"The Brothers Jones" is the 103rd episode of Once Upon a Time.
Finally reunited, Hook and Emma must find a way to defeat Hades so that they can return to Storybrooke with the others, and a surprise visit from the pirate's dearly departed brother Liam might just provide them with the lead they're looking for. Others who have tried to overthrow the Underworld's leader spoke of a book that contained the key to his downfall; while the others search for this book, Henry secretly takes matters into his own hands, tired of watching from the sidelines. Meanwhile, Hades redoubles his efforts to trap the heroes in the Underworld by playing them against one another and, in flashbacks, the bond between the two young Jones brothers is tested and strengthened on a merchant ship heading into a dangerous storm.
Previously on Once Upon a Time...
Mary Margaret is kissed by her brother-in-law, Prince James; when she learns it's him, she is disgusted, and he tells her that when she sees his brother David she should relay the message that there's a new sheriff in town. ("Souls of the Departed") The Apprentice explains to Henry that he can't resurrect his father, and Henry snaps the magic quill. ("Operation Mongoose, Part 2") Cruella tells Henry that the Author's power is far greater than the Apprentice wanted him to believe; she explains that when he broke the magic quill he sent it down to the Underworld, but now he's going to find it and use it to bring her back to life. ("Labor of Love")
Henry sees the light.
Cruella's car is seen speeding through the forest roads of the Underworld with Cruella De Vil herself sitting happily behind the steering wheel as she willingly drives her vehicle out of control. Henry is in the passenger seat and begs her to slow down, but Cruella points out that he wouldn't be there with her if he didn't like a little danger - "I mean, look at you. Sneaking away from your family to bring me back to life. Such a naughty boy!" He says that he just wants to find the pen and get this over with, not knowing what he's even looking for, and Cruella tells him to look for a sign, be it a signal or a whiff of ink, reminding him that he's the Author and therefore he's connected to that quill. A bright flash of light suddenly overcomes Henry's face and he commands Cruella to stop, for he saw something in the woods. The vintage 1920s automobile comes to a screeching halt.
Cruella isn't dressed for the woods.
The two of them are next seen scouring the forest, with Cruella complaining that there's no pen out there - merely dirt and things that smell like dirt. Her expensive footwear struggles over the woodland floor as Henry assures her that he saw something, and she encourages him to move those little legs of his and get looking; "Go!" He heads off in another direction while she takes a moment to gain her bearings in the outdoors. It isn't long before Henry is isolated in the forest, making him all the more startled when an arm reaches out and touches his shoulder from behind. He turns to see the Sorcerer's Apprentice standing there, telling the young man to be quiet because they have little time. Henry doesn't understand why the Apprentice is there, not knowing what unfinished business a devoted servant to the Sorcerer could possibly have, and the old man explains that his unfinished business... is Henry. He is there to prevent him from making a terrible mistake, insisting that he must not resurrect Cruella De Vil. This leads the boy to realize that the pen indeed can bring someone back, meaning the Apprentice lied, and the old wizard proceeds to defend that that was a necessary half-truth; "Up there, yes. Down here, the rules are a little more flexible. I saw no reason to tempt you. The dilemma you are currently in is why."
The Apprentice delivers a warning.
Henry assures that he's not getting the pen for Cruella, but rather, for himself - he just watched his mother become the Dark One (see "The Dark Swan") and saw Hook die (see "Swan Song") and he couldn't do anything. The Apprentice reminds him that he is the Author; as such, he should use the quill only to record the stories and not create them. Henry exclaims that he doesn't care about the stupid stories anymore, being sick of sitting on the sidelines. He wants to be a hero and he wants to help his mother, even if it means helping Cruella. With a sigh, the Apprentice reveals that inside the Sorcerer's mansion were all his great works of light magic, the pen included; it is protected by a powerful spell, but the sheriff took the key from him. "Acquire that key, and the quill is yours." Henry is surprised that the old man is helping him, and he explains that this is his choice, and the only way that he can move on is if he makes the right one. He trusts him. It isn't long before the magician disappears, and Henry is left with an awful lot of decisions to make.
ONCE UPON A TIME
Emma heals Hook. Shame.
Emma pulls the sheet from over her couch in the Underworld version of her house, inviting Killian to sit down so that she can take a look at him. He asks if she's sure she wants to, still being all bloody and tortured, saying that Hades sort of knocked the handsome out of him. Once he's stumbled over to the couch and sat down, Emma sits next to him and assures that no one's that powerful, proceeding to wave a hand over her pirate boyfriend and heal all his wounds with her light magic. She then tries to kiss him, but he turns away, and she wonders what's wrong. Hook points out that a lot has happened between them, but she doesn't see a problem; he points out further that he's the problem, reminding her that she was the Dark One for six weeks and gave into the darkness out of love (see "Birth") while he plunged in headfirst in a second, for revenge (see "Broken Heart"). He was weak. He rages this as he gets to his feet, leaving Emma to remind him in turn that he wasn't weak in the end. Hook says that she raised the bar very high, and the fact is: he doesn't measure up. Emma declares that she wants to be the judge of that herself as she too gets to her feet, facing her lover and assuring him that if he didn't then she wouldn't have come all the way down there to rescue him. That's his point though - he's not sure he deserves rescuing, and Emma wonders what that means, asking if he's saying he wants to stay in the Underworld. He doesn't reply, to her worry, and there is then a knock at the door. Emma greets the man on the other side, who is none other than Hook's brother Liam, and both the Jones brothers are shocked to be faced with one another. "So the rumors are true," Liam says as he approaches Killian, "After all these years, my little brother is finally here."
