TV Time: Once Upon a Time 5.15

COLIN O'DONOGHUE, JENNIFER MORRISON

Source: ABC/Eike Schroter

Title The Brothers Jones

Two-Sentence Summary When Killian reunites with his brother Liam in the Underworld, he discovers the truth about how they came to survive a shipwreck and join the navy in the past. Meanwhile, Henry’s quest to find the Author’s pen proves to be a potential key to defeating Hades.

Favorite Line “You can come home. You just have to forgive yourself. The thing is, no matter how many times I tell you—or anybody else does—you have to do it yourself.” (Emma, to Killian)

My Thoughts Heroes inspire others. Stories of their brave, selfless deeds are meant to fill us with a desire to follow in their footsteps. However, sometimes those stories hurt more than they help. When all we know about a person is their best—their highlights—then it can sometimes feel depressing rather than inspiring to hear their stories, because we know both our best and our worst—our errors as well as our highlights. If we never see someone struggle, then we sometimes come to believe that our normal, human struggles shouldn’t happen and that we should beat ourselves up over not being perfect—when, in truth, no one is.

That’s why the most inspiring stories are those of people who overcame struggles, who fought to be the best version of themselves. The stories we most often need are not stories of heroes who are never shown to do anything wrong but of people who make mistakes, have flaws, and are honest about every stumble and failure they have along the way as they grow.

Once Upon a Time is telling stories of those kinds of heroes. Even its characters who’ve seemed like paragons of good choices have made mistakes. None of them are perfect, and that’s what makes them interesting and inspiring. And that’s a lesson multiple characters learned in “The Brothers Jones”: Being a hero isn’t about being perfect; it’s about doing the best you can and being honest about those times when you struggle with doing the best you can. That’s how you inspire hope in others—by helping them see that everyone has flaws and makes mistakes, so they’re not beyond hope if they’re imperfect.

“The Brothers Jones” was a thematically rich episode of Once Upon a Time. Its most obvious theme was that of forgiving yourself, but there was another theme that came up in nearly every storyline this week that tied directly into the idea of forgiving yourself—and that was the danger of comparison. The only way to forgive yourself for being imperfect and for making mistakes is to stop comparing yourself to others, because we don’t often know anyone’s true story but our own.

I saw some very interesting parallels between Liam’s story and the truths we found out about Snow and Charming last season. Liam made a deal with the devil (literally) to sacrifice others for his brother’s future, much like Snow and Charming sacrificed the soul of Maleficent’s child to ensure that their daughter would have a good future. And just like Snow and Charming, Liam hid what he did because he feared telling his loved one; he was a hero in his brother’s eyes, and he didn’t want to destroy Killian with the truth. But the guilt never went away. He was trapped in the Underworld for centuries because his unfinished business was allowing Killian to see him and love him for who he really was, which allowed him to finally accept his own imperfections.

The characters on Once Upon a Time—even guest characters like Liam—aren’t two-dimensional fairytale archetypes. They’re messy, they screw up, and they all have blood on their hands for different reasons. None of them are perfect, but most of them aren’t beyond hope, either. However, some characters still struggle with self-loathing no matter what good things they’ve done, and no character embodies that struggle better than Killian Jones.

In the flashbacks, we saw that Killian wasn’t always the prim and proper young man we met in Season Three’s “Good Form.” His father’s abandonment and years of slavery made him a realistic mess, while Liam seemed to be the one who held it together for both of their sakes. Even from a young age, it seemed Killian felt he was beneath Liam in terms of inherent goodness; he seemed to feel he was the one who inherited more of his father’s demons. That became a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy: Liam was the hero; Killian was the screw-up.

While that wasn’t healthy for Killian, it also wasn’t healthy for Liam. It’s frightening to feel like you’re on a pedestal. You’d do anything to keep from falling off of it because you don’t want to hurt the person who put you up there by showing them you’re not as good as they think you are. Both Jones boys were broken by their father. While Killian lashed out and drowned his sorrows in rum, Liam wore his damage differently. He was tasked with protecting his brother when he was too young to be given such a responsibility. But instead of growing up to shirk that responsibility, he grew up holding too tightly to it.

So when Hades offered Liam the chance to kill the man who owned him and his brother, possess a stone that would secure his and Killian’s future, and ensure Killian would live and have a better life than what they grew up having, I wasn’t shocked at all that he took it—no matter the cost in terms of the lives of the rest of the crew. The Brothers Jones are both single-minded when it comes to those they love, and the love between those brothers came through in every scene they shared. And I also wasn’t shocked that Liam never told Killian what he did to secure their lives and their future. It’s hard to admit dark moments in your past to anyone, but it’s especially hard to admit them to someone who admires you and sees you as a hero. And it would be even harder for Liam, who was probably afraid of pushing his brother closer to his demons if he found out his hero did something less than honorable. Everything he did was done to protect Killian, which doesn’t make it right, but it makes it understandable.

Liam’s secret died with him, turning him into more than just a beloved brother in Killian’s eyes; he became the standard by which Killian judged himself even more than when Liam was alive. And because Liam was never open and honest about the times he was less than perfect, Killian could never meet that standard. He would always be the screw-up, and Liam would always be the hero. Instead of helping Killian move beyond his demons and into a brighter future, Liam’s legacy made it harder for Killian to believe he deserved anything good.

This episode showed that Liam wasn’t the only person Killian felt he couldn’t measure up against. He compares himself to others to fuel his self-loathing, and that’s true for his relationships with both Liam and Emma. It broke my heart to see him physically turn away from Emma’s affection because he felt undeserving of it—even after he sacrificed himself to save her and her family. Killian is the kind of person who punishes himself for being human. Instead of seeing the strength it took to push back against the darkness, he just saw the fact that he didn’t do it as “good” as Emma did. He didn’t think about the circumstances—the fact that she turned him into a Dark One against his will, the fact that she was the Savior in addition to the Dark One, etc.—he just blamed himself for not being the kind of hero he thought Emma was. And instead of trying to forgive himself, he chose to believe he didn’t deserve saving, that he deserved to stay in the Underworld and have his fate decided for him instead of fighting for himself.

Colin O’Donoghue broke my heart in that moment because he made me believe every word Killian was saying about himself. This wasn’t just someone being dramatic and looking for validation. This was a man who genuinely believed he wasn’t worth saving. But what Killian didn’t think about is that punishing yourself often punishes those who love you, too. And Jennifer Morrison continued the heartbreak with her work in the aftermath of that moment. Not only was Emma wrestling with Killian’s inability to forgive himself, she was wrestling with Liam’s inability to forgive her. I could feel the weight of Liam’s words pressing down on Emma through Morrison’s anxious, exhausted performance, because Liam touched on something she’s still working through the process of forgiving herself for—turning Killian into a Dark One.

