The curse of “Shattered Sight” rolled through Storybrooke last night on Once Upon A Time and I think it’s safe to declare it the most entertaining curse ever (at least so far). Wardrobe and haircut choices were questioned. Dwarves battled one another in the street using their fists, their words and Granny’s crossbow. Fireballs were thrown, swords were drawn, lives were threatened and it made for such a fun hour of television.
But it wouldn’t be a fantastic episode of Once Upon A Time if there wasn’t at least one crippling, emotional punch to the gut that left us shattered and sad. I have to give all the credit in the world to the writers for this particular one because if anyone would have told me at the beginning of the episode that I’d be genuinely sad for Ingrid, I probably would have responded with some serious side-eye. And yet that’s exactly what happened because this episode finally gave Elizabeth Mitchell her chance to shine and she nailed it.
As Ingrid told a disbelieving Elsa and Emma that they would love her when all was said and done, we were treated to flashbacks of Ingrid’s entrance into our world in 1982 after she walked through the mirror. She went to see a psychic for help in locating Emma, but quickly learned the ‘sorceress’ was a fraud and her own magic did not work in the new world. Ingrid must have adapted quickly enough because the next time we see her in the foster house with young Emma, she seems pretty comfortable in modern times.
The flashback continued the scene Emma and Hook watched on the video – the bully who stole the camera threatened to make Emma’s life miserable so she decided to run away. Ingrid was prepared for that and patiently told her that she wouldn’t stop her, but she dropped a big hint about Kevin’s fear of spiders, even plastic spiders that she kept in her desk drawer. Emma decided she could probably stay another night after all. From that point on, the two bonded until a hint of Emma’s magic presented itself and Ingrid pushed her too far and then Emma did run away.
I loved these scenes because we got to see that Ingrid truly did love Emma. Yes, she cared about her magic, but she also loved Emma for the person she was and Emma loved her back because she finally had someone who cared about her after years of being mistreated and left alone. The moment when Ingrid said she wanted to adopt her and be her big sister and Emma told her she loved her was so powerful and beautiful.
Another flashback showed us the first time Emma and Ingrid met in Storybrooke and Emma immediately recognized her and threatened to call Sheriff Graham. Ingrid used a magical object from her world to extract Emma’s memories of her and then sent her on her way with ice cream. I’m really happy they explained how Ingrid took Emma’s memories (although I still question when she took Elsa’s because Elsa had them when she went into the urn). Editor’s Note: I’ve been told she did take them before Elsa went into the urn. My mistake!
Emma and Elsa spent a portion of the episode trying to remove their yellow ribbons since they could not hurt Ingrid while wearing them and the only way to end the curse was to kill her (not sure why a true love’s kiss couldn’t end it, but I loved this episode so I’ll ignore that blatant disregard for the show’s established rules of magic). Since the ribbons were bonded by love, Emma and Elsa decided the best way to counteract it was with hate so they headed to Regina’s vault to taunt the Evil Queen. Emma told her she brought Marian back on purpose to ruin her life and rub her own happiness with Hook in Regina’s face. Regina responded with a fireball, the ladies held up their wrists and let the magic hatred destroy them. Then Emma knocked Regina down with her magic and they made a run for it (awesome scene).
Back at the ice lair, Ingrid still believed she could make them love her once she showed them their memories. She also knew they wouldn’t be able to kill her because they were both hesitating. That’s when Anna arrived with the scroll she’d found at the beach and quickly explained that it was from their mother. She wanted them to know that they loved Elsa and they’d been wrong to try and get rid of her magic, but she also wanted them to know about their Aunt Ingrid (and Helga). She apologized, asked the girls to give everyone in Arendelle their memories of Ingrid and Helga back and she also told them where to find the urn so they could let Ingrid out. At first, Ingrid reacted badly and knocked all three ladies around with her magic, but then she let her sister’s words sink in and she started to break.
