Monday, November 4, 2013

TV Recap: Once Upon a Time 3-6 - Ariel

This was the big character tease starting this summer.  They even did a promo with Ariel in it.  And now that we’ve seen their twist on the mermaid, I’ve got to say it was a blast.  Of course, I was very happy because I’ve been a fan of the actress playing her, Joanna Garcia Swisher, since her days as Reba’s older daughter on the sitcom Reba.

I think we spent as long on the flashback as we did in Neverland last night, but we got a complete story and a bit more about Snow when she was running from Regina.

And we’ll start, like the episode did with the flashback.

We first see Snow running from two of Regina’s henchmen.  They’ve cornered her on a cliff, but when they start to close in, she jumps into the water.  It knocks her out, but fortunately Ariel was there to rescue her.

She pulls Snow to the edge of the cliff, and the two start talking.  Ariel reveals her love for Prince Eric, whom she rescued from a shipwreck the year before.  She also reveals that Ursula, the ancient goddess of the sea, has given mermaids the ability to change their tails into legs one day a month between high tides.  Oh, and that time just happens to be during the big Under the Sea ball that Eric’s kingdom hosts to honor Ursula.  Admittedly, everyone thinks she’s been dead for a few thousand years since no one hears from her, but they still honor her.

So with some coaching by Snow, Ariel attends the ball that night.  There’s a great scene where Snow quizzes Ariel on the salad forks on the table (salad trident?), and then Ariel takes one.

Eric enters the room, and the two lock eyes with each other.  As they start to dance, Eric says he recognizes Ariel from a recurring dream he’s had since the shipwreck.  Obviously, Ursula was telling him that they are meant to be together.  He’s leaving that night for a trip to see the world, and he invites Ariel to join him.

Of course, there’s just the one problem of Ariel being a mermaid.  She confers with Snow, who advises her to go and tell Eric the truth.  With a few hours left to figure out what to do, Ariel goes down to the sea to ask for advise from Ursula, hoping she is alive and real and can help.

Unfortunately for all concerned, Regina was using a mirror to spy on Snow and Ariel.  She shows up pretending to be Ursula and offers Ariel a way out – a magic bracelet.  Ariel then goes and puts it on Snow.  Snow grows a tail in exchange for Ariel keeping her legs.  That way, Snow can hide from Regina, or so Ariel believes.

Naturally, Regina shows up and Ariel realizes she’s been tricked.  She stabs Ariel with the salad fork and takes the bracelet off Snow before diving them into the water and swimming them to safety.

Snow tells Ariel to try to let Eric know the truth before he leaves anyway, but when she shows up near the castle and calls to him, Regina is there.  She takes Ariel’s voice as penalty for helping Snow escape.

But when Regina gets home, she has a surprise waiting for her in her mirror.  The real Ursula shows up and threatens Regina if she ever impersonates her again.

Meanwhile, in present day Neverland, Regina is trying to teach Emma how to use magic.  While Mary Margaret and David worry about that, Hook walks back into camp.  He pulls them aside and repeats what Pan had just told him.  He and David want to keep it secret in case Pan was lying, but Mary Margaret blurts out to Emma that Neal is alive and on the island.

Emma, Mary Margaret, David, and Hook want to set out to try to rescue him, but Regina has had enough.  She takes off on her own to try to save Henry.  Meanwhile, when Pan learns they are coming, he has Neal moved to the Echo Cave.

And our quartet goes directly there.  Why didn’t they go by the clearing with the other box still in it?  How did the trail they were following lead them straight to where Neal really was?  Okay, so maybe Pan set up a fake trail for them, I don’t know.

Hook is not happy when they reach the cave.  The only way out is to tell your deepest secret.  But they go inside and find Neal on a pedestal with no bridge out to it.  Time to start revealing secrets.

Hook goes first.  He mentions the kiss (which Emma had blurted out about to Mary Margaret earlier), and says it made him realize he could love again after losing Mira.  The a bridge starts to form out to Neal.

Mary Margaret goes next.  While she is thrilled with the woman Emma has become, she feels cheated out of all those moments they never got to experience – first steps, first words, etc.  When they get back to Storybrooke, she wants another baby.

David’s turn – and he spills the beans about being hit with the poison arrow and the cure Hook found for him.  Mary Margaret is not happy.

By now the bridge has formed, and Emma runs out to the cage Neal is still in.  She tries to hack it open, but that won’t work.  Time for her to reveal her secret.  In tears, she tells Neal that she realizes she still loves him.  But she’s not sure she is happy to have him back in her life because she has lost him twice, and it hurt more than she could bear.  She doesn’t know if she could survive a third time.  It works – the cage opens and they head back outside.

