Once Upon a Time Series Reviewers/Writers Roundtable

With Once Upon a Time winding down, one of the few ways I thought to celebrate was the include my fellow writers in a roundtable of questions about our favorite characters, moments and more from the series. During the heart of the show, these writers and I felt a sense of camaraderie and friendship and shared many similar feelings, so it’s no surprise that when it came to answering these questions there were some definite similarities. But all in all there is also a lot of variety and above all else fun.

The roundtable includes myself, and writers Katie, Gissane, Maii, Lissete and Meredith. Each answers the questions include their handles and where they wrote about OUAT. Also, myself, Lissete and Maii recorded a podcast (I am contemplating doing more in the future) to discuss our answers as well as those who couldn’t join us. Listen below for that and then read on to our more thorough answers that explores what we consider the best and our favorites of this series.

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Emma Swan is unanimously our favorite character

Name: Marianne
Twitter Handle(s): @Marianne_P81, @The_Girly_Nerd
Where you wrote about Once Upon a Time: The Nerd Machine, The Girly Nerd

1. What made you first watch OUAT and when did you start?
I have been a immense fan of Disney and fairy tales my entire life, so this was literally the show of my dreams. I wanted to watch from the moment I saw the show advertised. I would have watched the show regardless, but also being a big fan of Ginnifer Goodwin from many of her films, seeing she was playing Snow White was an added bonus. She was the only one in the cast I knew of before I began watching, which was the day it premiered in 2011. And it was love at first sight.

2. When did you start writing about the show and what inspired you to do so?
I began writing Once reviews from The Nerd Machine mid season 3 and did a review of that first half of the season. Then I did another for the second half. I began weekly reviews in Season 4. I find OUAT to be a very inspiring and positive show, showcasing themes and content that I connect with on deep levels beyond the pure joy and entertainment I get out of the series. I love writing and wrote a great deal about film and fairy tales in college, and after for some online and periodical articles (ie a review on the film Tangled). My Master’s Thesis was about Family in Fairy Tales and fantasy, which I loved working on (it was also hard work), and it had been a while since I had written anything substantial. I was already a writer for The Nerd Machine on a periodic things and I was going through some changes and this felt like this was a good opportunity to get back into writing more often. I was also inspired by Katie’s reviews on Nerdy Girly Notes and wanted to join her on the fun.

3. What are your favorite arcs/storylines? Rank the seasons.
I thought The Dark Swan arc was amazing with its complexities, twists, beauty and drama and so much focus on Emma and her and Killian’s relationship and love for each other. Likewise both the Wicked Witch and Neverland arcs were fantastic- well paced, well balanced, great romance and drama and emotion. I also loved the Frozen arc for the focus on Emma and the way they perfectly integrated the Frozen characters into the story, and loved the entire first season for its mystery, introduction to all the characters, Snow and Charming’s love story and Emma’s journey of believing and breaking the curse.
Season Ranking: 3, 5,1, 4, 2, 6, 7 (Season 4 and 1, and Season 2 and 6 could probably be tied)

4. Top 3 favorite main characters.
Emma Swan, Killian Jones, Prince Charming/David Nolan. Snow White comes close to them.

5. Choose 5 iconic episodes, not necessarily favorite episodes. These are episodes you think define the series. (2 part season finales can count as 1 episode)
1. Snow Drifts/There’s No Place Like Home
2. The Song in Your Heart
3. Pilot
4. A Land Without Magic
5. Operation Mongoose
Special nod to Going Home, Birth and Snow Falls.

6. Are your 5 favorite episodes the same? If not which would you switch out?
There definite similarities but my 5 favorite vary slightly. These are:
1. Snow Drifts/There’s No Place Like Home
2. The Song in Your Heart
3. Birth
4. New York City Serenade
5. Pilot
Special nods to Operation Mongoose, Fall, Good Form, Going Home, White Out, The Apprentice, A Land Without Magic, Snow Falls, The Other Shoe.

7. Who are you favorite guest characters/actors and favorite recurring characters/actors? 
Guests: Cruella (Victoria Smurfit), Elsa (Georgina Haig), Anna (Elizabeth Lail), Ingrid (Elizabeth Mitchell), Kristoff (Scott Michael Foster), Arthur (Liam Garrigan), Tinkerbell (Rose McIver), Merlin (Elliot Knight), Peter Pan (Robbie Kay)

Recurring: Granny (Beverly Elliott), Ariel (Joanna Garcia-Swisher), Archie (Raphel Sbarge), August (Eion Bailey), Jefferson (Sebastian Stan), Dr. Whale (David Anders), Grumpy (Lee Arenberg), Ruby (Meghan Ory)

8. What are some moments you think are underrated?
– Snow and Charming in the Netherworld was really romantic and so “them” but I loved that a the last minute they gave that little twist that they couldn’t touch. It upped the drama for the arc for certain.

– Anna and Kristoff pledging their love thinking they’re about to drown had me drowning in feels. It was so poignant and romantic.

– Emma showing Killian her box of childhood mementos was such a meaningful step for Emma and their relationship. It’s quiet and simple but incredibly profound.

-Emma and Killian reuniting in the S4 finale. It was so sweet the way she hugged him and tackled him down onto the bed, and that moment had such beautiful tension with their close ups and smiles and anticipation of those three little words.
-Ingrid’s sacrifice was so beautifully done- it was emotionally performed and it was the most I ever felt for a character that wasn’t a main one. And the musical cue used just added to already really profound moment.

– As a whole I think “Hat Trick” and “In the Name of the Brother” were such a unique and amazing episodes that are very under-appreciated.

9. Who are your favorite couples both major and minor?
For the major couples Captain Swan is not only my favorite couple on the show but also one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve ever seen. Their relationship is so well developed, healthy and realistic, while their story is profoundly beautiful and epic and the perfect blend of fairy tale romance and grounded realism. Snow and Charming come in a close second for many of the same reasons. I think their story and relationship is lovely, and pure and so fairy tale perfect. For the minor couples I adored Anna and Kristoff. Their rapport and banter was simply delightful while also showcasing their deeper connection. It felt like they had leapt off the Frozen film and into OUAT.

10. What are your favorite friendships?
I have such a soft and special place in my heart for Killian and David, aka Captain Charming. That development is so great and these two men played off each other so well. I always wanted to see more. Emma and Elsa were a lovely and deep friendship that I am so grateful they showed as we saw such support, sweetness and true kinship with them. I also loved Ruby and Snow and Emma and August, both caring and supportive relationships who wanted the best for their friends.

11. Are there any characters you wish you’d seen on the show?
I will always be bewildered and disappointed that they gave their Captain Hook the name Killian Jones and never used the character Davy Jones. You have a pirate with the last name Jones, and that never comes up? Whether it would have been his father, uncle or other kind of relative I think that was a big missed opportunity. I also wanted Flynn Rider, but the way they did Rapunzel on this show, Captain Swan remains the purest iteration of that couple as far as I’m concerned. I think it also would have been funny if perhaps as someone minor, Mary Poppins was in Storybrooke as a nanny. Lastly, I also think it would have been hilarious if we saw Herbie the Love bug drive by, since the show’s most iconic car was Emma’s yellow bug. Her car could have been Herbie’s True Love!

12. Are there any characters you wish they’d done differently?
Hands down Hercules and Meg. I know OUAT didn’t always do characters exactly like their counterparts, but they were so different and in not a good way. They lacked all the depth, and Meg especially lacked the sass and tenacity I was looking forward to and I was disappointed it did not play out that way. There were so many story parallels between Hercules and Meg and how Emma was braving the Underworld to find Killian and they did not come to fruition in the way it could have.

13. What moments did you want to see that they never showed?
My choices for this are a combo of things I really wanted, things we know were scripted but were deleted, and things that happened off screen. Unsurprisingly they are mostly Captain Swan related.
– The deleted scene from “Heroes and Villains” which went:
Emma: You know I’ve never really done this?
Hook: Held my heart? You’ve done it longer than you know.
The scene as shown was too short but this was a made a big difference.

– The deleted scene from “A Tale of Two Sisters” which had such great flirting:
Emma: I’m not avoiding you. I’m dealing with things.
Hook: Actually, I’m a pretty important thing you’re not dealing with.
Emma: You’re pretty full of yourself.
Hook: It’s my charm. Now shall we discuss the events of last night, or better yet continue with them—

– I ALWAYS wanted to see a flashback of Killian trading the Jolly Roger to Blackbeard for a magic bean and outrunning the curse. There were times they could have flashbacked to this that would have been really meaningful.

– In “The Apprentice,” I loved Emma and Killian’s date but they cut from them at dinner to him walking her to her door, with her wearing his leather jacket. I wanted to see more of their date, particularly him giving her his jacket. That could have been a equally sweet and sexy moment.

-I wanted to see some kind of love scene or bedroom scene (albeit a tame one) for Emma and Killian, especially their first time together. They really missed the boat with never showing this once. I love the “Couch” scene and “Pancakes” scene but there should have been more for who became the show’s central couple.

– I also wanted more sweet domestic moments for Captain Swan and them finding out she was pregnant and the birth of their child.

– Lastly, although I loved the unique way they showed Emma and Killian were True Love, I always wanted a TLK for them. I thought the couple really deserved an magical auspicious moment such as that.

14. What moments do you think were the most romantic, saddest, and funniest?
Romantic: Emma and Killian in the Middlemist field, Killian says he traded his ship for Emma, Snow and Charming finding each other in the S1 finale, Killian returns to Emma in the cemetery, Killian reads Emma the Storybook, Snow splits her heart and revives Charming, Killian vows to win Emma’s heart, Killian reveals Emma is his happy ending, Emma and Killian’s wedding vows, Snow and Charming’s True Love Kiss in the Pilot, Anna and Kristoff in the trunk, Snow and Charming in the Netherworld.

Saddest: Emma and Killian saying goodbye in the Underworld, Robin Hood’s death, Emma chained to bed giving up Henry, Emma saying goodbye to everyone at the townline, Emma having to “kill” Killian with Excaliber, Snow giving up Emma right after giving birth.

Funniest: Cruella, Ursula, and Rumple driving up to the drive-thru of Mr. Clucks in Cruella’s car- hilarious on so many levels. Snow and Charming arguing under the Snow Queen’s spell, Charming teaching Henry to drive, so many of Killian, Cruella, and Granny’s one-liners, and when Snow, who had lost her love and sweetness tells a dwarf after breaking their mug, “You’re lucky it’s not that mug you call a face!”

15. What moments do you remember where you had a really emotional or visceral reaction, and ones where you simply thought “I love this show!”
I had a strong visceral and emotional reactions to the very intimate, heartbreaking moments for Emma and Killian in S5, particularly when Emma saves his life and turn him into another Dark One in the Middlemist field and when they saying goodbye at the elevator in the Underworld. The latter especially, because it was so quiet, deep and felt so incredibly real, really affected me. Lots of real life ugly sobbing. I was also affected by the image of Snow in the mirror crying after Charming takes baby Emma away in the Pilot, and the image of Emma chained to her hospital bed, crying and unable to even look at Henry after giving birth. These are so heart wrenching. Emma also sobbing when she thinks Henry is dead- the image of little pale body,a nd that somber music just killed me. And when she kissed him and he woke up and she broke the curse I really lost it.

As far as “I love this show” moments early on I felt that watching the Pilot and Snow Falls, and I began to feel that even more in S3, especially the S3 finale which I think was the absolute peak in storytelling. And when I watched “Going Home” I vividly remember sobbing as Emma was saying goodbye to everyone and Storybrooke disappeared, and I literally leapt from my seat and yelled out “Hook” when he showed up at her door. It was such a range of emotions and I will never forget that, especially since that was a midseason finale and we had to wait months to see what was next!

I had a similar reaction to “Swan Song” when Emma was marching towards the Underworld to save Killian and she says the Charming Family motto, “I will always find you.” I already knew this couple to be a True Love everlasting pairing, but both for Emma’s character, and the couple I was so overwhelmed with hearing her saying what the original True Love couple- her parents always said and stood for. That’s magical to me!

Lastly, and probably the most significant was for the musical episode. It was everything I dreamt of. But in particular the wedding and even more specifically “A Happy Beginning” is a pristine example of everything I love about this show. It was so incredibly joyful, celebrating love and family, and the song is absolutely perfect. I literally cannot count the number of times I have watched this scene since it aired, and I have listened to the song even more. I know anytime I want to smile or cheer myself, just listen on pop on this scene and all will be right with the world.

16. What were some of your favorite costumes?
I thought all of the costumes in Camelot were absolutely gorgeous, especially Emma’s White dresses, and Killian’s quilted jacket and red vest. But the costumes for Snow, Charming, Regina, Robin, Zelena, and Belle were all beautiful. I also loved Emma’s ball gown and Killian’s Prince ensemble from the S3 finale, Emma and Snow’s “adventure” outfits from the musical episode and Operation Mongoose respectively, Elsa and Anna’s dresses, Belle’s blue dress, Emma’s gown from Charming’s dream, Charming’s hero ensemble from NYCS, Cinderella/Ashley’s ball gown, as well as the main costumes for Robin Hood and Mulan. I also never met an Emma Swan leather jacket I didn’t like and loved the pink dress she wore for her date with Killian.

17. What are your favorite musical themes or cues? Favorite songs from the musical episode?
Musical cues/themes: “Wedding in the Woods”
“Snow and Charming’s theme”
“Emma’s Theme”
“Emma and Killian’s theme”
“Sky Sailing”
“Ingrid’s End”
“True Love”
“Happy Endings Suite”
“Emma’s Theme/Charming Family Theme”
“Storybrooke (peaceful 6 weeks) Theme”
Musical Episode: “A Happy Beginning,” ‘Powerful Magic,” “Revenge is Gonna Be Mine”, “Emma’s Theme”

18. Which guest star casting do think was spot on perfect?
Georgina Haig, Elizabeth Lail and Scott Michael Foster as Elsa, Anna and Kristoff, Victoria Smurfit as Cruella, Joanna Garcia and Gil McKinney as Ariel and Eric.

19. If you could pick any props to take from set what would they be?
Even though I made my own Captain Swan one, I would love a real copy of Henry’s storybook. I also would love Excalibur with Emma and Killian’s names engraved on it.

20. Would you rather live in Storybrooke or the Enchanted Forest?
Storybrooke. I need modern conveniences like medicine, electricity, internet and television. But I would hope there were ways we could visit the Enchanted Forest on occasion for special things like a ball.

21. What show would you do a crossover episode with (doesn’t have to make sense or be current)?
Psych. I just think this would be so funny and entertaining. Emma and Juliet would get along great, two badass woman sheriffing around town. Lassiter would probably get annoyed at everyone and I think he, Killian and David would share in that- equally exasperated at the constant monsters and such. And Shawn and Gus- they would probably spend their time screaming and running away from everything and checking out every single restaurant in town. I can picture them ordering a million things off the menu in Granny’s right before going into the psychic hijinks, and Emma would probably no doubt be able to see right through Shawn’s facade, but not spill the beans. It would be really fun.

22. What other show would you think it’d be fun to put the OUAT characters into?
The Office. I think it would be hilarious to put these fairy tale characters into such a mundane and ordinary setting. Bonus if they were in their EF costumes, and Emma was the only one who wasn’t. Can you imagine the talking to the camera moments? Classic.

23. Pick two favorite quotes.
“True Love isn’t easy but it must be fought for. Because once you find it, it can never be replaced.”

“When I win your heart, Emma- and I will win it- it will not be because of any trickery. It will be because you want me.”

Bonus: “People are going to tell you who you are your whole life. You’ve just got to punch back and say, no this is who I am.”

24. If you could write the final scene of the series, what would it be?
Emma, Killian, their child(ren), Snow, Charming, their son, Henry, Ella and Lucy, Regina and other friends and loved ones all celebrating Emma’s birthday. They are all happy smiling and clapping as she blows out her candles. She kisses KiIlian and their child, hugs Henry and her parents. The family is together again, happy and at peace. It would also be nice if they incorporated the storybook again, perhaps with an narration of Emma or Henry reading how they all lived happily ever after, and we see another illustration and the book closes. Then either fade to black or a final shot of the clock or Storybrooke sign, mirroring the way the Pilot ended.

25. Last question- the Blue fairy, shady or not shady?
I don’t think she’s evil or a villain but she is totally shady, I feel like she holds back and is not forthcoming about a lot of things. So while ultimately I still think she is good, she is shady enough where it wouldn’t surprise me if they revealed her to be some mastermind in the end.

cs date

Captain Swan is our favorite couple

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We all adore Snow and Charming as well

Name: Katie Kawa
Twitter Handle(s): @nerdygirlnotes
Where you wrote about Once Upon a Time: Nerdy Girl Notes (nerdygirlnotes.com)

1. What made you first watch OUAT and when did you start?
I started watching OUAT on New Year’s Day 2012, when ABC aired a marathon of the first 7 episodes. I love all things Disney and fairytales, so the show was always tailor-made for my interests, so the second ABC gave me a chance to really get hooked, it was all over for me—in the best possible way.

2. When did you start writing about the show and what inspired you to do so?
I started writing about the show on my old LiveJournal in early 2012, but my first official post about it at NGN was a review of the Season One finale. I started regularly posting about the show starting in Season Two. I knew from the moment I began watching it that this was exactly the kind of show I wanted to write about. The show’s themes of hope and the power of belief resonated so strongly with me that I knew I could spend an eternity writing about it, and I was so inspired by the complexity of the female characters we were introduced to right away in Season One that I never wanted to stop analyzing them and their relationships with each other and with the men who love them.

3. What are your favorite arcs/storylines? Rank the seasons.
I’ll start with ranking the seasons (from least favorite to favorite): 7, 6, 2, 4, 5, 1, 3

There will always be a special place in my heart for the initial arc of Season One in terms of how it developed for Emma and Henry and Snow and Charming because it emphasized truly excellent storytelling in both the past and present stories and showcased how important all kinds of love would be on the show. I also adored the Neverland arc because of how strongly it focused on my favorite characters and their relationships with each other, and you can count me among the proud few who really loved what they did with Season Four’s Frozen storyline. Finally, although the Dark Swan arc was very different than I expected it to be, the brilliant work it allowed Jennifer Morrison to do makes it one of my all-time favorites.

4. Top 3 favorite main characters.
This is going to be SO PREDICTABLE for anyone who knows me, but oh well. 😉

3. Regina: Watching how Regina developed from a villain to a character I actively root for was one of the most rewarding things about watching OUAT over the years. She wasn’t always likable, but I came to love that about her. She was one of my favorite characters to write about because she was complex and layered in a way I never would have seen coming in the pilot. She was deeply flawed and incredibly frustrating at times, but she was also a character capable of immense love and true growth. Her acceptance of her happiness as being independent of a man remains one of the highlights of the show for me, and I’ve loved watching this woman learn to define herself as a hero on her own terms.

2. Snow White: It wasn’t always easy to see the Snow White I first fell in love with in later seasons of the show, but when she appeared, I was reminded of why she was my first favorite and will always be my OUAT “spirit animal.” Snow represents the idea that you can be soft and still be strong; you can have a gentle heart and an iron will. She made me see that hope can be a source of true strength and that belief isn’t about some faraway stories or magic; it’s about having faith in the people you love and in yourself. She’s the kind of leader I hope I am, the kind of mother I hope to become, and the kind of person I try to channel every day.

1. Emma Swan: Emma Swan changed my life. It’s as simple and as profound as that. I’m a stronger, happier, braver, and better me because she existed and because I found her when I did. She is one of the most inspiring characters I’ve ever discovered in my many years of media consumption, and her story never fails to make me cry just thinking about it. She had a villain’s backstory filled with loss, abandonment, and deception, but she lived a true hero’s journey of self-definition, bravery, and belief. Her strengths, her weaknesses, her highs, and her lows were all relatable; she was a Disney princess for young women living in a world where it’s all too easy to become cynical. She taught all of us that you don’t have to be perfect to be the hero of your own story—all of you have to be is yourself.

5. Choose 5 iconic episodes, not necessarily favorite episodes. These are episodes you think define the series. (2 part season finales can count as 1 episode)
1. “Pilot” (1.01): I’ve never seen a pilot do a better job of establishing not just characters and plot, but also tone and themes that would carry through the whole series.
2. “Snow Falls” (1.03): The epitome of the show’s flair for epic romance and twisting beloved fairytales into something more modern, fun, and empowering for women.
3. “A Land Without Magic” (1.22): The episode that showed all this show can be when it’s firing on all cylinders and the one that set the standard for curse-breaking, True Love’s Kisses, and emotional twists (with Emma’s love for Henry being the one to break the curse).
4. “Snow Drifts/There’s No Place Like Home” (3.21/3.22): Fun, romantic, filled with references to pop culture and other fairytales, and an essential piece of the show’s mythology, the “Captain Swan movie” is a fandom favorite for a reason.
5. “The Song in Your Heart” (6.20): The musical episode we all asked for combined with the wedding episode we all needed—a truly magical moment in the show’s history.

6. Are your 5 favorite episodes the same? If not which would you switch out?
My favorite episode lists changes almost daily, but I think that list is pretty close. I might swap “A Land Without Magic” and “The Song in Your Heart” for the perfect one-two punch of “Going Home” and “New York City Serenade” in Season Three, but it’s so hard to choose!

7. Who are you favorite guest characters/actors and favorite recurring characters/actors? 
Guest Characters: I adored all the Frozen characters, especially Ingrid. I’ve loved Elizabeth Mitchell from her days on LOST, and the depth and humanity she gave to Ingrid created one of my favorite single character arcs in the show’s history. I also really loved Cruella because Victoria Smurfit is such a gem of an actor and brought so much campy brilliance to that role.

Recurring Characters: RUBY. I think the loss of Meghan Ory from the show doesn’t get talked about enough. Ruby was such a great character who was at the center of some wonderful female friendships, and losing her as a regular face on the show was a huge blow. I also smiled every time we saw Granny, and I have to put a vote in for some of Season Seven’s new faces, with Alice and Tiana being particular standouts.

8. What are some moments you think are underrated?
I know a lot of people don’t like to talk about the Neal/Emma stuff because it’s too painful to think about that part of her past, but the confrontation between Neal, Emma, Henry, and Rumple in the apartment in “Manhattan” is probably the single best acted scene the show ever did; it floored me when it first aired, and years later, I find myself still thinking about it.

I also could talk about Ingrid’s death scene all day in terms of underrated moments. Elizabeth Mitchell brought so much to that role, and the amount I cried when she died took me by complete surprise. It was such a beautifully executed scene to culminate a beautifully executed arc, and it was one of the most emotional death scenes the show has ever done; it just doesn’t get talked about a lot because she wasn’t a main character.

9. Who are your favorite couples both major and minor?
I’ll start with the current season: I’m loving the way the show has been developing Alice and Robin’s relationship. It’s everything I’d wanted them to do in terms of an LGBT romance for so long, and the two of them are adorable together.

And then, of course, there are the original OTPs for so many of us: Captain Swan (Emma/Hook) and Snowing (Snow/Charming). From the pilot onward, Snow and Charming owned my heart. They rekindled my belief in fairytale love stories, and they will always remain the gold standard for me (both onscreen and off). And if Snowing helped me believe in fairytales again, Captain Swan helped me believe I could have one for myself someday. They were a new kind of fairytale about two broken people learning to believe in love again, and along the way, they made so many of us believe, too. Those two couples gave us so many classic romantic moments, allowed us to shed so many cathartic tears, and inspired so many of us to write about them. They’re huge parts of the show’s legacy—and rightly so.

10. What are your favorite friendships?
Snow and Ruby will always be my favorite—even though we didn’t get nearly enough of it. They were supportive of each other, genuinely loved each other, and helped each other become better people by believing in them. I will also always have a soft spot for the epic bromance between Charming and Killian, the beautiful friendship between Emma and Elsa, and the “enemies to reluctant co-parents to friends” dynamic Emma and Regina developed over time.

11. Are there any characters you wish you’d seen on the show?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Rapunzel’s husband this season was named Eugene or Flynn, right? If that’s the case, that’s one of the only characters I really wanted to see but never got: a quality version of Flynn Rider. I also would have liked to see what they could have done with Moana because she’s already such a powerful female character.

12. Are there any characters you wish they’d done differently?
I didn’t like either of the show’s versions of Rapunzel. She was either too boring and passive or a villain—neither of which I wanted for one of my favorite Disney princesses. I also still wish they would have given Belle more of a backbone throughout instead of just in a handful of moments. The show never seemed to know quite what to do with her after deciding to make her a regular character, and I wish she would have been more developed from the start because she’s such an iconic character played by such a great actress who deserved better writing than she was given in most cases.

