'Once Upon a Time' Recap: Dark Hollow Meets Deadly Deal
'Once Upon a Time' Recap: Dark Hollow Meets Deadly Deal
Linda Martindale
Linda Martindale
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Once Upon a Time will include Storybrooke for the first time this season. With Ariel's mission taking place in Maine, we can't forget the declaration of war on Pan in Neverland. This episode appears to start preparing us for an epic battle for the mid-season finale. it's about four weeks away with a hiatus after that -- boo, hiss! ABC, you are not BBCA!

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Five days ago, our misfits left Storybrooke with the sad farewell of Belle and Rumple. I understand their magic. While Belle mourns, the town celebrates the lack of destruction until they learn that the misfits are searching for a kidnapped Henry. After explaining her mission, all leave to set the spell in the mine, only to have Pan's spies arrive as the spell is cast. Pan's goons are there. Wait, I think I know who these Brit are -- the Darling boys! Is Wendy in that second cage?

On shore, the miners are eating when Grumpy sees Ariel return. They go to the diner where Belle and Artie are. Belle gets Ariel some clothes, and Ariel gives her the sand dollar from Rumple. They go to the shop, where they hunt for the clue which is Rumpbelle's tea cup in the cabinet. It reveals the key to the hiding place of Pandora's Box. Pan's goons arrive with guns. After tying the ladies up, the goons ask why Pan doesn't want Rumple to have it. They let it slip that Owen and Tamara were patsies,  then take off with the box.

Belle and Ariel are still in the shop tied together with Belle feeling sorry that she wasn't the hero. Ariel mentions what the bracelet does. Belle tells her to take it off and the mermaid tail appears. They get free and head to find the boys.

Ariel and Belle go to the cave and the boys tell them if they don't get the box to Pan, someone they love will die. Belle releases the miner's car and defeats the boys learning the story. Wendy has been Pan's captive for a long time and they have been kept alive to do his bidding. Belle tells them that by getting the box to Rumple, Pan will be defeated and their sister saved. And I'm right, folks. Their sister is Wendy Darling.

On the shore, Ariel prepares to leave with the box and a message of Belle's love for Rumple.


As Ariel leaves, Rumple warns her of the cloaking spell and to give Belle a sand dollar. Pan sense Ariel's departure, which worries Felix. Pan knows his goons are in Storybrooke. Henry must be prepared. I ask: to be what -- a sacrifice?

Neal is talking about their next move, which is to catch a shadow. The group will split up with Charming and Snow searching for Tink. Hook, Neal and Emma will be on shadow patrol. Pan, meanwhile, tries to get Henry to go for a walk. Henry refuses, calling Pan a liar. As Henry leaves, Pan says, what do you expect from his lineage?

Hook, Emma and Neal go to Dark Hollow, the darkest spot on the island, to get the shadow. I'm getting a feeling of Harry Potter here, folks. As the three leave, we have Snow and Charming fighting over his secret. He tried to protect her and she tells him she would never leave him. So what else is new?

Emma, Neal and Hook make it to the cave and they can't get the candle to light. As the guys play macho man, the shadows arrive and capture both Neal and Hook. I still say these shadows are familiar, folks. Emma, under attack, summons fire and lights the candle, freeing Neal and Hook. Neal takes the lantern and captures the shadow. After the declarations of love (especially from Hook), Emma makes an announcement. She has one concern: to save Henry. Neal realizes that Regina is teaching Emma magic and isn't happy. Also, Hook hasn't given up on winning Emma. I'm team Captain Swan all the way, folks.

Henry, meanwhile, has found a sick Wendy in bed in the tree house. He finds out that she is ill due to the island magic fading. Wendy tells him to leave the island and that she knew his father who saved her brothers. Henry promises to come back for her and leaves. Pan comes out of the shadows and congratulates Wendy on her lies. She feels guilty, but he tells her that she has provided motivation to get Henry to do what Pan wants.

In the jungle, Pan stops Henry. Pan tells him that only the heart of the true believer can save all on the island. Henry asks how, and Pan shows him Skull Rock where salvation for all awaits. Henry must go there and, by heroism and sacrifice, save the island's magic. See, I told you that Pan planned Henry's death!

Regina and Rumple are talking about Ariel when Regina realizes that Rumple really loves Belle. Ariel arrives with the box and Regina makes the bracelet so that Ariel can walk or have fins. Ariel is to return to Storybrooke, but she asks them to save Wendy before she goes. Rumple asks Ariel to tell Belle that he loves her and will see her again.

Tink meets up with Charming and Snow and they tell her that they've gone after Pan's shadow. The rest arrive with the shadow, and Tink and Neal have a happy reunion. Tink now has a vital part to play. Neal admits that they should focus on Henry.

Next week, Pan declares to all that Henry will save magic, while the rest step up their war. The only way to do it is believe. And Regina and Emma combine strengths again, but does it cost Regina her heart?

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)