Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 15 – TV Review

OUaT The Brothers Jones David Cruella

And David is no substitute for a real man, but again, we’re desperate, here.

The good news is that Cruella’s still around.

The bad news is that Once Upon a Time is doubling down on last episode’s pointless, minor character sob/backstory schtick by bringing back Hook’s brother. Who is even less valuable to events than Gold’s slutty wife.

All the dead characters in the world to choose from, and we get Bernard Curry. Good grief.

TL;DR Hook’s brother, Liam, atones for a sin he committed and gets to go to Heaven; but not before concealing (under blackmail) Hades’ secrets from the gang; Henry betrays his scheme with Cruella and tells everyone about his plan to find the pen; he finds the pen; the episode sets up a conflict between David and his brother, James, so maybe we’ll get to party with a dead character who isn’t shit next episode.

Unless James turns out to be laboriously sympathetic and gets to go to Heaven, instead of keeping up his established character of being a total turd. Oh, fuck.

So this episode, titled “The Brothers Jones,” sees Liam Jones come knocking on the gang’s door. He’s heard that the Underworld’s version of the Once Upon a Time storybook contains info on Hades’ weakness, and joins our heroes in trying to find it. This coincides with Henry’s subplot, wherein he discovers the Apprentice during his search for the Author’s pen, and is told the pen and the storybook are in the Sorcerer’s mansion. But before the team can go spelunking, Hades blackmails Liam into confiscating the pages pertaining to him, lest he tell Hook of some horrible thing Liam once did. That horrible thing, told in excruciatingly overlong flashbacks, was a deal he made with Hades in the Enchanted Forest to kill a ship full of men in exchange for the opportunity for he and his brother to get out of the slave life. Which he totally did. Back in the Underworld, those men catch up to Hook and Liam and threaten to chuck them into the Hell abyss, but Hades turns up and flings Liam over for his betrayal. Hook tries to save him, but Liam allows himself to fall, which somehow makes up for his treachery, and he and the crewmen all go to Heaven. Meanwhile, Henry finds the Author’s pen; David is forced to pretend to be James to Cruella during a scheme, and discovers James hates David for being their mother’s favourite; Hook and Emma have relationship quibbles over her (proven valid) distrust of Liam, and Hook’s wallowing self-pity over his actions as the Dark One; and Hades, looking over the stolen pages, has some secret past with fucking Zelena.

Jesus fucking Christ. Will we ever be rid of that goddamn obstruction? Who is Rebecca Mader blackmailing at ABC Studios to keep coming back? Fuck.

This episode is pure filler. The only plot-relevant thing is Henry finding the pen, but that’s not even a major plot, anyway. It’s a dirty subplot. And a Henry subplot, at that.

I suppose you could say that the Liam drama feeds the Emma/Hook relationship drama, which could make it important. But that would assume that we need more Emma/Hook relationship drama.

And we don’t.

 

Why I hate this episode:

Bernard Curry’s Liam is so fucking boring. I barely care about Hook at this point. I in no way care about his brother.

His little happy ending with he and the sailors going off to heaven is undercut by Hades having flung the captain of the ship (Costas Mandylor hamming it up nicely in a thankless, nothing role) into the Hell abyss moments earlier. Yeah, he was a bad dude who owned a slave ship, but Liam totally sunk him in his deal with the devil, too. Rude.

I can’t believe they’re bringing Zelena back again. It was bad enough when she arbitrarily retcon-murdered Marian and raped Robin to come back last time. But now she arbitrarily knows Hades, too? The optimist in me would like to believe that she won’t physically come back. Or, at worst, she’ll appear in flashbacks. But Once Upon a Time has taught me to know better than that. Here we go, sigh, again.

Henry has a whinge about how he wants to get off the sidelines and be a hero, himself. Doesn’t he see all the shit that Emma has to go through? Hell, before he sold Cruella out, his subplot involved him trying to right a murder Emma was forced to commit in the line of heroic duty. Henry wants that?

Not much mention is made of Regina, Emma, and Snow’s status of being replacement Underworld dwellers. And with Liam and a boatload of sailors going off to Heaven, Hades won’t have enough living people to replace those souls. So his decision to replace the first three out just seems petty and obstructive, now.

Cruella’s whinge about missing the gin of the living world seems odd given that she clearly has access to champagne. If she was a real alcoholic, she wouldn’t be so picky. Fucking poser.

Henry can’t pronounce “Cruella.”

Oh, and having lost the Hades pages from the storybook, but gained the Author’s pen, Henry and the gang decide for Henry to write Hades’ story to figure out his weakness or something? I don’t get it. Henry was specifically told by the Apprentice this episode to not make shit up and merely record events. But Henry doesn’t know anything about Hades that would be useful in defeating him, yet declares that he will only use the pen in the correct way (ie. not make shit up). So how is that going to be useful?

 

But it’s not all bad:

If Henry’s off the bench, then his chances of getting killed in action go up. So that’s something.

Cruella steals the show. Again. While Snow and David are in the sheriff’s office to find the key to the mansion, Cruella comes in to get intimate with her fuckbuddy, James. Snow legs it and David pretends to be James, which goes on for quite a while. Cruella eventually gets a little too forceful and David is forced to show his hand, but Cruella reveals she knew it was him all along and was just messing with him. Darling.

The reason she knew he wasn’t James is because James is a damaged soul, which she explains is a result of their mother choosing to keep David, her favourite, and sending James off with the king when they were babies. He, naturally, despises David in turn. I expect we’ll get a James focus episode soon enough. OUaT will likely pull out the sympathy card, but it would be refreshing to just have a real, committed arsehole.

Cruella also gets the episode’s best line when she’s out with Henry in the woods, searching for the pen: “There’s no pen here. Just dirt. And things that smell like dirt.” Why does the countryside have to be so bloody muddy?

Emma’s distrust of Liam is proven right. Which must be a rare treat for her.

Liam and the crewmen see Heaven as a ship in blue sees. So Heaven really is different for whoever is making the journey.

Costas Mandylor was a welcome guest player as the captain of the ship Hook and Liam were sold to by their douchebag dad. And Once Upon a Time is a step up on the indignity of being in the later Saw movies.

Seeing that Hades is not only desperate to keep souls in the Underworld, but that he also went out of his way to get souls there in the first place (that’s what his deal with Liam was all about) builds the intrigue for why he’s doing it. I’m keen to know.

Oh, and Liam rightly points out that Emma’s concern for saving Hook is mostly based in making herself feel better for turning him into the Dark One. Ya burnt.

OUaT The Brothers Jones Bernard Curry Liam

At least Emma, and every viewer, can take heart in knowing he’s gone to Heaven, never to come back here and burn again.

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About ijusthateeverything

Sincerity is death.

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