By Josh Axelrod and David Oliver
First and foremost: the “it never bothered me anyway” line was subtle but totally necessary. All of the allusions to established “Frozen” mythology so far have felt like that, more or lress. Through two episodes, “Once Upon a Time” has not only done “Frozen” and its characters justice, but it has also managed to expand that universe in unexpected directions. Let’s discuss.
JOSH: This is a cute budding friendship between two powerful women who don’t entirely know how to control their powers. Elsa can’t always undo her frosty creations while Emma can’t always summon her magic. It makes sense that the two would bond over that.
I’m also really happy that the show has dropped all pretenses of portraying Elsa as villain. I was afraid when she encased Storybrooke in a wall of ice that she was going to be this season’s big bad (more on that later), but instead they made sure everyone realized she was just misunderstood. You would be too if your parents locked you in your room for over a decade.
DAVID: LOVING their friendship. And it makes so much sense. As much as people can claim bringing “Frozen” in was a gimmick, it really is plausible in this crazy fairy tale world “Once Upon a Time” has laid out. All these episodes are making me freezing, and it is bothering me.
JOSH: Okay, this plot thread worked at a purely story level. But it was so dumb overall that I can’t let it go (see what I did there?). How did David become a master swordsman on one day of training? Why did Bo Peep only have two poorly trained bodyguards? How was she able to keep Charming and his mom under her control for so long if all her staff could do was brand them? And, most importantly, who thought making LIttle Bo Peep into a villain was a good idea?
But like I said, it wasn’t entirely a dud. Elizabeth Lail IS Anna. She’s so spunky and supportive, I love it. She and David had enough chemistry that I thought they were going to get together for a second. And the flashback did introduce the magic staff (which revealed Anna was still alive in Storybrooke) and set Anna off in the direction of Rumpelstiltskin. Anna’s going to learn pretty quickly that the Enchanted Forest is a terrifying place.
DAVID: Anna was perfectly cast. I disagree with Little Bo Peep – I love that she’s a villain and played by a uniquely formidable actress. I couldn’t decide what her accent was though. The term “branding” seemed a little off-color to me.
And I am shocked there wasn’t a lip-lock between David and Anna, but I guess this show isn’t willing to add some tension to its arguably strongest couple. I guess a new baby is enough. In real life and on the show, actually.
JOSH: I just wanted to single out that scene where Charming asked Hook his intentions with Emma. Hook’s answer was, if nothing else, exactly what Charming wanted to hear from the man after his daughter’s heart (and a lot else). I like the Charming/Hook dynamic. Those two bonded in Neverland last season, and it was nice to see that some of that mutual respect has carried over to this season. Whenever Emma is ready to move on and go all in with Hook, at least we know she’ll be in good hands…well, one good hand.
DAVID: LOL, one good hand. I’ve been a fan of Hook from the start and am glad he is continuously incorporated effortlessly into all the dynamics. Emma and Neal (R.I.P.) felt too safe and boring – Hook adds so much excitement. David is right to question his intentions and I couldn’t have loved that scene more, but I loved the David/Emma moments we got this week. They hadn’t really had a chance to bond the way Emma and Snow did when they got trapped in the Enchanted Forest together, so it’s nice the show is letting some father/daughter moments sneak in.
JOSH: This was a silly storyline, but it did give Ginnifer Goodwin a chance to do something other than be overly milquetoast. She lost it a little while trying to fix the power, even going as far to say she empathizes with Regina now that she knows how demanding her subjects were. That was hilarious and showed that Snow hadn’t entirely lost her edge. You go Snow!
DAVID: Ginnifer Goodwin’s talent is often lost on this show being so sweet all the time – I missed her crazy antics from when she was on “Big Love.” Favorite line: “Who wants some milk from mama mayor?” So weird, yet had me chuckling.
JOSH: Regina spent the last three seasons trying to earn Henry’s love. There was no way that, now that she finally has it, she was going to push him away like that. I’m glad that mini problem lasted all of three scenes.
Elizabeth Mitchell (!!!!!)
JOSH: ALL HAIL THE SNOW QUEEN.
DAVID: O. M. G. I had chills (literal and figurative). I cannot wait to see where this storyline goes. Also, can she always be there to freeze ice cream? Particularly on hot summer days? OK, thanks.