Hey everyone, how you been doing? I know I haven’t been around for awhile (not counting my weekly reviews with Snooty) but there is a reason for that. I ended up watching pretty much no new shows over the summer, so didn’t have much to write on. But all that changes now! My shows are back, and so are my reviews!
So with no more dilly dallying lets return to Storybrooke!
As always, lets start in the past and work our way forward.
We open several years in the past, with Anna and Elsa’s parents on the boat ride that killed them. The ship is going down and the Queen is desperately scribbling down a note, with the explanation that their daughters’ must know the truth. She seals the note up in a bottle and tosses it overboard before the boat sinks. Yeah, I’m sure that won’t be important at all.
We then cut to the Kingdom of Arendale five years later, after the events of Frozen, Anna is planning her wedding to Kristoff and Elsa surprises her with their mother’s wedding dress and a fancy snowflake necklace. While Anna tries on the dress, Elsa pokes around the attic and finds a diary, written by their mother, that states the reason for their parents trip was related to Elsa and her powers. Naturally Elsa does not take this well, and runs off. Anna tracks her down and says they need to find out the truth behind the words. They pay a visit to Grandpa troll, but he is unable to give them more information. Anna has the idea that they need to go to Misthaven to find the truth of their parents trip. Elsa refuses, saying it is too dangerous and that because she is the Queen she can’t just up and leave. So Anna does. We are then introduced to Kristoff, who distracts Elsa so that she can’t stop Anna from leaving. He succeeds. Yay! Elsa is of course worried, not knowing anything about this land that her little sister is sailing off to. Kristoff reassures her, telling Elsa that she is probably more familiar with the name the inhabitants of Misthaven use, The Enchanted Forsest (dun dun duunnnnn)
Back in Storybrooke, we pick up right where we left off last season. Regina leaving the party after Marian’s appearance. Emma chases after her, trying to make things right, naturally this does not go well, Robin and Marian follow them out, an argument happens, hurtful words are said, and Regina storms off to be alone. Emma and family are naturally worried that this newest upset will turn Regina back to the darkside, and their not wrong. We see Regina go to the hospital where she goes to the psych ward and we see Sydney, aka the Magic Mirror, who we have not seen since way back in season one. She puts him back in the mirror and plans to use him to discover where from time Emma pulled Marian out of so she can go back and kill her before Emma saves her, assuring her happy ending with Robin. While this goes on, we see Elsa wander towards town. After an incident on the road where she freezes Grumpy’s van just before it runs her over, she makes her way into town while the Grumpy runs around screaming about an ice monster in town. Emma and Hook spring into action and follow an ice trail to an empty building, where they encounter everyone’s favorite snow golem, Marshmellow! Using the distraction of her fine and frosty friend, Elsa slips away and finds a newspaper with a picture of Gold in his shop, a familiar necklace on his counter.
Hook and Emma quickly realize that the snow monster will only attack if it is threatened and follow it as it stomps off to the forest, where it encounters Robin Hood and co. Ignoring Emma’s warning about not attacking the snow creature, Little John shoots it and the creature goes on the offence. Emma tries to muster up the magic mojo to meltdown the massive monster (is that some nice alliteration or what?) but fails and the group is knocked back. Just as the creature is about to kill Marian, Regina shows up and saves her, throwing a fireball that causes the monster to go boom. We get a brief relationship moment between Emma and Hook, before she goes off to find the cause of the snow goon, while Regina hatches a plan. She decides that everything wrong in her life is the story books fault. The book describes her as evil, ensuring that she will never get her happy ending. So she decides to change that. She is going to find the author of the book and have him rewrite her story so she gets happy ending.
We close out with Elsa breaking into Gold’s shop and taking the necklace she gave to Anna, vowing to find her sister.
This was a great open to the season, and was massive step up from the relatively crappy second half of season 3. We have Elsa setting up to be the villain, but unlike the previous baddies on the show, she isn’t evil. What little we know so far is that her sister, her only living family, is missing. Given everything in her past, and her relationship with Anna, its no surprise that Elsa would go to any lengths to save her sister. While I am upset that we didn’t get any interactions between Elsa and the Storybrooke inhabitants, and no explanation as of yet for why she was held prisoner in Gold’s vault, this wasn’t bad. Buildup, it’s a good thing, and from the looks of the preview, we will be getting her confrontation with the others characters next week. What we got here was great, an introduction to the new baddie, the basic plot, and an interesting subplot.
Also, shockingly enough, I actually really enjoyed the flashbacks this time. It may have been because of Anna. Elizabeth Lail did a great job with the character, and it honestly felt like I was watching the animated character from the movie come to life. Equally so with Georgina Haig as Elsa. The two played off each other well and it actually felt like I was watching two sisters. Kristoff was solid was well, wasn’t great, up definitely good. We saw that he legitimately cared about Elsa, and was starting to consider her to be his sister. Elsa didn’t seem as open with him, which I admit I didn’t like. From what we saw in Frozen I don’t think Elsa would have any reason to be cold (no pun intended) to Kristoff, but this wasn’t a major thing and was more played off for laughs than anything else. If it continues I will be upset, as I would love to see a true friendship and sibling love grow between them, but at this point all we can do is wait and see.
Emma, as per usual, was an important part of the episode, trying to get through to Regina to patch things up between them, but at the same not showing any regert over saving Marian’s life, just sadness that it hurt Regina. I am very nervous about what is happening to Regina. They have spent so much time having her try to redeem herself, fail, and try again, that if she goes evil again I am going to be pissed, and convinced once and for all that the writers for this show have no new idea’s left. That being said, the search for the author does have me interested, as I have been curios as to who wrote that book from the get go. Emma’s closing line to Regina, that Henry brought her to Storybrooke to bring back the happy endings, including Regina’s, so she that is what she was going to do, was fantastic. It shows just how far Emma has gone, and just how much Regina means to her now. It honestly appears that at this point Emma honestly considers Regina and friend, and wants to make amends for what she did, to fix their friendship. I can’t wait to see how this plays out.
We did see some brief moments with Rumpy and Belle. They paid a visit to Neal’s grave, where he apologized about everything he did and what he became, realizing now that he didn’t need power, all he needed was his son. This wasn’t a bad scene, but far from great. We are all well aware that Rumpel loves his son more than anything, maybe save Belle, but it was still a good scene and Robert Carlyle showed some great emotions here. The rest of them was pretty blah, save for one small moment. Belle takes them to a fancy and empty house for their honeymoon, where they dance in the trademark outfits from the animated Beauty and the Beast film, with the song of the same title playing in the background. Apart from that, all we got from them was that Rumpel is up to something and is keeping Belle in the dark, pretty par for the course. There was one other twist, and that being Rumpel summoning the hat from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I’m sure that won’t be important at all.
My one other criticism for this episode was the lack of Snow and Charming. They were around sure, but both were pushed back to secondary character status, only having a few minutes of screen time. Same with Henry, around, but didn’t do anything. There was some comments made that he may be uncomfortable with both his mother’s having new men in their lives, but its an offhand comment from Hook with nothing to really back it up.
Overall, this was a great premier. The story flowed smoothly, the new characters are interesting with actors who are clearly comfortable in the rolls, and we have some great subplots that will be a lot of fun to watch play out, and hopefully answer some the mysteries that still linger in this show. I eagerly await next week’s episode.