Once Upon A Time 3×14 “The Tower” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

The episode opens up in the most beautifully enchanting way as Charming dreams of teaching Emma how to dance for her first ball. While dancing, the two shared a conversation both undoubtedly always wanted, and though it was Charming’s dream, as an audience we know it’s something Emma would’ve perpetually treasured as well. Their gorgeous scene is cut short when Emma’s taken by the wardrobe once again, thus illuminating the fact that Charming’s afraid of not being a good enough father.

That little moment where Emma called Charming daddy while being pulled away broke hearts everywhere, as this scene highlighted the little things Charming always wanted such as to hear her first words. A man with his courage and genuine desire to continuously help those in need is still haunted by the circumstances that forced him to let go of his daughter twice now. After waking up from the nightmare of losing Emma again, Snow reveals that she’s pregnant and along with the happiness he’s filled with fear that he won’t be good enough. It’s definitely a necessity to add that visually Morrison and Dallas brought this stunningly magical scene to life with such grace, it moved us all to tears.

During a conversation with Robin, Charming learns about a plant called “night root” which stops fears, but the place where it grows is said to be haunted. As it turns out the root itself forces a person to face their fears and when Charming finds Rapunzel (Alexandra Metz) in the tower, he helps her leave by convincing her to face hers.

When Rapunzel was younger she went swimming in a river her parents warned her about, and because she got caught in the rapids, her brother jumped to save her life but unfortunately lost his. As he was first in line for the throne, and she didn’t believe she could be the Queen, she was afraid her parents wouldn’t forgive her. Thanks to Charming’s help, she is reunited with her family in a spectacular scene with everyone present and united as one. Metz portrayed Rapunzel phenomenally, and we’re certain we’re not the only ones hoping she returns for more scenes in future episodes. It’ll be nice to see what she’s been up to, and how she’s spent her time after being locked up for so long.

In modern-day Storybrooke, Regina takes Henry out for ice cream while Emma, Hook, and Charming play detective to find the Wicked Witch. Later Mary Margaret and Charming must meet with Zelena for midwife duties, and she places the night root she stole from Rumple’s safe into Charming’s tea. Bad move, greenie; no one’s allowed to mess with our Prince.

Once Charming’s finished with fatherly duties with the fake midwife, he goes back into the forest thinking he’s about to confront the witch when it’s actually him. As he’s being tormented by himself, Emma’s yellow bug pulls up, and he admits to being afraid of not being a good father once more. Although Emma’s a wonderfully strong, grown woman, as her father, Charming’s always in protective mode; He still does everything in his power to make sure his little girl is safe. 

From the moment he fought off knights while holding her in his arms, to today, it’s in his nature to do everything to protect his family. Even at Regina’s house where he didn’t want to leave her alone, it’s not that he doesn’t trust Hook, it’s that instinctually he’s concerned for her safety. It’s a tough time for him and he’s doing everything in his power not to screw up. His fears are that since he wasn’t there for Emma, he doesn’t know how to be there for the new baby, but he doesn’t realize that in the little time they’ve had together, he’s been an outstanding father to her. Charming and Emma are alike in more ways than they realize, and it’s amazing to watch them interact with one another in times like this because as viewers we’re able to see just how protective they both are over those they care for. The Wicked Witch also took Charming’s sword away from him leaving him unarmed, but beyond this, it certainly means the Prince will find his courage through bigger things such as love and hope as he always does. Regardless, this is a storyline we can’t wait to see explored more.

While bonding with Regina, Henry once more demonstrates what an observant young man he’s grown to be as he expresses his concerns about why they moved to Maine. Henry states that he knows their move had to do with Walsh as Emma would never take him out of school. He then tells Regina that a small town is enjoyable and that it would’ve been nice to have a family if Emma married Walsh. The most exquisite part of this moment was when Regina called everyone in Storybrooke a family.

Approximately two years ago, she was the mayor and the others were no one to her, but she’s now subtly uttering how much she’s actually grown to care for them. It was a moment that spoke wondrously for what’s to come in the future when all evil has been defeated – these people will be united as a family. At the end of the day, Once Upon A Time is all about family – whether related through blood, marriage, friendship, or acquaintance, the love and care for one another is the most vital entity for happiness. Parrilla’s smile perfectly displayed how much more love there was in Regina’s heart now as she fortified her statement about believing Henry’s family will soon grow larger.

