Once Upon A Time: “Swan Song” (S5Ep11)

I know this post is rather late for the aptly named “Swan Song” in which all the characters went to Hell at the end of it and a lot of fans have treated it as the last episode they will ever watch. I almost didn’t write anything about this episode, because it was just so terrible that I didn’t think I could formulate my annoyance and disappointment into anything that resembled words. I thought about writing a good and bad things post where the good was evil cleavage and the bad was everything else, because that was how I feel about it.

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But, I decided I would write something about this episode because it did the impossible. It got me and my super straight Rumbelle shipper friend, who doesn’t believe Emma and Regina have any chemistry, to agree. Our other friend would have been blown away, if she hadn’t fallen asleep. My Rumbelle shipper friend and I agreed that this episode fucking sucked.

Once Upon A Time is sometimes my least favorite fandom to be a part of because everyone gets really mad at each other and mostly nobody agrees with one another. I used to ship Rumbelle before it devolved into Rumple being an abusive manipulative asshole and it destroyed Belle, one of my favorite Disney princesses from my childhood.  But my Rumbelle friend and I agreed because she got fucked over by the writers and creators just like me, all of SWEN and any fan of the same-sex pairings on this show have been since, well ever.

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So where do I even go from here? Do I explain how the show barely hit the 12 things I hoped to see this half season? Do I do a quick sum up of how it has destroyed ever strong female characters? Actually, let’s do that real quick:

Emma

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She used to be a badass bail bonds person with a shady past and a strange relationship with her parents, who didn’t know they were her parents. Then she was the sheriff who kept saving the Evil Queen/Mayor because her son she was forced to give up for adoption wanted her too. She then become the only person to see that Regina had changed and was becoming a hero too. But, she isn’t nearly as cool, sacrificed everything for her boyfriend she has zero chemistry with and is bringing literally everyone she cares about into Hell to save him after he tried to destroy literally everyone she cares about.

Regina

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Does anyone remember when this show didn’t humanize its villains the moment they were introduced? Remember when it waited 18 episodes to give us “The Stable Boy” and Baby Braids Regina? And suddenly the hard ass villain had more complexity and was even greater? I will give the show some credit for spending most of last season turning Regina into a hero. Though she has actually been a hero since the end of 2A when she nearly got herself killed to save Emma and Snow because Henry wanted her to. Now, if she could just drop her constipated beard.

Snow

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One time in 2012, I was trying to sell this show to my sister but telling her it made Snow White a badass. She then watched an episode of season four with me and asked me WTF I was talking about. And I didn’t even know how to explain how Snow went from a badass to the horrible, whiny ass mom that she is now.

Belle

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I feel like I shouldn’t even give the show any credit by saying Belle is a hard character to handle because most of the original Beauty and The Beast is dependent on the Stockholm Syndrome of Belle. But, this is the same show that made Snow White a badass, Little Red Riding Hood a sexy, possibly bisexual werewolf and made me be attracted to the Evil Queen,who I used to hide under a blanket from as a kid. So seriously, OUAT? How did you do so bad at modernizing Belle? Women shouldn’t be giving their abusers so many second chances. Are you guys watching Jessica Jones? Everyone, including the writes of this shit, should be watching Jessica Jones or get a stern speech from Det. Benson. That also sums up my opinions on Zelena impersonating Marian and knocking herself up via Robin.

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So, should I address the questions I get asked so often about this show from my Rumbelle shipper friend and my dad (he has a DVR) of if I hate this show so much why do I still watch it?

As I told my Rumbelle friend before we watched this episode, unintentional queer subtext, Lana Parrilla’s face and J-MO’s arms.

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I try to be less shallow around my dad, so my answer is a bit more difficult. I usually tell him, it is because this show used to be good and back when it was I got invested in Emma, Regina, Snow and Charming, multiple side characters before they disappeared and Stroybrooke itself before it turned into the lame ass, barely held together town.

Maybe I still watch this show because my first ever femslash ship I freaked out about was Sleeping Warrior. Maybe it is because it used to be a cool, darkened, feminist version of all the Disney movies I loved as a child.

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I am over wishing this show will ever return to its season one glory and sometimes I get concerned that I am contributing to racist, homophobic television by continuing to watch this, but I am going to watch 5B. Because I love Emma and Regina and apparently Mulan and Ruby, the show’s undeclared queer element, are going to be back and it is going to introduce Meg and Hercules, which are another of my childhood favorites. I doubt the show will do them justice but I still want to see what it does.

 


Once Upon A Time: “The Price” (S5Ep2)

This episode was terrible and I couldn’t bring myself to write a full post about it so here is the five good and five bad things about it.

The Good

 

Regina and Emma scenes 

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Now let me get this straight this is not the scenes with Emma (Jennifer Morrison) in them or the scenes with Regina (Lana Parrilla) in them, it was only the scenes with Regina and Emma in them. They both got caught in a lot of stupid little scenes with Robin (Sean Maguire), Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), Zelena (Rebecca Mader) and Snowing (Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas).

The first scene they had together in Stroybrooke with Henry (Jared Gilmore) was great. Mostly because of how it set up the season’s action and the absurd levels of sexual tension. Emma taunts Regina about what happened in Camelot, but Regina points out it must be bad if she took the memories from everyone. Emma warns Regina that something is coming to Stroybrooke that only the savior can stop. Regina says she can be the savior now but Emma isn’t buying it.