13. What moments did you want to see that they never showed?
I would have liked a traditional True Love’s Kiss between Emma and Killian and to have seen the moment Emma told Killian she was pregnant because I’m a sappy shipper. I also would have liked more scenes with Emma talking to her parents as the seasons went on. Emma and Snow had such a great dynamic in Season One, and I wished we could have seen that come back a little more clearly in later seasons.

14. What moments do you think were the most romantic, saddest, and funniest?
Most Romantic: Charming and Snow’s first True Love’s Kiss (the perfect way to kick off the show), the entirety of the “Captain Swan Movie” (especially the kiss at the end), Killian’s “When I win your heart” speech, and Charming’s “What’s 28 years when you have eternal love?” line.

Saddest: Emma stabbing Killian with Excalibur, Snow and Charming giving up Emma in the pilot, Emma’s reaction to finding out Henry “died” before breaking the curse, and Emma and Henry having to leave everyone behind in “Going Home.”

Funniest: Rumple and the Queens of Darkness at the drive-thru. Nothing will ever be better than that.

15. What moments do you remember where you had a really emotional or visceral reaction, and ones where you simply thought “I love this show!”
The entire musical episode was like that for me, a reminder of everything I’ve ever loved about the show. And in terms of emotional reactions, the amount I cried when Emma and Killian said their goodbyes in the Underworld during “Firebird” was bordering on ridiculous and was on the same level as my wrecked reaction to Snow and Charming’s goodbye before splitting his heart back in Season Two. In terms of happy reactions, nothing will beat the giddiness I felt seeing the sneak peek of Emma and Killian’s first kiss and the pure joy of Killian showing up at her door at the end of “Going Home.”

16. What were some of your favorite costumes?
Emma’s red leather jacket—because I love when costumes mean something, Regina’s backless blue dress and red velvet dress from Season One, Snow’s white coat/tan pants outfit from “Lady of the Lake,” and Emma’s pink first date dress.

17. What are your favorite musical themes or cues? Favorite songs from the musical episode?
I always tear up whenever I hear Snow and Charming’s theme, and the way Emma’s theme was used in the musical episode to give even more importance to an already beautiful piece of music was brilliant. And I will never stop singing “Powerful Magic” and “A Happy Beginning.” Both songs feel straight out of a Disney movie or theme park in the best possible way. (Also, I will use this answer to just say JOSH DALLAS’S VOICE. We’re not ever going to be over that, are we?)

18. Which guest star casting do think was spot on perfect?
Elizabeth Lail was the perfect choice for Princess Anna, and I feel the same way about Victoria Smurfit as Cruella. I also can’t go without mentioning how wonderfully Joanna Garcia Swisher embodied the innocence, spunk, and joy of Ariel.

19. If you could pick any props to take from set what would they be?
I’d want a copy of the story book, but I also wouldn’t be opposed to taking one of Emma’s jackets or Snow’s engagement ring.

20. Would you rather live in Storybrooke or the Enchanted Forest?
Storybrooke! I’m not ashamed to say that—while the clothes would be amazing in the Enchanted Forest—I need running water, electricity, and the internet. Also, I hear Granny makes a great lasagna that you can only get in Storybrooke. 😉

21. What show would you do a crossover episode with (doesn’t have to make sense or be current)?
I’m having lots of fun right now imagining the Timeless crew winding up in the Enchanted Forest. I also always wanted a Castle/OUAT crossover because a world filled with fairytale characters would have made Richard Castle so excited, and I always wanted Kate Beckett and Emma Swan to be friends.

22. What other show would you think it’d be fun to put the OUAT characters into?
I’d love to see them on a game show of some sort—they’d make a very entertaining episode of Family Feud.

23. Pick two favorite quotes.
“People are going to tell you who you are your whole life. You’ve just gotta punch back and say, ‘No, this is who I am.’” (Emma Swan)

“Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing.” (Snow White)

24. If you could write the final scene of the series, what would it be?
I think it would be a lot like the final scenes we got at the end of Season Six, to be quite honest—little slices of what “happily ever after” looks like for all these characters. But I’d want it to end with Emma’s birthday and her blowing out a candle surrounded by her parents, friends, husband, and children—finally realizing the wish that started it all.

25. Last question- the Blue fairy, shady or not shady?
TOTALLY SHADY.

elsa and anna

The “Frozen” characters were among our favorite guest stars

ariel 3

Ariel is another popular favorite guest star

Name: Gissane Sophia
Twitter Handle(s): @GissaneSophia | @MGcircles
Where you wrote about Once Upon a Time: http://mgcirclesmedia.com

1. What made you first watch OUAT and when did you start?
I was intrigued by it when the promos were coming out, but I actually thought it was going to be a scarier twist on classics, which bummed me out cause I was a huge fan of Ginny Goodwin’s rom coms. But then one of my closest friends watched the first two episodes and loved them, so I took her recommendation and gave it a try. And here we are seven years later. Lol! I’m so glad the good characters get their happy endings.

2. When did you start writing about the show and what inspired you to do so?
Season 3. At this point I had started writing reviews for a little show called Graceland, and I had missed writing essays (weird, right?) so I figured I’d put that longing to use with TV and add on more shows to my list. I knew I wanted to write after I realized that the season two finale left us with such an intriguing cliffhanger and I kept wanting to talk about it with people. I’d write little metas here and there on my Tumblr for fun so bringing my media study and English degree into it turned out to be one of the funnest decisions I’ve ever made.

3. What are your favorite arcs/storylines? Rank the seasons.
I love the first season so much, it’s got such a special place in my heart for a number of reasons, but I also really loved Neverland and Frozen. In order of favorites, one, three, four, two, five, six.

4. Top 3 favorite main characters.
Emma Swan.
Killian Jones.
David Charming & Snow White (They’re equal to me. They’re one. Don’t make me choose. I refuse.)

5. Choose 5 iconic episodes, not necessarily favorite episodes. These are episodes you think define the series. (2 part season finales can count as 1 episode)
Pilot (Naturally, it started it all.)
Snow Drifts | There’s No Place Like Home
Nimue
Snow Falls
Hat Trick

6. Are your 5 favorite episodes the same? If not which would you switch out?
Yes, for the most part they are. I like a couple of other episodes here and there, too, but those get to me.

7. Who are you favorite guest characters/actors and favorite recurring characters/actors? 
The Frozen actors hands down with Ariel following very closely behind. I love Granny and Ruby, too. They’re a huge reason why season one was so special and I wish we got to explore their stories a little more.

8. What are some moments you think are underrated?
I don’t know if it’s underrated per say, but the scene where Hatter reunites with his little girl always gets to me – even in gif form, the second I see it, instant tears. He was such a fun character to explore and I wish we got to see more of their dynamic because truly, there was nothing he wouldn’t do for his baby girl and it would’ve gone gorgeously with the them of the show. And then there’s the whole thing with The Snow Queen’s redemption arc, my God was that a beautiful scene. It’s definitely in my top episodes, maybe in my top 5, but it’s so hard to choose really. “Shattered Sight” was so special, I never could’ve imagined that episode ending the way it did. It was one of the most beautiful episodes to date and I remember bawling my eyes out to it. Ingrid was so special, and I wish we got to her a little bit more after her memories were returned. That entire storyline was just utter perfection. Also, again, I don’t know if it’s underrated, I really loved “Sisters” and everything that happened in that episode with Zelena and Regina. It was such a beautiful showcase of both their hearts and what could be if they set their differences aside. It really got to me as I watched it.

9. Who are your favorite couples both major and minor?
Captain Swan (Emma Swan and Killian Jones)
Snowing (Snow White and Prince Charming)
Kristoff and Anna of Arendalle
Outlaw Queen (Regina Mills and Robin Hood)

10. What are your favorite friendships?
Snow and Emma
Emma and Elsa
Henry and Emma
Killian and Charming
Anna and Elsa
Henry and Charming
Snow and Ruby
Regina and Zelena

11. Are there any characters you wish you’d seen on the show?
Flynn Rider.

12. Are there any characters you wish they’d done differently?
Quite a few to be honest, and I feel like it could be a can of worms we don’t want to open up, so maybe it’s best not to get into it. Let’s just say that there’s a particular (minor, not major or recurring) character that the fandom really idolizes and that character has always been one of my least favorites for a number of reasons.

13. What moments did you want to see that they never showed?
Emma’s birthday round 2. It’s essentially how I always imagined the show would end bringing everything full circle beautifully, but woe, here we are. And I’d love some more domestic moments between the Charming family, if the show had turned into comedy instead with our favorites trying to figure out the ins and outs of our world, it would’ve been perfect.

14. What moments do you think were the most romantic, saddest, and funniest?
There are so many of these, first kisses, true loves kisses, familial reunions, anything related to them commenting on our world.

15. What moments do you remember where you had a really emotional or visceral reaction, and ones where you simply thought “I love this show!”
Emma’s fight against the darkness in “Nimue”. That was such a remarkable showcase of what it truly means to fight back against the negativity in our heads and it was so inspiring to watch it.

16. What were some of your favorite costumes?
I always loved Regina’s dresses – they’re so gorgeous. And Snow’s bandit costume too. Anything in “Snow Drifts | There’s No Place Like Home” was stunning. There are seriously so many. Eduardo Castro is next level amazing.

17. What are your favorite musical themes or cues? Favorite songs from the musical episode?
Snowing Theme, and the original, opening theme always get to me. I think I loved “Emma’s Theme” most from the musical episode.

18. Which guest star casting do think was spot on perfect?
Frozen. Hands down. Hatter and Ariel a close second.

19. If you could pick any props to take from set what would they be?
Probably a mug from Granny’s diner. I’m a huge mug collector so that’s definitely something that is on my level. Also, if I could borrow any of the costumes, then yes definitely, sign me up.

20. Would you rather live in Storybrooke or the Enchanted Forest?
Storybrooke for sure. It’s such a quaint, adorable little town. And I loved getting to experience it a little bit when I visited Steveston in Vancouver.

21. What show would you do a crossover episode with (doesn’t have to make sense or be current)?
Fun fact, or perhaps, a not so fun fact, I really really don’t like crossovers, they stress me out so none.

22. What other show would you think it’d be fun to put the OUAT characters into?
I feel like this rings similar to crossovers, but if I have to choose then maybe Stranger Things.

23. Pick two favorite quotes.

“People are gonna tell you who you are your whole life. You just gotta punch back and say, “No, this is who I am”. You want people to look at you differently? Make them! You want to change things, you’re gonna have to go out there and change them yourself, because there are no fairy godmothers in this world.”

“True love isn’t easy but it must be fought for because once you find it, it can never be replaced.”

Basic, I know, but damn do those two get to me.

24. If you could write the final scene of the series, what would it be?
It’d be Emma’s birthday, whatever year she’s turning, at Granny’s perhaps with every single one of her loved by her side as she blows out her candles after everyone’s sung happy birthday to her.

25. Last question- the Blue fairy, shady or not shady?
I’m definitely indifferent on her. I never thought about it or cared too much. So probably not shady? I don’t know.

charming horse

We all thought the “Pilot” was an iconic episode

cs dance 4

But the Season 3 finale “Snow Drifts/There’s No Place Like Home” is unanimously our favorite episode

Name: Meredith Loftus
Twitter Handle(s): @MeredithLoftus (@ouatfandomblog)
Where you wrote about Once Upon a Time: ScreenSpy.com

1. What made you first watch OUAT and when did you start?
My sister (Emma) & dad watched the series premiere on my sister’s birthday (October 23rd), and the next day they told me I should watch the show. About 5 weeks later, a classmate of mine told me she was watching it and loved; so after class, I went back to my dorm room and proceeded to watch the five episodes that have aired so far. I was hooked.

2. When did you start writing about the show and what inspired you to do so?
I didn’t start writing about the show until about halfway through Season 4A. During Season 3, that’s when I started to really fangirl over the show and became active on Twitter. I kept up with BTS news from a few accounts; I read reviews from Nerdy Girl Notes, MG Circles, and The Nerd Machine. I was so inspired by the reviews I was reading and so fascinated in theorizing what they were doing on the show that I started my own fan blog, OUAT Fandom Blog, where I used to write theory posts. A couple weeks into running the blog, ScreenSpy was looking for contributors to write reviews for shows, and one of the shows that needed reviews was OUAT. I reached out to them, sent them a link to my blog, and within a couple of days I was all set to start writing for them.

