Warning: This post does have SPOILERS.
NDM Jen is a HUGE fan of “Once Upon A Time” & will be here every Monday to recap the episode and share her thoughts. Be sure to check back every week and share your thoughts with Jen, too!
First of all, and let me get this out of the way right from the start…..the Frozen storyline was NOT resolved in this episode, 2-hour-episode-be-damned. Ugh! But we did get a lot of things wrapped up, so settle in with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, because it’s gonna take a long time to get to those answers we’ve been waiting for (two hour episode, remember??)
A Long Time Ago in Arendelle, Ingrid races through the woods on horseback to bury the Sorcerer’s Hat, which she previously stole from Anna. Then she travels to the Enchanted Forest to visit the Sorcerer’s Apprentice (who is, naturally, out in his yard, sweeping with his magical broom. As you do). She demands to see the Sorcerer so that they can make a deal, but the Apprentice tells her no one sees the Sorcerer (is he too busy being the Wizard of Oz???) and he wouldn’t make a deal with her anyway, because she’s evil. Ingrid thinks he will, though, because she has the hat, which definitely gets the Apprentice’s attention. He asks what she wants, and she says she wants two new sisters, to replace the ones she lost, and this time she wants magical sisters, so that they will understand her. She has Elsa, she needs one more, and she’ll wait as long as it takes.
In Storybrooke, we find Emma asleep in her car in the woods, but it’s not long before a burst of out of control magic wakes her. Henry finds her, but she tells him to stay away. He reaches out to her, but she blasts him away when their hands touch and he is injured. Emma is totally out of control, and Henry finally takes off. Ingrid appears, acting very smug, and tells Emma she has to embrace who she is. Emma drives off, leaving Ingrid in her sparkly white gown alone in the middle of the woods. But hold the phone, because before I could get myself into yet another snit about how ridiculous it is that Ingrid and Elsa persist in wearing these gowns all the time (WHYYYYYY can’t someone give them some normal clothes???? It’s just……UGH) I was struck dumb by the appearance of a very obviously post-coital Regina and Robin Hood. HELLOOOOOO. Oh my word. There’s a whole lotta lovin’ goin’ on in Regina’s vault in the woods. He’s no Hook, but Robin is a bit of all right. He even wants to cook her breakfast back at camp, but Regina says no (and really has to kill the mood by reminding him he’s married). To further dampen his ardor, she shows him the story book, to convince him she’s a villain and doesn’t deserve to be happy with him. Ol’ Rob says that book is the past, but he’ll help her find the author. Which was obviously the right thing to say, since Regina is then more than happy to jump back in the sack. Well played, Robin Hood.
The Scooby Gang returns to the apartment after a night of searching for Emma. Elsa uses the phrase “big yellow driving machine” and I can’t hear anything else that is said in this scene. Please stop giving Elsa and Hook stupid lines just to remind us that they are not from the 21st century, and didn’t spend time in Storybrooke during the first curse. It’s unnecessary, and makes both of those characters seem utterly moronic. Anyway, Henry comes in and tells them about his encounter with Emma, and Elsa spouts some more of her pycho-babble garbage about how hard it is to be misunderstood.
In Arendelle, Elsa is preparing a feast for Anna when Ingrid tells her that Anna lied to her about discovering what their parents went looking for in the Enchanted Forest, and that Anna plans to use the hat against her. Ingrid says she put Anna in the dungeon, and tells Elsa that their mother, Gerda, is the one who put Ingrid in the urn.
Gold enters his shop to find Emma and her out-of-control powers making everything run amok. Emma asks Gold for help, so he tells her he has an irreversible spell that will take away light magic from those who wish to part with it. He feeds her a line about needing to go somewhere remote, to minimize collateral damage when the spell goes down, and she agrees to meet him at the abandoned manor, at sundown (which he conveniently circles on a map that she leaves behind). Emma asks him not to tell anyone, and leaves, and he crumples up the spell, a clear indication that he is playing Emma for a fool, right?
Elsa goes to visit Anna in the dungeon, and makes it seem like she’s totally drunk Ingrid’s Kool-Aid. Then she tells the guards to get lost and lets Anna know she was pretending. She gives Anna the snowflake necklace back that the guards had taken from her, and says they have to get the urn and trap Ingrid in it. Anna says she knows every nook and cranny of the castle, so she can find it.