Throughout the first half of this season, Emma’s inability to forgive herself and her fears of Killian finding out what she did to protect their future made her keep a horrible secret from him. And it turns out Liam wasn’t so different. So when Emma confronted Liam about his lies (I’m so happy her superpower is working!), it was from a place of experience. She knows the danger of keeping a secret from the man they both love, but she also knows the capacity Killian has to forgive the people he loves, even as he struggles to forgive himself.

There are some things you have to do on your own, and forgiving yourself is one of them. No matter how much Emma loves Killian and believes in his goodness, she can’t save him from his own demons. She can’t make him believe he deserves happiness. She can’t make him stop punishing himself for his moments of weakness. Love doesn’t magically heal what’s broken inside a person the way Emma’s magic healed Killian’s cuts and bruises on the outside. All love can do is help a person find the strength to fight for themselves against their darkest impulses. And Killian’s darkest impulse is his desire to give up on himself because he doesn’t think he’s worth fighting for.

That’s such a powerful lesson: Love can’t help someone who doesn’t believe they should be helped. And it came from the queen of telling it like it is: Regina. I love the way Lana Parrilla is playing Regina in this arc. She’s not as harsh as she once was, and that worked well in this scene. I liked her telling Emma that Killian’s not good enough for her, because that’s such a realistic thing for one friend to say to another. The whole point of this episode was to prove that Killian is more than enough to be worthy of his relationship with Emma, but Regina’s line is something I know I’ve said to my hurting friends before whether or not it was actually true. I also loved that Regina opened up to Emma about the difficulty someone who’s embraced darkness has accepting that they should be forgiven. Regina spent a long time believing she would always be a villain, and then she finally began to accept that she could have a happy ending—not by changing the story so villains would get one, but by believing she was deserving of one as she was. And it’s clear she still has trouble forgiving herself, as we saw when she questioned how her father could forgive her for what she did to him. By using that openness to help Emma—and, in turn, help Killian—Regina showed how important it is for people to be honest about the times they’ve struggled.

With Regina’s words echoing in her mind, Emma made it clear to Killian that she’s willing to fight for his happiness, but she knows that it’s a choice he has to make. She can’t make it for him. She can’t drag him kicking and screaming into their future if he’s not going to fight for it because he still wants to punish himself for not living up to his idea of heroism. It has to be his choice; she knows that now. Morrison put so much pain into that moment of the Savior realizing she can’t save someone who doesn’t believe he should be saved—no matter how true their love is.

Ultimately, only Killian could make the choice to forgive himself. But in order to do that, he needed to stop comparing himself to his unrealistic ideal. By seeing Liam’s faults and the dark choices he made, Killian came to understand that, if he can forgive his brother and Emma for the things they did, then he can start to forgive himself. If he believes they’re worthy of happiness, then he can believe he deserves it, too. And he can also inspire others to do heroic things—like forgiving themselves.

Liam was able to move on because he finally stopped trying to be perfect and instead allowed his brother to love him for all he was. He could sail into the light as a man brave enough to be himself—imperfections and all—instead of a man who lived in constant fear of his little brother finding out he wasn’t perfect. And Liam and Killian were able to part as equals, rather than one standing on a pedestal. Liam saw the true heroism in his brother, a kind of heroism born of honesty. Killian never hid his mistakes, flaws, and struggles from his loved ones. He allowed everyone to see that it’s not easy being a hero; it takes work. As such, Killian is the kind of hero who gives all of us imperfect people hope. If he can be more than the demons he’s so openly fought, then we can be more than our demons, too.

All Liam wanted was to give his brother a better life, and he was able to move on knowing Killian had found that life with Emma. Killian knew his unfinished business wasn’t going to be resolved by moving on. His unfinished business was his future with Emma, and he could only resolve it by allowing himself to believe in it as surely as he’d helped her believe in it back in Camelot. For a long time, Killian fought for their future not because he thought he deserved it but because he thought Emma did. He saw himself as less of a hero than she was, which made him feel less deserving of happiness. But when he returned to her in this episode, it was finally with the belief that he wasn’t less of hero; he was just a different kind of hero. No two heroes are the same, and to try to compare them doesn’t work. What matters is both Emma and Killian want to fight not just for each other’s happiness but for their own happiness; they both believe they deserve a future together.

So with a new sense of equal partnership, Killian promised Emma that he “damn well” intended to have a future with her. The kiss that followed was one of my favorites of their many kisses over the years. It was a kiss between two people who spent much of their lives believing they were unworthy of love, but have now finally accepted that they’re worthy of the kind of true love you can build a future on. Neither of them held anything back in that kiss, because there’s nothing holding them back anymore. They both faced their fears of the future, and both of them chose to believe that future was worth fighting for. And by choosing to fight for a life with Emma, Killian chose to finally stop punishing himself for what he did in the past and to start believing he could be happy in the future.

Killian learned to forgive himself because he stopped comparing himself to those around him. Liam learned to forgive himself because he stopped comparing himself to the image Killian had of him. And they weren’t the only ones who discovered that true growth can only come when we stop comparing ourselves to others. That seems like it’s going to be the root of the building tension between Charming and James. What began as some fun moments with James kissing Snow and Charming pretending to be James with Cruella turned into something much deeper. Like the Jones Brothers, Charming and his brother were damaged by choices adults made about their future when they were young. But James bore the brunt of it because he’s still haunted by the fact that he was the one his mother gave away (much like Zelena and Regina). He gave in to his demons and resentment because he believed he could never compare to his brother, and it’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out when they eventually meet.

Charming shared his emotional struggles about his brother with a character who needed to hear them: Henry. (Once again, Grandpa Charming scenes continue to be some of this show’s best scenes. Josh Dallas knocks them out of the park every time.) Henry wasn’t just being an “emo teenager” in this episode; he was trying so hard to compare himself to the heroes around him that he was ready to do anything to feel like an active hero instead of a child who just has things happen to him. Jared Gilmore is doing great work already in this arc, and I was genuinely moved by his admission that he wasn’t really trying to find the pen for Cruella; he was trying to find it because he was tired of helplessly watching bad things happen to people he loves.

