All I wanted was to have my sisters’ love.Ingrid
Starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas, Emilie de Ravin, Colin O’Donoghue, Jared S. Gilmore, Michael Socha, and Robert Carlyle.
After what seems like endless buildup, the Spell of Shattered Sight finally hit Storybrooke in this episode; and boy, did we know it. The effects of the curse were felt throughout the episode, but instead of being a serious, morose affair, these sections of the episode really injected an element of humour and fun energy. It was delightful to see the characters that we know behaving in an entirely unexpected way, and the actors clearly loved it!
Not only did we have Snow White snapping at poor Anna, and declaring that she killed Regina’s mom (and that she wasn’t even sorry), but we also had wonderful arguments between the central couple, Snow and Charming. We had the dwarves running in the streets, Granny aiming her crossbow at anybody who came in her path, and Regina back on top form as the Evil Queen. Her fight with Snow was just delicious, camp fun, not to mention Snow’s scream of “I WAS TEN!!!”. It’s nice to see the show poking gentle fun at itself over how ridiculous some of its past storylines were.
This episode did a brilliant job of humanising Ingrid. I feel like that’s a recurring theme in Once, that we finally get to grips with our villains just as they are written out – that’s certainly how it worked with Cora in Season 2. It was a savvy move by the writers to hold back these critical flashbacks until this point in the story. Even though it would have been nice to know, the way that it paints Ingrid’s whole story in a new light is worth the late reveal.
The past relationship explored between Ingrid and Emma in her youth was disarmingly earnest, and emotionally portrayed. You could really tell that Ingrid cared for Emma, and she came across entirely differently in the past storyline to what we have seen in Storybrooke. She really connected with Emma on a deeper level that we never really saw with Emma as an adult. When the two characters said that they loved each other, it’s truly believable, and it’s a shame that Ingrid ruined it by leaning too hard into the magic when Emma wasn’t ready. It’s quite a tragic outcome for both of the characters.
Ingrid’s ultimate fate is also well realised. It’s successfully built up through the revealing flashbacks, but the cracks that show in Ingrid’s usually composed exterior when she was forced to confront her anguish over her sisters’ love was devastating. For a show that’s abounding with supernatural and fantasy elements, it’s quite rare for them to play a realistic, emotional moment and seeing Ingrid properly reacting to her pain over the loss of both of her sisters came out of nowhere and was incredibly emotive.
Lots of this is due to Elizabeth Mitchell’s stunning portrayal. Within this episode alone, she showed us all of the aspects of Ingrid’s character: her innocence, her heart, her need for love. Ultimately, that’s what defines Ingrid’s story. She’s a character who needs to be loved for who she is, and she loses herself along the way. When she breaks down and shatters her usual state of calm, she unlocks the pain and hurt lurking underneath. The reaction felt very truthful and realistic, and it was a gorgeously realised section.
It was brilliant for Anna to take such an active role in resolving the Snow Queen storyline as well. She is the heart of Elsa and Anna’s relationship, and though she is not magical, it’s that heart that gives Anna strength. It’s fitting that she is the one who extends love to Ingrid, despite having been hurt by her multiple times. She understands the similarities between Ingrid and Elsa, and seeks to remedy that. Not to mention that Anna has been a consistent highlight of this front half of the season.
The less pleasurable aspects come from the blemish on the show that continues to be Rumple. It appears that he is now the Big Bad moving forwards, even though his plot really falls apart under even the least discerning scrutinisation. Firstly, quite how he imagined he would be able to fool Belle and Henry by taking away their memories and claiming that he’d saved them from Ingrid’s curse is anybody’s guess. Despite recent portrayals, Belle isn’t that dumb, and nor is Henry. Also, what is the point in saving the people you love if you consistently lie to them? I don’t get it whatsoever.
Rumple’s vows to step out of Storybrooke with his magic in tact, promising not to harm anybody in Storybrooke if they stay out of his way really makes me itch for his demise. Firstly, he’s trying to kill Hook, which definitely will not go down well, and the only way this plot can resolve itself nicely will be if Belle brings him down. She is the only one who should be responsible for destroying him once and for all. And, I hope he really suffers, whether that be emotionally or physically. He truly, truly deserves it.
A surprisingly emotional and touching resolution to the Snow Queen arc. I think Ingrid might be my favourite of the “villains” in the show, and I’m almost sad to be waving goodbye to the story. It’s a shame that Ingrid had to be sacrificed to end the spell. I think she could have had a brilliant relationship with Elsa and Anna moving forwards. Onto the next baddy. Coming for you, Rumple.
Once Upon an Additional Brainthought
- I loved Ingrid’s interaction with the fortune teller in the past. Really made me chuckle. The fortune teller was so over the top and camp.
- How come Granny’s is the site of a major fairy massacre in the previous episode, and Granny is nowhere to be seen, and then randomly appears butchering people in the streets. Where was she?!
- Elsa suddenly remembers the words that Anna said to her before trapping her in urn, but I thought that she’d had her memories taken by Ingrid?
- Dear God can we get a thesaurus for the writers so that they can come up with a different word to cleave?! I’m at wit’s end!
- Emma makes some rookie Harry Potter references in the past which, if Ingrid were suitably discerning, would have indicated her magic. The flashbacks are in 1998, when, again, Harry Potter was barely well known. It really reached public opinion by about the third book. I was a child then, I remember. Anywho, Harry cannot transport himself wherever he wants to go at literally any point in the book. He never passes his Apparition test. Literally any other timely reference could have been made. All it would’ve taken was a Google, writers.
- Ingrid has managed to have the same nails for about 30 years. Speaking of which, how can she have false nails in the Enchanted Forest / Arendelle? Do they have manicurists there? Are her nails created by her magic powers? Where did she find her earth manicurist? She moves around a lot but she always has the same nails. I have questions. Lots, apparently.
You can watch Once Upon a Time Seasons 1 – 7 on Netflix. It is also available on home media and other digital platforms for purchase or rent.