This week, we’re going old school. Late 1800s old school to be exact. When it comes to the epic period drama Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, there are countless ships that have stood the test of television time. However, my favorite couple is one that is often overlooked: Emma Morrison and Matthew Cooper. Sure, most would say the great love of Matthew’s young life was his former fiancée Ingrid, a young Swedish immigrant who perished from rabies, but I truly believe that the sassy saloon girl was a much better fit for Matthew. They were the Romeo and Juliet of Colorado Springs, two wild hearts looking to be tamed. Even though they weren’t endgame, Matthew and Emma had a magic that set them apart from many of the other couples from the show.
Not convinced? Here are a few reasons why Emma and Matthew are my post-Civil War OTP.
Their world weren’t supposed to collide.
Even though they resided in the same small prairie town, Emma and Matthew lived in very different worlds. Matthew was the town sheriff, a pillar of the community tasked with maintaining order the frontier. Emma was a saloon girl with a bad reputation working in the oldest profession known to man. By society’s standards, they were about as mismatched as a couple could be leading several townsfolk, including her boss at the saloon and his adoptive mother, to seriously question Matthew’s judgement. Yet, Matthew refused to let anyone sway him from his growing attraction to Emma. Neither one let gossips and naysayers define them or their relationship. Instead, Matthew and Emma carved out their own standards according to what they wanted for themselves.
They knew how to handle each other.
Neither Matthew nor Emma were easy people to love. They were both stubborn, hot-tempered, and a little reckless. Yet, these two wild hearts somehow managed to tame each other. No matter what the situation, these two seemed to always intuitively know what the other needed whether it was some teasing banter, a gentle touch, or a gut check. When Emma had to have a procedure that would leave her barren, Matthew reassured her that in no way did that make her less of a woman. When Matthew had a crisis of faith during the preparation of a hanging, Emma was right there to pull him back from the edge and snap him back into his right mind. It was a constant give-and-take with Emma, and it allowed Matthew to see that he could be taken care of too.
Matthew saw the best in Emma.
While everyone else only saw her chosen profession, Matthew saw everything Emma had the potential to be. In his eyes, she was feisty beauty with a quick wit and independent spirit and big dreams of opening her very own dress shop. He defended her time and again against men who got a little too rough or who disrespected her. Even though he didn’t understand why she willingly worked at the saloon, he respected her drive and desire to get to where she was going all on her own. Sure, he may have overstepped a time or two, but he was quick to apologize when Emma called him out on it. In the end, Matthew made the ultimate sacrifice and let her go so she could go after her dreams. In setting her free, Matthew gave Emma the power to spread her wings in the world.
Emma restored Matthew’s faith in love.
After his fiancée died, Matthew pretty much shut himself off from finding love. Despite the town’s best efforts to find him a new mate, he threw himself into his work as sheriff and caring for small farm. He even started pulling away from his siblings and adoptive parents, keeping them at arms length. Yet, with one picnic invite and sweet little smirk, Emma found herself breaking through the walls Matthew built around his heart. Little by little, she showed him that a broken heart can be mended and it’s possible to have more than one soulmate in a lifetime. While she may have only been a chapter in his story, Emma gave Matthew the strength to believe in love again.