A Pirate’s Life

Andrew J. West as Henry Mills, Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan and Colin O'Donoghue as Hook Once Upon a Time Season 7 Episode 2 A Pirate’s Life picture image

Andrew J. West as Henry Mills, Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan and Colin O’Donoghue as Hook

The major development in this episode is that the Hyperion Hook isn’t Storybrooke original OUAT Hook but that wish Hook from last season’s wish realm. As the episode goes when Henry’s is in trouble he calls to Regina, Hook and Emma to help him. While Regina and Hook show up Emma is missing as she now pregnant though that info is saved for a dramatic reveal later but wish-Hook also gets the message and shows up.

Wish-Hook then knocks out Real-Hook to trade places so he can be with Emma and makes himself young with Real-Hook’s blood and with other realm Lady Tremaine’s help. The two SOMEHOW seem to know each other. The magic makes Wish-Hook young and changes his clothes too seems Real-Hook’s style is in his DNA apparently. I do take some annoyance that his clothes changed too.  

Anyway when Emma does show up and tells Henry she’s pregnant Wish-Hook has a change of heart and goes to where he dumped Real-Hook but Wish-Hook gets stab and reveals that he needed Emma because only true love can break the curse  to find Wish-Hook’s daughter. Emma saves him with magic. It’s then decided that Wish-Hook, Henry and Regina will go a-questing  while Real-Hook and Emma return to Storybrooke. So they get their happy ending together but we the audience get a version of Hook for cursed-amnesia fun-times    

 Meanwhile is Seattle, Victoria tries to get Henry out the picture. What does this lady do? Rumple a.k.a Weaver tries to size Hook a.k.a Rogers up by framing Henry which he doesn’t and Henry helps Jacinda sees Lucy in a Ballet recital.  You can tell what the weaker plot-line was.

Here some weird issues with the episode. Wish-Hook says he never had love BUT he had a daughter who was locked up but he snuck into play chess with her. He also says that only true love could break what-ever curse was on his daughter. I guess Wish-Hook didn’t watch seasons 1-3 and that weird retcon episode in season 6 where the whole true-love thing does apply to children. Do the writers just forget these rules? So who is Wish-Hook’s baby momma?  Do the chess pieces that Wish-Hook and his daughter have point to Alice being his daughter since she is a character? And does this mean that Emma has a daughter with Storybrooke Hook and will that get mentioned? And how come Neal wasn’t mentioned when Henry was asking about the Storybrooke people?

This is just weird, Hook is now a new version of Hook but not Hook but is a version of Hook. OUAT is going Rick and Morty now. With its infinite realms with infinite versions of  the characters that are sometimes the same people and sometimes different. Maybe this how the show will now get way with retconning  even though the show right now is a glorified retcon.  Odd part is I’m not mad, confused at what I should label this version of the character as.  

This episode did have some pacing issues. It’s SLOW and the Hyperion plot was boring.   The reveal of Emma being pregnant was dumb reveal to withhold. The whole point to show that Hook isn’t the same Hook, fine good twist that does give a hint to why him and Regina are the ones from Storybrooke affected but the new curse since they went off with Henry.

This was an average episode but it does MOVE things and answer some question while raising more.

Episode 9: Changelings

Emilie de Ravin as Belle and Keegan Connor Tracy as The Blue Fairy Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 9 changlings picture image

Emilie de Ravin as Belle and Keegan Connor Tracy as The Blue Fairy

So the Black Fairy is really Rumple’s mother. This family tree gets more complicated all the time especially when you think that Regina is both Henry’s mother and step great-grandmother.  

Basically it seems that Rumple has had a dark origins this whole time and is the reason he hates fairies. Not sure how to feel about this twist especially with the better twist that Aladdin became a Genie! That’s a good twist. I hate how little the show is doing with  the Aladdin plot unless it goes into Emma’s death vison plot or Rumple and Belle. I’ll admit  Rumple and Belle’s dynamic this episode was interesting but they have been having variations of the same conversation since the start  now they just have a baby thrown into the vocabulary.

The scene with Belle giving her son to Blue was emotionally charged but the episode was just alright. Good in parts and dragged in others.  

