‘Once Upon A Time’ Season 7 Roundtable: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Once Upon A Time is a show that has captured the hearts of many fans. It’s inspired many of passionate posts on social media over the course of it’s seven season run, many a convention and more ships than we can count sometimes.  Many people have opinions on the rebooted seventh season, good and bad.

Our Fangirlish writer Kayla has been joined by guest writers Sarah-Kate, Buttercup, Tati, Kate, and Charitini, to break down Once‘s current season – the good, the bad, and the ugly! Here we go!

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First things first: how do you feel about Season 7? Do you think the show should have ended with Season 6? Are you happy it didn’t end? Let it all out.

Kayla: If you’ve read my reviews over the course of the season, you know how I feel. I’ve enjoyed the season. Do I miss things about the show? Most definitely. I miss Jen, Ginny, Josh, Jared. I miss their characters, or versions of them, most definitely.

I had my concerns about the season without most of the main cast returning, but I do think some of the plots they have done did justice to some of their characters and kept Captain Swan together, which was an ultimate concern for me when Jen said she was leaving and it was noted Colin was staying. What would happen? So, they did that part justice.

Should it have ended with season 6? I can’t give that answer, because unlike a lot of people, I’ve enjoyed most of the new season. There are plots I despised – I made it very clear in my reviews – but I’m actually happy the show didn’t end.

Sarah-Kate: I LOVE season 7!! Yes I know that most of the original cast is gone, but I still love it. It has me on the edge of my seat every Friday. I hate that a lot of people are hating on it.

Buttercup: That’s a loaded question! I detest Season 7. There are a few moments from Emma’s episode and Belle’s episode that I enjoyed (and honestly, those are the only episodes I watched entirely). On the whole, however, I feel like Season 7 was a huge mistake. It should have ended with Season 6. Now some of the happy endings have been destroyed, the family split apart, and several characters’ storylines cheapened all in an attempt to force a reboot that could never work without the show’s main character and driving force–Emma Swan. There are plot holes all over the place, especially with regards to the Wish Realm and the characters’ apparent inability to age in a coherent fashion. Season 7 has added almost nothing of value to the story. It should never have happened.

Tati: I was willing to give a try but after the first few episodes I didn’t feel a connection to the characters, something for me is very important. just watching the pilot I felt instant connection with Emma I was hooked to the story ever since. Knowing the lead and star [Jennifer Morrison] of the show was leaving, not seeing Emma again was gonna be difficult. But I wasn’t expecting the way the writers are trying to erase Emma from the story. Just few hints here and there but nothing relevant enough for me to keep watching season 7. So, yes the show should have ended with season 6 after all OUAT was Emma Swan’s story.

Kate: I feel pretty underwhelmed by Season 7. I don’t hate it, but I’m not invested enough to keep watching after the winter hiatus.   The show just replaced too many of its best elements too abruptly, and the resulting product lacks magic.  Storybrooke is gone, as are many of the characters that we loved, and the show has made it painfully clear that it’s moving on without them.  They threw a new array of characters at us at once and expected us to care, even as we were wondering what Snow and Charming were up to, reeling from Emma’s rushed goodbye, and crying over Belle’s death.   Sorry, show, it’s just not that easy for me to let go.

I do like the returning cast members, but their characters’ cursed personas in Hyperion Heights are surprisingly dull.  Worse is the choice to reintroduce Wish Hook.  Not only is he a human retcon, he also lacks the history with Henry, Regina or Rumple that our Hook had, so there are no emotional layers to any of his interactions with them.  The hollowness of the scenes between Weaver and Rogers is particularly disappointing, because I used to love it when Rumple and Hook went toe to toe.

As for the story, the action in the Enchanted Forest flashbacks seems arbitrary. Ella and Tiana were part of some kind of resistance against Lady Tremaine but now, I guess, a coven of witches is the Big Bad?   It barely registers.  Also, apparently time has no meaning because Robyn is 25(!) Lucy is 8 and nobody else seems to have aged.   The overall effect is one of sloppy, slapdash storytelling.

