Okay, so I was watching this episode and I got about 10 minutes into it before it was too much fro my brain. The Swan Queen is unreal.
I’m going to watch the rest later.
There’s the dagger control scene which, really, Regina. It is wrong. But I’ve finally figured out why I’ll always choose Regina over Hook.
My biggest problem with Hook is the deception. He lies to Emma, a LOT. And it’s not even the lying that bothers, well, no actually it is. It’s a personal thing. I hate when people lie to me. I can usually tell and it just pisses me off because I feel like you’re trying to insult my intelligence, thinking I won’t see right through you. I’d choose someone who spouts harsh truths over one who tells me beautiful lies any day. Which makes the choice between Regina and Hook, very easy. Since Regina’s default setting when it comes to Emma is usually honesty, brutal or not.
The only thing for me that makes lying something I’m willing to understand and forgive is the intent behind it. And that’s another thing where Regina and Hook have come to differ.
Regina and Hook both used to lie and deceive to save their own asses. Regina has lied to Emma about a bunch of things, mainly in early season 2. I’m guessing because Emma was a reluctant ally, one she wasn’t willing to lose. Self-preservation and all that.
But lately, for the past few seasons, she’s been honest with Emma even if she has had the option of lying convincingly knowing that telling the truth could literally make Emma turn away from her. Most notable, 4x05. The difference is that Hook hasn’t made that change. He still lies to Emma to save his own ass. He still doesn’t trust her enough to not turn away from him as a result of being faced with the truth.
Regina has lied, even recently, the only time I can recall being, when Emma said that she felt everyone was lying to her. I don’t remember exactly what Regina said but I think it was a lie followed by a truth. My point her is the intent makes all the difference. The truth wasn’t hers to tell. It wasn’t her secret to tell. And the entire reason for that secret was to protect Emma. Because Emma’s parents had entrusted her with protecting Emma. That’s what she was trying to do.
When you lie to protect someone, it’s wrong, but it’s easier to forgive, in my opinion, than when you lie to protect yourself. Lying is wrong either way but when your reason s selfless instead of selfish, it makes all the difference.
And when you hurt someone while in the process of trying to protect them, even if it’s against themselves, it’s easier to forgive.
Which is why this scene doesn’t bother me as much. What does bother me is that Regina is trying to protect Emma from using dark magic here. It’s a legitimate reason for controlling her. But she then retracts that protection of Emma in order to have her save Robin. That bothers me so much more. I get it, but it takes away from this scene.
Which, I think is why Regina didn’t use the dagger to make Emma save Robin. She wanted it to be her choice, because part of her knew it was the wrong one. Even if it did entail saving a life. Which kind of makes it worse in a a way, because it wasn’t even fair. Because on some level Regina must have known that she wouldn’t need the dagger. That seeing her in pain would have Emma making the choice that would undo that on her own. That’s a whole new kind of manipulation. Which explains even more why Emma is so pissed at her when she goes to Emma for help with the fury. And dares to blame its presence on her. But it’s still better than using the dagger on Emma to have her save Robin. I think that would have been the worst kind of betrayal after this particular moment.