All those that have yet to watch last night’s episode of Once Upon A Time, entitled ‘Ariel’, here’s where I suggest that you do that before reading ahead. For this is not a spoiler free blog. THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! Proceed at your own discretion.
Once Upon A Time finally delved into The Little Mermaid treasure trove with our very own Ariel, Eric, and Ursula. JoAnna Garcia Swisher played the titular character in this week’s episode, and while I wasn’t as convinced with the casting decision as a lot of people seemed to be, being that she appeared a little older than she should’ve been, I was pleasantly surprised. Of the three new fabled characters we met this week – although we didn’t completely meet the real Ursula – she was the one I was happiest with. She was actually good at portraying the innocent, yet curious mermaid, and wasn’t half bad by this series standards. Eric, on the other hand, was a little ridiculously written. Maybe there is a thing such as love at first sight, but the way the prince was played and written just made me see him as a kind of dud with no personality. They’re kind of ruining my second favourite Disney movie, after already ruining my first (Beauty and the Beast).
For the most part this week, I wasn’t all that happy with the flashback scenes. Sure I liked the way Ariel’s personality was portrayed, at least in the beginning, but the way Regina pretended to be Ursula was like the actress was trying to mimic the animated movie character instead of making it her own person. Plus Regina was just way too overdone in the flashbacks. It’s like this series is trying to be over-the-top when it comes to acting and writing. Also, while the octopus tentacles looked decently realistic, the actress looked ridiculous pretending to be Ursula, especially with how fake that hair looked.
Elsewhere in the episode, I was happy to see Hook actually tell the Charmings that Neal is both alive, and in Neverland. He doesn’t seem to be going back to his conniving self, he appears to be turning into a better man because of Emma, and that’s something that I love. So basically, everyone – except for Regina – makes their way towards where the trail to Neal leads, and have to reveal their darkest secret. David’s was obvious, but Snow’s was saddening because of David’s secret. Complete squeal moment when it came to Hook’s, who never thought he could love again. Good on the writers to make it so that everyone doesn’t just get one True Love, a person can find another, that makes it possible for them to back themselves into a wall. Emma’s secret was little less encouraging, mostly because I’d’ve expected hers to be about how she didn’t know if she could forgive Neal for leaving her and not coming back for her when he’d learned she’d broken the curse. But then, maybe that’s already been dealt with. I am excited to see this love triangle going ahead, mostly because it isn’t the center of the universe in this series – unlike The Vampire Diaries – and because, like with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I keep going back and forth with who I want her to be with. I think, I think I want her to be with Hook, but then Neal so obviously loves her too, and I loved Emma’s flashback scene last year when they were falling in love. It’s a complete conundrum for me, but it keeps me watching, so I commend the writers for being able to do that.
All in all, I was happier with the present day scenes wherever Emma was involved, as well as Hook. Ariel is also a curious character going forward that I’d like to see more of, but Eric needs more personality, not sure how happy I am about his casting. Pan, while not inherent in this episode, was good as always, and it was interesting to learn Belle wasn’t a figment of Rumplestiltskin’s imagination, but Pan’s shadow. And while it does create for interesting possibilities with Rumple and Regina working together, there wasn’t much to it this week that was any good.
My rating: 7 out of 10.
No lines jumped out at me this week, so I’ll just say that I took a break between reviews and watched the episode ‘The Zeppo’ of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so here this is now. I’m off to go write up the review for Revenge now, so stay tuned.