I wonder if because of all the flack they get for their support of Neal/Emma relationship that made Adam and Eric changed their mind about what to do with their relationship…I am pretty sure there are other factors to it, but I wonder if it is one of the deciding factors.
I think Adam and Eddy expected everyone to love Neal. They thought the audience/fandom would understand that Neal and Emma were TL but that fate and destiny kept them apart for a time. But that the story was them coming back together. The *problem* was that at the same time they introduced Neal and fate in the past, they introduced a certain leather clad pirate in the present. They said once in a pre-S2 article that Emma would have a few suitors in S2 because they thought it would be fun to explore what that meant for Emma. They’ve said that they always intended for Hook to fall for Emma, which I believe. But they’ve never once said that they always intended for Emma to fall for Hook. I think they dipped their toes into the water to make some waves, to have some romantic flirty fun (cause the love triangle is a common TV trope) but the reaction of the fandom and the press startled them. So instead of just ending the love triangle they kept it going, making it worse as time went on. Every time they had a chance, they had Emma declare her love for Neal but then somehow it gets sideswiped episodes later 304: “I never stopped loving him” ; 305 : Kisses Hook; 306 : “i will probably always love you” to Neal). So as it continued, it got more messy, uglier, and IMO, let to them killing off Neal and calling it story reasons.