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S03.E05: Good Form

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Hook brings ailing David with him to find the sextant that may help them decipher a map that shows the way out of Neverland; Killian Jones and his brother sail off to find a plant in an uncharted land.

 

Note: please use spoiler tags when referring to major events that happen after this episode to allow new viewers to choose to be spoiled.

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Hook gets his own centric! (Queen of Hearts and Crocodile were both shared.)

 

Pros:
* We finally get to see Hook's backstory.

* Hook/Charming bromance.

* Captain Swan kiss.

* I liked the idea Hook used to be an upright Navy man.

* Pegasus reference.

* Regina ripping the heart out of the Lost Boy, even against Snow's will.

* Magical seashell Skype.

* Charming is cured of Dreamshade.

 

Cons:

* Random deal with Hook and Pan that goes nowhere.

* Charming hates Hook at first... overplayed.

* Another jungle trek episode.

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I love Hook, but I was disappointed in the first watch -- maybe I was expecting to much.  I wanted lots of swashbuckling.  I wanted to see Killian swordfight, preferably with Pan but I would have been ok with him fighting as a naval officer.  On first watch I thought it was cinematographically beautiful.  I loved Killian and Liam together.  They played well together and seemed to have a deep love for each other.  I also thought Colin was amazing in playing young idealistic Lt Jones.  He seemed so youthful and innocent if you will.  He was definitely a different person.

 

I also hated that all we really got between Hook and Pan was hint of some deal way back when, although I found their chemistry off the charts.  I actually think it was a throwaway line because A&E knew that they had to say something about Hook and Pan, when all they  really planned or cared about was Rumple and Pan; and Regina and Tink.  I am bitterly disappointed that never had any substantive flashbacks about between Hook, Pan, Tink and Bae.  This is Neverland.  It is their classic stories.  Why the hell did we have to have so many flashback in 3A about Regina trying to kill Snow.

 

The other disappointment is that it clashed with my headcannon -- by that I don't see how uptight, rigid, by the book Lt Jones becomes the pre-Hook devil may care pirate Jones that fell for Milah.  When and how did he learn to pick locks? Jones seemed to be quick with sleight of hands (pickpocket type); how did that happen?  My headcannon was that very young Killian had been abandoned by his father and had to learn on to live on the streets as a kid giving streetsmarts, and some dubious but useful skills.  I just don't see how Lt Jones came by those skills.  Those skills would be hard to pick up as an adult.  Maybe he was abandoned by his father alone, later found Liam and  wanted desparately to be like Liam and his officer friends that he became obsessed with good form.

 

On later rewatches I liked it better, probably because I had my expectations set.  It was beautiful, the acting well done.  The end when Pan is taunting Hook  does show how much Hook had fallen from Lt Jones and it's sad to know how big an impact Pan had in  altering Hook's life.  I bet Pan or his shadow planted the idea about dream shade into the King's head.

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I like this episode plenty. The plot moves forward, and it has a relevant and enlightening fairyback.

 

Highlights include:

- I enjoy Hook and Charming's back and forth snarking.

- I liked that the kiss wasn't Emma suddenly swooning for Hook, which would have felt wrong at this point. She was trying to say "Yeah? I'll show you who can't handle it" but ended up calling her own bluff. 

- "I don't do rum."

- Robbie Kay is great in general, and especially so playing off Colin. 

 

Not so much:

- Hook's plan was a bit silly. How could he be sure David would find that patch? 

- The actor who plays Liam doesn't even try to do the same accent as Hook. I like that the actors on this show typically get to keep their natural accents, but it makes no sense that his brother had an Australian accent (unless we later learn that they aren't actually blood relatives or something). 

- "I just want you to know, I too know what it feels like to lose hope" is a weird and awkward line. Why would Emma want to know that? 

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So I was spoiler free for the show until the end of 3A last season.  The only thread I used to read on TWoP was the episode thread and that was the end of that for me as far as board participation.

 

I liked the episode, hated the ponytail a whole lot. 

I liked Lt. Jones, I thought his brother was a bit of a dolt.  Lt. Jones was an idealist but he was still pretty pragmatic which is something Hook very much is.

I loved the Hook/Charming developing bromance and the talk about their respective brothers.  I thought David sort of softened towards Hook when he realized he lost someone.

I also enjoyed the interaction between Hook and Pan and wished there was more of that.  I mean Neverland is Hook and Pan and I felt completely short changed on that one. 

Still wish I knew what Hook did for Pan and what kind of deal Pan made with Hook to let him leave Neverland.

I thought the speech at the end was sort of meh, but I just like Hook in general, so...

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I don't think the show has, at any point, excused Hook's villainous actions.  I think they've been better about it with him than Rumple or Regina.  An explanation isn't an excuse, it's an explanation.  I mean, if you look at the history of pirating, very very few people became pirates because they thought it was fun.  A lot of navy sailors got pressganged into military service unwillingly and would abandon their posts if given the opportunity by pirates offering quarter.  Hook's backstory of abandoning a corrupt king is actually closer to a realistic pirate backstory than if he was an evil dude who liked doing evil because evil is fun. Not to mention far more interesting and a far more honest look at human nature than "hE's EvOL!!1!". 

