‘Once Upon A Time’ S4 Ep 6 recap: Twisted sister

“Family Business” sheds light on the Snow Queen’s plan. (Photo credit: Disney/ABC Press)

Many of “Once Upon A Time’s” villains have turned to the dark side because they’ve felt neglected and betrayed by their loved ones. They detach, leave their families behind, and choose to pursue power. This season’s villain strays from the traditional archetype. The Snow Queen has been desperately trying to reunite…err recreate her family.

“Family Business” reveals a strange twist that we didn’t see coming. The episode also sheds more light on the past as we discover Anna’s connection to Belle. Once again, the quest for truth and justice leads to more trouble.

Fairytale Land/Arendelle, past: “A hero has to sacrifice everything for people they love.”

The Ogre War worsens and Belle’s home is under attack. Belle and her mother, Colette, try hiding when the ogres violently break into the library. Belle awakes the next morning and learns that her mother died. She had blacked out during the attack and has no memory of what happened. Her father thinks it is best for her to simply forget this tragic memory, but Belle needs to have answers.

Belle wants to use magic to restore her memory, but Maurice forbids it. Magic comes with too great a price. He instructs Belle to stay in her chamber until the doctors give her a clean bill of health. Naturally, Belle disobeys her father. After a bit of research, she learns that she can find answers in Arendelle. Meanwhile, Anna returns home to find a great surprise.

Anna gets suspicious when Elsa’s powers don’t act up during their conversation about their parents. Elsa has their Aunt Ingrid to thank for her newfound control. She introduces Anna to their long lost family member. Elsa has found a kindred spirit in the Snow Queen, but Anna is skeptical. She shares her true feelings with Kristoff.

Anna fears their aunt is an imposter and poses a threat. Kristoff believes they are related because Elsa and Ingrid share the same ice powers, but he still supports Anna’s decision to visit the rock trolls and learn the truth about the Snow Queen. Ingrid overhears their conversation and knows Anna is about to jeopardize her grand plan. This does not bode well for poor Anna.

Belle makes it to Arendelle and she’s trying to find the rock trolls. Anna eavesdrops on her conversation with the clerk and offers her help. They are both headed in the same direction, so they might as well journey together.

As Anna tries climbing up the cliff, she slips and the Fantasia box falls out of her bag. Belle picks it up and curiously looks at it. Anna doesn’t elaborate on the box’s history. She got it from a dangerous wizard and she just prays that Belle never crosses paths with the twisted man. Oh the irony!

Anna and Belle meet with Grand Pabbie. He magically withdraws Belle’s memories and captures them in a small pink stone. He instructs Belle on how to retrieve her memories by returning to the place where she first lost them. Once Belle’s business is taken care of, Anna learns the shocking truth about her family.

Anna and Elsa’s mother, Gerda, had two older sisters, Helga and Ingrid. One day Helga and Ingrid vanished. The royal family wanted to forget all about their existence because it was too painful, so Grand Pabbie took their memories and he was sworn to secrecy about this tragic family matter. Any trace of Helga and Ingrid’s presence was erased throughout the kingdom, which is why Gerda had no knowledge of her sisters. Yeah, that’s messed up. Anna must warn Elsa that the Snow Queen is up to something bad.

As Belle and Anna head back home, a snow storm sets in. Anna believes Ingrid is trying to stop her from telling Elsa the truth. The storm knocks them down. Anna dangles from the edge of a cliff and calls out to Belle for help. Belle reaches for her stone before giving Anna a hand. Guess you can call it karma when the stone falls and shatters. It is surprising that Belle didn’t help her new friend first. Very unheroic behavior. Belle reaches Anna a little too late. She drops to the ground and the Snow Queen steps in. The Snow Queen takes the Fantasia box and Belle calls out to her to leave Anna alone. Ingrid snaps back at Belle to stay out of it, “This is family business.” The Snow Queen whisks Anna away in a flurry of snowy smoke.

When Belle makes it back to her home, Maurice provides her with the answers she seeks. Colette sacrificed herself to save Belle. Colette kept the ogres at bay while the guards rescued her daughter. It is understandable that Maurice didn’t want to cause Belle any more pain, but he should have just told her the truth to begin with. Keeping it a secret only caused trouble for poor innocent Anna. Now that Belle knows how and why her mother died, she doesn’t want any more people to suffer the same fate.

