Once Upon a Time Season 3 Review “Dark Hollow”

Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 7 Dark Hollow (12)

After an eternity in Neverland, we finally traveled back to Storybrooke this week. It sure was nice to get a change of scenery! In Storybrooke, we go back in time and pick up with the departure of Rumplestiltskin and company for Neverland. While the town should be safe since Greg and Tamara’s plan was foiled, it turns out that another threat is hurtling towards our fairy tale darlings: John and Michael Darling, to be exact.

I’m a little fuzzy on how the timing of everything lines up in terms of Ariel being sent to Storybrooke, how much time has passed there, etc. Rather than untangle it, I’m just going to go with it. Before he leaves, Rumple gives Belle a vial of liquid. In order to protect Storybrooke from a second wave of invaders, she uses the potion to cast her first spell. A bubble descends over the town, but is not fast enough to keep out the two newcomers.

Meanwhile, Ariel is dispatched to Storybrooke with a sand dollar intended for Belle. The sand dollar creates a Princess Leia-esque hologram of Rumple that points her in the direction of a weapon that can stop Peter Pan. Ariel is right on the money when she asks Belle, “He’s really into being cryptic, isn’t he?” The weapon turns out to be Pandora’s Box. This is an interesting addition of classical myth to fairy tale lore. It shows that they may not ever run out of potential characters/stories.

Back in Neverland, Neal learns that Hook and Emma have a thing after Hook reveals their kiss. I liked that Hook told him without any hint of malice. This is how it should be considering that Neal’s mother was Hook’s former love. It also speaks to the fact that Hook isn’t really a bad guy – just misunderstood. When Hook tells Emma that he will win her heart because she wants him, what girl could resist that? By the way, if you love Hook and Emma as much as I do, vote for them as best couple on the People’s Choice Awards website.

Emma, Neal and Hook travel to the Dark Hollow, which is inhabited by the victims of Pan’s shadow. The effects of the shadow’s attacking the trio were well done, and it was nice to see Emma save the two guys, rather than them fighting to save her. I’d also like to point out that when the shadows are attacking Hook and Neal, she only shouts out Hook’s name.

Emma manages to use her magic to light a candle and capture Pan’s shadow. There is a hint that she is picking up some of her magic tricks from Regina. It would be very interesting if there were an internal conflict in the future where Emma is tempted by black magic.

It occurred to me while I watched that I feel like the show is improving over its rocky start at the beginning of the season, and I honestly think the reason is that we have seen a lot less Henry. He was back in this episode, but in tolerably short scenes, so it wasn’t too bad. The show is just so much more interesting when dealing with the relationships between the adults.

I like that Ariel will now have the magic bracelet that will let her transform her tale into legs whenever she wants. She didn’t get a chance to reunited with her Prince Eric, so hopefully, we’ll get to see that in the future. It was also good that we got to meet Wendy and her brothers. It’s hard to imagine the Peter Pan story without them.

For some reason, it seems like there was an excessive amount of commercials this week. At one point there was 4 minutes of programming followed by 4 minutes of commercial breaks. That’s ridiculous. Even with a DVR, the persistent interruptions were obnoxious. Maybe I noticed it more because I was enjoying the story. I’d like to hear what others think.

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