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Once Upon a Time “Heroes and Villains” Previews and Predictions

Coming Tonight: Once Upon a Time 4×11

CAUTION: potential spoilers, peeks sneaked, and speculations proffered

“Heroes and Villains”In the aftermath of the Snow Queen’s spell, our heroes try to pick up the pieces and Regina has to make a difficult choice. Hook’s fate hangs in the balance as Gold’s quest for power threatens everything he holds dear. And, in the Enchanted Forest flashback, an intrusion during Belle’s stay at Rumplestiltskin’s dark castle will wreak havoc in both the past and the future, on the winter finale of Once Upon a Time, written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and directed by Ralph Hemecker.

Here’s the promo that aired after last week’s episode:

In the first sneak peek, Rumple makes a promise to Hook as Belle sleeps in the foreground.

In the second, Anna and Elsa discuss getting back to Arendelle.

It really looks like there’s a Dalmatian in the Enchanted Forest flashback. Could this be the intruder in the Dark Castle? It’s not Pongo, played by canine thespian Cinder. Perhaps it’s his paramour Perdita. Part of me thinks it might be a shapeshifted Cruella herself, tying her into the past story and placing her among the powerful in the present.



I really dig Gold’s discomfort about Anna. “The Apprentice” set her up to be an incredible threat to him and his plans if she showed up in Storybrooke. And he’s almost entirely responsible for exactly that, having snatched the Wishing Star along with Elsa’s Urn during his encounter with the Snow Queen in Arendelle. Poor Killian. Nobody gets in Anna’s way.

This episode should solidly wrap up everything specific to the Frozen arc. The ice wall comes down. Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff appear to head home through the Apprentice’s magic door. But what’s it doing in the ballroom of the mystery mansion. Does Gold agree to help them in exchange for Anna’s silence?

And what is Regina’s difficult choice? Do the Queens of Darkness offer her a place at their table? Are they the new fairy tale Plastics?

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Early Observations About “Fall”

The musical numbers in Frozen are Once canon! Kristoff and Anna fight back to back like John Crichton and Aeryn Sun. And Emma wonders what lip gloss Killian was wearing.

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


Gerda and Adgar’s Sangwrecked ship was in the title sequence.

Anna: And I sang with you. (“Love is an Open Door“)

Pirates are better than wizards. Made me think of “Reindeers are Better than People.” And gave me some hope for the doomed Captain Killian Jones…

“Anna can save everyone!” Elsa had just the right amount of naive enthusiasm.  She did it in Frozen.  She can do it in Once.

There’s a line from “Fixer Upper” that pretty much encompasses Elsa’s actions (and Rumple’s and Regina’s and Snow’s… you get the idea): “People make bad choices if they’re mad or scared or stressed.” The line that follows is, “But throw a little love their way, and you’ll bring out their best.”  So I’m still counting on that being the solution.

The Goonies

The underground caves or mines or whatever ultimately open up onto the beach and wishes come true.


The Boo Box! Red coated Blackbeard just happens to have a trunk for stuffing folks in.  On the Jolly Roger. That he calls for.  Even the rounded top is reminiscent.

The Snow Queen”

The spell of Shattered Sight is the portion of the plot lifted almost unchanged from Hans Christian Andersen. It’s more melodramatic, as befits both network television and especially Once, but the principle and the origin, a mirror, are the same.


The Wishing Star, or “When You Wish Upon a Star,” weirdly implicating Ruel Ghorm in all this.

Like I careThe Wizard of Oz

Regina: It’ll be sundown before you munchkins can finish.

Leroy: Dwarves, sister.

Regina: Like I care.

Paradise Lost

The title itself, “Fall,” is a reference to the epic poem, about the condemnation of the rebel angels. “And out of good still to find means of evil.”

Duck Talesbackstroke

“You rolled around in gold bars? Weird. And, ouch.”

Rebel Without a Cause

Ingrid: “They will tear themselves apart until everyone is dead.”

Regina: “By sundown, everyone in this town will start tearing each other apart.”

James Dean:

I mean, one character tells us in her scene. Then the other in hers immediately following…


Tenuous at best, this revolutionary classic from 1992 deserves a shout out simply because seven characters literally watch, with binoculars, the eponymous fall roll in on a sparkly cloud. Can I claim the sand of the sea and love through space and time as well?

