Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 3 – TV Review
And, to everyone’s delight, Marian does indeed freeze into a hideous, CGI popsicle.
Sadly, she doesn’t die.
But it’s only episode 3. There’s still time.
TL;DR Juliet from Lost/The Snow Queen curses Marian; Regina convinces Henry to help track down the author of the storybook; Emma begins to doubt her own competence (it took her long enough); Gold seems to be onto Snow Queen’s game, if not outright in kahootz; flashback Elsa and Kristoff face off against Hans, and encounter the Snow Queen inside the urn that Elsa eventually ends up in.
And I was right: Elsa is related to her. At least she’s not her mum.
The episode kicks off with Snow Queen (Dairy Queen?) giving Marian a cursed ice-cream, which delays its effect until everyone is gathered at a mayoral meeting (Snow is the new mayor officially, too. Whatever). Naturally (and I know these people are dumb, but I understand their logic on this one), all the second-tier characters assume Elsa is responsible, so Emma tasks Hook with taking her into protection while she and David investigate the true culprit. Hook instead goes to Gold, who helps them use a tracking spell to find the real curse dealer. Snow Queen has a grand speech about how she did all this to prove to Elsa that non-magical people will always be prejudiced against the gifted, and they should totes bond and stuff. Emma and David show up at that point, having identified the Snow Queen thanks to a tip from Will Scarlet (yes, that Will Scarlet), and scare Snow Queen off. Meanwhile, Robin tries kissing Marian to cure her (an act of true love breaks a freezing curse, you know), but it fails. He later admits to Regina that he’s in love with her, not Marian. Aww. Regina, at Robin’s request, helps Marian by plucking her heart out, which won’t cure her, but will prevent her from dying. Regina also gets Operation Mongoose going to find the storybook author. And in flashbacks, Elsa and Kristoff fend off an impending invasion from Hans and his brothers. Hans plans on using a magical urn to imprison Elsa, so Kristoff and Elsa get to it first. Hans and his bros show up, and Hans fails to check if the urn is already full before trying to use it. It is full, and Snow Queen pops out and freezes Hans. She is also Elsa’s maternal aunt.
Does it bother anyone else that the preening, blonde-haired, blue-eyed person is preaching some master race fantasy?
I’m going to cautiously take Once Upon a Time at its word for now and accept that Snow Queen is indeed Elsa’s aunt. And I will applaud Once Upon a Time for getting to the fucking point so quickly.
I was fully expecting there to be episodes upon episodes of ifs and buts about Snow Queen, and within an episode of her being introduced, we already know this juicy secret.
Once Upon a Time may be recently frozen, but it’s nice to see it’s not completely glacial.
Why I hate this episode:
While Snow Queen is out getting shit done, I can’t say the same for Snow White. Firstly, I thought Granny and Grumpy etc were being kind of hyperbolic when they declared Snow was the new mayor. I thought they just wanted to shout at an authority figure so they could get their Internet back. But no, Snow is actually the new mayor. And Regina is apparently okay with it. I’m thinking I must have taken a micronap at some point over the last two episodes, because I’m clearly missing the point where Regina officially resigned.
And, naturally, Snow is terrible at her job. Not only does she bring the baby to the meeting, she holds it in her arms during the meeting. Bitch, leave that shit at home with your husband, who clearly has nothing better to do with his time if he’s going to a public forum for the dullards of Storybrooke. Or have David take it into the next room or something. Jesus.
Emma begins to doubt herself in her role as saviour, sheriff, and otherwise productive, competent member of society. And she’s right: she’s fucking useless. David assures her that she’s okay, which makes sense, considering he’s dumb as ass, too. The pair magnificently demonstrate this when they break into the ice-cream parlour with Will. They both go into the kitchen to investigate why they can’t hear any freezers humming, while leaving Will, the criminal who they are supposed to be detaining, alone in the shopfront. Shockingly, Will simply leaves while they’re occupied. Good grief, you two.
Elsa and Kristoff aren’t much better when they’re battling Hans and his brothers in the urn cave. Elsa takes down two of the brothers with her magic, while Kristoff takes out the other one, which leaves him with his back turned to Hans, who hasn’t made a move, but is plain sight. Then Elsa and Kristoff are astounded when Hans takes half a step forward and puts his sword to Kristoff’s neck. Idiots.
Oh, and Emma reveals to Hook the reason she’s been tentative about getting serious with him: all her other boyfriends are dead. Well, your luck’s gotta turn around sometime, Emma. Don’t be such a quitter.
But it’s not all bad:
Snow Queen’s first villainous act in this show is to try to kill Marian. I can’t argue with that.
And Marian does end up almost totally frozen. The only part of her that isn’t is her heart, which Regina rips out of her chest. At Robin’s request, of course. Even Henry is on board.
Speaking of Henry being on board, Henry is on board for tracking down the storybook’s author. And Regina doesn’t even have to really lie to him all that much to get him to agree. Henry’s been putting in some agreeable performances lately. Keep up the good work. And never go back to being the whiny ball and chain you used to be.
Gold doesn’t get a lot of screentime this episode, but he makes it count. In an effort to prove to Emma, Hook, and Elsa that he doesn’t recognise Elsa (despite her being in his vault of doom), he has Belle supposedly use his dagger to compel him to speak the truth. Emma’s little lie detector superpower fails her, but Hook sees right through it, and blackmails Gold for help in tracking down the true culprit of Marian’s curse.
Gold later reappears at the end of the episode when he confronts Snow Queen while she’s stomping through the woods, post-showdown with Emma. Gold implies that he knows what she’s up to, may have had a hand in getting her to Storybrooke (our heroes earlier posit that she might not have come in Queenie’s original curse), and he also knows who she is in regards to Emma. Kahootz, I say.
That final tidbit is what I’m most interested in. When Emma first comes to Elsa and Hook’s aid in the forest, Snow Queen’s greeting feels like she has a past with Emma. She plays it off as Emma’s reputation in town preceding her, but Emma takes note of it. Well, if Snow Queen isn’t Elsa’s mum, maybe she’s Emma’s? I never really did buy Emma’s features as matching to Snow and David.
I’m glad to see Will has made the transition from Once Upon a Time in Wonderland to the mothership. Although, I’m dying to know how.
Flashback Kristoff is the most affable, respectable man ever. While Elsa is hulking around and worrying about Anna, Kristoff respects his bride-to-be’s autonomy and tells Elsa to calm down. He also goes out of his way to protect his future sister-in-law. If I was more of a rabid shipper, I’d be a little worried for Anna, if you know what I mean.
Snow Queen also tells Elsa that Anna is the one who imprisoned her in the urn. And that the rock trolls are the ones who have made her forget about their time together in Arendelle. Nice.
Best line of the episode goes to Hans, who corrects a cruel insinuation from Kristoff regarding what he did to Anna in Frozen: “I didn’t try to kill her. I left her to die.” Get your facts straight, Kristoff. Fuckin’ rude.
Oh, and it’s nice for a change that everything’s coming up Regina. Yeah, she’s not mayor anymore. But who really wants to be mayor these rabbling shitheads, anyway. Get yours, Regina.