‘Once Upon A Time’ S4 Ep 3 recap: Cold as Ice

What is the Snow Queen’s agenda? (Photo credit: Disney/ABC Press)

Another interesting twist unfolds on “Once Upon A Time” as the Snow Queen’s ties to Elsa are revealed in “Rocky Road.” When Marian is mysteriously turned into a human popsicle, the gang defends Elsa and searches for the real culprit. Along the way, Emma and David discover the always entertaining Will Scarlett (“Once Upon A Time in Wonderland’s” Michael Socha), Henry and Regina establish a new covert operation, and Mary Margaret settles into her new mayoral role in Storybrooke. Meanwhile, in the past, Arendelle is under attack when Hans and his army threaten to capture Elsa and invade her kingdom.

Arendelle, past: “That’s what family’s for.”

Anna has gone missing and Elsa wants to abandon her royal post to search for her beloved sister. Kristoff fulfills Anna’s wishes by reminding Elsa of her duties as Queen. When they learn of Hans’ impending invasion, Kristoff offers to go investigate their position and plot. Elsa tells him not to. Naturally, he disobeys his soon-to-be sister-in-law and goes anyway.

Kristoff learns of Hans’ plan to trap Elsa in a magical urn. He returns to Elsa and tells her the bad news, so they set out to get the urn before Hans. During their journey, Elsa talks about how she feels so alone. Even though Anna is understanding, Elsa is only person with magic in Arendelle, so no one truly relates to how she feels with all the responsibility that comes with such great (and somewhat unpredictable) power. Poor Elsa.

The pair reaches the cave containing the urn and Elsa quickly retrieves it. She notices an inscription on the urn, which implies the vessel is from the ancient ruins. Kristoff just wants her to get rid of it, but her curiosity causes delay. Hans and his douchey brothers appear and hold Kristoff at sword-point until Elsa releases the urn.

Elsa gives Hans the urn. He immediately opens the lid and a milky liquid pours out. Kristoff quips that nobody thought to make sure it was empty. So true! The Snow Queen emerges. She freezes Hans and his brothers flee. The Snow Queen spares Elsa and says no one deserves to be trapped in that urn. Elsa is stunned and elated to finally meet someone with magic like her.

Elsa takes the Snow Queen back to her palace. She looks at the painting of Elsa’s family and drops a bombshell on the young Queen of Arendelle: the Snow Queen is Elsa’s aunt! She had no idea her sister and brother-in-law passed away at sea. She also is sad to hear that Anna is missing. The Snow Queen will help Elsa find her sister. After all, “That is what family is for.”

Well that makes sense, doesn’t it, Oncers? It isn’t too shocking of a twist. The Snow Queen and Elsa have similar powers so they would most likely be related. But what happened to make the Snow Queen turn on Elsa?

Storybrooke: “Much like a snowflake, each person’s magic is unique.”

The Hoods go to Any Given Sundae for a bit of rocky road, but they get more than they bargained for. The shop owner gives Marian a sprinkle-covered ice cream cone on the house and spells the sweet treat. What gives, Snow Queen?

Over at Gold’s shop, Emma, Hook and Elsa ask Rumple about the mysterious urn from which Elsa emerged. Like most of Storybrooke’s inhabitants over the years, Elsa has amnesia and can’ remember her what happened to her. Rumple swears he knows nothing about it. He proves it by having Belle use the fake dagger on him. For shame, Rumple! He takes one step and three steps back. Again, Rumple promises to know nothing about Elsa’s past and Anna’s disappearance. Emma and Elsa feel like they must believe him, so they need to find answers elsewhere.

Mary Margaret has some of the townspeople over to the mayor’s office for a fireside chat sans the fire. The acting mayor has organized an agenda and everyone insists on skipping down the list in order to discuss Elsa. An ice wall surrounds the whole town and Elsa is only one with that frosty kind of magic. Emma, Hook and Elsa join the meeting just as all fingers starting point at the snowy stranger. During the debate, Marian’s vision blurs, her hair sprouts a white streak and she faints. Magic caused this, so they need Regina’s help.

Regina and Henry are hanging out in Granny’s diner reading Marvel comic books. (We get it, ABC is all about Disney and Marvel now. Way to milk the money-making machine. Obviously, it’s working because we are happily watching.) She tells him about her plan to find the storybook’s author and have him write her a happy ending. Henry loves the idea and wants in. After Operation Cobra with Emma, Regina decides to call this scheme Operation Mongoose. Nice one, writers. This should lead to some fun adventures, but first, Regina needs to help Robin save his wife. Awkward!

