Back in the Enchanted Forest, Snow White became fast friends with a little mermaid who rescued her from The Evil Queen’s knights after she jumped off a cliff. In Neverland, Emma, Hook, David, and Mary Margaret went to save Neal by spilling their deepest darkest secrets. Meanwhile, Regina teamed up with Rumpelstiltskin to save Henry and take down Pan.
There’s definitely a lot different about this episode from the actual story from Han Christian Anderson. The Disney version certainly “Disneyfied” it, as the original story seemed too tragic, while Once Upon a Time mixed the Disney version and the original Han Christian Anderson’s story (such as the name of Ariel—which was simply known as Little Mermaid in the original story, and Ursula—where they regarded to as a Sea Goddess, while the original story simply refer to her as a Sea Witch).
The grandmother explains that humans have a much shorter lifespan than merfolks’ 300 years, but that when mermaids die they turn to sea foam and cease to exist, while humans have an eternal soul that lives on in Heaven.
Drinking the potion will make her feel as if a sword is being passed through her, yet when she recovers she will have two beautiful legs, and will be able to dance like no human has ever danced before. However, it will constantly feel like she is walking on glass hard enough to make her feet bleed most terribly. In addition, she will only obtain a soul if she finds true love’s kiss and if the prince loves her and marries her, for then a part of his soul will flow into her. Otherwise, at dawn on the first day after he marries another woman, the Little Mermaid will die brokenhearted and disintegrate into sea foam.
“You are just in time,” said the witch. “After the sun comes up tomorrow, a whole year would have to go by before I could be of any help to you. J shall compound you a draught, and before sunrise you must swim to the shore with it, seat yourself on dry land, and drink the draught down. Then your tail will divide and shrink until it becomes what the people on earth call a pair of shapely legs. But it will hurt; it will feel as if a sharp sword slashed through you. Everyone who sees you will say that you are the most graceful human being they have ever laid eyes on, for you will keep your gliding movement and no dancer will be able to tread as lightly as you. But every step you take will feel as if you were treading upon knife blades so sharp that blood must flow. I am willing to help you, but are you willing to suffer all this?”
The Enchanted Forest
This episode takes us back to the Enchanted Forest, where a bandit Snow White was seen running from two of the Evil Queen’s guards. As Snow was left with no way out, she kind of reminded us of Emma; the way she’s acting around the knights.
I was thinking that “Ariel” took place before Snow met Charming, but someone asked that question to Eddy on Twitter today. Apparently this takes place between 1×03 “Snow Falls” and 1×10 “7:15am.” So she has met him. I’ll bet that there’s some cut out scene we’ll see on the DVD where she talks about meeting Charming.
Adam Horowitz, apparently, confirmed this on Twitter:
— Adam Horowitz (@AdamHorowitzLA) November 4, 2013
It was probably around the time when Regina asked Rumple about a particular mermaid.
Obviously, this also takes place at the same time that Regina told Rumple that Belle was dead. I think she went to him to be transformed into Ursula. Since she needed help being a peasant not long ago, it would make sense. But since Rumple refused to help her, I assume that regina then went to Maleficent for help.
Sea Goddess Ursula, out of the kindness of her heart, grants mermaids the ability to walk on land during the highest tide until the next high tide. When Ariel met Snow, how long has it been since Ariel can walk on land? A couple of days, or just that day? Ariel also said that Ursula hasn’t been seen in a thousand years. Does that mean that Ursula may be (one of) the oldest character (so far)?
Again, what Once Upon a Time did with Ariel’s story is somewhat different from the original story by Han Christian Anderson.
When a mermaid turns 15, she is permitted to swim to the surface to watch the world above, and when the sisters become old enough, each of them visits the upper world every year. As each of them returns, the Little Mermaid listens longingly to their various descriptions of the surface and of human beings.
When Ariel’s fins touched the ground, she grows legs. But when her legs were splashed with water, she turns back into being a mermaid.
Ariel handed Snow a scroll, where she said that an “Under the Sea” ball is to take place that night, where she hopes to see the man she is running to. The “Under the Sea” ball kind of reminds us of Back to the Future.
