This week on Once Upon A Time we finally get the Snow Queen’s troubling backstory, mysteries are solved, and more problems are created, ie the savior Emma. What a mess she is. But I am going to argue that it is a good, more interesting mess.
Arendelle. Summer. It’s a beautiful time. Two young girls, er three young girls, are playing in a field, chasing after a wayward kite. Suddenly their fun is interrupted by a creepy man who immediately tries to kidnap them. Luckily, one of the sisters, the eldest, Ingrid (she looks just like Elizabeth Mitchell), uses her magic snow powers and oops, the creepy man is dead! Young Ingrid worries because the man called her a “monster” and also she doesn’t want to hurt the ones she loves. Where have I heard this before? Oh, yes. The exact plot of Frozen. Her sisters promise to stick by her and they make a pact with some ribbons from the kite.
Years later, the sisters are older and urging Ingrid to come out more and see people, but she is still hesitant. Middle sister Helga apparently has a new suitor, who we learn is none other than the obnoxious Duke of Weseltown from Frozen, albeit younger, but still annoying. He dances just like in the movie. Aw, isn’t that just great? Ingrid comes down to watch. She gets tears in her eyes and creates a mini-snowstorm of sadness.
Ice-olated Ingrid is going to leave once and for all, but youngest sister Gerda finally pipes in and says she know a sorcerer who can do something. It can’t be, can it? Yes, yes it can be. Why, Rumpelstiltskin, of course!
The sisters huddle together and go to visit ol’ Rumpel. He nicely tells them that sisterly love can help, but Ingrid doesn’t think it is enough. So he offers to give them some magic gloves (the same ones from Frozen) and a fail-safe urn so that Ingrid can make sure she doesn’t hurt anyone, BUT they have to give him their princess-sister ribbons from childhood in exchange. Ingrid is all for it, but the other two don’t want to. But, they do anyways!
Back home in Arendelle, Ingrid, in her flashy Snow Queen garb, sits peacefully with her glove and urn. The Duke of Weselton pays her a visit, or rather mercilessly hits on her and tries to kiss her. She pushes him away with an icy blast! Helga shows up just in time and sees through the Duke’s lies. The Duke then threatens to tell everyone about “monster” Ingrid’s secret magic! Dude, people jump to such huge conclusions. Helga defends her sister, but Ingrid loses it and while trying to blast the Duke, accidentally hits her sister. Helga turns to ice and then crumples into thousands of ice cubes. NOOOO!
Other sister Gerda appears, sees what happens, freaks out, and traps Ingrid in the urn, even though it was all an accident. She also calls her a monster, which seems to be a running theme here. Gerda then visits troll king, Grand Pabby, and tells him that everyone in Arendelle must forget about Ingrid and Helga to survive. I don’t see the logic in that, but okay. Grand Pabby warns her that there will be a price to pay, but she thinks she already paid. Hint: You haven’t. Here comes Elsa!
Now, over in Storybrooke, Elsa and Emma are trying to find a way to stop the Snow Queen. Thanks to help from Belle, an old candle appears to be the solution. Elsa can’t get it under control though. C’mon Elsa, get it together. AND PLEASE CHANGE YOUR DRESS. For the love of Grand PABBY! Emma has to go babysit for her mother though. Ok, Emma, really? Now is the time you agree to babysit your half-brother? Alllllright…
Emma arrives at Ashley aka Cinderella’s baby happiness class? Not really too sure what exactly it is, but I do see a baby dressed in a Mickey Mouse costume which is fun. Oh look Aurora is there with her baby too. That’s nice. Oh, but wait, Emma has to run because they found a frozen trail leading up to the clock tower. Sorry, ma, can’t babysit anymore. Wow, I would never ask Emma for a favor.
At the clock tower, Emma quickly captures the Snow Queen with her candle and magic powers. She and Elsa interrogate the Snow Queen, but Elsa can’t control her rage questions about Anna, so Emma sends her on her way, which pleases the Snow Queen because she wanted to talk to Emma alone.
The Snow Queen then proceeds to psychoanalyze Emma, peppering her with compliments, pitying her life story, criticizing her family. Emma isn’t buying it, remaining stubborn and unsure.
Meanwhile, the Magical Scooby Gang, consisting of Charming, Elsa, Hook, and Belle discover that the mirror the Snow Queen left in the clock tower was a fake, though it took them a long time. Long enough for the Snow Queen to freeze herself and Emma inside the police station.
The Snow Queen continues to rile Emma up, saying that Emma’s family doesn’t understand her, just fear her. Emma gets so angry, her magic explodes from her hands and smashes the wall out of the station. The Snow Queen smugly smiles and disappears in a puff of clouds.
Emma can’t believe what just happened, looking at her hands in disbelief, just as the Magic Scooby Gang arrives. She warns them to stay back. Hook asks what that “monster” did to the police station, but Emma admits it was her. They try to move closer to her, but she blasts in anger, knocking over a light pole that hurts stupid Charming. Snow gives Emma a look of fear, which sends Emma running to her bug and driving away. The Snow Queen is so smug right now. She couldn’t be any more smug!
Everyone looks for Emma, but no one can find her. Elsa astutely observes that Emma had the same look she had when she feared hurting everybody. Yup. Well, while you guys speculate, Emma sits atop a hill overlooking Storybrooke. Sad Swan.
In our side story this week: Regina and Robin keep having this will they or won’t they ever just get together thing and after much waffling and talk (Henry to Regina, Will Scarlett to Robin), they finally go for it and make out in the sexy crypt. Thank God! Because I was getting tired of their endless shenanigans!
Oh, and Henry spent the episode cleaning Mr. Gold’s shop. He is quickly becoming a secondary, boring character. Quite different from his time in Neverland.
At the end of the episode, the Snow Queen finally comes to Rumpel and says she wants his deal now. She wants her childhood sister ribbons in exchange for the one missing piece from Rumpel’s plan. While she wants control in Storybrooke, she knows that Rumpel wants to travel out of Storybrooke without losing his powers. He wants what every villain wants: everything. He agrees and she whispers something in his ear that pleases him greatly. Hmmm, what could it be?!
This episode was backstory heavy, but provided great insight into the Snow Queen’s true intentions, even though it was almost too similar to the plot of Frozen. And I don’t want to be a stickler, but if you are even gonna pull the Duke of Weaseltown into the show, then please just give us our favorite Frozen character: Olaf. Just saying.
Regardless, it’s great to have some backstory. Poor Ingrid, just misunderstood. I very much would like to see a Darth Swan thing happen. It would give Jennifer Morrison something different to finally play with. Also glad they finally tied up Regina and Robin. Let us just hope that they stick to it so we don’t have to sit through their back and forth drivel again.
Next week is two hours of Once. That is a lot… Hopefully it’s fun and full of answers and intrigue! Let me know in the comments below what your thoughts on the episode are.
Once Upon A Time airs on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC. Watch full episodes on ABC.Go.com, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video.