'Once Upon A Time' Recap: 'A Tale of Two Sisters'

This episode brings in the much anticipated Frozen characters, and attempts to address the new complication in the Regina/Robin Hood relationship. It opens with a sinking ship that carries the parents of Elsa and Anna. Their mother frantically writes and launches a message in a bottle that is supposed to somehow find its way to Elsa and Anna so they can know a truth that will save them.

image courtesy of Carlos Diaz/INFphoto.com

Anna and Elsa visit the grave site of their parents, and then Elsa leads Anna away, promising a wedding gift. Suddenly, we see Elsa walking into Storybrooke seemingly disoriented. She is threatened by an out of control van, driven by Sleepy, the designated dwarf driver who fell asleep behind the wheel. She instinctively turns away with her arms out in front of her for protection. Ice blasts from her hands and freezes the van in its tracks!

Prior to the van incident, Regina is seen emerging from Granny's. Robin follows and tries to introduce Marian to her. He comments that he wants to talk about “this,” which clues Marian in that they've been seeing each other. She starts to freak out as the Charmings come to see if all is well. Marian is dumbfounded. She can't understand why everyone is talking to and being friendly with the Evil Queen. Then, Henry asks the question we've all been wondering, “You don't think she'll become evil again?”

As Elsa continues to walk through town she is frightened again. It appears that her fear causes her powers to react, and it takes concentration and determination for her to control it. As she opens her eyes, she spots a wedding dress in a shop window and has a flashback of her time with Anna, when she presented her with their mother's wedding dress. While Anna is trying on the dress, Elsa finds their mother's diary and reads something that causes her to believe her parents left and thus died because of her. Distraught, she runs off. Anna follows her, and then decides to look for more information, because she refuses to believe that her parents thought of Elsa as a monster.

Back in Storybrooke, Rumple visits Neal's grave and reminisces, then admits his failures and his lie to Belle (about the dagger), but promises to be a changed man. Belle then takes Rumple to an abandoned mansion for their honeymoon. Once inside, he swaps the real dagger for the fake one so that they can do things “right.” As they walk through the room, he notices a trinket box, but when Belle inquires, he dismisses it. They enter a ballroom and he poofs them into the fancy clothes worn by Beauty and the Beast and they dance to that tune. How sweet.

Robin visits Regina. He admits his feelings for her, but explains that a vow is a vow and must be honored. In other words, he's with Marian. In anger, Regina gets the bright idea to retrieve Sidney so that he can help her go back in time before Emma arrived and kill Marian so that Emma cannot save her. But, how is she going to travel back in time? It's not like the Charmings are going to let her borrow their baby!

Emma, Henry, and the Charmings discuss Regina as they walk down the street. Hook arrives, but Emma is rather dismissive of him. He asks her if she is avoiding him, but she replies that there's a crisis going on right now. He points out that there's always a crisis. Their conversation is interrupted by Leroy yelling, “We're under attack!” Hook and Emma find and follow a trail of ice. Elsa hides from them, and in her fear, creates a snow monster that chases them away. Meanwhile, a newspaper blows into Elsa's hiding place. She picks it up and sees the picture announcing Belle and Gold's wedding. At this distraction, the snow monster discontinues his attack and marches off towards the woods.

Elsa remembers Anna taking her to see the trolls, where they discovered that their parents' actual destination was a place called Misthaven. Anna wants Elsa to go with her to Misthaven so they can find out why their parents were going there. Elsa explains that as queen she cannot leave the kingdom unattended, so Anna volunteers to go alone. In the present day, Elsa looks at the picture in the newspaper again, and this time you notice the snowflake necklace that she gave to Anna. Elsa heads to Gold's shop to retrieve it.

Elsewhere, Emma and the gang go after the snow monster, and run into Robin and Marian. They don't have to look for the monster anymore, though, because it finds them. Nothing they try to do to defeat the monster is successful other than making it madder and meaner, not even Emma's magic helps. The monster manages to knock everyone out except Marian, who asks Regina for help. Regina disappears as if to leave Marian to her death, but right before the monster can squash Marian, he explodes. As he dissipates, we see Regina standing behind him. She just saved Marian. Maybe she's not the Evil Queen anymore after all.

Emma then avoids Hook again. He calls her on it, and she admits she is avoiding him because she feels too guilty over causing Regina pain. She then goes after Regina, who has been avoiding her. She tries to tell Regina that she can still have a happy ending. All she has to do is fight for it, but if she won't, then Emma claims she'll fight for her. After all, Henry did bring her to Storybrooke to bring back ALL the happy endings. Regina suddenly hashes a new plan. She looks at Henry's story book, realizing that none of the villains have happy endings. She decides the way to change her fate now is to find the author of the book and force them to change what is written. This will definitely be interesting, but I wonder how many stories will be unraveled by such tampering.

In the end, Rumple opens the trinket box which turns into something reminiscent of the magician's hat that Mickey Mouse wore in The Magician's Apprentice, and Elsa breaks into his shop. She finds the necklace and remembers chasing after Anna, who had left for Misthaven. She is too late. Anna's ship has already left. With Kristoff by her side, Elsa can do nothing but wait and worry. She confides in him that she hasn't even heard of Misthaven before, and he comments that it also goes by the name of the Enchanted Forest. In the past, Anna sails away holding the necklace as she is wearing it, and in the present, Elsa holds it in her hand as she vows to find Anna.

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Carissa Shuman

Carissa is a writer, editor, and artist with a love for science and science fiction.