There have been intermittent fun moments, and a few poignant ones.  The writers also have thrown in plenty of references to past characters and stories.  Unfortunately, these homages just serve as sad reminders of the version of the show that I miss.

Look, I am not mad that they continued the show.  TV is a business, and I don’t like to root for shows to be canceled.  I gave it a shot.  It’s just not very good, so I’m done.

Charitini: I really dislike Season 7. In all honesty I think it’s a disrespect to original characters, storylines and fans. It was a bad move to continue the show without its core, which always was the Charming family. The show was about Emma’s journey finding home. So I do think they should have ended it in season 6, with the original characters. I wanted to see Emma blowing out her birthday candles surrounded by all her family, a parallel to the pilot. I used to adore the show but I’d rather have it end on a high note than seeing everything I loved about it getting erased from the narrative.

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Who’s your favorite Once Upon A Time character? If that character left, are you happy with the ending they got? If that character is still on the show, are you happy with the journey they’re on?

Kayla: My favorite character has changed over the course of the show. I’ve always adored Emma. Love Charming. I’ve always had a Hook soft spot, even when he was a villain. In the current season though it’s between Wish Hook and adult Henry.

I’m happy with the ending of Hook and Emma. They are happy and having a baby. Snow and Charming are happy as well, as far as we know.  As for Wish Hook, parts of his journey make me so mad. His daughter is a product of rape, something the show refuses to call it. He also can’t even touch Alice because of their cursed hearts. So, no I’m frustrated with Wish Hook’s plot, despite the fact that I still love him. As for Henry, I love him. He’s slowly piecing things together, just like he always has. The parts of the character Jared brought to life resound in Andrew’s portrayal as well. I love Henry’s plot this season.

Sarah-Kate: My favorite character is Emma. I’m happy with the ending she got, but I would’ve liked more closure than what we got in 7×02. I want to see Emma and Killian in Storybrooke with their child.

Buttercup: That’s a tough choice between Emma and Killian, but I’ll go with Emma. First, I am thrilled she wasn’t killed off or separated from her husband. Absolutely thrilled. Those were things I feared before the season aired, and it was a relief they didn’t happen. I am also very happy she’ll be having another baby. The circumstances of Henry’s birth–Emma chained to a bed, no family at her side, afraid to even look at the baby–were horrifying.  It’s wonderful she got her second chance. It’s extremely disappointing that we didn’t see it. Emma’s final episode was wasted on Wish Hook when we should have seen the focus on HER and the birth of her child. Showing the baby would have brought her story full circle. The writers did Emma and her fans a disservice by not giving us closure on her story. Additionally, they’ve separated her from Henry for many years, perhaps forever, which is a depressing ending to the beautiful mother/son relationship we watched for six years.

Tati: My favorite character is Emma Swan, in one hand I’m happy she got her second chance, she will get to raise her baby, seeing it grow, every milestone, she will get to live her life with her husband and parents by her side, yet we don’t know if her baby is a boy or a girl, what’s the name. In the other hand is bittersweet her son decided to leave just to find adventures, his story, when his story was finding his mother restoring the happy ending of his family. Now Emma’s son is out there not knowing who she is, thinking she is just a product of his imagination, and even with his memories [pre-curse] he never mentioned her. Something I just find odd and OOC for Henry.

Kate: My favorite character was Emma. For me, this was her story.  I loved her wry skepticism, her bravery, her dogged determination, and her willingness to grow and let love into her life.  I knew that we were going to have to say goodbye to her, and I’m fine with the ending she got.  But the sad fact is, I would be much more engaged if she were a part of this season in some way, even off screen.  A stressful as it would be, I would be watching every episode with bated breath if they had chosen to tell a story in which Real Killian and Henry fought to remember her and then find their way back to her.

