I’d like to make a deal with the writers of Once Upon a Time. I am happy to try to invest in keeping all of the various realms, timelines, and multiple names straight if they promise to introduce a motley crew of Captain Hooks throughout the remainder of the season. Because everyone knows that a world with Colin O’Donoghue in tight black leather is a better world. Even if he is overweight, drunk, sporting a very bad wig, it will always be a pirate’s life for me.
Captain Hook is a hero; therefore, he needs to be able to save the day at a moment’s notice. That’s why Storybrooke Killian gives young Henry a bottle that can literally carry a voice message, should the need ever arise. Luckily, Henry never needs that handy bottle in all of his years traipsing around realms, until Lady Tremaine goes after him for “killing” the prince at the ball. Henry sends an S.O.S. message through the bottle, begging Emma, Regina, and Captain Hook to save him from Lady Tremaine.
The scene switches to Seattle Henry opening the door for Officer Rogers. You know, the non-hooked version of Captain Hook. It seems the good officer read Henry’s book and wants to know: Who is the fetching young blond woman with the kicky red bomber jacket? Henry admits that he made up the character of “Emma Swan” and then asks about Jacinda and Lucy. The mother-daughter duo aren’t doing so hot since Henry threw them under the bus.
Apparently Lucy has a ballet recital and the horrid Victoria Belfrey jacked up ticket prices so Jacinda can’t afford to see her daughter perform. Vicky doesn’t believe in second chances. Later, Henry tries to plead his case to Jacinda, begging for her forgiveness. But with the news of the astronomical dance ticket prices, she makes Henry talk to the hand since she is no damsel in distress. Jacinda leaves in a huff, presumably to fry and sell chicken.
Back in the other realm, Henry is taken prisoner and sentenced in a bedroom, which is weird because I would have thought outlaws go to jail. Details. Lady Tremaine gives Drizella orders to torture Henry until he spills the beans about where he hid Cinderella’s slipper. Driz taunts him with her trusty dagger, and just before she starts shoving blades under fingernails, a portal opens. Out jump Killian, who kills the guards, and Regina, who renders Drizella unconscious with one swoop of her hand. Go team!
Regina all but cries when she sees her son grown up. Henry prattles on about Emma’s whereabouts, and Hook quickly says something about the savior fighting dragons. When Henry hightails it out of the room, Regina lays into Hook for straight-up lying to Henry. Oh, I do love good intrigue!
Emma’s story will have to wait, because now we are back in Hyperion Heights. Victoria hires Rumple Weaver, who rocks a little denim on denim, and Rogers to “make a problem go away.” That problem’s name is Henry. Weaver heads straight to Roni’s bar for some light recon. Roni’s lips are sealed. Before Rogers leaves, Roni warns him to be careful with his new partner. Then she jumps on the bar and dances Coyote Ugly-style.
Not really, but wouldn’t that be fabulous?
Meanwhile, Storybrooke Regina tries to do a locator spell on the slipper, but her magic isn’t really working. Hook smells saltwater and wisely deduces that where there is a sea, there are pirates, and where there are pirates, there’s a portal. If a woman came through with a glass slipper, these jokers would have noticed. Far-fetched, but I’ll allow it.
Hook barrels into the tavern area and is accosted by a drunk old beggar man who happens to share his face. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: Drunk Killian lives in this realm! He tells Killian that their stories were parallel up until a certain time. Where Killian found love with Emma Swan, Drunk Killian did not. He found misery, heartbreak, and rum. Lots and lots of rum.
Drunk Killian, with a very bad wig and lots of prosperity around his middle section, has been looking for his own Emma Swan for years. You can imagine his surprise when the answer literally landed in his hands earlier that day as a young man’s voice in a bottle begged for Emma to help him. I guess the Captain Hook message-in-a-bottle works for all Captain Hooks in any realm?
