I've watched Once Upon a Time since day one, and let me tell you, this is one fantastic show. It takes all our favorite fairy tales and makes us look at them in a different light. We've met plenty of different fairy tale characters that have all had compelling and intriguing stories: Snow White, Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, Red Riding Hood, Ariel, Elsa, Peter Pan, the Wicked Witch and many others.
We're now in the middle of the second half of the fourth season, coming close to the end (the season finale airs May 10th). We've gone through twelve different villains (correct me if I'm wrong). And I've happily watched the entire thing without groan or complaint. Almost.
Nothing too major that makes the series not worth watching, but enough to irk me and the people who watch it with me.
1. What happened to my favorite minor characters?
Namely Ruby/Red Riding Hood, all the dwarves, Blue/Mother Superior, Archie Hopper/Jimminy Cricket, Anton the Giant, the Darling children, and Dr. Whale/Frankenstein.
When they went off to Neverland, it made sense that the other minor characters weren't involved, they couldn't all have possibly come along for the trip. But when our heroes returned to Storybrooke it's like they stopped caring for everyone who helped them out before.
If it weren't for the dwarves, Ruby, Blue, or Archie, Snow White and Prince Charming wouldn't even be alive. That means no Emma Swan, no Henry Mills, and no Storybrooke.
So why are they left out? Recently, the show halfway redeemed themselves when including Sneezy in a fairly recent episode and having mentioned Archie. But it's not the same without the dynamic from before. Leroy's cynicism, Ruby's pure badassery, Archie's wisdom and honesty, Dr. Whale's slight villainous tendencies and sexual tension with Snow White, and David's group bromance with the dwarves all left different holes in the show's plot and story.
2. There doesn't ever seem to be a price for magic
Early on this theme was obvious. But as the show went on, only bigger spells seemed to ask for a price. Simple fireballs thrown by Regina or the weird pulses that Emma could muster up didn't take anything.
Rumpelstiltskin recently said that his heart is growing dark as a price from all his magic, but specifically his dark deeds. Shouldn't even his light deeds have a price that he has to pay?
It can be argued a good amount of those prices were paid in full by the deals Rumple made. But in those moments where people couldn't pay up and he punished them, where was the price there? His heart? Maybe. but that seems kind of unlikely.
3. Speaking of magic, why isn't Henry magical?
This bothers me to no end. Magic can't be difficult to conjure up in the Enchanted Forest, and since Rumple brought magic to Storybrooke, it's possible there as well. Anyone could pick up magic if they really wanted to. And it runs in the family.
His biological mom is the product of true love and is just filled with all this awesome light magic. His grandparents on his mom's side are Snow White and Prince Charming, not magical in themselves but their love is powerful enough to overcome any and all magic. His dad's side of the family is even more magical. His dad, Baelfire, isn't exactly magical. But his grandfather is the Dark One. His great-grandfather is Peter Pan.
His adoptive mother is the Evil Queen. Now, that's not biological, yes, but that doesn't really mean he can't inherit the knowledge from her or any other family members. His aunt is the Wicked Witch of the West. His grandmother is Cora who is also the Queen of Hearts. All adept at magic.
Even if magic has to be biological, he's got it going for him already. And he has more than enough people to teach him magic.
Also, he's pretty powerful in the world of magic. He has the heart of the truest believer. Peter Pan wanted his heart bad enough that he'd kill his own great grandson. Henry's kind of a big deal.
4. Not a lot of people die
Okay, this might be a little off. But most of the people that die are either villains that we hate or minor characters we won't miss.
Here are all the currently deceased main characters that aren't evil: Sheriff Graham, Maid Marian (arguably a main character), and Neal Cassidy.
Now here's a list of characters, good and evil, who've come back to life: Daniel (though he did end up dying anyway), Maleficent (was killed and brought back twice), Gerhardt Frankenstein, Blue/Mother Superior, Mr. Gold/Rumple, Prince Charming/David, and Selena/Wicked Witch.
I'm not saying that everyone in the show needs to die or something, but the town is constantly in danger and no one ever dies or even stays dead. And clearly, they're content with removing characters we're emotionally attached to. We haven't seen or heard from Ruby or Leroy in far too long (yes, I'm bitter about this).
5. Rumpelstiltskin shouldn't be evil
Rumple is one of my favorite characters, or at least he was. In the first two seasons, he was a chaotic neutral character that brought an awesome amount of humor and situational conflict that was probably the best part of the start of the show.
Rumple was neither good nor evil. You could hate him because he did evil things, but you also had to love him because he didn't do it purely for being evil. He did it because he was the Dark One and he was making deals with the people around him. And then you hear his back story, you learn to love him. More often than not, you either hate to love him or love to hate him.
And then we got farther along into the show and his character changes. His love for Belle makes him even more likable and was a fantastic attribute to the character. But then he throws it all away on several accounts and you hate him for it. And then you learn how awful he is.
Now he's evil and it makes me terribly upset. I know every character has to change throughout a series. I know when you have a villain, which Rumple clearly is, you have to make them relatable. But Rumple was fantastic from the minute he stepped on screen. He did not have to change that much.
This is still one of my favorite shows and I'm still going to be watching it until it ends. But these small tidbits are going to bother me until they change or get addressed by the show directly. And if ABC decides to address these or fix these issues, I will be seriously happy.