Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
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Dark Hollow 

Gold and Regina send Ariel to Storybrooke to help Belle locate an artefact that could help take down Pan, while Emma, Neal and Hook attempt to find Dark Hollow in order to capture Pan's shadow.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Mary Margaret Blanchard
... Emma Swan
... Regina Mills
... David Nolan
... Belle French
... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
... Neal Cassidy
... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
... Mr. Gold
... Leroy
... Granny Lucas
... Peter Pan
... Dr. Archie Hopper
... Ariel
... Mother Superior


Ariel is sent to Storybrooke to help Belle locate an item that could help take down Pan, however, two men have broken into the town with the intent to stop them at all costs. Meanwhile, Emma, Neal and Hook attempt to find Dark Hollow, where Pan's shadow dwells. Written by ab1995

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TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 November 2013 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The writing on Pandora's Box around the red gemstone is in Greek and it can be translated as "I operate with this". Indeed, when the box is being used, the gemstone rises from it. See more »


The Minnesota license plate featured has four numbers and three letters. Actual Minnesota license plates have three numbers and three letters. See more »


Ariel: I don't understand. Why do we keep doing what he tells us?
Belle: Because he has a gun.
Ariel: What's a gun?
See more »

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User Reviews

It may have been a dark hollow, but the episode was a season and show bright spot
18 March 2018 | by See all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

Personally really liked "Ariel", although it had its problems. It was patchy in the writing sure and it wasn't the most story or character advancing of episodes, but it served as a great introduction to Ariel who in her introductory appearance was so endearing. Have to agree though that "Dark Hollow" is the superior episode, and a bright spot of the first half of Season 3 and of the season in general. Very nearly right in every way and has nearly everything that makes 'Once Upon a Time' the addictive show that it is and what it's all about.

Not everything is done completely right, though the pros definitely eclipse the cons. A few of the effects are a bit rough, though not a first for 'Once Upon a Time' and not the last or worst. Snow White's and Charming's feuding doesn't add an awful lot to what is going on in the rest of the story, distracting a little for me actually.

"Dark Hollow" is great everywhere else. Particularly good is that the master plan is advanced significantly and much needed questions are answered. As a character-driven episode, it also works wonders and is one of the better episodes of the season in this regard. It is very well paced, action-packed without being overcrowded and not draggy or filler-filled, it was just right and everything was involving.

All the characters are interesting and have plenty to do and it was lovely to see Storybrooke make its first appearance of the season and utilised very well. Hook is especially interesting and seeing Belle (surprising and it is one of her more interesting early appearances) and Ariel play large parts and in an engaging way was lovely too.

Once again the acting excels, Colin O'Donoghue, Robbie Kay and Ginnifer Goodwin are always great while Joanna Garcia Swisher steals the show as Ariel as Ariel continues to endear and sparkle. Emilie De Ravin didn't always impress me in her earlier appearances as Belle, not helped by that the character was not a particularly interesting one outside of her chemistry with Rumplestiltskin, she does here.

Furthermore, "Dark Hollow" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie-cutter. It is photographed beautifully too. Most effects are not bad. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable main theme. Writing has the right balance of humour, pathos, mystery and intrigue.

Altogether, one of Season 3's best and among the better episodes of the early seasons of the show even. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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