Once Upon a Time Preview: Will Hook Shoot Down Rumplestiltskin's Grand Plans?

Once Upon a Time Season 2 SpoilersThis week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time (Sunday at 8/7c), Captain Hook comes out of hiding — and in short order threatens to complicate arch enemy Rumplestiltskin’s future with no fewer than two loved ones.

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Whereas the fantastical drama’s winter premiere focused largely on the Charmings, Regina and new arrival Cora’s own making of mayhem in Storybrooke, “This Sunday there’s a lot more Rumple, a lot more Belle and a lot more Hook,” series cocreator Adam Horowitz assures. “Now that we’re back in Storybrooke, our main players are all sort of readjusting to this new world — with the added complication of Hook and Cora and the craziness they’re bringing to town.”

As suggested by one preview clip, Hook’s agenda upon making his presence in this realm known in part involves Rumplestilstkin’s main squeeze from past and present, the beautiful Belle. Is she the Storybrooke power player’s Achilles heel? “Belle is certainly a major factor in this episode,” Horowitz says, noting that the flashbacks to the fairytale land that follow the book-loving princess, Mulan and the gals’ battle with a beast called the Yaoguai (rhymes with Mogwai). “We take a new look into her past, but she also figures prominently into the Rumple-and-Hook [feud].”

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All told, Horowitz says the episode “The Outsider” — guest-starring Ethan Embry (Can’t Hardly Wait) as the titular “test subject” visitor — revolves around the questions of “what does Hook want, what does his quest for vengeance against Rumple mean, and how will that affect Rumple’s quest to leave town” to find his son Bae. “Will he even be able to leave town?”

The answer to that last question, as glimpsed in promos/the image above, would seem to hinge on whether a bloodied Hook pulls the trigger on his adversary as he prepares to venture into the outside world. Right?

“Promos can be cut in funny ways…,” Horowitz notes with a grin. He then adds: “There’s some hopefully exciting stuff this week.”

Want more scoop on Once Upon a Time, or for any other show? Email mattmtvguy@gmail.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. sara says:

    We can only hope. Rumple needs to be cut down a lot and Belle needs to wake up and realize what a monster her boyfriend really is.

    • Janey says:

      He’s not a monster, or haven’t you been paying attention? It’s not like Belle hasn’t said that repeatedly. The show runners made a point of saying how Belle sees people’s true selves very clearly where others don’t.

  2. Grace says:

    Wasn’t there all this talk about how Hook wasn’t going to meet up with Rumple at all for a while because he got caught up with some other group of people?

  3. mia says:

    Mulan and Belle went monster fighting together in the-land-that-was.

  4. Lenn says:

    Can it be Sunday already? So excited for this episode. Belle backstory and lots of Rumbelle! <3

  5. RRK says:

    Love Emma/Hook interactions this season! Hope there are more of those!

  6. Leslie says:

    Looking forward to this episode!

  7. ABC says:

    Not a huge fan of Belle (can’t stand her at all really). I think I will watch the Golden Globes live and then catch up on OUAT and Downtown Abbey sometime during the week.

    • SouthernBelle says:

      You’re from ABC?!?!?!?! Thank you, so much for Captain Hook!!!!! You guys are ingenious!!! Please, please, please keep him on the show!

      • mo says:

        Not to be mean, but, you do realize you can type pretty much any name into the box. Having the name “ABC” doesn’t mean they’re actually from ABC. Why would someone from one network come on and talk about watching the competition? Just saying…

  8. Elly says:

    Was Ethan Embry only slated for one episode or multiple arc?

    Kind of bums me out if all he’s used for is as a ‘guinea pig’ He’s such a great actor, he needs to be in more stuff.

  9. Addie says:

    I’ll be honest and say that I’m not looking forward to this episode. I’ve never cared that much about Rumple or Belle and Hook is just meh. What can I say, I’m more into the Charmings and Regina.
    And no matter how much the flashbacks try to act like Belle is a “badass,” I’m still pretty sure that Snow could kick her butt with one hand.

  10. Abby says:

    So looking forward to this episode! Belle is one of my favorite characters and she doesn’t have to kick someone’s butt to prove that she is just as awesome as Snow. IMO she’s better than Snow. Don’t get me wrong Snow is awesome, but she is also at her best w/o Charming. Belle is a freaking brave woman and no one tells her what her fate is going to be. She decides how to live her life. I love Rumple and Belle, and Rumple loves her bc she is this awesome and is not scared of him like the rest. Belle can be kick butt anytime and she has stood up to Rumple all on her own without magic. Rumple and Belle is the best relationship on the show for me because it is layered and I get to see that.

