VANCOUVER, BC. It seems like so long ago, but “Once Upon a Time” actually began with Jennifer Swan's Emma Swan on a date.
Romantically it wasn't a successful liaison, but it established Emma's skip-tracer as a non-nonsense woman with no time for fairy tales. Eventually, she made time.
Another Emma Swan date last season, with Chris Gorham's yet-to-monkey-out Walsh, was used to show audiences how memory-free Emma was adapting to single life in New York City.
This Sunday (October 19), Emma is back on the prowl, but as you can see from the picture accompanying this story, fans are going to see a much different side of Emma's romantic life.
After several seasons of flirting and wooing and resisting and that awkward thing where Emma lost her powers by performing mouth-to-mouth on him, plus a big kiss and then more flirting and wooing, Emmy and reformed pirating bad-boy Hook are going out on a date.
And no, they're not going to Granny's.
It might not surprise you that I'm perhaps less invested in the CaptainSwan relationship and more interested in wondering why all of the characters from “Frozen” are wandering around without their snowman or perhaps in Elizabeth Mitchell's ice cream business that nobody in Storybrooke is perplexed to suddenly notice. But I know that many fans are deeply invested in this particular coupling, which has taken a while to materialize.
On the “Once Upon a Time” set in Vancouver earlier this week, Morrison and Colin O'Donoghue tried to be coy on date-based excitement from several reporters about Hook and Emma's night on the ice-enclosed town.
O'Donoghue: “It's nice?”
Morrison: “It's really nice!”
O'Donaghue: “We have a good time.”
Morrison: “We have a great time.”
For O'Donoghue, it's important to tie the date into bigger magical doings on “Once Upon a Time.”
“The date itself goes really well for them,” he repeats to a small pack of writers. “There are other struggles that are going on behind. Hook has made a deal with Rumplestiltskin to get his hand back so that he can have it to be able to hold Emma, as he says and… he's worried that the hand is cursed and basically he just won't have any secrets from Emma and he's worried that by having this, it's beginning to bring back the violence that he used to have and that's behind it all.”
How very “A Wig for Miss Devor”/”Hell Toupee”/”Shocker.”
But back to the date.
“But the date goes well! They have a little kiss,” O'Donoghue insists.
Morrison adds, “I've heard it's a really good kiss, according to the editors.”
Both actors were amused/interested by getting to mix up episodic wardrobes which, if we're being honest here, could probably get a bit repetitive.
“He's made a real effort here,” O'Donoghue insists. “This is the first time he's changed in hundreds of years, I guess… He's really trying to fit in and really trying to make a life for himself in Storybrooke. So I guess he probably does feel a bit vulnerable. But he's pretty good at just sorta adapting, Hook. Know what I mean? He's a survivor. The vulnerability is less about what he's wearing and more just the fact that he's opened his heart up to someone again and how that makes him feel. That's where the real vulnerability is.”
Notes Morrison, “This is the first time that Emma is wearing something that's softer and gentler and sweeter and romantic. To me, that was really important, because I wanted it to be symbolic of something very different than the other times we've seen her on a date. We've seen her with the guy who was a perpetrator that she was after and that was a ruse, that was her just playing a character in order to catch this guy. So she sorta played the stereotypical 'date' look. And then we saw her on a date Walsh when she was in New York and she was still having to make her own way and she was a single mom and she was into black leather there's something still kinda tough and edgy about that. And now, she really likes this guy and she's very genuine about it and it needs to be something that she found in Storybrooke, because she wouldn't have had something like that in her wardrobe, so it needs to look like it could have come from Storybrooke, but it also needs to look like something that she feels comfortable in. It's definitely the softest, most romantic side of her and the fact that she feels safe enough and inspired to express that part of herself to him, I think was a really important thing to show.”
Emma's living situation in Storybrooke is a little silly at this point, which leads to date-based amusement.
“I'm getting ready to go and there's no escaping the fact that mom and dad are saying 'Good-bye' and wanting a picture of it. So it's a little bit prom-ish in that sense,” Morrison says.
Wasn't Emma's son Henry digging through real estate listings last season?
“It's definitely crowded,” laughs Jared Gilmore in another “Once” set interview. “We have Prince Charming and Snow White — Mary Margaret and David — and then Emma, me, the baby. I think it's about time Henry gets his own room. It's not like he can be here forever and live in the same, essentially, big room with everyone else.”
And that means that Charming and Snow White respond to their daughter's date the way many non-magical parents do.
“We sit up all night waiting for her and David certainly doesn't want to know any of the details,” Josh Dallas says.
“And yet he waits,” Ginnifer Goodwin adds.
The Hook/Emma date and the rest of the “Once Upon a Time” episode air on Sunday night at 8 p.m. on ABC.