Episode 1: The Dark Swan

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 1 Dark Swan review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

So I have elected to finish the Once Upon a Time reviews. Not sure how in-depth the reviews will be but here we go with season 5.

Ok, Hold up, only 30 seconds in and I have an issue. I thought Emma was in Boston till she ran away to Minnesota when she was 13 or 14. She is clearly a kid in 1989. Was she moved to   Minnesota and then moved back to Boston and then ran back to Minnesota? I know it’s part of the show to change everyone’s past when ever but this is a  headache to people who are paying attention.    

Confession time, I don’t like Brave so seeing Merida doesn’t bode well. This episode has Emma re-solidifying as the Dark One at vault of the Dark One. Emma sees a vision of Rumple who is the embodiment of all the Dark Ones to train her in the ways of the Dark Side. Emma however is trying to resist. Rumple-vision tells her the way to find Merlin, who can help her, is through the will-o-wisp which is how she meets Merida.

While that is going on the Storybrooke crew is trying to get to Emma. The apprentice gives them a wand but only Zelena can wield it. After some tricky they get her to open a portal and the crew goes to the Enchanted Forest via Grannies along with the Dwarves in a cyclone.

The crew gets to Emma and convinces her not to kill Merida. Then go to Camelot BUT then there a flashforward back to Storybrooke where 6 weeks have passed but everyone has forgotten what happened after they entered Camelot. Emma is also a fully-relieved Dark One. So we have another memory loss plot. They did it  again. Third Time in 5 seasons?

Nitpick time, someone who recalls season one, when Rumple became the Dark One, did he go to the vault? Because I think he remained where he was and just transformed. Unless Emma had to because she in the Land without Magic  And someone who recalls season 2, didn’t Hook use that heart taking potion to take Aurora’s heart in season 2? He mention how he got it but did the writer forgot him taking Aurora’s heart?

I did like this episode, even with a Disney character I don’t particular care for. It does seem like Merida was very on the nose, making it seems like she will be recurring. It’s weird how sometimes the Disney characters are straight out their movies and other are different.

I also like how the Dark One’s dagger is the tip of excalibur, that is  neat plot development.  The design on both is a given away.

While I don’t like how liberally this show used the memory loss trope for drama we’ll have to see how this Camelot/Dark Swan plot goes but  the whole Light and Dark side of magic is Star Wars……. #Reginaisvader   

 

Episode 2: The Price

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Jared S. Gilmore as Henry Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 2 The Price review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Jared S. Gilmore as Henry

So we’re back to magic having prices. This concept of the show never really went away but it hasn’t been mentioned in a while. What price does Regina pay for silencing Zelena or fixing sneezy or transporting everywhere?

This episode has  Robin’s life being threatened by a fury who wants to drag him to hell because Regina had Emma saved him Camelot. The power of friendship saves the day in the end. That is actually what happens.

I do like Emma’s new attitude especially considering how whiny she was in season 3 and 4. Can’t really tell how much she committed to being the Dark One or if it’s part of some larger plan. Emma does have a nice house though.  Speaking of being whiney, Hook is the whiney one now trying to figure a way to save her.

This episode did introduce my new favorite character The Nonchalant Duck on the pond as the hellish ferriman comes. The duck is like “hell is opening? Whatever.” Seriously my eyes go right to the duck just swimming by.  

I also liked Emma’s flower child ball gown. It’s like they’re trying really hard to make the juxtaposition of her as Dark One before she “embraces” the darkness and after so they dress her as innocent as possible. Her outfit in the season opener looked like moss. She seemed more like a forest hermit than a creature of pure darkness.

And they mentioned a pull to the light, #EmmaisKyloRen so is Rumple either Snoke or Palpatine? Guinevere is quite pretty. She is played by Joana Metrass. Do you think she would make a good Esmeralda?  

 This episode seemed average. Seems like most of this arc will deal with the 6 missing weeks and Emma’s dark plans. I’m sure there will be other flashbacks.

The Ferryman and the Duck Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode  2 The Price review picture image

The Ferryman and the Duck

 

Episode  21: Mother

Lana Parrilla as Regina Once Upon a Time Season 04 Episode 21 Mother review picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina

So Rumple needed Emma to go all dark side to charge the author’s ink but turns out Lily could do that because she had Emma’s potential for darkness. And instead of writing  a fix to Rumple’s heart problems, Isaac is going to rewrite the rules so that villains win. But since the author can literally write whatever he could just literally fix Rumple’s problem without this fate changing thing they are doing.  Also if Rumple issue’s was his heart going black from bad deeds why can’t he do good deeds? Also Rumple was FINE prior to the flashback. Sure there was time gap and he took some medicine but there was no indication of his heart dying.  This plot has too many outs and variables to be compelling.

The real theme of the episode is mothers, as you can tell by the title. Emma FINALLY forgives her mother and stops acting like a pouty child. Lily meets Maleficent. At first it didn’t go great as Lily expected a “Dragon Bitch”  and not a normal snappy dresser who can turn into a dragon, but they reach an accord.  

The past section was about Cora trying to get Regina some love in her life along with a baby. Regina thinks this a power grab on Cora’s part and takes the infertility potion to thwart her mother. This backstory also leads Regina to not erase Zelena from the book because of the pain Cora inflicted on both of them.

I dunno why but I love Zelena, I think it might be  the actress more than anything. She was also an episode of 30 rock, in Season 7 Episode 8 My Whole Life is Thunder, where she was virgin widow nymphomaniac. Kermit the Frog was also in that episode but in a different scene.  

You know what else is stupid about the author and Rumple’s plan? Aside from Cruella, who was a bad egg from the start, all the villains got their happy endings. So this changing fate is EVEN MORE DUMB. Just going to say it again, the author can write a cure for Rumple on a slip of paper even. Like Rumple can have his Dark one powers without the limits of being the dark one if Isaac wrote it down.

This show depiction of Maid Marian pisses me off. I have seen MANY versions of Marian even that BBC version that was weird but this Marian’s only value to the plot has been sick/dying and a manic pixie dream girl to Robin (sort of). She didn’t have much personality and even Disney Marian did and she barely in the movie.