Once Upon a Time

The big one this week was the callback to 4×02 “White Out,” as David reunites with his bro Kristoff and the bond over their shorn locks and “Joan” comes clean about her codename.

Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments


  • Back in Arendelle, Anna, Kristoff, Hans, and the rest of the kingdom unfreeze. Hans and Franz and bros. come to take the kingdom, as they do, and attempt to arrest Anna and Kristoff. Kristoff pulls a diversionary tactic of giving up to pull two of the brothers in close so that Kristoff and Anna can smack one upside the head with an climber’s pick and steal a sword respectively, ending up back-to-back with the upper hand. It’s pretty great.
  • After being led into another trap by Hans with the help of Blackbeard (who now owns the Jolly Roger!), Kristoff and Anna are tied up, put in a trunk, and thrown into the sea at the exact spot Anna’s and Elsa’s parents were lost at sea. Anna, in desperation as the water rises in the trunk, attempts to say her marriage vows so that she can at least die married to Kristoff. Kristoff, wanting to keep her motivation to survive intact, says they can get married if they survive. But he does tell her he loves her.

Kristoff: You don’t get to marry me unless we survive. Okay? So just keep your chin up and breathe.

Outlaw Queen

  • Regina goes to tell Robin to scatter the Merry Men because with all of their weapons, they’ll kill each other when the curse hits. She stares at him–“I’m just trying to memorize you like this”–fearing that when the curse hits, he will hate and fear her just like everyone else does. He refutes her claim, saying, “This is real. This is true.”outlawqueen409kiss
  • After Regina seals Henry in the Mayor’s Office for his protection, she turns around to find Robin behind her. He wanted to see her again and offer to come with her now that Roland and Marian are safely away from him. He has faith the shattered sight won’t change how he sees her, that he is not afraid of her. She responds, “You should be.” She rushes to her vault to seal herself away from everyone else.

Captain Swan

  • Hook plays the villain in this episode, though not by choice. The dramatic irony of him hiding behind the counter as Emma, Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff show up to assist in a speedy counter-curse potion after he has just Magic Hat Hoovered the fairies is heartbreaking.
  • Afterwards, everyone meets up at the Sheriff’s Office. Hook comes by to have a “word” with Emma. I had hoped he’d tell her some of the truth, but, really, what good would that do anyone at that moment. Instead, he just wants one last look at her. Emma says she doesn’t do good-bye kisses–“well, maybe just this once.” This good-bye kiss has the added depth of one knowing he’s going to die when this is all over, no matter how it comes out. captainswan409oncecaptainswan409goodbye
  • Post-kiss, Emma touches two fingers to her lips as a way to remember his taste OR because she recognizes something is wrong. Perhaps missing your heart tastes like Cherry Cola Lip Smackers. Alternatively, he had magic dust on his lips from the Fairy Vacuum Massacre and it tastes like Lip Smackers. But being the savior, she can’t be distracted by that now.emmalips


  • The Charmings lock themselves in separate cells in the Sheriff’s Office. (I didn’t know there were two cells.) They give Neal to Emma for care. It’s all very sad-making, but not nearly as much as when the Shattered Sight reaches them and all love drains from their eyes and faces when they look at each other. They stand in for what might happen to the other couples if they look upon each other with the curse. Thanks for taking one for the team, guys, now we’re all properly fearful for Outlaw Queen and Captain Swan.


  • Rumpelstiltskin’s antics to maintain both his powers and Belle and Belle being pretty obnoxiously naive about the whole thing is making this ship sink. But, if you still have the faith, he does offer this little gem: “I’ll be back soon and then we’re gonna be together. I promise.”

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Early Observations About “The Snow Queen”

The deuteragonist of Frozen make an appearance.  Once gets self referential.  And Will Scarlet hands out relationship advice.

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


There were, like, three qualifying “Let it Go”‘s.  But only Regina’s, “I need to let it go,” was word for word.

Ingrid’s, “You’re going to let me go,” was close enough, but nothing compared to her  all out recuperation of Elsa’s story.  From hiding herself away to injuring (okay, more than injuring) her sister, the Snow Queen even borrowed some lines.  Her, “What have I done?”was pitch perfect.

