Once Upon a Time: Season 6 and Beyond Wishlist

As the start of Season 6 of Once Upon a Time approaches, there are always the inevitable hopes for what we would most like to see for our favorite characters. In Season 5, I made such a list– and some came true. But some still have not happened so those most definitely remain, along with some other new great wishes. Of course there is a healthy dose of Captain Swan wishes here, but there is also a lot from many characters. Here are my greatest wishes for Season 6 and beyond. MILD SPOILERS AHEAD!

1. Emma and Killian Domestic, Quiet, and Happy Moments:
Now that Emma and Killian overcome darkness and even death, have a beautiful house that represents a future together, and are both “safe” in Storybrooke, I would love to see some quiet, romantic moments for the couple. Of course there will be drama and dangers, but in the mix I want to see quieter and happy scenes too. Dinner date nights out or in, strolling down the street holding hands, little or passionate kisses, and most especially moments in their house together whether it’s sharing a meal, a dance, or cuddling on the couch. Overall, I think it’s finally time for them to “go home and see what’s on Netflix.”

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2. Emma and Killian have “coffee”:
Relating to my number one hope, a wish I had from Season 5 was for Emma and Killian to finally consummate their relationship. Although some believe this has already happened, because there has never been a visual or verbal reference while other couples have had similar scenes, I still believe they have yet to take a step. And they certainly deserve it. They’ve endured so much turmoil. As Emma said before reaffirming her love, they have been through so much: “darkness, Hades, and being separated by realms.” And now that they’ve confirmed their love to be true, it’s time they are finally able to express that love physically. As I wrote “You can have a beautiful and sensual scene while still being subtle. I most hope to see them holding each other in their arms with adoring looks in their eyes.” Bonus points if we see Emma wearing one of Killian’s shirts, or maybe his old pirate coat. Here’s hoping for a scene (or multiple scenes) of such beautiful sensuality.

3. The Charmings call Killian “family”:
As I said last season on my wishlist, Snow and David showing support for Emma and Killian’s relationship was a silent way of accepting him into their family, but I hoped they would show this even more so, be more verbal and maybe even bestow a hug upon our dear captain. Many of these wishes definitely came true as Snow defended Emma turning Killian in a Dark One because that’s what their family does – they save people. This family also finds people, and as they followed their daughter into the Underworld to find and save Killian it was clear they consider him a member of their family, especially when he returned from the dead and David greeted him with a hug. However, there is still so much that can be said between them, and we have yet to hear them actually call him “family.” It would also be lovely to see another hug whether it be from David or Snow, but this time in the foreground of the scene.

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4. Henry and Killian bonding:
I have always loved seeing Henry and Killian moments. Captain Cobra scenes are often fun and ever so heartwarming. We’ve gotten some great scenes between them from going to rescue Emma, to Killian sharing stories of Henry’s father; but some of their best moments happened off screen – Killian taking Henry sailing and the two picking out a house in Storybrooke and creating Operation Light Swan. In Season 6 I hope to see more bonding between Emma’s two true loves. Henry was devastated when Killian died but we saw no real reaction to his miraculous return. Let’s hope to see that happiness he surely feels and lots of sweet moments on screen.

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And as we heard at San Diego Comic Con, Henry will be giving Killian list of movies to watch. Not only is this heartwarming and sweet but potentially could be hilarious, golden television. What should be on that list? I vote for The Princess Bride, Peter Pan, , Pirates of the Caribbean, Hook, and of course Back to the Future because Killian should finally know who Marty McFly is.

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5. More David and Killian moments:
As we heard from San Diego Comic Con, this is one wish that is going to come true as Josh and Colin told us that the Captain Charming bromance is going to be blossoming and I cannot be happier about that. Whatever is ahead I hope for some fun and meaningful moments. Two of my favorite episodes are “Good Form” and “White Out” and while these two have troubling admitting it, they work well together and do care about the other. I hope we get another hug or more verbal discussions of their growing friendship. It’s definitely an unique relationship. They have both lost brothers but have become brothers in arms. But of course Killian is also dating David’s daughter’s so a discussion about that relationship and perhaps asking for a blessing before proposing would also be a joy to watch.

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6. Captain Swan and Snowing Adventures/Charming Family and more Moments:
While I long for individual adventures for my favorite couples I would also absolutely love Season 6 to have these beautiful pairs working together on adventures, facing villains or enjoying some family time together – dinner at Granny’s or at the loft complete with Snow being the happy, doting mother asking lots of questions and David in overprotective Dad mode.

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Much like the end of Season 3 and 5, I would also be great to see lots of family moments, with all the characters together – time to breathe, be together and rejoice, or as is often necessary, to kick ass together because when teamed up they are all a force to be reckoned with. I want to see everyone: Emma, Killian, Henry, Snow and Charming, Regina, Zelena, Belle, Rumple, the Dwarves, Granny and any other members of the Storybrooke community.

