Once Upon A Time Season 4 Episode 6 Review: “Family Business”


Close shave, Rumpel. Far as I’m concerned, it was a rather lucky combination of circumstances that included Belle feeling guilty and vulnerable and the fake dagger still having the mundane merit of being able to cut skin, that you got off. But I’m getting ahead of myself, and focusing on the Rumpel part of last night’s episode again, as usual.

The Episode really focuses on Belle, in a nice change of pace, taking us on another back story/context building retrospective. The Ogre Wars cost Belle deeply before we were first introduced to her on Once Upon A Time. Belle and her mother were about to be eaten/beaten, but then Belle mysteriously wakes up in her bed and her mother is dead.

Once Upon A Time Season 4 Episode 5 Review “Breaking Glass”

Honestly, what really happened isn’t so hard to deduce, but I like how the episode incorporates Belle into Arendelle’s backstory. Against her father’s wishes (despite the fact that her father is lying to her), Belle sets out to Arendelle in pursuit of the fabled rock trolls that she hopes will be able to restore her memory of how her mother died.

And who does she meet along the way? OAKEN! You apologetic attacking softy! They couldn’t have found a guy a little bit bigger to play him? Whatever, he was adorable. Anna also happens to be shopping. So when Oaken isn’t much help, Anna offers to lead Belle to the trolls. She also happens to mention this magic sapping hat (the sorcerer’s hat) that she got from this conniving wizard (Remember this. This is important.).

Anna happens to be on her own mission to seek the trolls’ help. Having just returned from her harrowing journey to the Enchanted Forest with unpleasant revelations, she’s already withheld finding out that their parents wanted to take Elsa’s magic away. To make things more complicated, Elsa and Anna’s “Aunt” Ingrid (The Snow Queen) has just shown up. Anna missed the whole coming out of the urn and turning Hans into a popsicle, and given what she just learned on her journey, she’s naturally suspicious of Aunt Ingrid.

Elsa is probably too thrilled to have another family member that shares her power around to be suspicious of Ingrid and Anna isn’t about to tell Elsa what she really found out. So she wants to ask the trolls about her family. Unfortunately, Ingrid was eavesdropping on Anna and Kristoff and is going to have a nasty surprise in store for Anna later.

GrandPabbie gives Belle a purple rock that will let her restore her memory. Then Anna asks about Ingrid. The troll tells her that Elsa and Anna have two aunts, in fact. Or had. Ingrid and the third Aunt Helga disappeared, apparently so horribly that the remaining royals, including their mother, erased the whole kingdom’s records and memory of them. Geez. What is it with these trolls and their plot convenient idiot ball? Is it set in the stones on their backsides that they have to obey the whims and wishes of Arendelle’s royal family?

The upshot of this is that Anna is more suspicious of Ingrid than ever and flees back to Arendelle with Belle. But a storm brought on by the Snow Queen tears them apart. Anna hangs precariously from a precipice while Belle desperately tries to hang on to the purple rock that is the key to remembering her mother. Ultimately Belle loses the rock and Anna falls, knocked unconscious by a hard landing. In struts the Snow Queen to take Anna away, along with the sorcerer’s hat. Anna awakes in a jail cell with the Snow Queen on the outside, who’s putting on her now familiar soft-spoken, patronizing tone about how she’s so disappointed that Anna was going to expose her and ruin the relationship between her and Elsa. Ingrid had hoped that she Elsa and Anna could live happily as a family, but now she has to find a replacement. Back to that in a moment.

In Storybrooke’s present, Belle joins in the hunt for the Snow Queen, reassuring Elsa, rather insistently, that they will find Anna. But Belle’s usual bookish smarts aren’t getting them anywhere fast, so she tries something a bit more drastic. She uses Rumpel’s dagger, to command him to lead her to the Snow Queen. Of course, we all know that the dagger Belle has is fake. But Rumpel has to keep up that lie so he leads her to the Snow Queen’s lair.

Once Inside, Belle finds no trace of the Sorcerer’s hat, which she was hoping would let her disable the Snow Queen and lead them to Anna. Instead she finds the Snow Queen’s mirror, which gives Belle a treacherous reflection of herself. It tells Belle that she’s a pathetic coward, that she chose her own happiness over saving Anna and that she knows Rumpel is a beast who would never relinquish control.

Rumpel saves Belle from her despairing trance and Belle apologizes to Rumpel for forcing his help and lying to him about not knowing Anna before, especially when she (Oi vey) knows that Rumpel would never trick her.

Rumpel. PLEASE! Switch the daggers back while you still can! Then you can at least say you realized your mistake when this whole thing blows up in your face, which it inevitably will!

As for subplots in this episode, Regina exhausting her options for reviving Marian leads her to a crushing confession to Robin. The only way Robin can save her now is to forget about his love for Regina and fall in love with his wife again.

Wow. That’s definitely the most concentrated moment of angst Regina has had in a while.

The intrigue between the Snow Queen and Rumpel shakes out to Rumpel flaunting the magic sapping sorcerer’s hat in her face. Those two are obviously colluding in something but still want the leg up on the other.

Seems it’s the Snow Queen’s turn to be the chessmaster contender to Rumpel that Regina was in the first season.

Emma also uncovers mountains of evidence supporting the revelation from the camcorder. Emma was Ingrid’s foster daughter for a whole six months, and has been following her since she arrived in the real world. With Elsa’s magic lore help, she also uncovers an Arendelle genealogy tome and a prophecy, from the fairytale world that says Emma, the savior, will be the third sister.

Belle fesses up to Elsa about having let Anna down before and that she’s done some digging on the Snow Queen’s mirror. It can be shattered to make everyone in Storybrooke turn on each other. Except the Snow Queen’s twisted little family of her, Elsa and Emma.

Wonderful. The Snow Queen’s plot is finally revealed.

I think a recap of remaining unanswered questions is in order. We still don’t know how Elsa ended up in the urn, in Rumpel’s vault, or how the Snow Queen got to Storybrooke with all her memories and intents intact, or how/why Emma’s and Elsa’s memories of Ingrid are gone. So long as Once Upon a Time keeps the interactions and the secrets this emotional and intriguing, I’m happy to be strung along.