You raised the bar very high, Swan. And the fact is, I don’t measure up.Killian
Starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas, Emilie de Ravin, Colin O’Donoghue, Jared S. Gilmore, Rebecca Mader, Sean Maguire, and Robert Carlyle.
This episode is all about Killian’s redemption. He’s been on quite a journey since being introduced as a full-blown villain in Season 2, and it’s nice when little references are made to this. His journey has certainly been more straightforward than Regina’s, and he’s stayed pretty much on the correct path since deciding to come back and help Emma and her family in the Season 2 finale. Well, that was, until he became the Dark One and went all in on the plans for world domination.
Before he was turned to the Dark One, he definitely made it clear that he didn’t want to become dark again, and it’s clearly something that he has struggled with even if we haven’t seen this play out too much on screen. It’s also nice for him to acknowledge in this episode his own feelings of not being worthy or good enough for Emma, as well as the difference between how he and Emma wrestled with being the Dark One. While she fought it nobly for weeks, he gave in pretty much immediately, and it’s understandable that he would take this to heart with hindsight.
Having said that, seeing Killian be so down on himself was frustrating. Throughout this episode he pushed Emma away and gravitated towards the brother that he idolises, even though Emma was providing him with the forgiveness that he needed. He was entirely blinded by putting his brother on a pedestal, and he actually just continued to behave in an un-noble way, despite this being the reason he was upset in the first place. Especially considering that all of Team Charming have gone to such lengths to save him, including putting themselves in Hades’ firing line, it’s incredibly ungrateful of Hook to just give up on being brought back to life.
Fortunately, Hook finds a way to forgive himself during the episode, as the perfect image that he holds of Liam is unceremoniously shattered. The idea that Liam’s entire persona was built on a lie certainly made him more bearable and interesting here. He spent most of the episode strutting around being irritating and self righteous, so it was nice to pull the rug away and make Hook stop looking at him with rose tinted glasses.
Though it’s perhaps something that Emma needed to hear, coddled as she is by her parents, Liam confronting Emma over being selfish by saving Hook crossed a line. Not only is it inappropriate to speak to anybody that way, regardless of if you’re defending a family member, but Liam speaks with the knowledge of other worldly existence. Emma, a mortal, had no conception of death as anything other than infinite. Why wouldn’t she seek to save Hook? She didn’t know that the consequences of that decision would have been for Hook to be in torment in hell. She wanted them to stay together, and had a plan to fix it. It, perhaps, was not the best thought through plan in existence, but nobody’s actions are terribly considered in this show.
The eponymous brothers aside, Henry spent this episode continuing his Author quest to find the quill and write Cruella out of the Underworld. He succeeded in finding the quill, with the help of the Apprentice, who apparently unfortunately died when we saw him slipping into unconsciousness in the premiere so that’s…unfortunate. His little bomb about how he will spend his entire existence in eternal torment should Henry not make the correct decision about writing people back to life. That’s not emotionally manipulative at all, thank you.
At least Henry’s story about the Author, much like in Season 4, seems bound to collide with the main action sooner rather than later. I’m not overly fond of more Henry on screen, and would rather he shuffled off this mortal coil and for everybody to just casually pretend that they have no idea who Henry was, but that aside, I’m pleased by the hints at a past between Hades and Zelena. It’s a nice way to bring Rebecca Mader back into the action, and it will be intriguing to see whether Hades and Zelena will be allies or enemies moving forwards.
Ultimately, I found ‘The Brothers Jones’ overwhelmingly “meh”. I feel like I didn’t learn very much and nobody really came on a particularly meaningful journey. Liam was obnoxious and irritating for most of the episode, and Hook’s journey to self acceptance was more frustrating than it felt organic. Still, with the promise of more Zelena on the horizon, I’m looking forward to what comes next.
You can watch Once Upon a Time Seasons 1 – 7 on Netflix. It is also available on home media and other digital platforms for purchase or rent.