Sunday, September 13, 2015

Once Upon a Time Episode Analysis (Fall)

In the Arendelle subplot, the kingdom, which had been completely frozen by Ingrid after the events of the ‘Smash the Mirror’ flashback, thaws out, freeing Anna and Kristoff, who quickly figure out that Dark One Rumpelstiltskin made off with the Urn carrying Elsa.  Before they could start off to find him, Hans, who also got unfrozen with the rest of Arendelle, and managed to unite with his brothers INCREDIBLY fast (dude was stuffed inside a wardrobe when he unfroze), barges in, announcing his plans to seize Arendelle’s throne, on account of Elsa being indisposed.  Of course, Anna and Kristoff outwit them rather effortlessly, leaving them free to begin their quest to locate Elsa.  On their way, Anna mentions that she came across something while reading her mother’s diary, which stated that they had been looking for a magic wishing star.  Anna surmises that if they can find the wishing star, they can use it to wish Elsa back.  Only one problem- upon inquires, the magical McGuffin was determined to be in the possession of Blackbeard (joy bunnies).  To make matters worse, Hans had already beaten them to Blackbeard and arranged for the pirate captain to do away with Anna and Kristoff, by forcing them into an empty trunk and throwing it overboard.  Before doing so, Blackbeard reveals that Elsa and Anna’s parents had already obtained the magic wishing star from him, but their wish that Elsa would lose her magic didn’t work because the wish wasn’t made with pure intentions.  It’s here we also learn that not only was the kingdom of Arendelle frozen for 30 years (which means the Enchanted Forest wasn’t the only kingdom to undergo a period of suspended animation), but also that Blackbeard was the person who Killian traded the Jolly Roger to in order to obtain the magic bean that brought him to Emma.  If you didn’t think Killian’s sacrifice wasn’t huge enough before, imagine how torturous that must have been for him, considering how much Blackbeard and Killian must loathe each other.  Not to mention it means Killian went through the trouble to get his ship back from Blackbeard only to give it back again.  Someone give that man a metal.

Now that Ingrid has cast the Curse of Shattered Sight over Storybrooke, the Nevengers know they only have until sundown to find a way to keep everyone from killing each other.  Because of the ice wall surrounding the town, which cannot be brought down due to Ingrid’s magic, the only possible option is to have everyone make sure they won’t be able to get near to anyone else.  Meaning they have to lock themselves up, shackle themselves to lamp posts, etc.  Until Belle comes across something in one of her books that explains that someone who has already been under the curse would be immune to it.  (So, curses work the same way most illnesses do?  That's good to know.)  They determine that if such a person gave up a strand of their hair or something along those lines, an antidote could be concocted that would allow the drinker to be unaffected by Ingrid’s curse.  Elsa surmises that Anna could fit the bill, since Ingrid had previously told her that Anna had been the one who’d placed Elsa inside the Urn.   Elsa now knows that that could only be true is if Anna herself had been cursed.  This suspicion is confirmed when Belle examines Anna’s old snowflake necklace and sees that there is mirror dust embedded within the necklace.  Since Anna is still MIA and there isn't a lot of time to locate her, the fairies decide they can generate the needed antidote for Ingrid’s curse by using the mirror dust in Anna's necklase.  The catch is it would mean destroying the necklace, which Elsa needs in order to finally locate Anna with a tracking spell.  After a brief moral debate, they decide that they have to put the town first and convince Elsa to surrender the necklace.  But upon bringing it to the fairies, they realize that Elsa had actually given them a bag full of pebbles and made off with the necklace to find Anna on her own.  Now, you’d think that Emma would have had the foresight to check the bag right after Elsa had given it to her.  You know, considering that this isn’t the first time someone pretended to give her the item they needed to save Storybrooke when that someone really kept the item in question.  (‘And Straight on Till Morning’ parallel for the win.)  Not willing to just give up, Emma heads off to the mine tunnels beneath Storybrooke, catching up to Elsa just as she blasts a hole into the mine wall with her powers (which was strange, because I thought the yellow ribbons Ingrid forced on their wrists were sapping Emma and Elsa of their magic.  Maybe they just work when the plot demands it,)  The search for Anna ends on a beach, but there is still no sign of Anna, and Elsa’s despair grows when the tracking spell placed on the necklace fades.   Heartbroken, Elsa wishes that Anna was there with her.  The moment she says this, BAM, the trunk Anna and Kristoff were forced in when they were thrown of the Jolly Roger manifests itself on the beach, resulting in Elsa and Anna’s reunion.  Turns out this whole time, Anna’s snowflake necklace was the wishing star.  Now that’s a twist that would put Shyamalan to shame.

