The Jolly Roger is his home. It’s his safe place. It’s all he’s known for years. Who wouldn’t get defensive? Who wouldn’t feel insulted? He’s had his heart ripped out in it not once, but twice and who knows what else has happened on that ship regarding his father. That ships symbolically been there for him more than anything when he lost everything. What was great about that scene is how he pulled back from getting even sassier because it was happening and he realized Emma was watching, so he just didn’t want to be that guy. It’s all in his voice. He’s gracefully been her compass since the moment they met. He’s never forced her to do anything she didn’t want to. He’s always trying to protect her and guide her towards the destiny he knows she’s deserving of. He’s continuously instilling hope in her.
I really don’t understand where the hate’s coming from. It doesn’t make any sense. Other than her father and Henry no man has ever believed in her as much as he has. What’s beautiful is as you said, he’s always been subtle about it. He’s chosen his words and actions carefully because Emma’s his future. He’s going to do everything he can to make sure she comes first. It’s normal for a man to want to impress a woman. There’s nothing wrong with that. Every woman deserves that. Even men deserve to be praised. It’s life. It’s the cycle of love. It’s about uplifting one another in every way possible and that’s exactly what Killian’s done.
What amazes me most is how gracefully Captain Swan moments are displayed nowadays. I love the subtlety because it establishes true love by clarifying that in the midst of all this chaos Killian’s never left Emma’s side and he never will. It essentially proves that in the long run, the company of the other will ceaselessly bring harmony and hope.
Scene I: “You have your parents. You have this … person. A pirate who pines for you." Someone please go give Regina Mills the all time sass award. Let’s break this down shall we. The particular passage would’ve meant something very different if she had said "your person" as opposed to "this." I first heard the concept of "my person" on Grey’s Anatomy. It was about best friends. When someone is your person, they’re your better half in countless ways. It can be referred to a friend or a significant other. Your person is someone who means the world to you. If Regina had said your, it would’ve validated that there’s still something deep down between Neal and Emma. As much as I adore Neal as a character on his own, he’s not Emma’s "person". Don’t forget that this show is written by writers who choose their words cautiously. The word "this" and the brief pause are sadly insulting to Neal. It literally brings his absence to life. It also boldly proves that he isn’t Emma’s true love. Also, take note of the fact that Regina wasn’t at Echo Cave. She has no idea Hook’s in love with Emma. I highly doubt they’ve had time to chat and of all things, about Hook. She’s basically saying what she’s always seen and what we’ve seen since day one. Hook’s head over heels in love. However the purpose of this particular line was to illuminate that Emma has Killian. She has someone who’s selflessly been by her side while she’s crumbled and slightly healed during an evidently painful journey. He was included in the list of people who care about her because he’s not just a man she’ll kiss once in Neverland. He’s the man who’s going to fix her and love her unconditionally.