 

Episode 10: Wish You Were Here

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 10 Wish You Were Here picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma

 

Are you kidding me with this episode? Another alt-timeline? Really show? I have to ask even though it’s a wish, how does Emma and Neal get together to even have Henry and why is he still called Henry? That name was because of Regina! It might be a fake wish reality BUT STILL SHOW! And somehow in this world Rumple could get a bean with ease when in reality he got Regina to cast the dark curse so he could get to his son. On a context level this episode hurts. Plus Robin is back now in the wish world.

In other plots, when Aladdin became the Genie, Jasmine didn’t make her wish to return to Agrabah. For some reason they waited and EQ got the lamp prompting the whole wish world. In other, other plots Belle and Rumple’s son got taken by the Black Fairy and turns out to be the hooded figure who is destined to kill Emma, so that’s how they worked Rumple and Belle’s plot to have more importance.  And EQ is now a Snake and at two masters later, Jasmine has the lamp and made her wish. Still wish Aladdin and Jasmine weren’t side-plot fodder.  

Did not care for this episode, sure it’s another twist that Baby Gideon is one who kills Emma but the wish-world shenanigans literally hurt my head with all the mental leaps it asks of the viewers.  

Also this show has a pattern of having a character telling other characters to meet they at place in one hour. Is that ever enough time?

 

Episode 1: The Savior

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 1 The Savior Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

Wow, this episode has no past section, well except for that Aladdin is a has-been savior and Belle’s dream world but no plot based section set in the past. There was no time to have a past section when there is like 30 story plots going on. Regina being pissed at Zelena while mourning Robin, Zelena pissed at Regina for destroying her dark part as well as not thanking her for destory the man she loved to save Regina, Hyde’s secret evil plans, Belle’s baby, the island of Misfit untold story characters, Emma’s future, Aladdin is another savor, what drinks did the Evil Queen make and what does she want, Robin’s soul, Archie trying to find more patients, Granny trying to make ends-meet after Snow volunteers her place as a soup kitchen, Pongo trying to take a walk in peace, Hyde trying to have enough money in his canteen account, Hook’s new haircut, and Henry trying to get in on all the action while Hook and Emma try to get some action. I’m sure I missed something but there is lots and lots of plot this episode. Hopefully they will all reach a nice conclusion since this sort of is the last season since NEXT season seems to be a soft re-boot with most of the cast not returning.

Was this a good episode? It was alright not good but okay. It did get the ball rolling in many, many directions.

Episode 2: A Bitter Draught

Lana Parrilla as Regina Omce Upona A Time Season 6 episode 2 A Bitter Draught picture Image

Lana Parrilla as Regina

No thank you I like fruity beers. A bad Beer Joke! And now the review.

I do not get this land of untold story plotline. There is a magical realm where time stops and stories are halted and the people who live there chose to live there so they didn’t have live those stories and YET they all chose to follow Hyde, who is like their leader for some reason not explained, to Storybrooke to play out the stories they didn’t want played out? Enter characters like the Three Musketeers who are just extras, some Bellydancers, Steampunk people, a cowboy and Edmond Dantes a.k.a The Count of Monte Cristo.

So they changed up Edmond’s story for drama so that instead of Mercedes (his fiancée) marrying Morcerf, Mortcerf kills her and Dantes doesn’t know about Danglar and Villefort’s involvement. And forget about Haydée, she wasn’t mentioned or Albert. They also suggested that Monte Cristo was a place but it wasn’t, it was a rocky spit of land hence the joke of the title but props to them getting that it’s also a sandwich. I’ll admit it I might be harsher with adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo since Gankutsuou is a near flawless adaptation and one of my favorite anime, go watch that but adaptation is an art since so let’s just look this version of the Count for what it is. ((( also that they did Monte Cristo before Hunchback, am I bitter about that? Yes even if they jacked it up I would still love to see what they do with the story and characters.)))

It’s not a terrible re-work of the Count since his deal his how revenge isn’t as sweet as previously thought much like Regina but Edmond’s story is a means to an end since he died as a point from EQ (Evil Queen) to Regina. It just seemed more of a waste since all his actions were because of EQ had his heart. And apparently people can just say when someone has their heart. Well then why didn’t Hook say that to Emma in season 4 when Rumple had his heart? There are no real magic rules anymore. EQ used a magic damping spell and messed up Henry’s phone. What price did she pay for that?

Speaking of nitpicks, the show needs to do a better job styling the double’s hair on Regina. Regina has this flair out layer that is missing on the double when Lana Parrilla is playing the EQ in the stand-off scene. Also how did Regina get to Edmond’s Dantes/Dumas world? Was it the Hat? Realm hoping isn’t an issue since season 3.

