[OUAT] Recap • 615 A Wondrous Place

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By Justin Kirkland Entertainment Weekly

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Once Upon a Time has always been a fairy tale slash fic-er’s dream come true, but the girl power that emanates from the partnership of Jasmine and Ariel is something extra special.

While Emma’s dealing with the fallout of feeling abandoned by Hook, not knowing that her beau is doing his darnedest to get back to her, Jasmine turns her old fish-outta-water gal pal to try and rescue Agrabah at long last. And when all else fails, she’ll have to find the heroine within herself to finally go toe to toe with Jafar without any genie wish assistance.

Let’s walk (er, swim?) through this week’s new installment of OUAT.

The episode begins with Emma filling in her dear old dad on what happened with Hook. David’s not thrilled to hear that it was his possible future son-in-law who killed his father years before, but he’s even more incensed to learn that the man also abandoned his daughter as soon as the tides turned into rough waters. He agrees to sacrifice his waking turn to Snow so that she and Regina can take Ms. Swan for a much-needed commiseration round at the bar — their current heartaches are distinct, but each unenviable, so these ladies have a lot in common right now.

Emma tries to resist the booze brigade, but they trick her into hitting the tavern by calling in a fake fight. And to think, they didn’t even need magic to make this night happen!

Thanks to a round of Viking knife darts and a conversational fable from Aesop at the bar, Emma’s finally ready to let her guard down and shed a tear for the decimation of Hook’s image. He was supposed to be the guy who would never leave, and yet… as far as she knows, that’s exactly what he’s done. Gulp.

What’s really going on, though, is that Gideon has trapped Hook in the Nautilus with Nemo and his crew by using their last drop of Kraken’s blood, which means they’ve either got to resign themselves to this other realm they’ve been forcibly portaled into or go find themselves a new Kraken to siphon some of that magic juice from.

It’s a lucky coincidence that Hook’s out hunting for the sea beast because if he weren’t, Jasmine and Aladdin could be completely out of luck once they accidentally happen upon one. See, the two set out in search of Agrabah, using one of her wishes to portal there, but they’re not taken to her old home. Instead, they wake up in the Enchanted Forest — where the Prince of Thieves is losing his mind over the cold because he’s really more of a desert guy. [Picture an image of Abu wagging his finger in shame here.]

Using the wish not only didn’t get them where they wanted to be, but she’s woken up with a ring in her pocket that only reminds her of her epic failure to her people. That bauble, she reveals, was the crown jewel of Agrabah, and, after attempting to outrun his deadline to accept his engagement or see her city destroyed, she handed it over to Jafar and agreed to marry him. But Jafar, being the evil sorcerer he is/was, wasn’t really after her hand but what was on her hand. The ring was his ultimate prize all the while, so he evaporated the city anyway and left her homeless and jilted. And here we thought getting ditched at the altar was a bride-to-be’s worst possible insult.

The one positive thing that came of that past experience was common ground with Ariel, who was in pursuit of her own prince, Eric, when she turned up in Agrabah. Jasmine, ever the sly market wanderer, saw her in a tussle with a vendor who nabbed her magic necklace and turned her legs into fins. Jasmine stepped in and saved her from exposure (and, presumably, having to flop her way through the desert to get back to the sea), so the two became fast friends right then and there.

Back in the present, Jasmine realizes that the ring is just a surefire sign that genie wishes do always come with a terrible price, so she takes Aladdin out to sea to do away with the lamp once and for all and wish away his enslavement to the device. But before they can get to freeing the simpering Aladdin — who, among his many complaints, is also not a fan of rowing boats — a Kraken comes up and threatens to topple their tiny vessel.

Luckily, Hook arrives right in the nick of time and saves them from being drowned by the giant beast. But he’s not exactly thrilled to find them there because now the Kraken’s scampered off to who knows where, which means his chance of scoring some of that precious nectar from its veins is now nil, and he’s gotta find another way to get back to his girl.

The Nautilus does have one more trick up its metal-wielded sleeves, though. On board is a compass device that can help them track down any man with revenge in his heart, which means they can try to track down Jafar and try to get back to Agrabah first.

Thanks to their shared magic carpet ride and some serious pep talking back in the day, Jasmine and Ariel formed a lasting enough bond that when they’re reconnected — by the device taking them straight to Ariel’s above-ground grotto filled with her gadget and gizmos galore — it’s like no time has passed at all. They quickly realize that one of the devices, a lamp, must have Jafar trapped inside as a genie, which means they can wish for him to restore Agrabah to its former glory in exchange for setting Jafar free.

Problem is, once they rub him out of the lamp, Jafar realizes that he’s actually not bound to the lamp and was just waiting to be freed from his itty bitty storage unit, so thanks again Jaz! Oh, and he puts a sleeping spell on Hook, Ariel, and Aladdin just for good measure to make sure Jasmine’s got to face him solo yet again. ‘Cause last time that worked out so well for him and all.

After a little taunting from Jafar, Jasmine realizes that the ring actually contains Agrabah now, which is why it showed up in her pocket when she asked to be taken to it. Jafar tries to take it back, but she manages to vanquish him with an old bottle of his magic dust and decides she knows exactly what to do to get her beloved city back now. Jafar’s banishment wakes up Aladdin and the rest, at which time she plants one true love kiss on her beau, and bam! They’re all brought back to Agrabah, where it’s reoriented in its old location, just as good as new. Hooray!

Better yet, among Ariel’s collection is a communications device that can touch base with someone at Storybrooke if they’re ready to listen, and whaddya know. Emma’s home and just so happens to be holding the box on the receiving end in time to hear Hook explain that he didn’t leave her but was banished by Gideon, who wants him out of the way to get to her.

Just then, Gideon shows up at her doorstep, very literally speaking, and tells her that he was actually pretending to be Aesop at the bar and collected her teardrop as a bit of mythical insurance. So long as he has that, he can keep Hook at bay from Storybrooke, and instead of killing her this time, he just wants her to do his deathly bidding for him and take out the Black Fairy on his behalf.

So, now that the Evil Queen has been dealt with, for the foreseeable future, the newest big bad of the season appears to be revealing him — or her — self. Is Gideon the truly dangerous one? Or will the Black Fairy deserve an attack from the Storybrooke saviors, no matter how it’s initiated? To be determined… for now, let’s just hope we get to see some more of Jasmine and Ariel flitting around town in such epic style because those two are the boss ladies Storybrooke deserves.

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