Things just got a lot better under the sea, with the casting of JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Once Upon a Time‘s Ariel.
An ABC rep confirms for TVLine that the Reba/Privileged alum will play the mermaid with moxie in at least two episodes, starting with the sixth installment of Season 3. TV Guide Magazine first reported on the casting.
Although Ariel’s appearance on the show — and often with Swisher’s name loosely attached — has been rumored since Season 1, the character’s Season 3 debut was confirmed at last month’s Comic-Con, in a teaser reel that showed a mysterious being sneaking up on a dwarf, stealing the fork (!) out of his lunchbox and vanishing into the ocean. Then, with the flick of a glistening fin, the redhead revealed herself and swam away.
Yet despite the context of the teaser (a la the previous Comic-Con’s misleading glimpse of Captain Hook), Ariel will not surface in Storybrooke but in another realm.
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Once opens Season 3 on Sunday, Sept. 29.