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Once Upon a Time

"Fall" (Aired November 30, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

I hesitate to write this recap in my current state, as I’m even more frustrated with OUAT than normal. Once again, Hook is keeping a secret from Emma that if he just told her THEY WOULD FIND A SOLUTION! And there’s ANOTHER. STUPID. SPELL. I GET IT! Magic destroys Storybrooke. Again. And again. And again. But-but-but it’s different this time you see cause now the good guys are gonna be bad. WHO THE HELL CARES I ASK?!? The shtick is getting old because we all know that they’re going to solve the problem and everyone is going to end up happily ever after. My suggestion: end the show. It’s too repetitive. I can’t tell if I’m watching this point out of obligation, frustration, or just so I can be a sarcastic dick in these recaps. Whatever the case may be, I suppose we should get into it.


So the episode opens with the Spell of Shattered Sight headed toward the Storybrooke. After our main group of heroes realize they won’t be able to outrun the spell (despite Charming’s GENIUS idea to hide underground. Right, cause hiding from magic works so well. Good thinking there, Charming), everyone begins running around trying to prepare themselves for the arrival of the spell. And, really, if I wanted to I could my end recap there. But I guess I’ll keep going.


After Charming tries to leave via the ice wall, Emma and Elsa are off to visit Belle, with Anna’s newly rediscovered necklace. (When Charming failed miserably to scale the wall, it caused a crack in the ice allowing Elsa to retrieve her once assumed lost necklace.) Belle tells Emma and Elsa that they may be able to reverse the Shattered Sight spell if they can get a piece of someone who has been affected by the spell. No, OUAT didn’t get “The Walking Dead,” on us. Belle suggests something like a piece of hair. So Elsa and Emma use a locator spell and Anna’s necklace to try and track down Anna. They follow the necklace to the tunnels below the library, only to find their path blocked by some rumble. Rather than using their now controllable magic, Emma decides to go form a plan that won’t work with everyone else.


Rumple, who will apparently be unaffected by the spell, tells Ingrid that he won’t kill her if she allows him to leave Storybrooke with Belle and Henry. Naturally she agrees, so Rumple is off to force Hook to continue to do his bidding, since he’s got his heart and all. Ingrid agrees, so Rumple is off to get Hook in on the plan as well.


Meanwhile at Granny’s, Belle and the fairies are doing their best to counteract the Shattered Sight spell without Anna’s hair. However, Rumple does not want this to happen as he’s going to need the fairy’s magic in the hat to free himself of the dagger and leave Storybrooke. Query: why can’t he let the fairies do their magic, then capture them and leave Storybrooke? Oh right, cause this show makes no sense and Rumple is evil.  Rumple tells Hook that while he removes Belle from Granny’s, Hook will need to go in with the hat and absorb all of the fairies. Unhappy with this solution, Hook goes to tell Emma and the Charmings the situation he’s in. KIDDING! He agrees to do it cause he forgot honesty is the best policy.


At the library, Emma, Elsa, the Charmings, Grumpy, and Regina are trying to figure out how to unblock the path. Regina insists they have no time and that magic needs to be used. Charming, after a phone call with Belle, tells the group that the Fairies need Anna’s necklace to stop the Shattered Site spell, which means they won’t be able to locate Anna. When Emma tells Elsa this, Elsa hands Emma the bag. Emma checks the bag to make sure the necklace is inside and goes to Granny’s because even though Elsa has been looking for Anna for a long time, she decided to sacrifice her search for people she didn’t know. OH NO WAIT- Emma went on good faith that the necklace was in the bag and went to Granny’s even though Elsa kept the necklace and went back to the blocked path to continue to find Anna.


Meanwhile in Arendelle, Anna and Kristoff suddenly unfreeze. As they’re forming a plan to find Rumple and the urn, Hans and his brothers show up as they are no also unfrozen. They try to take Anna and Kristoff hostage, but the couple manages to escape. Anna tells Kristoff she read in her mother’s journal about a pirate named Black Beard who has a wishing star that he may be willing to sell to Anna. This Wishing Star may be able to help Anna and Elsa reunite.


Down at the docks, Anna and Kristoff quickly find Black Bear, who is now somehow captaining the Jolly Roger. When Anna tries to make an offer to buy the Wishing Star, Hans and his brothers once again show up. This time, they take Anna and Kristoff out to the spot where her parents died. Now tell me, how does he know it is the same spot? They were lost in a storm and it’s not like Arendelle has GPS to let everyone know where the ship went down. While at sea, Hans tells Anna and Kristoff that they have all been frozen for 30 years. (How does Hans know this? Who the heck knows.) So now, we, the audience, know that these events are happening concurrently with the events unfolding in Storybrooke. Anyway, as Hans and Black Beard load Kristoff and Anna in a box that they’re going to throw overboard, Black Beard tells Anna that he sold her parents the Wishing Star, much to Anna’s shock.


Back in Storybrooke, Regina takes Henry to the Mayor’s office. She seals Henry in the office so that no one can get to him when the Shattered Sight arrives. As she leaves the office, she runs in to Robin. They share a romantic moment, and he tells her that he doesn’t fear her. Regina assures Robin that he should fear her, and she tells him she’s going to seal herself in her vault to protect the town from her. Ummm….if she’s sealing herself in, won’t she just be able to use her own magic and unseal herself? NOTHING MAKES SENSE.


Emma finds Elsa as Elsa blasts through the blocked tunnel. The two find themselves on the beach in Storybrooke, and the locator spell on the necklace goes away. Elsa is devastated and grasps the necklace tightly, apologizing to Anna and wishing they were together. AND THEN I REALIZED I AM A DUMMY AND THAT THE NECKLACE IS THE STUPID WISHING STAR. This wish, because it was pure, causes the box that Anna and Kristoff were about to drown in to come to the shore. And then it’s the happiest reunion ever. Anna and Elsa are overjoyed to find one another. The bottle that their mother put a note in also pops up, though no one seems to notice. (Also side note, go me for mentioning in the first recap that that stupid bottle wouldn’t make it to shore in a bloody storm.)


Emma, the Frozen sisters, and Kristoff head toward Granny’s, only to find that the Fairies are all gone. Emma assumes it is the work of Ingrid, though Hook is hiding behind the counter feeling shitty about what he has done. Hook goes to talk to Rumple, asking if he’s done with doing Rumple’s evil bidding, but Rumple tells him not yet. What else does Rumple need? Rumple also tells Hook to enjoy his last day alive.


Emma and the Frozen gang head to the Sheriff’s Office to tell Snow and Charming that the Shattered Sight spell is going to happen. Snow and Charming have Emma lock them up in the cells so they don’t turn on her. Snow and Charming assure Emma they trust her and believe in her. They also give Emma the responsibility of watching Baby Neil. However, Kristoff and Anna aren’t chained up. Is this because the spell can’t affect Anna again? I’m confused. Hook shows up to tell Emma he wanted to see her one more time and they share a sweet kiss. And then, the Shatters Sight falls on Storybrooke. One quick question: is the wishing star a “one and done” type of deal? Or could they make another wish to reverse the spell? Or is that too advanced thinking for the OUAT characters? Perhaps I’m too harsh.

"The Snow Queen" (Aired November 9, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

Ok, so this episode gets a little personal for me. The Duke of Wesseleton is introduced, and like in Frozen, he is referred to as Weasleton. As someone who has the last name of Wessel I would like to say WESSEL DOES NOT HAVE AN A IN IT! It’s not close to being weasel, and it’s an easy joke that isn’t even that funny. Now, I don’t like the character of the Duke of Wesselton, but calling him a Weasel isn’t funny.  Ok, enough about that. Let’s just go back to the ridiculousness of this show.

 Arendelle Flashback

A young Ingrid (apparently Brighton Sharbino can only play little crazy children ala Lizze in "The Walking Dead",) Helga, and Gerda are all playing with a kite when a man comes up and tries to kidnap Helga and Gerda. When Ingrid tries to stop him, she shoots out her ice magic, causing a branch to fall off a tree and kill the man. Completely undisturbed by the fact that their sister just killed a man, Gerda and Helga promise Ingrid they will help her control her powers. They take ribbons from the kite and tie them around their wrists, promising to always be there for one another.


Years later, Gerda, and Helga are all getting dressed for their father’s 70th birthday, but Ingrid doesn’t trust herself or her powers to attend. Helga mentions that her new suitor, the Duke of Wesselton, will be attending. At the party, Wesselton and Helga dance, and Gerda dances with another guy. Ingrid watches from afar, jealous of the freedom her sisters have, and she begins to cause snowflakes to form around her.  After the party, Gerda and Helga find Ingrid packing, preparing to leave them. Helga reminds Ingrid of the promise they made to never abandon one another. Gerda suggests that they pay a visit to Rumpelstiltskin to figure out a way to control Ingrid’s powers.


