Truth or dare die! In tonight’s Once Upon a Time (Season 3, Episode 6: "Ariel"), Neal and Emma don’t have a very happy reunion, Regina makes quick work of Belle, and Ariel finds a new use for a fork.
Snow Spills the Beans
The episode begins with Regina trying to convince Emma to use her anger to focus. Frankly, we’re not sure if we think Regina should be doling out advice. Meanwhile, Hook tells David and Snow that Neal is supposedly alive and well. Snow wants to tell Emma immediately, but David and Hook would rather find Neal first.
Indeed, David and Hook are about to sneak away to find Neal when Emma asks where they’re going. Emma gets suspicious, so Snow cracks under the pressure and immediately blurts out that Neal is alive. Way to stick to the plan, Snow.
Gold is off on his own, trying to see into the future, when his old pal Pan drops by with breakfast and to inform him that time stands still in Neverland. Bummer. On the plus side, that egg looks delish. Pan tells Gold he’s allowed to leave Neverland and start a new life with Belle, but Gold wants to save Neal and Henry. Pan then reminds Gold that Gold and his own dad aren’t exactly besties.
Our heroes are following Pan’s tracks, but Regina gets fed up and decides to go it alone. Uh, when doesn’t Regina get fed up about something? Meanwhile, Pan is spying on the gang and tells his Lost Boys to toss Neal in the Echo Cave. We don’t know what the Echo Cave is, but it doesn’t sound like fun.
It turns out to be a good thing that Regina decided to be a lone wolf. Belle is trying to convince Gold to go back to Storybrooke with her until Regina strangles “Belle,” who turns out to be Pan’s evil shadow. Given how well the shadow impersonated Belle, we’re guessing that he’s a big hit at Halloween parties.
Then, when Gold says he has to die to stop Pan, Regina is unimpressed. So Gold remembers that an item back in his shop can stop him, but they’ll need to cross realms to get it. Apparently, Regina has a plan.
Hook informs his pals that they’ll need to tell a revealing secret in order to get from one side of the Echo Cave to the other, where Neal’s cage is. Suddenly, Neverland is becoming a middle school sleepover. Hook starts by revealing that he kissed Emma — which David isn’t thrilled about — and that Emma proved he could love again. Hook is seriously making us melt.
Neal Isn’t Going To Like This
Next up is Mary, who says she feels like she missed out on raising Emma and wants a new baby with David. David likes that idea but says it won’t be with him, since he had to drink from the spring to stop the Dreamshade and thus is stuck on Neverland. But this causes the bridge to fully formed, and Emma reaches Neal. Hooray! Uh, almost.
Neal is still in his cage, so Emma must tell a secret to free him. And this one’s going to be a doozy: She admits that she wished Neal were dead, in order to spare herself any further pain. Finally, Neal is free and can hug Emma. And what’s better than hugging someone who just said she wished you were dead?
Neal tells the gang that he can get them to Storybrooke once they find Henry, and he says he’ll never stop fighting for Emma. Aww! Finally, we realize that conch shells are very useful on this island, as Regina uses one to summon Ariel. Regina wants Ariel to cross realms for them, and in return, she’ll lead her to Eric, who’s in Storybrooke. Sounds like it’s time for everyone to pack their bags.
Octopus Got Your Tongue
In this week’s Fairytale Land flashback, Snow is being chased by Regina’s guards when she dives off a cliff into the water — and is luckily rescued by a mermaid named Ariel. Ariel tells Snow that Ursula lets her use her legs for 12 hours, and so she wants to go visit Eric, whom she once rescued but has never spoken to. Ariel really has a knack for rescuing people, no?
Ariel has decided not to tell Eric that she’s a mermaid, and so Snow gives her pointers on how to do little things like, y’know, walk. Eric notices Ariel right away and asks her to dance, telling her that he recognizes her. He says he’s seen her in a dream, and that Ursula saved him and showed him Ariel’s face. He says he’s leaving for a mission tomorrow and wants her to come with him. Talk about a fast mover.
After we see that Regina isn’t happy Snow is still alive, Ariel goes to the water and asks Ursula for advice on what decision to make. Suddenly, a talking octopus emerges, but it’s Regina disguised as Ursula. There is so much impersonating going on in this episode.
Regina tells Ariel there’s a way to keep her legs, which leads Ariel to put a bracelet on Snow that turns her into a mermaid. Snow’s like, “Thanks so much.” Regina then arrives, and Snow realizes the bracelet won’t come off. Snow convinces Ariel to go off and find Eric, but just as Regina is about to choke Snow, Ariel stabs Regina with a fork and dives into the water with Snow. Thank goodness for cutlery.
Snow convinces Ariel to find Eric, so she does, but then Ariel can’t speak, and Eric leaves without her. Regina reveals that she stole Ariel’s voice, which is a mean thing to steal. Finally, Regina is in her palace when Ursula emerges from a mirror and grabs Regina with a tentacle, warning her not to imitate her again. Suddenly, we’re intrigued by a Regina-Ursula battle!
Three Biggest Mysteries of the Night
1. Who the heck is Emma going to choose? It’s looking more and more like Neal is her destiny, but how can she say no to Hook, after all he’s done for her? And if she does turn down Hook, can she give him our phone number?
2. How will David get off the island? Judging from the trailer, some characters will be in Storybrooke next week, but we can’t figure out how David will get off the island... unless maybe Henry or Emma have secret powers that can save him.
3. When will we find out who’s in that crate? We now know it’s not Gold, but could it be the real Belle? Then again, maybe not, since we see Belle in the promo for next week. That’s why we’re more and more convinced that Gold’s dad is in the crate. Or maybe it’s Tink or Tiger Lily? Either way, we can't wait to see Gold and Belle reunite for real!
What do you think, Oncers? Sound off below, and catch Once Upon a Time on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.