'Once Upon a Time': Emma connects with Elsa in 'White Out'

'Once Upon a Time': Emma connects with Elsa in 'White Out'
Anna (Elizabeth Lail) is the catalyst in the "White Out" episode of "Once Upon a Time." (Jack Rowand / ABC)

In the "White Out" episode of "Once Upon a Time," the "Frozen" sisters Anna and Elsa drive the action, and two more villains are revealed -- both of whom had been in Storybrooke all along.

The obligatory dueling hero misunderstanding goes a bit too far, and it begins with Elsa putting up a huge ice wall to keep the inhabitants of Storybrooke in town until she can find out what happened to her sister Anna. The wall also creates a town-wide blackout.

And where's Anna? Well, we go back in the past to when Anna arrived in the Enchanted Forest. Anna, meet a charming, so to speak, shepherd named David. David, meet ... Joan? Anna is on a secret mission, but David sees right through it. He actually knows Kristoff and figures out that she is going to marry him. She can sleep in the barn and keep her secrets, but she needs to stay clear of a certain Bo Peep.

Little Bo Peep ... the warlord!? Come on show storytellers. That's just awesomely twisted.

Back in present-day Storybrooke, a tangent conversation involving Hook and the Charmings (new band name!) of what babies may dream of -- bullfighting and laser tag -- was cute. The good mood sours when a raven/crow appears at the window. Though Henry was making his queen mom a feel-better package, she sends word telling him that she doesn't want to see Henry for the time being. Is a bird message worse than a text? Well, we know she's planning to find the author of the "Once Upon a Time" book and that for her, "It's time for villains to get their happy endings." So that may take some time.


In the meantime, the power outage has caused annoyance and confusion. The pushy trio of Grumpy, Sleepy and Grandma visit Snow White to ask what she's going to do about it. She's the queen, and since Regina's not responding, she has to take on the mantle of mayor. Their forced leadership is annoying.

Emma and David, out to see what caused the blackout, stumble upon Anna and the ice wall. Emma meets Elsa, and it's OK for a minute. Elsa, though, scares easily, so when David and Hook break up their meeting, Elsa traps Emma inside of a small ice room with her --  and it seems to be getting colder.  Luckily, she and David have their police walkie-talkies. David and Hook must go back to the town and attempt to find Anna, or Elsa will freeze the entire city. Hysterical Elsa is not to be messed with.

Back in the Enchanted Forest of the past, Anna is pushing David to fight back against Bo Peep, even though she has some kind of magical hold on them that won't allow them to leave the land. It turns out, Anna is the one who actually taught Prince Charming how to fight with a sword! Wow. David tells Anna the story of how he lost his father, not only due to drinking, but because he was fighting a losing battle against himself.

In Storybrooke, Elsa and Emma bond over their inability to control their magic, and the weight of expectations that have been thrust upon them. The savior and the queen. It'd be a nice moment if Emma wasn't turning blue and freezing to death. At Gold's shop, Rumpel is, as usual, not very helpful in freeing Emma, but David recognizes the pendant that was stolen from Gold's shop. He remembers Anna now, and knows how to find her.

Bo Peep ... the butcher too?! Warlord, magical people shepherd and meat maven. They've done a job on her, but Peep is just as nasty in Storybrooke as she was in the Enchanted Forest. Using her magic, she apparently bonded Anna to her shepherd's crook in the Enchanted Forest past, which will make it possible to find her, provided that Emma doesn't freeze to death.

David talks to Elsa, realizing that she's not trying to hurt Emma, and he calms and focuses her enough for her to make a way out of the cold room. Emma and Elsa escape, and David vows that he and the family will help Elsa find Anna -- cause the Charmings don't quit! When scrying for Anna, they don't find her, but hearing a heartbeat gives them all hope.

Elsewhere in the city, Snow White has laid down the law! Grumpy, Grandma and Sleepy complained so much that she yelled at them. They leave, and it's just Snow and the baby. Having to feed Prince Neal reminds Mary Margaret of food, which is fuel, which is needed to power the generator. She flips a switch, and voila, there's power back in the town.

Henry takes the "Charmings don't quit" motto to heart and goes to visit Regina despite being warned to stay away. She doesn't turn him away, and instead embraces him after he yells through the door that he's not giving up on her. Awww. It's a moment.

A moment later shattered a bit by the introduction of a new villain. Elizabeth Mitchell's Ice Queen/Snow Queen, who coincidentally runs the ice cream shop, looks like she will be a heck of an adversary for the Storybrooke crew. Elsa tries to take down her ice wall and can't, presumably because Mitchell's new Queen has the icy power to make it stay up. Wonder why she hasn't shown her face/powers since everyone got their memory back a few seasons ago?  Seems conniving to me, but we'll have to wait and see.

Twitter: @storiz