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Killian Jones/Captain Hook: One Handed Pirate With A Drinking Problem

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What is the point of him anymore, besides eye candy? Literally. He's a useless idiot who adds nothing to the show.

I actually think he's one of the smarter characters, although like most of them have at some point or other, he's behaved with less intelligence for the sake of the plot. That's actually the main thing I like about the character, "eye candy" being probably last on the list of the reasons I think Hook is still around. It certainly couldn't have been easy to get the bean and go to New York, one of the most populous metropolitan centers in our world and probably much more populated than any village in the Enchanted Forest. Twice he's made his way there and found the people he was looking for. He managed to convince Emma Swan that fairytales were real in a day when it took Henry around seven months and a poisoned turnover. Hook is one of the only characters who has no cursed knowledge of our world, yet except for his wardrobe and some things that get lost in translation, he's done remarkably well at adapting to this new world he's found himself in. He also managed to trick both Cora and Rumple at various points and they're the characters who usually do the manipulating, not the other way around. I don't give him points for tricking Regina, because I feel like even Pongo could do that. I think he adds plenty to the show because he's one of the few characters that haven't drank the Regina and Rumple Koolaid and this show needs more of those characters. Mostly I like him for consistently being Team Emma Swan is Awesome, even when it had nothing to do with his romantic feelings towards her and he actually risked losing her friendship by being so honest.

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I don't give him points for tricking Regina, because I feel like even Pongo could do that. I think he adds plenty to the show because he's one of the few characters that haven't drank the Regina and Rumple Koolaid and this show needs more of those characters.

It's a good thing Pongo's follows Jiminy's lead, then, because he'd definitely have a grudge. :)

 

Actually, while there hasn't been scene after scene after scene of them, Hook does also give David a male character, who is reasonably trustworthy, to play off of.  Considering the other main male character is Rumple?  Can't see David doing a lot of bonding there. The show definitely could do a David/Hook friendship, and Hook being devoted to Emma would be something David would approve of--even if he wasn't 100% sure they should be in a relationship.

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Mostly I like him for consistently being Team Emma Swan is Awesome, even when it had nothing to do with his romantic feelings towards her and he actually risked losing her friendship by being so honest.

Showing my Emma bias, that's the first thing I liked about him as well. In their first episode seriously interacting together, way before he realized his romantic feelings for her, he tells her she's "bloody brilliant, amazing" and Colin gives Hook such a joyful, enthusiastic tone in his delivery of that line.

I think they tried to recreate this in season 3 with Robin telling Regina she's "bold and audacious" but it just sounded dumb.

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I actually think he's one of the smarter characters, although like most of them have at some point or other, he's behaved with less intelligence for the sake of the plot....I think he adds plenty to the show because he's one of the few characters that haven't drank the Regina and Rumple Koolaid and this show needs more of those characters.

 

I love the fact that he is so versatile, and learns to adapt to any realm or situation. And goodness, yes! He has consistently refused to buy the villain-glorification the other characters routinely practice, and he refuses to excuse his own past actions!

 

And fully agree--Serena! lol

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I think they tried to recreate this in season 3 with Robin telling Regina she's "bold and audacious" but it just sounded dumb.

 

Really dumb.  And the bold audacity will not feel so admirable when he finds out what she did to Marian.  One hopes. 

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It's my interpretation that underneath all of Hook's pirate persona is a prince or a chivalrous noble. My theory is he was raised in royalty or aristocracy until his father abandoned his family. Following that, Hook and Liam joined the navy. 

 

Hook seems to have more of a moral code than most pirate roles. He knows the difference between good and evil better than Regina/Rumple. In Good Form flashbacks, he was a fellow well-endowed with chivalry and proper form. At times on the Jolly Roger after his brother died, he fit more of a Dread Pirate Roberts description. His piracy seemed like just a way for him to act out. He may be more of a prince or hero than he'd like to lead people to believe. If he turns out to have been a prince, I wouldn't be all that shocked.

 

His revenge for Rumple was born out of his love for Milah, who he was devoted to in his heart for hundreds of years after her death. I'd say he's equally devoted to Emma now as he was to Milah then if not more. Any other pirate would go for any woman he could find. but not sober Hook.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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I always just assumed it wasn't a royal background but his naval background that gave him is gentlemanly honor. Good Form was all about following his brother and the king and he seemed to actually be conflicted by questioning the king's authority. That is, of course, until his brother died.

 

But the prince theory could be interesting although it just makes me think of the final scene in Spaceballs whenever it comes up.

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I'm sort of hoping Hook isn't some lost prince.  His background though is so vague that things could go anywhere with him.  His father was some fugitive and we know absolutely nothing of his mother.  I really want them to delve more into his background, but the show is too busy with bringing new villains/martyrs.

 

I've been watching clips of his scenes during the hiatus and I should stop because I have insomnia and watching his clips doesn't help put me to sleep at all.  He has some really funny/hilarious scenes. 

 

He has consistently refused to buy the villain-glorification the other characters routinely practice, and he refuses to excuse his own past actions!

 

I love this so much about him.  I liked what they did with both the Crocodile and Good Form and even the Jolly Roger.  I really like that makes no excuses for himself and how honest he is which is why him keeping the whole lip curse from everyone was just extremely annoying because that really wasn't the character they showed.  And he's someone who always seems to come around for the people he cares about.  He started out using Bae, then changed because he cared about him...

 

And he's not some perpetual victim or some self-sacrificial moron who keeps reminding everyone what he lost and feels justified in doing the things he did.  It's like he had every opportunity in 3B to just tell Emma to bugger off and how he basically sold his ship for a magic bean so that he could find her and he didn't. 

 

Anyway...looking forward to see what's in store for him next season.  I hope he'll get things outside of Emma so that they can allow him to have other things outside of that relationship.  I don't want him to be tied to her all the time even though I really, really like them together.

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Maybe he has to go early to start testing for new costumes or something (a girl can dream, OK?).

