Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 17 – TV Review

OUaT Ariel Hook

I’m gonna say contractual obligation.

Ariel‘s back in town, and she’s here just in time for this episode’s epic love story.

Between a man and his boat.

Hook: the pirating man’s material girl.

TL;DR Hook thinks about his ship a lot, and how he sacrificed Eric’s life for it; Storybrooke Ariel turns out to be Zelena in disguise and she’s doing everything she can to be totally roundabout; Regina teaches Emma how to use magic; Snow and David are shocked and appalled to find out they’re not cool.

So they endanger Henry’s life to prove otherwise. Maybe if you’d killed him I could have been on board.

The major plot line this episode concerns Ariel’s abrupt arrival in Storybrooke. She’s searching endlessly for her lost love, and with Hook being the only one who remembers anything from the missing year, she goes to him for help. He claims not to know anything, but flashbacks reveal that Ariel came to him when the gang went back to the Enchanted Forest and similarly tasked him with helping find Eric. Blackbeard had taken him prisoner, so she and Hook go to get him and the Jolly Roger (Hook’s boat. Keep up) back. When they get there, though, Blackbeard offers Hook an ultimatum: kill him (Blackbeard) and get the Jolly Roger back at the cost of never knowing Eric’s whereabouts, or sacrifice the Jolly Roger (and Hook’s pirate reputation) to help Ariel reunite with her true love. Hook chooses the former, which doesn’t make Ariel very happy. When present day Hook reveals this to Ariel, her hissy fit only lasts a moment before Zelena comes out of her fishy disguise and uses Hook’s admission of loving Emma to lay a curse on his lips. So that when he next kisses Emma, he will sap her of all her magic, which Zelena will then steal. That would be a bit inconvenient, considering Regina spends this episode tough love teaching Emma how to finally harness her magic. Meanwhile, Snow and David are insulted that Henry doesn’t think they’re cool. So David lets him drive his ute and crash it up a little bit.

Which is totally wicked rad coolio, funky fresh cowabunga dude.

While the Snow/David subplot is utter trash, it is a distant C-Plot, so I’ll let it slide somewhat.

What really irked me was Hook’s astounding lack of compassion when he chooses to abandon Ariel’s mission just so he could get his boat back. Yes, Hook got rejected by Emma for Baelfire and now he’s all mopey and sad. But after all that he’s been through, I don’t believe for a second he would let a man starve to death on a mystery island.

Certainly not with his hopeful love looking on.

I mean, he’s romantically interested in Emma, after all. How much pride could he actually have?


Why I hate this episode:

Predictably, he feels crushing remorse over this and makes sweeping statements about wanting to take it all back once he tells “Ariel” about it. Maybe you shouldn’t have been a fucking dipshit in the first place, huh?

Hook’s just a big brat. He gets all pissy when Ariel tells him how she’s heard of his good deeds and kind heart. He wants to restore his reputation or some shit. How pathetic.

This comes right after a scene where he pays a hooker off (Smee and the boys hired her for him) so he won’t have to bang her. You mustn’t care about your reputation that much, then.

Are Snow and David really surprised that they’re not cool? Has Snow seen her haircut?

I might have misheard this, but Regina mentions that she’s established a new, non-blood protection spell around Snow and David’s apartment to keep Zelena out (Emma and Henry are staying there, too, right?). Umm, Regina honey? You’re the one she’s explicitly after. Maybe you should keep a little bit of that for your place, too?

Emma and David are incompetent at assembling a crib. What a surprise.

Emma claims that after all this business with the Wicked Witch is done, she wants to return to her vanilla life in the city and leave Storybrooke/magic behind forever. Way to drop your parents, cunt. Also, Regina might want to see Henry, you know.

When Regina brings up the UST between Emma and Hook to Emma, Emma acts all surprised or some shit. Yeah, no.

Hook really needs to simply tell Emma about his kissy curse. Zelena is like “Kiss her or else I’ll kill everyone she loves.” Maybe Emma should have some say in that situation? Just a suggestion, Hooky.

I don’t know why Zelena went through all that drama just so she could confirm Hook likes Emma. If her spies are as diligent as she claims they are, then she should have known that already.

Emma is apparently more magically powerful than Regina. Add her to the goddamn list.

Oh, and Zelena reveals to Hook (and Emma confirms using a magic mirror) that the real Ariel did find Eric, and the 2 of them are living happily ever after on an island that was outside the range of Zelena’s curse. Rats. I was holding out hope that he’d died.


