"Good Form" is the fifth episode of the third season of the American fantasy drama series Once Upon a Time, and the show's 49th episode overall.
This episode follows the origins of Hook's early life as he and his brother, Captain Liam, sail off under orders of the King to find a powerful indigenous plant on an uncharted land that could help heal any injury. It could prove key to helping David as the Dreamshade starts to consume him, and Hook sets off to find a sextant that could help the Storybrooke inhabitants escape Neverland.
The Jolly Roger is shown.
In the Characters' Past
We are introduced to a young Killian Jones, a Lieutenant who is about to join his brother, Captain Liam Jones, on board. He then chastises a crew member caught with rum and says he won’t tolerate bad form and tosses the bottle overboard. As Liam arrives to welcome Killian, they discuss the mission the King has given him. He then gifts Killian with a sextant that will guide them to a strange new land and will bring peace to the kingdom. Killian then calls for the ship to set sail, using a map from Liam that follows star charts that point to the constellation that will guide them to the new land. After a crewman spots a trio of enemy ships, they pick up speed to avoid the cannons, prompting Liam to order the crew to deploy the “Pegasus,” and lower a giant sail that’s made from the feathers of a real Pegasus. Killian asks if that was the horse that could fly and he says it was, so now can they, and it does just that, leaving the rival ships way behind as the vessel flies off as Liam tells Killian to set a course for the second star to the right and straight on until morning.
As the Jones Brothers land on a island that is revealed to be Neverland, Killian asks what the king wanted there and Liam says it’s a plant that is potent enough to heal any injury. All of a sudden, Peter Pan comes up on the brothers and tells them they look lost and explains that he is the only person on this island. Liam introduces himself and says he’s there on orders of the king, but Pan tells him there’s no king there and when Liam shows him a sketch of the plant, which is later revealed to be Dreamshade, Pan warns them that it’s the deadliest plant on the island and that their King wants it to kill, not to heal. Liam doesn’t believe him but Killian begins to question if the King has sent them after a weapon. As they head into the jungle, Pan warns them about the plant and when they reach the location, the brothers fight over whether to take it back or leave it alone. Liam takes one and cuts it on his arm to prove to Killian that it is not deadly, but Liam collapses as the Dreamshade invades his body. Pan then appears, offering Killian a deal in exchange for saving Liam by showing him a spring that will heal him. He cautions Killian that all magic comes with a price. Killian says he is willing to do anything and brings the water to Liam, who is then healed but before they can pay back Pan, he's disappeared.
As the vessel flies to return to its port, Liam apologized to Killian and believed that they were tricked by the king to use the Dreamshade to fuel a deadly war. Unfortunately, as soon as the ship hits water, Liam collapses and dies right in front of Killian. After a burial at sea for Liam, the now promoted-to-Captain Killian, furious over what he sees as cowardly and immoral methods used by his own kingdom, rallies the crew to join him in defying the King by burning the Pegasus' feathers and taking over the vessel, becoming pirates, and vowing never to sail to "that land" again.
At Peter Pan's camp, one of the Lost Boys, Devin, takes a stab at Henry and starts to bully him, not believing he’s the one Pan has been waiting for, prompting Henry to defend himself with a stick. Pan arrives and suggests that they use real swords. He tells Henry if he closes his eyes and believes he’s holding a real sword, the stick will become a real sword, which it does. Henry uses it in cutting down his opponent's stick and slashes him across the face. Henry then apologizes for giving him the scar, but Pan tells him the best thing about being a Lost Boy is that you never have to apologize, and is cheered on by the other Lost Boys.
As they investigate Neal's cave, Emma discovers a series of chalk markings, indicating that Neil was keeping track of the time he spent in Neverland. However, the marks stop abruptly and Emma thinks this is because he lost hope, as she did when she was in the foster system. This leads Emma to believe that Henry is about to lose hope as well. Mary Margaret suggests finding a way to send him a message to let him know his family is looking for him. As they leave the cave, Hook tries to flirt with Emma but she turns him down and after David sees this, he warns him that Emma will never like or trust him because he’s nothing but a pirate. As Emma works on a trap to capture a lost boy so they can send a message to Henry, David and Hook head in the jungle to get more vines for rope where Hook is still being threatened by David's warning to stay away from Emma, but Hook tells him he’s going to die in a day or two anyway so what he wants doesn’t matter. Hook tells him that he knows a way to save him and David says he doesn’t want to get off course of saving Henry because that would be selfish. David accuses Hook of only being with them because he wants Emma. This bickering almost leads to a fight between the two but the Dreamshade weakens David and he falls to the ground, leading Hook to tell David that he does not fight invalids, and gives him rum to keep going on their journey because Hook wants David to be there for his family. David finds a military insignia on the ground, which Hook discovers came from his brother's satchel, but lies to him that Liam lost in a duel with Pan. He then spots a rock above them called Dead Man’s Pit, where he claims they could find a sextant that could help them to use Neal’s star chart to navigate off the island. As Hook tells Emma about the sextant, he and David take off on their quest, and David tells her she needs to get the message to Henry. Knowing that his hours are running out, David tells Emma to be careful and to be sure to tell Henry that Grandpa loves him, then hugs a perplexed Emma close and enjoys a close embrace by kissing Mary Margaret before they leave.
