Tonight’s episode quickly escalated from hysterically enriching to beautifully heartbreaking, and we couldn’t be more pleased with it even if we tried.
Flashbacks (1999): Moments before Emma’s given her camera back and Ingrid leaves the room, Kevin bullies her into giving it back or suffering causing Emma to once again want to run away. Ingrid convinces her to stay for one more night, and on their adventure together, Emma’s powers begin to surface despite the fact that she doesn’t realize that’s what’s occurring. It’s when Ingrid tries to trigger Emma’s powers by pushing her in front of a car that causes Emma to believe she’s crazy — as anyone in that situation would. She then runs away for good this time, but when she sees Ingrid again in Storybrooke, her memories are wiped because she still refuses to believe in magic.
Present-Day Storybrooke: As citizens of Storybrooke are hit with the curse of Shattered Sight, they’re their worst, but incredibly entertaining selves and they’re at each other’s throats. Snow and Charming bicker over their first meeting, Kristoff reminisces on the life he and Sven had before meeting Anna, Henry’s displeased with his mom’s boyfriend, and Regina’s not happy with modern-day clothing. Though he isn’t under the curse, Rumple is eviler than anyone. Meanwhile, Emma and Elsa try to remove the ribbons from their wrists in order to figure out how to reverse what Ingrid’s done, but it’s Anna’s discovery that essentially ends up saving the day.
Tonight’s episode concluded a villain’s arc in a way so beautiful, we’re having trouble forming the right words. Literally.
One of the greatest things about an episode this genius is that there are far too many things we loved to pick favorites. So much of what we’ve wanted to come out on the surface did, and there’s nothing more awesome in a TV series than that. Anna could not have been more perfect as the babysitter, and more so for the adults than baby Neal who slept through the entire thing.
Every married couple bickers like it’s been 17,023 years right? And most of them tend to cover some odd topics that’d make anyone listening want to run. However, it’s not every day you hear that Prince Charming is still uneasy about his wife, Snow White having an affair with Frankenstein while they were cursed and without their memories. And it’s also not every day you hear that Prince Charming lied to Snow White about the stroller he recently bought being brand new when it’s actually “gently used.” But what makes them so beautiful, even as their cursed selves, is they’ll always have each other’s backs — subtly, but it’s still something.
As Snow has Regina pinned up against Charming’s cell, he teams up with her and makes Regina drop her sword. And while there are moments where he looks absolutely fascinated by the fight that’s occurring, Josh Dallas does a splendid job of showing the true love that’s within him during instances where it looks as though Snow may lose. Even though the worst version of himself believes that he should’ve known better when she hit him with the rock, it’s undeniable that the heart they share still beats in the same rhythm for each other. Additionally, it’s amazing that even though they’re irritated by one another, their love for their children hasn’t altered – mess with them all you want, but once one of their children’s peace is disturbed, the claws come off.
Speaking of children, it was an impeccable choice in terms of writing to have Snow angrily defend her actions by stating that she was 10 when she innocently told Cora about Daniel and Regina’s relationship. Although she’s once again her worst self as she bitterly brings back the past, Regina still hasn’t learned to take responsibility for her own actions. However, all that aside, the scene was a perfect way for Snow to finally show anger as opposed to the kindness she continuously shows Regina. Although her strength and gentleness are inspiring beyond words, when it comes to Regina, we feel that sometimes, she just needs to be yelled at — Momma Snow style. And with all its comedic glory, this scene was genius. Ginnifer Goodwin sold the anger and sass wonderfully, showcasing her gifts as an actress by bringing those scenes to life in a way so unique, it was a thrill to watch.
And once the curse was broken the group began to laugh like hyenas or happy drunk people while Regina questioned her outfit choices — probably the best part of her storyline this week. It’s interesting to know that years ago if each one of them hadn’t made the better choice, what occurred today would’ve happened in the past and probably ended badly. If Charming hadn’t stopped Snow in “The Heart of Darkness” neither Emma nor Baby Charming would’ve been born, they would’ve never buried the hatchet, and happiness would be so very far from attainable.
Snow and Charming are the King and Queen of epic reunions — although one day, they may have to share the throne with Emma and Killian. Their little scene this week was nothing short of picturesque. It’s beautiful how often these two spend time reassuring each other of the fact that they’re wonderful, special, and forgiven. It’s beautiful that each one of their kisses is filled with so much passion, they could easily forget they’re surrounded by a ton of people. Plainly, simply, as cheesy as it sounds, every time Snow and Charming kiss, our hearts melt — how could they not? They’re always filled with so much more than words can say.