But unlike the adults around him, Henry didn’t end up keeping a secret in his quest to be a hero and help the people he loves. He came clean (thanks to some prodding from his grandpa), and he learned a lesson all heroes find out eventually: It’s easier to be a hero when you have help. And Henry already is a hero. He’s just his own kind of hero. And his particular brand of heroism is exactly what the heroes are going to need to write Hades’ story and figure out how to defeat him. Because every character has secrets, and Hades seems to be keeping a big one (with Zelena?!).

In the end, “The Brothers Jones” was one of the most relatable episodes of Once Upon a Time in recent memory. It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others, beating yourself up when you don’t measure up to who they appear to be. It’s easy to punish yourself for making mistakes and having flaws. And it’s easy to hide behind a façade of perfection instead of showing people your true self. It’s harder to accept that all people—including you—are imperfect and that’s okay. But it’s only through that kind of honest self-acceptance that we can move on to a happier place and a brighter future.

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33 thoughts on “TV Time: Once Upon a Time 5.15

  1. Lovely job on this. It was a great episode — especially after all the angst that the promo-monkeys caused . . . (which is why I ignore them).

    I love what this show is doing with the concept of failure and how it can actually make us stronger. This season we’ve seen Snow and Hercules use past failures to help them understand how to succeed. In this episode we’ve seen what can happen when you refuse to acknowledge and/or try to hide your failure. It not only hurts you, it hurts those around you. Liam had no opportunity to learn from his own shortcomings. He also denied his brother this same growth. As the oldest of my siblings, I was struck by how important it is to let them see me struggle — which they have. (Not because of any nobility on my part. It’s more about the fact that I can’t keep my mouth shut.) But doing so gave them a chance to see how you deal with what life hands out. It gave them a chance to help me. It also makes me more credible because they know I’ve struggled with stuff. Plus, success is that much sweeter because we all know how difficult it was. The true test of character is not whether or not you fail . . . it’s how you handle the failure.

    My reading of Liam was a little crankier. (Call me Oscar. Or Leroy. Or the grump of your choosing.) He did come across as slightly sanctimonious at times, and I think he was protecting himself as much as Killian in his efforts to protect his image as perfect brother. He enjoyed the role he had created for himself. For me, his unfinished business was more about admitting his shortcomings and taking responsibility for his own actions (and not dragging Killian along for the ride). Now, this isn’t to say that I think he didn’t love his brother. I think he did. I think he was trying to do the best for him that he could. Yet, it felt like Liam saw his little brother as his side-kick to rally the troops rather than a person in his own right (who might like to make his own decisions about his future rather than tagging along in his brother’s dream). But, I could be a little cranky on this . . . I’m curious to see others’ take on this.

    Moving right along . . . forgiveness. I did love that it took Killian telling his brother the he needed to forgive himself for Killian to apply it to himself. I love how we can counsel a friend and mean every word but struggle with doing it ourselves.

    CRUELLA!!! (Remember, no judging.) Yes, I adore Cruella. She has such panache. I squeal with glee when I see the De Vil car. Of course, OF COURSE, Cruella would have something going with James. Of course she would sense the difference between the two brothers, but drag out the pretense just to watch David squirm. (I did love her pout when she complained that couldn’t he pretend to be Jimmy just a little longer?) Of course, Cruella would twist the knife with the information about James’ unfinished business. (Get a grip, James. Blame Mom if you have to blame someone . . . and who knows, in Mom’s mind, she might have been doing James the favor by giving him what she thought was a better life.)

    Henry — way to be an adult. I love that he realizes he needs to share this and do it right. Henry’s a walking example of the reason why it’s important to share your failures — so someone else can learn from them. I’m just glad Henry has sense enough to learn. Katie, your line”He’s just his own kind of hero” — that is BRILLIANT. We all have the capacity to be our own kind of hero. (The trick obviously, is figuring out what that hero is.) I think we need t-shirts (Be your own hero) . . . which we will wear with our Peggy Carter hats.

    Randomness:
    — Wait, Liam doesn’t show up until Hook is released from Hades’ cell? I’d have been combing the Underworld for my siblings if I heard rumors they were there.
    — Was anyone else suspicious about Killian’s gambling loss? (He looked so confused. Yes, I know he really could have been that drunk, but still . . .) I suspect Silver got him drunk and just flat out stole the money. I call shenanigans.
    — Yes, part of my love for Cruella is for her wardrobe and the fantastic way she rocks wearing it.
    — Loved David’s attempt to stay focused and not get distracted by how his kisses are different from his brother’s . . .
    — “Dirt and things that smell like dirt.” Cruella sums up the great outdoors. (Of course, I cackled at that.)
    — “No one’s that powerful.” 🙂

    • Another member of the oldest sibling club! I was actually surprised at how much this episode drug up some unresolved issues with my own sister. We are six years a part, and I left home when she was only 12 and I didnt really look back. She was too young to understand the struggles I had, and I was also horrible at showing them. “The perfect one” she still calls me. The sad part is I was so unhappy and ready to get the hell out of our hometown, I wasnt thinking about the fact I was leaving her behind too. She admitted to me years ago that she never even tried to live up to my example. She had given up before she even started. I dont blame myself for that, that was her decision, but I do wish I was more honest with her about my mental state over the years. You always hear about the trauma when one parent leaves and the child blames themselves, well I didnt realize at the time that it can happen with younger siblings too. I wish I could go back in time and give both of us a bit more slack. Our relationship now isnt bad, just distant. We live in completely different worlds. Where was this episode 16 years ago? I sure could have used it. I did text my sister Sunday night after this episode. There were no revelations, but it felt right to at least know I was thinking about her.

      But enough with the personal baggage, you mentioned having a hard time with Liam in this episode. I dont think we were meant to really love him. Even from what we know from Good Form it was clear to see that Liam was much more flawed than Killian would ever admit. As Katie said, I think we were simply meant to understand his motivations. Going in my only attachment to Liam was simply due to the fact that Killian loved him so much. The thought didnt even cross my mind until this episode aired that Killian seeing Liam again wasnt going to be cause for celebration due to the fact hes been trapped in the Underworld for so long, and I think that is what made this reunion so surprisingly bitter sweet. The fact that Liam was spewing common anti-cs and anti-Emma arguments at my girl Emma probably didnt help either, lol. But he got over himself at the end. I did think it was a little cruel to make the crew of the ship move on with their killer though…they should have at least made Liam swim his way to ascension.

      I love your love of Cruella! She have been adding some much needed levity to this arc. Although I have no idea how the car ended up in the Underworld?

