Last night, a very interesting anon asked me this (orignal post):
I figured I could post my answer again (with some new remarks), since a I got a lot of reactions last night (and as it was late in Europe some people may not have seen it).
In light of this post and the official postcast for 2x21, we can now state that Emma does indeed “still hold a torch for Neal”. But it’s no surprise, because, as cliché as it can be, you always love your first love. But it doesn’t mean that everybody gets back with their first love, does it…?
Despite this, I think it’d be weird to make Emma fall back into Neal’s arms, and not (only) because she’s a strong woman.
I’d say that to me love and strength are deeply connected. And a female character falling in love is not a sign of weakness, on the contrary. I think it’s important to add this, because unfortunately a lot of people tend to think that it’s the case when woman fall in love. Letting someone in requires a lot fo courage. But in this case, Neal is the one who broke Emma. He made her who she is now, whether in a good or in a bad way, because our experiences shape our lives. If she came back together with him…
To me, there are basically 2 ways to see it :
I think that ever since the first season, Emma’s character has been breaking free from the demons of her past : the son she gave up for adoption coming back to her, her finding her parents, and finally, her getting closure. The fact that she found Neal must come down to this. They never broke up, things were left unfinished. Emma needed to meet again with him in order to move on. To close a chapter. As Eddy said :
And the more she tells Neal ‘It was ten years ago, I’ve moved on’, we know she hasn’t, we know it’s hard for her to see him living Tallahassee, with someone else
Emma hadn’t totally moved on, precisely because things were left unfinished. And the writers chose to make Neal fall into a portal… This is what I call a literal closure. She said it : to her, Neal is dead. This is very symbolic. She’s finally moving on.
OUAT is about love. The main character must find love, and basically they all said that Emma was going to find it at some point if my memory serves me right. But fairytales are not about harmful love, are they ? They’re about love that transcend, make you a better person like Belle did to Rumple. Not the kind of love that break you like Neal’s broke Emma. I think they clearly introduced Neal as a memory, a part of Emma’s past. And having him sucked out from the main action, away from Emma is a way to free her from this ghost.
I digressed, didn’t I ? To answer more clearly, I think that, indeed, it’d be more than weird to make Emma fall back into Neal’s arms.
I’m not pretending I know what the writers have in mind… But to me, having Emma and Neal getting back together would be above all illogical and it would close so many interesting doors ! I think that Emma and Hook complete each other. I don’t see that in Swanfire. So I really think season 3 will be about Emma finding love, struggling… and hooking up.