Okay, this is by far my favourite look from him the entire episode. In my opinion, it’s the most telling of where Hook’s at in regards to his relationship with Emma at this point in time, and I just want to talk about that for a second.
Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that it’s pretty similar to the look he gives her in 3x05 after the cave scene, and again in 3x07 after she says ‘well, you are a pirate,’ and he tries to shrug it off, proceeding into the ‘I will win it’ speech.
The most important thing, however, is it comes down to this quote: ‘It will not be because of any trickery.’
Do you see the way he holds eye contact with her? It’s what he does everytime he’s confessing something, it’s so she knows that he’s being 100% honest (and then some) with her, so that she can’t deny it or avoid the truth, because that’s not what he’s about.
His eyes are almost challenging, though (which is also mirrored in his tone of voice when he says ‘there was nothing for me… etc.”) because he’s aware that she knows why he returned, but is yet again avoiding it. But with Colin’s delivery, it’s not challenging to the point where it comes off as angry, or to make her regret/feel guilt in any way for what she said (even if it does offend him – parallel to 3x07 once again.) Rather, as has already been pointed out, he speaks it as if it’s a fact. He’s not pushing his needs onto her.
Ultimately, he knows that in the long run, when she’s ready, she’ll remember these little moments, and value him for his unfailing honesty in every moment. And even if all he can do at this stage is give her facts – not-so subtle hints as to how he feels about her – it’ll be worth it in the end when she chooses him, when he’s won her heart.