In Camelot six weeks ago, Regina is covering for Emma and telling everyone she is the savior so Emma doesn’t have to use magic. Regina is worried that she is going to go dark. I hope the shows plays it up more of Regina using the dagger to control Emma by accident because it adds a really great new level to their relationship and power dynamic.

Also, Regina says she will release Merlin from the tree in Camelot so Emma never has to use dark magic. Emma agrees to save Robin in Camelot and pay the price herself despite Hallucination Rumple (Robert Carlyle) saying it is Regina’s price.

Hook and Belle bonding 

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Some of the scenes were terrible, but the show contrasting Hook and Belle (Emilie de Ravin) was clever in the show’s canon. Hook thinking Emma being the Dark One was a curse that could be broken with true love’s kiss was horrible because clearly it is not a curse you idiot. But Belle trying to explain to Hook that loving the Dark One is harder than hating them was good. Also, showing them together while Rumple was talking about love was a good bit.

Henry gets a love interest 

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While in Camelot, Henry meets a girl named Violet (Olivia Steele-Falconer) at the ball Arthur held for them. He meets her again in almost the exact same way in Storybrooke. The curse Emma cast to bring everyone back to Storybrooke also brought a bunch of Camelot folks. I’m glad Henry has gotten a love interest and the show has acknowledged the fact he isn’t the useless kid that he used to be. Also, did Violet remind anyone else of Lily? Aw, the Swan side of Swan-Mills having similar first loves.

The return of Hallucination Rumple 

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Emma’s reaction to seeing Hallucination Rumple was what sold me on the idea. She seemed to think she was done with his guidance because she embraced the darkness, which makes me think there is a larger reason for her turning dark. This might be me trying to add too much meaning to this mess, but I really hope I’m not because it would be good and interesting. He also lead Emma to the sword in the stone in the basement of her stolen house. He tells her she can complete the sword and snuff out the light forever.

Emma’s costumes 

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Sleeveless outfits on Emma are always a good thing. So, good job costume department.

The Bad

That dance scene 

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Bo Peep being a warlord might be the last thing that pissed me off as much as this dance scene with Regina and Snowing. Regina doesn’t know how to dance? You mean Regina, who was raised by Cora who was dead set on having her daughter marry up so she could become a queen did not teach her to dance? I get that the show as trying to do something cute and vulnerable with Regina, but when it goes so much against her backstory it just comes off terribly.

Why with the kissing? 

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There was so much kissing in this episode. Emma and Hook didn’t even kiss in the 4B finale but they kissed twice in this episode. One was Hook idiotically trying to break the non-existent Dark One curse, but the other was after Emma saved Robin in Camelot because Robin almost dying made her think of how much she likes Hook? Because after such a dramatic scene with Regina the show has to remind us they are straight by having both of them kiss their dude love interests? Regina and Robin made a bit more scene. He did almost die in Camelot and Storybrooke, but Regina’s interaction with Emma about saving Robin was way more dramatic and heartfelt than her reaction to Robin almost dying.

That is not how Greek Mythology works 

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Every so often this show poaches from Greek mythology like it is a normal fantasy show and not a show about fairy tales Disney owns the rights to. It always turns out bad. This time the show had a harpy — though it called it a fury — attack Robin and try to pull him into the underworld. So yeah a harpy, not a fury, which causes madness. The terribly CGI’ed harpy fury takes Robin to Lake Didn’t Exist Until Season Three, which doubles as the River Styx, I guess. Charon then floats out, but Regina, Snowing and a few dwarfs that are hanging around like they are main characters again share the dementor’s kiss from its and it goes away? I don’t even know. That is not how Greek mythology works.

Curse names?

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When did Snow and Charming start going by Mary Margret and David again? Everyone was using fake names in Camelot, which I understood for Regina who didn’t want everyone to know she was the former Evil Queen Regina right out of the gate. But, it has been established that Camelot is a realm of the Enchanted Forest so wouldn’t Snow and Charming have more authority going by Snow and Charming?

Town line crossing= A tree?

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The episode started with the dwarfs voting someone to cross the town line to see what happens because they don’t want to deal with Storybrooke and all its dangers without a savior. Dopey crosses and turns into a tree. Regina says, “that’s new.” Also, Merlin is a tree in Camelot. None of this was explained. Hopefully this is something for a later episode to reveal because if not what?


Once Upon A Time: “Mother” (S4Ep21)

Oh, where do I even start with this episode? It had a lot of Regina, both in Storybrooke and in flashbacks. But in a testament to how terribly written this episode was, not even Lana Parrilla could save it. And to think I was excited when I saw Jane Espenson wrote the episode.

We start in the Enchanted Forest with Regina (Lana Parrilla) and her father. They come upon a group of citizens having a wedding on royal land without Regina’s permission. It is the anniversary of Daniel’s death, so Regina gets rather pissed, more so when her dad questions her in front of her citizens and she takes a dude’s heart and crushes it.

