Tonight as Once Upon A Time returns, I’m hoping we’ll get some answers (Emma and Henry’s amnesia, permanent? What about Rumple’s death?) but I’m really excited because we’re getting a new villain in Storybrooke. (If Storybrooke even still exists. Which, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. The winter finale was confusing yo!)
Of course that the new villain is going to be The Wicked Witch of The West is pretty cool. The Witch has a neat history, and will fit in well to Once Upon A Time’s world, I think.
Obviously, L. Frank Baum’s original novel The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, featured the witch to represent the railroad barons of his age, wealthy people who coveted the gold (yellow brick road) and silver (the slippers, initially silver) that the American Population had (Dorothy.) The book is pretty thin, and while the witch is menacing, she’s far from truly evil. It wasn’t until later, that she became the image of all things awful.
I don’t know anyone who wasn’t terrified of Margaret Hamilton’s Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz, as a child. My cousin Jake refuses to watch it to this day because of how “you people traumatized me by making me watch it to early” or some such nonsense. “And your little dog too!” has been the tag line for escalating evil ever since the movie hit in 1939.
Then Gregory Maguire, Steven Schwartz, and Winnie Holzman and this image of greed an evil instead became a rallying point for misunderstood teenage girl everywhere, because while we already had the Wicked Witch, these three gave us Elphaba.
Obviously, Elphaba came around first in Maguire’s book, Wicked: The Life and Times of The Wicked Witch of The West. I really need to read this book again, because I was way too young the first time I read it and I barely understood what Maguire was trying to do. But I did understand what Schwartz and Holzman were doing with the musical Wicked. Before the whole world went completely bonkers over Frozen and “Let It Go,” every girl I knew in high school was crying her eyes out over “For Good” and “‘I’m Not That Girl.” We were propelling our dreams forward with “Defying Gravity,” and mourning our failings with “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.” Elphaba was us and we were her, and she was brought to life spectacularly by our beloved Idina Menzel (Adele Dazeem, as some of you may know her.)
While I don’t expect Once Upon A Time’s take to even touch Elfie, I’m excited to see where they go with the character since the only take of their’s that I haven’t absolutely loved was Peter Pan. (Just, ugh) But mostly I’m just excited that this show is back. I feel like it’s been forever!