Once Upon a Time Recap: Catching Up With the Joneses

This Sunday on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, the Brothers Jones’ reunion dredged up unexpected bits of unfinished business, Henry was warned about seeking out the Author’s quill and Hades’ deep, dark secret was (partly) revealed.

This episode relied heavily on your investment in the Hook-and-Liam of it all, but if you allowed the show some latitude, I think there was plenty of narrative payoff.

For one, we learned in flashback how Killian’s penchant for drink sank the brothers’ first stab at joining the Royal Navy. Then, once again fated to servitude with Captain Silver, Liam led a mutiny to save them from a doomed voyage in search of a fabled gem. But when charting their course to safety, Liam was visited by Hades, who offered a very sweet deal: guaranteed safety and the priceless sapphire in question, in trade for letting the ship sink as planned, thus gifting the Underworld with many souls.

Liam takes the deal and steers the ship straight into a storm, lying to his No. 1 cheerleader, Killian, about his plan. After the ship is wrecked and the rest of the crew perishes, Liam and Killian wash ashore, where they are met by the Royal Navy and — thanks to the coveted jewel — handed commissions aboard the Jewel of the Realm, all with Killian fancying his brother a top-notch hero.

How did this translate into the current storyline? Liam shows up on Emma’s Underbrooke doorstep, delighted to reunite with his bro but lying about his unfinished business. Liam also isn’t ‘shipping #CaptainSwan the slightest, instead deeming Emma unworthy of his brother. Hook conversely deems himself unworthy of Emma, rebuffing her bid for a reunion kiss by lamenting how easily and pettily he gave into being a Dark One.

When the heroes learn that the Underworld’s version of Henry’s storybook might help them best Hades, David and Snow search the sheriff’s office for the key to the sorcerer’s mansion, leading David to have to pose as his twin when Cruella shows up looking for some hanky panky. (In actuality, Cruella knows all along who isn’t who, seeing as David has none of James’ “delicious damage,” seeing as James has spent his while life and now death wondering why their mother made the choices she did back when they were infants.) Nonetheless, with the key in hand, the heroes search the mansion, but Liam finds the book first — and promptly rips the Hades pages from it, as part of his new deal with the Underworld overlord. Later, a suspicious Emma accuses Liam of stealing the pages, but Hook takes his brother’s side, resulting in a teary Emma walking away.

But when Captain Silver and his crew show up to confront Liam and thus educate Hook on the deal he made with Hades, Hook realizes his brother isn’t the hero he made him out to be. When Silver sets out to make the brothers “walk the plank” into the Boiling Sea, Hades shows up and flits Liam over the edge… but Hook catches his brother’s hand and saves him. Liam releases his grip as a way to “make amends” for all he has done, and in doing so erases his unfinished business, allowing him — and the rest of the crew — to “move on” from the Underworld. Before sailing away, he acknowledges that Hook became “a true hero in a way I never could.”

Back at the Charmings’, David gives “emo teen” Henry a pep talk, opening up about the guilt he now feels, learning that though they never met, James has resented him since childhood. This nudges Henry to come clean to everyone about his side mission, to find the Author’s quill. But rather than rewrite events (e.g. Cruella’a mortality) in the name of being some kind of hero, Henry says he will take the apprentice’s advice and simply record stories. The gang agrees that the stolen storybook pages confirm that Hades is hiding something very important about himself — and as we see in the final scene, it’s that the pages reveal some sort of relationship with Zelena: “Our secret remains safe….”

What did you think of “The Brothers Jones,” and what is the true and potentially damning nature of Hades and Zelena’s “secret”?

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. PC says:

    Awesome! Fabulous series! My husband & I are big Hook & Emma fans!

  2. Dina says:

    Ohhhhhh….a few episodes ago, Hades seemed furious at Cora because Regina helped her father move on. On the other hand, he seemed to turn her back into a miller’s daughter because she gave up Zelena for a better life. “Oh, I know everything,” he told her. Looking back, he seems very bitter about what happened to Zelena.

  3. Heather says:

    Actually Liam said to Killian “You’ve become a true hero in a way I never could”

  4. Dina says:

    I loved the episode, but I really wish there had been enough time for someone to reassure Henry that he is a real hero, that he’s not just standing in everyone’s shadows.

