i feel like emma’s less than warm reaction to hook is kinda due to the whole good dream thing. like however much she might be glad to have her memories back, in comparison to what the fake ones offered, the future kinda sucks
i mean… she didn’t want to see him.
like, however much she may like him, things were perfect — and they were going to stay that way, because there were powers deliberately making that happen. she didn’t know that walsh was playing her, and if hook hadn’t shown up, she might never have known at all, because he would have kept up the charade.
i don’t remember the wizard of oz, i never especially cared for it, but i think walsh, as being secretly a flying monkey, was essentially a puppet, or something like a robot, specifically tailored and “programmed” to be exactly what emma and henry wanted, exactly when and exactly where, to be her perfect man.
♪ he’s everything you want, he’s everything you need, he’s everything inside of you that you wish you could be. he says all the right things at exactly the right time, but he means nothing to you and you don’t know why ♪
which i think is part of what made emma hesitate, like hook said — some part of her sensed that something was off. it was all too perfect, too easy. i mean, walsh wanted her from the start, he expedited whatever order she had so he could see her again, he took her out to expensive restaurants and got the wait staff to go off-menu to get her the dessert she wanted, he helped henry with school projects, he had all the perfect answers to soothe her worries, everything, programmed to be what emma had always wanted.
and the thing is, yes, he was too perfect, and yes, there were cracks in the story, but it was perfect. and if zelena wanted to ensure that she didn’t come back to ruin whatever her plans are, it was going to stay that way for the foreseeable future.
and she knows that it’s better with the truth, but hook showing back up effectively — temporarily — ruined her life. so yeah, she’s cold because the future was going to be perfect and he’s taken that away from her. it doesn’t matter how necessary, it doesn’t matter how much she would rather have the truth, it doesn’t matter how everything ultimately works out — at that moment, part of her hates him for it, the same part that still felt like an orphan.
it’s better when she finds out about walsh (or… that part, at least) because now she’s realizing that it isn’t just the past that’s a lie — it was the future, too, and the present, and the perfect love she thought she’d found, none of it was real.
so the more i think about it, the more i think she’ll warm up to him faster? because he’s the one who doesn’t lie to her, and that means even more to her now because she’s been lied to and betrayed by another lover.
i’m super-rambling now, and i’m not even sure i’m making a lot of sense, so i’ll stop.
Something that’s getting missed here, and I’ve not seen anyone else mention it, so I am:
"The Savior doesn’t get a day off."
"That what I wanted, what I thought I could have was not on the cards for the Savior."
Maybe I’m so used to this from the Buffy fandom, but I know what this is. This is Emma’s slow realization, first in (I want to say, but can’t confirm) The New Neverland and then in NYCS that being the Savior means she won’t ever be able to STOP being the Savior.
She will always be called to break the curse, stop the thing, save the kid, rescue her parents, etc. She doesn’t get a break, she doesn’t get to relax her guard. Someone will always be out to get her, someone will always be trying to hurt her.
What Emma thinks this means is that she doesn’t GET a happy ending.
Neal? Taken from her because she was the savior. He even confirms it when he tells her that he wouldn’t have come near her if he’d known who she was.
Graham? Taken from her because she was the savior. If she’d never been brought to Storybrooke, never woken Graham with her kiss, he’d still be alive. Or at least this is how she likely sees it.
Walsh? Out to get her because she was the savior.
Emma is only becoming more and more convinced of this — she’s got her son and she’ll do everything she can to protect him, but where she once had to erect walls to keep people at bay because she thought she was unloveable — now she’s erecting new ones to keep people at bay because she can’t trust that they’re not out to hurt her, or likely to get hurt because of her.
"I care about him too much to drag him into all of this."
Hook is an anomaly. She believes that his motives are true: he really is there for her. But that would be even MORE scary, especially if he has feelings for her, because if she allows herself that happiness the curse or the magic or her own Saviorness will find some way of ripping it from her — probably in a way that ends quite tragically for Hook.
If Emma is distant or only friendly with him, it’s not JUST her processing, not JUST her waking up from her “happy dream” — it’s Emma distancing herself from the happy ending she’s convinced she’ll never be allowed to have.