Sunday, November 3, 2013

Once Upon a Time 3.06: "Ariel"

“Emma, you deserve a happy ending. And they always start with hope.”
- Snow White

So this is an episode that a lot of people have been waiting for. I was never a super huge Little Mermaid fan but I guess it could be fun and Ariel could prove useful to our search party in escaping Neverland. We begin in the Fairytale Land that was as Snow is running from the Queen’s guards (possibly before she ever met Charming) and she comes to a cliff. She’s cornered so she jumps and who should save her but Ariel. The girls bond pretty quickly over love and Snow promises to help Ariel find and woo Prince Eric. And Snow is willing to keep Ariel’s fishy secret.

In Neverland, Snow is a little less willing to keep a big bombshell from Emma. Hook imparts to she and Charming that Pan paid him a visit and told him about Neal. He and Charming think it’s a good idea to keep it from Emma (who is having mild success using and controlling her magic while Regina yells at her to concentrate). The guys start to head off when Emma asks what’s going on and Snow blurts out the truth. So much for that secret. And so much for Hook being an honorable guy and telling Emma outright. Bastard!

Elsewhere on the island, Rumple is trying to see the future when Pan stops by for some breakfast. They verbally spar a bit and Pan jabs at Rumple that how can he expect his family to forgive him when Rumple never forgave his father. And we learn that in order for Pan to die, Rumple would have to as well. And somehow he knows all about Belle (and her fertile uterus) and suggests Rumple just go home and start a new family. Back at camp, Regina thinks they are about to embark on a fool’s errand to find Neal so she leaves the group to go continue the search for Henry. And as the gang sets out, Pan spies them and orders Neal moved to the Echo Caves. This just pisses me off. We’re halfway through the first batch of episodes. I want Neal and Emma reunited!

Back in the Fairytale Land that was, Snow and Ariel attend Prince Eric’s under the sea ball. She gets to dance with her true love and he even says he thinks she is his future. How sweet. There’s a catch though. She’s only got legs for 12 hours and he’s setting sail in the morning for a grand adventure to see the world. She desperately wants to go with him. And maybe she will get a chance since Regina’s been spying and thinks she can use Ariel to get to Snow.

Rumple’s sitting alone, dejected when the Belle vision pops up and insists he go home so they can start a family and be happy together. Regina pops in and strangles Belle, revealing it is Pan’s shadow that’s been duping Rumple the whole time. I fully expect Rumple to get extra angry and vengeful against Pan now. Instead, Regina and Rumple bicker about what they need to do. Luckily, Rumple has something that may be able to trap Pan in a fate worse than death. The only catch is the item is back in his shop in Storybrooke.

As our heroes trek towards Neal (or so they think), Emma confesses the kiss with Hook to Snow and her mother remarks that Emma is keeping herself closed to the hope that Neal’s alive because she doesn’t want to get hurt again. But she says that happy endings always start with hope. Nice sentiment but we’ll see if it works. The gang gests to the Echo Caves and Hook imparts some info in their history. You have to reveal your darkest secret in order to enter and find your quarry. But he’s confident Neal is still alive. Apparently, Pan thinks once they’ve revealed their secrets he can use them against them.

Back in the Fairytale land that was, Snow encourages Ariel to be honest with Eric about her being a mermaid and see if he wants to be with her or go his own way and travel. Ariel goes to ask Ursula for advice, thinking it is just a long dead myth. Until Regina emerges from the surf with eight legs and some crazy hair. She makes Ariel an offer to keep her legs forever and be with Eric. This being Once Upon a Time (and Regina), the magic comes with a cost. Ariel gives Snow a bracelet that gives her a mermaid tail (so she can escape Regina) but things don’t go well. Regina gets to gloat over Snow as she literally flops around on the boardwalk while Ariel stands by horrified that Regina duped her. And as is usually the case, Regina gets a lovely zinger about how Ariel went to a long-dead myth for help and now she’s blaming Regina for the outcome. It looks like Ariel is going to leave Snow to her fate at Regina’ s hands until she comes back and stabs the Queen in the neck with a fork (yay pointy utensils!) and they escape into the ocean (with their correct lower extremities attached). Unfortunately, Ariel arrives to see Eric leaving. She tried to call to him but she has no voice. Regina has taken it because it’s a crueler fate than being rejected. On and apparently Ursula actually does exist somewhere and she’s pissed that Regina impersonated her.

Things are about to get very emotional in the Echo Caves. As Hook predicted, they have to share their darkest secrets. Hook goes first, admitting he kissed Emma and he never thought he’d be able to move past Milah and love again. Snow admits she wants another child and David shares that he’s stuck on Neverland forever. This is enough to create a bridge between their rock outcropping and the one with Neal in the cage. Emma goes across and drops a huge emotional bombshell. I kid you not, I am getting weepy as I write this. She professes her love to him and that she will always love him. But she doesn’t stop there. Because losing him in the portal dredged up all the hurt and the pain from years without him and she wanted to believe he was dead because it would be easier than dealing with it all. Oh my god! They have so much to work through but they will! Emma tries to apologize to Neal for what she said and how she feels but she can’t change it. He says he understands and he will never stop fighting for her. It would appear all of the cave revelations are going to have far reaching impacts. And as the hour closes, Regina calls upon Ariel to go to Storybrooke to get what Rumple needs from his shop. And she gives her control over her legs. I feel like this episode kicked things up a notch and I cannot wait for next week.

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