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I always understood the first curse to take only Regina/Snow’s kingdom and maybe some surrounding areas, with the exception of the people caught under Cora’s bubble. But I never understood it to mean the curse took the entire realm. Because how do you fit an entire realm of people into one town? And didn’t they say at some point Regina could choose certain people who would absolutely get caught up in her curse? Anyway, since this 2nd curse was essentially a recast of the 1st curse, I figured it worked pretty much the same way. And if Ariel and Eric were outside the curse’s limits, I would assume Hook and the ship may have been pretty close to the edge as well, as I’d assume he’d be in closer proximity to Ariel than Regina and Snowing.
In regard to the bean – Because what’s ‘impossible’ to one person isn’t necessarily ‘impossible’ to another person. Hook was still a pirate…he probably knew some not-so-socially-moral people who dabble in ‘hard-to-get’ goods…even Smee was able to procure difficult to find things. Heck, even in our world that’s a reality. I can’t buy a kidney on eBay, but if I really want to buy a kidney, there are ways to get my hands on one! So although they’re difficult to procure, I think a pirate would be able to make a deal with someone shady to get what he needed to get where he needed. And his group of ‘friends’ may be willing to trade with one of their own, but that doesn’t mean they’re willing to trade with the Dark One or the Evil Queen – hence the ‘gone’ and ‘impossible’.
Yes, it’s a stretch, even for me. But we’re also not talking reality here. I have a much easier time believing magical, fantastic things could happen in the EF than what they’ve suggested has happened in our realm! I still don’t get how Neal still had his apt over more than a year!!! And seriously, where did Emma get school transcripts for Henry when Storybrooke went poof?! 🙂