I agree. I don’t mind Belle dying in this episode if it’s part of her long, natural life full of love and family. And if the rest of the season is Rumple wanting to die to be with her, only to change his mind because he realizes he needs to live for their children Gideon and Alice then by god, I’ll call that a good story and *exactly* what Rumple’s final arc should be!
Agreed. It’s juicy character development for Rumple. He’s never had to confront the fact that so long as he is the immortal Dark One, that he will have to watch his mortal loved ones eventually pass away of old age as he continues to live an eternal life. He had killed Millah, and Baelfire/Neal was killed, so it wasn’t quite the same thing. As far as the end of Season 6 addressed, we moved past the whole dragged out power vs. love conflict of the past several Seasons, so this is the next natural character arc to explore going forward.