While all this is going on, Gold is at his most despicable point.  His plan is to slip out of Storybrooke amidst the chaos the curse will bring about (Ingrid apparently gave him a free pass out of town or something), and only take Belle and Henry with him.  (Yeah, because Henry would TOTALLY be cool with losing both his moms and maternal grandparents.  Gold, have you been sniffing something?)  However, his plan to use the Sorcerers Hat to free himself from the dagger still stands.  But he’s no longer planning to use the hat on Emma, which is good.  (Imagine how angst-ridden that would be.  To have Gold force Killian through the heart-control thing to use the hat on Emma, his True Love.  Gotta admit, I’m surprised Gold didn’t go there.  It would have been the ultimate way for him to torture Killian, who Gold clearly still carries a vendetta towards.)   Although, Gold does intend to trap the fairies within it, even though the fairies are currently trying to create the antidote for Ingrid’s curse.  Guy really knows how to honor the memory of the son who FREAKING DIED to bring him back to life, doesn’t he?  Plus, he's clearly forgotten that this obsession with gaining more power is exactly what drove the son in question away,  Someone please put this person into a good 12-step program to help him overcome his magic addition.  Because Gold still is leading Belle down the primrose path and is making sure she is oblivious to what he’s up to, he forces Killian to be the one to trap the fairies.  Because Killian’s heart in still in Gold's possession, he literally has no choice, and he manages to capture all of the fairies that were working of concocting the cure, including Blue, completing the task just in time for him to hide behind the counter before Emma returned with the Arendelle group, unwilling to let her see his unwilling role in all of this

  I do wonder, however.  Was Tink there, too?  I don't remember seeing her among the faireis who were working away at Granny's, but if she was, I can see that making things so much harder for Killian to go through, since they were old friends.

Now that the fairies are trapped inside the hat, there is no other option left other than for everyone to simply isolate themselves from everyone else.  And in a rather gut wrenching moment, Snow and Charming decide to lock themselves up at the Sheriff Station, entrusting Baby Neal to Emma and voicing their confidence that Emma will find a way to break the Curse of Shattered Sight.  All I can say is that it’s great that they’re finally making up for all the times they dropped the ball in regards to Emma.  Like with how they neglected to have faith in Emma whenever she had a gut feeling something was wrong (i.e. Tamara and when Pan had taken over Henry’s body).  In this scene, they really made up for all of that, especially when Snow willingly places Baby Neal into Emma’s arms.  (A satisfying contrast to her actions in ‘The Snow Queen.’

If that wasn’t crushing enough, Killian chooses that moment to make an appearance.  He’s just passed off the fairy-filled hat to Gold, who announced his intention to end Killian’s life before the day is done.  So his first thought is of course going to be Emma.  Upon arriving at the Sheriff Station, he tells Emma ‘I just needed to see you.  Before I chained myself to the dock for the protection of all, I... needed to see you one more time.’  Of course, while Emma has no idea, we know that what he really meant was that he needed to see her one LAST time.  He needed to be able to have one last moment with his Swan before his imminent death at Gold's hands.  One last glance, one last embrace, one last kiss.  It’s even possible he needed that moment to summon up the courage he needed to face his fate.  How anyone could not be crushed by this moment is beyond me.  As far as Emma’s concerned, Killian is simply making sure that they have this final moment in case something happens before Ingrid’s curse could be broken.  But for Killian, he believes this is REALLY goodbye.  And he can’t even let her know because Gold isn’t letting him warn anyone.

Something that I think really earns Killian some major brownie points this episode is the fact that, even though Gold is forcing him to do terrible things, may very well kill him at any second, and even threatened his girlfriend and soulmate last episode, Killian still is showing what seems to be a certain level of concern for his archenemy.  In the scene when he passes the fairy-filled hat back to Gold, Killian more-or-less tries to get Gold to understand how his actions could endanger what he has with Belle.  It completely boggles Killian's mind that someone could actually choose power over True Love, since Killian himself would give up everything for the woman he loves.  In fact, he's already done so.  And here's Gold, purposely putting a future with Belle, his own True Love, at risk, and all for the sake of getting more power.  He even isists that he can have both love and power.  (Yeah, so much for what you said yourself, back in 'Welcome to Storybrooke.'  'You can't have everything.')

In the final moments, the curse falls over the whole town, and everyone in it.  Snow and Charming in their cells, Regina in her vault (although, since she magically sealed herself in, couldn’t she just release herself once the curse took over her mind?), and Henry sealed up at the Mayor’s office.  The episode ends before we can see what it will do to anyone, but if the looks Snow and Charming are giving each other, it can’t be good.

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