Once Upon a Time takes a strange path to keep Killian around for season 7 and preserve his happy ending. Do you like it?

More Killian means more to love, right? Not exactly. If you were curious why Detective Rogers seemed a bit unlike his Storybrooke counterpart, it’s largely due to the fact that it is not the same person. Regina, as we learned in “A Pirate’s Life,” is buried somewhere in Ronnie.

But Captain Hook, the villain turned hero, is not exactly in the bones of the man patrolling Hyperion Heights.

The big question of last week’s Once Upon a Time was, is Emma Swan with child? The answer — yes! When Killian and Regina arrive in the alternate universe, one where Henry’s adventures left him in the crosshairs of Cinderella’s stepmother, Emma is notably absent.

Come to find out that Killian urged her not to travel through portals, as she is with child. Everyone is in a celebratory mood after hearing the news, but Killian’s side excursion in the realm leads him to cross paths with a counterpart that we’ve seen once before.

After switching roles with the real Killian, new Killian comes to realize that by cashing in on the one-way ticket out of his current realm, he’d be tearing apart a budding family. Turns out that is a story all too familiar to this new pirate.

once upon a time season 7 photos

But he is stabbed before he can make a plea to save his long lost daughter. Emma ultimately saves the day, and him, by connecting to the Captain Hook that resides deep within the new pirate. Henry invites Regina to stay in the new realm with him, changing the trajectory of her story to include the original badass Queen. But the Killian we grew to love, our season 2 big bad, returns to Storybrooke.

Now we have a new Killian to follow. He walks like him. He even talks like him.

Can we grow to love this Killian as much as the last? Well, that depends on your tolerance for Once Upon a Time’s storytelling. Chances are, if you are still around for season 7, and Colin O’Donoghue’s face makes you feel many things, you will likely grow to love our new one-handed lead.

But there are a few things we need to be weary of when it comes to a new Killian. This is the man, the gross, drunk man, who appeared in the wish universe from last season. What was a humorous encounter has now turned into a permanent fixture.

There is a lot of baggage left to unpack from this new seafaring-gent. Here’s what we know.

Once Upon a Time season 7

In the wish-verse, Killian has lost a daughter. Hyperion Heights’ Detective Rodgers suspects he knows Emma, but not in the way we thought. And Detective Rodgers is a bit skeptical of his current appointment under Weaver.

Not much to go on. But while we may not be exactly trusting of the rogue-pirate who was dealt a bad hand (pun intended), his story is compelling. Who is the mother of Hook’s lost daughter? Was she taken? Are we going back to Neverland in search of a Lost Girl?

Can Once Upon a Time pull off another storyline? And if they can, will it be different enough to keep things interesting?

In our first episode back on Hypable’s Once Upon a Time podcast, Onceable, we worried that the new characters were going to recycle stories we’ve heard many times. Over the course of the show, OUAT has done little in the way of redeeming certain characters (an issue we’ll revisit in the Rumpel-centric fourth episode).

While we’re not starting exactly at level one with this new iteration of Killian Jones, completely erasing the old Hook from the narrative wipes the slate clean. There needs to be attention paid. Something that OUAT has little success in doing for some fan-favorite characters.

It’s true that O’Donoghue’s charming smile and great use of eyeliner are all positives. I’m not ashamed to admit they accelerated his warm welcome the first time around. But it was the backstory, the trip to meet Killian’s brother, the exploration of his father, the mystery of his mother, that left me wanting more Hook.

For now, I’m going to keep this Hook at arms’ length. And maybe you should, too.

Once Upon a Time season 7, episode 3, “The Garden of Forking Paths,” airs Friday, October 20 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

Listen to ‘Onceable’ here!

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