We’ve got one more week until the winter finale of Once Upon a Time, and we’re finally getting some answers to what happened in Camelot all those weeks ago. Namely: We have memories! Finally! Which is good because those memories are definitely going to come in handy with what currently is threatening Storybrooke…
When we last left our heroes, Emma had taken desperate measures to save Hook’s life, turning him into the Dark One. And so we begin with the origin story of Dark One Hook, which begins the same way Emma’s did: in a coil of darkness much like The X-Files’ black oil, with Hook rising from what I’m assuming is some kind of Dark One portal, looking very scruffy and rugged. Oh, and he’s also re-lived all of his worst dark memories in preparation for his new role. And naturally, good ol’ Rumple is waiting for him with a jolly greeting of “hi!” Hook is less than enthused to see his old enemy (“bloody crocodile”), but Rumple has a tantalizing offer: He can get him the revenge he’s always wanted, which includes finally killing Rumple for good.
Back in Storybrooke’s present day, Hook, having been “reborn” with the re-emergence of his darkness, wipes Emma’s memory with her dreamcatcher right before the group storms Emma’s house. After finding her pretty much incapacitated (thanks to the magic-zapping cuff Zelena gifted Emma with before taking off), they congregate and find out exactly what happened with Hook. Regina’s not entirely happy Emma made him the Dark One, but Emma has a very good rebuttal for her “mistake” — “I didn’t think any of this would happen!” She thought she was doing everyone a favor by isolating herself and not getting everyone involved, but as it turned out, that was the wrong decision because it left Emma alone, without any support. Snow asks her to give them back their memories because if they know what happened, they can help defeat Hook, but David appears and tells them that all the dreamcatchers — and their memories — are gone.
Hook has made his way to Rumple and Belle, and I guess there’s no secret now about who exactly the Dark One is. Then again, Dark Ones never seem to go about their work quietly. He wants to get the revenge that he was promised and bring it back to where it all started: by staging a duel to the death on his ship. But he gets to fight with Excalibur (which can kill him), while Rumple gets to fight with the regular sword. Rumple immediately goes to Regina and Co. and brings up Merlin’s message/Nimue, which Emma recognizes. She wants them to take off the cuff because she can still protect them, but everyone is wary of trusting her and for good reason. The nail in this coffin is when Henry wanders in and refuses to aid in Emma’s request. Not only is he still hurt by what Emma did to him and his crush, but he’s pissed off that she isolated herself so much she couldn’t even ask for Henry’s help. They were a team! Operation Mongoose! You can’t just FORGET Operation Mongoose. Much like Regina’s time as a Dark One, Emma’s soft spot is her son, and you can almost see her resolve breaking. (I know Emma’s upset no one trusts her, but I mean, she did it to herself.)
WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.
In Camelot, Merlin and the others are trying to figure out where Emma and Hook have gone. Snow suggests going to the Lady of the Lake for help and then defends Emma’s decision to save Hook because, hey, she’s their daughter! And sometimes, you have to lead with your heart rather than your head. I mean, that’s why they work so well, right? Hook, meanwhile, has got some attitude, some nice leather clothes, and some angst because everyone gets a wardrobe change of some sort when they become a Dark One (it’s a good thing that apparently we’ve progressed since the days of Nimue and Rumple. Black gowns and leather are SO much more attractive nowadays). Emma finds him and starts trying to talk sense into him the same way that he once did when she first became the Dark One. Emma’s got a bit of a leg up on the situation because she knows that Hook is being seduced by Bad Angel!Rumple and manages, through love, to bring him out of his spiral, at least temporarily. She’s still determined to get the darkness out of both of them for good. I’m not sure how the whole “Hook is the Dark One” thing is working since for Rumple and Emma, the one thing that remained in both of them, even in their days of darkness, was true love. But maybe Hook is just born to be a hater.
NEXT: You know, black is this year’s pink