Monday, March 28, 2016

When Heroes Fall

Review/Recap of Once Upon a Time Episode 5.15 "The Brothers Jones" - SPOILERS!

I knew this episode was going to be a rough one. I adore Killian Jones. I adore his brother Liam. I adore Emma Swan. I knew there was going to be conflict between those three. I knew I was probably going to end up swearing at one of them - if not all three - at some point.

But can we just appreciate Liam popping his head in up the stairs to talk to Emma?

Because I do.

All right then - so this is as close to "Emma Meeting Killian's Family" as we're going to get. Fair enough - it's the Underworld arc and all of Killian's immediate family is dead (thank you Neverland), so this was an obvious choice for an episode idea.

At least, it BETTER had been an obvious choice. Sometimes, I'm not entirely sure what goes on in the Once Writers' Room.

But rather than it being a "Hey, big brother that died centuries ago - here's this woman that I'm madly in love with and we're probably going to get married and have a bunch of kids and I'm super happy, can you be happy for me too?" sort of scenario, they go with the super-angsty one and it turns out that Hero-Worshipped Big Brother is just a tiny-bit in cahoots with Hades. And he wants his little brother to stay in the Underworld and be miserable like unto himself.

Well... poopy.

And I hate to say it - I understand where Liam is coming from. The guy spent his entire life from roughly age ten (I'm guessing, based on the Hook-backstory episodes we got at the end of the last story arc - Thank Merlin they FINALLY peeled themselves away from yet-more-Rumple-backstory to bother with that) being a parental figure to his mischievous baby brother. He was the good kid. The one who talked Killian out of trouble with the authorities. The one who figured out that they could buy their freedom by joining the Royal Navy. The one who gave up that freedom when Killian tossed it all away at a game of cards. The one who made a deal with Hades to get them out in one piece when everything finally went toes-up. Even in death, he's still looking out for his little brother.

It's touching. If a little sentimental and sappy at times. I love ya, Killian - but how many times are you going to proclaim that Liam is The Most Honorable And Honest Dude Ever To Sail And He's Going To Make It All Better. Talk about PRESSURE.

(To be fair, Killian was a bit of a wide-eyed dreamer and kind of naive back then. It wasn't until later in life that he became the sarcastic, cynical, snarktastic pirate that we all know and love.)

Hearing how much your younger sibling looks up to and idolizes you - well, it makes you do crazy things. Like hiding vital information about the Dark Lord of the Underworld that will help everyone cross over and move on. Or sailing straight into a hurricane (DUDE - WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?) Or telling the love of your baby bro's life that she's not good enough for him. Given how much Hook and Emma have been through, THAT was a knife to the heart.

Let's talk about Hook and Emma, shall we? Because while last week's utter joy of -

- was good and proper, there is a TON of fallout to deal with between the two characters. Because when they were separated, Killian had become the Dark One because of Emma's good intentions, but that temptation was too much for him to handle, and he dove right back into the Powers Of Darkness that he was terrified of. There is still that sense of Killian being jerked around by the whims of others - which he obviously HATES - and he wants to make his own choices.

Emma, on the other hand, has just learned to let someone in. Which is a HUGE deal for her. She's also been subject to devastating losses, which she blames herself for. Whether fairly or unfairly - that's up for discussion. The fact is that this story is dealing with some incredibly broken people and there is not just one solution for all of these issues. If it were, it would be a simple fairy tale.

(See what I did there?)

One this is certain - Hades is an Asshole of the Highest Degree (being in charge of the Underworld will do that to you. Probably). And that's one thing everyone can agree on - his agenda must be stopped at all costs.

Nothing like a common enemy to motivate broken people in to action.

Speaking of broken - oh, little Henry. Who is not so little anymore (Emma called him a "mopey teenager" - which is true. Just... don't look too closely at the timeline of Once because it really won't make sense how this is actually five years later in-story, when they follow all their cliffhangers so closely one after another). And he wants to be a HERO, dammit! He's tired of being the one who gets rescued all the time. Can't he be someone important for once?

Well - you were the Author. Then you broke the stupid pen, genius. And because of that, it's now in the Underworld. And you trapped the Apprentice there because of it. Ugh. Must I explain EVERYTHING?

Actually, I don't. Cruella does that for me (the same Cruella who's been doing the naughty with Charming's not-so-Charming Evil Twin Brother - THAT'LL be interesting...). I still love Cruella as a character, and no one can convince me that I shouldn't.

Regardless, Henry's coming into his own as the Author, to which I say - HOORAY! Seriously - kid has this incredible fairy tale lineage and you're not going to let him do jack crap with it??? That's just WRONG.

Anyway - by the end of the episode, Killian and Liam reconcile, Liam's unfinished business is finished and we get a super-sweet scene with Killian giving Emma's advice about forgiving yourself to his older brother. So, for once, baby brother looked out for the older one. And I am become emotion... hold on a sec...

...all right - things are good.

Emma and Hook reconcile themselves (YAY!) Hades reveals to we the audience that he and Zelena had a fling, which means she'll be back in the next episode (PRAISE BE!). And we're going back to Oz. Which looks as gorgeous as ever -

(I stinking love OUAT Oz, you have no idea).

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