In this version of Ariel, is she still the daughter of the Sea King, King Triton, the ruler of the underwater kingdom of the Sea of Atlantica? Are we going to meet her father and the rest of her sisters in the future episodes?
While Ariel and Snow entered the ballroom in Eric’s castle, I noticed the symbol that was on the wall that they passed by: a round symbol with a bird, maybe a phoenix. After that, I started to recognize the room they were in. It looked familiar. It made me think of the ballroom in “The Miller’s Daughter” episode. I rewatched that episode and in the scene where young Cora meets young Eva, I saw the same symbol, with a Phoenix-shaped bird. At the place of the statue, there was the entrance to the room. This could mean that Prince Henry (Regina’s father) and Prince Eric are related [e.g. Uncle-nephew], since it is the same castle with same symbols. (And it was about 50 years later so they could redecorate or something). Or they just reused the set, and hoping nobody would notice. But that isn’t very “Once Upon a Time”-style in my opinion.
Usually, the set in Once Upon a Time are a mixed of physical props and computer-generated ones. The show may be reusing sets, but is the Phoenix-shaped bird somehow symbolic or is it just another prop that they are reusing? Check out the rest of the photos shared with us in the forum.
While at the ball, Regina watched through her mirrors with her guards. One of the knights, however, sounded familiar. Is he the same guard who found Emma’s wardrobe?
Snow speaks so much about honesty and doing the hard thing to Ariel; being open and vulnerable to each other. It seems that even then, Snow has the same perspective when it comes to love.
Ariel then walked to the shore to talk to Ursula, who is actually The Evil Queen posing as the mythical sea goddess. Lana Parrilla, by the way, did a great job of seeming like the Ursula we know from Disney’s the Little Mermaid. During one of her interviews during the San Diego Comic Con, Lana Parrilla bluntly admitted how she loved Ursula and how she somehow wanted to play her. She sure gave justice to one of her dream roles.
Ariel then turned Snow into a mermaid by putting the bracelet into her that the-Evil-Queen-as-Ursula gave her “so she can escape.” Realizing that she has been tricked, Ariel hesitantly back away from Snow and the Evil Queen. But just as The Evil Queen was choking Snow, Ariel attacked the Evil Queen using the fork she took from the ball. Did the dingelhopper hindered her magical ability that’s why she wasn’t able to fight back?
Ariel and Snow escaped but when Snow asked Ariel to still go find her prince, Ariel suddenly lose her voice. Regina said there’d be no second chances. What could that mean? Regina isn’t really an outright liar, is she somehow referring to herself when she said that to Ariel? Never having a chance at true love, just like her? After which, she ordered the little mermaid to swim back home.
By the way, DJ Firewolf shared that Ursula was voiced by Yvette Nicole Brown, who was also in the Good Morning, Storybrooke as Goldie Locksley.
I do not think that they would show the real Ursula in this episode threatening Regina if Ursula wasn’t going to be a part of the story later on this season. I think Ursula will try to sabotage the mission because she’s a goddess, who probably doesn’t like the fact that her mermaid has just been given the gift of walking on land and possibly abandoning the sea. It is Ursula’s gift to the mermaids to walk on land for a day and Regina has taken that away from her, even if the mer-people don’t believe the sea witch exists anymore (Ursula, not Regina). You just don’t go messing around with a goddess’s gift to her people, because that makes them angry. And in a way, Regina is imitating Ursula again [in Neverland] without knowing it, and so Ursula will get her revenge.
Are we going to see an angry Ursula some time in the episode, to possibly seek revenge on Regina for impersonating her? Ursula did warn Regina that the next time she claims to be her, she’ll find out what it really feels like to be her, after all.
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Emma tries to learn how to use magic through Regina’s assistance. Regina told her to find her anger and use it to focus. Regina channels her magic through anger, while Rumpel taught Emma to think about who she’s protecting; Mulan also told Neal to think not of the person, but how he feels towards Emma. If Regina teaches Emma the concept of dark magic, and Rumpel wasn’t around to teach her about good magic, who would teach her? How would Emma learn how to control the magic that’s inside of her?
Still in his good firm, Hook told David and Mary Margaret that Neal is alive, an honorable thing to do definitely. However, Hook and David both wanted to track Neal without telling Emma about it yet, whereas Snow detested, telling them that “secrets always seem to keep us from the people we really care about.” Eventually, Snow told her daughter that Neal could possibly be alive, so they journeyed to find Neal by following the tracks.
I might be over thinking it but, when Emma decided to rescue Neal first it was definitely the last straw for Regina. It seemed to me that Regina didn’t want to rescue Neal, not only because she just doesn’t care, but also since Neal is Henry’s father, that means there would be one more person in Henry’s life who Regina would have to deal with. Regina deep down still wants Henry to be hers and her’s alone. She knows she has to deal with Emma and has “partially” excepted it, but one more person might be too much for her to deal with.
Regina is used to doing things her own way. Is Neal too much for her to handle, that’s why she left them and decided to go on her own way? Or is she really just being a mother to Henry who wanted to get her son back as soon as possible?
Tired of waiting around, Regina finally bailed the Charmings and Hook to try to save Henry on her own.
As Rumpelstiltskin tries to see the future, Pan interrupted him by handing him is favorite meal—eggs in a basket. As Rumple tries to see the future, he put up his hands very much like how the Seer did it. Pan told him that it’s hard to see the future in a place where time stands still. If no one can’t see the future in Neverland, how did Pan know about Henry being the truest believer?
Does PP know the future through the dreams of other people? (e.g. Pan knew about Hook kissing Emma, about the prophesy concerning Rumple, and about Henry’s dream of adventure).
Also, how did Pan know about Belle? How is he learning all the stuff about the Charmings and the rest of them?
Rumple said that the only way for him to defeat Peter Pan was to die himself. Aleana and Chloe sent interesting feedback about this.
My question is whether Rumple and Peter Pan are connected so if one dies, the other dies too. So does that means they are both cut from the same cloth?
Rumplestiltskin came to Neverland positive that he would have to die in order to save Hennry. This has been mentioned again and again and I can’t help but wonder if there is deeper meaning to this. Rumple usually words it like this “Killing pan requires my life” or something along those lines. I wonder if this could mean Pan and Rumple are connected by some sort of magic. Two people are linked together, or a person is linked to an object, such that whatever happens to one also happens to the other. Killing or harming one of them will lead to the death or equivalent harm of both. This is known as “synchronization” and is used in many forms of media.
I think Pan and Rumplestiltskin could be connected in this way. If Pan is killed then Rumplestiltskin will die along with him. This could be an intresting complication and dark magic similar to this has been used before such as the candle trading ones life for another and Snow seeing and feeling what Regina felt trough a teardrop. Love your podcast! Thanks for being awesome!
Are they connected just like how Harry and Voldemort were — neither can live while the other survives? How? Do the dark magic’s powers come from Neverland?
Pan also rubs in that Rumple hasn’t forgiven his father again. He also keeps suggesting for Rumple to leave Neverland, go back to Storybrooke and start a new life with Belle. Is he threatened by Rumple? Pan clearly wants Rumple out of his way.
In the Lost Girl episode, Belle kept telling Rumple to do the right thing; to not abandon his grandson just like he did his son, Baelfire. However, in this episode, Belle encouraged Rumple to come home with her to Storybrooke and start a family with her. If it wasn’t the real Belle that Rumple talks to all this time, was it also the Shadow telling him those things about breaking his nasty habits?
It could be that Pan and the Shadow have a connection to the Sandman. Pan said that he is in tune with every grain of sand on the island, and we saw that Greg and Tamara’s batteries have been turned to sand. Also, another interesting fact it’s hypothesized that the Sandman legend has its origins in Morpheus, the Greek God of Dreams. And like the Shadow, Morpheus has the ability to take any human form. It would really make sense that Neverland might be a dreamland connected to the Sandman. Well, we already know that children visted it in their dreams a long time ago. But, like in dreams, people are confronted with their past, hopes and fears. And it would make sense if Neverland were actually just a land made out of sand, the sand of the Sandman, which can be formed by the heart of the truest believer.
Do Pan and the Shadow have some connection with the Sandman?
