Elsa and Emma in ABC's Once Upon a Time

Once Upon A Time Season 4 Episode 2 “White Out” Review


“White Out” got things moving along nicely.

In this episode we discover that in the Enchanted Forrest’s distant past, back when David had a mullet, apparently, Anna actually paid a visit to his farm in course of her search for her parents and answers about magic. This was way before he ever met Snow White and even before he was roped into the role of his selfish prince twin.

Once Upon A Time S4 E1 Review “A Tale of Two Sisters”

We learn from Anna’s introduction that David and Kristoff know each other, somehow, (I hope we get to see more of that), and that Anna is a very obvious liar. Though Frozen fans will certainly appreciate the alias she gives herself. Anna’s arrival isn’t the timeliest though, as the ominous carriage of Bo Peep…

*record scratch* wait. Really? Bo Peep? You know what, sure. I’ll bite that crook.

Bo Peep rolls up, depicted here in “Once Upon A Time” world as a conscripting warlord, using her crook to brand any one she chooses as her slaves or soldiers. When David cowers and appeases her, Anna goads him into standing up for his home and his family and teaches him his first lessons in sword play. Huh. My current head cannon is that Anna took lessons from the Arendelle soldiers thinking that she probably shouldn’t count on being magically frozen solid to block sword blows henceforth.

During their lessons, Anna keeps trying to convince David that his choice not to fight isn’t smart, but rather cowardly. She talks about Elsa’s instinct to run and hide from her problems and that’s exactly what David is doing. For him, it was his father’s alcoholism that impressed on him that certain battles, physical or personal, can’t be won. This certainly turned into a theme throughout the episode, and likely throughout the season. More on that later.

It’s Bo Peep’s indiscriminant capture of Anna that gets David to show his burgeoning heroic side. His sword play proves enough to restrain Peep and Anna gets free. With David’s taste for heroism established and some lessons embedded in his brain for later, Anna gets a tip from his mother about who to seek with regard to magic. None other than Rumpelstiltskin.

Back in present Day Storybrooke, Elsa’s confusion and desperation to find her sister prompts her to seal the border of the town with a wall of ice, which knocks down a main power line. Emma, Charming and Hook go and investigate the frozen border. They quickly learn that startling Elsa is a terrible idea when she traps herself and Emma inside the wall of ice.

And so we get into the other major character dynamic of the episode where Elsa and Emma get to spend a desperate first meeting trapped inside Elsa’s wall of ice and trying to reach a personal understanding to get out. At first Elsa is being her reserved, demanding self and Emma is trying her best to balance tactfulness and decisiveness, like only Emma can.

Emma’s chilling up fast. But Elsa is obviously fine because, sing it with me! ♫The cold never bothered me anyway! ♫

Then the two of them realize that they actually have a lot in common.

Both had to do a lot of growing up without parental guidance, for which they still harbor resentment. Both were basically destined for responsibilities they weren’t prepared for but have been forced to shoulder any way. Both have extraordinary powers that they can’t fully control and don’t fully understand. Both have family that inspire them to be their best selves.

I have to say, the scenes where Emma and Elsa connect were absolutely a crowning moment of heartwarming/awesome. It was pretty much exactly how I envisioned the two connecting and teaming up, context notwithstanding.

Elsa and Charming communicate through Emma’s walkie-talkie. David (thanks to the necklace he saw Anna wearing on his farm and then saw again in the present in Gold’s shop), realizes who Elsa must be. He conveys the message of courage and empowerment that Anna gave him all that time ago and it seems to finally convince Elsa that she is amongst friends.

She removes enough of the ice to allow a nearly frozen to death Emma and herself to escape.  Hook and Emma hug, like really tight hug, almost as if they were reunited lovers. After all, he was distressed at Emma being trapped enough to try and hack through the ice with his hook. Aww! Also Charming seems to be warming up to Emma and Hook being a thing.

Snow had a pretty cheer worthy subplot where she realized that she is now the effective Mayor of Storybrooke. Grumpy and Granny are panicking, complaining to her to restore Storybrooke’s Power. So she finally lets out a righteous tirade of new-mother frustration and gets the power back online all on her own. With a little hint in the right direction from baby Neil.

It seems Bow Peep made into the real world as a butcher? That’s just all kinds of twisted. Also looks like her shepherd’s crook is going to be our MacGuffin for an episode or two to find Anna.

Belle and Rumpel appeared long enough for Rumpel to, predictably, be accused of having something to do with the town’s magical troubles. Or alternatively, have an ingenious solution on hand to fix them.

Regina got similarly little screen time, but it was used effectively to reaffirm her and Henry’s loving relationship. At least she didn’t get up to any more mischief in the interim.

Finally, we have the reveal of what can only be Elizabeth Mitchell as the Snow Queen, inconspicuously running an ice cream parlor. The episode makes a point of saying Elsa’s powers are unique as far as the heroes know, but the end of the episode makes it clear that as not the case. The Snow queen is the one sustaining the wall of ice around Storybrooke even when Elsa tried to dissipate it.

Has the Snow Queen been in Storybrooke this whole time? Has Elsa’s release prompted her intro? Answers leading to more questions as usual. Great Episode. Pleased with all the character and plot developments so far, and the story is looking to get only more interesting.


More Stories
Explore Dungeons With This Adorable Hestia Cosplay