I love Once Upon a Time.
I love the fact that it’s a show with three female leads, each with their own share of agency within the narrative, each modeling a different performance of femininity. I like that despite having three ‘strong female characters’, Once Upon a Time has made Emma, Snow, and Regina smart as well as physically tough. And I really like that in a genre that so often treats motherhood as the end of the adventure or fodder for tragedy, Once Upon a Time positions motherhood (and all parenthood by extension) as a heroic journey that, like all great quests, involves the active choice to take up the responsibility.
And because this is a fairy tale story, sometimes that means struggling to parent your newly-discovered 28-year-old daughter who is also your best friend and roommate - thanks to the Evil Queen’s curse stripping you of your memories and freezing you in time - and who has an oft-stated weakness for dating the wrong guy.
Hook doesn’t need to worry about giants or evil sorceresses. He needs worry about how Snow White is ready to cut off his other hand just for looking at Emma.