ONCE UPON A TIME A Warlord Gathered Her Sheep

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Episode 402 “White Out”

[Photos: ABC/Jack Rowand]

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On last week’s episode, there were an ice wall, lamb chops, and ’80s rocker hair!

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As if the soap opera that is Once Upon A Time couldn’t get any more complicated …

At least there was only one story dancing around all over the place. Well, another story, Regina’s moping, was included. But the majority was about Elsa trying to find Anna and Anna visiting the Enchanted Fore–… I mean, “Misthaven”.

First of all, the chronological back story. Anna showed up at a small cottage in Misthaven where she met Kristoff’s friend, who happened to be David. (At this point he was not yet a prince, and not yet charming.) He was a shepherd with the hair of a 1980s rocker. Anna was on a “secret mission” and called herself “Joan”. Then Bo Peep showed up.

"No, I'm not a rock star. But thanks for asking."
“No, I’m not a rock star. But thanks for asking.”

An evil Bo Peep. As a warlord. I kid you not.

And yes, we’ve gone from fairy tales to nursery rhymes. Methinks they’re starting to run out of material.

BP demanded that David and his mother pay her money, which they didn’t have. So she gave them a day and “branded” them as sheep (using her magic shepherd’s crook) so she could track them down anywhere. David refused to fight back. Anna tried to convince him he should. So Anna taught David how to fight with a sword.

Anna. Taught David. How to fight with a sword. Let that sink in.

David kept giving up, saying that some battles can’t be won. He cited his father who promised to get sober before dying in a drunk carting accident. Anna tells him that if it wasn’t difficult, it wouldn’t be a fight and that survival isn’t enough, one has to live. When David took some provisions to Anna, I mean “Joan”, out in the barn where she was staying, Bo Peep was there and had Anna’s necklace. He would have to pay up or else. So he showed up before BP deciding to fight rather than pay. He took out her two goons and then defeated Bo Peep … in a sword fight.

David. Defeated Bo Peep. In a sword fight. No, really.

David found Anna using the shepherd’s crook and returned the necklace to her. Then David gave Anna his dad’s horse for transport and his mother sent her to go see Rumpelstiltskin, who happened to be watching in very creepy fashion the whole time. She hoped he could shed light on why her parents were going there.

This is just wrong.
This is just wrong.

And as if the back story wasn’t enough to mess with your head …

Henry made up a basket complete with the all-important red wine to help cheer up Regina. But Regina sent a message by homing raven that she doesn’t want to see him. Bummer for Henry.

Elsa put up a massive ice barrier wall around Storybrooke so nobody could leave until she found Anna. This knocked out the town’s power. That made Grumpy grumpy and Happy not so happy. They, along with Granny, tried to get Snow to get the power back up and running. Since Regina didn’t want to be mayor, Snow was stuck with the job. Snow wasn’t thrilled either. She had a meltdown and the other three left her to fend for herself trying to get the power back up.

Emma and David went to the ice wall at the entrance to Storybrooke and Hook showed up to help. Emma found Elsa who was a bit frightened. When she felt threatened by David, her powers went haywire and trapped herself and Emma in an ice cave. Elsa turned all terrorist demanding that Anna be returned to her or she’d freeze the whole town and everyone in it. Emma began to succumb to the cold. She figured out that Elsa couldn’t control her powers.

David and Hook visited Belle and Mr. Gold to find out about the necklace Elsa was after. Belle showed a picture, and David remembered Anna, I mean Joan. So they went to see psycho known as Bo Peep who was working as a butcher. She was cutting meat. I assume it was lamb chops. David confronted her. Then when BP tried to kill David with a butcher knife, Hook stopped her. They then took BP’s shepherd’s crook.

They talked to Elsa on the walkie-talkies and tried to convince her that she should melt the wall before Emma died from hypothermia. Elsa said she couldn’t control it. David told her that she needed to fight the impossible battle, and that it wasn’t enough to survive, she had to live. She then knew that David knew Anna. Elsa focused and made a small hole to crawl through.

I like to think of it as 'extreme air conditioning'."
“I like to think of it as ‘extreme air conditioning’.”

After pushing buttons, turning knobs, and flipping switches, Snow couldn’t get the generators to power up. Then, inspired by her baby needing to eat, she figured out something that could just qualify her for either NASA or the status of a wizard. The generators need fuel! So she found the controls for the generator fuel and got everything up and running.

The power came on as Emma was getting warmed up. Snow arrived to see Elsa there. David introduced her and said that they were going to help find her sister because they help find people, and they never give up. The shepherd’s crook wasn’t able to locate Anna, But it did pulse with the sound of a heartbeat. She’s still alive!

Inspired by what David said about not giving up, Henry went to reach out to Regina. He eventually got her to open the door, and they had a touching moment.

Elsa went with Emma to try to melt the wall. It wouldn’t melt. They couldn’t figure out what kind of magic was keeping it there.

We then find out the lady running the ice cream parlor didn’t lose any inventory during the power outage because she’s … the Ice Queen!

Everything's cool. Just chill.
Everything’s cool. Just chill.

Altogether, it was a pretty good episode that, thankfully, didn’t have the awkward hand-of-the-writer moments of the season premiere. I’m still trying to wrap my head around Bo Peep being a villain. But then, Pan was a villain, Hook is a hero, and Red Riding Hood and the Bid Bad Wolf are one and the same. That’s what they do on this show. They screw with our heads and ruin our childhoods.

[Show web site at ABC]     [Previous Recap: “A Tale Of Two Sisters”]

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Daniel C. Handley

Dan Handley was raised a Trekkie, fell in love with "Star Wars" at an early age, and became obsessed with comic book superheroes. He spent his youth dreaming of how to get real superpowers, starships, and so on.

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