There is nothing like a Dark One scorned, Oncers. Dark Hook has completely embraced the Darkness. He wants revenge and nothing can stop him from getting it now. Hook his hellbent on skinning his crocodile and hurting Emma in the process. Team Heroes must find a way to stop him from raising hell and they need Emma’s help to do it. Like most Hook-centric episodes, “Broken Heart” is another one of “Once Upon A Time’s” best hours of the series. Buckle in, mates! Time to brave the stormy sea of Hook’s broken dark heart.
Three weeks ago in Camelot
A lifetime of evil deeds flash before Hook’s eyes when he is reborn as a Dark One. Rumple appears as his Dark Guide and Hook refuses to listen to the bloody crocodile, until the mischievous one offers him revenge. Rumple can see Hook’s pain and knows how to ease it. That’s right, Rumple is going to help Dark Hook exact revenge on himself. Now that’s really twisted, even for “Once.” This is going to get ugly.
Elsewhere, all hands are on deck as Team Heroes expands and joins forces to take Dark Hook down before it too late. Lancelot’s mother is the Lady of the Lake, so he heads out to seek her help, while Merlin and the rest of the gang try figuring out a way to keep Hook in check. The Charmings understand Emma’s compulsion to choose love over death, but David hopes Hook can live up to expectation. So far, our favorite pirate is losing the good fight.
Honestly, Colin O’Donohue and Robert Carlyle are the perfect pair and magnificently play off of one another. Hook and Rumple are a pure joy to watch. Even though we know bad stuff is going down, we are truly loving every delicious second of their cheeky descent into darkness. Absolutely brilliant! Dark Hook sheds the bothersome cloak for his classic leather garb and he’s ready to get to work. Rumple suggests creating a Dark Curse and taking everyone back to Storybrooke, but before he can get into details, Emma appears.
Hook is still outraged. She threw him back into bloodlust. It took him centuries to change and now he’s back to square one. Really, you can’t blame him for being pissed off. He’s fighting a losing battle. Holding onto the Light is easier for Emma than it is for Hook. But that is beside the point. Hook will just have to fight harder if he truly wants a future with Emma. She sees the evil Rumple on his shoulder and tells Hook to focus on her, their dream house in Storybrooke, and their future together. He admits he wants that more than anything and Rumple suddenly disappears. Phew! Emma explains how they can defeat the Darkness by going to those they love. All seems well until they split up. Ugh! We all know bad things happen when pairs part ways, especially when one is struggling with Darkness.
Hook hears the Dagger calling, Rumple reappears and pits the loving Dark Ones against each other. Bah! Hook wanted to know where Excalibur is hidden and Emma lied earlier by playing dumb. She has it, but promises she did not use it on him. She hid it to protect him. Hook remembers begging Emma not to turn him into a Dark One. He always had faith in her and trusted her to make the right choice, but all of her actions prove that she doesn’t believe in him anymore. Hook poofs away in a burst of red smoke.
Later, Emma summons Hook with Excalibur so they can finally talk. After a little deja vu moment of how Regina humorously controlled Emma with the Dagger, she gives him the blade and trusts him to control his own fate. She promises she’ll never try to control him again. Once more, Captain Swan declares their love and happily smooch it out. Then Emma takes Hook back to Granny’s.
Merlin is mysteriously speaking into his cauldron and working on a way to cast out the Darkness when the Dark Duo enters. Hook catches on to their scheme and grabs hold of Merlin’s heart before the wizard finishes his spell. Rumple appears and transforms into Nimue. We’re reminded how all previous Dark Ones live inside the current Dark One. When Hook crushes Merlin’s heart, it will be the same as Nimue, Merlin’s True Love, crushing it. But what will having Merlin’s heart crushed by his True Love accomplish? How will this transport everyone back to Storybrooke? Time for the big reveal!
All bets were off when Emma lied to Hook about Excalibur. Dark Hook says no one will control him again. He sends Excalibur back to the stone. Emma tries reasoning with Hook and tells him revenge is not his happy ending, but their future together is. She begs Killian not to destroy Merlin’s heart. Dark Hook scoffs. Killian Jones was her love sick puppy dog. Well that is true. Hook lost a lot of his swagger when he started chasing after Emma like a sap. He got all mushy and a little lame. We’ve missed the fire in his eyes, of course we’d prefer a Good fire, but this is still very riveting to watch. Plus, he warned her that he would not be able to resist the Darkness. Killian Jones left the moment she turned him into the Dark One. If she really wanted to do right by him, she would’ve let him die. Dark Hook crushes Merlin’s heart and puts the ashes in a potion. Purple smoke rises and new Dark Curse has been cast. Gasp! RIP Merlin. How horrible!
Emma is so sorry. She can’t stop the curse but she can make Hook forget why he cast it. She works her Dark Swan magic. When he wakes up he’ll be then man she loves and who loves her. Her best bet is to go it alone. She erases the memories of all those who know Hook turned into a Dark One. Even Dark Guide Rumple warns that she won’t like where this leads or worse. He also mocks her for keeping the others in the dark about this because we all know she’d be better off with their help. Nonetheless, Dark Swan thinks this is all for the best. She cries as they are all transported back to Storybrooke, even those who she didn’t expect the curse to sweep over, like Merida and the kingdom of Camelot.
Present day in Storybrooke
Dark Hook feels reborn and he is making Emma pay gravely for her decision. He takes her memories of Camelot, so she can’t remember his evil agenda. Zelena puts the anti-magic cuff on Emma’s wrist, now she can’t pull any fast moves as Dark Swan. Yup, this is annoying.
