Once upon a time…Regina conjured up an Apollo chocolate bar.
This week’s episode of “Once Upon a Time” is titled “Good Form,” but given the spotlight it got in promos and interviews, the show might as well have called it “OMG Emma and Hook Kiss Squee!” So let’s jump right to it.
I guess I should say upfront that I’m not a particularly hardcore Captain Swan shipper. And honestly, I’ve always found the familial relationships on this show much more interesting than the romantic ones. All that said, Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue definitely have chemistry, the kiss was hot, and the scenario (Hook cheekily hinting for one, Emma grateful but in control, both taken aback by how passionate it was) made sense given their current relationship and the bigger Operation: Cobra Rescue arc.
What was more interesting to me than the smooch itself is what happened next, with that wily Peter Pan revealing to Hook that Neal is both alive and in Neverland. It puts Hook in quite the pickle of a predicament – we know he cares about Neal/Bae, but we’ve also seen that he isn’t above getting his hand and hook dirty in the name of love. Also, while we know what Pan is saying is true, one couldn’t really blame Hook for thinking it’s just another mind game. Curious to see what our smitten scallywag does with this information. And given the complicated and tangled relationships between them, I actually think Hook/Emma/Neal could be a good love triangle.
Outside of the kiss, it was a Hook heavy episode. In the flashbacks, we got his origin story as Killian Jones, a fastidious naval officer (and, I always get confused – is this some kind of fictional Victorian England or the real world version?) who is pro-rules and anti-rum, so basically his own polar opposite. But that all changes when he and his captain brother (and they call each other such so many times, they should have just had Henry Ian Cusick guest star) set sail to Neverland, with fun flying ship effects.
That first encounter with magic and Peter Pan begins Hook’s transformation into the man he is today, but I thought his about-face at the end was rushed. It’s reasonable that the reveal about his king’s treachery (is anyone else wondering if this nameless, ruthless king might turn out to be another fairy tale villain?) would shake his world view, and that he would be eager to blame someone other than himself for his brother’s death. But abandoning all he’d held dear so quickly? And every other member of the crew eager to mutiny as well? It was all just a little too neat. Still, O’Donoghue did well playing different shades of Hook in these scenes.
Meanwhile, in the present day, Hook went on this week’s A-mission with Charming. And while the dying Charming thought he was taking a final jaunt to recover the sextant (a dirty sounding device that could decipher Neal’s star map), it turns out the incurable dream shade poisoning can totally be cured after all! No big surprise as I don’t think any of us expected Charming to die, but I do find the cure’s catch – that Charming can live only if he stays in Neverland – a compelling one that will cause drama down the road. And I liked that, even though Hook was doing something selfless, there was still a self-serving undercurrent re: getting in Charming’s good graces.
I’m not happy, however, that Charming is still lying to Snow and Emma. I assumed he was going to come clean about his initial poisoning after he and Hook returned so that he spun another lie was pretty lame. He’s not going to croak any minute, what’s the harm in telling the truth? I hope Snow gets to ream him out when all is inevitably revealed.
In the meantime, I thought Josh Dallas did a nice job as Charming tried to subtly say his goodbyes even as his emotions were getting the best of him. And I loved Charming kissing all over Snow when he got back, with Emma and Regina both looking hilariously grossed out.
Speaking of Emma and Regina, their subplot this week ruled. Early on, Emma becomes convinced that they need to send Henry some kind of message so he won’t give up hope that they’re coming for him (and why is Henry losing faith so soon? He spent the better part of a year trying to convince Emma she was the Savior. He’s been stuck in Neverland for like four days!). While the boys are off on their MacGuffin mission, the girls manage to trap a Lost Boy, though he refuses to help. Regina, as she’s been doing all season, then offers up a darker, magical solution. So far, so standard, right?
But this time, Emma agrees with her and actually holds a horrified Snow back as Regina enslaves the kid’s heart. And instead of being punished for this wickedness, it pays off as they’re able to see Henry through an enchanted mirror and let him know his family is looking for him. Awesome, awesome, awesome.
As Regina points out, this kind of thing is why she’s along for the ride and I’m glad they finally addressed that. I also liked that Snow, while not pleased, didn’t get too preachy with Emma. And it led to the wonderful moment when the women, this unorthodox mix of mothers and daughters, whose toes fall over the lines of right and wrong, gathered around the mirror and beamed in their love for the same little boy. Lovely, lovely work from Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, and Ginnifer Goodwin.
So who’s swinging in that wooden box next to Neal’s? Given how prominent the Little Mermaid is in the promo for next week, could it be Ariel? Has Tinker Bell been taken? One of the Darlings? Another character from the Peter Pan mythos we haven’t seen yet, like Tiger Lily? Share your thoughts in the comments.