Take a break from biting the heads off the chocolate bunnies in your Easter Basket to come on a high seas journey, where the water is always choppy, everyone smells like mildew, and no one knows how to steer. But hey, we’ve got brothers with dorky hats and Irish accents. Totally worth the seasickness / possible death by drowning, right?
Happy Easter, Oncers! This week’s installment of Once is all about that special bond that exists between siblings. Brothers . . . can’t live with them, can’t watch them fall feet first into the depths of Hell, while they are still wondering whether you are mad at them for committing mass murder.
So slap on some seriously waterproof guyliner, and pray that your sea legs are working, because this is the wettest episode of Once since that one about Ursula . . .
A Skeleton Crew
Before he had a Hook for a hand and love in his heart for a spunky blonde named Emma Swan, Captain Hook was just a young ship drudge with a funny looking pony tail, a penchant for drinking and gambling, and an older brother he idolized.
Hook’s big bro, Liam, at least initially, seems like an OK enough guy, if maybe a bit snoozy. He keeps trying to save up enough money to pave the way for he and Hook to get passage off the ship of the douchebag for whom they currently work. But Hook keeps pissing away the money on booze and gambling (probably prostitutes too, but the writers won’t tell us that, because this is a family show.)
Just when it seems like the brothers Jones are doomed to spend their lives scraping fish guts off the floor for a living, their douchebag boss goes and does this really stupid thing, where he steers their ship into a really bad hurricane, in the hopes that doing so, will help him find this funny looking blue rock that kind of reminds me of what I imagine hairballs coughed up by Grover from Sesame Street would look like.
Apparently, Grover’s Hairball is called The Eye of the Storm, and it’s like, super expensive, or something?
Now, before you say that it is unrealistic to think that people would pay a lot of money to wear Grover’s Hairball as a necklace with matching pair of earrings, remember that we live in a world where people pay hundreds of dollars to drink coffee made from cat poop.
The normally docile, Liam is positively appalled that Douchebag Boss is sending his crew into certain death for the regurgitated fur of a Sesame Street character. He is so, appalled, in fact, that he does something his boring ass would otherwise never do in a million years, otherwise. He stages a mutiny.
Then he proceeds to lead this same crew into the exact same hurricane and the exact same certain death Douchebag Boss did. The only difference is that Liam actually succeeds in killing all of them, (except for his brother), and all so that he can keep Grover’s Hairball all to himself . . .
Allow me to backtrack a bit . . . you see, right when Liam is about to save his new crew, Hades appears on the boat. And this, you have to admit, is kind of weird. I mean, how does Hades always know when someone is on the precipice of making a terrible life choice. Is he like one of those people from the State Farm Insurance Commercials?
Like a Good Neighbor, Hades is there! (In Hell . . . shoving a poker up your ass!)
Hades knows that Liam wants, more than anything in the world, to captain his own ship (and wear a funny-looking hat that is home to a family of parrots) with his sexy drunkard brother boozing it up by his side. So, Hades offers Liam a deal: sink this boat, murder everyone on this ship except for your brother, and I’ll give you Grover’s Hairball, so you can use it to captain your own ship.
Well, that sounds like a great deal . . . if you are a terrible human being!
Needless to say, Liam takes the deal. And the next thing you know, all his pesky former crew mates and his Douchebag Boss are dead, and he and Hook are on the way to wearing the funny-looking hats they love so much, thanks to Hades, and, of course, Grover’s Hairball.
Liam, of course, tells his little brother nothing of his dastardly deeds. And this means that when Liam dies, Hook is still under the glaring misconception that his big brother is the bee’s knees (when, in fact, he’s the bee’s butthole).
My Brother’s Keeper
Back in present day, Emma is trying to seduce Hook, by magicking away all those ugly zombie wounds he’s been sporting on his face this season. Unfortunately, he’s not that into it. (I guess being mauled by a three-headed dog is not so great for your sex drive.)
Then, Hook’s brother, Liam, pops by to say hello, and proceeds to take a big giant dump on his and Emma’s relationship. (In Liam’s defense, the closest he’s ever come to a real romantic relationship, was that one time when he made out with Grover’s Hairball, following a long, lonely day at sea.)
“You aren’t good enough for my brother, Hook. Because you turned him into The Dark One, rather than letting him die a hero. And if he died a hero, he’d be in Heaven, right now,” Liam explains. “Also an entire hoard of teens would stop watching the show, because the sexy pirate would be gone.”
When Emma confronts Hook about this, the leather pant wearing stud tells Emma that he is not going back to Earth with Emma, after they defeat Hades. Instead, he’s going to stay in Almost-Hell with his brother. Wow, it looks like someone needs a little blue pill to stave off his Big Libido Problem. Where’s Grover’s Hairball when you need it, and does it come in chewable form?
Devastated, Emma heads to Grannys to see Regina, who is 100% the girlfriend to whom you want to turn if you need Tough Love and for someone to tell you that, yes, those pants do make you look fat, and, no you would never make it past the first round on American Idol. Regina scoffs at the notion that Hook would be too good for someone nicknamed “The Savior.” Nonetheless, she offers her once frenemy, now the potential object of her secret lust (maybe, if this show was on HBO or Showtime), some invaluable advice. “You want Hook to start porking you again, convince him to forgive himself for that half an episode where he acted super evil, and wore even more dark eyeliner than usual!”
