Sunday night’s gripping, emotional and jaw-dropping “Good Form” joins the ranks as one of ‘Once Upon A Time’s’ best episodes. We discover Killian Jones’ life prior to piracy and gain insight on a surprising vulnerable, honorable and wounded man. Kudos to Colin O’Donoghue for delivering a heart-warming performance and displaying the emotional journey Captain Hook has been on with charisma and nuance. While Hook exposes his softer side, Emma and Henry show that they’ve got some bite when taking on the Lost Boys.
Fairytale Land/Neverland Past: “I will follow you to the ends of the earth, brother.”
Years ago, Killian Jones was a lieutenant who served under his older brother, Captain Liam Jones, in the king’s navy. The king sends the Jones brothers on a mission to Neverland. They are to retrieve a magical plant that will cure any ailment and bring it back to their kingdom. Before setting sail, Liam gives Killian a sextant with a map showing the way to Neverland. They believe they are embarking on a hero’s journey, which is undoubtedly “good form.” As enemy ships approach, Liam orders his men to open their sails illustrated with the image of a majestic Pegasus. Suddenly their ship, the “Jewel Realm” takes flight and they follow the second star to the right towards Neverland.
Peter Pan approaches Liam and Killian when they land on his island. They tell him about the magical plant and Pan explains that they are looking for Dreamshade. The boy warns them that the plant is deadly; it is not medicine and will only lead to doom. Killian believes Peter, but Liam tells him not to be so gullible. Despite Pan’s fair warning, Liam persists on getting the Dreamshade for his king.
As they stand before the Dreamshade, Killian questions his king’s intentions. He thought they served an honorable man, if he truly wants to cause harm with the plant, then he is fighting a war in bad form. Liam scratches himself with the Dreamshade in order to prove that their king can be trusted. Liam starts dying and Pan appears before Killian with a cure. He pulls back the curtain of Dreamshade and reveals a secret waterfall. Pan explains that the spring draws it powers from the island and has magical properties which heals ailments and keeps everyone who lives on the island young. Pan warns Killian that magic comes with a price and he must be willing to pay it if they leave Neverland. Killian agrees to pay any cost saying, “Whatever you want, it’s yours.” With that said, Killian heals his brother and Pan disappears.
Liam is in immediate ship-shape and admits that he should’ve listened to his little bother. They board their ship and head back home planning to expose the king’s cowardice and bad form. As the brothers’ bond solidifies, Killian tells Liam that he would follow him to the ends of the earth. Aww, so sweet! Once their ship re-enters their realm, Liam instantly falls ill. The Dreamshade kicks in and kills Liam before Killian has a chance to say goodbye to his beloved brother.
Killian and the crew bury Liam at sea. As Killian takes on his brother’s role as Captain of the ship, he clutches the sextant and says Liam will never leave his side. Captain Killian then lays down some new rules. He renames the ship the Jolly Rodger, burns the Pegasus sail and vows never to return to Neverland. They no longer take orders from the king and will live by their own rules. Killian declares that the kingdom is corrupt and immoral. They took Liam from him and he shall take everything from them. Captain Killian begins his new life as a pirate, saying, “At least among thieves, there is honor.”
Killian Jones was an honorable man who suffered a great loss, which he still carries with him today. After losing Milah, Killian tried to lead an honorable life again by becoming a father figure to Baelfire. When Bae rejected Hook, he felt a sense of loss and abandonment and he lost hope. Now on this quest to save Henry, Hook is trying to be the honorable man he once was. He hopes that redemption will win Emma’s heart and give him another chance at getting his happily ever after.
Neverland: “Let’s see what kind of man you really are.”
One of the Lost Boys targets Henry and starts pestering him. Henry picks up a stick and prepares to defend himself. Peter Pan tells him that imagination creates your reality in Neverland. He tells Henry to believe the stick is a sword and what he imagines comes to pass. Henry uses the skills Charming taught him and accidentally scratches the boy during their fight. Although Henry is apologetic, the Lost Boys are starting to learn not to mess with the Truest Believer. Elsewhere, Emma & Co. work on a new plan.
