Welcome to Storybrooke Sound-Off. Discussion is heating up as Storybrooke is freezing over (PUNS HAHA), and we’d love to hear your thoughts on this season’s Frozen implementation.
- Fantasia takes the spotlight. The Dark One wants power… so what else is new? Turns out, though, the only limit to him being completely unstoppable (i.e. ridding him of that pesky dagger) is obtaining a familiar blue hat belonging to a sorcerer and guarded by that sorcerer’s apprentice. Naturally, Anna’s going to fetch it for him in an Ursula-style deal.
- Rumple gives Hook a hand. (That pun was almost as good as all the Frozen lines in the script, isn’t it?) Captain Hook gets his hand back as he strives to woo Emma, but it comes with a price: the return of his piratey tendencies to punch burglars in front of libraries.
- Other subplots casually tease their way in. More on those later.
This episode, I feel, will serve as a benchmark for episodes to come: It introduces a new story the series hasn’t yet delved into (with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) that gives the audience a shifted understanding of said story, which will likely have long-term repercussions on the series because of the integral role it fashioned into the infrastructure of this season’s grander story. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is not a tale that we expect to be covered in this show, but its inclusion feels fitting and appropriate. Its adaptation has just the right amount of Disney connection: the apprentice himself wears the signature red robe and is even turned into a mouse by Rumplestiltskin, but the show doesn’t jump as far as calling him Mickey. (Though his personality does have shades of Disney’s icon.)
Other Disney nods come quick frequent in this episode. Belle sports a, well, Belle-ish yellow dress (not a ball gown, though), and we’re meant to connect the dots with Emma and Hook’s date restaurant being reminiscent of Lady and the Tramp. In its establishing shot, a couple kisses through spaghetti, while a passing-by waiter clearly resembles Tony. The former I felt was too obvious, the latter clever.
While this episode presents a strong Enchanted Forest storyline, integrating The Sorcerer’s Apprentice while also infusing Anna into things in a non-overboard capacity, what’s sacrificed is something becoming a trend this season: a whole lot else of story waiting their turn to be told. Other subplots taking place concurrently in Storybrooke but that barely get any airtime this week are: Elizabeth Mitchell as the Snow Queen (I mean, come on! What’s going on with her?), Regina searching for the author of Henry’s book, Regina unfreezing Robin Hood’s wife Marian, and the mysterious Knave of Hearts somehow being in Storybrooke after his failed Thursday-night Wonderland spinoff stint last year (though at least we get a hint of that). There is truly a lot going on at once, and it’s difficult to keep track of it all.
The understandable, but possibly not justifiable, reasoning for this would be the need to split the season in half and tell two independent, huge stories in each segment. This half of the season will continue through December, and will (supposedly) self-contain Frozen‘s extent on Once Upon a Time, along with everything else mentioned above that’s currently happening. This split-season format began with season three. Prior to that, we might have seen each of these storylines happening one at a time across fewer episodes, with more full attention being given to them. We might see The Sorcerer’s Apprentice for three, Frozen for four, the Knave for two, and Marian for another two, with perhaps the book author intertwined. Instead all of those storylines are stretching themselves to reach an eleven-episode mark. It’s difficult to decide which method I prefer; on one hand (GUESS WHO HAS A HAND: HOOK. HAHA PUNS YES PUT THAT IN THE SCRIPT.) it’s less confusing to solely focus on one story, but on the other hand dividing up the season makes the series, overall, easier to remember in retrospect. I can tell you everything that happened in the split-in-half season three, but it would take a minute for me to recall the bundled nature of season two.
Other small quirks about this episode… finally some good, classic Mary Margaret personality! Her eagerness to hear about Emma’s date is just great. So her. Also, I totally expected Anna’s quest to last the entire season. She returns to Arendelle here, though Elsa doesn’t know it yet. It will be curious to see which direction is taken with the remaining flashback sequences. Will they stay Frozen-oriented?
- The What-The-Heck Moment: Rumple kept Hook’s hand as a “reminder”… um, ok. That’s not weird.
- The Magic Moment: It would have been a magic moment when Henry comes in to ask for a job at his good ‘ole Granddad’s store… unless he didn’t have a secret agenda. Using Neal as justification is a bit unsettling. I get that he’s wanting to help Regina, but… really? Are you really going to walk that path, Henry?
- The Woah Moment: The Knave of Hearts being found passed out with the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in his possession. Tell us more!!
What’s your HANDle on this episode? (HAHA GET IT I SAID HAND.) Let’s talk in the comments below!
- Which do you prefer: Splitting the season in half with self-contained stories, or just flowing along?
- Do you enjoy the more frequent Disney nods this year?
- Who do you think the sorcerer is? Is it someone we already know?
- Will your child be the next student enrolled in Regina’s School of Turn-an-Inspired-Young-Boy-Into-a-Minion-To-Seek-Revenge-on-a-Frozen-Ex-Lover-Now-Alive-Wife-of-Your-Boyfriend?
- Are you excited for Moana to be on the show in 2017?
- What’s your hunch about that mysterious Knave of Hearts?