Also gotta love Disney lack of self-awareness when talking about how sequels are more “involved” than the original. It’s funny given their terrible record for Disney sequels as well as recent remakes, which are more misguided.

This episode has like three balls in motion although one is dividing. You have the EQ’s machinations which involves Regina, Zelena and David. There is the untold story characters which might just be episodic stories used to move the main plots forward whatever that turns out to be, and Emma’s issue with being A savior and her death by cloaked figure in the future. Oddly Hyde was absent in this episode. Guess no time when the EQ tricks Edmond Dantes to teach her other-half lesson and how did Regina use Edmond to get her revenge in the past? Like how did she know Villefort and Dangler involvement? Magic? Seems like the Count of Monte Cristo should have been smarter but that’s adaptation for you.

Meh episode but it’s still set-up for the season.

Episode 19: Sisters

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 19 Sisters review picture image

Lana Parrilla as Regina & Rebecca Mader as Zelena

 

Regina wants to get in the way of Hades and Zelena because Hades is a Villain and the God of Death and therefore cannot be redeemed. Evil Queen, Sure. Dread Pirate Hook Hand, you bet. Snow Queen, sort of. Rumple, jury is still out on that one. But the God of Death is beyond that even though Death is the ultimate equalizer.  

Hades’ plan is now to go to Storybrooke with Zelena and have a life but leave the heros in UnderBrooke so they don’t get in the way so he puts all their names on tombstones for good measure. Regina then enlists Cora to make  Zelena forget Hades. Zelena sees through this but in the end Cora makes them remember an incident from their past a kids where the met and liked each other but Cora made them forget. The sister reconcile and Cora moves on to Olympus. Regina tells Zelena that maybe she can change Hades but before she gets to him, Rumple and Pan kidnap her.

The B plot is about James and David. James’ real motivations for hating David is that David stole his glory. That is so dumb. In the end James take the plunge into the River of Lost Souls. This side plot has yet another case of Emma being lied to and not picking up on it.      

The hero are acting dumb about Hades and Zelena. Maybe if they convinced them that they WON’T get in the way of their happiness, he might let them go home. Hades just seems to care about Zelena right now. Maybe Hades is up to no good but if he is up to some nefarious scheme he hiding with well with all his wooing of Zelena.  

The emotional crux of Regina and Zelena was good towards the end of the episode. The emotions landed well. Having the sisters meet as children was weird as it retconned them and led to a quick reconciliation, guess they had to expedite things. The B plot was dumb, Cruella was the only good part. Hades proposal was cute, asking to make chaos with Zelena. So sweet. This episode was about a B.   

Episode 20: Firebird

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 20 Firebird review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook

There is a lot going on in this episode.

Hades goes to the Heros for help to save Zelena from Rumple and Pan. In exchange he offers to take their names off the graves. Hades compiles with Rumple and tears up the contract and frees Zelena. They kiss and presto, True Love’s Kiss awakens Hades’ Frozen heart. Apparently Hades knew it was true love. Hades triggers a portal to open but it will be open for a limited time only and Emma can’t split her heart to give to Hook as he’s been dead too  long. Hades tells them about Orpheus and Eurydice and a rumor that could bring hook back.  Hook and Emma descend into a low level of the Underworld to try and get some ambrosia which will bring Hook back but Hades cut it way long ago, thus tricking the heroes. Hook convinces Emma to let him go and go back without him. It’s a very sad scene, actually.

While that is going on. Henry tries to complete Operation Firebird which was to help people of the Underworld move on using his author powers. Too bad he didn’t think of this idea ages ago instead of whining. Cruella and the Blind-witch halt this by trapping them with a spell of Hades gave them in the library. Hades tricked them again. Meanwhile Rumple tricks Pan by saying he got a living heart but it was that river of lost souls AGAIN. Pan’s plan wouldn’t have worked anyway. Tricked AGAIN.

While all the heros are getting tricked Hades, Zelena and the baby leave. Just some backstory that I missed, Hades can only leave the underworld when true love’s kiss makes his heart beat again. Zeus stopped it for reasons.  His heart “fluttered” when he was with Zelena, so he knows it’s True Love with her. He did have plan to go back into time so he could be the one on Mt Olympus but dropped the plan because he wanted Zelena. If they have kids, they will have red hair and be very snappy dressers.   

