By Josh Axelrod and David Oliver
This season of “Once Upon a Time” has done a fantastic job of raising the stakes each episode. Over the last few weeks, we learned who The Snow Queen is, what she wants and how she plans to get it. Now we know how she got trapped in that urn and why she’s so distrusting of anyone without magic. Let’s get to it:
The Snow Queen/Ingrid/Gerda
JOSH: First and foremost, it was surreal to see Brighton Sharbino show up as the very young Ingrid. She also played Lizzie on “The Walking Dead,” and it appears she’s been typecast as the mentally unstable little girl. Her first and only act on “Once”: Freezing a branch and killing a would-be kidnapper. Maybe someone should have told young Ingrid to look at the flowers too.
Anyway, Ingrid’s backstory is just as tragic as we all thought it was. Of course she went to Rumple for help controlling her powers. He gave her the gloves Elsa wore in “Frozen” and the urn that traps magic. When the Duke of Wealselton (sorry, Weselton) tried to sexually assault Ingrid, Helga defended her. Ingrid lashed out at the Duke but accidentally froze and killed Helga. Gerda trapped Ingrid in the urn and then had Grand Pabbie erase the memories of her sisters from everyone in Arendelle. No wonder she’s so desperate for family and wants to get rid of anyone who doesn’t understand what it’s like to wield magic.
DAVID: Ugh, poor Ingrid! This reminded me of Twisty’s backstory on “AHS Freak Show.” These terrible, terrible villains of course should not commit awful crimes, but everyone is human. And that’s what makes for great TV, honestly. I understand Gerda freaking out, but she really could have given her sister the benefit of the doubt/tried to get the trolls to help bring Helga back potentially? It’s magic, after all, and no one on this show is really dead forever…well, mostly. I fell terrible for Elsa she had to be born into that family.
JOSH: I knew Ingrid wouldn’t let herself get captured that easily. Also, question: Where did they get that magic candle? And what is with this show and magic candles? Whatever, I’ll go with it.
Obviously Ingrid wanted to be taken in so she could have some alone time with Emma. All we really learned about Emma’s time with The Snow Queen that she doesn’t remember is that Ingrid enjoyed their familial bonding. But the big thing about this interaction is that The Snow Queen planted major seeds of doubt about the Emma’s loved ones in her head. Not only are Emma’s powers on the fritz now, but she has reason to believe her parents are afraid of her. If The Snow Queen was trying to help Emma understand how she has felt her whole life, mission accomplished.
DAVID: Um, so Emma is basically just experiencing Elsa’s plot from “Frozen,” doubting herself and the devotion of her loved ones. It’ll work out eventually, which is a cop-out way to think about this plot, but it is inevitable. It doesn’t make the way it’s going to get there any less interesting, though.
JOSH: YES. YES YES YES YES. Tinker Bell told Regina that Robin was her true love, and now it appears they’re finally embracing that. Robin might still be racked with guilt about choosing Regina over Marion, but love is love. This will all get really weird once Marion thaws, but for now I’m happy to see Regina happy. Also, kudos to Regina on what has to be at least the third “let it go” joke of the season.
Side note: Are we supposed to know what Will Scarlett did to Robin Hood’s band of merry men? And who the girl that caused him to betray Robin was? Was this something about happened in “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland,” which exactly no one watched? And David, could you understand these two Brits with their heavy accents? Because I couldn’t.
DAVID: Such thick accents. I sort of could because study abroad (I lived in London for a semester), but honestly that storyline doesn’t interest me much, as long as Regina and Robin get a chance at being with each other, as both really deserve.
JOSH: Huh, so that’s been Rumple’s plan all along. He wants to leave Storybrooke and explore the world, but he wants to do it untethered to the dagger. That makes sense, except what is he planning on doing with Belle? Is he going to travel the world with her or leave her behind? God their relationship has gone from fairytale cute to toxic.
That aside, it seems The Snow Queen knew exactly how Rumple can cleave himself from the dagger. He whispered the solution in his ear, and whatever it is, Rumple is going to do it with “great pleasure.” Someone’s life is probably in danger.
DAVID: Am I the only one who’d like Rumple killed off the show? I like the idea of bringing big bad in every half season, and feel Rumple is running his course. How many times can we think he is good only for him to be evil again? Just pick a side, sir, or leave. I feel like I contradict myself with this view sometimes, but this episode further pushed me toward anti-Rumple.
Prince Charming/Snow White
JOSH: Those were fun cameos from Cinderella and Aurora, who we saw for the first time in forever (see what I did there?). We saw them at some “Mommy and Me” style class with Snow and baby Neal. It reminded Emma that this is Snow’s first real opportunity to raise a child, which clearly didn’t sit well with her. When Snow and Charming have the chance later on to support Emma when her powers go haywire, they instead recoil in terror. Nice parenting guys.
These two have become increasingly useless. Plus, Charming has a nasty habit of either dying or getting severely injured at the most inconvenient times. He died once during the first curse, then was put in eternal slumber until Snow could kiss him, then was poisoned with nightshade in Neverland, then was killed to enact the second curse, and here just happened to be under the lamp post that Emma knocked down. He really needs to check himself, big time.
DAVID: Ugh, they’re boring me. I know they’ll “always find each other,” but what about some more conflict for the pair? What if David catches Snow flirting with a dwarf or something? OK, maybe that’s are a little-far-fetched, but something, please.