The problem with the OUAT midseason finale wasn't that we got too little CS - it's that we got too much.
But I’m not complaining about it!
Despite what haters say, Captain Swan and Hook are both extremely popular - and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by ABC.
The result - we got A LOT of great stuff this season (not to mention the 2 hour finale dedicated to them last season). So expectations going into the finale, based on what led up to it, were high for many fans. And it’s not their fault. It’s the writers’ fault - because in their enthusiasm to give the fans more Killian Jones, they seemed to forget the focus of their one of their own story lines.
Emma and Hook’s big breakthrough moment came early this season - with tears in her eyes Emma told Hook “I can’t lose you too”. It was a huge moment for her - for them. And it came on the heels of a level of intimacy we hadn’t seen with them before and was followed by Emma accepting her feelings and asking him out on a date. That was their story line for 4A. The writers “wrapped it up” early because they had a ridiculous number of other plot lines to resolve.
Now the story arc with Killian’s heart, well that was really Rumple’s story. But that wasn’t obvious to a lot of people because of the way the writers handled it.
Hook’s popularity, Colin’s ability to do angst incredibly well, and the fact that the pirate/crocodile story line was never truly resolved made tying Hook to Rumple’s journey with the sorcerer’s hat a natural choice. Fantastic! Except for the fact that in their enthusiasm to showcase Hook the writers forgot the focus of their own story, which was Rumple’s backslide and the effect this would have on his marriage. We got a lot of Killian Jones in anguish and almost no Belle - in fact the writers literally had her sleep through much of the plot. We had a TWO HOUR episode in which she was not featured at all.
As a Rumple fan I was desperately hoping it would be Belle that got Hook his heart back - it felt like it just had to be her to defeat Rumple. But the majority of my fellow CSers were expecting Emma to save her pirate. And who could blame them? The writers gave Hook a lot of screen time and they really showcased the agony he was in by being forced to perform terrible acts under control of the Dark One, as well as the sadness he felt in being one more person to “abandon” Emma. In the finale they even suggested Emma would figure things out because Hook was acting “off”. And maybe they did this intentionally - maybe they were trying to misdirect us so that Belle showing up would be a real surprise. If so, it worked. But it left many fans quite disappointed; they saw the plot as building up to a big emotional moment for Emma and Hook not realizing that the writers felt they had already delivered that moment earlier in the season.