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TV Review: ‘Once Upon a Time’ – ‘Good Form’

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This week’s Once Upon a Time episode, “Good Form,” delves into Hook’s (Colin O’Donoghue) origin story and the time when Killian Jones (Hook’s real persona) and his brother Captain Liam went off to locate a magical plant that can heal anything.

GINNIFER GOODWIN, JENNIFER MORRISON

The back story fuels this week’s Neverland journey as David (Josh Dallas) is on his last legs with the fatally poisonous Dreamshade coursing through his body. Hook and David go in search of a special sextant that may be the key to a map — and the key to curing David. But it isn’t a sextant that saves Charming’s life, but special waters, which cured Killian’s brother Liam when he’d been poisoned by Dreamshade long ago.

There’s only one catch: the special curative waters only work on Neverland; away from the island, the waters have no effect, and the poison continues its work. It’s what kills Liam, and will kill Charming should he ever leave Neverland.

Hook seems now to be rehabilitated into the man of honor he was before he’d become a pirate, and his selfless act earns a kiss from Emma that starts out innocent enough. But both are seemingly affected by the increasingly passionate kiss, and, perhaps, by a mutual attraction. But Emma believes Baelfire/Neal (Michael Raymond James) is dead, so the kiss speaks volumes of possibility.

However, Pan knows that Baelfire is still living, and when he tells Hook the news, he gives him the chance to destroy his rival. But will Hook slip back into his own nasty habits, or is his redemption complete enough that he’s immune to the temptation.

I really liked the backstory the Once Upon a Time creators have given Killian Jones, making him, like several of the Once characters (and certainly all the villains) a good person changed by circumstance and bad choices. Regina, Rumple, Emma and Neal have all been at similar crossroads and have each picked a wrong path to follow at one time or another.

What I am less certain about is the rapid transformation of the good and noble Killian Jones — appalled that his king would use unfair and immoral weaponry to kill off his enemies — to  lawless and ruthless pirate, ready shirk all laws and live only for the moment. It seems abrupt. Too abrupt for me.

When Rumple transformed, it was equally rapid, but he was under a curse. Regina’s transformation (and Cora’s for that matter) seemed more natural to me.

As much as this part of the story didn’t work for me, I really loved the story between Charming and Hook. We do see Hook in a different light as he tricks Charming into accompanying him to that lonely promontory to get at the healing waters. Well played, Captain!

I also loved the fact that Regina finally got to do her thing; I agree with Emma! There are times when you have to tap into a darker path, and this is certainly one of them. Taking the boy’s heart and making him Regina’s messenger gave Henry hope. Interestingly, Regina got few props for her actions, even when she took all the darkness of the act upon herself so as not to sully the “good guys.” Hook got kudos and credit for his actions; Regina got nothing but criticism. Very telling that she walked away, dejected.

Robbie Kay continues to impress as Pan. He is just chilling: a brat’s brat, but one with a huge amount of power and menace at his disposal (and a healthy dollop of just plain cruelty to boot).

So now Henry has a little hope to hang onto as our heroes continue their quest to find him. But now Pan has both Henry and Neal captive. Who will be next?

Next week looks quite intriguing as we finally meet the Little Mermaid and who’s that I see as Ursula? What do you think about that, gang? And it appears that the Scooby gang finally reconnects with Rumple as well.

Big announcement: November 4, Dylan Schmid will be my guest on BlogTalk Radio’s  Let’s Talk TV Live. Dylan plays the younger version of Baelfire. There will be an opportunity for fans to call in and speak with him about the show, his role and what’s coming up for both his character and for Dylan.

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • Connie Standish

    The episode, for me, was the weakest one so far. It was o.k., but there were a few issues I had when watching the episode. One of them was Hook’s rapid transformation from soldier to pirate; I get that his superiors’ orders ultimately caused his brother’s demise, but I think it would have made better sense if Killian (now Captain) went to his superiors demanding answers first. Killian’s transformation seemed a bit rushed for me. There is also the question about how Charming is going to explain to Snow that he can never leave the island. Perhaps Charming never tells Snow and leaves the island anyway making his sacrifice for his family; I don’t know, we’re just going to have to wait and see but it’s certainly possible that the writers will kill Charming off.

    About the promo, I had mixed feelings about it. On one hand I’m curious and intrigued about how the writers are going to use Ariel and on the other hand it was probably one of the most bizarre promos I’ve ever seen; it made me think “oh god, I hope it’s not jumping the shark”. When Regina came out wearing the Ursula costume I was surprised; there were two possibilities that came to mind: (1) this is Regina’s craziest scheme and it will somehow backfire (2) Ariel falls for Regina’s charade. I saw the Canadian promo as well and that one was a little more intense. I’m still going to watch next week’s episode.

    What are your thoughts on the promo for next week’s episode?

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