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7. Another Captain Swan Adventure:
As I said last season, I love episodes that focus on this couple on a grand scale and we did have a few episodes like this – “Birth” and “Broken Heart,” and to a lesser extent “Swan Song” and “Firebird,” but those were more individually based. Of course they were amazing and beautiful episodes, but thoroughly heart-wrenching. Given that Season 6 is sure to be a bit lighter, I hope we see another adventure for Emma and Killian akin to “Tallahassee”, “Snow Drifts/There’s No Place Like Home” or “Operation Mongoose.” They make quite the team and whether it be in Storybrooke or somehow the Enchanted Forest again, I’d love to see the couple on some fun, fairy tale, romantic, and perhaps even swashbuckling, adventure together.

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8. More Snow and Charming Adventures and Romantic moments:
The show’s original True Love couple has had a bit less screen time over the past few seasons (in no small part to Ginnifer Goodwin’s pregnancies and evolution of the story), but they still have had their fair share stories where they face whatever may come their way together. They’re steadfast love and devotion to each other is beautiful and I hope Season 6 we see even more of them back in action and further exploring what the happy ending they are living entails, whether in adventures together like “The New Neverland,” romantic and moving scenes, like “Lady of the Lake,” or realistically working through an argument and coming out the other side united, like in “The Broken Kingdom.”

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9. A Captain Swan scene on the Jolly Roger:
I always say there is never enough of the Jolly Roger. The Ship is such an icon for Hook’s character and the show, so I always love scenes that feature this marvel of the vessel. We’ve seen Emma and Killian on the Jolly Roger a handful of times, the best being their fairy tale adventures in the Season 3 and 4 finales. But in both of those cases Killian did not know Emma, save for present time Killian who punched his past self. And in season 5 we had Emma trying to re-create their first date, but it was a very sad scene. This season I hope to see a happy moment for the couple-maybe a date on the deck of the ship, Killian and Emma at the helm and taking a romantic sail in Storybrooke’s harbor, or some amorous activities in the Captain’s Quarters. Whatever the scenario, I’d love see these two on this beautiful ship again.

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10. Captain Swan Engagement or Wedding:
I will admit, I truly thought the end of Season 5 was going to involve Emma and Killian getting engaged, given the literal Hell they went through. However, we got the next best thing – the most blatantly obvious piece of foreshadowing in an already long line of such, with a wedding dress perfectly centered in between the couple before Emma says “I love you.” While I don’t expect a proposal right away, I think it’s clear that wedding bells are on the horizon. The questions are – Will Killian ask David and Snow’s blessing, who will be the best man and maid of honor (my vote goes to David or Henry and Elsa), and of course who will be the one to propose – Killian or Emma?

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11. Time Periods and Characters We’ve Never or Have Rarely Seen:
It’s certain that many things have been seen on abundance on the show: Regina’s feud with Snow and Charming and Rumple’s time as the Dark One to name a few, so it’ll be nice to see something they have yet to or rarely explore. High on that list would be any Emma’s early childhood with the family who gave her last name, Swan. And now that we got the origin of her red leather jacket I would love to know the origin of her flower tattoo. I would also love to explore more of Killian’s childhood and meet his mother, as well as meet David’s father and see his childhood. David is one of the few characters we’ve never seen as a child on the show, and more backstory separate from Snow, for his character deserves to be explored. I also would to see how Killian made the transition from Lieutenant to a pirate– the time between him renaming the Jewel of the Realm to the Jolly Roger to when he first met Milah. His younger self is quite different and that charisma was surely something that developed over time. He mentioned visiting cities where the air smells of spices and women are carried on jeweled chairs. That sounds a lot like Agrabah, does it not? With Aladdin coming it sounds like the perfect opportunity to explore more of this time period. And for that matter what’s the origin of his wardrobe? They always parallel Emma and Killian so it would be amazing to see how Killian chose his long leather coat to parallel Emma choosing hers. I would also like to see a very young Henry in Storybrooke and how he interacted with Regina, meet Rumple’s mother, and see some of Hook’s time in Neverland because Robbie Kay was severely underused during the Underworld Arc.

12. Interesting Character Dynamics:
Of course I have my favorite character dynamics but there are some we have definitely not seen a lot of that I would love to see more of: Rumple and Emma, Killian and Snow, Killian and Belle, David and Henry, and Emma and Belle. I would also love to see the Snow and Emma relationship brought back to significance as well as Emma and Henry perhaps creating a new operation together.

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13. More of the Rumple/Killian rivalry:
Even though Killian has given up his revenge, as we’ve seen since Season 4 on, there is still no love lost between the characters and it’s always a treat to see these two characters and brilliant actors play off each other. I of course certainly do not want Killian’s heart to be controlled again, but I would love to see them continue to explore how they are very much foils to each other. They have been connected since Killian’s first episode and since the darkness was not destroyed, and Rumple is once again the Dark One, I’d love to see further exploration of what is surely an integral part of the overall story.

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14. The Evil Queen split does not take the entire season/Regina & Zelena bonding:
While I don’t want to fully judge until I see how it begins to play out, and I think this split will in the end help Regina further learn to take responsibility for her actions and accept that her dark instincts as part of her and not a curse or separate entity, the idea of this taking an entire season does not sound appealing. In fact it could grow very repetitive and tedious early on. The solution is simple – she needs to accept that part of herself and work to overcome it, not destroy as if it never happened or doesn’t exist. That is truly the only way she will ever find peace within herself. Moreover, I really enjoyed seeing that Regina and Zelena were actually close as children, so I hope to see them continue to mend and work of their very complicated relationship.

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15. More Familiar Faces Returning:
My season 5 Wishlist included hope for some familiar faces to return and we got some of them – Liam, Cruella, and Peter Pan. This season, we know that we will be seeing Archie, Dr. Whale, and Cinderella and Thomas (a.k.a. Ashley and Sean) again. I would love it if August will pop up again and maybe help Henry with his authoring, Ariel, Tink, or Elsa to reappear for some plucky wisdom and great friendship moments, and Ursula and Blackbeard for some seafaring or pirate adventures. And whether it’s in a flashback, a brief scene or even a reference, I’d love to see Arthur taking care of the Underworld and Lancelot and Guinevere hopefully together ruling Camelot together. Lastly, there’s still so much unfinished left to explore with Merlin, as well as Killian’s Father Brennan Jones and his half-brother Liam II. What happened to him? That story should be re-addressed.

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Season 6 and Beyond:
Since we do not know how many more seasons the series will be on, these last wishes are general hopes I have for the show.

We see the moment Killian traded the Jolly Roger to Blackbeard for a magic bean:
This was on last season’s wishlist as well. It was such a meaningful and significant moment for his character and I have ALWAYS wanted to see it play out in screen.

Emma and Killian Start a Family:
Whenever this is meant to happen, I would love to see these two have children of their own. Not only would it be nice to see Henry have a sibling, as well as Emma be able to experience what she never did with her son, but also the thought of Killian holding a baby and being a father is so sweet. It wouldn’t surprise me if they also adopted a few kids given their similar childhoods.

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Robin Hood Returns or is at Peace/Regina Finds Peace:
The charming outlaw was definitely a favorite character of mine so I was very, very sad to see him leave. I will lament what could have been. But of course this is very common on television nowadays, and I’ve lost many a favorite character before. I will accept it if need be, but I would love it if he was able to somehow come back to life. If that’s not meant to be then I hope we hear that contrary to what Hades said, his soul was able to move on and be at peace. And I know many may disagree with me, but if Robin cannot return then I do not want to see Regina given another love interest. At this point it would feel rushed, unsatisfying and even hurtful to those who loved Outlaw Queen. I actually would enjoy instead for Regina to find peace and happiness within herself instead of something or someone external. That would be refreshing and would make a great deal of sense for her character who has battled her inner darkness.

A Holiday Episode:
Whether it be Christmas (which is my number one choice), Thanksgiving, or another holiday I love to see what our characters would do on a special day like that. So far the only holiday we’ve seen is Valentine’s Day. It would be nice to revisit that day, or maybe a spooky Halloween episode, or a crazy and sweet Thanksgiving(which David mentioned would be difficult but certainly funny). But Christmas just holds so many lovely possibilities – the town building snowmen, tree trimming, opening presents, sipping hot cocoa and cinnamon by the fire, and fun with mistletoe. I know it’s unlikely to happen, but it still would be amazing to see on the show.

A Ball or a Dance in Storybrooke:
It’s no secret that I have adored the Royal Balls we’ve seen over the course of the series. They are beautiful and romantic grandeur. We may not revisit the Enchanted Forest or Camelot this season in the present day, but that does not mean Storybrooke cannot hold its very own dance, and I for one would love to see it.

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We Learn Mr. Gold’s First Name:
I know his real name is Rumpelstiltskin and it may simply be a running joke that we don’t know Gold’s first name, but it would be amazing if that fact that we’ve never learned it means they will be doing their own twist on the original Rumplestiltskin fairy tale. If you don’t know or are unfamiliar with the story, there have already been some elements incorporated in the show – namely in “The Miller’s Daughter” and his ability to spin straw into gold. But there is a part of the story we haven’t seen – a girl must guess Rumpelstiltskin’s real name or give up her child. In one case, going off this meta by hooks-and-feathers (which I agree with) – the placement of Gold in between the nursery crib and Emma and Killian in “Devil’s Due” is deliberate foreshadowing. And it most definitely could be an indicator of a story involving Gold’s name and the future child of Emma and Killian. And I’d love it!

