On last night's Once Upon a Time Season 3, Episode 15 ("Quiet Minds"), we said goodbye to Neal (Michael Raymond-James) when he sacrificed himself to bring his father back — and, by doing so, helped Emma get one step closer to finding the Wicked Witch and breaking the new curse.
It was a highly emotional episode, but we can't say this death was unexpected. We knew one of the series regulars was fated to bite the dust this season, and Neal was actually our number one candidate. It just made sense — his death impacts several of the main characters profoundly, but on some level he always felt removed from the core group, so saying goodbye to him doesn't shake the core of the show the same way killing off, say, one of the Charmings would.
Just because we saw it coming doesn't mean it wasn't sad, though. Rumple and Emma's pain radiated off the screen, and even if you aren't the biggest Neal fan, you have to admit it's tragic that he didn't have a chance to reconnect with his son one last time before sacrificing his life. We won't lie, we teared up as he made Emma promise that she and Henry would be happy.
Overall, though, we can't bring ourselves to be completely broken hearted. We love Michael Raymond-James and thought Neal was a good character, but in many ways his story had run its course, and we weren't exactly jumping up and down at the prospect of a continued Neal/Emma/Hook love triangle.
But enough about us: How do you feel? Are you sad Neal died, or are you brushing it off with a shrug?Vote in our reaction buttons, and sound off in the comments below!
Catch the next episode of Once Upon a Time on Sunday, April 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.