In her first scene, her ice shard appears to graze Emma as it passes.  Will that be significant later?

Anna Hit

And we got to see the gloves provided by Rumplestiltskin with some ambivalent dithering about whether they were magic or not.  It was a nice touch.  He also delivered sn homage to Anna’s tenacity with, “Twu wuv comes in many forms, but the sisterly bond is worth its weight in magic.”

King Harald apparently passed his awkwardness on to his granddaughter, Anna.

However, it looks like she got some of her best qualities from her aunt Helga: the aforementioned sisterly love, determination, and sacrifice.  Unfortunately, she seems to have picked up her poor taste in suitors as well.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Duke of Weselton!


The moment we saw him, we begged him to dance for us.  He obliged.

He was true to scheming dissembling character and managed to accuse Ingrid of sorcery. He inverted the scene Frozen, saying, “Stay away from me,” a line Elsa will say to him years later.  Perhaps his best line echoed the movie directly.  “…Did I just say that out loud?”

Emma’s lack of control over her emotions and, consequently, her powers parallels Elsa’s both in the film and at the beginning of the season.  She even get’s a, “Stay back!” similar to Arendelle’s queen.


For all that, I missed the “Wait… What?” this week.

“The Snow Queen”

The folks in Storybrooke spent most of the episode trying to figure out what the big deal about the apparently fake mirror was, which was all according to plan.  But we learned that Pabbie and the rock trolls have the power to alter the memories of entire kingdoms and he even said, “All magic comes wit a price.”  Depending on the translation of “The Snow Queen” the original mirror was created by the devil, a sprite, goblins, or, yup, trolls.  If you were wondering why they kept coming back to him, I think we just got a hint.

Disney Princesses

this is almost too adorable.  Aurora, Cinderella, and Snow White are all together at mommy and me class.

Baby Class & Mickey

The Magic Kingdom

On top of that, the infant to Aurora’s right is dresses head to toe in Mickey Mouse pajamas.


Henry’s got the broom again and he’s itching for some magic from the master, but all Gold’s offering is an opportunity to polish wood.

Paradise Lost

See our posts on “White Out,” “Breaking Glass,” and “Family Business” for more on this.  These images of two of our queens are somewhat illustrative, though.  The villain’s in white and the striving hero’s in black.

Mirror Queens

Ingrid tells Rumple,”What you want, is what all villains want… Everything.”  Remember near the beginning where Mary Margaret says, “Well, I want him to have everything”?  The villain isn’t dressed in snow white for nothing.  And Snow’s been empathizing with evil Regina and being a terrible mom to Emma.  She was dressed in medium greys this week.

The Lord of the Rings

Elsa: “Can you read this?”

Emma: “Elvish?  No.  I didn’t even see Lord of the Rings.”


We caught another glimpse of Mjolnir.

Once Upon a Time

Gepetto's Parents

Gepetto’s parents, or what’s left of them at the end of “That Still Small Voice” are hanging behind Rumple as he greets and deals with the three sisters.

There are a couple of reasons for mentioning this one, since arguably every episode is referencing those that came before in multiple ways.

First, they tend to prop these unfortunates up when they want to remind sympathetic viewers that Rumplestiltskin is a monster.  That the Dark One isn’t a pet name.  They denote schemes within schemes and ultimately disastrous deals.  Demanding the symbolic sisterly bond in exchange for his magical assistance guaranteed its failure and we’ll eventually see how it furthered his agenda.

Second, Jiminy called on the blue fairy for help after assisting with this atrocity.  We haven’t seen her for while, but she features prominently in the other episode overtly referenced in “The Snow Queen.”

Regina’s looking at her near execution, stopped just in time by Reul Ghorm in “The Cricket Game.”  Oddly enough, Jiminy might have been the deciding voice in planning that execution.  Are we going to see more of both of them later?

Storybook 1

The Cricket Game

Saturday Night Live

I wish I had an embedded video, but I encourage you to check out “Sentimental Value Pawn Shop.”  It’s pretty self-explanatory.  The premise of the sketch is that the more emotional impact an object has, the more value it has in trade.  For example, a plastic ring used in a proposal is worth more than the 2 karat diamond bought later.  After the more subtle Hans and Franz reference in “Rocky Road,” this one jumped out before Rumple claimed the ribbons as his price.  And of course, there they were in the pawn shop at the end.