While the Shadow may belong to PP, it may have grown more powerful than PP over time. Perhaps the Shadow represents Pan’s own “shadow of a doubt.” For example, the more disbelief takes hold of Pan, the more powerful that Shadow becomes. Also, the fact that it has been perpetually dark in NL for over a week makes me think that a shadow has quite literally fallen over the island. If you recall from 2×21, the only thing that truly frightens the Shadow is light, just as the Wraith was afraid of light in 2×1. For example, when Baelfire used a match against the Shadow, it recoiled from the flame and dropped Baelfire into the ocean surrounding NL. Also, the name BaelFIRE (which is simply the Old English word for bonfire) reaffirms that Neal knows how to fight the Shadow with fire. Now that the Shadow has grown more powerful, it is perpetually night in NL so that the Shadow can always roam the island being in complete control. What would defeat the Shadow? The return of daylight!
Day time hasn’t been seen since all of them set foot on Neverland. Could it help solve their problem? Is the Shadow more powerful than Pan? Is it even Pan’s own shadow? Is Pan communicating with the Shadow?
As Emma, Snow, Hook and David followed the tracks to the Echo Cave, Emma confessed to her mother about her kissing Hook. It seemed that Snow can relate to Emma because of her one-night fornication with Dr. Whale. Snow also told her that she deserves a happy ending, and that happy endings always start with hope. Emma says it was just a kiss, but now that she finds out that Neal could be alive, is Emma confused about her feelings?
The Evil Queen and The Dark One Alliance
After Regina choked Belle, who was actually the Shadow, she told Rumple that he’s not gonna die with anyone’s hands but her own. Can Regina kill him? Is this a sign that Regina will eventually kill The Dark One? Aside from Pan, Rumple and Neal, no one else knows about the prophecy and with Rumple’s shadow in possession of the Dark One’s dagger, what else could kill Rumpelstiltskin?
Regina and Rumple plans to defeat Pan by containing him into a fate worse than death using something that can be found in Mr. Gold’s shop. What could it be? Wraith? Regina’s still marked and if they summon it, will the Wraith go after Regina?
Now that Rumple knows Neal is still alive, he no longer has the guilt and now his nasty habit of self-preservation. Rumple no longer has anyone motivating him towards redemption. If and when will Rumple learn to believe in himself?
Is Rumple still willing to sacrifice himself to save his grandson? Or will he embrace his true self as the Dark One and go down the road to dark magic?
Regina also told Rumple that they are the two most powerful practitioners of magic who have ever lived. Are they really? What about the Blue Fairy? Or is Regina referring to them being two of the most powerful practitioners of magic because it’s the Evil Queen and The Dark One joining forces?
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The Bridge of Secrets
Pan told Felix to move Neal to the Echo cave. Can Pan really not track anyone in there? Hook told them that the only way to get inside is by revealing a secret; spill your guts, deepest darkest secrets, ones that you will never admit to anyone.
He said that he lost half his crew in the Echo Cave. How? Hook also indicated that this is one of Pan’s games, that he thought their secrets will weaken them.
As they stepped inside the cave, Hook spilled his secret first:
- Hook thought that he’d never be capable of letting go of his first love, Milah, that he could never find someone else aside from Milah. It’s petty evident that Emma helped him move on. Does this mean that you can have more than one true love?
- Snow, meanwhile, admitted when they get off the island, she wants to have another chance by having another baby; no matter how great she feels about having found their daughter, Emma, she’s not okay with what’s going on. How would Emma take this?
I have heard a fan theory that Emma could become a “mother figure” to the Lost Boys, but I think we have another character that might be more suited. When Snow revealed in the Echo Caves that she wanted another child, and then subsequently found out that David has to stay in Neverland, I immediately thought that maybe she will stay behind to parent the Lost Boys. I think they showed us Snow’s big secret in wanting another child not just to further her progression towards a happy ending, but to hint at the future of the Lost Boys once the Neverland story is done. I don’t know what happens to David in my theory in terms of whether he stays with her or goes back to Storybrooke somehow. Maybe he would get to go back if she stayed in his place.
I do know that Snow has felt this regret for so long about giving up Emma and not being able to raise her. Maybe the events at the end of the Neverland arc will show that Neverland is going to cease to exist sometime in the future, and so Snow takes it upon herself to raise the Lost Boys before sending them off to live the rest of their lives. Or perhaps she takes them all back to Storybrooke and raises them there.