Liam protects Killian from himself.
In the past, the two brothers are busy scrubbing the decks of a docked ship, with Killian deriding that the fish guts smell particularly foul this evening. Liam encourages his brother to keep going, for the harder they work the sooner they'll be finished, and Killian comments that he wishes he had Liam's work ethic because it seems he inherited their father's. He proceeds to take a flask from his pocket and have a swig of what is presumably rum as Liam tells him not to joke about "that bastard"; he may have sold them into servitude (see "Swan Song") but tomorrow they'll be free men. As he says this, he takes a piece of parchment from out of his inside pocket, handing it to his brother who then asks if he's being serious; "You want to join the King's navy?" Liam points out that there's a signing bonus of ten silver, and on top of what they've already saved that would buy them their freedom off "this bloody cargo ship". Killian thinks it's a neat idea but he's hardly naval material. He continues scrubbing the decks while Liam tells him that if he served an honorable King then it would change him, believing that his brother could make a fine captain someday. Killian does agree that "Captain Jones" has a nice ring to it, but Captain Silver finds this laughable, making himself as intimidating as possible as he approaches his two servants. He kicks over a bucket of fish guts and tells Killian that he missed a spot. He then jokingly addresses him as "Captain" and Killian moves to attack him, meaning Liam has to physically restrain him. Captain Silver beckons Liam to let him try, for it must be exhausting having to protect his little brother from himself, but Liam points out that it won't be the captain's concern much longer. "Because you're both going to be admirals in the navy, right? Fine my me. As long as I get paid," Silver declares, "The sober Jones can go and collect his money. The drunk one stays as collateral." Again, Liam has to hold Killian back, assuring him that he'll be back by sunrise and soon they'll both be proud men of the King's navy. Killian remains agitated as he and his brother part ways temporarily.
The prodigal brother.
Once he, Liam and Emma are all seated around the latter's kitchen table, Hook asks his brother what he's doing down in the Underworld, leading Liam to say that he wishes he knew and that he spent countless years trying to figure out a reason. Hook assures that there is no reason, explaining that Hades has the game rigged so that no one can leave and his brother's proof of that; he never did a bad thing in his life and even died nobly, stopping a treacherous King from poisoning the realm (see "Good Form"). Liam tells Hook to stop, for he's making him blush, and the pirate goes on to proclaim, "Now Hades has you two trapped down here and that can't stand. The only way everyone will get free is if we defeat Hades once and for all." Since Liam has been down there for a very long time, Hook implores him for any information that might help them, but all the former naval captain does is warn him that this is a very dangerous game he's playing. He knows of those who have tried to overthrow Hades before, and they always spoke of a book which had the power to defeat him; he's tried to find it himself but he's not even sure what to look for. Emma thinks she might know, however, saying that it might be a storybook, but Liam wagers that it would take more than stories to defeat Hades. Hook, on the other hand, believes his girlfriend to be onto something, explaining how in their world there's a book like this and everything up there has a version down in the Underworld, so there has to be one down there as well. Hook points out that if there's a story in that book about Hades then they can find his weakness and exploit it, and Liam promises that if Killian believes in this idea then he's with him until the end. "This fiend trapped me and tortured you. The day you push your sailors too far," Liam starts. "Is the day the mutiny begins," his brother finishes with a nostalgic smile.
Liam disapproves of Emma.
David is seen laying a box from Mary Margaret's closet down on the counter back at the apartment, and Snow explains how, in the world above, this is where she found the storybook. She then opens it up and begins to rummage through, but, to everyone's disappointment, the book is nowhere to be found. She apologizes, but Regina asks if they're really surprised, pointing out that that book is the embodiment of hope and there's not a lot of that there in the Underworld. The Charmings want to keep looking, with Emma going on to search through some cupboards upstairs, and then she's met by Liam, who wants to talk. She asks if this is some sort of protective "big brother talk" where he wants to make sure she's good enough for Killian, but he denies it, because he already knows she's not good enough. This comes as a shock to her and Liam proceeds to explain that Killian blames himself for ending up in the Underworld, but, from what he's heard, it sounds to Liam that it's not his fault. It's Emma's. Emma says that they both made mistakes, but Liam tells her that Killian has been fighting darkness his entire life and then she pushed him over the edge. She points out that she was trying to save his life and he points out in turn that it was a bloody selfish thing to do; Killian had the chance to die a hero, to move on, and she took it from him. Emma doesn't see this as fair, for she's down there risking everything to save him, but Liam questions if that's really what he needs... or what she needs. "Were you this self-righteous when you were alive?" the savior asks, and Liam replies, "When it came to my brother, yes." He looks downstairs at Hook, who's searching the apartment like the others, and finishes with, "If he defeats Hades today, he'll forgive himself and he'll have another chance to move on. When that happens, stop thinking about your own desires and let him go." He walks away, and Emma remains indignant to his words.
Henry gives some exposition.
