S06E06: Dark Waters
Another Sunday has come and gone with a wonderful episode of Once Upon a Time. This week’s episode “Dark Waters” written by Andrew Chambliss and Brigitte Hales focused on the relationship between Henry and Killian while Emma tried to help Aladdin, oh and we got to meet Captain Nemo portrayed by the amazing Faran Tahir.
New Family Order
It’s a normal impulse to be annoyed at Henry’s reactions during the start of the episode, after all Killian has risked his life multiple times for the family (he’s even died for them) so how could Henry think he wanted to hurt them? But then when you look at it from his point of view his actions make a lot of sense.
Henry loves his mother and just wants to protect her. He also has both sets of memories, from the original timeline and the time he was cursed in New York so he knows exactly what his mother has grown through, especially when it comes to men. He knows how much Neal hurt her and how that ended up shaping her, so as much as he might like Killian he’s still going to be wary. So yes all it would take was a comment from the Evil Queen for him to doubt Killian, because he’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop. And let’s face it if my mom’s boyfriend moved in and started trying to change our routine, I’d probably be pissed too, especially if he threw away my pop tarts. You just don’t throw away Pop Tarts.
Killian finds Henry on the docks but before they can escape they are brought aboard the Nautilus. Their scenes were very much a bottle episode technique, where they are together in an enclosed space and have to face up to their issues. At first Henry doesn’t want to listen and thinks they are doomed to die but when Killian tells him the story, he listens. The way the episode was cut during the Henry and Killian scenes works really well because it makes it seem like he’s telling Henry the story of what we see in the flashbacks. This episode had some wonderful acting by Colin O’Donoghue and Jared Gilmore. Gilmore improves more and more as the episodes go on and it’s a joy to see how much he’s grown from the first episode of the series to now.
Killian and Henry definitely emerge from this episode in a much better place and with a better understanding of each other. From the first scene aboard the Nautilus we can see the gears click in Killian’s head about why Henry is so angry about the shears. You can see it dawn on him that Henry thinks Killian wants to hurt his mother and take away the thing that brought Henry and Emma together. Killian quickly reassures him that it’s not the case. Henry is a good kid and all he wants is to protect Emma and we see it dawn on him that Killian wants that as well. We also see him realize that the last thing Killian wants is to come between Emma and Henry.
Killian risks his life to get Henry back to Emma, giving us is one of the most poignant scenes in “Dark Waters”. It’s that selfless (act and the words that he doesn’t want to ruin another family) that help Henry see past the anger and see the truth. Killian loves him as much as he loves Emma and is willing to sacrifice it all for him. Which leads us to the wonderful scene of Henry being the one to save Killian for a change. They acknowledge what the problem was and they fixed it or at the very least took steps toward fixing it. They drop the shears together and vow to come up with a way to fix Emma’s problem together.
It’s great to see Emma’s true loves coming together to find a way to save the woman they both care about above all things.
Another particularly great part of the episode were the scenes between Emma and Aladdin. Despite the fact that Aladdin has been around for longer, it’s clear that Emma has more experience in the matters of the savior. Aladdin is feeling a lot of guilt over what happened to Agrabah and it probably doesn’t help that it seems to be all Jasmine wants to talk about. He doesn’t know how to face up to the fact that he disappointed her and their people with his actions. Which is where Emma comes in.
Emma has been through it all and has seen it all. I love the fact that she took him to the sign to show him the spot where she crashed that very first night in Storybrooke. It’s a very meaningful moment where we as an audience can see how much Emma has grown over these past six years and Aladdin gets a glimpse of the Emma we first met. When he asks when was the last time she ran away she answers that it’s when he gave her the shears. You can see the surprise appear on Aladdin’s face and Deniz Akdeniz plays is masterfully, he didn’t expect that answer and you can see it throws him a bit. You can see it’s not the answer he was expecting, especially when it looks like Emma has things handled. But the truth is that yes Emma still gets the urges to run away, that’s absolutely normal and human. The real test is not if you run away or not, it’s whether you have the courage to return and face up to your mistakes and face those who you’ve disappointed.
Emma knows exactly what Aladdin is going through and it makes this dynamic even more special. Aladdin admits he doesn’t know how to start fixing things and Emma points out that he doesn’t even know what happened. He can’t begin to fix a problem until he knows what it is. It’s wonderful to see Emma in a mentor-like role and I can’t wait to see more of their relationship. Aladdin listens to Emma and gathers his courage to go see Jasmine. He learns that after he left Agrabah was caught in a sandstorm and seemingly disappeared. Considering nothing on this show is a coincidence I bet we’ll find out the two are related somehow and I would not be surprised if Jafar was involved.
Revenge or Family
These week’s flashbacks were some of the best we’ve been privy too. And if you ignore the timing issues, and when it comes to this show I always ignore the timing because otherwise you’d get a headache trying to figure it out, it felt very much like something coming full circle. This was the perfect example of connecting the flashbacks to the current storyline in a way that doesn’t feel forced, like with the Count of Monte Cristo a few episodes back. I have to admit I’ve never read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea so my only interaction with Captain Nemo had been The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film adaptation, but I was seriously impressed with Tahir’s Captain Nemo. It was nice to see that someone had offered Killian a chance at redemption in the past and it gives more meaning to his reaction when he thought he’d gotten his revenge.
