This week’s episode of Once Upon A Time is aptly named “The Snow Queen” as it deals with her backstory. Just like Anna and Elsa, the Snow Queen had the true love of her sisters to help her get through controlling her magic. But unlike Anna and Elsa, tragic events befell Ingrid (Elizabeth Mitchell), a.k.a. The Snow Queen.
The Snow Queen’s powers manifested when she and her two sisters were about to be kidnapped by a nefarious man looking to ransom them for a hefty fortune. As one of her sisters was being held by the villain, the young Snow Queen unwittingly unleashed her power freezing a tree limb and it fell on the man.
The three sisters swore on three pieces of yellow ribbon that they would always be there for each other and the other two, Gerda and Helga, would always help and protect the Snow Queen. As they grew their bond held true, however, Ingrid became more reclusive. They heard of Mist Haven and a man that could help Ingrid – the man of course was the Dark One a.k.a. Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle). He offered gloves, the same gloves that Elsa would eventually wear, to help with her magic and also an urn that would contain Ingrid should she need it. His price was the three ribbons the young women had worn since children admitting magic can be found in many things. Ingrid freely gave hers while her sisters did so reluctantly.
Still unsure of her power, Ingrid continued to hide herself away. One day Helga’s betrothed, who turns out to be the Duke of Weselton (Jonathan Runyon) that was in the movie Frozen, finds Ingrid and makes a play for her. She rebuffs him but he continues his advances until Ingrid uses her magic on him. He calls her a monster and then Helga (Sally Pressman) shows up. As the sisters have done all their lives, Helga defends Ingrid and in the scuffle, Ingrid, unable to contain her magic, uses it on Helga and freezes her. She crumbles in Ingrid’s arms just as her other sister Gerda (Pascale Hutton) shows up.
Devastated by the events, Gerda opens the urn and sucks in Ingrid locking her away for what she thinks is forever. She then goes to see Grandpappy the Rock Troll and asks him to create a magic potion that will make all of Arendelle and their border lands forget about her sisters. He begrudgingly agrees.
Gerda will carry this secret with her and it will come back to haunt her when her eldest daughter, Elsa, manifests the same powers as her Aunt Ingrid.
Back in Storybrooke, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) is shocked at how easily she is able to use her magic to capture the Snow Queen. They apprehend her in the clock tower as she is using her magic mirror. Prior to that, Emma is shocked when her mother, Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin), pulls away her son (and Emma’s brother), when she tries to touch him. This incident will be the seed of doubt the Snow Queen is looking for.
Baffled at how easily she was apprehended, Belle (Emilie de Ravin), Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), David (Josh Dallas) and Elsa (Georgina Haig) examine the mirror in the clock tower. It is then Belle realizes the mirror is a fake and The Snow Queen wanted to be captured.
Why did she want to be captured? So she could have some one-on-one time with Emma setting up her doubt about her loved once and sowing a seed of mistrust – trying to tell Emma her family fears her, and how relieved her parents are to have a normal child in baby Neal.
As everyone tries to get into the police station, The Snow Queen has sealed it shut with ice. They try to get the help of Rumpelstiltskin. But there is no need, The Snow Queen has done what she set out to do when Emma gets upset and blows a hole in the wall.
The Snow Queen disappears and Emma unleashes her magic again this time almost dropping a pole on her father’s head.
Meanwhile… Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Robin (Sean Maguire) try to deny their attraction to each other so they can focus on saving Marion. It’s a vapid storyline and really hurts the character of Robin Hood who is and always should be fated to love Marion – they are canon after all. But in Storybrooke he tries to hold onto his love for Marion but ends up kissing Regina. What makes Robin look even more like a heel is when he has a talk with Will Scarlet (Michael Socha) and it is revealed he was once just a petty thief until Marion made him a better man and he began to rob from the rich to give to the poor.
In the closing of the episode, after the audience knows how The Snow Queen and Rumpelstiltskin know each other, we see them strike a bargain. She wants the ribbons back she gave him all those years ago and in return she will tell him how he can extend his magic beyond the borders of Storybrooke. As she whispers the answer to him Rumpelstiltskin smiles and says, “Not only can I do that, I shall do it with great pleasure.”