The truth is that I hated last episode’s flashbacks. I hated that Emma still looked somewhat lifeless. It made me wonder if maybe Emma looking and acting like this really isn’t on purpose after all. Maybe JMo’s just phoning it in at this point (god knows I would after what they pulled with the Dark Swan arc).
Most of all, I hated, hated, hated that they made the red jacket her “armor”. For me, that jacket symbolizes Emma Swan more than anything else, including the bug. It symbolizes our Emma, the one I fell in love with in Season 1 and related to on a very personal, painful level. The one we watched slowly let down her walls through four seasons of character development (some better than others, but still Emma). The one that found the family she’d looked for her whole life and learned to love and be loved; decided to stay and accepted that they wouldn’t leave. That Emma wears the red jacket, and she is strong and she is vulnerable because she knows her family is worth risking some pain.
This is not that Emma. And they aren’t satisfied simply taking her away from us and replacing her with this shell of a person, this sad, lifeless, frail woman who speaks in monotone from the safety of her boyfriend’s arms. No, that’s not enough. They want to tell us that our Emma never even existed. She was a mask, an armor, a defense mechanism that the “real” Emma was using because she was “afraid to love”. They want to tell us that although Emma spent her entire life looking for family, finding them didn’t really break any walls down. Loving her parents, her son, her friends, none of that made her vulnerable. Only Hook was important enough for her to do that, and now she can finally be herself. She can put the armor down. She can get rid of the red jacket.
The red jacket symbolizes Emma Swan. They want to say that the jacket was “armor”. That it was “walls”. They want to say one of my favorite characters never existed.
The transparent plastic ball — known as a zorb — veered off course and sailed over a rock ledge in the rugged Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia. The ball picked up speed as it flew down the steep slope, rolling and bouncing. One man was killed and the other badly injured. (AP Photo/Family photo provided by Yekaterina Achkasova, APTN)
You know, the Emma Swan that I actually admired, who was a strong character determined to fight for the things that mattered to her, the one who stood up for what she believed in and encouraged others to fight back and be who they wanted to be rather than what everyone else told them to be.
I miss the Emma Swan who wanted Henry, who fought to become his mother and wanted to protect him at all costs, who would stand up against anything be it monsters, Peter Pan, Zelena etc to help save her child. I miss the Emma Swan who shared True Love’s Kiss with Henry and knew she could be a mother.
I miss the Emma Swan who wanted to find a home and a family even though she had no idea how to be part of one, who tried so hard to be a daughter and find her place to belong. She struggled and it wasn’t easy but she still carried on and tried to stop a pattern of running away through fear. That Emma Swan, had walls but she still conveyed her struggles and fights and emotions in a way that resonated with me.
The Emma Swan that I loved to watch on screen was the one who found herself and decided who she wanted to be and who has been slowly overcoming new obstacles and revelations, who has loved, lost and struggled to figure out where she fits in Storybrooke, the one who’s journey to find her home was one I was invested in. She was a character who I rooted for, who I wanted to find happiness.
Then Captain Swan happened.
I had high hopes for Hook’s character. I had higher ones for Emma’s and all of those hopes fell to dust.
Emma became someone who it has now become a struggle to watch and want her to succeed. She’s become someone who has slowly been losing whatever faith and confidence she had in herself to become a shell of the character I knew. With Hook, she isn’t being built up and supported but dragged down. She became someone who put her boyfriend ahead of her son and family, who blindly forgave Hook for everything even if it put her family in danger, who went on a foolish errand to the Underworld even when he advised her to let go, letting her family endanger themselves because they would do anything to support her.
Now would she do the same for them? In tonight’s episode when they wanted her help she would only actually do so when it became about helping Hook, who went in blindly and rashly because all she could think of was her own guilt and regret. She did exactly what she did as the Dark One, retreating from her family and went in out of control which wasn’t going to help anyone.
It’s what annoyed me so much when Hook got props for helping kill Hades because he didn’t. Zelena killed Hades, she chose her family over him because she knew he was only going to cause the people she loved harm. Zelena was the hero of this story not Hook.
As for the actions at the end of the episode I felt they were beyond callous. When Neal died, the entire family were behind Emma trying to support her including Regina. When Hook died, Regina followed Emma to the underworld to help even though it meant putting herself at risk because that’s what people who have each other’s back do. When Robin died, I don’t think Emma even looked at Regina once, considering this is someone who Emma felt a connection to because they were both “unique” and understoof each other, I expected a hell of a lot more compassion. To then make out over Robin’s very fresh grave felt…well it felt more than a bit disrespectful.
I don’t know if it’s Adam and Eddy’s intention to turn their main character into such an unlikable one or not but it’s certainly what they’re achieving.
As an SQ shipper I find it very hard to watch because this Emma isn’t one I want to ship anyone with. Seasons One-Four Emma, yes because she undeniably had Regina’s back and fought for her and Henry whenever she could. The Swan-Mills Family was a beautiful core of the show with the three of them figuring out how to be a family unit and for Regina and Emma to build a relationship. That’s the SQ I want to remember. That’s the SQ that Swen fell in love with and wanted to see become something.
It’s the Emma Swan I wish we had, the one who was there for her family no matter what, who for all of her hang-ups and fears was still a confident, strong character but also had incredibly vulnerable moments wherein she let her family be there for her. That’s the Emma Swan I want back.
I saw yet another stroller recall yesterday (they seem to pop up every week) and I thought, “To make a truly safe stroller, it would have to never fall over and have no hard surfaces.” Then, I thought. “Baby Zorb! I’m a genius! Someone get on this immediately.”