‘Once Upon A Time’ recap: Season 6, Ep. 6 ‘Dark Waters’

‘Once Upon A Time’ recap: Season 6, Ep. 6 ‘Dark Waters’

This blog contains spoilers from “Once Upon A Time” Season 6, Ep. 6 “Dark Waters”

Before the premiere of Season 6 of “Once Upon A Time,” I hoped The Land of Untold Stories would bring us some unconventional tales, including some by adventure and science fiction novelist Jules Verne. This week’s episode came close to delivering, taking us Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea to meet Captain Nemo and the crew of the Nautilus.

Of course, being “Once” the classic story is tied to our main group of Storybrooke residents, in this case it’s Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and sheds light on his sea faring past. The episode opens in the days of the Dark Curse in which a stowaway (Faran Tahir) boards the Jolly Roger. As Hook confronts the stranger, mysterious lights appear underwater, which the crew mistakes for a sea monster. The “monster” turns out to be made of steel. The stranger pushes Hook overboard saying he’s saving his life and follows him into the sea.

Hook and Captain Nemo aboard the Nautilus.

Hook and Captain Nemo aboard the Nautilus.

Back in present-day Storybrooke

Emma (Jennifer Morrison) leaves Hook and Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) alone while she goes to search for Aladdin (Deniz Akdeniz). Last week, Emma revealed her visions of the hooded figure and her foreseen death to her family. Aladdin, who had been in Storybrooke since the first Dark Curse, gave her a pair of golden shears that allowed him to cut himself free from his destiny — being the Savior. So, she asks her loved ones if she should hang onto them, or find another way to change her fate. They all agree they should ditch the shears and Emma gives them to Hook to discard in the marina. Terrified of losing her, Hook pockets the shears and doesn’t tell Emma. 

This comes to light via the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) who continues on her path of pitting Storybrooke residents against one another. The Queen teases Henry about Hook becoming his father-to-be and insinuates that he may not have pure intentions. She leads Henry to find the hidden shears in the garage. Henry takes the shears to the docks, and as he’s about to untie the boat, Hook stops him. The two argue until Hook gets a look of terror in his eyes, the Nautilus emerges, and crew members forcibly take the pair aboard.

Zelena continues to provide refuge for the Evil Queen.

Zelena continues to provide refuge for the Evil Queen.

Flashback

The stranger, as it turns out, is Captain Nemo who chose Hook for a mission to show him there’s more to life than seeking revenge. Nemo who spent decades hunting down the men who killed his family and has been filled with a lifetime of remorse.

“All I was left with was an empty heart and a blood-stained harpoon,” Nemo said.

Hook, Nemo and his first mate (Nick Eversman) whom Hook has befriended, enter a cave on quest. The mate tells Hook he lost his family as a boy and spent his life by the docks, bent on revenge — until he met Nemo, who showed him better way. After seeing Nemo was seeking a treasure chest, Hook tries to run away, but is grabbed by a Kracken. The mate and Nemo spring to his aid, to Hook’s amazement. Nemo says that even though he’s stubborn, he’s part of the family now.

Back on the sub, Nemo opens the chest, which holds only a key. He believes the key leads to a place called the mysterious island. He tells Hook it’s a place where he never has to lose anyone again and a chance for a fresh start. Hook suddenly recognizes a knife on Nemo’s table and asks where he got it — from his first mate, Liam. Hook is stunned to learn his younger half-brother is aboard the Nautilus, the same child who lay sleeping while he murdered his father in a fit of rage upon learning his father had named him after his other brother whom he had abandoned. He prepares to leave the ship before Liam learns his true identity, but Nemo pleads with him to stay assuring him that Liam is no longer concerned with vengeance and they can all be a family when they get to the island. Liam overhears this and confronts Hook for taking his father. He moves to stab Hook, but instead Nemo steps in the way. As Liam craddles a dying Nemo, Hook slips into the water and makes his way to freedom.

Emma and Aladdin discuss the struggles with their destiny.

Emma and Aladdin discuss the struggles with their destiny.

Present-day Storybrooke

Hook tells Henry about murdering his father and his past with Liam and the two try to figure out a way off the sub. Henry, who still has possession of the shears, picks the locks and the two make their way to the portal. Hook suits Henry up in diving gear, and knowing there’s only one helmet makes Henry take it.

“If only one of us is going to get back to Emma, it’s going to be you,” Hook tells Henry.

He pushes Henry into the water and is almost immediately confronted by Liam. Hook realizes the island was really the Land of Untold Stories and suggests that Nemo might not be dead, but instead may be in Storybrooke after all. Just as Liam is about to slit Hook’s throat, Henry reappears, causing him to lose focus and Hook knocks him unconscious. Before leaving, they put the shears in a chest and send it to the bottom of the sea.

Liam awakens in the Storybrooke hospital with Hook by his side. He says when he saw Henry, he couldn’t kill Hook in front of him and fill another young boy’s heart with hatred and revenge. Hook says Emma and Henry have finally given him something to live for. Another patient found earlier in the day is wheeled into the room. Liam is shocked to see Nemo lying beside him, evidently getting to the Land of Untold Stories froze his injuries in time and when the refugees arrived in Storybrooke, he had enough time to receive treatment.

Other notable events this week:

  • Belle (Emilie de Ravin) has her first ultrasound and struggles with sharing the image with Rumple (Robert Carlyle).
  • Emma confides in Aladdin that even when he gave her the shears, she was uncertain she wanted to be the Savior. She said there’s been many times, especially when she first arrived in Storybrooke that she wanted to break from her destiny. She convinces him to talk to Jasmine (Karen David) and find out what happened in Agrabah. When he does, Jasmine tells him Agrabah was lost in a sandstorm.
  • Rumple sought the shears, seemingly to allow himself to be a part of Belle and his child’s life. At the end of the episode, the Evil Queen pays him a visit, and attempts to seduce him. When she produces the shears, she asks for Rumple’s help in getting the one thing she’s always wanted — Snow White’s heart.
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