Unpopular opinion ahead; if you don’t want to read anything critical of Emma/Regina, please, just scroll on by.
I’m sorry but I can’t buy the whole “best friends forever” thing when Emma literally says that she still doesn’t trust Regina not to kill her. And it’s not because I’m anti. I like their dynamic a lot. But everything I see on the show paints that dynamic as former-enemies-turned-allies, who found a common purpose and now work together. They’ll support each other and help each other, and they care about each other to a degree, but there’s also a lot of lingering resentment and mistrust and suspicion.
Which makes sense. It makes sense that Emma doesn’t quite trust Regina, given the amount of things she’s witnessed and heard about, and given Regina’s frequent missteps and backslides and admissions like “I hate being good”. It makes sense that Regina still harbours some resentment and jealousy of the woman who, from her point of view, gets handed everything that Regina herself has to work so hard for and often ends up losing anyway. (Not saying these are objectively true; I’m talking from their respective points of view.) And all of that makes for a complex, believable, and interesting dynamic. But it’s not a best-friends dynamic. It’s almost more like a professional relationship.
Especially since we’ve seen those on the show. Emma/Snow, Emma/Elsa, Snow/Ruby - all alike, all very different to what we get with Emma and Regina. None of them ever voiced doubts or fears that the other might hurt them, never mind kill them.
And I’m not saying it should be written differently. What I see on the show makes sense for the characters. It even makes sense for Emma to occasionally just “take it” when Regina gets snappy, because better that than provoking her into turning dark again, which would endanger everyone and hurt Henry and so on. I don’t think it’s terrible, or abusive, or anything of the sort. I like watching it play out, I like watching them try to work things out and work together despite all their differences. Just… stop trying to tell me it’s this amazing, deep, genuine friendship when that’s not what I’m being shown.