Hook empties a backpack in search of the book but has no luck, at which point Liam and Emma are seen descending the stairs. When Liam walks straight past, seeming despondent, Hook asks his girlfriend if everything's alright, and she assures that she's fine and that they should keep looking. Henry then enters the apartment, wondering what's going on, and Snow informs him that they're looking for the "Underworld edition" of the storybook. At this, he reveals that he might know exactly where it is, to his grandparents' intrigue. He explains that he saw the Apprentice - lying that it was at Granny's Diner - and he said the Sorcerer's mansion is down there and a bunch of his stuff is inside, like the storybook. Regina is happy to finally be receiving some good news, but Henry tells her "sort of", adding that the house is locked with magic and the sheriff has the key. Hook comments on the "panache" of Hades since he made David's evil twin the sheriff, and David says that it's time for he and his brother to have an overdue chat. Snow assures her husband that he won't be alone, for she still owes James a punch in his pretty mouth for kissing her. "He kissed you?" Charming questions, shocked. "Thought it was you," his wife dismisses, heading out the door. David is eager to go now, and Liam tells the others that, meanwhile, they should be going about their usual business because Hades has eyes everywhere and they can't have him knowing what they're up to. Hook says that he can't wait to see the look on his face when he learns a valuable lesson: that one should never mess with the brothers Jones. The two of them exchange a knowing look before heading out of the apartment.
Liam can't leave his brother.
Liam calls out for Captain Silver in flashback as he returns to the ship, showing him two papers of service and pleased to tell him that the brothers Jones will be leaving his employ. Silver replies that at least one of them will be leaving which leads Liam to wonder what he's done to Killian, and the captain reveals that all he did was offer him a drink; the rest, he did by himself. It's then that Liam sees his brother passed out drunk, and the captain reveals further that Killian isn't much of a gambler. Liam demands to know what Killian's done with his money, soon discovering an empty pouch and realizing that he gambled it away. Killian apologizes as he finally comes to, and Captain Silver makes clear that he now holds his silver coins. Liam calls him a bastard, but the captain defends that he's not responsible for Killian's weakness, then pointing out that Liam still has his money and advising him to "cut anchor" and "leave dead weight behind". Killian groggily agrees, encouraging Liam to go because he could never be the brother he deserves, and Silver says that it's either the navy for Liam or more grain runs with his "favorite" captain. Liam looks at the two letters of service in his hands and eventually declares, "Then grain runs it shall be," before tearing them up and throwing them overboard. Killian objects, but it's too late. "Come hell or high water," Liam exclaims, "I cannot leave my brother!"
Hades visits The Rabbit Hole.
In the present, Liam is busy wiping glasses clean in his job as a bartender at the Underworld version of The Rabbit Hole. "Wow," a familiar voice is heard saying, and Liam turns to see that Hades has entered his bar, adding, "Even for the Underworld, it is dead in here." The former naval captain slings his cloth over his shoulder and asks the demon lord if he can help him, for if he wants a drink then he can make him anything, but Hades says that it's okay, using his magic to help himself and make two glasses of scotch appear atop the bar. He adds that it's a few centuries old and thinks it's aged quite well - the key is to store it underground - before encouraging the Jones brother to try some. His magic makes one glass slide across the bar with a point of his finger, and he raises his own glass as he proceeds to drink from it. Liam takes the glass cautiously but drinks it all the same, and Hades points out how good it is, using this as evidence to claim that he's not such a bad guy; "Here you are, trying to stage some kind of a... what's that quaint nautical term you keep using? A... That's right! Mutiny." Liam folds his arms as he expresses disappointment that Hades found them out, and the Lord of the Underworld says that it's like Liam said: he has eyes everywhere. What he doesn't have, however, is the storybook. Liam wonders what Hades wants from him, but it's not much; he doesn't really care about that book except for a few select pages. The ones about him. "So, find the book, and destroy them." Liam deflects that Hades should do it himself, but Hades points out that it's in the Sorcerer's house, and all that light magic doesn't exactly agree with him, so he kind of needs Liam. Liam asks what is to happen if he refuses, and Hades threatens to tell his brother the thing he never could - the reason Liam's in the Underworld. This threat makes him far more submissive.
Cruella has some fun with Prince Charming.
The Underworld version of the sheriff's station looks damn-near medieval as Snow and David walk on inside, the latter mentioning that it appears as though his evil twin is out on patrol. Snow is glad, wanting to find the key and then get the hell out of there, and proceeds to find it in the top drawer - just like at home. She comments on the two brothers being so alike, and Charming retorts, "Next you're gonna say we kiss the same," which he then realizes he doesn't want answered. Eventually, after a small amount of rummaging, Snow discovers a key with a star emblazoned upon it in the drawer, lifting it out and commenting on how it bears the same pattern as the Sorcerer's hat. "James! Is that you, darling?!" a familiar voice is heard calling from out in the hall, and Snow realizes that it's Cruella. She again calls out for James and so David tells his wife to go, pointing out that Cruella will think he's his brother. Snow manages to get out of the way, the key in tow, while her husband slams the top drawer shut. Cruella then enters the room in a dress and a boa bearing a bottle of champagne and two glasses. She comments on how glad she is that James is there, for she's had a nasty fruitless day and "mummy needs to unwind". "I'm sure you do," David replies, a little frightened, and then Cruella jumps right in and plants a big kiss right on his lips. He is of course taken aback but tries his best not to arouse suspicion. She then turns around, giving him the glasses and leaning her rear against his crotch as she pops the cork of the champagne bottle. "So, sheriff, what would you like to try first?" she asks at the same time, "The champagne, or me?" She laughs as she begins to pour herself a glass, and David attempts to collaborate.