Further, Henry’s disconnect from Emma is a huge, glaring flaw.  Apparently, Henry has spent years (or what felt like years to him) in this version of the Enchanted Forest, getting married and raising a child, without seeing Emma or the others. How is that OK with him?  It’s out of character for Henry, and this discrepancy is a price the writers are paying for cutting ties so completely with the past.  If we the audience miss Emma, it feels like Henry should too!

Final point on favorite characters: I love and really miss Snow and Charming.  In retrospect, it seems flat out crazy that they tried to continue this show without them.

Charitini: My favorite character Emma Swan. She is my hero and my constant inspiration to fight for what I love. Sadly she is gone. I’m happy with the end of her story. After everything she’s been through, she deserved her happy beginning more than anyone. Living peacefully in Storybrooke with her true love, their baby, her family, being loved and cherished every day. It’s what I dreamt for her. But I’m disappointed we saw nothing of it in her last episode. I think it was terrible how her curtain call wasn’t even about her but about a fake wish version of Killian. As the female heroine and lead character of the show she deserved an episode dedicated to her and we as fans, deserved to see her happiness.

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What’s your favorite Once Upon A Time ship? Are you satisfied with the journey they got? What would you have changed? And, if it’s a new ship – do you like how the relationship has progressed so far?

Kayla: Most definitely Captain Swan. I fell in love with Hook and Emma in season 4 and have loved them ever since. I’m also digging Glass Believer this season.

I’m satisfied Captain Swan are married and are having a baby. I found it to be an amazing endgame for them. I wish could see it, but knowing they are happy makes me ok.

As for Glass Believer – the curse throws a loop at them – but I love what I’ve seen and I want them to get their happily ever after with Lucy. I always gush about them in my reviews.

Sarah-Kate: My favorite ship is Captain Swan. I am satisfied with the journey they got. They are true love. I miss seeing them,  but I know they are happy in Storybrooke.

Buttercup: My favorite ship is Captain Swan, hands down. On the whole, I was quite happy with their journey. Their development from enemies to friends to a couple was one of the best love stories I’ve ever seen. The chemistry between the actors was incredible. They were once-in-a-lifetime, lightning-in-a-bottle special. The wedding last season was a lovely culmination of their journey. Were there things I’d change? Sure. For example, they were separated way too often during the last season or so. I hoped for another adventure like the Season 3 time travel adventure, but it never came. And we really need to see their child! I don’t know what chance there is for that, but after five years of development between these two, we deserve to see that baby. Make it happen, ABC.

Tati: My favorite ship is Captain Swan. I absolutely love their journey, even through the angst and obstacles, they work so hard to earn for their happy beginnings and they got it. Now if I would change anything is what the writers called “a curtain call” for Emma Swan. I wanted to see way more of that happy beginnings I wanted to see Emma giving birth with her husband holding her hand, kissing her forehead, I wanted to see her holding her baby, through tears and sweat, a smile on her face, to show the contrast of the first time she had her baby boy, alone with her ankles cuffed to the bed, scare and broken to the woman she is now, strong with her husband who adores her, her parents and friends. If the writers made the effort they would’ve show a montage of Emma and Killian with their baby at the hospital, then coming home walking into their house, to the nursery.

Kate: Captain Swan is my favorite OUAT ship, and one of my all time favorites on any show.  Their relationship developed at a perfect pace, the characters grew and matured together, and the actors had chemistry to spare.   Am I satisfied with their journey?  For sure, but I would love to have seen more, and they wasted most of Jennifer Morrison’s brief return on reintroducing Wish Hook.

I also loved Snow and Charming; their magical love story was the emotional center of the first season.  In contrast, Henry and Jacinda are just…okay.  Neither the writers nor the actors have created any sense of passion or urgency as to why these two just have to be together.  It seems like the producers may have realized this, because the show essentially skipped by most of their courtship in the flashbacks – in 7X10, they were suddenly married with an 8 year old!