3. What are your favorite arcs/storylines? Rank the seasons.
The best story arcs on the show were definitely the first season and the third season. I would rank it: 1) Season 3, 2) Season 1, 3) 4B, 4) Season 2, 5) 4A, 6) 6B, 7) Season 5, 8) 6A. I have not watched the latest season. I stopped watching after the Season 6 finale.

4. Top 3 favorite main characters.
Top 3 favorite characters are hands down Emma Swan, Killian Jones, and Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard.

5. Choose 5 iconic episodes, not necessarily favorite episodes. These are episodes you think define the series. (2 part season finales can count as 1 episode)
The iconic episodes of the series are 1×01 Pilot, 1×03 Snow Falls, 3×11 Going Home, 3×21-3×22 Snow Drifts/There’s No Place Like Home, and 6×22 The Final Battle Part 2.

6. Are your 5 favorite episodes the same? If not which would you switch out?
The above are my favorites except I might switch out 6×22 for 3×17 Poor Unfortunate Soul which is a personal favorite of mine.

7. Who are you favorite guest characters/actors and favorite recurring characters/actors? Ariel is hands down my favorite guest character. I was worried when they announced that she was coming on the show because Ariel is my favorite Disney princess and I wanted to see her character done correctly; thankfully, my fears were quickly diminished in her debut episode. Joanna Garcia-Swisher is a perfect Ariel and had such a great dynamic with every character she interacted with. Plus, when Ariel is in an episode, I could always count on great Captain Swan and/or Killian Jones moments in it.

8. What are some moments you think are underrated?
The most underrated moment happens during 1×05 That Still Small Voice when Archie stands up to Regina after saving Henry from the mine. “Or what? You’ll do your worst? Because I will always do my best.” That line has stayed with me since 2011 because he’s validating his self-worth and conscious without stooping down to Regina’s level.

9. Who are your favorite couples both major and minor?
My favorite major couples have always been the Big Four: Emma/Killian, Snow/Charming, Regina/Robin, and Belle/Rumple. The minor ones I love are Ariel/Eric, Aladdin/Jasmine, and Cinderella/Thomas.

10.What are your favorite friendships? Killian/Charming, Killian/Ariel, Emma/Elsa, Snow/Red, Ariel/Belle, and Emma/Mary Margaret in Season 1.

18. Which guest star casting do think was spot on perfect?
Joanna Garcia-Swisher as Ariel, again in my opinion, is perfect guest casting.

19. If you could pick any props to take from set what would they be?
Can I just take Mary Margaret’s entire loft, decorations and all? That would be amazing!

20. Would you rather live in Storybrooke or the Enchanted Forest?
Storybrooke no question. Modern healthcare matters! Plus, I would love to run the coffee shop in Storybrooke and hang out with the hipster fairytale characters.

24. If you could write the final scene of the series, what would it be?
Honestly, I thought the Thanksgiving dinner in Granny’s at the end of the Season 6 finale would’ve made a perfect ending to the series.

25. Last question- the Blue fairy, shady or not shady?
BLUE HAS BEEN AND WILL ALWAYS BE SHADY!

storybrooke sign

We all would rather live in Storybrooke

Name: Maii
Twitter Handle(s): OfTheDirewolves and Maiqu20
Where you wrote about Once Upon a Time: I wrote for Word of the Nerd and was a part of the Captain Swan Podcast

1. What made you first watch OUAT and when did you start?
I started around episode 4. I liked Ginnifer Goodwin and fairytales plus I was like oh the girl from House (Can you imagine I had a life before Jennifer Morrison? I can’t remember it). Also I thought Josh was really hot so I was like why not.

2. When did you start writing about the show and what inspired you to do so?
I started in s4. Emma Swan. Is that going to be a recurring theme in this questionnaire? Probably.

But honestly I realized I loved analyzing shows and figured hey I’ve got the background for it why not write for something I love. So I sent a few applications and one of them stuck and well considering I’m still writing on it I think we’re doing okay. It might frustrate me at times but I love reviewing my favorite shows and I truly want to dedicate myself to this.

3. What are your favorite arcs/storylines? Rank the seasons.
I know I’m among the few that truly loved the Frozen arc? Mostly because it was about Emma and just Emma with no focus on /that/ character even if the arc had the 2nd shittiest finale in the show. I loved the dynamics of season 1 and the friendships in it. I loved Dark Swan a lot? I’d change a few things about it but as a whole I loved it. Season 2 started out great and then kind of went nowhere before getting back on track. Those of us around from way back when know it’s because Colin had to go break his leg so this one wasn’t really the writers fault.

3B is complicated bc it was well very slow and while I understood Emma’s decisions it was the first time I was privy to the fandom’s prejudice against her (even within our own fandom). So that one sadly has a bit of a strange connotation because it also has one of the most perfect finales ever to exist? Underworld I love the idea behind it, I thought there was too much focus on the Mills women and Rumple. So the CS in it was perfect but it gets points taken for allowing scum like Cora to move on but Milah got to suffer a fate worst than death and never reunite with her son which was all she wanted.

S4B was a retcon disaster. And honestly season 4 as a whole did not deserve Michael Socha. The only redeemable eps were Sympathy for DeVil and Poor Unfortunate Souls. Season 6 was, something. On one side you had beautiful stunning eps like The Other Shoe, Murder Most Foul (without the end reveal), Dark Waters, Heartless, Awake, the first part of the finale and of course The Song in Your Heart. On the other side there’s episodes like the offensive Wish You were here, the dreadful A Bitter Draught, the 2nd part of the finale that went nowhere really, and well the rest of the eps weren’t much better.

Neverland Arc -> Lost in Enchanted Forrest (2A) -> Season 1 -> Frozen Arc -> 3B -> Dark One Arc -> The Dark Days of S2 -> 5B -> 6B -> 6A -> 4B

Now for full seasons? Season 3 -> Season 1 -> Season 2 -> Season 5 -> Season 6 -> Season 4

4. Top 3 favorite main characters.
Emma Swan, Killian Jones and Charming

5. Choose 5 iconic episodes, not necessarily favorite episodes. These are episodes you think define the series. (2 part season finales can count as 1 episode)
A Land Without Magic
Snow Drifts/There’s No Place like Home
Red-Handed
Pilot
Nimue

6. Are your 5 favorite episodes the same? If not which would you switch out?
Snow Drifts/There’s No Place like Home
White Out
The Shepherd
Nimue
Good Form

7. Who are you favorite guest characters/actors and favorite recurring characters/actors? 
I’m gonna be on brand and say Frozen because we all know my thing for Scott Michael Foster. And I loved Cruella a lot.
For Recurring: definitely Ruby and Mulan.

8. What are some moments you think are underrated?
I love Ingrid’s sacrifice I think it’s one of the most beautiful moments in the entire series.
I love “you think I’m interested in Hook? Emma I’m a married man” & Ariel standing up to John and Michael.
Also I can’t think of any because I haven’t rewatched in a while but any Swan Believer or Charming/Emma scene is on this list.

9. Who are your favorite couples both major and minor?
Major Couples are obviously Captain Swan and Snowing.

For minor couples I say Scarlet Queen (for those that didn’t watch OUATIW it’s Anastasia and Will Scarlet) and Red Beauty.

10. What are your favorite friendships?
Emma and Elsa were a truly pure friendship. I also love Captain Charming a lot.
Emma x Ruby, Ruby x Snow, S1 Snow x Emma, Emma x Henry, Captain Book, David x Emma, Charming x Anna

11. Are there any characters you wish you’d seen on the show?
I think it’s no surprise that I wanted Anastasia to come to the main show. I thought her arc was perfect on OUATiW, the relationship with Will was beautiful. But as for characters they didn’t show in either show…. Hmm I would have loved to see Esmeralda, same with Persephone (even if we got Disney!Hades not GreekMyth!Hades), ohh or the Sanderson Sisters.

12. Are there any characters you wish they’d done differently?
Can I say Regina? Because I think she had potential and could have been much better with someone else playing her and if they hadn’t made a mess of her storyline. And of course Robin Hood because I don’t know who that was but it wasn’t Robin Hood.

I wish they had followed through with Will Scarlet’s plotline and that they hadn’t made a mess of Belle’s.

13. What moments did you want to see that they never showed?
Captain Swan Sex. I mean I know they showed something but come on. I would have loved a better Snow and Emma relationship.

14. What moments do you think were the most romantic, saddest, and funniest?
Most Romantic? You traded your ship for me and Charming taking an arrow for Snow.
Saddest? Emma having to kill Killian in Swan Song, their goodbye in Final Rites. Belle’s son being stolen from her.
Funniest? Pancakes! I’m glad we don’t have thanksgiving in our world because that would suck.

15. What moments do you remember where you had a really emotional or visceral reaction, and ones where you simply thought “I love this show!”
My most visceral reaction as anyone who knows me can attest to is Emma’s “I’m not nothing I was never nothing.” Because Emma is the character I’ve related to most in this world and with my life and the things I’ve gone through that was a moment I needed and will forever relate to.

That being said the Neverland kiss, Charming’s speeches “we are both” & “true love isn’t easy but it must be fought for”, and of course you gave up your ship for me? Are also ICONIC.

16. What were some of your favorite costumes?
Killian- I love the red vest of sex (I’m still very proud of having coined that phrase) and the Storybrooke Outfit
Charming’s S1 Prince Outfit
Emma’s Camelot dress and the outfits in the season 3 finale
Snow’s bandit outfit

17. What are your favorite musical themes or cues? Favorite songs from the musical episode?
I am a musical score nerd so I’ll try to keep it simple: CS Theme, Emma’s theme, the snowing theme and the main title.

For the musical episode I love Emma’s Theme, Revenge is Gonna be Mine and Powerful Magic.

18. Which guest star casting do think was spot on perfect?
I wish they had done more with him but Oded Fehr was a perfect Jafar. The whole Frozen cast was perfect as were Jamie Chung as Mulan, Victoria Smurfit as Cruella, Sebastian Stan as the Hatter/Jefferson and JoAnna Garcia as Ariel.

19. If you could pick any props to take from set what would they be?
I would take either the sword that both Charming and Emma fought with or Excalibur with both Emma and Killian’s names.

20. Would you rather live in Storybrooke or the Enchanted Forest?
Can we portal back and forth? I mean the show did throw continuity out the window so should we. Because I’d love to visit the different lands but I need coffee, internet and everything that modern life gives us so Storybrooke is it.

21. What show would you do a crossover episode with (doesn’t have to make sense or be current)?
I’d go with Lucifer because I do think the main couples have a lot of similarities and their worlds both deal with characters from stories in a way.

Also I would pay to watch Lucifer Morningstar flirt with Emma Swan or Killian Jones, or both.

22. What other show would you think it’d be fun to put the OUAT characters into?

Well I really want to say Lucifer again but if we’re talking something different I might go with Timeless or The Royals.. No this is totally not me wanting all my faves to interact.

23. Pick two favorite quotes.
“I’m not nothing I was never nothing, the power you have I don’t need.”

“True Love isn’t easy but it must be fought for because once you find it, it can never be replaced.”

“You traded your ship for me?”

24. If you could write the final scene of the series, what would it be?
Emma’s Birthday

25. Last question- the Blue fairy, shady or not shady? SHADY MCSHADESTER

cruella drive thru

We all laughed at this moment!!

Name: Lizzie
Twitter Handle(s): @lizziethat
Where you wrote about Once Upon a Time: Fangirlish

1. What made you first watch OUAT and when did you start?
I started watching from the Pilot! I’ve always been a fan of fairy tales, and this show seemed tailor-made for me.

2. When did you start writing about the show and what inspired you to do so?
I started writing around the end of Season 3, and it was one of those things where I just had too many feelings that I needed to get out, and I just didn’t know enough people who watched the show, so I started writing to kinda come to term with my own feelings. And one thing led to another

3. What are your favorite arcs/storylines? Rank the seasons.
The first season remains a favorite, because it was magical. I really liked the Frozen arc, that a lot of people don’t like. And I liked the Neverland arc as well. I think those are my top 3. The season ranking would go something like 1,3,2,5,6,4.

