Previously, on Once Upon a Time: “Good Form”
A Tale of a Little Mermaid
Back in the Enchanted Forest, Snow is running from Regina’s minions, she finds herself at the edge of a cliff overlooking a lake; a lake not looking much different from the waters surrounding Never Land. She takes a risk and jumps into the crashing waves. The jump should have killed her but she is rescued by a mermaid, Ariel (JoAnna Garcia Swisher). Snow awakens from another brush with death, and greeted by a doe-eyed Ariel. They begin to chat. Ariel starts blabbing about having a crush on Prince Eric (Gil McKinney). She dumps the contents of her waterproof cross-body bag and shows Snow and invitation to a ball later that day. Snow is confused as to how the whole, have hot chick/half fish is going to go over. Ariel Flops out of the water and POOF. She has legs.
Snow and Ariel get dolled up to attend the ball. Prince Eric spots a cute and smartly dressed Ariel from across the room. Their eyes meet, they walk towards each other, and Ariel falls flat on her face. She hasn’t got her land legs just yet. Eric and Ariel dance and flirt, he recognizes her face, a face that has been on repeat since he was saved from the briny deep by Ursula the Sea Witch. It must be destiny. Eric invites Ariel to travel the world with him; she wants to accept, but that whole I only have legs for 12 hours once a year thing, could make it a little complicated. Regina is watching Snow and Ariel from her magic mirror she kills one of her henchmen for letting Snow go. Ariel leaves the ball and makes her way to the shore to ask Ursula for guidance. “Ursula” in the form of Regina with an octopus bottom-half and tells Ariel she can help her be with Eric forever. Ariel jumps at the chance. She meets with Snow and slaps a cuff bracelet on her and Snow is now a mermaid. Ariel explains that Snow can be free from her troubles and live in her kingdom and Ariel gets to keep her legs. Totally makes sense right?!? Regina shows up to drop the hammer: Ursula is dead and thanks for helping me kill Snow White. Regina is conjuring a spell and Ariel stabs her in the neck with a mini-trident also known as a fork. She removes the cuff from Snow, and they escape into the water.
Back on the shore, Snow advises Ariel to tell Eric the truth. Ariel swims off to meet Eric before he sets forth on his adventure. She sees him on the dock and calls his name. NOTHING. Regina has stolen her voice as a means to punish Ariel. Reg struts off to her castle and is gazing at herself in her magic mirror, the real Ursula (voiced by Community’s Yvette Nicole Brown), appears, her grappling tentacles reach through the mirror and entrap Regina. Ursula tells her: Never impersonate me again or there will be consequences. Regina looks genuinely scared. FINALLY. Someone that strikes fear into the heart of Regina; who you calling a 1000 year old dead octopus now?
Back in Neverland
Pan instructs the Lost Boys to take Neal to the Echo Cave. Queue evil smirk and quippy line about “The Game.” I’m so over Pan.
Emma is channeling her inner Jedi as Darth Regina shows her the way of the force. Charming and Snow are concerned about the dark side of magic. After some taunting from Reg, an angry Emma is able to create a fire at the campsite. HUZZAH! Hook returns and tells Charming and Snow that Neal is alive and on Neverland. Charming wants to lie to Emma. Snow spills the beans and the gang heads off to find Neal. Regina is not with that plan and finally ventures out on her own to find their son. Regina meets with Rumple who just finished an encounter with Pan. It is revealed that in order to kill Pan, Rumple must also die. I didn’t see that coming. I’m still not sure as to how these two are connected, hopefully the writers know and won’t leave us hanging. Rumple is having another Figment of His Imagination chat with Belle. She is trying to convince him to return to Storybrooke. Regina is in the business of bursting bubbles this episode. She conjures some magic and strangles Belle, who transforms into the Shadow Monster. More of Pan’s tricks. Regina and Rumple put their evil heads together and devise a plan. Cross realms to retrieve a magic object that can be used against Pan.
The rest of the gang trudge along to Echo Cave. In order to save Neal each of the team must reveal a deep secret. Snow: Loves Emma, but wants to have another baby when they return to Storybrooke; Hook: Never thought he would get over his true love and open his heart, until he met Emma; Charming: Finally reveals the dreamshade injury and drinking from the falls that will keep him trapped in Neverland. A rock bridge forms that leads Emma to Neal in his bamboo cage. Emma’s secret: She was hoping Neal wasn’t alive because it was easier to put her feelings for him behind her. This scene made me tear up a little bit. The cage disappears and the gang escapes the cave. Neal tells Emma he will never stop fighting for her. The Hook-Emma-Neal love triangle is in full swing and I like it.
Regina and Rumple are at the water’s edge of Neverland she picks up a conch shell and summons, Ariel. She gives Ariel her voice back, the magic leg-granting cuff and asks for a favor in return. Travel to Storybrooke to retrieve the magical object to defeat Pan. Additional incentive: Prince Eric is in Storybrooke.
I am happy with the casting of JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Ariel, but I’m not quite on board with Gil McKinney. However, I can admit I have residual ideas from The Little Mermaid movie, in my mind Tom Welling is Prince Eric.
Producers of OUAT, I beg you, please don’t waste Ursula like you did Maleficent. Ursula is fabulous and horrible, I want to see her in the show, and I want Yvette Nicole Brown to portray the actual character and not just the voice.