One of my biggest worries for this season of Once Upon a Time was that the addition of the Frozen storyline would translate to much less screen time for the series’ central characters. I find no better evidence for that than the two deleted scenes released this week by ABC. Episode two, “White Out,” featured about 30 seconds of screen time each for Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle). These two characters have provided the spark for the series since the very first episode.
This was not how the episode was shot, however. Each of the characters had other scenes (each about three minutes long): a scene between Snow and Regina, and a touching scene between Henry and Rumple. Carlyle had spoken about that particular scene in particular when I interviewed him at Comic-Con.
I have had the feeling since the season three winter finale that the showrunners aren’t quite sure what to do with Rumple. After dying as a hero, killing Peter Pan (also known as his own father), he is kept caged for most of the Wicked Witch storyline of the second half. Yes, he and Belle have married, and yes, he’s been grieving the death of his son. And yes, he (totally illogically) lies about hanging on to the Dark One dagger. But where is his character going? Is he returning to the dark side? I don’t think he will–not while trying to both honor Baelfire’s memory and stay true (as he can be) to Belle. I adore Rumple and Robert Carlyle, who has so indelibly painted a portrait of a man in conflict with himself. But I almost believe that his heroic ending at the end of the Peter Pan story would have been the best possible ending for his character.
As for Regina, she, too is caught between wanting to be good, and her inclination to be bad. It’s great and fertile territory exploration: our nature to be good while battling the inner demons that drive us to do ill. Each of the characters in the series has had forays into this land–some explored and others left to whither on the vine. Cora’s death at the hand of Snow White is one such opportunity squandered, as the blackness on Snow’s heart has basically been ignored since then.
In any event, I present to you the two deleted scenes. I realize that the show can only run about 45 minutes (sans commercials), so, here we have a little over five minutes of deleted footage. I ask you (and please answer below in the comments): what might have been cut to make room for these two important scenes?