This moment literally breaks my heart.
Poor Emma. She has been fighting for happiness. She thought she could have it with Neal, and he messed it up by throwing her under the bus and sending her to jail.
Now, just when she thinks she has a happy life, with a guy she could very possibly consider marrying
(which is a HUGE step for Emma Swan) all she has gets messed up, as well.
This exchange with Hook is not just about safety. It’s about happiness and love.
And then look at his reaction:
Literally taken aback because of what she is saying.
This is why she is fighting so hard against Hook. She thinks that he will just be like every other man in her life - throw her away like she never mattered. It breaks his heart knowing she feels that way, and so he will continue to show her that he will be there for her, fighting for her. But at this moment, he isn’t thinking about himself, or how this could possibly have to do with him. He is thinking about how to help her.
He isn’t just saving her from living a lie. He is saving her from herself. To help her to believe in herself as the savior, to help her believe that it is possible for her to have a truly happy ending. And, hopefully, we will see this change, and see that she does believe in herself, and that he has been there for her all along.