This week’s flashback is back t Killian’s pirate days, back when he was still hunting down Rumple to
be brutally murdered by him
get his revenge.
Along the way he was kind of kidnapped by Nemo
Yes, only on Once Upon a Time can captain Hook be kidnapped by Nemo. It seems Nemo has a habit of collecting crew members who are obsessed with revenge so he can teach them that vengeance is hollow and they can all be one big happy family and he wants Killian to join him.
As part of that he leads them to get some buried treasure – a key to the Land of Untold Stories which we’re supposed to be surprised by but, really, a mysterious key? Where else was it going to go? Narnia?
In Storybrooke we focus on Henry pulling a full “not my real dad!” on Killian who has moved in with him and Emma. And that works, I like it – it’s easy to make this all very beatific and Henry totally embracing his new dad who is kind of cool and he kind of likes and looks up to. But there’s a difference between liking Killian and having him move in and act as an authority figure over Henry, especially since Henry is a teenager. Doubly on that, the paranoia of Storybrooke has Emma and Killian “watching” over Henry nearly constantly – he has little alone time and very few peers of his own age; another family figure moving in can as easily be seen as stifling as anything else
Add in that Killian is still a little alien – being someone who was never cursed, he has little grasp of pop culture, modern technology or modern life: while endearing in small amounts this has to get frustrating with prolonged exposure.
Which the EQ exploits, of course, exposing to Henry that Killian has kept the shears that can destroy Emma’s saviourness and save her life. Henry is outraged that Killian is making decision for Emma, expressly against her wishes (with more than a little resentment on his part at the control Killian has on his own life) which ends up with a lot more squabbling until they end up at the dock kidnapped by – Nemo’s men
Twist, back to the past: it turns out one of Nemo’s men who is seeking revenge is Liam #2 – Killian’s little brother. Killian killed their father and Liam was looking for vengeance until Nemo recruited him. Killian quickly realises he needs to leave – because it’s easy for Liam to let go of vengeance when the target of that vengeance isn’t actually there. Killian is right – and only Nemo getting in the way stops Killian being stabbed and allows him to escape.
So back to the present and guess who is captain now? Killian focuses on saving Henry and getting him safe – because having destroyed Liam’s family, he now has a chance to have what he spurned and destroyed. He wants to save Henry’s family – Emma’s family – and will get Henry to safety even if he has to stay behind
Henry doesn’t leave of course, and when Liam decides to kill Killian, Henry is there to intervene. Liam sees the horror of killing a man in front of his son-figure in revenge for a man killing his father: another cycle, another orphan looking for vengeance created and they all end up in the hospital all issues resolved. Ish. In that hospital they also find Nemo, newly arrived from the Land of Untold Stories. Along the way they also dispose of the sheers, respecting Emma’s wish. Killian still tells Emma – who understands. The whole reason she got rid of the shears wasn’t so someone could use them as a weapon against her: but so she wouldn’t be tempted by them.
It’s a bit simplistic but, still, I like it. I like it because we’ve focused so much on Killian and Emma that I think how Henry fits into this relationship also needed to be shown, I think because we needed to see some of the messier emotions because that’s part of the point of Once Upon a Time; to cut through the simplisticness and black-and-white easy resolves of Disney fairy tales. It’s why Snow White isn’t the protagonist, why Regina is no long an antagonist and why Rumble is a big mess of complex.
Speaking of, Belle goes to hospital for an ultrasound and is extremely conflicted about how much she’s cutting Rumple out of their son’s life as the birth approaches.
While EQ hands the shears she’s retrieved (what, bottom of the ocean is no hiding place in a world with mermaids) to Rumple – he wants them to break his fate so he can escape the terribad future of not knowing his son. In return EQ wants Belle’s heart – especially since EQ and Regina just showed off so the Charmings could rescue Archie
But was there really a need for EQ to kiss Rumple? Really?
Meanwhile after walking out on Jasmin who is still dedicated to saving Agrabah rather than just happily settling down to do whatever Aladdin does, he goes to have a conversation with Emma. They talk Saviourness and how she has walked out before – only to come back after the fact to fix and seek forgiveness. I like this a bit more – I said previously I was concerned that Aladdin was being set up as the failed Saviour next to Emma’s superior saviour. But there have been times when she has doubted her Saviourness, when she has wanted to leave. But she hasn’t had the shears – and she’s had a family to come back to. By presenting Emma as basically having made the same mistakes in the past as Aladdin made – only she had less ability to escape and a better support net – we’re not presenting her as inherently superior
He goes back to Jasmin – he wants to help Agrabah. But it appears the whole city has disappeared.