If you have some free time and only if you have, can you say something to make people feel better about the circumstances the first SQ happened. As usual with Swen (and it's totally understandable) sth happens and they go all pesimistic and oh this is it... like that has been said so many times and nothing major happens, it's just people freaking out. At least we did get a hug and they touched, lol, idk just looking at the glass half-full I guess
Yeah, I understand that people are upset, the circumstances are very painful. Emma’s overt queer coding and the subsequent shift has turned the relationship with Hook in a metaphor for forcing a man on a queer woman and also condemning a woman’s differentiated gender expression as something that should be changed - regardless of what they’ll do with it eventually, by romanticizing it in PR and by not making it extremely clear on the show, they’ve been endorsing this idea for years now. So to have Emma and Regina’s first hug in any way connected to that relationship hurts.
The scene itself just continues the queer subtext the way they’ve been doing it since the beginning. I thought it was really overt.
First Regina’s face… Hurt and disbelief.
Then she’s trying, but there’s still disbelief and her smile doesn’t reach her mouth and eyes. It looks like pain.
Emma’s face then asking not to make this difficult for her. Pursed lips and she swallows very subtly. Fear too, maybe? The beat took a little too long to be comfortable. If anything they’re just trying to evoke questions in the viewers. Everything just feels a little bit off.
She’s trying to convince herself - and Emma here. This screams “…but really not for myself.”
Then the hug. Quick and awkward and it looks like as little physical contact they can get away with. A hug between the two of them that wasn’t awkward would have marked them as friends. This just reinforced the tension and the awkwardness. They don’t act like simple friends, you can feel something’s going on beneath the surface.
The most important tell in this scene is Snow’s face in the background. She’s ready to smile at her friend and her daughter having a moment, but then she notices something that makes her want to deflect. It’s not so difficult to imagine Regina looks like she’s on the verge of crying or in serious pain… and nobody knows Regina like Snow does, and Snow does always want to fix everything, so she jumps on it.
Emma was acting uncharacteristically over the top the whole time. We know she’s actually a convincing actress, think back to when she was pretending to be on a date with Ryan and the references to her being undercover. This just doesn’t feel like the way Emma would be acting over a proposal.
I think this scene explains Emma’s face in the third gif. She knows if anyone’s gonna call her out on it, it’s Regina. If anyone’s gonna see through it, it’s her… but Regina respects the silent plea, maybe she doesn’t see it because she’s trying to repress her own emotions.
So what I find specifically interesting is that for seasons on end we’ve had nothing but hand touches and that was deliberate. In the episode “Only you” - a song containing the words “the touch of a hand” Emma and Regina shared so many hand touches in that episode after a season of distance, that it couldn’t have been a coincidence.
…and what happened between then and now?
A few episodes ago, they came out of the… magic wardrobe. Suddenly they are able to touch beyond hands.
Then last season we had Emma’s dream about her issues directly connected to Ruby and Dorothy’s story.
…and we had Emma vowing to get to work… to become herself again? The jacket from season one. She hasn’t worn it since the first episode or at least the first few? That has to be significant.
…and I could go on for a while… but the point I want to make is that the queer story seems to be the one they’re actually telling and it’s progressing slowly, but this hug and the awkwardness fits into that narrative. It’s what they’ve been doing all along and it was meant to highlight Regina is not okay with that marriage and that there is more than meets the eye.