‘Once Upon a Time’ “Family Business” Recap and Review

Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 6 Recap and Review
Elizabeth Mitchell in ‘Once Upon a Time’ (Photo Credit: ABC / Jack Rowand)

The search for the Snow Queen continues as does the hunt for Elsa’s missing sister Anna in the sixth episode of season four of ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Titled “Family Business,” the November 2, 2014 episode found the gang – Regina (Lana Parrilla), Belle (Emilie de Ravin), and Henry (Jared Gilmore) included – working together as a team in order to track down the missing women (one good, one evil) using all of their combined resources. Although it was slim on Hook and Emma flirty moments, “Family Business” did reveal more of Emma’s backstory and how it connected to the Snow Queen before either came to Storybrooke.

If you need a refresher of the events from this episode, here’s a detailed look at “Family Business.”

Back in the Enchanted Forest:

Belle’s mom tries to protect her while the castle is under attack. Both women are terrified as an ogre comes into the room, and Belle’s mom pulls her under a table. Unfortunately, the ogre quickly discovers their hiding place. Flash-forward a tiny bit and Belle jerks awake. Her mother is dead, but no idea how it happened.

Belle blacked out and has no memories of how her mother died. Her father says she won’t find the answers in a book, but Belle insists there are creatures who can restore memories. Her dad warns her that creatures like that and magic like that comes with a high price. Belle waits until he leaves and then whips out a map to Arendelle, saying that’s the only place she’ll find the answers she needs.

All Roads Lead to Arendelle:

Anna’s back and Elsa’s overjoyed. Elsa wants the scoop on what Anna learned on her adventure, but Anna says she doesn’t have any real news. Anna’s astounded Elsa (Georgina Haig) has learned to control her powers and Elsa says she was able to do it by studying with the aunt they never knew they had, Ingrid (aka the Snow Queen). Anna (Elizabeth Lail) makes the observation that their mom didn’t have a sister, and Ingrid explains how she was trapped in a magical urn by people who didn’t understand her. To demonstrate what it was that people didn’t understand, she shows off her freezing powers.

Anna is super suspicious but Kristoff (Scott Michael Foster) doesn’t understand why she doesn’t trust her newly discovered aunt. Anna wants to know why there’s no trace of her in any books or records and believes there has to be an explanation. She wants to ask Kristoff’s family about Ingrid, and she doesn’t want Kristoff to tell Elsa what she learned while in the Enchanted Forest. Anna sets out on another journey, however unbeknownst to her the Snow Queen (Elizabeth Mitchell) has overheard all of this.

Belle visits Arendelle to find the rock trolls and Anna overhears the conversation Belle has with a shopkeeper about locating the creatures. Anna says she can help and is actually on her way to see them herself.

Anna and Belle talk about Belle’s mother’s death, and how she has no idea what happened. She’s just hopeful the rock trolls can restore her memory and give her peace. The gold box falls out of Anna’s bag, and Anna explains it contains the sorcerer’s hat. Since they seem to be getting along well, Anna even tells Belle about what happened when she crossed paths with the evil Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle).

Belle and Anna find the trolls and Belle asks Grand Pappie if there’s any way he can restore her memory. He can, and he hands her a purple rock along with a spell to chant that will bring back her memories. Belle tells Anna she owes her, but Anna says not to worry. Anna, meanwhile, is very interested in hearing what Grand Pappie knows about her mother. Apparently, Anna and Elsa’s mom had two sisters, not just one. The rock trolls have been sworn to secrecy but Anna says she needs answers. Grand Pappie explains that her mom, Gerta, was the youngest, then Helga, and then Ingrid. The two older sisters vanished and that was a tragedy that the Royal Family wanted to forget, so Grand Pappie erased everyone’s memories of the sisters because they were too painful. Anna knows now her aunt is up to something.

As they leave the rock trolls’ hillside home, a storm moves in that Anna thinks looks magical. She thinks Ingrid stirred it up because she doesn’t want Anna to tell her sister what she’s learned. The storm causes Anna to lose her grasp on the box while at the same instant Belle loses the rock Grand Pappie gave her over the side of the mountain. Before Belle can get to her, Anna falls off the cliff and Ingrid takes the box from her limp body. “You have to excuse us, but this is family business,” says Ingrid when Belle tells her to leave Anna alone.

Belle returns home to the Enchanted Forest to her dad who was really worried. She says she didn’t find what she was looking for and the trip was a huge mistake. Her dad says he knows what happened during the ogre attack but didn’t want to add to her grief. Her dad tells her her mother stood in the path of the ogres to keep her safe. She sacrificed herself for Belle, and her dad says he doesn’t know what he would have done if the ogres had come upon her on the road. Belle says they need someone who can stop them once and for all. She says there’s a powerful wizard who may help them, but her dad says he knows his name but dares not speak it. Belle knows magic comes with a price but that she will do it to be a hero, just like her mother. “If that means summoning Rumplestiltskin, then so be it.”

Meanwhile, back in Arendelle Ingrid locks up Anna, telling her that she knows she was going to use the box to strip Elsa of her power. Anna says she wouldn’t have used it on anyone, and Anna questions Ingrid about the other sister, Helga. Anna asks what she wants and Ingrid reveals her deep dark secret: she wants a family who will embrace her for what she is. “For a brief moment I thought the three of us could be that family,” says Ingrid. Ingrid knows now that that will never happen and tells Anna she’s the odd woman out.

The Search Heats up in Storybrooke:

Emma gathers everyone at the police station to show them the mysterious videotape that proves the Snow Queen knew her when she was a teenager. Emma has no memories of the video or of having ever known her, and all of her friends and family members try and figure out where the Snow Queen could now be hiding and how the two are connected. Henry suggests she has an ice cream truck, David wants everyone to split up and search, and Elsa wants to go with Belle to the library. And, off they go.

