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Now let's find out who murdered my father.
David to Hook

"Murder Most Foul" is the twelfth episode of Season Six of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Jerome Schwartz & Jane Espenson, and directed by Morgan Beggs. It is the one hundred and twenty-third episode of the series overall, and premiered on March 12, 2017.


Before Hook takes the next step in his relationship with Emma, he wants to make sure David sees him as more than just a pirate. So when David asks Hook to help him uncover the truth about his father’s death, Hook agrees. Meanwhile, Regina works to acclimate Robin to life in Storybrooke, but soon discovers he has a dark side that makes the task much more complicated than she anticipated.[2]


Deleted Scenes

Originally, donkeys wearing hats were set to appear in the episode, a reference to The Adventures of Pinocchio and its Disney adaptation, where all boys sent to the Land of Toys (renamed Pleasure Island for the Disney film) are turned into donkeys. The donkeys were brought in for the episode, dressed up in headgear and everything and filmed in an enclosure in front of a green-screen,[3] but this ended up being cut from the episode.



Guest Starring




Production Notes

  • A wanted poster for young Prince James was created for this episode,[7] but it wasn't used on-screen.
  • In the episode script, when Hook is trying to keep Emma from entering the garden shed, Emma says, "Hook. You forgot about something."[8] In the actual episode, she says, "Hang on! You're forgetting something."
  • Footage from the filming of the establishing shot of Storybrooke after the scene with Hook and David at the docks[9] is re-used for the scene where Gideon is inside the clock tower in "Mother's Little Helper".[10] The shot from "Mother's Little Helper" does not have any people in it (the original shot shows two extras walking past the clock tower), indicating that the new shot was created from cut footage from before or after the extras walked down on the street.

Event Chronology

Episode Connections



Fairytales and Folklore

Popular Culture

Props Notes

Set Dressing

Costume Notes


  • The expiration date on Emma's license plate says 2009,[68] even though it said December 2011 in "Pilot"[69] (which takes place in 2011), and 2014 in "Lily".[70]
  • By the end of the episode, while under the sleeping curse, David has been seen taking deep breaths, even though it is said that one cannot show any sign of life under that curse. ("An Apple Red as Blood")

Filming Locations

  • The scenes at the Pleasure Island amusement park were filmed on a green-screen set.[71] Parts of the set was real, while the rest was added digitally in post-production.

International Titles



  1. Porter, Rick (March 16, 2017). ‘American Crime’ premieres low, ‘Chicago Justice’ fairly steady: Sunday final ratings. TV by the Numbers. “Once Upon a Time (ABC) (...) 3.06”
  2. 2.0 2.1 LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME. The Futon Critic. “Air Date: Sunday, March 12, 2017. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#612) "Murder Most Foul".”
  3. InstagramIcon ambercrombachmua (Amber Crombach). July 3, 2017.  "Donkeys in hats... you are welcome!" (archive copy)
    File:IGlee j buckley-612-2.png
  4. File:612Title.png
  5. TwitterLogo @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (November 1, 2016). "Here's another #OnceUponATime #titlespoiler -- hope to see ya Sunday!" (screenshot)
  6. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark – Act 1, Scene 5. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved on February 8, 2019. “Ghost: Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder. HAMLET: Murder! Ghost: Murder most foul, as in the best it is; But this most foul, strange and unnatural.”
  7. ONCE UPON A TIME TV Series Prince James Missing Poster. eBay (February 2020). Archived from the original on February 20, 2020. (Photograph)
  8. TwitterLogo @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (March 10, 2017). "Here's a #scripttease for a new #OnceUponATime -- hope to see ya Sunday!" (screenshot)
  9. File:612TalkedToRobin.png
  10. File:616Light.png
  11. File:612JamesIveCome.png
  12. File:612ScreamingAtMe.png
  13. File:612Anyway.png
  14. File:612TellMeIfYou.png
  15. hirco ceruus. Google Translate. Retrieved on February 8, 2019.
  16. File:603DavidHesitates.png
  17. File:303ImLate.png
  18. File:302AfraidOfYou.png
  19. File:303LookingThroughWindow.png
  20. File:421ReginaLeavesTavern.png
  21. File:512ToTheQueen.png
  22. File:611ArrivingAtTheTavern.png
  23. File:614LookingThroughWindow.png
  24. File:612BookPage2.png
    The short story can be read online here. The storybook excerpts, which are blurred and difficult to read, read:

    "respect to this of yours; we are now in the first country of the world, and without doubt the customs of the place must be in the highest degree judicious. Wherefore your worship may be pleased to conduct us to the place where this gentleman of whom you have spoken is to be found. I cannot but suppose, from what you say, that he is much honoured, of great power and influence, of very generous nature, and, above all, highly accomplished in the profession.""

