Despite being kind of Hook centric, I actually really enjoyed this episode! It felt nice to have that fairytale feeling back similar to the Ariel episode, with many references to the movie throughout including Ursula singing Fathoms Below (the opening song) & the Ariel's song motif being used throughout for Ursula. I'll admit, I was confused at the start with Ursula being a kind mermaid & I thought her reason for being evil was going to be falling for Hook only for him to leave her, but the real reason (Hook taking her voice/the only thing she has left of her mother away & being sick of her father controlling her) made it more plausible along with the fact that this Ursula & the sea goddess Ursula from season 3 being 2 different entities made her 'retcon' more plausible. The pacing was also nicely done & surprisingly fast in terms of plot progression similar to season 3 along with each character contributing something, including Will managing to give Hook a potion from Wonderland to bring the Jolly Roger back to size. Another part I liked was seeing Ariel again along with mentions of Elsa & Blackbeard & I was genuinely surprised by the continuity throughout including the Jolly Roger situation, Ursula the sea goddess & August mentioning the Dragon to try & get Rumple away. August was also fully used to his advantage which I also very much enjoyed & I love seeing Regina taking her undercover seriously along with her very interesting dream involving Robin & her Evil Queen self. Even seeing Emma indulge in a bit of her dark side because of Rumple was interesting to see & I can't wait to see this be taken further in the next few episodes. And Rumple, while clearly being on the dark side & taking things the wrong way to get his happiness, still managed to keep me entertained throughout! And the twist with the author being trapped inside the book was very very interesting & I didn't see it coming at all, so I can't wait to see them explore more about how they'll go with freeing him/her!
If I had a problem (besides CaptainSwan as always), it'd be they took the whole beginning plot of The Little Mermaid & changed it around for Ursula instead of Ariel & Poseidon taking on Triton's role as the overprotective father & the fact Ursula is leaving so early despite being a Queen of Darkness, but it could've been handled much worse & the acting from both Merrin Dungey & Ernie Hudson was excellent & it was nice to see Poseidon be given his own character arc despite only being in this episode!
Overall, this is much better than I thought it was going to be with a nice tone, fast pace, great visuals & acting along with some more great characters returning & nice plot progression!
Nice to see you again Smee!
Hmm, her singing really is beautiful...and never thought we'd see Neverland again!
Wait, Ursula was a mermaid?!
Hi Winston from Ghostbusters! Hmm, maybe they should've called him when they had the problem with Cora's ghost...
Leave August alone!
Kinda scary Regina possessed Mary Margaret...
Well, at least she knew sooner than later that Rumple's back!
Well, nice to know his retconned Pinocchio memories are also intact!
Hmm, I wonder what he took from Ursula that can give her her happy ending...
Is it just me or does she look like her Vanessa disguise in the movie with that dress? And oh my God, she's singing Fathoms Below from the movie!
Nice continuity with the bracelets that give merfolk legs from season 3!
Wait, I thought Blackbeard now owned the Jolly Roger!
Bit extreme of him to enchant something to take away the only piece of her mother!
Hmm, not so sure squid ink will help since it's only temporary!
Nice for Will to finally contribute something to the plot besides being Belle's unnecessary new love interest!
Nice to see you again...Robin?!
Oh, it's just a nightmare...
Bit odd for them to gag August while they want information out of him!
No, no! Please don't turn him back into wood & make his return pointless, please please please!
Ugh, not again!
Bit odd for Emma to actually want to kill Rumple...
Ooh, that giggle actually make my spine tingle!
Wait, the door is in Storybrooke?!
Well, at least Hook has somewhere he can properly live now that he has his ship back!
Hmm, you know, maybe another reason why he probably didn't take that deal other than his code is cos Bae told him about Rumple's dagger!
I knew a part of his selfish self was still inside him!
Nice to see you again Ariel! And interesting to hear Elsa was the one who put the ship in the bottle...
Haha! Nice Tangled reference!
AWW! So nice to see them reunited!
Oi! Leave Mary Margaret alone!
AH! So Ursula here is named after the sea goddess Ursula from season 3! Makes much more sense now!
Pretty weird seeing Poseidon in Storybrooke!
Well, at least they haven't caught on that Regina's actually the mole!
So Emma's the key to giving people happy endings as she's the saviour & Rumple wants to corrupt her...seems forcing the author to rewrite their endings isn't as simple as it seemed!
Wait, Regina doesn't have Robin's phone number?!
Wait, the author is IN the book?! Very interesting lead!