The past section deals with Emma getting caught by a bail bonds person and how she got her leather jacket or her armor. The final part of that plot was very emotional.   

So true love is apparently easy to find and hard to keep. The scene with Hook and Emma was very emotional and done well. Hades should have just done nothing. The heroes would have left him alone but he ruined with this scheming. He should have done nothing, unless he really does have some grand master plan that has yet to be hinted at. His plans so far have been go back in time,  keep souls and  be with Zelena.

This episode had some winky meta moments. Like the ticking clock that is the portal out of the underworld is an actual clock. And the bails bond lady telling Emma Phoenix isn’t hell, which is where she pretty much is now. 

This episode was alright. It had some great emotional moments but again Emma didn’t notice a lie. Will we see Hook again? Maybe not  but who knows. Glad to know Cruella got a bit of a happy ending. Cruella is going to run the Underworld now, good for her.

 

Episode 15: The Brother Jones

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 15 The Brothers Jones review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook

Meet the brother’s Jones. One is an eyeliner wearing emo and the other is self-righteous to a fault. If you have to guess, you don’t watch the show. Though there are three brothers and two are named Liam so who really knows what Liam number 2 is like.

This episode fills in the gap between Liam and Hook getting sold into servitude as boys and joining the navy. Ah, the Navy, where you can sail the seven the seas and put your mind at ease. Turns out the lads nearly had enough money to get out but Hook gambled it away and Liam couldn’t leave him. So as the their captain was leading the ship into a storm from some sapphire, Liam and Hook lead a mutiny and as Liam is plotting a course GUESS WHO TURNS UP WITH A DEAL. Hint not Rumple, though he does like deals. Nope it’s Hades and he wants souls. So in return for leading a lot of guys to their death by horrible drowning, Liam gets to live as well as Hook PLUS the stupid sapphire which will pretty much grant them anything they want from the King. But Liam is too moral of a person, nah he takes the deal and him and Hook join the Navy.

In UnderBrook, lots of plots are going on. Liam doesn’t like Emma because of the whole Dark One thing and being selfish about not letting Hook move on. Hook is mopey because he thinks he shouldn’t be saved. Henry wants to be a Hero. Cruella wants David who is pretending to be his twin brother James. And Hades wants pages of the Storybook destroyed because he has a past with Zelena. Well of course he does because how else is Zelena going to factor into the plot. You think Regina sending her to Oz last season was the end of her? Actually I have no idea where this thing is going.  

How did Hook know the sailor’s unfinished business? Tell me show. He just assumes that a bunch of people have the SAME unfinished business. What if one of them regrets not being a dentist to make his mother proud after a deathbed promise when he was eight? Bit of a leap you took there  Hook with their salvation. But whatever they were just extras, existing solely for Liam and Hook’s story.  And how did Liam get “saved?” He was going to put his brother before himself and that was his business? Is this business things part of being a good person or do you solve your issue and the you get to move on to Zeus?  Does a horrible person in life get to move if they figure out their business? Wasn’t there some judgment talk? Or is hell for those who didn’t solve their problem but think they did?  I feel I’m going insane asking all these questions, the show doesn’t know it’s just a nicer ending to have Liam and the sailors move on so that Hook can feel good about wanting to be saved and have a life with Emma. I mean that is what the people want!

Not the best episode. It does moves things along but it’s boring. Aside from Cruella  who is just too delightful.    

 

Episode 16: Our Decay

Greg Germann as Hades & Rebecca Mader as Zelena Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 16 Our Decay review picture image

Greg Germann as Hades & Rebecca Mader as Zelena

They missed a chance to do the “I’ll get you and your little dog too”  line. This episode focuses on Zelena and Hades and their special connection. To fair it’s that special connection is standard for this show; it’s True Love. Hades and Zelena actually do have a connection as they are both bitter about their siblings getting more from life than them. Hades got the Underworld while Zeus got Olympus, Zelena was abandon and Regina was kept and made Queen. They actually feel like a natural couple. Expect Zelena rejected him in the past because she thought he was after the time-travel spell and currently she thinks Hades is after her baby for the same spell when he had Rumple bring the baby to the Underworld and Belle and Zelena get inadvertently pulled through the portal. Not sure how she  got from OZ back to Storybrooke but the show glossed over it so we will too. Hades claims he was trying to get Zelena’s baby away from the heroes.