4. Top 3 favorite main characters.
It’s sooo hard. But I’m going to say Emma, Charming and Snow.

5. Choose 5 iconic episodes, not necessarily favorite episodes. These are episodes you think define the series. (2 part season finales can count as 1 episode)
“Snow Drifts” and “There’s No Place Like Home” (3×21-22)
“A Land Without Magic” (1×22)
“The Song In Your Heart” (6×20)
“Pilot” (1×01)
“Operation Mongoose Part 2” (4×22)

6. Are your 5 favorite episodes the same? If not which would you switch out?
I’d probably switch out the last two and add “Good Form” and “New York City Serenade”

7. Who are you favorite guest characters/actors and favorite recurring characters/actors?
The Frozen actors! I loved them all. As for recurring, I’d say Ruby? Does she count.

8. What are some moments you think are underrated?
In general, any and all Snow/Emma moments, and there were not enough of those, and any and all quiet moments for the couples. The domestic moments.

9. Who are your favorite couples both major and minor?
Snow/Charming, Emma/Hook and Ruby/Dorothy are my favorites.

10. What are your favorite friendships?
Emma and Elsa! And Season 1 Snow and Emma.

11. Are there any characters you wish you’d seen on the show?
I was pretty happy with the characters we got, though I guess I would have liked Flynn Rider and more Rapunzel than we got. Or even Moana, but that’s just too new and hard to incorporate.

12. Are there any characters you wish they’d done differently?
I enjoyed this show, but I think they failed many characters at many points. I wish they’d done Regina’s redemption arc any way other than her splitting herself, they did some things with Hook I didn’t like, but I ESPECIALLY wish they’d done Rumple differently.

13. What moments did you want to see that they never showed?
Just more of those quiet moments they always talked about – not just between couples, but between family.

14. What moments do you think were the most romantic, saddest, and funniest?
I think the end of Season 3 is pretty darn romantic, and I love the wedding song for Emma and Killian, and Snow and Charming’s song, from the musical. I think the saddest moment is probably Snow and Charming having to give up Emma, time and time again, especially in that season 6 episode where they almost went to her when she was a kid. And funniest – well, this show had a lot of hilarious moments, but I think Regina, in particular, had some great one-liners.

15. What moments do you remember where you had a really emotional or visceral reaction, and ones where you simply thought “I love this show!”
I go back to that Season 6 moment with Snow and Charming looking through the door at little Emma, because that gutted me. I really loved the musical too, I’m a sucker for songs.

16. What were some of your favorite costumes?
The Camelot costumes were gorgeous.

17. What are your favorite musical themes or cues? Favorite songs from the musical episode?
I love musicals but I pay 0 attention to musical themes or cues, so I’m just going to say Wicked Always Wins and A Happy Beginning.

18. Which guest star casting do think was spot on perfect?
Elsa! And Anna, really.

19. If you could pick any props to take from set what would they be?
Maybe Excalibur? That’d be awesome.

20. Would you rather live in Storybrooke or the Enchanted Forest?
Storybrooke for SURE. Running water!

21. What show would you do a crossover episode with (doesn’t have to make sense or be current)?
The X-Files. I can just picture Mulder walking up to the town and Scully not buying that they’re fairy tale characters.

22. What other show would you think it’d be fun to put the OUAT characters into?
Anything modern, because they still seem sorta stuck in the past.

23. Pick two favorite quotes.
Emma Swan: People are gonna tell you who you are your whole life. You just gotta punch back and say, “No, this is who I am”. You want people to look at you differently? Make them! You want to change things, you’re gonna have to go out there and change them yourself, because there are no fairy godmothers in this world.

Gold: Maybe you should take a piece of advice from a man who has pushed away every chance of happiness because it was never enough. If it’s within your grasp, if you know where it is and who it’s with, then you should run to it, grasp it and never let it go.

24. If you could write the final scene of the series, what would it be?
Emma, surrounded by her family – her baby, her husband, her parents, and just …everyone in this big extended family, celebrating Emma’s birthday, the way she couldn’t in the Pilot, with people.

25. Last question- the Blue fairy, shady or not shady?
SHADY. FOREVER SHADY.

That’s all of our questions my lovelies. I hope you all enjoying our trip down memory lane discussing all of our favorites from Once Upon a Time. Thanks for reading and listening!!

cs wedding 2

We Love Happy Beginnings!

Once Upon a Time: Season 6 and Beyond Wishlist

As the start of Season 6 of Once Upon a Time approaches, there are always the inevitable hopes for what we would most like to see for our favorite characters. In Season 5, I made such a list– and some came true. But some still have not happened so those most definitely remain, along with some other new great wishes. Of course there is a healthy dose of Captain Swan wishes here, but there is also a lot from many characters. Here are my greatest wishes for Season 6 and beyond. MILD SPOILERS AHEAD!

1. Emma and Killian Domestic, Quiet, and Happy Moments:
Now that Emma and Killian overcome darkness and even death, have a beautiful house that represents a future together, and are both “safe” in Storybrooke, I would love to see some quiet, romantic moments for the couple. Of course there will be drama and dangers, but in the mix I want to see quieter and happy scenes too. Dinner date nights out or in, strolling down the street holding hands, little or passionate kisses, and most especially moments in their house together whether it’s sharing a meal, a dance, or cuddling on the couch. Overall, I think it’s finally time for them to “go home and see what’s on Netflix.”

netflixnetflix-1datecs-walkcs-house

(X) (X) (X) (X)

2. Emma and Killian have “coffee”:
Relating to my number one hope, a wish I had from Season 5 was for Emma and Killian to finally consummate their relationship. Although some believe this has already happened, because there has never been a visual or verbal reference while other couples have had similar scenes, I still believe they have yet to take a step. And they certainly deserve it. They’ve endured so much turmoil. As Emma said before reaffirming her love, they have been through so much: “darkness, Hades, and being separated by realms.” And now that they’ve confirmed their love to be true, it’s time they are finally able to express that love physically. As I wrote “You can have a beautiful and sensual scene while still being subtle. I most hope to see them holding each other in their arms with adoring looks in their eyes.” Bonus points if we see Emma wearing one of Killian’s shirts, or maybe his old pirate coat. Here’s hoping for a scene (or multiple scenes) of such beautiful sensuality.

3. The Charmings call Killian “family”:
As I said last season on my wishlist, Snow and David showing support for Emma and Killian’s relationship was a silent way of accepting him into their family, but I hoped they would show this even more so, be more verbal and maybe even bestow a hug upon our dear captain. Many of these wishes definitely came true as Snow defended Emma turning Killian in a Dark One because that’s what their family does – they save people. This family also finds people, and as they followed their daughter into the Underworld to find and save Killian it was clear they consider him a member of their family, especially when he returned from the dead and David greeted him with a hug. However, there is still so much that can be said between them, and we have yet to hear them actually call him “family.” It would also be lovely to see another hug whether it be from David or Snow, but this time in the foreground of the scene.

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4. Henry and Killian bonding:
I have always loved seeing Henry and Killian moments. Captain Cobra scenes are often fun and ever so heartwarming. We’ve gotten some great scenes between them from going to rescue Emma, to Killian sharing stories of Henry’s father; but some of their best moments happened off screen – Killian taking Henry sailing and the two picking out a house in Storybrooke and creating Operation Light Swan. In Season 6 I hope to see more bonding between Emma’s two true loves. Henry was devastated when Killian died but we saw no real reaction to his miraculous return. Let’s hope to see that happiness he surely feels and lots of sweet moments on screen.

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And as we heard at San Diego Comic Con, Henry will be giving Killian list of movies to watch. Not only is this heartwarming and sweet but potentially could be hilarious, golden television. What should be on that list? I vote for The Princess Bride, Peter Pan, , Pirates of the Caribbean, Hook, and of course Back to the Future because Killian should finally know who Marty McFly is.

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5. More David and Killian moments:
As we heard from San Diego Comic Con, this is one wish that is going to come true as Josh and Colin told us that the Captain Charming bromance is going to be blossoming and I cannot be happier about that. Whatever is ahead I hope for some fun and meaningful moments. Two of my favorite episodes are “Good Form” and “White Out” and while these two have troubling admitting it, they work well together and do care about the other. I hope we get another hug or more verbal discussions of their growing friendship. It’s definitely an unique relationship. They have both lost brothers but have become brothers in arms. But of course Killian is also dating David’s daughter’s so a discussion about that relationship and perhaps asking for a blessing before proposing would also be a joy to watch.

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6. Captain Swan and Snowing Adventures/Charming Family and more Moments:
While I long for individual adventures for my favorite couples I would also absolutely love Season 6 to have these beautiful pairs working together on adventures, facing villains or enjoying some family time together – dinner at Granny’s or at the loft complete with Snow being the happy, doting mother asking lots of questions and David in overprotective Dad mode.

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Much like the end of Season 3 and 5, I would also be great to see lots of family moments, with all the characters together – time to breathe, be together and rejoice, or as is often necessary, to kick ass together because when teamed up they are all a force to be reckoned with. I want to see everyone: Emma, Killian, Henry, Snow and Charming, Regina, Zelena, Belle, Rumple, the Dwarves, Granny and any other members of the Storybrooke community.

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7. Another Captain Swan Adventure:
As I said last season, I love episodes that focus on this couple on a grand scale and we did have a few episodes like this – “Birth” and “Broken Heart,” and to a lesser extent “Swan Song” and “Firebird,” but those were more individually based. Of course they were amazing and beautiful episodes, but thoroughly heart-wrenching. Given that Season 6 is sure to be a bit lighter, I hope we see another adventure for Emma and Killian akin to “Tallahassee”, “Snow Drifts/There’s No Place Like Home” or “Operation Mongoose.” They make quite the team and whether it be in Storybrooke or somehow the Enchanted Forest again, I’d love to see the couple on some fun, fairy tale, romantic, and perhaps even swashbuckling, adventure together.

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8. More Snow and Charming Adventures and Romantic moments:
The show’s original True Love couple has had a bit less screen time over the past few seasons (in no small part to Ginnifer Goodwin’s pregnancies and evolution of the story), but they still have had their fair share stories where they face whatever may come their way together. They’re steadfast love and devotion to each other is beautiful and I hope Season 6 we see even more of them back in action and further exploring what the happy ending they are living entails, whether in adventures together like “The New Neverland,” romantic and moving scenes, like “Lady of the Lake,” or realistically working through an argument and coming out the other side united, like in “The Broken Kingdom.”

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9. A Captain Swan scene on the Jolly Roger:
I always say there is never enough of the Jolly Roger. The Ship is such an icon for Hook’s character and the show, so I always love scenes that feature this marvel of the vessel. We’ve seen Emma and Killian on the Jolly Roger a handful of times, the best being their fairy tale adventures in the Season 3 and 4 finales. But in both of those cases Killian did not know Emma, save for present time Killian who punched his past self. And in season 5 we had Emma trying to re-create their first date, but it was a very sad scene. This season I hope to see a happy moment for the couple-maybe a date on the deck of the ship, Killian and Emma at the helm and taking a romantic sail in Storybrooke’s harbor, or some amorous activities in the Captain’s Quarters. Whatever the scenario, I’d love see these two on this beautiful ship again.

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10. Captain Swan Engagement or Wedding:
I will admit, I truly thought the end of Season 5 was going to involve Emma and Killian getting engaged, given the literal Hell they went through. However, we got the next best thing – the most blatantly obvious piece of foreshadowing in an already long line of such, with a wedding dress perfectly centered in between the couple before Emma says “I love you.” While I don’t expect a proposal right away, I think it’s clear that wedding bells are on the horizon. The questions are – Will Killian ask David and Snow’s blessing, who will be the best man and maid of honor (my vote goes to David or Henry and Elsa), and of course who will be the one to propose – Killian or Emma?

