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Early Observations about “Rocky Road”

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This week we learn what we talk about when we talk about Anna.  The young people enjoy it when Regina “gets down” verbally.  And Erin admits her ships only have room for two.

Michael’s “Always… no, no… never… forget to check your references.”


With an episode partially set in Arendelle, you don’t have to look to closely, but it’s worth noting that we finally got our “Let it Go!”

Archie: “If you let it go, even just a little”

Marian’s hair streaked with white before she collapsed.

Kristoff: I’ve seen Anna fight wolves, snow monsters, and that idiot from the Southern Isles.

Elsa: Hans.

Kristoff: Whatever his name is.

A reference to Frozen and a bit of character development.  In the movie, Hans was the goal.  Now he’s an old romantic rival.  It felt a lot like Stargarte SG-1‘s recurring “I thought you’d be taller.”  And for that, I thank them.


Tumblr a-world-of-our-very-own created a clever set of gifs that suggest Elsa’s confrontation with Hans and his angry brothers was modeled after her fight with the guards in her ice palace.

The Jungle Book (1894)

Regina comes at Henry all coy fishing for information about the Once Upon a Time book, but he cottons almost immediately.  So she opens up and reveals her plan.  He’s all in.  All they need is a name for their operation.

Since she’s always in competition with Emma, Regina chooses “Operation Mongoose.”  While the mongoose is particularly well adapted to fight and kills venemous snakes, they typically avoid cobras.  That is, unless it’s a fairy tale.  Rudyard Kipling’s “Rikki-tikki-tavi” is perhaps the most famous of these, defeating not one but two cobras.  Henry calls it perfect.  And it is.

Bonus: Regina’s browsing the comic version of another ABC show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Tempest

This one properly belongs to “A Tale of Two Sisters” because the actual text we see of Queen Idun’s diary is from Act 3 Scene I of the play.  However it’s taken until now for the full resonance to be felt.  Hook calls Rumplestiltskin out about playing Belle false regarding the dagger.  Will Prospero be able to give up his books and his staff?

(Incidentally, when Elsa claims to be unable to read the runes on the magic urn, she’s apparently forgotten she was reading Elder Futhark before Anna left.)

Hans and Franz

No really.  Nils Hognestad plays Hans’s brother, Franz, in the kind of writerly nerdery best left buried in the credits.  Hans and Franz were a Saturday Night Live sketch duo from the late eighties played by Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon.  NASA’s crawler-transporters were affectionately nicknamed after the pair.

Hanz and Franz

“The Snow Queen”

Yesterday, I suggested that we’d see mirrors to remind us that Sidney’s lurking in the background of the story and reinforce the connection to “The Snow Queen.”  Imagine my delight when they appeared in most of the shots inside Any Given Sundae.  If you were wondering why Marian was a problem to be solved with ice cream, I offer you the Magic Mirror as an explanation.

Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments

Captain Swan

  1. Hook trades his silence to the dark one to help Emma find the mysterious Elsa-imitator. Gold makes snide remark about hoping she’s worth it.
  2. Over the course of the episode, it became more and more obvious that Emma, in the struggle of repeatedly failing to save anyone this season, was concerned that something bad would happen to Hook. So when she finally admitted this at the end of the episode, naming all of her dead former boyfriends–Neal, Graham, Walsh–it was nice and cathartic. Hook’s response that she needn’t worry about that with him, that he was especially good at surviving was just the response Emma needed. Kiss ensues!
  3. Ahem, the preview for next week wherein Emma asks Hook out on a date, and to mark the big occasion, Hook goes to Rumple for his hand back. Two thoughts: what is he hoping to use that hand for, and will this offer lead to some Halloween-themed shenanigans ala Evil Dead 2?

Outlaw Queen

  1. Robin’s kiss doesn’t work to save Marian because Robin is in love with Regina!
  2. Regina, rather than letting Marian die, pulls out her heart and swears to Robin that they’ll find a way to save her. (Could this count as an act of true love, even if it isn’t for Marian?)


I’m reluctant to touch this one. I’m really a Krisanna shipper. Sure, I understand that all witty banter has an edge of romantic tension to it. That’s why all those buddy movies are homoerotic. Kristoff is all about the banter on Once Upon a Time, so it seems inevitable that some romantic tension would result. Best of these: Elsa: “Why is it your compliments are so aggravating?” Kristoff: “Well, I start out that way, but you’ll warm up to me.” And, of course, there was that one time when Elsa agreed to be put in an urn to save Kristoff’s life.

Swan Queen

Look, Swan Queens, I’m a Captain Swan girl, so I end up being all but blind to this. However, Michael said there were moments, for instance Emma insisting that Regina could trust her, so that meant she could trust Elsa. And Regina, like, shut up about it.


Author: thedinglehopper

The collective authors of The Dinglehopper, two women married with a toddler and a precocious 5-year-old teetering on the margins of hipster-geekism and too much training in social and literary criticism.

One thought on “Early Observations about “Rocky Road”

  1. Pingback: Early Observations about “Operation Mongoose” | The Dinglehopper

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