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2-18: "Selfless, Brave and True" 2013.03.24


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#271

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 2:00 PM

"I need her." [because...] "Look, Emma, I'm drowning here. I'm dealing with a father I've been avoiding for the better part of 300 years and an 11 year old son I didn't know existed until last week. And you and me...I don't even know where to begin. Tamara doesn't care who I was or who I could be, she only cares about who I am. And I need that right now." Context. Foreshadowing. Irony. Making Neal look slightly less douche-y by acknowledging things are very, very complicated right now and he has feeling about it.


I think your mock-dialogue was pretty spot-on, Deirbhile. But even with your mock-dialogue that entire scene is one of the reasons Nealfire is and shall forever remain Douchfire [to me]. Because here's what I heard coming out of Douchefire's mouth during that scene (and your mock-dialogue):

"Me, Emma, me me me. Me me me me me me me me me me me me. Me me me me me. Me, me me me. Me me meeeeeeeeee. It's ALL about MEEEEEEE. Me. Me. Me.". If Nealfire were anymore self-absorbed a quantum singularity would open where he stands.

And while I'm not saying he's not entitled to his feelings, he just does not get to use Emma as the sounding board for his Man Pain. Particularly, when speaking to Emma, the words "I'm sorry" have yet to find their way out of his mouth. The closest he has mustered up is "..I get it. We're all messed up." No, Neal. Rooms are messed up. The current global-economic situation is messed up. You, Douchfire, have achieved eff-up status.

If Douchfire is having problems coping then he can go talk to Daddy Dearest, and if that's not appealing he's more than free to call a 1-900 or psychic hot-line. But Emma shouldn't have to stand there listening to his self-pitying drivel. I'm frankly astonished, and rather disappointed, that Emma just didn't walk out on his sorry ass during that scene. My only hope is that Emma stayed because she had a serious craving for a New York bagel. Either that or Neal's level of self-absorption really is achieving blackhole levels and she just can't escape his Man-Pain gravitational power.


But with all that said, I completely agree with you that the meaningful dialogue between our heroes has been sorely lacking this season and I think it's beginning to drag the show down.

#272

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 2:21 PM

My only hope is that Emma stayed because she had a serious craving for a New York bagel.


I honestly think this is the reason she stayed. If you want Emma Swan to do something, you give her food and she'll do it. Though, I think it would have been beyond awesome if as she and Henry were leaving, she snagged an extra bagel on her way out all sly-like.

#273

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 2:23 PM

I was surprised Emma stayed for bagels too. I mean why should she. We haven't seen Emma and Neil have a real conversation yet about what happened, so why would she subject herself to such an awkward situation for his benefit? Characters need a logical reason for their actions and this just gave me a "huh?" moment.

#274

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 2:34 PM

In all honesty, I think she stayed because that was the first time Henry was going to be meeting Tamara and she wanted to be there for that.

#275

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 2:51 PM

Yeah, that's what I figured too. They could have made it more natural and clear what her actual reasons were though.

#276

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 2:59 PM

My only hope is that Emma stayed because she had a serious craving for a New York bagel.

It would have worked for me. But I agree that this:

In all honesty, I think she stayed because that was the first time Henry was going to be meeting Tamara and she wanted to be there for that.

Is probably the reason. She didn't want to leave that to Neal. He's be sure to mess it up.

Honestly, I don't hate Neal completely, I think he was probably planning to do something about Emma after the curse was broke, what it was I don't know, maybe just call and explain himself, but the Tamara thing made that seem like not such a good idea. And the Henry threw him for a loop. I still think we need a scene where he really explains himself and apologizes but good for what he's done but we'll see.

#277

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 4:09 PM

And while I'm not saying he's not entitled to his feelings, he just does not get to use Emma as the sounding board for his Man Pain.


I don't disagree with that, regularlyleaded. Unfortunately, the writers really haven't given Neal anyone to talk to other than Emma about his Man Pain, or anything else for that matter. (It's the same mistake they made with August, in a sense - expect for Emma, he never really connected with anyone else in Storybrooke.)

