When was the first scene you saw, that made you believe for certain the writers were going to make Captain Swan a couple? (If you've already answered a question like this, I apologize!)
Never apologize for asking a delightful question!
I had an instant response to this, didn’t have to think about it at all. It was during the episode 3x06 Ariel.
And it may be a surprising scene to you, because I don’t mean the Echo Cave scene.
Don’t get me wrong, that scene was hugely important and set up this scene, but it’s not the moment that I KNEW what the writers had planned. Before this I was pretty dang sure they were gonna go there with Hook and Emma, but I also was very wary of a love triangle with Neal, and thought they might go that direction first and I wasn’t quite sure what they were gonna do with him.
The scene where I KNEW that CS was 100% the plan and Neal was a non-issue was at the end of this episode. It’s when Neal is giving his gross speech to Emma about how he’s not going to give up and Hook is watching them through the faux-jungle of Neverland.
We see that scene from Hook’s perspective. It’s about him, and it’s about Emma, and it’s about them, what it’s not about is the two people in the conversation. While watching, it dawned on me that in that episode we don’t see anything from Neal’s point of view. We don’t know what Neal is thinking and feeling, we don’t know why he’s suddenly all-in on Emma, but we do know what Hook is thinking and feeling.
If Neal had been a real suitor, that moment would have been from his point-of-view, not his rival’s.
Everything in that episode was about Captain Swan, Neal was a device to illustrate that Emma was making an active choice when she choose Hook. And Hook witnessing this moment is probably a big part of why in the very next episode he declares his intentions towards Emma.
From that moment on I was sure that Captain Swan was *the* relationship that mattered in terms of Emma and it would only be a matter of time until they were together.