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I Ship It: The Tomorrow People’s John and Astrid-Hope for the Hopeless

Prior to the pizza stare, John and Astrid did not register in my mind as a possible romance. I did want someone better for John than Cara, because she keeps giving him the kicked puppy treatment. She slept with Stephen, made him expose killing Roger to the Tomorrow People and she stole his job. However, her worse crime was continuously making him feel like an outsider to his own people. Cara keeps putting knives further in his wounds; John would never do this to her. Therefore, I’m firmly against them continuing a romance. They’re forcing it, and it’s time to move on.

Astrid is an outsider to the Tomorrow People world. Before Stephen broke out, she had no ties to them. This makes Astrid the only truly human character on the show. She has a hope and innocence not common to their world. Astrid is necessary to the current characters’ growth, mainly John.

Astrid and John

The Astrid-John pairing’s biggest appeal is what it represents for each character. We saw a glimpse of this in last week’s “Sitting Duck” episode.  When Astrid disclosed her bucket list items to John, and he had no list, a thousand hearts broke from sadness. But for me, I saw it as a clear contrasting of the characters. John has basically been in pain all his life. He lacked true happiness, even with Cara. I believe he felt so guilty about Roger that he never really allowed himself happiness with her.  Over and over again the show says that John shuts people out. But what do we see him doing at the end of episode 13? He lets Stephen into one of his memories. I’m not 100 percent sure, but I think this is the first time John allows someone easily into his mind. This could be a result of Astrid being in his orbit (pun intended), or it could be because he almost died, either way John has changed. And I believe Astrid will guide this change.

On the other end of the spectrum, Astrid has transformed. She’s no longer completely untarnished by this world. In the bucket list scene, John blames Stephen for Astrid’s life being in danger.  Then she defends him because of blindly loving him. But the episode ends with Astrid blaming Stephen for endangering her life. Their relationship (whether friends or romance) brings hope for John, which he desperately needs. I am sure they’ll continue to bond and have an open relationship. I can see John leaning on Astrid because she doesn’t know about his past, nor would she judge him for it. Astrid will grow stronger for their relationship. She’ll see the darkness John has endured and their struggle to survive.

My only fear with this pair (besides the huge no-no age difference) is that the writers are planning to erase Astrid’s memory for her protection. Therefore, the character development between them will be erased. It’ll be an “I Will Remember You” Angel and Buffy moment all over again. And my heart will die a thousand times.  For now, I’ll eagerly await the next episodes to see how the John and Astrid relationship grows. So I ship it (cautiously).

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I Ship It: Once Upon a Time’s Neal & Emma-An Argument For Destiny

Recently I discovered that I am usually in the minority of television show couple shipping.  At least that’s how it appears based on vocalization.  For some odd reason, Once Upon a Time fans love the idea of Hook and Emma as a couple. I do not. For many reasons, I do not support this pairing. I do like both characters, just not together. However, I am fully aware that the writers are in the process of creating an Emma-Hook-Neal triangle. I’m team Neal all the way.

Neal and Emma

Many  OUAT fans do not like Emma and Neal as a duo. They claim the couple has no chemistry, they shouldn’t just be together because they have a child, etc. I think we’re watching a different show, because Emma and Neal not only have great chemistry,  but they’re one of the most dynamic pairs on Once Upon a Time.  Personally, I believe television show fans just create silly reasons to make their couple seem better than the next.  We’re all stubborn about our ships. Therefore, it would take a miracle to change someone’s preference about their TV couples. Nevertheless, I am going to attempt to make non-believers see the beauty in the Neal-Emma pairing.

Here are the five main reasons I ship Neal and Emma (in no particular order):

1. They’re Destined 

One of the strongest themes in Once Upon a Time  is the idea that everyone has a destiny. And their destiny usually revolves around those who they choose to love.  Hence why Emma and Neal have a destined star-crossed lovers quality to their history.  No matter what, they always find their way back to one another. Not even dimensions can separate them. Their love story parallels Emma’s parents a lot. However, Neal and Emma’s love story is a little more grand, because it  should have never happened. One reason is because they weren’t even born in the same century, yet circumstances occurred to make their love possible.  One of the reason fairytales hypnotize people is because they help create this fantasy that true love is destined. Neal and Emma embody this belief.

2. Their Similar Past

Emma and Neal have a very similar past of abandonment. Therefore, they quickly bonded as teens. When they were younger, they did a lot of shady things. Nonetheless, just having each other made them more open and willing to love. Without each other, they both, in some ways, closed themselves off to true love.  One could argue that Emma shut herself off from love because Neal hurt her, but I’ll argue she did it because he is the only one she felt free to love.

Before Henry entered back into Emma’s life, she was basically a loner. But once she had her child (who is partly a representation of her love with Neal) she is able to let people in again. Neal has  been with Tamara but he is still very much shut off from her, by never fully telling her who he is. Only when united do both embrace who they are and their past.  A past that has scarred them both. However, it also bonds them. Because of their past, no one will understand them as much as they understand one another.

3. They have Chemistry 

TV couple chemistry is more complex than who looks good together, or who you think would have hot sex. It’s in the small things, like how the characters interact and play off one another. One of my favorite episodes of Once Upon a Time (so far) was ‘Tallahassee,’ because of the Emma and Neal flashbacks. From the first second they met in the car, I was sold on the pairing. The small things made them work, like their Bonnie and Clyde nature, the way they looked at each other when they said, ‘I Love You,’ and how small things had significance to them. Their chemistry didn’t feel forced or cheesy. It felt natural and endearing.

4. It’s Complicated

Every great television show pairing has to have some complications, but nothing too unforgivable(ex. abuse, rape, murder, etc), so that it won’t destroy the couples potential.  Neal and Emma have had a lot of couple complications throughout their relationship. Their current one is that she believes he’s dead.  Therefore, she’ll find herself falling for another man. Then, like all shows, she must choose between her past and present. This is the right amount of drama without over doing it.  If they overcome all of their obstacles, they will be a much more satisfying couple.

5. They’re Hilarious Together

Some of my favorite Once Upon a Time moments from season 2 are the Neal and Emma try to parent Henry fails. Everything from Neal not monitoring Henry while he sneaks out the window to Emma having Henry be  the lookout while she breaks into Neal’s place. If we can get great moments like  this from just a couple episodes, imagine the ones to come.

I  love Emma and Neal together. However, I am worried their romance will never fully workout with the Hook and Emma fans being so fanatic. So for now, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they’ll end up together when the series ends (or at least have a couple seasons of romantic development). Until then, I’ll just enjoy where the show takes each character.

If you’re not convinced yet about Neal and Emma (Swanfire), then watch this brilliant fan made video by EternalLove55 below: