Once Upon a Time Recap: Fun GNO Gets Short Shrift as Ariel Meets Jasmine

This week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, as Hook’s struggle to return to Emma got hijacked by a Jasmine/Aladdin tale, a boozy Girls Night Out in Storybrooke stole the show, albeit with precious little screen time.

After looping in David on Hook killing his father (and then seemingly jilting her), Emma sought to busy herself by at long last digitizing the sheriff’s office’s files :-/  Regina, thankfully, offered to save her from that blatant escape from her woes with the prospect of 2-for-1 drink specials at the new local watering hole, Aesop’s Tables. Emma begs off at first, forcing Regina and Snow (who with a newborn and a sleeping curse back home needs to tie one, if only one, on) to trick Emma into joining them.

Pardon my crude screen shot, but this moment was everything.

There, Regina (and her sexxxy bar hair) urges Emma to open up about her hurt, but Miss Swan erects her walls anew. Snow meanwhile provides entertainment by taunting some freeloading Vikings, then challenging them to a dangerous version of darts. As evidenced later on, Snow not only handily won that wager, she also robbed the helmet right off one of the brutes. Emma opens up to “mixologist” Aesop, commiserating over their loves lost, enough so to dab her tears with a cocktail napkin. Alas, she will later realize — just as her “shell phone” call from Hook is cut short — that Aesop is in fact Gideon. And with a Savior’s tears now in hand, he — apparently — can keep her OTL from returning home, unless she earns his gratitude by doing what he never could, slaying The Black Fairy.

Sadly, the time it took you to read the above is about all that was afforded the B-story on screen — when, as I tweeted, it could have supported an entire “bottle” episode, where Emma and the two female VIP s in her life discuss life, love and loss. And beat up welching warriors. Instead, Hook’s unplanned voyage with Captain Nemo was waylaid at first by a kraken, and then by the adventures of long-MIA Jasmine and Aladdin, for whom we could have used much more of a “Previously On…” refresher. Especially since I doubt anyone has been vested in their tale, let alone the non-existent chemistry.

Simply said: “Back in the day,” Jasmine sought to avoid marrying Jafar by hitching her wagon to the idea that new friend Ariel’s prince, Eric, could use his navy to fend off the sorcerer. Instead, the “Eric” they ladies found was Jafar in disguise. He dispatched Ariel back to the sea before not destroying Agrabah but taking it “beyond humankind’s grasp” — meaning, we later realize, he entrapped the entire kingdom inside Jasmine’s crown jewel ring.

In the present: Jasmine uses a wish from the magic lamp to save herself, Hook, Aladdin, Nemo and his crew from the sinking Nautilus. Transported to a nearby (snowy) island, they bump into Ariel, who luckily once pinched some of the magic powder Jafar uses to turn adversaries into walking sticks. Tooooo-long story short, Jasmine eventually uses said powder to immortalize Jafar himself, before returning Agrabah to glory with the magic that can break any curse — True Love’s Kiss, from Aladdin. Afterward, Ariel realizes she has a “shell phone” Hook can use to get word back to Emma that he never meant to leave her — which he is able to do, before Gideon makes his latest move against the Savior.

What did you think of the episode “A Wondrous Place”?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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52 Comments
  1. S says:

    More drunk!Snow and girl’s night. Less everything else that is just a rehash of the same failing story lines.

    • Fabrizia says:

      They actually contradict earlier storylines. In 3×17 “The Jolly Roger” we saw Hook betray Ariel (denying her her chance to find Eric and leaving him to starve to death on a deserted island) yet she greeted him like an old friend because evryone must love Killiam the handsome serial killer.
      In the same episode Emma used magic to see in a mirror that Ariel and Eric had reunited, yet she doesn’t appear to have in the present (unless they live in that cabin instead of his giant palace for some reason).

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Ariel stated that Eric lives there too, he was just out.

      • Emily says:

        Episode 4×16, Ariel saves Hook’s life after he is knocked unconscious and thrown overboard by Ursula. She slaps him and says she had to rescue Blackbeard in order to find Eric (on Hangman’s Island). They either come to a truce or she forgives him (my choice) because she then helps him locate Poseidon so Hook can reunite Ursula with her father. Ya know, Hook tries to right his past wrong and brings about Ursula’s chance at her happy ending.
        So yeah, more to do with Ariel’s capacity to forgive and help than Hook being handsome.

