Once Upon a Time teased us that in this episode, “Bad Form”, we would see Emma and Hook kiss! The show delivered on this promise, but there was so much more to this episode. Not only did we get Hook’s backstory (suitably painful), we get to see Regina use her powers for good (more or less) and Henry slice someone with his sword. Has the OUAT world gone mad?
Pan begins to teach Henry how to be a real Lost Boy by giving him a stick and telling him to pretending it’s a sword and if he believes it will become a real sword. Henry is successful at making a sword appear and he precedes to fight with a fellow Boy until he gives the Boy a smart cut across his cheek. Henry’s gone bad? He apologizes so he obviously hasn’t gone over to the Dark Side yet, but he’s heading there.
In the flashback plot, we learn that Hook was once in the Navy. (We also learned that Hook looks great in uniform!) He older brother was his captain. Hook is given a special sextant as the ship is magically taken up into the sky thanks to a super-sail. The crew has special orders from the King to go to a mysterious new land and find Dreamshade which will bring peace. When Hook and his brother land ashore, Pan meets them and tells them that Dreamshade is a weapon. Hook believes him but his brother doesn’t. He searches himself with Dreamshade on purpose and dies. Pan appears (perfect timing as always) and shows Hook a spring that will cure his brother. But (wait for it) magic always comes with a price. Hook’s brother is healed by the water. They get back to the boat and use the sextant to get back home. Hook and his brother vow to never return to Neverland. They don’t want to have anything to do with Dreamshade. “Fighting with unholy weapons is bad form.” (Is this some kind of subtle statement against nuclear weapons like The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss? Are we reading too much into it?) As soon as they arrive back in their home world, Hook’s brother dies. (Oh, so that’s the price. Ouch.) Hook doesn’t take this well. He vows to stick it to the King whenever possible and go into piracy. He burns the magic sail and renames the ship the Jolly Rodger.
Back in Neverland, in the cave where Neal had lived, Hook tries to “bond” with Emma over their painful childhoods, but he’s denied. (Better luck next time, Cap’n.) Later Hook tells the dying Charming that he might be able to find his brother’s sextant to find a way home. While Hook and Charming are off looking for sextant, Emma, Snow, and Regina capture a Lost Boy. (They’re no wimpy princesses waiting around for the men to do all the work.) The captured Lost Boy tells the women that Henry is a ruthless Lost Boy. Much to Snow’s horror, Regina takes the boy’s heart so that they can get to Henry. They use the Boy to get into Pan’s camp and FaceTime with Henry using a mirror. (Neverland’s Apple Store is coming by Christmas.)
Charming and Hook have a heart-to-heart in the jungle. They’ve both lost brothers. Pan appears to Hook on his way up the mountain. He offers Hook a way off the island with Emma but Hook has to work for Pan. Pan wants Hook to kill Charming even though he knows Charming’s dying anyway. Hook gets water from the spring. He offers it do Charming and tells him the truth: if he drinks it he can’t leave the island. He willingly takes it because he wants to see Henry and help his family get off island. Group is reunited. Kissing ensues! Charming and Snow are locking lips much to Regina and Emma’s dismay (Regina mutters: “What I wouldn’t give for another sleeping curse”). Then when it’s revealed that Hook saved Charming’s life, Emma lays a wet one on him. But, because she’s still tough-as-nails Emma, she tells him it was a one-time thing. (Way to play hard-to-get, Emma!)
Pan tells Hook he’s not happy that Hook didn’t kill Charming when he had the chance. Pan tells Hook that he has Neal/Baelfire in a cage. Pan tells his Lost Boys to hang up Neal’s cage next to the other one. Who’s the other one??? (You got us again, OUAT. You got us again.)