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Rumple is possibly the most complex character on OUAT, but I think he’s the one least understood – even by the writers. I think sometimes the writers convince themselves that because Robert Carlyle could act his way out of a paper bag and the Dark One Rumple is flashy, people aren’t going to ask too many questions. I’m hoping they soon realize this just isn’t the case.
I agree – the Rumple/Pan dying thing simply does not make sense to me. I don’t think the dagger, even if it made it’s way through Pan and to Rumple, would have caused Rumple’s death simply because he was stabbed. So maybe it’s due to the magical properties? The shadow, or lack thereof? I haven’t really seen a great theory I can get behind and I definitely have not been able to come up with one myself. But as said before, that arc is over, so it’s doubtful we’ll ever understand.
In regard to RumBelle — I have problems with them because I think they have potential to be a fantastic couple, but there is just too much that, for me, can’t be explained. I get that Belle is forgiving and all, but to forgive to the extent that Belle apparently does is simply unrealistic – even for me, and I let OUAT get away with a LOT when it comes to not being realistic. Does – and maybe people who have better knowledge of Belle/RumBelle can clarify – know EVERYTHING that Rumple has done as the Dark One. Does she have full understanding of Rumple as the ‘coward’ (another debatable concept but I’ll leave that alone for now), and his motivations for even becoming the Dark One in the first place? Or does she just turn a blind eye? Does she not SEE how much he teeters on that line between being a good man and returning to full on Dark One persona? If a man’s own son leaves him, wouldn’t that cause a potential romantic partner to pause if just for a moment and ask themselves ‘why’?
I think Belle will have to finally face who Rumple is/was and who she perceives him to be first and foremost. And I think I agree that yes, that would be very difficult to do when together – so they may need some time apart. And a LOT of time on Archie’s couch! I think part of the reason Rumple felt justified in first lying to Belle about the dagger, and then killing Zelena, and THEN hiding all of it is because he’s been with Belle long enough to believe that she’s probably going to forgive him. Because that’s what she does. Rumple doesn’t have the motivation to truly change – because he has that person to depend on and the belief that virtually anything he does, no matter how bad, will be considered excusable in the eyes of the one person that matters.
I love the Dark One – I could watch DO all day and not get bored – so for my own amusement, I wouldn’t necessarily mind if we see Rumple do a full-on reversal and have to start over from the beginning to redemption, I admit. I don’t know if I’d be as interested if it’s just ‘Gold’ and he’s finally good.
Aside from RumBelle, if I could ask Rumple one thing it would be – what do you think Neal would say if he knew you ‘avenged’ his death? Because (I’ve mentioned this before, maybe here, sorry if I’m repeating — ) to me, the last thing Neal would have wanted – especially after sacrificing his own life for his father’s and the rest of his family’s lives – is for Rumple to kill someone in Neal’s name. Some of Neal’s actions may have been misguided but to me, he’s never anything intentionally evil – and even the ‘bad’ things he’s done were with good intent. So what would he think knowing that Rumple reverted, embraced the Dark One and killed another person ‘for him’?
This, I believe, needs to be addressed and I hope it is fairly early on in S4. I think this is even more important, possibly, than addressing Belle and how she will be affected when she learns of Rumple’s actions. One of the most compelling relationships on OUAT is the one between Rumple and his son, for me, and I really hope they don’t shove it aside.