Bonus: questionable meta-references

The Walking Dead

Young Ingrid is the same actress who played Lizzie.  Lizzie’s relationship with her sister is complex, too.

Star Wars

The Duke of Weselton is on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan Arendelle.


“You’re the queen Arendelle deserves.”

Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments

Outlaw Queen

  1. This was the Outlaw Queen’s episode. In the first of the two tense, romantic scenes between Robin and Regina, we had him expressing his inability to forget her to save Marian. She again attempts to push him away, but it doesn’t work.
  2. Though Regina was absent from the scene, she’s, of course, in Robin’s mind as he has this exchange with old frenemy Will Scarlet. Sure, it starts as a reminiscence about Marian, but it clearly turns into a flashing red arrow pointing straight to Regina. And it leads to the wonderful scene embedded below.

Robin: Did I ever tell you about how I met Marian?…

Will: She said, “There’s good in him, Will. And when you see the good in someone, you don’t give up on them. Especially if they don’t see it themselves. And if you’re ever lucky enough to find true love, you fight for it. Every day…If you find someone you love enough to ruin your entire life for, it’s always worth it.”

Captain Swan

  1. When Emma is overwhelmed by her magic powers, Hook is the one who approaches her to comfort/help her. Unfortunately, his movement towards her sets off the electrical feedback that sends the light post toppling on David. But perhaps that is just an indication of the power of Emma’s feelings for Hook.

I imagine I’m alone in this, but I kinda miss the traditional Hook costume. Or perhaps his skinny jeans make him look like he has clown shoes.

Captain Charming

  1. When Hook and David (with Elsa and Belle) are checking out the mirror Ingrid has installed in the clock tower, Hook boasts: “It must be broken. I’ve been staring at it all day and I think I’m even more devilishly handsome and charming than usual.” He then shares a brief look with David.

Swan Queen

  1. Man, if there’s anyone that Emma needs during this episode, it is Regina.


  1. Well, there was that line where Gold condescendingly states that he’ll help since his beautiful wife is asking. No, I’m kidding. Ever since these two got married and had their ballroom dance, this relationship has been as flat as Australian crepes. (Get it? Cuz Disney’s Belle is French, but Once’s Belle is, like, Australian?)

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Once Upon a Time “The Snow Queen” Previews and Predictions

Coming Tonight: Once Upon a Time 4×07

CAUTION: peeks sneaked, pres viewed, and spoilers spec’d

“The Snow Queen”Emma captures the Snow Queen and interrogates her at the sheriff’s station. But the Snow Queen uses her prior knowledge of Emma to try to persuade her into thinking that they are more alike than she could possibly imagine. Regina and Robin Hood’s relationship grows increasingly complex as they struggle to find a way to save his dying wife, Emma begins to see what she missed out on by not growing up and being a family with Snow and Charming when she sees how involved Mary Margaret is in baby Neal’s life, and Henry begins his after school job in Gold’s shop while trying to help Regina find a clue to the identity of the author of the storybook. Meanwhile, in Arendelle of the past, we learn about the origin of the Snow Queen and her familial connection to Elsa and Anna as we see her discover her spectacular yet deadly ice powers, written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz and directed by Billy Gierhart.

Here’s the promo that aired after last week’s episode:

Two sneak peeks were released for “The Snow Queen.”.  In the first, Outlaw Queen shippers get their hearts ripped out and their breath stolen as Robin seeks out Regina in her vault.

In the second, Emma captures the eponymous Snow Queen as she installs her mirror in the clock.

I like how they’re using the mirrors now that they’re not a mystery anymore.  They seem to be running an interesting parallel between the Snow Queen and the Evil Queen.  The arc’s villain is white as snow and the evolving heroine is pitched black.  Each stands in front of her mirror facing what she truly wants: Robin for Regina and Emma and Elsa for Ingrid.

Mirror Queens

I’d been thinking about how Ingrid told Gold that Belle was “easy to turn,” and wondering what might make someone, say, difficult to turn.  What hit me was something from “The Apprentice.”  Of course it would be someone who had faced their darkness and turned away from it.  What can that mirror tell Regina that she doesn’t already know?  That she isn’t already struggling with?