In other brotherly news, Prince Charming is forced to masquerade as his eviler (translation: sexier) brother James, in order to hide the fact that he’s been snooping around the latter’s workplace. This results in the Prince having to suck some serious face with Cruella De’Vil (who apparently is dating James?, in order to avoid getting caught. (Hmmm . . . wonder if the two of them do it Doggy Style? Get it “doggy style,” because Cruella . . . nevermind.)
Alas, before things get to the M for Mature rated Fanfiction level of random television character sex matchups, Cruella reveals that she knew it was Charming all along. She also lets slip that James has always been jealous of Charming, because their mother chose to let Charming live with her, be poor, and sleep in sheep poo, while she sent James off to be a rich and famous prince / dragon slayer.
Kids can be so ungrateful sometimes . . .
Pride Goeth Before a Fall
While in the forest searching for the Magic Pen That Will Make Stuff Better, Henry comes across The Sorcerer’s Apprentice aka Dirty Homeless Mickey (Obviously, he’s in the forest because he’s homeless. He also probably eats bugs, and uses leaves for toilet paper.)
Dirty Homeless Mickey says his Unfinished Business is that he died before he got to boss around a teenager as much as he’d like, which is pretty much the most pathetic unfinished business since “Never got to touch Grover’s Hairball.” Dirty Homeless Mickey tells Henry that he can find the Magic Pen That Will Make Stuff Better in the Underworld Version of the Sorcerer’s House, but he totally shouldn’t use it, because if he does, Dirty Homeless Mickey will be doomed to Hell for all Eternity.
(That’s pretty much like telling someone “Don’t touch this red button, or you will get a million dollars every week for the rest of your life, and also the ability to eat all the chocolate you want without ever getting fat.”)
Henry, who totally plans to find and use the Magic Pen That Will Make Stuff Better to un-murder Cruella, and screw over Dirty Homeless Mickey, doesn’t initially tell his family about the Pen’s Existence. He does, however, tell them that that the Sorcerer’s House probably has a Storybook in it (with only pictures and no words, so all the characters can understand it), which will probably inform them of Hades’ origin story / weakness, so they can defeat him.
While the rest of the family is distracted searching for the Book with No Words, Henry uses a little reverse psychology on his moms to get some alone time to run around the house to find the Magic Pen That Will Make Stuff Better.
Meanwhile, after being threatened by Hades that if he doesn’t destroy the pictures of Hades’ Deep Dark Secrets in the Book without Words, he’ll tell Hook about that one time in Ship Camp, when Liam killed all those dudes for a hairball, Liam betrays the Oncers, by destroying all the pages containing pictures of Hades, as instructed.
But then, Emma catches Liam in the act, and confronts him about it, all because Liam didn’t wash his hands after ripping the pages out of the book, and now has ink all over them. Eventually, Hook finds out about Liam’s lie. Also now in the know about Liam’s dirty fingers? The entire crew of men Liam killed, Douchebag Boss included, who all just so happen to be in the Underworld too!
And the moral of this story? Always wash your hands thoroughly after the commission of petty crimes, also before making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Anywhoo, Liam’s crew pushes him to the edges of Hell and wants him to “walk the plank” into it. But then Hades saves him, and forces Douchebag Boss to go to hell instead, which, let’s face it, was probably where he belonged in the first place.
Then, Hades screws up, by threatening to, once again, send Hook to Hell. Obviously, Liam, wracked with guilt over his past misdeeds, is not going to let his little brother die due to his mistakes. And so, he sacrifices himself for his brother, earning his forgiveness just moments before he falls into oblivion . . . onto a really small boat . . . bound for Heaven, which is now where he belongs, because his unfinished business with his baby bro is now finished.
The bad news is that he’s got to ride there with all those people he killed, whose unfinished business was not knowing who was responsible for their deaths. Now they know . . .awkward. Also, the boat has no bathroom, so hopefully the water way trip to Heaven from the underworld is super short.
After making amends with his brother, Hook decides to forgive himself for the fifteen minutes of an episode where he was The Dark One, wore extra guyliner, and acted like a HUGE ASSHOLE. He then reunites with Emma, and tells her that he’s totally worth going to Hell for. (Real modest, that one!) He also agrees to return with Emma to Earth after they defeat Hades.
Then, the pair go upstairs and have amazing sex, because, apparently, seeing your big brother ride on a very small boat to Heaven with a bunch of guys who hate his guts is an excellent aphrodisiac.
Operation: Write Stuff Down
In other news, Henry found his Magic Pen that Makes Stuff Better!
Originally, he was going to use it to doom Homeless Mickey to Hell for All Eternity, but after having a nice little heart-to-heart with his grandpa, he decides to use it to just write stuff down about Hades, in order to defeat him . . . Stuff, which no one will read, because the entire cast is illiterate and only understands picture books.
I for one think the former option would have been the better one. Then again, maybe I just have a thing against dirty homeless Mickey’s. They were constantly stealing my mouse ears, back when I was a kid.
Elsewhere in the underworld, Hades retrieves the supposedly destroyed by Liam pages of the picture book with no words, containing all his Deep Dark Secrets, and stares moonily and a particular drawing of him just inches away from sucking face with the Wicked Witch of the West. Weird . . .
Until next time, Oncers!
Cross-posted at Happy Nice Time People.com