Against the Tide

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The Bad Luck creature suffers for its ill name.
The Bad Luck creature suffers for its ill name.

Ariel knows better than anyone not to listen to gossip.
Ariel knows better than anyone not to listen to gossip.

She names her new friend 'Lucky'.
She names her new friend "Lucky".

No one holds a grudge better than Ursula.
No one holds a grudge better than Ursula.

Sebastian, with his soft spot for making people laugh.
Sebastian, with his soft spot for making people laugh.

One of Ariel's daily routines is riding Sea Biscuit over Atlantica to wish everyone a good morning.

They watch as the Atlanticans rally against Lucky.
They watch as the Atlanticans rally against Lucky.

Arista proves that Ariel isn't the only outspoken one in the family.
Arista proves that Ariel isn't the only outspoken one in the family.

Triton, King of the merpeople.
Triton, King of the merpeople.

Ursula, with her impeccable flair for style.
Ursula, with her impeccable flair for style.

Skinny Ursula! Eeee! (looks nothing like Morgana, btw).
Skinny Ursula! Eeee! (Though she looks nothing like Morgana.)

Features the song "You Wouldn't Want to Mess with Me".

Ariel's matter-of-fact hero complex rears its head in this episode, when she stumbles upon a Bad Luck Creature. Legend says that the Bad Luck Creature brings bad luck wherever it goes and will cause a lifetime of bad luck to whoever dares touch it. It's that so-called legend that causes all the other creatures of the sea to treat the poor Bad Luck Creature with indifference at best and cruelty at worst. In fact, the infamous sea witch Ursula (making her first appearance in the tvs series) has targeted the creature a few moments before Ariel discovers it and takes it to safety, blaming it for her inability to cast a decent spell.

But Ariel, of course, doesn't care about silly stories. (Sometimes this carefree attitude blows up in her face, but not this time.) She chooses to help the Bad Luck Creature, hugging it gladly and protecting it from Ursula. She also decides to name it Lucky, and takes it back to her room to treat it for its injury. (And Lucky's response to the simple pleasure of a hug is sweetly heartbreaking.)

Back at the palace, Ariel enlists, who else, Flounder and Sebastian to help her. Flounder caves first, because he trusts Ariel. Sebastian caves eventually, because for all his complaints, he really is just a big softie who hates to see others feel down and depressed. As the gang are seeing to Lucky, Flotsam and Jetsam wander by her room, showing Ursula the creature's whereabouts.

Just then, King Triton returns. Ariel immediately tells him about Lucky, which causes alarm among the Atlanticans... Alarm that is vocalised by Arista, who demands that Lucky be thrown out of Atlantica. But before a decision can be made, Ursula makes her appearance, demanding Lucky to be turned over to her. As Ursula does her snazzy showtime number, Sebastian concocts a fake Lucky out of foodstuff which, once Ursula spots it, is blown up into smithereens. Believing her job done, Ursula leaves. At first Ariel is distressed, but then the real Lucky comes out. King Triton, because he is a most awesome king who knows the silliness of the old legend, invites Lucky to stay in Atlantica.

(Continuity note: In the movie, Ariel meets Flotsam and Jetsam for the first time, as she doesn't know who they are. "We represent someone who can help you." But this episode has Ariel already seeing Flotsam and Jetsam by Ursula's side, and so she should have recognised them later.)

This episode is very cool for a few reasons: (1) The snappy dialogue, (2) the appearance of super-snarky Arista, (3) Ursula, (4) Ursula singing, (5) Triton not getting upset with Ariel for her choice to protect Lucky, and (6) the "surprise" ending, which honestly did take me by surprise the first time I watched it. Although, I do find it quite strange that Ariel and Arista seem to be back to their usual level of animosity towards each other, despite this episode taking place way after Beached.


Quotable quotes

Ariel:We'll just have to make our own luck.
Sebastian:It's just that, well... Aww, man, I don't want no bad luck.
( Lucky bursts into tears. )
Sebastian:Aww, Flounder, you made him cry.
Flounder:Me?
Ariel:Don't worry, Lucky. Sebastian isn't as mean as he seems.
Sebastian:Well, of course I'm not mean! Don't be ridiculous, man. I'm the friendliest fellow in the sea.
Flounder:Yeah, Sebastian just looks like a mean 'ol crab.
Sebastian:Lucky for us your father won't be coming back until tomorrow. ( He looks out the window. ) Look at that, the king's home a day early. ( He screams. )
Sebastian:Hide the Bad Luck Creature, Ariel! And if you won't hide him, hide me! Hide me!
Ariel:Hello daddy! Welcome home. I'll just get right to the point.
( King Triton sighs. )
Ariel:I have a Bad Luck Creature in my bedroom.
Arista:Ariel, why can't you take up some nice normal hobby, like collecting seashells or something?
King Triton:I don't believe the creature really is bad luck, Ariel, but the merpeople's fear of it... Well, that causes a problem.
Sebastian:Oh, it's bad luck, all right! I got rolled in a big bowl of plankton pate! Splattered against the wall! I fell into a giant vat of seaweed cream!
King Triton:Yes, well, that sort of thing happens to you all the time anyway, doesn't it, Sebastian?
Ursula:Oh drats, out of trident juice. Well, you've been a great audience but I have things to do... to someone else.


Video clip

Song: You Wouldn't Want to Mess with Me
Performers: Pat Carroll (Ursula)
Duration: 1 mins 37 secs
Size: 5.26 mb
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