Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
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Rocky Road 

"Rocky Road" is an episode of Once Upon a Time starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, and Lana Parrilla. When an icy spell is cast on Marian, the residents of Storybrooke place the blame on Elsa, unaware the mysterious woman who runs the town's ice cream parlor has the same powers as Elsa and is trying to frame her.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Mary Margaret Blanchard
... Emma Swan
... Regina Mills
... David Nolan
... Belle French
... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
... Will Scarlet
... Mr. Gold
... Leroy
... Granny Lucas
... Kristoff
... Queen Elsa
... Marian
... Robin Hood


When an icy spell is cast on Marian, the residents of Storybrooke place the blame on Elsa, unaware the mysterious woman who runs the town's ice cream parlor has the same powers as Elsa and is trying to frame her.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 October 2014 (USA)  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Captain Hook says he's not a fan of icebergs, probably referring to "Titanic"(1997). See more »


Ingrid: Well, since you've been through such an ordeal, the least I can do is get you something on the house. What flavour would you like?
Marian: I... Don't know.
Robin Hood: Uh, in our world, the, uh, flavour choices of ice were dirt and mud.
See more »

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User Reviews

Casting an icy spell

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

Season 4 had a lot to live up after Season 3 being as impressive as it was. At this early stage of the season, one can see a lot of promise, some may argue that it is capitalising on 'Frozen's' success but there is much more to the season than that. This promise was apparent from the get go, with a great season opener in "A Tale of Two Sisters". "White Out" was not as good and a little disappointing, but was still a good episode with excellent qualities.

"Rocky Road" fares better and starts where the end of "White Out" left off. A very good job is still done with the 'Frozen' arc, and while some may criticise the season for capitalising on 'Frozen's' success to me there is far more to the season than that. There is not much wrong in "Rocky Road".

It may not have anything innovative and a few characters don't seem themselves. They are nit-picks though. The only big issue for me was Hans, although it's very early days, the character is not very interesting and the acting needs more polish and charisma. Am still not completely sold on Kristoff, but he is improving with more to do.

However, the 'Frozen' arc has a lot of heart and genuine conflict. Elsa already is proving to be an interesting character and true to the Elsa in 'Frozen'. The other subplots intrigue and have emotion too, Emma has really grown as a character and am liking where the chemistry between Regina and Robin is going.

Most striking though about "Rocky Road" is the introduction of the Snow Queen. There was the worry of how 'Once Upon a Time' would fare after just having two big on-going arcs in Season 3 with two very interesting villains and whether the Snow Queen would be up to the same level. Luckily she is, a quieter and more subtle character but also chillingly icy.

Credit is due for the character and plot progression, not feeling over-stuffed despite such a lot going on, providing tension and emotion to not so innovative ideas (not that that is an issue though) and for making the Snow Queen so intriguing and memorable so early on. Some nice turns and answers are provided.

All the acting is strong, particularly from Elizabeth Mitchell (who is a huge part of why the Snow Queen makes such a strong impression) and Jennifer Morrison.

Furthermore, "Rocky Road" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie cutter. It is photographed beautifully too. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable theme tune.

Writing has the right balance of humour, pathos, mystery and intrigue, or corn or cheesiness here. This aspect has come on such a long way since when 'Once Upon a Time' first started, much more complexity and nuance.

All in all, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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