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Recap / Once Upon A Time S 4 E 9 Fall

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Season 4, Episode 9:


As the Spell of Shattered Sight approaches Storybrooke, Mary Margaret and David rally the residents to prepare for the curse while Belle and the fairies work together on an antidote. Gold, with Hook as his reluctant servant, sets about an exit strategy of his own. Regina and Robin Hood ready themselves for the worst while, with the help of a locator spell, Emma and Elsa search desperately for Anna. In Arendelle, Anna and Kristoff awaken to find that their kingdom is once again in danger.



  • Acquired Poison Immunity: If the Spell of Shattered Sight is used on a person once, they'll No-Sell any future usage of the spell, and their hair can be used to create a potion that acts like a vaccine.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Hook when using the fairies to fill the Hat under Rumple's orders.
  • Badass Boast: Subverted, since she actually doesn't want to frighten or hurt anyone, so it is delivered with sadness and regret instead.
    Robin: I'm not afraid of you.
    Regina: But you really, really should be.
  • Battle Couple: Anna and Kristoff.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Elsa and Anna (plus Kristoff) are finally reunited, but they are unable to stop the Spell of Shattered Sight, thanks to Rumple.
  • Call-Back:
    • The bottle Anna's mother threw overboard reappears.
    • Blackbeard mentioned he was forced to walk the plank. Hook did it in season 3B.
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    • Emma mentions Maleficent having been held prisoner under the library.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The necklace Elsa gave Anna turned out to be a wishing star.
  • Continuity Nod: Once again Gold makes reference to how much he hates fairies. And he follows through on this hatred.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Elsa approaches hers when they break through the cave-in to find only a deserted beach, and it appears she can never find Anna, who may even be dead. Also Anna herself, believing she and Kristoff will drown in the trunk and wanting him to marry her before they die.
  • Deus ex Machina: While it was set up long before this that the necklace was of mysterious and unknown origin, and there were plenty of hints as to its true nature in this episode (somehow appearing out of the Snow Wall, Elsa mentioning it was old but she didn't know where it came from, the pieces of mirror embedded in it showing it was more than what it seemed, Anna and Blackbeard speaking of the wishing star as a sculpture without ever describing it or showing it), the revelation of its power at just the right moment so Elsa could save Anna and Kristoff (and thus create the vaccine for the town) was rather fortuitous.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Hans, of all people, relents when Anna puts a sword on one of his brothers, the same brother who, along with the others, treated him as if he were invisible.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Hook tried to blackmail Gold, but he's horrified at how Gold is choosing power over everyone else, including making him trap the fairies.
  • Evil Is Petty: Gold goes after the fairies to put in the Hat.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: After thawing Anna's first words are "Holy Cats, that is cold!"
  • Harmless Freezing: Anna, Kristoff and Hans stay frozen for 30 years and are all unfrozen without harm.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Turns out to be Kristoff's ploy to get him and Anna free of Hans and his brothers.
  • It Only Works Once: The Spell of Shattered Sight only affects a person once.
  • Just in Time: Played straight, then subverted. Through her bitter despair, Elsa happens to make a wish on the necklace/wishing star at just the right moment to save Anna and Kristoff from drowning. But then, just as they are all rushing back to Granny's Diner to give Anna's hair to the fairies, they discover the place already empty and trashed thanks to Hook using the Hat under heart-compulsion.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Kristoff points out how desperate Anna's plan to find Elsa is through the use of an Incredibly Lame Pun—she thinks Rumplestiltskin has Elsa because she finds a golden straw on the floor, so he says she's literally grasping at straws. (Of course, she's right.)
  • Mythology Gag: When Hans shows up and threatens to arrest or kill her and Kristoff, Anna resentfully mentions having "sung a song" with him. Obviously, Anna sees how singing "Love is an Open Door" with him was a big mistake.
  • The Needs of the Many: Both Regina and Snow agree that Elsa should give up the necklace so that the fairies can create an antidote for the Spell of Shattered Sight, as saving the town from tearing itself apart is more important than finding Anna.
  • No-Sell:
    • Elsa and Emma realize that they can do this to the Spell of Shattered Sight with their ribbon bracelets, since the Snow Queen wants them alive.
    • It turns out that the spell only affects a person once, so not only is Anna immune now, her hair could be used to create a vaccine for the spell.
  • Not Quite Dead: It turns out that Hans was still alive after the Snow Queen froze him.
  • Not What It Looks Like: The locator spell seems to have failed...but then the necklace it was cast on turned out to be the wishing star that could bring Anna back. It could even be said that the spell didn't fail at all, because it brought Elsa to where Anna was going to be.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Snow is angry that Elsa risked the entire town for her sister. It actually creeps Regina out. Of course, Snow herself risked the entire town to save Regina in the season 2 finale; this episode implies that for all her heroism, Mary Margaret has learned the folly of such an idealistic course.
  • Selfish Evil: Invoked by Gold when a disgusted and horrified Hook confronts him about saving his wife and grandson but letting the rest of Storybrooke fall prey to the Snow Queen's spell.
    Gold: When it comes down to a choice between everyone else, and me...I'll always choose me.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: The Arendelle scenes and Storybrooke scenes happened concurrently. There are many pieces of evidence supporting this:
    • Hans mentioned about thirty years has passed since they were frozen. Given that Anna's adventure happened a year or two before the first curse, the time seems to fit.
    • Doubling as a Call-Back, Blackbeard mentioned being forced to walk the plank. Hook did it in The Jolly Roger, a season 3 flashback after the end of the first curse and before the beginning of the second curse.
    • Lastly, the scene where Elsa wished for Anna to return confirmed that they happened at the same time. An amazing stroke of luck for the two sisters; had it been a little longer, they might never have been reunited.
    • In conclusion, it would seem Ingrid unfroze Arendelle the night she cast the Spell of Shattered Sight. The reason must either be that she needed all her magic to cast it or that now that her plan is complete, there was no need to freeze Arendelle any more.
    • One thing left unexplained by this explanation of the timeline is precisely how the wishing star made it back to Arendelle for Elsa to find it and give it to Anna, since the journey their parents took to find it seems to be the same one on which their ship sank...
      • It's possible they came back with the Wishing Star, but couldn't use it on Elsa because they weren't pure of heart, so they could have left it in Arendelle as a necklace until they left again for another journey when their ship sank.
  • Spanner in the Works: Two cases with both a hero and a villain!
    • Elsa tricks the others by giving a sack full of rocks instead of Anna's necklace and uses it to locate Anna, which prevents the fairies from being able to develop an antidote quickly. Fortunately Anna is found and her hair can also serve as a component for an antidote, but then....
    • Rumple uses Hook to trap the fairies into the Sorcerer's Hat. Which then effectively exhausts the town of any means to counteract the Spell.
  • Villain Team-Up: Hans and Blackbeard, of all people.
  • Wham Shot: While the entire ending of the episode is pretty much an extended one of these, the real Gut Punch moment is after the mirror fragments shatter Snow and Charming's eyes...and then their hands pull apart, and the look Snow gives Charming is absolutely chilling.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: 30 years has passed since Arendelle was frozen. But Kristoff and Anna only felt a moment.

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