Saturday, September 5, 2015

Once Upon a Time- Episode Analysis (A Tale of Two Sisters)

So, Once Upon a Time has officially jumped on the Frozen bandwagon.  During the Arandelle Flashback, (wow, a flashback that doesn’t take place in the Enchanted Forest or Neverland.  One of these days, I would really like them to release a map of the Fairy Tale world that shows the layout of all the different kingdoms.) Elsa and Anna are preparing for Anna’s upcoming wedding to 
Kristoff when Elsa comes across their mother’s old diary and finds a bit of information that greatly upsets her.  It turns out that the reason Elsa and Anna’s parents had left home on their ill-fated voyage had something to do with Elsa’s powers.  Anna, keeping in character, refuses to accept the idea that their parents feared Elsa and decides to visit the Rock Trolls, hoping they would be able to shed some light on things.  On a personal note, I am impressed with how the Rock Trolls appear in OUAT.  It could have been so easy to make them look awful, as CGI can often be hit or miss.  But here, they did a good job making them look as close to how they appeared in the movie as possible.  Grand Pabie explains that while he does not know what Elsa and Anna’s parents were up to, he did know where they were going- Misthaven, which was what people in Arandelle call the Enchanted Forest.  Anna, despite Elsa’s wishes, decides to venture out to Misthaven/Enchanted Forest to find out what their parents were looking for.

Flash forward to the present day.  After escaping from the urn, Elsa makes her way to Storybrooke, where she has a close encounter with Grumpy/Leroy and Sleepy/Walter as they are driving back home, with Sleepy falling asleep at the wheel.  (Why you would even think about letting the narcoleptic drive is beyond me.)  Elsa avoids getting hit with the out-of-control truck by blasting it with her ice powers, and then continues into town, where the obvious culture shock makes it difficult for her to keep her control over her ice powers.  At one point, Emma and Killian come very close to discovering Elsa’s hiding place when they try and follow the trail of ice Elsa had accidentally made.  This prompts the emotionally unstable Elsa to conjure up her snow monster (Hi, Marshmallow!) which effectively keeps everyone distracted so she could slip away unnoticed.  However, as she tries to sneak away, she comes across a newspaper article that shows the snowflake necklace Elsa had given to Anna during the flashback is currently residing in Mr. Gold’s shop.  This kickstarts the subplot of Elsa trying to figure out what happened to her sister.

Meanwhile, Maid Marian’s appearance in Storybrooke isn’t going over too well, especially after she finds out that Robin had been dating Regina.  After all, Marian hasn’t had the chance to see Regina as someone other than the Evil Queen.  Gotta say, Robin, while I know you were just trying to alleviate an awkward situation, it really wasn’t a good idea to try and introduce your not-dead wife to your current girlfriend.  At least, not that night.  It might have been a better idea to try and explain how much Regina had changed for the better first.  That said, I do give Regina a lot of credit for just walking away like that.  You could see she was strongly tempted to resort to launching a fireball or something when Marian called her a monster, but she held back.  Sadly, her strength doesn’t seem to pay off, as Robin decides he has to honor the vows he made to Marian when they married and remain with her.  This results in Regina heading off to the psychiatric ward beneath the Storybrooke Hospital and letting Sidney Glass out.  (Whoa!  Has Sidney really been down there since the end of season 1?  Wow, that poor guy!)  At first, Regina intends to use Sidney, who she forces back into the mirror, to find a way to eliminate Marian.  She changes her mind about having Marian killed when Sidney shows her the moment when Evil Queen Regina captured Marian, which obviously strikes a cord with Regina.  Her changed motive is proven when she chooses to save Marian’s life from Marshmallow.  But even though we do see that Regina has been able to overcome that hurtle, she still ends up showing she’s completely missing the point, as she now plans to find out who originally wrote Henry’s storybook and force the writer to rewrite the book so she can get her happy ending.  Gina, while I do sympathize with you, you really are going about this the wrong way.  Yes, you can no longer be classified as a villain, since you’ve been working hard at redeeming yourself.  But happy endings aren’t something that are necessarily owed to people.  They’re earned.  Just look at how long and hard the other heroes had to work before they finally reached their goal, and some aren’t even quite there yet.  And you’ve only recently earned the hero status, so you’ve got a ways to go before you can reach equal footing with everyone else.  If you go back to this whole ‘I deserve this’ mindset, you’re just proving you don’t deserve it.  Don’t forget that your Evil Queen persona was born out of this ‘I deserve it’ mindset.

In Gold/Rumpelstiltskin’s storyline, he visits his son’s grave to discuss how his marriage to Belle began with a lie, but he plans to turn his life around and honor Neal/Baelfire’s memory by proving he’s a changed man.  If he could keep that promise, I’d be cool with it.  However, this is put to the test when Belle finds a seemingly abandoned mansion and the two decide to spend their honeymoon there (because breaking into a stranger’s home is a really cool move).  While we do get a glaringly obvious Beauty and the Beast reference in this scene (which I admit was really sweet), Gold spots a certain artifact in the mansion that clearly catches his eye.  His discovery of this artifact leads him to take back his promise, as he ends up keeping the real dagger.  (Nice, guy.  Real nice.)

While all of this is going on, Emma and her family are worrying about Regina and how she’s fairing with the whole Marian-back-from-the-dead situation.  (And yes, Charming.  You should have named the new prince Baelfire instead of Neal.  I’d have been cool with that.  Like I said before, Boy Baelfire was a good character who was worthy of recognition.  Neal was, to put it bluntly, a bumbling moron.)  Even Killian is doing his part to help them out, by checking Regina’s vault beneath the Mills Mausoleum.  However, upon reporting his findings, he notices that Emma once again seems to be keeping him at arm’s length.  Needless to say, he’s not too keen on this and spends the rest of the episode trying to remind her that she needs to remember to live her life once in a while, and can’t simply put all her focus on the problems that go down in Storybrooke.  This is very similar to the advice Charming tried to give her in ‘The New Neverland,’ but this time, it makes sense.  When Charming was giving Emma his whole ‘focus on the good moments’ speech, he was pretty much trying to push Emma into something she didn’t really want to do.  (Not to mention her uneasiness at the time was well-founded because of the whole Pan-in-Henry’s-body thing.)  With Killian, he has a legitimate reason for his ‘enjoy the quiet moments’ speech.  Just last night, Emma had completely lowered her walls and fully let him in.  They even shared a prolonged kiss on the patio outside Granny’s.  After a long struggle, there had finally been a progression in Emma and Killian’s relationship, and Killian was most likely feeling that they could move forward into the official dating stage, especially since Emma was quite responsive to the kiss and welcomed it.  But now, Emma’s back to acting like their latest kiss never happened.  While Killian is a patient man, which he has to be considering how long he’s been alive, he’s gotta be feeling ‘what’s the problem now?!’ especially after Emma invited him over to watch some Netflix with her, but then seemed to retract the invite seconds later.  (And how cute was Killian eagerly agreeing to Emma’s offer despite not understanding what Netflix was.  That guy would probably agree to dye his hair bubble gum pink if it meant spending time with Emma, so of course he wouldn’t hesitate to agree to whatever Emma was asking.)  At the same time, we see more of Killian’s ability to read Emma without even trying, as he can tell almost instantly that there’s more to Emma’s hesitations than her guilt over the whole Regina-Robin-Marian thing.  But Emma doesn’t explain what’s holding her back and simply urges Killian to be patient a bit longer.  To which I say, well, at least that's not a 'never.'

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