Swan Queen: Happy Endings Aren't Always What We Think They'll Be
I subscribe to the pretty popular headcanon that Regina has been in love with Emma for a while, but Emma is too dumb/disconnected from her emotions to realize how she feels. And though just a gif of them looking at each other could be enough evidence to support that, this afternoon I felt the need to sit down and make a list of exactly why it feels so true.
I also always have this post top of mind, because what seemed like a minor continuity error could really be a massive, beautiful turning point in Regina’s feelings for Emma and the SQ story at large. I wonder how many little things could be painting a bigger picture we can’t yet see? SWEN feel baited/abused because for so long what we’ve been shown and what we’re being told to think about it don’t match up. What happens if we ignore the PR shit-show, or assume this is the best/meanest spoiler cover-up of all time? What if we are getting what we want and we’re too in the weeds to see it?
4x05 felt like a dream, a trick. The episode took place in air quotes: clearly “gay” but not gay. It was a feast after a famine. Why give us what we want (Regina/Emma emotionally evolving/spending time together) PLUS extra rainbow sprinkles? Especially when you’re trying to discourage all the homo and keep saying it’ll never happen? Why is the mouth never in sync with the cursed hand? Emma’s childhood backstory didn’t need to be dripping with so much gay. You didn’t owe us Elsa (the biggest closet case ever) repeating that clearly Regina and Emma are important to each other over and over, that you don’t give up on the person you love move the moon with. You certainly didn’t owe us Will mistaking Snow/Emma as a married couple, introducing gay!Emma as a casual idea and reminding everyone just how many gaydars the Sheriff sets off on the regular. Regina didn’t have to refer to them as “partners.” Emma didn’t need to have a boozy breakup cry over a girl she knew for 3 seconds when Neal essentially got 2 minutes of mourning—sorry SwanFire! So why so much gay now? Just to add a layer of Asshole to the Dick cake you’ve been baking for 4 seasons? Maybe. Maybe just good old-fashioned ratings prostitution. I don’t know.
Anyway, I’m not sure what this is, except that I started thinking about Regina quietly loving Emma, getting her heart broken repeatedly, and Emma utterly missing it…until this season where the blonde sort of gets a clue. I was thinking about where we could be in the overall SQ journey, and how we often miss what’s in front of us.
So here’s my messy thoughts about Regina in love, the evolution of Swan Queen, and Emma being a blind idiot.