By now most of us have at least somewhat recovered from the emotional devastation that was the Once Upon a Time midseason finale. Not only did Hook die in order to rid the world of the Dark One darkness forever, but it also turned out to be completely in vain, considering that Rumple secretly consumed all of the darkness himself. (Rude!) But if you're worried that you'll never see our favorite swashbuckling pirate again, I wouldn't get too stressed out about it because I'm fully confident that Hook will return to OUAT at some point throughout Season 5. Normally, I would've curled up into a little ball and wept for weeks on end after seeing our sexy pirate get run through with a blade. However, given that Season 5B will center around Emma's journey to the Underworld, I think it's safe to assume that Hook's death won't be all that permanent.
For starters, this show has a knack for bringing the deceased back from the dead. (Hence the beauty of a magically-based series.) And now that Emma is determined to bring Hook back to the land of the living, his odds of survival have increased exponentially. I mean, if he was just going to stay dead, why even bother with a trip to the Underworld in the first place. Once this Storybrooke gang sets their mind on something, they usually end up achieving their goal, so I expect Operation Save Hook (a working title for now) will eventual lead to a successful rescue. However, I'm sure it's bound to come with a catch.
Like we've been told time and time again since the show first premiered, almost everything magical comes with a price. So if Emma & Co. want to get Killian back, they may have to make a deal with the devil. (Pun very much intended.) In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, executive producers Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis teased that the Underworld is going to come with its own unique set of rules. Horowitz revealed that "the rules of the underworld — what it means to be there, whether you can leave, how you can leave, where you go," will play a big part in Season 5B's story arc. And according to Kitsis it will all "be explained by our favorite, favorite tour guide of the underworld, and her name is Cora." Yes, that Cora. As in Regina's mother, Cora.
So given these remarks, it certainly seems possible that someone can leave the Underworld if the right circumstances present itself. It's just a question of how much the gang is willing to sacrifice in order to make it happen. What if, in order to procure a lost soul, you have to deliver another one in its place? A life for a life, type of deal. If all those Final Destination movies have taught us anything, it's that you can't just cheat death. It always finds its mark — that is, unless you're somehow able to offer up a different life as a replacement, which usually buys you some time. OUAT may start working under that same premise.
Rumple is all about making deals. And if we really are going to come face-to-face with Hades himself, I have a feeling he sticks to a similar code of conduct. Sure, he'll be happy to help them, so long as they give him something in return. (Anyone else think Rumple and Hades would become BFFs by the end of the season?) So do I think Hook will be back? Absolutely. This isn't a Jon Snow-level type of mystery. The writers want us to know that Hook is in the process of being saved. In fact, Kitsis even admitted to TVInsider.com that Colin O'Donoghue (who plays Hook) is happy about what's going on with his character.
"I think there’s much more story to be told yet between those [Emma and Hook]," Kitsis shared. "So I don’t think he was upset because he knows where we’re going." And if "where we're going" involved a permanent Hook death, I very much doubt the actor would be happy about it. It's just a question of how morally corrupt Emma's willing to get in order to rescue him.