Review: OUaT S5E15

Review: Once Upon a Time - "The Brother Jones"

By: Isabella Montenegro

Previously on OUAT: James kissed his brother’s wife, Henry broke the most powerful item in the world, and Cruella wants to live again. Also they finally rescued Hook! 

Henry and the Apprentice
The episode starts out with Henry teaming up with Cruella trying to find the pen of the Author. After separating from Cruella, Henry encounters the Apprentice, and we see a common storyline with Henry: that he does not feel like he serves any purpose other than getting rescued often. The Apprentice also points out that magic and how things work have more flexibility in the Underworld, does clearly alluding to the fact that Henry could use the pen to revive people. Henry feels very much like a teenager, wanting to do things, and doing them now. The Apprentice, then points over to the Sorcerer’s mansion, and let’s Henry know that he won’t move on unless Henry makes the right call. 


From this point, Henry’s plan on restoring Emma’s guilt is pretty flawed, because as mentioned before, it doesn’t take away the fact that Emma killed Cruella, regardless of Cruella living or not. It’s not the result of the action she feels guilty about, but even doing it in the first place. Henry is being incredibly headstrong at the moment, especially with the doing it by himself part.

 

Emma and Hook have a talk
Emma heals Hook from all the remnants of the torture, and when trying to be a couple Hook’s pulls away, and we see the first instances of how Hook feels like he is not enough for Emma. Hook does point out a large character difference: Emma only delved into the darkness out of love for him, he literally went in within seconds to head straight to revenge-Ville. I get what Hook is saying, but to be fair, he comes with way more baggage than any other character. 300 years of rough life will do that to you. This scene has Killian using the phrase “Raising the bar,” which is not only important to his relationship with Emma and how he views himself there, but pretty much every important relationship to him. Hook has one massive inferiority complex, and does not feel like he deserves her. 


Let’s break down something that did bother me in this scene: Emma. Look, I get that she is trying to help, by pointing out how much she would do for him, and how that should be enough… but that is probably the worst strategy ever. It’s almost selfish the way she tries to help, because no matter what her intentions are, it still comes across as “I think you are worth it,” when the problem has never been about what she thinks, but about what he feels. 


Then enters our next problem (literally).

Let’s summarize the flashbacks really quick
Liam and Killian were deckhands in the ship of one Captain Silver, with Liam intending to sign them both up for the Navy, while Killian feels he is not right for the part. In the past we see something in Killian we have never really seen: he is an angry mess, mostly wallowing in his own negativity. You can see that Liam has been a self-righteous ass for quite some time. By the next morning, Liam has enlisted in the Navy, and when he returns to the ship, Killian has managed to get himself drunk and gamble away his money and freedom from Silver. Liam refuses to leave Killian behind, and does not join the Navy. Here’s is another motif that keeps Killian from forgiving himself: people keep sacrificing themselves for him, and he ends up losing them. Captain Silver intends to collect whatever jewel in the Eye of the Storm, and when the Brother’s Jones find out they might all die, they stage a mutiny, and take over the ship. Liam looking for maps to plot a course, encounters Hades’ who essentially informs him that by staging mutiny, he is forfeiting his dream of the Navy, but is he kills everyone except his brother (whom Hades will spare), Hades will arrange for things to work out. Liam, selfishly takes the deal, sinks the ship, and somehow ends up as a Captain a few years in the future. Killian still does not know what truly happened.

Liam, Hook and Emma, and a plan
There is a small talk with Liam about how he doesn’t know why he hasn’t moved on, and about what he has heard about Hades, and mentions a book. Emma and Killian immediately clue in that this book must be the underworld version of the Storybook, and set out to find it and discover Hades’ story. They meet up with Regina and the Charming’s at the loft to look for the book there (where it appeared in the Overworld), and don’t find it. They look through the apartment, and Liam has a talk with Emma. Liam tells her she is not good enough for Killian, telling her it is her fault he is here blaming himself for everything. 


To be all fair, yes, it is Emma’s fault. Yes, it was selfish. But here is the thing, she is in love, and people in love do foolish and selfish things. Liam essentially comes across as the dude I really wanna punch at the moment. I get where he is coming from, but from what we do know, he is not any better. What he did to save Killian, was also to save his future in the Navy. 

The following scene starts off with a telling moment of Hook asking Emma if she is ok, and immediately not believing her, but lets it go when Henry walks in. I feel this is important to note, as at the moment, Killian is not all that invested in his relationship with Emma, but is still highly attuned to her. True Love and all.


Henry walks in and delivers the good news. There is a sorcerer’s mansion, and James has the key. An adorably jealous Charming and Snow go to retrieve it. Henry makes a point in not telling them about the pen. 


Hades makes another deal with Liam
Hades really does not want the gang to learn about his story, and makes a deal with Liam to get the pages from the book, in exchange to hiding their previous deal. Liam, selfishly (the hypocrite), agrees so he can maintain his image of the perfect brother. 

Getting the key for the Sorcerer’s mansion
Snow and Charming quickly find the key, but then Cruella walks in looking for James, who happens not to be there, but to not get caught Charming pretends to be his brother, and Snow slips away to deliver the key. We learn and can readily assume just what Cruella and James get up to. 

