Last night's Once Upon A Time squandered a pretty cool slow burn. But that's OK, because there was plenty of Frozen shoehorned nods throughout the episode. It's been 341 days since Frozen came out. It's time to let Frozen die, people.
I have had enough Frozen. I'm done. I cannot spend any more time in Arendelle. I cannot muster up the will to emit feelings about Emma and Anna or whatever the hell their complicated past is. I'm exhausted. When Anna got back to Arendelle only to tell Kristoff (a character I actually like) that she was going to leave again to go do another mission all the fuck over again, I physically threw my hand up and screamed, "NO MORE OF THIS!"
The original appeal of Once Upon A Time was playing with the vast Disney catalogue of characters paired up with a pretty dark storyline. Snow White is a nun who takes care of comatose Prince Charming, because that is her own, personal nightmare. Every single beloved fairy tale character from our past was cursed and deprived of their happy ending. That is some delightfully dark shit right there.
Not only were our beloved fantasy creatures stuck in this hell, but they were cleverly doomed to repeat their misery in a never-ending loop. But now, four seasons later, the savior Emma has freed the good people of Storybrooke. And in a strange twist, it is we, the audience, who are now stuck in an eternal loop of sameness. Our fate? To watch this series club the last bits of cash out of Disney's newly anointed golden calf Frozen.
Last night, we revisited with the Rock Trolls and watched an elaborate and beautifully, detailed recreation of the local Arendelle sauna. But the joy of seeing this character was totally lost on me because I am just so done with Frozen. The whole thing seems like a live-action version of Frozen 2: Separated Sisters In Maine!
And we're not done yet. We still haven't met the Duke of Weselton. And yes, he was cast. And the wedding? What of the magical Frozen wedding? Surely that will happen at some point when all the sisterly search is sorted. Disney isn't done squeezing out all the Frozen juice yet. Even when they're done, I suspect the creators will find some way to cut open Elsa's husk of a carcass just to scrap the very last bit of magic that made you fall in love with a singing snowman.
Even when I called this series a "Velveeta enema," I still happily lined up for my weekly cheese. You could accuse OUAT of being many things, but it was rarely dull. Even at its strangest level (perhaps when one of Cinderella's talking mice transformed into a human and asked Red Riding Hood Werewolf out on a date), this show still has the wonderful shine of crazy, glittery fun. But now I just feel like I'm stuck in one of those dash-cam lip synch videos.
Why am I so frustrated? Because it was such a disappointment to see the great storyline of Belle and Rumple squandered. If you forgot, Rumpelstiltskin gave his wife Belle a fake version of his magical dagger, thus giving her total control over his life (or at least this is what she thought). This fake dagger was huge sign of his trust and a physical representation of him turning over a new leaf. But of course the dagger was fake because Rumple is no dummy, and doesn't just hand over his life. However, I always believed he wanted to. Alas the actions Belle took in this episode only reinforce Rumple's decision to distrust.
At the first sign of "no" from her husband, Belle grabs up the powerful dagger and commands her man to do her bidding. It was totally left field for this mostly "good" character. But it also meant betrayal and distrust, because she was doing the very thing Rumps predicted (but probably secretly hoped would never come to pass)—thus, unraveling his faith in goodness and good people and solidifying his decision to never really entrust his wife with the blade in the first place.
And in doing this, Belle was forced to look into the Snow Queen's magic mirror and hear her own dark truth, "Deep down, you know what kind of beast you're dealing with."
Wham. Rumpelstiltskin is, hands down, the most interesting character on the series. And it's great to watch these two pantomime acting like a trusting, loving couple. But the second Belle needed power, she totally wielded that dark power, no problem. She didn't even ask him for his help in a different manner. Belle was too afraid to tell everyone that it was her selfish decision that caused Anna to fall into the clutches of the Snow Queen—even though the Snow Queen probably could have gotten Anna whenever she wanted, but whatever.
The whole dagger reveal was a long time coming on this series, but it was kind of hastily swept under the bed for more Frozen story building. We didn't even get to see this couple come to grips with what they just did? Or maybe Belle really is that dense?
Overall, it killed the big buildup for me. And there's a lot of good in this season: loved the Hook date, loved Snow White being "over it" with the mayoral duties and love being in the real world most of the time. But when the showrunners announced that Frozen was coming to town, never in my wildest dreams did I expect Frozen to come to town, and then stick around for the entire season.
Guys, it's time. Let it go.