I cannot analyse, I am totally exhausted, so here’s onceuponamirrors analysis lol
3×11: Captain Swan Analysis
Disclaimer: I am not okay. But we’ll not be okay together, so. Ready?
Hook: “I’d risk my life for two things: love and revenge. I lost the first—if I die from my vengeance, then that’s enough for me.”
and Tink: “For the record, it wasn’t for yourself, and it wasn’t for revenge…it was for Emma.”
It was for love.
When I was watching the flashback, or when I finished it, I sort of felt like…it was a bit unnecessary. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but it doesn’t bring anything to the table, plot wise, at least on the surface.
Hook has a really brief moment of heroism, but however short it is, it is really important in the context of the whole episode, whose entire purpose was about the question whether or not villains can have happy endings.
Like I’ve always said, premieres and finales mirror themselves. Season 3 opened up with Hook saying that he hopes he gets a happy ending, because he doesn’t want to have wasted his life on revenge.
And now, the first half of the season closes with him saying he’s willing to risk it for love.
Furthermore, it harkens back to the season two finale, when Charming asks him what he’s fighting for, and Hook, with a pained look on his face, says, “myself.” It’s not as simple as saying we now have proof he was fighting for Emma, because it’s just that he wasn’t aware of it, at the time. The kiss exposed all of that, and Tink’s line only strengthens that fact.
This is his arc coming full circle, as well as closing the door on his own darkness.
And finally, I also noticed a nice 2×06 parallel.
Because consider now the scene where Hook leads out the giant and shouts, “Oi! You big git!” to distract him for Emma.
At this moment, Hook is halfway between revenge and love…but think about what he says later in the episode.
“I risked my own safety to help you.”
TO HELP EMMA. Hook will ONLY risk his life for revenge or love. Like in the scene with David, he didn’t know it at the time, but he already was falling for Emma. (Evidence #5036)
(And Tink is such an official Captain Swan fangirl I love her so much okay)
“YOU HAVE TO GO, EMMA.”
Hook’s face is the first one they go shoot to. And he is devastated. What’s Neal’s reaction? We’ll never know. We never really see how Neal feels about losing Emma…because it’s not what drives the plot. Knowing how Killian feels when he loses Emma, however, is. Literally.
Honestly this part of the meta is dedicated to Killian’s reaction’s shots in this scene. That’s kind of it. They cut to Snow once or twice, they cut to Neal once, but they cut to Hook 3 times.
♪♫ AND I-I-I-IIIIIII WILL ALLLWAYYS LOOVE YO— ♪♫
Ahem. I mean.
There’s a bunch I want to talk about in this scene, but let’s rewind a minute because I want to start with Neal.
Maybe this is my bias, and I do not mean to slam on SF just for the sake of it, but I felt nothing from that scene. No passion, no pull, nothing. Just two friends who accept their fate. Like, it felt like they were saying, “Yeah, yep, this is the way it has to be. Oh well. Okay, take care.”
I just…honestly, I don’t even think I could ship Swanfire even if I put aside all of their history/Neal’s betrayals. I just don’t feel anything from their interactions.
I mean, you know what an epic goodbye looks like?
On the brink of tears, desperate to fight against what’s about to tear you apart, despite knowing it’s fruitless.
Honestly, to me, these two scenes feel really familiar, even if the dialogue and the context is different. Charming tells Snow there’s hope, he lifts her spirits, just like Emma does for Hook. When she tells him “good” what she’s saying is: “I’m glad you won’t. I’m glad you won’t forget me. I care about you too.”
She’s encouraging his feelings for her. Emma Swan, the person who adamantly believes you don’t give someone false hope, because that’s far worse than not getting a happy ending.
When Neal tells Emma he’ll see her and Henry again, it’s stony-faced. Half-hearted, even. Your true love is supposed to pick you up and be strong for you, make you feel good. That’s all I see Hook and Emma doing for each other.
And let’s talk about this.
Look at her face.
It isn’t until she speaks to Hook that she starts to actually break down. It’s real, it’s suddenly so real. She has to keep it together, but this is the first moment in this scene that Emma shows her vulnerability.
This, to me, is their relationship. Him trying to make her smile, make her laugh—trying to turn a bad moment into a good one.
And she knows that. She suddenly sees everything they could’ve had, but more than that: she realizes he’s the good moments she looks for.
ONE YEAR LATER
UGH AHH probably also my favorite part of the episode.
I’ll start by bringing up what my wifey Hilary pointed out:
“…The song that’s playing when Hook finds Emma is the same song that was playing in 2×01 when Neal got the postcard and decided NOT to find Emma.”
This is subtle, but a big deal, and I can’t put it much better than that. Because at the distinct moment Neal knows that he CAN find Emma, he CHOOSES not to, whereas Hook makes the OPPOSITE choice.
Moving on, there are a lot of great structural parallels to the very first episode of the show, the pilot. When Emma Swan gets a knock on her door, her whole life changes. It starts her journey into finding not only her family, but a love of her life.
And now it’s happening again. This goes hand-in-hand with the whole theme of the curse/show kind of being “reset”, in a way. I don’t know if Emma will drink a potion to give her memories before she allows herself to fall back in love with Hook, but it doesn’t matter, because the symbolism already has done its job.
The parallel exists, and basically, if you ask me, just cemented CS as true love.
Actually, this scene does that twice, when Hook kisses her. As we know, TLK does not work if one party doesn’t REMEMBER loving the other. This has happened with both Snowing and Rumbelle.
(And while I’m here, I’ll remind you that even if Emma gets her memories back from a potion, that’s how Belle got hers back too, not from a kiss, so I don’t want to see a single person crying boo)
The point is: Hook believes it’s true love.
“I know you don’t remember me, but I can make you.”
That’s the thing about a TLK: it won’t work unless you have faith, and believe.
Remember, Hook is the man who lived for centuries with the singe-minded desire to avenge his first love. The man who, for an entire season, struggled with the vulnerability it created when he admitted he does everything for Emma. In this very episode hadn’t been willing to say aloud he fought for love until it was thrown back in his face.
It speaks volumes for how MUCH he loves her that he would be willing to make the leap of faith that Emma is his true love and a kiss would bring her back to him.
(pause for swooning)
One of my tiny favorite moments was also this scene:
I just love way Emma squints, but doesn’t close off her features.
I mean, I have a million headcanons, like that she sees him in her dreams (and yes I will write this as a fic duh obv) or something, but the point is…this moment, she’s searching his face, TRYING TO RECOGNIZE HIM.
And maybe this is also me reading too much into things, but this seemed symbolic to me.
She’s staring straight at Hook and telling him her family is here, and it felt deliberate. (Or was that just me?)
Keeper of Captain Swan's first kiss