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Monday, December 1, 2014

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 10: When You Wish Upon A Plot Convenience

This week's episode begins with a glorious overhead shot of the rack that started it all:

With great cleavage comes great responsibility. 
Or in this case, a whole lot of passive-aggressive evil. I mean, seriously - doesn't Ingrid remind you of that one Aunt you see at the holidays who's always reminding your Mom (with a creepy smile) of every embarrassing incident from her childhood? The one that always has your Mom reaching for the wine bottle when she enters the room? Smug little shit.

As it turns out, our Snow Queen has good reason to be smug. She's cast the curse of Shattered Sight, and our watchful (See! They're watching! With binoculars!) group of carefully placed lead characters let us know that it'll be here by sundown. 

Rumplestiltskin slithers up to Ingrid (sorry, I'm so mad at him right now I just can't write anything nice) to make a deal: he wants to leave town with Belle and Henry (since everyone else is gonna die a horrible, PMS-related death), and in return, he won't be there still alive and all in her face. Ingrid hates him as much as I do and she says bon voyage. 

Our group of lead characters (Storybrooke: Assemble!) decide to take on the ice wall in a bid to get everyone out of a town that only Emma, Henry, Hook, Regina and Rumple have ever been able to leave and are mysteriously surprised when that doesn't work. David swings a pickaxe at the ice wall (nevermind that there's a diamond-cutting dwarf behind him - he's gotta show off his hero muscles) which conveniently opens a perfectly straight chasm just wide enough to reveal Anna's necklace. Elsa shouts "It's a miracle!" and we all shout "It's a plot convenience!" and now they're going to try to get people out on boats.

Elsa goes straight to Belle, who has read up on the spell and found a way to create a magic spell vaccine, as long as you find someone who's been under the spell before and you rip some hair out of their head. Belle takes the necklace and starts working on a locator spell.

Meanwhile, in Arendelle, Anna and Wallpaper Kristoff have thawed out quite suddenly, the urn is missing and Anna instantly discovers one excruciatingly thin gold straw on the floor and knows without any hesitation that Rumplestiltskin has followed her, taken the urn and gone away. Wallpaper lets her know she's making a huge assumption on a weird plot convenience, which actually made me laugh because I do love it when the writers call themselves on their own nonsense. Remember David and Grumpy's conversation in Season Two about David's real name? *sigh* I miss that kind of witty rapport.

In bursts Prince Hans and his marvelous man-candy brothers, ready to take over the kingdom (despite the fact that they have no claim of succession, but that's just a pesky detail because hey, they're hot) and Anna and Wallpaper get the drop on them and run away. 

And finally, finally, we see Hook. He's looking at the ice wall that's suddenly just now going up in the harbor, when the original wall supposedly surrounded the city anyway. Rumple (the asshole) lets Hook in on the plan and tells him to eff up the fairies, the only ones who can possibly stop the spell. Hook gets good and incensed, clenching that manly jaw, and Rumple reminds him that they're now besties and he's gotta do it anyway.

Regina runs off to the forest to warn Robin, who finally decides to break camp. They've been in Storybrooke how many months and they're still sleeping in tents? What the hell, Robin? You can't let your guys have a decent bed to sleep in? It's all well and good for you - you've got a nice, cooshy bed to crawl into anytime you want it. And apparently, he wants it now while everyone else is in a tizzy around him, breaking camp and he's busy macking on his mistress. He does have a warm, fuzzy line about living in the moment that made me almost forget how pissed off I still am at Rumple. Almost.

Anyway, Elsa and Emma put the locator spell on the necklace and instead of floating around, it glows. I guess jewelry handles that spell differently since the glow thing happened with Snow's ring before, as I recall. Oh, look - Emma notices that, too. Somehow, this seems...convenient.

Back in Arendelle, Anna and Wallpaper outrun Hans and the man-candy brothers and Anna (conveniently!) suddenly remembers that her mother's diary referenced them looking for something called "the Wishing Star" and that may be what they left to look for, since it could, you know, grant a wish. Like helping your daughter. But Anna sort of forgot to mention that to Elsa and instead let Elsa believe Mom and Dad were complete shit as parents. She wants to use it to wish Elsa back to them. Oh, and she also remembers that Mom talked to Blackbeard in search of the Wishing Star.

Wallpaper isn't sure he likes dealing with pirates anymore than he does wizards and Anna tells him pirates are better than wizards. Wallpaper replies "Says who?" and a chorus of thousands of women (who are all really, really pissed at Rumplestiltskin right now, by the way) all shouted "We do!" at their television screens. Anna points out that pirates like money, so she wants to decimate the treasury, bankrupt her country, pay off Blackbeard and find Elsa.

