I’d like to think that’s how it goes down Slurpeez. We just never know! We have no idea what Emma believes her life has been like other than she is living in NY, still wearing the ring pendant, presumably has a bug for a car, and calls Henry kid.
About Neal being in the FTL with Belle and the Charmings–
I kind of feel like Neal is a bit like Stitch. Not in the mischief making reformed evil way, but in the “really just wants a family to love him”. MRJ even has “Ohana” tattoo apparently.
I want to see why Emma doesn’t love Neal if that is how she feels, but I do think she kept the bug out of love, and the pendant. I think she’s said she knew the instant she saw him again that she still loved him. People want to pretend she was “fine” but that was her trying to cope with the heartbreak, the same way he tried to cope with it. They didn’t WANT to part, because their relationship was wonderful. He was not abusive, he didn’t undermine her or tear her down. If anything, he believed in her so completely that he let her risk herself for him, even though he’s the one who feels like he has to pay for his own mistakes. He just wanted to be with her so badly, that even though he knew the “steal the watches ” plan was a bad idea, and risky, he went for it.
We’ll never know what he was going to say to her about Canada, whether he really meant that he was breaking up with her or rather–he had to cross alone. The way he gets interrupted with her plan, and the fact he agrees to it, with such relief, it seems to me he wasn’t planning on breaking up with her but even parting from her for long enough to avoid risking her getting picked up as his accomplice stressed him out. That’s why he talked about how hard it is to cross. Plus, he probably didn’t even necessarily have a US passport, considering well–we don’t even know how he got to this world.
I hope they get another shot at that conversation in Manhattan–in a weird way, August stole the better Rumple-son reunion speech I think. So perhaps the writers owe Neal the chance to at least have one talk go right with someone he cares about, without further misunderstandings creeping into it because of anger and fear about the righteous anger.
Neal would be calmer this time without the guilt about Tamara, with the knowledge that Emma loves him and will probably always love him. He’d be able to explain–and exposition means we don’t have to worry about seeing August.
They’ve been so underwhelming with reveals, I hope I’m right that it is as simple as blood magic meant Pan could track Neal and he had to leave. He couldn’t even go back to Emma lest Pan would know where she was and that August tracked him the same way as Pan might. We never did find out which “little fairy” told August–what if it was the mysteriously name dropped Black Fairy who was exiled somewhere.
Since they didn’t tie that backstory into Pan and the Darlings it would feel anti-climactic to get into it now, unless there’s even more to the tale. I just hope there’s a good fairytale reason that Neal had to leave and not go back, not contact her, something to explain the “if I can’t be there, you have to promise you will be.” Neal thought he couldn’t stay–not that he could and was chosing to go out of fear. So I want to know what August said that made him think he had to “promise to steer clear”. In hindsight, Neal might still kick himself for listening and not taking the risk–but perhaps it was a wise risk not to take.
If it helps us get some mythology reveal on the black fairy too–that could be really cool and not just something we shippers agonize over but everyone else is like “really, does it matter?”
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?” -- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass