Sure, Once Upon a Time – let’s take a break from this season for yet another filler episode. We’ve got several more episodes until the finale, so surely we can take an hour to explain the issues in the Jones family. I can see why a lot of people would’ve liked tonight’s episode, “The Brothers Jones”, since it provided a lot of background on our beloved Hook, but it just didn’t do it for me. (spoilers ahead!)
The Storybrooke gang is now reunited with Hook, and all is well with the world. Well, actually, things are only more complicated. Not only are they still stuck in the Underworld, but it looks like Hook’s brother, Liam, has come around to be reunited with his brother once again. You’d think this would be great since the two brothers are finally reunited, but as the episode progresses, we learn why Liam’s appearance is bad news.
Via the flashbacks, we learn about Liam and Killian’s past, starting from their time as lowly ship-scrubbers for Captain Silver (played by guest star Costas Mandylor). I loved Mandylor’s performance in the Saw films, so I was pretty stoked to see him appear on one of my favorite shows. However, his appearance felt very underplayed, much like what happened with Hercules a few weeks ago. Captain Silver is your stereotypical douchebag pirate who verbally abuses the Jones brothers as they wash his ship. But aside from his occasional verbal jabs and catty remarks, he doesn’t really make himself out to be a prominent antagonist. I wanted much more out of him; I expected him to be absolutely vile. Instead, he’s another Red Shirt stock villain who meets a disappointing demise.
In the present timeline, Liam confronts Emma and tells her how he thinks she’s not good enough for his brother, and how it’s her fault that he finally succumbed to the darkness. We also discover that, in the past, he made a deal with Hades himself, which led to the death of an entire ship of pirates in exchange for Liam and Killian’s survival and admittance to the royal navy. Okay, it’s understandable that Liam ultimately has good intentions, but he comes off as a grade-A prick. There are better, more noble ways he could’ve accomplished his goals. In the end, I felt like he was more of an antagonist than Silver this episode!
Elsewhere, the Storybrooke gang heads to the Sorcerer’s mansion to find the magic story book, which will help them find out the Lord of the Underworld’s weakness. Henry, the Author himself, wants to be a hero, so he sets out on his own mission to find the magic quill with the intention of “writing” everyone back to life. Jared Gilmore‘s acting was pretty bleh this episode. He usually does fairly well, but tonight, his lines sounded so scripted. And I’m also not a fan of the return to his Author storyline. It’s like they completely avoided it for the past few months, and now they decided to revisit it when it was convenient. It feels thrown-in and sloppy.
The ending of the episode was predictable. Captain Silver and his crew capture Liam and Hook and take them to that fiery pit in the Underworld where souls seem to go to Super-Hell. Hades also shows up and knocks Silver off the cliff. Yeah, that’s how they “kill” Silver. Let’s just throw him off a cliff. And then Hades BLOWS Liam off with his magic super-breath. But at the last minute, Hook grabs Liam and refuses to let him go. Want to take a guess at what happens next? Liam pours his heart out to his brother and sacrifices himself by letting go. Then the power of love saves Liam and allows him to move on to Mount Olympus. This scene was almost exactly like the endings to The is the End and Return of the King. I had to laugh because of how predictable and cliche it felt. I guess people who wanted that happy ending must’ve enjoyed it, especially after that bleak conclusion to last week’s episode.
There were a few redeeming qualities to this episode. Greg Germann nails the role of Hades every time, and I can’t think of anyone better (except maybe James Woods). I also liked some of the quotes that were thrown around this hour – such as Cruella’s jabs at David or Regina’s line “Don’t argue with your mother… or your mother” when chastising Henry for talking back to her and Emma. Finally, I was not expecting that twist at the very end of the episode where we learned that Zelena and Hades have had some sort of relationship. Looks like the evil witch is indeed coming back to Once Upon a Time! Maybe this time, the Storybrooke crew will actually wise up and finish her off once and for all instead of just letting her go.
All that aside, this episode was filler upon filler. I couldn’t get into it. I wanted to see more plot progression instead of hearing about the Jones family issues. Given the conclusion we had this episode, it’s possible that next week could turn out to be a great installment as we learn more about Zelena’s involvement with Hades and his Underworld plans.
Final Grade: C
+ Once again, Germann killed it as Hades.
+ Some great quotes this episode.
+ I liked how the show managed to tie Zelena and Hades together.
– Predictable ending.
– Captain Silver’s role was disappointing.
– A filler episode if I’ve ever seen one.
– I’m a little surprised they haven’t played around with Killian and Liam being related to Davy Jones, the notorious pirate devil. Or what about a Pirates of the Caribbean reference? Disney should definitely include these aspects in the next season.
What were your thoughts on the background of the Jones brothers? Were you happy to learn a bit more about our favorite swashbuckler? Tell us what you think in the comments or on Twitter!