Although there’s one significant person missing from the reunions in the end (Killian), they were still filled with so much warmth. It’s always adorable to watch Emma Swan lovingly run into the arms of her parents. It’s also adorable to watch Henry run into the arms of his mothers. And in the background, while Snow and Charming kiss, it’s sweet to have Emma watching her parents with the utmost form of contentment.
Following Snow and Charming’s mishap, Kristoff and Anna come in at a solid second with the sidesplitting form of entertainment their scenes provided. One of the saddest things one can ever do is harm someone as genuinely sweet as Anna, and though Kristoff’s cursed and she knows it, it was adorable to watch the ongoing banter where she kept trying to tell him he didn’t mean anything he was saying. It’s nice to know that as his worst self, Kristoff missing his best friend Sven and the fact that their wedding is constantly delayed is clearly the biggest issue. But what was even more fun to watch was Anna talking to herself after she knocked Kristoff out. Just as Scott Michael Foster couldn’t have been more perfect as Kristoff, Elizabeth Lail was born to play Anna. The whole “I love you, you’re amazing … you’re unconscious. I’ll be right back, stay here. I mean, I know you’ll stay here but I’ll be right back anyway” was delivered seamlessly. We can’t state how impressed we are with Lail’s performance week after week. Anna’s such a charming character, it’s literally so much fun to watch her engage with others and essentially battle with herself. What a gem — it’s the only accurate way to describe her.
Last week we made the mistake of assuming that Killian chose not to tell Emma about his heart’s whereabouts when in fact, Rumple wouldn’t allow it. Apologies for that. And a controlled Killian’s mission this week is to bring Henry to his grandfather, but things do go as planned when marbles are involved. As the worst version of himself, Henry’s issue with Killian is the fact that he’s never approved of him, and he dislikes him even more now that he’s dating his mom. But pirates are the best, Henry. And we don’t doubt that he knows it. (insert wink emoji here). In the midst of all the chaos, without his heart in his chest, Killian’s as happy as a kid in a candy store because of the fact that Emma’s evidently told Henry they’re together. Although assumptions shouldn’t be made, we’re almost certain that Jared Gilmore probably had a ball bringing out Henry’s inner Kevin McAllister.
On the subject of Killian, with his selfless desires, before he dies, he continues to authenticate that he’s in fact a hero. And standing in front of a man as self-seeking as Rumple, it’s exemplary that he chooses to once again make a deal that’s meant to completely benefit Emma. Killian knows that her life’s been anything but easy, and he believes that she deserves the happiest ending in existence, thus, showcasing the depth of his love and selflessness, he asks that Rumple leave her and the rest of Storybrooke (her loved ones) alone. His final wish, though we all know it isn’t the end — is to make sure the woman his heart belongs to is free to live the beautiful life she deserves.
Rumple’s confidence in his powers is exactly what makes us believe that he won’t succeed. And especially with three new epic villains joining the show, it doesn’t seem he’ll stand a chance at escaping. However, what we’re desperately hoping for before the season ends is Belle finding out the truth about her husband’s plans. Yes, he loves her and he wants to honor Neal, but he loves power more. He wants to honor them, but he’s going to do it in all the wrong ways, and if there’s anything we’ve learned from the couples on this show, it’s that along with love, honesty must be the thing that fortifies the bond. The longer Belle’s oblivious to what’s occurring, the more it’ll hurt when everything’s out in the open. Even if Rumple somehow momentary succeeds to attain all the power in the world, there’s no doubt in our minds that in time, the lack of love in his life will create a void nothing can replace.
Tonight’s episode of Frozen Swan Save the Town once again showed us what a perfect duo these two make. And it’s going to break our hearts when our best friends have to part next week. There were brief moments this week with Emma, Elsa, and Anna that spoke so loudly, our souls couldn’t be happier. It’s gorgeously refreshing to see Elsa and Anna show the significance of a sisterly bond while making certain Emma’s is appreciated. Their teamwork is stunning, but most importantly, the sincerity and trust between them are what make for such a solid friendship. We’re going to hold off on going in-depth with all this because there’s no doubt in our minds that we’ll be writing through our tears next week.