Let’s just touch on ort “heroes” for a bit. Apparently in their book it’s ok to leave your infants  to save friends in hell if you think they died in vain. Maybe one of the Charmings should have stayed with their third season plot point, or infant son.  But Robin thinks being noble is more important than his baby or his small motherless son. And he going to hide the small baby in the forest of hell instead of the nice apartment Robins is also super annoying with regard to Zelena and the baby, maybe if he was trying to cut her off the baby she woudn’t act out.  Siding with the villains on this one. Though Hades could be lying as his reasons for getting the baby, don’t really think he is. Think he is in love with Zelena.  She’s the reason why he created the Underworld in Storybrooke’s image, because she wanted to cast the Dark Curse.      

Oddly there is a neat little tie into the Hades’ myth that makes him and Zelena makes sense as a couple. When Zelena joined the sister witches of OZ she represented the West which stood for innocences. Persephone also represented innocence. Also Zelena was born on April 15th, which is tax day and is in the Spring.  So Zelena is Persephone. I wonder if this was intentional by the writers or a happy accident.

Then there are other characters. We have Henry going all teeanger because his parents can understand his artistic methods. Apparently he black out when he writes. Henry’s plans is to record the stories to get the missing pieces about Hades so they can beat him.  Snow White and David haunt their baby via  a Haunting Booth, which is a payphone. There is a fine line between being clever and dumb. This seems to taking that step over the line.

Then there is Rumple. Rumple tells Belle about the contract, her condition and his Dark one status. Rumple’s character arc this whole time  isn’t one of redemption of anti-hero but accepting the man and the beast. So he can be slightly nicer and loving but not a hero. Rumple doesn’t want to change he wants love and power. I guess he is being honest…?

This episode was pretty good. Somehow Hades and Zelena are super compelling but they need to stop with the flaming hair. It’s just uncanny valley. Can also have done without super self-righteous Robin and the Haunting Booth.

 

Episode 11: Swan Song

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook with Caroline Ford as Nimue & Dark Ones Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 11 Swan Song review picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook with Caroline Ford as Nimue & Dark Ones

Must be fun to be extra playing a Dark One. I swear though one of the Dark One’s capes has the same fabric they used with Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens. What is a group of Dark Ones called? A Gaggle? A Constitution? An Unpleasantness ? A Murder? A Darkness?

Still not sure how the Dark Ones are really coming back other than they are a Vista from Hell or the Underworld and need the souls of the living for the exchange. Does seem like there were more Dark Ones than Storybrooke sacrificial lambs.

The plan of the Dark One does seem odd. Why would a Dark One want more Dark Ones around? Just to “snuff out the light?” And then what? Dark Ones are going to terrorize Storybrooke and compete for whose the Darkest? Doesn’t matter because Hook comes to his senses and sacrifices himself to put out the Darkness except he doesn’t because Rumple pulled out a double-cross and used the sword as conduit to be the Dark One again. Only this time he has all the powers of the Dark Ones. But wasn’t that the point, all Dark Ones are connected to the other Dark Ones. Didn’t the repeatedly say the pervious Dark Ones are inside the mind of the Dark One? Or do the Dark Ones communicate even though they are in the Underwood? It doesn’t make much sense and the murkiness of the explanations and the revelation doesn’t help, point is Rumple once again lost his redemptive arc and went with power. This show is a cock tease with Rumple’s character development.

Then there is Hook who in the past section meets his father who abandoned him and his brother and sold them. Then Hook’s dad was put under a sleep curse, met a girl while asleep, fell in love, got that kiss, married her and had another son. I guess this lady who died before we could meet her, I bet her name was named Adelaide and loved vegetables. Comment if you get that reference.

Anyway Hook meeting his dad was a test by Regina so Hook could kill Cora and go to Land without Magic to get his revenge on Rumple. He was going to spare his dad but killed him after he learned his new son is named Liam. So if he had a girl it would have been different? Actually Hook is mad about the abandonment and figures he hasn’t changed. Funny, that Hook never bonded with Emma about being orphans. Did anyway in this show NOT have a tragic childhood?

Hook’s redemption felt really rushed. So the drama of his sacrifice didn’t have enough impact.

Anyway it’s off to the Underworld with everyone to save Hook. Also we see that Nonchalant Duck again. That Duck and that Dove from season three should get more screentime.