The Ogre War has excelled and they need a force greater than their soldiers to stop the ruthless creatures. Belle suggests reaching out to the powerful wizard for assistance. Maurice doesn’t dare to utter his name and argues that magic is not the solution. Belle disagrees. Heroes have to sacrifice everything for the people they love and Belle is willing to face the consequences. If Rumple is what it takes to defeat the ogres, then so be it.

Back in Arendelle, the Snow Queen keeps Anna in a cage. The Snow Queen wants a family that will embrace her. Anna has nothing in common with Elsa and Ingrid, so she must be replaced. Well that’s creepy! What does that even mean? Who could possibly replace Anna?

Storybrooke, present: “A hero always helps strangers.”

Emma gathers the troops and shares her shocking discovery. It looks like the Snow Queen has been following Emma from the very beginning. But they have no idea why. They must find the Snow Queen and demand answers. Henry thinks her ice cream truck is good starting point. The gang decides to divide and conquer.

Emma & Co. find the Snow Queen’s truck in the Merry Men’s camp. Robin Hood finally is in a position to confront Regina and asks why she’s been avoiding him. Regina finally spills the beans. She can’t find a way to save Marian. Robin has faith in Regina, but she explains how she truly can’t find a resolution to this problem. Robin has only one option left. He must forget about Regina and fall back in love with his wife. True Love’s kiss is Marian’s only hope. Poor Outlaw Queen. This is a heartbreaking and awkward dilemma. Robin has a difficult decision to make in the near future. While Regina breaks the bad news to Robin, Emma finds some clues in the truck.

Ingrid kept a folder full of Emma’s childhood projects. She was Emma’s foster mom for six months and it looks like the two of them were close. Among the items, Emma finds a scroll from the old world. The inscription is in a language they can’t decipher, but it will surely hold some much needed answers. (Sidenote: It is so sweet to see how supportive and comforting Hook is throughout this whole mysterious ordeal.) When Rumple warns the Snow Queen about what is happening, she says Emma’s discovery is all part of her plan. Elsewhere, Belle sets her own rescue plan into motion.

Belle feels guilty and has been lying about her past with Anna. She pretends to have never met Anna, but assures Elsa that her sister is alive and will be found soon. She leaves Elsa in the library to do some research and reaches out to Rumple for help. Belle tells Rumple that she must fix a mistake she made a long time ago. She wants Rumple to take her to the Snow Queen’s lair. When he refuses to, she commands him to do so with the dagger. Rumple is offended that she would abuse his trust like this. Belle isn’t happy about it either, but she’s desperate.

Rumple takes Belle to the Snow Queen’s lair. She believes Ingrid has the Sorcerer’s hat and she plans to use it to strip the Snow Queen of her powers. Belle tells Rumple to stay outside and she ventures into the lair. Once inside, the Snow Queen’s magic mirror beckons Belle to come over. She is confronted by her brutally honest reflection, chastising her for what she did to Anna in the past. The reflection taunts Belle saying she is a pathetic coward, not hero material. Rumple married her because he needed someone weak. Deep down she knows Rumple has been lying because he is still a beast. As the heckling escalates, Rumple steps in and takes Belle’s attention away from the mirror. She lashes out and stabs at him with the dagger. She told him to stay outside, so how did he come in if the dagger is real?

Rumple magically transports them out of the lair and back to his shop. He tells Belle that she commanded him to keep watch, so when she was in danger he came to her rescue. He explains how the mirror comes from dark magic and spelled her. Smooth save, Rumple. But watching Belle be so blind is frustrating. She’s been given enough clues to put the pieces together. The dagger isn’t even lighting up when she commands Rumple with it. Come on!

Belle then confides in her husband and reveals her history with Anna. She apologizes for abusing the dagger and taking advantage of their True Love. Rumple forgives her. Adding salt to the wound, Belle says she never should have lied to him, especially since he’s been so honest with her. For shame, Rumple! But seriously, wake-up, Belle! We love RumBelle, but this is getting really annoying. She is going to be so heartbroken and furious when she learns the truth. Nonetheless, Rumple still genuinely loves Belle and he will do anything to protect her.