The gang looks at the markings in Bae’s cave and sees that he was keeping track of each day he spent in Neverland, and then the markings just stop. Bae lost hope and thought he’d be abandoned there forever. They need to send Henry a message so that he knows his family is searching for him on the island. Hook approaches Emma and emphasizes the importance of Henry’s hope, but she shrugs him off saying she isn’t in the mood to bond with him. David then pours salt on Hook’s wounds, saying that Emma would never like him because he is nothing more than a pirate. David pulls Hook aside to go find more rope and then warns Hook to stay away from his daughter. Hook believes David should tell his family about his condition. David does not want to because it would be selfish and take time away from saving Henry. He says Hook wouldn’t understand because he is selfish and instigates a fight, but Hook resists the temptation quickly quipping back that he doesn’t fight invalids. He then tells David that the Dreamshade has taken its toll and he only has a few hours left to live. Suddenly, David finds a military insignia in the dirt and Hook tells him it belonged to his brother who lost it during a duel with Pan. He says that his brother’s satchel contains a sextant that could help them find a way off the island, but they must go up to Dead Man’s Peak in order get it. David insists on going with Hook, despite his ill health.
Before going on this mission, David gives his family a heartfelt goodbye. You’d think Mary Margaret would pick-up on the fact that David is ill by now. He keeps emphasizing how dangerous the island is and how he could be killed, but she just thinks he is overreacting. David wants them to tell Henry that grandpa loves him, he gives Emma a long, tight hug and passionately kisses Mary Margaret and says he loves her before heading off with Hook. Seriously heartbreaking stuff, hope you had your tissues handy, Oncers.
As Hook and David trek towards Dead Man’s Peak, David explains that he kept his condition a secret out of love. This way he can die a hero. He does not want Hook to let the others know he left a dead man. Even though Hook may not agree with David’s actions, he envies the fact that he got to say goodbye to his loved ones. Soon their sweet moment of understanding returns to cheeky bickering calling one another a lying thief and stubborn ass. Such fun!
Hook starts climbing up the peak and tells David to wait for him to drop a rope. Pan catches Hook alone and wants to make a deal. He wants Hook to do his dirty work like he did in the old days. He will allow them off the island, as long as they leave Henry behind. Pan preys on Hook’s weakness, saying the pirate could take Emma away and be there to pick up the pieces of her broken heart after she loses Henry. In return, Hook must kill David. Pan reminds Hook of what happened the last time he didn’t listen to him. By the time their conversation is over, David has climbed up the hill. He tells Hook that he heard Pan’s deal and Hook then reveals his true purpose for bringing David to Dead Man’s Peak. He planted Liam’s insignia and lied about the sextant because David would not have gone if he knew the truth.
Hook wants to save David’s life with the water he used on Liam. However, this time Hook warns David about the consequences. If David drinks the water, he cannot leave Neverland or else he will die like Liam. David is prepared to deal with the consequences later, for now he just wants to save Henry and makes sure his family gets back home, so he drinks the water. David then asks why Hook would risk his life for him, Hook coolly replies, “I didn’t do it for you, mate.” Well, if we had any doubts, this certainly confirms the fact that Hook is more than smitten with Emma. He has risked a lot for her and he isn’t afraid to let David know how he feels about his daughter. Hook probably sees a lot of himself in Emma too because she fights for what is right and she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty in the process, as we soon find out.
During Hook and David’s pilgrimage to the peak, Emma, Regina and Mary Margaret capture a Lost Boy in hopes of sending Henry a message. When the boy is uncompromising, Regina wants to take the boy’s heart and control him so they can speak with Henry directly. MM is hesitant, but Emma jumps on board with the plan. They have no choice and saving Henry takes priority over everything else. As Regina rips out the boy’s heart, Emma tightly hugs her mother and apologizes. Regina gives the boy a mirror, so Henry can see them. The boy returns to camp and finds Henry drawing a house on the ground. He tells Henry that his family is here to get him, but Henry doesn’t believe it. The boy holds up Regina’s mirror, so Henry can see them. Emma says Operation Cobra Rescue is a go and they are really on the island, trying to find a way to save him. Henry regains hope and stomps on the mirror to cover his tracks when Pan calls. He can’t be considered a Lost Boy when he has clearly been found by his family, so for now, Henry’s unwavering spirit is safe. Phew! That was smart move and there was some great teamwork from the ladies of Operation Cobra Rescue.