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11. Time Periods and Characters We’ve Never or Have Rarely Seen:
It’s certain that many things have been seen on abundance on the show: Regina’s feud with Snow and Charming and Rumple’s time as the Dark One to name a few, so it’ll be nice to see something they have yet to or rarely explore. High on that list would be any Emma’s early childhood with the family who gave her last name, Swan. And now that we got the origin of her red leather jacket I would love to know the origin of her flower tattoo. I would also love to explore more of Killian’s childhood and meet his mother, as well as meet David’s father and see his childhood. David is one of the few characters we’ve never seen as a child on the show, and more backstory separate from Snow, for his character deserves to be explored. I also would to see how Killian made the transition from Lieutenant to a pirate– the time between him renaming the Jewel of the Realm to the Jolly Roger to when he first met Milah. His younger self is quite different and that charisma was surely something that developed over time. He mentioned visiting cities where the air smells of spices and women are carried on jeweled chairs. That sounds a lot like Agrabah, does it not? With Aladdin coming it sounds like the perfect opportunity to explore more of this time period. And for that matter what’s the origin of his wardrobe? They always parallel Emma and Killian so it would be amazing to see how Killian chose his long leather coat to parallel Emma choosing hers. I would also like to see a very young Henry in Storybrooke and how he interacted with Regina, meet Rumple’s mother, and see some of Hook’s time in Neverland because Robbie Kay was severely underused during the Underworld Arc.

12. Interesting Character Dynamics:
Of course I have my favorite character dynamics but there are some we have definitely not seen a lot of that I would love to see more of: Rumple and Emma, Killian and Snow, Killian and Belle, David and Henry, and Emma and Belle. I would also love to see the Snow and Emma relationship brought back to significance as well as Emma and Henry perhaps creating a new operation together.

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13. More of the Rumple/Killian rivalry:
Even though Killian has given up his revenge, as we’ve seen since Season 4 on, there is still no love lost between the characters and it’s always a treat to see these two characters and brilliant actors play off each other. I of course certainly do not want Killian’s heart to be controlled again, but I would love to see them continue to explore how they are very much foils to each other. They have been connected since Killian’s first episode and since the darkness was not destroyed, and Rumple is once again the Dark One, I’d love to see further exploration of what is surely an integral part of the overall story.

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14. The Evil Queen split does not take the entire season/Regina & Zelena bonding:
While I don’t want to fully judge until I see how it begins to play out, and I think this split will in the end help Regina further learn to take responsibility for her actions and accept that her dark instincts as part of her and not a curse or separate entity, the idea of this taking an entire season does not sound appealing. In fact it could grow very repetitive and tedious early on. The solution is simple – she needs to accept that part of herself and work to overcome it, not destroy as if it never happened or doesn’t exist. That is truly the only way she will ever find peace within herself. Moreover, I really enjoyed seeing that Regina and Zelena were actually close as children, so I hope to see them continue to mend and work of their very complicated relationship.

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15. More Familiar Faces Returning:
My season 5 Wishlist included hope for some familiar faces to return and we got some of them – Liam, Cruella, and Peter Pan. This season, we know that we will be seeing Archie, Dr. Whale, and Cinderella and Thomas (a.k.a. Ashley and Sean) again. I would love it if August will pop up again and maybe help Henry with his authoring, Ariel, Tink, or Elsa to reappear for some plucky wisdom and great friendship moments, and Ursula and Blackbeard for some seafaring or pirate adventures. And whether it’s in a flashback, a brief scene or even a reference, I’d love to see Arthur taking care of the Underworld and Lancelot and Guinevere hopefully together ruling Camelot together. Lastly, there’s still so much unfinished left to explore with Merlin, as well as Killian’s Father Brennan Jones and his half-brother Liam II. What happened to him? That story should be re-addressed.

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Season 6 and Beyond:
Since we do not know how many more seasons the series will be on, these last wishes are general hopes I have for the show.

We see the moment Killian traded the Jolly Roger to Blackbeard for a magic bean:
This was on last season’s wishlist as well. It was such a meaningful and significant moment for his character and I have ALWAYS wanted to see it play out in screen.

Emma and Killian Start a Family:
Whenever this is meant to happen, I would love to see these two have children of their own. Not only would it be nice to see Henry have a sibling, as well as Emma be able to experience what she never did with her son, but also the thought of Killian holding a baby and being a father is so sweet. It wouldn’t surprise me if they also adopted a few kids given their similar childhoods.

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Robin Hood Returns or is at Peace/Regina Finds Peace:
The charming outlaw was definitely a favorite character of mine so I was very, very sad to see him leave. I will lament what could have been. But of course this is very common on television nowadays, and I’ve lost many a favorite character before. I will accept it if need be, but I would love it if he was able to somehow come back to life. If that’s not meant to be then I hope we hear that contrary to what Hades said, his soul was able to move on and be at peace. And I know many may disagree with me, but if Robin cannot return then I do not want to see Regina given another love interest. At this point it would feel rushed, unsatisfying and even hurtful to those who loved Outlaw Queen. I actually would enjoy instead for Regina to find peace and happiness within herself instead of something or someone external. That would be refreshing and would make a great deal of sense for her character who has battled her inner darkness.

A Holiday Episode:
Whether it be Christmas (which is my number one choice), Thanksgiving, or another holiday I love to see what our characters would do on a special day like that. So far the only holiday we’ve seen is Valentine’s Day. It would be nice to revisit that day, or maybe a spooky Halloween episode, or a crazy and sweet Thanksgiving(which David mentioned would be difficult but certainly funny). But Christmas just holds so many lovely possibilities – the town building snowmen, tree trimming, opening presents, sipping hot cocoa and cinnamon by the fire, and fun with mistletoe. I know it’s unlikely to happen, but it still would be amazing to see on the show.

A Ball or a Dance in Storybrooke:
It’s no secret that I have adored the Royal Balls we’ve seen over the course of the series. They are beautiful and romantic grandeur. We may not revisit the Enchanted Forest or Camelot this season in the present day, but that does not mean Storybrooke cannot hold its very own dance, and I for one would love to see it.

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We Learn Mr. Gold’s First Name:
I know his real name is Rumpelstiltskin and it may simply be a running joke that we don’t know Gold’s first name, but it would be amazing if that fact that we’ve never learned it means they will be doing their own twist on the original Rumplestiltskin fairy tale. If you don’t know or are unfamiliar with the story, there have already been some elements incorporated in the show – namely in “The Miller’s Daughter” and his ability to spin straw into gold. But there is a part of the story we haven’t seen – a girl must guess Rumpelstiltskin’s real name or give up her child. In one case, going off this meta by hooks-and-feathers (which I agree with) – the placement of Gold in between the nursery crib and Emma and Killian in “Devil’s Due” is deliberate foreshadowing. And it most definitely could be an indicator of a story involving Gold’s name and the future child of Emma and Killian. And I’d love it!

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An It’s A Wonderful Life/What if the curse never happened/S1 curse Revisited Scenario: The show has done its fair share of alternate universes, memory loss, and crossover over adventures and when it comes down to it the show really soars when they do. The season 3 and 4 finales were astounding and beautiful, and the memory loss in 5A they created such an amazing air of mystery and made the reveal that Killian was also a Dark One even more surprising. I would love to see an episode where the curse never happened and see how the characters would interact, find each other and eventually set things right. For without the curse would Henry ever exist, would Rumple have found his son, would Regina have found happiness, and would Emma have met Captain Hook? Although many are tired of the memory loss trope, it is one of my favorites aspects of the show. And for Emma and Killian specifically, they hold a unique distinction of not having ever been cursed with memory loss or not knowing each other at the same time. I would love an episode where neither has memories of the other, but as always are drawn to each other and regain their memories in some magical or romantic fashion, perhaps having flashes of these memories along the way. How beautiful and amazing would that be!

Emma Celebrates Her Birthday:
It’s long been a theory of mine that the series will end with Emma celebrating her birthday to parallel the “Pilot,” only this time with her family, friends and, hopefully by then, husband beside her. I don’t just want to see this. I NEED TO SEE THIS!!! It would be such a poignant way of bringing the series and characters full circle. Emma would no longer be a lonely, lost girl, but a woman who is beyond loved and would no longer even need to make a wish. She would have everything she ever wished for.

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“I Will Always Find You, You Will Always Come Back to Me:” The Journeys Of Captain Swan, Snowing and the Charming Family

“I will always find you.” It’s a quote that has become synonymous with Once Upon a Time. A beautiful sentiment that encompasses love stories both romantic and familial and one that is the very heart of the series. Before the second half of Season 5 began, I wrote about this as Emma echoing the line was a moving way of bringing the theme for circle. I wrote:

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What is beautiful is that while this may have began with Snow White awakened by Prince Charming, the concept of finding each other is undeniably part of the Charming family as a whole.

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It always has been and always will be something the characters reiterate time and time again, so that when Emma says the iconic line vowing to find Killian, it not only solidifies Emma’s love for Killian as the type of strong and steadfast affection that she shares with her parents and her son, but also that Killian is now included as part of this family.

When examining the series as a whole, it’s clear that the “I will always find you” concept is abundant and strong. But what is remarkable is that this is not the only concept that is reiterated time and time again with the romantic and family stories of Emma and Killian, Snow and David, Henry and Emma, and the Charming Family as a whole. “I will always find you” could continue with “you will always come back to me.” And what is also remarkable is not only the consistency in which these two concepts are employed, but also that they are linked and share a similar pattern. Although there are some exceptions, it is usually David who finds Snow, Henry who finds Emma, and Emma who finds Killian. While it does vary, they all come back to each other, often demonstrating striking parallels. Importantly, the concepts are both physical and emotional, while the number of times we see these motifs are astounding, showcasing a clear inherent trait to these characters and their journeys with Snow and Charming initiating, Henry and the family continuing and finally Emma and Killian solidifying these exquisite themes transcending and propelling them to new heights, giving, unsurprisingly, the Savior the most remarkable love story of all  in terms of just how much this patterns is showcased . But make no mistake these are all connected, meant to be so, each story building upon the other and written as such to express what the true love you find with a lover and with your family can and should encompass. Let’s explore each and every journey and the ways these characters will always find and come back to each other.

Snow White and Prince Charming:

1×1 Pilot:
The very first scene of the series is Charming finding Snow. Her gives her a True Love’s Kiss and she comes back to him and he says the iconic line is “I Will Always Find You.”

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1×3 Snow Falls:
In the Enchanted Forest, the first meeting of Snow and Charming was a memorable one and Charming vows and makes good on his promise to always find her– at first meant in a non romantic way- but establishing the concept from the very beginning of their relationship.

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Later, their journey took a romantic turn when the two are battling trolls. As they try to escape Snow realizes he is not with her, comes back to Charming and saves his life (Something that is repeated even when the timeline is altered in 3×22).

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At the ending of the episode, the iconic line then changes to a romantic one and the rest is history.

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In Storybrooke, Mary Margaret finds David, nearly drowned, saying “No, no no I found you!” She performs CPR and a bit of a kiss, and asks him to come back to her (Something that is later paralleled to Emma and Killian).

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It’s important to note that with the exception of the next episode, Snow (Mary Margaret) pleading for Charming (David) to come back to her established the pattern and he is the one who does so multiple times, something that is later paralleled with Emma and Killian’s relationship, but on a grander scale.

1×16 Heart of Darkness:
Charming finds Snow, who has no memory of him. He tries True Love’s Kiss, but is knocked out by the princess. But after he risks his own like to protect her heart, she kisses him and she comes back to him. As Regina’s guards approach they take Charming away and Snow now echoes the line he first said.

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1×21 An Apple Red as Blood:
Snow thinks she finds Charming, but only finds his reflection, as he is in another castle. Wondering is this will always be their life, Charming assures her that they will truly find each other again.

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1×22 A Land Without Magic:
After the curse is broken Snow and Charming find each other and echo the same lines they said in the Pilot.

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2×8 Into the Deep:
Putting himself under a sleeping curse, Charming finds Snow in the Netherworld and gives Snow the hope she needs that they will always find each other.

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2×9 The Queen of Hearts:
After a separation Snow and Charming both come back to each other, she returning to Storybrooke, he after she awakens him with True Love’s Kiss.

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3×5 Good Form:
After Charming had left Snow for what he thought would be the last time, he comes back to her, cured from the dreamshade poisoning, thanks to Hook (A situation later very much akin to Emma and Killian in Season 4 when he has his heart returned).

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3×19 A Curious Thing:
After sacrificing his heart to enact the dark curse, Charming comes back to Snow when gives shes him half of her heart.

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3×21/22 Snow Drifts/There’s No Place Like Home:
Much like Snow Falls, despite the timeline being altered Snow and Charming’s story plays out in a very similar way, with the same lines being echoed and their story arriving back at the same place.