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This episode had a lot of examples of good acting but terrible dialogue. We aren’t actually told when this is, but Regina’s tone and facial expression tell us this is somewhere in between Baby Braids Regina and “I will destroy your happiness” Evil Queen Regina. She storms away, leaving her father, and goes to Daniel’s grave. There is a rose there and Cora (Barbara Hershey) appears behind her. I feel the same way about Cora’s return as I did about Robin’s. She was fairly written off and there is no reason to bring her back. Regina already learned this lesson in season three and wasn’t Cora trapped in Wonderland? She said she got help from The Rabbit, but why did she then go back to get saved by Hook later on?

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Back in the present in New York, Regina is having a beer with Robin (Sean McGuire) at quiet possibly the same bar Emma and Neal did that one time. They are trying to figure out what to do about Marian being Zelena (Rebecca Mader). Robin says they can still be together but Regina says the whole thing is her fault and there will always be that child hanging around. Regina quietly says something about not being able to give Robin a child in here.

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Back at Neal/Robin’s apartment, Adult Lily (Agnes Bruckner) is getting information from Emma. Also, Zelena is just hanging out, making herself tea like she isn’t a murderous psychopath. Then Regina busts in and says they are all going to Storybrooke.

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When they get back, Emma hugs Henry (Jared Gilmore), hugs Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and sidesteps Snow’s (Ginnifer Goodwin) hug attempt. Emma then introduces Lily to Maleficent (Kristen Bauer van Straten). She is about to cry and Lily really isn’t sure what to think.

Regina then takes Zelena to the cells under the hospital. She gave her that magic cancelling wrist cuff, which I’m surprised the writers even remembered. Regina says she will stay there until she has the baby and maybe then she will kill her. Zelena says she can’t because that would be killing her true love’s child’s mother.

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Meanwhile, Rumple (Robert Carlyle) is stumbling around, having a magic heart attack. His heart is turning completely black, which will turn him Full Dark One with no Rumple to balance it out. Regina had pooffed herself there. She takes the enchanted pen, the Author and tells Rumple she doesn’t give a shit about him. He then collapses.

Regina brings her and the Author to her heart vault. Does her mansion no longer exist? He tells her they have everything they need, but the ink isn’t going to work because it has to be charged with the blood of the Savior at her darkness potential. Regina thinks that over for a moment and then gets an idea of how to get some. Clearly, her plan doesn’t involve hurting Emma in any way.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Cora tells Regina she is sorry about killing Daniel. She apparently met Tinkerbell at some point and she told her about the man with the lion tattoo, aka her soul mate. Cora promises to find him for Regina. She then goes to Robin Hood’s tavern. She starts talking to Sheriff Nottingham, who is again, all creepy and gross. She tells him he can help her.

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Over at Granny’s, Maleficent is trying her best to bond with Lily. She wants to take revenge on Snow and Charming (Josh Dallas). Maleficent says they should be happy in the present instead of angry about the past. Lily doesn’t like that idea and tries to run off. Her mom tries to stop her saying, if she leaves Stroybrooke she can never return. Lily ignores her and then runs off. The dialogue is so clunky, heavy headed and awkward through this scene. Of course, Kristen Bauer van Straten was still able to act incredibly despite it. Agnes Bruckner was good too. She is very good at capturing Lily in the exact same way Nicole Munoz did. If she was Hispanic too, I might actually like Adult Lily.

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In the Enchanted Forest, Cora gave Sheriff Nottingham a lion tattoo and tries to pass him off as Regina’s soul mate. She buys it as first, but as he gets all pretentious, creepy and gross, she is able to figure out it was magic. She pretty much tortures Cora’s plan out of him. He said Cora wants him to be king so Regina will have a child, but he doesn’t know why.

Regina is able to figure it out that she will have her child and then “die of a mysterious illness” and Cora will become the Queen Regent. Regina makes a potion for herself that will stop her from having a child. Cora tells her not to, that this is stupid and a weak way to get back at her. This is when the dialogue went from just being terrible to uncomfortable. Sure, Sheriff Nottingham was rather rape-y also, but this was coming from Regina, a character we are supposed to like. Cora tells Regina hurting herself is weak and Regina says it isn’t if it causes Cora pain also, which sends a really messed up message about self-harm and suicide. Also, Regina says Cora already decided no one would ever love her so why doesn’t she make it official. Because her ability to be loved is tied to her having children, OUAT?

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Anyway back in Storybrooke, Regina finds Lily at the bus stop. Regina says a few things to piss of Lily, mostly about her darkness and how she must be mad that it really belongs to Emma. Regina then cuts her hand and is able to super charge the magic ink with her blood, which contains the Savior’s greatest potential for darkness. Regina then magics away and Lily’s eyes glow yellow.

For some god damn reason, Maleficent goes to the idiot duo to ask for help about Lily. The three of them go off to find her and run into a horribly CGI’ed Lily in dragon form.

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Over at the docks, Hook tells Emma she should forgive her parents. Emma says it would be easier for her if they had been truthful about their terribleness. They probably said other stuff, but I was too distracted by the utter lack of chemistry between these two. Also, Regina already told Emma all this.

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Maleficent and the idiot duo find Dragon Lily. Then Snow runs at her, I don’t know what she was supposed to be doing. It ended up being an excuse for her to be injured when Emma arrived. She told her she forgave her. It was actually good and reminiscent of season one Emma and Mary Margaret.

Maleficent finds Lily once she is back in human form. They clunk through some more dialogue and Lily agrees to stay for a week, which was also how long Emma said she would stay the first time.

