Bull fighting and laser tag, what babies dream about: Goon reviews OUaT “White Out”

Once-Upon-A-Time-Recap-and-Review-Season-4-Episode-2-White-Out

Her mission is a enigma, wrapped up in mystery, smothered in secret sauce.

 

So Little Bo Peep is basically a mob boss?  Huh.

Picking up where we left off with Anna, she has safely arrived in the Enchanted Forest, and first stop on her tour is an old friend of Kritoff’s.  It’s David, no surprises there.  She goes to him looking for a place to crash for the night, which David is more than happy to provide for his old friend’s fiance.  We are treated to some amusing dialogue between the two, including Anna giving a fake name and constantly referring to her secret mission, which is a secret, that she has to keep secret.  Did I mention it was a secret mission?  We are then first introduced to Little Bo Beep, apparently the writers are now throwing nursery rhymes into the mix as well, yeah, definitely not running out of ideas there.  Turns out Bo Peep is a local warlord that David and his mom owe a debt to, and she has come to collect.  She gives them a day to gather the money and throws a magical brand on them, allowing  her to track them with her magic Shepard’s crook.  David is ready to roll over in defeat, but Anna won’t stand for that.  She teaches David to use a sword, but he is intent on giving up.  This all changes when he discovers that Peep has snatched Anna.  Big mistake on her part, as this what spurns David into action.  He takes out her guards with ease, and is even to best Peep.  He rescues Anna, and the two depart as friends, David and his mother even being invited to the wedding.  Before she leaves, David’s mother writes down the name of a powerful wizard who may be able to help Anna with her magic problem, none other than Rumpelstiltskin.

The flashbacks were short and sweet, and honestly a lot of fun.  It was nice to see this new side of David, see who he was before he became Prince Charming.  Plus, Anna being awesome is always nice to see.  Best of all, it helps to tie everything together.  Anna played a small, but pivotal role in David’s life.  Showing him the path that would eventually turn him into the hero he was always meant to be.  It was a nice play on the mysterious mentor trope.  The stranger that shows up just long enough to impart knowledge or skills before leaving again.  Basically she was the Obi Wan to his Luke, only with less laser swords and and limb chopping.

Back in modern age.  Elsa is still desperate to find Anna, and erects an ice wall around the town to keep everyone in until her sister is found. (this means she is at least an eight level sorcerer)  The wall of ice takes out a power line, plunging the town into darkness.  Emma and David spring into action to, Emma calling in Hook for help.  Which of course leads to some amusing flirting between the two.  Emma sees a break in the ice and goes to investigate, finding Elsa hiding out inside a cave in the wall.  Elsa admits to bringing up the wall, refusing to lower it until Anna is found.  A mishap occurs, causing the opening to the cave to be sealed up, trapping Emma and Elsa inside.  To save Emma, David and Hook and set off to find Anna while Emma and Elsa get to know one another.  The two form a connection over their mutual lack of control over their magic, and Emma is quick to realize that the villainous persona that Elsa first presented was just an act, and she is just a person desperate to find her family, something that Emma can relate to.  David and Hook pay a visit to Gold’s shop, hoping that the necklace Elsa took from there will help them find her sister, turn out it does.  David recognizes it from his first meeting with Anna, and the two pay a visit to Bo Peep, who is now a butcher.  They take her magic crook and return to the ice wall to free Emma, who is close to freezing to death.  David is able to talk Elsa down, and help her to control her magic enough to melt a whole in the ice.  They take Emma home and use the magic crook to try and find Anna, and while they aren’t able to find Anna, they do learn that she is still very much alive, filling Elsa with hope.  At the end Elsa tries to take down the ice wall, but finds she is unable to, someone else with cryomancy is keeping the wall up, surprise surprise, its the owner of the ice cream shop, who is the Ice Queen, the fairy tale character whose story Frozen is loosely based off.

Snow naps are best naps!

Snow naps are best naps!

While this it happening we have to two subplots running in the background.  Henry wants to help Regina through her heart break, but Regina cuts him off, not wanting to be around anyone.  Not much is done with this, but after an inspirational speech by David at the end about how their family never gives up, he goes to Regina and tells her that he won’t leave, he will return everyday until she lets him, because family and yada yada yada.  Regina opens the door and we close on the two of them hugging.

We also see Snow White in her own mini adventure.  With the black out, the town is slightly panicked, and they go to Snow to solve the problem, stating that since she enacted the new curse, Snow is now the mayor.  She is pressed gang into helping get the power back on in town, but an electrical engineer she is not.  When she is unable to figure out how to get the power back on, she blows up at Granny, Grumpy, and Happy, and chews them out for basically being annoying jackasses.  They leave, thoroughly shamed, and Snow stays behind, and through what I can only assume is shear dumb luck, is able to restore power to the town.  Way to go Snow!

While not as good as last weeks premier, this was still a good episode.  It was nice to see that they are not dragging out the whole Elsa being a villain thing, as I still don’t think that made much sense with where her character ended up at the end of Frozen.  Emma seeing through the act Elsa put on was a nice touch was well.  She quickly saw that Elsa wasn’t evil or bad in anyway, just desperate to find her sister.  The two bonding over similar back stories was excellently done, and I am sensing some future BFF moments between the two.  The one complaint I have with this is that by the end of Frozen Elsa was shown to have pretty good handle on her powers, so her whole claim that she couldn’t release her and Emma from the ice cave seemed a bit off, but her explanation that having Anna around helped her to control her powers was at least a solid attempt to explain things, and honestly isn’t to far outside the realms of believable, at least when it comes to Once Upon a Time.

I will give the writers props for the inclusion of the Snow Queen as well.  A lot of the promo  build up, and rumors and news over the summer implied that Elsa would be taking on the role of the villain for at least the first half of the season, and this was all basically a clever mislead.  We see Elsa welcomed into the family by Emma and Charming, no longer a threat, but a friend that needs help.  I am hoping that with the Snow Queen we will get another crafty/manipulative villain, on the same line as Pan was, using her similar powers to go about her evil and divert suspicion to Elsa to cover her tracks.  I am hoping for a big, ice magic throw down between the two.

The two subplots were nice, if unimpressive.  Henry’s really just helped to show just how important Regina is to him, and how hurt he was over her cutting him out, especially when she was hurting so much.  The resolution to it was short, but sweet, and does help to alleviate my fears of Regina going darkside again.

Snow’s on the other hand seemed to act more as seed for future plots.  The whole Snow being mayor now was a nice change up, and will hopefully allow us to see her in a more take charge role for the rest of the season.

Overall, the season continues to be strong, and is still a massive step from the back half of season three.  We have a new friends and a new, and hopefully, interesting villain.  But only time will tell whether she will be a great one or just another dud.

Until next time, Goon out.

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