      Sign me up for a “Be Your Own Hero” shirt 🙂

      • I feel like the fact that this episode inspired you to text your sister and to share your story with us here is the best compliment it can be given. ❤

    • A list of things every Team NGN member needs:
      – Doctoberfest mug
      – Peggy Carter hat
      – “Be your own hero” shit

      I love it! 😉

      Another thing I love is how so many of us are older siblings and have used that to connect with this episode in a special way. My sister and I have a very different dynamic than the Jones Brothers, and I think a lot of that comes from the fact that she’s seen me at my absolute worst (like you said, not because I’m noble but because I over-share). Ultimately, I think that’s given us a much healthier dynamic. No one’s on a pedestal, and now that we’re both adults, we definitely see each other more as equals and friends than anything else.

      I can fully understand your grumpiness about Liam, and I agree with Shauna that we weren’t really meant to love him. I think we were meant to be more like Emma in this episode than Killian; we can understand why Killian adores his brother and respect the relationship they had, but we are also meant to see his flaws and to be a little bit put off by them. As someone who has a lot of trouble letting people see her make mistakes (I’m trying to be better about that, but it’s HARD), I probably related to Liam more than others who are better at accepting failures and mistakes do. That’s one of the reasons I loved this episode—it touched on some deep and personal insecurities for me and helped me start to really examine and work through them. Because, as you said with regard to Killian, it’s a lot easier to counsel a friend (or fictional character in my case) than it is to be kind to ourselves.

      Finally, I just have to add one big YES to what you said about Cruella working her wardrobe. Her leather pants with that fur jacket are just so perfect for the character, and Victoria Smurfit knows how to wear them.

  2. Thank you for such a beautiful & insightful review of this week’s episode Katie. In a world where young (and not so young) girls (and boys) compare themselves to not only ‘celebrities’ photo-shopped pictures, but also their friends and peers, this episode gave a very valuable lesson. And what an episode in which to part said lesson ~ never compare yourself to others and that forgiving yourself is the hardest thing to do.

    How many younger siblings put their older ones on a pedestal? And how many of the older ones feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders because of this? I can totally understand Killian not seeing (or not wanting to see) Liam’s imperfections and Liam not wanting to let Killian down by showing them. And, being the oldest of 5, I can totally relate to Liam feeling responsible for his younger sibling after they were abandoned by their father; when that sort of thing happens, as the oldest sibling, you do tend to have to grow up fast and act as a kind of parental figure for your younger siblings and you will do your very best for them and not allow anything to happen to them no matter what (including making a deal with the devil or Hell God).

    Killian’s lack of self-worth has always been heartbreaking but in this episode it seemed to be even more so. As has been noted, this stems from his father’s abandonment of him, but it also reminded me of Emma’s own feeling of self-worthlessness due to her abandonment too by not only her parents but by every foster family she ever had. But as we have seen over the course of the season’s she has slowly overcome this and has realised, with Killian’s help, that she is worth something to someone and it’s nice to see her reciprocating this back to Killian, even it meant being harsh in order to do so.

    Kudos to both Colin and Jennifer in their acting this (& every) week; so understated and at times very subtle with the way they are/were in their scenes; each week they seem to take the viewer on a roller-coaster of emotions. The way they are able to bring the writing to life and create ‘proper’ 3-dimensional characters who aren’t perfect (and let’s face it, who is) is outstanding. They raise the bar each week and it makes me look forward to each episode they’re in. Don’t get me wrong, all the actors in this show are fantastic but there is something about these two that makes them (and their characters) get under my skin.

    There is more that I could say on this episode but I don’t want this comment to turn into a rambling mess, so I will leave it here. Once again, thank you for your reviews each week (and I’m sorry I don’t always comment); I look forward to next week and reading your thoughts on what happens.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words and the lovely comment! No need to worry about anything turning into a rambling mess. To be honest, sometimes I feel like that’s what these posts are anyway! 😉

      I loved what you said about Emma helping Killian see his own worth just as he’s done for her. Emma has always struggled with her sense of self-worth, but Killian’s love and his support have helped her discover for herself that she’s not nothing and that she was worth saving herself from the darkness back in “Nimue.” Now it was her turn to do that for him—to remind him that he has the power in himself to believe he’s worth saving. It’s a beautiful parallel.

  3. You did such an amazing job with this one Katie. They hit some pretty big emotional themes that I think a lot of us can relate to, and you discussed all of them so well I am not sure how I have much of anything substantial to add. But when has that ever stopped me from sharing my feelings, especially when it comes to Killian Jones?

    “Everything Liam did was to try to ensure I had a future, and I damn well intend to have one”. Hearing these words come out of Killian’s mouth is something I have been waiting a really long time for. For as long as Killian has been alive, he has done a pretty crappy job of actually living. There was a little bit of time with Liam in the Navy, and the time with Milah, but beyond that, he hasn’t allowed himself time to be truly happy. I felt like that kiss at the end of the episode was more triumphant than anything. I was internally yelling “Hell yes Killian! You go after that happy ending!” I was just so dang proud of him for finally feeling once and for all that he is worthy. And not just the “I am watching my back because I feel at any moment this could be taken from me” happy ending. This is a “after working my butt off to make amends and be a hero I accept I am worthy of being disgustingly happy with Emma Swan” kind of happy ending. I finally feel like both Emma and Killian are on equal footing now and they are ready to move forward. It was hard watching them struggle through 5A, I am hoping we get a little bit of an angst break for at least a few episodes. I loved how you summarized this scene: “But when he returned to her in this episode, it was finally with the belief that he wasn’t less of hero; he was just a different kind of hero.” Perfection.

    The Killian/Liam reunion was not quite the emotional love fest I was expecting, but it made sense storywise knowing the setup of the Underworld. While Killian was a part of Liam’s unfinished business, Liam wasn’t really a part of Killians, and seeing Liam again was I think more unnerving than anything. Killian had no reason to think that his brother would be in the Underworld, so seeing him there was a shock to him. It went against everything Killian knew to be true about his brother. There was some joy, but mainly there was confusion, frustration, and unease (and I think more pain knowing his brother had been in the underworld for centuries). It’s a shame that we didn’t have more time to see Liam meeting and interacting with the rest of the team, but it also wasn’t important to the story under the circumstances.