Down in the cells, Regina and the Author go to visit Zelena. Regina had planned to have the Author write Zelena out of the story completely. Zelena says she is like their mother, who pretty much erased Zelena from her life. Regina remembers when Cora told her to stop standing in the way of her own happiness. She realizes she doesn’t need to get rid of Zelena. Robin does not define her happy ending, it is finding a place where she feels like she belongs, which was sweet and cute.

But, the Author says he doesn’t like that idea and sends himself to Rumple. Rumple magics up a book called “Heroes and Villains” and the Author writes “Once upon a time” in it.

If it was better written, I feel like this could have been a good episode. I’m not sure what to expect from the finale next week. This show is great a finales, but it is terrible at two-hour episodes. So, best guesses on how this two-hour finale will go?

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Once Upon A Time: “Enter the Dragon” (S4Ep15)

This episode was great. It was Regina (Lana Parrilla) focused. It had so much SwanQueen, more unintentional subtext, Snowing getting called out for being horrible and Baby Braids Regina! It did also have a boring Belle (Emilie de Ravin) and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) story line, a recycled twist and a major timeline fail. But I mean come on:

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Look at Regina right now

Regina is meeting the Queens of Darkness at Granny’s after hours to start her undercover mission. I had the same feeling about Regina and Maleficent (Kristen Bauer van Starten) as I did about Regina and Tinkerbell and Emma and Lily, if lesbians were not the shows intention what the hell was?

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Regina is met with more sass than she usually gets from the Charmings. She tells them she wants to join them because she is just faking it with the hero gang. She’s a villain like them and she wants her happy ending just like they do. After taking a shot from Maleficent, Maleficent says she can come with them.

We then jump back into our Enchanted Forest flashbacks, which featured my favorite flashback character, Baby Braids Regina. She is getting pissed at Young Snow, who thankfully didn’t appear, because she is winning all sorts of horse riding awards. Full Dark One Rumple (Robert Carlyle) is there and points out the irony that Snow only got the confidence to start hiding horses again because Regina saved her life with her horse riding skills. Regina isn’t having it and gets mad at Rumple because she didn’t think her revenge would take this long. He tells her to be patient.

Back in Storybrooke, Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Charming (Josh Dallas) decide to tell Emma (Jennifer Morrison) their plan for Regina going uncover. Emma doesn’t like the idea and calls them out how a lot of fans did last week, this is like asking a recovering drug addict to undercover as a junkie, Snow.

Emma warms up to the idea once she is told Regina agrees. Emma asked when they are going to start. Her idiot parents have to tell her they already did and Regina was supposed to check in an hour ago and she hasn’t. Emma is pissed.

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Shouldn’t you be more responsible, you used to rule a kingdom.

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But I suck now

I actually liked this next scene though logically the location doesn’t make any sense. The QoD plus Regina load up in Cruella de Vil’s (Victoria Smurfit) car and drive to the train tracks. There are train tracks in Storybrooke? How does that work? Where would that train be going you’re in Maine? Whatever, back to Regina. Maleficent has Cruella park her car on the tracks and a train is approaching. Cruella says the first person to save them losses. Regina tries to call their bluff and questions why Cruella and Ursula (Merrin Dungy) are even working with Maleficent.

Regina doesn’t get an answer and realizes they aren’t bluffing. At the last moment, she saves them. Ursula and Cruella say she has gone soft and is still a hero. Maleficent tells them not to write her off so quickly.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Baby Braids Regina finds one of Maleficent’s spell books among her mother’s things. Regina says she wants to learn from Maleficent because she was the power to turn herself into a dragon and she wants that kind of power. Rumple tells her she won’t learn anything from Maleficent. But, Regina ignores him and goes to her castle anyway.

Regina arrives and finds a that Maleficent has pretty much given up after Stefan defeated her and saved Briar Rose, Aurora’s mother. The shows tries to introduce a dark magic equals drug abuse here. It has tried this before and again it was weak.

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Am I pulling it off?

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No

Baby Braids Regina tells her she used to be powerful and she can still get her happy ending and her revenge, she just has to keep fighting for it. Was anyone else getting a dark side Xena and Gabrielle vibe from these two? Also no homo, OUAT?

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“Maleficent is just a close talker.”

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“Regina can’t be gay, Robin Hood is her soul mate.”

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“She admires her in like a mentor way.”

Back in Storybrooke, Emma is still freaking out because she and her parents have been searching all night and they still haven’t found Regina. Snowing starts to question their plan and worry that maybe the QoD will turn Regina. They find a burned sheriff cruiser and then Regina pops around the trees. She said apologizes for burning the car and says she couldn’t get away for the check in.

She says she has been asking questions, getting information, drinking a lot and burning things. She thinks there has to be something more going on with the QoD because they are able to work together so well.

Regina then goes to her vault to clean up from the QoD party. Maleficent comes in and they have more sexual tension filled dialogue. She asked Regina to met her again that night for another test. She has an idea of how to find the Author.

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No homo

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Baby Braids Regina convinces Maleficent to go try to get her dragon ability back from a tree that is still burning in a part of there kingdom she destroyed. She is able to get the fire back but they are caught by Stefan and his men. Regina says she isn’t going out like this. She burns off her bonds but is only able to throw one fire ball at the men. Maleficent comes to her aide, turns into a dragon and takes out all the men. The two of the them then go find Aurora, who is about to marry Prince Phillip. Maleficent enacts the sleeping curse on her and Maleficent and Regina go off triumphantly.

