Michael Moccio ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Executive Editor
Official Description: Once Upon a Time has Frozen over! This season, Elsa – the Ice Queen from Arendelle – brings an icy new twist to Storybrooke. And the show will take a look back in the past at Elsa’s kingdom and discover what happened to her, her sister Anna and Kristoff, and how and why Elsa became a prisoner of Rumplestiltskin. Co-Creators and Executive Producers Edward Kitsis (LOST) and Adam Horowitz (LOST) and Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan) invite you to an exclusive screening of an upcoming all-new episode of Once Upon a Time. Following the Exclusive Screening, they’ll discuss the new season storylines, characters and adventures with Moderator Matt Mitovich, TV Line.com’s Editor-at-Large. This Panel is sure to bring some surprises you won’t want to miss! And as an added surprise, ABC will introduce the new ABC show GALAVANT immediately following the Once Upon a Time Panel.
First, Adam Horowitz came out onto the stage, much to the applause of the crowd. He then put on the next episode that will be airing this Sunday. The following is a review of this episode:
Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 2: Operation Mongoose is a go! Regina finally gets to be the hero, at least for awhile. Marion falls under the icing curse, the one Anna fell under in Frozen, and only an act of true love can reverse it. Throughout the beginning of the episode, no one suspects the Ice Cream shop owner, which we can buy as the audience because the cast is so on point in trying to figure out what to do next. The other people of Storybrooke, predictably, go off on their own believing Elsa is responsible.
The flashback scenes don’t enhance the present at all, like they normally do, at least not in the beginning. We see that Hans leads an army to Arrendale and Else and Kristoff must deal with it on their own–and we finally get a glimpse at the urn that held Elsa at the beginning of the season. It’s nice to see some interaction between Elsa and Kristoff. None of it feels romantic–which many fans were worried about–and it’s endearing to see them bond as future in-laws.’ When they find the urn, the urn reacts to Elsa, which makes her hesitate to destroy it. Obviously, this doesn’t end well for Elsa.
Regina fans will get the satisfaction at seeing the love triangle between herself, Robin Hood, and Marion grow. Since Robin Hood can’t perform the act of true love himself–predictably, since Tinker Bell already revealed that he and Regina are soul mates. Captain Hook also gets a moment to shine when he calls Rumple out on not giving Bell the actual dagger–it’s moments lie these that remind us that Rumple is fallible too, which makes him a more dynamic character.
Mary Margaret is tested throughout as the episode progresses, as she tried to balance between running a town and taking care of her baby. Both Prince Charming and Archie take the time to point that out and Archie tries to go through a make-shift therapy session with Snow. The things he says are so on point in terms of letting go of that maternal bond to give room for the child to grow–it was fantastic to see adults encapsulate what children and teenagers feel.
It isn’t until the middle of the episode that Emma and David find out the truth of who’s actually behind the ice wall. Unfortunately, they’re not in the right place, as Captain Hook and Elsa pursue the ice cream store owner. To see Captain Hook and Emma apart again made for great room for each of them breathe without their chemistry to fall back on. They finally find the Snow Queen and hands off to the costume designers because her dress is absolutely beautiful. Costuming is a rare thing to comment on, but Once Upon a Time does a great job in this department.
The entire episode culminates into a confrontation between Elsa and the Snow Queen. Elsa sees through the Snow Queen’s manipulations, and thankfully Emma and David make a timely rescue.Emma gets her own moment to use her magic, which is absolutely spectacular. That moment felt earned in all the right ways, but unfortunately the Snow Queen escapes. In the flashback, we’re finally able to find the connection between Elsa and the Snow Queen–it’s in the traditional Once Upon a Time plot twist, too.
Overall Grade: A-
Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis, and Jennifer Morrison walked out on the stage to do a Q&A with the moderator.
Talk about the Frozen characters when negotiating to bring them on.
Adam: It was a concern, I know. We wanted to be true to these characters. Because the characters are so new and modern, they didn’t need any updating or twisting. We wanted to be true to the characters and find where they fit.
Edward: This is Anna and Elsa coming to Storybrooke, so we’re doing our own story, really. You’ll see the story develop in its own Once Upon a Time way, and it’s less about their sequel.
Talk about how you brought the visuals over.
Adam: We wanted it to feel consistent with the movie that everyone fell in love with last year.
Edward: I just liked Leroy yelling “Evil snowman!”
What about Emma and Hook?
Edward: I can tell you that next week’s episode will be Emma and Hook’s first actual date!
And what about the book?
Edward: That’s going to be a story that trascends both halves of the season. It’ll definitely be explored.
Adam: Some people were confused because they thought August wrote the book. He just changed it–he didn’t write it.
Do you like exploring Regina and Emma?
Jennifer: Obviously the two have come a long way since Season 1. They’ve both made mistakes–different mistakes–and have struggled with different things in their lives. They’re both fighting and Emma relates to that. Emma has enjoyed Regina’s friendship, too, because Regina’s the only person who she could relate to in having powers. No one else has been able to understand her in the past. You’ll see Emma fight to prove that she wants to have a good relationship with Regina. Let’s build a snowman!
How would you sum up Rumple’s journey this season?
Adam: Everything you see him do will show that he’s in it for himself. We’re going to see Belle’s mom in her flashback later, as well, and it’ll show how she became a hero.
Are the Charmings the hardest to write?
Jennifer: There are some really great twists coming…
What do you want to say about that castle? Is she looking to construct a theme park?
Edward: I think she went off somewhere where she could construct an ice castle. I got the sense she wanted Elsa to see that there’s something like her, because Elsa has always felt a little different.
The panel then opened to audience Q&A.
Will we be seeing more secondary characters have their own episode?
Adam: We try to feature as many characters in the ensemble as possible and make the most of those moments.
Edward: The show has always revolved around
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