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Emma and Henry and The Charming Family:
Although the frequency of the pattern is less so with Emma and her son, the important thing is that in the first season we see the first and last episode employ both concepts and from that moment on the entire family begins to work more as a unit, slowly but surely encompassing the finding and coming back to each other. We see this verbally and physically and eventually it becomes part of Emma in a more substantial way most especially in her romantic journey with Killian. But first let’s look at Emma’s family.

1×1 Pilot:
Henry finds Emma in Boston and she comes back with him to Storybrooke.

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Charming places a newborn Emma into the wardrobe and whispers “Find Us” sending her into the Land Without Magic.

1×22 A Land Without Magic:
After willingly falling under a sleeping curse, Henry comes back to Emma when she gives him True Love’s Kiss and breaks the curse on Storybrooke.

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2×1 Broken:
Seeing their daughter for the first time since the curse is broken, Snow and Charming embrace Emma, Snow saying “You Found Us” a moving line as Charming’s last words spoken to her as a baby were for her to find them.

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2×2 We Are Both:
Charming assures Henry that he knows Emma and Snow are okay and that he will find them, as he always does.

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3×8/9 Think Lovely Thoughts/Save Henry:
After finally finding Henry in Neverland and battling Pan, Henry’s heart is returned to him and he comes back to his entire family.

4×2 White Out:
Giving Elsa hope, Charming says what their family does is find people– importantly with family surrounding him: Snow, Emma. Henry and Killian.

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4×22/23 Operation Mongoose:
One by one Henry finds members of his family (Regina, Killian and Emma) in the alternate universe to try to set things right. Significantly Henry finds Emma with Killian’s help and she not only remembers her son but with a bright smile of pride and love relays that beautiful hopeful line that her family has come to embody “I knew you’d find me” because that’s what their family always does.

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Captain Swan and The Charming Family:

The pattern of “I will always find you” and “you will always come back to me” was firmly established by Snow and Charming, Henry and the Charming family, so that when Emma was ready to open her heart romantically, she would find someone who fits into this so mold perfectly. And that is by design – Killian was meant to be her romantic true love and the ways in which they not only follow this, but propel these themes to new depths and intensity are significant and beautiful. And it’s also by design that it is simply intrinsically part of their characters individually. Since the beginning Emma has inherently followed in the genetic footsteps of her family mentality. It’s a part of the her make up and importantly was in her without her ever having known her parents growing up – only a whisper from her father when she was minutes old of “find us.” But as we have seen since day one and something that has continued as more pieces of her past have been revealed, finding people is what she does. Mary Margaret asks her about this in Episode 3 Snow Falls.

Mary Margaret: It’s an interesting job- finding people. How’d you fall into it?
Emma: Looking for people is just what I’ve done- for as long as I can remember.
Mary Margaret: What made you start? You’re parents? Henry told me that you were from a similar situation to his own.
Did you ever find them?
Emma: Depends who you ask.

And we later learn in 5×20 Firebird that as a young adult she was trying to find her parents, shifting that desire to her new job as a bail bonds person. This was always a part of her. As for Killian, something inherently part of his character is that he is a survivor, having lived for over 300 years thanks to Neverland, curses and a lucky ring (and perhaps even more that we don’t know). His ability to survive is in no small part to his tenacity, and it makes him someone who could always come back. But it’s more than being a survivor. It’s the fierceness and the brevity with which he feels that makes Killian someone who fits the mold of the Charming family so perfectly. The romantic journey of Emma and Killian starts out in the same steady progression as its predecessors.

2×5 The Doctor:
Emma finds Hook laying among Cora’s deceased victims (now a foreshadow to Emma finding Killian among the dead in the Underworld). It’s important to note that despite 3 other characters bring there, Emma is the one to find him, with the camera making a deliberate shot of Killian turning his head to look up at Emma. This was only the beginning.

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2×12 In the Name of the Brother:
Both a case of finding and coming back, Emma is the one to find Killian on the side of the road, he coming back to her in a way after she left him via a portal in the Enchanted Forest, thinking he had no way to follow.

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2×22 And Straight On Til Morning:
After taking the last magic bean, planning to leave Storybrooke to its fate, Killian comes back to Emma and the rest of the Charming Family. Importantly, this is after Emma offers him a chance to be a part of something- essentially to be part of the town. That, combined with him offering his ship to help follow Henry to Neverland, is the first step of Killian becoming part of this family. And you cannot help but notice the deliberate way the camera pans onto to Emma specifically as she sees that it is he who is coming back.

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3×1 The Heart of the Truest Believer
After nearly drowning, Emma comes back to her family, the camera panning to Killian multiple times as he looks on relieved.

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3×11 Going Home:
After a tearful but heartfelt goodbye in Storybrooke for what they believed would be forever, Killian does both things in a sense. He finds and comes back to Emma in New York one year later, trying True Love’s Kiss to restore her memories.

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3×12 New York City Serenade:
Determined to help restore her memories, Killian finds Emma at a restaurant on her date with Walsh. Later, she finds him in the park and then the police station and after an impassioned speech Emma takes a leap of faith and drinks the memory potion Killian gives to her. Emma’s memory is restored and her true self comes back to Killian. Later, over a shared drink Killian admits that he came back to save her.

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3×13 Witch Hunt:
As she said at the end of the previous episode, Emma once again relates how “Hook found me.”

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3×20 Kansas:
In a beautiful parallel to Snow and Charming, Killian nearly drowns and Emma saves his life pleading for him to come back to her. And he does. Also interesting is the way Zelena phrases her remark to them, “Instead of of looking for each other.” Shouldn’t it be looking at each other? This is obviously a commentary by the writers of the way they are always looking for and finding each other.

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3×21 Snow Drifts:
In Storybrooke Killian finds Emma on a bench and the two have a heart to heart about what home truly is.

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3×22 There’s No Place Like Home:
When Emma and Killian return from their trip to the past the first thing Emma does is run to find her parents and embraces them when she finds them in Granny’s. She had found her family and her home and missed them terribly.

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But minutes later Emma turns and looks wistful because someone is not there- the one missing person. You don’t have a home until you miss it. Well, Emma missed Killian’s presence so she goes in search of him and found him sitting alone outside of Granny’s. He finally reveals that he was able to find her with the use of a magic bean that he traded his ship for. And she kisses him- letting down her walls and opening her heart. She had found her home with her parents, her son, and now with Killian. Of course this was just the official beginning of their relationship and there was more to come.

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4×2 White Out:
After being trapped in an ice cave with Elsa, Emma’s new friend frees them both and Emma comes back to a relieved Killian, falling into his embrace as they cling tightly to each other.

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4×8 Smash the Mirror:
After deciding to keep her magic Killian finds Emma in the Sorcerer’s Mansion, hugging her fiercely.

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4×9/11 Fall/Heroes and Villians:
A heartless Killian says goodbye to Emma for what he believes will be the last time. Kissing her passionately, she can sense something is not right with him. After discovering Gold’s deception Emma finds Killian, whose heart was just saved by Belle. When they are alone Emma places Killian’s heart back into his chest and Killian comes back to her, once again kissing her passionately, but now as his complete self.

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4×15 Poor Unfortunate Soul:
Once again Killian comes back to Emma after nearly drowning, this time revealing to her that she is his happy ending.

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By the time we reach the end of Season 4 and head into Season 5 there is no doubt that Emma and Killian are deeply in love, but the ways in which the relationship follows the pattern is not only beautiful but remarkable in the ways they continually find and come back to each other. In season 5 we often have Emma’s soul and Killian’s life in danger, as well as both so often asking them to come back to them in other words. It takes a while and it is an emotional concept but in 5A this is prevalent. In 5B, it is more of a physical concept as the finding and coming back continues in a significant way not only for them as a couple but for each of them as a family. Emma and Killian not only parallel Emma’s parents, but take it to a new level, and eventually reaching a point where Killian is undeniably part of Emma’s family.

4×22 Operation Mongoose:
This is the episode that began to propel the pattern between Killian, Emma and her family to a new level with the number of times each concept was both emphasized and employed. In the alternate universe, Henry finds Killian and then the two venture to rescue Emma and find her locked away in a tower. In a deleted scene Henry emphasizes that he was able to find her with the help of Hook, and when they retreat down the tower Emma runs right into Killian’s arms.

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To save Emma and Henry, Killian sacrifices himself, leaving Emma devastated. When things are restored and they return to Storybrooke, Emma finds Killian in the loft who has come back to her, happily embracing him. This is the first time Killian dies and then comes back to Emma, and the second time he does after a near death experience, the first being when she saves him from drowning in Kansas.

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Season 4 ends on a dramatic note setting up the repeated and combined pattern for Emma and Killian as she saves everyone by becoming the Dark One, disappearing and leaving only the dagger with her name now inscribed on it behind. As the camera pans to Killian we are left knowing that Emma not only must be found, but her true self will have to come back to her family.

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5×1 The Dark Swan:
When Emma is transported to the Enchanted Forest her family does everything they can to reach her. They all find her, but importantly it is Killian who calls out “Swan!” and approaches her first. As Emma is struggling with the dark voice inside her head and nearly crushes Merida’s heart, Killian is able to break through and she comes back to him, returning Merida’s heart and falling into Killian’s arms.

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5×2 The Price:
In Storybroooke, Emma finds Killian after he summons her and she takes him to her house. He tries to get the real Emma to come back to him by attempting True Love’s Kiss. This is one of the many times throughout 5A Killian tries to bring the real Emma back. In this case he’s unaware TLK could not work because they are both Dark Ones.

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5×3 Siege Perilous:
In Storybrooke, Emma once again finds Killian, this time on the Jolly Roger, asking him to meet her as she tries to recreate their first date. And once again Killian wants to real Emma to come back to him telling her that the Emma he loves isn’t here. As Emma isn’t ready to reveal the truth and Killian tells her he loved her, Emma leaves. This is the second occurrence of the frequent pattern of finding and an attempt for Emma to come back to Killian in an emotional regard. In Storybrooke these instances are very different than Camelot, and we slowly learn why.

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5×4 The Broken Kingdom:
In Camelot, Killian finds Emma late at night struggling with the voice of Rumplestlskin taunting her in her head. He approaches her slowly and holds her tenderly trying to once again bring the real Emma back, but still unaware of her plight.

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Later when she tells him about this voice, he devises a way to help her- to quiet the darkness so the real Emma, at least in some sense, can come back to him. He takes her for a horse ride and then leads her in to a field of flowers, and it works. The voice is gone and Emma feels less burdened because she can share it will Killian. The two then share a passionate and romantic kiss, with the darkness, for now, kept at bay.

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5×7 Nimue:
Before Emma departs with Merlin to obtain the Promethean flame, Killian reminds Emma that only “The Dark One” is immortal, asking her to bring the real Emma home – to come back to him– giving her a ring that has kept him safe as a reminder of his love for her.

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5×8 Birth:
In Storybrooke, Emma continually finds Killian when he was in “danger” in order to gain his trust, finally reveal the truth and destroy the darkness. In Camelot, after refusing to admit why she is scared to give up the darkness whilst Regina uses the dagger to force her to, Killian finds Emma in the forest, upset, with the Promethean flame still not lit. With understanding, Emma tells him the truth and once again he is able to get the real Emma to come back to him, as she lets go of her fears of the future. Kissing Killian, the Promethean flame alights as she is ready to rid herself of the darkness and start her future with Killian.

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At the end of the episode, Killian’s wound opens and to save his life Emma tether’s him to Excalibur, setting up the next episode for the pattern to continue.

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5×10 Broken Heart:
After tethering him to Excalibur, Emma finds the new Dark One Killian in the Camelot forest. Angry, with the unrelenting the voice of Rumple in his head, it is now Emma who is able to break through the darkness and get the real Killian to come back to her, quieting he darkness and then sharing a kiss, paralleling their moment in 5×4.

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After Killian’s learns Emma lied to him about Excalibur, he feels betrayed and lets the darkness overtake him. Nimue, through him, is able to kill Merlin to enact the Dark Curse, so Emma puts all her loved ones to sleep and erases their memories. Before the curse sends them back home, Emma cradles Killian’s face and says when they wake up he will be his true self- the man she loves, the man who loves her. She is asking him once again to come back to her.

