Where has this version of “Once Upon A Time” been for the last 83 seasons (approximate number)? Adding “Frozen” characters may have seemed a little on-the-carrot-nose at first, but Anna and Elsa have raised everyone else in Storybrooke’s game exponentially.
And though there’s still one more episode until the sisterly duo officially depart for Arendelle, this week’s (December 7) episode left the arc on a high note — though sadly not the one Idina Menzel hits at the end of, “let the storm rage on.”
Spoilers for “Once Upon A Time” past this point.
For the past half a season, The Snow Queen (Elizabeth Mitchell) has been enacting the most bizarre villain plan of all time: make a mirror rain on Storybrooke, which will make everyone kill each other so she can turn her foster daughter and niece into her sisters.
Yet due to Mitchell’s heartbreaking acting, and the last second reveal of a note from Anna and Elsa’s mommy — who also happens to be TSQ’s sister — “Once” managed to bring this crazypants plot around and make it work.
The main reason it worked is the same reason last week’s Anna/Elsa reunion worked so well, too: the theme of sisterly love felt fresh in “Frozen” in relation to Disney’s fixation on romantic love, and the same is true for “Once.”
After TSQ finally makes it mirror rain, she’s ready to replace Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Elsa’s (Georgina Haig) memories with only good memories of their time with TSQ. Instead, in rushes Anna (Elizabeth Lail) with a letter her mother wrote moments before her death — tying back to a scene that happened in the season premiere 32 episodes ago (approximate number).
The letter doesn’t just reveal that she regrets telling Elsa that whole “conceal, don’t feel” thing — it also says that she always loved her sister Ingrid, a.k.a. TSQ. She asks as her dying wish that Anna and Elsa free her from the magic urn she was trapped in (seriously) after she turned their other sister into ice cubes (seriously), as well as returning the memories the rock trolls stole from Arendelle of the cubed and urned sister.
Though she doesn’t believe it at first, Ingrid presses the royal seal on the letter and gets her memories back of all the good times she had with her sisters/was Crazy Lizzie from “The Walking Dead.” She calls back the mirror rain, which proceeds to skeletonize her while she cries happy tears and then turns into snow.
So not only did they wrap up the Snow Queen arc, they also paid off one of the few dangling emotional beats from “Frozen.” And since Anna was the one who read the letter, after weeks of being sidelined, she got to be the hero, just like in the movie.
Next week, we say goodbye to Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and the rest of the “Frozen” gang — at least until March 13 when “Frozen Fever” hits theaters — while Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) enacts his evil plan to use Mickey Mouse’s hat from “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” to separate himself from his Rumplestilkin knife so he can kidnap his own grandson.
Seriously. See you then!