This episode was disgusting! Emma choosing Hook over her parents and then a basically confirmation they are true love's to boot. A real salt in the wound for SQ. How can there be hope anymore when the show continues to fall so far?
They’re making it increasingly clear that Emma and Hook are acting completely selfish. That’s not a bad thing, unless you think it’s accidental writing, which I don’t think it is.
This whole thing is a metaphor for the socialization of women. The orphan is used a lot in fairy tales, because it symbolizes the human experience, not necessarily being without parents, but being divorced from God/Spirit/Guidance/The Force/whatever-works-for-you. Emma in season one is portrayed as the orphan who is still in her natural state. She has escaped consistent socialization because she has never been in the same place long enough to be subjected to the same kind of slow daily brainwashing-of-how-to-behave.
If you look at it that way, then you have to equal Emma meeting Snow and Charming as Emma being born. She’s experiencing a form of socialization many women go through from birth. Expected to be a Savior, a nurturer, to put others before herself. We’ve seen how that process works. She doesn’t want to disappoint her parents, her mother communicates what she wants from her through verbal and non-verbal communication. Pleasing of the parents lead to letting in a man who takes advantage of that same socialization, to be a savior. They even call it the Savior-complex.
It’s unrealistic because Emma was 28 when we met her, but this is a fairy tale, it’s not supposed to be realistic. It’s symbolic. Emma is currently in a place many women find themselves in. The final battle is one many modern women actually need to fight. It’s putting yourself in the equation. Facing your fears of losing people, your fears of not being nice. Avoiding the pitfalls of starting to see yourself as some sort of saint, because you are just so good that you have to save everyone around you.
With Regina we’ve seen a story of someone who worked her way out of conditioning. If you take Emma’s story and then put Regina’s story behind it, you have a guideline for how to work your way out of this.
Of course, Emma won’t have to go through everything Regina’s gone through, because in Emma’s case, first Snow cast a curse, then Hook cast a curse, literally making Emma a slave to the desires of her parents and her partner. For her there is a shortcut of breaking those curses, she doesn’t have to go through what Regina went through.
While Emma has learned not to judge Regina by having a taste of her life, Regina has learned what it means to be isolated and having to step up. They can now both end up at the same place, with Emma remembering who she was at the very beginning of the story, but with the ability to attach herself to people and Regina having gone through a long process of recovery and throwing off the conditioning of her abusers.
They are, however, not going to deal with this before the final battle, so it’s going to get darker and darker and darker before the dawn…