This week, the spell of Shattered Sight took hold of Storybrooke … for a little while and without much consequence, which is disappointing at the end of an arc.
Like usual, OUAT’s penultimate episode before the midseason break acted as the climax of the story, leaving next week to wrap up the loose ends and tease at what’s to come. “Shattered Sight” saw the end of the Snow Queen (I’ll miss you Elizabeth Mitchell) and the ends of our Frozen plot. And, while things wrapped up nicely for most of our heroes, I can’t help but think that this curse would have some lasting consequences.
There’s been a lot of talk about Once Upon a Time’s continuous use of curses and recycled stories. I’ve harped on repetition throughout the season, and while they do keep coming back, I don’t think the curses themselves have been the problem. The trouble is that we’re not given enough time for them to be effective anymore.The first curse was the plot of the entire season. This one caused bickering (and apparently a crossbow fight) for about half an episode. Then everything goes back to normal. Last year, the Storybrookians lost a year of their life and,other than an unexplained baby, seemed pretty unfazed by it.
“Shattered Sight” looks into your heart and pulls out the worst of people. Charming and Snow spit venomous words back and forth about their past, partners, and parenting skills, but each insult hit close to home. Sure, it brought Regina back into full Evil Queen mode (wardrobe and all), but every word said under the curse was made to dig into a person and touch that nerve. When it’s lifted, the town jokes about the absurd things that they’d said or did and they shake it off because “it was the curse talking.” That’s not how people work. Anna says it best when Kristoff starts berating her about their wedding: she knows it’s the curse, but the words still hurt. Unlike the other curses, this one should leave some emotional scars.
I didn’t find myself taking many notes this episode because it played out like most of the wrap-up episodes. We got a little more backstory about Ingrid and Emma. After an Enchanted-esque introduction to Boston in 1982, they flash-forward to when Emma was in car under Ingrid. She was a good foster mother and was going to adopt Emma. They play the claw machine at an arcade and before winning, the lights flicker. Ingrid believes it was Emma’s powers manifesting, but Emma thinks nothing of it and is happy with the stuffed Dalmatian she’s won—a little nod to the upcoming story arc.
Being from a magical land messes with you head a little, and Ingrid decides that dragging Emma into traffic is the best way to spur on her magic. (Hey, it worked for Jean Grey!) Emma is obviously freaked out and thinks her soon-to-be-mom is cuckoo-bananas. She runs away. They don’t meet up again until Emma visits Storybrooke for the first time. She believes Ingrid is stalking her and Ingrid’s instance that Henry’s stories are real isn’t helping. Instead of discussion, Ingrid decides to take Emma’s memories.
Elsa and Emma head off to defeat Ingrid with the knowledge that they’ll have to kill her to stop the curse. They use Regina’s rage to rid them of the pesky ribbons, but Ingrid isn’t afraid. She holds their memories and know they love her deep down. Neither of them can do what needs to be done. Anna shows up with the message in a bottle (from the first episode of the season) after being magicked to the beach during a sword fight between Regina and Snow. The letter is from Elsa and Anna’s mother and admits that they were wrong for keeping Elsa’s power a secret and that they had an Aunt Ingrid with the same power. She writes that she loved her sister and acted terribly and has the memories to prove it. A memory stone is attached to the parchment and the girls should give Arendelle back the memories of the two lost sisters (I’m guessing we see this next week). Ingrid tries to ignore it, but touches the stone and all of her sister’s loving memories flood into her. She’s moved and realizes that it wasn’t the power that made her a monster, but what she did with them. She gives Elsa and Emma their memories back (no more amnesia!) and decides to sacrifice herself to stop the curse. Our villain has a change of heart and commits suicide for the good of the town. Huh.
Throughout the episode, Hook and Gold banter about his plan, and I assume that will come to a head next week. Gold’s world domination plan, Maleficent, Cruella De Vil … I’m kind of excited to see where it goes. While the Frozen story didn’t leave me completely cold, I’m excited to move on.
Did you really think I could let it go without one more pun?