Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 6 – TV Review
Yes. Someone out there apparently still gives some modicum of a shit about Storybrooke’s most desperate of housewives.
I’m Australian, and even I’m not interested in hearing anything more from Belle.
Go back to being a forgettable side character, where you belong.
You know, like Ruby.
TL;DR Belle met Anna back in the day and is the reason why the Snow Queen captured her; Belle tries and fails to recover Anna in the now; Emma and the gang find out the Snow Queen was her foster mother for six months, and it looks like Emma is to become part of her plan for a new perfect family.
The other members of the family will be Elsa and the Snow Queen herself. So that blonde supremacy vibe is still strong.
So everyone is still quite worried about Snow Queen’s evilness, and are spurred on a search for answers when Emma shows them the video from her childhood. Snow Queen has cleaned out her shop, but the gang manages to find her ice-cream truck, wherein they find files that show Snow Queen has been tailing Emma from a young age (like, literally from the moment she came into this realm). And the file also includes childhood art and drawings, suggesting Snow Queen maybe does care about Emma in a loving way. Elsa eventually finds an Arendelle ancestry book in the Storybrooke library, which leads everyone to believe Snow Queen is seeking to reform her perfect family: her and her two “sisters.” Meanwhile, Belle becomes distressed by Elsa’s despair over being unable to find Anna. She goes on a mission to Snow Queen’s hideout, forcing Rumple, by supposedly using his dagger, to help. She doesn’t find Anna or the Snow Queen, but she does encounter the big, bitchy mirror. And in flashback, we see Belle travel to Arendelle in hopes of finding the rock trolls to restore her clouded memory from when her mother was killed by ogres (because who wouldn’t want to vividly remember a moment like that?). She bumps into Anna, who herself is looking for answers about this mysterious Aunt Ingrid Elsa has introduced her to. The rock trolls give Belle the tools to restore her memory, and also tell Anna that Ingrid is actually one of three sisters; the other two are Anna and Elsa’s mother, and a third sister named Helga. On the way back from the rock trolls, Ingrid attacks the girls, and Belle selfishly hesitates on saving Anna because the tool for her memory is also in danger. Anna falls down a cliff, and Belle loses what she wanted, anyway.
Belle is the kind of woman who marries Rumplestiltskin, so I suppose we should expect poor decision making from her.
I can’t complain that this episode doesn’t give the overall plot any forward momentum. Because it does. We find out more about what happened to Anna, and Snow Queen/Ingrid’s plan is clearer than ever.
But did it have to be through the tedious recollections of little, snivelling Belle?
Why I hate this episode:
And seriously, could she not have reasonably pieced together what happened to her mum? They were in the library when the ogres attack. One of them came in and discovered them, which is the last thing Belle remembers. Cut to her waking up and finding out her mum’s dead. Oh, I don’t know Belley Boo. Do you think the ogre might have killed your mum? Holy shit, that would be cuh-razy. Which is, of course, exactly what her dad confirms for her at the end of the episode. What a fucking mystery, right?
Belle is an epic bleeding heart, too. She risks her life, Gold’s life, and her trust with Gold just to see if Anna is in Snow Queen’s lair. To help Elsa, some random she barely knows. There’s “doing the right thing,” and “doing the right thing despite it likely ending up in the death of you and everyone you love” Pick your battles, baby.
Robin tries to get some face time with Regina, but it makes Regina uncomfortable because she has been unable to find any cure for Marian that isn’t a true love’s kiss. She insists Robin find a way to love his wife again to save her. Regina of all people should know love doesn’t rely on pragmatism. Also, fuck Marian.
The rock trolls are a pretty convenient plot device, no?
The whole gang now knows where Snow Queen’s lair in Storybrooke is. Why don’t they just stake it out until she returns and smack that bitch up?
Oh, and the Arendelle royal family has some bizarre priorities. The reason nobody knows about Helga and Ingrid is because they mysteriously vanished when they were children. So the royal family had the rock trolls enact the labour of removing the memories of them from everyone in Arendelle, and the the royal family also erased them from any official records. To reduce suffering and confusion among the heartbroken populace. You know what it would also remove? Any chance of them being discovered later by someone.
“Hi, I’m the missing princess who disappeared a few years ago. Please take me back to my family to be loved.”
“Fuck off, street urchin kid. There were no other princesses.”
But it’s not all bad:
Anna, unlike the easily-placated Elsa, is satisfyingly skeptical of Aunt Ingrid as soon as she meets her (based partly on the fact that there are no records of her. Thanks again, royal family). Her tenacity in learning the truth is admirable. Someone’s gotta be proactive around here.
Belle may be a bleeding heart, but I’ve got to commend her for the extraordinary length she goes to in her attempt to find Anna in Storybrooke. She does the heaviest thing she possibly could to Gold, which is to use the Dark One dagger to compel him to help her. Even I was a bit like whoa.
Belle isn’t entirely dumb to the fact that her dagger might be a fake, too. Her mean reflection, which is only going to tell her things she has already thought, outright blasts her for believing that Gold would ever give her the real dagger. And when he defies her order of keeping watch outside to come in and rescue her, she questions him on it (he slips through by playing Literal Genie and saying her terminology was vague, which is fair enough). I appreciate the discord.
And I fucking ate it up when Belle went to save her little memory gem over Anna when both of them were knocked to the edge of a cliff by Ingrid’s storm. Anna’s brutal fall down the cliff sweetened the deal, and seeing the memory gem also blow off and shatter to dust was the icing on the cake. Divine.
For what it’s worth, Robin seems reluctant to take Regina’s advice of fobbing her off and falling back in love with Marian. Good.
Gold and Snow Queen have a bit of a bicker at each other in Storybrooke as they dance around actually saying what each wants out of the other’s scheme. Snow Queen initially makes him shut up by telling him he has no leverage over her. Later, after Belle has been assaulted by her mean reflection, Gold returns to the lair and warns her not to come after her when her big scheme pops off. She tries to flick him off again, but he reveals he has the magical Sorcerer’s Apprentice hat box thing. That shuts her up.
Emma seems open to the idea that Snow Queen might sincerely care about her. It’s obviously going to turn out pear shaped, but I won’t begrudge her some fleeting optimism. This time.
Emma being onto Snow Queen is apparently part of Snow Queen’s plan. I’m intrigued.
Reflection Belle says that Gold/Rumple only married Belle because she’s a weakling who he can manipulate. She’s not wrong.
I want to know what happened to Helga.
Oh, and the gang, after learning about the mirror, figure that Snow Queen’s plan for Storybrooke is to unleash its effects on the townsfolk to turn them all against each other (except for Elsa and Emma, natch). If Granny and Grumpy’s reaction to Snow about a power outage is any indication, it should work a goddamn treat.