Look OUAT has ALOT of problems but one of the greatest things they ever did was during the underworld arc. No I’m not talking about Hades–he was dumb and underdeveloped. Let me explain!
On the search and rescue for Hook, Emma comes across two influential people from Hook’s past. His ex-girlfriend Milah and his highly admired older brother Liam.
At first glance the misogyny sets itself up. We (including Rumple) expect Emma and Milah to hate each other and be at odds. This is not the case. Using the power of kindness and feminism Emma and Milah become allies who work together to save Killian from Hades. (Rip Milah forever she deserved better).
Next Emma meets Liam Jones the first. Hook has been spending a lot of time putting his brother on a pedestal and we as audience members expected that Emma and Liam would be fast friends. Turns out Liam had that pedestal a little too far up his ass (I love him but it’s true). Emma and Liam do not get along. This sets up a visual for Hook’s internal conflict and helps him see the best in himself and the flawed yet still lovable humanity in his brother.
It would have been easy for the writers to use girl on girl hate to further Hook’s conflict but they did not. Instead they went the feminist route and made Milah and Emma gal pals that deserved better. (Screw you rumple!) It would have been easy for the writers to make Liam “Mr. Perfect” like we (and Killian) always expected him to be. Instead he is a well rounded and flawed characters that fits perfectly into the “gray area” that OUAT loves to play in.
OUAT has made a lot of mistakes narrative wise over the years but the Milah x Emma and the Emma x Liam x Killian interactions were very well written. Season 5 is the second best season after season 3 and if it weren’t for Robin’s death and that shit finale it could have been the best season of the whole show.
…………in all honesty though if Season 7 of Once Upon a Time does not include a multi-episode arc that tells the angsty, heartbreaking, beautiful tale of the woman who loved her sons, Liam and Killian Jones, until she tragically died somehow then what the bloody hell is the point?