    ""Truly, Sir," rejoined Rincon, "all this is Hebrew to us; we know no more about it than we do of flying." "Let us be jogging, then," replied the new-comer, "and on the way I will explain to you these and other things, which it is requisite you should know as pat as bread to mouth;" and, accordingly, he explained to them a whole vocabulary of that thieves' Latin which they call Germanesco, or Gerigonza, and which their guide used in the course of his lecture,--by no means a short one, for the distance they had to traverse was of considerable length."
  25. File:612Nottingham.png
  26. File:612BottleBash2.png
  27. File:517FindingShelter.png
  28. File:707IsntExactlyWhat.png
  29. File:612BottleBash.png
  30. File:101CharmingCollapses.png
  31. File:311ALongShot.png
  32. File:314This.png
  33. File:514Toys.png
  34. File:515ComeSitDown.png
  35. File:612FightForYourLife.png
  36. File:211BelleDagger.png
  37. Once Upon a Time - Prince Charming's Dagger Prop (Hero) also used by Belle (0163). iCollector. Archived from the original on July 5, 2020. Retrieved on July 5, 2020. “Aluminum hero dagger prop with brass guard and pommel. Also used by Belle.”
  38. File:612BeepBeepBeep.png
  39. Carrion Ecology, Evolution, and Their Applications, edited by M. Eric Benbow, Jeffery K. Tomberlin, Aaron M. Tarone, CRC Press, 2016, p. 363. Facsimile by Google Books.
  40. File:101MadamMayor.png
  41. File:121ALittleSomething.png
  42. File:217NewSurroundings.png
  43. File:612BeRightBack.png
  44. File:217ReginaSitsUp.png
  45. Coffee Pot & Lid Val D'Or by ROYAL ALBERT. Replacements, Ltd. Retrieved on July 23, 2019.
  46. Creamer Val D'Or by ROYAL ALBERT. Replacements, Ltd. Retrieved on July 23, 2019.
  47. File:612BeRightBack.png
  48. File:612Nottingham.png
  49. Footed Cup & Saucer Set Val D'Or by ROYAL ALBERT. Replacements, Ltd. Retrieved on July 23, 2019.
  50. File:112Relief.png
  51. Aguilera, Leanne. EXCLUSIVE: The 7 Biggest Secrets From Hook & Emma's 'Once Upon a Time' Wedding: Vows, Honeymoon & Much More!. Entertainment Tonight. “4. The Rings: As we were interviewing the on-screen couple, we could not help noticing the massive sparkler on Morrison's finger, which was freshly accompanied by a unique, slightly mismatched wedding band. "Oh yeah, that's the ring! He's got good taste, this one," Morrison said while gesturing to O'Donoghue when we audibly "Ooh-ed!" mid-sentence. "You actually picked them, didn't you?" "Mmmhmm," O'Donoghue confirmed. "I picked the engagement ring and then they showed me this [wedding band] and I was like, 'Yeah, that'll do.'" To which Morrison added, "They're very inclusive with us around here. It's really nice." Kitsis and Horowitz explained that they have always encouraged the actors to "take ownership of their characters," and allowing them to select things like the right gowns or props is a natural extension of that. "I think our props department is awesome and I'm sure that they had some great rings," Horowitz said. "Nobody knows the character of Hook better than Colin, so of course he'd be the one to figure out what it should be."”
  52. File:612GoHomeZelena.png
  53. 'Tarala' Body-Con Knit Midi Dress TED BAKER LONDON. Nordstrom. Retrieved on February 8, 2019.
  54. Screenshot from Bones: "The Hope in the Horror"
  55. File:612OhHenry.png
  56. MUST SELL! LIKE NEW Zara Faux Fur Check Coat (sm). Poshmark. Retrieved on February 8, 2019.
  57. File:614EmptyHouse.png
  58. File:615KillMeAgain.png
  59. File:616TheAnswerIs.png
  60. File:612BringHimHere.png
  61. Theory Damaris Summer Silk Blouse. Match. Retrieved on February 8, 2019.
  62. File:612AReasonWhy.png
  63. Theory Livilla Summer Silk Sleeveless Top In Pearl Pink. SeekFab. Retrieved on February 8, 2019.
  64. File:612ALookout.png
  65. SCOTCH & SODA LONG SLEEVE CIRCLE PRINT SHIRT. Retrieved on February 8, 2019.
  66. File:717AnythingFromHenry.png
  67. File:718AllTheActual.png
  68. File:612MotorcyclePullsUp.png
  69. File:101Ridiculous.png
  70. File:419SwanWatchIt!.png
  71. File:IGlee j buckley-612.png

Start a Discussion Discussions about Murder Most Foul

  • OK, what!?

    2 messages
    • How did King George know to go to Pleasure Island to look for James? Did Rumple doublecross Robert?
    • knowing rumple, most likely. That needed to happen for David to end up with Snow.
  • Murder Most Foul Episode Discussion and Thoughts

    112 messages
    • Seasrmar wrote:I just rewatch the episode. Crazy theory here. What if August has ulterior motive for showing Hook the storybook pictures? T...
    • True, the pictures do not show Hook killed Robert, but it doesn't take away my theory of August's possible ulterior motives. August...
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