This episode was mostly fine. It worked mostly but the plot of this arc has been too all over the place and seems to be leading to a dumb conclusion.

Episode  22: Operation Mongoose Part 1

Lana Parrilla as Regina Once Upon Time Season 04 Episode 22 Operation Mongoose Part 1 review picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina

Isaac has vanity issue which makes him the worse of the “villains.” We also get a bit of a backstory on Isaac, it’s nothing super amazing or interesting. Just a writer wannabe who can’t sell TVs in the 60s.

This episode bring us to an alternative reality where the former villains are heroes and the heroes are villains. So Rumple is a kindly knight who saves people and Snow and Regina are literally swapped. Henry enters the book with Isaac to try and save the day    

Henry however enters at the final chapter which means there is a ticking clock. He has to change the ending so the book loses its power, I guess. I don’t know literally theory or principles, but why would there be an inciting incident in the final chapter?  The  inciting incident  is the event or decision that begins a story’s problem. So no. Wrong term writer with a job.  

The trouble is Villains can have happy ending UNLESS Ursula and Maleficent were never really Villains? Gasp, Disney needs to rebrand them.

While the episode is handle well it seems like a concept was childish. Snow White as the evil Queen is painted as just cruel and evil whereas Regina was shaped into a heartless bitch because of her mother killing her boyfriend.  Snow lost her love because of Regina but she was already cruel before that, so the only point of this is to see Ginnifer Goodwin acting “evil” which we saw in season 1 when she forgot about loving David. Also I think the styling of Regina as “Snow White Bandit” and Evil Queen Snow should  have expressed their own characters more than just costume switch.

Also poor Graham, he for written out of the story too.

This of course is a two part episode so we can’t fully look it till….. Right now!

 

Episode 23:  Operation Mongoose Part 2

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 23 Operation Mongoose Part 2 review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

Full Disclosure, I been watching Once on Netflix and the image between episodes is Dark Swan so the twist of Emma taking in the darkness and being the new dark one wasn’t too much of a twist for me BUT I can imagine this when it aired because it’s a neat twist. The show does do twists well. Should mention Emma took on the darkness to protect Regina’s happy ending and it finally gave Emma the push to tell Hook she more than liked-liked him but loved him.  It also tied into the Emma asking her parents to remove the darkness from her again. So the all plotpoint did converge fairly well even though the it seemed all over the place for most of the season.  

As for the second part of this episode, things got wrapped up neatly from the alternative reality. Regina self-sacrifice saved the day and Henry became the new author. I did hate that Rumple was called the “Light One.”  I get that it’s the direct opposite of the “Dark One but it doesn’t sound as good. Light One literally sounds like the first idea the writer came up with. “Lighter Bringer” would have been better, “Pure One,”  “Luminous One,” “Bright One”  I get the magic is called Light magic but “Light One,” Super Meh.

I  did love the Star Wars reference,  Kashsyk is the wookiee  homeworld and Henry is a wookie. So in a way George Lucas true hero of this arc.

We also learned a few new things about the Dark One. Apparently The Sorcerer, or Merlin, tethered darkness to a soul to contain it. Not sure what is special about this particular darkness. Or is it all darkness?

This was an enjoyable episode. Sure, it was more amnesia but it was handle moderately well.  Glad to know the show hasn’t forgotten Black Beard and he also got a happy ending, he got the Jolly Roger.

Episode  19: Sympathy for De Vil

Victoria Smurfit as Cruella De Vil Once Upon a Time Season04 Episode 19 Sympathy for De Vil Review picture image

Victoria Smurfit as Cruella De Vil

So it was the dragon egg that helped Ursula and Cruella stay young? Great! Good thing we got a half-hearted explanation. It was Dragon Placenta, it does wonders for the skin!

Mostly I really enjoyed this episode. Cruella’s backstory was great twisted play on both the trapped princess in her tower type story and  101 Dalmatians. It’s also nice to see a character that doesn’t have any shades of grey, she just psychotic and much crazier than she Disney counterpart.  Also love that she hair is the result of the ink. But something is nagging me, how did she get to the Enchanted Forest? Remember when Realm hopping was hard?

Her “happy ending” is getting her killing ability back as the author, Isaac, took it way so she CAN’T take a life. Just a nitpicky question and honestly this the SAME Question I had for Return of Jafar, can she set-up someone’s death? Like had she tied Henry to a railroad track? I mean she wasn’t she driving during the mean girl test with Regina back in episode 15? So either she can arrange death or they were never in any danger on the railroad track. GAH, it’s confusing

I guess another slight nitpick I have is that Cruella’s story realm, as they are called, is the 20’s but 101 Dalmatians is set in the 60’s. That means 101 Dalmatians in the context of the show is set in the 20’s  because time doesn’t move. Or is the show implying  Cruella was was in her like in her  50s or 60s during the events of 101 Dalmatians, assuming she was 18 in 1920 making  her born in 1902 but it’s very clearly said in 101 Dalmatians that Cruella was Anita’s school friend making them roughly the same age. Easier to assume 101 Dalmatians was just set in 20’s than to do mental hoops. One other question does Cruella’s story realm have other stories set in the 20’s? Like The Great Gatsby? I mean Isaac was reading  that book in this episode so one can assume that that story is in the realm.   

In Storybrooke, Emma is still whining about her parents lying to her. Basically, Emma holds them to a higher standard, so them lying to her is a super big deal to her. Whereas  former villains, like Regina and Hook, Emma okay with because they were honest. So having remorse over something that Snow and David did with wrapped good intentions and knowing what they did was wrong  is less redeemable than two people who did bad things for the hell of it and out of revengence. Emma needs to grow up she met her parents at the age of 28 and kept them at arm’s length for a awhile, not sure how time passes in Storybrooke. Anyway Emma’s constant complaining about her parents is not a good character arc.

Speaking of Emma, she kills Cruella setting her on the path of darkness like Rumple wants. Though she was acting in defense of her child, so it’s leap to think that this puts her on a “dark” path. But speaking of the Dark one,  Rumple’s motivations for all the fate rewriting is that because of all his dark deeds his heart will be incapable of love. So his “evil” motivation does come from a place of love which is typical of his character but it seems a little too late for him to get back to being interesting.  All Rumple had to do was nothing back when he saw the sorcerer’s hat but he couldn’t resist power so he not sympathetic  because it was the second time his chose power over his family so now that his heart is becoming devoid of love isn’t enough.

I did like this episode, especially the past potion with Cruella. I do wonder how long she will stay dead?  Though Graham and Neal of still dead.

       

 

Episode 20: Lily  

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan and Agnes Bruckner as Lily Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 20 Lily Review picture Image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Agnes Bruckner as Lily

So Emma is Anakin Skywalker and Rumple is the Emperor, he trying to get her to the dark side but gasp girl-pal Regina is a more successful Obi-Won. I do like Gal-pal Regina on their magical road time to save Robin and find Lily.

They do find Lily in Lowell Massachusetts. And hey, the show got the distance between Lowell and  Boston right.  So as you MIGHT have figured this episode is about Lily, Maleficent’s daughter and it’s a mixed bag. Emma is still whiney about her parents till she runs into Lily, who knowing everything about the Enchanted Forest people, wants revenge on the Charmings. Emma is about to kill Lily but Gal-pal Regina talks her out of it and Lily joins the road trip to NYC to save Robin.

The past section is about young Emma and Lily. Lily gets into trouble and gets Emma kicked out or new foster family’s house. After Emma pushes Lily away again, even though fate wants them to be together, the apprentice tells Lily everything. I have a minor major issue with is plot development. The apprentice could have sent her to Storybrooke and given her the entry scroll like Ingrid but instead he tells her the story and leaves her to fend for herself.  I did like the yoda line but I like Star Wars.    

It was mixed episode but the shock at the end was interesting, Zelena is pregnant. I do wonder how long Zelena could kept the Marian glamour going since the child would presumably looked nothing like Marian. She could be lying as Zelena does because she is a liar.

 

Episode 11: Shattered Sight

 Georgina Haig as Elsa, Elizabeth Lail as Anna & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan ABC Once Upon a Time Shattered Sight picture image

Georgina Haig as Elsa, Elizabeth Lail as Anna & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

It’s the Purge, ABC Style! This episode wraps up the Snow Queen’s arc. The past portionis about Emma and Ingrid’s relationship. Ingrid and Emma did have a nice relationship and Ingrid was trying to adopt her. Ingrid messed it up however when she tries to push Emma’s powers out by nearly getting her hit by a car. Emma thinks she is crazy and runs off. Prior to that 28 year deadline Ingrid finds Storybrooke and sets up shop. When Emma wonders into the Ice Cream shop, Ingrid takes her memories.  

Most of the episode is the fairy tale character being horrible to each other or beating the crap out of everyone. Emma releases Regina out because she figures that Regina’s hatred for her will undo the Ribbons. Not really sure how that really works. So as once the ribbons are off Emma and Elsa go to face off against Ingrid, as killing her is the only way to break the curse. Otherwise it’s a Regina and Snow bitch fight.

Anna then finds a the letter that Gerda wrote before she drown which recounts Ingrid and how she loved her and how she should encouraged Ingrid to accept her own powers and  nothide away.  Ingrid realizes that she has what she always wanted; her sister’s love. She then sacrifices herself to break the spell so that she can join her sisters.   

The is arc made some aspects of Frozen make a little more sense. It  serves as somewhat prequel and sequel to frozen and yet NO OLAF, I’m over it but a little annoyed. I wish Ingrid’s plan wasn’t so off. She wanted the love of her sisters but she didn’t want anyone else around. Just seems a little weak of an evil plan. It slightly evil but not really all that evil. She did get redeem though which is more than Rumple can say. His character development is like in the negatives at this point. He’s worse than when he started. Since his plot is still up in the air I bet the next arc will focus on him more.      

I will say that Evil Snow and David  were  fun but why did the spell wear off quickly with Anna but not on the town? Did Ingrid control durations? Or is it like once the person does some task?  Like with Anna it was threatening trapping Elsa  in the urn and for the town it was just death?    

This arc felt too all over the place. There were like so much set-up for other plots and the main Snow Queen/Frozen felt drawn out and nearly divertive of Frozen. It wasn’t a re-imaging but Frozen 2.0 which felt cheap.  Also Will Scarlett is colossal waste of time.

 

Episode 12; Heroes and Villains

Kristin Bauer van Straten as Maleficent, Victoria Smurfit as Cruella De Vil, Emilie de Ravin as Belle & Merrin Dungey as Ursula ABC Once Upon a Time Heroes and Villains picture image

Kristin Bauer van Straten as Maleficent, Victoria Smurfit as Cruella De Vil, Emilie de Ravin as Belle & Merrin Dungey as Ursula

This episode wraps Rumple wanting to be free of the dagger plot, wanting to  kill Hook and the aftermath of the Frozen. See because Rumple lied about knowing Anna, and Anna knows his plan he wants Anna gone. Rumple finds a portal and as the Frozen crew leaves Anna clues them into Rumple’s plan. Emma and Snow try to stop him but fail. Belle stops him with the help of an object that can lead someone to a person’s weakness which leads her to the dagger.

The past plot deals with Rumple trading the object for Belle’s life after Maleficent, Ursula and Cruella kidnapped her. Rumple then got the thing back from them and Belle found in in present day Storybrooke.  Basically Belle thought she was worth more to Rumple than power so in the end she makes him leave Storybrooke. He then goes to New York City, because there is nothing between Maine and New York City. At least Belle got smart again. Smart might be the wrong word, maybe perceptive.          

Robin and Marian also leave town because Marian got refrozen and it was the only way to save her except for Roland’s kiss which could have  if the character remembers things. So even though Marian was going to left Regina and Robin be together NOPE. Also now when people leave town the don’t forget but they just can see the town anymore.  

One question! Didn’t Mulan join the merry man? Or did she lied to Aurora? Where is Mulan? Or Nova? Or Ruby?  Also just a minor nitpick but it’s more of a personal pet peeve, Individuals  do not evolve. Rumple didn’t evolve he either matured or reverted. I hated it the usage of the word  even in Pokemon.  

