Once Upon a Time star Colin O'Donoghue on major Hook twist

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So that‘s how Hook is sticking with Once Upon a Time!

Sunday’s Hook-centric episode revealed that the Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) we thought we were watching in Hyperion Heights during last week’s season premiere wasn’t actually the one-armed pirate we’ve come to know and love since season 2.

When Henry (Andrew J. West) called upon his family for help in Enchanted Forest flashbacks, Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Regina (Lana Parrilla), and Hook all answer the call — but so does Wish Hook! Remember that drunken, bumbling Wish Realm version of Hook we met last season? Well, he momentarily aligns with Lady Tremaine (Gabrielle Anwar) to make him look like our Hook in a bid gain Emma’s heart, which he believes will help heal his poisoned heart so he can then find his missing daughter. Yup! Ultimately, Wish Hook discovers Emma is pregnant, so he lets her and Hook-Prime return to Storybrooke to get their happy ending. It’s then Wish Hook and Regina who continue on this journey with Henry, thus answering the question of how O’Donoghue is sticking with the show, but Morrison is not.

“I was really happy that they got their happy ending, to be honest,” O’Donoghue tells EW. “It had been such a long journey for those two characters, and such a difficult journey that I was glad to see that, in the end, they get their happy ending, because that was the whole point of the musical episode, and the big number with a happy beginning right before the Black Fairy’s curse hit. For me, I think it was the right way to go for those two characters.”

Knowing he’d be playing a different version of this character is actually one of the reasons the actor decided to continue on with the show. “I knew about Wish Hook from early on,” O’Donoghue says. “I had spoken to Eddy [Kitsis] and Adam [Horowitz] about that. Also, because Wish Hook — not the younger version of Wish Hook, but the older version of Wish Hook — was one of my favorite versions of him to play, so it was exciting to get to do that. Trying to bring elements of who that crazy old man was into this younger version of him has been fun.”

“It’s good because it also allows Hook to move on, because it’s a different version of him from the Emma-Hook relationship, which has been such a huge part of the show,” O’Donoghue continues. “It’s a very clever way of making sure the Captain Swan fans — fans of Hook and Emma — get their happy ending after going on such a big journey with them for the last few seasons. I think it’s a clever way of us being able to move on with a new version of Hook.”

But how different is this version of Hook? As O’Donoghue reveals, Wish Realm Hook and Hook-Prime both have similar backgrounds, but where their experiences differ is that the Evil Queen never cast her curse in the Wish Realm. “They had the same journey up until that point, so they are similar,” O’Donoghue says. “Wish Hook has a whole different set of rules and agendas that the original Hook didn’t have. Whereas his main thing was to get revenge on Rumplestiltskin, Wish Hook has a separate thing.”

That separate thing is finding his missing daughter — twist! — which actually gives him a similar M.O. to the original Hook in a surprising way. “We see that that’s where Wish Hook’s main motive lies in him wanting to find his daughter,” O’Donoghue says. “I guess it’s similar to original Hook where he was motivated by love for Milah, everything that Wish Hook does is motivated out of love for his daughter. It’s been fascinating to try and explore how to make Wish Hook the same as the other version of Hook that I played. That’s been a big thing for me for the season is trying to figure out how do I keep this character similar enough for him to be the same character on the show, but different enough for him to be interesting and kind of new?”

Naturally, one of the burning questions is: Who is Hook’s daughter? Alas, O’Donoghue won’t reveal that just yet. All viewers know is she was locked away by an evil witch. But even more pressing: Who is the mother? Again, O’Donoghue is mum. “No,” O’Donoghue says with a hearty laugh. “But I can tease that we will get to find out.”

Once Upon a Time airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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