Photos: Once Upon a Time's Ariel Makes a Splash

Warning: You’re about to get an earworm, for that song about how things are “so much better” under the sea and all.

This Sunday, ABC’s Once Upon a Time will spin a fishy tale, as JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Reba) makes her debut as Ariel — and we’ve rounded up some mighty “fin” photos of that little mermaid.

RELATED | Once Upon a Time‘s Colin O’Donoghue Ponders Hook/Neal Face-Off

In the Fairytale Land that was, when Ariel saves bandit Snow from drowning, Snow returns the favor by helping her new friend get acquainted with Prince Eric, played by Gil McKinney. (Based on the promos, expect a familiar-looking Ursula to throw cold water on that happy ending.)

Meanwhile in Neverland, Regina — who famously once had a run-in with “a certain mermaid” — begrudgingly teams up with Rumple to find a way to take down Pan.

Want more scoop on Once, or for any other show? Email and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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  1. wordsmith says:

    I get that they don’t really want or need to add a new villain, but having Regina as Ursula just feels like a bit of a cheat. Hopefully they’ll find a way to make it work.

    • Jerry says:

      Agreed. I’m not a fan of Regina being Ursula.

    • Mikael says:

      I was hoping for a new villain, but Lana plays evil so well that I’m not that mad. And with her trying to be good in present day, I will enjoy seeing evil Regina again. And at least they’re giving her the white hair and tentacles (as bad as the CGI is)

  2. Maki says:

    You didn’t write the full synopsis. ;) It is also.mentioned that Emma Hook and The Charmings go to save Neal. So Hook did the right thing. #CaptainSwan

    Ariel looks neat I’m interested where she fits into the whole story.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Yeah, I felt that part was too spoilery/I don’t always agree with what is revealed in synopses. But boom, there it is, everybody!

      • Maki says:

        Ohh Matt nothing is too Spoilery for TvLine readers! ;)

      • the girl says:

        I actually agree with you Matt, I liked feeling like maybe Hook would have kept that info to himself. That’s part of what makes his character work, the whole struggle with the do good vs be bad. Ah well, no harm done.

    • JC says:

      Good – I was hoping he would. Really it would be stupid for him not to, “right thing to do” or not, because Emma was bound to find out eventually and then he really would have ruined any chance he might have had with her.

  3. courts says:

    Honestly, I’m not really all that excited. I know Ariel is a favourite but there’s nothing really about this that seems fresh or interesting

    • Josh says:

      Shouldn’t you maybe watch it before deciding that?

      • courts says:

        OUAT doesn’t have very many surprises, they telegraph everything so unless the storyline isn’t “Snow helps Ariel find her prince” I’m not really excited.

    • Christina says:

      I was really hoping they’d incorporate her into Neverland. Now this just seems like a way to have the flashback be relevant.
      IMO, they need to stop with the flashbacks. I like the FTL/pre-curse versions of most of the characters better, which doesn’t speak well for their choices of character development at all. Whatever they’ve turned Snow and Charming into is a serious train wreck. I started watching the show for them, and now it just pains me to watch them on screen.

  4. Terrance says:

    I’m annoyed they decided to make Regina into Ursula. Ugh.

  5. Lauren says:

    The casting for Ariel is so perfect!!!! Excited to meet her!

  6. Choco says:

    She really looks like the movie version of Ariel. Good casting. Not loving this season but maybe Ariel can improve things.

  7. Z says:

    So pyched for Regina/Lana as Ursula. The cast is too big as it is, I don’t need more additions. And Lana always wanted to do the role so hooray – especially if Rumple could be the beast AND the crocodile, essentially three different fairy tale connections overall.

    Can’t wait. Also, Ariel looks very pretty.

  8. TL says:


  9. Why did they spoil that Regina is Ursala in the promos??

    • Sara Arnoldi says:

      exactly :they are spoiling too much stuff, the kiss last week, now Regina/Ursula..!!

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        IMO it’s to drive viewership/drum up buzz/ward off any waning numbers. “Look, kiss!” “Look, we’re giving you Ursula — with tentacles!” From my conversations with the EPs, they seem to be in same boat as, say, Shonda — no hand in editing the promos, unlike, say, NCIS.

  10. ashly says:

    Her hair should be more red.

  11. Alice says:

    Wow- she’s perfect.

  12. rachelle says:

    I’m fine with Regina being Ursula as well. 1) Kitsis and Horowitz can interpret the stories however they want. Disney didn’t make these stories up; they took stories that were already in existence and added their own twist to it. Why can’t Once do the same? It’s their show, they can do whatever they want. I wish people would understand that before they start complaining. 2) Like other people have said, the cast is already huge. We don’t necessarily need more characters. Plus Lana Parilla is killer as an actress and as a villain. Why the heck would I want someone else to play such a great villain?? Lana’s the woman for the job! As far as I’m concerned, the writers can turn Rob Carlyle and Lana into as many different villains as they want. Both of them are so amazing and multi-dimensional.

  13. Steve F. says:

    Three words: Where’s the fork?

  14. Babygate says:

    Joanna is adorable. I’ve been waiting for this episode to air…

  15. 777 says:

    So it’s ok when Rumple is the beast, the crocodile AND the fairy godmother (Cinderella) but it’s not ok for Regina to play Ursula? I don’t get all the negative comments about it.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      People would rather a new actress be cast as Ursula, so that undoubtedly she can be criticized for not being up to snuff/a casting fail/etc; as the Internet giddily does what it does.

    • betty says:

      Its not so much that I don’t like Regina as Ursula as I hate the way she looks as Ursula. It looks ridiculous. They should of given her a better costume to wear.

    • Cass says:

      a) The CGI is horrific. b) Traditionally Ursula is…a woman of substance, something we rarely see on TV (except as comic relief) so I think some people were looking forward to that. I think it’s great that Lana gets to play the role since she keeps saying she always wanted to.