Charitini: Emma and Killian, without a doubt. Captain Swan is basically my life. I love their whole journey: how they broke each other’s walls brick by brick, how they found love and mended together. They deserve all the happiness in the world. I’m very happy they found home in each other and even thinking about them having a baby makes my heart burst.  I wouldn’t change a thing in their story, I love every minute of this beautiful modern fairytale.

However, I will forever feel robbed we didn’t see that beautiful domestic life they built together on screen, in the single episode Jen appeared. A beautiful montage with them living their best life is all I asked for. We saw Emma’s traumatic pregnancy and birth shackled to the hospital bed, her crying and refusing to hold her baby. We deserved to see her giving birth with Killian by her side, excited to be a mom again, and them raising their baby with all the love they didn’t have growing up.

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What’s been your favorite thing about Season 7? Your least favorite thing?

Kayla: My favorite thing has been Glass Believer. I know a show is more than a ship, but finding out more of their journey back to one another and Henry to their daughter makes me definitely want to see how it unfolds.

Least favorite – the Wish Hook rape plot that they never called it that. Seriously, this show has a consent problem and I’m not the only person on this website to write about it!

Sarah-Kate: My favorite thing about season 7 so far is seeing the journey that the characters are going on. It’s like season 1 all over again. I love it. Killian is a police detective, Regina is a bartender, and Rumple is working with Killian. Who knew that would happen?! My least favorite thing is that Henry can’t know who Regina/Roni is to him. He deserves to know, but it comes at a price. Either Henry or Lucy dies and I hate that.

Buttercup: Favorite thing? Emma getting her second chance at being a mother.

Least favorite thing? Almost everything else. lol! If I have to choose, my least favorite thing was the sequel to the dreaded pregnancy-by-rape story. I thought it was disgusting with Zelena and Robin, and they doubled down by repeating it with Wish Hook and Gothel. And it got even worse when they used the child conceived from rape to “redeem” Wish Hook. What’s the message there? The real Hook suffered and sacrificed through a five-year redemption arc to become a hero. Meanwhile, Wish Hook is declared instantly redeemed because he was raped and had a child forced on him. Seriously? The Wish Hook/Gothel/Wish Alice storyline is just about the lowest these writers have ever sunk (and I was there in season one for Graham).

Tati: I would say knowing Emma and Killian have a beautiful life ahead of them, for that I’m happy.

Least favorite thing is the way the writers are dealing with Emma’s absent, it’s like they’re trying to erase her, which mean erasing everything that happened from season 1 to season 6.

There’s no magic anymore, the town is boring, the characters aren’t interesting. The lack of chemistry.

Kate: My favorite thing about the new season has been the character of Ivy/Drizella.  Adelaide Kane is great in the role, conveying real bitterness and anger while revealing just enough of the hurt little girl beneath the surface.  Even though I didn’t follow all the details of her evil plan, she was fascinating to watch as it spun out of her control.

My least favorite thing?  There are many contenders for this distinction.  Let’s see: the haphazard plots, the disconnect from the characters in Storybrooke, the tepid chemistry between most of the actors, the bland new setting, the nonsensical timeline.  Oh, and the fact that they did a magical rape plot again.   Can I cheat and say “All of the Above?”  Because the answer is “All of the Above.”  Again, I don’t hate it. I watched it, after all.  It’s just clear that most of it doesn’t work.

Charitini: My favorite thing is definitely Emma and Killian expecting their first baby together. Emma looked so happy to announce it to Henry, it was endearing to witness. And I loved Killian putting his hand protectively over her baby bump. That’s the only glimpses we got of their happy beginning and honestly, that’s the only thing I wanna consider canon in this season. I hope the rest turns out to be a really weird, really twisted dream of Henry.

