From the moment of Captain Hook’s arrival on Once Upon A Time, the character played by Colin O’Donoghue has been one of the biggest enigmas to cross Storybrooke’s borders. Everything about the character has been shrouded in secrecy and deception, making it unclear whether the Once Upon A Time character is hero or villain, friend or foe, but recent interviews with O’Donoghue shed some light on Hook’s past, as well as what Once Upon A Time may hold in store for him in the future.
Ultimately, Hook is out for himself and, whether or not that motivation happens to help out other Once Upon A Time characters is just a matter of chance, as it was with the events that brought Hook and Ursula together. Perhaps, it’s better to say back together again, because, as fans of Once Upon A Time already know, the two characters share a past. That past, related in the flashbacks that have become an integral part of Once Upon A Time, revealed Ursula’s desire to escape her father and Hook’s attempt to help her, but a bitter reunion at once told fans that Hook had failed Ursula in some way.
Colin told TV Line why Hook hasn’t been as forthcoming with the other Once Upon A Time characters about his past with Ursula as he should have been.
“Yeah, you find out exactly went on in their past — and as most people have guessed, Hook doesn’t come out too well. He tries to help a young Ursula (Tiffany Boone) run away from her father Poseidon (Ernie Hudson), but as is always the case with ol’ Hook, he makes a couple of questionable decisions. It doesn’t necessarily go the right way. But in the present day, he’s trying to take a leaf out of Emma’s book, offering Ursula a chance at her happy ending in exchange for finding out what Gold’s real plan is.”
There are rumors that Colin’s character has been going through some things mentally that haven’t yet come through in this season’s Once Upon A Time storyline. As it develops and more is revealed to Once Upon A Time fans, O’Donoghue feels that complexity will make his character even more compelling.
“You can see even in last week’s episode and the week before, he’s still struggling with trying to shake off the darkness he’s allowed in over those hundreds of years. And that’s a very difficult thing for him to do; psychologically, it’s very difficult for him to all of a sudden try to become a hero. He’s always going to fall through the cracks here and there, and as much as he doesn’t want to, sometimes the old pirate just comes back.”
The interview with Colin ultimately led to toward Once Upon A Time‘s heroine and Hook’s love for her and how, ultimately, his love for Emma Swan makes Hook a reluctant hero to the people of Storybrooke.
“The thing is, Hook genuinely cares for Emma (Jennifer Morrison), so he just wants to do whatever it takes to help protect her and the people she loves. He’s trying to be the best person he can be while at the same time struggling with the 300-year old pirate he used to be.”
Once Upon A Time has seen and continues to explore the theme of forbidden love, most notably between Belle and Mr. Gold. Unlike Gold, Hook has proven through the storylines of Once Upon A Time that he genuinely wants to change and that his love for Emma is perhaps strong enough to conquer all that the couple may face. Some might say that makes Emma Swan gullible and somewhat naive, but O’Donoghue, the man responsible for making Once Upon A Time‘s Hook so memorable, has a different take on it.
“[Hook] opened himself up to her [Emma] first, and he is very genuine in that. Look, he’s always going to probably at some point make a bit of a stupid decision or be guided by who he was in the past, but most of the time he’s trying to do right by Emma and by everybody. I think she can handle him.”
What about Colin O’Donoghue himself? Aside from what Once Upon A Time fans might ask, is there anything he wants to know about his own character?
“No, not really. I’m pretty happy knowing who Hook is. And who he is is someone that’s great fun to play!”
With so many compelling storylines for the characters of Once Upon A Time, it’s hard to imagine what new characters might be introduced, but, as Agnes Bruckner learned, there is always room for more.