This week on Once Upon a Time we hit the high seas to find out just exactly Hook was up to in the year without Emma. It was a jam packed hour of pirate goodness, so let’s dive right in.
Here’s the rundown of what we leanred about Hook’s missing year. He and his men are without a ship so they’ve taken a page from Bandit Snow’s book and are robbing carriages. While they’re celebrating their latest spoils at the pub, Smee lets his captain know that he and the boys got him a present in the form of a lovely lady. Eager to show his crew that he is the man they remember, he sets off with the woman. But since we know Hook wants nothing to do with anyone who isn’t Emma Swan, it comes as no surprise when he gives the woman some extra money to leave and pretend they had a grand time.
Unfortunately for our dear captain, a certain red haired mermaid has a beef to pick with him. She demands that he tell her where he has taken Prince Eric. Hook is quite confused. Ariel lets it slip that she knows that the Jolly Roger took him. Ever possessive over his ship Hook demands to know what she knows about who has taken it. He rouses Smee from his drunken stupor and tells him they’re headed off to find the person responsible, Blackbeard. His first mate is weary when he finds out Blackbeard is who they’ll be facing. Hook speaks of the Jolly Roger as if she’s a woman, his one true love he must return to. I don’t know Hook, it just seems like you’re sublimating your broken heartedness over Emma. Ariel insists as payment for her information they take her with so she can be reunited with her prince.
Along the way Ariel tells Hook that she has been hearing stories about how he is now a hero for reuniting Snow White’s family in Neverland. Hook isn’t too pleased to hear that and tells her that he is a pirate and always will be. When they finally find the Jolly Roger Hook strolls aboard and demands to speak with the coward who stole his ship. Blackbeard appears looking like a cross between Disney’s Captain Hook and Captain Jack Sparrow. The two engage in a swordfight, and just as Hook is about to defeat Blackbeard and reclaim his ship, Ariel interjects that Eric is not on board. Blackbeard is amused to see that the stories he has heard are true, that the dastardly Captain Hook has gone soft. He gives Hook a choice, surrender the Jolly Roger and he’ll tell them where Eric is, or kill him and Eric’s whereabouts will die along with him. Hook makes the choice to send Blackbeard off the plank. Ariel tries to plead with him that true love is more importan, but Hook tells her that all love does is bring wasted years and endless torment. Ariel retorts that his heartlessness is going to bring him endless torment.
In Storybrooke Emma is helping her Daddy assemble a crib for her new brother or sister when Regina comes over to tell them that she has created a new protection spell that Zelena can’t break with blood magic. Emma thinks they should be thinking more offensively and insists that Regina teach her magic again. David tells Emma that they’ll watch Henry for her, but she’s got some bad news. Henry doesn’t think David and Mary Margaret are any fun, and he would rather spend time with Killian.
Down at the docks Smee is catching up with his captain. He asks why they haven’t left to go pirating. That is one thing we still don’t know. What happened to the Jolly Roger? Smee says while he loves fro-yo, he can’t think of any reason Hook would want to stay in Storybrooke. Right on cue Emma and Henry show up. Emma asks Hook if she’ll look after Henry again while she learns magic. He is happy to see that she is accepting the magic that is inside of her, because it is what makes her the savior. She lets him know that once Zelena is defeated, she and Henry are hitting the road. Hook warns her that he knows better than anyone that you can’t go back to the person you were before.
The jealous grandparents decide to take a stroll on the beach, when they see a familiar face. Ariel has been searching every known realm for her prince. She woke up in Storybrooke and has no idea where Eric his. David suggests that maybe Hook knows something since he has his memories in tact. When they arrive at Granny’s to find him, he and Henry are as thick as thieves. Hook tells Ariel that he is sorry but he doesn’t know anything. Unfortunate for Hook’s guilty conscience, David suggests that Hook accompany Ariel to Gold’s shop to see if they can find something of Eric’s. They manage to find Eric’s cloak and Belle gives them a bottle of locator spell so they can see if it will lead them to him.
Over at magic lessons Emma hilariously mistakes the language in the spell book for Spanish. Regina lets her know that they’re making magic, not tapas. She realizes that Emma needs a more sink or swim approach so she poofs them to a canyon where Emma is in the middle of a rickety rope bridge. She has two options fix the bridge with magic or die. When Emma manages to turn the falling debris into a magic carpet of sorts Regina scolds her for wasting all the potential she has inside of her.
Eric’s cloak leads Ariel and Hook to the docks, and to Ariel’s misfortune it heads straight into the water. Ariel realizes that the only way that would happen is if Eric is dead. She thanks Hook for helping and tells him that he has a true heart. The guilt becomes too much for Hook to bear, so he runs after Ariel to tell her the truth. She wonders what kind of a man would do such a thing to which he responds an empty man who thought a ship could fill the void in his broken heart. Ariel asks if Hook still loves the woman that broke his heart, and when he says yes she tells him to swear it on her name. And even though we already knew it to be true, to hear Hook say, “I swear on Emma Swan” was the most amazing yet heartbreaking feeling. Everything was not as it seemed because it was not Ariel, but Zelena in disguise. Ariel found Eric and they’re living happily ever after. She places a curse on Hook so that the next time his lips touch Emma’s it will steal her magic! She gives him two options kiss Emma, or do nothing and watch as all her friends and family die.
Hook heads to the loft, probably to tell his mate of his predicament, but he finds Emma there instead. When David, Mary Margaret, and Henry return Mary Margaret asks Killian if their friend found her husband. She insists that they go to Granny’s to celebrate their happy ending. Emma is surprised when Hook says he won’t be joining them. She tells him that whatever happened, she doesn’t care. She’s tired of living in the past. Hook tells her he knows the feeling as he makes his exit. Emma has a certain disappointed look in her eyes when for once Killian is the one walking away from her. As he wanders the streets alone he spots Emma & Co. having a grand ole time and looks painfully on as he wishes he could be inside with her.
Colin O’Donoghue gets an A+ for this episode. The emotion he is bringing to Hook is so deep and his performance blew me away even more than ever. Here’s why this episode killed me: Emma finally started to accept her feelings for Hook, and realize that she’s tired of waiting for the right moment but of course this happens right at the time when Hook more than ever can’t reciprocate any of her feelings. It will be interesting to see how Emma reacts to Hook pushing her away. Could this kissing paradox mean that Zelena will force the issue by putting one of the two under a sleeping curse so they’ll have to kiss? Either way I feel a successful true love’s kiss coming by the end of the season for these two. For now, we’ll have to wait through the angst to find out.
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