ONCE UPON A TIME Mid-Season Finale Recap: The Kind Of Man He Chose To Be

once upon a time

Let me preface this by saying that last night’s ONCE UPON A TIME completely destroyed my heart. It took it out of my chest and shattered it into a million tiny little pieces.

“Swan Song” revealed a little more about Killian Jones’ past and we discovered that he and Liam were abandoned by their father as little boys. And not only that – his father was a criminal and was on the run. He traded his children into a life of servitude in order to get his freedom. No wonder Killian is so messed up and has a mountain of trust issues.

The theme that permeated the entire episode was the thought of “what kind of man do they want to be” and it wasn’t strictly related to Hook, but to Rumplestiltskin as well. I thought it was kind of in our face too much, but sure, it served its purpose.

Killian was abandoned and, over a hundred years later, he is recruited by the Evil Queen to kill her mother. But before he can do that, Regina tells him he needs to pass a test, and that is to kill his own father – who happens to still be alive due to a sleeping curse. The man has found true love, has another family and has seen the error of his ways. Killian doesn’t have it in him to kill him at first, but when he finds out that his father named his child Liam and hears him telling his little brother the exact same words he used to say to him as a boy, he completely loses it and kills him, saying that this is the man he has chose to become.

Back in Storybrooke, Killian has brought back all the Dark Ones and that’s a really scary sight. Emma is determined to stop him, even if it means killing him again. She tells Snow that he is not the Killian she loves anymore; that man died back in Camelot. The Dark Ones mark them all to be taken to the Underworld, except Emma. It seems that they are all in our world temporarily and, in order to make their stay permanent, they need to trade places with a few souls – thus the mark that would take our heroes to the Underworld in their place.

The Charmings kind of give up and decide to spend their last few hours together at Granny’s, which was a huge whaaaat moment for me. This is the family that doesn’t give up. Their middle name is hope and that’s their motto, so why are they giving up this easily? Were they just tired of fighting? Emma doesn’t give up, obviously, and she goes to Regina and tells her now is the time to make good on that promise they agreed upon back in Camelot. Emma’s plan is to tether all darkness to herself and have Regina kill her with Excalibur, so all darkness will be destroyed.

They go to Gold to get Excalibur and he hands it to them, just like that. I thought that was kind of fishy, but Gold had just been dumped by Belle and told her to get out of Storybrooke, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Turns out I was wrong, because he double crossed everyone. Again.

They get to the lake just in time to stop everyone from going into the Underworld. When Nimue attacks Emma, in order to stop her from stopping them, Killian has a change of heart. When he understands what Emma’s plan is and sees that she is going to sacrifice herself, he offers to do it in her place, instead. And then-

Emma runs him through with Excalibur and I swear my heart was destroyed in the process. Colin O’Donoghue and Jennifer Morrison completely obliterated my emotions in that moment, because their performance was so powerful and so raw and I really didn’t have enough tears to get through this scene. When it’s all over and Killian is dead, the darkness seeps out of them and they revert to their normal selves, but it’s too late. He is gone.

When I thought I couldn’t possibly take it anymore, Emma starts hearing the dagger calling her again. And it turns out Rumplestiltskin found a loophole and turned Excalibur into a conduit. So when Emma killed Killian, the darkness went straight to Rumple, who is once again the Dark One – this time, more powerful than ever – and he is fooling Belle yet again. I feel so bad for this girl, I swear to God.

Emma tells him she knows what he’s done and, if he wants to keep Belle in the dark, he is going to help her go to the Underworld to get Killian back. Her plan is to use the same method her parents did and she’s going to share her heart with Killian. Sigh. Theirs is really a true love story.

And now we suffer through the hiatus.

ONCE UPON A TIME returns in March, but at least they left us with a promo to tide us over the long couple of months ahead.

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