He can't talk to his father, who is the only other person in town he knows; Henry's too young; the Charmings are distracted and understandably not inclined to give him the time of day; August was in large part responsible for the destruction of his relationship with Emma and is now functionally dead; and Tamara is another lying liar who lies. His fundamental alone-ness was written all over this episode.

Yes, many of you feel like that alone-ness is well-deserved, and I'm certainly not going to try to change the minds of the Douchefire Brigade (I'm kind of afraid to return to the Neal discussion board, where I set off an, ahem, vigorous talk with my attempts to list what I see as some of his decent qualities last week).

But I do think it's a sad botching of a otherwise sympathetic character. I would say the same thing about August, and to a lesser extent, Emma. (I cut Emma a lot of slack because she's kick-ass, but I find her default detachment and compartmentalism as off-putting as August's selfishness or Neal's douche-yness.) All three started out as blameless children/babies caught up in the events spawned by the machinations of adults. All three were sent to world not their own and left to fend for themselves - Neal was literally a Lost Boy - and, huge shocker, all three turned out incredibly damaged by the experience: not just lying and stealing to make their way through life, but emotionally stunted as well. All three are essentially self-centered.

While we don't know a whole lot of any of their backstories, it doesn't seem like any of them are champions at long-term relationships or stable jobs, and all three seem able to fit all their possessions in a single bag and make a run for it. All three are coping with difficulties dealing with their now-returned parents, August because he's a wood-pile of failure, Neal because he's angry, and Emma because...well, how would even an emotionally healthy person deal with finding out your long-lost parents are your age and a fairy-tale prince and princess?

Again, this would have been a great episode to deal with all that, but alas, the road between Augustdale and Augustville is short and steep and doesn't allow for emotional detours.

Edited by Deirbhile, Apr 1, 2013 @ 4:11 PM.


#278

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 5:53 PM

Deirbhile, don't feel bad.. I agree with you most of the time. ;)

What is frustrating is that viewers should have some feel for the character of the characters.. we had a good sense (for example) of who Baelfire was as a young man.. what he stood for.. what his thoughts, motives, & principles were.. not so with Douchefire (same for August, and to a lesser extent Emma.) They haven't really given us much to go on.
Characters should have an element of mystery or conflictedness so as to not to be 'flat'.. but these characters are so unfathomable it's as if we don't know them (and therefore don't care). I get the feeling the powers that be aren't 'filling in the blanks' to give themselves wiggle room for where they want to take the plot.. but it makes the characters weak and uninteresting. I suppose they feel as if this will be revealed as the plot unfolds, but in the meanwhile there are too many moments that have passed that cannot be revisited.

#279

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 9:18 PM

All three are essentially self-centered.


Emma is the least self-centered character in all of OUAT. Taking the rest of the reply to Emma's thread.

#280

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Posted Apr 1, 2013 @ 10:37 PM

Deirbile - I think you make a valid point (and thought so over in the Bae thread, too). I was hoping for an actual scene in this ep between at least Neal and August, if not Emma as well. The parallels between these characters and the ways they interacted and effected each other begged for some emotional exploration. I'm perplexed by the pacing of the writing lately, when so many of these conversations aren't happening. I hope there's going to be an emotional explosion in the last few eps.

#281

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Posted Apr 2, 2013 @ 12:46 AM

Yes, many of you feel like that alone-ness is well-deserved, and I'm certainly not going to try to change the minds of the Douchefire Brigade (I'm kind of afraid to return to the Neal discussion board, where I set off an, ahem, vigorous talk with my attempts to list what I see as some of his decent qualities last week).

But I do think it's a sad botching of a otherwise sympathetic character.


Responding in the Neal thread.

#282

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Posted Apr 2, 2013 @ 7:12 AM

Oh, goody, I started an exodus to the character boards. I either did something right, or something very wrong. :-)

#283

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Posted Apr 2, 2013 @ 2:18 PM

You did it right.

