Once Upon a Time Season 4 Review “A Tale of Two Sisters”

Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 1 A Tale of Two Sisters (27)

At the risk of being stoned, I’m going to admit that I’m not a huge Frozen fan. The music didn’t do much for me, the animation of the human characters had the same off-putting symmetry that Tangled did, and I didn’t like that Elsa was sexed up with a slit in the front of her gown that practically went to her crotch. You’d never see Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella with a dress like that. So, I had no expectations going into this week’s Once Upon A Time premiere, which featured the arrival of Frozen in Storybrooke. I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the human versions of Elsa and Anna more than their animated counterparts.

We pick up in the season premiere right where we left off several months ago. Regina is devastated by the return of Maid Marian, Hook and Emma are inching towards coupledom, Belle and Rumple are now husband and wife, and an icy blond has arrived in town.

You can’t help but feel for Regina. After all that she’s been through (good and bad), it does feel like her turn for a happy ending. That’s not in the cards now that Marianne is back. Robin lets Regina know that while he still cares for her, he won’t break his vows to his wife. Regina is understandably crushed by this loss. As we know, Regina doesn’t cope with emotional stress very well. She instantly goes into evil plotting mode. I know this was inevitable. We can’t have the main villain turn entirely good, but it’s still disappointing. Regina is one of the best and most complex characters on the show, and I’d like to see her fight harder against her evil impulses. She caved to them within seconds.

Yet, we know there is still hope for Regina on some level. When Marian and the others are attacked in the forest, Regina is the one who saves Marian from the snow monster. If she hadn’t, her competition would have been snuffed out. This act of mercy is not mirrored in the Regina of the past who we see sentence Marian to death in the Enchanted Forest.

Regina turns to Sidney, her underappreciated mirror for assistance. We haven’t seen Sidney in a long time. It’s the upside to Revolution’s cancellation that the wonderfully talented Giancarlo Esposito is available now to reprise the role of the Magic Mirror. I still don’t believe that he’s fully in her camp, so it may be just a matter of time before he sells her out. Regina’s latest harebrained scheme is to rewrite Henry’s fairy tale book to give her a happy ending (and Marian a not so happy one).

Meanwhile, Emma keeps trying to apologize to Regina. Here’s a thought, why don’t you send Henry – the kid Regina raised from infancy – to stay with her and keep her company. That seems like it would be a nice gesture. At least things in the love department are working out for Emma and Hook. I like the fact that she’s going to make him take it slowly. What I really like is how everyone else is wearing normal clothes in Storybrooke, but Hook is still in full pirate garb.

So I saved the biggest storyline for last. Frozen has arrived. Elsa is in Storybrooke and Anna is MIA. We have some intriguing flashbacks of their parents’ ship sinking in a violent storm. Their mother tosses a note into the ocean, but we don’t know what it says. On the eve of Anna’s wedding, Elsa finds their mother’s diary, which suggests that their parents’ voyage had something to do with Elsa. Naturally, Elsa blames herself and Anna decides to follow their parents’ trail to the Enchanted Forest.

I actually enjoyed the Frozen storyline more in this episode than I did in the animated film. Georgina Haig is enjoyable to watch. She doesn’t over do it on the fairy tale sweetness and looks great as the character. I also loved the scene with Elsa, Kristoff and Sven. It was cute and funny the way they got Sven to nod in exasperation. I also liked that unlike her animated counterpart, Elsa’s dress does not have the thigh slit.

This is a solid, promising start to the new season. As long as we can keep Henry out of the picture, should be smooth sailing.