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”?

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  1. steven says:

    Whatever happened to Robin’s son, since Regina mentioned him?

  2. Matthew Lawler says:

    I cannot believe that the writers decided to destroy the character of Hook by making him the one that murdered Emma’s grandfather I cannot Forgive this

    • J Ritty says:

      Yeah this was a real shocker so i liked THAT but I was like ‘damn…I forgot Hook was an evil SOB’ and I don’t know if I liked that – now. Even Smee was like ‘that sh*t was COLD Hook’… This might have been some serious damage done tonight… “So, Swan…I murdered your grandfather as he begged for his life and then dumped the body in a ditch – let’s say we get married and move to Shagalot?” IS Emma gonna die? This looks like a total deal breaker to me (especially with the re-pocketing of the ring) and can she really go on having parents her own age. it’s so weird. Maybe her death will break the curse and fix all and she’ll become something more..?

    • Joy Leonberger says:

      Agreedf! So very sad.

  3. S says:

    lol Hook continues to be trash. But we all know that he will be forgiven for continuing to care about no one but himself the second everyone finds out as we know they are filming the wedding… Dear Lana, please find a show worth of your talents so I can stop watching this garbage.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I think this episode demonstrates that *current* Hook certainly cares about people besides himself.

      • abz says:

        Yeah, these people basically go into each episode hating Hook so they just ignore the actual character development and interactions in the episode. They see Hook helping Charming and talking him out of a decision he knows he’d regret, knowing from personal experience that vengeance won’t make things better, and all they think is “see, Hook is so selfish, he only cares about is himself.” It’s getting tiring dealing with these people. One of the biggest part of this show is the theme of forgiveness and the possibility of redemption and when that actually happens, these people refuse to accept it. Well, if we can’t watch these once evil villain characters (e.g., Rumple, Regina, Hook, etc) try to redeem themselves and change, then there probably wouldn’t be many characters to root for.

      • S says:

        How does it demonstrate that? He knows he killed David’s father but kept his mouth shut so David would give Hook his “blessing” to marry Emma. He kept his mouth shut for selfish reasons.

        • abz says:

          He just had the realization AT THE END OF THE EPISODE. Geez. He didn’t even have a moment to process it.
          And clearly you weren’t paying attention at all, because David gave Hook his blessing BEFORE he realized that he was the one to kill David’s father. He didn’t know he was the one killed David’s father until he had the realization AFTER August had given him the pages that he ripped out of the book and it triggered his memory at the end of the episode.
          If you’re gonna criticize something at least try to get your facts straight.

          • Jack says:

            Major points for pointing out when Hook found out, multiple times, while staying coherent… Oh wait

        • ninergrl6 says:

          He didn’t know that he killed David’s father until the very end of the episode when he saw the pages and realized what David’s dad looked like. Maybe you should try actually watching the show.

    • This is hysterical… you do realize Regina, as the evil queen, slaughtered entire villages looking for Snow. Her redemption arc addresses her confronting these issues head on (just like last week’s episode). Seeing Hook’s arc is another take on the concept.

      • S says:

        I do realise what Regina has done. We’ve also seen Regina actively change. We have not seen Hook change. He lies to and manipulates Emma… But my comment wasn’t about Regina; it was about Hook. I can love Lana while understanding that there are problems with Regina.

  4. Teresa says:

    I really hope Emma doesn’t immediately forgive Hook. I don’t want her to say that that was the old Hook and that he’s changed now.

  5. Rebecca says:

    Meh, Hook killing Charming’s dad will be glossed over somehow. C$ will still get married.

    • abz says:

      They’ll still mostly get married especially with the show nearing the end of its run either this season or next season, but clearly it won’t be glossed over. If they were gonna gloss over it, they would have just had Hook go through with the proposal at the end of this episode regardless of his realization that he was the one who killed David’s father.

  6. laurelnev says:

    Too bad they didn’t use August way back when, when he was actually interesting and MORE than just a Greek Chorus in the background.

    So Hook killed David’s father. Like we couldn’t see that one coming. They keep trying, but somehow, it seems as if this season has lost its magic. There wasn’t really much I cared about at all in this ep.

    (Readying the kevlar suit here…)

  7. Claire says:

    Regina killed Snow White’s father and they love her, I feel like Hook will come out of this just fine.

    • Kelly says:

      Yeah, I was thinking along the same lines. If killing someone else’s loved ones was a fatal flaw in this world, literally no one would be speaking to anyone else :D It’ll cause some drama, but then it’ll be resolved.

    • Kallie says:

      And Regina killed her own father, for that matter. I was really disappointed that they went this direction with Hook’s story, because he really has changed, but I’m trying to trust that the writers know what they are doing.