I was a fan of Elizabeth Mitchell to begin with, but she absolutely blew me away in these scenes. The different emotions that crossed her face as she realized her sister did love her and wanted to fix her mistake were heartwarming and beautiful and that turned to heartbreak and fear when Ingrid remembered the curse and what she’d done and how there was only one way to fix it. Emma, Elsa and Anna protested, but Ingrid admitted she’d become a monster and she needed to end it, not only for them, but for her so she could finally be with her sisters again. She gave them their memories back and then she told the women to never forget they’re special before she sacrificed herself to end the spell.
Cue me crying on my couch. I’ve been so disappointed with the Snow Queen arc and I thought her reasoning was silly and now I want to admit that I was wrong. Her arc turned out to be wonderful and special and an important reminder just how terrible it is for a person to feel unloved and alone. Ingrid wanted what we all do – love, acceptance, people who will be there for us no matter what. Even though she died, she found her peace in the end and it was a pleasure to watch. I’m going to add her to the list of characters I will forever miss (which is basically Ingrid and Zelena).
So now that we’ve covered the devastation, let’s talk about the fun stuff. Kristoff and David, aka Ice Man and Stable Boy, proved to be the nicest cursed people ever. Kristoff’s biggest complaint was having his wedding put off and while David did throw in a jab at Snow for the whole Whale thing, most of his issues came from wounded pride over being hit with a rock and his fear that the ‘gently used’ stroller would be damaged when it wasn’t under warranty.
Snow’s dark side came out to tell Anna, aka Swiss Miss, about how she killed Cora and didn’t feel bad about it. She also mocked David’s swaddling skills (“He’s a baby, not a breakfast burrito”) and told him he had no business being royalty. But the real fun for Snow came when the Evil Queen showed up to kill Emma and decided to settle for the two idiots who started it all instead (even though David attempted to throw Snow under the bus, but Regina wanted him dead for his whining).
The two women proceeded to throw down using swords, magic and plenty of true accusations as they tossed each other around the sheriff’s office all while baby Neal slept peacefully in his stroller. The scenes were hilarious and cathartic and one of my favorite parts was when David helped Snow disarm Regina (sure, we could argue that maybe he feared for his own life, but that would be a lie. Even under a spell, his worse self still wants to protect his love – Prince Charming, indeed). Then the spell broke and the three of them looked at each other and started laughing hysterically (I think the actors all broke character, but it doesn’t matter because it was fun).
Before we wrap up, we need to talk about Hook and Rumple. Neither of them had much screen time this week, but that’s okay because I imagine they’ll be playing major parts in next week’s midseason finale. Rumple needed Hook to retrieve Henry for him so he could take him and Belle out of town, erase their memories and let them believe everyone else died and he heroically managed to save only them so they could restart their lives together in New York City. Rumple is borderline delusional at this point and I still think his arrogance will be what brings him down in the end. I loved Hook pointing out that he’s a villain and he won’t win.
Hook attempted to collect Henry since he had no choice, but Henry had no interest in going anywhere with ‘a dirty pirate’ and made it clear he wasn’t a fan of Hook’s even now that he and Emma were together (Hook’s adorable reaction to ‘together’ was the best). Henry used a Home Alone marble trick to slow Hook down and then he ran away. Will showed up to pay Hook back for the shiner, but Hook easily knocked him out and went about his business while chirping noises played over Will like an actual cartoon and seriously, how fun was this episode?
Back at Rumple’s shop, he still planned to take Belle and skip town once the stars in the sky aligned with the stars in the hat. Hook asked him for a dying wish – to leave Emma and everyone else in Storybrooke unharmed. Rumple agreed, but made no promises for the rest of the world and then smugly left, planning his world domination. While they were chatting, Belle was asleep in the backroom. I really think this was a setup for her to overhear them. Maybe they’ll reveal it at the start of the next episode or maybe it’ll be a surprise and she’ll thwart Rumple at the last minute, but I think his underestimating her brain and overestimating her loyalty to him will bring his downfall next week and I will be waiting with popcorn to savor the moment.