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Once Upon A Time, Season 4, Episode 1: A Tale of Two Sisters


jinjy2

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Helping Hands and Feckless Foolishness

And we’re baaaack. Anyone who’s seen Frozen knew from last season’s finale that those characters were coming to Storybrooke. (And actually, I hadn’t seen Frozen at the time and I still knew who the girl in the blue dress was, so ubiquitous has Frozen been.)

Still I feel like this was a bit much. I know both Once Upon A Time and Frozen are Disney properties and I’m all for a little cross-promotion, but this was overwhelming. Elsa and Ana and trolls and Kristof and Sven all packed into one episode? A bit in your face, no? And why not the Josh Gad snowman? I looooved the Josh Gad snowman.

They seemed to spring the rest of the fairytales on us more slowly--even the Snow and Charming story, and it’s the foundation of the whole series. Ah well, I won’t argue with the great and powerful Disney. Here are this week’s highlights:

• We open on a storm-bounced ship and Elsa and Ana’s mother is figuratively re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. The ship’s about to go down but instead of looking for a freaking life vest (or buoyant wardrobe), the Frozen mom is writing a letter because “we have to let them know the truth; it’s the only thing that will save them.†First of all, it looks awfully wet on board. That ink is going to run, sweetie. Second, perhaps the time to tell the girls this oh-so-important news (or leave a note or a will) was BEFORE YOU GOT ON THE SHIP.

• Five years later in Arendelle, Elsa and Ana visit their parents’ gravesite. The graves have weird hieroglyphics which apparently is the written language in this non-specified Scandinavian land.

• Cut to our world (are we considering Storybrooke our world now?) where Elsa is wandering around trailing a path of ice behind her. She doesn’t look angry, just confused about how she got there.

• Outside Granny’s Diner the whole clusterf@$% with Robin and Regina and Marion is coming to a head. Regina is weepy/furious. Silly Emma comes out foolishly and is all “I saved Marion from you. I want to help.†And Regina’s all “Stop helping, bitch!†Robin joins in and, more foolishly, thinks it’s a good idea to introduce his formerly late wife to his new girlfriend. Marion freaks out (no kidding). The Charmings approach (because they always want to help) and Marion can’t understand why everyone is being nice to the Evil Queen who she calls a “Monster.†And this might be my favorite part of the episode: Regina moves her hand to zap Marion with some magic, then stops herself with a look on her face that is simply priceless. Regina huffs away and Hook suggests everyone give her space. Henry worries that Regina will become evil again and I scream “Shut up, Henry! You’re not helping.â€

• Sleepy is the designated driver!! And he does just about as well as you’d think. Elsa freezes the whole truck so she won’t get hit.

• Back in Arendelle, Elsa shows Ana Momma Frozen’s wedding dress and gives her a snowflake necklace. Ana tries on the dress and Elsa snoops around and finds her mother’s diary. (Your parents have been dead five years, honey. You’re the queen, why are you just poking around the castle now? Foolishness.)

• In Storybrooke, the newlywed Golds make a stop at the cemetery so Rumple can tell Baelfire how he’s going to be a better man and give the real Dark One dagger to Belle, and …… is anyone else bored with this storyline?

• Robin visits Regina at the mayor’s office. This oughta be good. He tells Regina she’s not a monster and that he was also was less than upstanding in his past life. (Umm, Robin, robbing the rich to give to the poor is NOT equivalent with slaughtering entire villages.) Long story short, he’s going back to Marion. Then he leaves, which is a good thing because Regina eyes have that “slaughter-a-village†look to them.

• I had no idea that Regina was still keeping prisoners in the Psycho dungeon but that’s where she heads to enlist Sidney/the genie/ the mirror’s help. It looks like Henry’s fear has come to fruition. Regina’s gone back to the dark side.

• Belle brings Gold to a castle she “found.†(Suspension of disbelief is the foundation of this show, people.) Then they do the “Tale As Old As Time†dance in their Beauty and the Beast outfits. Meh. It’s hard to get on board with these two.