 

Episode 12: Souls of the Departed

The Heroes in the Underworld Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 12-Souls of the Departed review picture image

The Heroes in the Underworld

Hey this is the 100th episode! And Welcome to Season 5 Arc 2 a.k.a Hell of Color-Correction. The Underworld looks like a dilapidated StoryBrooke with an ultra red tone.

So far this is the arc of dead character cameos as we see the Blind Witch from Season 1, Cruella drove by, Peter Pan, James and Henry(Regina’s dad) and Cora. Also Neal, who isn’t in the Underworld. Who knows who else will see again? Do the creepy marionettes that were Geppetto’s parents count as a cameo?

This episode focuses mainly on Regina’s parents Henry and Cora. Cora has set-up some plan to get Regina out of the Underworld but Henry begs her to stay to bring hope and help her friends. Cora tries to sent Henry to I guess even worse Hell but in the end he is set to Paradise, not sure what it is but it seems nice. Henry going to his reward was a nice emotional scene.

The backstory did answer a weird element from season 1, how Henry got trapped in Wonderland. Nice to get an answer, wondered if anyway was wondering how that happen.

A new character we meet is Hades. Not a fan. He looks like an asshole and whispers nearly all his lines. Maybe he will get better. Curious about the other character from Hercules. Like is the girl giving Hades a pedicure Megara? Could make sense.

Not a bad episode, had good moments with Henry and Regina but it’s the arc opener so there isn’t much going on yet aside from meeting Hades, the Crew’s quest to save Hook and help the Underworld people move on. I hate the Hades Blue Flame effect.

 

Episode 9: The Bear King

Amy Manson as Merida & Jamie Chung as Mulan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 9 The Bear King review picture image

Amy Manson as Merida & Jamie Chung as Mulan

Well more Brave but also the return of Ruby and Mulan so that is a good get. Most this episode was okay. There was no Storybrooke or the main crew so the show is prolonging the mystery of what happens now that Hook is a Dark One.

Arthur is the one who killed Merida’s dad and took his helm that the witch lady wants back or she’ll turn Merida’s people into Bears. The show’s treatment of Brave is so on the nose. Anyway Arthus wants the helm because it can make people follow the wear into battle. Arthurs’ motivates for this plot are really dumb. He convinced a guy to commit suicide for Camelot, he REALLY doesn’t need the helm.

Merida was a little more likable in this episode. Less combative more open. Her interactions with her mother and Mulan were good too.

Mulan is the one who taught Merida to fight and helped in the operation “find the helm.” Ruby went back to the Enchanted Forest to find her pack but the witch enchanted her and now Mulan and her are all of a quest to find her pack. Got say a few episodes of them on adventures sounds better than either Camelot or Brave.

Episode 10: Broken Heart

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 10-Broken Heart review picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

Welcome to Dark Curse Number 3 in five seasons. Hook becomes a Dark One and in just seconds reverts to Evil Hook and has a grand plan. This Grand Plan of his which is more than just revenge on Rumple is to bring back all the Dark Ones so they are not just aspects in his and Emma’s mind but in the flesh. The show makes it seem like they were in the underworld but also part of the Dark One so it’s confusing.

The twist of Hook crushing Merlin’s heart to enact the curse because Nimue loved Merlin was good but again are the Dark Ones in the Underworld or a part of the Dark One(s) psyche? It seems like it shouldn’t be both but it is I guess.

All this is pretty dumb if you think about it. How could Hook not have known he was a Dark One? Does a memory wipe just cancel out the darkness? Why didn’t Emma just make herself forget she was ever a Dark One in the first place then? Then no one who have remembered anything and they just could have lived until they relived they couldn’t die. Can someone using the dagger just order the darkness to go away?

Then there was Rumple being the key to opening the way to the underworld. Rumple and Belle are also off again. They are so back and forth so many times that you can’t root for them anymore. Henry and Emma teaming up. Basically Emma had to learn had to work in a team again to earn back Henry’s trust. And Zelena gets to hold her baby under Regina and Robin’s strict supervision.

Honestly this wasn’t a bad episode there is just too much confusion and weirdness to this plot to help it now. Also why was Merida, a ruling Queen, just riding through Camelot? I know they needed to explain why she was in Storybrooke but the whole of the Brave subplot and Merida has been really forced into the narrative. Frozen at least was the plot in season 4.

