Once Upon a Time Season 6, Episode 6: Dark Waters

Season 6 of Once Upon a Time is swimming with traitors, tentacles and pirates in eyeliner.

This might be the most emo episode of Once Upon a Time we’ve seen in a while. Hook is brooding, Belle doesn’t know what (or who) she wants anymore, Emma thinks she’s going to die every times he blinks, and a sea captain washes up full of regrets. 

Hook has issues. Not like we didn’t already know a reformed sword-happy pirate captain with a hankering to skin himself a crocodile has issues. Being sold into servitude at a young age by your fugitive ex-con dad would give you issues, especially if you found out he’d gone off and married some wench like you never existed, then named their son after your dead brother. Anyone whose hand was cut off by Rumplestiltskin has even more issues. What bubbles to the surface as Hook confides in Henry sounds like the diary of a homicidal teen who murdered his traitor father in the middle of the night by order of the Evil Queen, then ran away to pillage and plunder aboard the Jolly Roger. 

It’s kind of like that whole my-kid-wants-to-quit-school-and-join-the-circus phenomenon—just with more blood and sea monsters. Never mind that’s not exactly how it happened.


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By the end of last season Hook was exposed as being driven to murder by his father’s betrayal, which still has him burning for vengeance on the high seas. His problem is less that he’s officially a murderer are more that he can’t let go. Where’s Elsa when you need her? Enter Captain Nemo. Someone who once got his revenge with a harpoon is now pleading with Hook to make what has been haunting him non-magically disappear. This is the same guy who once dragged Hook 20,000 leagues under (or something like that) to the Nautilus just to venture into a cave infested with tentacles and dig out a barnacle-crusted treasure chest with a key to the Mysterious Island. I really wanted to believe the tentacle that wound itself around Hook’s ankle was a bona fide appendage of Cthluhu, but the eyeless and wingless cephalopod that may look like the love child of an octopus and a hagfish is still no Elder God. 

Jules Verne must be turning in his grave. Supposedly a deserted island crawling with monstrous crabs and prehistoric birds that could bite your head off is Nemo’s answer to a rehab facility. The Mysterious Island is a turbulent sci-fi adventure full of unnatural carnage and weird science that mutates into even more chaos in the 1961 movie. This is the place Nemo claims Hook will never lose anyone he loves again. Maybe you don’t really lose anyone if they get eaten first. Hook obviously turned down the offer or he wouldn’t be stuck on a submarine at the bottom of the ocean with creepy squidlike things lurking in undersea caves and his vengeful half-brother ready to run a dagger through him and feed them his lifeless corpse.

Let me take a moment to comment on how fabulous the deep-sea diving suits are. These things are metallic gold, with edgy rivets and totally avant-garde bubble helmets that wouldn’t look out of place in a Junya Watanabe runway show. 

Back on land, a miracle is happening in the hospital, and it has nothing to do with certain patients from the Land of Untold Stories being rushed to the ER in critical condition. Belle regrets ever marrying Rumplestiltskin, and by the way she looks at the printouts of that ultrasound, breeding with him.

Whatever would possess anyone to want to breed with the Dark One or seduce him like the Evil Queen does is something that can and will give me nightmares. It doesn’t even matter she treated him to a full-on makeout session only to get something she wants in her polished claws. Another thing I can’t figure out is why she Belle so torn choosing between that shyster and her unborn son when she dreamed that the boy glared at his father with all the hate in Hades. While Emma’s dreams and visions make her paranoid that the reaper will come for her any minute, it seems Belle can’t take the hint. Dreams do come true in Storybrooke—and they aren’t always the pink and fluffy kind. 

Now I’m going to be awake all night wondering what dark magic could be in that apothecary bottle that could possibly obliterate Storybrooke. Bring it, Queenie. 

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