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Once Upon a Time: Family Business

“This is family business.”

I’m glad we have a reason why Belle has been such a non-presence all season. I just wish it was a reason I liked.

Since episode one there’s been very little for Belle to do. She hasn’t shown much help in reuniting Anna with her sister, but now we know it’s because she was hiding the fact that she knew Anna a long time ago, and essentially left her for dead.

It’s not just that I’m unhappy with the idea that Belle has been a coward, and acted selfishly. I think the main reason I’m not on board is because it’s all so un-Belle. She’s never once shown that she’s been selfish, so why when an innocent girl is hanging off a cliff would she choose to save her memories of her mother over saving her new friend?

The whole thing feels lazy and engineered just to flesh out the Frozen story. As happy as I am to see these two worlds coming together, I don’t want it to be at the cost of this show’s integrity. Rumple’s story already feels like a convoluted mess; I don’t want Belle’s strength of character brought into question, too.

The Snow Queen being a part of Emma’s past is something I actually like, given how mysterious Emma’s past is already. It’s feasible that the two of them crossed paths. I also like that they’ve added the twist of a third sister into the mix. I can guess that she may have met an accidental end at Ingrid’s hand.

I was really excited at the prospect of a Belle-centric episode, but I think the weight of Arendelle is starting to take its toll on Once. Hopefully things improve a little before the end. The Neverland arc was made up for with a great finish so maybe there’s something to look forward to.

2.5 out of 5 shattered memories


The Snow Queen wants to engineer her own family with Elsa and Emma. Does she have some spell to force them to co-operate?

No Will this week.

He Said, She Said

Regina: “It’s bad enough I’m stuck with you and Captain Guy-liner making eyes at each other.”

Originally posted at PandaTV.


  1. Great review. I agree with you 100%. I really wish they hadn't decided to do this whole Frozen thing, but now we're stuck with it.
    But can they please get Elsa a different outfit? We know who she is. We get it! She's been in that blue dress for how long, now?

  2. I agree completely about Belle, it really confused me since it made no sense for Belle to act this way. I actually really like both Elsa and Anna (and the actresses were perfectly cast), but this story with Belle really rubbed me the wrong way. The whole scene of her apology to Rumple made me cringe.

  3. For the love of ice sculptures and all that is frozen, someone give Elsa a pair of jeans.

  4. But-but- they're SYMBOLIC clothes! Elsa is still untouched by the real world - a fairy tale come to life, not bothered by the spell - so she doesn't need 7th Generation Laundry Detergent in Lavender like the rest of us!

    All seriousness - I noticed the same thing.

    But I disagree somewhat about the Belle backstory. We now know she's somewhat responsible for the troubles in her hometown. Her heroism is taking courage to stop those troubles. And I'm not sure exactly what she could do against a powerful ice woman. She feels guilt for running, but sometimes running is the right thing to do. She SHOULD feel guilty over not telling anyone for so long. Her false guilt and fear led to her doing something which deserved real guilt. If she realized that and that's what led her to sacrifice herself and go live with Rumple, it's not a bad backstory.

    But sometimes I feel like I'm doing a harder job on the writing for this show than the writers for this show, if you know what I mean.

  5. And PS - great quote - the guy-liner stuff made me giggle!

  6. But this was the earliest Belle flashback. I think her shame at how she acted and hearing how bravely her mother sacrificed herself for her is what made her change her ways and become the hero we've come to know.
    Kind of like Peter Parker being partly responsible for Uncle Ben's death, only with less wrestling.


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