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An It’s A Wonderful Life/What if the curse never happened/S1 curse Revisited Scenario: The show has done its fair share of alternate universes, memory loss, and crossover over adventures and when it comes down to it the show really soars when they do. The season 3 and 4 finales were astounding and beautiful, and the memory loss in 5A they created such an amazing air of mystery and made the reveal that Killian was also a Dark One even more surprising. I would love to see an episode where the curse never happened and see how the characters would interact, find each other and eventually set things right. For without the curse would Henry ever exist, would Rumple have found his son, would Regina have found happiness, and would Emma have met Captain Hook? Although many are tired of the memory loss trope, it is one of my favorites aspects of the show. And for Emma and Killian specifically, they hold a unique distinction of not having ever been cursed with memory loss or not knowing each other at the same time. I would love an episode where neither has memories of the other, but as always are drawn to each other and regain their memories in some magical or romantic fashion, perhaps having flashes of these memories along the way. How beautiful and amazing would that be!

Emma Celebrates Her Birthday:
It’s long been a theory of mine that the series will end with Emma celebrating her birthday to parallel the “Pilot,” only this time with her family, friends and, hopefully by then, husband beside her. I don’t just want to see this. I NEED TO SEE THIS!!! It would be such a poignant way of bringing the series and characters full circle. Emma would no longer be a lonely, lost girl, but a woman who is beyond loved and would no longer even need to make a wish. She would have everything she ever wished for.

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“I Will Always Find You, You Will Always Come Back to Me:” The Journeys Of Captain Swan, Snowing and the Charming Family

“I will always find you.” It’s a quote that has become synonymous with Once Upon a Time. A beautiful sentiment that encompasses love stories both romantic and familial and one that is the very heart of the series. Before the second half of Season 5 began, I wrote about this as Emma echoing the line was a moving way of bringing the theme for circle. I wrote:

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What is beautiful is that while this may have began with Snow White awakened by Prince Charming, the concept of finding each other is undeniably part of the Charming family as a whole.

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It always has been and always will be something the characters reiterate time and time again, so that when Emma says the iconic line vowing to find Killian, it not only solidifies Emma’s love for Killian as the type of strong and steadfast affection that she shares with her parents and her son, but also that Killian is now included as part of this family.

When examining the series as a whole, it’s clear that the “I will always find you” concept is abundant and strong. But what is remarkable is that this is not the only concept that is reiterated time and time again with the romantic and family stories of Emma and Killian, Snow and David, Henry and Emma, and the Charming Family as a whole. “I will always find you” could continue with “you will always come back to me.” And what is also remarkable is not only the consistency in which these two concepts are employed, but also that they are linked and share a similar pattern. Although there are some exceptions, it is usually David who finds Snow, Henry who finds Emma, and Emma who finds Killian. While it does vary, they all come back to each other, often demonstrating striking parallels. Importantly, the concepts are both physical and emotional, while the number of times we see these motifs are astounding, showcasing a clear inherent trait to these characters and their journeys with Snow and Charming initiating, Henry and the family continuing and finally Emma and Killian solidifying these exquisite themes transcending and propelling them to new heights, giving, unsurprisingly, the Savior the most remarkable love story of all  in terms of just how much this patterns is showcased . But make no mistake these are all connected, meant to be so, each story building upon the other and written as such to express what the true love you find with a lover and with your family can and should encompass. Let’s explore each and every journey and the ways these characters will always find and come back to each other.

Snow White and Prince Charming:

1×1 Pilot:
The very first scene of the series is Charming finding Snow. Her gives her a True Love’s Kiss and she comes back to him and he says the iconic line is “I Will Always Find You.”

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1×3 Snow Falls:
In the Enchanted Forest, the first meeting of Snow and Charming was a memorable one and Charming vows and makes good on his promise to always find her– at first meant in a non romantic way- but establishing the concept from the very beginning of their relationship.

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Later, their journey took a romantic turn when the two are battling trolls. As they try to escape Snow realizes he is not with her, comes back to Charming and saves his life (Something that is repeated even when the timeline is altered in 3×22).

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At the ending of the episode, the iconic line then changes to a romantic one and the rest is history.

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In Storybrooke, Mary Margaret finds David, nearly drowned, saying “No, no no I found you!” She performs CPR and a bit of a kiss, and asks him to come back to her (Something that is later paralleled to Emma and Killian).

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It’s important to note that with the exception of the next episode, Snow (Mary Margaret) pleading for Charming (David) to come back to her established the pattern and he is the one who does so multiple times, something that is later paralleled with Emma and Killian’s relationship, but on a grander scale.