Meanwhile, the glowing necklace has led Emma and Elsa to the tunnels under the library, and to a solid rock wall that has a whole lot of fairy dust exposed on it. Emma points out that all the rumbling upstairs must've shaken all that dust loose. Gee. That's....interesting. Let's file that away, because I'm sure it somehow plays into something Emma's going to do later to defeat the curse.

Grumpy and the magnificent seven are coming to the rescue and will take down that sparkly wall, right after Mary Margaret slaps Regina with a snootful of snark:

"Yeah if the Mayor only has to worry about one villain and 
it's herself, that frees up a lot of time for infrastructure!"
The cadre of major characters (who move and act as one now) have a confab and decide that Elsa has to turn over the necklace, since the fairies can use it instead of Anna's yanked-out hair (only it'll take longer. Then again, when you're using Granny's as a converted lab, I would imagine it all takes a lot longer). Elsa pulls the old Hook switcheroo and hands them a pouch with no necklace (honestly, Emma - did you learn nothing?) and they rush off to Granny's where Rumple is hanging out on purpose, trying to annoy Blue, which I sort of dig because I really hate Blue and personally think she's more evil than Rumple, but I'm too pissed at Rumple to get into all that right now. 

Hook is hanging out in the back hallway with the magical hat of Disney Death, making soulful eyes at the sound of Emma's voice. 

Prince Hans, in the meantime, has followed Anna and Wallpaper to Blackbeard's ship where he reveals that he's working with Blackbeard and Anna pops out some really adorable lines. Gads, I love her. She's super-perky. Normally, I hate that, but she's just awesome. I only wish I liked Wallpaper more than Hans with her.

Hans decides to pitch Anna and Wallpaper over the side of the ship in a trunk (and we learn that Blackbeard was saved by Ariel - no doubt in return for finding out where her Prince was marooned). The expositional dialogue then shifts to Hans, who lets us know we're (a) on the Jolly Roger and (b) Arendelle was frozen thirty years. He forgets to mention however, how it is that they've all been unfrozen about half an hour and that gave him time to seek out Blackbeard, secure his services, and plot an ambush. 

The trunk goes over, Anna starts screaming her fool head off at the bottom of the ocean and then she decides to start saying her wedding vows. Wallpaper shuts that right down - there's no way he's hitching his wagon to that kind of crazy, and as the water rises, they get ready to go all Jin and Sun on us.

Elsa, on the other hand, has blown through the mine wall (without collapsing it, of course) and it somehow opens out to the beach. I mean, right on the beach. That nice, dry tunnel opens right out onto the ocean.
"What the f---?"

But the necklace stops glowing and Elsa gets bummed, and she uses her conveniently pure heart to wish as hard as she can that Anna was with her right now. Surprise! The Wishing Star is in the necklace! Anna and Wallpaper get sucked up from the bottom of the ocean, through a portal and right onto the beach in Storybrooke, where a happy reunion takes place. Yay!

Emma hangs back thinking, "Yeah, this is all really nice but can we kinda get back to saving the town, please?"

They rush back to Granny's but Hook is already there, reluctantly unleashing the hat of Disney Death and giving us a great moment with Blue, hiding from the velociraptors hat before she gets sucked into the realm of everlasting bad CGI.

Luckily, he hides before Emma bursts in, so she blames the Snow Queen. It's too late now - the spell is coming. Rumple puts Belle on ice (*snerk*) and seals her in the shop with a protection spell. Hook reminds him that Belle really loves his sorry ass and he should be more grateful for that. Rumple gets all pissy and tells Hook he's gonna die, and once again, Killian gives us those soulful eyes. *sigh*

The curse is coming (and where's Grumpy? Shouldn't he be screaming about impending doom or something?) and Snow gives Emma the baby, while she and David lock themselves side-by-side in the jail cells. Like that won't be problematic. Wallpaper gets cuffed to a desk, and Hook shows up to give Emma one last, stoic, somewhat-devoid-of-emotion kiss goodbye. And she notices. Oh yes, she notices.

Regina seals Henry in her office with a protection spell and high-tails it to her vault, hoping to wait out the curse along with everyone else who keeps telling Emma that she and Elsa are their only hope over and over again. But no pressure, Emma, you big savior, you.

The wind picks up and we see people with dramatically ruffled hair and swaying light fixtures and one last, glorious shot of the Snow Queen's magnificent rack. that the edge of  a nip? I think it is...

Then it starts raining mirror glass from the sky and through the HVAC system. Might want to get that check out, Madam Mayor. Once you're done screaming like a banshee at your husband, I mean.

I'm gonna give this episode three hooks out of five:

There were way too many "Oh, look what I just found!' and "Wait, I suddenly remembered this!" moments for me. That's just lazy writing, and these writers can and have done better in the past.
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