#284

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Posted Apr 3, 2013 @ 10:09 AM

Even all this time later, that final scene is still bothering me.
It makes no sense to have August show up in NYC to talk to Neal and tell him pretty much *exactly* what he told him in 'Tallahassee'. Particularly since, in the interim, you've stolen his/Emma's money and why would you want to bring Emma back to his (Neal's) mind 11ish years later? He's supposed to have forgotten her and been staying away from her.
Logically you would leave him alone. Not to mention, the last time we saw them talk they weren't even in NYC, right? Are we now to assume they've been checking in with each other periodically? Crashing at each other's pads?
Certainly that is the vibe of this new flashback conversation. It's quite friendly, and in it Neal shows none of the wariness/antsiness he did when they spoke in 'Tallahassee'. And this time when the postcard is mentioned, the reference falls about as flat and hard as a 'this is a connection--pay attention!' could. When Neal asked for one originally in 'Tallahassee' it was a throw-away moment, and the line delivered just so. Now it's an anvil to the head.
The scene exists only to shoehorn the character of Tamara into it, which seems pretty telling evidence to me that as of the writing of 'Tallahassee' she and her subplot did not even exist story-wise.
Similar to the way the diner scene exists solely to give Regina a moment for an arch one-liner, this scene exists only to connect Tamara to Neal. But it's so sloppy in its execution it audibly thuds.

Edited by TWoP Tennison, Apr 4, 2013 @ 6:13 AM.
Initials


#285

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Posted Apr 3, 2013 @ 5:47 PM

Certainly that is the vibe of this new FB conversation. It's quite friendly, and in it Neal shows none of the wariness/antsiness he did when they spoke in 'Tallahassee'.


Color me confused. Facebook conversation? Is this scene in the recap?

#286

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Posted Apr 3, 2013 @ 6:54 PM

""I think the poster means "flashback conversation," as in Neal and August seem like old time buddies in the flashback from 2011 that is in this episode.

#287

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Posted Apr 3, 2013 @ 8:02 PM

Certainly that is the vibe of this new flashback conversation. It's quite friendly, and in it Neal shows none of the wariness/antsiness he did when they spoke in 'Tallahassee'. And this time when the postcard is mentioned, the reference falls about as flat and hard as a 'this is a connection--pay attention!' could. When Neal asked for one originally in 'Tallahassee' it was a throw-away moment, and the line delivered just so. Now it's an anvil to the head.
The scene exists only to shoehorn the character of Tamara into it, which seems pretty telling evidence to me that as of the writing of 'Tallahassee' she and her subplot did not even exist story-wise.


I agree that was a really bad scene and extremely contrived to fit Tamara in. It makes no sense for August and Neil to be chummy like that.

Edited by TWoP Tennison, Apr 4, 2013 @ 6:14 AM.
Initials in quote


#288

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Posted Apr 4, 2013 @ 12:23 PM

How did Regina figure out Greg is Owen? She shows the lanyard key chain but didn't she have that ALL ALONG? Or did she find a similar one in his room?

#289

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Posted Apr 4, 2013 @ 12:33 PM

Rewatching right now...did anyone else notice how Snow set up a whole little campsite out in the woods? She's got a little white tent and a campfire going. You can see it behind her when she's shooting arrows, right at the very beginning of the scene before they zoom in and then again when they look back at her after one of her arrows gets messed up because of August.

Anyway, I was thinking, that seems like a lot of set dressing to do if we're barely going to see it for a fraction of a second. I'm thinking maybe there was more to the scene with Snow in the woods that got cut. If there was, that makes me sad. It would have been nice to see her trying to get back to her roots like the awesome Snow on the run, hiding in the Enchanted Forest.

Imagining a longer scene there, with her settling in, I feel like that would have helped some of her other scenes in the rest of the episode. The way it was edited, the shooting arrows part felt a bit rushed to me, and her conversation with August felt...off...not as emotionally resonant as it could have been with more of a build up. It also makes me wonder just how long she was planning to be out there in the woods before bumping into August. When I watched the first time, I'd just assumed it was a bit of a day trip, a picnicy kind of thing, but maybe she really wanted to get away. That information also makes her first scene with Charming have a bit more emotional weight to it too. She's not just packing a bag for the day, she's planning to be gone, to leave him, maybe indefinitely, until she gets herself figured out...again, harkening back to the early part of their relationship in fairytale land.