So, the three sisters are off to find Rumple. Rumple offers to give Ingrid lessons to control her magic, and she accepts because it’s the rational thing to do. Oh wait, that’s what a thinking person would do. I forgot we’re dealing with characters on “One Upon a Time.” Instead, Ingrid refuses, and instead takes gloves which will restrain her magic, and the urn which will capture her if she gets a little out of control. In return, Rumple asks for the sisters’ ribbons that symbolize their bond. Rumple tells them that with enough love, ordinary objects can possess their own special kind of magic. Though Gerda and Helga resist, Ingrid insists she needs the gloves and the urn, and so they reluctantly hand their ribbons over to Rumple.


Following their visit to Rumple, Ingrid is sitting in a gazebo when the Duke of Wesselton approaches. He begins to hit on Ingrid, but she resists because Helga loves him. Helga comes upon the scene and the Duke lies to her, telling Helga Ingrid tried to make a move on him. Helga sees right through his lies and tells him to go away. When he tries to grab Helga, Ingrid shoots her freezing magic, but it hits Helga instead of Wesselton. Wesselton promises about 30 times that he’ll tell everyone that she’s a witch and runs away. When Ingrid goes to touch Helga, she crumbles and falls apart. Just then, Gerda approaches and somehow is able to make out the shape of Helga in the pile of ice. Gerda, apparently refusing to believe it was a mistake, uses the urn to capture Ingrid. Gerda then pays a visit to the rock trolls, asking them to cast a spell through the realm to remove the memory of Helga and Ingrid. Seems reasonable. I mean, in a land with rock trolls, how could there possibly also be someone with magic? Rock trolls, fine. But a witch, Heaven forbid.



Ingrid shows up in town in her Snow Queen dress. I’m not sure why Ingrid and Elsa insist on wearing the least practical wardrobe of all time, but alas, they do. Anyway, Ingrid heads to the top of the clock tower and makes a mirror appear.


In the sheriff’s department, Emma shows Elsa the scroll she found with a spell. It turns out, the spell will take away some of Ingrid’s power. I don’t know if they’ve seen Ingrid, but she’s kind of difficult to take power away from, so I don’t buy it. The two try to experiment, but it doesn’t go well. And even though the spell took about 10 seconds to try, this is too time consuming as Emma tells Elsa they’ll have to attempt it again later because Emma is off to go baby sit Baby Neil.


When Emma goes to pick up Neil from Snow, she finds Snow at a first-time mother’s class. OUCH. Emma tries to tell Snow it is ok as Snow didn’t really get any baby time with Emma. As Snow and Emma are talking to two other new moms, Emma is holding Neil’s bottle. Her jealousy causes the bottle to boil. Luckily, David calls Emma to tell her he needs her assistance.


Elsa and Emma run to the top of the clock tower and cast their spell on Ingrid, which results in Ingrid being handcuffed. Ummm…. that’s a little too easy. Ingrid has a plan, and I’m guessing being “caught” by Elsa and Emma is part of the plan. Emma and Elsa take Ingrid to the sheriff’s office and begin to ask her questions about Anna. Ingrid tries to tell Elsa to forget about Anna since Anna is the reason Elsa was in the urn, but Elsa refuses to believe this. When Elsa starts to get upset, Emma sends Elsa to help David and Hook figure out Ingrid’s mirror. Then Emma tells Ingrid she knows about her plan to have she, Elsa, and Ingrid become a family. Emma tells Ingrid that what Ingrid wants isn’t going to happen, but Ingrid insists that it will. Ingrid tells Emma that she’s going to let her go.


At the clock tower, Hook, David, and Elsa are trying to figure out Ingrid’s mirror. It’s like they’re looking for some switch to turn it off cause that’s how magic works. When Belle gets there, she tells the group that it isn’t the same mirror she away in Ingrid’s ice cave. They then rush to the sheriff’s office, realizing Emma may be in danger, but find that Ingrid has frozen the doors shut with her magic.


Inside, Ingrid tries to convince Emma that Snow and Charming could have kept Emma if they wanted to. Ingrid asks how often she’s felt more like a savior than a daughter. She’s playing on Emma’s deepest fears and concerns, tells Emma that her family cannot love what they don’t understand. Emma becomes so angry, she slams her hands on the desk, causing part of the sheriff’s department wall to blow apart. Ingrid stands up and removes the chains, showing that she did in fact WANT to be captured to provoke this reaction from Emma.


After the explosion, the rest of the group runs over to check on Emma. She tells them that she caused the explosion and warns them to stay away as she’s not sure how to control her magic. As she goes to leave, Hook tries to stop her. In response, Emma accidentally shoots out her magic, causing an electrical pole to fall and hit Charming. Snow, caught up in the moment, says Emma’s name with shock and horror. This is the fear Ingrid spoke of, and it is Emma’s fear. Emma leaves, while Ingrid watches the events unfold with a satisfied smile on her face.


After the incident with Emma, Hook, Charming, Snow, and Elsa all regroup at Charming and Snow’s apartment. Elsa tells them that Emma saw fear on their faces, and Elsa knows what it’s like to feel as if you’re family doesn’t trust you. Snow is upset with herself, telling Charming that they failed as parents that day.


Meanwhile, Ingrid pays a visit to Rumple who is impressed by Ingrid’s ability to mess with Emma’s head. Ingrid tells Rumple she’s finally ready to make a deal. She wants her the ribbons she and her sisters shared. In exchange, she’ll give Rumple the information he needs to free himself from the power of the dagger and to travel outside of Storybrooke and keep his powers. She wants Rumple gone because she wants Storybrooke. She tells Rumple what he needs by whispering it in his hear, and he seems a little too eager to do it. My guess is it has something to do with harming Hook since Rumple hates him so much.


Regina and Robin have their own, repetitive storyline. Regina once again tells Robin that he needs to forget about her to try and save Marian. After this conversation, Regina reads through the storybook. Henry stops by to check on Regina, and she tells him that her full concentration will be on Operation Mongoose.


After meeting with Regina, Robin has a conversation with Will Scarlett at Granny’s. There, Will tells Robin that true love is worth fighting for, giving Robin the motivation he needs to go tell Regina he loves her. He pays another visit to her crypt where he tells Regina he’s tired of living by his self imposed code and he kisses her. Great. Maybe now they’ll have Marian’s son try to save Marian? I’m kidding, that would be too practical.

"Family Business" (Aired November 2, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

This episode just further cemented my stance on OUAT: EVERYONE IS DUMB! The Snow Queen's mission is kind of silly. Regina is being silly. And no one can think for more than two seconds. GAH!

Enchanted Forest & Arendelle

The episode begins with Belle and her mother (who is never named, though IMDB tells me her name is Collette) trying to save the library before the ogres attack. Because you know…priorities. Right as the ogre is about to attack Belle and her mother, everything goes to black and then Belle wakes up as if from a horrible nightmare. When she wakes up, she finds that her mother s in fact dead. When she asks her father what happened, he tells her she doesn’t need to know. So she starts to read about creatures that can restore her memories, but her father tells her she can’t leave her room until she’s better. Better from what you ask? Who the hell knows. But Belle is stubborn, and she decides to head to Arendelle to see the rock trolls to get answers.


Meanwhile, Anna herself is off to see the rock trolls, as she doesn’t believe that the Snow Queen, Ingrid, is really her mother’s sister. Belle and Anna meet and become fast friends, and Anna agrees to help Belle get to the rock trolls.


Once there, the horrible CGI rock troll gives Belle a rock which he promises will restore her memories. Pretty easy. Anna then asks about Ingrid, and GranPappy rock roll tells Anna that her mother had two sisters, Ingrid and Helga. However, the entire realm was given a memory potion to forget about Ingrid and Helga after they disappeared without a trace and explanation.  Anna fears Ingrid may try to harm Elsa, so she tries to race back to the castle.


However, on the way back, a storm starts, and Anna knows it is Ingrid. Just then, a huge rumble sends Belle and Anna flying in different directions. Belle’s memory rock lies out of her pocket and on the edge of the cliff. She tries to retrieve the memory rock before coming to Anna’s rescue, but the rock slips off and shatters. Before Belle can help Anna, Anna falls from the ledge. Just then, Snow Queen Ingrid arrives, having overheard Anna’s suspicions. Anna takes the box that captures magic from Anna, and tells Belle that it is family business and she and Anna disappear.


Upon returning home, Belle’s father tells her that Collette died protecting Belle. He then tells Belle that the ogres are advancing. Belle decides she needs to summon a powerful wizard who may be able to help them. She knows magic always comes with a price, but sometimes to be the hero you have to sacrifice everything to save the people you love


Anna awakens up to find herself in prison and Snow Queen Ingrid shows Anna she now has the box to strip away her magic. Ingrid tells Anna that she’s going to show Elsa the box and tell Elsa that Anna planned to use the box to take away Elsa’s magic. When Anna tells Ingrid she knows about Helga, Ingrid says some secrets are better left buried. She then tells Anna she wants a family to embrace her for who she is, and that she and Elsa are going to form a new family and find someone to replace her: Emma.



Emma shows Snow, Regina, Belle, Henry, Rumple, and Charming the video of Snow Queen Ingrid as Emma’s foster mother. Emma wonders if Rumple knows how Ingrid made Emma forget about Ingrid, but Rumple claims to not know. They decide to break in to smaller groups to try and track down Ingrid and dig up information. Elsa asks Belle if she can go with her to the library to research, and Belle, because of her guilt, reluctantly agrees.


