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Once Upon a Time: S4E7 'The Snow Queen'

Snow QueenAnd finally we get what we’ve all been clamouring for: the Snow Queen’s backstory. Except it’s really annoying, and doesn’t explain her obsession with Emma beyond, like, the fact that they are both blondes with magic. The Storybrook half of the episode is great, legitimately great; the Arendelle half is pretty awful. Also, everyone pronounces it Arun-dale, which drives me up the wall.

Although not as much as the visible zipper on the back of one of Ingrid’s sisters’ dresses. Who knew Arun-dale had zippers?  But we’ll come to that.

Storybrooke! The Dairy Queen transports her 'magic mirror' to the top of the clock tower. Elsa and Emma figure out a way to contain the DQ’s powers with a magic candle. Emma tries to babysit her new baby brother. Snow freaks out because Emma doesn’t seem to have total control over her powers. Emma freaks out because she doesn’t seem to have total control over her powers. Then Emma catches the DQ and the two have their own little bottle episode, where the DQ works to freak out Emma even more. Eventually, Emma lets loose with her powers, accidentally hurting Charming. Snow yells at her. Emma totally flips out and runs away.

Part of the story is awesome and part of it is annoying, as part of it depends on Emma being insecure about and jealous of a baby. But the awesome stuff comes from four seasons of Emma’s other insecurities, about not having parents or a family of her own, and being weird and misunderstood; now that she has a family she’s still afraid that she’s weird and misunderstood because she has these crazy inexplicable powers. No one else in her family has magic, so it makes sense she’d be scared of them. It's great fun to see the Dairy Queen manipulate her so easily.

And the Dairy Queen is so proud of herself for manipulating Emma, having somehow managed to forget how pathologically dumb everyone in Storybrooke is. These people are, like, waiting for someone to come along and play on all those emotions they insist on wearing on their sleeves. 

Other Storybrooke plot-points: Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty  make cameos, with their own new babies, and it’s excruciatingly cute. Emphasis on the excruciating bit. Regina and Robin Hood hook up, and I don’t blame him at all, because she looks awesome in her red dress and leather jacket. I’m also very glad he called her on her dumb ‘you have to fall back in love with your wife’ thing. Here’s hoping she gets a real plot soon.

OuatSpeaking of Robin Hood, he gets a scene with Will Scarlet that, I have to admit, is well done. They talk about, basically, whether love is worth it. I’m going to pretend it’s a Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves shout-out.

Also also, Henry continues to work for R.Stilt, and I continue to ignore him whenever he’s on screen, even though Rumplestiltskin gets some quality sass in (just as well, as Regina's otherwise occupied).

Arendelle: Young Ingrid (the DQ) discovers her powers when someone tries to kidnap her and her two sisters. The girls make a pact to always be together, to help Ingrid control her powers. They seal it with three ribbons, which they each wear around their wrists. Later, adult Ingrid and her sisters go looking for something to help her control her powers and light on a pair of gloves and a magic urn… given over, of course, by our dear R.Stilt in return for those yellow ribbons. Eventually the Duke of Weaselton, who's, like, engaged to the middle sister, hits on Ingrid and while fending him off Ingrid accidentally kills her sister. Her third sister – Elsa and Anna’s mother – takes this understandably hard  and uses the magic urn to imprison Ingrid, and then has the rock trolls cast a spell to make the entire country forget about the other two sisters. Harsh.

The episode ends with the DQ exchanging the secret of the sorcerer’s hat with R.Stilt for her three ribbons. The DQ moves up in my affections by quoting Littlefinger, and ends the ep exchanging Storybrooke for the rest of the world. I dearly, dearly hope that Rumplestiltskin’s final ingredient is Henry’s heart.

Petyr Baelish would wipe the floor with these yahoos, it doesn’t need to be said. I mean, really; they’re taken in by a fake magic mirror. <3 U 4EVER, LITTLEFINGER.

Poofy dresses: there were  a load of dresses this episode. Except they were universally terrible AND wrong. The little girls are shown running around in late Victorian girls’ dresses, all leg-o-mutton sleeves and lace – Anne of Green Gables would be jealous of those poofy sleeves - and then the adult sisters are shown in Regency-era ballgowns, with short sleeves and empire waists. Keep in mind that these flashback scenes are taking place 20-50 years before the events of Frozen, when Elsa and Anna are shown wearing Scandanavian clothes. Or, as the Frozen costume designer describes: 'the historic silhouettes of 1840 Western Europe (give or take), with the shapes and garment relationships and details of folk costume in early Norway, circa 19th century.' (Full, fascinating interview here.)

But, on OUaT, somehow, Arendelle’s fashion went, like, backwards and also south over time. It’s pretty appalling. The costume designer couldn’t find some local troop’s Brigadoon costumes, at least? Ugh. Also: VISIBLE ZIPPER. F- to everyone.

Hook is hotSpeaking of costumes: I’m pretty sure the costume designer hates Ginnifer Goodwin as much as he/she hates Emile de Ravin. I know GG just had a baby, but they have been jamming her into the most unflattering clothes I’ve ever seen on this show. And that's saying a lot.

Hideously annoying Frozen callback: the duke of Weasleton; his dancing; his insistence that it’s pronounced ‘WHES-uhl-ton’.

Quote of the Episode: ‘Twoo wuv comes in many forms.’ Clearly, Rumplestiltskin loves The Princess Bride as much as we do.


  • All magic comes with a price (x2)

I have so many questions: Where, exactly, is Emma in that final scene, when she’s overlooking the town? And where’s the icewall? Oh my god, Emma, go have sex with your hot pirate and get over yourself already.