Regina, Robin, Hook, and Emma venture into the forest and find the ice cream truck. Regina puts off Robin when he wants to talk to her and when Emma says she should listen, Regina tells her it’s bad enough that she has to watch she and “Captain Guyliner” making eyes at one another. Inside the truck, they find evidence that the Snow Queen has been following Emma for years, since she was a child.

At the library, Belle feels bad about not being able to really help Elsa. Elsa thinks that Anna might have been the one who put her in that urn but Belle insists that can’t be so. No one there can help her and Elsa thinks maybe that means she’ll never see Anna again. Belle leaves her, promising they will find Anna.

Robin thinks Regina is avoiding him because he’s still in love with her, but she can’t look him in the eye because she can’t tell him the truth. She has no idea how to save Marion, however Robin has faith in her. Regina’s not sure she can figure it out. Regina thinks Robin has to forget about her and find a way to fall in love with his wife again.

Rumple heads to the forest to see the Snow Queen, with a warning that Emma is on to her. He says Emma knows they have a shared history, but the Snow Queen says that’s all part of her plan. Rumple and the Snow Queen verbally spar a bit, as he’s got a deal to offer her that comes with a warning. The Snow Queen has something Rumple wants, but he doesn’t have the leverage to make her give it to him.

Belle rushes to her house and retrieves a pick like the one she and Anna used to climb the rock trolls’ mountain. Rumple wants to know what she’s up to and Belle says she has to go to the Snow Queen, and she hopes Rumple will come with her. He won’t go and Belle was worried he was going to say that. She takes out the dagger and says she doesn’t want to do this but he’s forced her to use its power. Rumple says he gave it to her because he trusted her. Belle uses it and says, “Take me to the Snow Queen.” Rumple is left speechless.

Emma goes through a stash of old papers and drawings they discovered in the ice cream truck, telling Hook that it appears the Snow Queen was her foster mom for six months. She has no memory of it, but there’s a drawing she did when she was in school. Wait, not just one painting but a lot of paintings. There’s even a birthday card that says, “Thanks for being the family I never had. Emma.” The memories are erased but why? In an interesting twist, they find a scroll with hieroglyphs they can’t read among the papers.


Rumple leads Belle to the Snow Queen’s cave, but she’s not there. Belle wants the hat that can strip a magical being of their powers because that’s the only way to force her to tell where Anna is. “A hero always helps strangers,” says Belle when Rumple asks why she’s trying so hard to find Anna.

Belle goes into the Snow Queen’s cave and hears then sees herself looking very pleased with herself while calling out from a mirror. Belle’s reflection says Belle chose the purple rock over Anna and that that ruined Anna’s life. Belle’s reflection taunts her with her bad deeds, and tells her people see her as a pathetic coward and that Rumple married her because he needed someone weak. Belle says no way, he gave her the dagger, but her reflection says she knows that is not the real dagger. Rumple comes and Belle attempts to slash him. They wind up struggling and then he whisks them away to the store. She apologizes to him for lashing out, and she tells him about the mirror and how it told her the dagger is fake. Rumple says nothing the mirror says is true. Belle says she’s wronged him by keeping a terrible secret. She’s the reason Anna is missing but doesn’t want people to know until she can save her. Belle says she doesn’t even deserve to be with Rumple anymore and asks for his forgiveness. Rumple thanks her for telling him everything, and Belle says she knows Rumple would never keep a secret from her.

Following that touching moment, Rumple visits the Snow Queen again and tells her he caught sight of her mirror. He won’t let her hurt those he loves, and the Snow Queen says she can’t make promises about who will survive. He says she was wrong when she says he didn’t have leverage, and whips out the sorcerer’s hat. He doubts she would enjoy becoming another embroidery on the hat. She’s lost her leverage over him and she knows it.

Elsa has discovered from the papers that the Snow Queen is her aunt. As they take a closer look, it’s obvious that Helga looks exactly like Emma. Elsa sees the scroll and says it’s a prophecy. It says the name of the savior is Emma and the savior shall become Ingrid’s sister. Ingrid believes in the prophecy and is looking to replace her sisters with Emma and Elsa! Belle then barges in and says she knows Anna and she’s her down. Belle says Anna was captured by the Snow Queen and that the Snow Queen has a mirror imbued with dark magic that has the power of Shattered Sight. Shattered Sight is a magic that will make everyone in Storybrooke turn on one another, with the exception of Emma and Elsa who will become the Snow Queen’s family of three.

The Bottom Line:

Once Upon a Time’s “Family Business” episode further explored the connections between the main Storybrooke characters, the characters of Frozen, and the Snow Queen. We now have a name and background for the Snow Queen/Ingrid, but still to be revealed is who locked up Ingrid in the urn in the first place. Was she locked up because she did something to Helga? Could she have lost control of her powers and accidentally killed her sister, which would make sense given the fact Grand Pappie had to erase all memory of what happened to both sisters because it was too traumatic. If Helga was just missing, would Ingrid be trying so hard to replace her with Emma when she could be searching for her real sister? These are questions likely to be answered or at least explored in upcoming episodes, and it’s possible Once Upon a Time‘s fourth season will get a little darker as we learn what happened to Helga.

Overall, it was great to see Regina slightly more involved in the story than she has been in recent episodes. “Family Business” also provided Belle her first chance to get actively involved in the story, although having her apologize to Rumple shows she still isn’t dealing with the full reality of her situation.

GRADE: B

-By Rebecca Murray

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