  5. Megan says:

    I don’t have a great investment in Hook or Liam but I actually enjoyed the episode and it was a relatable episode for someone who idolizes their sibling as I do. I even liked the overall theme of it- you have to learn to forgive yourself .I love Regina being the one to express that to Emma because she does have a very similar background to Hook and both have very similar parallels in their character journeys. Another character I really liked was Charming. I haven’t enjoyed Snow and Charming in years but this back half of season 5 has me rooting for them again. I’m so glad the writers put the mains in the foreground because it’s reminded me why the show is so entertaining. It’s also refreshing that Henry’s author arc hasn’t been forgotten because I was afraid it would be after he broke the quil. I’ve also decided Cruella is the best thing about the underworld- can she stay on the show, please? One question- is Zelena Hade’s “Persephone” ?

    • PatriciaLee says:

      Hmmm…then who would be her mother, Demeter? That spring/harvest giving mother would be a fun way to soften our mad red-queen mother/gold spinner’s profile. They, really, have spun Regina and Zelena’s mother too way out there, imho. After all, we grew up with our sweet gold spinner out of straw becoming a queen. Tie it up, please!

  6. abz says:

    I seriously hope that this isn’t the end of Cruella’s plan. I want her to come back to life. One of the best, most entertaining villains on the show.

  7. T.M. says:

    calling it now… Zelena’s baby is actually Hades’

  8. Tom says:

    Why isn’t Henry dead yet? He can go off into TV heaven with Maddie from Nashville.

  9. Simon Jester says:

    Well, I’m glad so many others seemed to enjoy it, because I’m finding the underworld half-season — and this episode in particular — incredibly dull.

    • Skylerr says:

      Well, I’m glad that I’m not the only one who also finds this half-season dull. I’ve not been able to watch it since it started. I tried and ended up switching it off before reaching halfway. I’m waiting for a new storyline. I guess I’m off Once Upon A Time until the next season, hopefully it will be better.

      • Holly says:

        Me too! I watch the show on netflix, because they put the new ep up a few hours after it is on tv. I have skipped forward quite a few scenes!

    • Penny says:

      It’s incredibly dull! I’m glad other people see it that way. Thought I was alone. I also hated the Dark Swan storyline. Hopefully season 6 is better

  10. Chris says:

    Sooo… Robin Hood just off doing his own thing then? and Rumple too? They having a boys only spa day? I enjoy the show, but seriously some consistency, and maybe take 2 seconds to bother to explain character disappearance, ya know, like EVERYONE in Storybrooke over the last two seasons including a conveniently disappearing baby. At least there IS an excuse here. Though I am pretty burnt out on Zelena and them cramming her in anywhere they can, I am loving this Hell thing…

    • Chris says:

      Oh, and the return of Cora and Cruella. Definitely have a thing for Cruella… even though I’m almost positive she’d kill me in my sleep. Worth it.

  11. ninergrl6 says:

    As a Hook fan I expected to love this episode more than I did. The Liam backstory fell a little flat, though it sufficiently explained Hook’s inferiority complex when it comes to his relationship with Emma. I hope he’s over that for good now. I wish the Jones family member Hook met in the Underworld was his father, ya know, the man he killed after finding out about his new family. For that matter, maybe little Liam has some unfinished business with his big bro too. Exploring those relationships would have been more compelling than Hook’s hero worship of Liam #1 (BTW did Hook even tell Liam about their father? I doubt it. Missed opportunity IMO)

    I liked the exploration of the author/pen/book storyline. That ended too hastily last season. I’m glad Henry made the right choice fairly quickly and we didn’t have to watch him be manipulated by Cruella any longer (I do love her sass though). The “minor” scenes — Regina telling Snow that she relates to Hook, David attempting to dupe Cruella — were more interesting than the main plot this week, although that dramatic CaptainSwan reunion kiss was worth the wait.

    • Ana says:

      I agree very much. I’m a true Hook fan myself and was really looking forward to this episode. But I felt like I was being hit with platitudes more than with an actual, original story. Liam wasn’t the hero Killian believed him to be – as is so often the case when people put people on pedestals – and Killian has felt unworthy all his life. I appreciate that that was an issue between him and Emma but I felt that it wasn’t dealt with in a very meaningful way. Lately Once has felt very crowded – not just with people – but with issues that are being brought up, lightly touched and often completely forgotten after. That’s why this episode didn’t feel as rewarding as I was hoping it would.
      But I’m happy Killian wants to go home with Emma and have a future together. I love those two very much and always will.

