Fans of the ABC hit Once Upon a Time are generally in love with the "Captain Swan" pairing, a romance between Emma Swan and Captain Hook that began long before Emma's old flame and Henry's father, Baelfire, bit the dust.
Hook is undeniably the character with both the most swagger and the most eyeliner, which seem to be his two greatest assets, and while Emma Swan certainly deserves her happily ever after like any other hero, she's had some major less-than-redeeming moments on the show. Some fans wonder if Emma's character gradually tainted over the years, between her rotten decision-making and selfishness, in order to level down with Hook's past dastardly deeds. There has to be some reason why Storybrooke's savior put her own son on the back burner for some pirate romance, right?
From the weird things they've done for each other to the things they've refused to do for each other, Captain Swan isn't exactly an ideal relationship. Sure, they're healthier together than, say, Regina and Graham or Zelena and Robin, but they've definitely gone against one another's wishes, caused each other harm over the years and generally got away with some pretty nefarious deeds, no matter their intentions.
Regardless, the undeniable chemistry between actors Jennifer Morrison and Colin O'Donoghue made this a must-watch couple for countless Once Upon a Time fans.
Whether it's breaking the very laws of magic or making terrible decisions that hurt themselves as well as others, here are 20 Things That Make No Sense About Emma And Hook’s Relationship.
20 Hook Doesn't Deserve A Happily Ever After
It's a recurring theme in the show: why do some villains deserve their "happily ever after" while others don't? Some argue that those who've seen the errors of their ways should get to experience happiness, and while that's a powerful argument, it doesn't really work when you're an evil queen who's responsible for sending hundreds, if not thousands, of innocents to become worm buffets. Shouldn't more community service be involved?
The same should be argued for Killian Jones. No matter how some might argue that much of his past was in the name of true love, he still wracked up some pretty sinister notches on his bedpost of evil, and pirating itself is a pretty dark profession in the first place.
19 Their Trip To The Past Should've Changed Everything
Remember when Hook and Emma found themselves in a time long before Emma was born? The trip should have changed everything, from Hook recognizing Emma upon meeting her again after running into her in his past to the very marriage between Snow White and Prince Charming itself.
Not only did Emma's bumbling attempt to get her parents back together make very little sense, but it was so much less meaningful than their true origin story, which is no longer a memory for either of them since it never happened.
We get that writers wanted Emma to demonstrate a closeness to her parents that she'd never known through this timeline circuit, but it just doesn't work for fans, even if Hook being jealous of himself is hilarious.
18 Hook Is Hundreds Of Years Older Than Emma
Some age differences between consenting adults are fine, but when the age difference exceeds the hundreds of years, shouldn't there be a sliver of an issue to overcome? Hook is hundreds of years older than Emma, who isn't even 40 yet. It's not exactly a cradle-robber situation, but it still rubs us the wrong way.
Maybe Emma should get to have a few hundred years of experience in a realm where she doesn't age first just to level the playing field between them.
There's only so much a person can do in just over three decades of life and she should at least get a chance to out-pirate him.
17 Emma Abusively Interrogated Hook In The Hospital
It seems that no one is able to push Emma's buttons like Killian Jones, but we'd be blaming the victim here if we used that as an excuse for her brutish interrogation of the pirate in the hospital.
Hook flirted with Emma from the get-go, even during an abusive interrogation while he was in the hospital.
We'd never seen Emma physically harm someone for information before.
Even if it was about Cora's whereabouts or not, we still can't wipe of the sick feeling that it gave us.
The Savior isn't supposed to support torturing someone for information. How can the show support that but not at least minimal imprisonment for hundreds of years of dark deeds, by the way?
16 They're on Opposite Paths
As mentioned above, some fans think that Emma became the Dark One in order to catch up to Hook in the evildoer department, but there were many instances where she exhibited villainous tendencies far from Rumpelstiltskin's famous dagger.
Sure, opposites attract, but studies show that couples who stick together often share the same goals, so we're pretty sure this is a strategy from which romance seems doomed.
Technically, Hook went back and forth between light and dark for a while, some of it not by his own choice, and Emma's darkness manifested in several different ways, so maybe they'll be able to save their relationship by chalking it up to "personal growth" rather than "irreconcilable differences."
15 Emma Betrayed Hook In The Giants' Realm
Many Emma fans point fingers at Hook for being the bad boy who isn't good enough for the Savior, but some Hook fans say not so fast.
Remember when Emma betrayed Hook when they entered the Giants' realm? Granted, she had zero reason to trust him at the time and it predates his beau status by many a minute, but this instance really sheds some light on Emma's character.
Just as with the hospital scene with Hook, she was willing to enter some gray area for the big picture.
She's got a set of rules to go by, but those rules really only seem to apply when it comes to people she believes deserves them. Anyone else is basically shark chum.
14 Irreconcilable Differences
Speaking of irreconcilable differences, Hook and Emma really have too many to make it work in a marriage. Many people consider their values akin to who they are as people.
Emma generally doesn't think it's okay to wipe someone off the planet in the name of revenge, for example, no matter their scale on the evil-o-meter, while Hook is so eager to literally execute justice that he spends ages attempting to do so.
Does Henry really need that kind of instability in his life?
It's one thing to have parents with healthy different perspectives; it's another when your mom is basically the Harry Potter of Storybrooke and your stepdad is into justice Voldemort-style.
13 Hook Gave Up His Ship For Emma
What's the number one rule in love? You put your loved one's happiness first, which even means letting them go if it comes to that.
Hook's relinquishment of the Jolly Roger in order to find a magic bean and return to Emma during the Second Curse may have been one of the most grand romantic gestures we've ever witnessed on the show, but it also points to Hook's love of Emma without her realizing his sacrifice.
Had she known what the cost might be, would she have demanded the gesture?
We'll never know, but we do know that loving someone means never asking them to give up what truly makes them happy, whether it's a jalopy in the driveway or on the sea.
12 Hook Shot Belle
Years later, this remains a bone of contention for many fans.
Why was it okay for Hook to shoot Belle and not spend a day in jail for it?
It's the same old argument against villains getting lucky breaks all of the time, being forgiven for their deeds, even when they cause major pain and trauma for victims.
Being the love interest of the Dark One was Belle's only crime, and do you know how rough it is to recover from an injury like a gunshot wound? Belle may have lifelong repercussions for the single wound and to this day Hook remains clear of any wrongdoing in the incident.
Paging Sheriff Swan? We sense nepotism here.
11 Emma Is Emotionally Distant From Hook
Even after Hook and Emma are officially a thing, Emma remains so emotionally closed off from Killian that their relationship can barely get off the ground. She keeps her heart closely guarded, and while anyone who's been in the foster system or abandoned by a lover (pregnant and prison-bound, no less) can attest to the need for self-preservation, at this point she's adult enough to maybe give a little more in their relationship.
By this moment in their timeline, Hook has demonstrated enough dedication for a little faith from Emma. That doesn't mean she should marry him right away, but if she's going to have a relationship she shouldn't cheat herself or her partner from her full investment.
10 No Authentic Development Or Dialogue
There's loads of flirty banter, dark threats, interrogation tactics, but where is the authentic couple development or dialogue that a viable relationship desperately needs for us to believe in it, let alone root for it?
The two definitely have the physical chemistry to start the proverbial ball rolling, but when that ball is straight from Raiders of the Lost Ark and there's no escape, you're left with characters who are truly flattened by their relationship.
In their defense, Hook and Emma are typically too busy putting out fires to really find out what the two might do faced with piles of laundry, shopping for curtain rods at IKEA, and how to build a live together, but the perils they routinely faced don't really replace authenticity, no matter how interesting they might be.
9 They Have Too Much Teen Drama
Speaking of Emma's inability to move beyond her past in order to have a future with Hook, why is there so much drama between the pair?
Sure, they've lied to, tricked, and even physically fought one another, but doesn't that just scream of Judy and Johnny having it out at the Homecoming Dance? Are these two so scarred by woe-begotten past loves that they just can't figure out how grown-ups make a relationship work?
They've been through a lot, both separately and together, and they obviously got it together enough to start their own family. But plenty of regular people do that and still behave immaturely.
8 Zeus Breaks The Laws Of Magic To Get Them Back Together
Randomly breaking the laws of magic via a Greek god in order to keep "Captain Swan" together is ridiculous and even their supporters are not having it. Not only could it have been written differently without breaking the laws that the entire show was based upon, but it also felt like a cheap deus ex machina to the fans. If this were always an option, too many tales could have ended differently.
Why do Hook and Emma get special treatment here?
Do other, perhaps even more deserving, characters just get the short end of the stick because they're not the hot couple? It certainly seems so.
7 Hook Was Going To Take Out Emma's Whole Family
Sometimes trauma can bring you closer together; other times, the force of it should be enough to drive you apart.
That's the case here with Emma Swan, who decides to marry the would-be assassin of her entire family. Sure, he didn't know her at first, and there were "extenuating circumstances" between his revenge on the crocodile, Cora owning his heart and so forth, but this is the kind of drama that doesn't make for a happy family Thanksgiving conversation-starter.
It seems like there should be some sort of threshold to mark where a relationship just becomes a ridiculous idea. Perhaps when one of your family members draws blood on your lover, or vice versa?
6 Emma Didn't Listen To Hook About Marian
Ask any couple what the secret to their longevity is and odds are that you'll hear many claim that it was the ability to really communicate and listen to one another. That doesn't translate to blind obedience but careful consideration of the opinion that belongs to the most important person in your life.
This is especially true for important things in life, like whether or not to have children, or whether or not to bring a woman who's supposed to be five feet under back to the future with you. Even Marty McFly knows that's a bad idea.
Emma just couldn't listen to Hook about Marian, which led to Zelena's deception of Robin and ultimately the archer's demise.
5 He's A Pirate, She's The Savior
Saviors and pirates don't usually go well together. Even if opposites attract, and they often do, they aren't usually between the strongest force of good and the person with assassination plans for half her town. The show already has this dynamic between Gold and Belle, not to mention the Queen and Robin, rendering it a little tiresome.
As sheriff, it's also simply a conflict of interest for Emma to date Killian.
This is particularly true when we consider how he's never been prosecuted for any of his past crimes, let alone his current attempts on several of their lives. Oil and water can enjoy cohabitation in the same bottle, but they generally repel one another and won't mix with differences this big between them.
4 Emma Let Henry Live With Regina So She Could Shack Up With Hook
After spending season after season trying to obtain some sort of custody of her son, Emma seemed to not really care as much about sharing Henry with his adoptive mother, Regina Mills, once she shacked up with her pirate prince.
It baffled fans to see Henry living with Regina during this weird pre-honeymoon honeymoon phase, particularly after Regina had proven herself a less-than-ideal custodian several times over.
Despite Regina having mostly cleaned up her act at this point, one might think that Emma would want joint custody of Henry when she finally got her own digs in Storybrooke.
It's another piece of evidence that some fans use to prove that Emma seems to care more for Hook than her own son.
3 Emma Transformed Hook Into A Dark One Against His Wishes
In an average relationship, either participant might be upset if a partner suddenly sold the house, bought a car, or switched careers without discussing it as a couple. That's fair.
If a woman suddenly transformed her boyfriend into the Dark One against his consent, no matter her good intentions, it would be a pretty big deal. Fans were even more upset as they watched Hook realize what she'd done and forgive her for it, despite his blatant request that she not make the transformation.
It's akin to someone who quit smoking after hundreds of years of smoking becoming a smoker again against his will.
What is it with Once Upon a Time and women who force men to do things against their wishes?
2 Emma Forgot All About Neil For Hook
It's funny how a pair of lined eyes and well-glossed lips will turn a head. That's what Hook discovered when Emma went gaga over the pirate. She was obviously more into Killian Jones than Henry's father Baelfire, the supposed love of her life who was only afforded a few brief years of happiness in his complicated, painful life.
That's not to say that Emma or Killian never had it as rough, either, but at least they got their happily ever afters. Neil merely got a tombstone and his father's empty promises. That's messed up.
And we're pretty sure Baelfire would have a hard time recusing his beloved when he discovered that...
1 Emma Put Hook Before Henry
Remember back when Emma believed that Hook would be a terrible influence on Henry? Seasons later we see her putting Hook before everyone else that she cares about in order to save Hook alone.
Just taking Henry to the Underworld in the first place is Mommy No-No #1.
Let's be clear: Emma is not a mere Mary Sue as many viewers have claimed. She's a complex character with clear growth who makes mistakes and generally emits the strength only the side of good can wield. But her relationship with Hook, no matter how satisfying it is on some levels, definitely has its problems, which is what makes it so much fun to watch.
In an age where the anti-villain is more popular than ever, can we even blame writers for scripting in these issues?
What else doesn't make sense about Emma and Hook in Once Upon a Time? Let us know in the comments!