1×16 Heart of Darkness:
Charming finds Snow, who has no memory of him. He tries True Love’s Kiss, but is knocked out by the princess. But after he risks his own like to protect her heart, she kisses him and she comes back to him. As Regina’s guards approach they take Charming away and Snow now echoes the line he first said.

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1×21 An Apple Red as Blood:
Snow thinks she finds Charming, but only finds his reflection, as he is in another castle. Wondering is this will always be their life, Charming assures her that they will truly find each other again.

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1×22 A Land Without Magic:
After the curse is broken Snow and Charming find each other and echo the same lines they said in the Pilot.

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2×8 Into the Deep:
Putting himself under a sleeping curse, Charming finds Snow in the Netherworld and gives Snow the hope she needs that they will always find each other.

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2×9 The Queen of Hearts:
After a separation Snow and Charming both come back to each other, she returning to Storybrooke, he after she awakens him with True Love’s Kiss.

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3×5 Good Form:
After Charming had left Snow for what he thought would be the last time, he comes back to her, cured from the dreamshade poisoning, thanks to Hook (A situation later very much akin to Emma and Killian in Season 4 when he has his heart returned).

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3×19 A Curious Thing:
After sacrificing his heart to enact the dark curse, Charming comes back to Snow when gives shes him half of her heart.

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3×21/22 Snow Drifts/There’s No Place Like Home:
Much like Snow Falls, despite the timeline being altered Snow and Charming’s story plays out in a very similar way, with the same lines being echoed and their story arriving back at the same place.

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Emma and Henry and The Charming Family:
Although the frequency of the pattern is less so with Emma and her son, the important thing is that in the first season we see the first and last episode employ both concepts and from that moment on the entire family begins to work more as a unit, slowly but surely encompassing the finding and coming back to each other. We see this verbally and physically and eventually it becomes part of Emma in a more substantial way most especially in her romantic journey with Killian. But first let’s look at Emma’s family.

1×1 Pilot:
Henry finds Emma in Boston and she comes back with him to Storybrooke.

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Charming places a newborn Emma into the wardrobe and whispers “Find Us” sending her into the Land Without Magic.

1×22 A Land Without Magic:
After willingly falling under a sleeping curse, Henry comes back to Emma when she gives him True Love’s Kiss and breaks the curse on Storybrooke.

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2×1 Broken:
Seeing their daughter for the first time since the curse is broken, Snow and Charming embrace Emma, Snow saying “You Found Us” a moving line as Charming’s last words spoken to her as a baby were for her to find them.

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2×2 We Are Both:
Charming assures Henry that he knows Emma and Snow are okay and that he will find them, as he always does.

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3×8/9 Think Lovely Thoughts/Save Henry:
After finally finding Henry in Neverland and battling Pan, Henry’s heart is returned to him and he comes back to his entire family.

4×2 White Out:
Giving Elsa hope, Charming says what their family does is find people– importantly with family surrounding him: Snow, Emma. Henry and Killian.

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4×22/23 Operation Mongoose:
One by one Henry finds members of his family (Regina, Killian and Emma) in the alternate universe to try to set things right. Significantly Henry finds Emma with Killian’s help and she not only remembers her son but with a bright smile of pride and love relays that beautiful hopeful line that her family has come to embody “I knew you’d find me” because that’s what their family always does.

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Captain Swan and The Charming Family:

The pattern of “I will always find you” and “you will always come back to me” was firmly established by Snow and Charming, Henry and the Charming family, so that when Emma was ready to open her heart romantically, she would find someone who fits into this so mold perfectly. And that is by design – Killian was meant to be her romantic true love and the ways in which they not only follow this, but propel these themes to new depths and intensity are significant and beautiful. And it’s also by design that it is simply intrinsically part of their characters individually. Since the beginning Emma has inherently followed in the genetic footsteps of her family mentality. It’s a part of the her make up and importantly was in her without her ever having known her parents growing up – only a whisper from her father when she was minutes old of “find us.” But as we have seen since day one and something that has continued as more pieces of her past have been revealed, finding people is what she does. Mary Margaret asks her about this in Episode 3 Snow Falls.

Mary Margaret: It’s an interesting job- finding people. How’d you fall into it?
Emma: Looking for people is just what I’ve done- for as long as I can remember.
Mary Margaret: What made you start? You’re parents? Henry told me that you were from a similar situation to his own.
Did you ever find them?
Emma: Depends who you ask.

And we later learn in 5×20 Firebird that as a young adult she was trying to find her parents, shifting that desire to her new job as a bail bonds person. This was always a part of her. As for Killian, something inherently part of his character is that he is a survivor, having lived for over 300 years thanks to Neverland, curses and a lucky ring (and perhaps even more that we don’t know). His ability to survive is in no small part to his tenacity, and it makes him someone who could always come back. But it’s more than being a survivor. It’s the fierceness and the brevity with which he feels that makes Killian someone who fits the mold of the Charming family so perfectly. The romantic journey of Emma and Killian starts out in the same steady progression as its predecessors.