Regina tells it like it is.
Over at Granny's Diner, Regina is sat at the bar while Emma is staring at the door; the former Evil Queen begs the savior to stop doing what she's doing, assuring that when her parents walk through it she promises she'll tell her, but Emma starts to think that this whole thing was a bad idea and that maybe she should've gone with them. Regina tells her to relax, pointing out that people are starting to stare at them, and adds that she should remember what Liam said about needing to act casual. Emma takes on this advice and finally takes a seat at the bar, then asking her friend what she thinks of Liam, wondering if she too finds him a little self-righteous. Regina realizes that he doesn't like Emma and the latter reveals that he doesn't think she's good enough for Hook. "To be honest," Regina chuckles, "You're too good for Hook." However, Emma insists that it's different with Liam because it's like he thinks he walks on water. Regina wonders just what exactly is going on and Emma explains that Liam thinks she should let Hook move on, prompting Regina to ask who cares what Liam thinks - "What does Hook think?" Emma replies that he agrees, and Regina surmises that that's because he hasn't forgiven himself. The savior wonders how she knows this and she explains how she hates to admit it but she and Hook are much alike, and forgiving oneself is the hardest thing to do. "You wanna help Hook? Help him with that," Regina advises, and then Henry enters the diner. He greets the two women as "moms", then revealing that his grandmother found the key to the Sorcerer's mansion. He presents it to them excitedly.
Hook is seen approaching the Sorcerer's mansion of the Underworld, followed by Emma and the others, and comments as they ascend the entrance that he guesses "old white beard" was telling the truth. Liam asks if they have the key and Hook reveals that they have, but there's a protection spell on the door which could make it dangerous to open. Liam supposes that he should do the honors since he's been dead the longest and therefore has the least the lose, and Hook recalls how his brother always was the noble one as he passes over the key. From the eye of the keyhole, we watch as Liam slowly inserts it into the lock.
Captain Silver's ship can be seen raging against the stormy sea in flashback as he stands proudly by its mast, seemingly unfazed by the chaos going on around him. Liam, meanwhile, is using a telescope to see that the storm goes on for miles ahead, meaning that they're not headed for anything better. Killian then approaches his brother, sorry for dragging him into this voyage, but Liam assures that they have other demons to confront; he hands his brother the telescope and tells him to look ahead as he just did, and Killian sees the horrible conditions they're en route to. Liam demands to know if Captain Silver knows that they're going straight into a storm, but Silver orders Liam to get back to his post and leave the navigation to the officers. Killian points out that the officers are doing a "piss poor" job, for they're thirty degrees off-course heading into a hurricane, but Silver is aware of this and cares very little, wanting everything to carry on as is. Liam asks him if he's mad, not knowing what kind of captain sails into a hurricane, and Silver exclaims as he squares up to Jones, "The kind that earns his namesake! The King offered a mighty reward for what's inside that storm." Liam realizes that this voyage was never about the grain in the hold, but rather, Silver is going after "that cursed sapphire" - the Eye of the Storm. Silver is impressed that Liam has heard of it but Killian points out that every sailor has, for countless men have sailed into that storm looking for that "bloody stone", but none have survived. Silver says that if they don't like how he runs his ship then they should have left when they had the chance, then telling them to move along before he strings them up for mutiny. Liam advises his captain to take it easy, exclaiming that he's always abhorred the idea of mutiny... but then he turns to his brother, who nods in response, and he adds, "But if that's what it takes to save these men, then so be it!" as he grabs Silver's sword. The other members of the crew do the same, and Killian asks the captain if he'd like to do this the easy way or the bloody way. After a while of contemplation, Silver orders the few men who have remained loyal to him to drop their weapons, and they do. Liam declares that the ship is now theirs and the men cheer. He then approaches his brother and tells him to tie up the liabilities while he goes into the captain's quarters and starts plotting a way out of the typhoon. "Thank you, Liam," Killian responds, "There's no one I'd rather follow into a storm." They then half-embrace before splitting up.
Shifty stuff goes on.
Hook leads the others into the Sorcerer's mansion, having to move cobwebs out the way to clear a path, and he ends up commenting sarcastically that he likes what they've done with the place. Liam suggests splitting up and Emma says, "Yeah, I guess," before telling Henry to stay where he is. He argues that this was his idea, not wanting to stand by and do nothing, but Emma assures him that he's not doing nothing: he's the lookout. This insults him even further, but Regina quickly orders him not to argue with his mother... or his mother. He is left defeated as the others head off in different directions, and then he declares that it's the last time they'll be leaving him behind. "Alright, pen, if you're in here... give me a sign." He wanders off in search of the magic quill.
Elsewhere in the mansion, in the room filled with empty storybooks, Liam can be seen approaching a table and pulling back a cloth, seeing that a chest lies beneath the glass surface. Once this has been taken out, he opens it to discover the storybook they've been looking for, entitled Once Upon a Time. He then shuts the lid of the chest and rests the book against the flat top, opening it to a story about Hades. Making sure no one's looking and seeing that the pages beyond this story are blank, he promptly rips out the pages containing it, meaning no trace of Hades' past can be found in this book any longer. Liam folds up the pages and hides them in his inside pocket, then closing the storybook and declaring to his brother that he's sorry.
