Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. once said, “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” Fans of the hit TV show Lost certainly agree. This groundbreaking ABC drama stretched the minds of its creators, writers, and viewers with ambitious, character-driven storylines told through flashbacks, flash-forwards, and even forays into side worlds. Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz relied on their experience writing Lost when they created Once Upon A Time (OUAT), with tributes to their former show in almost every episode. But these Easter eggs are more than just Apollo bars and recurrences of 815. Both shows fundamentally share the same beating heart — the same core. For OUAT, that analogy is rather literal.
Both Lost and OUAT’s antagonists were flawed individuals tortured by their pasts and parents. Regina’s transformation stemmed from her mother Cora’s manipulations while Sawyer witnessed the murder/suicide of his parents. Rumple’s father abandoned and then later had Rumple forcibly removed from Neverland. Ben, Rumple and Regina killed their fathers. The Man in Black stabbed his overbearing adopted mother after she murdered the villagers of his camp and destroyed his only way off the island. But villains weren’t the only victims of poor parenting. Jiminy’s parents forced him to cheat and steal as a child; Kate killed her abusive alcoholic father; and John Locke became paralyzed when his father pushed him out an eight-story window. Although Rumple’s father, Malcolm, showed his heartlessness in becoming Peter Pan, John Locke’s father Anthony Cooper still reigns supreme as Worst Father Ever.