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Once Upon a Time - S03 E17

Romance . Fantasy . Adventure . Sci-Fi & Fantasy . Drama

Ariel returns to Storybrooke and pleads with Hook to help her find Prince Eric, who never returned to the town when the new curse was invoked. Emma agrees to let Regina teach her how to use magic so that she can help defeat Zelena, and Mary Margaret and David try to prove that they can be just as much fun as Hook is with Henry -- who thinks they are boring. Meanwhile, in Fairy Tale Land during the past year, an angry Ariel confronts Hook over her missing Prince Eric, who she assumes was kidnapped and possibly killed by the swarthy pirate. But when Hook confesses that the Jolly Roger has been stolen and Eric is most likely the thief’s prisoner, Ariel unknowingly provides him with a clue as to who the culprit is, and Hook – with Ariel in tow - goes off in search of his ship.

Episode Title: The Jolly Roger
Airs: 2014-04-13 at 20:00
  • Hank Stuever

    Once Upon a Time is a smartly-crafted reward for fans of light fantasy, with the right mix of cleverness, action and romance.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    Once Upon a Time gets off to a bewitching start.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    What's best about Time is its ambition; it glows with a near-theatrical shine, challenging viewers to think about TV drama as something other than boilerplate.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    Fans of the fantastical can do far worse than Once Upon A Time, which manages to both stir the pulse and please the senses with its beautifully imagined medieval times.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    There's gorgeous fun to be had here.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    Once Upon a Time is both family-friendly and smart enough to win viewers of any age and level of sophistication.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Lynnette Porter

    In its premiere episode, Once Upon a Time offers a mix of hope and cynicism, coupled with familiar television and film allusions (not unlike the Shreks).

    PopMatters Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    Once the action leaves the overly Maxfield Parrish-ized world of magic trees and drooping pregnant princesses, things pick up considerably.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    For now, it's an enticing cupcake, but I want to see if it's more than frosting all the way down.

    Time Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    The pilot certainly looks great, and it's hard to imagine better choices for the leads than Goodwin and Parrilla.

    Variety Full Review
  • Curt Wagner

    Horowitz and Kitsis are clever and playful in how they insert the fairytale characters into the present day, which kept my interest even when, as I said earlier, I was chuckling.

    RedEye Full Review
  • Mike Lechevallier

    The series isn't very original (at one point, it even steals Lost's now-iconic eye-opening shot), but that doesn't stop it from being relatively satisfying on its own terms.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Linda Stasi

    Somebody should kiss a frog or something to break the evil spell and let this show be as much fun as it should be.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Lori Rackl

    I don't see this fairy-tale fantasy having broad enough appeal to conjure up the kind of viewer numbers it will need to stick around.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Tom Gliatto

    The cast would do well to have more fun, but the layered storytelling has it charms. [31 Oct 2011, p.35]

    People Weekly Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    Give ABC credit for trying something different. But next time, try harder. And better. And maybe shorter.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Rick Porter

    No other new show this fall is attempting to tell a bigger story, and we're hoping the rough patches smooth out and it fulfills the potential that's there in its very strong cast and premise.

    Zap2it (Inside the Box) Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    In its pilot, Once Upon a Time succeeds on charm but comes up short on logic.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Mike Hale

    Watching the pilot again, though, it became harder to ignore the soap opera underpinnings and the twee sentimentality.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    There are times when the enterprise lacks a certain heft and when the fantasy realm seems a little generic. Also, some characters, especially Lana Parrilla's Evil Queen (who is also the mayor of Storybrooke), are one-dimensional in kind of maddening ways, though Robert Carlyle makes up for that with his charismatic turn as both Rumplestiltskin and a Storybrooke resident named Mr. Gold.

    The Huffington Post Full Review
  • Nancy DeWolf Smith

    Unfolding simultaneously in two distinct worlds, the series has an enchanting premise, even if it plods at times when it should sparkle and soar.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    The larger problem, though, is that unless you're deeply invested in the fairy tale characters and seeing the variations on their familiar backstories--seeing, for instance, that Snow and Charming had a very different first meeting than the one we know about--then most of the story and character work is flat, despite a cast of likable, game actors.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    The ambition is impressive...But Morrison is a wooden lead, and the back stories--a random collection of fairy tales--don't promise to surprise.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    The show is a bold idea, and there's hope for the modern-world portions, but it doesn't quite know what it is (or maybe it does, but the audience won't).

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Troy Patterson

    The series, fueling itself with folklore, proceeds as if no characterization is required.

    Slate Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    To draw out the story by looping it through subplots and minidramas runs the risk of turning it into a fairy-tale soap opera--when what we really want to know is whether the tragic Snow White or the lonely Emma can in the end live happily ever after.

    New York Daily News Full Review