I shouldn’t even be complaining about the timeline on this show but how was this supposed to work? How can Baby Braids Regina and as-we-know-her Aurora exist in the same time? Baby Braids Regina is let’s say early 20s in this scene and Regina is about early 30s when she enacts the Dark Curse. Maybe Aurora didn’t age while she was asleep but she was supposed to be marrying Phillip in this scene but Phillip would have aged during that 10 year period. Either the writers massively messed this up or Sarah Bolger was engaged to a 12-year-old.

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It was nice to see you again, Sarah Bolger

At the end of the episode, Baby Braids Regina is back in her barn and is putting the sleeping curse on Snow’s prize horse. Rumple realizes she did learn from Maleficent but she still learned more about fighting for what you want from Regina.

So back in Storybrooke, Regina set up to meet the Charmings at the library but they brought the “whole Charming softball team and their pirate mascot.” Emma is still concerned. Regina says it is too dangerous for her to come along but Emma reminds her she is part of Operation Mongoose and is not going to let the QoD near her. She says she is going to track her. Regina reluctantly agrees.

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Wait? Do you still have feelings for Maleficent?

Regina meets Maleficent and they go to off in Cruella’s car. Emma is tracking her phone and tailing them in Charming’s truck. Maleficent takes them to Marco’s house. Regina said she already tried with Pinocchio. Maleficent says like a hero not a villain and she sends Regina inside. Regina is clearly conflicted and puts Marco and his boy asleep as soon as she gets inside.

Then Emma sneaks in and asked Regina what she is doing. Regina says she’s got it and nothing will happen to Pinocchio. She promises she will stop anything before it goes too far. Emma says she can’t take all three of them herself and she just needs to give the word and Emma will run in to help her. Regina agrees, takes Pinocchio and goes back to the car. She then drops her phone and drives off with Maleficent.

Emma then goes outside and finds Regina’s phone with “I got it” typed on it and she stands in the street and looks defeated. I really liked the phone drop because it seems to have two different meanings. The first being Regina is being attracted to the darkness and doesn’t want Emma to stop her. The second is Regina is worried the whole situation is too dangerous and she doesn’t want Emma to find her because she is trying to protect her. The show could be going either way, it is probably the first but I hope it is the latter.

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Emma, not now. We are kind of in the middle of something

So, the Belle and Hook scenes are not important until this point. Hook is sneaking around with Belle, which doesn’t make any sense, because they are both Storybrooke Hero Gang members. It was easy to guess Hook is Rumple in disguise. He cons Belle into getting the Dark One’s dagger from her. I figured that out early on and the whole thing made me uncomfortable because of all the lying and manipulation.

Anyway, Regina and Maleficent arrive at Rumple’s cabin in the woods. Regina is confused why they are there. Then Rumple walks out and Regina is clearly scared. They are up against a bigger foe than they thought and she is going to have more trouble faking she is a villain.

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Oh shit

Regina tells everyone again the boy doesn’t know anything. Rumple says that isn’t a problem because August does and he turns him back into a man. And Regina is just as concerned.

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Aw shit

This might be my favorite episode of season four. Yeah, it had its problems but most of it was great. Lana Parrilla is the strongest part of this show and she and Emma have the best dynamic. When the show remembers that it is always great.


28 things I hope for when Once Upon A Time returns

As of today, the premiere date for Once Upon A Time season 4B is 28 days away. The first part of the first season ended all right. As I have said I liked the Frozen story line and I thought the Snow Queen was a good villain. But, as OUAT has proved with season 2A and season 3A it is usually better at its first part of the seasons (Neverland grew on me) than its second parts.

So, below I have listed 28 things I hope to see and hope not to see when Once Upon A Time returns on March 1.

1. Anything cool for Snow and Charming

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Remember when “badass” was a common way to describe for Snow. Yeah, that was a while ago. Please, show give them something cool to do and no more of them trying to be good grandparents. They can be idiots and disgustingly cute, but let them fight or something

2. Diversity 

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Lack of diversity is always a problem with this show. The show has added some but they have either died (Tamara, Lancelot) or disappeared (Rapunzel, Mulan). I know people usually will make an argument for Regina here. Yes, Lana Parrilla is Puerto Rican but the show has given us little to no evidence that Regina is supposed to be Hispanic in anyway. The show has added Merrin Dungey as Ursula, but as a villain she will probably die by the end of the season.

3. No villain plan monologues

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Remember how Zelena went around telling her plans to everyone? She wasn’t that great of a villain. The Snow Queen only told Emma her plans and after we had to spend half the episodes trying to figure out what she wanted. That is a better way to handle villains, please continue with that.

4.  Belle keeps her cool 

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The show did a lot of questionable things with Belle and Rumple’s relationship. I think it was getting borderline abusive, but canonly the whole thing was built on a lie. Belle finally got cool again when she realized that and told Rumple to get the eff out of Storybrooke. Stay badass, Belle.

5. Less questionable relationships the masses are supposed to believe is endgame 

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Like I said above Rumbelle was getting kind of abusive. Also, Regina was sleeping with a married guy in a crypt in a cemetery. He confessed her love to her while his wife was in an ice coma on the couch.