During Hook and Emma’s espionage to find the Wicked Witch, the two share a conversation about broken hearts that once more illuminates the raw understanding they share. Hook states that he saved Emma from a loveless marriage, and she clarifies that she loved Walsh prior to knowing he was actually a flying monkey. Afterward, she tells him that just as always, he wasn’t who he said he was, and she’s left with a broken heart. Hook’s reply about it being a good thing because it means she’s still alive spoke exceedingly loud on behalf of the man’s love for her.

What’s always stood out to us about Emma Swan isn’t that she’s a courageously empowering woman, but that despite everything she’s been through in her past, she’s never victimized herself. Her life has been anything but easy, and even when she’s falling apart, she does everything in her power to help others. She does whatever she could to live and make the best of everything. Emma Swan is human, and just like the rest of us, her emotions run deep. No matter how brave or relentless someone is, a broken heart will always wound, but what she represents is the idea that one must continuously strive towards healing themselves. And as a strong woman with a broken heart, Emma also allowed herself to be vulnerable thus demonstrating that it’s both okay to be strong, and okay not to be okay.

What Hook represents in this picture is that no one in life deserves to go through things on their own. It’s great that Emma’s capable of thriving on her own, but it’s beautiful to have someone whose adoration and steadfast encouragement bring perpetual ease. As the town’s savior, Emma doesn’t believe she’s entitled to the kind of happiness others are, but what Hook has interminably done is remained by her side to valorize the fact that just as she’s effortlessly saved him, he could do the same for her. He could be the savior’s protector. Telling her he’s glad her heart’s broken is his form of helping her open up. It’s his way of trying to get her to see that it’s okay.

If heartbreak isn’t felt then it means the person’s closed themselves and their feelings from the world. But Emma hasn’t done that, and though she may be wounded, allowing herself to feel the emotions means that there’s a part of her still holding on to hope. It means she hasn’t given up on love entirely, and on a show like Once Upon A Time, we all know it’s pretty simple to remove a heart if one doesn’t want to feel anything. Heartbreaks are what help people grow, and since Emma allows herself to feel the aches that wound her, she wears her past as a shield that validates her bravery. O’Donoghue delivered that scene beautifully as he allowed the audience to feel both the heartbreak and relief Hook felt.

Whatever it is that Hook’s not telling her, he probably feels it’s appropriate to keep it hidden as he doesn’t believe in her hurting her unnecessarily. When it comes to Emma, Hook’s honest and he knows what she needs to hear, perhaps whatever he’s hiding isn’t even necessary for her to know now as it wouldn’t benefit the situation they’re in.

In an episode that focused on facing fears, Emma essentially faced hers as her words illuminated the fact that she’s unable to trust because of the men in her past. By opening up to Hook about her broken heart, without even realizing it, she confronted her fears about the man who’s been her anchor throughout their journeys. And by stepping closer to Emma and keeping his eyes on her, Hook’s telling her that he’s proud of her for facing the truth and encouraging her to keep going because she’s already courageous for fighting through the heartbreak.

He’s commending her on both her bravery and vulnerability, but even more than that this moment substantiated that no matter what’s going on, Hook will always do whatever he can to uplift her while proving that he’s not going anywhere. She’ll always get the cold hard truth from him even if it’s not what she wants to hear because he doesn’t believe in lying to her. He’s strengthening their bond with honesty while encouraging her to love and welcome all parts of her. And though she keeps her emotions concealed, Emma knows Hook’s honest intentions — the audience is always able to see just how much lies within her through the meticulously faultless expressiveness Morrison always brings to her performances. Even outside of that particular conversation, as they were examining the farmhouse, he was there as the perfect partner for her – trusting and respecting her abilities while offering his insight when he feels most appropriate.

After Emma and Hook discover a storm cellar, they call Regina to help them with her magic in case there are flying monkeys inside. As it turns out there’s nothing, but they realize that the only person who’s able to spin straw into gold is Rumple meaning he’s alive.

Speaking of Rumple, Zelena’s controlling him with the dark one’s dagger and she knows Belle’s his girl. Mader is taking creepy to a whole new level with her nice act and that’s certainly impeccable acting in our book. We couldn’t help but cringe when she was shaving Rumple with his dagger while treating him like her pet. Zelena’s a bit wild, and the fact that we don’t know what’s on her agenda adds to the fear of what she could possibly do to whoever she has her eye on.

Judging by next week’s promo, things are about to get ugly. What did you think of this episode?

Leave a Reply