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5×11 Swan Song:
A pivotal and emotional chapter in their journey, this episode not only has Emma and Killian’s true selves coming back to each other, but the monumental and moving moment of Emma uttering her family’s steadfast motto. In Storybrooke, Nimue and all the other Dark One’s have taken over as Killian’s allows the darkness to consume him. But when Nimue chokes Emma and he sees he in pain, Killian fights back. He comes back to Emma, absorbing all of the darkness into Excalibur and sacrificing his life to save Emma and everyone else. His sacrifice allows the real Emma to come back to Killian as she magically transforms back into the Savior. True Love proved stronger than darkness, but Killian loses his life.

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Heartbroken and numb as to what to do next, Emma learns Killian’s sacrifice did not destroy the darkness but instead channeled it back into Rumplestlskin, so Emma vows to got to the Underworld to get him back. Ready to save the man she loves and fight for her happy ending, Emma speaks those iconic words “I Will Always Find You,” for the first time expressing in words what she and Killian have been doing since they first met, but now fully committed. These words not only demonstrate Emma’s love and that she undeniably has embraced her family’s intrinsic motto, but it also sets up the continued pattern and places Killian firmly into the Charming Family.

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In the second half of Season 5, Emma and Killian’s journey not only continues to be prevalent with these beautiful concepts, but also with Henry even more than he once did, and Snow and Charming. They include Killian as part of their family in the way they continually emphasize finding him. Even though they must leave him behind in the end, the season ends in a VERY significant way with all of the family members.

5×12 Souls of the Departed:
Entering the Underworld, Emma and her loved ones try to find Killian and use the ale of Dunbroch to communicate with him. Severely injured the connection with Killian  is unsteady, leaving Emma devastated. But Snow and Charming implore they will find him and not leave until they so. Together.

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5×14 Devil’s Due:
In the depths of the Underworld Emma finds Killian and saves him from the River of Lost Souls. Although he says she should have let him go, in this moment he comes back to Emma as they cling to each other.

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5×15 The Brothers Jones:
Feeling unworthy of saving and unable to forgive himself of his sins, Killian tells Emma he does not plan to return home to Storybrooke with her. But after an emotional and illuminating reunion with his brother Liam, Killian learns to do just that. In the end he comes back to Emma, passionately kissing her, ready for their future together.

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5×20/21 Firebird/Last Rites:
After confirming what they already knew in their hearts, Emma and Killian pass a test of True Love. But they are unable to find a way to restore his life, so Emma and Killian must let each other go. Tearful goodbyes and selfless promises made, they kiss each other one last time, and grasp hands for as long as possible. Both are heartbroken, but this sets up the continued pattern in the next episode in a truly dramatic way. In Last Rites, Killian and Emma sense what each other is feeling and Killian is able to help get Emma the crucial information they need to defeat Hades. Once he knows Emma is safe, the light to move on finally appears to Killian. He is then greeted by Zues with gratitude who escorts him onward, sending him to where he belongs- with Emma. Killian’s life is restored as he appears on his grave and finds Emma in the cemetery. He comes back to Emma in the most miraculous way possible, back to where he truly belongs- the arms of his True Love Emma.

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5×22/23 Only You and An Untold Story:
With Killian’s life restored he was able to come back to Emma, but he also came back to the family he is now a part of. Dialogue and actions are always deliberate, so as he says “Now I’m back” accepting a hug from Charming, they are not only welcoming home their friend, and the man their daughter loves, but someone who is also another member of their family.

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In these meaningful final moments of Season 5 we see that this repeated pattern of the series of always finding and coming back to each other is not only a staple with Emma, Killian, Snow, Charming, Henry and the Charmings, but also a way showcasing that all of these characters are indeed family. When Emma and Henry were living in New York with false memories, Henry could tell Emma was lonely (despite being in a relationship). So he threw a coin in a fountain and made a wish for his family to be complete. And a few days later Killian showed up on Emma’s doorstep, and the three returned to Storybrooke and were reunited with their family. But even more so this showed that Killian was the final missing piece of the puzzle. He not only found and came back to Emma through his own determination to save Emma, but also with a bit of magic and a wish from a boy who wished for his family to be complete.

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So when they are faced with another separation from their family they made wishes once again, and with Henry’s faith and ability to make the world believe, their family came back them. And whether by blood, step relations, adoption, and creating and choosing they are all one crazy extended unconventional family (Snow, Charming, Emma, Henry, Killian, Regina, Zelena, Rumple, Belle). But it remains the ones that repeatedly follow these beautiful patterns that also do so here. And when Killian hugs Emma saying “I Knew You’d Find Us” with Emma relaying that this time it was Henry who did, it is pristinely clear that the boy who started it all by finding his mother in Boston once again, thanks to a heartfelt wish, found his family- each and every one of them.

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When the family return home to Storybrooke and Emma and Killian take a moment for themselves, Emma takes the chance to express her love in a moment of peace and normalcy. After everything they went through- darkness, Hades, and being separated by realms, it was clear that not even death could part them with a love now confirmed as true. But all of these obstacles they went through demonstrated so profoundly that no matter what trials and tribulations they face- just like Snow and Charming, just like Henry and Emma, just like the entire Charming family- these words will always spoken, felt and showcased- “I will always find you. You will always come back to me.”

 

 

Once Upon a Time: Season 5 Wish List

We all have so many things we hope to see not only on the current season of Once Upon a Time, but also the entire series. With the first half of Season 5A now complete I decided to compile my own wish list for the rest of this amazing season!! And you know what, even if I none of these happen, I will still be happy as this season really has been so fantastic. But of course there are always things we cannot help but wish for. Some of this is based on spoilers, including the sneak peak for episode 5×7 “Nimue” that was released yesterday, so be forewarned. Here is my top 10 wish list for Season 5:

  1. Killian says “I Love You” to Emma: In the sneak peak released yesterday, Killian finally told Emma that he loved her and we smiled and cried tears of joy. He had told her he loved in so many ways before, but never used the word love with her. In this beautiful scene, that all changes as he gives her a ring and tells her if nothing else it is a reminder that she has “a piercing eyed, smoldering pirate who loves her.” And her smile when she finally hears those words is as glorious and bright as we have ever seen. But I would still love Killian to say those three words “I Love You” to Emma. We have never heard him utter those words to anybody on screen, and something tells me they may be saving it from an upcoming dramatic scene. Brace yourself for some epic romance folks!

In the meantime let’s relive this glorious moment all over again. And if you are like me , this won’t be the first time you’ve done so 😉

  1. The Charmings call Killian “family”: Snow and David have already been showing their support of Emma and Killian’s relationship and his presence in the Storybrooke in general for a while now, but most of it has been silent support, expressing it through their actions. It would be lovely to hear them acknowledge more openly what he means to Emma, and even to them, but most of all, hearing them call him family would be so touching and meaningful, especially for someone who has lived for hundreds of years with no family of his own. Bonus points if one of them gives our dear captain a hug, because the only one who ever bestows this sweet gesture on him is Emma.
  1. More bonding and teamwork amongst multiple characters: One of things I love is when the characters all work together or we get unique team ups in episodes. There has not been nearly enough Captain Charming lately, and I already love the newly formed Captain Hood friendship. And my heart always feels so full whenever Killian and Henry team up. I also loved the new group efforts we witnessed in “Dreamcatcher” and “The Bear and the Bow” of Killian, Regina, Robin and Belle & David, Killian, Merlin, Belle, Lancelot and Merida.. These groups sound amusing from the outside but their results are always golden in my eyes, so I hope we see these continue.
  1. More scenes between Snow and Emma: In season 1 one of my favorite aspects was the friendship between Mary Margaret and Emma. Once the curse was broken the relationship changed as Snow went straight into mother mode. They have gone though lots of trials, and currently there has been few interactions between them. I hope to see some scenes between mother and daughter soon because they have such a special bond that deserves to be explored further.
  1. A True Love’s Kiss for Emma and Killian: We know that Emma and Killian truly love each other but each time a True Love’s kiss has been attempted there has been something preventing it from working, none of which having to do with how deeply they feel for each other. While this is not needed to “prove” what they feel, I think these characters deserve an epic, magical moment like this.
  1. Emma and Killian finally have “coffee”: If you are up on your lingo, then you know that Captain Swan “coffee” is a euphemism for the characters making love, and fans of their story have been waiting a LONG TIME to see them finally take that step in their relationship. And when it finally does happen I highly expect it to nearly break the internet. While I don’t see it happening until after Emma is freed from the darkness, I hope that once they make it through all of these trials, they will finally be able to have their moment and express their love for each other in this way. Given that this is a family friendly show, we cannot expect to see much and honestly that is fine. You can have a beautiful and sensual scene while still being subtle. I most hope to see them holding each other in their arms with adoring looks in their eyes. And if they can also fit in some time for some Netflix viewing of Back to the Future and The Princess Bride, I would smile for days.
  1. More sweet and meaningful moments for Regina and Robin: “In The Price” their relationship was put front and center and we could see just how much the mean to each other. Seeing Regina willing to lay down her life for him was very powerful, while the dance their shared in Camelot was as sweet as can be and so well deserved after what that have gone through. While there have been less moments lately because understandably the focus should be on Emma as The Dark Swan, I hope to see more for these soulmates in the second half of the season especially, dealing with Zelena in mature way, and maybe even getting engaged or moving in together.
  1. More unique backstories and character focused episodes: While I usually enjoy any and all backstories for our characters, some have become a bit repetitive. So I hope we see some more unique ones especially for characters who have had the least amount. As far as back stories, high on that list are Killian in his days in the Navy with his brother Liam, as well as his early days as a pirate, Emma’s adult life after jail, especially her time as bail bonds person, David as a shepherd, Belle before she met Rumple, Robin Hood and his supposed darker past, and the return of Bandit Snow.
  1. Rumple stays on the heroic path: Even though Rumple has pulled Excalibur from the stone, it is going to take much more to be a true hero because it takes one than one heroic act. He needs to continue on the path of good and work to make up for his past deeds. He has just made that first step in the right direction. Although I do love him as a villain, ultimately I would like to see him work to be the kind of man Belle believes he can be. She deserves that!
  1. A moment with all of our main characters together: I love the couples and unique groupings of characters but there are not often scenes where every character is involved. No matter the circumstance I would love some moments, or even a single scene, that involved everyone in a significant way because they each have something unique to offer. So please let’s see an epic scene with Emma, Killian, Snow, David, Regina, Robin, Rumple, Belle, Zelena, and Henry. While you’re at it, throw in some secondary characters, like the Dwarves, Granny, and Archie too. The season opened with a few moments like this, and it would be great to see more.

Honorable mentions:

Another Captain Swan Adventure: There have certainly been many moments for the princess and the pirate already this season, but it has been a while since they had a proper adventure together, with just the two of them as the main focus of the episode. Although they had some adventurous scenes in the Season 4 finale, they last time they had a more focused type of episode was actually the Season 3 finale “Snow Drifts/There is No Place Like Home” with “New York City Serenade” and “Tallahassee” being the other two.  I think it is important to balance characters and screen time and I think they have done a good job of that so far, but it would make me happy if just one episode this season featured the kind of epic adventure we have seen for these two in the past.

The Return of Familiar Faces: We already know that many familiar faces are returning soon, namely Ruby and Mulan, as well as Cora, Pan, and Sidney for the 100th episode. But there are other characters I would love to see pop up again even more including: Liam, August, Ariel, Jefferson (that one is very unlikely though), Graham, Tink, Cruella, Blackbeard, and the Frozen characters.

A Captain Swan Wedding or Proposal: Yes, I know my list has lot of these two but it’s is hard to deny the beauty that their story brings to show. There has been so much wedding foreshadowing that it would be so fitting, and extremely beautiful if these two lovebirds tied the knot or got engaged by season’s end.

Henry working as the author: I loved seeing Henry get more involved in the storylines lately, the most he has been since Season 1. Now that he is the author, he is tasked with a great amount of responsibility. I know he broke his quill, but there has to be some way around that, where he can begin recording the stories he is witnessing right before his eyes. I just love the idea of him writing stories about his family: if I ever saw him writing about Emma breaking the first curse, her falling in love with a dashing pirate, his mom Regina slowly finding redemption and love again with Robin, or his grandparents Snow and Charming becoming parents again I think I would cry.

We see the moment Killian traded the Jolly Roger to Blackbeard for a magic bean: This one is probably the least likely to happen this season, so I guess this would be on my series wishlist. But it was such an important moment for his character, and I have ALWAYS wanted to see it played out on screen.