So last week’s season premier of Once Upon a Time may not have been that great.
But now we are given something new to consider with the second episode of season four.
Once Upon A Time has always played a villain arc as its main story – a trope that has sort of lost its flavor. But this time around, episode two entitled “White Out” went to show us how you do not need an antagonist to make a good story.
Any writer of fantasy can argue if you are going to have a magic system, make sure you draw up the rules. This episode reminded us of what Rumpelstiltskin has been preaching since the first season – “magic always comes with a price.”
Anyone who is everyone has probably seen Frozen and how the main character, Elsa, has a hard time controlling her ice abilities.
Well, in a world where magic has its consequences, then we can finally see why the producers of ‘Once’ decided to bring in Frozen – because Emma points out to Elsa that she can’t control her power after raising a wall around the town of Storybrooke, trapping Emma and Elsa into a frozen cave, and Elsa explaining why controlling her power is difficult without her sister Anna being around.
While this is a minor point, it fits into Once Upon a Time’s magic system very well, and what we are given now is a fresh story where we do not need a villain in order to tell a good story.
However, someone always throws a wrench into the mix.
The very end of the episode, if anything, lacked some foresight. We were given a scene where Grumpy goes for ice cream in a shop that did not suffer at all from the episode’s blackout. Then we are introduced to the shop owner, played by Revolution’s Elizabeth Mitchell, who apparently has ice powers similar to Elsa’s, who was able to keep the ice cream cold despite the lack of power.
And thus, we cannot help but wonder what will happen in the next episode with this character, rumored to be the Snow Queen, as she is made out to be the “new baddie on the block.”
Other notable mentions in the episode include David and Anna’s interaction, Little Bo Peep’s portrayal as a medieval slum lord sorceress, and Snow White’s freaking out of being put in charge in Regina’s absence of being mayor, and not knowing how to restart a power grid.
Another worthy mention would be the character Henry – the producers have him growing from an innocent, imaginative, child into a lamenting teenager, something I truly believe could be useful in the season to come to create some conflict.
But only time will tell.