#290

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Posted Apr 4, 2013 @ 1:32 PM

Imagining a longer scene there, with her settling in, I feel like that would have helped some of her other scenes in the rest of the episode.


I hadn't noticed the campsite either, but it does make perfect sense that she wanted to get out for an extended period of me-time. The forest has a dual meaning for Snow. It's the place of exile when she was on the run from Regina, but it's also where she learned to be self-reliant. Given her current emotional state, it's the best place she could choose to, as you say, get herself figured out.

It also would explain why it looked like she was shoving cans of tuna in her bag when she left.

Normally I would find it hard to believe she would just take off and not tell David she was going to commune with nature for more than a gentle morning walk, but she's in such a state right now, I guess I can understand it.

#291

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Posted Apr 4, 2013 @ 4:56 PM

How did Regina figure out Greg is Owen? She shows the lanyard key chain but didn't she have that ALL ALONG? Or did she find a similar one in his room?


Owen gave her one back then, I guess she was already suspicious of him because he seemed familiar to her.

I agree that was a really bad scene and extremely contrived to fit Tamara in. It makes no sense for August and Neil to be chummy like that.


Her whole character is contrived, her character is not a FTL character, but she somehow has a magic taser and has evil plans to take some magic for herself, she even has advanced technology when she was researching the Dragon's magic bottle from August.

#292

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Posted Apr 4, 2013 @ 9:43 PM

It also would explain why it looked like she was shoving cans of tuna in her bag when she left.

Yes, exactly. That bit was so weird, but if she was really going camping it makes more sense.

#293

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Posted Apr 5, 2013 @ 8:59 AM

""I think the poster means "flashback conversation," as in Neal and August seem like old time buddies in the flashback from 2011 that is in this episode.


Sorry. Yes, I meant 'flashback' scene.
New poster is new...

Wow, yes, totally agree about a longer scene of Snow in the woods. Much rather would have had that (even if it had been entirely montage) than pretty much every other thing in this episode.

Not to mention it would have given a great opportunity for some possible enchanted forest connections/flashback. I'm really feeling the lack of those in these last two episodes. (Probably because some of the characters only truly work for me *as* their fairytale counterparts.)

Edited by NettlestoneNell, Apr 5, 2013 @ 9:00 AM.


#294

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Posted Apr 5, 2013 @ 9:47 AM

Sorry. Yes, I meant 'flashback' scene.
New poster is new...

Wow, yes, totally agree about a longer scene of Snow in the woods. Much rather would have had that (even if it had been entirely montage) than pretty much every other thing in this episode.

Not to mention it would have given a great opportunity for some possible enchanted forest connections/flashback. I'm really feeling the lack of those in these last two episodes. (Probably because some of the characters only truly work for me *as* their fairytale counterparts.)


It was probably the best scene in this disjointed episode.

#295

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Posted Apr 5, 2013 @ 10:44 AM

A little more time for Joan Jett would not have hurt either. I can't believe I didn't have that song in my exercise playlist.

#296

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Posted Apr 5, 2013 @ 9:43 PM

New or not, everyone should be reading the pinned note at the top of the page.

#297

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Posted Apr 7, 2013 @ 8:54 PM

How did Regina figure out Greg is Owen? She shows the lanyard key chain but didn't she have that ALL ALONG? Or did she find a similar one in his room?



Owen gave her one back then, I guess she was already suspicious of him because he seemed familiar to her.




Right. So did she find another, similar one in his room? Or did she just pull out the one he gave her as a child? And if so, that doesnt explain how she figured it he was the same little boy.[/font]

Edited by GaryMF, Apr 7, 2013 @ 8:55 PM.


#298

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Posted Apr 8, 2013 @ 4:43 PM

Right. So did she find another, similar one in his room? Or did she just pull out the one he gave her as a child? And if so, that doesnt explain how she figured it he was the same little boy.[/font]


I think Owen had another one in his room when Regina was checking things out.