We bid 4A farewell. Two ships are sunk. The cobra joins the mongoose. And the last Arendelle scene mirrors the first.
Michael’s “Always… no, no… never… forget to check your references.”
“Heroes and Villains” – The Beach Boys
Is heroes vs. villains a fair descriptor for the second half of the season?
KITSIS: Absolutely. That is the title of episode 11.
HOROWITZ: It’s “Heroes and Villains.”
KITSIS: That’s actually named after the Beach Boys song.
EMMA: [The Snow Queen] wanted to make Storybrooke her Ice Castle.
The perfect “Wait, what?” Anna carries on about how great this Gold fellow must have been and then David tells her he’s Rumplestiltskin.
ANNA: Did you see these bruises?
ELSA: Have you seen Hans’s eye?
ANNA: Yeah. Totally worth it.
Anna’s wearing the gloves in the family, now.
This scene, with Anna saying, “What is that amazing smell?” instead of Elsa.
The Sound of Music
Anna’s skip-hopping arms wide approach to the town line completes all possible riffs on her costume. She hasn’t moved that way at all through the season. While it didn’t seem wildly out of character, it did take a moment to recognize where they were going with it.
When the ad for The Sound of Music Sing Along aired, we had a good belly laugh.
Holo-Belle more or less crying, “Help me,
Obi-Wa… Rumplestiltskin. You’re my only hope.”
Wish Upon a Star
Rumple tempts Belle with a honeymoon in “a magical city called New York.” The opening line of this Olivia Goldsmith novel is, oddly enough, “Once upon a time in a magical city called New York a girl under a spell lived on an island.”
The broom is back. With enough personality to outshine some of the other recurring guests on the show, this bit player from “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” struts its stuff, cracks its knuckles, and reveals the portal back to Arendelle. All while its creepy modified theme music plays in the background.
Bonus: Turns out the house does belong to the Sorcerer after all, validating a lot of fans who called it at the beginning of the season.
The Little Mermaid
One of three freebies, everyone’s favorite predatory subprime magic lender Ursula appears as part of a trio trying to swindle Rumplestiltskin.
Her contribution to the plot against Rumple is a sand dollar bearing the holographic message.
After wrapping Belle in her tentacles, she says, “Such a pretty thing. Seems a shame I’ll have to crack her pipes.” It’s a dialogic stretch to reference the film.
Cruella de Vil, whose costume is a nice mix of mostly animated classic with the makeup of the live action adaptation.
While the green smoke around the Belle-ogram is characteristic of the cloud following Cruella, it apparently wasn’t a big enough clue, so they added a Dalmatian to lead Belle away.
Her raven, Diablo, delivers the ransom message to Rumplestiltskin. At least, his name is Diablo in the animated classic. In the recent reinterpretation, he’s recast as Diaval. It remains to be seen which one they’ll go with.
Maleficent’s costume has undergone a drastic redesign, bringing it in line with the 2014 film.
Once Upon a Time
Some key themes reappeared in this episode. Color coded clothing showed us a Regina who’d do the right thing in blue and a Belle who’d make some shocking choices in grey and black. Rumple stalked around with Geppetto’s parents hanging in the background, reminding us what an evil imp he is.
But they brought the Frozen arc full circle visually. Our first glimpse of Arendelle’s royal siblings in “A Tale of Two Sisters” was their clasping hands from behind, Anna on the left and Elsa on the right. The shot’s inverted, or mirrored, at the end of their scene with Elsa on the left this time.
Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments
- Not that we got much interaction between the two on screen, but the good news is that once they got back to Arendelle, Anna’s right hook apparently made short work of Hans, and Kristoff and Anna were finally going to get married. Mazel tov!
- To be honest, I had been hoping for the Captain Swan relationship to be more central to the episode. Instead, it fell fourth fiddle to the Arendelle crew, the Rumpbelle dissolution, and the coming of the Queens of Darkness. As the plotline involving Gold having Hook’s heart developed, I fully expected there to be some major touching scene between the two. Instead, we got two minor scenes.
- The first of these was in Granny’s Diner when Gold puppeted Hook into telling Emma where the portal was to get Anna out of the way. Emma finally touched him intimately on the face and asked what was wrong, that he was acting strange[ly]. The only response he could make of his own volition was to grab her wrist with a shaking hand. But does she pursue him or this clue that clearly something is truly messed up? No. Jeez, Emma, can’t you see your man is in trouble?! You are a less than stellar girlfriend.
- The second was when she reinserts his heart. (Note, there was no romantic anything when Emma and Snow arrive at the clocktower to see Gold about to crush Hook’s heart.) So he asks her to be gentle, but this is Emma, so she just shoves it back in, thinking that it must be like pulling off a band-aid. But as soon as it’s back in, he lays a great, passionate kiss on her. When the kiss breaks (why, oh why, did it have to?), he reiterates that he’s a survivor, and she shyly smiles.
- This relationship, more than any other, was at the center of the episode. Considering how much damage the writers had done to this ship since the iconic dance in the ballroom, I ended up being rather relieved that Belle finally figured out that Rumple loved power more than anything and kicked him out of town. That said, it was an emotional scene, and Robert Carlyle sold it so well, I actually felt bad for Rumple as he lost Belle, then his magic, and crumpled from the return of his crippled leg.
- First, Rumple wakes Belle from a sleep that I can only imagine he put her in magically and tells her that he’s going to take her to the magical land of New York. She goes to pack her bag happily.
- Belle saves the day, or at least Hook, by controlling Rumple with his dagger after using the magic gauntlet to reveal to her what Rumple’s greatest weakness is (that’s not good wife behavior). The betrayal is merely in response to the many, many betrayals Rumple has offered her this season. Not even the sort of sweet flashback scene of him trading the gauntlet for her life could redeem him.
- So she finally forces him out of town, using the dagger to make him go. It’s painful for both of them (and the audience). We know this won’t be the end of it, since Rumple won’t stay gone for long (you, know, just till March), but Rumple’s going to have to work his hinney off to win her back. She’s gotten wise to his unchanging ways.
- I liked that the first thing we saw Regina do this episode was return Marian’s heart, that there was no hesitation. In return, Marian offers to back off if Robin chooses to be with Regina. How civil.
- Robin chooses Regina! He points out that though it may be complicated, the most important thing he can model for his son is to live honestly and follow his heart.
- Not that it matters, because Plot Conveniences Playhouse presents the relapse of Ingrid’s ice curse, and the only way to save Marian is for her to cross the town line into the non-magical world from which she can never return. But Regina won’t let her go alone–she insists that Robin and Roland have to go with her. Which is honorable and stuff, but very sad for the Outlaw Queen shippers around the world.
- Their good-bye is full of feels. Thank goodness Marian couldn’t see that kiss–not that Robin would know that. Ballsy, Robin!
- Emma offers to do shots with Regina after Robin leaves town, but then Henry breaks up their fun with news about The Author (pretentious indeed!). The three of them go to the mansion’s secret room and find the blank storybooks. Emma opts in for Operation Mongoose and reiterates her promise to bring Regina a happy ending.