In flashbacks, we were once again shown Ingrid’s obsessive attachment to Emma as she lovingly tried to convince her of all the things she was never appreciated for — her specialness. There’s never been a character in Once Upon A Time history who’s so deranged, but in ways, she cannot be hated. It poses such an interesting debate for us viewers because while the fascination with villains is something that tends to occur more often than not, we’ve never really been as stunned by a character before. She’s so complex, it’s a marvel to watch.
Villains are primarily driven by the lack of love in their lives, but interestingly, for Ingrid, it’s love that’s shaped her life — the desperation, the longing, and the love for people she doesn’t even know. She dove head first because of an idea, and it consumed her so much, she couldn’t control what it was doing to her. From the moment we see her with Emma, it’s evident that she’d never do anything that’d put her in harm’s way. And even when she had her step in front of the car, it was the same faith, like Anna’s belief in Elsa, that allowed her to believe Emma could do anything she set her mind to. The obsession she formed was so incredibly frightening at times, but in the midst of it, it was painfully obvious that her intentions were never to harm, and that’s what makes her so different from all the villains. While she allowed her powers to turn her into a monster, the love within her for her sisters along with Elsa and Emma, was always pure.
We’ve reached the part of our review we’ve held off on because of the bountiful emotions we cannot find the proper words for — The Snow Queen’s exquisitely beautiful, arc and Elizabeth Mitchell’s faultless performance. Anna finds a letter her mother Gerda has written telling her daughters about the sisters she’s made all of Arendelle forget. In the letter, she essentially apologizes for keeping their aunts a secret from them, and for the fact that she and their father tried to convince Elsa to conceal her powers. While we don’t know what inspired the change of heart Gerda had, it’s wonderful that as she was dying, she chose to leave this behind. She chose to leave the story behind knowing it’d make a difference. The most important thing a person can do is right their wrongs, and that’s exactly what both Gerda and Ingrid did. In their final moments, the sisters chose to be selfless.
This final scene felt so rich, so raw, and so powerful, it’s without a doubt one for the books. Complimented by the tranquilizingly haunting music, the characters transformed in such a natural manner that everything they said and did was masterful.
There’s an ephemeral instance as Anna reads the note where Ingrid’s expression transforms from irritated and angry to broken and hopeful. As though even without understanding what’s going to occur just yet, she’s filled with a sense of faith that maybe, just maybe, it’ll be good. As Anna continues to read, Ingrid is once again filled with rage, but this time, it’s full of much more pain, and Mitchell delivered that scene astoundingly. You could see the terrifying insecurities of never being enough and wanting to be loved more than anything instantly surface on her face. Years of loneliness rush back to haunt her as there’s nothing she’s ever wanted than to be loved by the sisters she adored more than anything in the world.
Elizabeth Mitchell is brilliant — and that doesn’t do her performance justice. She was able to manifest the heartrending pain of wanting to be enough so perfectly, it left us in tears. Even through the anger, she was attempting to hold with her tone of voice, you could hear gut-wrenching sadness. At the end of the day, Ingrid is so badly shattered, that love is the only thing that could’ve healed her. When you’ve spent years believing that you aren’t enough, the most difficult thing to do is to hear that you actually are.
The scene emphasized the importance of self-love, but in a way much differently than it has before because in this case, how can self-love exist when the only love you’ve known was turned into hatred? You could almost see the face of a little girl desperately wanting to believe in this idea, but having to snap herself out of it because being alone for so many years has forced her to consume her with hatred. Ingrid’s such a layered character because there hasn’t been someone who’s been filled with so much anger and hatred while they’re simultaneously chasing love.
Furthermore, the breathlessness and uncontrolled hand movements were done in such a meticulous manner, it didn’t distract from Anna’s reading or even Ingrid’s response, but exuded the pain with the precise amount of emotions. In those moments, you could see her fight to put her walls back up and build a defense stronger than the love she’s hearing. And you don’t even have to look closely to see the misery and agony flaring from her eyes. But when it’s all over, it’s easier to give in to rage because it doesn’t require the amount of strength that love does. And when Gerda’s words coming from her niece remind her so much of the sister she’s always wanted to stop, the shift of emotions is natural because there’s nothing holding her back.