    • G says:

      Hook comes out of everything fine. Ho hum. That’s why he’s so boring. There are never any stakes. He will look sad for an ep, and ta da! Some deus ex machina, maybe a literal one, will solve his problems. Cue wedding. He hasn’t had to pay for any of his dark deeds for the last five seasons; why start now?

  8. GraceM says:

    Wny am I not surprised Hook had another skeleton in his closet?

  9. abz says:

    I just don’t understand what benefit the writers saw in having Hook be the one who killed David’s father. I get the need to create some drama, but why the whole one step forward two steps back. Hook has made great progress. He’s changed so much for the better and that was clearly evident here in this episode. And they decide to ruin all of that by coming up with some random plot point that will create unnecessary drama. I just don’t get it. I mean technically it’s not like Hook relapsed back into evil and they just revealed one of his past wrong-doings, but I just don’t get this decision.
    Also, does Emma keep forgetting she has magic? If you forget your life jackets, why drive all the way back to get them? Can’t she just magically bring them to her or use her magic to take herself home and get them. I mean really, it takes all of one minute. These people don’t appreciate their magic :/

  10. jml says:

    The thing is: David’s dad would have been dead either way. Hook did it, but if he hadn’t come up at that moment, the guards would have gone through with the murder, no? So, while of course it’s wrong to murder people, in that case Hook didn’t do anything that wouldn’t already have been done anyway. I agree it creates drama, because the end will be Hook’s forgiveness.

  11. ninergrl6 says:

    Great episode! So much character development on so many levels. Disappointed that it turned out Hook killed David’s dad, especially after Hook and David both made so much progress (not seeking revenge, accepting the past, building family bonds, etc.). I hope this won’t regress the characters’ relationships. Emma generally accepts that Hook did bad things in the past, as did she, but he’s changed for the better and that’s the man she loves. I hope this latest hurdle is no different, but *he* has to accept and forgive himself, which seems to be the bigger stumbling block.

  12. Vanessa says:

    It would be nice if they could or would turn down the music in the back ground so you can hear ppl talking

  13. Loli says:

    Significant Swanqueen episode, in that Wish-Robin is not Regina’s true love, and Hook is keeping a very big secret from Emma.

  14. Forgive me if someone has already mentioned this, but doesn’t the time line of this episode make no sense? Pinnochio becomes a real boy on return from Pleasure Island. How can he be a little boy at the same time as David if he was still a little boy when Emma was a baby?

    • K says:

      I was thinking the same thing! The only logical answer is that Pinnochio was a puppet for at 20+ years before becoming a real boy.

    • SB says:

      What I don’t understand, is when did August become an adult again? I thought a few seasons ago (back just before they left for Neverland) he was transformed into a little boy again – with no memories of being August. So I get why in last week’s episode in the wish realm he was an adult again – but why/how is he an adult again in Storybrooke?

  15. CVJ says:

    when Regina told snow that the wish realm Robin didn’t feel like her Robin and she didn’t know how he came through the wardrobe and when they showed him in Regina’s vault i was immediately like it has to be the wish realm rumple! It has to be. it felt too dumb when Regina and Robin easily escaped from rumple’s castle. It has to be this. I am super sure the wish realm rumple is here. And i wanted this from the start. Super excited!

    • K says:

      Interesting theory!! The two had amazing chemistry (like with the original Robin) in wish world, but it changed drastically when they went to Storybrooke. It did take a long time for him to come through the portal; it could suggest something happened on the other side. The thing that doesn’t fit is why he would immediately go for Nottingham. Wish realm Rumple should be smarter than that.

      • CVJ says:

        yeah rumple going for sheriff of Nottingham doesn’t feel right but still hoping it’s rumple and it’s one of his highly complex plan😃

  16. Bryan87 says:

    Would have been an interesting twist if it had any consequences, but since everything Hook does tends to be brushed aside very easily by ham handed writing what’s the point. Great acting by Josh Dallas though and always happy to see Alan Dale and Eion Bailey on this show again.

  17. One problem with long breaks is you forget a lot of details. But I do wonder how many people Hook has murdered, and how few people there must be for Hook to have killed David’s dad. Kind of a hell of a coincidence. I think that’s a story that played out fine without the last second twist.

  18. SB says:

    I just noticed in this episode, that everyone in the wish realm seemed to age except Robin AND Nottingham. Do you think there is a significance to that? And why didn’t they age, when everyone else did? And is wish-realm’s Robin the Evil Queen’s true love – and that’s why Regina felt nothing with him?

    • iloonz says:

      i like that theory: evil Robin and the evil Queen! That would be a giant middle finger towards Regina haha

      • DRush76 says:

        Regina was no longer the “Evil Queen” when she first met Robin back in Season 3. She wasn’t evil at the time. But like everyone else, she had evil within her. Come on people! You can do better than that.

  19. Let’s talk about Robin… is it possible he hitched a ride with this version of the Evil Queen to get his hands on something he could not in Wishland?

