were not so lucky.

  48. Katie says:

    I will never be over Neal’s death, and won’t be watching Once Upon a Time without him. Regardless of what is said, killing Neal now when he had virtually no screen time this part of the season felt cheap and rushed. What’s the reason, exactly, that Neal couldn’t get more screen time so that when he died it would feel more like the show actually respected him and his fans? Because as it is, it doesn’t seem that way at all. Henry doesn’t remember him. To me, that will always be a slap in the face. His own kid, that he never got to know, that he never knew existed, that he got to build a tiny relationship with, doesn’t even remember him when he dies. I will never like it. Especially when it seems clear that the only people that think this is a good thing or makes sense are Captain Swan-ers.

  49. Kristina says:

    Nothing against the actor, I wish him nothing but the best, but I never warmed up to the Neal character. I never did like him. So I won’t miss him on the show. I do hope that Michael Raymond-James finds success on a different show.

  50. i say doctor Frankenstein will have something to do with bringing him back..hes not fired or let go..im sure something down the road could happen that could bring him back ..imo

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