Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
3 user 1 critic

The Jolly Roger 

Regina instructs Emma in magic and Ariel arrives in Storybrooke looking for Eric, as flashbacks show Ariel and Hook's encounter during the missing year.


Ernest R. Dickerson (as Ernest Dickerson)


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan
Emilie de Ravin ... Belle French
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
Michael Raymond-James ... Neal Cassidy (credit only)
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold (credit only)
Beverley Elliott ... Granny Lucas
Chris Gauthier ... William Smee
Rebecca Mader ... Zelena
Gil McKinney ... Prince Eric
Charles Mesure ... Black Beard
JoAnna Garcia Swisher ... Ariel


Regina instructs Emma in magic and Ariel arrives in Storybrooke looking for Eric, as flashbacks show Ariel and Hook's encounter during the missing year.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 April 2014 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


When Emma is looking into the mirror to see where Ariel is the scene that plays is very similar to the part in the little mermaid when Ariel walks out of the water and Prince Eric picks her up and spins her around. See more »


Captain Hook: [of the Jolly Roger] Oh. Up close, she's even more beautiful than I remember. Don't worry, my dear, you'll soon be back in my loving arms.
Ariel: You do realise you're talking to a boat?
Captain Hook: You've your love, I have mine.
See more »

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User Reviews

Jolly greatness
16 April 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

"The Jolly Roger" is one of the best episodes of a solid Season 3, the best perhaps since "Going Home", where the lesser episodes up to this point have not been less than decent and the best episodes have been wonderful ("Going Home" especially was something of a special episode). Am not sure what my stance is on the ending, it is a surprise certainly but part of me was also confounded a little by it.

Hook is one of 'Once Upon a Time's' best and most interesting characters, his reinvention and how he has transformed and progressed throughout the show is one of its most successful and compelling. Was with him every step of the way, with a lot of empathy felt for him, and loved his witty and charming chemistry with Ariel.

Ariel again steals every scene she's in, being even more interesting than when she was first introduced. She is very likeable and a breath of fresh air. Her story could have easily fallen into soap-opera, cliché and sugar lands but avoided them thanks to its charm and Joanna Garcia Swisher's sparkling performance.

Emma and Regina's story is not quite as interesting, but it doesn't feel repetitive or passive and appreciated that the show is trying to move from the standard good versus evil formula. The flashbacks are among the most illuminating and character advancing of any flashback of the show up to this point.

Love the character relationships, especially Hook and Ariel. Have no qualms with the acting. The standout being Colin O'Donoghue bringing the perfect amount of swagger and conflicted emotion.

Furthermore, "The Jolly Roger" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie-cutter. It is photographed beautifully too. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable main theme.

Writing has the right balance of humour, pathos, mystery and intrigue.

Overall, one of the season's best. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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