• Hook and Emma start to discuss their relationship. Grumpy cuts the conversation short with his classic “We’re under attack!†fly-by.

• In Arendelle, Elsa mopes in the woods about being the cause of her parents’ death. Ana finds her and I don’t think she should be running around the forest in a vintage wedding gown. Ana thinks her future in-laws can help Elsa find out what was up with their parents.

• In Storybrooke Emma and Hook walk past a troll statue (clever! I missed that the first time) and do battle with Elsa’s snow monster. (Who is much too on the nose. I mean he’s almost EXACTLY like the one in the movie.)

• In the Arendelle forest, Ana still has the wedding gown on. (They will NEVER get the stains out of it.) She brings Elsa to meet the trolls who are also so identical to their movie alter egos that it takes me out of the scene. The troll says the parents were going to a land called Misthaven, but that’s all he knows.

• In Storybrooke, Hook and Emma fight the on-the-nose snow monster. In her hiding place Elsa sees the Golds’ wedding announcement. (And it must have been a slow news day in Storybrooke because it takes up the entire front page.

• In the mausoleum, Regina traps Sidney in the mirror again so he can show her the exact time she sentenced Marion to death. (And from the way he yells, it must be worse in there than in the Psycho ward.) We see the scene and Marion (foolishly!!!) tells Regina she’s evil because she has no family or love. Shut up, Marion. You’re not helping!

• In Arendelle, Elsa tries to get the not-on-the-nose Kristof to tell her where Ana went. (I just don’t find him as cute as his cartoon counterpart.) Elsa knows as well as we do that Ana’s gone to the mysterious Misthaven.

• In the Storybrooke woods, our heroes fight off the snow monster. Emma gives it a valiant try and….. wait! Did Charming have that same haircut at the end of last season? I don’t remember it. Now I’m completely distracted while Regina appears and takes out the snow monster in full view of Marion. Both agree that maybe Regina isn’t a monster and Regina wins this round just by virtue of looking fabu in her suit while Marion is wearing sad rags. Emma should take her shopping.

• After the destruction of the snow monster, Hook and Emma talk in the woods. There’s a Netflix joke which Hook doesn’t get and I wish they’d do more fish-out-of-water stuff with these characters because I think it would be fun. Emma says she’s guilty about the Robin/Marion/Regina triangle. Then she kisses Hook and leaves.

• Emma tries to break into the mayor’s office. The door is locked (which is more security than they apparently have at the White House). Regina is sitting on the floor against the door. Oooh, great shoes!! They discuss Regina’s chances for happiness but I’m distracted again because I’m worried we’re going to get an upskirt shot of Regina. Thankfully we don’t. Emma gives up and leaves. And Regina has an idea! She tells Sidney she wants to find the fairytale book author so she can re-write her fate. She wants to Change. The. Book. I feel like that should be her rallying cry for the season.

• Speaking of villains, in the honeymoon castle, Rumple sits next to the sleeping Belle. It kind of gives me the creeps. Then he waves the Dark One dagger over an exotic-looking container and it turns into a Sorcerer’s Apprentice hat! Who knew the dagger could be useful in non-killing ways? I got one of those hats for my son at Disney World ten years ago and it cost $35.00!!! If only I could have waved a dagger and made one appear.

• On Storybrooke Main Street, Elsa freezes the lock to open it and get into Gold’s shop. (Is that the way it would work? Wouldn’t freezing it make it stay locked?) But I digress. She finds the snowflake necklace she gave to Ana and now we get to the bottom of Elsa’s storyline. She’s looking for Ana. “I will find you.†She says. She should talk to the Charmings. I bet they would want to help.

• The final scene has Kristof and Elsa in Arendelle watching Ana’s ship leave for Misthaven, which we find out goes by another name: The Enchanted Forest. Why it has two names, I don’t know, but I feel there is nice symmetry between the opening shipwreck scene and the final scene with the ship sailing off into beautiful weather.

I may have had my issues with this episode but I am looking forward to the season. I welcome the comeback of Evil Regina. To discuss this episode or anything about the series, go to the forum: http://www.freejinger.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=13046&start=20

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