 

And for me at least, good guy who was corrupted by anger and vengeance and became a bad guy and now is wanting to try to find his way back to being a good guy again is a much more interesting story than bad boy is bad but has a secret heart of gold deep down.

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I don't think the show has, at any point, excused Hook's villainous actions.  I think they've been better about it with him than Rumple or Regina.  An explanation isn't an excuse, it's an explanation.  I mean, if you look at the history of pirating, very very few people became pirates because they thought it was fun.  A lot of navy sailors got pressganged into military service unwillingly and would abandon their posts if given the opportunity by pirates offering quarter.  Hook's backstory of abandoning a corrupt king is actually closer to a realistic pirate backstory than if he was an evil dude who liked doing evil because evil is fun. Not to mention far more interesting and a far more honest look at human nature than "hE's EvOL!!1!". 

 

And for me at least, good guy who was corrupted by anger and vengeance and became a bad guy and now is wanting to try to find his way back to being a good guy again is a much more interesting story than bad boy is bad but has a secret heart of gold deep down.

 

I agree, and it makes his quest for redemption a lot more believable and palatable than that of certain other characters. *coughReginacough*  With him, I'm actually rooting for him to rediscover the honorable man he once was, under Emma's influence, whereas with Regina, it's "yeah, yeah, she's redeemed, yada yada yada."

 

And make no mistake, Emma is no Belle.  She's not gong to sit back and say, "Oh, well, so Hook backslid a little -- he's still got a good heart, so I'll forgive him, and everyone else should, too!"  Nope, she's going to call him out on his crap every single time until he genuinely stops giving her crap to call him out on.  That's how her influence will help him find true redemption.

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Yeah, I wouldn't say they excused it. I mean, they already had this character who was clearly smart and well educated and had flashes of goodness, and yet ended up in a life of piracy. So I think that needed to be explained, and I think they did a pretty good job (though adding the brother was maybe a slight retcon on what he had told Bae already). Additionally, none of the characters were told this backstory, so it's not as if they are excusing his actions because of it. 

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Other than the rather abrupt switch from Upright, Dutiful Lieutenant to Pirate, which I can handwave because a slow descent into piracy wouldn't be interesting television and I don't need to see it, I thought Hook's backstory worked well to explain how he came to be the man he is. It also explained how a guy as young as he was managed to get his own ship and have a loyal crew. A believable backstory with a worthwhile motivation and credible character development is rare for this show, so bravo writers. 

 

The Emma/Regina team up to get their message to Henry was quite awesome. While I shouldn't get on board with the idea of stealing a child's heart (though I'm assuming Emma made Regina give it back), Snow's smug look of superiority before Emma was all screw ethics, let's talk to Henry was so offputting that it made me cheer when Emma went to tackle her so that Regina could do her bit. I love it that Emma's willing to get her hands dirty for her son. Snow's unwillingness to participate, while understandable, does kind of raise questions about how willing she is to fight for her child.

 

I also really liked that Emma kissed Hook not with some contrived I'm secretly in love with you manner, but because she was in a good mood, Hook's hot and he challenged her to do it. That it turned out the sexual attraction was a little stronger than either had bargained for worked nicely. 

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Why did he have to be a good man at all before a pirate? Why not show him being a pirate, who also had a pirate brother. 

Other than having him bond with Charming to further support Hook/Emma. Along with the way too early kiss imo despite how they played it off. 

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Why did he have to be a good man at all before a pirate? Why not show him being a pirate, who also had a pirate brother.

Other than having him bond with Charming to further support Hook/Emma. Along with the way too early kiss imo despite how they played it off.

Because that would run counter to the show's overarching theme that evil is made, not born.

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The one thing that really annoys me in this episode is how stupid they made Liam. Seriously, could the writers not think of any better situation for Liam to get poisoned? It would have been more tragic if the situation was more natural, like if after Liam and Killian retrieve the plant, Liam falls and injures himself climbing back down the cliff. To heal his brother’s injury, Killian uses the plant on him, only to see that it makes the situation worse. Ugh, I don’t know… I just hate how it played out on screen. “Oh brother, you’re so silly. Look, let me cut myself to prove you wrong! Oh shit, I’m dying now. I guess you were right.”

 

Why did he have to be a good man at all before a pirate? Why not show him being a pirate, who also had a pirate brother.

Ever since Hook was first introduced, the writers have shown that he’s more intelligent than the average pirate (have you heard his vocabulary?) and that he believes in good form (he saves Aurora’s heart from falling through the portal and risks his life to help steal the compass with Emma), so those character traits needed to be explained. Showing Killian as a rule-abiding citizen/Lieutenant makes the fact that he became a pirate much more interesting and makes his character more dynamic.

Edited by Curio
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I really like the backstory they gave Hook. Looking at him, it makes sense that he was a rule abiding, non drinking, well educated, idealistic soldier. People always say that its the good ones who go bad the hardest. It also gives him more of a possible story arc, finding a way to get closer to the person he was, but with the life experience he has gotten as a pirate. At least, I can hope that's what they end up going for. You never can tell :)

 

For all its flaws, (Liam's death being a little contrived, more of the freaking walking, the poison storyline turned out to be pretty lame)  I do like this episode. I could honestly watch a whole episode that's just Hook and Charming snarking at each other. The Pan and Hook scenes were great (its really a shame the Rumple backstory kind of hijacked all the Neverland backstory and mythology), and this is the episode that firmly put me on team Captain Swan. Seriously, in season 2, could not stand that pairing, but now? Love it, want more of it, forever. Damn it.  

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I don't think the show has, at any point, excused Hook's villainous actions.

Even Hook hasn't. Earlier that season, he even told Regina that they'd wasted their lives when she was whining to him about having been called a villain. Specifically to the events here, in the season finale

he told Emma not to react to her mother's (supposed) death the way he did to his brother's death

.

 

Other than the rather abrupt switch from Upright, Dutiful Lieutenant to Pirate, which I can handwave because a slow descent into piracy wouldn't be interesting television and I don't need to see it

But we don't really see the full change. We see him ripping off his uniform coat and making a speech. His speech makes it sound more like they're going to start fighting against their former king, not doing general-interest raiding and pillaging for grins. So after this one turning point, it could easily have been more of a slow descent, where he starts out running the pirate ship like he ran the navy ship, and gradually he starts letting them drink rum, then he tries it; or he starts wearing pieces of the uniform and gradually replaces them with the leather and adds all the jewelry as he rakes in treasure. It's not like we saw him go straight from Lt. Jones to the pirate we met in "The Crocodile." There's a gap there we haven't seen (yet).

 

The actor who plays Liam doesn't even try to do the same accent as Hook. I like that the actors on this show typically get to keep their natural accents, but it makes no sense that his brother had an Australian accent (unless we later learn that they aren't actually blood relatives or something).

I do have that wacky theory that Liam was actually an adoptive brother, that Liam's family took in young Killian, perhaps after some time on the streets after his father abandoned him. That makes a lot of things make more sense, like where Liam fits into the abandonment story, how a kid who was abandoned as a child ended up as a highly educated and very proper naval officer rather than just an average crewman, how a very proper naval officer developed excellent sleight of hand skills, why the two brothers have different accents, and possibly even Killian's rather extreme and crazy response to what happened to his brother, which could be explained by him having bought wholeheartedly into everything his adoptive family stood for, only to realize it was a bunch of bunk, so he reverted to his old ways. It might even explain their different responses to what Pan told them about the dreamshade. If Liam grew up in the life of privilege, then he'd be more inclined to take what the king said at face value and not trust the shady street rat kid. But Killian, having spent some time on the streets, would have been more wary and would have known that a kid wouldn't have survived in a place like that without learning a thing or two, so he listened.

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What about the village Hook saw Cora massacre? Didn't stop him one bit. 

Hook was never evil but he didn't need a backstory where he was an outstanding citizen to help redeem him

He did need one to push Hook/Emma though. 

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What about the village Hook saw Cora massacre? Didn't stop him one bit. 

 

Would YOU have risked having your heart ripped out and crushed by Cora for daring to cross her?

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He apparently was willing to cross her in Tallahassee. 

 

That was after he found a more sane option to partner with.

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We also don't know that Hook was on hand when Cora was ripping the hearts, do we?  She didn't exactly share every detail of her plans with people she was partnered with.

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Do you honestly think Hook could have stopped Cora from killing those poor people even if he was standing right there next to her? I don't. I believe he would have died along with the villagers if he had tried to do or say something in opposition.

They've never answered the question of what Hook's feelings were about Cora's massacre of the village, and they've never explicitly stated whether Hook posing as a blacksmith and hiding in the pile of bodies was his own idea or something Cora told him to do. At this point, I don't expect answers to these questions because too much time has passed and A & E with they're ADHD have moved on to other things. From their point of view,and it isn't that important to the storyline.

It just dawned on me that any continuation of this discussion should probably take place in the Hook character discussion forum, since we are no longer discussing "Good Form".

Edited by Kaw912

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I rewatched this one last night, and the main thing that struck me was just how much of an ass David was being. I love David and sympathized with him even in his "David Nolan" phase, but this was pretty painful. I guess it makes sense to some extent, since he was dying and probably feeling lousy, but he was having to put on a brave face and not admit that anything was wrong, so he took it all out on the one guy who knew what was really going on. But it still felt like they were piling it on a little too high just so the turnaround would be more obvious. Even so, it was pretty obnoxious and not entirely justified. For one thing, all that "stay away from my daughter" stuff is irksome when it's about a grown woman he's only just met. As Hook said, Emma can take care of herself and make her own decisions, and whether Emma wants to associate with Hook is up to Emma, not up to David or Hook. I also find it interesting that while David isn't exactly as much "Team Neal" as Snow seemed to be, he seems to be more okay with the guy who knocked up his daughter when she was a teenager and then wasn't at all a part of her life than he is with the guy who is currently risking his own life on her behalf -- and the fact that he was doing all this for Emma was treated as a negative. Fathers don't usually resent it when people put themselves on the line to help their daughters. Then while Hook acted very selfishly when he fled with the bean, I'm not sure that Henry's kidnapping can be blamed on him, since Tamara and Greg had another bean to use for the kidnapping and using Hook's bean to send the failsafe through a portal wouldn't necessarily have stopped them from kidnapping Henry, and then they wouldn't have had the bean to go after Henry. But I still like the way they play off each other, with Hook taking the grumpiness, understanding where it's coming from, and still correcting the parts where David is in the wrong.