  11. Gaeah says:

    For me Belle deserves more screen time for the development of her character. :( They have made Emilie a regular member just to put Belle as background of random situation connected to Rumple. I understand why some people don’t like her at all: we know so little about this character. Belle, to me, have such a great potential as princess but they aren’t exploit this. So many new characters! :/

    Although can’t wait for this episode! Emilie is just flawless as Belle!
    … and Hook. Is just a sexy guy around the plot. Nothing more. Just my opinion, people.

  12. Janey says:

    I’m sick of Hook now and would happily send him on a one way trip back to Neverland. Rumple and Belle don’t need this nonsense, they have stuff to do that actually matters. Like getting Rum’s son back.

    • TNSTROUDS says:

      Hook is the best thing that ever happened to this show. I was about to stop watching until he came along. This show will commit suicide if he dies. As for me, if they kill him off, that’ll seal it up for me. Bye, bye Once Upon A Time. At least, in my house.

      • Janey says:

        You do know only households with Nielsen boxes count, right? I guess you could pretend now you have one but that would be bull. If Hook is the only thing you like about the show and the only reason you would watch you’re not exactly a real fan in the first place.

        • Oncewatcher says:

          Researching news reports about ratings around the inclusion of Captain Hook speak for themseves. Do the research there, and look at what the fans; the public is saying in twitter, and how often about Hook. Then, answer your own question.

          • Oncewatcher says:

            That is, if your fans’ opinions matter to you at all. Isn’t that the core of the whole issue, Ms. Espenson?

          • ej says:

            Once has been flat for the last two episodes. It had a high of 11 million for the premiere. It went down for episode 2, held steady for “The Lady in the Lake”, bottomed to an all-time series low for the Red-centric episode, was up a little for “The Doctor”, and never got close to the premiere numbers, staying between 7 and 9 million viewers, save for 10 million for “Tallahassee”, but to say that high is because of Hook would be silly. People were more likely to tune in for Jorge Garcia (LOST fans) and to see Emma’s backstory. What people are tweeting is not correlative to ratings. Don’t try to twist the ratings just to suit your shipping. That’s weak.

          • Taddy says:

            That’s just not true. It’s fine to like a character, but you’re really twisting the reality into something that fits your fan view of the show here. Ratings of tv shows rarely ever rise because of one single story or character and the ONCE ratings certainly haven’t. I don’t know what makes you think they did.

        • Arie says:

          I’m a Nielsen household and it’s great that my viewing is counted in the ratings. Love that I can watch shows like Once and Revenge and help it stay on the air. Not real sure how it works, but supposedly when I watch TV, my viewing will represent a few other households in my area.

      • ej says:

        “This show will commit suicide if he dies.” Wow, overly dramatic much? Did you throw your DVR in the bathtub when Graham died? Your response makes me embarrassed for you, the show, and REAL fans of OUAT. You do realize that this show is written by the LOST people who can and will kill off anyone they please no matter or sexy they are or emotionally invested fans OR other characters are in them? You shouldn’t be watching the show at all if you can’t handle such potential disappointment.

        And you’re going to commit yourself now to commiting fan-i-cide over Hook? We know hardly anything about his character. Other than him being eye-candy and having some kind of code (a rather wishy-washy one that would please Jack Sparrow, it seems) there’s nothing known about his backstory before or after the mess with Rumple. Is he a real bad-ass villain we can love to hate? An antihero who’s never been given the chance that we can root to redeem himself? Somewhere in the middle? It’s rather hard to say when he’s so far just been sexy, witty, and let Cora drag him around by his short-and-curlies.

        How can you possibly have formed such a disturbingly fanatical devotion to him when his character has almost no depth? I assume the writers are planning to provide that, so we can become invested in his character and root one way or the other, but at this point, he’s hardly established enough to post crazy obsessive comments about. A little upset at the possibility he could be written off without us getting to know the character, sure. But stop watching the show? Get real!

        • Oncewatcher says:

          Hey, if the writers need help to write the story, I’ve got some great ideas. I don’t know why they can’t think of the material themselves. No depth? You have to be kidding me!

          • Sarah says:

            Oncewatcher, other boards have said that writing has been weak this season. This might be so much about being because of the character.

          • Sarah says:

            Sorry meant *not* so much about being because of the character.