    I really loved the fights Emma and Killian had in this episode, because they were important fights. They were fights that needed to happen. Nothing here was a mean spirited attack on the other person. None of this was about jealousy or possessiveness. I really appreciated that nowhere in this episode did I feel like Killian was having to make a choice BETWEEN Emma or Liam. This also wasn’t about Emma and Killian forgiving each other for their actions when they were Dark Ones (I think that happened the moment Killian sacrificed himself at the end of 5A). This was Killian choosing between self-forgiveness or self-punishment. I didn’t feel like this resolution between Killian and Emma was rushed, because yes, they did do horrible things to each other as dark ones, but their actions were only magnified insecurities that both Emma and Killian had been dealing with for most of their lives. It wasn’t new for either of them. They had made strides forward, they both took huge steps back, and now the only place left for them to go was forward again (as long as Killian didn’t commit to up or down).

    And on one final note, I really enjoyed that the way Charming was able to get Henry to open up was to admit to Henry he had a bad day. As you so perfectly said, “Being a hero isn’t about being perfect; it’s about doing the best you can and being honest about those times when you struggle with doing the best you can. That’s how you inspire hope in others—by helping them see that everyone has flaws and makes mistakes, so they’re not beyond hope if they’re imperfect.”

    Random Thoughts:
    -Henry seemed completely unfazed to come back to a room with Robin body swapped with Liam. I kept asking myself, “does Henry even see Liam? Does he know who that is?” Is there text messaging in the Underworld? “hey kid, Hooks bro is here, we need your help, come to back to the loft”? Or was Henry really that far into his own world he didn’t even notice?

    -I loved the Regina/Emma friendship in this episode, and I love the team Mom thing going on right now. “don’t argue with your mother. Or your mother.” And I will never get tired of Henry and his family labels. “Moms, Grandma found the key!”

    -What was Liam doing at Emma/Killian’s house to begin with? He definitely acted like he didn’t expect Killian to be there.

    -I found the fiery hell plank to be quite clever, until they actually said the words “walk the plank”.

    -“Please don’t make this a lesson”. “too late!” lol.

    • Shauna, great, great points here! I talk below about how I wanted Killian and Emma to get through the post Dark One angsty stuff relatively quickly, and I think your words nail the reasons why this resolution didn’t feel rushed. In particular, “This also wasn’t about Emma and Killian forgiving each other for their actions when they were Dark Ones (I think that happened the moment Killian sacrificed himself at the end of 5A).” Yep – great reminder of how big that moment was and what his effort meant to Emma!

      Also, I LOL’d at your Liam/Robin body swap comment. I guess Henry just takes everything in stride at this point, so a dead relative showing upon the loft is pretty much expected.

    • I loved “Moms” too! and “please don’t make this a lesson” lol
      I didn’t even notice that Robin was gone in this ep until someone on Tumblr asked where he’d been and whether anyone was going to comment on that in the next ep. It never even occurred to me that Henry was seeing Liam for the first time and might wonder who he was/know who he was.
      I hadn’t really given so much thought to Liam and Killian meeting either – specifically that K might be surprised to see that Liam had unfinished business, and also that he’d been down there soooo long. (Bartending! which I loved for some reason – probably from reading many AU fanfics where at least one Jones brother is a bartender. Was there a deeper meaning there? How do people get jobs in the Underworld?) Yeah, sometimes I forget to think about timelines and stuff until I come here to chat. With my spoiler-phobic stance I’m half way to being a casual viewer sometimes, until I come back into fangirl circles after the ep.

    • I nominate you for the label-er of happy endings. I love how you distinguish them in your comment. I am also a huge fan of how you characterized Killian’s conflict of self-forgiveness v. self-punishment. It seemed so OBVIOUS once you framed it that way. 🙂 I also had not thought about the idea that Killian wouldn’t expect to see Liam the Perfect in the Underworld either. Honestly, this was just such a great post. All kinds of stuff to mull on . . .

      I agree, it is nice to see Killian and Emma not just on the same page, but, as you put it “on an equal footing.” Now that Killian’s back in the mix, I’d like some more Captain Charming — who is absolutely the best grandpa ever.

    • I will NEVER stop you from sharing your feelings about Killian Jones. 😉

      I have always loved the way you phrase that Killian has been alive for so many years but has done a pretty bad job of living during that time. It’s perfect because it’s so true. He grew up as a slave, and I think for so much of his long life he continued to be a slave in less overt ways—a slave to anger, a slave to vengeance, a slave to grief, a slave to self-loathing…He never really let himself enjoy the freedom to be happy, to be at peace with himself and his life. And I feel like that kiss in this episode was his way of finally declaring that he’s free to have a happy future of his choosing, which is so important for someone who was sold into slavery and spent so much of his life unhappy.

      I’m also happy that you brought up the fact that Killian and Emma don’t need to apologize to each other for what happened when they were the Dark Ones. I feel like certain people in the audience want to see that for their own reasons, but I’ve never believed it was necessary for the characters after Killian sacrificed himself. They both understand the pull of the darkness and what it can cause a person to do, and that allowed them to forgive each other easily—even if it was harder for them (especially Killian) to forgive themselves. Instead, I liked that this conflict was about something rooted in Killian much more deeply than guilt over his actions as a Dark One—it was about him overcoming the self-loathing that he’s carried for most of his life. (And maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t need them to go back and rehash stuff from 5A. That was dark enough the first time around—I’d rather just move on and not relive it.)

      Finally, it made me smile to see I’m not the only person who still gets a kick out of Henry calling for his “moms” and calling Snow and Charming “Grandma and Grandpa.” I know he’s a teenager now, but I still find it adorable.

  4. Wow, Katie. What a beautifully written assessment of this episode. I couldn’t help but feel the storyline a little rushed. Reading your review added well needed balance to this feeling. There were such important processes happening which seemed to be resolved a little too quickly in my view. This storyline would have been worthy of being expanded over 2 or 3 episodes, giving Liam time to see Emma as “worthy” of his brothers love for example. I am so glad I recently came across your Blog (thanks to Captain Swan Forever on Facebook) as it makes it possible to more fully digest the inspiring messages which could otherwise be missed in the package of a 40 minute episode. Please forgive my “short” reply, after I have read how much you like long ones last week ;0). I am very new to this, but was compelled to congratulate you on this review, which moved me almost to tears!
    Lastly in my short comment: Shauna, your comment about Henry receiving a text message about Liam being in the apartment made me giggle, I was wondering the same things!