Mostly this was good episode, though do wish we saw something of Elsa and Anna taking back Arendelle, seems like they just beat up Hans and that was enough. They redid the chocolate line because they had to throw ONE MORE FROZEN thing in the show. Speaking of divertive things we are introduced to  Maleficent in her evil sleeping Beauty costume(though we have seen her before), Ursula who seems the least derivative one and Cruella who has amazing cheekbones. Let’s see where this new arc is going but it has a lot to do with previous set-up arc of finding the author. Which Henry did find a clue of in the sorcerer’s mansion. So either the sorcerer is the author or knows the writer. Seems weird there even is a physical author.
Anyway this a good episode, I like seeing Rumple suffer.

Episode 9; Smash the Mirror Part 2

Georgina Haig as Elsa & Elizabeth Lail as Anna ABC Once Upon a Time Smash the Mirror Part 2 picture image

Georgina Haig as Elsa & Elizabeth Lail as Anna

Over the course of the season, Ingrid has told Elsa that it was Anna who trapped her in the urn which was true but Anna was under the shattered sight spell. Elsa refuses to hurt Anna so she  lets herself get trapped. Elsa getting trapped in the urn wasn’t part of Ingrid’s masterplan so she took Elsa memories of her but Rumple turns up and wants the hat and takes the urn for leverage. Ingrid is about to summon Rumple to make the  but the apprentice shows up because Ingrid made a deal with the sorcerer which was to exchange the hat for a magical third sister match. He tells her that if Ingrid gives the hat to Rumple she will never get her happy ending. In the end she gives the apprentice the hat and he sends her to “the real world.” That answered how Ingrid got to the real world, or place without magic, who trapped Elsa in the urn and why Rumple has the urn.

So in Storybrooke, Ingrid tries to stop Emma from getting of her magic which she thinks is suspect so she goes to the mansion. Basically Rumple manipulates Emma further saying that as a villain he wouldn’t give up his power but Emma is a hero who makes the right decision so she should.  Elsa shows up and tells Emma that she really needs to love herself to control her powers. This gets through to Emma and she doesn’t go through the door to the hat. Everyone is happy except for Rumple who didn’t get Emma into the pokeball erm magical hat. Instead he takes Hook’s heart as part of what he need for the spell to be free of the dagger and for fun. He needs so one who knew him BEFORE becoming the Dark one.

Then no one is happy since Ingrid put ribbons Emma and Elsa to harness their magic so she can cast the shattered sight spell that will make everyone in Storybrooke hate/kill each other.

B plot is MORE Regina and Robin. Robin is looking for clues on the author and he finds an alternate page where Regina goes to meet Robin at the bar when Tinker bell showed her true love instead of the page in the book where she walked away. Basically it shows her that she has hope if only she makes better decisions and that she not doomed as a villain.

Nitpicks! Why didn’t Ingrid use her powers to puncture Emma’s tires or tried to immobilize her?  I’m not one for noticing continuity errors but Ingrid’s neckpiece falls down between cuts during her scene with the apprentice.       

Also this isn’t really a nitpick but a more of visual metaphor which again isn’t something I tend to pick up on.  Rumple is shutting out the light and love for power when he closes the ball room door to set-up the hat trap. He is literally shutting out from light and the love come from the place where he danced with Belle  

This wasn’t  a bad episode. It did answer a lot of questions and it didn’t feel like it jerked the plot all over the place. I’m sick of the Rumple’s plot though and now Hook is more of a minion than he was before. Still it wasn’t  a bad episode it was pretty okay.   

 

Episode 10: Fall

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Georgina Haig as Elsa, Elizabeth Lail as Anna & Scott Michael Foster as Kristoff ABC Once Upon a Time Fall picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Georgina Haig as Elsa, Elizabeth Lail as Anna & Scott Michael Foster as Kristoff

Anna and Elsa are reunited! Apparently Arendelle was frozen for 30 years and of course once unfrozen Hans is back to being a douche conqueror. Ok but like why would anyone in Arendelle follow him?  Doesn’t matter because Anna and Kristoff are off to find Blackbeard to get a thing called the Wishing Star. Turns out Blackbeard already sold it to Anna’s parent but they didn’t have pure hearts so it didn’t work doesn’t matter though because Blackbeard is in league with Hans and Kristoff and Anna are thrown into a truck and pushed into the sea.  

In Storybrooke, Ingrid sets the curse in motion. Rumple brokerages a deal with Ingrid to protect Belle and Henry so he can leave with them. Awww, Rumple does like Henry. It can be hard to tell with him. The good guys try to climb the wall but that doesn’t work but Elsa finds the necklace she gave Anna for her wedding, the same necklace that was in Rumple’s shop that she lost in episode 2. Turns out since Anna was inflicted by the curse and thus they can make an antidote with her hair. Apparently The Spell of Shattered Sight is like the chicken pox.  So it off to find Anna using the necklace and a locator spell. However Elsa and Emma  hit a literal dead end.  Turns out since time is a factor that they can make the antidote with the necklace but the  it will destroy the necklace. Since the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few they elect that the town is more important so Elsa gives them the necklace however since everyone is super trusting and doesn’t looks in the bag to see if the magical item is there, Elsa switches the necklace for some rocks to find Anna. It’s the bean from season 2  all over again. Hey Emma’s lie detector doesn’t go off here? It’s better for drama if it doesn’t.

Anyway, the necklace is the wishing star, or another magical out, and Elsa wishes for Anna to be with her and POOF Anna and Kristoff are saved from drowning along with a message in a bottle. They try to get Anna to the fairies making the antidote but Rumple has Hook trap the fairies in the hat. Freaking Rumple, just doom the town for literally no reason. You could only be redeemed for your son except no. So with the curse falling everyone locks themselves up in various why to avoid murdering each other.    

The reunion was nice but really Hans shouldn’t have gotten this far being evil. It’s just not believable especially when aside from just wanting to rule he has no other motivation for wanting Arendelle. Is Arendelle the Jean Valjean to his Javert or the Esmeralda to his Frollo. Hugo did a lot obession stories. Tangent, if this show does Les Mis over Hunchback I will quit!
The music as the curse fall is nice. Especially with all those epic stares. Otherwise this episode was fine. Kept the pace and is at least moving forward. Wish all the stuff with Anna getting Storybrooke happened sooner but drama.    