          • . says:

            I think some people responded to may be attached to the show in some way, and might be trying to “Jedi” the public into thinking Hook is a flop. Why? They are either mad because they’re frustrated and already know the truth (that Hook is a hit, and they don’t like it because they’re out of ideas), or it’s because ABC wants somebody else on contract, and O’Donoghue is in the way. If ratings are down, here’s an idea: Don’t keep killing people. It’s almost a joke. Cute guy, dead guy. People at several forums have been talking about Hook’s inevitable demise since day 1. Why? They knew it was coming. That’s what is meant by weak writing. Why? A predictable pattern. He’s an attractice male, who isn’t a main character. He had dark cloud hanging over his head at day 1. It’s almost a joke. They can’t get out of the “death” box. and I think viewers have had their fill of it, and if ratings are down, this probably has a lot to do with why. If that’s just the way the show is, it’s not the public’s fault for feeling that way, it’s the writers’ fault for not adapting their ideas and habits to what people want to see.

    • tnstrouds says:

      I like Hook too, but you’re mean, do you know that?

  13. 4theloveoffilm says:

    Each character and relationship holds their own charms, but I am a big fan of the Rumple-Belle relationship. It’s layered, rich, grounded, and reveals an appealing and redeeming side of Rumple, who is one of my favorite characters. He is utterly fascinating, unpredictable, and played with aplomb. I am enjoying Emilie’s performance, and hope to learn more about her background and skills as the season progresses.

    Hook is fun and interesting. We don’t really know his true character yet.

  14. Josh says:

    Once upon a time had great ratings without Captain Hook and squealing girls who think otherwise are deluisonal hes a freaking villian and these delusional people who want the hero with him are sick! He is not a good role model for her son and he has let many people die im sick of it

    • oncewatcher says:

      Then, you redeem him. That’s where the whole story is. Redeem him!

    • Sarah says:

      He’s not evil enough to be a real villan. Too many soft spots.

    • TNSTROUDS says:

      If this is true, then I want the numbers.

      • Nat says:

        Are you talking about the ratings? They’re all over the internet. Honestly, I like the guy, but these claims that Hook gave ONCE better ratings are ridiculous.

        • rita says:

          If Hook was responsible for increasing the ratings, why season 1, had ratings far higher than this.
          I find that insulting some fans say see ONCE UPON A TIME cause of Hook and he’s the best character…please!!!
          We have seen Once Upon a Time from the beginning, before the story Hook was already done. And the show had already an audience super consistent, big, huge without Hook.

          • TNSTROUDS says:

            Interesting how still, nobody has any numbers to present to support their statements. If you stand by what you are saying, then support it.

  15. amy says:

    OUAT who gives a damn who decides if they will or will not watch just because “sexy” hook might leave the show.. yes he is sexy but thats why they make porno.. this show got me by the start of season 1.. bring a cutie ..bring a ugly, i will not stop watching as long as the story goes on and i love it!! its what you call, a true fan! cant wait to get all dvds! too bad i gotta wait till i watch it monday online… anyway to speed that up? heh heh
    p,s ppl can talk stuff but you know that you probably have more fans like me.. just maybe they cant tell u online. :D

  16. Talk smart says:

    No one is talking about the cricket here! My brain has deleted his real name (the shrink) – but don’t forget about him and the murder plot! I am rather dyig to see everyone’s reaction when Cora is discovered in Storybrooke. She is going to be the root of more unexpected twists, and she hasn’t been completely defeated so far, so our HH is excited to see what happens with Regina once she sees her mother, etc. We are wondering if the fear of having her mother nearby will help her align more with Henry and the Charmings (doubtful), at least for a time, or if she will continue to try defeating her Snow.

  17. mresrv says:

    This article does not talk about Captain Swan, but even so, some fans can divert the issue to the shipper.
    This article is about Hook/Belle/Rumpel…I dont found nothing about Emma…bah

  18. Debra mobley says:

    Who cares I want to know about rumble and Cora and possibly he might have father. Regina.that would be cool to see how they handle that. And just off the subject what happened to the mad hatter. prince charming stepfather’s. And Regina flunky the mad in the mirror. Not to mentioned Pinocchio. Please put them back in because prince. Charming and snow are boring sad but ture . The story only gets interstring when. Rumble. Cora. Or Regina. In it so this next episode should be good a good one as long as no one start singing and dancing we should be waiting for the knock down drag fight between the evil three.