Nemo told Hook that all revenge was going to do was leave him feeling empty inside but Hook ignored him still completely blinded by his need for revenge. And as we can remember back in season 2 once Hook thought he had gotten his revenge on the Dark One he felt empty, like he had nothing left and had no one to care about him. That is what set him on the path to listening to Emma when she offered him another chance. The first time it happened he ignored it and the second time, with Emma and the Charmings, he took the chance. And since then he has been working hard to redeem himself and right his past wrongs.
I love who Killian Jones is now but I have to admit it’s always nice to see the pirate back on our screens. Unlike other people in the show whose past characterizations come of as weird and cringe-worthy, Colin O’Donoghue slips back into the role of Captain Hook as if he never left it. It’s a masterful performance and it’s just as believable as when he acts as the Killian Jones of the present day.
That first scene between Killian and Nemo aboard the Nautilus was beautiful. We got to see the return of the cocky Captain Hook who thinks all he needs in life is to skin himself a crocodile. The pirate who uses swagger and confidence as a way to prevent people from getting too close and yet we see that Nemo sees through those walls. Nemo mentions family and Killian’s face falls apart and just suddenly gets so angry remembering what he lost, and what he thinks he can never have again. Colin O’Donoghue is without a doubt one of the best actors in this show and it’s scenes like this that prove it. It’s such a small change but it keeps an entirely new meaning to the scene.
The moment we saw the first mate and knew he was going on the journey with Nemo and Hook we knew he’d be important. Then he told Killian his story and we had a suspicion of who he was, when we saw Killian opening up to Henry about what he’d done to his father, any doubt had left our minds. The first mate was Liam Jr. aka Killian’s younger half brother.
Hook in the past doesn’t care about him, only wants to get away once he realizes who it is, fearing that Liam will kill him. Of course his actions set of a chain even that leads to Nemo jumping in front of him to save him. Hook leaves Liam alone with a dying Nemo no caring about anyone but himself. In the present we see Killian who risks everything to get Henry to safety and doesn’t defend himself when Liam attacks him. He tries to talk Liam down, talking about how Nemo might still be alive but Liam doesn’t listen, he’s focused on revenge. It’s a very telling parallel of how Killian Jones used to be. He refuses to hurt his younger brother more than he already has which is another show of how much he’s grown as a character since the point they saw each other last.
Henry comes in and saves Killian distracting Liam Jr. and making it so they all come back alive. The next thing we see is Killian Jones holding a vigil at his brother’s bedside. Liam tells him he’s surprised Killian didn’t kill him and Killian reiterates that he’s not the same man, because he’s got something to live for now. Liam correctly assumes that it’s Henry and Killian nods. Because it’s true, Killian Jones has a family in his life now he’s got Emma and he’s got Henry. He’d protect both of them with his life and has risked his life to save theirs on multiple occasions. When Killian asks why Liam hesitated he admits that seeing Henry was what stopped him as he didn’t want another kid growing up with hate in his heart. He says he wishes Nemo could see that they had made up and Killian says that he can.
In that moment we see Nemo being wheeled into the room. Killian tells Liam how they found Nemo this morning and we see that Nemo was the mysterious person that David brought into the hospital. And just like that Killian reunited his brother with his father figure. I sincerely hope we get to see more of them in the future specifically a scene between Nemo and Killian.
We’re the Same
Killian leaves the room to find Emma and Henry waiting for him. Henry asks about Liam and Killian tells him he’ll be okay. When Emma asks what it was that happened and why they were at the docks Henry asks Killian if he wants to tell Emma or if he should do it. Killian lets him know he’ll tell her and Henry tells him he’ll see him at home.
Killian comes clean to Emma about the shears and asks for her forgiveness. He admitted that everything that had happened was his fault and that Henry was only trying to help him. He admits to Emma that he couldn’t get rid of the one thing that might save her, and tells her that they are now at the bottom of the ocean. O’Donoghue and Jennifer Morrison are wonderful scene partners who get their characters perfectly. Morrison portrays a slight worry when Killian reveals the truth and O’Donoghue looks as apologetic as ever. Emma tells him that it’s okay, that there’s nothing to forgive because she would have done the same thing.
It’s such a beautiful moment and I’m glad these two can have mature conversations. Someone people might want a screaming match or for them to get angry at each other but I find this is much better. They are both mature adults who understand each other perfectly and love each other above all else. Of course Emma forgives him because she knows that if she were in his place she’d have done the same, and in a way she has. It’s just so nice to see a couple on television who is on equal footing and isn’t disturbed by petty drama.
Captain Swan are a unit and they will get through this together. All of three of them will find a way to save Emma because there is no way they are letting go of their family.
Emma Swan: I would have done the exact same thing
Henry Swan: First rule of kidnapping, they never search the kid.
Killian Jones: Only one of us is gonna get back to Emma it’s gonna be you
Rumplestilskin: The pirate and his son will work things out in the end.
* It’s a very interesting tidbit that Nemo introduces himself as “No one” while on board the Jolly Roger because Nemo is latin for Nobody.
*I have to give props because the scenery for this episode was absolutely gorgeous. The entire set design for the Nautilus was just breathtaking.
*If Rumple comes anywhere near Belle with those shears I will kick his ass into another universe.
*Those last 3 minutes are most likely going to give me nightmares, why oh why did they have to go there? It’s so creepy.
*The Mysterious Island is one of the stories that Captain Nemo shows up in so that was a nice tie-in.
Images Courtesy of ABC