 

I do hope, like YaddaYadda that he gets something to do outside of Emma this season as it would be nice to see him spread his wings a bit, but I think he has a purpose and comes across as a fully formed character regardless.  I was having a conversation with someone about a male character on the show Orphan Black.  Cal was a new character this season, was revealed to be an old flame of the main character, who we'd never heard of before.  She really screwed up his life before abandoning him suddenly, but in the present they fall back into bed together after about 5 minutes of him being mad and not trusting her.  For the rest of the season, he's basically a doormat.  He'll question her but gives up immediately when she doesn't want to talk about it, even when the topic directly affects his life.  He's there when she needs him, disappears when she doesn't, and apparently doesn't have any opinions about her uprooting his life yet again.  He's a plot device.  And the person I was discussing this with felt that Cal was supposed to be a grounding force for the main character, but to me, that's what Hook does for Emma, while still being an actual person not a plot device.  He calls her out constantly, he'll back off if she's really not in the mood or it's not a good time, but overall he pushes her on issues she would rather bury and not deal with.  He has opinions about what's happening, both on a plot level and on a more personal character level, and he expresses them, to Emma and to others.  I think his lack of a story completely outside Emma, and his limited relationships outside her, can be attributed to the same shoddy writing that causes other issues on the show - the writers of late are all plot plot plot with very few quiet character moments, and since at the end of the day Hook is a supporting character on not a main character, he so far hasn't really gotten as much side plot or side relationships as some other characters.  And like I said, I hope that changes, but in the meantime I still think he manages to be a fully formed person, who could easily hold his own subplot because he's already a fully formed person.

 

As for Hook emotionally blackmailing Emma into making out with him, I want to go back and address that point specifically, because I have friends in emotionally abusive relationships and this complaint has always really bothered me because I have first hand experience with what it actually looks like, and Hook/Emma ain't it.  There are only two times they've "made out", so lets look at both.  The Neverland kiss was precipitated by inappropriate flirting attempts, but you have to look at the context.  First, what Hook did he did without any expectation of repayment of any kind - he didn't expect David to tell them anything and even stopped him in the middle and asked if he was sure he wanted to tell them anything.  David, not Hook, created the situation where Emma, already in a good mood because of being able to talk to Henry, was feeling grateful towards Hook.  As for Hook's "what's it worth to you" comments, again look at the context of the episode.  When David is telling everyone Hook saved him, Hook is really sincere with his thanks, and maybe a bit uncomfortable with the attention.  It's only when he's alone with Emma that he gets awkward and flirty again.  What happened with Emma earlier in the episode?  He tried to have a serious moment with her, to offer her comfort based on his own personal experiences, and she shut him down immediately.  In Hook's very recent experience, Emma doesn't want sincere emotional Hook, but she's OK with inappropriate flirty Hook.  It's exceedingly likely that he expected her to brush him off with an eye roll or sarcastic remark like every other time he's flirted with her, and instead she grabs him and kisses the hell out of him.  Hook flirted inappropriately, but Emma was completely in control of that moment. 

 

As for the end of season 3, Hook revealing he gave up his ship, his home, to get back to Emma so he could bring her back to her family - that was always going to be an emotional reveal, for both Hook and Emma.  But it's what actually happened, so it was going to have to come out at some point.  There were many times during 3B, when Emma was being a dick to Killian, where he could have thrown it in her face to get her to back down or be nicer to him or any other number of manipulative goals.  He had a trump card, the "I gave up everything for you", and he could have used it in a lot of ways that would have been highly manipulative.  Instead he waits, not just until she asks him (because she asks him a couple times earlier and he gets vague and/or changes the subject), but until she's dealt with a lot of her own inner turmoil, until she's made peace with staying in Storybrooke, with staying with her family (not that I think Emma is magically all fixed now, but she made a big leap forward in terms of progress in the finale).  So they've just gone through this big bonding experience, and Emma is finally more at peace with her place in Storybrooke and in her parent's world, and that's when Hook is finally willing to tell Emma, after being directly asked, what happened.  It's pretty much the least manipulative way he could have revealed that info to her.

 

Hook and Emma are both emotionally damaged, closed off people (although that's changing).  As such, there have been in the past, and probably will continue to be in the present for at least the time being, miscommunications and moments where they shut down because they feel too vulnerable and it scares them.  But they still manage to be at their most honest with each other, and that's one of the reasons I love them.  They call each other out on their crap.  And these are two characters who absolutely need that.

Edited by CatMack
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I just never got the "emotional blackmail" argument. It feels like something someone would say if they heard someone describe it in a certain way ("he tells her that, since she's indebted to him after he saved her father, she should kiss him as thanks"), without actually watching the scene, having the context, and knowing anything about the characters.

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I never even knew this was some kind of a criticism.  He wanted the kiss, but never expected it.  Then again, he's always been very open about what he wanted, be it revenge or love.  He was telling her 5 mins after the kiss that he was able to move on because of her and then that he would win her heart. 

 

Then 30 seconds later, she's the one scream his name when he got pinned down by the shadow, so it's not like he read her wrong.

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I think his blanket flirting can taint everything he does as sleazy, if one ignores context, Emma herself, his backstory, and evident change. I get that not everyone can like Hook as a character, but stating that he is useless ignores all that he has contributed to the Show's plots and characterizations since Season 2.

I suspect it has more to do with the fact that people wished he hadn't been so pivotal to certain storylines--like bringing Emma back, not dying, etc.. I myself would have prefered that Regina had not done Light Magic or given a True Love's Kiss without her heart, but I am not going to say that she was useless just because I didn't like it.

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I never even knew this was some kind of a criticism.  

Oh, there is quite a vocal group of people (on Twitter and Tumblr; no idea how large it actually is in reality) who believe the Hook/Emma relationship promotes rape culture. 

 

Personally I take no issue with either of the kisses, for the reasons CatMack outlined. (And I would add to the second one that she was looking at him pretty lovingly before he even said the ship thing; purely headcannon, but the way it was played looked to me like she was going to make a move regardless).

