Once Upon a Time, S5 Ep15 – The Brothers Jones

This episode of Once Upon a Time plunged into the murky waters of Hook’s past as his older brother Liam makes a reappearance in the Underworld. While Hook has always looked up to Liam as his true hero, it turns out that the older Jones brother has his own secrets to hide. Meanwhile, Henry continues his quest to find the Author’s magical pen, with both Cruella and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice encouraging him to do so.

Once Upon a Time, S5 Ep15 - The Brothers JonesWhile it’s refreshing to see Hook so happy as he is reunited with his beloved older brother, the scenes with Liam acting self-righteous and hypocritical to Emma don’t really win him points in anyone’s book. And when it is later revealed that he is not as noble and pure as his brother has always believed him to be, this is not really a big twist. No one gets stuck in that eerie realm for no reason, as we are constantly being reminded. No big mystery there and Once Upon a Time has never been that big on subtlety.

It’s sad to see Hook’s opinion of his brother change but then, the eventual resolution of Liam’s unfinished business (while hanging over Mount Doom, er, the cheap-looking CGI fire), came too quickly and too easily. The man sold out a whole ship full of men to the Lord of the Underworld just so he and his brother could get a navy commission? That’s some deep, dark stuff there, and it’s no wonder Liam spent so long as a lost soul. And you can’t say he didn’t deserve this punishment. So really, his redemption at the end was too easy.

Once Upon a Time, S5 Ep15 - The Brothers JonesAnd the episode was all about Hook trying to forgive himself for all the terrible things he had done whether or not under the influence of the Dark One. He was full of guilt and shame about all his crimes and even when Emma kept telling him he deserved to be saved, he refused to believe it. He eventually did forgive himself (of course, because the episode demanded it) and after bidding a moving farewell to his redeemed brother, Hook decided not to let Liam and Emma’s hopes for him go to waste. He emerged more hopeful and determined to have a future with his true love. And the Captain Swan shippers rejoiced.

The quest for the magic pen also opens a new chapter (ha) in the Underworld arc with the introduction of THE Storybook that contains secrets about all the denizens of the Underworld, notably its lord, Hades. This subplot is the more intriguing of the stories explored in this episode, and I’m glad that they did not completely set aside the significance of the Author and his powers. These features of the Once Upon a Time mythos are too important and integral to be ignored.

Thankfully, Henry stops being a brooding teenager and shares his newfound knowledge with the rest of his family. He expresses his determination to make the right decision and to become the Author Isaac never was. It’s an exciting prospect.

Once Upon a Time, S5 Ep15 - The Brothers JonesOne prospect that had almost been intriguing was Hades’ past, as enshrined in the torn pages of the Storybook. There are so many secrets such an ancient and fascinating being could have but the writers chose to go with some secret affair with Zelena, of all people. I’ve been pretty clear in previous recaps that I’m no big fan of Zelena and I was actually glad to see her whisked away to Oz this season. I am not relishing the prospect of seeing her again, and paired with the season’s Big Bad, no less.

She made enough trouble for our heroes on her own. I shudder to think of the havoc she can wreak when she and Hades work together. But we’re going to see that soon enough.

Next week on Once Upon a Time, we learn more about (ugh) Hades and Zelena’s shady past: