This has been bothering since I saw this weeks episode, and a few others actually. It was great episode of course, but I wonder why Regina didn’t use Belle right then and there when Mr. Gold refused to help her. The popular belief among fans is that Regina is holding Belle hostage to use her as some sort of bargaining chip, and yet when the perfect opportunity arrives, she doesn’t use her. A friend of mine thinks she is waiting for the opportune moment. If so, why take so long? She seemed pretty desperate in the episode.
Personally, I never really thought much on the idea of Belle being a bargaining tool. If she is, Regina could have used her a long time ago. All this time, she’s just kept her locked away instead of using her.
All it takes is please and her play is over with Belle as a pawn. Belle is the nuclear option at this point. Had Gold not been able to remember it would be a whole new game.