 

Weirdly, the only thing that actually annoyed me was the "It took my parents awhile to accept their feelings" "Must run in the family" exchange. Emma was so closed off, I'm not sure he could confidently assume she was fighting her feelings for him at that point. Though I think this has been one of the better developed relationships and redemption arcs on the show (especially as compared to, say, Regina and Regina/Robin) I do think perhaps the writers and directors, and maybe Jennifer Morrison (though it's hard to know whose call it was), could have made her feelings towards him clearer through 3B.

 

I don't think it would have taken much -- perhaps if that forest scene in "The Tower" had been an almost-kiss rather than her just staring at him for awhile then walking off. Or if the "I think you can see a future here" "Lemme guess, with you?" exchange had gone on a bit longer. Even a conversation with someone else where she made it clear had feelings for him but didn't want to pursue it or let them grow any deeper because she didn't plan on sticking around. I definitely think it would have rankled fewer people if it had seemed less one-sided. 

Edited by retrograde

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I definitely think it would have rankled fewer people if it had seemed less one-sided.

It didn't seem all that one sided to me, between the looks Emma would give Hook and her constantly seeking him out, wanting him around, telling him she doesn't care about the past, her flirting with him in grannies with her magic it was obvious to me her insecurity was the issue how much more obvious would it be to Hook?

That line didn't concern me at all, he knew, that is why he was able to call her out in Rumple's vault.

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I think it was just not one-sided enough for me, but if you look at people's complaints, clearly a lot of others didn't interpret it that way. Also, I think her seeking him out and wanting him around didn't necessarily indicate anything other than friendship, while I could only consider their scene at Granny's extraordinarily mild for flirting.

 

If I had all those experiences with someone, it would hint to me that they had feelings for me, but I don't think I could confidently say they definitely did and were hiding them. 

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Honestly, IMO, most people who didn't see that Emma was attracted to him and had feelings for him simply didn't WANT to see it. Not saying that's true for everyone, but I think it definitely played into it for many of them. Never underestimate the ability of people to see what they want to see, or not see what they don't want to see.

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Emma has been so closed off that it's easy for people actively against CS to miss the signs. By the end of 3A, there was no doubt in my mind that Hook and Emma would get together, and as I recall, a lot of the neutral and even many of the anti-ones started seeing their connection by 3.12. However, for the rest of 3B, Emma's fluttering eyelashes when around Hook, was balanced by the sharp barbs she kept throwing at him. IMO, many of those who dislike Hook can't see past his innuendos and pirate persona, and discount him as therefore having shallow motives. So, they can't believe what Emma sees in him either. 

Edited by Rumsy4

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Yes, I definitely agree with that, Souris. But I think it's as easy for someone who is predisposed to like like Emma/Hook to see her magic-ing his hook away as clear flirting as it is for someone predisposed to dislike them to interpret her saying "Why didn't you curse the lips of someone I'd actually want to kiss?" as her making it clear she wasn't interested.

 

I think most shippers are going to say they could clearly see she liked him because, well, that's why they're shippers. What I guess I'm saying is I don't think it would have hurt the storyline at all if they'd made things a little more explicit. In fact, now I think about it, the whole "cursed lips" thing might have seemed a bit less silly if there was a much more realistic chance they would actually kiss. 

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I think most shippers are going to say they could clearly see she liked him because, well, that's why they're shippers. What I guess I'm saying is I don't think it would have hurt the storyline at all if they'd made things a little more explicit. In fact, now I think about it, the whole "cursed lips" thing might have seemed a bit less silly if there was a much more realistic chance they would actually kiss. 

 

I do think that they overamped the CS angst in 3B. In fact, I hated Emma being such a jerk to Hook at times (especially with the one-hand comment in 3.20). The problem was with the overall writing for Emma in 3B. All of the resolution of her arcs was scrunched into the finale, and that was a pacing issue they should have avoided.

Edited by Rumsy4
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Weirdly, the only thing that actually annoyed me was the "It took my parents awhile to accept their feelings" "Must run in the family" exchange. Emma was so closed off, I'm not sure he could confidently assume she was fighting her feelings for him at that point.

 

I think that really came from the whole ending of 3A for them when he told her he would think of her and her "good".  I didn't ship them but I was like ok, well that's sort of a bat signal right there and the way she looked at him.  And when he found her in NYC and she's telling him that she has a life, Henry, a guy she loves and he replies that perhaps there's another she loved.  I still think that love was a bit strong of a word to use but still, there was something there and Hook is a pretty perceptive guy.  I think Hook was made to see the same things viewers were made to see when it came to her. 

 

And then Regina makes that remark about the yearning looks and the doey eyes...If Regina could see it and snark about it, for sure he could.

 

Emma fought Hook every step of the way.  I think the closer she came to him, the harder she pushed him away.

Edited by YaddaYadda
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Emma fought Hook every step of the way.  I think the closer she came to him, the harder she pushed him away.

Yes, the closer he got the harder she fought and I believe he was totally aware of that. This is why he was so patient with her and didn't get overly offended with her attacks. He knew he was making headway.

He could have pulled out the ship sacrifice card at any point but he knew her well enough to know that it was the wrong time to tell her, until it was the right time that is.

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Weirdly, the only thing that actually annoyed me was the "It took my parents awhile to accept their feelings" "Must run in the family" exchange.

Well, not too long before that, she had thrown herself rather eagerly into the role of distracting his past self by flirting outrageously with him and then kissing him silly (finding an emotionally safer outlet for her feelings?). And she was the one who laid the liplock on him in Neverland. I think he can be excused for getting the impression that she might have feelings for him that she was too stubborn or afraid to admit to.

 

As for his background, they've left themselves a lot of room to play with. The fugitive father who left when he was rather young could mean he doesn't know his actual origins, whether he's a lost prince or a pauper taken in by someone else. But he also has a tendency to avoid playing his trump card until he doesn't need it anymore, like not telling Emma or her parents what he did to get to her, even though it would likely have changed the way they saw him. He waited until it looked like it wouldn't change things that much (and I agree that Emma was probably going to kiss him anyway -- she went looking for him. I think the test was whether he would answer her this time and tell the truth, not what he actually did). He hasn't told her about being abandoned by his father, even though that might have given him something in common with her, so it could easily turn out that he had a desperate foster-home-filled childhood but he didn't want to look like he was playing the "you think your life was bad, get a load of mine" game. I could very well imagine him not saying anything about a noble background, even though it would likely count in his favor, until maybe during the marriage vows he said something like, "Um, actually it's Prince/Duke/Baron/Lord Whatever," just because he wanted to make sure the marriage was good and legal by using his full, true name. So they could do just about anything with him and not have it contradict what's already been revealed.

