Emma Doherty ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
This episode titled “The Jolly Roger” should have been called “Regina Mills is part of the Charming Family Now” because that is what this episode screamed. And frankly, the Captain Hook storyline fell a little flat. Now that everyone is back in Storybrooke and Zelena (Rebecca Mader) is threatening the town, they have to work together to try to come up with a way to defeat her. With Rumple (Robert Carlyle) as her personal slave, who better to come up with a plan than the two most powerful beings in the town? That’s right, the Saviour and the Evil Queen are working together to help improve Emma’s (Jennifer Morrison) magic.
During a rather adorable scene where Emma and David (Josh Dallas) are working together on building a crib for the new baby, Regina (Lana Parrilla) lets herself into the Charming’s quaint little home like she’s lived there all her life, but not before Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) asks if Marco should help them build the crib…. (really ,Snow, really? Do you not remember what happened last time?) Regina tells the rest of the team (yes they are most definitely a team now) that she put up a new protection spell that can not be broken by blood magic and that there is no way that Zelena can get to Snow’s baby. I had to pause the show and take a deep breath after this part because not only is Regina being polite and kind to Snow, but she is also concerned for the well being of her child. If this isn’t character development I’m not sure what is. Also, lets keep in mind that she is doing all of this the day after her royal smackdown with her insanely jealous and slightly crazed sister, where she got thrown through a clock tower. Not to fear though, Regina has to always be on her A-game because if she isn’t fighting for the town, the rest of them don’t stand a chance.
Emma convinces Regina that the only way to beat Zelena is to work together and in order to do that, she needs to learn how to use magic. Regina is hesitant of course because we can’t forget how slow Emma was to pick it up back in Neverland and how much of a fight she put up when Regina wanted to further teach her. But she agreed to try as long as she was willing to commit….
This was all right before a rather entertaining moment where Emma basically told her parents that they’re boring and her son would rather hang out with a pawning pirate with a drinking problem. The two expecting parents were shocked that a 13 year old wouldn’t want to talk about their unborn child and look for a way to entertain him. Speaking of Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) though, Emma goes to ask him to watch her son which he of course thinks means that Emma is too shy to ask to spend time with him. Sorry Hook, Emma has to go get magic lessons from her new best friend Regina but you can totally watch their son while they do. Honestly, the Hook and Emma romance is falling a little flat lately. Emma is getting stronger and more independent while Hook continues to pawn after her when she does not seem interested.
Meanwhile, Snow and Charming decide to take a leisurely stroll in the rain to prove just how exciting and fun they can be and come across a group of distressed citizens surrounding a scantily clad Ariel (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) who spontaneously washed up on shore. Now this seemed a little fishy to me (no pun intended) and her story of searching through the realms looking for Prince Eric was a little strange. We find out that in the year in the Enchanted Forest, Ariel and Hook cross paths when she blames him for kidnapping Prince Eric. He didn’t actually kidnap him but someone did steal his precious boat (the boat he chooses over gaining information that could save Prince Eric’s life). It’s annoying to see that Hook has not grown or matured. This is something we would have seen last season and if he’s truly wants to be with Emma, he needs to start putting other people before himself.
Jumping back to a storyline with some solid ground and chance for development and character growth, Emma and Regina finally meet in her vault. Regina immediately tells her not to touch anything and Emma being the child that she is, decided to pick up the first thing she sees anyways. Instead of Regina burning her to a crisp, she just decides to be a little more bossy (if thats possible) and teach her spells. When Emma insists that this will be very difficult, Regina decides to test her in a way only she knows how to do.
Despite the insanely awful CGI and special effects in this scene, Regina getting Emma to use her magic was both moving and heart warming. After Regina encouraged Emma telling her that she knows that she has it in her to save herself, Emma falls while Regina looks on mortified that she might have actually lost the only mother Henry (Jared Gilmore) currently remembers. She doesn’t have much time to worry because Emma magics up on a poorly crafted CGI bridge that proves that her magical abilities are truly unparalleled to any other. When she makes her way back to Regina she says that she’s not upset that Emma didn’t die but she’s mad that Emma has not been using her magic to her full potential when she knew she had it in her the whole time.
Back in Storybrooke, once Hook fesses up to Ariel about basically sacrificing the safety of her true love for a ship, we find out why she is truly there in the first place. Zelena disguised herself as the mermaid in order to use Hook as her pawn. She then poofs Cora style into her true form when Ariel disappears, but not before Hook screams his love for Emma. Zelena curses Hook and says that when he spoke Emma’s name in a selfish way of trying to redeem himself for his wrongdoings, she cursed him so that next time he kisses Emma her magic will be taken from her and if he doesn’t kiss her she’ll send the dark one after her. Something is definitely missing here…. She doesn’t need Hook to get to Emma if she has the dark one so what is she truly trying to do?
We’ll just have to wait and see how that plays out next episode because right now we have no clues as to what Zelena or Hook will decide to do. But perhaps the most important scene in the episode (and possibly this season) was at the very end. After everyone is back together and Regina scolds David like a child when she finds out he let Henry drive his truck, Snow suggests they all go out for a family dinner. We then get to see the Charmings, Emma, Henry, AND Regina sitting close together at a table in Granny’s. This was such a heartwarming scene not only seeing Regina welcomed by the others, but for this to not be something that seems out of the ordinary. She fit right in with the rest of them and they treated her like what she was always meant to be… family.
Overall Episode Grade: A-