  2. JenE says:

    I am so pissed!! We were promised a Captain Swan adventure but instead they are separated. Again!! And what the heck is with Emma just thinking Killian would up and leave her without a fight? Has she not been paying attention the last three seasons? The man frelling DIED for her for crying out loud!! And NO we do NOT need any more Regina and Emma scenes. We have already been subjected to three episodes of The Forced Adventures of Emma and Regina (which were Boring!). They don’t need more time together, If only Emma and Killian as much screentime this season as Emma and Regina, I would be soo happy, Hell even if they had as much screentime together as Regina and herself. I hope after all this they will give us a beautiful and epic reunion and reproposal because we need it. Tired of this crap.

    • S says:

      Lol…….. No one tell her that Snowing and Emma/Regina centric episodes tend to have higher ratings than all other episodes.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I don’t mind them having separate adventures temporarily, but Emma’s woe-is-me thing is really out of character for her. Ever since the Wish Realm (or earlier) she hasn’t been written as the Emma I know and love.

      • 221bsam says:

        Ok so, I can REALLY relate to Emma, my past is not as crappy as hers but her survival instincts, I have them too. I would totally do the same thing, get his stuff out of her sight, it’s a coping mechanism, I thought when we saw the promo of her holding the ring she was going to a locator spell but I guess she didn’t need to given that Leroy said he saw him at the docks.
        Once you let someone in, you change, even if you don’t want to, I don’t see this as out of character at all, it was her way of surviving, believe me, I get it.

      • Fabrizia says:

        She did the exact opposite of that until the very end when she shead a few somber tears about the loss of her great love. Hardly woe is me.Girl’s as stoic as always.

        • ninergrl6 says:

          I meant more of her depression than her literal tears. I don’t feel like Emma would have accepted Hook leaving so easily; she would have considered other reasons why he was gone (rather than taking someone’s word for it) and had more determination to make things right. She skipped over denial/anger/bargaining and went right into depression/acceptance.

  3. Amy says:

    I really miss when Emma had actual screen time and a story. And I totally agree Jasmine and Aladdin have zero chemistry…I would have been happy with just Ariel

    • Fabrizia says:

      They had to solve their storylines since they were introduced as a big draw last fall, and this was the mandatory Hook episode, after we got David’s, Rumple’s and Regina’s in the last few weeks.

  4. A. D. says:

    Great Episode!

  5. 221bsam says:

    Um yeah so I LOVE Killian, I think he’s the best character Once has but, murder is still murder, I’m trying to do the maths on this, it would’ve been just over fifty years ago right? (actual age + cursed/coma time) I didn’t like the way that got swept under the rug, I hope that gets brought up again. I actually want to see Emma stand by Killian but Charming be a bit of an arse about it, it was his Father. I get that he’s going to be family but I don’t think I could forgive murder that easily, perhaps I need to be a fairytale character…
    I too love CaptainSwan but I don’t mind them separated again actually & I’m really looking forward to seeing Neverland again & we know it will all work out in the end…

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I’m looking forward to seeing Neverland again too. I like Hook having something to DO besides follow the “heroes” around. I’m confident CaptainSwan will be reunited soon enough.

      • 221bsam says:

        Agreed, aside from drinking rum & maintenance on his ship? what is it that Killian does all day? I like seeing him on the sea again actually, even if it’s against his will & we all know, abscence makes the heart grow fonder.

  6. Amber Leigh says:

    Emma sure gives up on Hook fast! “Oh we had one semi fight and he’s been gone less than 24 hours. WELP time to pack up all his stuff and bury it in the back of the shed.” WOW, some romance. What about fighting for love Emma? Ugh. On the flip side, I have waited FOREVER for them to finally introduce Aladdin and Jasmine on this show and like all the other guest characters they introduce onto the show, they ended up being grossly underused, misused, and then written off in a sloppy quick rush of a episode. Jasmine was very enjoyable in her time on the show and I love how they gave her this heroes ending. That WAS done well. But Aladdin was a total jerk from start to finish. And a coward to boot. Where was that charming street rat? He was just a rat! I hate to admit it but others are right, the chemistry was not there for them at all. Maybe if they had actually given them an actual story arch that gave them time to develop some rather then just have the show TELL you “by the way that are in love.” Darn it show! SHOW, don’t TELL!

