As Gothel plays more mind games, Hook falls into his worst old ways
The saga of Alice being stuck in the tower is sad enough without her mother constantly showing up to sabotage her father. Why this woman feels so compelled to torture him, for trying to do the right thing by the child she so slyly seduced him into fathering, is hard to know. But poor Alice sure is made to pay the price for, well, even existing, again and again and again.
Let’s walk through this week’s installment of Once Upon a Time, shall we?
For starters, Alice looks to be nearing her teenage years when we are reacquainted with her in her
prison tower, and so even a natural sense of wanderlust would probably be starting to set in for anyone her age, and it’s a thousand times worse for the girl who can’t tell you what the ocean smells like or what anywhere besides that bloody room does, for that matter. Hook does his best to comfort her, offering up a few jars of sand from his own travels to satisfy her curiosity and assure her that those things actually exist outside of this cursed container.
After Alice endures a dream wherein “the witch” Gothel comes along to banish Hook from the tower, he decides enough is enough. He’ll find a way to get her out of there (or tharrrr, to borrow some pirate speak), and the two oddly exchange chess pieces — he offers a white knight, for obvious reasons, and she gives him a black rook to remind him of her.
Hook’s first stop is another cell: this time, Rumple’s actual jail. He knows that Rumple’s magic has been deteriorated by his current surroundings, but he offers to help set him free if he’ll do the same for his daughter. “It’s a dealllllll,” the lizard-like man exclaims, not even bothering to follow it with his usual “there’s always a price” cadence this time. He informs him that there’s a magical device that can break any confines, but it’s in the hands of another pirate, who won’t be so keen on giving it up to him without a fight.
Fighting is no longer in Hook’s nature, though, so when he approaches Captain Ahab about Maui’s fish hook, he tries to handle things like a gentleman. Despite Ahab’s many sneers about how Hook is no longer the pirate he used to be and is pretty much the laughing stock of all swashbuckler-kind, Hook still resists the urge to get physical and instead offers to settle it all with a wager. The Jolly Roger for the hook, one hand of dice decides it. Naturally, Hook wins the scrap, but as he’s walking away, we see a glimmer of that old pride bubbling back to the surface. He’s not lost sight of anything in his quietude of late, he says to combat Ahab’s words, and in fact he’s just heading off to kill the Dark One now.
Only … we know that’s not true. And Ahab does, too, because he follows him along to Rumple’s cell and witnesses the lack of animosity between them. He’s so sure that Hook’s gone soft that he even starts taunting him about his stowaway daughter while Hook’s sword is inches from the guy’s neck, so clearly he believes his words. He challenges him to a duel, and Hook accepts. This might be Ahab’s elaborate way of exposing Hook as a true brute, but now Killian just doesn’t care.
After 10 excruciatingly slow paces, Hook and Ahab turn their sidearms onto each other and shoot; both make contact, and both go down, but Hook’s aim is a little more precise than his opponent. He’s won the bout, but at what cost to his honor?
When he returns to Alice, with his handy hook ready to smash down the whole place and set her free, he is unable to hug her at all before being bounced back to the ground in agony. That’s when Gothel shows up to fill Alice in on what she’s missed of her dear old dad’s behavior of late before banishing him from the tower and taking away his hard-won fish hook. As he overhears Alice screaming for him to help her, he’s helpless, hurt, and humiliated.
Not such a white knight after all, huh? (Recap continues on Page 2.)
Mirroring the fairy tale side of things is what’s happening in Hyperion Heights. Rogers gets a visit from Tilly, who has been experiencing some upsetting visions herself and fears danger is nigh, as she totes her signature chess set. But Rogers has no time for such theatrics and sends her away just in time for Weaver to suggest they focus on Eloise and *poof* she appears, ready to gab with the guys … er, guy.
Turns out, she doesn’t even want to talk to Weaver and insists she’ll only cooperate if she gets to talk to Rogers alone. Weaver has his reservations — he warns Rogers not to let her get into his head — but they have little choice but to follow the lead, and so Rogers braves the interrogation room solo.
