Hello & welcome back to The Magic of Storybrooke and today, we board the Jolly Roger to take a look at easily, one of the best episodes of season 3, if not the entire series. Let’s board this ship, you bilge rats.


Episode Title

The Jolly Roger

The episode title refers to Hook’s ship, which it’s abundantly clear from this episode that Hook had projected his love for Emma onto his ship because he misses Emma. D’aww, he really does love her. Captain Swan, all the way. This episode already gave me reason to love it, with it being a Hook centric episode.

The Plots

We open in Storybrooke on Emma and David trying to put a crib together and we see that this is not the easiest task in the world and MM suggests that they call Marco but David wants to be a father to his new unborn child. Later on, Regina enters and the conservation turns to that of Zelena and Emma knows now that now, she needs Regina to teach her how to hone her magic, if she is to defeat Zelena. David and MM volunteer to look after Henry, while Emma is training with Regina but Emma doesn’t think that’s the best idea, because she thinks her parents would bore Henry. So, MM and her prince set out to disprove the notion that they’re boring. At the pier, we see Smee talking to his captain, trying to convince him to leave Storybrooke unaware that the Jolly Roger isn’t here. Emma and Henry and Hook takes the time to flirt with Emma but Emma shoots him down and says that after she learns what she needs to defeat Zelena, she’s going back to New York but Hook warns her, that you can’t go back to the person, that you once were.

As we learn in this episode, Hook tried to run back to his past and that didn’t work. This episode seems to imply, it’s not always good to embrace the past, rather you should learn from your past mistakes and hope that you learn will make you a better person and in Hook’s case, that is precisely, what happened. We later see MM and David walking down the beach, when who should return but Ariel. YAY, Ariel’s back. She’s come to Storybrooke looking for Eric as he has been missing since Regina stopped Pan’s curse. And she has searched all realms but she fears that she may have overlooked something in our realm. MM informs our mermaid friend that they most likely will not be able to help because they don’t have their memories from the missing year but they say that Hook may know something, so they head to Granny’s, where Hook and Henry are hanging out and David takes the mermaid to the pirate and at first Hook refuses to help, believing Eric to be dead but there is more to it than that as we will learn. So, David and MM take Henry for the day and David lets Henry drive his truck and that poor mailbox never had a chance.

RIP Mailbox – 1984 – 2014

Excuse me, I need a moment with the mailbox. *One Sarah Mclachian song later*

The mailbox, Neal, and Gus Gus, oh the humanity, Once why do you put us through this torment. Meanwhile, at Regina’s vault, she starts to teach Emma and tells her not to touch anything but Emma doesn’t listen and touches something. Emma asks how Rumple taught her and this gives Regina an idea on how to teach her former rival by putting her on a bridge and cutting the ropes and Emma is about

Emma found her own way to put the bridge back together and lift herself back up and we learn that Regina was upset with her former rival/current pupil because she has so much untapped potential that she isn’t honing. Meanwhile, Hook and Ariel head to Mr. Gold’s and we have a Belle and Ariel reunion. Ahem…

I just love the fact that we have a Belle and Ariel reunion, they are the best friendship on the show. Granted, it doesn’t and Hook finds his old telescope and comes across a cloak that belonged to Eric and Belle puts a locator spell on the item and it goes to the surface and goes underwater and this leads Ariel to think that her beloved is dead. Ariel starts crying mourning the loss of her prince. Hook runs up to Ariel and reveals to her that their paths had crossed during the missing year and explains that he was too ashamed of what happened between them in the missing year to admit the truth. Hook begs Ariel to give him redemption and she asks him to swear on the name of woman he loves and in that instant, we learn that Ariel is actually Zelena.

Sorry, learning that Ariel wasn’t actually in Storybrooke and that it was just Zelena pretending to be Ariel is disappointing. Sorry but Ariel is one of the best of the season 3A characters and to know, that we only got to see her in the missing year and not in the present timeline is disappointing. Anyways, Zelena puts a curse on Hook’s lips and says that he needs to kiss Emma Swan and drain her of her powers, or she will kill everyone Emma loves, starting with her son.

Hook heads back to MM and David’s apartment and reveals that Ariel had been reunited with her husband as he found out from Zelena, she has spies everywhere. And Emma uses a magic mirror spell to check in on them and I love how they cover this up in front of Henry by saying that they used Skype. At the end, the family goes to Granny’s for dinner but Hook doesn’t go but looks on, hurt from Zelena’s threat and torn over what to do, he doesn’t want to hurt the woman, he loves but he also doesn’t want her family to be hurt as he has grown especially close to Henry.