    • ninergrl6 says:

      So agree. Jasmine/Aladdin could have had an entire half season arc. Too much story, not enough screen time. If these “new” characters are going to get such short shrift, don’t bring them on at all.

  7. fernando933 says:

    Gosh this show needs to wrap up this show and not get renew, it’s nothing but a bore. I’m over it. Both this and scandal have lost it

  8. Ana says:

    I can’t believe that the folks at Disney have let this show go on this long. The storytelling at this point is non existent.

  9. ninergrl6 says:

    “Son of a fish” better be on the QOTW list 😂 Joanna Garcia Swisher is the PERFECT Ariel.

    I really enjoy OUAT as long as I forget that it doesn’t make sense. This ep had A LOT going on, yet the main plot/conflict with Gideon got all of 1 minute at the very end. I wish the Jasmine/Aladdin storyline had been spread out over more episodes. That was a lot to unpack all at once; their situation would have felt more meaningful with more time to care. I love the idea of weaving Ariel’s story into Jasmine’s and Hook’s. The moment where they were reunited in Ariel’s cabin (complete with dinglehopper boobytrap!) was cute. But there was so much more that I wanted to see! Ariel/Eric, Hook/Liam2, Jasmine/Ariel, Aesop’s Table (great name!), Emma/Snow (particularly tipsy Snow). On that note, Emma gave up on Hook awfully quickly, like “He’s gone, time to pack up.” I know it’s her way of coping but really, would he leave all of his things behind if he never intended to return? Wouldn’t Emma even *consider* another reason for his absence? There’s just not a lot of logic. And souldn’t Gideon have gone after her immediately? I understand the Aesop trick (though I really want Aesop to actually be in Storybrooke) to get her tears, but that was awfully involved. He got Hook out of the way and then set up an elaborate ruse? Not buying it.

  10. TJ Malana says:

    It was a terrible episode. It was so anticlimactic and Jafar was defeated way too easily. They made Jafar seem so badass only for him to just disappear like that. Who else thought this was a terrible and anticlimactic episode?

    • Andrew says:

      @ TJ Malana – Me! This was one of the WORST episodes they’ve ever done.

      I like Hook for the most part, but Colin O’Donoghue’s acting this episode was AWFUL. Too melodramatic.

      The worst part was that most of the events in the episode didn’t even propel the main storyline (Gideon killing Emma) forward. Too much time was wasted on Jasmine/Aladdin/Ariel—characters I couldn’t care less about anymore.

      To add insult to injury, they end the episode with Hook and Emma talking into “shell phones,” which was just ridiculous.

      Honestly, I would’ve preferred more “Girls Night” scenes over all the nonsense with Agrabah.

      It was just pure GARBAGE. I’m really hoping next week is much, much better than this.

      • Fabrizia says:

        Hook kept shouting off and ranting like a maniac to Captain Nemo like he was his employer when he was merely a guest. He doesn’t seem to care much for his brother whom he made an orphan when he killed their father.

        • ninergrl6 says:

          Yeah I expected more brother stuff — at least one conversation! Instead Hook seemed to talk with everyone *but* Liam. And what about the rest of Nemo’s crew? Did they go down with the ship?

    • Fabrizia says:

      I don’t understand how Jafar was even turned. The glass bottle didn’t breake but then she kind of pinched him?! And I think the Nautilus sank and the rest of the crew drowned which isn’t nice.

  11. Trogdor777 says:

    Wacked….totally wacked!! Too many eggs in the basket. They stopped telling cohesive stories a while ago. To all who are missing ‘old school Emma’ so am I!! They rushed soooo many stories over the years, that could have been done with a nice slow build….I guess ‘organically’ is the hot word now. They tossed 2 storylines in each season and now they’re tapped. Oh look, Never land….into Oz/ ….oh look Frozen into Villians Vs. Heroes. Dark swan/into Haites hell… These all could have been handled per season, slowly, and properly. Do they even story board on ‘Once’?! Even the casting seems rushed (spot on about the ‘no chemistry’ Aladdin and Jasmine) Aladdin is a classic!! It could have been honored so well by this show….it’s a one off B story nobody friggin remembers or cares about. That being said, Colin looked great, and cheers to more girls nights! Haha I want that viking helmet!!

