Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 11 – TV Review
Unfortunately, the mirror spell fails to produce any real results.
A handful of townsfolk re-enact Super Smash Bros: Enchanted Forest Edition in the streets, but there is none of the promised mass murder.
At least Regina gets to put on her old duds and sword fight Snow.
TL;DR The mirror spell is mostly ineffective; Anna helps Snow Queen realise that her family did love her, and Snow Queen chooses to explode herself to save Storybrooke; Gold still plans to leave town; flashbacks show that Snow Queen/Ingrid was actually a pretty good foster mother to a young Emma.
Until the whole “magic is real” talk.
So we’re picking up right where we left off last week: the mirror spell infects the townsfolk, and diagreements erupt. Well, not so much erupt as “mildly simmer.” We’re treated to some PG-grade bickering between Snow and David, and some lacklustre fistfighting between minor characters out on the streets. Anna tells Elsa and Emma that the curse mirrors (ah ha!) an old legend, and that the solution to the curse in that legend was the death of its caster. Elsa and Emma are prevented from harming Snow Queen while their ribbons are attached, so they go and intentionally provoke some hatred out of Regina to counteract the love that bonds the ribbons. They’re successful, but still struggle to put Snow Queen to bed. Then Anna randomly notices that message-in-a-bottle that washed ashore with her and Kristoff, and it turns out to be a note from Gerda before she died. She was regretful of how she treated Elsa and Ingrid because of their powers, and intended her daughters to restore the memories of Ingrid and Helga to Arendelle. This is all it takes to placate Snow Queen, and she offs herself to save her family, and the town. Meanwhile, Hook is tasked with bringing Henry to Gold so Gold can fuck off outta Storybrooke. Hook doesn’t deliver, but Gold is still intent on going. And flashbacks show how a young Emma bonded with her friendly foster mum, Ingrid. Until Ingrid thought Emma was about to manifest her magic powers and threw her in front of a speeding car to test her.
Is this Sparta?
With Snow Queen dead and Elsa and Anna ready to go back to Arendelle to restore some memories, I think we’re finally going to be done with the Frozen stuff. All of it, too. Not just the flashbacks.
Why I hate this episode:
Snow Queen’s defeat is stupidly easy. This is a woman who spent decades waiting, and was willing to murder hundreds of people to achieve her insane goal of coercing some blonde chicks into being her new sisters. Then all she has to see is an unverified letter from her original sister that was a death-throes recant, and she decides to abandon all her work and kill herself? Yeah, no.
And I am supremely disappointed that her all-powerful mirror spell managed to result in exactly zero murders.
The solution to the ribbons is dumb and convenient. These ribbons are supposed to be some almighty manifestation of pure love itself, and all Emma has to do to get an apparently equal volume of hate is spend two seconds goading Regina about Marian? Maybe Snow Queen’s sisters didn’t love her so much, after all.
Ingrid takes a couple of sparks in a skill tester to mean that Emma is ready to unleash her magic, and then immediately throws the poor girl in front of a car. Maybe you should have taken a few more diagnostics, honey.
Regina chooses to kill Snow via a sword fight, instead of just obliterating her with magic. That idiot.
Oh, and when Regina snaps out of the rage spell, she is horrified to see the Queenie clothes she has on, and gets changed. Bitch, no. You look fabulous.
But it’s not all bad:
Bitch looks fabulous for a little bit.
It might have been a failure, but the prospect of Regina slicing up Snow was certainly compelling.
I was right about Kristoff indeed being affected by the mirror spell. Anna handcuffs him to a desk, and he is extremely mellow in his bitchiness, anyway. He kind of just stands there and is half-sullen. At least he does have a rightful whinge to Anna later about how she has complicated his life. You tell her, baby.
Emma’s taunting of Regina about purposely bringing Marian to Storybrooke to hurt Regina, and publicly dating Hook to make her feel inadequate, is delicious. Mainly because we know it’s the truth. Regina was right all along, you know.
After the spell is lifted, Henry hugs Regina first, then Emma. It’s a small victory, and I’ll take it.
Ingrid was actually a great foster mother to Emma. She even offered to adopt her. The magic training mishap soured things, but it seemed like it would have been a good match, otherwise.
Anna tries to calm down Snow and David early in their squabbles by reminding them that hey, you guys are Prince Charming and Snow White. Snow responds by telling her how she murdered Cora. It’s good to know that Snow hasn’t forgotten her greatest hit.
Oh, and David’s face while watching the Regina/Snow sword/catfight is horntacular.