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Well, not too long before that, she had thrown herself rather eagerly into the role of distracting his past self by flirting outrageously with him and then kissing him silly (finding an emotionally safer outlet for her feelings?). 

That's a good point. Actually, I think they generally did a good job showing the audience she was into him in the finale -- and, for once, not just because of something he did for her. She seemed generally smitten with his dancing abilities. I just think they could have sprinkled a little more of that opening up through the preceding episodes. Though as Rumsy4 notes, that was really part of a broader writing issue with Emma. 

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Well, not too long before that, she had thrown herself rather eagerly into the role of distracting his past self by flirting outrageously with him and then kissing him silly (finding an emotionally safer outlet for her feelings?). And she was the one who laid the liplock on him in Neverland. I think he can be excused for getting the impression that she might have feelings for him that she was too stubborn or afraid to admit to.

Plus, one of the things the show pushed since they introduced Hook was that he understood Emma--probably better than Emma understood herself at times, and definitely better than she wanted him to do.

 

In that context, it makes sense that he'd pick up on things that others might not, when it comes to Emma's emotions.

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It's exceedingly likely that he expected her to brush him off with an eye roll or sarcastic remark like every other time he's flirted with her, and instead she grabs him and kisses the hell out of him.

Regardless of what they intended when the scene was written, it certainly came across that way on screen, thanks to the fact that Colin was blushing furiously during the kiss. All the non-verbals in that scene suggested that he never expected her to actually kiss him. In fact, I think Hook sometimes uses the innuendo and flirting as a defense/distancing mechanism. He knows it puts people off, and it keeps the conversation from ever getting too real and sincere. He wasn't comfortable being praised for saving David in front of the group, so I doubt he was all that comfortable with Emma approaching him privately. The easiest way to keep her at more of a distance and keep the thank-yous from getting uncomfortable for him was to throw in the flirting and innuendo -- only instead of her rolling her eyes at him and walking away, she kissed him.

 

Thinking back on the not accepting their feelings/runs in the family thing, I'm not sure he was entirely talking about Emma's romantic feelings for him. All season, he'd been nagging her about her feelings for her family. She'd claimed just before the time travel that they were just characters in a book to her, not really family, but here he'd just wiped away her tears about her mother and he was watching her radiant joy about watching her parents fall in love. She clearly was doing some denial there. So I think it was a more general statement of her handling of emotional involvement, not a specific complaint about her not realizing how much she loved him.

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The kiss in 3.5 was kind of like a challenge that Hook threw to Emma.  He didn't expect anything from her, but then when she said he couldn't handle it and he replied that maybe she's the one who couldn't handle it, it was like well now I have to prove that I can handle it.  They always had an adversarial relationship, anything you do, I can do better type of thing.

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Both Hook and Emma come from a very cautious, guarded, tortured place because they both have such a huge capacity TO love and a gigantic need to BE loved and were riddled with angst about not being able to express both.They hide behind their carefully crafted walls. Hook is the snarky rapscallion who soaked himself in rum to dull the pain; Emma the hard ass, using her sharp tongue and cruelty as a weapon. From day one they formed a (threatening) soul connection and the battle began.  Nothing short of a physically distancing curse was going to  roadblock them from being drawn to each other like mega magnets.

 

A&E were right to draw it out, and they tip toed on the *too long* precipice almost until they fell off,  but at no point was Hook and Emma's connection in danger of disappearing.

 

Hook came to the reality of the connection a lot earlier than Emma and frankly, he had a lot more experience time-wise dealing with the truth of that kind of passion. He understood the ultimate nirvana of the payoff. He patiently allowed Emma the space to BE the stoic, hard ass (and when a hard ass keeps seeking you out and using you over and over again as a target, they are only proving how much they ARE involved soul wise) .

 

They have a ways to go. That kind of connection and passion is always going to be volatile. Especially when one half of the match has fortified their heart behind a cement barricade, as Emma has. But her stubbornness is matched by his determination to achieve the emotional reward.

 

People who chose to hide behind wretched, shallow insinuations of *rape culture* are nothing short of purposefully ignorant, insecure, angry fools.

Edited by BoPeeps
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It's funny the different interpretations that can come out of the same piece of text. Where I see "solid, steady support," others see "wearing down." Where I see "challenge accepted," others see "power play."

 

Context matters. What Hook did for Emma -- and what I believe ultimately won her over -- was give her the one thing she'd never had: someone who was truly in her corner. Someone who would stand by her even when she was pushing him away. Someone who would find her and someone who would come back for her. Someone who showed her that she was worth finding and worth coming back for.

 

Without the context of Emma's past, yeah, I can sorta kinda if I squint see where Hook hanging around her could be viewed as wearing down but he was giving her something she'd always wanted, never had, and probably tried to convince herself she didn't need anyway. So yeah she was testing him, because if he was going to give up on her, he might as well do it now before she becomes invested and gets hurt again. It doesn't mean she didn't want him; in fact, I think it was an indication that she did want him but was petrified to let him in. And what's more, I think Hook knew that, too, which just made him try harder.

 

Emma had all the power, here, from my perspective. The development of their relationship was always going to be on her terms, because that's how she is. And honestly, I don't think Hook would have had it any other way.

Edited by Dani-Ellie
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According to a post on Twitter, Colin's new band Chyld is going to be doing some recording/mixing on Wednesday, so that may be part of why he went back to Vancouver a bit earlier than the others.

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I had a really wacky thought last night, and I'm still not sure what triggered it, possibly something else I was reading or watching. What if Liam wasn't a biological brother, but rather an adoptive/foster brother? That might reconcile the abandoned by fugitive father backstory with Killian later being a rather educated naval officer with very proper courtly manners who knows how to behave at a royal ball. After being abandoned, he might have been taken in by a prominent family (possibly the family of a high-ranking naval officer) whose son wholeheartedly took on the role of big brother. That would have given him the education, the deportment and a leg up to getting a commission, along with exposure to stuff like royal balls. A non-biological big brother who still went out of his way to take the new younger brother under his wing and look after him might earn even more devotion and loyalty than someone whose family he was just born into, and that loss might have truly felt like the loss of absolutely everything (especially if by then the adoptive parents were dead and Liam's death left him with no real standing in the family). And that would give the show a more positive adoption story, since they seem a bit sensitive about how that's been portrayed (and I suspect that has a lot to do with Henry's sudden about-face with Regina).

 

I don't think it's necessarily been written as though they're setting this up, but I don't think it would contradict anything else that's been established.

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I agree the finale was simplistic and pointless, but I have to disagree with you about the writers. Look at the time and attention they gave Regina's redemption arc. Compare that to the lack of development for the two male villains. Hook just changed sides to sleep with Emma. Any good act he did was because he wanted something in return from Emma.

 

 

I wholly disagree with this. We saw him come to the realization in S2 that he wasn't happy after he thought he got his revenge against Rumple. He realized it didn't make him happy, it didn't magically make everything better. He even verbalized this to Regina and that maybe nobody liked them because they were just being villainous. And he started taking steps to act in a better manner. To me, it stemmed WAY more from realizations within himself than from any mercenary plan that would get Emma in his bed. Even though he fancied her, Emma was more a conduit to giving him an opportunity to be a part of something and, to quote As Good As It Gets, "You make me want to be a better man." To find somebody that will help inspire you to be a better person isn't a negative to me.

 

He absolutely didn't save David's life because he expected something from Emma in return -- as far as he was concerned, Emma was never going to know about it. He tried to stop David from telling everyone about it, until he realized that David was making up a story, and he was still then uncomfortable with the praise. Now, he did indeed save David's life FOR Emma, because he cared about her and didn't want her to lose her father, but it wasn't out of any expectation that he would get something from her in return. There was no quid pro quo, Clarice. He certainly didn't expect her to ACTUALLY kiss him, even though he flirted for for it. He expected her to roll her eyes and walk away as usual.

 

 

Likewise, he could have used trading away the Jolly Roger any number of times during 3B to make her feel beholden to him if that was all he was interested in, but he didn't until she seriously asked him about it. I don't think he would have ever said anything about it if she hadn't directly asked. If all he wanted was something from her, he could have used that ace up his sleeve a dozen times when she was New York-ing all up in his grill. But he didn't, until she'd already decided to stop running and stay in Storybrooke.

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The "Hook just wants to sleep with Emma" read has always been off to me, because you know what's probably the best way to get Emma to sleep with him? Never talking about deep feelings in her presence. At all. Like ever. What does Hook do? Talk about feelings, like a lot. And mostly hers instead of his. In 3B, he mostly talks about feelings that don't even have to do with how she feels about him (it's Emma that usually makes it about him). If he's trying to get her to sleep with him and that's all he cares about then he's going about it the wrong way. We've seen "two ships passing in the night" Past!Hook try to get Emma to sleep with him, and while it was endearing that he still wanted to know her name and I completely believe our Hook when he says he would have gone after her, it's worth noting that Past!Hook didn't try to pretend there was something more there. Also, there's nothing wrong with two consenting adults passing together in the night, even if one is a villain who admits to being a villain. In fact, the Past!Hook/Emma liaison probably has more in common with Emma's sexual history over the past 12 years (minus the Year of the Monkey) than the kind of relationship current Hook is offering her. Had he been a real villain who only wanted to get into Emma's pants, he would have taken Pan's offer, put Emma on the Jolly Roger, and lied about the fate of all the other characters. It's my opinion that the Echo Cave confession actually harmed Hook's case with Emma, and if he was just trying to seduce her than he made a big error there, but of course he wasn't, he was trying to save Bae.

 

And as Souris said, he didn't ask Regina, "You ever wonder if this constant pursuit for revenge is the reason we have no one who will sleep with us?" He said, "the reason we have no one who cares for us?" 2.22 made it clear that he came back because of Bae and because of his previous epiphany about the emptiness of revenge, not out of some desire to have sex with Emma.

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I also find it strange that a physical desire is taken as a bad thing. Er... that's how babies are made? That desire is typically a component of romantic love?

Hook may want to sleep with Emma, but that doesn't define their relationship. It's reductionistic to ignore everything else to solely focus on their chemistry.

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The everything Hook says/does is to sleep with Emma argument is a catch all excuse used to dismiss the character and often followed by comments about how great another character/ship is. There's usually never any real analysis behind the argument because there is no basis for it - as is demonstrated by the previous posts. I'm sure Hook would love to have sex with Emma and I think if he hadn't decided to throw feelings into the mix, Emma would've been open to it much earlier. It's why I think Emma looked like she would seriously consider sleeping with Past!Hook if given the chance. Emma is very much a person who does not need to have an emotional attachment to enjoy sex. In fact, I'd say an emotional attachment is a strong deterrent for her. Hook & Emma are the two characters on this show with the most sexual experience (by which I mean the most partners). Neither of them is missish about it, neither has the innocent fairy tale ideal of sex = love and neither would feel the need to try to make a one night stand into something more (ala Mary Margaret in Season 1). It's fun, it feels good, but it isn't the end all be all. You know what I wouldn't do for sex? Risk my life again and again and again. No matter how great the sex is, it's not worth that - especially when there's no guarantee of the result. Also, it's hard to have sex if you're dead. 

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So this guy who constantly pushes Emma to be herself, who gives up pretty much all his worldly possessions to go and find her, risks his life for her, wants her to realize what family means, got cursed because he invoked Emma's name as the woman who broke his heart but still loved, jumps through a time portal for her is in it for the sex. 

 

Got it!

