Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Neal (Michael Raymond-James) have a fraught relationship on Once Upon a Time, to put it mildly. In Season 2, Episode 6: “Tallahassee,” we learned that they were once two young thieves in love, until Neal went MIA, leaving Emma to take the blame for his crime. Emma spent most of the season insisting she's over him, but in Season 2, Episode 21: "Second Star to the Right," she revealed that's not entirely true.
Thanks to the evil machinations of Tamara, Emma ended up clinging to Neal as a portal to another land tried to suck him in. He'd been shot, so if he fell through his death was highly likely. He insisted that she let him go so she didn't get pulled through too.
"Don't let go!" she begged. "I need you. I love you."
"I love you too," he said before releasing her hand and falling into the great unknown.
Later, talking to her dad about it in the first real father-daughter moment of the season, Emma looked totally shell-shocked and devastated.
Fan reaction to this development has been mixed. Emma/Neal fans are, of course, thrilled with the confession (though less so the new complication of Neal being in another world); it was a dramatic, heartfelt moment. On the other hand, people who prefer Emma with other people aren't so happy.
Of course, this confession of love doesn't necessarily mean Emma is ready to forgive, forget, and buy a house with a white picket fence. It's understandable that she still has feelings for Neal (he is her first love and the father of her child), but whether you ship it or hate it, it's easy to see that feelings don't necessarily equal a desire for relationship in this situation.
So, we want to know: Are you happy with the "I love you," or did it upset you? Vote in our reaction buttons, and sound off in the comments below.
Catch the Season 2 finale of Once Upon a Time on Sunday, May 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.