Surprising twists abound for Hook(s) in the second episode of ONCE UPON A TIME’s seventh season, entitled “A Pirate’s Life.”
The Once Upon a Time executive producers promised that Hook and Emma’s happy beginning from the end of Season 6 wouldn’t be taken away, and they delivered on that promise in a unexpected way. Let’s take a look at how that happened in “A Pirate’s Life,” starting with what the flashbacks revealed to us.
The episode opened with young Henry (Jared Gilmore) and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) sparring on the Jolly Roger. When Emma (Jennifer Morrison) walks up and compliments Henry on his swordfighting skills, Henry is uncharacteristically angsty. Emma expresses her fear to Hook that Henry is about to leave home, and Hook reassures her with a magic “message in a bottle” that Henry can use to contact them in time of need.
In “Another Realm”
Adult Henry (Andrew J. West) is tracked down by Lady Tremaine (Gabrielle Anwar). She demands that Henry return Cinderella’s glass slipper. He refuses, saying that he has hidden it, and before she can stop him, he uses the message in a bottle to send a message to Regina, Emma, and Hook. Lady Tremaine tosses Henry into Cinderella’s old room and orders Drizella (Adelaide Kane) to torture him until he reveals the location of the slipper. Before Drizella can begin, Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Hook come to the rescue. Henry asks where Emma is. Hook gives him an excuse and assures him that everything is fine. After Henry leaves the room, Regina confronts Hook about lying to Henry, and Hook explains that’s what Emma wanted.
Regina attempts to use a location spell on the glass slipper, but it fails. Hook offers to go to the nearby port and ask any pirates he finds about a girl with a glass slipper. While there, he encounters… well, himself! The overweight, drunken, Wish Realm version of himself, anyway. Oh, boy, this recap is about to get confusing. For clarification purposes, let’s refer to the original Hook as Killian, and the Wish Realm version as Hook.
— Once Upon A Time (@OnceABC) October 14, 2017
Hook explains to Killian that he has been wandering the realms searching for Emma, but he’s never been able to find her until now, because the message in a bottle went out to both Captain Hooks. Killian brushes him off, assuming that he’s drunk, but Hook informs him that he hasn’t touched an ounce of rum in years before knocking him out and leaving him in an alley. Hook then finds Lady Tremaine, whom he appears to have some history with, and offers to fix her Henry Mills problem if she’ll fix his Emma Swan problem. She agrees, using the blood Hook took from Killian and the fairy godmother’s wand to change Hook’s appearance.
A newly handsome Hook interrupts Henry and Regina’s conversation about Storybrooke to give Henry a note, supposedly from Cinderella. He says that after Cinderella gave him the note, she got on a ship and departed. Henry is upset, and Regina urges Hook to go talk to him.
Go give him one of your piratey heart-to-hearts. Make him feel better.
Henry can tell that something’s off with Hook, but before he can press further, Emma appears. After a joyful reunion with her son, she explains that she’s pregnant. This news prompts a change of heart in Hook, who returns to the port to revive his doppelganger. Killian, naturally, is suspicious of this, and attacks him. After a brief fight, Killian stabs him in the chest. Hook explains that he returned to find Killian and return him to Emma because of Emma’s pregnancy – that he couldn’t bear the thought of separating a father from his child.
That’s why he’s doing all of this: a vengeful witch had trapped his daughter in a prison. Every day, Hook would sneak in and play chess with her, but he was caught and cursed so that he would never be able to save her. He knew that true love was the answer; that was why he was searching the realms for Killian’s true love, Emma, in the hopes that she would be able to break the curse. He gives Killian his daughter’s rook, saying that she has his knight, and asks him to save her. Killian is sympathetic and brings Emma to Hook to cure him of his stab wound.
Emma and Henry say their good-byes, and Emma makes Henry promise that he will fight for his own story with Cinderella. She then encourages Henry and Hook to team up. Regina begins to say good-bye to Henry, but he asks her to stay and fight alongside them, and she agrees – with the stipulation that their operation has a name. Henry calls it “Operation: Next Chapter.” Killian and Emma depart for Storybrooke, and the team of Henry, Hook, and Regina embark on their new adventure.
In Hyperion Heights
Detective Rogers, whom we now know to be Wish Realm Hook, asks Henry about the picture of Emma in his book. In return, Henry asks how Jacinda and Lucy are doing; Rogers says that they’re not doing well. The next scene finds Jacinda (Dania Ramirez) in Victoria’s office, where she’s asking Ivy for her ticket to Lucy’s ballet recital. Ivy explains, with obvious relish, that Victoria had turned the recital into a charity event, and the tickets now cost $550. Jacinda confronts Victoria, pointing out that her credit limit is $500, and the event was clearly constructed simply to keep her away.