Elsa is digging through the books but grows increasingly frustrated when she’s not able to find even a mention of Arendelle. Belle tries to assure Elsa, and insist that the thing that separated them was beyond Elsa’s control. Elsa seems like she’s about to give up on searching for Anna, Belle promise Elsa she will see Anna again, and tells Elsa she’ll be back after she takes care of something.


In the woods, the search party finds Ingrid’s ice cream truck. Inside, Emma finds a file full of things from when she was a child such as report cards, thank you cards, etc. It is apparent Emma and Ingrid were mutually fond of one another and had quite the relationship. Emma also finds some kind of scroll with hieroglyphs she can’t read.


Robin tries to talk to Regina about his remaining feelings for her. But once again, Regina tells Robin that he needs to fall back in love with Marian if he wants to try and save her. Regina insists that Robin forget about her. Or, you know, they could get Marian’s son to try to kiss her, but NO ONE EVER LISTENS TO ME!


Meanwhile, Rumple finds Ingrid walking through the woods. He tells Ingrid Emma knows Ingrid used to be her foster mother, but Ingrid says she wanted Emma to find out. Rumple once again offers to make a deal with Ingrid, but she refuses. Rumple wants something from the Snow Queen, but the Snow Queen knows that to get what he wants, he needs her power. Until he has leverage, she warns him to stay out of her way.


Belle is about to leave to try and find the Ingrid, with a pickaxe, when Rumple returns to his store. She tells Rumple she needs to head to the north woods to fix a mistake she made. When Rumple refuses to go with her, Belle pulls out the dagger to command Rumple to go. He tells her that he gave Belle the dagger because he trusted that she would never control him. She says if he won’t go willingly, then she has no choice.


Begrudgingly, Rumple takes Belle to Snow Queen Ingrid’s hideout.  Belle tells Rumple to stay as look out. Belle thinks Ingrid has the hat that can suck the magical power out of people. She thinks if she finds that, she’ll be able to help find Anna.  When Rumple asks why Belle wants to help, she tells him that a hero always helps out strangers.


Inside the Snow Queen’s cave, Belle hears someone talking to her, and finds a mirror. Belle’s reflection starts talking to Belle, reflecting her deepest fears. The reflection tells Belle that the dagger she has does not actually control Rumple. When Rumple comes in to tell Belle the Snow Queen is returning, Belle takes a swipe at Rumple, and he magics them back to his shop. When Belle tries to get Rumple to admit he didn’t listen to her command, he reminds her that she told him to keep watch, which is what he did. When Belle realizes she cut Rumple, she’s devastate and tells him that something came over her when she looked in the mirror.  Rumple assures Bell the mirror lied to her. Belle then comes clean to Rumple, telling him she met Anna and it’s her fault Ingrid took Anna. She says that she should have never kept a secret from him since he would never keep one from her. I’m sorry, but does Belle not know who she is married to?


Rumple pays another visit to the Snow Queen to discuss about her mirror. Rumple tells the Snow Queen that she won’t be allowed to hurt the people he cares about. She won’t promise who may or may not survive. Rumple shows the Snow Queen that he has the hat of power. He tells the Snow Queen that she may want to reconsider her position so she doesn’t become part of the hat.


Meanwhile, Elsa’s research has finally paid off when she finds that Ingrid is her aunt. Elsa finds that her mother, Gerda, had two sisters. Hook points out that one sister, Helga, looked just like Emma. Elsa then reads the scroll Emma found, and finds it says the Savior shall become Ingrid’s sister. Elsa thinks Ingrid is trying to replace her sisters with herself and Emma. Just then, Belle shows up to apologize to Elsa and tell her she had in fact met Anna. Belle says she doesn’t know where she is now, but they have a more pressing concern. She tells them about the mirror that can do terrible things such as cast the spell of shattered sight. This spell will make everyone in Storybrooke turn on one another, with no one left except Ingrid, Elsa, and Emma as the perfect family.

"Breaking Glass" (Aired October 26, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

If possible, "Breaking Glass" makes everyone look even more ridiculous. And there are some really annoying things the writers did this episode which make their other choices even more unbearable. Look, I know I may come down kind of hard on "Once," but I promise I do like the show. I just want more out of it as the show could be way better than it currently is. And if I'm being honest, I like looking at Hook and Robin Hood. They're very attractive men. 



Instead of Arendelle, this week’s flashbacks are of Emma’s teenage years, specifically, the fall of 1998. Emma is a grocery story, trying to steal some food. She notices another teenage girl in the store as well. When one of the grocery store managers confronts Emma about stealing, the other teenage girl, Lily, shows up to save Emma. Lily suggests that instead of stealing food, Emma should just steal a credit card. As the two leave the store, a man in a jeep yells after lily. Emma and Lily manage to escape.


As Emma and Lily are enjoying their freshly stolen groceries, Emma explains to Lily she left the home she was in after she saw another girl get adopted. Lily tells Emma she understands, that she feels invisible. She also leads Emma to believe the man in the Jeep was someone from social services trying to get her back in the system. The two girls are sitting by a lake, and Lily tells Emma now that people are going home for the fall, she was planning on staying in one of the empty houses for a while, and invited Emma to stay with her.


After breaking in to one of the homes, Lily and Emma take full advantage of the video games and shelter. Emma notices a star birthmark on Lily’s writes. Lily says she’s had it as long as she can remember, and that it makes her feel special like Harry Potter. HOLD THE PHONE “ONCE UPON A TIME” WRTIERS! We know that this is happening in the Fall of 1998, and the first Harry Potter book wasn’t released in the U.S. until September 1998. So unless Emma and Lily were early readers of the book, this reference is all kinds of wrong. Do a little goddamn research. ANYWAY, Lily draws a similar star on Emma’s wrist to show their unity, and they make a promise to one another to stay friends. Emma then finds a video camera, and films the two of them goofing off.


That night, Lily and Emma are sleeping on the couch with the Ring screen on. They wake up and realize someone is in the house. It’s the man from the Jeep, and it turns out he’s Lily’s father. Emma is pissed Lily lied to her about not having a family. As Lily is in her father’s car, she apologizes to Emma for lying and tries to give Emma her address, saying they can run away together. She tells Emma she was adopted, so she understands how Emma feels, and they promised to be friends forever. Emma walks away, refusing to take Lily’s address and rubbing off the star Lily drew on her arm.




At the sheriff’s office, Emma and Elsa are concerned as to why the Ice Queen took their memories. Hook arrives with more town records, and we see that Will Scarlett is still being held in the cell. Hook tells Emma that’s he off to take Henry sailing. Elsa in the meantime finds photos Regina had Sydney take of Emma when she first got to town. One of the photos shows Emma talking to the Ice Queen in her ice cream shop, though Emma has no memory of this.


In the mausoleum, Regina demands that Sydney, as the mirror, find where the Snow Queen is hiding. When Sydney tries to ask for his freedom, Regina threatens to put him back in his hospital cell if he refuses to help her, and Sydney very reluctantly agrees.

The new blonde besties, Emma and Elsa are off to find Regina so Emma can ask her about the photos. Apparently, Elsa was needed for the car ride only, as Emma tells her she needs to work things out with Regina on her own. When Emma asks Regina about the pictures, Regina tells Emma she doesn’t know anything. Emma then asks about Regina’s progress in finding a way to reverse the spell on Marian, but Regina is very short with Emma. When Emma offers her help, Regina brushes her off more saying Emma has never had her back and never will.


Apparently, this conversation between Regina and Emma took hours, because it is now dark outside and Elsa is still waiting. Elsa hears and sees Anna saying, “Help me.” There’s absolutely no way this could be a trap considering she’s been searching for Anna, so Elsa take off after her. EVERYONE IS DUMB. Elsa pursues Anna through the woods, even creating the ice bridge and stairs from Frozen. She makes it to the top where she finds that Anna was an illusion created by the Ice Queen (DUH!) to lure Elsa to her. The Ice Queen then ice chains Elsa to the ground, telling Elsa that her fear only makes the chains stronger. The Ice Queen then tells Elsa she’s off to build a snowman. NO “ONCE” WRITERS, NO! YOU’RE ONLY ALLOWED ONE BLATANT FROZEN REFERNCE PER EPISODE! DO NOT BEAT ME OVER THE HEAD WITH THEM. IT IS ANNOYING.


After he conversation with Emma, Regina is looking at a picture of her and Robin when Sydney comes to tell Regina that he’s found where the Ice Queen is hiding. She then uses her compact mirror so Sydney can guide her. As she’s making her way through the woods, she bumps into Emma. Emma decides to join Regina in looking for the Ice Queen, though Regina is none too pleased about it. As the two are walking, Emma is trying to talk to Regina about their shared powers. Regina finally tells Emma to stop making amends for bringing Marian to Storybrooke, because whether Emma meant to or not, she hut someone. Now, Emma can finally have a small taste of what it’s like to feel like Regina.


Regina and Emma finally make it to the ice bridge, but Emma feels that something is off. She realizes it was the Ice Queen that built this bridge, and Regina realizes Sydney has betrayed her. Emma only has a minute to be surprised that Regina lied to her about Sydney before the ice bridge starts to disappear. Regina and Emma run and make it just in time.


