It wasn’t always a pirate’s life for Killian Jones, Once Upon a Time will reveal this Sunday (ABC, 8/7c).
In fact, Killian was once a stand-up Navy officer before circumstance — perhaps stemming from his first clash with Peter Pan? — turned him to the dark, guylinered side. Meanwhile in Neverland, the swashbuckler’s swag leads Emma to make a “surprising” move. Colin O’Donoghue spoke with TVLine about that twist and how it stands to make Neal’s return awkward.
TVLINE | What kind of a bloke was young Killian Jones?
He was very different than the Killian Jones you’ve seen before. He was a Navy officer, a lieutenant, and he very much lived by that code. He was straight-laced and believed in right and wrong. It was great to play him in the morning and then go to play Captain Hook in the afternoon! And it was nice to have a costume change. [Laughs]
TVLINE | What sort of relationship does Killian have with his brother Liam?
They’re very close. They’ve spent their whole lives together, and now they’re both on this ship, as officers. Liam is the captain and there’s a huge respect they have for each other. But it sort of ties into why Hook decides that he could turn the other cheek and help David…. He sees an element of his brother in David, I think, and that makes him want to try to help.
TVLINE | In flashback, is there one defining moment that steers Killian onto the path of being Hook?
Absolutely there is. You see the reasons why he becomes who he becomes, why he becomes a pirate and all of that. You also begin to see an element of Killian come back into Hook in this episode as well, which is a nice way to do it. It ties in with how as a young guy he was very idealistic, and the old Hook is more jaded. But the optimism begins to come back for Hook.
TVLINE | Of course we have The Big Kiss coming up. Were there whoops and hollers at the table read when everyone got to that scene?
[Laughs] It’s kind of been in the cards, I guess — Hook and Emma have this strange relationship where they are a bit of kindred spirits. But the kiss comes out of a place of complete surprise, how it happens. It’s not something that brews, it comes from a surprising place. But it’s a kiss nonetheless!
TVLINE | Which of the two is more affected coming away from the moment?
I think it affects them both. I don’t think Hook was expecting it necessarily, and I’m not convinced Emma was expecting it either. But I don’t think either of them hate it!
TVLINE | If Hook were to get wind that Neal is there on the island, might his more dastardly side take steps to prevent a reunion with Emma?
It will be interesting to see. That relationship with Baelfire is very complicated. Hook really would have given up everything to be a father figure to Baelfire, and I think that even now, hundreds of years later, he still sees him as that little boy, and still holds him quite dear. Even though he gave him up to the Lost Boys, if Baelfire had turned around said, “I want to stay,” he would have done everything in his power to keep him. At the end of the day, Hook really truly loved Baelfire’s mother Milah and he still sees the mother in the boy. So it would be complicated, but I would be interested to see how he would react to that.
TVLINE | So if Emma ultimately has cause to run into Neal’s arms, it won’t necessarily “flip a switch” for Hook and revert him to his ruthless pirate ways?
Not necessarily. I think Hook has the confidence to believe that he could easily get any girl if he put his mind to it. That’s the kind of guy he is! If he will or would is a whole other thing.
TVLINE | You’ve also been enjoying playing the budding bromance with Charming….
Yeah, I think Hook and David even have a ‘ship name now as well. It’s been fun, all right, to get to do that – especially because of Hook’s sort of constant flirting with Emma in front of David.
TVLINE | I think the new promo even has a moment where David says, “Stay away from my daughter!”
[Laughs] Every dad would say that!