Fangirl Friday: Captain Swan
There is some great TV out there right now, especially genre shows, which makes me unbearably happy after a decade-long dearth of good TV shows. That topic could be an easy subject of fangirling, in itself. But today I'm going to focus on one great show, and even more specifically, one pair of characters on one great show.
I don't often start watching shows from the very first episode, but as a lifelong lover of fairy tales, I had to check out Once Upon a Time when it premiered. I was hooked (haha, no pun intended!) from that very first episode, but in the middle of the first season my heart was broken when a character departed too soon, and I nearly gave up on OUAT. But the second season came along, bringing Captain Killian "Hook" Jones with it, and watching Hook and Emma dance around each other has kept me gleefully coming back week after week ever since.
Join me after the jump and I'll tell you about some of the reasons I am fully on board the Captain Swan ship.
Warning, there will be some major show spoilers, and there will definitely be lots of gushing and sigh-inducing GIFs.
Emma is, far and away, my favorite character on the show. She's The Savior--do I need to gush any more? And Emma has been through so much in her young life, that she deserves nothing but happiness from here on out. That happiness should include a smokin' hot dude who worships the ground she walks on. While still challenging her, and encouraging her to be the best Emma Swan she can be. She deserves someone who has always believed in her, and who wants nothing more than to be with her.
There have been a few characters who have crossed her path who fulfill some of those qualifications, but many of those have drifted right back out of her life, some have betrayed her, while only one is still standing, still encouraging her, still fighting for her and those she loves. Killian Jones. Hook was certainly a villain when we first met him, but life is rarely black and white, with such clearly delineated roles, and Hook's character has grown, adapted, evolved. We've learned about his past, his motivations, the events in his life that have broken him, shaped him, guided his choices.
The Hook we knew initially as the villain working with Cora was narrowly focused on revenge against Rumplestiltskin, regardless of who was harmed in the process. His reasons for wanting, no, needing revenge are completely understandable, although his methods were often abhorrent. And it's understandable that the people he harmed in his quest are still pissed, as we saw with Belle recently. But Hook's feelings for Emma have changed him irrevocably, as he strives to be a man worthy of The Savior.
Abandoned as a child, living most of her life feeling completely alone, Emma keeps her feelings very close, not letting most people in, where they can hurt or abandon her. It's going to take some time for Emma to return Hook's feelings, but the fact that he's been so open about his will help her get there, I'm sure. Emma has allowed many people into her life since Henry brought her to Storybrooke, but Henry is the only one that Emma allows in completely, unconditionally. She even holds her parents at arms length still, which is understandable, considering she's only known she had parents for a short time. But Hook has managed to crack her defenses, even if they aren't broken down quite yet. It's in Emma's unguarded moments that we see her true feelings, rather than in declarations, but that doesn't make them any less there.
And while Emma heals from a lifetime of loneliness, Hook is well aware that Emma has healed his heart, from a loss he believed he would carry to the grave. His revelation in the cave that Emma showed him that he could move on from his lost love was stunning. And watching him, week after week, strive to be a better man, a man worthy of her, is glorious.
Now, I've told you before about how l love an anti-hero, and I adore Hook's use of innuendo. Way more than I should, I know. But I find it sexy, funny, charming. It's certainly not the kind of thing your typical hero would say, it's improper and unexpected, but it's such a silly, fun character trait, that I can't help but giggle and be charmed.
This has been a great season for Captain Swan, especially in the second half, but before everyone made their way back to Storybrook, there was adventure and angst in Neverland, including an amazing kiss that made my shipper heart squeal with joy, do a happy dance, and watch the GIFs and YouTube videos countless times. More times than is probably healthy, actually. But LOOK at it! It was face-melting hot, and rocked Emma's world more than she would ever admit.
The mid-season finale was sad, yet hopeful at the same time, containing two of my very favorite Captain Swan moments, ever. First, as Emma is saying her goodbyes to her friends and family, for what everyone believes will be the last time, Hook promises that he will think of her every single day. Emma's reply? "Good." And they share the most beautiful, heart-breaking look. I could watch GIFs of this moment on an endless loop for all time.
Then we see that a year has passed, Emma and Henry have a life together in New York, they don't know about this whole other life they've lived. As they are sitting down to breakfast one morning, there's an unexpected knock at the door and when Emma opens it......Hook is standing there. Emma, of course, has no idea who this person is, but the look on Hook's face, the pure, unadulterated joy....slays me. Every.single.time!
Now we're at a point in the show where we have no idea what Hook has been up to for the past year, having left the Enchanted Forest in search of his beloved ship, in hopes of forgetting Emma, resuming his role as Captain of the Jolly Roger and generally moving on with life. (I have some speculation on what happened, but I'd rather focus on what we DO know.) We do know that whatever transpired, Hook is the only one in Storybrook who remembers what happened over the past year, and for some reason, he had to be the one to find Emma and convince her to return to her role as The Savior. Could anyone else have convinced her to drink that potion? I'm not sure.
But we do know that, whatever happened, Hook is striving to be a good man, a man worthy of Emma. That was crystal clear to me when he reached out to Neal/Bae to offer him comfort and acknowledge their connection through Milla and the time Hook was Bae's guardian. We also see Hook trying to be honorable in his interactions with Henry. When everyone was mourning for Neal, Hook sharing stories and insights about him was lovely to see. I love that Emma trusts Hook to take care of Henry while she's adventuring, and the banter between the two guys is perfect.
So there you have it, Saucy Readers. Just a handful of reasons that Captain Swan is my favorite couple on TV right now. I'm going to be honest and say that I'm not 100% certain that they are the end game. So many things could happen to come between them. But, for now, I adore these characters, individually, and I love them even more together. Flirty banter, unbearable good looks, imperfections and all. This couple will keep me watching, week after week.
Do you love Emma, Hook, and Captain Swan as much as I do, Saucy Reader? Do you have another OUAT favorite ship? Who is your favorite ship in TV right now? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
***All GIFs from http://captainswan.tumblr.com/
***Captain Swan Poster from http://lostlannisterbastard.tumblr.com/post/63378390705/believe-in-captain-swan