3. What ever happened to the villains?
Once Upon a Time has hindered its biggest strength: its villains. Lana Parrilla’s Regina and Robert Carlyle’s Mr. Gold have always been creepy and a little sadistic, selfish and bold. They pull out hearts and make deals they couldn’t possibly lose. They twist people’s words and meddle in people’s lives and livelihoods. They are as vindictive in the present as they were in the fairytale land. Until suddenly, it has all stopped.

Sure, when the show steps into the past, Regina is more than willing to pull out a heart or two and Gold is up to his old tricks. However, in the present, Gold has found himself tied to all things good by the beautiful Belle. In order to be a compelling bad guy, you can’t really have kind and gentle baggage, and, at some point, Gold is going to have to choose. Until then, it’s not particularly exciting to watch the man waffling. Regina, on the other hand, is going through some sort of midlife crisis to return to her roots as a gentle princess. She wants to try to make amends with her son Henry, and she seems to want to try to confront her problems. She’s even going to therapy. By hindering it’s villains, the conflict in the show has to focus more on monsters and supernatural creatures. It’s a slippery slope, and I'm willing to bet it feels like a slap in the face to Parrilla and Carlyle.

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