2×5 The Doctor:
Emma finds Hook laying among Cora’s deceased victims (now a foreshadow to Emma finding Killian among the dead in the Underworld). It’s important to note that despite 3 other characters bring there, Emma is the one to find him, with the camera making a deliberate shot of Killian turning his head to look up at Emma. This was only the beginning.

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2×12 In the Name of the Brother:
Both a case of finding and coming back, Emma is the one to find Killian on the side of the road, he coming back to her in a way after she left him via a portal in the Enchanted Forest, thinking he had no way to follow.

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2×22 And Straight On Til Morning:
After taking the last magic bean, planning to leave Storybrooke to its fate, Killian comes back to Emma and the rest of the Charming Family. Importantly, this is after Emma offers him a chance to be a part of something- essentially to be part of the town. That, combined with him offering his ship to help follow Henry to Neverland, is the first step of Killian becoming part of this family. And you cannot help but notice the deliberate way the camera pans onto to Emma specifically as she sees that it is he who is coming back.

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3×1 The Heart of the Truest Believer
After nearly drowning, Emma comes back to her family, the camera panning to Killian multiple times as he looks on relieved.

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3×11 Going Home:
After a tearful but heartfelt goodbye in Storybrooke for what they believed would be forever, Killian does both things in a sense. He finds and comes back to Emma in New York one year later, trying True Love’s Kiss to restore her memories.

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3×12 New York City Serenade:
Determined to help restore her memories, Killian finds Emma at a restaurant on her date with Walsh. Later, she finds him in the park and then the police station and after an impassioned speech Emma takes a leap of faith and drinks the memory potion Killian gives to her. Emma’s memory is restored and her true self comes back to Killian. Later, over a shared drink Killian admits that he came back to save her.

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3×13 Witch Hunt:
As she said at the end of the previous episode, Emma once again relates how “Hook found me.”

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3×20 Kansas:
In a beautiful parallel to Snow and Charming, Killian nearly drowns and Emma saves his life pleading for him to come back to her. And he does. Also interesting is the way Zelena phrases her remark to them, “Instead of of looking for each other.” Shouldn’t it be looking at each other? This is obviously a commentary by the writers of the way they are always looking for and finding each other.

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3×21 Snow Drifts:
In Storybrooke Killian finds Emma on a bench and the two have a heart to heart about what home truly is.

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3×22 There’s No Place Like Home:
When Emma and Killian return from their trip to the past the first thing Emma does is run to find her parents and embraces them when she finds them in Granny’s. She had found her family and her home and missed them terribly.

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But minutes later Emma turns and looks wistful because someone is not there- the one missing person. You don’t have a home until you miss it. Well, Emma missed Killian’s presence so she goes in search of him and found him sitting alone outside of Granny’s. He finally reveals that he was able to find her with the use of a magic bean that he traded his ship for. And she kisses him- letting down her walls and opening her heart. She had found her home with her parents, her son, and now with Killian. Of course this was just the official beginning of their relationship and there was more to come.

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4×2 White Out:
After being trapped in an ice cave with Elsa, Emma’s new friend frees them both and Emma comes back to a relieved Killian, falling into his embrace as they cling tightly to each other.

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4×8 Smash the Mirror:
After deciding to keep her magic Killian finds Emma in the Sorcerer’s Mansion, hugging her fiercely.

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4×9/11 Fall/Heroes and Villians:
A heartless Killian says goodbye to Emma for what he believes will be the last time. Kissing her passionately, she can sense something is not right with him. After discovering Gold’s deception Emma finds Killian, whose heart was just saved by Belle. When they are alone Emma places Killian’s heart back into his chest and Killian comes back to her, once again kissing her passionately, but now as his complete self.

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4×15 Poor Unfortunate Soul:
Once again Killian comes back to Emma after nearly drowning, this time revealing to her that she is his happy ending.

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By the time we reach the end of Season 4 and head into Season 5 there is no doubt that Emma and Killian are deeply in love, but the ways in which the relationship follows the pattern is not only beautiful but remarkable in the ways they continually find and come back to each other. In season 5 we often have Emma’s soul and Killian’s life in danger, as well as both so often asking them to come back to them in other words. It takes a while and it is an emotional concept but in 5A this is prevalent. In 5B, it is more of a physical concept as the finding and coming back continues in a significant way not only for them as a couple but for each of them as a family. Emma and Killian not only parallel Emma’s parents, but take it to a new level, and eventually reaching a point where Killian is undeniably part of Emma’s family.

