Monday, April 14, 2014
In Which I Review Once Upon a Time (3x17)
Can you go back to the past? Can you live the life you once had, even if you've (maybe) fundamentally changed? Such are the questions Captain Hook is asking himself in this week's episode, "The Jolly Roger." This episode tries to tie some threads together concerning Hook and the lost year, but sadly not the right threads. Why would I suspect that Hook and Ariel had interactions during that year? Shouldn't we be focused more on the message Hook received and how he got to New York City? Thus, after two weeks of angst and drama and death, a filler episode that tries to lighten the mood; of course the major problem is that this tangent into feeling lighter comes crashing down at the end with an overly contrived forced curse (number 4520, for those keeping track). Captain Hook no longer wants to be a pirate, but once a pirate, always a pirate.
Here's a confession: I've been shipping Hook and Ariel long before our favorite red head ever flopped on to the show. The idea of a pirate and a mermaid was so utterly romantic and fairy tale that I really thought the writers would take a bold leap forward and break up a canonical Disney couple (Ariel and Eric) and give a fresh perspective. Of course, I'm slowly learning that the writers are nowhere near that clever. After seeing them interact this week, I'm shaking my fists and yelling "curse you!" because Hook and Ariel really were good together, just like I suspected. It might shock some to learn that I enjoyed this episode, for the most part. It was fun and thrilling with some humor tossed in for good measure. After Captain Hook took a horse and rode away from the Charming family, he found everything a pirate needs: a loyal band of rag tag men of questionable morals, drink, free license to pillar and plunder. He found everything he needs, except the one thing he truly wanted: his ship, the Jolly Roger. The Jolly Roger has gone missing and what's a pirate to do? Why turn to land pirating of course! Hook is still a pirate in all the ways that count--he steals from men for his own wealth, he drinks, he's loud and boisterous. Hook's exactly what Captain Hook should be--with one notable exception. Hook is now above sleeping with tavern wenches apparently. How utterly ludicrous. A year ago, he told Neal he was backing off Emma for "the sake of Henry" and then went to solicit drunken sex from Tinkerbell, while Emma was downstairs! But now, for some inexplicable reason, believing that he will never see Emma ever again and knowing that her memories are wiped, he is above sleeping with a wench?? Why? Because he is just so deeply in love with Emma Swan of course!
Back in Storybrooke, in the present, Emma is once again using Hook as a babysitter. Henry has taken a shine to the man in leather and finds him fun. Bit of a complaint here, but Hook--stop flirting. I get it, it's part of your character but Neal JUST died and was buried yesterday. You cannot be hitting on Emma like this; it's common decency and courtesy. Implying that Emma is using her son as a means to spend alone time with you rather nauseating. And once again, Hook does a nice song and dance about the past year and being super vague about what actually happened to him. Emma pesters him, and Hook deflects and gives her the woobie Hook eyes and some speech about how you can never go back to the past life you had. Sidenote, but where is the Jolly Roger? Hook got it back from Blackbeard, but it's not in Storybrooke. There is another story we aren't being told yet, which is annoying as it means I'm going to have to sit through another hour of the Hook show. While I suspect he traded it for a way to get back to Emma, waiting this long is getting tiresome. I get that it's romantic buildup for the two, but just get it over with because my level of interest is zilch. Of course, there's a giant curve ball here at the end with these two, but we'll get to that.
--Snow and Charming are officially idiots. Really? You let the 13 yr old drive?! To prove that you're not boring??? Why is everyone acting so OOC!
--Of course Snowing teaching Henry to drive isn't as bad as Hook teaching the boy to cheat while instilling that all important moral that it's more important to win than play fair.
--Smee made this episode. More Smee!
--I love that Regina is putting up protection spells to protect Snow and Charming. THAT's character development.
--Regina and Emma learning magic was really great. I wish that had more focus in this episode. Emma has so much potential and magic inside of her; it needs to be explored now. Of course when Hook kisses her, all that will be lost.
--The family scene at the end was really heartwarming. Too bad it was in conjuncture to Hook spying on Emma like a creep.