Episode 7: The Snow Queen

Pascale Hutton as Gerda, Elizabeth Mitchell as Ingrid & Sally Pressman as Helga ABC Once Upon a Time The Snow Queen picture image

Pascale Hutton as Gerda, Elizabeth Mitchell as Ingrid & Sally Pressman as Helga

This episode introduces us to Ingrid’s back story. Ingrid’s powers were moderately kept in check but her two younger sisters, Helga and Gerda. However Ingrid feared love was not enough so the three went to Rumple. He traded them the gloves we see in Frozen and the gold urn for the ribbons they all wear that were a sisterly  pact to always be together. However when the Duke of Weselton tries to put the moves on Ingrid even though he in a courtship with Helga, Ingrid uses her magic on him. Helga comes out and dumps his ass, however Ingrid accidentally freezes Helga and she dies. When Gerda sees this she traps Ingrid in the urn and the begs the Rock Trolls to erase Helga and Ingrid from everyone’s memory so that Arendelle will survive this. Ardenelle seems so high maintenance for a Kingdom.

In Storybrooke, Ingrid tries to convince Emma that her family fears her powers and she sort of right. Emma can’t control her powers that well and her family is a little on edge especially when she knocks out a wall and makes a light post fall over.

So Ingrid gets the ribbons back from Rumple by giving him some info on what he needs to get the hat to sever the hold of the dagger, so he can rule the world except Storybrooke. They didn’t say that in some many words but he’s back on the villain side of things so yeah he wants the world and his powers to be working outside Storybrooke.

B plot is Regina and Robin. Robin says to hell with his cursed wife and picks Regina since he can’t forget about her and doesn’t want to try to re-fall in love with Marian even though she made him into the noble thief of legends. Ok, now some nitpicks on this waste of time B plot out of a daytime soap opera, though thank god Robin doesn’t have a evil twin with an eye patch …yet. Do you guys remember in season 1 and 2 and even in this episode where there was potion that erased certain memories? Admittedly this episode had rock trolls doing to erase a country’s knowledge of two princesses but in season 1 Snow White used a potion to forget her love for Charming and in season 2 Regina used to forget that she knew Henry’s birth mother was the savior. Even if Robin didn’t want to forget Regina, why not offer him the option. Maybe have him dwell on the decision instead of JUST drinking with Will. Also WHY ARE THE PEOPLE SO DENSE? Have Roland kiss Marian! Gah. This plot is super annoying.  Do only mothers have true love for their children but not the children for their mothers? If so you could just say that but no ever mentions that since the parenteral true love this  is supposed to a subversion but the show has done it twice. Once Upon a Time is better when you don’t think about too much.          

And now more nitpicks! Emma seeing Lord of the Rings has nothing to do with reading elvish. I don’t know Dothraki from watching Game of Thrones.  Lame reference is lame and lazy. How does time work in this show?  Ashley’s a baby from season 1 is still a baby but Neal conceived in the middle of season 3 with a year time skip is what a month old or so? Doesn’t matter, Ashley’s kid should be over a year old but time works weird.   Because Henry is clearly aging but babies don’t? This isn’t Game of Thrones where you could blame the wall except that is actually  dumb in Game of THrones too the wall thing is a weird fan theory to justify the mistake of a baby never aging.

We get the Duke of  Weselton from Frozen but no Olaf. Not even homage to Olaf but the stupid evil duke. Then to make me a little more annoyed, Ingrid mentions Emma’s “superpower.” This will not go away. So apparently young Emma knew about her lie detection ability but yet Lily lied to her  about being in the system and Emma sensed nothing. I know this isn’t a “superpower” more like insight but it never really works, ever. Emma just boosts about it and sometimes a bad liar crosses her path and she’s like “I have a superpower!” No, you don’t, you have light magic but not lie detection. Oh and side note, Emma’s magic come from being the product of true love not being the savior, so should Neal also be magically inclined? No one mentions that.          

Despites the nitpicks, this a decent episode. The Past section really showcases Ingrid’s motivations and her personality. It makes sense though it is a bit like Frozen 2.0 but it’s understandable. You feel for Ingrid but you don’t completely sympathize with her since she chose the gloves and urn over her sisters’ love which she didn’t have total confidence in to control her powers even though Rumple said that love was enough.  

 

Episode 8; Smash the Mirror Part 1

 Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan ABC Once Upon a Time Smash the Mirror Part 1 picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

As this a part one of two parter it fair to say that this is mostly set-up for the next part. Henry finds Emma in the woods but  she accidently hurts him which freaks her out. She decides to talk to Rumple about getting rid of the her powers which he agrees, basically he going to trap her in the hat. Which Hooks figures out and Rumple tells Ingrid to both gloat and detain her. Really hate Rumple

The past section has Elsa and Anna sneaky around the palace so they can trap Ingrid in the urn.  

B plot is more Regina and Robin. Robin has also enlisted Will’s help to find the author. I wonder if the sorcerer is the author? I mean what is he doing?

And now nitpicks, Rumple straight up lies to Emma about the spell and yet nothing. At least the super power wasn’t mentioned but the show brings it up all the time so I can mention when the show just forgets about it. Rumple’s plan is so dumb. What is he going to do when Emma goes missing? Or if Belle ever uses the dagger to like summon Rumple and doesn’t come? Rumple has lost all his charms. Any character development he ever had is right out the window.  I need a new favorite character.  Maybe that super smart dove from season 3. Baby Neal is also likable, I really believe that he is a baby.   

Why are Elsa and Anna sneaky around the palace? Elsa is the queen not Ingrid you don’t need to trick your guards, you pay them lady. Or is it so Ingrid won’t be suspicious? Still why the act and the sneaky around? I’m confused. At least give a reason for it. You can do that much show.       

Also in the case of Robin and Regina, does Storybrooke not have a divorce lawyer? Seems like once Marian gets better Robin and her could divorce and problem slightly solved right? Or does Robin not believe in divorce but cheating is alright as long you’re true to your heart?

