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OUAT Dark Hollow: A return to Storybrooke

Emma is tempted.
Emma is tempted.
Promotional photo courtesy of ABC/Jack Rowand

Once Upon A Time - Dark Hollow


Episode Cast:

Henry Mills (Jared Gilmore), Neal Cassady/Baelfire (Michael Raymond-James), Snow White (Jennifer Goodwin), Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Prince Charming/David Nolan (Josh Dallas), Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), Peter Pan (Robbie Kay), Parker Croft (Felix), Belle (Emilie De Ravin), Grumpy (Lee Arenberg), Mike Coleman (Happy), Walter (Faustina Di Bauda), Doc (David-Paul Grove), Michael/Keychain (James Immekus), Dopey (Jeffrey Kaiser), Mr. Clark (Gabe Khouth), Bashful (Mig Macario), Archie Hopper/Jiminy Cricket (Raphael Sbarge), Ariel (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), Mother Superior/The Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracey), Rose McIver (Tinkerbell),

Where we left off

This week’s episode featured a cavalcade of characters both new and old and a return to Storybrooke. It began where the season 2 finale left off as the Fairytale Friends (Emma, Hook, Snow, Rumplestiltskin, Regina and Charming) are embarking on their journey to Neverland. Rumplestiltskin gives Belle a cloaking spell to protect the town from additional visitors and then sails off. However, two determined hipsters slip in just under the wire.

A Return to Storybrooke

Flash-forward to present day Storybrooke. Belle is heartbroken because she thinks she’ll never see Rumplestiltskin again but then Ariel comes to town bearing an enchanted seashell. The shell has a Princess Leia-esque message from Rumple saying she would “find the hiding space with the strength of our love”. It’s cryptic and a little weak but it leads Belle to the chipped teacup. It reveals a door hiding Pandora’s Box. However, before they can send it back to Neverland, the two hipsters tie them up and take the box.

Ariel is able to wiggle herself free by transforming into a mermaid and the girls find the hipsters in the mines. Turns out the hipsters are John and Michael Darling, brothers to the infamous Wendy, whom Peter Pan is holding captive. Ariel now must return to Rumplestiltskin with two messages: save Henry and Wendy.

In search of a shadow

Things are heating up in Neverland. Emma, Neal and Hook venture to Dark Hollow in search of Pan’s shadow. The plan is to use Neal’s manipulated coconut shell to capture the shadow but things go awry when the boys can’t get the lighter to work and begin fighting with each other over Emma. Three shadows arrive and two of them capture Hook and Neal. Emma is forced to use the magic Regina taught her to start a fire and light the candle inside the coconut shell, trapping all 3 shadows.

A super obvious plot

By now everyone knows that Pan is a master manipulator except for Henry. He’s still unsure of Pan’s intentions so he follows Felix after overhearing Pan’s command to make sure “Henry doesn’t follow him”. The trail leads to Wendy pretending to be sick in bed. She tells him that magic is dying on Neverland and they need him to believe to save it and her. The truth is that Pan let Wendy out of her cage and told her to lie.


All stories need building blocks and that’s what this episode was. It was stale in many parts. The fight between Hook and Neal didn’t live up to expectations and felt like it came too soon. They both just declared their love for her last week and they’re already fighting this week?

As for what the episode exposed, we now know that Wendy is the person in the other box, Peter Pan needs Henry to believe in him for immortality and Emma is becoming more magical. If that was the point, the episode did its job. 3 out of 5.

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