Wow. Ok. So. It’s been a while.
In my defense, it’s been busy. But — wait for it — my thesis proposal has been accepted!!!! Aw yiss.
Of course this means I have to write the damn thing, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, savvy?
Anyhow, so there’s that and now my term paper which I’ve just started researching and my brain cannot brain all the time so I need Time Out.
And strangely that Time Out has taken me back down the Once Upon a Time lane. Ever heard of that show? Well, season 1 was BLOODY FREAKING BRILLIANT. Season 2 was ok — very flawed, but ok. Then Season 3 hit and it was ok, still very flawed, but ok…up until they killed off a very significant character by the name of Neal Cassidy. And then my care level just dropped because the series literally started to spiral out of control, and not in a good way. I’m watching season 4 now as it airs, but the internetz and my own writing got me thinking and so I started re-watching season 2. It’s definitely not as good as season 1, but it’s a hell of a lot better than what’s going on right now.
And as I’m watching…I’m falling in love with Neal Cassidy all over again. He was such an amazing character and killing him off was lazy writing. He had so much story left to tell: he had to be a father to Henry, he had to work out his relationship with his father, he and Emma deserved a second chance — their story was not over yet. Tallahassee and Manhattan remain two of my favourite episodes from that season — there was some damn fine writing there, and I still can’t believe the writers through it all away in the name of fan service.
Here was a character who was not whitewashed. We saw his mistakes and, what’s more, he admitted to those mistakes. He didn’t try to excuse them. He wanted to do better. He loved his son. He loved Emma and treated her with respect, giving her space, never forcing himself on her. He was a good man.
And this moment (S3) gets me every time:
It irritates me when writers take shortcuts. And Neal’s death was definitely a shortcut. He was a complex character, and the series, while definitely flawed before, is now that much poorer for his absence.