Anyone who's watched Once Upon A Time from the beginning will have been shocked by one big change this past season: Regina and Emma are actually getting along now. More than that, they've actually developed a friendship and a bond that extends beyond being Henry's moms. They not only respect each other, but they legitimately like and want good things for each other. It's a pretty insane 180 from their early tension (and occasional outright hatred), but a welcome change, in my eyes. Together, Emma and Regina form a perfect duo, a balanced mix of darkness and light, and now that Emma has literally sacrificed herself for Regina's happiness, they're bound even closer together. Raise your hand if you saw that one coming back in Season 1. No one? I didn't think so.
Of course, the Season 4 finale will leave us with a mighty conundrum to contend with: Emma's the Dark One now, and someone's got to save the savior. I have a hunch that might end up being Regina, who's effort to regain her former goodness and turn her back on darkness forever was the reason Emma took on her current heavy burden to begin with. That emotional gesture wasn't lost on audiences, and likely won't be lost on Regina either, who — likely with Henry as part of a new edition of Operation Mongoose — will dedicate much of Season 5 to putting things right.
In the meantime, let's just admit that Regina and Emma are the greatest allies and best power duo Once Upon A Time has ever seen, because it's totally the truth.
They've mastered the art of being selfless
In season 4, both Regina and Emma had to make difficult decisions and put others' desires before their own. For Emma, who finally let herself open up to Hook and found peace with her parents and her life in Storybrooke, she had to sacrifice it all in order to keep Regina from being consumed by darkness yet again. For Regina, she had to avoid that darkness several times, most recently when she chose not to make the Author seek vengeance on everyone who'd wronged her simply to get her own way.
They've got each other's backs unconditionally
Now that they've gone from enemies to allies to — dare I say it — good friends, Emma and Regina are constantly looking out for each other, trying to make sure the other stays on the right path and doesn't come to any harm. No one ever expected it — least of all Emma and Regina themselves, I'd say — but here we are.
They both know the real definition of the word "sacrifice"
The things both Emma and Regina have had to give up in their day means they know the true meaning of sacrifice and what it means. Because of it, they don't take anything for granted and are more protective of one another since they see eye to eye.
They're raising Henry to be a really good kid
Co-parenting in a relationship is never easy, so doing it on your own, but with another parent in the picture can't be easy. Thankfully, Emma and Regina have managed to come to an understanding when it comes to Henry, deciding to both be his mom and be happy he's got two to help him as he grows up in Storybrooke. And they actually do a pretty damn good job of it.
They know that what's right isn't always easy, and what's easy isn't always right
It would have been so easy for Regina to have the Author write Zelena out of the story, just as it would have been easy for Emma to let Regina be consumed by darkness (because after all, wasn't she dark to begin with)? But instead of taking the easy road, Emma and Regina both know that you have to do what's right, no matter how difficult it might be.
They refuse to give up when faced with adversity
No matter how much absolute crap life has handed them, somehow Emma and Regina have managed to come out on the right side of things. It may have been a bumpy path to get there, but they did it and they're not going to let anyone destroy what they've worked so hard to build in life.
They've seen darkness, but they chose the light
Now we just need to get the light back for Emma. Bring on Season 5.