. Either way, because it is in existence now, the people there have to have a past and that past would have to include things that could have happened had the curse not happened
Yes but I think the rub is that having memories of something that happened doesn’t actually mean that it happened. This happens all the time in our non-TV reality but usually only that we’ve misrembered something to the point of believing our mis-memory is truth (ie: something like the Mandela effect)
I have no issue with Nook having memories of a life with Alice because it matches pretty neatly with the way things worked in SB during the Original Curse; think about Lacey–in reality Belle was locked up below the hospital unaware of anything but as soon as Regina gave her the persona of Lacey suddenly she had a whole slew of memories about what kind of person she was. So Nook having memories of a life with Alice isn’t a big deal but it’s the idea that these memories actually, literally happened on a definitive timeline is less okay.
And as a side note I wouldn’t have a problem with this reality of memory–other, more nuanced sci-fi/fantasy shows can play with that. A show like Westworld is all about memory and its relation to reality and identity. But OUAT isn’t trying to parse out those tricky topics. They need a…cheap answer, for wont of a better word. They need Nook to have had an actual past with Alice because without out his character has no arc so therefore, they don’t explore what the Wish Realm actually is, how it works, and how memories and experiences inside the Wish Realm work.