Once Upon a Time Season 4 Review “Breaking Glass”

Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 5 Breaking Glass (9)

Last night’s Once Upon a Time was a bit of a mixed bag. I loved the flashbacks to Emma’s youth and the development of the relationship between her and Regina. I wasn’t as enamored with the revelation at the end that the Snow Queen used to be Emma’s foster mom. At least we’re still footloose and Henry free.

This week, everyone is on the hunt for the Snow Queen. Regina gets a tip from Sidney as to the ice villainess’ whereabouts and takes off after her. She doesn’t count on company, though. Emma has gotten it into her head that she needs to make things up with Regina. Throughout their interactions, we get flashbacks to Emma’s youthful shenanigans. Teenage runaway Emma made a friend while attempting to shoplift and embraces the girl as a fellow lost soul. That is until she finds out that her new friend is simply an unhappy rich girl with problems that in no way mirror Emma’s.

The juxtaposition between Emma’s flashbacks and her interactions with Regina worked particularly well. Regina is really angry at Emma and feels betrayed, though in her heart she must know that Marian’s survival isn’t really Emma’s fault. Flashback Emma is similarly hurt by the perceived betrayal of her new friend. I like the way that Regina and Emma’s relationship has evolved to the point where they do share a connection deeper than Henry. There wasn’t much chance that Regina and Snow would ever be buddies – way too much baggage. But Regina had built a partnership of sorts with Emma prior to Marian’s return. Considering that Emma can be judgmental and quick to write people off, it was a sign of real growth that she was able to tell Regina that she wants to be friends. It was a sincere, heart-felt moment that showed how much both women have evolved since Emma first drove into Storybrooke.

Snow also had a decent storyline this week. She’s been a bit marginalized since having her latest royal offspring, which has made sense in terms of all of the other stories that the show is juggling. But, it was cute to see her and Prince Charming have a date night. I like the fact that Ginnifer Goodwin looks like a new mom (which she is) because it gives Snow an extra layer of believability. It’s also fantastic that Goodwin hasn’t starved herself to shrink back to an unreasonable post-baby weight. She looks great. The date may not end up the way Charming envisions, but we get a funny exchange between Snow and the Knave. I had a feeling he was working her. You can’t trust a Knave.

There wasn’t a whole lot of development with the Frozen storyline. Elsa went chasing after an image of Anna and fell into the Snow Queen’s clutches. That was predictable. We now have a suggestion of what the Snow Queen is up to. She mentions that she’s trying to reclaim the family who loves her. That seems like a pretty weak motivation for all the trouble she’s causing. For once, I’d like to go full Disney style and have a villain who is straight up evil. None of this – I had a bad childhood, nobody loves me, someone stole my boyfriend…. Just plain old evil. It would’ve been exciting with the Snow Queen if she had a frozen heart and was just bad because of it.

Like I mentioned at the beginning, I’m not too enthusiastic about the long lost connection between the Snow Queen and Emma. This seems a bit absurd. It also was incongruous that someone who spent her life as a runaway, spent decades moving around, and is able to fit all of her belongings in a VW bug would have carried around some random childhood VHS tape. I’m disappointed that we’re going back down the rabbit hole of missing memories. I’m also not feeling Elizabeth Mitchell in this role. I would’ve preferred someone with a frostier demeanor.

I’m ready for some closure with the search for Anna. We probably won’t get it before sweeps, but it’d be nice. Also, when is Kristoff going to come to Storybrooke?