Once Upon a Time Recap: Dad Reckoning

This week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, not a whole lot of current storyline got moved forward, though we did get fresh insight into David’s father and the difficult decisions he made back in the day. Regina, meanwhile, invited the Wish Realm’s Robin to steal her heart, with meh results.

After a small celebration of Emma’s win over Gideon and in which he toasted to “family,” David finds himself in the dumps, desperately missing quality time with the missus — at which point, outside, the ghost of his father Robert appears. When Hook questions the appearance of the apparition and David’s non-sleeping habits, he is readily dismissed as just a “pirate.” The next day, Hook seeks counsel from Archie, on how to earn Charming’s approval, seeing as he’s ready to ask Emma to marry him.

After a second visit from Ghost Dad, David invites Hook to join him on a quest, as a pirate is precisely what he needs — to serve as lookout while he steals magical whatnot from his own daughter’s shed. Hook, begrudgingly, distracts Emma as David does just that. Back at the loft, David whips up a potion that enchants his father’s lucky coin to point out where he was “before he died” (which seems like rather imprecise and somewhat worthless intel), and it zeroes in on Pleasure Island.

In flashbacks, we see that Robert — years after surrendering one of his and Ruth’s twin sons to Rumple, to deliver to King George — got wind that James had gone missing. With some guidance from Rumple and a bit of help from Pinocchio, Robert finds the runaway lad on Pleasure Island. James doesn’t want to grow up to be a knight who kills people, a wish that Robert relays to King George. The king though cares not at all, and tasks his guards with staging a fatal accident for the poor shepherd.

Back in Storybrooke, August fka Pinocchio shares what he remembers about Robert’s quest to help James. David then confronts Albert Spencer fka King George in the town brig, and is ready to run him through with a knife when Hook arrives and intervenes. Hook steers David away from vengeance, saying he’d not be able to look his father in the eye, were he alive today. David complies and then breaks down, worrying that there is little value in being Prince Charming if his best is never good enough, to wake Snow, to keep Emma safe.

Later, on the docks, a closure-filled David lobs the lucky coin into the drink, at which point Ghost Dad vanishes. When Hook arrives, David thanks him for offering clarity, and then commends the pirate for doing the hardest thing anyone can do — “You changed.” How might he pay Hook back for his moral guidance? By letting his family grow, Hook suggests — by way of giving his blessing for Hook to propose to Emma. “Of course,” David eventually answers, beaming.

Aye, but there may be a bigger obstacle to Hook popping the question. For when August delivers the missing Pleasure Island pages from the storybook, Hook comes to realize that he met David’s father a long time ago — when he showed up to slay the guards that were to stage his fatal accident, and then killed witness Robert as well!

Elsewhere in the episode, Regina tried to help Wish Robin find his bearings in Storybrooke — even having to step in and keep him from gutting the Sheriff of Nottingham on Main Street at one point! Afterward, in Regina’s vault, she and Robin arrived at the idea that maybe they are both to be a part of each other’s fresh starts. Robin sealed that deal with a kiss… that was a whole lotta “nothing,” Regina later admitted to Snow White. But if he isn’t meant to be her Robin, why did he cross over into our world so easily? And what is he up to? As Regina wonders all that, we see Robin steal the powerfully magic box that was conspicuously pointed out earlier, during their vault convo….

What did you think of “Murder Most Foul”?