If there’s one thing this episode’s taught viewers it’s that an intense obsession never ends well, and secrets will only ever hurt those we love.
Arendelle Flashbacks: When Belle’s mom dies during the Ogre Wars, and Belle has no memories of how it occurred, she travels to Arendelle in hopes of finding the trolls in order for them to restore her memories. While at Oaken’s (how spot on was Darcey Johnson’s performance?), Anna overhears her desire to find the trolls and offers to take her to see them. After their journey when Anna discovers the truth about her mother’s family, the Snow Queen threatens their lives on top of a cliff, but because Belle chose to retrieve the fallen memories first, she lets Anna fall into the hands of the Snow Queen. While in confinement, Anna learns of the Snow Queen’s plan to find a replacement family member with her and Elsa.
Present-Day Storybrooke: Back at the Sheriff’s Station, Emma shows everyone the tape that reveals the Snow Queen was once her foster mother, and the team split up to find her in order to understand what she’s looking for.
One of the things we loved most about this episode was the fact that it reminded us that no one’s perfect and honesty is truly the best policy. Unfortunately, some characters still haven’t grasped the concept of honesty, and it’s far too frustrating to think about because yelling at our TVs doesn’t seem to help them hear us out.
A good amount of what occurred with Rumple and Belle was upsetting for us to watch. It isn’t too much to wish for honesty among them, isn’t it? Sometimes, things are kept from people because we somehow think it’s better for them — Charming in Neverland is the perfect paradigm of this, and even though he was wrong for keeping the injury a secret, his intentions were honorable. It saddens us because we cannot seem to see how Rumple keeping all the things he’s done a secret from Belle is for them — there is no world in which this all would in any way come off as an honorable act.
As we’ve been saying in previous reviews, although killing Zelena was inexcusable, it was understandable, but everything he’s done after that has merely shown that he continues to crave power over love. It saddens us that when Belle was completely distraught over keeping a secret that had nothing to do with them and stating that she abused the dagger’s power, Rumple didn’t tell her the truth. At the end of the day, all Belle was trying to do was right the mistakes from her past. And while she felt completely awful for all she’d done and went out of her way to apologize, Rumple didn’t come clean to her as well.
Sure, the mirror may have involved dark magic, but ultimately, it gave Belle the voice she never had. That’s precisely what we’ve always felt has been missing from her character — a voice to stand up for what she believes in. Belle, being the extraordinary bookworm that she is doesn’t believe in herself as much as she believes in Rumple. It breaks our hearts because while she’s continuously uplifting Rumple and seeing the good in him, she isn’t given enough moments to shine. In other words, since the perfect opportunity was wasted in this episode, we’re hoping it only means that writers have a better way in which they’ll reveal the truth to Belle and give her the voice she deserves. We’re also hoping that when that occurs, we’ll see Rumple finally once and for all, choose love over power.
There seem to be a lot of blank spaces at the moment, especially with Rumple and the Snow Queen because we can’t seem to figure out how they know each other. Or why Rumple doesn’t feel the need to tell the team about it? He’s promised Bae that in order for his death to have had meaning, he’d be a hero in his honor. In Belle’s words “sometimes a hero has to sacrifice everything to save the people they love.” Just as Ruth gave up drinking the water in order for Snow and Charming to have a happy ending, or when Killian traded his ship for Emma, Rumple needs to learn that simply going to Belle’s defense isn’t what a hero does. In his case, he needs to be truthful, he needs to reveal whatever it is that he knows in order for everyone to be safe from whatever it is the Snow Queen is attempting to do. He needs to choose honor over power and love over power. And that’s when he’ll become a hero.
Robin confronts Regina about the fact that she’s avoiding him and it results in a conversation where Regina tells him that because she cannot seem to find a cure to revive Marian, Robin must let go of what they’ve been in order to bring her back with true love’s kiss. It was nice of her to say that; however again, we were essentially hoping this is where she revealed that in the past, she was the one who killed Marian. You see, we believe that in order for a couple to be completely and utterly healthy for one another, there shouldn’t be secrets between them. As we’ve said before, Robin is well aware of how dark Regina’s past is, she wasn’t known as the Evil Queen because she was a kind, generous soul who’d give all her time to the well-being of the kingdom. Although it’ll evidently pain and anger him, if they’re ever going to work out as a couple, there shouldn’t be secrets. The good someone does can always overcome the bad, but true redemption isn’t achieved by lies. True redemption involves changing for the better not just towards one person, but towards everyone. It involves being honest and genuinely kind — most importantly it involves being wholeheartedly remorseful.