In the apartment, Elsa is spouting some more psycho-babble. Regina comes in all disheveled to bring David a locator potion, but before they can use it, Emma calls Mary Margaret. Mary Margaret apologizes for freaking out when Emma lost control of her powers at the Sheriff’s Department, and says they are not afraid of her, but Emma tells her she’s going to get rid of her magic. Hook is immediately suspicious a) that Gold is involved and b) what his motives are, and leaves to try to call Emma to warn her.
Anna, Elsa and Kristoff are searching the castle for the urn, and find themselves in the dust-covered-and-abandoned bedroom that belonged to Gerda and her sisters. There is a large broken mirror, prominently displayed. Anna opens a closet, and finds the urn (and frozen Hans. Because where else would you keep a frozen foreign dignitary? Who people are surely looking for, by now? The law & order of Arendelle seems a little suspect, I’m just sayin’…..).
Gold pays a visit to Ingrid in her Fortress of Solitude, to tell her that he’s going to help Emma get rid of her powers. She tries to zap him or something, and he traps her using some powdered remnant of the urn that he conveniently scooped up out at the barn. Kinda lame, guys, for reals. I’m really starting to feel like the D-list writing team has been assigned to this arc.
Will Scarlett is at Granny’s drinking a whole lot of liquor in a small amount of coffee when Robin Hood approaches him with the book and asks for his help to find the author. Will says something about how all the magic in town came from the clock tower, because it stood still for 28 years until one day it just started ticking again. Seemed like a very convoluted way of saying, hey, let’s go look it up at the library.
Mary Margaret and David are reminiscing about all of their heroics with Emma. Seriously, who is writing this stuff??? David suggest that getting rid of her power might be the most heroic thing Emma could do. Elsa hears them, and flashes back to Elsa and Anna, still sneaking around the castle. (Isn’t Elsa the QUEEN OF ARENDELLE? Why is she hiding from the guards??) Anyway, they see a painting of their parents, and Elsa is all sad that their parents were planning to ask her to give up her powers. So in present day, she takes the locator spell and goes off to find Emma.
Will Scarlett tries to pick to lock at the library. Robin just opens the door, because the library is open. Sad trombone.
[insert throwaway scene of Regina and Henry here.] [Stop writing so many filler scenes.][That’s all I have to say about that.]
Hook goes to Gold’s shop looking for Gold, because he’s hella freaked out. Leaves Emma another message, warning her about Gold and the hat. He admits that he lied to her, and that Gold blackmailed him into helping him. But just when he’s reaching maximum mussed-hair-and-angsty-smoldering-face capacity, he catches sight of that handy map, with the meeting location conveniently circled for him.
Ingrid, still trapped, uses her magic mirror to see Emma, and somehow messes with her car radio. Emma, in a display of epically bad driving skills, gets so distracted trying to tune the radio that she spins out, to avoid hitting Ingrid who suddenly appears in the middle of the road.
Back in Arendelle, Elsa returns Anna to the dungeon with the urn, and explains that she will send Ingrid to banish Anna from the kingdom so that Anna can trap her in the urn. What could possibly go wrong, right? This: Elsa leaves, and Ingrid materializes in the cell with Anna, trapping her in chains. Ingrid forces Anna to rehash an old Nordic legend about the Spell of Shattered Sight, which Ingrid then proceeds to cast on Anna
Emma comes to and Ingrid confronts her, telling her that Gold is lying to her and she can’t trust him. Emma realizes Ingrid is some kind of hologram, and gets in her car and drives away.
Regina convinces David and Mary Margaret that they can’t let Emma give up the thing that makes her special, and they decide to go look for her….. and realize that Elsa took the locator potion.
The Scooby Gang discovers the spot where Emma’s Bug spun out, and inexplicably decide to track her on foot from there (right, because when time is an issue, it’s always best to abandon your truck and pursue a CAR on FOOT), mostly so that Mary Margaret and Regina can have a heart to heart about their place in the world (hero vs villain). Less talk, more do, please. Robin Hood calls Regina to say he’s found something he wants to tell her about right away, so she abandons the search for Emma (she was so invested, huh?).