6. Less CGI 

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Like seriously? I would take the redressed gazebo set than more of digital everything.

7. Continued acknowledgement of Regina’s character growth 

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If this show has people who support Regina (Emma, Henry, Snow, Charming, Belle to a point) call her a villain or think she is going to do something evil, I’m going to be pissed. Regina hasn’t been a villain since the end of 2A.

8. More Swan-Mills family moments 

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Though I am clearly in support of the Swan-Mills family having a wedding and living happily ever after together, I know the show is not that open-minded. But, Emma and Regina are canon friends and they are both Henry’s moms and I hope the show gives the three of them some time together.

9. An explanation for Cruellia de Vil

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Why are you in the Enchanted Forest? Do you have magic? Why would you have magic? Is 1920s London a magically realm?

10. Same for Maleficent 

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Emma killed you as a dragon. Didn’t someone kill you as that ghost thing too?

11. Less Hook 

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Apart from wanting to get in Emma’s pants, has there been a reason for Hook to still be hanging around everyone else? I really thought he was going to get killed at the end of this season and I would have been fine with that. Didn’t he get cast on something in England? Where did that rumor go?

12. No more new characters

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We are already going into 4B with three new or new-ish villains. If they end up bringing Ariel and Aurora back because of this I am fine with that, but don’t add another gaggle of characters from their past that we don’t want to see.

13. Regina’s mansion 

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Remember when she didn’t live in that vault?

14. Not Robin 


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He better not come back. He left with his family for a good reason. I never liked him. The one glaringly obvious reason is that he is not Emma, but he was also useless, had to have Regina fix all his problems, is married and had no chemistry with Regina. Send me your attacks, Outlaw Queen shippers.

15. Magic lessons

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I know Emma did magic with Elsa a lot in 4A but she got really good at magic really fast. The show should distract us from that continuity issue by showing her having some magic lessons with Regina because those scenes are always great.

16. Ruby

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Where the hell is Ruby? She popped into the diner like twice last season, but didn’t even get any lines. She is friends with multiple of the main characters, works at one of most popular locations in town and kept getting mentioned after her original disappearance. Bring her back! The show Meghan Ory original left for has been cancelled and according to IMDB she might have been filming a movie but that should be done now, so where is Ruby?

17. Only needed back story 

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You’d think four years in we would be done with back story, but this show just loves back story. But, please only give it to us if it is needed. Jesus Charming being terrorized by Bo Peep, we did not need to see that.

18. Mulan 

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Unlike Ruby, we know where Mulan is supposed to be. She is supposed to be with the Merry Men. After the show decided to make her sorta kinda possibly maybe come out as bisexual (that being the masses view, clearly she is queer as hell), she left to go join the Merry Men. But, she was never shown with the Merry Men in OUAT or OUATW. It seems like Jamie Chung was off filming other stuff for a while, but she seems to be free now. And if the new villains are going to give us more Aurora it would make sense for Mulan to be there too.

19. Less incredibly convenient plot devices 

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This incredibly important thing that we have never heard of and will never hear of again is the one and only thing that can save us in this situation.

20. LGBT representation

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Somebody needs to do a survey of OUAT fans and show ABC how many LGBTQ fans this show has, then maybe it will give us more representation. Also, bringing back Mulan would help with this and the shows lack of racial diversity problem.

21. No more memory loss 

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The first time it was good, the second was all right and the rest was too much. And I never want to see those fricking rock trolls again.

22. More of excellent Regina’s dialogue 

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This show might not be able to write plot twists better than memory loss, but it is fantastic at Sass Queen dialogue. Keep that coming.

23. No Will Scarlet

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Why is here even here? His show was cancelled, clearly we didn’t like him.

24. Tinkerbell 

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Tink has not been popping around as much as she should be. She is a fun new character and always acted as a voice for reason for Regina’s character development. She is also already established and well liked. Keep her around and get rid of Will.

25. The characters from the Baby Class of Missing Characters 

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The continuity fails with the Baby Class of Missing Characters was hilarious. But, if Ashley and Aurora are still hanging around Storybrooke and Aurora is living at Granny’s, why don’t we see them more often? They are both friends with Snow and Emma.

26. The characters getting an explanation for Zelena’s death 

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Rumple did a lot of bad things that he did not have to answer for last season. Hopefully, killing Regina’s on the verge of reforming half-sister is among the things our heroes learn about.

27. Baby Braids Regina, if there is story for her 

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I am not usually big on this show doing back story, but I really like Baby Braids Regina and Lana Parrilla can act the hell out of anything. So, if there has to be back story let it be with Baby Braids Regina.

28. The rest of the missing characters 

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Back in season one when there was a town-wide crisis and everyone had to get out, there was a whole lot of people hanging around and freaking out. Now, there might be a handful. Other people live in Storybrooke too, it would be nice to see them once in a while.

Once Upon A Time returns on March 1 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. I live-tweet @marika_l9 with #queerytales.


Once Upon A Time: “Family Business” (S4Ep06)

This plot with the Snow Queen (Elizabeth Mitchell) has actually been pretty good and her curse actually sounds interesting and I am interested in seeing it because hopefully it will include characters I actually care about. But in the meantime, we have to sit through more back story we didn’t really need, more of Rumple (Robert Carlyle) and Belle’s (Emilie de Ravin) relationship becoming slightly abusive and more fricking rock trolls.

