I think that Rumple trying to keep his son from being fed into the meat grinder that was the ogre war is not bad or cowardly. They say that the war has “taken its toll” and that is why they are now conscripting 14 year old boys AND girls. Yes, Rumple cowered before the soldiers like a lame peasant before FIVE bullies on horseback. The boy was full of adolescent bravado because he didn’t know the way the world works. Rumplestiltskin does. Trying to save his son, even through scheming and stealing is something most any parent would do. If Rumple was indeed a coward, to me that makes his efforts that much more noble because he overcame his very nature in order to protect his son. Say what you want about the rest of what he does, you’ll never persuade me that these particular actions were anything but good and totally justified.