(Esk's thread is for favourite duo, this would be the writer with anyone, or by themself!)
For seasons one to four, this would go to David H. Goodman for me personally. He writes a lot of underrated episodes such as:
The Price of Gold
What Happened To Frederick
Enter the Dragon
The Queen is Dead
I specify for seasons one to four since his episodse with Andrew Chambliss and Brigit Hales imo were not as good. Although I should point out, whether it is a coincidence or not, every episode (besides Graham's and a couple others that were significant on the show) that had a sexual assault plotline in it happened to have his name on it (Sympathy for the De Vil's cliffhanger, Eloise Gardener, and Broken Kingdom).
A & E generally (stares at their episodes in S5 and S6) have solid episodes too, I just find their showrunning shoddy. Jane Espenson either has top quality episodes, such as Skin Deep and The Miller's Daughter, and also have Best Laid Plans (granted, that plot started before that episode) and Firebird (flashback).
Who do you guys think is the best writer on the show?
I mean, you can’t really say which parts are Adam and which parts are Eddy.
The only way would be to go by solo episodes. That leaves us with Espenson and Goodman, who are good.
The only other way is to dissect paired episodes to determine Jerome (who did write solo) from Jane and Jerome.
I’d probably say Espenson for emotional punches, Goodman for solid, Once episodes, and Jerome for filler.
You can’t blame the plot on the writer, especially in writer duos, as it was pretty much decided as a collective and executed by the showrunners. (I thought Hales wrote the flashback in Eloise Gardener, for example.)
I’ll have to come back later and see I could discern anything from single episodes and stuff.
Jane Espenson is my favorite. She's good with emotional stuff, and I find the dialogue she writes to be a lot better and more natural than in other episodes. I think she's much better at subtlety (something Once Upon a Time is not known for), and she keeps a good continuity, usually linking stuff from past episodes she's written. I just wish they didn't keep wasting her talent on all of the boring Charming centrics.