David learns of his brother's damage.
Cruella pours some more champagne for David and tells him to "drink up like a good boy", but he puts his glass to one side and says that he has to get up for an early patrol because fresh souls will be arriving and there's always someone new to shake down. Cruella, being as provocative as possible, asks "James" if "mummy" is boring him, since normally he's so much more enthusiastic when she comes to visit him in his dungeon. She then grabs a pair of handcuffs from the desk and suggests that maybe they need to try spicing things up a little harder, proceeding to plant another heavy kiss in his lips. This forces him to reject her, spinning her round so that she's now the one sat on the desk and he's standing before her, enraged. He asks if this act really works on his brother because, frankly, he finds it repulsive, and Cruella replies, "Oh, boo! Couldn't you have pretended to be Jimmy a little while longer?" David is shocked that she knew it was him this entire time, but she says that of course she knew because, while he might look like James, he has none of his "unique, delicious damage". Charming wonders what damage James even has and Cruella expands that it's damage he's responsible for. This makes David angry, for he never even met the guy, but Cruella responds, "Oh sure you have. When you were infants, curled up safe in your mummy's arms, until she had to choose which one of you went to live with the King and who stayed with her. She had to pick her favorite, and she picked you!" David insists that that is not his fault, but Cruella says that his brother disagrees since he spent his whole life - and death - wondering why David and not him. The shepherd prince exclaims that he doesn't have the answers, and Cruella is marveled, stating that she now sees the same damage in Charming as he does in James. She adds that one of these days the two brothers are going to meet, and it's going to be one hell of a reunion, but David looks less than excited.
Hook throws a bitchfit.
Regina turns a page of the storybook which depicts Cruella De Vil, proceeding to flick through as Hook deduces that there's no mention of Hades' story anywhere. Regina isn't surprised, while Emma points out that some pages are missing, and Regina proceeds to recall that, back during the first curse, she tore her story out of Henry's book so that he wouldn't know she was the Evil Queen, and Hook says that if Hades has done the same then they don't stand much chance of fighting him. Emma wonders what Liam thinks, for he found the book and would know if there was any evidence that it had been tampered with, but he denies knowing anything, adding that he refuses to let go of hope as those pages could have fallen out and still be somewhere in this house. He implores everyone to keep looking - as he for one won't give up without trying to find them - before leaving the room, and Regina tells Emma that she sees what she means about "self-righteous". Regina then leaves the room too and as Hook is about to do the same he turns and sees Emma inspecting the part of the book where the pages were torn out. He wonders if she's not coming and she apologizes, grabbing the book and saying that they should go; however, Hook halts her at this, needing to know what's going on because he knows when something's bothering her. Eventually, she admits that it's Liam, saying that she's had a bad feeling ever since they met and at first she thought it was just because he didn't like her but now she thinks he's hiding something. Hook refutes this as preposterous, for his brother wouldn't lie, but Emma suggests that maybe there's some stuff about him that he doesn't know; maybe he does know what his unfinished business is down in the Underworld. "No, you're wrong about him!" Hook insists, "I know who my brother is." He doesn't let her slip in another word of argument before heading off to help find those missing pages.
Hades offers Liam a deal.
Back in time, Liam can be seen unfurling a map in the captain's quarters, using several paperweights and devices as he attempts to plot a course away from the hurricane they're currently headed into. However, he is startled by the sudden appearance of Hades, who comments that reading without the proper light can do a real number on one's eyes. Liam demands to know who he is but Hades says that who he is isn't important; what is important is that he's there to help him. "Here, allow me," he adds, striking a match and using it to light a candle nearby. He then dampens the match with his fingers and throws it to one side, commenting that that's better, and goes on to explain how this mutiny isn't going to look good for Liam; his dreams of captaining a ship in the King's navy are over. Liam demands to know how Hades knows of his dreams, and he laughs as he says that he knows a lot about him. He then addresses him as Liam, before asking if it's still dark down there. "Let's try this." His hair is then replaced by blue flame, and Liam is utterly taken aback. All the candles in proximity proceed to light, and Liam exclaims that Hades is a demon. "Technically, I'm a God," Hades corrects, "But a lot of people make that mistake. I'm Hades, Lord of the Underworld." His hair returns to a neutral blond as Liam asks him what he wants, and Hades reveals that he wants the precious cargo aboard this ship: the beautiful, shiny new souls Liam's trying to save. Liam grabs a sword and holds it to the God's throat, but this only makes him laugh. He tells the sailor not to bother with that because he can't hurt him; he's immortal. Lucky for him, he can't hurt him either; "At least not up here. Not in 'Overworld'. That's what I call this place. My power has its limits here, which is why I came to offer you a deal." Liam lowers his blade as Hades continues, "You agree to let this ship sink like I want, and I promise to use my magic to ensure you and your brother survive. And, to sweeten the deal, I'll even throw in this." He is holding the Eye of the Storm, and Liam is amazed by its glistening blue beauty. Hades points out that if Liam delivers this gemstone to his King then he'll give him anything he wants, including that navy job he's always wanted. His dreams can be fulfilled. Liam contemplates this heavily.
Emma confronts Liam.