It’s all over for a moment. It’s easy to release the anger than it is to open up her heart just as she once did. And just as Anna brings out the best in Elsa with the immense love she continuously shows, she was able to bring out the best in Ingrid. This very scene wasn’t about understanding each other, but it was about family — families don’t give up on each other. Anna’s shown to ceaselessly fight for those she believes in, and though she’s not like Elsa, Emma, and Ingrid, it doesn’t stop her from understanding that the only thing that needs to be understood is that love is a choice. It heals and enlightens and as long as one has love, one has everything. In all of this, Anna’s the true hero, and we’re glad the show’s emphasizing the fact that it’s important to appreciate the one person whose optimism never wavers — they may not always be the happiest, but their steadfast support can change lives. It had to be Anna’s love to help Ingrid see the light because she’s not only the spitting image of Gerda, she’s different, and she’s someone who doesn’t give up. By stepping up and refusing to leave until she read every last word of the letter, then trying to convince Ingrid that she loves her because they’re a family while she’s choking, she authenticated the kind of love Gerda wrote about in her letter.
Finally, the moment where she’s filled with her beautiful memories as she falls to her knees serves as a paradigm of what a villain’s redemption should be like — showing genuine remorse. Mitchell blew us away with her performance; we can’t stress that enough. There’s no redemption arc quite as beautiful as the villain realizing the depth of what they had done, and without hesitation, choosing to take responsibility for their actions.
Ingrid is a breath of fresh air in a world of villains who choose to blame their misery on other people. Furthermore, choosing to state that it’s not her powers that were evil, but what she had allowed them to turn her into is an admirable form of her acknowledging that it’s truly all on her. It’s a choice to do good and once upon a time, she made the wrong one. With the understanding that she was in fact loved for real, she chooses to take her life because she knows it’s the only way to free everyone else from the hatred she’s lived with. The spell of Shattered Sight brings out the worst in people and fills them with hatred, but now that Ingrid’s filled with love, she realizes that this isn’t the way for people to live. They shouldn’t destroy each other, they should uplift each other. And with her final words, she chooses to remind the women that they’re special. She chooses to point out the beauty in the fact that they’ve all found the homes they’ve wanted as she’s about to go to hers. The absolute vulnerability and sincerity Mitchell emanates with her words and loving expressions is undeniably what radiates just how beautiful Ingrid’s heart really is.
Remembering the genuine love she once felt for Ingrid as a teenager, in a heartbroken response Emma tells her that there has to be another way for her happy ending. Ingrid states that it’s okay because she gets to join her sisters now. Surely, seeing the tearful and adoring expressions Emma, Elsa, and Anna are looking at her with is something that also put Ingrid at ease. She can eternally carry their love with her as well. It’s not just her sisters who love her, these impeccable women she’s grown to care immensely for do, too, and there’s nothing more she could’ve wanted. For Ingrid, love is everything. And it’s amazing that a show is once again choosing to emphasize the fact that familial love is just as immaculately vital as romantic love.
There were so many beautiful moments in this episode that our words simply cannot do justice, but the most superb scene was the fact that as Ingrid’s final breath was used to state that she’s going to where her sisters are, Mitchell wore an inexpressibly innocent childlike smile that honored the following scene wondrously. The glimpse into the afterlife was so poignant, we were speechless. It’s as though Ingrid left our world as the naïve, but exquisitely bold girl filled with immeasurable love and rejoined her sisters in a place where forever is indeed a promise they all intend to keep. If it’s any consolation, excuse the lack of in-depth analysis because we literally cannot stop crying over how profoundly superlative the Snow Queen’s arc was. This season of Once Upon A Time has shown a great amount of emphasis on hands. It’s proven that the joining of hands provides acceptance, heals, and speaks louder than words ever could. And for Ingrid, it’s gorgeous to see her sister reaching out for her to show that she’s a part of them — she’s welcomed.
Aesthetically, the scene could not have been more stunning — white’s the color of innocence, and silver is a soothing color that represents tranquility and purity. Although Ingrid’s lair was white and her love was always pure, her actions weren’t — and the mirror’s fractals engulfing her as she selflessly sacrificed herself were meant to show the purification of her soul. it’s as though the captivating scene illuminated that the terrors she was once consumed with are being replenished with the serenity of knowing she’s more than just a monster, she’s enough to be loved, and the good within her is finally released. She’s free, safe, loved, redeemed, and forgiven by all those she cares for.
What are your thoughts on this week’s episode? How stunning was Mitchell’s performance and where do we sign the petition to keep her and the rest of the Frozen cast on the show forever?