But it’s not all bad:

Instead of staying angry about Emma being so adept at using magic, I’m instead going to focus on the fact that Regina is such an excellent teacher. I’m not in denial at all.

I’m about as not in denial as Snow and David are. Their plotline may have been tangential and unimportant, but any opportunity to find fault with them is welcome. And yeah, they’re totally boring.

And their attempt at getting Henry to like them is textbook Snow/David idiocy. Letting a fucking 12 year old drive on the road for his very first lesson is super cool, guys. Nicely done. I wish he’d mown down more than a mailbox, though. Where’s Granny when you need her?

Regina’s protection spell is also to protect Snow and David’s unborn child. Regina slips in the best line of the episode with this frank reasoning: “The number of spells involving baby parts would surprise you.” Does Zelena have any that involve 12 year old parts?

Prince Eric’s cloak has an Ursula clasp. I wish she’d come back. Though not as the CGI abortion she was last time. Come on, casting agents.

Belle displays some skills as a potion user when she is able to do a locator spell on Eric’s cloak. And it’s almost identical to the one Cyrus used in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Gone, but not forgotten.

Blackbeard is mostly unremarkable, but Hook does feed him to sharks, so not all is lost.

Oh, and Regina’s method of teaching Emma magic is to plonk her on top of a collapsing rope bridge across a gorge, and then make it fall apart in order to force Emma’s instincts to kick in. Inspired.

OUaT Regina teaches Emma magic

“Just sayin’.”

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About ijusthateeverything

Sincerity is death.

14 responses to “Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 17 – TV Review”

  1. HM says :

    I hate that they keep downgrading Regina’s magic… I actually like that she’s not completely evil but still bitchy, but the fact that basically everyone with Magic (Rumple, Pan, and now Zelena and freaking Emma) is more powerful than her annoys me… She’s still fabulous and hot though.
    Aldo, I didn’t get Zelena’s stupid ass plan. I mean, if you are going to curse Hook’s kiss to steal Emma’smagic or some shit, be fucking discrete about it… like maybe don’t tell Hook your entire freaking plan so he doesn’t try to not kiss her (not that he was making any progress on that front). Unless her plan was to make Hook even more emo and miserable.
    And apparently the world revolves around Emma… How very Elena Gilbert of her.
    It was an OK episode, though 🙂

    • ijusthateeverything says :

      If Zelena can just wave her hand and put a curse on Hook’s lips so easily, surely there must be an easier way for her to extract Emma’s magic.

      Put the curse on a knife or something and shank her, maybe? Just an idea, Z.

  2. Kairee says :

    I need the writers to let Regina unlock some dormant next level abilities or some shit, cuz I’m not here for every other magical creature on this show all of a sudden being more powerful than Regina.

  3. rockabore says :

    I dunno if it’s just me but the more we get of Hook sniveling over Emma the more I feel like the writer has squandered all the good potential he had to remaining interesting. I mean, he’s been an embarrassingly bad villain and, ultimately, I don’t envision things ending up happy between him and Emma. If this is setting up for yet another OUaT “die to save my love” ass-pull, I can’t say I’d be surprised by it. Not that I would care all that much since I watch the show mainly because Regina’s my favorite character… but still, sheesh, they need to stop over-using the same cliches.

    • ijusthateeverything says :

      It is inevitable that Baelfire will somehow be revived. And Once Upon a Time could never have a woman being in a relationship with someone other than her son’s father, so Hook will get booted out in the cold.

      • rockabore says :

        I figured as much. OUaT has rarely manages to pull off things like death. I do think it’s funny that every guy that Emma has a thing with ends up dead or written out in a stupid way though (Graham, Pinocchio, the Hatter, Baelfire…) Emma and Hook are shipped a lot but trying to picture them in the long run is weird to me.

        By the way, the comments you say on Mary Margaret and David being incompetent and boring are always delightfully true and hilarious.

  4. Rie St. James (@SaintRie) says :

    My read on Zelena’s whole plan re: cursing Hook’s kiss was that in order to enact the spell/curse she needed him to swear by his love’s name, like it was a requirement for the spell (not for confirmation of his feelings). And the only sure way she could get him to “invoke the name of his love in a selfless plea for redemption” was to make him feel super guilty about a douchey thing he did, hence the pretending to be Ariel. At least that was my take on it.

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