      • Jackie says:

        ITA with you both. I was really looking forward to this episode, because I love me some Hook backstory, but everything in the episode stayed pretty superficial and the characters didn’t get time to really process the deep emotions that should have been there. The themes were great, of Killian needing to forgive himself and realize that his idolization of his brother was too much, but the episode wasn’t written well enough to do them justice. I’m happy with the outcome, just not how they got there. All in all, it could and should have been a better episode than it was. (I will say, Colin O’Donoghue and Jennifer Morrison did great work as usual!)

    • Lash says:

      I doubt the father would be in the Underworld. His regret was leaving Liam and Killian behind and he had forgive himself and Hook for killing him. As for little Liam he is still on earth, perhaps Storybrooke. Killian did not kill him and chances are he would be a teenager or young adult now as Hook killed their father just before the curse. I agree though Killian telling Liam that he killed their father and that they have a younger brother whose name is Liam seemed like a missed opportunity on the creators part. Perhaps that would be a storyline for next season in Storybrooke, Killian and little Liam reunite….

  12. Tiendung says:

    I think the reason why Zelena not dead back in the season 3 is because she made a deal to Hades. In exchange of something, Hades gave her another chance of life… That means Zelena has two lives =)

  13. Kim says:

    Never liked Zelena so tired of her constantly showing up. There were better villains to re-include if they are that desperate.

  14. Barb says:

    I always find the flashbacks finicky on this show… they either ruin the established story like the weird one with Regina and Hook in Swan Song or the one last week were Hook met Milah before the events of the Crocodile and seemed like a totally different person (I seriously felt that flashback was unneeded and awkward “I’m just going to sit in a tavern while my kid dies”

    And there is this week were a flashback explains a lot and really adds to the story for me …why what seemed like a very ‘straitlaced” Killian Jones go pirate so soon after his brother died, he was ‘trying’ to be someone he wasn’t for Liam too. All and all I liked this episode but I didn’t love it, something was missing or off or maybe it was that I felt Liam’s resolve and the action in the episode all happened too fast? Like liam could have had less of a role and they could have strung his present day story over two episodes? I will say that I didn’t even notice that Hood was missing until someone pointed it out…that’s how much of an impact he makes for me

  15. Tenney says:

    I couldn’t help but wonder why Liam didn’t tell Hook and the gang what he did with the pages he tore out of the storybook when he was doing all his confessing. He knew they were looking for those pages and it’s not like he burned them; he just threw them down a well. Maybe they could have tried to retrieve them?

  16. Lenny1 says:

    Really good episode and message about forgiveness on others and esp on oneself. Always good to see a Killian centric. He needed this to see his brother as he is, and not this idolize version. Killian loves Emma and Liam very much, his two true loves. He has come a long way. And yeah he still has this sense of unworthiness and self loathing and he needed to overcome that himself.

    Always enjoy the Jones Brothers. And the beautiful Emma and Killian scenes.

  17. Sunny says:

    I really loved the last episode, but yeah, I agree with those who say there was sth missing in it. All the same I’m really really excited for the next episode, and I won’t conceal the fact that if Zades or Hellena ( that’s what I came across) became a thing I am Soooo Gonna Ship It! And I’m glad that they touched the author thing again, and that the old villains are back.
    What I don’t like tho is that BELLE Always Stays Behind! And what about the rest of the storybrooke folk?? And esp. the lot from Camelot and Merida! It bums me that their storylines weren’t consistent, And even more so that Lily and Maleficent and Augusta were a No Show this season!
    About this season- I’ve been wondering, milah said her unfinished businesses was baelfire and Emma told her about her vision so that should’ve put her at ease and she should’ve moved on.I just hope her storyline’s not forgotten! And with this season half- 5 seasons and I still haven’t gotten over it- I had hope for Graham, at least they could mention him; just like regina went to check on Daniel’s grave.
    All that said; in the light of the present season, my anger over the past inconsistencies has subsided a bit and perhaps it can wait. The present season half is becoming one of my favourites! I just Love, Love, LOVE It!