Really only a few important things happened in this episode, but probably the most important was this:

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Regina worrying about Emma

Emma (Jennifer Morrison) shows the video of her and the Snow Queen to all the main characters that have not gone missing. Everyone is trying to figure out how she got to the regular world. Regina (Lana Parilla) is concerned with what she wanted with Emma. Charming (Josh Dallas) says they have been looking but can’t find her anywhere. Then, Henry (Jared Gilmore) is like idiots she has an ice cream truck that we haven’t found yet. Plot hole of the week: Nobody knew she had an ice cream truck? You have all lived in this town for four years!

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Everyone splits up to search for the truck. Elsa (Georgina Haig) decides to go to Belle to the library to try to find something about her sister.

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I have chemistry with everyone

Our flashbacks for the episode focus on a sadly Ruby-less Belle. None of it was that interesting. Her mother died in an orge attack, which she doesn’t remember of course.

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In the vaguely French, Australian accented Lipstick Kingdom

She travels to Arendelle for answers from the rock trolls. She runs into Anna (Elizabeth Lail), also headed to the trolls. She then lets Anna fall off a cliff to what would have certainly been her death but magic, I guess. And she witnesses her get taken by the Snow Queen.

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And her snow cleavage

 She also makes a deal with her father that he will trade her to Rumple to save the kingdom from the orges. Glad, Belle was taking care of herself then, because she sure as hell isn’t now.

Earlier in Arendelle, Elsa introduces Anna to the Snow Queen, who’s name is Ingrid. Anna thinks she might be shady from the beginning. She talks with Kristoff (Scott Michael Foster) about it and tells him that she didn’t tell Elsa that they’re parents went their to find a way to “fix” her. She then heads for the rock trolls, runs into Belle, finds out her mother had two sisters, Ingrid and Helga, that disappeared when they were little and then erased from everyone’s memories. Memories being erased?! That is something new in this show!

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I have contributed nothing to the plot so far

Back in Storybrooke, the Mulan-less Merry Men find the ice cream truck. Regina sasses up a storm by pointing out the craziness of them “storming an evil ice cream truck” and calling Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) Captain Guyliner. She then stands super close to Emma for the rest of this adventure.

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Should have left the men behind, Miss Swan

In the freezer, Emma finds that the Snow Queen has files on her since she arrived from the Enchanted Forest. Outside the truck, Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) asks Regina why she is avoiding him. He says it was stupid for him to say that he loved her especially since he had asked her to save his Popsicle wife. Regina apologizes that she can’t find a way to save Marian and that she has tried everything. She tells him the only thing he can do is forget about her and fall in love with his wife again. Lana Parilla was fantastic in this scene, but sadly it was her last of the episode.

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Also, I’m married to the blonde sheriff

Rumple and the Snow Queen had a bad guy meeting somewhere else in the woods. The Snow Queen says Emma hasn’t found anything she hasn’t wanted her to. She also tells him to stay out of her way. Belle then convinces Rumple to go with her to the Snow Queen’s layer to try to figure out what happened to Anna. She thinks she is controlling with the dagger but it is the fake one because her marriage is a lie.

Belle gets to the Snow Queen’s layer, tells Rumple to stay outside. Another version of her appears in the Snow Queen’s mirror. Mirror Belle tells her she isn’t heroic and tells her a bunch of lies, but she does tell her the truth that Rumple gave her a fake dagger. She confronts him about it and he lies again saying the dark magic in the mirror is lying to her. Remember when Belle used to be cool and Rumbelle used to be cute?

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This is getting borderline abusive

Back in Arendelle, the Snow Queen has Anna locked in a jail cell. She tells her she was planning to make the two of them and Elsa a prefect family. But, she doesn’t have magic so she isn’t like them and can’t be in the prefect family. Anna says Elsa will never go along with this. But, the Snow Queen plans to tell Elsa that Anna was going to use the Fantasia hat to take Elsa’s powers away because she is afraid of her.

Back in Storybrooke, Elsa tells Emma and Hook that she found out from a book from the library that the Snow Queen is her aunt and she had another one too. Hook makes a joke about everyone in the town being related. Good try, Once Upon A Time. It’s still stupid and about as good of a plot twist as memory loss. Elsa is able to read the scroll that the Snow Queen had in the file of Emma’s childhood art projects. She was looking for Emma because she wanted the savior to replace Anna in her perfect family.

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Costume department has been on point lately

Belle then bursts in and tells Elsa what happened to Anna. She also tells everyone that the Snow Queen’s mirror is going to cause everyone to turn on each other. Emma and Elsa think she must be planning to have everyone kill each other so just the three of them can live together as a family.

That already sounds more interesting than Zelena’s curse. I hope it is because it is one of the few interesting things remaining on this show.


Once Upon A Time: “The Tale of Two Sisters” (S4Ep01)

So, Once Upon A Time came back to force all its Frozen-crossover and weird Rumple (Robert Carlyle) and Belle (Emilie de Ravin) cuteness on us, while it made Regina (Lana Parrilla) a villain again and didn’t really intertwine the Frozen characters with the existing ones. Welcome back Once Upon A Time, you started just as badly as I thought you would.