 

Episode 7: Nimue

Caroline Ford as Nimue & Elliot Knight as Merlin review picture image

Caroline Ford as Nimue & Elliot Knight as Merlin

This episode was great. The plot revolved around the origins of the Dark One which out turns out to be a flip side of Merlin. Merlin drank from the Holy Grail and became a do-gooder wizard. He the fell in love with a lady, Nimue, who secretly drank from the grail and gave into to darkness thus creating the Dark one. Giving into darkness is killing and revenge. This show does take a simplic path to evil despite the grey tone to many of the characters.

Also in the episode Merlin’s soul get tethered to Excalibur as he tethered the Nimue’s dark magic to the dagger or other half. The Dagger and Excalibur are also made from the Holy Grail. Merlin made into a sword to cleave his magic and immortality, Nimue is the one that broke it and Emma restored it at the end of the episode despite Merlin’s warning in 1989 not to put the sword togather. Excalibur can destroy either the light or the darkness so probably not too good pending on Emma’s true plan.  This plot is getting more Star Wars all the time.

One minor problem, if the Dark One and dark magic were created 500 years before the events of Snow White, Regina and David and Rumble was the Dark One for 200 years given Hook’s revenge plot. Seem like it should have been more than 500 years.

I have another issue. Last episode, Merlin’s voice mail said that to get rid of the darkness they should find Nimue, the original Dark One. Either it was a clunky line of dialogue to promote mystery of who Nimue is or only a Dark One can destroy the Dark One.  Also Nimue and the Lady of the Lake are separate characters and there is no hint of Morgan le Fey.  Boo.

I do like how this arc doesn’t have a new bad big bad, Arthur hardly counts, he is a douchey mid-boss at best.  All in all the mythos of the Dark One was great. Interesting and decently compelling.

If I were in this show I would want to be a Dark One extra       

 

Episode 8; Birth

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 8 Birth review picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan & Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook

So Emma’s massive Dark One plan was to save Hook because she made him a  Dark One when she tethered his soul after he got a nick by Excalibur and to save him from the darkness she wants to put the collective darkness in Zelena then kill her but before she can do that she needs to evict the baby so she used dark magic and spiked onion rings to expedient the Zelena’s pregnancy.   

Well it’s a twist Hook being a Dark One but doesn’t make much sense since the tethering of one soul SHOULDN’T have created a Dark One. I thought the darkness was born out of a Holy Grail drinker giving into to dark impulses Nimue was a Dark One before Merlin tethered her soul to the dagger. Does beg the question, how did Nimue successful touch and drink from the grail since the dude with Merlin was turned to ash.

And it turns out Dark Ones all get resolidified at the vault expect Rumple since that is where Dark Hook appeared. It’s a continuity error because the writers invented  the vault in season 3,  guess  it’s more Dramatic.

So are we really to believe that when Emma took Hook’s memories he didn’t have an inkling of the darkness? Seems like he should have known something was up in his mind. He does have more of a temper this season but Emma was the Dark one, he has a history of hating the Dark One so his anger made sense but this turn of events seems like overkill.

Also Emma’s motives were out of place of love so it makes her Not quite a villain, she just has darker methods.

Gotta say most of the characters have been really flat this season. Most of their conversations are about how Emma is the Dark One but she isn’t Emma but she is but she isn’t.   

This episode does pull a big twist and the execution was bit all over the place.

Caroline Ford as Nimue, The Original Dark One Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 7 Nimue review picture image

Caroline Ford as Nimue, The Original Dark One

 

Episode 5: Dreamcatcher

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 5 Dreamcatcher picture image

Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

This episode has Emma and Regina freeing Merlin from the tree or in tree form. To do this, they need a tear of lost love. Emma gets this by manipulating Violet, Henry’s Camelot crush. Henry however sees this in Storybrooke via a dreamcatcher. Making Dreamcatcher is to Emma what spinning straw is to Rumple; a hobby to pass the time once filled with sleep. Dark Ones don’t need sleep.

Anyway they do free Merlin and he can free Emma if she is willing to let the dark power go. Clearly that didn’t happen since Emma is manipulator and like Cora.

There are a few nitpicks. If Merlin was a tree or stuck in the tree how did he visit Emma in the movie theater in 1989? Was it a vision? Second nitpick, why didn’t David look at the security footage after the guy died by drank the poison in the jail which Arthur convinced him to do? I mean Arthur wouldn’t have know about security footage. But no, they are going to plan a dance for Hope. Or maybe a Hootenanny of Hope. It just prolong things.

