ONCE UPON A TIME, S4E3 RECAP: ‘There is no problem that can’t be solved with a bit of ice cream’


By Josh Axelrod and David Oliver 

We’re already three episodes into Season 4 and “Once Upon a Time” has finally decided to reveal our new big bad: Elizabeth Mitchell’s Snow Queen. And not only that, but we got our first (and probably last) look at Hans, who apparently was still trying to get out of his brothers’ shadow while trying to exact revenge on Anna and Elsa. Nice work buddy.

The Snow Queen (Elizabeth Mitchell), “Once Upon a Time,” photo courtesy http://www.spoilertv.com

The Snow Queen 

JOSH: I’m absolutely loving the way Elizabeth Mitchell is portraying our new villain, both in the present and flashbacks. In the present she appears to be pure evil, as she tried to kill Hook by impaling him with icicles. And I would love to know what her connection to Rumplestiltskin is. She appears to be afraid of him, which is interesting because though every other villain (Regina, Corra, Pan, Zelena) has had a respectfully antagonistic relationship with The Dark One, The Snow Queen is the first one to look legitimately terrified of him.

The flashbacks portray an entirely different character. It appears she was the one originally trapped in that urn. Hans set her free (accidentally of course), and she promptly froze him, which was more in self-defense than malice. The Snow Queen was also so sweet to Elsa, who it turns out is her niece. She seems so genuinely sweet in these scenes that the awful woman in the present almost seems like an entirely different character. Hopefully we’ll get a clearer picture of her as we learn more about her relationship to Emma, Elsa and Rumple.

DAVID: Something sinister happened – my guess is The Snow Queen was responsible for Anna and Elsa’s parents’ ship sinking. I think she and Elsa went through a similar type of isolation. While Elsa found love in her sister, The Snow Queen only found abandonment. This would explain her villainous attributes. I could be off-base, but that’s my prediction going forward. Maybe she was in prison with Emma some time ago? Maybe she committed murder at an ice rink or something.

Also, loved this line: “There is no problem that can’t be solved with a bit of ice cream.” The Snow Queen certainly has some wit (err, the writers do, I suppose).


JOSH: There’s no way that one comment from Regina would shake Emma’s confidence that much. But the moment where her magic worked again and she was able to save Charming and Hook from an icy death was a really cool character beat and a reminder of just how powerful she is. Also, that kiss with Hook was steamy. They could become such an awesome power couple if she would just go all in with him. I mean that both figuratively and literally.

I also want to mention that scene between Hook and Elsa. Elsa diagnosed Hook’s relationship issues pretty quickly, and what do you know, Hook followed her advice and was rewarded with a make-out session. I like Elsa the relationship counselor. Hopefully she and Hook get more scenes together.

DAVID: I sure hope they don’t get more scenes together – let Emma and Hook have the chemistry, not Elsa and Hook! I did appreciate Emma’s line, “Not in the mood for a drink or a man.” This show has cheesy one-liners, but this one felt very appropriate and made me chuckle.


JOSH: Speaking of fun pairings, I like that these two are getting so much screen time together. Their only connection is Anna, and they never really had a conversation in the movie. So it was nice to see them bonding on “Once Upon a Time,” even though it took Anna’s disappearance to bring them together. Oh, speaking of which: Do we really believe Anna trapped Elsa in the urn?! God I hope The Snow Queen is lying, but something tells me she’s not.

Side note: Kristoff needs to have more conversations with Sven. They’re so true to that relationship from “Frozen” and both times the show has had Kristoff talk to his favorite reindeer have been yielded hilarious results.

DAVID: I like how we’re seeing some post-movie “Frozen” story and not just repeating that of the movie. I wonder if the show is going to give Elsa a real love interest or stay true to the movie and keep it not about romantics for her. I hope they do – it’s important to remember to love yourself just as much as it is to love someone else.

Side note: “Have you ever made a snowman come back to life?” Good one, Elsa. Good one.


JOSH: I don’t quite understand what “Once” is trying to do with Rumple. He’s in some weird middle zone between hero and villain. Usually I would say moral grey areas are where characters should be, but this is a show built on the idea that either you’re a hero or a villain. This season, so far Rumple has just been a dick. He’s been lying to Belle about the dagger, and he’ll only help someone if he’s either being blackmailed (well done Hook) or they have something he wants. Lying to sweet, innocent Belle is not okay, and I hope she finds out and divorces him on the spot. Also, I’ll mention again, I’m curious about his relationship with The Snow Queen. We’ll see what happens when she comes to him for help.

DAVID: How many secrets can one person have?! I too am getting sick of “Once’s” treatment of both Belle and Rumple. I understand a moral grey area, but this feels a little tiresome.


JOSH: Poor Marion. Death by ice cream has to be one of the most depressing ways to go possible. Of course, her heart is being preserved while her body is frozen solid, so there’s still reason to believe Regina will find a way to unthaw her. But then again, will she? Robin admitted that he loves Regina but is obligated to uphold his vows to Marion. I don’t want to see Regina revert back to villain status, but I wouldn’t be shocked if she conveniently forgets to save Marion.

I also loved that Regina told Henry about her quest to find the author of the storybook. Henry’s reaction was perfect too. This really is Regina’s best idea over. I hope Operation Mongoose gets Regina her happy ending.

DAVID: Regina will do the right thing, but basically only for Henry. Either that, or Marian will die for real by The Snow Queen’s doing before Regina has a chance to save her. Robin won’t understand and he could potentially never forgive Regina. I hope this doesn’t happen though, because clearly Robin loves Regina – the “true love” twist was great.

Snow White/Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin), “Once Upon a Time,” GIF courtesy http://www.goodreads.com


JOSH: I forgot Jiminy Cricket was a thing on this show. And I’m sick of Snow and Charming whining about losing out on being a part of Emma’s childhood. They put her in a wooden cupboard and sent her away. Sure it was for her own good, but get over it guys. Just enjoy being parents/sheriffs/mayors before The Snow Queen freezes your whole town.

DAVID: UGH, I hated that he was the one to say “let it go.” The writers should’ve saved that for a more opportune moment for one of the main players.

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