And of course the giant iceman warrior created by the Ice Queen confronts them. Regina and Emma each try individually to use their powers to defeat the man, but they’re not successful. So instead, they work together (WHAT A CONCEPT!) and are able to defeat him. The Ice Queen then shows up and begins to choke them. However, Elsa was able to calm her fear long enough to break free of her chains, and shows up to blast the Ice Queen. The Ice Queen takes Regina’s compact mirror, and then disappears. When Elsa suggests that Emma and Regina set aside their differences, Regina says she doesn’t want to, and disappears herself.


As Elsa and Emma are walking through the woods, Elsa tells Emma she can’t give up on Regina. So, Emma, not thinking Regina may want to be left alone, geos back to see her. Emma tells Regina only Regina can understand what it’s like to be misunderstood and rejected, and she hopes they can be friends. This seems to strike a chord with Regina, and she confesses to Emma that she doesn’t want to actually kill her.


Following her conversation with Regina, Emma is sitting at the sheriff’s station. Hook shows up and Emma shows him a box that has some mementos form her childhood. As he’s going through he finds a picture of her and Neil (Awkward, and also, not really your childhood, but whatever). Anyway, Emma also finds the video camera from when she and Lily were at the lake house. She plays the footage, and after the scene with her and Lily, we see Emma at her next foster home, with one of the other kids carrying around the camera. Emma has no recollection of this, and we see why, because her foster mother was the Ice Queen, and the Ice Queen has zapped these memories from Emma.


Meanwhile, the Ice Queen releases Sydney from his mirror prison. She tells him she needs the dark magic in Regina’s compact mirror, not Sydney himself. The Ice Queen then breaks Regina’s mirror, and send a piece to the giant cracked mirror she has in her lair. She then says to herself she’s close to having a family that loves her. So basically, she wants the same thing that every other “villain” on this show has wanted. I AM SO SICK OF THIS SHIT REPEATING.


During all this, Charming is trying to convince Snow to leave baby Neil with Belle. Very reluctantly she does so, but when they go to the sheriff’s station to get a walkie-talkie so Belle can contact them if needed, they discover Will has escaped. After searching for him, Snow is ready to go home, and as she turns to leave, she hears something behind her. She turns around and there’s Will digging a hole. (I’ll try not to let it bother me that Will was right in the line of sight of the direction Snow and Charming were walking 2 seconds before Snow left to go home).

Snow approaches Will and he tells her he’s looking for something he’s buried. Snow thinks that Charming released Will to give her an adventure, so she pardons Will for stealing. When she gets home she thanks David for creating the adventure, but OF COURSE, he didn’t release Will. But, Charming says that if it helped Snow find a lost part of herself, then Will’s escape was worth it. Charming, your Sheriff skills need some improvement, buddy.

"The Apprentice" (Aired October 19, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

So, I must say that as a child, Fantasia was one of my least favorite Disney movies. For some reason, it freaked me out, and realizing that this episode was based on it, I wasn’t too happy about it. I knew the episode wasn’t going to scare me, but I just didn’t want an entire hour of references to a movie I didn’t like. And yes, the “Once Upon a Time” writers should cater exclusively to me.



The episode opens with an older, magical looking dude sweeping. We find out he’s the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The Apprentice takes a swing at Rumple, but misses. Rumple goes for that box that was on his desk. The Dark One lifts his mask and we find it isn’t Rumple at all, but rather his predecessor, Zoso. As Zoso goes go grab the box, he’s thrown back by some spell. The Apprentice tells Zoso that no one who has ever succumbed to the darkness in his heart will succeed in taking the box.


Anna pays a visit to Rumple and asks for information on why her parents came to see him. He promises to tell her what her parents asked if she pours a potion in the tea of a man who lives at the foot of the mountains. Rumple has Anna sign a contract, which she apparently does as we see her next at the house of the Apprentice. After meeting him, she decides not to pour the potion in his tea, as she’s fearful of killing him.


Anna reports back to Rumple, telling him she poured the potion in. It turns out, the potion was an antidote to the poison Rumple gave the Apprentice the day before. Anna wants to go save him, but Rumple shows Anna that it is too late. Through his crystal ball, we see the Apprentice transform into a mouse. (I hope this is the only Mickey Mouse reference we have to deal with on this show).


It turns out Rumple didn’t want Anna to poison the Apprentice. He wanted Anna to face her inner darkness and defeat it. He needs her in order to retrieve the box his predecessor tried to get his hands on. When he threatens to put Anna in prison, she puts a sword to his chest and considers killing him. But it’s Anna, and she can’t follow through. When she cries, Rumple catches her tear on his dagger, which he needs to break the spell and get the box containing the sorcerer’s hat.


After he retrieves the box, Rumple heads back upstairs, and Anna demands to know what her parents wanted to know. Rumple tells Anna that her parents wanted to take away Elsa’s power. He also tells her the sorcerer’s hat collects power, and once it has all the power, he will be unstoppable. Anna tells Rumple the Apprentice worked too hard and too long to protect the box, and right then the mouse bites Rumple’s hand and Rumple drops the dagger. Anna picks up the dagger, and uses her ability to control Rumple to have him send her back to Arendelle with the box, and promise that he can never hurt Anna or Elsa.


When Anna returns to Arendelle, she tells Kristoff that her parents were trying to change Elsa, and she doesn’t know how break this information to her.



Emma goes into Granny’s to ask Hook on a date, with Henry’s giving his blessing, though a little reluctantly. Hook says he’ll go out with her if he gets to plan the date. She won’t pillage and plunder on the first date but she hasn’t been out with Hoko yet. HEY OH. As Emma goes back to her car, she finds it surrounded by a pool of water.


After arranging his date with Emma, Hook goes off to Rumple’s shop in order to get his hand back. He uses his knowledge that Belle has a fake dagger as leverage. Be careful Hook – Rumple doesn’t take being threatened lightly. Rumple tells Hook that the hand may make Hook the selfish and cunning man he was before he lost his hand. But Hook thinks that Rumple is lying to him and that nothing can change him back. Once again, Hook threatens to tell Belle about the fake dagger, and Gold reassembles Hook, both hands and all.


At Chez Snow White, Snow and Elsa are digging through town records to see if Anna may have ben brought over in the curse. I’m curious how big this town is. It seems small, and yet, there are often citizens that seem to not know one another. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.


Anyway, I digress…Emma comes out dressed up for her date with Hook, and Snow and David are in totally parent mode, and it is kind of adorable to see them gushing over Emma as she’s about to go out. Emma offers to see if Hook may be interested in staying in and helping them through the town records, but Elsa declines. When Hook shows up, he’s FINALLY in some modern clothes… and he looks good. He’s also brought Emma a rose, which he hands her with his newly added old hand. Before David can get too lecturery, they leave, with Emma reminding everyone that she can bloody well take care of herself. WHY CAN NO ONE BELIEVE THIS?!?!


Hook and Emma arrive at a nice Italian restaurant. Emma, being Emma, can’t help but talk about the problems happening in the town. When Hook waves to the bartender to bring them a drink, we see Will Scarlett, allegedly on of Robin Hood’s former merrymen, and the thief who stole the money from the ice cream shop. Will spots Emma and starts to run out, but ends up spilling wine on Emma’s dress. Hook grabs Will and tells him to apologize to Emma. Emma assures Hook it is fine, so Hook releases Will, concerned his reattached Hand caused the violent reaction.


Query – 1) I doubt his reattached hand is causing him to be a violent dude. 2) Doesn’t Storybrooke have a hospital? Why can’t they get Hook a prosthetic?


At the end of the date, Hook apologizes again for attacking Will at dinner. Emma invites Hook in for coffee with her parents, her baby brother, and Elsa. She really does need her own place. They talk about a second date, and then share a kiss. However, as they’re kissing, Hook looks at his hand and seems pretty concerned.


Emma walks in, and Snow and David are waiting for her, wanting to know all about the date. Snow is so excited for her, wanting to know all the details, but David doesn’t need to know everything. Snow says Emma seems happy, and David comments that Hook really has changed, and Emma can hear everything.


Meanwhile, Will Scarlett is trying to break into the library, but Hook catches him, and his reattached hand starts beating the crap out of him. He tells Will if he tells anyone about it, he’s a dead man. Hook looks over and sees Rumple’s shop and decides to talk to him. As Rumple is getting in his car, Hook gets in and tells Rumple that he wants the hand gone, or he’ll tell Belle about the dagger. Rumple tells Hook that he switched the real dagger back after he gave Hook his hand back, he was tired of the leverage. Rumple agrees to give Hook back his hook if he makes a deal, When Rumple explains to Hook that only his magic can give him his hook back, Hook reluctantly agrees.


The next morning, Hook is sleeping at the docks, waiting for Rumple’s arrival. Rumple summons a broom, which then starts walking toward “an old friend’s house,” (in case you were unclear of the Fantasia references). The broom leads them to a farmhouse where the Apprentice lives. Rumple brings the box that contains the Sorcerer’s hat, and waves his dagger above the box to make the hat appear. The Apprentice is surprised that the dark one has the hat, but Rumple tells the Apprentice that he will never collect enough power to do what Rumple wants. Rumple then turns the hat over, and the hat sucks the Apprentice into the hat, helping to collect the power.