4×22 Operation Mongoose:
This is the episode that began to propel the pattern between Killian, Emma and her family to a new level with the number of times each concept was both emphasized and employed. In the alternate universe, Henry finds Killian and then the two venture to rescue Emma and find her locked away in a tower. In a deleted scene Henry emphasizes that he was able to find her with the help of Hook, and when they retreat down the tower Emma runs right into Killian’s arms.

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To save Emma and Henry, Killian sacrifices himself, leaving Emma devastated. When things are restored and they return to Storybrooke, Emma finds Killian in the loft who has come back to her, happily embracing him. This is the first time Killian dies and then comes back to Emma, and the second time he does after a near death experience, the first being when she saves him from drowning in Kansas.

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Season 4 ends on a dramatic note setting up the repeated and combined pattern for Emma and Killian as she saves everyone by becoming the Dark One, disappearing and leaving only the dagger with her name now inscribed on it behind. As the camera pans to Killian we are left knowing that Emma not only must be found, but her true self will have to come back to her family.

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5×1 The Dark Swan:
When Emma is transported to the Enchanted Forest her family does everything they can to reach her. They all find her, but importantly it is Killian who calls out “Swan!” and approaches her first. As Emma is struggling with the dark voice inside her head and nearly crushes Merida’s heart, Killian is able to break through and she comes back to him, returning Merida’s heart and falling into Killian’s arms.

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5×2 The Price:
In Storybroooke, Emma finds Killian after he summons her and she takes him to her house. He tries to get the real Emma to come back to him by attempting True Love’s Kiss. This is one of the many times throughout 5A Killian tries to bring the real Emma back. In this case he’s unaware TLK could not work because they are both Dark Ones.

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5×3 Siege Perilous:
In Storybrooke, Emma once again finds Killian, this time on the Jolly Roger, asking him to meet her as she tries to recreate their first date. And once again Killian wants to real Emma to come back to him telling her that the Emma he loves isn’t here. As Emma isn’t ready to reveal the truth and Killian tells her he loved her, Emma leaves. This is the second occurrence of the frequent pattern of finding and an attempt for Emma to come back to Killian in an emotional regard. In Storybrooke these instances are very different than Camelot, and we slowly learn why.

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5×4 The Broken Kingdom:
In Camelot, Killian finds Emma late at night struggling with the voice of Rumplestlskin taunting her in her head. He approaches her slowly and holds her tenderly trying to once again bring the real Emma back, but still unaware of her plight.

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Later when she tells him about this voice, he devises a way to help her- to quiet the darkness so the real Emma, at least in some sense, can come back to him. He takes her for a horse ride and then leads her in to a field of flowers, and it works. The voice is gone and Emma feels less burdened because she can share it will Killian. The two then share a passionate and romantic kiss, with the darkness, for now, kept at bay.

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5×7 Nimue:
Before Emma departs with Merlin to obtain the Promethean flame, Killian reminds Emma that only “The Dark One” is immortal, asking her to bring the real Emma home – to come back to him– giving her a ring that has kept him safe as a reminder of his love for her.

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5×8 Birth:
In Storybrooke, Emma continually finds Killian when he was in “danger” in order to gain his trust, finally reveal the truth and destroy the darkness. In Camelot, after refusing to admit why she is scared to give up the darkness whilst Regina uses the dagger to force her to, Killian finds Emma in the forest, upset, with the Promethean flame still not lit. With understanding, Emma tells him the truth and once again he is able to get the real Emma to come back to him, as she lets go of her fears of the future. Kissing Killian, the Promethean flame alights as she is ready to rid herself of the darkness and start her future with Killian.

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At the end of the episode, Killian’s wound opens and to save his life Emma tether’s him to Excalibur, setting up the next episode for the pattern to continue.

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5×10 Broken Heart:
After tethering him to Excalibur, Emma finds the new Dark One Killian in the Camelot forest. Angry, with the unrelenting the voice of Rumple in his head, it is now Emma who is able to break through the darkness and get the real Killian to come back to her, quieting he darkness and then sharing a kiss, paralleling their moment in 5×4.

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After Killian’s learns Emma lied to him about Excalibur, he feels betrayed and lets the darkness overtake him. Nimue, through him, is able to kill Merlin to enact the Dark Curse, so Emma puts all her loved ones to sleep and erases their memories. Before the curse sends them back home, Emma cradles Killian’s face and says when they wake up he will be his true self- the man she loves, the man who loves her. She is asking him once again to come back to her.

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5×11 Swan Song:
A pivotal and emotional chapter in their journey, this episode not only has Emma and Killian’s true selves coming back to each other, but the monumental and moving moment of Emma uttering her family’s steadfast motto. In Storybrooke, Nimue and all the other Dark One’s have taken over as Killian’s allows the darkness to consume him. But when Nimue chokes Emma and he sees he in pain, Killian fights back. He comes back to Emma, absorbing all of the darkness into Excalibur and sacrificing his life to save Emma and everyone else. His sacrifice allows the real Emma to come back to Killian as she magically transforms back into the Savior. True Love proved stronger than darkness, but Killian loses his life.