 

On the Jones brothers, I didn't think Liam's accent was that different. Since Hook's accent is essentially made-up, it's up to other actors to try to imitate it, and I think this came across as the other actor not quite getting it. I actually wonder if maybe Killian's accent should have been a little different in the flashback, closer to standard English without the touch of lilt, since that touch of brogue is what makes it sound piratey. He changed the way he drank and the way he dressed, so he might have changed his speech patterns as well to sound less proper. I did notice that when Liam was dying and Killian was begging Pan for help, he said something about, "He's all I have left," which I suppose supports the abandonment story and the theories that Liam essentially raised him. But then there's the bit where Liam was getting orders directly from the king, which generally would imply some sort of social status that you wouldn't expect from an abandoned orphan unless he was some highly decorated war hero, and would you send one of your top men on what's possibly a suicide mission?

 

I bet Hook has frequently regretted torching that Pegasus sail. It would have come in so very handy so many times.

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I also find it interesting that while David isn't exactly as much "Team Neal" as Snow seemed to be, he seems to be more okay with the guy who knocked up his daughter when she was a teenager and then wasn't at all a part of her life than he is with the guy who is currently risking his own life on her behalf -- and the fact that he was doing all this for Emma was treated as a negative.

This made me laugh (for the noted hypocrisy in his behavior towards the guy who actually traumatized his daughter) but also because now that you pointed it out, it's striking that 1000% of everything David does is all for Snow, and yet it's a bad thing if someone else does the same for Emma. LOL. 

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it's striking that 1000% of everything David does is all for Snow, and yet it's a bad thing if someone else does the same for Emma.

It seems to be a common attitude both on the show and among fans that the fact that Hook went to Neverland to rescue Henry largely for Emma's sake is somehow a strike against him and makes it not count as a good deed or heroic action. I guess David or Snow might have put everything they had, including their lives, on the line to rush into terrible danger in a place they barely escaped from before in order to help a total stranger for no other reason than because It's the Right Thing to Do, but it would have been totally unbelievable if someone like Hook had done so. Most human beings need some motivation to act, and the riskier the action, the stronger the motivation has to be. I don't even believe he did it entirely for Emma. That's what David said, and Hook's reaction was of the noncommittal "yeah, sure, right" variety. It was strongly implied that he turned back to try to help in memory of Bae, and we know Henry is important to him because he's Bae's son and Milah's grandson, so it's a lot more complicated than that he was just trying to impress Emma, but that's really none of David's business. Even if it was just to impress Emma, is that such a bad thing? Buying a fancy car and taking her to an expensive restaurant are shallow things to try to impress a girl that might irk a father, but I'd think that putting his life on the line to help rescue her son as a way of showing his devotion would be a big plus for any guy to most dads.

 

I'll just go with the idea that David was grumpy and crabby because of the dying and feeling lousy thing, and he was taking it out on Hook because he couldn't even complain in front of the rest, and he kind of resented Hook being the one to see him at his worst and to know how weak and vulnerable he was. It was macho posturing. He couldn't do anything physically to make himself feel stronger, but he was trying to get the upper hand verbally. If Neal had been with them and had been the one to recognize dreamshade poisoning, David probably would have been equally nasty to him and said a lot of snarky things about abandoning the people he supposedly cared about and accused him of only going along on this quest to get back in Emma's good graces.

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David probably would have been equally nasty to him and said a lot of snarky things about abandoning the people he supposedly cared about and accused him of only going along on this quest to get back in Emma's good graces.

 

He probably would have given him hints on how to win Emma back. ;-)

 

I think the overdone David/Hook antagonism was merely to up the drama on CS. It's supposed to be funny when the Dad is against the guy his daughter is interested in. They wanted to show David turn from having a completely shitty opinion of Hook, to slowly recognizing his good points. If the Show had ever intended Emma and Neal to be endgame, David's antagonism would have been focussed on Neal, not Hook. They never bothered to develop Neal/Charming in any way, even in Season 2, when Colin had broken his leg. Hook was the one getting punched and going on separate adventures with him to defeat Greg and Tamara. 

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I thought David was very out of character towards Hook in the early portions of the Neverland arc because he's not so stupid as to antagonize the one guy in the group that knows a little something about Neverland. Like when Hook initially tried to stop him from touching the Dreamshade and he basically ignored Hook's warning saying he could handle a few thorns. Even if David doesn't like someone, he's generally pragmatic enough to listen to them when they have knowledge that he doesn't. That antagonism was turned up to eleven in this episode and I tend to blame the Dreamshade because again, if you're on one final quest to help save your grandson and you're depending on the other guy to finish it out for you, it's probably best not to piss him off to the point where he just decides screw this, it's not worth it. Or you know, take Pan up on his offer.

 

And I really, really, really took issue with David's assertion that Hook wouldn't get Emma and that he'll see to that. I know it's supposed to be daddy protection issues coming out, but Emma is a grown woman who makes her own choices and her own mistakes. Given the number of men who've made choices for Emma in the past, I cringed to see David on that same track. 

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On the Henry part of the episode (which I guess I tend to repress), did he really think that the communication from his family was a trick of Pan's or was he so far gone into Lost Boyism that he no longer wanted to hear from them? It just seemed so out of character for him to shrug them off so readily. I also found it weird that they made such a big fuss out of him having cut that kid. His family didn't see what happened, but they knew he was in a hostile situation with enemies, so why the big gasp/shock to learn that the cut on the kid's face was made by Henry? Okay, so Snow would maybe be horrified that he'd shed blood even in self-defense, but Emma and Regina would more likely have been more like, "Yeah, that's my boy. Go get 'em, tiger."

 

Colin really does some of the best facial expressions. I've read in books for years descriptions like "his smile slid off his face," but there's actually a moment in this episode where he does that -- Hook had pulled Emma aside at Neal's cave to tell her he understood about giving up hope, then David waylaid him, and you could tell Hook was maintaining a fake smile while being snarky with David, then David made one last cutting remark and walked away, and then you could see the smile slide right off Hook's face as first any hint of smile left his eyes, then the muscles relaxed from the eyes down until he for a moment looked very hurt. A second later, his arrogant Hook mask went back up. Then there's the furious blushing during the kiss, where you can see him getting redder and redder, though I don't think that's voluntary or deliberate.

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Methinks poor Colin has suffered a lot during the Neverland filming, as his complexion is reddish and feverish in almost all episodes. Tropical heat climate is quite different from the Irish one!

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Methinks poor Colin has suffered a lot during the Neverland filming, as his complexion is reddish and feverish in almost all episodes. Tropical heat climate is quite different from the Irish one!

They made him wear that darn coat the whole time while everyone else stripped to tanks and t- shirts. All those layers had to be brutally hot with the lights.

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One thing that occurred to me: The Jewel of the Realm and her opponents in this episode clearly had gunpowder of some kind. They were under cannon fire, and the ship had cannon. And yet, some 300 years later in the "present" day (actually about 30 years ago, but 28 of those years were in stasis, so I think most of the Snow-era fairybacks could be said to be more or less contemporary), they're still fighting wars with swords and arrows. Was there a technological regression? Or did they just not bother further developing technology involving gunpowder? I guess I should do some research to see how long it took between the use of gunpowder for cannon and firearms like longguns and handguns. I don't recall seeing any firearms in the Enchanted Forest, but Hook picked up the use of a modern handgun pretty quickly, so did they have something like that in his era? He not only instantly knew what that thing Belle was threatening him with was, but he knew how to use it once he took it away from her.

 

If there was a technological regression, then was the Jolly Roger the only ship with cannon once it returned from Neverland? Hook could have ruled the world since he had more firepower than anyone else. But I have a feeling that in this post I've given more thought to the issue than the writers did. They just went "Hey, Horatio Hookblower!" and modeled the Navy on that era, with similar technology, without thinking of it in the grander scheme of worldbuilding.

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Or Hook's kingdom isn't in the Enchanted Forest to begin with, perhaps? I thought maybe it was the Land Without Magic, but that doesn't explain how they got the Pegasus feathers, or

how Hook got swept up in the curse reversal.

Hook's kingdom looks more like the 1700s/1800s than what else we've seen from EF. Hook is the only fairy tale character I've seen use a gun on the show. I can't imagine seeing one of Regina's black knights wielding one.

 

I find it funny that the second star to the right is both in Enchanted Forest and the Land Without Magic.

Edited by KingOfHearts

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Hook's kingdom may be in the Enchanted Forest, but very far away from Snowing and Regina's kingdom (like you don't need a magic bean to reach it, but it may be geographically very distant). Even in the real world, according to Wikipedia, gunpowder may have been invented as early as the 9th century in China, but firearms only began to be popular in war in Europe in the 17th century.

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I remain intrigued by this season, which is good.

 

On the con side, I continue to dislike Charming. I just didn't get the whole point of Charming keeping the dreamshade secret. It's not honorable, and I hope I'm not supposed to have seen it that way, but it also didn't seem like Charming learned anything from it. Way back in S1, people were trying to tell me that David Nolan was nothing like Charming but the whole dreamshade thing seemed exactly like the not telling Katherine about Mary Margaret and then lying to Mary Margaret about Katherine. Charming's had a consistent character trait of not recognizing other people's right to full information so that they can make their own informed choices. There was a point where he basically demanded Hook lie to Snow/Emma so that they wouldn't think of Charming as a liar, and all I could think was that if he didn't want to be thought of as a liar, then he shouldn't lie (especially about something like lying!).

 

Also on the con side, I thought it was unbelievable that none of Snow, Emma, or Regina would recognize that something was wrong. Props to the makeup artists for making Charming genuinely look like he was on death's door, though! 

 

On the pro side: I don't get tired of Pan's mind games. I don't know why I wasn't expecting the ending, but I wasn't and it was so deliciously, perfectly evil. I also love that I honestly don't know what Hook is going to decide. I DESPISED the idea of Hook/Emma last season because he was so sleazy, stalkerish, but I'm warming to it now. I, too, would have liked more backstory on Pan/Hook this ep, but I am confident that we're not done with their story yet (and please don't hint to me that I'm wrong if I am!)

 

I also liked the moral gray of the heart scene. I am actually on Snow's side, though. I think the choices they make matter a lot, perhaps in a place like Neverland more literally than in Storybrooke. I disagreed with Regina that Regina doing the actual heart ripping somehow kept Emma's hands clean. No, Emma made the choice, too, and she is just as morally culpable for anything that happens to that Lost Boy. But it was a believable "wrong" choice, so props to the show for setting that up nicely.

 

I don't mind all the walking because to me, good stuff is happening. Even when it looks like the characters end up where they started, there's always some forward motion (for either plot or character). We've got Neal on the island; Charming bound to Neverland and still carrying the secret from Snow/Emma; Hook and Rumple both facing actual moral dilemmas; Henry sinking into Lost Boydom (but now knowing that his family is there); Tink on board to double agent. That's a lot! Regina's underutilized right now, but we do know that she's open (for the first time!) to cooperation with Emma and has some kind of plot with Robin Hood waiting for her. (There's also an interesting arc of her figuring out how to use her evil powers for good, which I'm not sure is deliberate or not because this show generally doesn't do subtle but it hasn't been called out). The only character who's been neglected is Snow, and she's still had some good moments with Emma. I also won't be surprised if she has her own Charming-related Temptation of Pan moment coming up in the future.

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About David, while I don't disagree that the whole not telling Snow that he was dying was annoying and stupid (I'm used to it because it's this show, so I expect it to be very heavy on stupid angst and ridiculous lack of communication), as was said upthread, I believe that the Dreamshade was affecting David's actions more and more in a negative way. I thought that he was going a little mental in this episode. His putting it all on Hook to lie to his family was not cool, but it helps that Hook both acknowledged his understanding of why and still hit back at him for the stupidity of it. And I'm still so put off by him saying that he'll see that Hook will never get Emma. As Hook might say, not your decision, mate.

 

I've also decided that the writers just don't know what to do with David. They had originally planned to kill him in the Pilot episode and that was nixed by the higher ups, so I don't think they really ever had a clear vision of what role he should fill other than that of Snow's prop.

 

Speaking of Snow, she does seem to be backburnered with just a few interesting things happening in the present, but I would say that it's not so much that she's being neglected but rather I believe that because she told the writers while they were planning the season that she and Josh were trying for a baby (and ultimately succeeded!), they deliberately made sure the character was not as necessary to the overarching present day plot since a potential pregnancy could limit Ginny's availability. I think it's also why Snow got two centrics very early in the season. She's easy to include in saving Henry, but they needed an easy out if Snow suddenly needed to disappear for real life reasons. So for example in this episode, I liked that they had Emma, Regina and Snow on the Catch the Lost Boy mission and it led to an interesting ethical debate between the women, but she could have been removed from that whole thing without too many changes.

 

The Neverland arc kind of cracks me up because they are in a timeless land where nothing changes and no one ages, but Ginny gets noticeably pregnant during the arc (Snow also somehow manages a haircut between this episode and the next) and they have a teenage actor who has very visibly grown up during the few days Henry's spent in Neverland. 

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The whole David thing was redundant and annoying.  I actually really like David (he has to be away from Snow and I sort of live for David/Emma scenes) and I thought he needed to be punched in the face...repeatedly for being a straight up jerk (asshole, whatever, don't wanna be polite).  Putting the burden on Hook regarding the dreamshade lie and implying at every turn that Hook was just this selfish guy who tagged along because of Emma shows how much he actually knew about the guy and what motivated him to go on the Neverland journey to begin with.

 

Also, Pan is still a little shit.  I mean I've been re-watching Season 3 and I still wanna slug Pan (Robbie Kay was pretty awesome though).  

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I DESPISED the idea of Hook/Emma last season because he was so sleazy, stalkerish, but I'm warming to it now.

 

This is where I fully boarded the good ship Captain Swan. I remember over the hiatus between seasons 2 and 3 thinking Captain Swan would be funny, just because of all the Apoplectic Daddy Charming that would be sure to result and I remember being kind of, "Aww" at Hook's "I quite fancy you from time to time, when you're not yelling at me" in "The Heart of the Truest Believer." But this right here, with the utter sincerity of Emma's thank you, Hook's teasing request for a kiss, and Emma Swan smirking in response and taking that bull by the horns (or, in this case, the pirate by the lapels), that was it for me. I boarded that ship and never looked back. ;)

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That Neverland kiss was when I got aboard Captain Swan as well! Until then, I liked Hook, and I even enjoyed Hook/Emma scenes, but never took it seriously.

David was definitely an assh*le to Hook this episode. I suppose that's the writers amping the drama up so that David's realization and acknowledgement of Hook's good intentions would be all the more startling. But, it was a tad overdone.

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Yeah, the attitude of the whole group and how it was different from just the episode before just kind of gave me whiplash. It's as if they knew that this was Hook's Very Special Episode so they had to all be mean to him so that the flashbacks would be more effective or something, but it really just came off as amusingly inconsistent and campy. (And not just because they were literally camping, campy.)