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It's fun, it feels good, but it isn't the end all be all. You know what I wouldn't do for sex? Risk my life again and again and again.

 

And from Emma's perspective, sex may not be so carefree when you've been pregnant at 17.  Maybe she's pretty much moved past that in 12 years, but it must always be somewhere in her consciousness. 

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I agree the finale was simplistic and pointless, but I have to disagree with you about the writers. Look at the time and attention they gave Regina's redemption arc. Compare that to the lack of development for the two male villains. Hook just changed sides to sleep with Emma. Any good act he did was because he wanted something in return from Emma.

 

 

I wholly disagree with this. We saw him come to the realization in S2 that he wasn't happy after he thought he got his revenge against Rumple. He realized it didn't make him happy, it didn't magically make everything better. He even verbalized this to Regina and that maybe nobody liked them because they were just being villainous. And he started taking steps to act in a better manner. To me, it stemmed WAY more from realizations within himself than from any mercenary plan that would get Emma in his bed.

 

 

The sex issue is a really interesting one.

 

I agree that Hook's attempt to mount the Great Wall of Emma isn't portrayed as being primarily sexual. That's not unusual in the Once-iverse. Within the show itself, there's a general sense that sex is something that happens in the dark, in the missionary position, between a hetero couple in a long-term relationship, somewhere in Off-Storybrooke. Or in fanfiction.

 

So, in a show that's often downright puritanical when it comes to carnal pleasures, it is notable that, of all the characters, Hook and sex have gone together like kinky boots and fur-covered handcuffs almost from his debut.

In S2, they clearly wanted to establish that Hook was a "sexy" pirate. They can't actually put Colin is assless chaps at 8pm on Sunday night, so instead, they misplaced all the buttons on his shirt and gave him an endless string of 'randy' lines about attachments and swords and various other not-so-subtle reminders of his sexual prowess.

 

(And for us former English majors, you have the sexual symbolism of him ripping Aurora's heart out. And smacking a Belle across the face while she was bound and chained to a wall. And later firing a bullet into her. And helping strap Regina to a table and jolting her with electricity. And throwing Ariel against a wall and holding a knife to her throat. You can argue over the context of all these scenes, sure, but this is the imagery the show chose to use to tell us about who Hook is as a character.)

 

In S3, they cut his 'randy' lines by roughly 98%, and turned his attitude towards sex into a symbol of his Great Love for Emma. Sure, PastHook was clearly happy to take L'il Killy out for a spin any old time with any old vagina that presented itself...but "Killian" is so chaste and pure in his love for Emma that he turns down a perfectly good (free!) hooker - as long as she makes it clear to the world that his topsail rose proudly over the deck. Wouldn't want people to talk,.

 

I think that's where those of us who fall someone on the "meh" to "yuck" continuum when it comes to Hook and Captain Swan really pause.

 

You have this character who spent most of his first season on the show displaying agressive sexuality - much more so than any of the other male characters - and a really shocking level of menace and outright violence towards female characters, almost invariably when they were captive or unaware.

 

But now, we're supposed to accept that, because he suddely decided he feels kinda-sorta of bad about (some) of the things he's done in the past, that he's been sanitized for Emma's protection?  That Emma is totally cool with him, even though she knows about his obsessivenss, his violence, the things he did to Regina, Aurora, Belle...because he's on her side now? It's all good? No concerns whatsoever about inviting this guy into her life and her bed? Into her son's life?

 

IMO, this is why the show has just done a really bad job with the "ship."  They overshot the "pirates are sexy/"when I jab you with my sword, you'll feel it" stuff on S2. They spun him from revenge to romance too fast within the show's timeline, and with too little foundation. They've made it too much about Emma being "broken" and damaged. They made him fall too hard for her too quickly, and in the process made his love for Milah seem like less - which, in turn, undercuts the rationale for all the crappy things he did in service of seeking vengence for her death. As with the other "villains" in the main cast, the writers don't want to sacrifice the characteristics they've given him; they change the framing of behavior, not the behavior itself. (The "I Regret Nothing Because It Got Me Somthing I Wanted" syndrome.) A more subtle show might have been able to do a better job, but....this is not that show. Not right now, at least.

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I wonder if that's where the disconnect is, because I see the response of "Oh my gosh, what did he say about his sword?" as much more puritanical than this show's supposedly vanilla-flavored portrayal of sex. I say more risque things on a daily basis, and I'm not a sexual deviant, as far as I know. I don't think Season One was all that tame in terms of sex, you had the one night stand between Mary Margaret and Whale, the extramarital affair, and what was supposed to be (but came out as something much more sinister) the casual sex between Regina and Graham. I don't think those were all happening in the dark.

 

As to your read on his aggressive sexuality, as you say, it is symbolism, and your read of symbolism at that.

 

That Emma is totally cool with him, even though she knows about his obsessivenss, his violence, the things he did to Regina, Aurora, Belle.

How do we know that they won't have this conversation in Season 4? Even if they don't, it's in character for Emma to let those things go. Notice she didn't say one word to Regina about burning her mother at the stake. I don't like it, but that's part of the show.

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And throwing Ariel against a wall and holding a knife to her throat.

 

What is wrong with what he did here? Ariel clubbed him to the ground and then threatened him with a knife to his throat demanding something from him he did not have any control over (he never kidnapped her boyfriend, so he couldn't release him at that point).  I have no problem with men fighting back under such circumstances. Should he have just sat there meekly while she killed him? Don't want your victim to turn the tables on you? Don't try clubbing them to the ground and threatening their lives with a knife.

 

I can't enjoy women being bad a$$es on the show if I know the men are just going to accept death because they dare not lift a finger in defence. I have no problem with Charming catching a theif in a net or Hook turning the table on somebody who assaulted him.

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I wonder if that's where the disconnect is, because I see the response of "Oh my gosh, what did he say about his sword?" as much more puritanical than this show's supposedly vanilla-flavored portrayal of sex.

 

 

Personally, I think it was just a stupid line. Colin delivered it well, but it was still stupid.

 

I say more risque things on a daily basis, and I'm not a sexual deviant, as far as I know

 

.

