Hook and Smee are “the old married couple” who refuse to admit they act as such. Smee desperately wants acknowledgment, approval, and love from Hook, and Hook wants Smee to leave him alone. Ultimately, however, Hook is the one who would lose the most if the relationship were to end. Not only does he depend on Smee for everything from a wake-up call to a nightcap, he is used to Smee’s constant validation and emotional support, which he fervently insists he does not need.
I think the movie Love Actually said it best when Billy Mac told his “fat manager”–
“It’s a terrible, terrible mistake…but you turned out to be the fucking love of my life.”
Hook & Smee have been unspoken life partners for over 100 years now. But even so, Hook would NEVER admit that he needs Smee, because Smee is his underling. Even worse, Smee is kind and helpful and shows his emotions, three traits Hook absolutely despises.
So, to sum up: Smee wants to Hook to fill the void of romantic love in his life, and Hook wants Smee to fill the void of parental love in his life. Not only are they looking outside of themselves for the validation that they are, indeed, lovable, but they crave two entirely different things from each other.
HOWEVER, Hook’s complete lack of respect for Smee slowly allows him to open up and show his insecurities as one might confess secrets to an inanimate object.
And SMEE, who has lusted after many an “un-gettable” man has found in Hook someone who needs to be cared for in the way Smee does best: unconditionally.
Scene Sample, The Gay Adventures
INT. PIRATE SHIP/HOOK’S CABIN – DAY
Early morning light fights it’s way through a gap in the thick curtains. Hook sleeps fitfully with his left fist clutching a golden pocket watch, which TICKS loudly.
A chipper knock on the door. Hook twitches.
Smee bustles in. He sets an elaborate yet mismatched tea tray and a wrinkled newspaper on the bedside table. Hesitates, then leans over Hook, their faces almost touching.
SMEE: Captain…Captain…Wake up, Captain…
Smee brushes a strand of hair from Hook’s sweaty brow.
SMEE: Captain? Would you like your tea now?
Hook wakes with a jolt. Smee quickly withdraws his hand.
SMEE: (CONT’D) Would you like your tea now, Captain?
Hook looks Smee up and down with disdain.
HOOK: Why, Smee, are you dressed in pajamas?
SMEE: You too, Captain, are in your pajamas.
HOOK: (after a moment) Yes, but I am in bed.
They stare at each other, neither willing to admit he is dressed inappropriately for the situation.