Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
3 user 3 critic
Mary Margaret, Emma, David and Hook attempt to rescue Neal and Gold and Regina begrudgingly agree to work together to take down Pan, as flashbacks show Snow White help Ariel get acquainted with Prince Eric.


Ciaran Donnelly


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Snow White / Mary Margaret Blanchard
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills / Evil Queen / Ursula
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan
Emilie de Ravin ... Belle French
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
Michael Raymond-James ... Neal Cassidy
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore) (credit only)
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold
Robbie Kay ... Peter Pan
JoAnna Garcia Swisher ... Ariel
Yvette Nicole Brown ... Ursula (voice)
Parker Croft ... Felix
Gil McKinney ... Prince Eric
Arpad Balogh ... Eric's Footman


While Emma, Mary Margaret, David and Hook attempt to save an imprisoned Neal, Regina and Mr. Gold begrudgingly team up to find a way to take down Pan. Back in fairy tale land, Snow helps Ariel meet the love of her life after she saves Snow from drowning. Written by ab1995

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

3 November 2013 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


When Regina is pretending to be Ursula, and is speaking to Ariel, she refers to Ariel as "my dear sweet child." This line is a reference to the song "Poor Unforunate Souls" in Disney's "The Little Mermaid." Also, at the end of her speech she says that Ariel could be "part of Eric's world", a reference to the song "Part of Your World" from the same movie. See more »


Regina Mills: You're such a pathetic waste of ability.
Emma Swan: And you're a monster.
See more »

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User Reviews

The Little Mermaid swims onto 'Once Upon a Time'
12 March 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

"Ariel" may not be one of the best episodes of 'Once Upon a Time', or of Season 3. Of the previous five episodes of the season the only one to be considered weaker by me is "Lost Girl" (liked that too, despite its unevenness). Still really enjoyed "Ariel" for many reasons, while having a couple of reservations, and it has a lot of what makes me like 'Once Upon a Time' when it was good. That it is different from the original story and the Disney film is insignificant, considering that the whole premise of the show is about turning stories and characters from fairy tales and classic literature on their heads and giving them fresh twists.

Other episodes do better in advancing story elements and moving things forward. Things don't progress that significantly here (the search for and finding of Neal is the closest the episode gets to that.

There is also some over-convenience and corniness in this portion of the storytelling as well, plus some overwrought parts for Emma. It is reminiscent of the show when it first started (still really liked the show when it first started, but it didn't naturally settle straightaway in the writing), and considering that the show had at this stage come on and improved as much as it has since that was disappointing somewhat.

However, there are a lot of pleasures. "Ariel" introduces everyone's favourite mermaid Ariel. Not only is her story very interesting and her chemistry with Snow White affecting and charming, Ariel is very endearing in her introductory appearance, easy to root for and not one-dimensional.

Another element that came over very well was the chemistry between Regina and Rumplestiltskin, that was one intriguing team up that was intense and entertaining.

Personally quite enjoyed the Echo Caves scene. It is a little too convenient sure and some may find it cheesy, to me it was entertaining, surprising and inventive, gave a sense of empowerment, was crucial in resolving a major plot point and was the closest the episode got to forwarding the story momentum.

Can't fault the acting, Lana Parrilla, Ginnifer Goodwin and Robert Carlyle are extremely good as they consistently are but it's Joanna Garcia Swisher who impresses most.

Furthermore, "Ariel" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie-cutter. It is photographed beautifully too. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable main theme. Writing has the right balance of humour, pathos, mystery and intrigue on the most part, but with a few tweaks and more thought into the searching for Neal storyline dialogue it would have been even better.

Overall, very enjoyable though not quite one of my favourites of the third season. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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