So do I. 

 

I don't think Season One was all that tame in terms of sex, you had the one night stand between Mary Margaret and Whale, the extramarital affair, and what was supposed to be (but came out as something much more sinister) the casual sex between Regina and Graham. I don't think those were all happening in the dark.

 

 

But they did happen off-screen. I think the most we saw of Graham and Regina in S1 was him pulling his socks on after a quick roll with Regina,  I don't think we even saw Whale and MM holding hands.

 

Plus, all of these examples were negative. Regina using Graham as her personal sex toy got him killed when he decided he didn't want to play. MM's "affair" with David got her branded the town whore and led to the accusation that she murdered Kathryn. Whale's one-night stand with MM got him decked by David when everyone's memory came back. While they'd never be so crass as to say it flat-out, they've thrown a tiny bit of shame on Emma for getting knocked up as a teen.

 

How do we know that they won't have this conversation in Season 4?

 

 

Because people on this show don't talk about things. They simply deal with the next crisis.

 

As to your read on his aggressive sexuality, as you say, it is symbolism, and your read of symbolism at that.

 

 

I guess maybe we all see what we want to see. 

 

What is wrong with what he did here? Ariel clubbed him to the ground and then threatened him with a knife to his throat demanding something from him he did not have any control over (he never kidnapped her boyfriend, so he couldn't release him at that point).

 

 

As I said, the context is arguable. I agree that I like that the women on this show do tend to fight back. That said, when people talk about how this show can be read as "triggering" for women who have been touched by violence, it's images like this that spring to mind. And I wish the show would just knock it off, because it isn't necessary.  It isn't necessary to the character and it isn't necessary to a show that does portray a group of strong women. 

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MM's "affair" with David got her branded the town whore and led to the accusation that she murdered Kathryn

But that's my point, kind of. The affair was portrayed in a negative light, but so was the townspeople's response to it. The audience knew that David and MM really were married and that she was being unjustly accused. I don't think we were supposed to agree with the townsfolk spraying "tramp" on her car. That's the puritanical view of sex IMO, especially since MM bore the brunt of the accusations, not David, who actually broke vows (well what he thought were vows), and it was portrayed as wrong. I try not to use authorial intent to argue my point, but I do think that whole situation was supposed to make us sympathize with two lovers torn apart by circumstance while also sympathizing with the current wife who really did nothing wrong. Then again, I also see nothing wrong with the Whale one night stand, as MM didn't know she was married. Of course David will see something wrong with it, he's her husband.

 

Emma, the show's protagonist, does not seem to share this puritanical view of sex (she was mad about Graham and Regina because they were sneaking around and because she has some feelings there, not because they were engaged in what she thought was a consenting relationship), and she certainly doesn't seem to judge Hook for his past sexual activity. I don't think the show is as conservative in its view of sex as your first post seems to indicate, so I don't agree that they've taken away the innuendos to make Hook a more viable love interest. Hook didn't have sex with that sex worker because he wasn't interested, not because his sexual characteristics have been taken away.

 

I guess maybe we all see what we want to see.

In my case, I'm extremely literal. I may see symbolism or subtext, but if it's not acknowledged in the text of the show, then I don't accept it as canon. This works even when I want to see something in the subtext (RIP the good ship Zutara, how I loved you). In the absence of contradicting canon, I'll use these sub-textual clues for head canons, but the moment something in the canon contradicts them, those head canons are gone. As you say, looking at those instances in context, I believe the canon context contradicts the symbolism.

 

Personally, I think it was just a stupid line. Colin delivered it well, but it was still stupid.

IMO, the line was used just so they could get the audience to go, "OMG, he's talking about his penis." It was meant to be shocking, but I don't think it was meant to cause this endless debate.

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What is wrong with what he did here? Ariel clubbed him to the ground and then threatened him with a knife to his throat demanding something from him he did not have any control over (he never kidnapped her boyfriend, so he couldn't release him at that point).  I have no problem with men fighting back under such circumstances. Should he have just sat there meekly while she killed him?

 

Defend himself, yes.  Continue to hold the knife to her throat when it was obvious she was hardly a threat and while she was already volunteering info... that wasn't necessary.

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As I said, the context is arguable. I agree that I like that the women on this show do tend to fight back.

 

Ariel wasn't fighting back, she was inarguably the agressor in that exchange. Hook had never interacted with her prior to her violent attack of him from behind.  While he was in a reduced state of conciousness brought on by her violent attack, she threatened to kill him if he did not do what she demanded. There is no way he could do what she demanded, so his only option was to either die or turn the tables on her. We might think that Ariel would not have followed through on her threat, but it's probably not a great idea for people to assume that an unknown assailant who has already given you a concusion won't follow through on their threat.

That said, when people talk about how this show can be read as "triggering" for women who have been touched by violence, it's images like this that spring to mind. And I wish the show would just knock it off, because it isn't necessary. 

 

That said, when people talk about how this show can be read as "triggering" for women who have been touched by violence, it's images like this that spring to mind. And I wish the show would just knock it off, because it isn't necessary. 

 

The same could be said of Ariel's attack. I'm sure that men who have been touched by violence could be triggered by seeing a man clubbed from behind and held at knifepoint.  The only solution would be to never show any violence on the show which would include the ridiculous amount of magical violence we've seen. Male and females being tossed around like rag dolls/slammed into walls, being drowned, being strangled or having their hearts ripped out are pretty violent images.  I would suggest that people (male or female) who have been unfortunately touched by violence and are easily triggered might want to consider a different show because violent images are kind of baked into the premise of the show.

 

There are some questionable exchanges between characters on this show, but the Ariel/Hook one should not be grouped with them. Ariel was not motivated to attack Hook because he was a man and he was not motivated to turn the tables on her because she was a woman. If Ariel had been the one kidnapped and Eric had played her role of trying to rescue her, the interactions of Eric and Hook could have been the same. I cannot demand equality if I'm unwilling to give it.