Did anyone else’s heart break from the way Snow was looking at young Emma? In that brief moment, we were once again reminded of the painful fact that the Charmings have missed out on their daughter growing up. At that moment Snow’s agony of knowing she wasn’t there to take care of her newly teenage daughter was highly visible in the expression Goodwin wore, and we couldn’t look past it.
As it turns out, they discover that the Snow Queen’s obsession with restoring her perfect family comes from a prophecy that states that, the savior, Emma will be the third sister. And while we still don’t know how she has gotten to our world from Arendelle, we know that for a very long, she’s wanted to know Emma because of the fact that she believed she was the missing puzzle piece to her family. We also know that somewhere along the way, she wiped Emma’s and Elsa’s memories of the truth. A truth we cannot wait to find out.
As we’ve said before (we seem to be saying this a lot during this review, apologies), every time we’re introduced to a new villain on the show, we like to reflect back on who’s the worst. And for a while, we believed it was Pan, but now, we can’t help but feel that no one’s felt eviler than the Snow Queen. We could be wrong, therefore, we’ll reframe from judging until we know more but once again we must commend Elizabeth Mitchell’s hauntingly exceptional performance. Mitchell’s choice in bringing a motherly, soft demeanor to the Snow Queen is exactly what makes her so frightening. The gentleness is what forces us to believe that what she has in store is far worse than we could possibly imagine because she’s choosing to create her perfect family in all the wrong ways. The obsession is so intense that anything she says or does is terrifyingly questionable, unlike any of the villains we’ve had so far.
Speaking of Emma’s past, we’ll never stop believing that Killian’s support and need to lighten the mood when he sees she may be saddened by something is exquisite. It’s beautiful that the two can go from joking about one of them being “a million years old” to discussing serious matters Emma would’ve never revealed to him had she not felt safe enough to. And next week, we cannot wait to learn more about Emma’s magic because we all know that the love within her is greater than any form of darkness.
One of the sweetest parts of this week’s episode and the star of it was Elizabeth Lail as Anna. Kristoff and Anna are one of the healthiest pairs on Once Upon A Time, and we adore every single one of their scenes together. Both Kristoff and Killian have a beautiful trait in them where they’ll be both the voice of reason and the comedic relief the women they love need when they’re perplexed. And when they realize that tactic isn’t working, they’ll provide the right kind of support they need because that’s how love works. Even their need to randomly point out the fact that their ladies were once going to marry men who weren’t exactly the greatest is pure gold. What’s remarkable is that while they’re joking around, they’re finding ways to make painful memories okay – it’s not about bringing them down for their past, it’s about bringing light into their lives.
Kristoff’s continuous support and adoration are brilliant — Foster plays him with the right amount of emotions every single time. Additionally, Lail’s impeccable ability to bring both Anna’s quirkiness and compassionate nature is outstanding — she was born to play Anna, but despite that, she sells the character’s innermost concerns in ways that have left us speechless.
The innocence in her realization that the Snow Queen would lie to Elsa about what Anna was planning on doing was delivered with a full range of emotions by Lail. As she states that the only reason she didn’t tell Elsa about the hat is that she didn’t know how to tell her, you could see Anna’s virtuous naiveté come forth because Lail showcases Anna’s entire heart through the expression she wears in her eyes. We were able to see a girl with a hole in her heart caused by the realization that the one person she admires most was feared by her parents. And at that moment, the genuine adoration for a sister, a hero, is revealed most gorgeously in the midst of a conversation that resulted in wanting a perfect family. Elsa and Anna’s bond as sisters is an example of a perfect family — the endless support and heartfelt love define the ideal family. While we don’t know the Snow Queen’s reasons or story yet, the one thing we’re certain of is that Anna would never do anything that’d put Elsa in harm’s way — in fact, although she’s the little sister, she’s made it her duty to continuously protect her sister.
Next week we’ll learn more about the Snow Queen. And we couldn’t be more excited if we tried. What was your favorite part of this week’s episode? Remember we’re always open to discussions as long as they’re free of hate.