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Early Observations about “Family Business”

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“You’ll have to excuse us, but this is family business.” Title Drop.  Frozen references abound in Arendelle while a sinking ship stays afloat.

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


Anna heads to Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Sauna.oaken2

  • “Yoo-hoo!”
  • Half off the sauna.
  • Anna gets rope and a pickaxe

Elizabeth Lail gets herself into pretty much this same position with Belle looking on instead of Kristoff.

Anna Cliff

Grand Pabbie pretty much pulls the memories from Belle’s head the same way he took Anna’s.Snow Cave

Anna falls off a cliff again, just like she did after Marshmallow threw that tree.  Except this time there isn’t twenty feet of powder to cushion her fall.  No blood, no foul.

Regina keeps upping the ante on the unconventional “act of true love.”  First, she tried to help Marian.  Then she vowed to cure her.  Now she’s letting Robin go.

The entrance to the Snow Queen’s batcave looks an awful lot like the one where Olaf got impaled.

Belle discovers the rock trolls in a book that looks exactly like the one the King of Arendelle uses in the movie.  She even has a similar map.

Frozen Futhark makes another appearance.

Samantha Lee – @SamsJag at Once Upon a Fan

Several people translated the Futhark runes briefly visible in the promo spot this week. There were three lines obscured that we saw in the episode.  Here’s a full translation of the entire scroll, since Elsa cliffsnoted us.

I have travelled the world near and far

My search knows no bounds

My obsession will not leave me

My search continue to the ends of the Earth

One thing I know for sure

The name of the savior is Emma

The Savior shall be my sister

The family must be complete

And Anna gave us our weekly dose of, “Wait… What?”


The cat with the hat is back.  He didn’t tip his hand until Ingrid’s mirror messed with Belle.

The Snow Queen’s always, like always always, eavesdropping like Eucrates in Philopseudes.

“The Snow Queen”

Anna and Elsa’s mother was Gerda, the nominal protagonist of the Hans Christian Andersen classic.

The disappearance of Helga and Ingrid is analogous to the disappearance of Kay with the Snow Queen.

The mirror’s effect on Belle is precisely what it should be.  All she saw were the worst parts of herself.  They played it as a conversation to save time and exposition.

Belle, however, was already coded bad by her unusually black wardrobe and dagger scarf.  She tried to command Rumple with the dagger and by the time they got to the cave she was disturbingly casual about it.  Gold himself was in all black this episode, lying to Belle and playing for power with Ingrid.

We caught a glimpse of other mirrors over Rumple’s shoulder in the shop.

Paradise Lost

For more information, last week’s post on “Breaking Glass.”  Everyone this season’s been a little bit less than heroic.  With the addition of Belle’s compromising backstory and her present abuse of trust, even the most noble characters are losing some ground.  We saw how her mistake lead her to accepting the Dark One’s deal.  And we know her influence on Rumplestiltskin has been just about the most humanizing influence he had.

If then his providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
Our labor must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil

There seems to be an exception to the trend in Regina, though.  She started the season enraged and evil.  But in this episode, she offers her own happiness up for sacrifice in the hopes that Marian might be saved if Robin can relinquish his love for her.  With that in mind I took a closer look at the epic poem.  Toward the end, in Book XII, almost mirroring the lines from Book I, we get this:

That all this good of evil shall produce,
And evil turn to good; more wonderful
Than that which by creation first brought forth
Light out of darkness!

So, while I think the goblin mirror will probably affect everyone at the midseason (4a) finale, I expect the salvation of Storybrooke to rest in Regina’s hands as the season carries on.  Heck, Rumple’s plans with the hat might put him on a strange path as well.

Beauty and the Beast

Belle’s mom was an obsessed bookworm, too.

Mirror Belle says, “Deep down, you know what kind of beast you’re dealing with.”

Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments


  1. rumpbelleLots of plot revolving around their secrets kept from each other and the betrayals therein. Belle is the first to break down and tearily reveal the secret she’s been keeping. The mirror tells her that she doesn’t have the true dagger, but Rumple explains it away. The worst of it, she says, “You’d never lie to me,” but of course he has and he will continue to do so.
  2. What’s up with Belle wearing a dagger-imprinted scarf? Seems a bit inconsiderate, but she’s kind of in that mode this episode.

Captain Swan

  1. When moving to infiltrate the Snow Queen’s ice cream truck, Regina snarks, “It’s bad enough having to be here with you and Captain Guyliner making eyes at each other.” Emma retorts, “We don’t make eyes,” just as Hook passes her, says, “Ready, love?” and gives his signature making of eyes at her. Emma sheepishly attempts to stop herself from returning the eyes.

 Swan Queen

  1. Regina’s defensive walls arise again when Emma attempts to connect over the issues with Robin but Regina wants Emma to be no part of it. She jealously snarks, “It’s bad enough having to be here with you and Captain Guyliner making eyes at each other.”


  1. ELIZABETH LAIL, SCOTT MICHAEL FOSTERAdorable outpouring of emotion and Anna lays out her mistrust of her new aunt. She has to dodge Sven’s antlers to maintain eye contact with Kristoff. There is some kissy-face. And Kristoff renews his having of her back, unless she’s going to do something dumb, and then he would tell her. (As he did in Frozen when she told him she was going to marry a man she’d just met.)

Outlaw Queen

  1. Robin attempts to talk to Regina, despite her avoiding him. He says he shouldn’t have told her he was still in love with her. She says that’s not why she’s been dodging him. She didn’t know how to tell him that she doesn’t think she’s got the power to reverse the spell on Marian, that his best chance is to forget about her (Regina) and find a way to fall back in love with his wife.
  2. Stipulation: You know what would be really, like Shakespearean-style, tragic? We’ve been waiting for a twisty act of true love (ala Anna’s act in Frozen) to defrost Marian. What if Regina casts a spell/curse on Robin that allows him to forget about her, all in order to save Marian, and that act alone breaks the freeze spell because it was out of true love? Then Robin wouldn’t need to fall back in love with Marian, but his love for Regina would have already been wiped away.


  1. Oaken offers a 50% discount for use of the sauna to Belle for being a friend of Anna. Sadly, we do not get Belle and Anna sittin’ in the sauna.

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 “Family Business”

  1. Pingback: DELAYED: Early Observations about Once Upon a Time 4×20 | The Dinglehopper

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