Didn’t hate this episode but it all set-up for part 2 but I really hate Rumple’s plan and Emma is dumb for believing him.

Also I’m going off Netflix order of episodes, so it’s all going to off for the rest of season. Not saying it’s right.

Episode 3: Rocky Road

Georgina Haig as Elsa and Elizabeth Mitchell as The Snow Queen ABC Once Upon a Time RockyRoad picture image

Georgina Haig as Elsa and Elizabeth Mitchell as The Snow Queen

This episode isn’t exactly bad just boring, dare I say underwhelming. We learn more about this Snow Queen Lady. She apparently knows Emma and Elsa but they have memory lost. Memory loss is such a crutch for this show but at least Rumple makes like a meta joke about it. It makes the memory loss tactic  worse if they are aware that they are doing this plot again for the third time in four seasons.

Basically Snow Queen is Elsa’s aunt who was also trapped in the urn. The whole past section of the episode involves Hans looking for the urn to trap Elsa so he can rule Arendelle. Kristoff and Elsa try to beat Hans to the punch and instead of trapping Elsa out comes the Snow Queen.

Ok, I have a nitpick. Why does Han want to rule Arendelle? It seemed like in the movie Hans just wanted to rule any place he could and Arendelle had an unwed heir and unwed Queen, seems like an ideal situation, so it makes sense. Now he just wants to conquer it for no real reason. Is Arendelle wealthy is some way? Like Ice? Trading? Precious Metals? Minerals? Reindeer? What is it show? Or is Hans butt-hurt that he didn’t get his way? It’s so contrived. One line would have given him some motivation.     

In Storybrooke the Snow Queen is causing deadly shenanigans so that Elsa will be blame so that everyone in town will hate her. Really? That is your plan? Are you a child? She puts a freezing spell on Marian. Robin tries to break it with true love’s kiss but it fails since we all know that Regina is his true love. Hey Idiots! Get Roland to do it. True love’s kiss has worked two times out three from the parent-child bond and both times it was Henry with his moms. Ok, now I have massive confusion, shouldn’t true love be like between two people in a two way street situation?  Henry has two true loves? Or is one way? Henry is Regina’s and Emma’s true love even though that doesn’t seem right. The point is they blame the ice  for blocking the lips or the skin as foreheads work too but they didn’t think of using Roland, instead Regina removes Marian’s heart to keep it from getting frosty.

B plot is Snow White is the mayor and she puts a bird on the wall of the office, which Regina hates, and Snow is super clingy with Neal. You know in other culture Mothers constantly carry their children, so this plot was dumb aside from put a bird on it part.       

What else to say? Oh! Emma mentions her “super power” again.  Writers please stop with the BS of Emma saying she has a super power because it’s more like Emma has an instinct sometimes but only when the plot says she can so either have it or don’t. Or at least make her not so damn confident about it.   

A positive I had was Elsa’s up-do was pretty. Like it was really pretty, A+ on her hair style. However I got to say in Frozen the CG work really enhanced the ice but not here, OUAT doesn’t do the computer generated stuff that well, at all.  And where is Olaf? Elsa mentions making a living Snowman but she could have been referring to Marshmellow? I demand Olaf so I regret demanding Olaf!

For all my complaints and nitpicks this was unassuming episode. It did move the plot forward but the plot points seemed hindered by the writing.

Episode 4: The Apprentice

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan ABC Once Upon a Time picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

They went and did it again! They made Hook a patsy for the villain using blackmail. This time Hook coforcesives Rumple to give back his hand by threatening to tell Belle about the fake dagger. Rumple restores Hook’s hand for his big date with Emma but Rumple plants the idea that the hand holds Hook’s villain mojo and reattaching it will make Hook revert to his old ways of being a villain. So when Hook starts acting out he thinks it’s the hand ask Rumple to remove it. Rumple then makes Hook help him trap the sorcerer’s apprentice in the hat  so Rumple can charge up  the hat with magic, sure okay that makes sense. Then  Rumple frames Hook by magical altering a videotape  to make it look like  that he did it all, it’s so quaint that they still use video tapes. And turns out Rumple lied to Hook about the hand. So Hook is dumb because pre-hook, he was just arrogant  pirate who had love. His villain persona happen AFTER Rumple killed Milah, so if Hook had thought about it he wouldn’t have fallen prey to Rumple. Also Hook did you not learn from last season which in the scheme of things was a few days ago, tell Emma the truth and then you don’t have to a pawn in this. Geez.  

Also I’m sick of Rumple’s yo-yoing between of good and villain. It’s like all the character development you had in the past three seasons is gone. Rumple was an interesting character when he was trickster to achieve his goals but now he is tedious.  

I guess that means we should bring out the past section. Anna meets Rumple. And if you recall last episode Rumple says that he didn’t know of Anna right to Emma’s face, where is your superpower now? Anyway Rumple makes a deal with her to have her  give some old guy who may or may not eat children a suspicious vial. This guys is the sorcerer’s apprentice. Anna can’t bring herself to poison him so she doesn’t do it. Turns out it was trick and Anna had the antidote to poison that Rumple gave him and sorcerer’s apprentice turns in a mouse al la Mickey Mouse. You see Rumple needs Anna to break an enchanted on a box that has the sorcerer’s hat so he be free of the dagger’s control. The hat also can stripe a person of magic which is why Anna’s parent were looking for it. In the end, Rumple does get what he wants from Anna, but Anna gets the dagger and she orders him to give her the box, turn the apprentice back to a man and send her back home. Rumple has to comply but he is not happy.

There is other stuff happening in this episode , like Henry and Regina mission to change the book, Emma and Hook’s date, David and Snow being weird parents to their adult daughter, Elsa looking through public records for Anna, and the Snow Queen stalking Emma.

There just so many plot going on in here and yet it’s mostly still just set-up for the season.
Though apparently Henry is OK with letting Marian be curse so Regina can have a happy ending. Henry is thinking like a villain. Has his character deteriorated? Apparently a former villain can get away with like that in his mind but not a hero because he went to pieces when Snow White did questionable things or when Emma bent the truth.  I did like the date but I’m a fan of Lady and the Tramp. Hook looked good in normal clothing. Personally I was getting bored with his costume. Emma’s dress seemed a little out of character like it was too girly for her. Will Elsa get a costume change?