The show is really good at prolonging this just enough to give the character some easy out for completing their next task. In this case a Dreamcatcher shows Emma the anti-venom to fix Merlin and the task is done in the same episode. And David and Snow are all better too. Or are they in theory broken since the “sand” that “cursed” them “fixed” them? Doesn’t matter.

Boring episode. The date was awkward and Camelot is a bore.

Episode 6: The Bear and the Bow

Amy Manson as Merida Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 5 review picture image

Amy Manson as Merida

While it’s nice to escape the dullness of the Camelot plot not sure how much the Brave location adds. It feels like a rehash, like Merida wants to be a bear so she can save her brothers from the clans who don’t think she is fit to rule. Belle convinces her she don’t need magic just her bow and confidence.

The Storybrooke plot is Merida trying to get Rumple to be a hero so he can pull out Excalibur. Her method for motivating him is threatening Belle. Also Arthur is still a douche and the Charmings, Regina, Hook and Henry get Merlin’s voice mail, seriously. Merlin tells them the way to beat the Dark One is find someone called Nimue. Nimue is another name for Vivian a.k.a the Lady if the Lake. Though I’m pretty sure Lancelot mentioned in season two that the Lady of Lake is his mother, so could be his mother. It’s about time we saw other Arthurian ladies like Vivian or Morgan le Faye. This show could have had a field day with Morgan le Faye.

All in not much to this episode. It’s on the line of being alright but again I’m bias, not a fan of Brave. Emma and Zelena’s interactions were fun. Not sure how I feel about Jennifer Morrison’s acting on Dark Swan but the attitude is still preferable than her whiney attitude.

Episode 3: Siege Perilous

 Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 3 Siege Perilous review picture image

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook & Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan

I found this episode mostly boring. It centers on David and Arthur going on a quest to get a mushroom so they can chat with Merlin who is a tree. Arthur turns out to be sketchy as he steals the mushroom from David in the flashback and convinces a dude to kill himself in Storybrooke. To be fair, Arthur was sketchy in the legends as he tried to murder his incest baby and killed the May Day babies, so he wasn’t that great. At least Lancelot reappears to tell Snow about Arthur, sometimes you just got to tell these people or they won’t learn who the villain is.

In other events Emma tricks Hook and learn how to wake Rumple up so he can pull excalibur for her from the rock in her cave-like basement. Apparently he is a perfect hero as he is a blank slate. Not really sure how the makes sense. All his karma is wiped away because he not the Dark One? Good thing he cured his heart of darkness from the last season. And hey, where is Lily and Maleficent? Guess the show dropped them too.

Aside from a few action set-pieces and Emma’s crafty new attitude this episode was a bit of a snooze.

Episode 4: The Broken Kingdom

Liam Garrigan as King Arthur & Joana Metrass as Guinevere Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 4 The Broken Kingdom review picture image

Liam Garrigan as King Arthur & Joana Metrass as Guinevere

I mostly liked this episode. The exploration of Guinevere and Arthur’s broken relationship was the most compelling aspect of the episode. Guinevere didn’t like Arthur’s obsession with getting excalibur mended at the cost of ignoring his Kingdom and wife. He basically uses a sand that fixes things to brainwash her into being supportive. Arthur is a selfish A-hole.

I more like like the fake-out between David, Snow, Arthur and Lancelot but since Arthur uses that sand it doesn’t amount to anything. Might as well not had the plot at all since it doesn’t seem to further the arc. The only thing it add was getting Lancelot locked-up and apparently Arthur wants to kill Merlin for some reason. Could be as simple as Arthur hates that the sword was broke. Made he thinks Merlin is making fun of his manhood.

Emma and Hook have a date to make her forget the voices in her head. It was visually pretty with the flowers and Emma’s white cape. I really like the cape. Speaking of the costumes I do like Emma’s dark one jacket. Nice nod to the crocodile.

The only part that took place in Storybrooke is Emma using Merida to make Rumple “Brave,” they literally name drop the movie. Though you could have made a drinking game with the number of times they say “Frozen.” Oh and Merida is in Arthur dungeon and she doesn’t like him very much. While I don’t love the character of Merida, I do think the actress, Amy Manson does a good job.