|Who you gonna call?|
Oh, come on. You know you shouted it out as soon as you saw him.
This week's episode sees the return of one of my all-time favorite characters, the dastardly Captain Hook! He's been Killian Jones for a while now, and while my Captain Swan heart is all aflutter every time Emma uses his given name, I have to say I've missed my dark and vengeful villain.
So we begin tonight's episode back on the good old Jolly Roger, flashing back to a time before Hook got de-hooked and then re-hooked again, back before he hooked up (figuratively - God forbid they actually do it) with Emma. Apparently Pan has sent the fastest ship in all the realms (Captained by the cleverest and most resourceful of pirates) on a donut run, and on the way back, they encounter what sounds like a siren singing in very Disney-eque voice. But it's not - it's a mermaid. Because sirens don't sing in the Enchanted Forest.
Hook manages to single-handedly (ha!) avoid crashing on the rocks, and we meet young Ursula, who is...a mermaid! She stopped singing just in time to let the ship pass and her father Poseidon the Ghostbuster is pretty hacked about it. He reminds young Ursula that a human killed her mother, and as long as she lives in his ocean (God, what a great parental line), she'll play by his rules. Ursula tells him she doesn't want to live in his ocean anymore.
I like young Ursula! She's got gumption. Here's hoping some of that transfers to the older version this episode.
Moving forward to Storybrooke, we see modern-day Ursula, listening dreamily to opera music before she's summoned back into the cabin in the woods for a good day's torturin'. Cruella gets ready to take a knife to August, who is swearing vehemently that he doesn't know who the author is.
Regina takes the knife away and tosses out an excellent barb:
|"Please. I was torturing people back when you were still playing with puppies."|
She threatens to fireball the formerly wooden guy, and he starts singing like a canary. He tells them that back in Season 2, he met a mystic known as The Dragon (FINALLY!!! My one great unsolved plot thread!) who was searching for the author as well. After Tamara killed (?) The Dragon, August stole his research.
Rumple decides to pay a visit to August's trailer back down in the holler, and the other girls tell him they'll work on "the rest of the plan" that Regina obviously still isn't in on yet. She summons the smoke monster from Lost and sends it off into the woods.
Emma, Killian and the parentals are out in the woods looking for August and they find the Smoke monster instead. Regina possesses Snow with it and oh, Ginny, you do an awesome job channeling Regina. She lets them know that Gold is back in town. They head over to Gold's shop to find Belle.
Belle tells the foursome that she gave faux Killian the dagger and Killian is understandably pissed that somebody duplicated his pretty face. He says he's got a bargaining chip with Ursula, and he's going to return her happy ending - because he's the guy who took it from her in the first place.
Killian meets up with Ursula, offering her the something she wants more than anything (which has obviously got to be her voice because they've barely let her talk, that's for sure). Ursula agrees to tell him Rumple's endgame in return.
Flashback to a tavern in the Enchanted Forest (not Neverland? Wait - Hook got away from Neverland and...went back? Or is this after he got away? I'm confused...) where young Ursula is singing beautifully. Hook recognizes the voice and thanks her for letting them live. He buys her a drink and it turns out that her Mom was offed by a pirate and that's why Dad likes to use it to send humans to their deaths. Her voice is the only thing she has left of her mother. Hook tells her that she has a rare gift - her voice can sooth even the most haunted soul. It's made him forget his pain for a little while. He offers to help her run away.
Later we see Hook being hauled aboard his ship by Poseidon, and Hook - facing the undisputed ruler of the sea - gets nice and cocky. And oh, I missed cocky Season 2 and 3 Hook with floofy hair.
It's so good to have him back. Poseidon tells Hook he'll give him a way to destroy The Crocodile if he'll steal Ursula's singing voice. That'll teach her a lesson. Geez, Dad.
Back in Storybrooke, Ursula opens a portal to the Jolly Roger using the piece of the ship that Hook kept as a souvenir. She pulls the Jolly back to Storybrooke, and much to his dismay, it's now teeny-tiny and sitting in a bottle.
Hook takes the ship to the knave (who's here for his standard five minute appearance), and he dares to cast aspersions upon its size. Having spent time in Wonderland, the Knave knows how to un-shrink things. Killian's in luck, and despite their animosity toward each other, he agrees to help.
Over in the woods, Robin suddenly shows up - oh please don't let him be Rumple because he kisses Regina - and oh, it's a dream. Phew.
You teasing writers, you.
Back at the cabin, Rumple's got a spell to turn August to wood again, and he forces it down his throat. Ooooh. Rumple. You're really, really dark. I mean, I know that shouldn't surprise me, but damn. You and Poseidon ought to hang out sometime.
Emma and her parents are on their way to the cabin to rescue August, and Daddy David starts going off on Emma's boyfriend again, bringing up the way he went all dark-like this morning, and Emma defends her man. Go Emma! Parents just don't understand!
Back in the cabin, however, Rumple's potion has worn off enough to make August look human again (guess they saved the CGI budget for the tentacles and Jolly Roger set) but it does give August a rapidly growing nose that Rumple literally holds to the flame.