- Now that David can’t leave Neverland, can Snow and David become parents to the Lost Boys? David, on the other hand, finally admitted that he got hit by the dreamshade, almost died because of the poison, was saved by Hook, and that he can’t leave Neverland anymore.
So relieved Charming’s secret is out though, seeing Snow being honest about wanting a real chance to be a family and for him to crush it broke my heart. Outstanding acting from all those in the cave. Although,I firmly believe Charming will get off the island and they will have a baby I’m glad she is angry. It means they can actually have a real fight and issues won’t just be swept under the carpet like the “Home” issue.
- Lastly, while Emma admitted that she never stopped Neal, she was somehow wishing that tracking Neal in the Echo Cave was just a trick; that he was dead because it would be easier for her to love and lose Neal than to face the pain all over again.
Would it be better if they face it together than pushing all the pain behind by herself, though?
Outside the cave, Neal shared his own secret to Emma that he’s never going to stop fighting for her. It was definitely Prince Charming-like; it takes one person to have a hope and stick-through to make the relationship work.
Hook, on the other hand, overheard Neal and a pain on his eyes can be seen. Is he going to hold on to his love to Emma, be willing to sacrifice himself so that Emma can have her own happy ending?
… I think [that the CaptainSwanFire triangle] is just going to be a lot of fun to see going forward. The whole it’s the right and honorable thing to do. Emma would have to abandon her family to be with Hook but I don’t see it that way at all. If anyone has consistently shown honor this season it’s been Hook. He risked his life to come to Neverland, risked it again to defy Pan and save David, did the honest thing and told everyone that Neal was alive and was instrumental in saving him from the Echo caves. He did the right thing by having Emma reunite with Neal but at the same time letting his feelings for her be known. As for Emma sure Neal was her first love and they did have a son but the whole “right and honorable” thing reminded me of David’s reasoning in the first season when he chose Kathryn over Mary Margaret even though he clearly had feelings for one and not and the other. In the end the two of them basically ended up in “bad form” because David felt he had to do the right and honorable thing. So I wonder what is more honorable? … To me this triangle is more about Emma making a decision on her past vs. her future than it is about choosing between two guys. What I loved about both Hook and Emma’s secrets were that they echoed the same desires. To put their painful pasts behind them and move on to a new future.
Is Emma’s future with Hook? She said that she would rather that Neal is really dead, but is she really ready to put her past behind to be with her future, which is Hook?
Gives reasons why there should be no Snowing baby and possible true loves for Hook.
Back in Regina and Rumple, Regina then summoned Ariel by whispering to a shell. When Regina seek Ariel’s help, Ariel protested. Apparently, she still hasn’t got her voice back since her last encounter with the Evil Queen. How long has she been tight-lipped?
After watching the episode, I realized that Ariel did not age. This is now annoying me since as far as we know she was not affected by the curse, was in Neverland or is like Rumple. I guess the whole frozen time concept is just starting to confuse me since I would have thought Ariel would have aged. What do you think?
What I am wondering is if Ariel always has to answer to Regina when called. Rumple said mermaids can’t be trusted, but Regina’s answer to him was “This one can.” I sense Regina double crossing Ariel because all she wants is Henry. I am wondering if Ariel’s legs will only last a certain amount of time in StoryBrooke or Ariel will be reunited with Eric, but be forced to use his ship to get back to Neverland. Either way I recon there are bumpy seas ahead!
It was said that mermaids can travel between worlds. Regina then handed Ariel her bracelet back to allow her to walk again, this time taking control of it on her own, and go back to Storybrooke to retrieve something that can help enact Rumple and Regina’s plan.
I think now that Ariel is in the picture, that this may set up the story for all the characters to travel back into the Enchanted Forest. We now have 2 characters who have the ability to travel between realms: Ariel and Tinkerbell. I believe at some point of the show, that these two will work together and get the residents of Storybrooke back home.
With Tinkerbell in Neverland, and Ariel now on her way to Storybrooke, how are they going to work together? Will Prince Eric even recognize Ariel? How different would he be when we see him in Storybrooke? Let us know what you think by filling in the comment section below!
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