'Once Upon a Time's Emma & 'Frozen's Elsa Will Become Best Friends, But Can We Please Make It Last?
If there is one important thing to know about me as a Once Upon a Time fan, it's that I'm very protective of Emma Swan and her family. Emma has been dealing with a lot before, during, and after the pilot episode of OUAT and her problems are only going to get worse in season four. However, there have been bright spots in that darkness and there are more bright spots ahead. No, I'm not just talking about Emma's newfound relationship with Captain Hook, the one we have all been waiting at least a season and a half for. I mean the fact that Emma and Frozen's Elsa are going to become friends when Elsa makes a surprise appearance in Storybrooke after the events of the season three finale. This information was teased before, but Jennifer Morrison, who plays Emma, went into the kind of detail that makes me already pine for what could have been.
"Elsa becomes very important to Emma because they have so much in common," said Morrison in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "They're both people who have powers they can't completely understand and can't completely control, and they can relate to feeling rejected and misunderstood for most of their lives. This is the first time Emma has a friend who truly, truly understands what she's been going through."
What Morrison should have really said is "this is the first time Emma has had a friend". Let's backtrack for a moment here. Emma described herself in the pilot as "kind of a loner", a trait that would be yet another thing she and her long-lost son Henry had in common. However, from that moment to the season four premiere, that statement remains true despite how many people she has come to know and the home she has come to accept with her family. Emma doesn't have any friends. The last time she had an actual friend was in season one when she bonded with Mary Margaret Blanchard and ended up moving in with her. The thing is, Mary Margaret was just the amnesiac personality of her mother, Snow White.
After Snow White recovered her memories and Emma suddenly had to deal with the fact that her missing parents were here, were fairy tales, and were also the same age of her, that was it for Emma having friends. Oh, it's not that she spends her time alone. She hangs out with her son. She hangs out with her parents. She hangs out with the people who are technically her subjects. But gone are the days of long conversations at Granny's about each other's problems, gone are the days of comforting one another in times of grief, gone are the days of hanging out just to hang out and not because the plot is happening. Instead, Emma has those moments either with her parents or with her love interests, Neal Cassidy/Baelfire or Captain Hook.
Now Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis promise that Emma and Elsa are going to bond over their many, many similarities and become friends and that makes me both excited and depressed. The depression sets in when you realize that Elsa and the entire Frozen arc is only meant to last for a half-season, after which the residents of Arendelle will likely never be seen in Storybrooke again. Horowitz and Kitsis had a story that they wanted to tell and they have said they're done with Frozen once the arc is complete. So, Emma is getting a female friend for the first time in three seasons and she doesn't even get to keep her.
Elsa, meanwhile, had much the same problem in Frozen. As the Queen of Arendelle, and someone trying desperately to hide her uncontrollable ice magic from the world, she had no friends aside from her sister. And even their relationship was kind of a wreck until the plot of the film kicked in. For Elsa to find a friend in Emma is a big deal for both of them because neither of them are the type to truly let anyone all the way in — even their own family. Although they are both in a place where they're trying to do right by their family to make up for the way they treated them in the past, it's not an easy journey and they can really learn a lot from each other.
That is, if Elsa actually gets to stick around. Having a friend that understands her as well as Elsa does and then losing her would probably cause Emma to close herself off again, meaning it could be several seasons before we ever get to see her actively make a friend after that. Is it too early to start petitioning for Kitsis and Horowitz to extend the Frozen arc for the whole season or at the very least bring Elsa and Anna back in season five? Emma and Elsa both need friends that they aren't related to, people outside of their family that don't reject them and that they feel safe sharing things with. #Elsama for life, guys.