I think Mulan and Phillip were (sexually/romantically)together during the 28 year gap. It seems clear that through they were not transported to Storybrooke, they were still effected by the curse. Obviously, the not aging part. But what if they didn’t have their memories either – would explain why Phillip hasn’t managed to save Aurora in 28 years, he didn’t remember her.
Because of that, the Mulan/Phillip/Aurora triangle is a parallel to David/MaryMargarent/Katherine – which also got a lot of hate and was really annoying. As fans that grew up with these stories and already know that A+B = true love, I think that explains the whiplash to some extent. Like Abigail when Snow called her ‘the nag with the bad attitude’, fans were quick to accept that because it was getting in the way of what we knew needed to happen.
I don’t hate Mulan, I think she will grow on me when we see a more dimensional character. I’m not even sure if it’s the acting right now, or that Mulan is trying to come off as strong/emotionless to mask her discomfort in the situation.
I hadn’t looked at it from that point of view and I actually understand it. I guess I’ll just have to give it a view episodes and see it develop a bit more. Our minds are so pre-programmed on what the stories are supposed to be that it is quite fun to see how the creators make up there own storylines.