I agree that it’s going to require a big gesture from Rumple for him to be FULLY forgiven by Belle, and as I said earlier, I believe this will have a good payoff. I don’t think this will be just swept under the rug.
I’m curious—like what? What sort of grand gesture do you do in order to forgive murder? What do you give the woman to whom you have broken so many vows? To quote Beauty and the Beast “flowers? chocolates? promises you don’t intend to keep?” It’s not going to be rug swept. But it CANNOT be as simple as a fight and a few nights on the couch. THAT is a total insult to Belle’s character and her inner strength. If she forgives him in the same episode that she figures out what happened, then every single criticism hurled at Rumbelle about Belle being weak and stupid and their relationship being emotionally abusive is true. And this is my OTP! I ship them HARD. But what the writers made Rumple do turns my stomach. He has been my favorite character since I started this show. Rumbelle is the whole reason I found this forum in the first place and why I do what I do here. Because they brought me into this fandom.
I hated Zelena. I wanted her locked up and out of the way. I never wanted to see her ever again. Rumple has ever right to be mad and hurt and angry. But this is about fighting on the side of the better angels. It’s about learning from you past. Rumple’s SON DIED because magic comes with a price. If that wasn’t a wake up–if loosing the center of his entire universe wasn’t enough–then what is?