  20. G says:

    oh i am so surprised so shocked so paralyzed with amazement Hook did something crappy and lied about it. Never have I imagined such a possibilityzzzzzzzzzz… (Also, how shocking that the show took David’s story and managed to make it about Hook. Also something that has never happened before.)

  21. iloonz says:

    Solid episode. I don’t know but David crying made me tear up as well.. And it’s been a very long time since i have felt any feelings of joy or sadness for some characters. So for me this was a strong episode. I didn’t even care that the other (and more important) storylines went on a hold this episode. It was good to see the ‘bromance’ relationship between Killian and David grow, even though Hook DID kill his father.. The writers defenitly put me on the wrong foot about the murderer, at some point i really thought George killed Robert. So either that says something about me, or the writers did something right ;)
    As for Robin (but not really Robin), he’s hot. I’m sorry, but the old (actual Robin) was a bore. Although i did like him together with Regina, i quess that’s why i feel so sorry for Regina.. So i hope bad boy Robin stays around for a while. It’s also a good excuse to give Zelena 5 seconds of screen time, which is nice.

    And i need to say this, but Emma and Henry taking a canoeing trip. please.. It would have made more sence for them to be at Granny’s than to take a fricking canoeing trip!

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I like Wish Robin better than original Robin too, at least in the sense of being more interesting aa a character.

  22. Kallie says:

    The episode in two weeks is titled Page 23. I have a feeling that it is going to turn out that Hook was involved in a different person’s killing under similar circumstances–not great, but at least not a potential relative. When he first saw August’s pages, he just jumped to the conclusion that it was David’s father.

    • Amanda says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong but I think 23 was the number of the page they found of them meeting in the tavern in like… season 4(?). If that’s the name of the episode, then perhaps the wish realm was more like an actual alternate reality and that page is from their book. Although that would be a stretch because of the timeline and aging thing. And it would have to be from the future. so probably not. lol

  23. Sade says:

    I don’t think Hook knew that he had been the one to kill David’s father until he saw what he looked like.

    I don’t understand how people can complain about Hook getting away with whatever he wants when you have a show with Regina and Rumple. They have killed tons of people, important people, beloved people and they are forgiven instantly. Neither one of them has done anything remotely redeemable enough to be forgiven so let’s all calm down.

    The twist was telegraphed a mile away and it doesn’t do the characters or the show any favors. I wish the writing for this show was better.

    • DRush76 says:

      Christ! You can only think about Regina and Rumple getting away with murder? How about Snow and Emma? Zelena anyone? Belle got away with trying to leave a woman for dead. David just got away with attempted murder. Both he and Snow got away with kidnapping. Why does this fandom always ignore the crimes of the Charming family?

    • Bryan87 says:

      I’m pretty sure his David’s father was just as “important” and “beloved” to his family as Rumple’s and Regina’s victims were to theirs so I’m not sure what your argument is here. All three are killers, all three have a very villainous past. Who’s worse or who’s done more to redeem themselves is obviously very subjective.

  24. Cate says:

    David was due a backstory but it was a bit flat for me. Hook being his man-pal and the tension about Hook wanting to ask his permission to propose to a Emma was just kind of lacking spark. I always liked David Cubbit on Medium and the twist with Hook being the one who killed him just about saved the episode for me. Plus I liked seeing Regina and Snow being pals and talking about Regina’s’ haste in bringing an alternate-Robin back to Storybrooke,

  25. DRush76 says:

    Pardon me for bringing this up, but I could have sworn that Killian was still in Neverland at the time of Robert’s death. In fact, I thought he didn’t return to the Enchanted Forest until a few years before Emma’s birth.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I think Hook killed David’s father on Pleasure Island (or whatever the island itself is called, not the amusement park) rather than the Enchanted Forest. It wouldn’t have made sense for the king’s guards to bring him all the way back home before attempting to kill him.

  26. Heather says:

    The first time I watched this episode I had no complaints, but I just went back and started watching the first season again, and in episode 6 of that season it deals with the whole David/James adoption thing, and in that episode David’s mother tells him that the reason they gave up James was to save the farm. There was no mention of the boys being sick as was revealed in this episode. I get that things change, and writer’s don’t always know where they want to go with a story, but I am sick of to death of all this rewriting history crap. They could have told the secret of David’s dad’s death without adding the boys’ being sick angle, and then the story wouldn’t contradict itself. The whole reason they added it anyway was just to make the parents choice seem more understandable, but it was unnecessary. You can try to say that David’s mother just didn’t tell him the whole truth before, but I think a son would be way more understanding if he found out that his parents had given up his brother to save both of their lives than he would be to find out it was done just to save their farm. I wonder how many more inconsistencies I’m bound to discover on this little trip down memory lane? As much as I truly love OUAT, these writer’s should be ashamed of themselves. It’s like they think we’re too stupid to notice.