Sunday, October 21, 2012

Once Upon a Time: Captain Hook and Too Much Rumple

Colin O'Donaghue does make a fine Hook, but he needs a swell hat.

Once Upon a Time, in my estimation, has done a great job of deconstructing favorite fairy tales and making them modern and relevant. Tonight the show bravely tried to pay homage to the iconic and misunderstood Captain Hook. And I've bravely set out to recap the episode below.

Turns out Rumple had a rather shallow wife before he met Belle and he was “The village coward.” Hmmm. A coward because he didn’t go to the Ogre Wars. I didn’t go to the ogre wars either – did you? But I digress.

Now this Hook, he has a swell hat.

Rumple, branded a coward loses his wife, to the Captain who ‘takes her’. This does not sound legal or nice, but Hook is a pirate, so what do you expect?  Rumple tries to get his wife back. But he doesn't try very hard. His only worry is “what will my boy say”. Right. Because you don’t care if a pirate kidnaps your wife. It’s all about the kid. Rumple and his weak defense is not mentioned in the original Peter Pan story by J.M. Barrie in case you were wondering. 

So far this episode has too much Rumple and not enough Hook (Colin O'Donaghue).

We flash to Storybrooke. The Prince is working in the mines with the dwarves looking for magic dust. They haven’t found any. Just to warn you, there is a lot of back and forth in the episode between times and none of it involves Emma or Snow.

Belle starts Ice Teaing herself to death. Red and Granny take her in. Belle needs a job and the library needs someone to take care of the books. Excellent. But then she gets kidnapped. Not excellent.

Hook! Where is Hook? I was promised Hook. We flash back to Rumple and Hook battling it out in a bar. Rumple is now the Dark One. Hook is not pleased. He liked the coward better. Hook says Rumple’s wife, Mila, is now dead. Rumple wants a duel.

Back in our time, Mr. Gold asks Prince Phillip to help him find Belle. Of course Phillip does it because that’s what nice guys do.

Back in the olden times, our dear Captain is sword fighting Rumple. As the Dark One, Rumple has a bit of an advantage. Rumple starts to rip the Captain’s heart from his chest to retaliate for Mila’s death. But then she shows up and asks him to stop. At this point we can rule Mila out for Mother of the Year.  

None of this has tracked so far to the Captain Hook I know and love. Where is the alligator? Where is long hair? The foppish clothes? Where is Peter? Where is Smee?

In present day, Belle was kidnapped by someone who brings her back to her father - the one who was willing to trade her for a beast for his kingdom in the first place. Her father immediately tells Belle she doesn’t love Rumple, which she would have realized on her own, but since he forces the issue things get bad.

Philip, in the course of his detective work, discovers that Rumple has done some really bad stuff. He’s not super psyched about helping him, but he does anyway because that’s what nice guys do. It's the curse of the nice guy.

We flash back. Mila loves the Captain. Rumple says, “tic toc dearie,” to his first wife as if he was the croc, but really he’s just ticked, forget the toc. He’s going to kill our Captain. Mila has some magic bean and she is willing to trade it for her life and Captain Hook’s. Seems like a trade Rumple wants to make.

Back to Storybrooke Maine and to Granny's. Red is worried about Belle. Phillip wants to find her, but she is hesitant to help him because Rumple is with him. Red doesn't like Rumple and we don't blame her. 

Phillip offers the ‘Prince guarantee’ so Red agrees. Red tries to track Belle, but loses the scent at a flower shop. Her father’s flower shop. Her father is sending her across the town line, so she will forget. Her father is doing this to save her from the beast.

Back on Captain Hook’s ship in the past, Rumple takes Mila to task for leaving Bane…and him. Rumple pulls her heart out of her Sheriff-style and she dies. Then he chops off Hook’s hand. In this scenario, Rumple is the croc.  Rumple disappears in a puff of red smoke leaving our Captain with a Hook. Capital H.

Belle is now at the border of Storybrooke. She does not want to cross the town line and lose her memory. Am I the only one who wants to save our librarian from herself? Get her over the border PLEASE! But no, Phillip has to stop it. Rumple asks her if she remembers him. She does, but she has had it with both Rumple and her dad. She’s done. Well done, Belle. Finally!  

Rumple goes to Belle to try to win her back. He admits she was right about him. He is a coward.

Gold admits to Belle he is cursed because he can’t look for his son, Balefire, because if he leaves Storybrooke he will forget who his son is. He doesn’t want to lose Belle. Rumple says goodbye to Belle for her own good, knowing full well this is what will tug her heart and make her love him again. Now she wants to have a hamburger with Rumple at Granny’s. Oh Belle. None of your book learning can help you survive Rumple. A hamburger date will not change the fact that he is The Dark One. 

We flash back once more and learn that Mila knew Rumple better than we thought. She shorted him the magic bean right before he killed her. Our Captain now holds the magic bean and we suppose the way to control magic in Storybrooke. Turns out he got it from a gentleman named William. William Smee. I love Smee. Almost as much as I love the Captain. (It’s just so much fun to say the name, Smee. Try it now with an H between the S and the M, just like Captain Hook says it in the animated classic. You know you love it too.) So Smee gets an opportunity to join Captain Hook’s crew and the 
If the Once Smee had been wearing a striped shirt we all would have figured out his identity lightening fast.

Captain is taking them to Never Never land, so they will never age. We now recognize Smee as the man who kidnapped Belle on behalf of her dad.  I may have been the slowest person on earth to pick this one up.

Then Gold captures our precious Smee and keeps him in the antique shop. Smee says Hook isn’t in Storybrooke. The answer, my friends is blowing in the wind, the magic wind, because Hook is with Cora, Regina’s super evil mom, back in fairyland. Hook wants to get to Storybrooke. Cora wants to get back to her daughter, who is in Storybrooke. And Hook, adds that he wants to, “Skin myself a crocodile.”

Do we finally have a villain worthy of Gold? Not sure yet, but personally, I need more Hook episodes. More Hook! More Hook! Tic Toc.

PS: The previews suggest that we are in for a Halloween suitable episode where Regina tries to bring back her dead love. The one who’s death made her weirdly hate Snow who was a child at the time. I can tell you from watching Aladdin, that he can’t bring people back from the dead and these things don’t turn out well. Regina, my dear evil queen, you are in for a tough week.

As for the writers and producers of Once, I give you two words of advice: More Hook.

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