While in granny’s Regina and Emma talk about what Liam said to Emma, and Regina gives a little insight to everything. Emma makes a point that Killian sees Liam on a really high pedestal, and is not likely not to listen or mistrust him; which unlike his current situation with Emma makes everything complicated. Emma tells Regina, that Hook doesn’t believe he should return to Storybrooke. Regina immediately sees that this is about Hook not forgiving himself, and tells Emma that herself and Hook are quite similar. Henry then barges in with the key. And calls Regina and Emma “Moms,” which is adorable. 


Now, in this section of the story I noticed something important that I am remiss not to have mentioned it before. I hate that we have not seen a reaction from Hook about Emma splitting her heart for him. I guess there wasn’t time and all, but I would have loved a reference to that plan, since it is a big sacrifice for Emma, and if Hook was going to point out how little he deserved her, that action would be Emma doing too much for him, from his eyes. I just feel like he heard she was splitting her heart, and he rolled with the idea. It doesn’t bother me, but it was something I really hoped to see.


The Sorcerer’s Mansion
They walk up to the door, and when mentioning there might be a dangerous spell protecting the house, Liam volunteers to open the door, and as Killian says being all noble. Note Emma’s face: she’s looking at Hook like she wants to tell him that Liam is not really always the noble one, but loves him too much to hurt him. 


While walking through the cobweb filled mansion, they eventually split up to look for the book, leaving Henry as the lookout, which he is not happy about. Henry does not listen and heads off to find the pen. Liam immediately finds the book, and takes the Hade’s pages out. 


Insight into James and David
It is revealed how James is stuck in the Underworld. He is jealous of David’s life, of being picked to stay with their mother, while James was sent away to a king. James feels unloved, and unchosen, and has been wondering in life and death why David was chosen over him. 


Back in the Mansion and then down to the flames
Liam shows them the book, and they find the pages with Hades’ story have been torn out, thus assuming that they have lost their shot. Liam pipes in that the pages might have fallen and they should keep looking. As people leave, Killian asks Emma what is wrong as he knows something is bothering her. Emma tells Hook she’s had a bad feeling about Liam, and while she originally thought it was because he didn’t like her, she keeps feeling like he is lying about something. Killian won’t hear it, and Emma points out that he might be lying about what his unfinished business is; but Killian walks out without wanting to hear any more about it, stating he knows his brother. 


Emma confronts Liam, as he is throwing the pages in a well. Emma shows him the ring Killian gave her, and it is revealed it was Liam’s ring. She tells him, she knows he is lying. Killian does not want to believe that Liam could be lying, and even says to Emma that she is projecting their issues, as she seeks to make him less of a villain, so he would go with her, and he points out that maybe he should just move on. He even goes as far as saying that once they defeat Hades’ he won’t go with her. Emma tears up and points out he can forgive himself, but it has to be him and no one else. Liam tries to stop Killian from following Emma, and then exposes his ink filled hands. 

Captain Silver walks in with the crew and points out that the lie Liam has been keeping has always been about that time he killed a whole lot of people selfishly. Silver tells Killian that he saw Hades at the bar, and reveals the truth about the deals Liam did with Hades. Everything just adds to Killian’s feeling of people letting him down. The sailors take them to where souls move on.


Liam tries to save his brother again, but Silver won’t have it. Killian tells Liam that he “raised the bar so high,” all he could do was fail. This brings us to a character trait of Killian: always feeling like he is not enough, that he fails no matter what, because he feels the expectations are much higher than they really are. 


Everything gets even more complicated when Hades shows up, and first thing he does is throw Silver into the fire. With that he goes on to try and send Liam (trying to save Killian) to the flames as well, but Killian tries to save him. Liam sacrifices himself for Killian, and that allows him to open the move on gate to the better place. Liam’s unfinished business was repenting for killing the sailors and telling Killian the truth. 


Killian in that moment chooses not to follow his brother. He tells Liam that his unfinished business is defeating Hades with Emma. Liam sends a message to Emma that he was wrong, that he sees now that she wants what is best for Killian. He also says Killian should stop trying to reach the bar, since he has already passed it. The Brothers Jones say goodbye.

Closing Statements
Killian fills in Emma on what happened, and to everyone’s joy, finds that he is deserving of being saved. He says that what Liam did was to ensure a future for him, and he won’t waste that.

In other news Henry finds the pen and the ink. Henry goes off to hide and be a teenager, and Charming goes to try and get him to talk. Charming tells Henry that James resented him for having a loving family, and someone to be by him always. Henry realizes the right thing to do, because it is what is right, and not what is easy. 


Henry explains his crazy theory, and then sets out the new plan: As the author he is going to write Hades’ story in the book again. From there they will find a way to beat him.


The Twist!
Hades is looking at the pages Liam destroyed, and finds one of him and Zelena! They happen to have a secret!


RATING: 8.5 GREAT, BUT NOT WITHOUT ISSUES. While this was another solid episode where all the plots tied in nicely, and they also set up the next few episodes, they also suffered from missing a couple of details, and again the special effects of the water in the caves is still incredibly jarring. Liam’s character spent a lot of time being an ass, and one good deed does not make him any more likeable.

Questions moving forward:

  1. What is Hades and Zelena’s secret? 
  2. While I am loving haunted Hook, I do miss the dashing pirate? When is HE making an appearance? Can we get a nice loving Captain Swan scene when Hook tease’s her about the I Love You only coming at his death?
  3. Will Henry use the force to know Hades’ story?
  4. Can we get James and Charming already? It’s gotten that interest but I don’t want it to drag out too far!
  5. Will Emma encounter true unfinished business from anyone other than Cruella? Say Merlin? Or will Hook have the honor of that?