Something that consistently bothers me about this show, is that there’s this huge condemnation of killing characters we know, but if it’s a nameless extra, then by all means, gut the bastard. You know?
In that scene from 7x02 where Killian and Regina come to Henry’s rescue, Killian just straight up murders that guard dude without a second thought, and the audience isn’t meant to think twice about it either. But there’s no way to know what kind of guy he was. I mean, for all we know, he was in the service of Tremaine and Drizella because he was being threatened. Or maybe he was a huge asshole, who knows? Doesn’t mean he needed to die. My point is, we don’t know anything about him, which is I guess why we aren’t supposed to give a shit that he was killed.
But then you look back at previous episodes and there’s just so many moments where the heroes face tough choices where they could choose to kill someone, but don’t, because they have to do the right thing. It’s a super important element to the show. Killian chooses not to exact revenge on Rumple, Regina chooses to not kill the Charmings, etc. The point is, once a character is labeled a “hero,” the act of killing anyone becomes this terrible, dark act. When Snow killed Cora, that was like… insane. Everyone was supposed to be shocked. She went through a bunch of shit for doing that even though Cora was a major villain who was, at the time, and long before that, wreaking incredible havoc. Even Emma faced some disapproval when she, completely understandably, killed Cruella while in fear for Henry’s life. I guess everyone is expected to find a way to disarm/ incapacitate their opponents before even considering using lethal force.
See, they kinda set it up where villains, after changing their ways and finding redemption, can be forgiven for killing, but they no longer kill if they still want to be considered a hero. So I have trouble reconciling the careless offing of side characters, and the vehement condemnation of killing in the storytelling of the show.