In the present, Liam takes the torn out pages of the storybook from out of his inside pocket and tosses them into the well just outside the Sorcerer's mansion. This is at the same time that Emma shows up, wondering if her boyfriend's brother was able to find anything out there, and he replies that he's afraid a ship's captain can only be cooped up for so long, excusing that he came out to get some air. He wonders why she's there and she says that she wanted to show him something, taking out the ring Hook gave her some time ago now (see "Nimue"). Liam recognizes it as the ring he gave to Killian, having noticed that he wasn't wearing it, and Emma reveals that he gave it to her, and he once told her that it belonged to a much better man than himself (see "Birth"). "You're his hero. He doesn't think you can do any wrong... which is why I can't figure out why you would lie to him." Hook then arrives from out of the house and asks his brother and his girlfriend what's going on, at which Liam says that Emma thinks he's a liar. Emma insists that Liam took the pages from out of the book and claims that she can prove it, telling Hook to ask his brother to show him his hands since he's been hiding them since she got there.
Liam says that if it would help to clear things up then he'd be happy to, but Hook tells him that that won't be necessary, for he doesn't need proof to know what's really going on. He asks Emma when she's going to admit that this isn't really about his brother, and she asks in turn what else he would think it was about. "Us," he replies, "You think if you can prove that Liam is a villain then I'll somehow feel as if I'm less of one, then you can convince me I'm worth saving and that we've got a future together." Emma is shocked that Hook agrees with his brother, and the pirate wonders why she should bother bringing him back if he should just move on. He then informs her that he won't be returning with her after they defeat Hades; his fate isn't in Storybrooke and should be determined there in the Underworld. Emma assures that it doesn't have to be, saying that he could come home... he just has to forgive himself. "Thing is, no matter how many times I tell you, or anybody else does, you have to do it yourself," she insists. She then finally walks away and Hook tries going after her, but his brother places a hand on his chest to stop him, claiming that this is for the best. It's then that Killian sees it - the ink from the storybook all over his brother's hand, meaning Emma was right, he was hiding the pages. Hook demands to know why his brother would lie to him, at which point Captain Silver and his men emerge menacingly, claiming that Liam has much bigger secrets than what's inside some book, like the truth about what he did to them.
Liam gives Killian his ring.
Captain Silver's ship - although it doesn't exactly belong to him anymore - continues to battle against the stormy sea in flashback, with Killian trying his best to steer it to safety. He announces to the men that the storm is upon them, beckoning them to hoist the main sail and hurry; as they do, we see that Silver has been tied up on the deck. It is then that Liam emerges from the captain's quarters and Killian tells the men to look alive for their captain, desperate to know what course they are to take. Taking control of the wheel, Liam orders that they continue on their present course, dead ahead. Killian is shocked, wondering why they'd want to go into the storm, but Liam says that they have no choice for there are shoals either side of them and trying to turn the ship around in these winds would tear them apart. Killian asks if he's sure and Liam tells his brother that he needs his trust, then removing the golden ring from around his neck and saying that he wants him to have it. Killian knows this to be Liam's lucky ring and Liam confirms that it always gets him home safe, which is how sure he is that he and the others will be fine. Killian puts the ring around his neck and declares that his brother is a true hero - a better man and a better sailor than he could ever wish to be, whom he would gladly trust with his life, and if he says that there's a chance that they can be safe then he believes him. He asks the men if they're with him in trusting their new captain, and they are... so he orders them to remain on course, dead ahead. The ship continues into its demise.
Liam and Hook continue to be faced by Captain Silver and his men in the Underworld. Hook demands to know from his brother what "truth" they're talking about, wondering if it has to do with those missing pages, but Silver is the one to answer, telling Killian that his brother is not the hero he pretends to be. Liam appears ashamed while Hook turns to his former captain, who continues...
I found that out when I stopped by his tavern for my usual drink...
He had a rather unexpected guest... Hades.
He sees Liam conversing with Hades at the bar, and proceeds to hear everything that they go on to talk about.
In the present, Hook appears shocked to be hearing what he's hearing, though more angered than anything, and Silver continues...
He traded our souls for the Eye of the Storm...
In the flashback, Captain Silver puts his black hat on, ready to go do some damage.
Hades threatened to reveal the truth unless your brother destroyed the pages from that book.
Hook can't believe what he's hearing as he now stares at his brother, begging for there to be another explanation for this, and Liam exclaims that he's sorry, excusing that he didn't have any other choice; he had to do what he could to save the two of them. "You lied to me..." Hook hisses, and Silver assures that now they're both going to pay for it. He orders his men to attack and they begin closing in on the two brothers, placing sacks over their heads.
Time to walk the plank.
Still with sacks over their heads, Hook and Liam are brought into the fire caves, where souls can be pushed down into a... worse place. They are parked at the end of the outstretching ledge, and Captain Silver tells his men that they can now remove the sacks. They do so, still wielding bats and such in case they try fighting back, before getting behind their captain, who says that it's time to walk the plank. Liam assures that he'll gladly walk it, begging that Killian be spared since he has nothing to do with this, but Silver argues that they should have gone down along with the ship like the rest of them, and now they finally will. Liam turns to his brother and apologizes, having wanted to be this perfect example for him, to inspire him, but Hook says that all he did was raise the bar so high that the only thing he could do was fail. Silver orders that there be no more talking, for it's time to face justice... and then a mound of blue flames rises from the ground behind him, producing Hades. He asks if someone decided to have a party and forgot to invite him, and Silver turns to him fearfully, addressing him as "Lord Hades". Hades huffs and he puffs and Captain Silver is blown from the edge of the cliff and into the fire below. The hell God finds this amusing, then adding, "And now for the brothers Jones." He points out that one of them kept up his end of their bargain and gets to "live" while the other escaped his dungeon, and for that he has to pay. "At last, we'll see the end of Captain Hook, and this time you won't be able to protect him," he tells Liam, but Liam protests, refusing to let the lord of the Underworld hurt his brother no matter what kind of deal they made. Hades decides to let the former naval captain have it his way; another puff from his mouth and Liam is send flying off the ledge, flipping right over his brother who only just manages to catch him by the hand. Liam is hanging there, clinging onto Killian who lies over the cliff edge. Hook begs his brother to hang on, apologizing, but all Liam does is ask if Killian will be able to forgive him for what he's done.
