(To go tangential, I have a theory that part of the reason N&E rarely have the opportunity to have good meaty conversations is that it was necessary to drag their story out. If you actually let them have a good conversation, their story would be resolved very very quickly, because the only thing keeping them apart is all of the unresolved junk from the last decade. But if they are constantly being torn apart or kept on an adventure, they can delay them resolving things through conversation. I am sure that I am not the first SF fan to state that, but as I am watching through bits and pieces of their story, it is occurring to me how little time they have had to just talk. Since the discussion on the beach and the ILY as he fell through the portal, they just haven’t had a chance to resolve it. It has to be written that way, because once they do, there will be no more triangle…)
PREACH! This paragraph gets ALL the cookies!
It’s basic storytelling that you keep the couple apart so they can’t resolve their stuff, because the story is in the angst and drama of them having stuff unresolved. Like RG mentioned, Blue’s “death” was basically just a plot contrivance to assure that Emma and Neal wouldn’t have the chance to chat at the Diner. The more the writers drop roadblocks in their way, preventing those quiet moments from happening, the more it convinces me that they’re eventually gonna get it together.
And if I might point out a contrast while we’re on the topic, Emma and Hook are hanging out plenty lately, and having no deep and meaningful discussions even though they have ample opportunity…because they simply have nothing deep and meaningful to discuss from Emma’s POV.