'Once Upon A Time' Recap: Belle And Ariel Retrieve Pandora's Box, Henry Meets Wendy
Last night’s Once Upon A Time saw Henry got more entangled in Pan’s web while Belle and Ariel joined forces in Storybrooke to help Rumpelstiltskin get a hold of Pandora’s box in “Dark Hollow.”
In Neverland, Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and Neal (Michael Raymond-James) are off to capture Pan’s shadow – it’s the only way to leave Never Land without Pan’s permission, according to Neal. They retrieve the coconut star chart young Neal had left in his cave on the island and go to the Dark Hallow, caves where Pan’s shadow lives. Hook creates tension when he thanks Neal for being so understanding about his “dalliance” with Emma. Neal has no idea what he is talking about, and is upset that Emma didn’t tell him. Hook apologizes, and then goes to Emma to warn her that he’s spilled the beans. He also tells her that, once they get off this island, she is going to have to choose because neither he nor Neal will stop fighting for her. Emma dismisses him; her only focus now is Henry (Jared Gilmore).
Elsewhere on the island, Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Rumpel (Robert Carlyle) wait for Ariel (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) to return with their secret weapon to lock Pan (Robbie Kay) away. Ariel is off to Storybrooke with a magical sand dollar and a mission to find Belle (Emilie de Ravin). Ariel can only surface inside the bounds of Storybrooke because, when Rumpel left, he instructed Belle to perform a cloaking spell on the town to keep outsiders, more of Pan’s minions, from coming in. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to Belle and the townsfolk, two young men managed to enter just under the wire.
Ariel and Belle meet, and, in Belle’s hands, the magic sand dollar becomes a message from Rumpel: she needs to collect the hidden object with “the strength of [their] love.” Ariel is completely baffled, but Belle knows just the thing – she heads straight to Chip (or, in OUAT universe the chipped cup that symbolizes their love). In Belle’s hands, the cup opens a secret compartment and the girls find Pandora’s Box. Belle explains to Ariel that the box contains all evil beings. Just when the two women start celebrating their success, the two men show up with guns. Ariel doesn’t understand why Belle lets them get tied up (she doesn’t know what a gun is), but she does understand that they’ve lost the box to these two men.
Tied up and helpless, Belle and Ariel bond about Ariel’s lost love, Prince Eric and Ariel finds a button she believes is from Eric’s coat in Mr. Gold’s shop. They come up with a plan: Ariel will take her magic bracelet off, causing her fins to turn into legs and setting her free. She then unties Belle and the two race into the mines, where they think the men would go to destroy it because of the magic dwarf pickaxes that can destroy such a powerful box. They arrive to confront the men just in time, and when they ask why they are doing Pan’s bidding, the men tell the truth: Pan has their sister and has been holding her hostage for years. He has kept them from aging so that they will do his bidding in the hopes of one day seeing their sister, Wendy again. That’s right – the boys are the Darlings Michael and John Darling, and the other hostage Pan has kept in a bamboo cage is Wendy Darling. Belle and Ariel manage to convince them not to destroy the box, telling them this is their chance to defeat Pan once and for all. So, when Ariel returns to Never Land with the box, she also comes with a message: she tells Rumpel and Regina to save Wendy. In return for a job well done, Regina keeps her word and gives Ariel the control over the magic bracelet that can give her legs at will. She sends her off to find Eric in Storybrooke.
Pan and his Lost Boys are worried about losing Henry, so they trick him into stumbling upon a “sick” Wendy. They make him think that Wendy is dying and the only way to save her is to save magic, and the only way to save magic is for Henry to follow Pan’s lead all the way to the ominous Skull Rock.
Meanwhile, in the Dark Hollow, Hook, Neal and Emma almost get defeated by an army of shadows, controlled by Pan’s shadow, when Neal and Hook argue over a lighter to light the candle in the coconut (the light will attract Pan’s shadow). Emma manages to use the magic that Regina taught her to light the candle and capture Pan’s shadow in the coconut, but she is less than pleased with the boys’ behavior. She quickly shuts down whatever love-triangle they are trying to ignite: if she has to make a choice, she’ll choose Henry. Neal respects her choice, and says that he will do whatever it takes to save Henry from Pan.
With that settled, the trio return to Tinker Belle’s home to meet up with a still tense Charming (Josh Dallas) and Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin). Snow was freezing Charming out, and she finally exploded, telling him that she would stay there forever as long as they were together. When everyone is reunited, they tell Tink (Rose McIver) that they have a way off the island, and Tinker Bell is ready to infiltrate the Lost Boys’ camp.
Once Upon A Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
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