Of course, there’s not much of an interrogation in motion between the two, unless it counts that Eloise starts prying into his very soul to find out why he has a doodle of an old-timey boat in his notepad. The only way they can ever hope to get a lead on the person who’s killing her cohorts in witchdom is if Rogers figures out who he really is. Rogers decides to play along, figuring that whatever she’s up to can’t be too bad for him, and even if it is … ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Tilly doesn’t like it one bit that Eloise is in the room and freaks out when she sees her on the monitor — how she has such unbridled access to the detective’s room is pretty unclear. Weaver doesn’t disagree that Eloise is whacked, but that also doesn’t mean he’ll stop Rogers from pushing forward with his investigation and cooperation with her weird requests, like seeing the first painting he did of the sea. Tilly believes Eloise will try to hurt Rogers and tells him as much, but he returns that concern with a threat to kick her out if she doesn’t relax, at which time Eloise flashes Tilly a nice, creepy smile through the camera, and, yeah, that feeling you had seeing her face was your blood curdling up for a quick second. Shudder.
Back in the room, Eloise starts drawing easy parallels between Rogers’ internal void and that of the killer’s. “The killer is also grappling with pain, an unfillable void,” she tells him, before adding that s/he is merely externalizing said pain, just like Rogers does when he lashes out at people.
She does offer a clue that’s conveniently specific — that the victims had received a heart-shaped box before they were attacked — but follows it up with the cryptic instruction that he’ll have to follow his heart to find the big bad of the day.
Rogers and Weaver instead rely on more traditional detective techniques for now, though, tracing the latest deliveries from the candy store, but they hit one heckuva dead end when they find out one package was sent to a woman who’d been dead for years. Meanwhile, they return to the hospital to find the baker woman dead in her bed, as Tilly looms over with a bloody scalpel in hand talking nonsense about how she tried to warn them.
Tilly takes off through a window that somehow only she can scale, leaving Rogers and Weaver two steps behind on their search. They eventually come across the witch’s symbol with some sectors crossed out as a nod to the growing body count, and that’s when Rogers point blank asks Weaver if he thinks Tilly did this.
Weaver says no with his mouth, but his decision to split up from Rogers in their pursuit says otherwise. (Recap continues on Page 3.)
Last but not least, the fallout from the missed kiss snafu of last night has Henry majorly bummed, while Jacinda is just plum confused about why Lucy would interrupt it after all her prodding for them to be together.
Henry expresses his agitation to Regina, whose confession that she’s just coming home for the night at 6 a.m. draws an oddly jealous comment (FROM HER SON, ew) before he explains that things didn’t get as far as he’d hoped with Jacinda. Regina is surprised to hear the two are even an item again, but she doesn’t fight it too much. She’d be one to talk right about now after her night with Mr. Samdi/Dr. Facilier, now, wouldn’t she? Mmmmhmmmmm.
Jacinda confronts Lucy about her newly dismissive attitude about Henry and takes it at face value that the girl has decided she needs more time with her mother, so she shouldn’t be spending all this time with “some guy” right now. It’s harsh, but with any other kid, it might be understandable. With “I Love Magic” Lucy, however, it makes no sense, which make Jacinda’s acceptance of said story even weirder.
All of this confusion is really just an avenue for Ivy to try to make a move on Henry, though, because given his downward demeanor of the day, she figures they must be emo soulmates of some kind. Henry’s just trying to be a pal, of course, but he lets her down gently enough and suggests that she take comfort in the arms of family instead of, well, him.
She’s obviously insulted by the rejection, but she does take him up on that advice and pays a visit to Jacinda. The two bond over childhood toys — are we really supposed to believe that Victoria kept all of these sentimental things? — and Ivy makes Jacinda feel better about her mini-tiff with Lucy by reminding her that she’s a wonderful mom and makes sure Lucy knows she loves her, unlike some other mothers they might happen to have known. Their convo also gives Ivy a spark to finish what her mom started as a way of making peace (or more peace, at least) with her mother’s passing.
What that means, precisely, remains to be seen, but it somehow involves Henry being the hero Ivy needs, or so she tells him.
Meanwhile, even though she’s not ready to explain everything to her mother, Lucy does decide to pay Regina a visit and show her the page from her storybook that forecasts Henry’s demise during “true love’s kiss,” and that’s when Regina informs her that, yes, everything she’s read there is true, and yes, she’s a Mills. Now, it’s time for these two to get to work.