The third episode of Once Upon a Time’s fourth season is titled Rocky Road and indeed, things in Storybrooke got quite rocky. Elsa is still looking for her sister, however, things are about to get a lot more complicated for the queen of Arendelle, as she discovers that she is not the only one with the ability to go all ice-cold on people.
The Rocky Road episode opens up with Robin Hood and his family, who is taking a walk around the town. Little Roland asks his father to buy him an ice cream and as they enter the ice cream shop, they are welcomed by the lady who seems to have the same abilities as Elsa, as the viewers could see in the previous episode. It seems like the lady has a secret agenda, since she puts some kind of a spell on Marion’s ice cream. It becomes clear that some spell was indeed cursed on her ice cream when Robin’s wife passes out in the middle of the Mayor’s office, where Snow White is holding the first annual Mayor’s fireside chat.
Regina is spending some quality time with Henry at Granny’s diner and it seems like she bought her son some comics. However, it soon becomes obvious that the ex-Mayor has a secret agenda, as she starts asking Henry if he knows who wrote the book- the one that has all the stories about them. Well, little Henry sees right through his mother and he immediately asks her what is she up to. Regina tells him that all stories about her show her as a villain and that things never work out good for her. So, she would like to find the writer and ask him to write her a happy ending. Henry is immediately on board and he tells his mother that this will be their little secret. Furthermore, Regina even comes up with the name of their secret operation- Mongoose.
The little sweet moment between Henry and his mother is interrupted, as Robin comes to the diner and asks Regina to help Marion. However, when the ex-Mayor sees Robin’s wife, she tells him that this is a very strong magic and that she cannot stop it, she can only slow it down. Despite the fact that everyone believes that Elsa casted the curse, she tells them that this is not her magic, but a true love’s kiss can break the spell. Robin immediately kisses his wife, however, nothing happens. It seems like the cold is working as a barrier and Marion is becoming more and more frozen with each moment that passes.
Back in the past, Elsa is still worried about Anna, but she soon receives some very bad news. It seems like there is an army, headed towards Arendelle and Hans is the one who is leading it. Kristoff disobeys Elsa’s orders and he sneaks up to them in the middle of the night, because he wants to find out what does the army want. Kristoff sees Hans and his brothers, who are laughing at him when he calls himself the future king of Arendelle. However, they are all surprised when Hans shows them a picture of the urn, which can capture people like Elsa, people with magic and hold them inside forever.
Meanwhile, Hook disobeys Emma’s order to take Elsa to the Sheriff’s station, since people think that she casted the curse on Marion and they want her head. He takes Elsa to Gold’s shop and he tells the Dark One that he knows his little secret- that Belle has a fake dagger. Hook tries to make a deal and he wants Gold to help them in return for his silence. Elsa brought a piece of Marion’s hair and Gold casts a curse, which turns the hair into its original form- snowflakes. As snowflakes fly home, to the person who casted the spell, Hook and Elsa follow them.
Emma and David are in the woods, as they are trying to find some clues about the person who casted the curse on Marion. They split up and the Savior comes across Robin’s old tent. Someone is inside it and as he comes out, the viewers, who watched Once Upon a Time In Wonderland, can recognize a familiar face- Will Scarlet (The Knave). He tries to escape, but David intercepts him. However, Will tells them that he may know who casted the curse on Robin’s wife. When the entire town lost the electricity for several hours, Will saw that the ice cream at the shop did not melt at all. So, the three of them head over there to check things out and they are quite surprised when they discover that the refrigerators have no cooling system. When David and Emma check the back room, it is completely frozen. In the meantime, Will steals the money from the cash register and he escapes.
Back in Arendelle, Kristoff and Elsa decide to find the urn before Hans does. They go into the cave, where it is hidden, however, Elsa hesitates to destroy the earn and in the next moment, they are surrounded by Hans and his brothers. Just when it seems like Elsa will take them all down, Hans points his sword into Kristoff. The queen of Arendelle is forced to give him the urn and Hans opens it, in order to capture her. Some sort of liquid comes out and it is slowly moving towards Elsa. However, it changes it course and a figure starts forming. In the next moment, the Snow Queen is standing in the middle of the cave and this is actually the lady from the ice cream shop. It appears that she is actually Elsa’s aunt, since the late queen of Arendelle was her sister.
Hook and Elsa are still following the snowflakes and they soon find the Snow Queen. He tries to call Emma, but he only gets her voice mail. After they wait around for a while, Hook tells Elsa that they should go and find Emma. However, the Snow Queen already spotted them, so she freezes Hook’s leg and she tells him that she cannot let him go. She greets Elsa, who does not remember her at all. The Snow Queen tells her that the trolls took her memories and that Anna is the one who put her into the urn. She admits that she casted the curse on Marion because she wanted to teach Elsa a lesson. Emma comes in the last moment, sine the Snow Queen wants to kill Hook and blame it on Elsa. The Savior neutralizes her magic, but the Snow Queen manages to escape.
Back in the Mayor’s office, Regina tells Robin that if the ice reaches Marion’s heart, she will die. Robin tells her that the kiss did not work because he is in love with someone else. However, Regina knows that he has to be with Marion because she is his wife. The ex-Mayor has a temporary solution and she takes out Marion’s heart, until they find a way to break the curse.
Meanwhile, Emma still avoids Hook, but he faces her and she finally admits what is eating her. She tells Hook that everyone that she has ever been with are dead and she lost them all. Emma is now afraid that she will lose Hook to. However, he tells her that she should not worry about him, because he is very good at surviving. Finally, they again share a sweet moment as they kiss.
The Snow Queen is hiding in the woods now, however, Rumpel pays her a visit. He tells her that it seems like things did not work out the way she wanted and he asks her if Emma recognized her. As the Snow Queen replies that she did not, Rumpel tells her that things would not end up well if the Savior would remember her.
Well, if it was not so obvious in the previous episode, it sure is now. Once Upon a Time successfully introduced a new villain of the show and the Rocky Road episode most certainly set the stage for some new ice-cold adventures in Storybrooke.
By: Janette Verdnik