I think I’ll tackle–or make a valiant attempt at least–at question 17, is Rumple/Gold really evil? This is what I love so much about this show: they are constantly deceiving you when it comes to a characters intention. I’m sure like a lot of you, I started off this show thinking that Rumple/Gold was both evil and slightly off kilter (his performance in the jail cell when talking to Snow and Charming was so bizarre that I had to re-watch it several times in order to fully understand what he was talking about). As the show moves forward we see him doing what Rumple does best: deal making. It was only with the viewing of Desperate Souls that my mind changed. I am now of the opinion that everything Rumple has been doing in FTL, post-Belle, was for one simple reason: to combat the EQ and the curse he gave her. I think at one point Rumple and the EQ were on the same side, worked together to achieve whatever ends they could. But once Rumple learned that Belle “died” it all changed. I think he wants revenge on the Queen because he blames for what happened to Belle (Rumple/Gold takes very little responsibility for his own actions against Belle which is why he chooses to torture Mr. French, trying to get out all his anger at himself by reflecting it on to another individual.) So, everything he has been up to in FTL has been to ensure that he would remember who he was and somehow–I have no idea how–undermine Regina’s curse.
I could be way off base–and my intense love of Rumple might be a bit of a stumbling block as well–but I feel that our true villain is (and always has been) Regina. Rumple isn’t her ally so much as her antithesis. I think he’ll continue to surprise us in the weeks ahead.
With all that said: I wouldn’t be surprised if Regina marches Belle out of the psych ward and tells Gold he better play by her rules or else. He gave up the power of his real name for the chipped cup (what a wonderful reversal of the myth of Rumple!) so imagine what he will do to keep Belle safe.