Once Upon a Time: The Brothers Jones

“Forgiving yourself is the hardest thing to do.”

We’ve watched Hook redeem himself over the last three seasons, and his transformation has been almost as dramatic as Regina’s. The guilt he’s been feeling over what he did as a result of Emma’s magical intervention has caused him to undermine everything that he’s done since he arrived in Storybrooke, which is understandable. What isn’t is his arrogance and dismissal of the forgiving and helping hand that’s being shown to him even after all that’s happened. This episode relies heavily on that self loathing, and the fundamentally flawed reasons behind it and it suffers a lot because of it.

Emma, Regina, Snow, Henry, David and Robin all risked their own lives, and after lives, to save Hook and get him out of the Underworld. Emma has even gone so far as to offer him the forgiveness he needed, yet in that moment he decided to throw her trust and faith back in her face and side with his obnoxious brother whom she rightfully accused of mucking up their mission to find the Underworld version of the storybook.

It makes sense that Hook would feel a lot of guilt. I even liked that he referenced how quickly he fell off the wagon when he became the Dark One, when it took Emma six weeks to do the same. It makes all the sense in the world that he would hate himself. But he’s so poorly written here that all of that fails to make an impact, and it’s impossible to see past the pigheadedness of it.

Maybe if his brother, Liam hadn’t been so bland and unlikable it wouldn’t have been as bad. He was supposedly this role model for honour and loyalty, yet most of his screen time here is spent forcing arrogance and self righteousness on everyone. Only when he turned out to be as selfish and morally corrupt as Hook once was did he start to become a little less difficult to watch. At least he's ridden off on some super weird ship into the sunset. Let's hope he never shows up again.

There’s no reprieve from the insufficient characters, as this week’s B plot is focused on Henry’s desire to use his role as author to save everyone by using the power of the pen to escape the Underworld. It’s a little funny that he’s arguing to play more of a role in the quest of the moment. He’s the definition of a plot device, and has very rarely been interesting in his own right. I’d be arguing for this type of inclusion in most other instances, like with Snow recently or Belle on multiple occasions. In this case, I’m mostly against it, if only because I really can’t stand the kid any more.

Plus

Cruella still slays. Let’s hope she gets safe passage back up top.

How much are you in support of her and James’ steamy hook ups? Is there room for one more on the ship out of orange town?

He Said, She Said

Emma: “Were you this self-righteous when you were alive?”
Liam: “When it came to my brother, yes. If he defeats Hades today, he'll forgive himself and he'll have another chance to move on. When that happens, stop thinking about your own desires and let him go.”

Once has always had the right ingredients but sticks it when it’s time to use them together. There was a lot of opportunity for this episode to work, but the execution of Hook and Liam’s reconciliation, and Hook’s own acceptance of his actions just didn’t work. I’m also over the Underworld already. I don’t know how much more I can take of this filtered world, although I’m partially intrigued by the prospect of Zelena being tied up in all of this, even if it is just to serve Rebecca Mader’s contract.

2 out of 5 bottles of rum

Originally posted at PandaTV.

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