Charming investigates his father’s death, Regina tries to make things work with Robin, and Hook comes to a devastating realization, all on this episode of Once Upon a Time.

This week’s hour focused on the much-loved Charming/Hook bromance, as they tried to figure out what happened to Charming’s father, Robert. At the start of the episode, Charming uses the Evil Queen’s enchanted coin to see his dad, who suggests that his booze-related death may not be quite as simple as Charming believes. Charming recruits Hook to help, citing his useful pirate side while forgetting how much Hook has tried to move past that part of himself. Hook agrees, partly to keep Charming from walking off a ledge and partly for a reason of his own.

Prior to helping Charming, Hook pays Archie a visit. He shows the good doc a ring and says that he’s ready to propose to Emma but wants her father’s blessing first. However, he fears that Charming thinks of him as a mere pirate, not someone good enough to marry his daughter. Archie suggests that Hook simply ask Charming what he thinks, but naturally Hook chooses to join the mission instead.

Charming first decides to steal some magical ingredients from Emma’s shed and asks Hook to be the lookout. Emma and Henry are supposed to be on a canoe trip all day, but Henry forgets the life jackets, causing Emma to head for the shed. Hook distracts her by admitting that he went to see Archie about her but fudges the details. Emma buys it, David escapes the shed, and Emma grabs the life jackets–Hook is always lecturing her about boat safety, after all.

Hook tells Charming that it doesn’t feel right to lie to Emma, but, caught up in their quest, Charming brushes him off. They then brew a potion that will show them where Robert was just before he died. In this case, though, the journey’s better than the destination, as we’re treated to a bromantic potion comedy hour that I didn’t realize I needed–“Do you think they mean the beaker or do we have to turn?” “It’s better to be safe.” The potion reveals that Charming’s dad visited Pleasure Island, but not for as weird of a reason as the title suggests.

Via flashback, we learn how David and his brother, James, were separated as infants. They were both sick, so naturally, Rumple showed up to gleefully give their parents an impossible choice: give up one baby and receive medicine for the other or watch both their sons die. Unwilling to let that happen, Robert lets Rumple take James away, knowing that he’ll become Prince James.

Fast-forward six years, to Charming’s parents receiving word that James is missing from the castle. With a little help from Pinocchio, Robert finds James hiding in Pleasure Island. James admits that the King wants him to be a knight, but he doesn’t want to kill people. His father then vows to protect him as he didn’t before but has to watch helplessly as the King’s knights drag James away. In Storybrooke, Charming and Hook see August, a.k.a Pinocchio, who confirms that the King ordered the death of Charming’s father. In a rage, Charming heads to the town’s underground prison and nearly kills the King. Luckily, Hook stops him, reminding Charming that vengeance is never the right path.

Charming later throws the enchanted coin in the ocean, reasoning that at least now he knows his dad died trying to be a good man. He thanks Hook for his help and asks if there’s any way he can return the favor. Hook takes advantage of the opportunity, and a beaming Charming tells him that of course he has his blessing. Though, rightly, he says that the choice is Emma’s.

Unfortunately, there’s one last wrinkle before Hook gets the chance to ask: outside of Emma’s house, August tells Hook that he found the storybook pages from Pleasure Island. Hook says he’ll pass them along to Charming but takes a look at them first. And, when he does, comes to the horrifying conclusion that he actually killed Charming’s father after he witnessed Hook slaying the King’s guards. Emma, whose entire job this episode was to look cute in a hat and make Hook question his conscience, comes outside looking for him. Hook tries to put on a smile, but it’s pretty clear a happy proposal is the last thing on his mind.

Elsewhere, Regina tried to make a go of it with faux-Robin, but realized pretty quickly that what everyone else told her was true: he’s not her Robin, so it doesn’t feel the same. She admitted to Snow that it “felt like kissing a photograph,” but reasoned that, if Robin made it through the portal, he must have some business in Storybrooke. And, indeed, at the end of the hour, Robin steals something from Regina’s vault, though at least not the hearts of her enemies.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+