I so agree and like that this season Emma and Charming are having those moments we had all been hooping would have happened in the past. Lot of this we can put down to Ginny's real life pregnancy taking her out of a lot of action, but all the better for the plot. Snow always seemed to just want Emma to fit this mold of what she thought her daughter would be and just, to me anyway, not quite "get" who Emma was as a person. Charming does seem to.
I'm not feeling the "monkey is really Neal". Maybe Walsh, maybe even Little John for all we know. But I seem to recall somewhere that we had a hint from someone that Neal would go "dark" and to me that implies dabbling in magic or taking an evil turn in his actions. For him to try magic, which he has always hated, is a pretty desperate act and he probably will turn out to not have inherited dad's magic touch.