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I think even Hook would agree that he overreacted with Ariel.  He's an experienced fighter... it wouldn't be difficult to tell that Ariel is an amateur.  He turned the tables on her quickly and could have just physically restrained her.  I doubt he would have taken Ariel's attack all that seriously on a good day, but he was down and he was out, and he was desperate to find the Jolly Roger.  That might explain why he acted the way he did, but he was totally manhandling her unnecessarily after he got the upper hand.

Edited by Camera One

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He's an experienced fighter... it wouldn't be difficult to tell that Ariel is an amateur.  He turned the tables on her quickly and could have just physically restrained her.

 

But it has nothing to do with her being a woman (he'd do the same to Smee), so it shouldn't be grouped in with his "Crimes Against Women Because they are Women". That was my initial point.

 

If we are going to bring real world conditions into things, though, getting a concussion is going to leave you at a disadvantage for a time. Hook would have been disorientated and woozy. Experienced fighters who have already been dropped by an assailant would also know not to make assumptions about that assailant being an amateur because that will get you killed. Once he completely assessed that she was no threat at all, he let her go with no retribution at all.

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I don't remember feeling that Hook had manhandled Ariel unnecessarily, but I haven't watched the scene in a while.

 

Yeah--not everyone is comfortable with someone who uses innuendos constantly, but the fact that he doesn't use them much these days indicates a change in himself, not some kind of retcon. If they wanted to retcon Hook, they would have shown him as a monk in the Time-Travel adventure. Instead they showed him as a drunk sexually promiscuous male, something Emma is not going to judge him on, as she has used sex and alcohol in the past to get over her pain and reinforce her walls. 

 

He never outwardly opposed Cora's slaughter of the villagers, but we know from Good Form that he did not condone mass murder. It is most likely that he decided to betray her at that point. Same with Greg/Tamara and the Trigger. As for the Regina thing, she had just tried to kill her using Dementor!Maleficent--so he felt no particular loyalty to rescue her from torture. Would a hero have let these things go? No. But then Hook was not a hero at that point. That's the point of a redemption arc. He had morally, and emotionally hit rock bottom, and came back from that. He has had to work hard to prove himself. Even now, a single mess-up could cost him the hard-earned trust he has worked hard to build. And that's how it should be. 

 

Rumple gets away with tossing Red like a rag doll, killing a deaf child/girl, killing a fairy, kissing Belle without her consent, and murdering his wife in cold blood. Charms traps Bandit!Snow in a net and kisses her to try and restore her memory. Regina has gotten away with sexual aggression and long-term rape. Cora pushed Hook's shirt over to get a good view of his chest when toying with him about crushing his heart. Snow hit Charming. Poor Red literally ate her boyfriend. Douchefire had sex with an underage 16/17 yr old orphan who was 7/200 years younger than himself, impregnated her and never bothered to even wonder if he had gotten her pregnant. So even if Hook has behaved inappropriately in the past (which I don't necessarily agree with), why should he alone not get to turn his life around and have a fresh start at happiness? 

Edited by Rumsy4
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I think I'm just about to get to the village slaughter in my rewatch, so my opinion may change with the refresher, but I think there were logistical issues in showing his reaction to that. At the time, we weren't supposed to know where he stood and whether or not Emma could trust him. If we'd seen him being all horrified about Cora's acts, that would have tilted the needle too close to "good" for us to be okay with Emma leaving him on the beanstalk. But by the time he was turning good, it was so far removed that his reaction would lose all impact. It's probably going to just have to be lumped under the general category of things he regrets. From what we've seen of his behavior, even when he was at his worst, I can't imagine him being an active participant in slaughtering a village, and he did change sides (or attempt to) soon afterward. That may be all we ever get on that front unless we get a fairyback of the incident, but I can't think of a story reason for that unless he's having PTSD flashbacks, or something.

 

All this is a reason why I've been hoping that there's some connection with Elsa from his Lt. Jones days. I'd love to see how he reacts to and deals with someone who knew him pre-piracy how they react to what he is now and was until recently, and how that fits in with what he's dealing with in finding himself again.

 

As for the sex issue, while I'm sure he wasn't a monk, I also think there's a lot more talk than there ever was action. He uses words as a weapon and is quite adept at putting people off their guard (he did spend centuries around Pan, so he had to have picked up a thing or two). The innuendo usually comes out as a distancing maneuver to make someone drop the conversation and walk away or else to rile them up into fighting and then keep them off their guard in a fight. We also see it when he's feeling vulnerable -- the remark about other attachments Emma might enjoy was made when he was injured, handcuffed to a hospital bed, and didn't have any kind of prosthetic, so he was truly disabled. Even the guyliner was gone, leaving him looking a decade younger. So the natural impulse was to attempt to even the score by making Emma uncomfortable. Words were the only weapon he had available.

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I think that there are a ton of reasons to dislike Hook and Captain Swan as Amerilla so eloquently posted. And while I may not agree with them, it makes for a fun discussion because there is some analysis and interpretation behind it to debate. However, I cannot stand when Hook is dismissed as a character because he is completely boiled down to one idea - that Hook is only looking to score. That's it. That's his entire motivation for everything he does in his life. Can anyone tell me that they know someone whose entire life is driven by their desire to get laid? Even sex addicts have motivations other than sex.

 

I agree that Hook uses his looks and innuendo as a weapon. Shockingly, so do other characters on this show. Emma undid her clothing, plied the man with alcohol to get him blackout drunk and played with his hook. What does that say about Emma? Should I be bothered by this? Is it only okay because I know what Emma's motivations were in that scenario? If we switched Hook & Emma's positions there he'd be crucified by the masses. Even if we knew his motivation was the same as Emma's. Given Emma's comfort level and ease of action in that scene, I thought it was pretty clear that that's something Emma has done many, many times over the years and in fact, we saw her do something similar in the Pilot. Where's the dismissal of Emma for using her looks to get what she wants? It's just gross to me when any character is so completely dismissed and his/her complexity is reduced to only wanting to get laid.

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I think the change in Hook was a lot more obvious at the end of Good Form when he's with Pan, when he says that maybe Emma is starting to see him for the man he really is.  I think he really started believing at that moment that he could go back.

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