Once Upon A Time: “Fall”

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We’re nearing the end of Once Upon a Time’s Frozen saga and this week’s episode set us up for the final showdown. The spell of broken sight has been enacted and as it slowly (very slowly) rolls into town, our heroes scramble to try to stop it. Can they find the cure before the spell takes hold? No, no they can’t. But it was an entertaining episode anyway.

Apparently Ingrid’s spell takes until nightfall to come into effect, which gives Rumpel just enough time to up the ante on the deal he’s made. He persuades the Snow Queen to allow Belle and Henry to leave Storybrooke with him on his quest to take over the world.

Everyone else watches the CGI spell roll through the sky from the clocktower and decides that they should probably leave town. If they’re not in town the spell can’t get them, right? Of course the solution isn’t that easy, and the ice wall stops their escape. Elsa finds her sister’s necklace and believes it’s a sign. (What coincidence. I bet that doesn’t become important later in the episode.) Since they can’t leave, everyone decides they should separate from their loves ones.

But wait! There may be a way to stop the spell. Belle and her books find a way to undo it. All they need is someone who has already been affected by it. They can create an antidote or vaccine. The fairies get to work and since Elsa now has Anna’s necklace, Emma casts a locator spell to try to find her. Anna might just be the answer to all their problem.

We flashback to Arendelle as it begin to thaw from Ingrid’s magic. Anna and Kristoff shake of the cold and get down to business. Anna figures out that Rumpel has taken the urn, but before they can work out a plan, Hans shows up and claims himself ing. I don’t think that’s how things actually work but hey, whatever. Kristoff fakes a surrender and the two of them take out the guards and escape.

Rumpel isn’t at all concerned about the spell and calls in Hook to do his dirty work. This time he forces the one handed rogue to suck all of the fairies into the magic hat, which will give Rumpel enough power to break free from his dagger. Elsa and Emma follow the locator spell (à la necklace) to the library but are stopped at a dead end tunnel. Elsa thinks she can break through, but Emma doesn’t want to start another cave in. They go back to town and the dwarves say they can clear it, but it’ll take time that they don’t have.

They arbitrary clock is winding down. The fairies can use the necklace to break the spell, but that too will take time. It’s either find Anna, or save the town. Regina thinks the choice is ridiculous and for them to do what’s best for the greater good. Snow remarks that she’s thinking like a hero and her and Charming agree. Emma tells Elsa their decision and takes the necklace.  Elsa pulls a switcheroo and heads back to the tunnel with the necklace. When Emma and company get to the fairies, they find out the necklace is gone and are told it’s too late to use it to stop the spell. Arbitrary time strikes again!

Anna and Kristoff decide that they should go find Black Beard the pirate and ask for a wishing star. A pirate is easier to pay off than an evil wizard. They try to make a deal with the pirate, however, Hans shows up again and has already bought him off. Black Beard admits that their parents had already purchased the wishing star, which befuddles Anna. Why hadn’t they used it to get rid of Elsa’s powers? Hans and Black Beard stuff Anna and Kristoff into a trunk and toss them overboard. Because everything is connected, and we’ll probably see Black Beard again, we find out his ship is Hook’s Jolly Roger.

Emma is apparently lightning fast and finds Elsa as she blasts through the tunnel. It leads to the beach because … of course it does. The locator spell stops working and Elsa thinks Anna is lost forever. The audience knows these are beloved Disney characters that may or may not have a sequel coming up so we’re not all that worried. Emma reminds Elsa that 30 years have passed since she’s seen Anna because of Time Travel. Elsa grips the necklace and begins to wish to see her sister again. I groan loudly because I should have seen that coming a mile away.

The trunk lands on the beach and Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff are reunited. For continuity’s sake, we’re told that Arendelle was frozen for 30 years too! What are the odds? The sisters hug and Anna explains to everyone who is slow on the uptake that the necklace was the wishing star all along. There’s no time for a happy reunion. They have to get Anna to the fairies. Hook gets there first and sucks them all into the hat and hides behind the counter as they arrive. It’s too late. The spell is coming and there is nothing anyone can do. I have no idea why they can’t just wish the spell away. They have a wishing star. Is it a one-use deal?

The rest of the cast locks themselves or their loved ones away so they won’t get hurt. Rumpel stashes Belle inside the store. Regina locks down the mayor’s office for Henry. Robin’s loved ones are put somewhere unnamed because they’re not important. Emma and the Frozen gang go to the sheriff’s station to find Snow and Charming. I finally get my bro-hug between Kristoff and Charming and they banter about their haircuts. Charming and Snow tell Emma to lock them up in separate cells and give her the baby to look after, since the curse won’t affect Elsa or Emma. Hook shows up too, knowing that Rumpel plans to kill him and says a heartfelt goodbye. The spell finally envelops the town in a wave of bad CGI. Faux pieces of glass fall from the sky. Snow and Charming hold hands and promise that they are two halves of one heart and nothing will tear them apart. As the shattered sight takes effect, their eyes crack and they pull apart as the screen cuts to black.

The episode had some good character moments and some clever(ish) dialogue. The Emma/Hook goodbye was pretty powerful and the banter between Kristoff and Anna was sweet and cute. While the pace within the story didn’t make a whole lot of sense, the episode itself didn’t feel as rushed as some this season. Next week, we get to see the town under the spell of shattered sight, and I kind of wish we had more than two episodes to deal with it. Inner demons are more interesting to me than outer. We’ll see if I want to eat those words next week.

B+

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