Once Upon a Time Recap: "Ariel"

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In this week’s episode of Once Upon a Time…

Back in the day…
In the flashback scene, SnowWhite jumps from cliff to escape the Queen’s guards. She’s rescued by Ariel. In a classic OUAT twist on story lines Ariel can turn her tale into legs. Every year at the highest tide Merpeople (Merpersons? Merfolk?) can turn human  until the next high tide. This is a gift from the ancient Sea Goddess Ursala who may or may not be a myth. Ariel is in love with the handsome stranger, Prince Eric, she saved from drowning. Snow and Ariel go to Eric’s ball. Ariel has 12 hours to wine and dine him before she turns back into a fish (or is it a mammal?). They dance and he offers to bring her along on his upcoming world trip. (If you’re pretty enough, a rich, good-looking man will wisk you away, just like in real life.) Ariel is torn and turns to Ursala for help. She talks to the sea and it seems that Ursala isn’t real when suddenly Ursala appears out of the water in all her Octopussian glory. The only problem is she looks exactly like Regina.

Regina/Ursala (Reginala?)  gives Ariel a bracelet that will give someone else Ariel’s tale so she can keep her legs. Ariel promptly puts it on her new BFF Snow White. Regina appears and admits she had been pretending to be Ursala and now she has Snow right where she wants her: with a tale instead of legs so she can’t get away. Ariel could take the bracelet off of Snow, but then she’d lose her chance at Eric. Ariel starts to walk away (she’s really choosing bros over hoes???) but she comes back and stabs Regina with the “salad trident” and takes the bracelet off of Snow. They swim away. (Foiled again, Regina. Foiled again.) After Snow is back safely on land she tells Ariel to go get Eric before he leaves for his trip. When Ariel gets to Eric’s royal dock she’s lost her voice. (Regina strikes again! You can’t keep a good witch down.) Regina inflicts the worst punishment: never having a chance at true love. Ariel despondently swims away. Back in her lair, Regina is visited by the real Ursala who tells her never to impersonate her again.

In the jungle, the mighty jungle…
While Regina, Emma, Hook, Snow, and Charming search for Henry and Neal, Regina tries to teach Emma to concentrate and use her magic. Charming and Snow are apprehensive about Regina’s teaching skills and motive (can’t say we blame them). Hook tells Charming and Snow that Neal is alive. Snow tells Emma who is so shocked and befuddled by this info that they have to go to a commercial break. Emma tells Mom that she kissed Hook. (Always an awkward moment in real life, but in OUAT world it’s sweet and touching.) Now Emma’s torn because Neal’s alive.

Hook leads them to the Truth Or Dare Cave (ok, it’s really called the Echo cave but that’s so boring) where each member of the party searching for Neal have to reveal a secret about themselves in order to retrieve Neal. Hook admits that kissing Emma made him realize that he can love again, something that he didn’t’ think could happen after his Mila died. (If you weren’t pining for Hook before, you are now!) Snow admits that she wants to have another baby since she missed out on Emma’s childhood. Charming admits that he can’t leave Neverland or he’ll die. This last reveal is enough to get Emma to Neal. She tries to break him out of the cage, but she has to make her own admission first. Emma admits that she loves Neal but that she wasn’t relieved that he was alive because if he was dead it would be easier for her to put their past together behind her. Neal is freed from the cave and the whole gang make it out of the cave. Snow isn’t happy to hear that her Charming is stuck in Neverland forever and that he had made that choice without her. Neal, however, isn’t angry or daunted by Emma’s admission. He vows that he’ll never stop fighting for Emma. (He’s trying to give Hook a run for his money in the damaged-guy-with-a-heart-of-gold area.)

And then there’s Gold…
Gold is talking to Belle when Regina appears and Vaders her until it’s revealed that it’s The Shadow he’s been talking to all along. (If you had 4 minutes 32 seconds into the episode on the Vadering pool, you win!) Regina wants to join forces to defeat Pan. Gold feels that his own death is the only thing to defeat Pan, but maybe Regina and he (Reginelstiltskin?) can find “a fate worse than death” to beat Pan. Their plan begins to take shape, but they need a magic compass that Gold left back in his shop in Storybrooke. (Way to go, Gold.) Regina finds a shell and uses it to summon from the water not a squid this time, but Ariel. Regina gives Ariel her voice back and promises her legs. Regina’s plan is to send Ariel back to Storybrooke to get the magical compass from Gold’s shop and bring it back to them in Neverland to defeat Pan. Of course, Regina can’t just be honest with Ariel and tell her that’s the plan. Instead Regina tells Ariel that her Prince Eric is in Storybrooke. (Oh what a tangled web we weave…)

Next week…
Ariel arrives in Storybrooke as a human. Will Regina’s plan work? Can Emma be reunited with Henry? Is Charming doomed to stay in Neverland forever? Find out next week!

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Tags: Ariel Episode Recap Once Upon A Time OUAT Recap The Little Mermaid

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