That’s it? It was that easy? Okay, so maybe it wasn’t easy, but it was very anti-climactic. I think the authors wrote themselves in a corner, but that didn’t make the ending any less disappointing. I enjoyed the episode, but not how they resolved things.
But we’ll get there. In the meantime, let’s take a look at Ingrid’s time in our world, aka the flashback. We start just after she’s arrived when she goes to a psychic trying to get more info on Emma only to learn that the psychic is a fraud and that Ingrid doesn’t have her powers.
When we next find her, it’s the day that Emma moves into Ingrid’s foster home. We have no idea how she found Emma or if it was just a coincidence (but I doubt that). Emma is all ready to run away that first night, but Ingrid convinces her to stay by sharing some info on the house bully – Kevin.
Obviously, their bond grows, and when we find them at a fair, they are having fun together. Emma is trying to win a toy from a crane game, and when a spark of magic happens, only Ingrid notices. We also learn at that point that Ingrid is planning to adopt Emma, something that fills Emma with happiness, and she hugs Ingrid, saying she loves her.
However, things change a couple of days later when Ingrid decides to act on that spark of magic she saw. She tries to get Emma to use her magic again by holding her in front of an oncoming car. Emma is understandably freaked out and runs away.
And so Ingrid follows the instructions she got on from the Sorcerer’s Apprentice to Storybrooke where she sets up her ice cream shop and waits for Emma to show up. Our last flashback is of Emma when she has first come to town and finds Ingrid only to be upset at seeing this woman from her past. As Ingrid tries to explain that Henry is right about everything but Emma keeps freaking out, Ingrid takes her memories of their time together in the past, setting up the forgotten memories we dealt with earlier in the season.
So, shall we got to the curse?
In Storybrooke present, the entire town is starting to go crazy as the curse hits them. Heck, Happy is trying to shoot Grumpy with a crossbow. Hook hasn’t been affected by this latest curse because he doesn’t have his heart – Gold does. And Gold has another mission for Hook, find Henry and bring him to the shop so Gold, Belle, and Henry can leave town as soon as Gold has freed himself from his dagger – something he plans to do that night.
Meanwhile, we get to watch Kristoff, Mary Margaret, and David snipe at each other as they are effected by the curse. Well, Kristoff is sniping at Anna, but it is still actually kind of funny watching them go at it. Much to her dismay, Anna is left behind by Elsa and Emma while they go try to defeat Ingrid. Anna’s job is to watch baby Neal and the other three. An early confrontation with Ingrid leads Elsa and Emma to believe they need to break off the ribbons if they have any hope of defeating her. Meanwhile, they also realize the only way to stop the spell is to kill her, something they hope to avoid, but don’t know how.
But first, they have to get those ribbons off. A stop at Gold’s store just leaves them with broken sharp objects. Then Emma gets an idea. If the ribbons are bonded on by a strong love, they can be removed by the opposite – strong hate. Immediately, Emma knows who they should go see.
In her vault, Regina has figured out she is under a containment spell, but she can’t get out of it. (Why, since she cast it? Or am I remembering wrong?) She turns herself into the Evil Queen, and starts looking through her books to try to get out of her vault. Emma and Elsa show up, and Emma is able to break the containment spell after a try or two. Emma riles up Regina, and when Regina casts a fireball at them, Emma grabs Elsa’s wrist and sure enough, the ribbons break off. The two run off, and Regina sets off to wreck her vengeance on the town, starting with Emma.
Regina’s first stop is the sheriff’s office, where she finds Mary Margaret and David locked up. She is delighted and plans to start with them before tracking down Emma. She doesn’t know who Anna and Kristoff are, so she sends them “back to where they came from.” Mary Margaret goads her into a sword fight with no magic, and the two go at it pretty ably while David watches from inside his cell.
Hook has tracked down Henry, but Henry slips away from him and escapes into the town. And Will Scarlett shows up to take a swing at Hook, but Hook ducks and knocks him out instead.
Anna and Kristoff find themselves back at the beach. Regina’s magic wasn’t strong enough to send them back through the portal. And Kristoff stalks away, planning to swim back to their own world, Anna stumbles over a bottle on the sand. She hits Kristoff over the head with it to keep him from swimming to his death and breaks it, revealing the letter inside. The letter from her mother. She reads it and heads off to find Elsa and Emma.
Meanwhile, the two of them have gone to Ingrid’s cave where they are ready to kill her. Well, maybe not because they can’t seem to actually do it. Ingrid takes that as their residual feelings for her, something that will only grow when she restores their memories.
Before she does that, Anna shows up and starts to read the note from their mother. It’s a confession about her other two sisters and what she did all those years ago, including the fact that Ingrid, and by extension Elsa, are not monsters and she was wrong to trap Ingrid in the vase. It tells them where to find it and to set Ingrid free. It also includes all the memories that she had taken from the people of the kingdom, and she asks that they be restored.
Ingrid is not ready to buy anything on the letter and attacks Anna. However, she finally takes the letter, sees what is written on it for herself, and then relives some of the memories contained in the letter. That gives her a change of heart, and she realizes that she has turn herself into a monster. She wants to uncast the curse to make things right. The others warn her that it will kill her, but she doesn’t care. It is the right thing to do, and it will reunite her with her real sisters.
And so the town is saved by the villain sacrificing herself. People come out of their cursed states and start laughing at what they are doing. Yes, that even includes Regina, David, and Mary Margaret. They reunite with Emma in the street, and Henry finds them there. All is right with the world.
Well, almost. See, we still have one episode to fill before the winter break. Yes, we need to set up the back half of the season. Plus there is the little matter of Gold to settle. He still intends to leave with Belle and Henry and his magic (but not the dagger), and he is planning to kill Hook before he goes. He tells Hook as much before sending him out to enjoy his “last snowfall.”
Really, could the writers not come up with a better way to end this arc than Ingrid killing herself to save the town? Yes, it was noble in a way, but it was also a cheat. It just didn’t feel set up well to me. On the other hand, it saved our heroes from having to kill her, which is always a plus. Really, it was just a weak ending to a good villain.
I was expecting the letter to contain the solution to their problem, but that wasn’t it. Not sure what I expected the solution to be, and that one certainly did work, but the execution just didn’t quite work out like it should have.
Emma made another reference to Harry Potter in the flashback, which I still don’t think was valid based on the thoughts I shared before. And she sure did change in the time between 1999 and when she met Neal just a year or two later.
Obviously, Gold is not going to be leaving town. But how is Hook going to stop him? And what will the consequences be when people find out what Gold has done and was planning to do. Obviously, we’ll learn more about the consequences in the back half of the season, but I think the revelation will be quite dramatic next week. Plus we’ll see the introduction of our trio of villains for the back half. I’m curious to see how they are brought into the show, especially one, who we’ve all assumed was dead since the first season.
So, am I being too harsh on this ending? Did you like it? Sound off in the comments and let me know what you thought on this and any predictions for next week.