Regina takes a jab at Mary Margaret’s hideous attempt at redecorating her black and white pristine pad. Poor Snow. We like the bright blue bird painting, the monochromatic room could use a splash of color. Plus, new mommy Ginny Goodwin is absolutely precious. It must be hard for Regina to even snap at someone who looks that adorable. Anyway, Regina says that only an act of True Love can break that level of magic, her powers aren’t strong enough. Again, uber awkward.

Robin kisses his wife, but it doesn’t break the spell. Yeah because his True Love has changed. It is a bittersweet moment. They have to find a cure before Marian’s heart freezes, so Emma sets out to get answers. Regina cautions her. Lately the savior has been in need of saving. So Emma is in the middle of a rough patch, at lead she has Hook there to give her a hand. Or not. Emma orders Hook to stay behind and watch over Elsa.

Emma and David head into the woods to look for clues. They find a clue alright, it just isn’t what they expected. They stumble upon Will Scarlett. Yay! Will was the best part of “OUAT’s” spin-off, so it is wonderful to see him as a regular this season. In true Knave fashion, Socha has us laughing right off the bat. He quips that he never liked sheriff’s much and hopes Emma isn’t the type to shoot him in the back. Then he makes a run for it.

Emma and David catch-up with Will. He had a falling out with Robin and has been hiding out in the woods. He tells them that during the blackout, he went into town to steal some stuff, as thieves do. He noticed the ice cream in Any Given Sunday was still frozen hours into the power-outage. It’s just not natural. So the three of them go back to verify his story. Meanwhile, Hook disobeys his beloved Emma.

Hook and Elsa return to Gold’s shop. He tells Rumple that he knows the dagger is a fake. After hunting the crocodile for so long, Hook knows Rumple would never put his power in another’s hands. Not even Belle’s. Hook could prove it by telling Belle to summon the Dark One with the dagger. When Rumple doesn’t appear, she would realize the truth. Cornered, Rumple agrees to help Hook.

Rumple examines the lock of Marian’s frozen hair. Whoever cast the spell left a trace of her magic behind. The hair turns into snowflakes. Rumple explains how each person’s magic is unique. Magic seeks out like magic, so the snowflakes will travel back to the one they came from. Hook and Elsa follow the magic snowflakes into the woods, while Emma & Co. scope out the ice cream shop.

David and Emma are still skeptical of Will. He is offended. Will may be a thief, but he’s not a liar. They hilariously break in with Emma taking the reins from Will. It’ll be interesting to see if Emma bond with Will in the future given their shared experience in thievery and betrayal. Inside they confirm that there is no cooling system for the ice cream. Will tells Emma and David peek into the backroom and they see everything is iced over. Well, they’ve found the culprit. Unfortunately Will doesn’t prove himself to be super trustworthy because he grabs the cash from the register and runs out while their distracted with the backroom. She let Will slip away, so Emma laments that she has become the “anti-savior.” David assures her this is just a slump and she can’t lose faith in herself. Even heroes have a dry spells.

In the woods, Hook leaves a trail of “X”s behind on the trees as they follow the magic snowflakes. Elsa sympathizes with Emma, so she tells Hook to cut Miss Swan a little slack. Emma give whimsically give in to romance when she’s burdened by the weight of the world on her shoulders. (Can’t help but wonder what kind of man Elsa would go for? Is she into bad boys like Emma?) A few steps further into the woods, they spot the Snow Queen.

Hook and Elsa duck down behind a fallen tree trunk. Hook takes out his cell phone. Elsa has no clue what it is. Neither does Hook, really. He just pushes the “Emma button” and she usually answers. Hilarious! Sadly, this time he’s stuck with leaving a message.

The Snow Queen spots them. She freezes Hook’s foot to the ground and chases after Elsa. She acts surprised that Elsa doesn’t recognize her. Her memory loss is explained away as a favor from the box trolls. They removed Elsa and Anna’s painful memories. Really? Don’t think so, ice lady. Then she tries to gain Elsa’s trust. The town will turn on her because people instinctively fear their frosty magic. Even the people they love. Which is why Anna trapped Elsa in the urn. Oh hell no! Way to grasp at straws, Snow Queen, but Elsa isn’t going to buy that kind of bull.

Elsa figures the Snow Queen out. The Snow Queen framed Elsa to teach her a lesson on how quickly people will turn on her. The Snow Queen neutralized Elsa’s powers so she can’t defend herself. Luckily, David and Emma arrive just in time.

Emma is ready to take down the shady Dairy Queen. Her magic blows the Snow Queen back, proving that the savior hasn’t totally lost her mojo. David digs Hook out of his jam and all is well…except that the Snow Queen got away.