Time to move on.
Hook tearfully replies that he can, but that's not what's important - Liam needs to find a way to forgive himself. Liam can't though, not after what he did to Hook, and he decides that the only way to make amends is for him to pay the price. With that, he lets go of his brother's hand and willingly falls into the fire, to Hook's devastation. However, the fire is then replaced by white light as the land of Mount Olympus becomes visible, complete with a ship waiting to take the sailors to a better place. Hades assures that Hook will pay for this, proceeding to teleport out, and as the smoke of the fire clears we see that Liam is now waiting on a small sailboat, floating on the water which has now risen to the level of the cliff. When Hook sees this, he gets to his feet in relief, and Liam promises that he is safe as the boat moves to pick up the rest of the men. He supposes that this is the sacrifice he should have made long ago, and now he can finally depart. "Then go," Killian tells him, "All of you. Now that you finally know the truth, your unfinished business is complete as well. Get on board, men." Liam outstretches his arm, beckoning them aboard, and Killian holds the edge of the boat to make it easier for them to get on. They're all soon sat down, and Liam asks about his brother, wondering if he won't be coming with them. Hook says that his unfinished business isn't done yet - not until he and Emma have defeated Hades. Liam asks that Hook tell Emma he's sorry and that he was wrong, because she does want what's best for him. "And don't you worry about reaching that bar anymore, Killian. You've become a true hero in a way I never could. Goodbye." The two of them hold one another's wrists as Hook reciprocates the goodbye, and then their hands drift apart as the boat sails toward Olympus.
Killian and Liam are given naval commission.
Barrels and bottles and various other pieces of debris leftover from Captain Silver's now sunken ship can be seen washing up on the shore along with Killian and Liam, the latter of which is helping his brother to his feet as some members of the King's navy approach. The naval captain greets them, wondering what happened to the two sailors, and Killian explains that they're survivors of the tempest that plagues these waters. The captain wagers that they went in search of the Eye of the Storm, adding that they got what they deserved, and Liam says that he may be right... but that gem is no legend. It is then that he removes the large, glistening sapphire from his pocket, to both the captain's and his brother's shock. Killian asks how and Liam explains that in the bedlam, when his brother was knocked unconscious, he managed to swim them to a few planks of wood and providence did the rest. The naval captain assures Killian that his brother is a hero, saying that his ship will lead them to the King, who has offered a great reward for this stone. Liam says that they do not seek wealth, only honor, and asks if his majesty might grant them a naval commission. The captain wonders why they should wait for the King, claiming that he would be honored to give them both commissions aboard his ship; "She's the flagship of the royal navy." And then we see her, sailing nearby: the ship that will one day become the Jolly Roger. Killian comments on its beauty, wondering what its name is, and the captain reveals, "The Jewel of the Realm." The naval men then head on their way while Killian thanks his brother for being the hero that he always wished to be, promising not to squander the second chance he's given him. The brothers smile at one another before looking at the Jewel of the Realm and following on from their new captain.
Captain Swan patches things up.
Hook approaches Emma in the Sorcerer's mansion and she asks him where he's been, saying that first he and Liam left and Henry's off... somewhere. The pirate apologizes to his girlfriend, admitting that she was right about Liam - he destroyed those pages because of a deal he made with Hades years ago, which nearly got them thrown into the boiling sea. Emma wonders if he's okay, not knowing where Liam is, and Hook reveals that his brother sacrificed himself, but his sacrifice helped the crew they once sailed with to move on. "Did he move on too?" the savior wants to clarify, and Hook answers affirmatively, then adding that he helped him see the truth before he went. He says that he's glad Emma came down there and that perhaps he does deserve saving after all. She asks if that means he's planning to come home when this is all over, and he confirms this, saying that everything Liam did was to ensure he had a future and he damn well intends to have one. He and Emma then kiss passionately.
Elsewhere in the mansion, Henry is skulking around, returning to the room with all the empty storybooks and noticing an ominous blue glow emanating from within a lamp, which is covered by a white sheet. Upon noticing it, he uncovers the white sheet and there, hiding under the lampshade... is the magic quill. He plucks the glowing pen from its hiding place, before taking the jar of ink that goes with it. He then leaves the room with these powerful artifacts in tow.
David tries to cheer up emo Henry.
