Throughout the summer, “Once Upon a Time” built up the arrival of Anna and Elsa into this world like nobody’s business. They were on posters, in promotional photos, and so much more. There was so much pandering to new fans that you would almost think that Emma and Snow White were not the stars of the show anymore.
The biggest issue that the entire “Frozen” story brought to the show is that the entire series felt much too like a cartoon. If you look back at the first and second season, there was more of an effort to complicate the characters, and separate them further from their fairy-tale counterparts. In this case, though, it feels like this was a bona fide sequel to the Disney movie. All the characters were almost exactly the same, and there’s something about a live-action Anna that feels almost awkward. She’s getting married, but many of her mannerisms and actions are still childish.
Elsewhere, we saw Emma and Hook continue to move forward as a couple … sort of. Emma wanted to, but the problem was that her guilt over Regina losing her love in Robin Hood. Somehow, Regina found it in herself to not be an Evil Queen, and that included trying to save Marian from a snow monster created by Elsa. This is not a snowman we would like to build.
The best part of this episode, save for the “Beauty and the Beast” dance sequence with Belle and Rumpelstiltskin, was Regina setting in motion her plan for the year: Doing what she could in an effort to guarantee that all the villains of the world finally had their own happy endings for a change. She just needed to find the author of the book.
The Anna / Elsa shocker at the end of episode was pretty simple, and not even that much of a shocker: Anna had decided to travel to the Enchanted Forest, which is where her parents originally traveled back to in order to find a way to heal Elsa.
Overall, “A Tale of Two Sisters” was fun, but it lacked some of the maturity that we were hoping for from time to time. Grade: B.
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