This week in television started with another stellar Sunday night, featuring a second episode of Once Upon a Time that was even better than the season premiere, a fantastically funny look at Jake and Terry’s friendship on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and another wonderful episode of The Good Wife. (Who knew Christian arbitration could be such a comedy gold mine?) Monday’s Castle gave us some more clues to Castle’s disappearance. On Tuesday, Selfie‘s second episode improved on its pilot, and New Girl and The Mindy Project both took on some racy material, with divisive results. On Wednesday, Black-ish continued its strong first run of episodes, and Nashville continued to break my heart with Juliette’s story and Deacon and Maddie’s father/daughter perfection. And Thursday gave us another hour-long master class from Viola Davis on How to Get Away with Murder.
I’m going to be honest with you: I knew what my pick for my favorite thing on TV this week was going to be as soon as I saw it almost a full week ago. Sometimes you see an episode and just know nothing else is going to be able to top it because it gives you everything you could ever ask for as a fan of a certain character. And I think everyone who is a fan of Emma Swan found a million little (and big) things to love about the latest episode of Once Upon a Time.
As many of you know, I’ve spent a lot of time writing about Emma Swan. To say this character makes me feel very strongly is probably the understatement of the year. We all have those characters we want happiness for so badly because we’ve watched them struggle with believing they were meant to be unhappy, and Emma is one of those characters for me. From the pilot of Once Upon a Time, we’ve watched Emma grow from a woman who believed she was better off alone to a woman slowly learning to accept and tentatively reach out for love in her life. And in “White Out,” we got to see just how many people Emma has in her life who love her and genuinely want to take care of this woman who spent so long with no other option than taking care of herself.
In this episode, we got to see Emma surrounded by her father, her son, the man who’s in love with her, and a new friend. It was beautiful to watch Emma and Elsa instantly begin a friendship based on learning that they things that made them feel isolated from everyone else are things that can connect them—not just as people with magic but as women struggling with a life they didn’t choose. And it was also beautiful to see Emma—this woman who spent so long feeling like she was unable to trust anyone in an intimate way—embrace Hook’s love to the fullest extent we’ve seen yet, letting herself be completely vulnerable with him and leaning into him instead of pulling away from his obvious devotion.
As someone who has spent a lot of time thinking and writing about Emma Swan’s journey towards accepting love after so many years without love in her life, I was so happy with her story in “White Out” that I still smile just thinking about it. From being a lost girl who didn’t think she would ever matter to being a woman literally surrounded by love, Emma Swan has come so far, and I am enjoying every moment spent watching her embrace so many different kinds of love in her life.
What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?