She began the season furious at Marian’s return and determined to resolve that problem by any means necessary.  But the moment the newly imprisoned Sidney showed her her past, she began to back down.  I actually think this has greater implications.  Since only someone who had turned away, or their tears I guess, could overcome the enchantment on the bucket, perhaps that will be required to thwart the hat as well.

Given the synopsis, it’s difficult not to think the parallels there are intentional as well.  We revisit both the Author and the Apprentice plots.  I’m guessing Regina will be instrumental in stopping Ingrid and in resolving the broader arc of the season and 4b.

There’s also some strong family themes as we discover the history of Ingrid and Gerda; and Ingrid and Emma.  I suspect that Helga will fill something like the role of Kay in “The Snow Queen,” taken away by the Snow Queen.  They could even double down on it by having Ingrid accidentally harm her with ice magic, like Elsa with Anna.  Come to think of it, did that shard hit Emma on the way by?

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Early Observations about “Family Business”

“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.

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Early Observations about “Breaking Glass”

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.


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Early Observations about “The Apprentice”

Everyone knows everyone else better than everyone thinks.  Or knows everyone’s self.  Love isn’t just a battlefield anymore; it’s a weapon.  And the map of shipwrecks reveals its most precious treasure.

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


Part of the episode focused on Anna, so other than the princess of Arendelle being herself, there wasn’t a lot of clever referencing.  Or I missed it in the midst of convincing our toddler it wasn’t an appropriate time to paint our feet.

However, there was one somewhat obvious nod to “Love is an Open Door.”

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

It’s essentially the title of the episode, but this sequence from Disney’s Fantasia is referenced repeatedly.  The walking broom appeared on the title card.  The bucket featured in the flashback with Zoso and the Sorcerer’s apprentice.  And the hat on Gold’s counter capped the opening chapter.

Both the broom and the hat reappear more than once during the episode.  So does the Sorcerer’s apprentice, who gets turned into a mouse, which was pretty much the funniest thing that ever happened in the Enchanted Forest.

In Storybrooke, Rumplestiltskin takes Henry on as his own apprentice while the bucket sits in the most ominous shaft of light ever to enter a window.  The iconic music plays while Henry begins to sweep the shop.

And Hook learns or at least begins to learn a dire lesson about the careless use of magical shortcuts.  He’s not the only one looking for one in “The Apprentice,” though.  We’re bound to see a few other minorly catastrophic failures this season.

Finally, while it was the Snow Queen leaving puddles and slicks in Emma’s path, the extra water might also have been a nod to Mickey’s predicament.

Lady and the Tramp

As Killian and Emma enter the restaurant in Storybrooke that isn’t Granny’s, we see them framed by a couple sharing a spaghetti noodle, which is much less attractive in real life.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Will Scarlet breaks into the library in order to, um, pass out with a copy of the Charles Dodgson classic or steal a page featuring the Red Queen from it.  This will, of course, be more meaningful to folks who’ve seen the spin-off Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.  But it’s sufficiently intriguing for even the brand new viewer.

Fun Fact: Timothy Webber, who played the Sorcerer’s apprentice, also played the Carpenter on SyFy’s Alice.

“The Snow Queen”

Furthering the theme of distorted reflecting, we see both Rumple and Killian embrace their darker sides.  Snow seems to have gotten a break and rocks some pink an grey.  Regina, however, holed up in her vault, is back in the blues of her youth.  She’s trying to do good and they’ve marked it appropriately.  Henry, on the other hand, is apparently willing to manipulate his grandfather by invoking his dead father to further his formerly and not entirely reformed evil mom’s agenda.  This is exactly what you’d expect from a town under the influence of the mirror in “The Snow Queen.”

Erin’s Happy Shipper Moments

Captain Swan

A large section of the plot rotated around Hook and Emma’s first date, so this will just be the highlights.captain swan date

  1. Hook trades his continued silence for his lost hand so that he can hold Emma with both hands. And then he uses it to present a single rose to her. Awwwww…
  2. Emma wears a dress. Hook wears non-pirate clothes. Clearly both wanted to look their best for the date.
  3. Mary Margaret got to be the excited mom, snapping a Polaroid of the moment. David got to be all protective and then wanted none of the details later, as dads do.
  4. There were some sweet shots of hand holding and a pretty steamy end-of-date kiss. Sadly, we didn’t get enough of the date’s moments.