A printed image of Liam steering Captain Silver's ship can be seen in the Underworld edition of the storybook as it lies atop the apartment kitchen counter. Snow expresses her disappointment that there's nothing in this entire book about Hades and Hook tells her that his brother ripped out every page, then apologizing to everyone on his behalf. Emma wonders if maybe there's something else in there that can help them, for their version of the storybook had all kinds of secrets in it, and David recalls that Henry's kind of the expert on storybooks, asking where he is. Emma informs that he's upstairs going "full emo teenager" and Regina, who's the one actually flicking through the book, adds that he doesn't want to talk to anyone right now. David suggests that maybe he just doesn't want to talk to his mothers, proceeding to head upstairs where Henry is sat moping on the bed. He asks what his favorite grandson is up to but Henry blankly replies, "Nothing. Just thinking." David then asks if he minds if he thinks with him, sitting down on the bed next to him as he asks further what they're thinking about. Henry says that he doesn't want to talk about it and so David decides to talk about himself, explaining that he had a pretty bad day today because he learned that his twin brother resented him his whole life. Henry wonders why, knowing that James grew up a prince, and David supposes that he wanted something else; what he had: a loving mother. "Please don't make this a lesson," his grandson begs, but David says it's too late, telling Henry that some people would give anything to have a family like his because, whatever's going on with him, he knows he always has someone he can talk to. Or he can just stay up there and be a teenager, that's cool too. As David starts to leave the room, Henry tells him to wait, standing up and declaring that he needs to show him something.
Henry wants to uncover Hades' story...
"The Author's pen?!" Regina exclaims as the magic quill is laid out in front of her and the others, and Snow is confused because she thought Henry destroyed it. He says that he did, but that just brought it to the Underworld; the Apprentice told him where it was and he thought that he could use its power to be a hero. Regina wonders what made him think he needed to do this and he explains that, at first, it was Cruella, who wanted him to use it to bring her back to life. Emma demands to know why he would help her and he says, "To help you. She said you have all this guilt about killing her, and that's when I realized I have all this power and I ignore it. I just live in everyone's shadow. I wanna be the hero instead of the one the heroes rescue." Emma says she understands that but that what he was planning on doing is not the way to do it. He knows this, saying that that's why he's telling them now, because he finally understands what the Apprentice meant. He's going to write the stories as they are, and he'll start with Hades'. He's going to use the pen the correct way, to recreate his story. Snow points out that Hades went to a lot of trouble to keep them from learning his story, which Regina thinks means they're onto something. "The question is," David raises, "What is Hades trying to hide from us?"
... which includes Zelena.
Down in Hades' lair, the Lord of the Underworld himself approaches one of his rivers as he stares down into it, then crouching so as to reach out and retrieve something. When the steam which rises from the water starts to clear, we see that it's pages from the Underworld edition of the storybook - the same ones which were earlier torn out by Liam, which have apparently made their way from down the well outside the Sorcerer's mansion to where they are now. The first page depicts Hades' lair, which he picks up and moves to the back. What's on the second page causes him to be a little taken aback, but then he smiles. It's him and the Wicked Witch of the West, and with a large hint of familiarity in his voice he utters, "Zelena..." And then he follows it up with, "Our secret remains safe." The shot moves in menacingly on the illustration of the green-skinned villainess.
- The title card of this episode features the Jewel of the Realm amid the red skies of the Underworld.
- Although credited, Emilie de Ravin (Belle Gold/Belle), Rebecca Mader (Zelena/Wicked Witch), Sean Maguire (Robin Hood) and Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin) are absent from this episode.
- Captain Silver's ship and all the sets therein are just redressed versions of the Jolly Roger sets.
- In the episode, Regina states that she tore her story out of Henry's book during the first curse; however, it was Henry who tore out the pages - and it was Emma's story. Adam Horowitz admitted to this mistake on Twitter.
- In the Underworld storybook, excerpts can be seen from the fairytales "The Golden Bird", "Snow-White and Rose-Red" and "Maid Maleen".
- The original filming location of the Sorcerer's mansion, Green Park House, went unused for its Underworld counterpart. Instead, these scenes were filmed at West Point Grey Community Center in Vancouver.
- The title of this episode was officially confirmed by executive producer/co-creator Adam Horowitz, via his Twitter account, on January 10, 2016.
- This episode marks the seventeenth writing credit for David H. Goodman and the seventh for Jerome Schwartz, as well as fourth directing credit for Eagle Egilsson.
This episode garnered 3.51 million viewers, once again setting a record for the lowest-rated episode at the time of its airing.
The episode was met with mixed reviews.
- In a review from Rickey.org, Nick Roman said, "“The Brothers Jones” is a strong episode for characterization on Once Upon A Time, since it illustrates how several characters have both matured and acquired a much-needed sense of self-awareness. I’ve liked other episodes better this season, but I would argue this was one of the best when it comes to pure character study."
- Andrea Towers of Entertainment Weekly gave it a good review, noting the scenes with Victoria Smurfit are the best part of the episode.
- Christine Orlando of TV Fanatic gave the episode a 2.5 out of 5 - the lowest so far in the series.
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.
- ↑ Adam Horowitz tweet.
- ↑ Adam Horowitz tweet.
- ↑ "‘Once Upon A Time’ Season 5 Episode 14 Review: Colin O'Donoghue Shines In 'The Bothers Jones'", by Nick Roman, Rickey.org (March 27, 2016)
- ↑ "Once Upon a Time recap: Devil's Due", by Andrea Towers, Entertainment Weekly (March 20, 2016)
- ↑ Once Upon a Time Season 5 Episode 14 Review: "The Brothers Jones", by Christine Orlando, TV Fanatic (March 27, 2016)