Rumple confronts the Snow Queen in her lair. He won’t allow her to hurt the people he cares about. All of this time, Ingrid thought she had some kind of leverage over Rumple, especially since he was so eager to make a deal. Rumple throws the gauntlet down and catches her off guard. He shows Ingrid that he has possession of the Sorcerer’s hat and that is all the leverage he needs. The Snow Queen better watch herself or else she will be added to the hat’s embroidery. Oh yeah, it is on. Let’s see if Rumple’s threat is bold enough to stop Ingrid from following through with her plan. Speaking of which, Emma & Co. decipher the scroll and discover the Snow Queen’s endgame.

Elsa finds a book in the library, which documents her family’s lineage. Emma looks shockingly identical to Elsa’s Aunt Helga. That’s eerie! According to the scroll, the Savior will become Ingrid’s sister. (Yeah, there are a ton of questions on how that’s supposed to work.) The Snow Queen had been waiting for Emma and was following her every move from the very start. She plans on replacing her long lost sisters with Elsa and Emma. Super creepy and twisted! Belle confesses the truth about her past with Anna and says the Snow Queen captured her. At least now they know where to look for Anna, but getting her back won’t be easy.

The Snow Queen’s magic mirror is part of the spell of shattered sight. It will cause the people of Storybrooke to turn on each other. Once everyone is out of the picture, the Snow Queen will have her perfect family of three.

So the Snow Queen introduces a whole new kind of crazy to the world of “Once Upon A Time.” Again, we see how family is the foundation and catalyst for the way in which most of these characters turn into villains. Elsa found a welcoming embrace in her sister’s arms, but Ingrid had nobody to lean on. Now she’s trying to recreate a younger, stronger, better version of her family.


  • Emma’s ties to Elsa’s family: Emma’s role in all of this still seems strange. She’s the Savior, sure, but she’s also the Charmings’ child. Do Mary Margaret or David have any ties to Elsa’s family? How could Emma look like one of Ingrid’s sisters if there is no relation? There must be more to this bizarre family tree. Plus, Emma’s powers are much different than Elsa and the Snow Queen’s. Unless Emma has yet to tap into the frosty nature of her magical abilities.
  • Outlaw Queen: Regina has made so much progress over the years. It took a lot of courage and selflessness for her to be honest with Robin Hood. She is bowing out of the romance race. But what if Robin is incapable of falling back in love with his wife. Once True Love has been lost, can it be rekindled again? Robin planned on doing the right thing out of honor and duty, but he proclaimed his love for Regina. Now Marian’s fate rests in his hands. Will Robin be able to save his wife’s life? Will he let her stay frozen until someone can find another way to save her?

What did you think of “Family Business”? Are you surprised by the Snow Queen’s plan? Why do you think Emma fits into their family? How can the Snow Queen be stopped? Are you worried about RumBelle’s fate? What do you think Robin Hood will do about his romantic entanglement?

Thing are about to get more intense, Oncers!

On the next “Once Upon A Time”

Here is the official description for “The Snow Queen” (airing Sunday, Nov. 9):

Emma captures the Snow Queen and interrogates her at the sheriff’s station. But the Snow Queen uses her prior knowledge of Emma to try to persuade her into thinking that they are more alike than she could possibly imagine. Regina and Robin Hood’s relationship grows increasingly complex as they struggle to find a way to save his dying wife, Emma begins to see what she missed out on by not growing up and being a family with Snow and Charming when she sees how involved Mary Margaret is in baby Neal’s life, and Henry begins his after school job in Gold’s shop while trying to help Regina find a clue to the identity of the author of the storybook. Meanwhile, in Arendelle of the past, we learn about the origin of the Snow Queen and her familial connection to Elsa and Anna as we see her discover her spectacular yet deadly ice powers, on “Once Upon a Time,” SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9 (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 Jessy Schram as Ashley/Cinderella, Sarah Bolger as Aurora, Sean Maguire as Robin Hood, Georgina Haig as Elsa, Elizabeth Mitchell as Snow Queen, John Rhys-Davies as Grand Pabbie, Brighton Sharbino as young Ingrid, Ava Marie Telek as young Gerda, Bailey Herbert as young Helga, Jonathan Runyon as Duke, Pascale Hutton as Gerda, Sally Pressman as Helga, Greg Webb as King and Ryan Booth as man.

“The Snow Queen” was written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz and directed by Billy Gierhart.

Watch the episode promo for Sunday’s new episode.

Based on this description, it looks like we’ll be meeting the Snow Queen’s sisters. What was their relationship like before Gerda and Helga mysteriously vanished? Are you excited to see what new mommies, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, have been up to in Storybrooke?

Share your thoughts below!

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

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