August starts singing again: the sorcerer is trapped behind a door. It's somewhere in Storybrooke, and "She knows about the door." Okay, who the hell is she? Damn August. Obtuse as ever. Rumple suggests they start looking at the sorcerer's mansion, and off they go, leaving Cruella behind to guard the former marionette.
Over at the dock, Ursula uses a liquid distilled from Wonderland mushrooms to bring the Jolly back to size, and Killian's smile warms the cockles of my heart.
|Ewww. Why did I choose this gif?|
Killian uses his hook as a key (squee!) to a cabinet and returns the shell that traps Ursula's voice. She tries to get her voice out of the shell and unfortunately, it doesn't work. Ursula refuses to honor the deal, prompting Hook to go dark and pull a gun on her. She lobs a great line:
"Never go up against a woman with eight hands especially when you only have one." And then she strangles him into unconsciousness and tosses him overboard, where he is rescued by...Ariel!
Once she gets him on board, she promptly gives him a smack for being such a rat bastard last time she saw him. Apparently, Blackbeard's been pissing people off in Arendelle, and Elsa - who inexcplicably has magic other than snow magic now - trapped the Jolly (and Ariel) in the bottle. Does this mean Blackbeard was trapped, too and is even now marauding around Storybrooke, waiting for season 5? Hmmmm?
Killian explains that the villains are trying to find their happy endings and Ariel suggests they're going about it all wrong. Killian asks for her help.
Back we go to the Enchanted Forest, where Hook is refusing to work for Poseidon. He offers Ursula another deal - if she gets him the squid ink that Poseidon promised, he'll let her keep her voice. He even vows never to take her voice from her, because it would go against his personal code.
Ursula gets the ink, and just as she's about to hand it over, Daddy shows up, all enraged because Hook double-crossed him. He takes away the squid ink, and freezes Hook and his crew in place with a thundering,
"You dare to attack a deity?"
|Hook, when someone asks you if you dare to attack a God, you say YES!|
When Poseidon finally releases Hook, Hook gets flaming pissed and takes Ursula's voice so that Poseidon can't use it against humans anymore. Ursula is understandably betrayed, reminding him that he'd promised, that he had a code. She jumps over the side of the ship, and Poseidon demands the return of the shell holding her voice.
Hook refuses out of spite, threatening to crush it, and Poseidon, undisputed ruler of the sea, ghostbuster and a mother-freakin' deity, just shuts his yap and leaves without a whimper.
Wait - didn't he just freeze everyone? Why can't he do that again? Helloooo continuity?
Back at the cabin, Cruella is her usual snappy self, and she gets tonight's winning line, used on a tied-up August.
"I'm so glad that potion was only temporary. The scruff is so much more attractive than the timber."
(Personally, I would've gone for the obvious wood joke, but what do I know.)
Just as she delivers the killer line, she gets Rapunzeled by a skillet, wielded by Snow in an awesome Disney callout. Skillets! Who knew?
Flashing back again to Poseidon's underwater crib, we see a defiant young Ursula, who has managed to steal daddy's trident. She lets us know that she was named for the sea goddess - meaning she's not really the sea goddess at all - and she doesn't want to be a mermaid anymore. She uses the trident to turn her tail to tentacles so she can be powerful and villainous.
We see those tentacles now wrapped around Snow's neck in present day as Ursula has returned to the cabin. Before she can squeeze the happy out of Snow, Killian shows up, proving once again that he's a survivor, and he's asked Ariel to fetch a surprise guest - Poseidon.
Poseidon is more than repentant, and he's also the only one who can return Ursula's voice, since he's the one who enchanted the seashell in the first place. He gives her back the voice, and Ursula decides she wants to go home, really go home.
Cruella gets away while all this is going on, presumably to find Rumple and let him know they're down a big baddie.
And now, in a tender moment alone with Emma, Killian faces the truth - he used to be a villain, and today he nearly gave over to his dark side. He's terrified that he's going to lose his happy ending. Emma has apparently sustained a head injury at some point, because she can't for the life of her figure out what his happy ending might be.
Some men say "I love you," but Killian Jones can say it with any words he chooses. It's a beautiful and heartstopping thing when he turns those soulful blue eyes on her and says "Don't you know Emma? It's you."
|Oh, the tidal wave of Captain Swan fangirly feels.|
And of course, that love has to be in jeopardy. Ursula lets Killian in on Rumple's end game: he plans to turn Emma dark. As long as there's a savior, the villains won't get their happy ending.
We end the episode with Regina letting Emma know about her dream of Robin. She's worried that it's a sign that something might happen to Robin and Emma agrees to track him down for her.
August wakes up (wait - did I miss the part where he fell unconscious? Guess I did) and he lets them in on the other big secret of the night...
The illustration of the door isn't just an illustration. The author is, in fact, trapped in the book.
I'm giving this one four hooks out of five.
My Captain Swan-loving heart wants to give it five, but there was some continuity befuddlement and it all wrapped up awfully nice and neat for Storybrooke. Ursula - the older one, anyway - ended with a whimper, and that's a damn shame.