Once Upon A Time 6×06 “Dark Waters” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Where there is hope, there is forgiveness. Where there is love, there is strength.

Episode Summary: In flashbacks, we learn that a submarine Captain named Nemo tries to convince Killian to join his crew, and as it turns out his first mate is Liam, Killian’s father’s second son. In Storybrooke, when the two return Liam attempts to avenge his father’s death. Emma and Aladdin go off on an adventure to the town line. Belle visits the hospital for her first ultrasound. And the Evil Queen continues to gross us out with her crush on Gold.

Review | Analysis: “Dark Waters” much like “The Other Shoe” did a fantastic job of showcasing the strength that’s found in forgiveness. By exploring the dynamics between fathers and sons/brothers and sisters it has revealed that there’s great strength in communication, for it’s the key to moving forwards. We explore issues such as this often on television, and frankly, it’s necessary because in spite of how many times the story’s told it isn’t always fully processed. And as human beings, we’re bound to make mistakes over and over again, but as long as we continue trying, we’re making wise choices in life.

It’s always nice to have flashbacks that are focused on Captain Hook and it’s definitely not because he’s a beautiful man to look at. No no that’s definitely not the reason. However, in all honesty, these are the flashbacks that do the best job of revealing just how far Killian has come as a character. They’re the flashbacks that reveal that his character development has been the strongest thus far. Essentially, the strategic nuances Colin O’Donoghue plays Captain Hook with do a phenomenal job of reminding the viewers of the rage Hook harbored for centuries. And to watch that anger be replaced with strengthening compassion is a gift.

But before we begin discussing Part II of the Jones Brothers, it’s important to point out that though in its sixth season, Once Upon A Time never fails in creativity. You’d wonder if they’d run out of ideas or characters eventually, but to be introduced to a Captain Nemo whose ship is a submarine was nothing short of genius. And the blue tangs outside were sublime — especially with Finding Dory having been released in theatres this year. It was great to know that Captain Nemo wasn’t evil but rather a man who understands that the darkness revenge leaves behind isn’t something worth carrying. It was nice to hear him tell Killian that although revenge appears to be the only thing that’ll bring happiness, it’s actually the one thing that’ll leave him with more emptiness than he ever thought possible. Nemo’s passionate advice to both Killian and Liam felt right in an episode like this, and I’m genuinely so thankful he didn’t die because it was great to see that though Killian killed their father, Liam II had someone in his life who loved him as much as a father would. He didn’t grow up alone or tormented but rather he grow up loved and respected. And that’s something not many people in his position are blessed with. It doesn’t justify or change the fact that Killian was 110% wrong for taking another man’s life, but it’s nice to know that Liam found a family in the end.

Once Upon A Time always does a fantastic job with redemption and Killian Jones is on top of that list because no one’s made amends the way he has. No character has grown and changed how he has. And no character has shown struggle the way he has. Because Killian has shown the struggle, it makes his growth that much more believable. We’ve seen him struggle with the darkness in the past, but we’ve also seen that struggle in the present time. And it once again comes down to the fact that once a person makes the choice to change, it takes constant effort to reach their goal. Nothing becomes a habit overnight — as much as it’d be great if it did, words don’t magically inspire people in the real world. And Once Upon A Time does a wonderful job of revealing the balance between words and actions — for without one, the other is dead. When Killian was vengeful and alone, there was nothing anyone could potentially say that’d change his mind. There was nothing that could be done that’d make him think differently.

And while we’ve discussed this numerous times in the past — love changes everything. There is no emotion quite as encompassing or magnetic as love. There’s no strength quite like opening ourselves up to a person and giving them a place in our hearts. It was easy to tell from the beginning that Killian Jones saw something special in Emma — light, hope, and a second chance. He saw himself in her. He found a kindred spirit. They both did. And though it took some time for Emma to open up her heart, in learning about the things that make Emma who she is, Killian slowly began to change out of his own free will. But he needed to know that was possible. He needed to know that there was a slight chance he could be a part of something bigger, and those very words spoken in “And Straight On Til Morning” effortlessly changed his life for the better.

On a show like Once Upon A Time, villains perceive love as a weakness — it diminishes their power, but in reality, there’s more strength in love than a thousand fireballs. Love and only love has the power to effortlessly uplift, inspire, and heal. Where there’s real, profound love, there’s growth. After Emma’s happiness became far more important than his own, Killian began changing, not because he was forced to, but because he wanted to. And that desire alone is what showcases the great strength that’s found in love.

The Killian who murdered his father knew nothing of love. The Killian who took away a little boy’s father knew nothing of family. But the Killian who stands in front of us today is a man who’d give his life for his family. Frankly, it’s great that there’s tension between Killian and Henry because this makes their bond that much more realistic. As a teenager especially, it isn’t easy to call a man who isn’t your biological father “dad”. However, it doesn’t change the fact that Henry knows Killian would never do anything to hurt their family. And though he lashes out upon learning that he kept the shears, (I thought they were scissors last week? Oops again.) he still cares enough for the man to help him out. Henry is a Charming after all — giving up just isn’t in their blood. His father may not be alive, but there’s a man in his life whose love is enough to fight for. And though he may not want to “push it” with the love, it’s clear that he cares deeply for Killian.

But perhaps the most noteworthy part of the episode is the fact that Henry chose to understand where Killian’s coming from. As much as keeping the shears away was Emma’s choice, he knows that because Killian loves Emma as much as he does, he can’t bear the thought of losing her. It’s not about taking away what makes her special, it’s about keeping her in their lives because savior or no savior, she’s their Emma. And with or without the title, she’s special. At the end of the day, no matter how much Henry lashes out or how upset he gets over his Pop-Tarts being thrown away, he knows that Killian would protect him until his final breath.

It’s actually a bit surprising that we revisited Killian’s past involving Liam II because I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I imagined we wouldn’t actually go there for a long, long time. And to have it resolved in a single episode felt right because it’s episodes like this that made audiences all over fall in love with Once Upon A Time during season one. We don’t always need a storyline to carry on for seasons on end in order for it to feel organic. Because during cases like this it’s enough. Liam II needed to see that though his brother was once terrible enough to murder their father in cold blood, today he would never hurt him. Today, he’d die before bringing harm to his brother. And that was enough because the surprise took Liam to a place where he was able to realize that there were still people in his life who cared for him even after his father died. It’s that very realization that authenticates the fact that where there’s love, there’s everything. When a person chooses to believe in the fact that love is enough, they then find the strength to move forward with their lives. And I’m thankful Liam was given the chance to see Nemo once again because there’s great love between the two. I’m thankful that in a quiet moment where the men held hands, they understood that they were forgiven — they were loved. They may have lost their families, but by choice, they became each other’s family.

What makes all relationships successful is communication. And I’m glad we were given the chance to see that not just with Henry, but with Emma, too. Henry’s frustration with Killian, in the beginning, was understandable. He couldn’t see how going against Emma’s wishes was a wise choice, but realizing how immensely Killian loves Emma, it’s understandable. And it was also great that it didn’t take too long for Emma to learn what really happened as well.

Colin O’Donoghue and Jennifer Morrison were as strong as ever during their scene in the hospital playing off one another’s reactions with a vulnerability that broke me. O’Donoghue’s sincere apology cobbled with the despondency in his expression was profound. But it was Morrison’s work that broke me the most. Of course, Emma would’ve done the same thing. Emma’s already done it once before. Killian and Emma have been through too much in their lives to lose one another again. They’ve seen too many heartaches in their lives not to live a happy life together. And after quiet, normal mornings together, it’s hard to grasp that their future may not be as gorgeous.

There’s fear in Emma. As much as she trusts her family, the possibility of her life being cut short isn’t something she wants or has fully accepted. And she shouldn’t have to. Morrison delivered Emma’s quiet fear with an expressiveness that wasn’t easy to watch. While we know she’ll be okay, it’s moments like this that can make fans of Emma Swan uneasy because she’s uneasy. She’s afraid. And that raw portrayal is what’s always made Emma so easy to resonate with.

As a couple, Killian and Emma shine the brightest. Honest communication is key to strengthening a relationship. At the end of the day, there will always be broken bridges in their way, but because their love for one another never wavers, they could get through it. Because they ceaselessly allow love to be the governing factor in their lives, whatever difficulty they’re presented with, they’ll make more right choices than wrong ones. And after each wrong mistake, because they’re loved and forgiven, it’s easier to grow. He may have kept them from her, but realizing how much it upset Henry and how wrong it was, he chose to be honest about them. And that’s ultimately what speaks so highly of him. He could’ve chosen not to. He didn’t have to tell her that he had momentarily lied to her, but it’s that very honesty that’s shown just how much Killian respects Emma. It’s also worth mentioning that the secrets they keep are often because they don’t want to hurt their loved ones. For instance, while I hate to compare, these secrets aren’t the same as Rumple giving Belle a fake dagger. These secrets are out of fear and a desire to keep their partners happy. These secrets were kept because they believed they were protecting them.

And speaking of Rumple, is anyone else frustrated with the fact that he just seems to frolic around doing God knows what? The fact that he isn’t even trying to redeem himself for his unborn child isn’t fun to watch. But then again, I’d rather have Rumple sitting in his office counting coins than watch the Evil Queen hit on him because I’m pretty sure I’ve never been more traumatized in my life. I hate to say this but was that really necessary? I’m cringing.

It was nice to see Snow back at the hospital because while that’s something Mary Margaret would do, delivering flowers feels right for Snow, too. It’s how she met Charming in his cursed state. And it was great to see Belle talk to someone about how she’s unsure of whether or not she wants to include Rumple in things regarding the pregnancy. But ultimately, I’m glad it came down to her sharing and in such a way that she’s making it clear that she still wants nothing to do with him romantically.

“Dark Waters” was a prime showcase of the fact that we are where we are because of the choices we make. While human beings have no control over some of the curveballs thrown their way, we have full control over how we react to them. And it’s great to see that through all characters, we’re watching just how different reactions can be. Some people run at first, but if we have someone to bring us back home, we may not get too far along. And it was great to see Emma take Aladdin back to the place she first crashed her car because she was running from the unknown. Aladdin’s story isn’t finished yet — although Agrabah may no longer be there, he and Jasmine still have a kingdom to restore. Although the truth about the shears is out, Emma’s family still needs to find the means to keep her safe while preventing the “Savior Fate” from becoming a reality. And Regina needs to find a way to destroy the Evil Queen without destroying herself in the process.

But the best part of all these characters and their fates is the fact that they’re not alone. The father of Belle’s child may not be trustworthy, but she will not be raising a baby on her own. Where there’s love, there’s everything. And that was Nemo’s entire purpose — revenge is empty when the man comes home to nothing. However today, all these characters have people to go home to. They have love in their hearts and because of this, they’re stronger than they’ve ever been.

Worth Mentioning:

  • Confession time: I can’t swim. I’m terrified of deep water, so while scenes under the sea usually make me uncomfortable, I was too distracted by how gorgeous the caves were to care this week.
  • Is anyone else impatiently waiting for Jafar to show up?
  • Also, seriously Killian but Pop-Tarts are great. You don’t throw that away. I get you, Henry. I get you.
  • The Jones Brothers are unfairly good-looking men.
  • Let’s talk about Emma Swan’s outfits. Seriously this season is a gift in the fashion area. You know what to do — JenniferMorrisonStyle.com has you covered.

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