Raise a tentacle if you're surprised that Ursula only has one parent. I know, I know. We're talking about fairy tales and that means that you are either short one parent, have a wicked step- parent, or are an orphan. Them's the breaks, kid. Ursula has an enchanting singing voice (and side note, applause to the actress who gave Young Ursula her voice. It was lovely) but her father King Poseidon uses her voice to lure pirates to their deaths on the shoals because he's an ass. Or because pirates killed his wife; we can go with either one here. Ursula is quite tired of this and ends up running (swimming?) away to live on land and make her way to another place where she can use her voice to make people happy. She does this by singing in bars to a lot of scummy, haven't-had-sex-in-weeks pirates who do not take this opportunity to molest or harass her at all. Because that is actually how the world would work if this weren't a "family show" (now with penis metaphors!). Yes, I know that OUAT wouldn't dare show actual sexual harassment (they prefer to keep it in the shadows and make it out to be sexy and part of their wish fulfillment) but it is a bit laughable that Ursula really thought she could earn enough gold by singing 'Fathoms Below' over and over. Anyway, moving on from the fantastical and into the even more fantastical: Ursula meets Hook in the bar (because the red vested one handed wonder is an alcoholic who needs Enchanted Forest Anonymous) and we get a real look at who Hook was for those long centuries while he transported cakes to Peter Pan in Neverland. Wait. The hell? Where do I begin with this particular silliness?
HAHAHA! Tiny ship! It's totally a metaphor for Hook's penis! HAHAHA. Oh, you think I'm kidding? The show actually inserted their own penis joke while Will and Hook bantered about how you should never insult the size of a pirate's ship (read: penis). Oh, OUAT...Dr. Freud called. He thinks you need to talk about your penis envy and mommy issues. So why is Hook's ship tiny and inside a bottle? Because the writers need to kill time. Oh did you mean the in-show reason? I don't know. Something about Elsa and Blackbeard and Ariel. Because OUAT needs to remind everyone that they've almost run the whole board of Disney films and have had more characters on their show that a show should naturally have. Let's be honest: the writers knew they'd catch hell if they had an episode about Ursula but didn't have any mention of their version of Ariel. So, they put her inside a bottle, made her a plot device who now doubles as a carrier pigeon. Points deducted for not having Ursula and Ariel interact, though. What was going on in present day Storybrooke? A lot of nothing, says I! Torture, mayhem, back door deals, pirate oaths being broken the day after they are made (seriously, Belle?), gun waving, and smoke inhalation. I'm getting rather negative again and I did say at the outset that I liked this episode, but that's because of tiny moments. That's what is left for me now, after four years. I enjoy moments, almost never total episodes. So let's focus on the tiny moments that made me smile.
Oh. And the author is trapped inside the book. Because of course.
--Regina inside Snow was one of the freakiest and most bizarre things I have ever seen on this show. And not in a good way.
--August's nose grew and grew. #PenisMetaphor
--Ok, one final Hook-rant. The pirate tells Ursula that if he had something left of Milah's (he'd hold on to it) just like she wants to hold on to her voice. Oh, really Hook? You mean...like BAELFIRE. The son of Milah whom you SOLD to Peter Pan!! This line almost made me turn off my TV.
--The OQ dream sequence was utterly unnecessary.
--How does August know that the Author is in the book? Did the book speak to him?
--How do you free the Author from the book? Do you burn it? Is there magic non-squid Ink? And how did he get trapped? The Sorcerer? Also, calling it now: they've set up the idea of people being trapped inside the book; I think the season will end on a cliffhanger in which the characters are literally trapped inside the book and we are shown who the Sorcerer is (it's Jafar).
--Why is Will on this show as a regular at this point? And COME ON. WHERE IS ANA?!
--Belle learned that Rumple manipulated and deceived her once again. If she goes back to him now, I am writing her off as a ninny.