Coming Tonight: Once Upon a Time 4×03
CAUTION: previews, spoilers, and speculations
“Rocky Road” – When an icy spell is cast on Marian, which will ultimately freeze her heart and kill her, the Storybrooke residents place the blame on Elsa. But unbeknownst to anyone, a mysterious woman who runs the town’s ice cream parlor has the same powers as Elsa and is trying to frame her. Emma and David find former Merry Men member Will Scarlet rummaging through Robin Hood’s tent, Regina teams up with Henry to try and discover who the author of the fairy tale book is, Mary Margaret is having trouble balancing her duties as leader of Storybrooke and mother to young Prince Neal, and Hook begins to suspect that Mr. Gold is still in control of the dagger that calls upon him to be the Dark One. Meanwhile, in Arendelle of the past, Elsa and Kristoff set off to stop Hans from attempting to take control of the kingdom, written by David H. Goodman & Jerome Schwartz and directed by Morgan Beggs.
Here’s the promo that aired after last week’s episode:
ABC released three sneak peeks for “Rocky Road.” In the first, Marion succumbs to a Frozen curse at Storybrooke’s new mayor’s first fireside chat.
Meanwhile, in Arendelle of the past, Elsa and Kristoff discuss Anna.
Back in Storybrooke, Elsa explains to Robin and Regina that the only way to counter the curse is an act of true love. The tortured looks on their faces are priceless.
The premiere, “A Tale of Two Sisters,” ostensibly referring to Anna and Elsa, likely pointed to another referent: Emma. In that episode, plenty of parallels were drawn between the Queen of Arendelle and the savior of Storybrooke. Among them their siblings, their guilt, and their lack of magical control. “White Out” brought the two together and built on Emma’s natural empathy for Elsa’s situation. They bonded over family and mysterious magic.
In “Rocky Road,” look for Emma to be the one person in town with complete faith in Elsa, and for that to begin to be reciprocated.
Last week, I talked about how Snow White’s rant in the power plant might be foreshadowing a gradual descent toward her darker side. And in that first sneak peek, when she calls the town together in Regina’s old office, we witness something else we’ve never seen before. She’s wearing black. She still has the frumpy Mary Margaret shirt, but her skirt is also a touch more glam than normal.
Look for her to become frustrated by her lack of control and the disrespect of the Storybrookers, her clothes to darken, and her sense of style to improve.
There are some visual patterns that should also repeat tonight. Both aired episodes have featured Regina behind doors with someone, Emma and Henry so far, delivering Anna’s “I know you’re in there.” At the very least, the situation should come up again.
Mirrors played a large part in the premiere, and the crew was careful to include at least one in episode 2, with Bo Peep gazing vainly at herself. Look for another incidental looking glass in either Fairy Tale Land or Storybrooke this week. My guess is that they’re a reminder that the Magic Mirror could be anywhere. Any time. And we shouldn’t forget the significance of the mirror in “The Snow Queen,” either.
Finally, the theme of the Frozen arc, if not the entire season, is not giving up on those you love. Kristoff noted Anna’s persistence in “A Tale of Two Sisters.” Anna’s influence on David ran through “White Out.” Expect “Rocky Road” to reprise the phrase and maybe even carry it forward through another character.