In queer culture, or to be specific lesbian culture, the hand (next to the tongue) is perhaps the most prominent body part in relation to sexuality. It’s not just a part of flesh and bone, it’s a symbol. Therefore hand- holding/touching takes on a whole new level of importance in a budding relationship. I could write a small essay on the meaning and symbolism, but lets just say that if you don't feel it, then you probably should look for another type of subtext than the femslash version.
If you doubt it's relevance, I leave you with this;
Exhibit A) Xena/Gabrielle
Exhibit B) Willow/Tara
Last but not least.
Exhibit C) JJ/Emily
And this was no exception, it was a truly sweet moment. Emily squeezing JJ’s wrist and JJ opening up her hand into which Emily slips hers. Sugar sweet. Also take a close look at Emily’s nails, their short shortness is yet another in a vast sea of hints/indicators to Emily’s possible sexual orientation, but let’s leave that for another day and post.
It's really interesting to note that the both times Emily looks sad and worried in this episode neither is directed directly at Garcia that's been shot, but towards JJ. First at the hospital when she grabs a visibly upset JJ's hand in order to comfort her, and then later on when JJ was in harms way. The reaction shot of the later was a delicious picture of uncertainty and fear.
No.7) Episode 3x11 Birthright
Remember what I said about building the story.
This is the second episode after the events of “Penelope” where we had the handholding, but also an episode in which JJ had to kill a man. For some reason JJ is off in this episode, the case gets to her. Perhaps all those emotions inside of her, both professional and personal are what’s affecting her? Does her life feel out of control? Is she scared of what she feels?
At the end of the episode we also have a moment that is so out of character for Emily that I can’t help smiling goofily and loving it. The gang are going out for drinks (“or five”), but JJ declines their offer. In response Emily utters an “Aww” followed by an arm stroke. Emily has been very limited when it comes to body contact so far and she just isn’t the type of character to use “Aww”. It sounds as foreign as snowballs in hell.
As Emily appears to become more aware and bold in her interactions with JJ, the blonde appears to pull away. Coincidence? Has things suddenly become a little too real for JJ? What has her rattled?
Is this the start of subtextual angst?
(enhanced screencaps from Oracle of Quantico & Mike's Images)