Hello & welcome back to The Magic of Storybrooke and today, we delve into the past of our major villain, The Snow Queen.
The Snow Queen
The title is pretty self explanatory as we delve into the origin story of The Snow Queen and see what set her path down on villainy.
We open in Arendelle long ago, when Ingrid and her two sisters were young children and we seen them following a kite as it gets stuck in a tree, they pull it down and try to return it to it’s owner, who in turn tries to kidnap the young girls. Uhm, why? Look, this doesn’t make any sense and was just used to set up Ingrid’s ice powers as we see her kill the kidnapper with her powers. Which is important as we needed to see her struggles with her powers to understand how much she sees of herself in Elsa but the kidnapping was just too abrupt. Ingrid’s two younger sisters, Gerda and Helga vow to keep their older sisters, ice powers a secret. Many years have passed and the girls are getting ready for the 70th birthday celebration of their father. Well all of them accept for Ingrid, who has kept herself hidden for years as she fears that she could hurt someone. There, we meet Helga’s date, The Duke of Weselton. Man, they are trying really hard to work every Frozen character sans Olaf into the show.
And yes, he does his bad dancing
Even in his youthful days, The Duke had two left feet. Now, I will bring something up that bugs me with the portrayal of The Duke on Once, when we get to it but they turn him into a straight up villain on the show, whereas in the movie, he was meant to be a red herring. Ingrid looks on glumly that she cannot participate as she has closed herself off from the rest of the world. Ingrid tells her sisters that she wants to herself of her powers and Gerda suggests that they visit Rumpelstiltskin. Who, there informs the three sisters that the love of sisters is strong and can transcend and make things magical such as three ribbons that they had since they were children and they make a deal with Rumple giving them the ribbons and then he gives them an urn as a failsafe in case, Ingrid goes too far and the gloves. Yes, Elsa’s gloves.
I don’t know how I feel about this because on the one hand, I don’t mind the Frozen references. I’ve been enjoying this story arc so far but the idea that the gloves that Elsa wore once belonged to her aunt and her mother, Gerda on the show just happened to have them seems kinda forced as it makes it seem like “Oh, we had them the entire time” and the other thing that I’m not liking with what Once is doing to Elsa and Anna’s parents is that it’s making it come across as though they were scared of Elsa’s powers and only wanted to stop them and not actually help their daughter control them. So, it puts moments such as this one from the movie in a dim light.
Now yes, I’ve read it argued that they were scared but I’d like to think that they were scared for their daughter whereas Once is making it come across as though, they were scared of their daughter. There is a big difference between the two. I understand that they are scared but I always took it in the movie, they genuinely cared about Elsa and wanted to help her because they knew she was scared too. Take the “Conceal, Don’t Feel” moment.
To me, this is a father trying to protect his daughter, even if he isn’t doing the right thing but he doesn’t know what else to do whereas in the Once-verse, it comes across as though the King and and Queen of Arendelle were more concerned about protecting their kingdom and their younger daughter and not actually looking out for Elsa’s well being and this falls squarely on their mother, Gerda. Elsa having the same ice powers as Ingrid represents a part of her past that she attempted to erase. I’m sorry about going on this tangent but this really bugged me and I understand what Once is trying to do but this kind of fleshing out just comes across as them not caring about Elsa and actually being scared of her.
Back to the plot, we are back in Arendelle, where we see Ingrid sitting in a gazebo by herself as The Duke of Weselton tries to make an advance on her and it is shown that he knows about her powers , which she uses to push him away. Helga then arrives and The Duke lies to her about what happened and this convinces Helga to turn down his marriage proposal and for this, he plans to expose Ingrid as the threat that she is to all of Arendelle. Okay, here’s my second problem. In the movie, The Duke was startled at the discovery of Elsa’s ice powers and also thought she was a threat to Arendelle. That can easily be worked into the story of Once because as we see later on, Gerda asks Grand Pabbie to erase all of Arendelle’s memories of her sisters and if we assume that The Duke was still in Arendelle, when that spell occurred, then his mind was erased too. However in the movie, it was presented as though, The Duke was willing to expose Elsa because her feared for the citizens of Arendelle and the other kingdoms. Here, however he makes the threat because a woman turned down his sexual advances. The Duke was never one of my favorite characters from Frozen but he wasn’t a creep. Okay, fine there is the argument that this is a younger Duke. Hmm, fair enough but you still walk a fine line by turning a character that was as I pointed out, a red herring to throw you off from Hans being the villain into someone, that has some villainous traits. Because that moment made The Duke seem rather sleazy and while he may have made some threats against Elsa, he was for all intents and purposes, a side character.
Ingrid tries to push the Duke away but ends up freezing Helga and killing her. Gerda comes by and sees this and Ingrid tries to explain that it was an accident. Third problem, I understand that Gerda was in a state of shock at seeing her sister dead but this episode established that these three sisters had quite a strong bond. So, it’s a little jarring to see Gerda turn on Ingrid and not even give her the chance to explain, when it had been shown all throughout the episode, these three sisters would stick by one another’s side but what does Gerda do. Uses the urn to trap Ingrid and not even give her a chance to explain that what happened to Helga was an accident. Out of nowhere, all of the sudden, she views her sister as a monster. The same sister that she loved so much that she was willing to protect her but now traps her in an urn and then goes to Grand Pabbie to ask that he erase all of Arendelle’s memories of her sisters. Gerda, you are the real villain here. Not Ingrid, it’s no wonder she became The Snow Queen. It’s all your fault. And Grand Pabbie even tells her at the end, that magic comes with a price as we’ve heard numerous times on this show. Gerda’s response is that she has already paid that price. That’s not how that works, Gerda.