With the men off on their journey, Emma, Mary Margaret, and Regina, set their trap on a wild boar. But in actuality, the boar was used as bait to capture a Lost Boy (Devin) and as he gets close, Mary Margaret aims her arrow at the net and he is caught. The three women then confront Devin and Regina offers him a candy bar in the hope of coaxing him into giving up information, and Emma tells him that they can save not only Henry but all the Lost Boys. But Devin refuses, throwing the candy bar away, and tells the ladies that he is here because he does not want to go home. He reveals that Henry, not Pan, is the one who gave him the scar on his cheek. Realizing that he won't give in, Regina decides that the only way to fix it is to use Devin's heart and make him the messenger, leading Mary Margaret to object but Emma agrees with Regina and is left with no choice but to hold her mother back to allow Regina to remove it. Mary Margaret tells Emma she didn’t want to give into the darkness, but Regina tells her that Emma didn’t turn to the dark side, that she did it for them. As Devin returns to the camp, he finally gives Henry the message that they're on the island via a mirror, and Henry sees them before he throws the mirror to the ground as Pan approaches.
As the men head towards the destination, Hook and David share a bit their past of losing their brothers in different situations. When they do reach the pit, Hook tells David he'll go first, but when he gets there, Peter Pan is waiting for him and offers him a deal to allow him to leave Neverland with Emma, in return for Hook's assistance in his plans as Pan now knows Hook's feelings towards her. Hook is reluctant to make a deal with Pan after what happened back in the past, but he doesn't outright refuse either. Pan wants him to prove his loyalty by killing David and when Hook tells Pan that he’s dying of Dreamshade, Pan says that’s no good and Hook has to sink his hook into him and take his life. David reaches the top by himself and Pan disappears. Hook tries to cover the exchange between him and Pan up but David, apparently having heard everything, takes out a sword, then he collapses as the Dreamshade starts to spread to his body. Hook then takes the sword and chops his way into the springs and fills up the canteen with water, and returns to save David. Before handing him the water, Hook tells David that once he's drunk the water, he will not be able to leave Neverland because the water is magic. David tells Hook that's a small price to pay; he realizes also that Hook lied to him about the sextant, knowing David would refuse any excursion to save his life. When David asks why he saved him, Hook says he wasn't doing it for him.
Moments later, the quintet are finally reunited and David tells them that the Lost Boys got the sextant first and thanks to Hook they fought them off and he came to David's rescue by saving him from a poisoned arrow. They all drink from Hook's rum flask and toast him, except for Regina. A skeptical Emma pulls Hook aside and asks if it happened but Hook says it did and she thanks him. Hook then asks Emma for a kiss as thanks, but Emma says he wouldn't be able to handle it. After some goading, she kisses him passionately, then pulls away after he asked for another, saying it was a one time thing and they go back to camp separately. As Hook takes a drink from his flask, Pan returns to tell him that he should've taken his offer, then reveals to him that Neal is alive and Pan is going to make sure that Emma will see the type of person Hook really is. Meanwhile, Pan orders Felix to hang up the cage of an unconscious Neal on a tree next to another caged captive.
- The past story in this episode shows that Killian IS a man of honor and any underhanded or sneaky tactic he uses actually disgusts him.
Liam's directions to Neverland were "the second star to the right and straight on 'til morning" in the flashback, quoting Peter's directions to Wendy in the original 1953 Disney movie.
Also, Regina tempts the Lost Boy with an Apollo candy bar, another reference to Lost.
After Hook kisses Emma she asks him to give her five minutes alone. He replies "As you wish", which is a reference to the 1987 movie The Princess Bride, where Wesley the Dread Pirate Roberts would say "As you wish" to Princess Buttercup. It actually meant "I love you".
- Once Upon a Time – ‘As You Wish’ Good Form aftermath ~ Emma, Hook & Neal by Nikki De Graeve, from Entertainment Outlook (October 28, 2013)
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