  12. Jesse says:

    Ariel’s cabin seemed very Jacob’s cabin from Lost.

  13. Ram510 says:

    I feel like this backstory of Aladdin should’ve been shown way back in the beginning. Solid episode tho

  14. 221bsam says:

    Can I just say how much I love seeing Oded Fehr on TV again, he is such a charismatic actor, I’m such a fan & yet you hardly see him. It’s a real shame, he was going to be in a Marvel show & that got canned, he just can’t catch a break & now it looks as if that was all we’ll see of Jafar, what a pity…

  15. kate says:

    Anybody else, like three episodes ago when Gideon revealed his plan, raise their hand and say, dude, if you just went and told Emma this whole story which, absent the magic element and the outright abuse, is very similar to her own tale and that if she discovered a person to really fault for everything that went on in her early life, she’d have focused on him or her too. I mean, she might be on the distracting kick of trying to find another way to vanquish her or whatever, but, she’d be all on board with Gideon’s plans.

  16. Boiler says:

    Joanna Garcia on OUAT makes the show better!!

  17. Brandon says:

    “Regina, thankfully, offered to save her from that blatant escape from her woes with the prospect of 2-for-1 drink specials at the new local watering hole, Aesop’s Tables.” Truly the best part of the episode was the Girls Night Out scenes. The rest of it was alright. It is nice they are trying to mix up the screen time and plot but it all kind of felt like filler. It wasn’t that entertaining. I would have far more enjoyed more girls night out and some real talk and more fun between Snow, Regina and Emma.

  18. Michael says:

    Emma has had no storyline this season. She is just a foil for Hook. It’s a shame the show’s creators could not do better. This show has no direction. Emma, Snow, Charming, Henry, Belle and Zelena have all been pushed to the far background. It’s the Regina and Hook show.

  19. Pat says:

    I usually stay mute when I feel that one of the shows that I am watching, for me wasn’t that good. This past Sunday night’s episode was really bad and extremely boring for me and I just could not believe that I sat through it when I really wanted to turn it off halfway through it. I am not sure, what has happened to this show but I see the writing on the wall for a cancellation. I just hope that they wrap up the present day character’s in Storybrook and not show me anymore magical carpet rides.

  20. Amelia says:

    I fast forwarded everything without Emma, Regina, or the Charmings onscreen. Took me less than 10 mins to watch the whole episode. It’s sad the producers don’t realize/care about the core characters that most of us still love. Too much emphasis on Hook and side characters the past few seasons have sunk, what could have been, and what once was, an interesting, magical, show. :-(

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I think it’s a lack of consistency across the board. Things are jumbled up, particularly without the half season arc structure. It’s like they have too many ideas but no through line, or a very weak one. I was fairly content through 5A, but IMO they botched the Hades storyline and ever since the show has been a disorganized mess.

      • Amelia says:

        They pretty much screwed the pooch with the whole Robin/Regina/Marion/Zelena debacle. I never liked this Robin but good god that arc was painful to watch. But, I get your point. We all have that arc on Once I suppose where we shake our head and ask ourselves why we’re still watching. My answer is Regina. That’s it, basically. Lol

  21. Casey says:

    I loved this episode. As a 90’s kid, seeing Ariel and Jasmine together was great. And while I would have liked to see Emma and Hook have more screen time together, I am glad they are giving Hook more to do then just follow Emma around, as others have said. It’s funny to me to see so many people complaining about this story being a waste and not moving the plot forward, or being filler- that’s how I’ve felt every Dorothy, Mulan, Red, Zelena, Merida centric episode, a waste of time that I mostly fast forwarded through and wondered why Once was wasting my time with filler. This episode felt much more relevant to the main plot for me, they were bringing back fan favorite Ariel and tying up lose ends from earlier this season with Jasmine/Aladdin and nemo/Liam. Seems like they were answering the people who were wondering what happened to all the land of untold stories characters from the beginning of the season.

  22. Munimula says:

    Hook calling Emma on the shell phone!