Yeah, gotta be honest. The more I break down The Snow Queen’s fairy tale flashback story. I am not a fan of it and it has nothing to do with The Snow Queen herself as Elizabeth Mitchell delivers a great performance here but rather with the characterization of Gerda. I have a hard time accepting that the woman, we saw in the flashbacks of this episode is supposed to be the same woman that raised Elsa and Anna. I’m frankly disappointed in how Once handled her character.
Favorite Fairy Tale Moment
Can’t say that I really had one but seeing a young Duke dance was a fun nod to the movie.
Now onto the Storybrooke plot.
We see that The Snow Queen has set up base in the clock tower, meanwhile at the sheriff’s station, Emma is testing a new spell with a candle that will allow to capture The Snow Queen. Emma later goes to a Mommy & Me class to pick up Baby Neal as she was supposed to babysit her brother but that may have to be put on hold as David has found The Snow Queen and there, Emma uses the new spell to capture The Snow Queen and take her but that was too easy.
The Snow Queen wanted to be arrested as it allows her to play mind tricks with Emma and get inside her head. Which just goes to show that The Snow Queen knows what she is doing. Back at The Clock Tower, Belle notices the mirror there is not the same one that taunted her in the previous episode and they realize that The Snow Queen has tricked them and need to get to the station to warn Emma of what The Snow Queen is trying to do and it is quite creepy seeing her get inside Emma’s head. The Snow Queen uses a glass of water to test Emma and with her pressure rising, the water starts to boil and as her family gets there after seeing Gold, Emma gets so worked up that she breaks down part of sheriff’s station and then as we see her family come to her aid but Emma causes a street light to fall on her father and then runs away and wants to be left alone. The Snow Queen has succeeded in having Emma distant herself from everyone she cares about. We then see The Snow Queen go to Rumple/Gold to make a deal, The Snow Queen wants her ribbons from her childhood and can help to offer him to take over the rest of the world as she just wants Storybrooke. Meanwhile, Regina and Robin are trying to reconnect but still have a hurdle to overcome.
All in all, I must admit that I preferred the present day story line as I’d like the tenseness of it and really felt for Emma as she struggled with The Snow Queen getting inside her head.
Favorite Storybrooke Moment
I can’t technically say that I have a favorite Storybrooke as the story was just so tense and scary seeing The Snow Queen get inside Emma’s head was quite creepy. And that stuck with me the most out of anything from this plot line.
Emma played by Jennifer Morrison
It was evident by the end of this episode, that The Snow Queen had broken Emma and wanted to feel the same way, she felt all those years ago. She wanted Emma to believe that her family viewed her as a monster and a threat to the ones that she loved most. As we will see in the next episode, this is important as Emma almost makes a huge mistake that could cost her more than her magic.
Ingrid/The Snow Queen played by Elizabeth Mitchell
The Snow Queen’s back story helped me to understand the path that she chose and it’s not hard to see why, she went down the path that she did as she thought that no one could love her because of her powers and would only be viewed as a monster.
Helga played by Sally Pressman
Out of the three sisters, to me it seemed that Helga cared the most and was willing to do anything to help Ingrid. After all, she was the one that informed her sister of Rumple.
Gerda played by Pascale Hutton
As I said up above, I have a plethora of issues with this character and they all stem from the fact that Once wants me to accept that the same woman that trapped her sister in an urn for years and then had Grand Pabbie erase all of Arendelle’s memories of Ingird and Helga is supposed to be Elsa and Anna’s mother. I’m sorry but I just have a hard time accepting that.
Rumpelstiltskin played by Robert Carlyle
It’s rather interesting seeing how many path of villains, Rumple has crossed over the years. He seems to have an aid to help them out on most of their needs such as this episode, the gloves.
Regina played by Lana Parilla
Regina continued her search for the author and also, while fighting got back together with Robin Hood. Who has been pursuing her all throughout the season and need I remind you that his wife that came back from the past is frozen.
The Duke of Weselton played by Johnathan Runyon
Okay, I went over my big issue in the plot with this but I don’t like them making the Duke, a straight up villain, when that was not the case in the movie and I don’t need to repeat my argument here. It was a mistake for Once to do that. And I hate saying this as they’d been doing so well with the Frozen characters up until this point but I will give the actor credit as he really did bring The Duke to life and captured the essence of the character rather well but I’m sorry, The Duke is Alan Tudyk’s role and no one can top him there. It’s one of his best roles for Disney alongside King Candy. So playing The Duke is no easy feat and the actor gave a solid performance but it just felt missing.
My Final Thoughts
This episode is half/half. I liked the Storybrooke plot and it leads into the next episode very well but I really didn’t like what they did with the Frozen story arc in this episode from turning the Duke into a straight up villain into making me hate Elsa and Anna’s mom and making it appear as though, Elsa’s parents were scared of her, not scared for her. Ah well, the next episode is much better. Join me next time as we review the 2 hour tale…
Smash The Mirror