Once Upon a Time “True North” Review

There is only one complaint I can make about “True North,” this week’s Once Upon a Time and it is this. They vastly under-used the fabulous Emma Caulfield as the Blind Witch who tries to roast Hansel and Gretel. Other than that, it was a great episode.

We meet Hansel and Gretel in the woods, as they help their father chop wood. After he sends the kids off for kindling, giving his compass to Gretel so they can find their way back, the Woodsman (Nicholas Lea) is captured by the Queen. Not knowing that their father has been kidnapped, the kids fear they’ve been abandoned. But the Queen offers them help in finding their father if they will go into the Blind Witch’s gingerbread house to steal what turns out to be a poisoned apple, the weapon the Queen will eventually use on Snow White.

Only children can enter the house, which makes sense as the Blind Witch likes them roasted in either butter or gravy. But the twins are savvy and they escape with the apple after locking the Witch in her own oven. Still, they want their father more than they want a life with the Queen, who was impressed by their success and offers them a comfortable existence at her side. When Gretel stands up to her, she banishes them to the depths of the forest. They’re presumably still there, trying to find their father, when the curse is cast.

Which means that in Storybrooke, they are a pair of orphans trying to survive all by themselves. Once Emma becomes aware of them, she takes it upon herself to find their father, having abandonment issues of her own. With a little help from Mr. Gold, she locates the man, but he’s not ready to be a daddy. Of course, no one can leave Storybrooke, so when Emma tries to drive the kids out of the town, her car breaks down and their father, the mechanic, comes to their aid and ends up taking the kids.

A happy ending. We’ve come to realize that this invariably means that a big change is about to take place. Almost immediately after Hansel and Gretel are reunited with their father, a stranger drives into town on his motorcycle. We have no idea who he is, but not unlike Emma herself, he is there to stay.

And now the speculation begins! Who could this stranger be? I’m guessing he has something to do with the Queen, possibly the lover she’s briefly mentioned as having been taken away by Snow White, but he could be someone else entirely. I can’t wait to find out!

Other revelations of the night included Emma telling Henry lies about his father (but only because the truth might be too much for him to take), and Emma telling Mary Margaret that Henry believes they are mother and daughter. And from the way that Mary Margaret was holding Emma’s baby blanket, it seems like some of those maternal feelings might start breaking through the curse.

As a side-note, years from now, costume designers will invariably look back at Once Upon a Time as a prime example of the best way to dress an evil queen. She has some of the greatest outfits and tonight’s leather pants and brocaded corset frock coat was the perfect blend of fairytale and dominatrix.

What did you think of the episode? Let me know below!