Or better title, "Spill the Beans!"
Snow White is chased by two of the Queen's guards, and ends up jumping off a cliff high above the water. She's rescued by a mermaid named Ariel—hence the clever title.
Back on Neverland, Regina is trying to train Emma to channel her anger to make magic. Mary Margaret mumbles something about the dark arts. Captain Sexy Eyes (CSE) whispers to David that Neal is alive and on the island. David thinks they should keep this a secret from Emma because Peter Pan might be lying, and they don't want to raise her hopes.
Mary Margaret argues back, “Secrets keep us from the people we care about.”
David rebuts, “But secrets also protect the ones we love.”
And Secret antiperspirant is made for a woman.
Ariel and Snow White talk about true love while sunbathing on the rocks. Ariel gushes about Prince Eric and how she fell in love when she rescued him from a ship wreck a year ago. She empties her sea shell purse and shows Snow White an invitation she found. Prince Eric is having a ball that very night.
Squeals and jumping claps all around.
Ariel plans on meeting him there on two legs. She explains to Snow White that every year at the highest tide, the Sea Queen, Ursula grants mer-folk the ability to walk on dry land until the next high tide...twelve hours. She then asks Snow White to keep her fishtail a secret until Prince Eric has totally fallen for her.
Snow White says her secret is safe.
Yup. She's a great secret keeper. Remember Daniel? The stable boy?
Emma asks what David, CSE and Mary Margaret are up to. Faster than you can say, 'stable boy', Mary Margaret blurts out that Neal is alive and on the island.
Peter Pan spies on Mr. Gold as he tries some hocus pocus in the heart of the jungle.
Let me say it again, the dark scenes are killing me.
Peter Pan says it's impossible to see the future in a place where time stands still. Mr. Gold declares he doesn't need magic to make the future happen. Peter Pan goads over the fact that Mr. Gold has lost his son...twice and now Henry is unattainable. But the only way Peter Pan can die is if Mr. Gold dies. While Mr. Gold cringes under his failures, Peter Pan offers him a way off the island and back to Belle and Storybrooke, but only if he leaves speedy quick.
Regina thinks looking for Neal is a waste of time. With only tracks that show a struggle has happened, Mary Margaret and Emma are ready to follow the dirt trail. Regina mentions that it makes more sense to save Henry first, then get the grown up dude. Mary Margaret uses bizarre logic that Emma owes it to Henry to find his father.
Can't they do that after they save Henry?
Snow White and Ariel arrive in beautiful gowns for the ball.
How? Where did these dressed come from?
Snow White shows Ariel that the little tridents are actually forks. Ariel is amazed and pockets it in her sea shell purse.
I'm only mentioning this because the fork may become an important weapon later on.
Anyway, Prince Eric comes down the stairs, looking fresh faced and ready for love. He smiles at Ariel. She smiles at him. She crosses the floor, and of course she trips. But he takes her in his arms and they start to dance. He thinks she looks familiar. He confesses she is the girl whose face he dreams of every night. After his shipwreck Ursula saved him and showed him a vision of his future, and it was Ariel's face!
Ariel denies this and says Ursula is just a myth.
Isn't this happening way too easy? Especially the dancing. She can't walk across the floor but she does the rumba effortlessly?
He says he is leaving the next day to explore distant lands, and he invites her to accompany him. She's confused because of the whole fish thing. He vows to wait on his balcony for her the next morning—you know, high tide.
The Evil Queen watches the ball through her magic mirror, miffed that Snow White didn't drown, and is in a party dress no less! But that Evil Queen is so smart and so slick, she thought up a diabolic plan and she thought it up quick.
Mr. Gold consults the Belle hologram. She urges him to return to Storybrooke so they can start a family. “Come home to me,” she begs. Regina arrives and starts to magically choke Belle. Mr. Gold tries to fight her off, but Regina's spell reveals that Mr. Gold has been confiding to the dark shadow thing all along.
Emma confesses to Mary Margaret that she and CSE touched tongues. Mary Margaret assures her that Neal will understand. She tells her to hope that Neal is alive because she deserves a happy ending and all happy endings begin with hope.
Do you know who else deserves a happy ending. That's right, Schmexy.
Ariel is struggling with Prince Eric's proposal to travel with his caravan. Snow White urges her to tell him the truth and let him decide. Ariel only has three hours left. She stands at the waters edge and calls out to Ursula for guidance. Out of the water on eight tentacles, rises the Evil Queen (except she's wearing a blond wig and answers to the name Ursula).
Regina suggests that she and Mr. Gold team up to fight Peter Pan and save Henry since the Charmings are useless. Mr. Gold reminds her that his death is the only thing that will defeat Peter Pan. Regina says there must be something they can do, maybe something worse than death? Mr. Gold perks up at this and mentions an artifact in his shop.
Darn! If there was only a way to get back to Storybrooke.