 

I was shipping them since, "Just who are you, Swan? Perhaps I would like to know." But I didn't think they'd actually go there until this episode. I thought the showrunners would keep it platonic like Mulder and Scully for so many seasons. So, I cheered at the kiss, but in hindsight I kind of wish they didn't continue the way they did after that event.

With the amped-up love triangle drama that was just embarrassing. I could have done with a half-season of just pure Swan Thief hashing out their many, many, many issues until the relationship burns the both of them out and then Nealfire-Hook-Rumple awkwardness with a side of Belle while Hook's flirting with Ruby, Tinkerbell, Sister Astrid, Charming, and having more philosophical conversations with Regina. And maybe sometime in this alternate 5B Emma might notice that Hook's actually kind of cute at some angles and remembers that they made out one time.

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This is the ep where I WANTED to go all in on Captain Swan, but there was the obvious looming triangle with Neal to make me gun-shy. I loathe triangles with the ubiquitous fire of a thousand suns, so I wouldn't let myself get too attached here.

 

Pan is such a little shit. I liked that we just didn't know what Hook would do with the info about Neal.

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This is the ep where I WANTED to go all in on Captain Swan, but there was the obvious looming triangle with Neal to make me gun-shy. I loathe triangles with the ubiquitous fire of a thousand suns, so I wouldn't let myself get too attached here.

 

So agree with this.  The reaction at the end of the episode was "Oh fuck!"  Neal in the cage and all...*heavy sigh*....And I didn't even hate Neal that much, but I remember the discussions we were having on TWoP after this episode.

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There's a lot to like about this episode, but it's again one of those episodes that's ruined in retrospect.

Spoiler

I hate what they did to Hook later and basically made the naval background a farce. This episode created so much potential, but we later learned that Liam essentially bought their positions with blood money. Hook's origin is from yet another crummy father who abandons his children. Why did the writers even bother to do this upstanding background with Hook telling people to stop drinking alcohol, only later to retcon him into being a screw-up who can't do anything right?

Edited by KingOfHearts
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I assumed I liked this one because it was a Hook centric, and then there was that kiss, even though I'm usually not a shipper. But it's actually a pretty good episode. The heroes are actually proactive instead of being jerked around by Pan. There's Emma and Regina's plan to get a message to Henry by capturing a Lost Boy, and then there's Hook's scheme to cure David, in spite of David's stubbornness. Meanwhile, we get the Lost Boys doing the sort of stuff you'd expect Lost Boys to do in a way that kind of does look like fun (in a dangerous sort of way). Plus, there's no Rumple crying over a doll or getting all weepy to Chip Belle. The flashback may not be about the key Neverland period of Hook vs. Pan and the Lost Boys, but it actually relates directly (and not just thematically) to the present. I guess without it we could have figured out that Hook learned all about dreamshade and how to cure it during his time in Neverland, but seeing exactly how he learned this stuff gave it a lot more emotional resonance. Plus, the flashback is a critical turning point in Hook's life that explains a lot about how he got to be the way he is.

I know now that this was just part of their "they were completely the opposite of the way they are now, isn't that a shocking twist?" writing, but I remember being shocked and laughing out loud to see the very prim and proper Lt. Jones. Unlike a lot of their shocking twists, I feel like this one was a case of "that explains so much" because so many little personality details we've seen in him do seem to fit his past self.

Spoiler

I don't like the later revelation about his backstory, but I can kind of see how some of it fits, like his lecture about the effects of rum. That could have come from his experience getting drunk and gambling away their money. And maybe Liam's willingness to cut a deal with Hades is reflected in his being willing to take the risk that the king wasn't planning genocide. But it's sad that Killian made such a major life change over a brother who wasn't nearly the saint he thought.

I wonder if they were trying to be ironic in juxtaposing Henry having a great time with the Lost Boys after his triumph in turning the stick into a sword and winning the fight with Emma's declaration that Henry would lose hope if they didn't get word to him. That was probably the least hopeless he was in the whole arc.

It's so adorable that Hook (Colin) was blushing so furiously after the kiss. But he was looking a little flushed through the whole episode. I was wondering if maybe he had a sunburn, but I seem to recall some mention of how hot that set was and that having something to do with Emma wearing a tank top through this arc (and I noticed that several of them had visible beads of sweat), so if she was hot enough to wear a tank top, how hot was he in all that leather? That would explain how flushed he looked, and it only got worse after the kiss. Then you could see all the capillaries in his cheeks when they zoomed in close on him.

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On 8/25/2014 at 12:22 AM, KAOS Agent said:

I love it that Emma's willing to get her hands dirty for her son. Snow's unwillingness to participate, while understandable, does kind of raise questions about how willing she is to fight for her child.

I'm going to quote myself here because Snow's willingness to fight for her child is something I was questioning four years ago and it was the topic I was going to mention during this rewatch even before I read through the thread and discovered I'd already brought it up.  Given three more seasons of backstory to bring to the thought, I've decided that Snow is not willing to fight for Emma. Or more that she'll only do it when it doesn't compromise her personal value system or reflect badly on her. 