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Heartbroken and numb as to what to do next, Emma learns Killian’s sacrifice did not destroy the darkness but instead channeled it back into Rumplestlskin, so Emma vows to got to the Underworld to get him back. Ready to save the man she loves and fight for her happy ending, Emma speaks those iconic words “I Will Always Find You,” for the first time expressing in words what she and Killian have been doing since they first met, but now fully committed. These words not only demonstrate Emma’s love and that she undeniably has embraced her family’s intrinsic motto, but it also sets up the continued pattern and places Killian firmly into the Charming Family.

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In the second half of Season 5, Emma and Killian’s journey not only continues to be prevalent with these beautiful concepts, but also with Henry even more than he once did, and Snow and Charming. They include Killian as part of their family in the way they continually emphasize finding him. Even though they must leave him behind in the end, the season ends in a VERY significant way with all of the family members.

5×12 Souls of the Departed:
Entering the Underworld, Emma and her loved ones try to find Killian and use the ale of Dunbroch to communicate with him. Severely injured the connection with Killian  is unsteady, leaving Emma devastated. But Snow and Charming implore they will find him and not leave until they so. Together.

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5×14 Devil’s Due:
In the depths of the Underworld Emma finds Killian and saves him from the River of Lost Souls. Although he says she should have let him go, in this moment he comes back to Emma as they cling to each other.

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5×15 The Brothers Jones:
Feeling unworthy of saving and unable to forgive himself of his sins, Killian tells Emma he does not plan to return home to Storybrooke with her. But after an emotional and illuminating reunion with his brother Liam, Killian learns to do just that. In the end he comes back to Emma, passionately kissing her, ready for their future together.

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5×20/21 Firebird/Last Rites:
After confirming what they already knew in their hearts, Emma and Killian pass a test of True Love. But they are unable to find a way to restore his life, so Emma and Killian must let each other go. Tearful goodbyes and selfless promises made, they kiss each other one last time, and grasp hands for as long as possible. Both are heartbroken, but this sets up the continued pattern in the next episode in a truly dramatic way. In Last Rites, Killian and Emma sense what each other is feeling and Killian is able to help get Emma the crucial information they need to defeat Hades. Once he knows Emma is safe, the light to move on finally appears to Killian. He is then greeted by Zues with gratitude who escorts him onward, sending him to where he belongs- with Emma. Killian’s life is restored as he appears on his grave and finds Emma in the cemetery. He comes back to Emma in the most miraculous way possible, back to where he truly belongs- the arms of his True Love Emma.

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5×22/23 Only You and An Untold Story:
With Killian’s life restored he was able to come back to Emma, but he also came back to the family he is now a part of. Dialogue and actions are always deliberate, so as he says “Now I’m back” accepting a hug from Charming, they are not only welcoming home their friend, and the man their daughter loves, but someone who is also another member of their family.

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In these meaningful final moments of Season 5 we see that this repeated pattern of the series of always finding and coming back to each other is not only a staple with Emma, Killian, Snow, Charming, Henry and the Charmings, but also a way showcasing that all of these characters are indeed family. When Emma and Henry were living in New York with false memories, Henry could tell Emma was lonely (despite being in a relationship). So he threw a coin in a fountain and made a wish for his family to be complete. And a few days later Killian showed up on Emma’s doorstep, and the three returned to Storybrooke and were reunited with their family. But even more so this showed that Killian was the final missing piece of the puzzle. He not only found and came back to Emma through his own determination to save Emma, but also with a bit of magic and a wish from a boy who wished for his family to be complete.

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So when they are faced with another separation from their family they made wishes once again, and with Henry’s faith and ability to make the world believe, their family came back them. And whether by blood, step relations, adoption, and creating and choosing they are all one crazy extended unconventional family (Snow, Charming, Emma, Henry, Killian, Regina, Zelena, Rumple, Belle). But it remains the ones that repeatedly follow these beautiful patterns that also do so here. And when Killian hugs Emma saying “I Knew You’d Find Us” with Emma relaying that this time it was Henry who did, it is pristinely clear that the boy who started it all by finding his mother in Boston once again, thanks to a heartfelt wish, found his family- each and every one of them.

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When the family return home to Storybrooke and Emma and Killian take a moment for themselves, Emma takes the chance to express her love in a moment of peace and normalcy. After everything they went through- darkness, Hades, and being separated by realms, it was clear that not even death could part them with a love now confirmed as true. But all of these obstacles they went through demonstrated so profoundly that no matter what trials and tribulations they face- just like Snow and Charming, just like Henry and Emma, just like the entire Charming family- these words will always spoken, felt and showcased- “I will always find you. You will always come back to me.”