The fake Ursula convinces Ariel that Eric will never want a mermaid as a girlfriend. Then she propositions a way for Ariel to keep her legs and keep her man. Ariel rushes back to Eric's castle. The sun is rising, it's almost high tide! Snow White is waiting for her on the wharf.
It's so convenient the castle edges the ocean.
Anyway, Ariel excitedly tells Snow White she can escape the Evil Queen. She places a cuff bracelet on Snow White. In a plume of green smoke, Snow White's legs have turned into a mermaid tail. Ariel gushes about this latest plot twist. “Isn't it great!” she says. “I keep my legs and you get my tail. Now you can travel to my world and be safe forever.”
The tracks in the dirt lead Emma and the gang to a cave. CSE recognizes it as the Echo Cave, a prison without walls. The only way out is give over your deepest, darkest secret. The cave demands you reveal a truth about yourself, a truth you'd never tell anyone. CSE is convinced Peter Pan put Neal in the cave so that they would all have to dish their dirty laundry in order to save him.
The Evil Queen shows up on Prince Eric's wharf. Snow White struggles to remove the bracelet, but it's permanent. Ariel realizes she was duped. Snow White insists Ariel run to Prince Eric—at least she can have a chance at a happy ending. The Evil Queen starts the choking spell on Snow White. Suddenly, Ariel jumps behind her and thrusts the fork (I knew it!) into her neck.
The distraction works. Ariel quickly removes the cuff from Snow White's wrist, making her legs reappear. Now as a mermaid, Ariel grabs Snow White and dives into the ocean. The Evil Queen stomps her foot on the wharf.
Because what else can she do? There's nothing magical she can do to stop them? Really? Nothing? Fire ball? Shark frenzy? Ice burg?
Emma and the gang enter the Cave of Echoes and peer across a dark, bottomless chasm. Perched on a lone rocky plateau, in his bamboo cage, is Neal. He calls to Emma. Knowing there is no way across, but to tell their secrets, CSE ends the awkward silence by saying his kissed Emma.
Since this is only a secret to David, it's not that ground breaking. However, CSE then tells us that he never thought he'd love again after his Mila died.
Remember her, right? Rumpelstiltskin's wife.
Anyway, CSE's confession of love or 'something kind of like it' for Emma, magically extends a rock bridge a quarter of the way toward Neal.
*cough* love triangle *cough*
Mary Margaret is up next. She says she feels cheated that they missed Emma's childhood. And she wants to have another baby as soon as they get back to Storybrooke.
I'll point out that she didn't mention David necessarily had to be the father.
The rock bridge grows closer to Neal. David goes all gushy, but then he drops the bombshell that since he took the cure for dream shade, he'll die if he ever leaves Neverland. Bridge extends the entire way.
Everyone looks to Emma. She races toward Neal's cage. She tries to smash it open with her sword, but the only way to free Neal is for her to confess her deepest, darkest secret. When she found out he might still be alive she was terrified. As soon as she saw him again in New York, she knew she had never stopped loving him. But loving him and losing him is too painful. She was hoping he was actually dead so she could finally get over him.
The cage opens and they embrace. Now that Neal is free, the plan is to get the co-ordinates off his ceiling star map, get Tinkerbell, rescue Henry, and then get off the island. Except for David, because of the death thing. Emma takes Neal aside and tells him she's still wary of them becoming 'Nemma' again. He totally understands but he's still going to try and win her back. CSE watches from behind the ferns.
Which is easy to do because it's so frickin' dark. All the time. In every scene.
Mary Margaret gives David the cold shoulder since he kept his poisoning from her. She doesn't understand the concept of secret keeping.
*cough* stable boy *cough*
Ariel safely delivers Snow White to a nearby beach in British Columbia, Canada! She encourages her seek out Prince Eric and tell him the truth. Because the truth can set you free.
It can also set up a life long vendetta. See stable boy note above.
However, Ariel takes her advice and rushes back to the Prince's balcony, conveniently overlooking the water. He waits, hoping she'll appear soon. She calls out from the water, but there is silence. She has lost her voice!
The Evil Queen laughs from the wharf, perched on a wooden keg. She took the mermaid's voice on purpose. The only thing worse than telling the Prince and being rejected is never having the chance to find out the truth; never having a chance at a happy ending. Ariel cries...silently and does a full body breech. When the Evil Queen returns triumphantly to her castle, the real Ursula appears and threatens her to never impersonate her again.
Regina and Mr. Gold go to the Neverland beach. She takes the conch shell and sounds the horn across the ocean. Ariel arrives looking really pissed. Since mermaids can travel between realms, she can go to Storybrooke to get the 'special death device' from Mr. Gold's shop. Regina gives her back her voice and tosses her a magical cuff, promising that this time she can have legs and control over them. When Ariel still refuses to help, Regain plays her trump card—just like all the other fairy tale characters, Prince Eric was whisked away to Storybrooke as well.