After this, Rumple and Hook return to Rumple’s shop where he replaces Hook’s hook. Hook tells Rumple he just saw him use the real dagger so he knows Belle doesn’t have the real dagger. Rumple shows Hook a videotape of the footage where he helped Rumple kill the apprentice. Rumple tells Hook that the hand isn’t cursed because DUH. The hand gave Hook permission the man to be who he was. They’re now a reluctant team.


After being interrupted from pursuing the Ice Queen, Emma is at the sheriff’s office where she has arrested Will Scarlett. Emma asks Will why he fell asleep holding the Alice in Wonderland book, with a page torn out. Hook comes back and he tells Emma that Gold’s magic isn’t all it appeared to be. Meanwhile, David and Elsa have been searching the Storybrooke logs, and find out that Sarah Fisher, the name the Ice Queen has been using (THANK GOD WE HAVE A NAME NOW), doesn’t appear in the records anywhere. This means that the Ice Queen didn’t get to Storybrooke by chance.


Meanwhile, there are a few unimportant scenes with Regina and Henry trying to figure out how to unfreeze Marian, and Henry saying he’s going to help Regina get a happy ending by finding the author of the storybook. So basically, what they talked about 3 episodes ago. The episode ends with Henry getting a job at grandpa Rumple’s shop.

"Rocky Road" (Aired October 12, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

“Once Upon a Time” just keeps on giving me fuel for my sarcastic fire. And they’re driving home a theme they’ve gone over about 15 bajillion times: families are hard but if you work through your problems everything will be ok. Maybe let’s do something else. Anyway, here we go:



Elsa is freaking out about not hearing from Anna. She wants to go find Anna, but Kristoff tells Elsa that Hans and his brothers are threatening to invade Arendale, and if she leaves she puts her reign in jeopardy.


Kristoff, despite Elsa’s wishes, goes to scope out Hans and his brother’s army. He overhears them mention an urn that will trap someone with Elsa’s powers.


So Elsa and Kristoff are off to find the urn. Once there, Hans and his brothers show up and take Kristoff hostage threatening to kill him. First off, Kristoff literally could have run forward and been out of harms way. Second, ELSA HAS FREAKING FREEZING POWERS AND SHE CAN FREEZE PEOPLE OR CREATE WEAPONS OUT OF THIN AIR. WHY IS EVERYONE SO STUPID?! Anyway, the urn is turned over and a liquidy blob floats out of the urn. It’s Queen Dairy. (We still don’t know the Ice Queen’s name so I’m calling her this because she owns an ice cream shop and I think it’s funny even if no one else does.) Queen Dairy freezes Hans, and his brothers run away in fear.


Back at Elsa’s castle, Queen Dairy tells Elsa that she is her aunt. Like Elsa, Queen Dairy had freezing powers and was blonde, whereas Queen Dairy’s sister (Elsa and Anna’s mother) was a redhead with no powers (sorta like Anna).  Queen Dairy explains to Elsa that she and Elsa’s mother were close but something came between them. My guess: Queen Dairy showed her true nature of being a horrible person and Elsa’s mother put her in the urn. And now in Storybrooke, Queen Dairy is there to reek havoc in some kind of messed up and nonsensical revenge plan.



Robin Hood, Marian, and their son stop in the ice cream shop. Queen Dairy puts some kind of spell on Marian’s ice cream sprinkles. At Snow White’s first town hall meeting, the townspeople decide to complain about all the things that Snow has absolutely no control over. To make matters worse, Marian falls under a freezing spell from the sprinkles. And of course everyone freaks the eff out and immediately assumes Elsa caused Marian harm. So much for not overreacting to a situation.  So they set out to stop her. Sure, it makes sense that you’ll be able to stop someone who can freeze you.


Meanwhile, Emma, Hook, and Elsa are off to see Rumpelstiltskin and Belle to see if Rumpel knew that Elsa was hanging out inside the urn. When he denies any knowledge, Belle picks up the dagger and demands that Rumpel tell the truth. He once again denies any knowledge, but Hook knows better than to believe Rumpel would give anyone power over himself.


Regina reveals her plan to Henry to have her story rewritten, and Henry thinks it’s a great idea! Oh good, I’m sure this won’t have any negative repercussions. As they’re coming up with the Operation Mongoose, Robin comes in and asks for Regina’s help to save Marian. She rushes to help, but she’s not sure she can come up with a solution. Elsa and Emma arrive, and Elsa suggests true love’s kiss. Robin goes to kiss Marian and SHOCKER! it doesn’t work. Obviously Robin loves Regina now so he can’t break the spell with a kiss.  So the group goes to get Marian’s son to let him try. Just kidding. They assume that the spell is too strong, and so Emma and Charming are off to find who may have cast the spell on Marian, while Hook is tasked with taking Elsa to the Sheriff’s office to protect her from the idiot townspeople.


Emma and Charming are in the woods when they come across Robin and Marian’s camp. There they find a former Merry Man. After a brief chase, he informs Emma and Charming that during the blackout all of the ice cream in Queen Dairy’s shop was still frozen. Curious. Very curious. So they’re off to the ice cream shop where Emma and David discover that Queen Dairy does in fact have similar powers to Elsa. So now, they’re off to find her.


Hook and Elsa go to see Rumpel. Hook tells Rumpel he knows that Belle has a fake dagger because Rumpel would never let anyone have power over him. Hook is able to use this information to get Rumpel’s help. He takes some of Marian’s hair and turns it into the original magic which Hook and Elsa can follow to its source AKA Queen Dairy.


Hook and Elsa follow the magic to the woods where Queen Dairy is worshipping some kind of ice castle. Hook calls Emma to let her know they’ve found Queen Dairy. When Hook and Elsa go to escape, Queen Dairy freezes Hook in place with icicles hanging over his head. She and Elsa then have a little chat, where Queen Dairy tells Elsa that she hurt Marian to show Elsa that people turn against those with their powers and abilities. Yup, so some stupid, twisted, nonsensical revenge plan is right. Great.


Emma shows up and calls her the Ice Queen “Dairy Queen.” I swear I didn’t know that was going to happen. Anyway, when Emma shows up, Queen Dairy seems to recognize Emma, but when Emma questions her, Queen Dairy pleads ignorance. Emma, suddenly in 100% control of her magic, frees Hook. In the chaos of saving Hook and David from the falling icicles, Queen Dairy peaces out.


The fact that Queen Dairy seemed to know Emma really bothers Emma. Charming assures Emma that they’ll figure it out. Elsa and Emma have a quick chat in which Elsa reveals that she doesn’t believe Anna would put her in an urn. Well at least we can be thankful for that.


Back at the mayor’s office, Regina realizes there may be something she can do to save Marian. The spell hasn’t yet reached her heart, so she sends Henry to get a box to put Marian’s heart in. While they’re waiting for his return, Robin confesses to Regina that he loves her but he has to try to work things out with Marian since they’re married. When Henry returns with the box, Regina rips out Marian’s heart in order to keep the spell from reaching it and killing her for good.


Later that night, Hook tries to talk to Emma about her trusting him. Emma says she does trust Hook, but the reason she pulls away is because every man she’s dated has died and on some level, she thinks its her fault. Hook assures her that he’s good at surviving and they kiss. Thank goodness. Now can we stop the whole will they/won’t they thing and move on. I like Hook and Emma together, but there are way more exciting things to the show.


Queen Dairy is taking a walk through the woods that night when she comes across Rumpel. Clearly they know one another. She assures him that things will go her way. He asks if Emma recognized Queen Dairy, and tells her it could happen at any moment. He offers his help, but Queen Dairy says she’ll come to him whenever she’s ready to make a deal.


Normally I can figure out “Once Upon a Time” pretty easily, but I must say, I’m completely stumped at the relationship between Queen Dairy and Emma. Though everyone is acting pretty stupidly (per usual), I  am intrigued to see the connection between Queen Dairy and Emma.

"White Out" (Aired October 6, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

So, not surprisingly, the season 4 premiere of "Once Upon a Time" left me extremely frustrated and preemptively annoyed with the season. Once again, characters are jumping to unnecessary conclusions. And yet again, it appears the main story line of the season is going to be characters attempting to find one another? Think they can do it?! Of course they will, and that's the fundamental problem with this show. There are no real stakes. Yes, I understand that "Once" is supposed to be a family friendly show, but I think there are ways to develop the plot and make it more interesting without having the same essential storyline for the fourth year in a row.

