Henry Mills (Jared Gilmore), Neal Cassady/Baelfire (Michael Raymond-James), Snow White (Jennifer Goodwin), Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Prince David/David Nolan (Josh Dallas), Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), Peter Pan (Robbie Kay), Parker Croft (Felix), Rose McIver (Tinkerbell), Jordan Schartner (Sailor), Ariel (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), Prince Eric (Gil McKinney), Belle (Emilie De Ravin)
This week promised the introduction of a bubbly JoAnna Garcia Swisher as everyone’s favorite redheaded mermaid, Ariel. As expected, this episode was cute with moments of depth, making it simultaneously simple and complex. Prince Eric and Ursula were also introduced and for the briefest of moments fans were part of Ariel’s world once again. So without further ado, let’s head under the sea to meet “Ariel”.
A Super Girly Friendship
Snow is on the run again from the Evil Queen in this week’s Fairytale Land flashback. After Snow jumps off a cliff to escape the queen’s guards, Ariel saves her. They arrive on dry land and Ariel gushes about how she’s in love with Eric but hasn’t formally met him yet. Her plan is to win Eric’s love using legs the mythical goddess Ursula gives the mermaids once a year.
Ariel attends the ball and dances with Eric. He invites her to sail away with him to Agrabah (Clearly, a Once Upon A Time In Wonderland crossover is in the works) but the problem is that Ariel only has legs for 12 hours. As she debates what to do, Regina disguised as Ursula propositions her. She gives Ariel a bracelet that will grant her permanent legs and make Snow a mermaid instead. However when Snow puts the bracelet on, her mermaid tail prevents her from running away from Regina. So, Ariel chooses to help Snow by shanking the Queen in the neck with a fork.
Unfortunately when she returns to find Eric, Regina takes away her voice, rendering her unable to prevent Eric from sailing away. A smug Regina returns her castle to find a rude surprise of her own when the real Ursula chastises her for impersonating her.
The Fairytale Friends Fight Again
Emma is learning the dark arts from Regina to save Henry but changes her mind once she learns that Neal is alive. Emma, Hook, Charming and Snow set off after Neal and Regina decides to go her own way. The rest of the Fairytale Friends venture to the Echo Cave and find Neal inside. The only way to save him is to reveal secrets about themselves to build a bridge to the other side. Hook revealed that he’s in love with Emma. Snow revealed that she wants another baby and Charming promptly dashes her hopes revealing that he can never leave the island because of the dreamshade cure. Understandably, she was livid. Emma revealed to Neal that she’s still in love with him but she wished he was dead so she wouldn’t have to face her issues with him. He responded by telling her that he would never stop fighting for her.
Meanwhile, Regina finds Rumplestiltskin talking to Belle. After giving Belle the Darth Vader chokehold, Belle is revealed to be a shadow. The two formulate a plot to permanently imprison Pan and save Henry themselves but they need help. Regina uses a conch shell to call Ariel and they send her to Storybrooke to find a mysterious magical item in Mr. Gold’s Pawn Shop.
The Good. The Bad. The Verdict.
Again, this episode was cute. There were some moments of iffy acting but it was overall an okay episode. The story itself was drawn out and parts in the Ariel story felt like filler but in truth, it’s all about taste. If you prefer cuteness, then this episode delivered. If you prefer the deeper moments, then you must have enthusiastically enjoyed the Echo Cave. It was by far the best part of the episode. Also it foreshadowed a promising Emma, Neal and Hook love triangle. All that can be said is that Hook is a hottie with a heart and Neal is the nice guy who’s unexpectedly tough. Emma’s has a hard choice.
The other cool moment was Peter Pan and Rumplestiltskin’s rendezvous. Apparently, if Pan dies, Rumple dies as well. The reason wasn’t revealed but it makes one wonder. 3 out of 5.