This episode was just heartbreaking to watch, Hook wanted to help Ariel but his past with her in the missing year still haunted him and he felt as though, he had failed Ariel and this is the first time, you actually see Hook break down and cry because he thought he had failed. I just wanted to give the pirate, a big ole hug. Why you gotta make my favorite character suffer so badly, Once? Now, let’s move onto the Fairy Tale plot.

We open in the Enchanted Forest, where a knight blocks the path of two other knights and demands that they leave the treasure. The knights at first do not take him seriously but as a row of flaming arrows go off, they leave the treasure. This knight is revealed to be Hook. Good ole Hook, up to his old tricks again.

Hook set up this ambush with Smee, who is no longer a rat, due to them being returned to The Enchanted Forest and two of his crew members. We later see Hook and his men at a tavern, where Hook’s men had gotten him a bar girl but Hook turns her down and then, Hook is attacked by Ariel. As Ariel believes that Hook has kidnapped Prince Eric as he taken aboard The Jolly Roger. Hearing the name of his ship, Hook soon turns on Ariel and attacks her and asks what she knows of his ship and who captain it now and Ariel then goes on to show Hook, a knife with carved initials in it.

Hook recognizes them as belonging to Blackbeard. Hook goes on to show this to Smee and Smee is justifiably scared out of his mind. This is Blackbeard, we are talking about. He’s one of the most ruthless pirates to ever set sail. Ariel says that she is coming with and at first, Hook wants to turn her down but he has no choice but to bring her because of the pirate code. After some walking, we get to The Jolly Roger and we get the coolest moment ever from Once Upon A Time. Hook Vs. Blackbeard. You just need to watch it. Words cannot do this awesomeness justice. That scene is just so cool and it really put me in the swashbuckling mood and that scene made me feel like a 10 year old. Well until Ariel stopped Hook from killing Blackbeard because she wanted to find, where Eric was. Can’t say that I blame her but… Ariel, you ruined the moment.

Hook goes through with killing Blackbeard and takes back his ship and Hook says that he is doing Ariel a favor because love will bring nothing but pain. As Ariel prepares to leave, she slaps Hook and tells him, that he’s selfish and heartless and will suffer endless pain and torment. This was probably the tightest connection of present day and past storylines working in sync in season 3B. The way, these two storylines played off each other was just fantastic.


Main Characters

Hook played by Colin O’ Donghue

Man, it was clear in both timelines that Hook was still aching over losing Emma. And he was just torn and the way, he broke down and admitted his love for her in Storybrooke, only for that to cause him to be cursed is just tragic. Though, I’ll give Zelena this, that was a clever curse. Man, this episode just broke my heart for Hook. I’ve always been fond of the pirate but I never thought that I would feel this bad for the same person that caused Belle to lose her memories in season 2.

Ariel played Joanna Garica Swisher

I was so happy to see Ariel again, except for the stupid little bait and switch in Storybrooke with it, actually being Zelena. Though Ariel and Hook played rather well off of one another and it seemed like Ariel represented what Hook could have with Emma, if he just learn to let go of the past.

Supporting Characters

Emma Swan played by Jennifer Morrison

Emma was only in a little bit of the episode but the bit with her using her magic to save herself from falling was not really cool but also important for Emma to show that she knows magic and can use it, when push comes to shove.

Regina played by Lana Parilla

Regina surprisingly made a rather effective, if tough teacher but that’s what Emma needed and as we saw, it worked.


Blackbeard played by Charles Mesure

I really like Once’s Blackbeard, probably one of the best one off characters , they’ve had (okay, he has a minor role in the season finale) but he was rather effective in what he did and he put up a good fight with Hook, that led to his demise.

Zelena played by Rebecca Mader

Zelena had very little very screen time but the screen time, she did have was effective. I’m still not the biggest fan of her but her scene with her cursing Hook was legitimately creepy and heartbreaking. She did a good job at getting in his head and messing with him.

My Final Thoughts

If I were to name a perfect OUAT episode, this would be the one. This is in my opinion, the greatest episode of Once Upon A Time ever trumping my previous favorite, In The Name of The Brother. Funny, how I tend to like the tragic episodes. Everything about this episode is just so tight that it comes together to form, what I consider Once’s greatest hour. Join me next time as I take we take a look at some thing that appears to be…

Bleeding Through

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