  1. They kiss! But more importantly they share a heartfelt emotional moment regarding the truth of why her parents traveled to the Enchanted Forest.

Pirate Gold

Here’s me attempting to stretch my shipper sight. Also, this ship has pretty much the best name ever.

  1. Rumple manipulates Hook into thinking that the hand he replaces could be cursed and bring out the pre-reformed pirate-iness. A normal viewer might see this as Rumple getting back at him for blackmailing his help over the truth of the fake dagger. But a Pirate Gold shipper would see the ulterior motive in this–break up Hook and Swan and return Hook to his sexy, swarthy self. When Rumple reveals the truth of the manipulation, he says, “I did you a favor!”
  2. Rumple further blackmails Hook into being his partner (in crime). As Wallace says in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

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Frozen Friday: The Snow Queen


Please pardon the tardy post today.  Sometimes life gets the better of all of us.  Even Dinglehoppers.  Check out this exciting bit of news today.  Tomorrow we’ll tell you how “A Tale of Two Sisters” relates to Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker.  And Sunday we’ll share our thoughts about what’s to come in season four of Once Upon a Time in preparation for “White Out.”

[Spoiler Warning: Once Upon a Time]

Several sites unleashed photos of new Once Upon a Time cast member Elizabeth Mitchell in costume.  Galleries can be found here, here, and here.

As we predicted earlier this summer, she’s the Hans Christian Anderson’s Snow Queen.  If you’re interested, you can familiarize yourself with that story here.  The producers confirmed that she’ll feature as the villain for the first arc of season four.  She apparently had something to do with Elsa ending up in an urn in Rumplestiltskin’s forbidden vault.  We should catch our first glimpse of her in episode three,  “Rocky Road”

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Frozen Friday: Winter is Coming

Season 4 of Once Upon a Time will premiere Sunday, September 28, at 7cst on ABC with the Frozen-themed episode “A Tale of Two Sisters.”

Master storytellers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (“Lost,” “Tron: Legacy”) invite everyone to join Emma Swan, Snow White, Prince Charming, The Evil Queen, Hook and all the other resident fairy tale characters as they prepare to defend themselves against a magical force from the past that’s too dark and unpredictable even for Rumplestiltskin – The Ice Queen. – abc medianet

I say this every time, but we love Frozen here.  It’s an indellible part of our family.  Long after we’re tired of watching it, when our toddler is grown and embarrassed, we’ll unpack the memories and handle them reverently.  So it was a relief when producers Kitsis and Horowitz recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly to explain that they love it, too.

Thematically we can say the first half of the season is about how you never give up on the people you love.

They confirmed that the Frozen arc would be discrete.  Season 4 will open with Elsa, but the story line will wrap up by midseason.  None of the characters will carry over into season 5.

Elizabeth Mitchell’s character is connected both to the world of Arendelle and the world of Storybrooke.  While Kitsis did not reveal exactly who she would portray, he did admit that the character was one of the two most popular speculations: Elsa’s mother or Andersen’s original Snow Queen.  My money’s still on the latter.

Fan favorite Olaf will not be a part of the show.  However, Horowitz did reveal that a fifth character from the movie had been cast.  Sven will be played by an actual reindeer.

They plan to show a realistic looking Arendelle.  There will be no musical episodes.  Like Olaf, they just wouldn’t fit.

While the first episode will be written by Horowitz and Kitsis, the second, titled “White Out,” will be written by veteran Jane Espenson.  And Sven isn’t the only surprise.  TVLine broke the news that a sixth Frozen character will be joining the cast.  Prince Hans will debut in episode 3!  Anna’s (Elizabeth Lail) one time love interest was one of the biggest surprises in any Disney movie and he practically belongs in this setting.

So far, only the casting call has gone out.  We don’t know who will play the thirteenth in line to the throne of the Southern Isles.  But we do know that he’ll have the same closely cropped hair as all of the other royals.

Set photos have begun circulating.  Georgina Haig as Elsa looks very good for someone without anime proportions.

elsa set

And we’re pretty sure Time released an unlabled image of Scott Michael Foster’s Kristoff opposite her.

Georgina Haig as Elsa