    • I come here to digest the messages of the show too. I never really know what an episode really meant until I come over to read Katie’s review. I mean, I get the basics, and I have some feelings about it, but then I read what Katie has to say and what all the brilliant people down here in the comments have to say, and then suddenly the episode feels bigger and fuller and like I really got the most out of it 🙂

    • Welcome, Anita! We’re happy to have you joining us here in the NGN comments section! 🙂

      I would always like for there to be more time for characters to interact with each other, but, ultimately, this was a story about Liam and Killian rather than Liam as his own character, and I’m okay with that—and with what we got. I wouldn’t have wanted to focus more on Emma feeling a need to prove herself worthy of Killian’s love or of Liam really saying something to that effect (other than the nice little moment of admitting she was right and he was sorry that we got) because Emma and Killian’s love is theirs—they don’t have to prove it to anyone else.

      But I would have LOVED for their to have been time for Charming to meet Liam, given the way they were juxtaposed in “Good Form.”

  5. Katie u did it again! this review is beautiful! made me tear up (in a good way)

    I was very surprised how this episode went because I didn’t expect it, I was sure by the promos that we’ll have Killian deciding between going with Liam or staying with Emma and that was eventually the decision but not for the reasons I thought it will be, in a matter of fact it was a choice between Killian and Killian and I loved it!

    It stained my heart to see Killian turning away the kiss from Emma and to hear his reasons why just broke my stained heart completely. He is seeing only Black v White, in his book Emma resisted the darkness and he didn’t, but he doesn’t take the grey in account – Emma had her entire family to support her and mainly HIM (a reminder – Emma was seconds from crashing Merida’s heart if it wasn’t for him), she has pure white light, the circumstances in which both became The DO were very different, give yourself some slack, so I loved seeing Emma fight for him even if it’s against him, assuring him that she sees him as good and a hero in his own way, but he loath himself so much that he believes his future needs to be determent in the UW. Liam showing up only made his views more vivid, because it’s not just a talk about Liam it’s Liam his hero in the flesh emphasizing it all.

    I was also surprised by the flashback, I didn’t think Killian had self destructive mechanism in his youth but it makes so much sense, he was always the ‘Black’ and Liam the ‘White’, it follows him his entire life. no wonder he didn’t believe Liam could do any wrong, Liam is so high up on his pedestal, but I feel like him finding out the truth with how much it hurts, it was also an ease, it gave him new perspective about everything, mainly about himself in the puzzle, finally by seeing Liam (and Emma) as human that made mistakes that were forgiven and despite them is a hero he can forgive himself and see himself as a hero too, he truly became a hero on him own, in his special way, he came from the bottom up and he is starting to accept and see it.

    I’m a huge CS shipper and this episode is exactly why, I love that they are real in the fairytale context – they argue, disagree, talk, encourage, believe, support. I was missing it.
    I love that Killian noticed that something is up with Emma, I love her believe in him, I love him opening up that he feel he doesn’t measure up (to say this to your partner is very hard, it’s the core of his problems his entire life and to admit it to a loved one is not easy). they complete each other, what you wrote about their kiss is beautiful – “Neither of them held anything back in that kiss, because there’s nothing holding them back anymore. They both faced their fears of the future, and both of them chose to believe that future was worth fighting for. And by choosing to fight for a life with Emma, Killian chose to finally stop punishing himself for what he did in the past and to start believing he could be happy in the future:

    props for Colin in this episode, you saw Killian struggle with every fiber of his body,

    little notes –
    I loved granpa charming pep talk! it was perfect
    I loved Cruella, please let her stay
    I loved the turn around regarding the pen and Henry
    I loved Regina’s talk to Emma
    Underbrooke version of the storybook is interesting
    Snow’s reply to charming regarding the kiss with James was lol
    I love Hadas sass, I love that they finally start to understand how his powers work

    Good ep, I like it !

    • Thank you so much! What a wonderful comment filled with great insights about Killian and all things “Captain Swan!”

      I loved that you summed up Killian’s choice as “between Killian and Killian.” That’s exactly what it turned out to be, and it made the resolution much more compelling and important for his growth as a character than if it would have simply been a choice between Liam and Emma. This was an episode I went into with some skepticism because I thought that’s how it might play out, but I should know better than to doubt this show because of how promos make it look. 😉

  6. Katie, awesome job (as always) articulating the themes of the episode and providing a spot on analysis of the characters, especially Killian.

    Going into 5B, I knew Killian and Emma were going to have to deal with his guilt about how quickly he gave in to his dark one-ness, especially when they compared it to her success at fighting it. My main hope was that he would work through his “brooding and guilt” phase quickly, so that we could get back to some version of the more relaxed, fun, and funny Hook we’ve had for most of the last few seasons. (Anyone remember Season 3 of Buffy? I thought that Angel was SO boring during that stretch, as he wallowed in his guilt about being evil the previous season.) Here, I was actually happy that, in that early scene at Casa de Captain Swan, Killian brought his dark one comparison to Emma’s right up (‘you held off the darkness for 6 weeks, but I dove in head first…’) I thought, great, let’s rip off the band aid and get into this! But instead, Liam showed up, and for all the reasons you state beautifully above, his story led Killian on a path to self forgiveness that actually may have ended up being more satisfying than a scene or two of him and Emma hashing out all his (and her) failings from the end of 5A. It was a great use of the flashback structure to provide another dimension to characters we know and move an emotional arc forward in the present.

    Now, I expect Killian to play a bit more of a supporting role for the rest of 5B, and I hope the angst is kept to a minimum and that they find the fun with the character again. However, I also hope they don’t forget that he does teeter a little closer to the edge of darkness than the others…especially when it comes to matters of revenge and Rumple. Maybe what really happened to Milah will come up again??

    Quick thoughts
    – Emma handled the Liam situation well. She was clearly rattled when he lit into her, but she didn’t back down, and she shouldn’t have. I also love that her forgiveness of and trust in Killian is just a given at this point – this is something that the writers, with a big assist from Jennifer Morrison, ‘show’ rather than ‘tell.’ We’ve seen enough of the relationship that they don’t need to over explain why she believes his goodness will win out.
    – Regina and Charming were both great for all the reasons mentioned above
    – Cruella has been a lot of fun, but I think they need to be careful they don’t go to the well with her too often. This has been just enough Cruella, in my opinion. They should keep her as darkly dry comic relief, but use her sparingly enough that it’s still a treat to see her.

    • I love that you brought up Emma handling Liam well. I was really proud of her this episode. I had a whole long paragraph about Emma that I deleted, but, since you bring it up…. 

