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@POM, I agree wholeheartedly with your last post. That’s exactly what Neal was – part of Rumple’s story. When Neal is shown through Emma’s flashbacks there is what? one or two scenes that don’t ultimately lead up to a bad ending? Even the scene in the finale – very well done, and I thought lovely – until I saw a tweet of MRJ’s saying the glove bit was a throwback to the film “On the Waterfront” and it was explained that the character MRJ was mirroring was manipulative. Now, if MRJ put that in there, in the final SF scene of 3B, on purpose, that makes the scene quite interesting – and take on different meaning…and not positive meaning when it comes to Emma. And by the time I saw that tweet, the more vocal/hating Neal/SF fans had already made me sour – so instead of reading it and thinking ‘but Neal wasn’t manipulative,’ I couldn’t help but think ‘hmmm…now his getting engaged to Tamara and not going to Storybrooke after the curse was broken and pretty much moving on completely makes a LOT more sense.’ Ultimately, the septic fans themselves are the ones who changed my mind when it came to the character of Neal. And I say that as someone who is still pretty PO’d myself about the death. I think there was a lot more they could do with the Rumple/Bae storyline, and it would have been nice to see Henry being able to bond with his biological father finally, and to see Emma and Neal effectively co-parent Henry.
But you have to move on. This is an ensemble cast and deals with fantasy storylines. EVERYONE’S favorites could be on the chopping block theoretically. Every character is expendable – especially the larger the ensemble and OUAT has one of the largest casts there is. This is not Castle, for example, where there are 5ish leads and one main ship. Plot holes and retcons and deaths – sensical or nonsensical – are to be expected. If you can’t handle watching because you weren’t ready for your favorite ensemble character to die/go away/get less screen time/not end up with the character you wanted them with – you have the option to stop watching. For me, it’s far more fun to let go of any issues I may have, and sit back and enjoy. If I get upset or bored with it, then I’ll just tune out. But it would never occur to me to harass the writers/actors, or have a giant ‘public’ stink for the world to see.