The Dinglehopper

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Early Observations about “Breaking Glass”

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Well now we know, they can’t let Frozen go.  The references begin to weave a tangled web of their own.  And flashbacks become shipwrights.

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


Apparently the excuse I’ve been making for not finding more Frozen is entirely legitimate.  When Arendelle of the past isn’t featured in the episode, they shift into referential overdrive.

The Frozen staircase appears on the title screen.

Elsa Staircase

Elsa bridges a chasm between herself and the illusory Anna with it.  You can see a side by side comparison at

Emma and Regina get to revisit Olaf’s, “Not sure if this is going to solve the problem, but I found a staircase that leads exactly where you want it to go.”

Elsa’s chained down by the Snow Queen much like she was in the castle by Hans.  Her emotional control is once again the key to her escape.

The explosion effeElsa Explosionct when she breaks free is similar to the image in her bedroom during the “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” sequence.

Of course, the Snow Queen also says, “I’m going to build a snowman.”

COMBO! Emma’s whole approach this episode, and especially her confessional at the end, is equivalent to, “We used to be best buddies, but now we’re not.”  Elsa counsels her through it at the beginning and again in the end.

Elsa: “You don’t give up on the people you love.  If there’s one thing my sister taught me…”  Even if they send a giant snow monster to chase you away.  Tidily references Anna’s theme that’s been carried forward in most of the episodes and the movie as well.

Regina: “Oh, now you’re a magic expert?”  It’s a bit of a fixer upper, but we’ve been waiting to hear about love experts; so we’re taking it.

David: “Wait, what?”  They’ve been doing this all season, but it’s so innocuous it took me awhile to catch on:

Bonus: Emma and Lily finishing each other’s…


Last seen in Henry’s hands, Disney (Marvel) property Thor got a brief mention when David flippantly referenced falling through a portal to Asgard.  It’s cool, Charming is also Fandral.

In a nice nod to the frost giants, the Snow Queen’s ice viking regrows a shattered arm with effects similar to those in the film.

Peter Pan

Lily.  Possibly Tiger Lily.  Especially with the star mark on her right wrist and the addition of a “Second Star to the Right” wrist of young Emma.  Who knows if they’ll use her in any meaningful capacity, but the reference is definitely there.


Speaking of stars, it’s probably no accident that she’s sporting the symbol plastered all over the Sorcerer’s hat, currently sitting in the back room of Gold’s pawnshop.

“The Snow Queen”

It’s a terrible burden bein’ right so often.  The Magic Mirror was working for the Snow Queen.  He did lead Regina into a trap of sorts.  And she is planning to use the goblin mirror.

Snow’s back in black.  David’s in Grey.  Hallelujah!  On their night off they should be in charming colorful ensembles, but Mary Margaret’s pretty much in a spider web.  And she’s making all the wrong assumptions.

Paradise Lost

While the inverted perception is a feature of “The Snow Queen,” a particular aspect of it derives from Paradise Lost which was featured in the voiceover of the season 4 ComicCon trailer:

“Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, Our labour must be to pervert that end, And out of good still to find means of evil,”

David: If the outcome of his escape is that you found a part of yourself again I’d say he earned that pardon.

Harry Potter

They’re stretching the timeline a little bit when Lily says, “like Harry Potter,” in a scene set in 1998.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone would have just come out around the time she and Emma had their adventure.  While it’s somewhat unlikely it would have been the cultural touchstone it’s taken to be or that homeless Emma would have read it, you’d be better off complaining that the PopTarts boxes are, in fact, not historically accurate.  It’s meaningful to us, and that’s what matters.  We’ll be seeing her again.


I’m throwing this Greek forerunner of “Fantasia” in a s a possibility.  Weaving Sidney into “The Snow Queen” story was a natural choice, but her relative disinterest effectively cuts him loose.  In Philopseudes, the Sorcerer’s place is filled by an Egyptian named Pancrates.  There’s a chance they’ll use this connection to keep Glass relevant in 4b and maybe show us some Agrabah.

Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments

Captain Swantumblr_ne30hmGR2a1rsayido1_250

Because of a late arrival at home, we missed the first few minutes of the episode. I thought this might have been a Hook-bereft episode until the final scene. But that was not the case, thank the powers that be.

  1. During the opening (missed) scene, Hook takes Henry out boating for some quality time and responds to Emma’s mama-worries with a peck on the cheek.
  2. More importantly, however, in the final scene, Hook shows up to comfort a reflective and sad Emma. There is leaning on and hand holding, and Emma opens up a bit more of herself to Hook by sharing the remnants of her childhood. To be honest, this kind of open caring and sharing is exactly what I’ve been missing in this season’s treatment of Captain Swan. Watch the full scene here.


Swan Queentumblr_ne2ye7Qe7s1tmd0w0o2_500

  1. The strained emotions of Emma trying to be Regina’s friend and Regina dodging all attempts of Emma to assuage her guilt, as she sees it, is prime fodder for the Swan Queen fans. Lots of tension, lots of emotion, makes lots of passion.
  2. Their two powers together are the only thing that can defeat the Snow Queen’s ice viking! They must come together to save Storybrooke!
  3. The parallel flashback story of Lily and Emma was also charged with the magical connecto-tension that fuels shippers everywhere. But don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a ship-worthy relationship in and of itself. This was a tumblr_ne2ye7Qe7s1tmd0w0o1_500direct mirror of the Regina-Emma relationship, wherein Emma realizes the position Regina is in trying to forgive her and pushes once again to breach that protective wall. This time, at the end of the episode, Emma makes some headway, getting Regina to at least admit that she no longer wants her dead.


  1. David pushes Mary Margaret to leave baby Neal with Belle for an hour and go out for a walk. They stop by the sheriff’s office for the walkie-talkies and find that Will has escaped, sending them on a good-ole manhunt. Mary Margaret ends up finding Will and thinks that David must have set the whole thing up to help her regain her old adventurer’s mojo. When she reunites with David, she gives him a big, sexy kiss.
  2. David later reveals that he set up nothing, which means that Mary Margaret pardoned Will without justification, but David thinks Snow getting back a part of herself that she had lost touch of is worth the trade.



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 “Breaking Glass”

  1. Wrong! When she was changed up that was in reference to when she was changed up in the movie.


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