Episode 21: Snow Drifts

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan ABC's Once Upon a Time, Snow Drifts picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

In this episode is all about Emma and Hook’s adventures back in time, where they steal clothes, meet Rumple,  go to a ball and mess up Snow and David’s meeting resulting in them never falling in love so Emma will never have been born, oops. Basically they are told that messing with the past will have consequence but it doesn’t really.  Hook even punches himself because “in time” Hook is kissing Emma and  Hook is jealous of himself. It is weird and somehow endearing. Good thing there is no time paradox or something in this show. I bet Hook and Hook could have a drink and nothing would have happen aside from Hook calling himself handsome, as he does.   

The worse thing about this episode is seeing Abigail’s hideous dress again. The costumes in this show are growing on me BUT that dress is a TRAVESTY, it’s horrible and I hate it. It’s good so see Abigail and Kathryn mention, people disappear a lot in Storybrooke.  Like she she and the gym teacher ever get together after the curse? 

Also we got a BIG Star Wars reference, when entering the ball Emma calls herself Princess Leia, wonderful. Hook is Prince Charles.      

Mostly I liked this episode, Emma and Hook were fun but Time Traveling isn’t a story line I like  also I don’t really like redoing David and Snow’s meeting, but all the whole an ok episode. Emma is still annoying about the whole New York thing.

 

Episode 22:  There’s No Place Like Home

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Josh Dallas as David with Baby Neal ABC's Once Upon a Time There’s no Place Like Home picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White, Josh Dallas as David with Baby Neal

This episode was a little bit of a trial because I can’t take it seriously when they talk about Princess Leia, Emma isn’t Leia. It might have easier to take if they just referenced to her as Leia but they used Princess. It just made me giggle too much every time they said it which diminished the impact of this episode.    

Ok, so what is the finale of season 3 about? It wraps up both Emma and Hook’s past adventures which was operation “fix Snow and David’s meeting and get her in that ring so they can fall in love,” I’m not good at code name formation.  It also wraps up Emma’s wanting to return to New York because she relieves she misses her parents and to her home is the place that when you leave  it you just miss it. So Emma got a little more character development which we saw her somewhat working towards all season with the help of Hook and her family.  Also the baby’s name gets revealed, it’s Neal.

There is a lot of plot elements that get sort of wrapped up but more elements to set up the next season. For instance in the past Emma saves a random do-gooder lady from execution. As a means to make sure the lady doesn’t mess up the past, Emma brings her to the future. This lady turns up to be Marian, Robin Hood’s dead wife, which throws a major wrench into Regina’s love life. Let’s just say Regina isn’t too happy with Emma. Emma learns how Hook got to her in New York, as he sold the Jolly Roger for a bean. That pretty much sells Emma on a romance with Hook, the ship lives because he sold his ship. Rumple and Belle get married and I’m sure it’s smooth sailing for them, I mean what can go wrong…? Knowing Rumple, everything because drama.    

Let’s see anything else that will be relevant next season? Do, do, do, do, think think, think. Oh yeah, friggin Elsa gets transported from the past via a gold urn thing and she seems PISSED, with her trail of ice. Elsa is the Groke!   
All in all is was a good season finale. It  is a little underwhelming that their trip back in time didn’t have a little more consequence aside from an extra story in the book  but shrugs.  

Episode 15: Quiet Minds

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Michael Raymond-James as Neal ABCs Once Upon a Time Quiet Minds picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Michael Raymond-James as Neal

This is a super sad episode. This episode answers the question of where Neal has been and why Rumple is crackers. In the missing year Neal was so desperate to get back to Emma and Henry that he figured that bringing Rumpelstiltskin back from the dead would be the best way and naturally Belle helps him out. In Rumpelstiltskin’s library a candlestick named Lumiere tells them about a key to “The Vault of the Dark One,” creative name there, where they can bring him back. However this is all a scheme hatched by Zelena because guess what, she also wants to bring The Dark one back too.

At the vault, Belle figures out that Lumiere has been lying and the Wicked Witch is behind this. Neal doesn’t care as they all want the same thing so Neal turns the key which revives Rumpelstiltskin but at the cost of Neal’s life. Rumpelstiltskin absorbs Neal into himself causing Rumpelstiltskin’s craziness but also saving Neal’s life.

In Storybrooke, Neal is found with a triangle burn mark on his hand. Neal’s not to concerned about it as he just wants to find Rumpelstiltskin and wants Henry to remember him. As he and Emma reconnect a bit Belle calls and tells Emma what the marks mean. Neal begs Emma to separate the two so that Rumpelstiltskin can reveal who the wicked witch is in town even at the cost of his own life. Rumpelstiltskin tells Emma the witch is Zelena and Emma tells Henry that his father was good man.

There is also a plot where Regina and Robin connect a little and Regina learns that Robin is her true love has he has the lion tattoo. Does still have his Milah tattoo? I can’t recall seeing it since the beanstalk episode.

I think I like this episode more in theory than I actually do. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the episode but aside from Neal’s death it doesn’t do much. However one thing I did love was exchange between Hook and Neal. It was very nice and touching. If things had gone differently Neal would have seen Hook as a more of a father-figure instead of a rival.

Which brings me to that love-triangle which combinated in one episode and some side-glances. I’m not complaining, I’ve watched Downton Abbey where love-triangles were a big thing in season 2 though that got resolved and one different love triangle last two seasons. I also watch anime where there are tons of love-triangles everywhere so one that last about ten episodes (aside for some flirting in season 2) and was relegated to drama in one episode is fine. Though I’m surprised that this show with all its love for drama didn’t have more drama from this (show ain’t done yet though). But now it’s smoother sailing for Captain Swan. That’s mean, I liked Neal fine but you can’t deny Captain Swan as a ship. I did like the exchange between Neal and Emma, they seemed more chummy than romantic.

Also Loved the music at the end.