The Charmings and Regina find Emma and she updates them on Hook’s status. She knows he is a Dark One, but she can no longer recall his grand plan. Team Heroes chastise Emma for keeping secrets. She needs them to tell her when she’s being stupid. They have to figure out what he is plotting before it is too late. Meanwhile, Dark Hook is beginning to exact his revenge.
He confronts Rumple at Gold’s shop and challenges him to duel on his ship the next day at noon. He’s been waiting centuries for this and gives the crocodile a chance to get his affairs in order. To make it a fair fight, he’ll give Rumple a chance to use Excalibur, since that is the only weapon that can kill a Dark One. It is time to finish what they started. This is going to be one epic duel!
Rumple tells Team Heroes about Dark Hook’s plan and they wonder why he’d be open about it. Emma remembers Merlin saying that Nimue is the key to stopping the Dark One. If they remove the cuff, she can protect them with her magic, but no one trusts her, not even Henry. Ouch, that has to sting. Emma abandoned Team Heroes, she should have been honest with them. She was different than Regina and Rumple, who were easier for Henry to forgive because they had actually changed. Emma just wants to use her magic so she can do this alone. Hey, the kid has a point. Regina tells Emma to give Henry some time to come around. The Charmings love her, but don’t trust the Darkness, so Emma is placed on house arrest while the other go to the library to research the Dark One Chronicles. While they try finding a solution, Rumple prepares for battle.
Rumple knows he has hurt Belle countless times before, now he wants to truly be the man she deserves. He wants to love her with honesty and courage. He says, “Let me be the man you deserve, the one I promised my son I would be.” If he wins, he’ll be at the well where they were married. If she’s there, he’ll know how she feels. Awww. We really hope it works out for RumBelle, especially since Captain Swan is on the outs.
Dark Hook easily disposes of Emma’s guard, Merida, and gives Dark Swan a piece of his mind. All he feels is hatred and anger towards Emma. She was nothing but a blonde distraction all along. This is who he truly is. Now she can never hold him back again. Then he gets really cruel. Emma was only afraid of losing another person she loves. Hook uses that admission to demoralize her. Emma is so afraid of losing the people she loves that she pushes them all away. That is why she’ll always be an orphan. Oh, that is low, even for Dark Hook. Why is he doing this and being so mean about it? Simple: Hook wants to hurt her like she hurt him. Well, so far, mission accomplished.
Emma reaches out to Henry. They need to retrieve the dreamcatchers and restore their memories, so they can know Dark Hook’s endgame. Henry understands and initiates Operation Mongoose Part Two. Instead of Emma using her dark magic, Henry uses a locator spell and they find the dreamcatcher in the clock tower. Unfortunately, Dark Hook has cast a protection spell over them. Emma must use her magic, there’s no other choice. Henry has the squid ink as a precaution, so he removes the cuff and allows Emma to work her Dark Swan magic. They get the dreamcatchers and take them back to the others. Meanwhile, Dark Hook and Rumple duel it out on the Jolly Roger.
Hook heals Rumple’s limp to make it a totally fair fight. After some swordplay, Rumple runs the pirate through with his blade, but it causes no harm. Rumple must take Excalibur from Hook to kill him and end this feud. Rumple gets clever and uses the ship to his advantage. He knocks Hook down, takes Excalibur and holds it to the Dark One’s throat. In a surprising move, Rumple chooses to be the bigger man. He lets Dark Hook live, knowing he was bested by his nemesis and walks away.
Finally, Rumple holds his head up high as a hero and goes to meet Belle by the well. It is a bittersweet exchange. Belle loves Rumple, but he has broken her heart too many times and she can’t trust him anymore. Rumple argues that his heart is pure now and he’s finally the man she always hoped he’d be. But it is too late. She doesn’t know if she wants to make it work. After spending years mending his wounded heart, the time has come for Belle to protect her own heart. Have to admit, that is fair enough. Belle gave him plenty of chances and sacrificed so much for him. Hopefully, she’ll come around and Rumple will remain pure of heart. For now, he should just give Belle the space she needs.
The time has finally come to discover what Dark Hook really has planned. Emma gives Team Heroes their dreamcatchers and their memories are restored all at once. They know what Hook is up to and it is very bad. Hook’s duel with Rumple wasn’t just about revenge, the Dark One was out for blood. Specifically, the blood of someone who has been to hell and back. What?!
Dark Hook stands before the pond in Storybrooke, which serves as a portal to the Underworld. Remember when the fury came after Robin and Team Heroes barely saved him in time before the ferryman claimed his soul? Yeah, well this is so much worse than that. The devilishly handsome Dark One dips his bloody hook into the water, summoning the ferryman with a boat full of all the previous Dark Ones. Uh-oh! Nimue and the others are here in the flesh. It’s time to get to work and snuff out the Light. Gulp!
Nooo! Dark Hook, what have you done?! There is no turning back from something of this evil magnitude. This is horrifying and unexpected. How can Team Heroes stop the Dark Ones from taking over? Is there any hope left for Hook? How can his soul still be saved? This rough stuff. Even conniving Rumple never came up with anything this bad. Hook sure knows how to set his sights high. Are you terrified of what comes next, Oncers? What did you think of “Broken Heart”? Are you holding out hope for Hook? Share your thoughts below and on Twitter (@TalkTVwTiffany).
“Once Upon A Time” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.