Outside, Neal thanks Emma for being honest with him, and he pledges to earn back her love.  A watching Hook is not happy.  Meanwhile, Mary Margaret is upset with David now that she knows what he has been hiding from her.  Neal does confirm that they can use his old star charts to get off the island.  Time to round up Tinker Bell and rescue Henry.

Somewhere else in the island, Gold is confronted by Pan, who suggests that he return to Storybrooke and start a new life with Belle, build a new family.  Then Belle shows up talking about how much she wants that to happen.  Fortunately, Regina walks into the clearing at that point.  Force chocking Belle, it if finally revealed that this is Pan’s shadow playing tricks on Gold.

So now Gold and Regina team up to defeat Pan and rescue Henry.  Problem – the only way to do that is to kill Pan, which will also kill Gold.  (Why?  I’ve very curious to find out why.)  However, what if they give him a fate worse than death.  Gold even has an idea how they can do that.  Unfortunately, what they need is back in his shop in Storybrooke.

But Regina has a way to go get it.  She picks up the shell we saw a few episodes back and whispers into it, calling Ariel to her.  She even gives Ariel back her voice.  Ariel isn’t willing to do any favors for Regina until Regina gives her back the bracelet and says that now Ariel can use it to grow legs or a tail at will.  She also says that Eric is in Storybrooke.  So Ariel sets off to get whatever this object is.

End of episode.

So who is in the box?  It obviously isn’t Ariel.  Is it Tinker Bell?  The other theory I was discussing with my friends last night is that it is Rumplestiltskin’s dad.  He disappeared years ago, and it would really shake up Gold to run into him.  Pan would love to throw him off with something like that.

Because Pan is obviously worried.  Last week, he was trying to get Hook and Emma off the island.  Now it’s Gold.  Obviously, his appearance of puppet master is partially an act.  He’s worried about something or some one or a combination of some ones defeating him.

And why is it that the only way to defeat Pan is for someone, usually Gold, to die?  I can wait to see that explained.

Next week, we finally get to go to Storybrooke for the first time all season.  I’m really looking forward to that.  Meanwhile, what are your thoughts on where we go from here?


  1. Fortunately the episodes keep getting better and better. I too love this actress now and feel she really nailed the part. And I'm not the only one who sees a resemblance to Amy Adams. Another reviewer called her Amy Adams' doppelganer. I hope she becomes a regular at some point. Every article I've read about last nights episode gives her rave reviews and everyone seem to love her.

    I really enjoyed how they put in just enough of "The Little Mermaid" to keep us geeks happy. Her collection of "stuff", the forks (though in this case calling them tridents), the way Regina/Ursula pronounced her name just like Pat Carols version. I loved the fact that Ariel used the fork to stab Regina! Regina telling her to "swim off little mermaid" and a lot more. And Agrabah was mentioned last night when Eric told Ariel he wanted to explore all the kingdoms from the desert to Agrabah.

    Now I'm wondering who Eric is in Storybrook. Have we seen him before and just didn't know it? How many other fairy take characters are living there that we haven't seen yet? Good stuff.

    I am so ready for them to get off Neverland. Getting really tired of all the wandering around. For me the best part of the episode was the flashback. I am also wondering about some of the same things you are. Who is in the other cage? Is it Tink? Do Neal and Company need Tink to get off? They mentioned, let's go get Tink, so maybe. Rump's dad is an interesting theory, one I hadn't thought of but Pan sure brings him up a lot. And yes, what is it with if Pan dies Rump dies too. There is a deep connection there that has not been revealed to us yet.

    1. I think if I'd seen Amy Adams first, I would probably see it more than I do, but to me she will always be Cheyanne Montgomery first, and that was years before I saw Amy Adams in anything. Then again, we've already established that I don't always pick up on facial features like I should.

      Yes, all the little moments from the Disney movie were priceless, kind of like they did when they first introduced Belle. My favorite was the "Salad Trident" line.

      We probably haven't seen Eric before. There are plenty of characters were were introduced in one episode and never seen again. And if need be, they introduce more villagers. For a small town, Storybrooke is very big.

      We have five more episodes in Neverland. I'll agree the flashback was the best part of the episode, but I think there's still some interesting story left to tell in the last part of this particular arc.

      As to why they need Tink, remember she was going to help them sneak into Pan's camp, but she left until they had a way off the island after they rescue Henry. They are going to get her to start their plan. The question is, is she at home or in the box?

  2. Five more episodes? Oh gosh. I was at a small gathering today and a few of us OUAT fans were talking about the show and no one seems to be enjoying Neverland at all. I guess they get off (and I keep wanting to call it the island because of Lost - ha ha) right before the break they will be taking. Probably a mini cliffhanger.

    1. And I'm the opposite. I'm enjoying this. I won't complain when we get back to Storybrooke, but this has been a good run.

      The original plan was to do half the season in Neverland and then do the second half starting in March. I haven't heard anything that contradicts that, so I assume that's still the plan.