At the time I watched this, the ethical dilemma was an interesting look at characters and I sided with Emma/Regina, but didn't reflect to much on Snow's perspective. Now I look at it and see two mothers who would do anything to protect and reassure their son and one mother who was more concerned with doing the "right" thing than helping a young child in danger.  I don't think the Lost Boy was harmed (I assume Regina put his heart back), so Snow's moral refusal does start to change my opinion on how I see her actions with Emma in the past and the present. If we replaced David with Snow in this scenario, I doubt Emma would have had to hold him back while Regina stole the heart. 

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Hook's backstory isn't necessarily the best written one we've gotten, but it is enjoyable and believable, and gives real insight into his character. It does make me regret more that we never see how he got from where he was at the end of "Good Form" to where he was at the beginning of "The Crocodile," as there's obviously been a considerable devolution, and that's before he loses Milah and embarks on the revenge quest. I can fill in the blanks fairly easily, but I think it would have been worth at least an episode. Similarly, I wish we'd had more of him with Pan - Pan calling him Killian, a name that no one else (except maybe Regina?) knows at this point, IIRC, is especially effective.

I also appreciate a rare instance of the show allowing characters to do something morally gray and not painting it as the obviously wrong choice. In absolute moral terms, ripping out the heart of the Lost Boy isn't justifiable, but it is completely in character for, not only Regina, but Emma to be willing to do it, and I'm glad that the show doesn't demonize them for it. Absolute ethics or not, as mothers, Regina and Emma should be willing to do what they did, and I think Snow comes off worse for resisting it than Emma does for approving it.

In general, I feel like 3A is a high point in the show's treatment of present-day Regina. She's part of the team for a believable reason, in a context that might even justify the growth of some respect between her and Emma, but there's no illusion that these people are or could plausibly become friends, or that Regina is any kind of moral paragon. Even if no one is showing a remotely proportional level of anger and distrust, it is clear that Snowing and Emma still regard Regina as a bad person - and that Regina on some level acknowledges this about herself. 

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10 hours ago, KAOS Agent said:

Given three more seasons of backstory to bring to the thought, I've decided that Snow is not willing to fight for Emma. Or more that she'll only do it when it doesn't compromise her personal value system or reflect badly on her. 

It's not just Emma. Snow's willing to let her whole kingdom be destroyed as long as it doesn't compromise her personal value system or make her feel bad about herself. Being seen as "good" or being able to see herself as "good" or feeling like she did "the right thing" is more important to her than the actual greater good in terms of other people's lives and well-being. This is the woman who let a mass murderer go because execution wasn't the "right thing" with the result that additional villages were slaughtered, and then there was the curse. She was willing to potentially sacrifice the whole town so that Regina didn't have to die alone stopping the failsafe because letting Regina die stopping her own mass murder weapon wasn't "the right thing." She regretted stopping Cora's potential reign of terror as a Dark One because she should have done the right thing and found a better way. Not being willing to cause minor, temporary harm in order to potentially save her grandson because it's not the right thing to do is relatively mild where Snow's concerned.

1 hour ago, companionenvy said:

Similarly, I wish we'd had more of him with Pan - Pan calling him Killian, a name that no one else (except maybe Regina?) knows at this point, IIRC, is especially effective.

Didn't he introduce himself as Killian Jones to Team Princess when they first figured out that he wasn't just a wounded blacksmith? I seem to recall something along the lines of him introducing himself by name, then saying something like "but you may have heard of me by the more colorful moniker of Captain Hook." But still, it's a name not commonly used at that point in the story, and it suggests a certain intimacy with Pan -- maybe because Pan knew him in pre-Hook days? It would have been interesting to see how Pan reacted to seeing pirate Hook the first time after having met Lt. Jones.

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1 hour ago, Shanna Marie said:

Didn't he introduce himself as Killian Jones to Team Princess when they first figured out that he wasn't just a wounded blacksmith? I seem to recall something along the lines of him introducing himself by name, then saying something like "but you may have heard of me by the more colorful moniker of Captain Hook." But still, it's a name not commonly used at that point in the story, and it suggests a certain intimacy with Pan -- maybe because Pan knew him in pre-Hook days? It would have been interesting to see how Pan reacted to seeing pirate Hook the first time after having met Lt. Jones.

Doh! You're right, of course. Totally forgot that.

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Maybe Snow was more sensitive to ripping someone's heart out, because she actually experienced it recently and knew how painful it was.  It would have helped if they had something built into the world-building of this show that doing morally questionable things actually had a price and there was a good reason to choose the morally correct path. 

But there really wasn't in the dog-eat-dog world of the Enchanted Forest and beyond.  If so, then there would have been an argument for finding the "harder" way to communicate with Henry.  Which actually existed in this case, unlike the situation with Cora in 2B. 

I mean, what if they had to rip out the Lost Boy's eyes to communicate with Henry?  Would Snow have been unwilling to "fight" if she were against that?  Ripping out a heart was supposedly brutal, albeit reversible.  How would black-and-white-thinking Henry have felt about it if the whole issue hadn't been forgotten with zero actual consequences?

Edited by Camera One
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