When they return to their camp, MM apologizes to Emma for doubting her. Regina points out that technically Emma did nothing wrong. Emma didn’t take the boy’s heart, Regina did. Regina admits that is what she is here for. I love how Regina owns this moment. She embraces her dark heart even when she is trying to heal it. Even when she is doing a bad thing for the right reason, she takes the nasty responsibility upon herself. This is just another wonderful scene in a fantastic episode. Moments later, Hook and David return to camp and fill the others in on “what happened.”
In an unexpected twist, David praises Hook and makes him look good in Emma’s eyes. He says that they were attacked by Pan and the Lost Boys. The baddies got away with the sextant, but Hook saved David’s life in the skirmish and he is grateful. David thinks Hook deserves a little credit and asks for his flask. He makes a toast to the honorable pirate who risked his life to save David’s. Everyone takes a sip to cheer Hook, except for Regina who “doesn’t do rum” (Hilarious. It makes you wonder why. Did she have a bad experience with Rum in the past? Hmmm.) Next thing you know, Hook and Emma find themselves alone and Captain Swan fans witness the moment they’ve been waiting for.
The build up to the kiss was even better than what the super spoiler-y sneak peek let on. Everything that transpired throughout this episode makes this a huge moment for both Emma and Hook. I have never been a major “shipper” on this show and haven’t taken sides on who Emma should be with, but in this moment, after seeing everything that Hook has been through, I think Hook deserves a little love. The way Emma kisses him as though she is rising to challenge is brilliant. It is a matter of pride and ego rather than a moment of weakness where she gives in to her attraction towards him. After the kiss, she tells Hook it is a one-time thing. She wants to act like it never happened and ask him give her a head start to get back to the others. Another member of the Charming family asks him to keep a juicy secret. It has been a busy day for Hook, but the pay-off has been worth it. The best part is what Hook says in return to Emma’s request: “As you wish.” An absolutely perfect ‘The Princess Bride’ allusion, which once again reminds us that Hook is a good guy who occasionally does bad things due to certain circumstances.
This is definitely one of my all-time favorite ‘OUAT’ moments. O’Donoghue and Jennifer Morrison played this scene beautifully. The look on both of their faces after the kiss contained so many mixed emotions. We know how Hook feels about Emma, but now we are left to wonder how she feels about him. Could his heroic actions and the kiss make her start to fall in love with him? We will just have to wait and see. Unfortunately, the episode does not end on that sweet note. After all, this wouldn’t be ‘Once’ if something good isn’t followed by a heap of trouble.
Pan places a great burden on Hook. Peter tells him that Neal is on the island and he is alive. However, he gives Hook the decision to tell the others or not. Hook could let Emma think that Neal is dead and try to win her heart or he can do the honorable thing and tell her the truth. Peter Pan vanishes with a haunting taunt: “Let’s see what kind of man you really are.” Robbie Kay has mastered this role. I didn’t think a young boy could pull it off, but he is holding his own and delivering a splendid performance as a truly dislikable character. I don’t think I’ve been disturbed by a kid this much since Macaulay Culkin in ‘The Good Son.’ Peter Pan is a down-right creepy and crafty villain.
As the episode concludes, the Lost Boys have drugged Neal and placed him in a cage. They hang him up next to someone else in a cage. Who could it be? We didn’t see Rumple at all this episode. Could the Lost Boys have taken him? Maybe we will meet someone new. Ariel makes her ‘OUAT’ debut this Sunday, so it could be the Little Mermaid trapped in the cage or even her dear Prince Eric. Any thoughts on who it might be, Oncers?
What did you think of “Good Form”? Did you love it? Did it live up to your expectations? Were you disappointed that the epic kiss was spoiled in advance? Did you cherish the ‘The Princess Bride’ shout-out? Were you surprised by Killian Jones’ past?
In the preview for Sunday’s “Ariel,” we learn that Hook will do the honorable thing and tell the others about Neal’s presence on the island. Things are about to get really awkward in Neverland. Will Neal find out about the kiss? Will Hook still try to win Emma over when Neal is around? It would be fun to see them duel to win Emma’s affections, figuratively and even literally. “Good Form” has me incredibly excited for the rest of this remarkable season. Well done, ‘Once Upon A Time.’
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‘Once Upon A Time’ airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.