Okay, guys. We’re wrapping up our Frozen and Snow Queen story line and preparing for the winter hiatus. Read on to see what happened in this week’s penultimate episode.
This week’s flashbacks complete our puzzle of Emma’s missing Ingrid memories. Shortly after her arrival in our world, Ingrid, still decked out in her Snow Queen gown, seeks a psychic’s help in locating “a girl not born yet.” After handing over her necklace as payment, Ingrid realizes the psychic is a fake when she identifies the one she seeks as a child named “Susan.”
Fastforward to young Emma during the “lost” time she spent as Ingrid’s foster child. Ingrid earns Emma’s trust by first protecting her, and then giving her fodder to use against her bully of a foster-brother. The two bond and Emma is overjoyed when Ingrid announces her plan to adopt the girl. When Emma shows a spark of her powers at an arcade, Ingrid takes things too far trying to get Emma to see how special she is. She pulls the girl in front of an oncoming car trying to get her to use her powers. The plan backfires when Emma runs away, calling her foster mother a “nut job.”
We skip to Ingrid using the apprentice’s scroll to find Storybrooke several years later. She encounters a now-grown Emma in 2011, who freaks out at seeing her former foster mother. Emma calls the woman when Ingrid brings up magic again, thus provoking Ingrid to steal Emma’s memories.
In modern day Storybrooke, we see Ingrid walking through the streets, enjoying the chaos her spell has brought. The dwarves fight in the streets. Snow and Charming hurl insults at each other through the bars of their cells (there are some great one-liners here!). Kristoff watches the married couple bicker and questions his plans to marry Anna “if this is what marriage is like.” Regina tries in vain to break out of her vault, and after seeing herself in the mirror (“what the hell am I wearing?”), magics herself into one of the Evil Queen’s spectacular get ups.
Anna tells Emma and Elsa the story of The Trolden Glass and how the spell in the legend was broken – by killing the King. Elsa doesn’t believe killing is the answer but Emma is prepare to do whatever it takes.
Hook, spared the curse because he is currently heart-less, is entrusted to find Henry and bring him to the town line, where Gold plans to be with Belle. Hook locates the boy in the mayor’s office, only to be rebuked by a cursed Henry (“there’s no way I’m going anywhere with a dirty pirate”) and then taken out by the old marbles on the floor trick, giving Henry the chance to escape.
Ingrid retrieves Emma and Elsa’s memory crystals from her ice cream shop (in a perfect hiding place – who would want Carrot Sherbet?!). The pair tries to stop her with magic but the ribbons prevent them from hurting her. After several unsuccessful attempts to remove the ribbons, Emma deduces the only thing that can counteract the love that’s keeping the ribbons in place is an equally strong dose of hate. Cue the Evil Queen. Emma breaks the seal on the vault and taunts Regina with the admission that she purposely brought Marian to Storybrooke to break Regina’s heart. Her plans works, as Regina hurls a fireball at them, which they direct towards the ribbons, destroying them. Now freed from their magical restraint, Emma and Elsa track Ingrid to her lair, only to hesitate when it comes to destroying her. She shows them the crystals that hold their good memories of her, telling them they loved her in the past and, with their memories returned, could love her again.
The Evil Queen, hunting down Emma, comes across Snow and Charming at the sheriff’s station. An epic swordfight (with more sassy banter – “You think the spell has made me angry? Do NOT wake my baby!”) ensues as Charming and a sleeping baby Neal watch, Regina having poofed Anna and Kristoff “back to where [they] came from.”
That happens to be Storybrooke’s beach, where Anna comes across (okay, bashes Kristoff over the head with) the mysterious message in a bottle that washed ashore with them. After reading the message, Anna runs to the Snow Queen’s lair and interrupts the confrontation. She read’s the message, a letter from their mother explaining the fate of her two sisters and expressing regret for what she did to Ingrid. She urges her daughters to return the memories of Gerda and Ingrid to the people of Arendelle and release Ingrid from the urn. Ingrid’s initial reaction is to call Anna a liar, but after Anna’s pleas and reading the letter herself, Ingrid realizes what a monster she’s become. She reverses the curse, destroying herself in the process, but not before returning Anna and Elsa’s memories. Emma laments that Ingrid doesn’t get a happy ending, but the Snow Queen says she has – all she wanted “was to have my sister’s love,” which she now realizes she does.
As snow falls on Storybrooke we see it’s residents awakening from the now-broken spell. Anna and Elsa vow to follow through with their mother’s wishes. People stop their fighting and embrace in the streets. Snow, Charming and Regina realize what has happened and start laugh hysterically.
And while the Snow Queen’s plan to destroy Storybrooke may have failed, Gold promises his plan to cleave himself from the dagger and leave Storybrooke will not.
So what did you all think? I’ll admit, I was a little underwhelmed at how they wrapped up this storyline we’ve been building up for half a season. But I have high hopes for the winter finale and hopefully where it takes us in the back half of the season. Plus, we get villains galore with the return of Maleficent, Ursula and the introduction of Cruella De Vil. Stay tuned for the recap of Sunday’s winter finale!