The episode opens with the King and Queen of Arendelle on that boat they die on. The Queen puts a message in a bottle saying Anna (Elizabeth Lail) and Elsa (Georgina Haig) have to know the truth. Then they die.

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Wasting a whole lot of the CGI budget on a scene nobody wanted to see

We meet Elsa and Anna  in Arendelle five years later, after the events of the movie. Thank god. It has only been one episode so I don’t want to be too harsh on these actors, but they seemed to struggle to bring the characters to live, but with this show that was probably everyone else’s fault. Elsa gives Anna their mother’s wedding dress for her to wear for her wedding to Kristoff (Scott Michael Foster). She finds a diary of their mother’s and looks worried. Their parents left for a land called Misthaven because they wanted to find answers about Elsa’s gift.

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Do they have a ship name yet?

When we finally get to Storybrooke, Regina is running out of Granny’s again. Emma (Jennifer Morrison) chases after her again, telling her that she is sorry. She didn’t know who Marian (Christie Laing) was and she didn’t mean to hurt Regina. Regina calls her Swan the whole time and says even though she didn’t mean to she messed up everything and destroyed her happiness she did because she is the Savior. Emma says Evil Regina was going to kill her. Regina tells her she isn’t that Regina anymore.

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Wait, we already did this

Emma is about to hop in to defend her but Marian comes outside to freak out at Regina and even more when she figures out Regina and Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) were together. Regina storms off. Emma tries to go after her but fricking Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) stops her. Henry (Jared Gilmore, who grew about a foot since last season) is worried but doesn’t think Regina will go evil again because she has come too far and Emma will help her. Agreed, Henry.

4 the show is effing with us right

Elsa is still wandering around Storybrooke. She almost gets hit by a car and freezes it over. The show does a good job of making fun of itsself by having Leroy (Lee Arenberg) run into another scene screaming to all the main characters what happened. He breaks up Hook accusing Emma of avoiding him, which she is because she is too busy leaving messages on Regina’s phone with Henry.

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I’m not avoiding you I’m just gay

Regina is hiding out at her house and Robin stops by. He pretty much apologizes that his wife is back and breaks up with her. He does say he knows she isn’t a bad guy anymore unlike his wife who is probably screaming it from a rooftop somewhere. Regina doesn’t take what he says very well. They paralleled her with Elsa a lot, so she accidentally breaks a few mirrors while Elsa is accidentally freezing the town.

The mirror remains Regina of a character the writers have forgotten about since season two. She gets Sydney (Giancarlo Esposito) out of that cell underneath the hospital and has him help her get her happy ending back.

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Has anyone been checking on him? Or feeding him?

I was tempted to gloss over the Rumbelle part completely. All it did was have Rumple recap his story line from last season to Neal’s headstone,  some trying to be cute but really messed up marriage built on a lie and nearly ruined an iconic scene from Beauty and the Beast. Oh, and I’m still mad at Rumple for murdering Zelena, because the writers suck at redemption arches and didn’t even want to try with Zelena after failing so horribly with Regina.

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Stop this

Anyway back to Regina, she first plan is to go back in time and find Marian and kill her before Emma can save her. But, she can’t remember who she is and what she did to her. Sydney is able to find her with the mirror and flashback Marian is far nicer to Regina than present Marian is telling her that she feels sorry for her and that she doesn’t have to be a monster. So, flashback Marian is actually watching season four while current Marian is back in season one.

Everyone is being chased around Storybrooke by the snow monster. Elsa finds an old newspaper and sees that Rumple has a necklace she gave to Anna in his shop. In Adrendelle flashbacks, Anna wants to go to Misthaven to figure out what their parents were looking for. She is paralleling Emma a lot in this episode, so she keeps telling Elsa she is not a monster and she is not going to give up on her. Sven (a horribly creepy puppet) and Kristoff make an appearance to tell Elsa Anna left and that Misthaven is also called the Enchanted Forest.

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Haircut is all the show did to explain why he doesn’t look anything like the original

Back in Storybrooke, Regina ends up in the forest with the rest of the characters that are being chased by the terribly CGI’ed snow monster. It is about to kill Marian, but Regina steps in and kills it. She tells Regina that maybe she was wrong about her. Regina poofs herself away as Emma calls after her. Emma then wanders off from the group and tells Hook she can’t make out with him because she is too worried about Regina.

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My wife needs me

To continue the fanfiction vibe Emma and Regina were doing this episode, Emma goes and finds Regina crying in her office. Regina won’t talk or let Emma in. Emma tells her Henry brought her to Storybrooke to bring back the happy endings and that means everyone’s including Regina. She says she will fight for her and holy crap, why aren’t these two canon?

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Like come already, show. You even gave us a fanfic cover

Regina decides on a new plan. She can’t get her happy ending because the story book sees her just as the writers do; a villain regardless of what happens. She decides she is going to have to find the writer of the story book and force them to change it so the villain’s win.

I’m guessing that is why Rumple has that hat from Fantasia, which is the only Disney story I don’t know that well. Also, Elsa found Anna’s necklace in Rumple’s shop.

Though I do love snarking about this show, this was an all right episode. The Frozen stuff was pretty good, but I’m annoyed at the show throwing Regina backward down her road of redemption for the fourth time. But, hopefully the Frozen story line and this new curse/plan plays out better than 3b.