ONCE UPON A TIME: Jennifer Morrison, Michael Raymond-James, Colin O’Donoghue, and Eddy Kitsis Weigh in on the Emma-Hook-Neal Triangle
October 11, 2013 by Marisa Roffman
Many of the relationships on ONCE UPON A TIME are fairly simple with obvious rooting intentions (ex: Snow and Charming, Belle and Rumple), but for Emma Swan, her romantic life has always caused a bit of debate between fans.
In season 3, things are a bit up in the air for Ms. Swan as she (falsely) believes that Neal — who also happens to be the father of her missing son, Henry — is dead, and one of the people who is on Neverland trying to help her find Henry is Hook, with whom she’s had a bit of a reluctant spark with since they met last year. And while the timing is not really right for romance, will sparks be flying for either couple anyway?
“Obviously they think Neal is dead,” OUAT co-creator Eddy Kitsis told reporters last month. “Obviously Hook is a man who likes ladies. And as we saw last year when [they] climbed the beanstalk, Emma has probably captured his heart a little bit. But in the same respect, we see that Neal is fighting like hell to get a second chance with her. And right now, I think Emma is focused on getting Henry. She’s not someone who likes to let her walls down, and her heart’s been broken too many times for her to kind of be worried about dating right now. But we’ll see. She’s got two handsome guys.”
“Logically she believes that Neal is dead, for good reason,” Jennifer Morrison (Emma) pointed out. “But also emotionally she has to believe he’s dead because she’s already been through so much loss with him that I don’t think her heart could take hoping that he was still alive and in that situation. She’s pushed to the limit already so she has to believe that he’s dead for emotional and logical reasons. And in terms of Hook, just like everyone else in this group that you said has trouble working together, she’s making educated decisions moving forward without them. They all have a common goal — she believes they all want to save Henry — but she’s making educated decisions based on what their behavior has been in the past.”
“You know obviously she knows Regina has tried to murder thousands of people, so that does go into play when she makes decisions — although she has decided to trust Regina and trust that she wants to save Henry, and she does form a union with her in a certain way on this island, and there is a different kind of connection because of that,” Morrison continued. “And similarly with Hook, she believes that he probably has selfish reasons for wanting to do that from the start because based on her experiences with him in the past, she believes he’s going to do something selfish, and he kind of continues to surprise her by coming through, by truly being supportive, by actually being helpful, by doing things that seem at the surface sort of selfless. So there’s an interesting dynamic that starts to play out when she starts to realize that he exceeds her expectations in almost every situation and that has its own way of putting her off kilter because she then doesn’t know what to expect from him, even though what she’s saying is good. So that definitely is an interesting dynamic that starts to develop. It feels like, whether it’s the island or the way that they connect or get along, he seems to be changing in a way, and she’s taking note of that.”
For his part, Colin O’Donoghue (Hook) noted that regardless of Hook’s pull towards Emma, Neal’s presence is never far from their minds. (Hook, after all, was involved with Neal/Baefire’s mother before Rumple killed her.)
“I think the relationship that they have is sort of complicated, because they both care deeply for Baelfire[/Neal],” O’Donoghue said. “Emma loves him, you know, and Hook was willing to give up everything to become his stepfather. And in the first episode you see that he has kept his sword. Remember that he would have had to have kept that sword for hundreds of years, and he says to her — cause she said ‘Obviously you guys were quite close,’ and he said ‘I miss him, too.’ And he was very, very genuine about that. They always saw an element of themselves in each other anyway, I think, from when they went up the beanstalk, but in particular this sort of thing you know is kind of, they’re not that dissimilar.”
So where does that leave Neal? After all, he is currently trapped in fairytale land, trying to make his way back to the people he loves, unaware of what might be brewing between Hook and Emma.
“Neal is under no illusions that things between he and the woman that he loves are perfect,” Michael Raymond-James (Neal/Bae) admitted. “I think, now more than ever, he realizes that there’s work to be done and is prepared to do whatever work is necessary, because I’ve had an opportunity to sort of touch what Neal feels could be his happy ending, but I haven’t been able to grasp it yet. It was a fleeting sort of instant. So he’s trying to get back there and whatever he needs to do in order to have that I think he’s willing to do.”
ONCE UPON A TIME airs Sundays at 8 PM on ABC.
ONCE UPON A TIME: ‘Quite a Common Fairy’ Photos
ONCE UPON A TIME: Ginnifer Goodwin on Shooting the Emotional Snow/Emma Scene in ‘Lost Girl’
ONCE UPON A TIME: Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Jennifer Morrison Preview Charming Family Drama in ‘Lost Girl’