*This article contains spoilers: Once Upon a Time season 6 episode 12*
Once Upon a Time delivered another strong episode last night (“Murder Most Foul,” episode 6.12) that delved into the murder of Charming’s father, Robert, as well as the Charming/Hook bromance. Charming and Hook have long had one of my favorite relationships on the show, so I enjoyed this hour a lot, especially because it felt very contained. Regina, Robin, and Snow had the only side plot, and it was brief enough not to take away from Charming’s journey. I like when Once fully commits to its main plot, with detailed flashbacks fleshing out the story.
I completely bought why Charming investigated Robert’s death, as well as the timing of it. Charming’s had the enchanted coin for a while now and that, coupled with sleep deprivation and missing Snow, made me understand why now was the time. Of course, he couldn’t investigate without Hook, and the way he asked showed the depth of their characterizations.
Hook had to be sort of honored that Charming asked him to help, as it proved how much Charming trusts him. However, Charming recruited him pretty insensitively, knowing how hard Hook has worked to overcome the negative parts of his pirate side, but citing those as the reasons he chose him anyway. At first, I thought this was a little out of character for Charming, but, again, he’s not in a great place right now, so I get it. It was also a great, if bittersweet, moment of character development for Hook, who once would have been proud to be chosen for his pirate skills but now fears they may stop him from marrying the woman he loves.
And, of course, his investigation with Charming forced him to lie to that woman in a couple of great little scenes. For one, I loved the cute detail that Hook frequently lectures Emma and Henry on boat safety–someone write me a fanfic, please! Emma also showed off her superpower there, forcing Hook to tell a lie that was at least rooted in truth: he did go to see Archie, and Emma’s near-death experience did make him realize how much he loves her. Luckily, he didn’t have to fully spill the beans about the ring to get her off his scent.
I am bummed, though, that thanks to their second scene, which took place after Hook realized he was the one who killed Robert, we probably won’t get a proposal for a while. That twist was pretty predictable, reminiscent of Regina killing Marian or even Hook killing his own father. However, I liked the added layer of Hook spending the whole episode not realizing what he had done, as well as the heartbreaking detail that he could have actually saved Robert from the knights. It also seems likely that he’ll come clean to both Emma and Charming soon and that they’ll inevitably forgive him, but wrestling with that decision should at least give Colin O’Donoghue some interesting angst to play with.
Though, this episode, the angst belonged to Josh Dallas, who worked wonders. In the prison scene especially, where he nearly killed the King before Hook pulled him back, he tapped into an emotional side we don’t usually see from Charming but that was completely appropriate here. That moment also showed the strength of Hook and Charming’s relationship and built to the next scene nicely. I don’t think anyone expected Charming to say no to Hook, but that didn’t make Hook asking for his blessing any less sweet. There were a couple of nice touches in Charming saying that of course it was first and foremost Emma’s choice, as well as how he ribbed Hook for being old-fashioned.
As mentioned, the Regina/Robin storyline was the episode’s only subplot, and I’m glad it quickly established that we’re not in for Outlaw Queen 2.0. Like Snow, I would have loved for it to work out for Regina’s sake, but it also would have been weird if it had. Bummer kiss aside, Regina and Robin’s vault scene gave us that excellent “hearts of my enemies” line, as well as faux-Robin probably questioning just how good a guy the real Robin was, as he knocked up his girlfriend’s sister. Who knows why faux-Robin stole the box in the end, but trying to kill the Sheriff of Nottingham on Main Street felt like a potential red herring, something to throw Regina off the scent of what could be a partnership between the two.
What did you guys think of “Murder Most Foul”? Let me know in the comments!
More Once Upon a Time articles: Once Upon a Time 6.11 review: Robin Hood returns!