Then Drunk Killian knocks out regular Killian, draws a little of his blood, and covers him with a blanket conveniently folded by a stack of hay. He then makes his way to Lady Tremaine, promising to help her with Henry Mills if she transforms his plump current body into one that matches Storybrooke Killian. It’s a good thing Lady T jacked the fairy godmother’s wand, because this request is super easy. Drunk Killian is now as hot as Storybrooke Killian. #twinning (Recap continues on the next page)
We flip back to the current day, where Sabine (Princess Tiana) finds Jacinda a catering gig at none other than the ballet recital. What a happy coincidence. Can you guess the name of the bartender? Ah, yes. Henry Mills. An oddly impressive grand gesture if I’ve ever seen one. While Jacinda hugs Lucy, looking so cute in her little pink leotard, Rogers and Weaver rifle through Henry’s apartment looking for points of vulnerability. Bingo! Lucy will be the grand prize in this deception. When they leave the apartment, Rogers can’t help but take the swan keychain hanging by the door.
Once again, we are back in the other realm. Henry watches as Regina cooks over an open fire in a random cottage I assume they borrowed from a dwarf. Henry pushes Regina to tell him all about home, but Regina dodges all questions. Both lament that their stories aren’t that great right now and then stare in awe at the wacky entrance of Other Hook. Thanks, production team, for the quirky music to remind me that this isn’t our regularly scheduled Killian.
This guy tries his best to convince Henry that it’s time to go back home to Storybrooke. He even has a forged note from Henry’s beloved Cinderella, claiming that she wants nothing to do with this motorcycle-riding hottie. Henry broods outside, while Other Hook tries to console him. Suddenly, Emma arrives in a whoosh, complete with red cardigan.
Only the cardigan is in a bigger size and the skin-tight jeans have been replaced with sensible jeggings. Mazel tov, Henry. You’re going to be a big brother! Say hello to your expecting mother who never ages!
As Emma tells Henry the good news, fake Killian become visibly upset. He mumbles something about “needing to fix it” and runs off into the woods. He finds the real Killian outside the tavern. Naturally Hook attacks the doppelgänger version of himself, and the bad guy with a change of heart takes a dagger to the gut. Fake Killian explains that he doesn’t want to separate a father from his child. In fact, he’s trying to find his own daughter who is trapped in a prison. He thinks true love is the cure for saving her. That’s why he wanted so desperately to find Emma.
Real Killian has his own change of heart and is elated to see Emma walk up. He asks her to save the guy slowly dying on the ground, but Emma’s magic doesn’t work here either, unless, of course, YOU JUST BELIEVE! Fake Killian’s belly glows, his wound heals, and Emma almost kisses him because he looks just as handsome as the other guy standing behind her.
Speaking of handsome, present-day Rogers and Weaver have devised a plan to slip Victoria’s diamond bracelet into Henry’s pocket at the recital. Rogers is given that unfortunate task, and Weaver thinks he actually went through with it, until Henry empties his pockets, which hold only his swan keychain. Outside, Rogers tries to ditch the bracelet, but Weaver stops him. Rogers tells Weaver that he doesn’t want to separate a father from his child. Sound familiar? In a surprise twist, Weaver actually commends Rogers for having a moral core. Do we trust Rumple Weaver?
Back over at Roni’s, Jacinda finally forgives Henry. She blames her mood on Lucy’s insistence that she’s Cinderella. Jacinda doesn’t like the “someday my prince will come” vibe. Yo Jacinda…that’s Snow White’s line. Get your princesses straight.
Henry seems content for the most part, as does the Henry in the other realm. He gushes with Emma, talks the fake Killian into staying in this realm (convenient), and even convinces Regina to stay too so she can find her own happy ending. Here’s hoping that involves another chance with Robin Hood. Operation Next Chapter is officially on. (Head here for actor Colin O’Donoghue’s take on this big twist for Hook.)
Cut to current day, and we see the same thing. Rogers shares that he was shot in an alleyway and a woman who looked just like the woman in Henry’s book saved him. He wants to be a hero. He wants to be good. And he wants to figure out what’s going on in their town. If there’s any way to take down Victoria, Rogers needs Henry and Roni’s help to do it. It’s all for one and one for all.
Operation Coyote Ugly is officially on.
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