ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” recently aired an epic two-hour episode for November sweeps, and it definitely had some magical moments. There was a steamy Outlaw Queen scene; Elsa helped Emma embrace her magic; and Robin Hood found a clue about Henry’s mysterious storybook. However, the episode also reminded us that “Once Upon a Time” writes a book of fairy tales by telling the same stories over and over. The show runs the risk of becoming too predictable by overusing certain plot devices.
In “Smash the Mirror,” Elsa became the latest character to have her memory erased. Getting rid of a character’s memory is an easy way for the “Once Upon a Time” writers to create a mystery that needs to be solved, but the citizens of Storybrooke have suffered from so many brain drains that their minds should be mush by now. Emma almost married a flying monkey because her memories of Hook were erased, and everyone in town is still missing the year of their lives they spent in the Enchanted Forest. You’d think business would be booming for Archie.
I’m thrilled the Snow Queen’s Spell of Shattered Sight is going to make everyone in town turn on each other instead of making them forget their pasts, but a memory wipe would be a great way to counteract her curse. It would make the citizens forget how much they hate one other. I’m really hoping Regina & Co. don’t realize this because everyone in town might start acting like the Mad Hatter if their minds get messed with one more time.
Surprise Family Connections
As Hook pointed out, everyone in Storybrooke seems to be related somehow. Villains are particularly prone to being surprise relatives of the series’ central characters: the Wicked Witch is Regina’s half sister, Peter Pan is Rumplestiltskin’s father, Rumplestiltskin is Henry’s grandfather, and the Snow Queen is Elsa and Anna’s aunt. This season, the “Once Upon a Time” writers threw in a little twist by making the Snow Queen Emma’s foster mom, but this revelation wasn’t much of a shock after seeing the Savior encounter Rumplestiltskin’s son and the Wizard of Oz out in the real world.
True Love’s Kiss
At this point, shouldn’t everyone start making out every time a curse is cast? This is such a boring way to break a spell, but “Once” just won’t “Let It Go.” At least the “Frozen” writers got creative by turning their curse breaker into an act of true love.
The “Once Upon a Time” writers also gave true love’s kiss a slight twist when Emma broke a curse by kissing Henry on the forehead. Regina should remember this moment because she played a part in putting the kid in a magic-induced coma and almost killing him, but for some reason she hasn’t considered trying to break the curse on Maid Marian by letting little Roland kiss his mother on the cheek. You’d think Regina would have kissing on her mind because she’s been making out with Robin Hood so much, but Outlaw Queen was too busy getting busy to worry about saving Marian in “Smash the Mirror.”
Ripped Out Hearts
I almost forgot about the huge part hearts used to play on “Once Upon a Time,” but then Regina had to go and rip out Marian’s icy organ. We’ve seen multiple hearts torn out and turned to dust, and Charming and Snow White are currently sharing a heart. In “Smash the Mirror,” Rumple reminded us hearts can work like magical remote controls by tearing Hook’s ticker out of his chest (to be fair, Killian kind of deserved it after stealing Sleeping Beauty’s heart). Now the pirate is Rumple’s puppet in a plot that we’ve seen a few times before, and Captain Swan fans should be worried. The last time Emma was in love with a man without a heart, things didn’t turn out so well.
Speaking of which, will “Once” ever address what Regina did to Graham? She basically used Christian Grey’s heart to turn him into a living sex toy before killing him, which was one of the most disturbing things she’s ever done. It’s a good thing Robin Hood hasn’t read about that part of Regina’s history in Henry’s storybook.
Rumplestiltskin Knows Everyone
I can’t decide whether I’m more tired of Mr. Gold uttering the words “Magic always comes with a price” or learning that he’s previously met every new character introduced on the show (apparently spending centuries making shady deals is a great way to meet people). Last season we found out he trained the Wicked Witch, and this season we saw him encounter Anna and the Snow Queen in flashbacks. I’d love to see a villain introduced who Rumple knows absolutely nothing about, but Cruella de Vil will probably turn out to be his long-lost mother or something.
What sort of storyline do you think would help break things up on the show?