I really really hope they don't destroy swan believer tomorrow, but judging by the pics I should be prepared for the worst. I love SQ, and I'm one of those that also liked Neal and wished they had developed him better, but if we look at it, Neal died to protect the town, but mostly Henry, his thoughts before dying was for his son, so the rumours and now pics of tomorrow episode only show to me that Emma may be willing to leave Henry behind to have other children with hook.i can't even.
You know… I feel like I want to articulate something before this episode airs because after it we will probably all have lost this moment of how we feel about it.
I am not a big fan of Emma Swan as a character. I liked her potential in the first few years but I’ve felt since, really season 3 even before the rise of CS that they kept telling me she was things that they didn’t show me. That she was a Savior yet the town seemed to be saved by everyone. I hadn’t really seen her do anything particularly special beyond what any other character in the main cast had done at different times. She wasn’t the one who defeated every villain or sacrificed for the town. In fact the only time she herself sacrificed was the season 4 final and the season 6 final when she took the Darkness and when she walked into Gideon’s blade. But see I could point out Rumple killing himself and his father in order to save his family. Snow and David crushing his heart to cast the second curse and save a kingdom. Regina undoing the curse in season three. Even Zelena giving up her magic in order to stop the Black Fairy. Self sacrifice, pain for the greater good… for those you love is in the fabric of the show and Emma wasn’t unique in this so I never felt like they told me why I should see her as a Savior capitol S. And it was just made worse when you would have other characters literally attribute others actions to her (Snow and David suggest she defeated Cora and Anton … when Emma had nothing to do with one and wasn’t even in town for the second, and Hook says she defeated Pan and Zelena). It’s literally a case of tell not show about how special and heroic Emma was when if they had stuck to telling me she was a hero and a good woman I would have not had this same feeling of unearned praise.
I think there is a similar feeling for me about Emma as Henry’s mother. There are some really beautiful moments when I feel her as a mother coming through. The season 1 final. The fire escape in Manhattan. The scene in early season 4 where she is talking to Henry and then talking to David about talking to Henry. But for the most part I just don’t think they put a lot of effort into showing me Emma as mother. But they did spend a lot of time telling me she was. In my opinion they spent a lot more time investing in showing and devloping Regina and Henry’s relationship and just kind of expected Emma and Henry to be accepted as given. Much like the labor of Savior.
I honest to god don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. The set is no where near as leaky this year as it has been in previous years. We do know that Emma is pregnant not only because of the very obvious picture of her and Hook touching her belly but because a production assistant told several fans on set the first day JMo filmed that she was. It’s been an open secret in the fandom since that was shot and I don’t know why I didn’t say it earlier. Maybe because I’ve been slightly annoyed by the idea of the implication that this was the tip of the ice berg and that people knew more than that. They don’t. No one could see the scene shot. Look at the stills. It wasn’t a place they could have fans hanging out on the side lines.
So we’ve got a limited set of information and we have to piece things together but I think in the end there is really only two options broadly speaking:
- She dies, is cursed, or something that writes her off for good. Protecting Henry would be the obvious way to do this.
- She leaves and goes back to Storybrooke to live out her life without ever being seen again.
What happens to or doesn’t happen to Hook is a secondary consideration to this. And the thing is… the writers can write in all sorts of mcguffins or plot justifications to make her leaving okay. She doesn’t know he’s in trouble (yet he called for help), she doesn’t know there is a curse coming, they’ve written this time flow thing to work this way so that if she stays she misses out on a child’s life, she’s pregnant (clearly not that far along since she’s not visibly so). But the thing is that none of that has gravitas. None of it means anything to anyone but shippers who want to write fan fic about cute baby princesses. The audience has six years invested in Emma and Henry’s relationship.
It’s the ultimate test of show not tell for her character.
She’s either Henry’s mother or she’s not. He is the story they’ve been telling. Not some hypothetical baby we’ll never see and never be invested in. Henry is the boy we saw grow up and we saw her have a relationship with. Henry is the one whose life and family we’re now seeing in danger through the course of the season. There is just no way to give a second child the emotional weight that he has to make a tough decision between him and this child carry any real narrative weight for anyone except a very small subset of people who are more invested in the idea of the child than the narrative of the story.
It’s not, as a particularly offensive post a few days ago from a part of the fandom suggested that people think her having a second child means she loves Henry less. It’s about the integrity of the narrative they’ve been telling about a noble and heroic woman who fought for and built a relationship with her son walking away. If they do that for any reason then they will have committed the show’s worst “tell not show” moment in telling me she was his mother of two true love kisses.
And why should I trust their narrative choices with other characters if they’re so ready to throw them away with Emma?