Welcome to week three of Storybrooke Sound-Off. Each Monday we’re discussing, speculating, and fanboying/fangirling over ABC’s Once Upon a Time right in a community of cross-pollination of animation enthusiasts and OUAT fans. Here’s what’s up with the fourth season’s third episode, Rocky Road.
- The Snow Queen is here. She’s bad to the bone, and her appearance brings more questions than answers. Played by Elizabeth Mitchell, this is the villain version of Elsa animators originally intended for Frozen. She freezes Maid Marian to frame Elsa to prove to Elsa that the town will turn against her. Well, duh. Of course they will. You froze a person.
- Hans plots revenge. Yes, that Hans. He has an urn that he threatens to trap Elsa inside, but when it’s opened, out pops Elizabeth Mitchell. What’d she miss?
- Snow White is still chillin’ as a new mama. Hey girl, how you doin’?
All right, Snow Queen lady. A whole lotta confusion, and honestly quite a bit to keep track of. She’s Anna and Elsa’ aunt? (Not sure if I buy that one.) She’s nice in Arendelle but evil in Storybrooke? She knows Emma? She says Anna put Elsa in that urn that was kept in Rumplestiltskin’s vault? What on earth is the connection between the Snow Queen and Rumple as revealed in the final scene? There are a ton of bread crumbs here and much to take in at one time, with this being the first episode with this new character.
Elizabeth Mitchell portrays the Snow Queen (real name not yet stated) with a sense of coy villainy; definitely evil but not in the grand, dramatic way most bad guys’ personas take on. Her purpose is what confuses me most. She claims she wants to teach Elsa a lesson in that “ordinary” people will attack those with magic abilities and dub them monsters. But then what does that accomplish? Does she want Elsa on her side, or is she trying to fully assume an overthrow against everyone?
And when Elsa asks her if she’s brought snowmen to life before and says how it’s delightful… WHERE IS HE.
With Anna absent the entire episode, the Arendelle flashbacks explore a relationship we didn’t see much of at all in Frozen: Elsa and Kristoff. The two play off one another in a fun way, with the firmness of Elsa’s personality contrasting Kristoff’s eager sense of adventure. “You’re a softie under the obey-me-I’m-the-queen surface.” “Why are your compliments always so aggravating?”
Somewhat incredulous is to how Elsa and Kristoff have given up on Anna so easily. Her voyage has barely begun! Instead of trying to reach her to check in, they jump to the conclusion of Elsa sacrificing herself so Kristoff can go find Anna and save Arendelle. Alrighty then.
Hans is a curve ball that is unexpectedly brief. His revenge is the perfect makings of a ’90s direct-to-video sequel that would probably never happen if Disney ever does now make an animated Frozen follow-up. I was surprised but glad when the Snow Queen froze Hans; him showing up is fun for one episode but for an entire season it would have seemed like an easy cop-out. Turns out his twelve older brothers could care less about him, and sending him back to the Southern Isles wasn’t so much punishment as it was motivation to strike with even more vengeance.
In the cave sequence, we discover something: Hans and Kristoff have never met before. Sure, there’s that two seconds when Kristoff almost punches him following Arendelle’s thawing, but they never formally meet until now. It’s a revelation I never really thought of before.
- The What-The-Heck Moment: The Knave of Hearts from the short-lived spinoff Once Upon a Time in Wonerland makes an appearance to help Emma and David track down the icy culprit. Ok, let’s go with it!
- The Magic Moment: “This is Kristoff. He’s my friend.” [Tear.]
- The Woah Moment: Hans gets frozen! Whaaaaaaat. I fully expected him to be a recurring character. Guess not!
Check out this deleted scene from this week’s episode via Good Morning America:
As you consider whether Elizabeth Mitchell will surprise us all and offer Elsa some Turkish delight before revealing herself as the White Witch, sound off with these questions in the comments!
- Does Robin Hood have his head on straight? What’s the best decision for him here?
- What connection does the Snow Queen have to… basically everyone?
- Which comic book should little young Henry read first, Thor or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? How fast will you drive to the Disney Product Placement Store to pick up a copy after you saw it in this episode?
- How do you think Elsa’s memories were erased? How did she get in Rumplestiltskin’s vault?
- Whatchya think of Hans?
- Which character do you want to see more of this season?