My least favorite thing is probably the whole Wish Hook storyline. By creating a copy of Killian they only managed to cheapen his whole journey. Giving him moments with a baby that we never had with real Killian was a slap in the face. He even “traded his ship for her” like he did Emma. Not to mention his daughter is stealing watches and is reffered to as “street rat” like past Emma. It’s all a twisted reality where fragments of cs are being transformed to fit a father/daughter relationship.

And while we could see moments with real Killian and his and Emma’s baby in Storybrooke, even just the two of them, assuming Emma is at work or sleeping, they didn’t give it to us. All so it wouldn’t shadow the Fake Hook and baby story.

Also, his storyline involves rape by deception which is once more glorified in this show instead of being depicted as the horrific act that it is. He had a baby after being raped and they act like it was the best thing ever happened to him. That’s problematic.

Another thing I hate in season 7 is the complete Emma Swan erasure. I know she can’t be there physically but she should have been a part of the narrative. Instead, we see no-one really mentioning her or caring about her. Even her son rarely ever says as much as her name.

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Who’s been your favorite character in Season 7? Your least favorite? Of the new characters, who do you like the most? Are there any you could do without?

Kayla: My favorite character in season 7 is without a doubt adult Henry. I just love this version of the character. My least favorite is Gothel. She is horrid. She raped Wish Hook. That act alone made me hate her, but she’s manipulative. A great villain, but a horrible character.

Of the new ones, I love Sabine a lot. She gives great advice and perk that she’s actually Princess Tiana. I love her fairy tale counterpart so much. It’s an interest take they’ve done and I can’t wait to see more of her.

I could do without Gothel. That is all.

Sarah-Kate: My favorite character is season 7 is Officer Rogers. My least favorite character is Lady Tremaine. Of the new characters, I love Alice/Tilly the most. I could do without Gothel.

Buttercup: Favorite character? Do Emma, Killian, and Belle count? If not, I really don’t have a favorite. I haven’t watched most of the episodes.

Least favorite? I’m not going to hold back on this one–Wish Hook. I hate everything about him. First, the guy started as a joke in the Wish Realm that was nothing but a sick mockery of the real Killian. Then in season 7, he planned to murder Killian, pose as Emma’s husband, and presumably violate her the same way Zelena violated Robin when she posed as Marian. Next, the writers used our Emma–his would-be victim–to save his life by “finding” a part of her husband in him? Ew, no. A thousand times no. On top of that, they sent the real Killian offscreen permanently without ever showing his child. Is it a boy or girl? What is the baby’s name? Who knows? Yet they’ll show us Wish Hook with a baby who couldn’t possibly even be his, because based on the rules of the Wish Realm from Season 6, the guy didn’t even exist until the Evil Queen made Emma’s wish and he sprung into existence as an old, foolish drunk. Everything about Wish Hook is one giant plot hole, and his only purpose appears to be to cheapen the real Killian’s story. Get rid of this awful character.

New character I like the most? I’ll go with Emma and Killian’s unborn child. That’s literally the only new character I care about at all.

New character I could do without? Well, we already know Wish Hook is number one. I would add Wish Alice and Gothel, since they’re supporting characters to the whole ugly Wish Hook mess.

Tati: I don’t have a favorite character, I don’t feel any connection to any of them, it doesn’t make me want to root for them, see them every week to see them get their happy ending. At first I was kinda interested how they would introduce a new Hook without separating him from Emma. But this  version is just so bland, coming for a realm who was created by a wish, with no past not backstories. It doesn’t work for me.

Kate: Ivy/Drizella has been my favorite new character for the reasons I mentioned above.  Mekia Cox is charming and funny as Tiana, but the writers seem to have stuck her with the too familiar sassy and supportive best friend role.  I just don’t feel invested enough in any of the characters to stick with the show.  I could especially do without Mother Gothel, who seems like a retread of the Black Fairy but with worse fashion sense. This show sure loves its evil mothers! We’ve had Cora, Season 1 Regina, The Black Fairy…Gothel is just another one, and neither the story nor Emma Booth’s performance sets her apart in any special way.

