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‘Once Upon A Time’ Season 4 Premiere Recap: “A Tale of Two Sisters”

After a pair of lackluster storylines last season dealing with Peter Pan and the Wicked Witch of the West, Once Upon A Time has pulled out all the stops this season by bringing Frozen to Storybrooke.

Yes, the wildly popular Anna and Elsa, from Disney’s top grossing animated movie Frozen, has invaded ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Some may grumble and scoff at the addition, but with the casting choices and intriguing storyline, I think it is really going to give Once Upon A Time a boost.

Elsa (Georgina Haig) opens Season 4 of Once Upon A Time and the audience also sees more of Anna and Elsa’s parents just before they are lost at sea. The sister’s mother frantically pens a letter and tosses it over the side of the storm-tossed boat, telling her husband she hopes it finds her daughters because they need to know the truth – and the mystery begins.

Five years after Anna and Elsa’s parents are lost at sea, Anna (Elizabeth Lail) is preparing for her marriage to Kristoff (Scott Michael Foster) and Elsa seems to have control over her freezing powers. She finds their mother’s wedding dress and presents it to Anna. While doing so, Elsa finds a journal written by her mother with murky details on why she and their father went on their doomed trip – they were traveling to Mist Haven to find out about Elsa’s powers.

Elsa wants to go there but Anna says she is the Queen and must stay in Arendelle. Anna says she will go instead but Elsa says she is getting married the next day and can’t.

Anna, always one to help her sister, sneaks away to Mist Haven. When Elsa confronts Kristoff, he tries to stall her until Elsa figures out Anna is gone. As she and Kristoff reach the docks, Anna is already sailing away to Mist Haven.

Back in present day Storybrooke, Elsa is baffled by where she is. Remember, Season 3 of Once Upon A Time ended with Elsa’s grand entrance. When she sees a car coming toward her, with Grumpy and Sleepy driving, she freezes the car so it doesn’t hit her.

As for the main members of Storybrooke, Regina is still reeling from Robin’s wife, Marion (Christie Laing), returning. Marion seems shocked by everyone checking on Regina – she remembers her as the Evil Queen.

So, what will Regina do to Marion? Will she curse her, turn her into a frog, kill her? The audience is left wondering as she makes her way to the mental hospital and lets out The Mirror (Giancarlo Esposito). She asks him to show her when she met Marion, in her other life, and when she condemned her to die. She was going to go back in time and kill her before Emma saved her.

Meanwhile, everyone else is dealing with Elsa. Well, they don’t know it’s Elsa since she’s staying out of sight. She is letting her trail of ice and her ice monsters do all the talking.

As they deal with Elsa and her ice, Rumpelstiltskin and Belle are enjoying a honeymoon in an abandoned house. The library kind of looks like the one in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and they share a dance only after he gives her a yellow dress.

Beauty and the Beast from Disney is one of my favorite Disney cartoons, and I just cringe whenever they try to sell me Rumpelstiltskin as The Beast. This is the least appealing couple on the show and I kind of zone them out most of the time. I really don’t care that he is struggling with giving her the wrong dagger to control him or that, in the end, he trades them back out so she has the real one.

I am more intrigued by the object he finds in the house that looks like it has symbols that might connect to Elsa and Anna.

As for Elsa, her ice monster is on the rampage and he follows Emma, Hook, Robin and Marion into the woods. When it looks like he has the upper-hand and is going to kill Marion, Regina saves her. It seems she is looking at an alternative to finding her happy ending. How she is going to change the ending of the magical book – that should be interesting.

The episode ends with Elsa sneaking into Mr. Gold’s pawn shop and retrieving the snowflake necklace she gave Anna. As for Anna, back in the Arendelle flashback, she is off to Mist Haven. As she’s sailing off, she finds out that it’s also known by another name – The Enchanted Forest.