Sunday, April 13, 2014

TV Recap: Once Upon a Time 3-17 - The Jolly Roger

The twists and turns this half of the season is taking is incredible.  While I didn't mind the Neverland arc for the first half of the season, but one is blowing it out of the water.  I don't know how they will defeat Zelena, but things are just getting harder and harder for them.

And once again, I'm getting ahead of myself.

I'm going to do something different this week and start in Storybrooke.  The big reveal of the episode comes from the flashback, so I'd like to stick it near the end.

Additionally, let's get a couple of sub-plots out of the way. 
Henry is having a great time spending time with Hook, which really upsets David and Mary Margaret.  Not that they don't have themselves to blame.  I mean, talking to a 12-year-old about a baby for hours on end?  Please.  It's not like that's going to entertain them.  So when they wind up with Henry late in the episode, David decides to teach Henry how to drive in his pick up truck.  The results are pretty much as you'd expect, although the only real damage seems to be to a mailbox.  The scene at the end where they are telling Emma and Regina was pretty funny.

Speaking of Emma and Regina, Emma asks Regina for help learning to use her magic.  She just intends to use it to defeat Zelena, and that's it.  She also promises to be careful.  Regina starts by going with books, but Emma isn't excited.  Then Regina realizes that every time Emma has used magic, it's been because of her wants and needs of the moment, so she takes them to a bridge and then starts the bridge unraveling.  Emma doesn't seem to be able to do anything, and the look on Regina's face when Emma drops is priceless.  But Emma comes through.  She doesn't recreate the bridge like Regina assumed she would.  Instead, she gathers everything up and creates a floating platform for herself.

Which brings us to the heart of the episode - Ariel is back!  She washes up on the beach looking for Eric.  No one has seen him since the new curse hit, and she's been searching magical lands to no avail.

Poor Hook is off by himself as the episode begins.  Smee comes up to him saying he and the rest of the crew want to get on their ship and take off, but Hook isn't going to do that.  For one thing, their ship isn't there.  For another, he doesn't want to run the risk of being turning into a flying monkey.  (And who can blame him.)

He also has a conversation with Emma where Emma confesses that she wants to take Henry back to his life in New York as soon as this is over - pretend it never happened.  Hook tries to tell her that you can't undo what you've become, and he sounds like he's talking from personal experience.  However, Emma won't listen.

Of course, his focus changes when he and Ariel come into contact with each other.  David and Mary Margaret think that he might know something about Eric.  Hook denies it, but you can tell he's hiding something.

The next step in the search is Gold's shop, where Ariel and Hook happen to find Eric's cape.  Belle puts the tracking potion on the cape, and it starts flying off to take them to Eric.

All this time, Hook is trying to get out of the search, but he keeps being dragged in each step along the way.  Unfortunately, when the cape gets to water, it just lands on the surface before slowly sinking into the water.  Ariel reaches the inevitable conclusion - Eric is dead, drowned at sea.

So I think it's time we flashed back to the Enchanted Forest of nine months ago, don't you?

Our first images back in time are of someone holding up a stage carrying a chest full of gold.  Yep, it's Hook at work along with Smee (who is no longer a rat) and two more men.  The jokes about Smee being a rat were great.  I especially loved the line about him dreaming of cheese.  Anyway, Hook and his very small crew have been reduced to stealing on land since they can't find their ship anywhere.

They are celebrating their victory at the local pub, but when Hook steps outside, he is accosted by Ariel.  Eric has been taken by the pirate of The Jolly Roger, and she wants him back.  There's just one problem - Hook isn't that captain.  She does know the dagger she holds is from that pirate captain, and the ship is nearby.  There are initials on the dagger's handle - BB.  Hook immediately knows how the captain is - Blackbeard.

Hook, Ariel, and Smee set out to retake the ship and free Eric.  When they arrive, Hook challenges Blackbeard to a dual while Ariel searches the ship.  However, when Hook finally uses his knowledge of the ship, specifically a lose board, to capture Blackbeard, Ariel runs back on the deck with the news that Eric isn't anywhere on board.

Blackbeard starts to laugh.  He's marooned Eric on an island, and he won't tell anyone where Eric is being held.  Blackbeard does offer to take them there, however.  It's a challenge to Hook, who rumor has it is going soft.

Hook doesn't fall for it.  He cuts Blackbeard's arm and then makes him walk the plank, guaranteeing that sharks will find him quickly.  Ariel is devastated but dives off the ship as well, promising to hunt for Eric.  The rest of the crew swear their allegiance to Hook.  And he sails off into the sunset happy.

Well, except that the guilt is eating him alive.  Back in Storybrooke of the present, he stops Ariel, who had been talking away, and finally comes clean about all we've just seen.  She is, naturally, upset.  Hook tries to apologize, but Ariel isn't listening.  Instead, she gets him to confess that he loves someone.  Ariel wants Hook to swear he is sorry on this person's name, which he does.