It’s a little unceremonious that Lumiere got one episode but so did Rapunzel. I mean if they had named him “Mr Candle” it would have been the same impact. Rapunzel was at least in a tower.

This was a fair episode that’s purpose was to get the main cast to know who the witch was and ax off Neal in a heroic way or at least in an unselfish way.

 

 

Episode 16: It’s Not Easy Being Green

Rebecca Mader as Zelena & Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin ABCs Once Upon a Time It's Not easy being Green picture image

Rebecca Mader as Zelena & Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin

Well right off the bat, A Muppet Reference? I love it

This episode goes into Zelena’s beginnings, can’t really say backstory anymore since it’s all backstory, just redundant to say. Zelena was brought to OZ via cyclone and adopted by a nice lady and jerky grumpy guy who hated Zelena because she is a magic prodigy. Like as a baby she was moving trees. Anyway her father calls her wicked and one day he tells her she was a foundling and since he doesn’t like she peaces out to the wizard of OZ.

Once there the wizard shows her Cora, Regina and Rumple. Oz gives her the silver slippers to go to The Enchanted Forest. Once there she starts growing envious of Regina’s life and stuff. She also quickly mets Rumple who trains her in magic. However he doesn’t want her to cast the dark curse since Zelena has a little crush on him. Zelena grows more envious of Regina and starts going green. Zelena tells Rumple she COULD taken him across realms with the slippers but now she won’t and she returns to OZ. There she sees the human Oz who is Walsh, Emma was dating the Wizard of OZ. Anyway Zelena turns him into a flying monkey and decides figure out a way to go back in time to stop Regina being born. She also sees Rumple praising Regina which makes Zelena go full on green.

The Storybrooke part has Zelena challenging Regina to a witch fight. Zelena does come out and tells Regina (again) that they are half-sisters. Which after Regina finds a letter she believes. At the fight Zelena reveals she after Regina’s heart which Regina doesn’t have on her, or rather in her. The crew figures she planning to cast some kind of curse.

This episode was pretty good. Zelena is growing on me, she seems to be polarizing. Her brand of evil is fun but it could get old quickly. The green with envy skin is REALLY on the nose even for this show. Also I love her earrings, which a weird thing to mention but I like them.

I also really liked the part where Hook offered to tell Henry more about Neal, that was sweet.
Emma does have a type, fairy tale and/or literary characters. Has she dated any normal human from boring old “Land without Magic?” Doesn’t seem like it.

Anyway good episode not a standout but solid and entertaining. Also points to Robin for referring to Rumple as an “Imp.” I feel like they did that more in season 1 but less now since Hook calls him crocodile all the time.

 

Episode 13: Witch Hunt

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena ABCs Once Upon a Time Witch Hunt picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena

In this episode we are introduced to the Wicked Witch of the West properly. Her name is Zelena, which means green in Bosnian. She is also masquerading around Storybrooke as a midwife, this way she can get close to Snow.

In The Storybrooke section, everyone trying to figure out how to get their memories back. The consensus is to figure out who cast the curse. Regina and Emma work together and decide to try and smoke out the person with a con that they are making a memory potion at Regina’s office. Regina puts a blood lock on the office so the person can’t get out but they do in a puff of green smoke.

While that is happening people who try leaving Storybrooke are getting taken away by flying monkeys and turning in to them as well. The Flying Monkeys and the green smoke  informs the group that they are dealing with The Wicked Witch.

Zelena has also brought Rumple back from the dead and he is a little touched in the head.

The past section of the episode which is only a year in the past so it feels contemporary, has Regina and Robin hood breaking into her castle. Again the group figures out it’s a Wicked Witch of OZ because if a flying monkey attacks.  Regina is a little perturbed that the blood lock to the castle was opened but she is really there to get the ingredients for a sleeping curse because she can’t bare to live without Henry. Robin pleads with her to find something to live for but her mind is set.  Regina lowers the shield and is about to curse herself when the Wicked Witch enters the room in one of Regina’s gowns and takes the sleeping curse from Regina. She introduces herself as Zelena and tells her that she is her older half sister by Cora. Zelena’s motivation is to take everything from Regina and leaves. Regina then tells Robin that she has something to life for, a person to destroy. It’s nice to have goals

This episode definitely moves the plot along. This core family group is getting more complex, now Regina has a half sister. Who is her father? Rumple? Probably not, would make that family tree weirder that it already is. It was an enjoyable episode but it just leaves more questions than it answered, that’s the point though. And Rumple is BACK WHAT? How? So much for his noble sacrifice.   

Also not sure  on the make-up on Zelena. It’s looks like glowing sweat but green. Still better than The Wicked Witch in Oz the Great and Powerful.       

       

 

Episode 14: The Tower

Josh Dallas as Princes Charming (David) & Alexandra Metz as Rapunzel ABCs Once Upon a Time The Tower picture image

Josh Dallas as Princes Charming (David) & Alexandra Metz as Rapunzel

This is a Charming heavy episode with a one-off appearance of Rapunzel. Rapunzel was a waste. Basically this episode is about facing your fear in a manifestation of yourself brought on by a root. In The Enchanted Forest Rapunzel took some because she was scared to be a leader. Her other self chased into a tower and keeps her there. Charming gives her some encouragement and she defeats her fear and goes home. This is still in the missing year period.

In Storybrooke, Zelena slips Charming the root so he can face his fear of being a bad dad to steal a symbol of his courage. Also they find traces of Rumple as they track down The Witch’s house, which is a Farm which looks like Dorothy’s 1939 farm house.  Rumple isn’t there, he got out, somehow but the spinning wheel and gold are.

Aside from Charming’s dream, which shows a Princess version of Emma and a Emma and  Hook moment this episode was a bore. It wastes Rapunzel to a scared little girl and it seems like she won’t be back as she resolved her storyline. I guess she COULD return someday but there wasn’t much to her character.

Emma’s princess dress was pretty but not the weird feathery arm bands, this show loves its feathers. In her case she is a “Swan” Princess so makes sense, in theory.

Bonus Picture Time

Jennifer Morrison as Princess Emma Swan picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Princess Emma Swan