Everything you said is on point. Also, I tried to turn liberal activist washingtonians onto this show; they couldn't understand the allegorical parallels. Guess I'm moving to Canada with their free healthcare, affable and handsome trailer trash, decently planned medical marijuanna industry, and PRESENCE OF MIND TO UNDERSTAND A MODERN PARABLE.
I'm thinking Zelena just slunk back to Oz with that phantom kill. As we've seen before, she has a "stay of execution" spell (the water), likely linked to her pendant (where she re-materialized in wisp form). That she "portaled" inside of her own cast circle would seem significant, but at the same time the writers make clear that all circles are portals (see: magic bean portals, tornados, whirlpools, etc.) so it could've just been a last ditch escape route. We saw earlier she has the power to send people through portals (What was with Glinda's banishment anyway; how will that be retconned? And why does she suspiciously look like Emma? ) so it's possible she will pop back into Oz and slowly draw everyone in (likely via some honeypot action with Rumple and the silver shoes that, by the storyline, would still be in Kansas).
Honestly, I'm not sure which way this will go. The "Emma and Henry Return to New York" problem was left unresolved. Little Enchanted Forest Baby King has yet to even receive a name (probably what they'll open with). And Regina...ah Regina. I honestly don't think that was a smile of malevolence at the end. It seemed more the smug satisfaction one has over the dead when one proves them wrong. Which really hurts no one BECAUSE THEY'RE FUCKING DEAD AND THEY CANT CONTROL ME ANYMORE CORA!!! I mean uh, I'm not on Team Regina. Honestly!
A final musing...if Emma and Henry are supposed to represent our 21st century Earth, and if Henry was playing videogames on a PSP and everyone was calling each other on smartphones...why in the frak did Emma or Henry not say, when they got their memories reintegrated with their past year, "Oh hey, she's the wicked witch of the west from the wizard of oz! I remember something on how to defeat her, it's like stupid easy HANG ON LET ME GOOGLE IT". Just, you know, food for thought.'
We know it's set in the 1950s. We've been told Jessica Lange is" working on her German accent". In addition, the wikipedia page mentions the setting will either be NOLA or Santa Fe. Hmm...
A few reaaaaaaly important things that happened in the 1950's: The Iron Curtain fell, McCarthyism got into full swing, the Hydrogen Bomb was created, DNA was discovered, the first cancer cells were cultured outside the body, the first nuclear power plant (in the USSR) became operational and Project MKUltra began.
In line with the show's themes on horror, I propose that season 4 will be about the Red Scare and some sort of top secret government agency (with an unfortunate possible nod to aliens...again) fucking with people's minds and bodies. I'd be willing to bet they tie in old Nazi experiments and scientists (because we harbored and employed their scientists during and after the war) to this.
*Possible Spoilers* @CloudProud: I understand your frustration entirely, and for the most part, you're absolutely right. There are too many unfinished b-plots, too many points of intrigue and too many points of foreshadowing. In this though, I wonder if the writers are being purposefully occlusive. At this point nearly all of the young witches have demonstrated multiple powers, so we don't quite know who will be the new Supreme...but wouldn't it be interesting if it were no one we expected? Everyone seems to die and come back...so why not Nan? Or Misty in a hail mary resurgence and houdini-esque escape? Or...and hear me out on this one...maybe in line with the themes of decay and implosion inherent in the plot, the coven never gets another supreme and is scattered to the wind? Something that keeps popping up is the concept that the old ways must give way to the new (LaLaurie adjusting to the 21st century, Fiona losing mojo, Laveau attempting to con a street smart urban witch into racial division, etc) and nothing would seem more fitting an end than the end of the hierarchy in favor of a more "horizontal" structure of power sharing. Think of it: all of the elder witches have extraordinary power except for the one thing that three of the new witches possess; the power of life itself. When three upstarts can raise themselves and anyone they want from the dead, who needs to be the supreme? Misty and Queenie are effectively immortal; they have eternity to grow their power (including a mastery of the seven wonders) in any way they will without the strictures of the coven's bureaucracy and bickering.
That said, I don't expect the writers to be so forward with a quasi-anarchic social message.
Final note: I'm SO FUCKING GLAD Queenie is back. If we can just get her, Cordelia, Misty and Zoe in a room together, talking without the forked tongue of all their elders whispering in their ears...there's a chance the Glindas will outshine the Baba Yagas (I know, I know, not gonna happen).