      I really love how Jen has been playing post Dark One Emma. There is an openness and confidence about her now that I don’t think we have seen before. Season 1 Emma had a confidence about her too, but at the same time, there were a lot of insecurities hiding just under the surface. Whereas now, I feel like we have that confidence back, but she doesn’t have the same fear of abandonment she once had. She had her moment last season where she declared she wasn’t nothing, and never was nothing. And you can see now she truly believes that. This wasn’t about Emma feeling like another person she loved was abandoning her. She just wanted Killian to see himself as the hero he was. Would she have been devastated if Killian’s self-loathing prevented them from having a future together? Of course. But you could also see she wasn’t taking it too personally. It wasn’t about Killian not loving her enough. It was hard to watch Killian not trust her, but I am pretty sure this is the ONLY scenario where he would question her (the poor guy has been through the ringer). I felt kinda like a jerk last season when I kept saying I thought being the Dark One was a good thing for Emma, but I do believe that is was. I feel like she finally learned it was ok for her to be a little selfish sometimes (not Dark One selfish of course, but not Savior selfless either).

      Also, I totally cosign your desire to go back to fun Killian. Brooding Angel WAS boring, and he got way better when he got his own show and got to be a bit more fun. I was able to handle brooding Spike a bit better, but Season 4 Spike will always be my favorite.

      • You deleted an Emma paragraph??? No. Just. No. So glad it made an appearance. These are great Emma points. You were going to deny us great Emma points?

        Also, add me to the bring-back-fun-Killian sign-up (and Season-4-Spike-is-the-best rabbit trail). I love a good sexy jaw clench, but I love mischievous Killian more.

    • Thanks so much, Kate! This was a wonderful comment, and you brought up some great points I didn’t get a chance to mention in my post.

      I completely understand your take on Cruella, and I agree that they need to walk the line carefully with her in this arc. She reminds me a bit of Zelena in that I love Zelena in small doses because she’s snarky and campy and fun, but when she gets too much focus I get tired of her and her personality starts to annoy rather than entertain. I could see the same happening with Cruella, so hopefully they know to keep her as a delicious side dish rather than forcing too much of her onto our plates.

      I’m also happy that you brought up the way the show has done a great job of making Killian and Emma’s love a given at this point. This was never really about relationship angst; it was about Killian’s demons, which Emma knew. She didn’t doubt that he loves her. What worried her was that he didn’t love himself. And that’s so much more interesting to me than any kind of drama about the state of their relationship, which we all know is about as solid as it gets.

  7. I know, I say it often, but you literally stun me every single time and just when I think I’ve found my favorite review of yours, you manage to top it. So congrats on your perfection. But in all seriousness, this review is incredibly powerful and I know for a fact it’s because you’ve put your heart and soul into this one being completely vulnerable to share that it’s a struggle when you feel someone’s perfect. It’s so easy to someone else’s gifts, composure, beauty, life and compare it to ourselves. It’s so easy to believe another person is perfect because they’re constantly praised. And we know in the back of our heads that no one is perfect and everyone’s flawed, but somehow we all have moments where all we can see is another’s perfection and our flaws. It damages us. And one little mistake forces us to beat ourselves up.

    You conveyed this theme and the heart behind it beautifully undoubtedly inspiring all readers. I especially loved the way you tied in Charming/Snow + Liam. The similarities of what they’d done to help the person they loved most didn’t even come to mind so I’m literally “ldakjfsdlkfjaskldf” over this realization. And a part of me wonders if maybe that’s why Killian was able to forgive Liam so easily — he’d seen it happen before. He’s seen how damaged Emma was when she realized her parents lied to her. It’s never easy when someone lies, but when you understand that they too are suffering over their mistake, and they genuinely believed it was the best they can do it becomes that much more easier. And because of this parallel, the theme of forgiveness is resonated far more with readers.

    EXCELLENT JOB, my dear. Truly. And I know how you felt about this episode prior to seeing it, and let me just tell you this is absolutely perfect. You spoke about each character with incredible eloquence but most importantly, you’ve proven why your reviews are so special — much like the show, they inspire readers by highlighting the important lessons that were presented.

    • You’re making me way too emotional, Giss! I was so nervous about this episode before it aired, but I should have known it wasn’t going to let me down. It ended up being such an important episode not just for the characters but for those of us watching it, and I’m honored that you think I did a good job talking about it.

      Your first paragraph really resonated with me in the same way this episode did. One of my biggest faults is that I’m far too quick to compare myself to others, so this episode hit close to home with that theme. Like you said, it’s easy to see the good in others, but it’s so much harder to see the good in ourselves. So writing about that theme was an exercise in vulnerability for me, and I can only hope it’s as cathartic for people to read as it was for me to write.

  8. Excellent review, as always. I hadn’t thought about how closely the Snowing story paralleled the Liam story either. But of course it does! I always want to scream “holy parallels, Batman!” when watching this show. They sure do know what stories they’re telling.
    The acting was fantastic. The feeling that we now have the heart of the Jones brothers’ story told is great. Like with Milah, there was a sense that there was a lot missing that we hadn’t yet had revealed. And like Milah, Liam was far from perfect, but now we understand his motives better.
    I live happily in my little spoiler-free bubble in my corner of the internet. All I watch is the promo at the end of the episode, and then I try to avoid all speculation and I don’t watch any sneak peeks or anything. So yeah, I saw that people were freaking out about the promo, but for whatever reason I never believed that the show was going to pull Emma and Killian apart, or really set Liam and Emma against each other in any serious kind of (relationship destroying) way. I trust the writers too much to fall for a (really obvious) marketing department scheme to whip viewers into a frenzy. So the episode played out pretty much the way I expected – a little bit of drama, easily resolved, because Killian and Emma are strong.
    Someone on Tumblr pointed out that Emma and Killian communicate really well. I loved when Emma told Killian that he had to forgive himself, that he had to do that for himself. It was such a strong moment for Emma. And Regina talking to Emma about how hard it is to live with all the dark things she had done in the past. I love the way their friendship is developing.
    I took great delight in Cruella making out with Charming… and especially when she revealed that she knew he wasn’t Jimmy all along (because, duh! how could she be fooled for more than a second?). The whole handcuffs and visiting James in his dungeon thing… omg! ugh. I love it. I’m looking forward to when David and James work out their issues.
    And Henry and grandpa. And Henry stepping up to be his own kind of hero. I’m glad that they didn’t do the story where he tries to do something good and gets manipulated by the bad guy/gal again. I’m thrilled that he was a step ahead of Cruella, that he had his own plans.
    So much good stuff!

