Once Upon A Time is known for its strong female characters and that is fervently apparent in this week’s episode, Dark Hollow. New addition Ariel swims us back to Storybrooke, which is a nice change of pace from Neverland. No offense to Neverland, it’s a playfully sinister setting, but it’s just not “home.”
According to a flashback it’s only been five days since Emma’s group left Storybrooke to rescue Henry. Geez, has it only been five days? Feels like weeks! Probably feels a lot longer to a teary-eyed Belle who was forced to say her last goodbyes to lover, Rumpelstiltskin. All Belle wants to do is help Rumple, but instead she’s left behind feeling useless.
Belle stayed behind to cast a cloaking spell on the town, only the dangerous people she’s supposed to keep out make it in at the last moment. She laments her helpless situation as she no doubt worries about her lover in Neverland. She doesn’t have to lament for long, the moment Ariel arrives in Storybrooke Belle leaps into action, thrilled to have a mini mission and to finally, at long last, help Rumple. Here’s her chance to be a hero, something Belle has wanted since she first came to live with Rumple long ago.
Together, Belle and Ariel sweep Mr. Gold’s shop searching for the answer to his riddle, which eventually leads them to the find of the season: Pandora’s Box. Finding it was the easy part, stealing it back from the rogues who tied them up at gun point proved more challenging. Ariel and Belle make such an adorable team, both are optimistic innocence personified (it’s the buoyantly cute patrol). Neither one of them seems to have a mean bone in their body, somehow they see the good in everybody. Which is probably how they were able to save Pandora’s Box and practically befriend the guys who stole it.
The rogues Peter Pan sent to do his bidding are none other than indentured servants known as the Darling brothers; they’re on a mission to save their sister Wendy and for her they’ll do anything Pan asks. Kudos to the OUAT writers for cleverly bringing a part of Neal’s past back into play.
Back in Neverland, things heat up between the awkward threesome of Emma, Neal and Hook. I doubt Emma will be won over by either of these guys if they keep up the pointless immature fights. The best way to win Emma’s heart is to help her save Henry, he’s the number one man in her life right now. Hook has made it very clear he’ll make a play for Emma once Henry is safely in his mother’s arms (cannot wait to see that!). I love this new version of Hook, he’s shed his villain status and turned over a new, amorous, leaf. Move over Neal there’s some new competition in town.
I’ve never been a fan of Charming, but I am beginning to sympathize with the guy. Snow is overreacting and losing her focus on the mission which is exactly why Charming kept his secret for so long. I see Snow’s point, but she’s beaten it to death. Time to grow up, and spend whatever precious time they have together wisely. They’re squabbling like teenagers and neither one is handling the situation well. It just goes to prove that even the most optimistic couples have problems.
Dark Hollow was a good episode, but not the most action packed. It feels like this week was all about laying groundwork for what comes next. And what comes next could be huge considering the introduction of Pandora’s Box.
Aurora Snow Says: