Can we talk about how Killian is so worried that freaking out on Will may have done damage between them? And how she so quickly rubs her hands down his ams and into his hands and reassure him that it’s okay? Because this killed me.
This means she knows how hard he’s trying for her. She KNOWS who Killian is. She knows who he was, and she KNOWS how he’s changed. She expects there to be rough patches and times where Killian struggles more than others, but she’s okay with that. Because she knows where his heart is. It’s with her, and it’s with what’s best for her. She knows how damaged she was and how she is struggling with things herself. Why would she expect her pirate to be any different? This is new for both of them, and they are both trying to be the best they can be for one another.
Whether or not that hand was cursed or not, Killian’s heart is still in the same place. With Emma. For Emma. She knows that. He wanted the hand off because he THOUGHT it could ruin all the progress he’s made. Whether a mind game by Rumple or an actual curse, it scared him. His past scares him. He’s finally so close to everything he’s dreamed about for so long. He’s finally close to having someone again. A light in his life. A guide. Love. Someone who reassures him who he is. He can’t dare lose that.
But some scars are deeper than others, some take more time to heal. And when someone like the Dark One is trying so hard to make you break, it takes everything you have to try to stay the man you KNOW you are. And by going to Rumple in the first place, while it was a mistake, he’s now in a rough situation and has to do everything he can to get the best outcome from it possible. If he was the same man, he wouldn’t care. He would go after Belle. He wouldn’t care who got hurt in the process. All he would care about is taking down his crocodile. But that is simply not the case. He IS a changed man, and the most important thing in his life right now is Emma. If to him that means playing puppet to Rumple right now, that’s what he’s gonna do.
Yep, it’s gonna kill us all seeing Killian have to cancel plans with Emma, tell her he can’t come over tonight, tell her he can’t go to lunch, all because Rumple is calling the shots, but it won’t last forever, and it’s gonna make them grow stronger. You see how much she’s into him. She isn’t gonna just be like “Oh well I guess he’s just not that into me anymore, Oh well.” Nope, Adam said we will see Emma fight for him this season, and that my friends, is what we are about to see.
What mattered wasn’t so much what the hand was doing but Hook’s reaction to it. He was shocked and disgusted with himself, to the point where he was willing to lose it again if it meant not hurting anyone else. Colin O’Donoghue played Hook’s sense of torment and self-loathing so well in this episode; it broke my heart. He made me believe that Hook was truly terrified of succumbing to his inner darkness again—not just because he could hurt Emma but because he didn’t like himself when that side of him came out again.
I’m most excited to see Emma and Hook grow as characters through the struggles coming their way. There might be rough waters ahead, but this show’s main point has always been that love is worth fighting for.
These two characters are going to fight for their happy ending; it’s one of the themes of this season. Emma is part of a family that never gives up on the people they love, and I’m excited to see her do what Hook has done for her in the past—supporting him as he struggles with believing he’s not worthy of happiness. I want to see her fight for him and for this love that she’s found, because now that she’s accepted it, she’s not going to let it go without a fight. And as much as I love seeing Hook fight for Emma, I cannot wait to see her use her love as her own kind of weapon for good.
Standing by the door to the loft, we saw an important role reversal start to take shape: Emma supporting and comforting Hook. When he apologized for what he did to Will, I loved that she gently grabbed his hands and locked her fingers through his while telling him it was okay. Hook may have said it was his turn to ask her out, but it’s her turn to be the rock in this relationship while he finds himself. Without even knowing the details, she was able to steady him for a moment and make him smile again. And when they finally kissed, it was beautiful because it was a kiss filled with hope—for more dates and kisses in the future, but also for a love that makes both of them feel happy and supported when they feel lost and unsure of themselves.
Emma is Hook’s light, it couldn’t have been made clearer as the door closed and his face was completely hidden by shadows. And I just want him to look back at that kiss and the supportive way she held his hands before that moment and see that he doesn’t have to struggle alone. Regina has Henry, Emma has Hook, and now I want Hook to realize he can tell Emma the truth and lean on her for support. Emma’s moment of vulnerability in “Rocky Road” was so important because it allowed her to get to the emotional place she needed to reach to be there for Hook once he tells her truth.
My favorite part of the date was the end of it because it gave me so much hope for the way this relationship will weather the storm coming its way. I loved the little detail of Emma wearing Hook’s jacket because it spoke to another new level of intimacy between them. That scene outside the loft was full of really delicious desire (Emma really needs to get her own place), but what struck me even more than how much these two wanted each other was how happy they made each other. Emma’s playful, soft smile was complimented perfectly by the biggest, most genuine smile we’ve ever seen on Hook, which was no small thing given what he was going through in this episode.
That’s what struck me the most about Emma on this date—she was so happy, so warm and bright. And when Hook was able to lose himself in her, he was the same way. I loved Hook’s little shake of his head when he first saw Emma, like he couldn’t believe he was worthy of the woman he was looking at (which was sweet at the time but heartbreaking looking back after the episode ended). O’Donoghue and Jennifer Morrison have such natural, easy chemistry, and it was put to great use in this episode. This was a moment for Emma to finally let herself be happy and feel appreciated as a woman and not the savior, and it was lovely to see her decide to choose happiness and not chase Will. This was one of those good, quiet moments she had been denying herself for so long, and I found it interesting that it was Emma who was able to let go and Hook having something weighing on him now. It was a nice way to lay the groundwork for what’s to come for this relationship.
I absolutely loved the way Emma and Hook’s dynamic was written in this episode. There was an openness to it that’s never been there before—flirtatious and warm and filled with sexual tension.
Rumplestiltskin may have used Hook’s love for Emma against him, but I think—even after all these years—he still underestimates what can happen when love is used to heal and support and not manipulate and hurt. In this episode, we saw Emma and Hook’s relationship being exploited for dark purposes, but we also saw just how light and good it can be. It was important to put their date in the middle of all of the stuff going on with Hook and Rumplestiltskin. Not only did it inject some much-needed happiness into a heavy episode; it gave viewers hope for exactly what will save Hook from Rumplestiltskin’s clutches and from his own fears of who he might still be at his core.
Speaking of people who are lost and scared that they aren’t worthy of happiness because of who they were, I am completely in love with the direction Hook’s story is heading in after this episode. This character needed this arc, however contrived its inception might have seemed. For as romantic as the “I want to use both hands to hold Emma” reasoning was, it was a surprisingly dumb move for such a cunning character. However, it wasn’t unbelievable. Hook wanted his hand not just to hold Emma but to show her that he’s making a fresh start with her as much as she is with him. I think part of him associates the hook with being a broken man, and he wanted to be whole for Emma now that he knows how much she cares for him, too. However, he underestimated Emma’s feelings; she was far more impressed with his new wardrobe than his hand. Both Emma and Hook have been broken by things they’ve gone through in life, and Hook should have known that Emma didn’t need him to be whole or new; she only needed him to be himself, because that’s who she fell for in the first place. His insecurities were believable, and I understood why he would want his hand back. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t shaking my head at him for doing something so risky when we all knew Emma couldn’t care less about the hook or the hand.