Charitini: Emma and Killian only appeared in one episode but they count right? These are my favorites. Honestly, I can’t stand anyone else. I find it hard to pick my least favorite because I find them all so uninteresting and plain. I think I’ll have to go with wish Hook since I think his whole existence is a disrespect to real Killian whom I adore. Killian is a unique wonderful character who fought for his redemption for years. Then this man appears (who according to the writers was supposed to be fake till last season) wanting to kill him and deceive his wife and in five minutes he’s redeemed and a hero because he chose not too. Of the new characters I frankly like no one, not even a bit and I can do without them all. I’d trade them for Emma and real Killian and the Charmings anytime.

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Do you think Season 7 is going to be the final season of Once Upon A Time? Do you want it to be?

Kayla: With the ratings dropping like they are, I wouldn’t be surprised if I see a cancellation soon. I just hope they have away to wrap the plots up nicely to give the show a good ending. Do I want it? Actually, yes. I feel this should be last of it.

Sarah-Kate: I hope season 7 is not the final season. I don’t want it to be. It is the only thing that brings me joy most Fridays. I love it so much. I want it to continue on. I want Henry to know who his real family is. I want Officer Rogers and Tilly to remember they are son and daughter and be able to be a family without Officer Rogers getting hurt because of his poisoned heart.

Buttercup: Do I want it to be cancelled? From a humanitarian standpoint, I always feel sad for people who work on a series when it’s cancelled. From a story standpoint, however, I’d prefer they end it before they make things worse. Right now at least Snowing and Captain Swan are presumably happy in Storybrooke. I’d love to see them again–perhaps for a series finale that includes the birth of Emma and Killian’s baby–but I don’t want their happy endings destroyed. I don’t want any creepy scenes pairing Wish Hook with some woman. They’ve done virtually nothing to make him look different from the real Hook. He even wears the same costumes in the fairytale realm. The imagery is too disturbing. And considering how they butchered Rapunzel by turning the character into a villain, I shudder to think what they’ll do to Tiana and Naveen. At this point, I can’t see anything positive for the story if they continue. Should they find a way to bring back Jennifer Morrison, Josh Dallas, and Ginny Goodwin, my opinion might change. As of now, I’d prefer the show end before they do further damage to the story I loved from seasons 1-6.

Tati: It better be, or at least make this season some sort of dream that would erase it all and set everything back to normal. Trying to save the show we all fell in love with.

Kate: I don’t have a strong feeling about whether or not this will be the last season. OUAT is one of ABC’s lowest rated shows, but it may still be profitable because of streaming and other distribution deals.  I was surprised last year when the network renewed Quantico for a short season; they may very well do the same for OUAT.

Charitini: I think it will be the last season, and I seriously hope I’m right. This show that was once my favorite now hurts me more and more in every episode. I need it to end before they disrespect all the characters I love even more. So unless they announce they are somehow bringing the original cast back for s8 please put this show out of its misery (and us fans too).

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If you could sum up your feelings about Once Upon A Time Season 7 in one gif, which gif would you pick? Share with us.

Kayla:

Sarah-Kate:

Buttercup:Image result for worlds biggest mistake gif

Tati: Kate: 

Charitini: 


Agree? Disagree? Want to participate in one of these round-tables in the future? Share with us in the comments below!

Once Upon a Time airs on Fridays at 8/7c on ABC. It returns from mid season hiatus on March 2.

Kayla Blackwell

I'm a fangirl of many things. Currently a writer for Once Upon A Time and The Resident, but I have many intrests that include comics, country music, and science fiction movies. Basically, I'm a nerd and I blame it on being raised by a single father. Thanks, Dad! I'm a huge fan of the DCTV shows (Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash) and a Chris Wood fangirl forever. Mon-El of Daxam, you have my heart.