It was more than just "A Tale of Two Sisters" on Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 1, as Regina struggled with Marian's return, Emma was unsure about how to move forward, and RumBelle's honeymoon began.
Our TV Fanatics Stacy Glanzman, Allison Nichols, Mary Kate Venedam, Paul Dailly, and Christine Orlando are joined by Gareth from Once Upon a Fan to discuss the introduction of Frozen, Emma's cold shoulder, and if Rumpelstiltskin and Regina are really capable of change.
What did you think of the introduction of the characters from Frozen?
Allison: The writers did a decent job. Everyone is the same person we fell in love with on Frozen. Anna is my favorite with her awkward babbling. Is anyone else kinda liking Elsa and Kristoff? Please tell me it's not just me.
Stacy: Great casting. They all fit the roles really well. I'm looking forward to seeing them interact with our regular characters.
Mary Kate: Its eerie how similar all of the characters are to their Frozen counterparts, but I also liked how true they were to the personalities, notably Anna's adorkable (yeah, I said it) personality. The independent story was good, but I'm more looking forward to seeing them interact with the Storybrooke people.
Paul: It was a bit too much. I agree with a lot of the people who said that our Storybrooke residents played second fiddle to the Frozen characters.
Gareth: Everyone involved really nailed it. Elizabeth Lail was just perfect as Anna. She captured her essence so well. Loved seeing Sven and Pabbie as well. Very cute moments.
Christine: I watched Georgina Haig this summer on Reckless and loved her there but Elsa is completely different and yet she seems perfect in the role. In my interview with Jennifer Morrison she said that Elsa and Emma form quite a bond and I'm really looking forward to seeing that this season.
Emma's giving Hook the cold shoulder. Are you surprised?
Allison: No, not really. Emma has been through a lot. She runs away from people. It's what she does. At least she is honest with Hook at the end, and so she recognizes this aspect of herself now. Her acknowledging it was the most surprising to me. Emma is making progress, slowly but surely.
Stacy: No, like Allison said, it's what she does. She's still getting over Neal's death and she hasn't talked to Henry yet, so like she told Hook, I think we just need to be patient with her.
Mary Kate: It's Emma Swan. If there's one thing we've learned about her is that she has never really been a romantic person, so she was never going to jump into a (normal) relationship that fast. I think she's still processing everything that just happened for her to be that happy with Hook. I mean, her son still doesn't know about it.
Paul: Not at all. She has to check with Henry. She is being mature. She's not just jumping into a relationship with him.
Gareth: Not at all. This is not going to be an easy journey for them, the writers have said as much. Emma is still working through a lot of abandonment issues, plus the guilt over what she did to Regina is still fresh. These characters are not going to get their happy ending until the final season, including Emma.
Christine: Not surprised. These are two very complex characters. The road to getting them together should take time. It will make it all the more enjoyable when they are finally a real couple.
Regina wants her happy ending. What do you think of her plan to change the book?
Allison: I'm excited that we are going to delve into the mystery of the book, and that Regina has given up her time travel plan to kill Marian. The book has always been a mystery, but it hasn't really been touched. It is just this magical book and people don't question it. As far as her plan to change the book, I'm not sure how that is going to happen. I thought real events made it into the book, and not that the book created real life. Also, if villains don't get happy endings, explain how Rumple is happy?
Stacy: I think it sets us up for a pretty interesting story arc. We know very little about the book and where it came from, so I'm excited about meeting the writer and learning more about it. Allison, I thought the same thing about Rumple. He's a reformed villain and so far happy. I think Regina has just had some seriously bad luck. If she actually succeeds at changing the book, what major ramifications are we going to see come of that?
Mary Kate: It's certainly an interesting story because like a lot of other OUAT fans, the author of the book is something everyone wants the answer to. What I am most curious about is how she will go about finding the answer.
Paul: The plan to change the book is an interesting one. It seems like it will be her driving plot for this run of episodes. People who have only witnessed her evil side would condemn this plan. Having witnessed both it is obvious the woman just wants to be loved and to have a family.
Gareth: This storyline had got me really excited. We’ve been waiting 3 years for more info on the book. So many theories are out there now as to who created it and why. It is one of those big story threads that fans are keen to see resolved. I wouldn’t be surprised if the book is also connected with the hat. Maybe OUAT will be introducing Yensid from Fantasia in the near future?
Christine: I like that the show is going back to its roots with the book. That's how it all began and I'm intrigued to see where they're going with this. I really hope that Regina and Henry somehow work together on this one.
Has Neal's death really changed Rumple?
Allison: I'd like to think so. I'm hopeful, but the Sorcerer's Apprentice hat might tempt Rumple.
Stacy: I think Rumple believes it has. Right now, in the moment, he truly wants to be a better man and do the right thing. He's seen the consequences of his actions and he doesn't want history to repeat itself now that he's got Belle. Hopefully he doesn't revert back to his old ways.
Mary Kate: I really can't tell yet. I agree with Stacy, I think Rumple thinks he is changing, but whether or not that is true, I guess, we'll find out later. But I think, right now, Belle is the only thing keeping him from going truly dark, not Neal's death.
Paul: In a way yes. But I don't think Rumples' evil will ever truly leave him. In the case of Regina I could believe she would be able to supress her evil urges but I couldn't say the same for Rumple.
Gareth: Rumple seems easily swayed by the power of magic. I believe he has the best of intentions, but he’s addicted to magic. Magic is his drug and like any addict, the power it has over him causes him to make bad choices. As soon as he saw the hat and the potential power that it held, it drew him back in again.
Christine: I think change comes in fits and starts. Much like Regina, Rumple's changed is one step forward, two steps back. Although Neal's death should be a catalyst, I don't expect the temptation of the dark pull of magic will suddenly disappear.
What was your favorite scene of the episode?
Allison: The Rumbelle dance! It was absolutely adorable.
Stacy: I'm with Allison. I enjoyed Frozen, but it doesn't compare with the classics. Beauty and the Beast is my all time favorite Disney movie and the scene with Rumple and Belle, with the costumes and the song, was definitely the highlight for me.
Mary Kate: That's a tough one. I did like the Rumbelle Beauty and the Beast scene, but I also really enjoyed Kristoff's introduction with Elsa. Part of that had to do with Scott Michael Foster as Kristoff (Huge Greek fan, here), but also we got to see Elsa and Kristoff interact, something we didn't see in the film and how they have their own relationship.
Paul: The opening scene was excellent. It was beautifully shot and an intriguing way to show us Elsa and Anna's parents.
Gareth: So many scenes that I really enjoyed. Loved all the parallels with the Frozen movie, especially the scene between Regina and Emma on both sides of the wall. It was great seeing Giancarlo Esposito back as Sidney. Such a good actor. Can’t wait to see where his story goes and what mayhem he will bring to Storybrooke.
Christine: I loved Regina's struggle throughout. She wants to change her destiny. She doesn't want to be the villain but she's got to see a possible payoff because change is difficult. I thought her crying on the other side of the door really showed how torn she is over this entire situation.
And if you need to catch up, you can watch Once Upon a Time online right here at TV Fanatic!
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.