Later, Emma feels extra uneasy about the Snow Queen. Something about her seems familiar, especially when she called out Emma’s name. David says she probably seemed like she recognized Emma because the Savior’s reputation precedes her, but Emma senses something fishy. We all know her instincts never lie. What ties does the Snow Queen have to Emma? David says not to worry because the past has a way of revealing itself. Still, it is clear that the curse isn’t the only thing that brought the Snow Queen to Storybrooke. Once again, Emma’s suspicions are confirmed.

The Snow Queen has a secret pow-wow with Rumple. Of course he’d be in on this. He apologizes that things didn’t work out the way she wanted. She’s surprised Emma didn’t remember her at all, but she also didn’t want her to. Why? Rumple is itching to make a deal and the Snow Queen says she will approach him with one when she’s ready. Uh oh! This is bad news. Did the Snow Queen have Rumple trap Elsa in the urn? Was there a power struggle between the Queen of Arendelle and her aunt? What is the Snow Queen’s problem with Elsa? Whatever her endgame is, the Snow Queen is not afraid of causing collateral damage.

Marian will die if Regina doesn’t do something drastic. She is left with no choice. Henry retrieves a chest from her vault and Regina removes Marian’s heart before it freezes. At least this way Marian will stay alive. Robin Hood admits to Regina that the kiss didn’t work because he is still in love with her, but Marian is still his wife so he can’t follow his heart. Can’t help but feel bad for all three of them. This is a painful love triangle. Usually these kinds of love triangles don’t end until someone dies. It was Marian’s fate to die, then Emma saved her. Perhaps Marian is still destined to die, despite Regina’s efforts to preserve her heart. What do you think, Oncers? Will the present reconcile with the past? Will Robin have the chance to be with his new True Love?

Speaking of True Love, Hook finally confronts his fair maiden and asks what gives. Hook is afraid that she still doesn’t trust him. Emma finally breaks down and bares her soul. Everyone she has been with is dead. After losing everyone, Emma can’t risk losing Killian too. Aww. Well now it makes sense and you can understand why Emma kept pulling away as her feelings for Hook grew stronger. Hook assures his lady love not to worry about him. The savvy pirate is a survivor and he will not suffer the same fate as her former flames. Then he seals his promise with a kiss. Finally! Captain Swan is making it official. On Sunday’s new episode, Hook and Emma will go on their first real date. Yay!

On the next “Once Upon A Time”

Here is ABC’s official description for “The Apprentice”:


“The Apprentice” – After Emma asks Hook out on a real first date, Hook visits Mr. Gold and asks for his hand to be reattached so that he can embrace her with both hands. But magic always comes with a price. Henry and Mary Margaret try to offer hope to Regina when she becomes frustrated over not being able to find a cure to save a frozen Marian, and Will Scarlet attempts to break into the Storybrooke library to find a special book. Meanwhile, back in the Fairy Tale Land that was, Rumplestiltskin is after a magical box that the Sorcerer’s apprentice is guarding, and he may use Elsa’s sister Anna to help him get it, on “Once Upon a Time,” SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

“Once Upon a Time” stars Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White/Mary Margaret, Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Lana Parrilla as the Evil Queen/Regina, Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/David Nolan, Emilie de Ravin as Belle, Colin O’Donoghue as Hook, Jared S. Gilmore as Henry, Michael Socha as Will Scarlet and Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold.

Guest starring are Georgina Haig as Elsa, Elizabeth Lail as Anna, Scott Michael Foster as Kristoff, Timothy Webber as The Apprentice, Brad Dourif as Zoso, Catherine Bogdanova as spaghetti lady, Garry Garneau as spaghetti man, Emanuel Fappas as bartender and Elizabeth Mitchell as Snow Queen.

“The Apprentice” was written by Andrew Chambliss & Dana Horgan and directed by Ralph Hemecker.

Hook wants to embrace Emma with both hands. Swoon! Guess we’ll have to call him Killian from now on. Unless the hand is temporary. Rumple held onto Hook’s hand for all of these years probably hoping for this moment. What deal is Hook making with Rumple for this favor? You can’t help but worry about the price.

Will’s search for a special book makes it seem like he may end up helping Regina and Henry with Operation Mongoose.

Rumple’s past with Anna and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice should be interesting and frustrating. Looks we will soon get a new spin on the Fantasia box Rumple opened in the premiere.

There is a lot going on this season, Oncers. What do you think so far? What are you most excited to see? Do you have any early theories? What do you fear will go wrong?

Share your thoughts below and stay tuned for more scoop!

“Once Upon A Time” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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