    • Thanks, Jo! This really was an episode packed with good stuff—from Charming and Cruella to all things Killian. And, like you, I was so happy that Henry was smarter than I gave him credit for on multiple fronts: first, with trying to find the pen for his own purposes and not just for Cruella, and second, with coming clean to his family about everything. He’s becoming such an important hero, and I love seeing his character grow. (I’m really just the cheerleader for teenage characters on all the dramas I watch, apparently.)

      I also have to agree that Killian and Emma communicate well. This show has always done a pretty great job of having its couples talk honestly (besides Rumple and Belle, but they don’t count because he’s THE WORST), and Emma and Killian might be their most shining example of realistic, open communication making a couple stronger.

  9. Well, seems that once I start commenting here, I can’t help but keep going. I guess I am going to be in the minority though. I was not as thrilled with this episode as I would have liked to be.
    I love backstories on Hook/Killian, but this one felt flat to me. I think that I got the feeling that it was rushed. About 15 minutes into the episode, I thought, this is going to be tied up in a neat little bow by the time the episode is over and I was disappointed by that prospect.
    I felt that they rushed through the Emma/Hook scene where she heals him and he rejects her because he hates himself for giving into the darkness so easily. There was so much more to be said between those two ( i.e. sorry for saying you will always be an orphan, for bringing you to tears twice, for almost killing your entire family because I wanted revenge for a 300 year old transgression). But it was glossed over and finished with a K- ‘I was weak.’ / E – ‘Not in the end.’ exchange. I’m not saying that they needed to spend 20 minutes re-hashing everything, but a few more words would have been nice.
    I felt as unfulfilled as the first episode in 4b where Killian is brooding because he gave into Gold, lied to Emma about it, captured the fairies, etc and Emma brushed it off with a ‘That wasn’t you, it was Gold.’ line. These two characters have such a deep understanding of each other and are so connected, that you would think that maybe Emma would have some unresolved anger/confusion with Killian’s past actions. While she may still forgive him easily for his transgressions against her because she loves him, seems like they might need to have some further words about it. And Killian, you would think, would still have some issues with Emma turning him into the Dark One in the first place. I know that others feel that that was all resolved in ‘Swan Song’, but I was hoping for a conversation when they weren’t the Dark Ones.
    Colin and Jennifer play these two characters so well, that I would love to see them one on one, resolving how those characters get past that anger back to being partners again. Their reunion at the end was nice, but again, there was so much more to be said between these two. Did Emma not have any issues with feeling like Killian was ‘abandoning her’ now by staying in the Underworld. Another missed opportunity with these two showing that sometimes it takes more than just saying “I am sorry.” / “It’s okay.” to resolving hurts between people.
    I also was disappointed that the deceit of Liam was tied up so quickly. This guy carried around the secret of his deal with Hades for who knows how long while he was alive, has been harboring it for 200+ years in the underworld, yet within one day of finding Killian, he spills the beans? And just now, after 200+ years, Captain Silver and crew suddenly find Liam to make him pay for his crime. It seemed like it was just a little too neat of a package. But I supposed that time constraints will do that to a story.
    The other thing that confused me was the limits of Hades power. Does he or does he not know what everyone’s unfinished business is in the underworld. Seems like if he did, he could just prevent them from achieving it. But he didn’t stop Regina’s father from helping her and finishing his job. He didn’t stop Hercules and he was purposely throwing Liam into the pit, which actually helped him achieve his goal and move on? (And how come all those other sailors’ could go too? Was it because their unfinished business was to try to throw Liam into the pit?) If he knows everything else that is going on down there, he must know about Pan and Cruella wanting to get out. Maybe he wants them to, so they can send him more souls?
    Things I did like:
    – Regina’s friendship to Emma: I loved their two exchanges and really wish I had a friend like Regina is to Emma right now (and Snow for that matter). Able to empathize, but also being objective in looking at the problem and helping their friend to solve that problem.
    – Charming and Henry: Enough said.
    – Cruella: Just the right amount of comic relief, delivered flawlessly.

    • Kate, you bring up some good points here. I think this was one of those episodes that was really strong on paper, and less strong in execution (the CGI in the crossing over scene really took away from that moment I think. Not to mention Bernard’s acting choice of swaying in the boat was not backed up by the animators with their stiff boat, and that REALLY bugged me). But there are so many great things to talk about even if the episode itself was a little too fast to be as emotional as I think a lot of us were expecting/hoping, so I still enjoyed it.

      I kinda see this episode as a stand alone fairytale more than anything. A tale of two brothers, and the missteps that caused both of them pain. Most fairytales are pretty quick stories without a lot of character depth and I still enjoy them. I think because I enjoyed the ideas behind this episode so much, it redeems it a bit in my eyes. But I completely understand why this episode fell short for a lot of people. I know my disappointments were more rooted in the fact that I was expecting a happy heartfelt teary reunion, but that is not what the story or setting called for.

      • OH YES! The swaying in the boat just looked so off with everything else being still. It distracts me from the words being said between the brothers.

        And that is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. I did. Actually, as I’ve been rewatching certain scenes over and over again, I think you are right. This was great on paper. The words were trying to succinctly say everything I was hoping for. But the execution was too quick. There just wasn’t enough time to let it all sink in.

        Also, they film like 60 minutes of stuff and then have to cut it down to like 42/43 minutes. So, I’m sure some of that depth I was looking for ended up on the cutting room floor.

        • There are some episodes were I really would love a “directors cut”, and this is definitely one of them!

          I always find it amusing that my major complaint about the show is that there isn’t more of it. Not to say that isn’t a valid and important criticism, but it’s also a testament of how good the show is at creating interesting characters we all want to know more about. And that’s why I read a lot of fanfiction 🙂

    • I have already said I felt that the episode was rushed, I totally agree. So I won’t go back to that. The point you made about Killian applogising for calling Emma an orphan jumped out at me… Did anyone else watch a you-tube captain swan video, which showed a clip of Killian doing this after being the Dark One? I saw it weeks before I had watched season 5, and it took me a while to realise the significance. When I went back to find it again I couldn’t.

  10. I’ve always said it: even good guys can make mistakes, and that’s okay because making a mistake makes you human. No one is perfect. I liked that Killian finally realized Liam isn’t perfect and learned an important lesson, to stop comparing himself to others. I know Killian isn’t perfect but actually, I like that about him. And that he won’t hide or run from his mistakes when he makes them, but really beats himself over it.

    This was such a good episode, and I know I probably have more thoughts about it. Loved watching it and then coming here to read your beautiful meta on it.

  11. Pingback: The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (3/27-4/3) | Nerdy Girl Notes

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