"Love in the Darkness"
By Mia Bennett (@must_be_mia1)
Over the past four years, Emma Swan and Killian "Captain Hook" Jones have been through much together. From their first encounter which began with Emma pointing a knife at Killian to a heartfelt confession about Emma being Killian's happy ending, it has been an emotional ride. Currently, in Season 5a, the newest challenge the couple faced was the darkness that lies inside of them.
In the Season 4 finale, Emma Swan bravely sacrificed herself and took the darkness upon herself after it was released from Mr. Gold aka Rumplestiltskin. This heroic act landed Emma in the Enchanted Forest as the new Dark One. In Camelot Emma continuously struggled with her new powers and contemplated on what was right and wrong, Killian was beside her the entire time. Aside from sharing a romantic dance together to take her mind off temptations, he gave Emma hope that things would get better. He told her that once the darkness was out of her they had a bright future to look toward. To ease Emma's doubts, Killian and Henry planned "Operation Light Swan" and surprised her with a house in Storybrooke where they could begin their lives together.
Although Killian and Emma said "I love you" to each other and embraced quite a few times, not everything went according to plan. In order to release the darkness from Emma, Excalibur and the Dark One Dagger had to be conjoined by the Promethean Flame. Unfortunately, Killian was cut in the neck by King Arthur. By uniting the items, his healed wound by Emma had been undone, leaving him to die. Emma refused to just let Killian die as she loves him so much. That parting was not an option. This was no surprise and she made it clear she shouldn't be ridiculed for wanting to find a cure for him. She chose to change fate and turned him into the first ever second Dark One. This also made Emma fully give into the darkness, as her appearance changed immediately. She didn't want the results to end like this, but she couldn't let Killian go, and insisted she would help him control the Darkness as he had helped her.
We saw in "Broken Heart" that Killian was not pleased in Storybrooke. Straightaway the darkness snapped back into him and he was furious with Emma for turning him into a Dark One. Deciding to take out his anger on her, he told her that to him she was nothing more than a "pretty blonde distraction". Then on top of that, he added that she'll "always be an orphan" because she pushes everyone away and destroys her own happiness. For the audience, this was extremely hard to hear. We know that Emma has had a hard time letting her walls down and trusting others due to her past, and for someone she loves dearly to point this out to her was quite painful. We knew that Killian said all of this because he was angry and wanted to hurt Emma. In context of the situation, I believe this only affected their relationship for a bit. The comments that came out of Killian were terrible, but Emma had hope that their love in the darkness would somehow prevail. This is significant due to the fact that it was evident that Emma was not holding a grudge against Killian since she knew it was the darkness that made him ruthless. It wasn't coming from his heart. And so Emma desperately continued to help Killian fight the darkness and try to convince him that it was not who he really is, and that they love each other.
Consumed by the darkness though, Killian continued with his plan and challenged The Crocodile" Mr. Gold to a sword fight so he could get an ingredient needed to bring the dark ones: the blood from a man who has been to Hell and back.
Meanwhile, with the help of Henry, Emma returned everyone's memories. She was also able to retrieve the memories Killian had taken from her which allowed her to figure out what Killian and the first Dark One, Nimue, were up to.
When Emma discovered the plan to snuff out the light forever and extract the heroes--her loved ones, to cause her pain--she made the decision to sacrifice herself and get rid of the darkness forever. This would stop her family, marked by "The Dark Ones," from escaping a fate to end up in the Underworld. Her extreme lengths, determined to do whatever it took to make sure her family didn't have to endure the trip, was true to her heroism.
Then, with time running out, Nimue transported the family to the lake where the portal to the Underworld was to be opened. Emma met up with them and said a heartfelt goodbye. She then begged Killian to not go through with the plan, but was stopped by Nimue who started to choke her.
To everyone's surprise, Killian stopped Nimue. He grabbed Excalibur and took in all the darkness. Sharing one last goodbye kiss with Emma, he pled with her to let him sacrifice himself. He wanted Emma to remember him as a hero, and then said she deserved to live and her family needed her. Tearfully, Emma stabbed him, extracting all of the darkness returning both Emma and Killian to their mortal selves. Sadly, Killian died in her arms, leaving Emma in hysterics.*
While Emma was in mourning, she suddenly heard whispers from the dagger. She discovered that Rumplestiltskin had taken back the darkness. This left Emma furious, as this meant Killian's death was in vain. She demanded Rumplestiltskin help her with a new plan, otherwise she would tell Belle what kind of man he really is.
I have no doubt that in the end Emma and Killian will prevail. It seems angsty and frustrating at the moment, but after all, True Love never is easy. One way or another, the light will shine through, and eventually the darkness will be gone for good. Emma Swan is, and always will be, the Savior.
Now, she is fulfilling that by bravely going to the Underworld to save Killian with the hope that they will share one heart just like her parents. The last words we hear her say as she descends into the Underworld with her family is "Hook I will find you, I will always find you". This parallel with her parents' classic line proves how strong her love is.
*Kudos to Jennifer Morrison and Colin O'Donoghue for their phenomenal performances.