Next is a brief scene between Rogers and his new partner, Detective Weaver (Robert Carlyle). Weaver explains that Rogers wasn’t assigned to him randomly; Weaver chose him specifically.
At Roni’s, Sabine (Mekia Cox) is trying to find Jacinda a part-time job so she can make enough money to pay for the recital tickets. Jacinda points out that she doesn’t exactly have time – the event is that night. Henry walks up, and Sabine leaves the two of them to talk. Henry apologizes for what he did and offers to pay for the recital tickets, but she refuses, saying that she doesn’t believe in fairy tales, and he can’t just come in here and offer to save her.
Weaver and Rogers are called to Victoria’s office, where she orders them to solve her Henry problem. Rogers confronts Weaver as they leave, asking him why they’re letting Victoria order them around.
Rogers: Why are we taking orders from Victoria Belfrey? We don’t work for her.
Weaver: You’re right, we don’t work for her. We work for me.
They go to Roni’s to ask her about Henry, and she refuses to give them any information. After Weaver leaves, Roni warns Rogers to watch himself, because Weaver tends to go through partners quickly. Rogers assures her that he can take care of himself. Returning to the car, Rogers informs Weaver that he has a way to find Henry.
Meanwhile, Sabine is still trying to find Jacinda a part-time job. She finds the perfect one: a catering gig at the ballet recital. They show up for work and discover that Henry is the bartender. He explains that he convinced the very nervous caterer that he needed a second bar and more servers, allowing Henry to ensure that Jacinda got the job.
Rogers and Weaver break into Henry’s apartment. Weaver spots a Nancy Drew book and a doll and decides that Henry had a daughter and is probably divorced. Rogers points out that having a daughter isn’t exactly dirt, but Weaver explains that they’re not looking for dirt – just points of vulnerability. He also informs Rogers that he can tell he’s been in the apartment before.
I need you to either be a good detective, or extremely loyal to me. And at this point, I’m pinning all my hopes on loyal.
— Once Upon A Time (@OnceABC) October 14, 2017
At the recital, Jacinda and Lucy have a joyful reunion. Sabine asks Henry if he’s in love with Jacinda. He demurs, pointing out that they’ve only just met. Victoria spots Henry at the recital and calls Weaver, telling him to come and get Henry out of her life. Rogers and Weaver leave the apartment, but on the way out, Rogers spots the swan keychain and takes it with him.
Weaver plans to frame Henry with the theft of Victoria’s bracelet, and orders Rogers to plant it on him. While everyone is watching the recital, Rogers bumps into Henry and plants the bracelet on him. After the recital is finished, Weaver explains to the audience that Victoria’s bracelet has been stolen and that he is going to search all of the event employees. Jacinda objects, and Weaver tells her to back off. Henry comes in to protect Jacinda and ends up getting an elbow in the face for his pains. Weaver demands that Henry turn out his pockets. He does, only to find his keychain and no bracelet.
Later, Rogers is about to drop the bracelet down a storm drain, but Weaver catches him. He explains that he chose Rogers as his partner for a particular reason: his moral code. He returns the bracelet to Victoria and reminds her that she doesn’t control him. Jacinda finds Henry at Roni’s and says that she’s willing to give him a second chance.
After she leaves for work, Rogers sits down with Henry, giving him a list of all the cemeteries in Seattle to help him find the graves he’s looking for. He then asks Henry again about Emma’s picture in his book. He explains that he’s seen the woman before; that in his first year on the force, he was looking for a missing girl, and he was shot. The woman healed him, and he never saw her again. She inspired him to have hope. Now, he’s thinking about the missing girl again, and he guesses that Victoria Belfrey probably knows something about her. Roni comes over to join them, and the three agree to team up to take down Victoria and find the missing girl.
The mythology of Once Upon a Time continues to deepen. Any guesses as to who Hook’s daughter might be? What is his history with Lady Tremaine? What is Weaver’s end game in Hyperion Heights? Will we get to meet Emma and Killian’s child at some point? Why haven’t we met the other stepsister yet? So many questions for season 7 to answer!
A few additional notes:
- Archie’s therapist business is down, but his wedding officiating is up, because, you know, happy endings.
- Charming and Snow are “sickeningly happy.”
- The frog jokes continue with Sabine as she says, “I’ve gotta hop.”
- Weaver knows that Rogers has a “fake hand” – how does that work, exactly?
What did you think of “A Pirate’s Life?” Let us know your thoughts of the Wish Realm Hook reveal!