Which leaves me (and maybe you) with the nagging question: Why do I continue to watch this show? I can't answer for you, but for me it's a fairly simple yet silly explanation. I have to follow through. Once I start watching a show, very rarely do I stop watching it until the show comes to a conclusion (the only two shows that I gave up on that I can think of off the top of my head are "Grey's Anatomy" and "Desperate Housewives.") Call it masochism. Call it ridiculousness. Call it whatever you'd like. There are times when I would have loved to stop watching shows - the last 3 seasons of "The Office" and "True Blood" after season 3. But I can't. I have to know how things end. Plus, you never know when there is going to be a trivia question about a show that could win you a million bucks. So I forge on, watching shows  with a skeptical and oft critical eye. Perhaps I'm so critical because TV overall is SO GOOD right now, and I expect more out of shows. "Once" started off promising, but it began to repeat itself in season 2. I wish more shows had the good sense to end after a couple of seasons. More seasons doesn't mean a good show. In fact, it's often quite the opposite. You can really only spend so much time in a universe without ideas growing old. Keeping series short and sweet makes the viewers value and appreciate the experience even more.

Ok, sorry for the preemptive diatribe. Let's get into this week's episode...

The Enchanted Forest:

In our flashbacks to the Enchanted Forest, Anna is seen knocking on a door of a log cabin. We hear the voice before we see him - it's David (AKA Charming) with dem dreamy, flowing locks (sarcasm). Apparently Anna was looking for David. Turns out Kristoff and David are friends. Kristoff told Anna she could trust David, but she needs to keep her mission a secret from him to keep him safe. Anna tries to tell David that her name is Joan, but David sees right through this. She tells him he can't know her real name, but he notices her ring and is able to deduce that she is Kristoff's fiancee. How is he able to so readily jump to this conclusion you ask? Is it THAT impossible Kristoff may know another engaged woman who also happens to live in Arendale? Apparently. But it's "Once" world, so we have to buy this logic. Anna/Joan asks to stay in David's barn, and he says that's fine, but she should get there quickly cause a really pissed off Bo Peep is arriving.

Turns out, Bo Peep is there for payment from David and his mother. David tells Bo Peep it has been a slow month, and Bo Peep gives David and his mother until noon the next day to come up with the money. Bo Peep offers to give them another day if she can have David's horse. Why does she want the horse? She seems to have two perfectly lovely horses of her own, and David's horse doesn't even match hers. But David is super attached to his horse so he refuses.  David tells his mother they can leave the farm. WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU SAY THAT IN FRONT OF A WOMAN WHO IS THREATENING YOU?! Maybe wait and share that thought once Ms. Peep has gone on her merry way? But no, David opens his big mouth and Bo Peep stomps her stick on the ground and "brands" David and his mother so now she knows where they are at all times. 

David is off to work the farm and Anna is confused as to why. David explains to Anna that Bo Peep is a warlord, and that if he refuses to pay her, he and his mother will be killed. Anna tries to convince him to fight, that it's worth it (she actually is giving a version of the speech David gives so many times throughout the series). When David accuses Anna of being a young, naive girl, she says she is and almost spills her secret as to why she's in the Enchanted Forest. Anna offers to teach David how to fight.


Turns out, Anna is quite the swordswoman and is kicking David's booty in training. David decides he's going to just "give up." Anna tells David she thinks he's being a coward. David tells Anna that when he was 16 he woke up to hear his parents fighting, which wasn't unusual. But that morning it was different, and he heard his father tell his mother he will beat the alcoholism, and promised he would. Every two weeks, his father had to go on a supply run, and it normally involved his father drinking, but after his promise, he thought the trip would be different. On the day when his father was supposed to get back, the constable showed up to tell David and his mother that on the 14th day, his father got drunk and fell to the bottom of the ravine and died. Anna tells David that his dad was lousy, but that he's not the same. She asks him to let her keep training him, but if he doesn't want her help, she'll continue on her way. 

David goes to speak to Anna/Joan in the barn, but she's nowhere to be found. Instead, David discovers Bo Peep chilling. Turns out Bo Peep has captured Anna and branded her. Now she gets to blackmail David and his mother.

The next day, Bo Peep is wearing Anna's necklace, and David shows up to talk to Bo Peep. Bo Peep tells David he can't win if tries to fight, but he tries anyway. Guess he learned more than we saw cause he takes out Peep's guards pretty easily. Peep takes up a sword, but David is able to beat her as well. He rips the necklace off Peep's neck, and grabs Peep's hook and looks into it to find Anna's whereabouts. He's able to find her location and save her. David explains to Anna that he has to live with himself, and that Anna taught him lessons, blah blah blah, moral story telling. 

Back at David's cabin, Anna/Joan is about to take off for her mission, telling David and his mother she hopes to see them both at the wedding (where they'll find out her real name). David's mother thanks Anna for his help. Anna asks if magic is common around the Enchanted Forest. Anna asks if there is anyone who can help her understand magic. David's mother doesn't want to say his name aloud, so it's Rumpelstiltskin. She goes to write the name down, and David brings his horse around to give to Anna. He says the horse is a reminder of the past. His mother returns with the name written on a piece of paper, and Anna is off on her journey and she reads the paper. Sure enough it's Rumpelstiltskin. 

In Storybrooke: Elsa leaves Gold's shop and makes a promise that until she and Anna have found one another, no one can leave Storybrooke. We see an ice wall go up at the edge of town, and Elsa makes the same vow as last time, to figure out what happened to Anna. 

Snow is putting baby Neal to bed while Emma and David try to make  jokes. But Snow but  IS. NOT. HAVING. IT. Henry has prepared a basket of movies, chocolate, and red wine to cheer Regina up. It's actually a sweet moment, which is ruined by a crow banging on the window, which of course Snow gets being the animal whisperer and all. The crow has a message from Regina saying she doesn't want to see Henry.

Henry leaves to go sulk at Grandma's restaurant. Emma comes in and says that Regina's note said she doesn't want to see Henry for right now, while she's dealing with things. OK! Hold the phone. The one time another character actually takes the time to read and fully understand something, the correct conclusion is the one the original character came to. Henry saying that Regina doesn't want to see him is valid, whereas Elsa thinking her parents left her because they lied about where they were going - not valid. THIS SHOW DRIVES ME BONKERS. Anyway, Emma tries to explain to Henry that Regina is trying to fix everything and she's trying to help Henry by keeping him out of it until everything is back to "normal". Meanwhile, the ice wall takes out the power lines, taking out the power through the whole town. Emma gets the call to come check it out and she invites Henry along, but he declines. 


Emma and Charming are riding in the car to check out what's going on. Emma is lamenting to Charming that Henry wouldn't even let her hug him, but Charming reminds her that she is the same way and so is Regina. They roll up on the ice palace at the edge of town. Emma comes to the GENIUS conclusion that this snow wall happened after the abominable snowman last episode. Good deducing, Sheriff! Charming and Emma are off to figure out who is causing these problems.

Hook shows up to inform Charming and Emma that the ice wall goes around the whole town. He also demonstrates his grasp of 21st century technology by coming to the, once again, GENIUS conclusion that the wall caused the power to go out. Emma spots something in the ice wall and goes to check it out. Charming comes up and decides to pull Daddy Duty and tell Hook he needs to know his intentions with Emma. Thank goodness Hook sees that this is old fashioned, cause it is. Also, Emma is a grown ass woman, she can do whatever she wants, so back up Charming. Hook tells Charming it is up to Emma as much as himself about what they become. PREACH!

Emma enters the ice wall and runs into Elsa. Luckily, Elsa decides not to shoot Emma right away with her ray of frost. Elsa tells Emma that she's looking for Anna, and shows Emma the necklace she gave Anna before she took off for the Enchanted Forest. Emma says she'll help Elsa if Elsa helps her. 

Within minutes of speaking about Emma's free will as a woman, Hook reverses his stance when he and David bum rush the wall to check on Emma. Why, all of a sudden, did they feel the urge to race in like the unwanted superhero? Did they get bored with talking to one another? Who the hell knows. Whatever their reasoning, the bombardment startles Elsa, causing her to seal off the wall even more, trapping Emma and Elsa inside, and David and Hook outside. When will the other characters learn that Emma can handle her own? Hook tries to break through the ice using his hook. I'm sure that will go quickly. in by using his hook. David comes up with the idea that they need magic to get in. Umm...maybe calm down and realize Emma's life isn't in danger?

Inside the ice cave Emma wakes up a little dazed. Elsa says she'll let Emma go if Emma helps her find Anna. Well bad news Elsa, Emma can't do a damn thing if you're holding her hostage. Emma points this out to Elsa right as the walkie-talkie goes off freaking Elsa out. Elsa tells Charming and Hook via the walkie talkie that need to find Anna before she freezes the town. See what they've done here? David has met Anna, but he won't know since Anna told him her name was Joan. Tricky tricky. 

While Hook and David are off to find a solution, Emma tries to talk to Elsa to figure out what's going on. Emma is freezing her butt off, and is trying to convince Elsa to go somewhere warmer. Emma realizes that Elsa can't control her powers, and shares with Elsa that she herself struggles with controlling her powers. Elsa tells Emma that Anna helps her control her powers. When Emma tries to use her magic to melt the ice wall, nothing happens because she is too cold. Emma wants to pass out, but Elsa is afraid this will result in Emma dying, so the two bond over their shared responsibilities, Queen and Savior. 

David and Hook go to see Gold to see if he can help with the ice cave. David explains that Elsa found a necklace in Gold's shop, and Belle hands over a card with the necklace. (Side note: is it just me, or does it look like daylight outside? Also, why would Gold and Belle come into the shop at night after the shop had been closed all day? But when David and Hook go back to Emma in the ice cave, it's dark outside again. THIS TIMELINE DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.) How David would know what the necklace looks like is beyond me. After all, the necklace is in the ice cave with Elsa and Emma. But David recognizes the necklace from when Joan came to visit. THANK GOD HE PUTS THE TWO AND TWO TOGETHER.  


Meanwhile, Snow receives a visit from Grumpy, Gran, and Happy to complain about the power being out. They tell Snow this her curse, so she's the Mayor now. Oh great, Regina is going to LOVE that. They're off to the power station to try and get the power back on. The three are snipping at Snow and she finally flips out on them telling them she's doing her best, and reminding them they lived without electricity for years. Though they leave, it's Snow, so we know she won't give up. Baby Neal starts crying because he's hungry. Snow realizes that the power station also needs fuel and miraculously she gets the power back on. Wait, what? The power lines were down. Wasn't that the problem with the power being out? I don't understand.

David goes to the Chop Shop, the butcher shop where Bo Peep works in Storybrooke. After Peep attempts to hack David in half, he tries to find out where Anna is, but Bo Peep refuses to help. Hook finds Bo Peep's hook and they're off to find Anna. But before they can go, they hear on the radio that Emma is passed out and is freezing to death. Guys, you realize this is a little bit your fault, right? Emma had control of the situation and you couldn't just let her handle it, and now she's freezing. Ugh. 

David and Hook return to the wall with Peep's hook. Somehow, Elsa has very effectively figured out how to work the walkie-talkie. Elsa says she needs Anna in order to control her power and melt the ice cave, but David starts telling her he knows how she feels. It's an impossible battle, but she has to fight it. Survival isn't enough, you have to live. Elsa realizes that David knew Anna, and he says Anna saved his life along with Elsa's, and now Elsa needs to save Emma. Apparently all it takes is a tough speech from David, cause Elsa is able to get her powers under control and melt the ice. Emma and Elsa leave the ice cave. Elsa feels awful about putting Emma in danger, but David says Elsa also saved Emma. David tells Elsa that he owes Anna everything for becoming who he is, and that they will find her. 


Back at Chez Snow/Charming, David, Hook, Elsa, and Henry are all working on warming Emma up. We see a tight hand holding between Hook and Emma. Cute. When the power comes back on, Hook grabs a heater, and Henry goes to make Emma some hot cocoa. She apologizes for not being able to help him more earlier. Elsa is looking concerned because she lost Anna's necklace. David grabs Peep's hook to see if they can find Anna. Elsa looks hard hard into the staff, but she can't see anything. Elsa is worried that Anna may be dead, but they hear a heart beat and assume that means she's alive. Snow gets home and David informs her that they;re going to be finding Anna because their family doesn't like to give up. This resonates with Henry, so he's off to see Regina. He tells Regina he won't give up on her. She lets him in and the hug. Cute.

The next morning, Emma and Elsa are back at the ice wall. Emma is admiring Elsa's handiwork saying she's impressive. Elsa realizes there's no need for a barrier any longer so she tries to take the wall down, but she isn't able to. Emma is confused since Elsa is supposed to be the only one with this power. IF YOU HAVE TO SAY YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE WITH THE POWER IT MEANS YOU AREN'T.

Sure enough, this is confirmed when we see Grumpy at the ice cream shop in Storybrooke. He's making small talk with the shop owner, asking her if she lost any ice cream in the power outage. She says she just got lucky, but obviously she's got ice powers too. Once Grumpy leaves, she leans against the freezer and everything turns to ice. While I'm excited to see Elizabeth Mitchell, I'm already concerned about her character. Is she going to be some jealous fellow ice queen witch? I certainly hope not. 

"A Tale of Two Sisters" (Aired September 28, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

I have a confession to make. I have a lot of issues with "Once Upon a Time." I feel like the writers often treat their characters and viewers like idiots. The characters are oblivious to things that would be obvious to anyone with half a brain (for example, did NO ONE in Storybrooke realize that Henry being the "downfall" of Rumpelstilksin was not the same as death? I mean really).  There are also "twists" that the writers work in that can be seen a mile away. The writers are also really bad about actually killing characters off. While it can be hard to say goodbye to characters we love, it can help us feel more invested and more attached to the show, that the stakes are real, even when we know they're not (I'm looking at you "Walking Dead.") And I'm annoyed that the "Once" writers wanted to use the popularity of Frozen to cash in on viewers. I am very reluctantly giving "Once" another chance this season. So with that in mind, let's do this thing shall we?


The first thing we see is a ship being tossed about on the sea. Considering the last person we saw in the finale was Elsa, I'm assuming this is the ship that her parents were in when they died. Sure enough, we see a lady bust out of a room wearing a crown. Anna and Elsa's mother. She starts writing. Right, a letter is going to survive a shipwreck, good thinking. Her husband comes down and tells her they have to abandon the ship. She puts the letter in a bottle. She insists Anna and Elsa must know the truth, it's the only thing that will save them. UGH I ALREADY HAVE A PROBLEM. The chances of that bottle surviving this storm and getting back to Elsa and Anna? Not gonna happen.


So now we're 5 years later, and we see Elsa and Anna holding hands at their parents tombstones. We find out this is after the events of the movie as Anna is getting married. We then see Elsa in Storybrooke with the ice following her. She sees the sign and has a look of mixed recognition and confusion. Good job.


Next, we see Regina leaving Gran’s restaurant, still in shock that Marian was brought back by Emma. Emma follows Regina out to apologize, saying she didn't know. Regina starts chastising Emma for bringing Marian back, Regina is tired of being seen as evil. Regina says she's worked hard to build a future, a future that is now gone thanks to Emma. Sure, that makes sense. Regina tells Emma the more she helps, the worse Emma's life becomes. 


Robin then comes out of the restaurant and wants to introduce Marian to Regina. Why? Do you think that’s going to go well Robin? Hey wife, meet the lady I’ve been dating cause I thought you were dead. BTW, she’s the reason you were in jail, no big deal, right? Marian, needless to say, is not happy as she only knows Regina as the evil queen. Marian is appalled to find that Regina and Robin had been dating. And because everyone in this town is so effing nosey, out come Charming and Snow to check on the situation with new baby Neal. Snow and Charming ask Regina if she's ok and Marian is all kinds of confused. Why are people being nice to Regina? Regina goes to say something or perhaps cast a spell, but instead walks away. Henry (oh hey deep voice) is concerned Regina will become evil again. 


Next we see some of the dwarves driving home. Sleepy is the designated driver and he's hitting some bumps. Grumpy is complaining about his driving when Sleepy falls asleep behind the wheel (classic!). As they come around the corner, they are heading right toward Elsa. She shoots her ice laser to stop the car in its tracks, but it doesn't freeze the dwarves inside. That's good I guess. 


It must be the next day, because it is light out and Elsa is in Storybrooke, still walking in the middle of the street. Ok, she may not have cars in Arendale, but she has roads, so maybe don't walk in the middle. She spots a dress, and we see a flashback to Anna and Elsa in Arendale. Elsa shows Anna their mother's wedding dress. It's the surprise for Anna. Elsa also gives Anna a snowflake necklace, her something new to go with her something old. Anna tries on the dress and makes a comment about not wanting to get it dirty.  Elsa then begins talking to Anna about her wedding plans. There's a joke about Sven the reindeer not being the best man. Hardy har har, movie allusions! Elsa starts going through a desk and comes upon an old book. As she's reading, snowflakes begin falling around her. It turns out it is their mother's diary. Elsa blames her parents death on herself, and she takes off.


Next, Gold and Belle are sitting in a car where she tells him he can do this. We then see Neal's grave with Gold going to visit it. He recounts a story from when Neal was young and still going by Baelfyre. Bealfyre heard some horses and was afraid, and ran to Rumpel and Rumpel told Baelfyre everything would be ok. It was the first time Rumpel felt like a man, that he could take care of Baelfyre alone. But then he found the dagger, and it turned him into a monster obsessed with power, when all he needed was Baelfyre. But Belle has brought him love again, but again with a lie. She thinks she has the real dagger. Gold is trying to find the strength to be the man Neal died for, to give the real dagger back. He promises to become that man.


There's a knocking on the door, and its Robin visiting Regina. He wants to talk to her about Marian's return. He apologizes, but Regina says everything Marian said was true. Robin tells Regina that she is not a monster. He also used to be different and left his past in the past. He tells Regina what happened between them was real, and that his feelings are real, but Marian is his wife. He made a vow that death till they part, and though he thought she died, but she didn't, and so he has to live by that vow. He says he has a code he has to live by, and he hopes Regina can understand. He leaves and Regina is furious and breaks a mirror with her fury alone. She picks up a shard of the glass and shows it at herself, and we see the evil queen smile. Uh-oh.


Regina is walking down a hospital corridor. Nothing good happens at the hospital. She puts in the code to a room, and we hear a male voice say "What are you doing here?" and we see the Sidney, her mirror. Turns out he's still alive (SHOCKING considering this show does not kill off characters. Also, now that Giancarlo Espositio is no longer on “Revolution” or “Breaking Bad,” he can come back on the show). Regina needs him to get rid of Marian so she's no longer in the way of her happiness. 


Belle and Gold are in the car, and they find a new house. Belle says it must have come over in the last curse, and they decide to borrow it for their honeymoon. She wants to explore the house, but Gold freezes her before she can go further. He replaces the fake dagger with the real one. He then notices a trinket box on the table that he clearly recognizes. When Belle asks if he's ok he says he is. She then leads him to a ballroom, library, and sure he enough, a couple of snaps, and the "Beauty and the Beast" theme plays, and they're wearing the costumes from the Beauty and the Beast ballroom scene. I'm torn between cheesiness and annoyance.


It's family stroll time with Snow, Charming, baby Neal, Emma, and Henry. Henry is worried that Regina hasn't returned any of Emma's calls. Henry is going to try, hoping he can save Regina from her depths. Charming stays behind with Henry while Snow and Emma keep walking and talking. Emma's worried what will happen to Henry if Regina turns evil again. Snow points out Henry has been through a lot considering he lost his memories, and came back only to find both of his moms with new men. Emma denies there is no her and Hook, but Snow is skeptical. Right then Hook walks up to let Emma know Regina isn't at the mausoleum. Emma asks for a minute with Hook. Snow stops and turns around, clearly annoyed, and who can blame her, especially since they just end up walking around the corner anyway! Emma tells Hook she’s not avoiding him, there's just a crisis. Hook points out what I've been saying about this show the whole time, there's always a crisis, and Emma better start living. Just then, to prove Emma's point (and I'm sure the writers thought it would be hilarious) Grumpy runs up telling Emma the town is under attack and tells her about the van being iced over. Emma then notices an ice trail.


Flashback time, Anna has run after Elsa who has gone to the woods. (Remember a few minutes ago when she was worried about spilling liquids on the dress? Guess running through the forest is ok though).  Elsa tells Anna to go away, but Anna refuses. She wants to know what was in the diary. Elsa tells Anna their parents didn't go on a diplomatic mission like everyone thought. The diary reads that Elsa's power was more powerful than they thought. Elsa immediately jumps to the fact that she's the reason her parents left. THERE'S WAY MORE DIARY! MAYBE READ MORE THAN ONE ENTRY BECAUSE THEY WERE PROBABLY GOING TO TALK TO SOMEONE THAT COULD HELP ELSA AND NOT RUNNING AWAY! Why does every character only listen or read to half the information available to them?!? I DON'T UNDERSTAND. Anyway, Anna convinces that no one thinks Elsa is a monster, the diary is only half the story (or it could be the whole story because you only read only stinkin' entry!). Anna says that her future in-laws can help them figure out the whole story.


Back in present day Storybrooke, Emma and Hook are following the ice path while Elsa is trying to get away. Emma comes out with her gun drawn (seems reasonable), and Elsa hides behind some machine. Hey Elsa, remember the reason they can follow you is the ice trail, so hiding probably won’t work. Elsa makes an abominable snowman appear. Again, seems reasonable. It doesn't make sense to find if these people can help you or not, just go ahead and assume their the enemy.


Back in Arendale, Anna and Elsa are off to meet the trolls that are her future in-laws. The CGI is only slightly improved from normal. Anna asks why their parents were actually on the ship and hands grandpa troll the diary. But he says he doesn't know. Elsa is ready to leave, but the grandpa troll says he may not know what they were doing, but he knows where they were going. They had questions about a place called Mist Haven. Elsa asks what they wanted there. HELLO ELSA! HE JUST SAID HE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING. WHAT'S THE POINT IN ASKING IF YOU AREN'T GOING TO LISTEN TO HIS ANSWER. The grandpa troll says they had secrets, and then goes back to sleep. Anna is excited about the answer and says its time to go to Mist Haven. Elsa refuses, saying she's the queen and she can't leave. Anna seems to have forgotten about Hans and his brothers trying to take over. Anna offers to go instead of Elsa. Anna says she'll be back, but Elsa reminds her that's what her parents said.


The abominable snowman is staring down Hook and Emma. He breathes on them and knocks them over, causing the gun to fire and Emma to lay on Hook. Adorable. The snowman takes chase after Emma and Hook and Grumpy gets the town all scared. Back in the warehouse, a paper blows over to Elsa, and on the front is a picture of Gold and Belle, announcing their marriage. Elsa looks concerned or confused. I can't tell.


Now Emma, Charming, and Hook are all staring at the snowman as he marches through town. Emma somehow deduces that he's headed to the forest. The snowman goes through the cemetery and passes the mausoleum. We then cut to inside the mausoleum where Regina is showing Sidney the story of Marian. The book gave Marian her happy ending. Regina says the book is strong, but she's stronger. She's going to change things, Regina wants Sidney to take care of Marian. He says he knew there was a reason she kept him alive. Regina tells Sidney she doesn't want Marian killed as that would be too obvious. Instead, she wants to go back in time and have Marian killed before Emma saved her. Regina needs Sidney to show her the exact moment she captured Marian. Regina makes Sidney the mirror again and he is not happy about it. She tells him its temporary. Regina asks the Mirror to show her when she captured Marian.


There's a flashback now to Regina questioning Marian of Snow White's whereabouts. Marian refuses to answer. Evil Queen Regina sentences Marian to death. Marian yells after Regina, that she feels sorry for her, that if she had a family, she wouldn't be so cruel. Evil Queen Regina says she knows who she is and what she wants, and right now it is Marian's head on a spike. Sidney then asks present day Regina if that's what she was looking for, and Regina says it is. But you can tell she's disgusted with her old self. She's not comfortable with the way she used to be. 


In Storybrooke, the residents are going crazy after spotting the giant snowman. Elsa is hiding between two buildings. She seems to have convieniently gotten her ice trail under control. She peeks out and sees Gold's shop, then hides back between the two buildings.


In Arendale, Elsa is looking for Anna in Sven's reindeer stable. Christoph makes his appearance, and Elsa asks where Anna has gone. Christoph is trying to lie about where Anna went. Elsa knows Christoph is delaying her, and he tells Elsa that Anna booked passage on a ship to Mist Haven. Elsa takes off after Anna, and Christoph after Elsa.


Emma, Hook, and Charming meet up with Robin, Marian, and John in the woods (Really? That’s where they live. Ugh). John shoots an arrow at the snowman. Hook reminds Emma of her powers (why can she not remember she has special powers. I mean really). Emma attempts to take out the snowman, but after she hits him, he grows spikes and knocks everyone out, except for Marian. Marian tries to shoot the snowman, but he knocks her down. Regina appears from out of the woods, and instead of helping she disappears. Right as the snowman goes to step on Marian, fire bursts through. It was Regina on the other side. Robin wakes up and sees Regina. Marian concedes that maybe Regina isn't a monster. As Emma goes to talk to Regina, she disappears in her purple smoke. Annoying. 


Following the fight, Hook decides to try and have a little chat with Emma. She jokingly suggests to Hook that they relax and watch Netflix, which he quickly agrees to even though he has no clue about Netflix. She's worried about who created the monster. He says they need to enjoy the quiet moments. Emma admits she's avoiding him because she feels guilty about bringing Marian back and ruining Regina’s happiness He thinks there's more than just Regina, perhaps some guilt about Neal. She responds by kissing him and telling him to be patient. 


Emma is at Regina's office. Emma tells Regina she can have happiness, but she has to fight for it. Emma says Henry brought Emma to Storybrooke for the happy endings, and Emma's job isn't done until its for everyone, including Regina. 


Regina goes to the mirror and asks for Sidney to appear. She wants Sidney to help her change fate. The storybook is the problem because the villains never get the happy ending. The stories only see Regina as the villain, so she wants to find the writer and force them to change the ending. Normally Regina is the smartest character on the show, but she seems to have forgotten that Gold got his happy ending and he was FOR SURE a villain, so like with everything else on this show THERE IS A HOLE IN YOUR STUPID PLAN.


And as if the writer's are reading my mind, we see Belle sleeping with Gold sitting on the bed awake. He goes back to the trinket box he saw earlier. He waves the dagger over the trinket box, and there is a bunch of purple dust and some noise. It turns into a hat, like in Fantasia or Harry Potter. Meanwhile, Elsa uses her ice hands to break the lock at Gold's shop. She noticed in the picture the necklace she gave to Anna.


One last flashback, Christoph tells Elsa that they can't go after Anna. Christoph tells Elsa that Anna didn't want him to go because Anna didn't want Elsa to be alone. Christoph believes in Anna, and Elsa should too. We see Anna on the ship, and we find out that Mist Haven is also known as the Enchanted Forest. We see Anna stroke the necklace Elsa gave her earlier, and then in present day, we see Elsa holding the necklace resolving to find Anna. The end.


Great, so another season of one character looking for another. I'm sure there will be 5 or 6 close calls, with the characters just missing one another. And Regina will start to do her evil plan, then have a change of heart because her plan will mess everyone else's lives up, like Snow and Charming. I'm already bored.  Time to step up your game "Once," and prove to me this is a show worth watching.