Emma arrives at the manor, where Gold is preparing to use the Sorceror’s Hat against her. She is hesitant, and admits that Ingrid warned her against him. She asks if the spell is safe, and he pretty much dodges the question but promises it will stop her from hurting people. She asks what he would do, and he says he wouldn’t go under the spell for anything, that he will never change, he never does the right thing…or if he does, he undoes it…but Emma always chooses the right thing. And then he leaves, assuming Emma will go into the room where the Hat is. CLASSIC VILLAIN BLUNDER, AMIRITE?. Hook arrives to save the day, but is easily thwarted by the all-powerful Dark One. Meanwhile, Elsa arrives (unnoticed by Gold and Hook) and tries to find a way in to the manor. She flashes back to Arendelle, and her final confrontation with an under-the-Shattered-Sighed-Spell Anna, who throws her snowflake pendant in the fire. Ingrid comes in to rub salt in the wounds, and Elsa realizes Ingrid cast a spell on Anna. Ingrid, who really does have an answer for EVERYTHING, says the spell only shows what someone is really feeling, encourages her to freeze Anna. Anna traps Elsa in the urn, and the spell is broken. Ingrid grabs the urn and is about to freeze Anna when Kristoff comes in, so Ingrid freezes the whole palace, instead.
Elsa stops Emma from going into the room where the Sorcerer’s Hat is. See, Gold? Shouldn’t have left until you were sure she’d done it. More Elsa psychobabble. Guess what, you have to embrace your powers to control them! What a concept!
Gold realizes that Emma didn’t use the spell, and Hook laughs at him. But the joke is on poor Hook, because Gold says it won’t be a total loss, he just realized he needs the heart of someone special, someone who knew him before he was the Dark One. Guess what? Hook is the only person alive who fits the bill. Gold takes his heart, and tells him he will force him to fill the hat with power (meaning, I assume, shove Emma into it) before killing him. UGH. How many times is Hook going to be someone’s puppet? Cora, Zelena, Gold….let the man BE, already!
Rumple appears in the frozen Arendelle palace to retrieve the Sorcerer’s Hat. He picks up Anna’s snowflake pendant, and then steals the Elsa-urn from Ingrid as collateral, saying he’ll give it back, once Ingrid returns the hat.
Hook runs into the manor and lays some smooches on Emma. Emma is, naturally, suspicious, because Emma. He tells her to go outside, and then retrieves the hat box. (In situations like this, how come no one – Emma – ever says, “Hey, aren’t you coming outside, too?” What possible reason could he have for staying behind??)
At the library, Robin Hood shows Regina a page that had been torn out of the book. It’s an illustration of them kissing in the pub, which had been replaced by the illustration of her leaving the pub. She asks where he found it, and he said it appeared in his satchel (What the???? Talk about your deus ex machina). He says it a sign that she has choices, that her life can go in different ways, it’s not dictated by the book. More deep thoughts, courtesy of your OUAT writing team.
Ingrid is finally released from her trap in the Fortress of Solitude. She gets sentimental about the yellow ribbons, and they vanish from their display case (one appears tied around her wrist). In Arendelle, she returns to the place where she buried the Sorcerer’s Hat, and begins to summon Rumplestiltskin when the Sorcerer’s Apprentice appears to remind her that she has a deal with the Sorcerer. He tells her that Emma will be her perfect third sister, and conjours a door that will lead her to a new land where her happy ending awaits. She goes through a portal and ends up in our world, 1982, in the middle of a city (Boston, I presume) in her ridiculous gown. It was almost Enchanted, but less adorable.
Mary Margaret, Henry and David arrive at the manor for a happy family reunion. Emma shows off her newly in control magic with a fireworks display. What? Henry notices that she and Elsa have yellow ribbons tied around their wrists, and they discover that they can’t take them off.
Gold returns to the Fortress of Solitude, and he’s pissed. Ingrid says she couldn’t use the yellow ribbons until now, when all of the sisters had embraced their powers, so now, thanks to him, she can harness the power of all three of them. Gold still isn’t impressed, so Ingrid blows up her magic mirror.
AND THAT’S IT.
Soooooooo. We now have Ingrid, with her powers enhanced three-fold, still out to convince Emma and Elsa that they belong at her side. Emma and Elsa are LITERALLY tied to her, via the yellow ribbons, but what effect does this have on their free will, or their ability to use their powers separately from Ingrid? Is Regina still going to keep searching for the author of the book, or will she be content to carry on an affair with a man married to a women who is currently STILL FROZEN SOLID? Details, details, I know. And do we really think Hook is going to betray Emma, even though Gold is controlling him like a puppet? Surely there’s a magical loophole there, somewhere. The heart cannot betray the one it loves, or something like that? I’m rooting for you, Hook.
Two whole weeks until the next episode. Which really will be the end of Ingrid. Really. I think. Or not. She’s probably with us until the mid-season finale. Sigh. Could we maybe get rid of Elsa before then? No? Sigh.