And as soon as he says "Emma Swan," there is a puff of green smoke over his lips.  At which point, "Ariel" turns into Zelena.  The real Ariel has been reunited with Eric and they are living quite happily on an island.  This entire thing in Storybrooke has been a plot to get Hook to say Emma's name.  When he did, Zelena cursed their love.  Now, when Hook kisses Emma, all of Emma's magic will be taken from her.  Hook vows never to kiss Emma, but Zelena threatens everyone that Emma loves from Henry on up if Hook doesn't do it.

So Hook sets off to the apartment.  He's looking for David and Mary Margaret who aren't back with Henry yet.  Instead, he finds Emma and Regina.  He tells them about Ariel being in town and finding out where Eric is (leaving out the truth about Zelena).  They decide to check on Ariel and Eric using a magic mirror.  This is a trick that Regina can't do - look at someone through worlds.  However, with a little coaching, Emma is able to do it.  Her magic is obviously quite strong.  And we see Eric and Ariel laughing together on a beach.

About this time, David, Mary Margaret, and Henry show up, and Hook goes to take off.  Emma stops him, saying she is ready for a fresh start.  Forget the past and move forward.  Hook agrees it sounds good, but still walks off.  And he hasn't kissed Emma.  The final shot of the episode is him looking at her through his telescope as she, the Charmings, Regina, and Henry eat dinner at Granny's.

One other detail from early in the episode - Regina has set a new protection spell, one that doesn't use blood magic, around the Charming's apartment.  Zelena won't be able to touch them or the baby while they are inside.  When asked what Zelena might want with the baby, Regina just says, "You'd be surprised the number of spells that use baby parts."  Um, yuck!

So, obviously, the number one question of the episode is where is The Jolly Roger?  I mean, we know Hook got it back, but did he lose it again?  Did he just leave it behind when he went to get Emma?  Was he separated from Smee and the rest of his crew, which is why they were cursed?  Or did he leave to get Emma before it was cast and that's why he escaped the effects of the curse?  So many tantalizing questions.

Oh, that wasn't foremost on your mind?  (Okay, I admit while I am wondering about those questions, it's not the biggest thing on my mind either.)  While Hook and Zelena were talking, Hook kept bringing up the fact that Zelena is going about attacking Emma sideways.  So why can't she kill Emma and end the threat?  What power does Emma still hold even with this new curse?  That's something I know will be explored later.

So when will Hook kiss Emma.  Or will Zelena start to attack the others first?

I loved the scene on board the ship when Hook was trying to defend his actions to Ariel, talking about how love was nothing but pain.  Instead, Ariel insisted that not looking for love brings nothing but misery.  And obviously Emma is having an effect on Hook, turning him into a nicer guy - some of the time.  I'm enjoying this transformation.

I'm also still very much loving watching Regina fight along side our heroes.  With what they've put her through, if they kept her as a villain at this point it would strain the story to the breaking point.  I am glad they've let her grow and move on.  Not that she doesn't still get some of her digs in, like her line about the Not-Charmings.

What theories do you have going forward?  Any clue how they will defeat Zelena?  I'm not sure where this season is going to wind up, but the ride along the way is wonderful.

In other news, I've heard that Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas, aka Snow and Charming, have now wed in real life.  I knew they were engaged.  I wish them all the best.


  1. Amazing episodes this second half of the season! There are times I read your recap before I watch the episode and then keep my eyes open for certain things you've mentioned.

    In this case knowing Ariel was really Zelena in Storybrooke I watched it perhaps differently. Her expressions and mannerisms and way of speaking was not Ariel when you know who it really is. I enjoyed the real Ariel as a "pirate".

    Also enjoyed the pirate angle on this one as I have a fondness for the Disney ones at least :) It was great to see Hook in Neverland looking for his ship and robbing coaches. I too loved all the little throw away lines especially about Smee - the bilge rat :)

    I'm wondering the same things you are as to where is the ship and will it play a role further down the line in the defeat of WW of the W. And it looks like Emma will always be the Savior in whatever predicament they find themselves in. I'm thinking that WW of the W/Zelena is so popular they will probably end this Season with a dozy of a cliff hanger and bring her back next Season. I really don't see this getting resolved anytime soon - which with the way the storyline has been going, I'm fine with.

    Thanks for the heads up on Ginnifer and Josh tying the knot. With their love of Disneyland, it's too bad they couldn't have had a fairy tale wedding at the Castle. But then given the circumstances ;) ;)

    1. I hadn't thought about rewatching the episode knowing the ending. Now I really wish I hadn't erased it already.

      I hadn't thought of them extending Zelena's time on the show. That would certainly be fun, although my guess is they've already plotted the ending, at least for this story arc. I just hope they don't give us Regina and Gold as the villains again next season. I like the way they've evolved the characters.

    2. I really love your recaps! One thing I have to mention is I think the writers killed off Neal they could do the plot of Hook and Emma falling in love ...which makes me mad because the main reason Gold had the 1 curse so he could be with Neal is way better than Hook

    3. Thanks!

      I've heard some people say that about Neal, but I think it was more about them not knowing what to do with his character. If you look, he really didn't have much to do. But this will then drive Gold and Emma for the rest of the season in their fight again Zelena.

      Not that I'm happy about it. I wanted Neal and Emma together, but I'm learning to deal.