I feel like, if we re-watched Tallahassee now, after seeing all this wonderful development between Captain Swan and then compare why Emma is the way she is and why her and Neal fell apart, Captain Swan make more sense now as True Loves.
It goes back to that idea, that there’s a true love for you at every stage of your life. Emma now is not the same Emma she was then in Tallahassee, in the flashbacks. Emma then was hopeful for a home and love but more importantly, a home. She strongly believed in the dream for Tallahassee as their home (it seriously could have been anywhere as long as her and Neal were together). And then Neal left her and Emma ended up in jail and she became the pessimistic Emma we saw in the pilot.
Emma now, is still a bit jaded but she also knows that there a lot of people who love her. And a part of still believes in that dream for Tallahassee but thinks its’ still out of reach because of who she is, the savior and product of true love. But Emma is taking baby steps towards accepting love in her life. She trusts Hook look after Henry and also trusts him to tell her the truth, even when it’s not what she wants to hear. One day soon maybe even next episode Emma is going to steadily let love back into her life because she, like her mom, value action more than words.
It’s going to mean something to her once she finds out what Hook was up to in the lost year without her. It’s going to make seeing him again in The New York Serenade, more meaningful because he didn’t just come back so she could help save her family, but he came back for HER! And he’s the only man who’s done that. Hook’s actions will be incredibly meaningful to Emma once it comes out, just like how JMo expressed how meaningful it was that Hook genuinely wanted to help in 3A.
The writing of this ‘ship, really when you think about, in relation to SwanFire, it’s perfect because we understand where the failures were and what Emma needs now from her true love.