Once Upon a Time “Dark Waters” Review (Season 6 Episode 6)

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Once Upon a Time has a not insignificant amount of main characters. The plus side to this is that the show has a deep cast to pull from and tell stories with. The downside is that you inevitably need to take time to give each of those characters a focus episode, which can make for some awkward story pacing. “Dark Waters” puts Hook in the spotlight, but given how removed he’s felt from the major story arc this season, it brings the narrative grinding to a halt.

The truth is, I enjoy Hook as a character, as do plenty of other fans; there’s a reason he’s stuck around since his second season debut. However, since he started dating Emma, there hasn’t been a whole lot of variety to stories about the character. Mostly, he deals with guilt over his own past and obsession with revenge. The return of his brother Liam doesn’t add much new to that narrative, and the inclusion of Captain Nemo as Liam’s father figure is just weird. As always, maybe the show has more planned for this storyline, but it just feels like a tangent right now.

The rest of the episode, meanwhile, is less a cohesive b-story than it is a collection of random check-ins with the other characters. Emma and Aladdin travel around Storybrooke and discuss the duties of being a Savior, which basically just serves to inspire Aladdin to finally start helping Jasmine again. Meanwhile, Snow and David, ever in search of a meaningful plotline, got to rescue Archie in a brief opening scene. This storyline also saw a bit more of the odd sister relationship between Zelena, Regina, and the Evil Queen, but nothing noteworthy.

The biggest arc in all of the madness concerned Belle, who’s still – oh-so-rightfully – concerned about how to let Gold be a part of their son’s life. Ever a good-hearted character, I appreciate that Belle wants her child to have a relationship with his father, but really? This is a guy that regularly attempts to kill, destroy, and take over the town; he goes a little farther than just being a deadbeat or run-of-the-mill scumbag. I’ll say this much, I’m glad that Belle is now fully over Gold as a romantic partner.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!