Recaps

Once Upon a Time “The Brothers Jones”

The main task for today is to find the Underworld version of the Storybook in hopes that it holds the secret to defeating Hades. Henry gets a tip on the location when he talks with the Apprentice about finding the Author’s quill. The Magician’s house is here, along with many of his light magic creations.

Photo Credit: ABC/Eike Schroter

Photo Credit: ABC/Eike Schroter

But first, we learn all about the hidden lives of the Jones brothers. Back in Neverland in season 3 we saw Liam die for the belief that he served a just king, which worked to prove his heroic nature to both the audience and Killian. Today we learn that this heroism is tarnished by an earlier deed. It would appear that Liam has spent his life trying to be the perfect brother and role model to Killian, but he made a mistake early on that sent many men to their deaths. As a result, Hades now has Liam in his pocket, willing to do anything to make sure that Killian doesn’t learn his secret.

This is the fundamental problem every character in the show faces. They were born to their storybook worlds and are forced into the archetypal roles of Good or Evil, leaving no room for honest mistakes. I mean sure, as mistakes go, leading an entire ship full of men to their deaths in order to save your own skin and take the jewel for yourself is a biggie, but is that one mistake enough to lose your brother’s love and mark you as a villain for the rest of your life? Hades says yes. As a result, he has Liam steal the pages that tell his tale out of the Storybook, and lie about it to his brother.

Photo Credit: ABC/Eike Schroter

Photo Credit: ABC/Eike Schroter

But this is the Underworld, after all, and no good deed goes unpunished. Captain Silver has found out the truth. (And on a side note, didn’t Costas Mandylor make the perfect sea captain? I’d sail with him any day.) He got a bum deal. All he wanted was one little Eye of the Storm Sapphire, but Liam mutinied, sank his ship, killed his crew, then got to live and keep the sapphire too. Captain Silver gathers his old crew and hijacks Liam and Killian intending to make them pay. He wants them to walk the plank into the pit of flames. Hades steps in because he doesn’t like anyone leaving his realm – in either direction – so he makes an example of the captain by tossing him in. But he also unintentionally gives Liam the opportunity to earn his way out. Killian tries to save Liam, which must be hard with only one hand when hanging over a pit of fire, but Liam accepts the blame for his actions and chooses to sacrifice himself into the flames. Apparently whatever power is on the next rung above Hades decided that was a pretty good choice, because bing, bang, boom, Liam is allowed to move on to that better place everyone is talking about. Oh, and he can take all the guys he killed with him, because it’s all good now that they know why they had to die.

Photo Credit: ABC/Eike Schroter

Photo Credit: ABC/Eike Schroter

These events gave Hook the chance to tell his brother he was forgiven, and that he had to forgive himself. Words that he wouldn’t listen to when Emma said them, but that he took to heart now that he said them out loud himself. Finally, he can come to terms with his choices and move forward.

While the others were looking for the Storybook, Henry goes in search of the quill. The Apprentice has warned him that he shouldn’t use it to make himself the hero, but that’s what Henry really wants. The quill gives him the power to write his family back home safely, and even to bring Cruella back to life like she asked him. No doubt it’s a hard choice for Henry, but ultimately he decides to use the quill as it was meant to be used – to simply record the stories, not to create them. He believes that the power of the quill will allow him to write Hades’ tale back into the Storybook and recreate the missing pages.

So what have we learned this week? We learned that David’s brother James is bitter about being given up by their mother, even though it meant he got to be a prince. We also learned that James doesn’t have very discerning tastes, and he’ll put any old thing in his mouth. We see that beyond all expectations, Regina has become the voice of reason in the group. I wonder if it’s because this place is forcing her to confront her past sins in an honest and straightforward way; she seems to have found some deeper peace here. But the biggest thing we learned by far is that Hades has something going on with Zelena. Which is great and terrible news, of course. She’s such a delightful character to watch that the season will be richer for having her, but the thought of her and Hades teaming up is truly terrifying. Thrilling, but terrifying.

It always seems to be the little things that give me the most pleasure. Seeing Rumple’s Enchanted Forest jail cell acting as the holding cell in the sheriff’s office, for example. This week, it’s Hades who brings the most fun. I’ve been enjoying Greg Germann’s portrayal of Hades because of the dispassionate way he expresses himself. Hades can say the most horrific things, but he could just as easily be giving his food order to a waiter. It makes watching him really fun, because he gives no clues as to what he’s thinking. Which brings me to the…

Photo Credit: ABC/Eike Schroter

Photo Credit: ABC/Eike Schroter

Moment of Goodness

On the ship, Hades appears to Liam with his offer of the sapphire. Although he gives us many enjoyable moments in the scene, my favorite is when he puts out the match with his bare fingers. Is it just me, or did he enjoy that just a little too much? Fire is his domain, and clearly he is in control.

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.

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