This week on Once Upon a Time we delve deep into David’s past, while Hook tries to prove himself worthy of Emma’s hand by helping the prince find out the truth about his father’s death.
I’ll admit that episodes focusing on David are probably the least interesting ones on the show. It’s no secret that the ladies are the ones who really shine on Once Upon a Time (well, them and Rumplestiltskin), and when Emma or Regina are out of the spotlight, the show tends to flounder. I know that David is a major character and all, but I still could not find it in myself to care too much about his past.
But this episode had all the classic Once Upon a Time elements: flashbacks to the Enchanted Forest, people making deals with Rumplestiltskin, parental abandonment issues, and kings being jerks. What was interesting was seeing another setting from the show’s mythos, Pleasure Island, a major part of Pinocchio’s story.
I’m beginning to suspect that the Once writers actually have a plan for Pinocchio/August this year, given how much he featured in last week’s episode too. Now, he’s an interesting character. I’m also glad that there was a brief scene with Dr. Archie Hopper. He’s a character who needs more love and who needs to do more than listen to the main cast’s problems. But it was funny to see Hook seeking his advice because it turns out, the pirate’s planning to pop the question to Emma sometime soon.
And he was suddenly desperate to win her father’s approval. But out of the blue, David seemed so prejudiced against pirates and so uncharacteristically hostile to Hook. Back in earlier seasons this would have been understandable. But considering how much these two have bonded ever since the Neverland arc back in season 3, it was a bit jarring to have their bromance regress so much in one episode, just so that David could finally consider Hook part of the family.
Everything was going fine in the flashbacks. David found out that his father wasn’t really a worthless drunk. We got a glimpse of a young and redeemable Prince James. And for a moment it seemed like the old shepherd was spared.
But alas, this is Once Upon a Time, so there has to be some dark secret. And it turns out, Hook was the one who plunged a sword into the heart of his future father-in-law’s father. Considering how far they’ve come, when this secret gets out, and I’m pretty sure it will in the most catastrophic way possible, the road to becoming part of the Charming-Mills family will get bumpier than ever for the reformed pirate.
There were some scenes with Regina trying to integrate Robin into Storybrooke. The best parts were of Snow and Regina discussing the weird situation. It’s just so heartening to see these two being supportive of each other, in spite of everything. I’m also glad that Regina realized that the Robin she brought back is not the same Robin that she loved. But it looks like this one is up to something sinister. Could she have inadvertently brought this season’s Big Bad with her? If he turns out to be villainous, that will be the most interesting Robin has ever been on the show. But poor Regina, though. We’ll just have to see how the whole, convoluted thing plays out.