Recap / Once Upon A Time S 3 E 6 Ariel

Season 3, Episode 6:


Back in the Enchanted Forest that was, when Ariel saves Snow White from drowning in the ocean's depths, Snow returns the favor by helping her new friend get acquainted with Prince Eric, with whom she has fallen madly in love. Meanwhile, Emma, Mary Margaret, David and Hook attempt to save Neal, who is imprisoned in one of Pan's encampments, and Regina and Mr. Gold begrudgingly team up to find a way to take down Pan.


  • Absentee Actor: Henry.
  • Adaptational Badass: Ursula goes from a sea witch to a goddess who can even cow one of the greatest magic users in the world.
  • Aesop Amnesia: In the Season 2 finale, Regina expressed regret that everyone saw her as the Evil Queen. Now's she's more than willing to embrace that title.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: For some reason, Ursula the sea godess is a myth in the Enchanted Forest. Justified, by the characters In-Universe as she hasn't been seen for over a thousand years.
  • Combat Tentacles: As per Disney tradition. The mermaid Ursula gave them to herself in her image.
  • Dark Secret: In order to rescue Baelfire from a cave, Emma, Snow, Charming and Hook all have to divulge their deepest darkest secrets to make a magical bridge appear to cross a chasm to reach him.
  • Decomposite Character: Ursula's role as an antagonist for Ariel is given to Regina when she impersonates the goddess, and her role as sea witch is given to the mermaid who shares her name.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Pan confronts Rumpelstiltskin again and offers him an egg in a basket and the chance to leave Neverland to be with Belle...all he has to do is forget about Baelfire and Henry and save his own skin.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Regina is a mild one, when trying to teach Emma to use her magic to create a camp fire. Notably she tells Emma to focus on anger to create the fire, in contrast to the brief tutorial Rumple gave Emma in "The Miller's Daughter" where he encouraged her to use more positive emotions to cast the protection spell.
  • God Guise: Regina impersonates Ursula, who is apparently a benevolent deity, in order to trick Ariel. The real Ursula who was presumed to be a myth even by mermaids turns out to be very real and is very displeased at this.
  • Kick the Dog: Regina taking away Ariel's voice at the end was just cruel. Pan not only twisting the knife regarding Rumple ever forgiving his own father but also suggesting he replace Neal by having a new child with "fertile" Belle is damned low.
  • Large Ham: In-universe, Regina as Ursula, with Lana Parilla doing her best Pat Carroll impression.
  • Living Statue: Ursula possesses a bronze statue of herself to have a little chat with Regina.
  • Love at First Sight: So far, the only case of it in the series is the meeting between Ariel and Eric, who fall in love at a glance.
  • Mythology Gag: The Ariel flashback is full of little gags. Like a reference to Agrabah. Or her being a collector, or the dance being called "Under the Sea", or Regina/Ursula saying she could be "part of his [Eric's] world"... Heck, even the way Ursula!Regina pronounces "Ariel" is the same as Sebastian's "Arr-ee-al."
  • Nice Guy: When offering Ariel to come travel the world with him, Prince Eric is careful not to pressure her or create a Questionable Consent situation due to his royal rank.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Regina tells Rumpelstiltskin that he doesn't have to worry at dying by Pan's hand because she claims the right to kill him in the end.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: They are able to travel between worlds, and are able to grow legs during Ursula's festival
  • Prince Charming: Prince Eric establishes himself as a very polite and courteous royal in the few scenes he has with Ariel.
  • Real After All: Everyone, from the mermaids to the people of Ericís kingdom to Regina, assumes the goddess Ursula is just a myth. Regina is shocked to find out otherwise, to say the least.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: If Ursula is really a powerful sea-goddess, why couldn't she have given Ariel back her voice? She knew what Regina did. Perhaps it is the fact that, as revealed in the second half of season 4, only the one who casts the voice-stealing spell can break it.
  • The Reveal: The Belle who has been comforting Rumple all this time is actually Pan's Shadow. Although the fact she was urging him to go back to Storybrooke with her by taking her hand (implying flight, the way the Shadow travels to and from Neverland) and there have a child with him (something she had never expressed before this but which Pan had in fact just suggested) were some subtle clues something wasn't quite right.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Eric seems fairly active; he was on a ship the first time he met Ariel and plans to travel the world.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Eric gets very little characterization beyond being Ariel's prince.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Regina, fed up with the lack of progress in getting Henry back, decides to strike it out on her own when the others decide to rescue Neal, which she thinks is a waste of time, even though they need him to read his star map so they can leave Neverland once they get Henry back.
  • Shattering the Illusion: The illusion of Belle returns and proves to have been Pan's shadow all along playing tricks on Rumpelstiltskin. Regina exposes the trick by choking the fake Belle into reverting to Pan's shadow form.
  • Take a Third Option: Regina and Rumpelstilskin formulate a plan to trap Pan in a Fate Worse Than Death using a magical MacGuffin that Rumple left back in Storybrooke. Regina convinces Ariel to do the job of going to retrieve it.
  • Villain Decay: Regina invokes this about Rumpelstiltskin and herself, considering all they have been doing is skulking around Neverland wasting time. She reminds him that he is The Freaking Dark One and she is The Evil Queen; both of them are the most powerful magic users in the entire world and should start acting like it.
  • You Have Failed Me: Regina pulls this on a guard who left Snow White for dead.