Once Upon a Time is testing me with a whole lot of personal drama. Killian and David, David’s father, Regina and Not!Robin with tragedy ensuing no doubt… I’d much rather cut through some of this. Family angst gives me headaches
So let’s get that out of the way first. Robin continues his plotting and takes the magic he has stolen from Regina to Zelena because she wants to break out of Storybrooke and embrace his new future of being a homeless man with a bow cowering in a corner overwhelmed with culture shock in New York City. Zelena would also quite like to leave so they decide to make it so
Regina isn’t a fool and notices Robin’s tampering in time to join them at the border – but not stop them. If this is what Robin wants, so be it. And she’s sympathetic to how hard it must be for Robin to adapt with Storybrooke with everyone expecting him to step into the shoes of a man he most certainly is not and even to have Regina following him around with puppy dog eyes. It’s a pretty tough gig for Robin, I get that. Of course it doesn’t help that robin appears to be a very unpleasant person and we all know how much he will implode in the outside word
Still Regina agrees to help him. Of course she isn’t stopping anyone from leaving – the protection spell is and Regina, so far, has no idea how to remove it.
Zelena and Regina make peace afterwards with Regina having another round of “it’s all my fault” now deciding she’s failed a test for not being able to move on (aww c’mon it’s bad enough that the Robin thing blew up in her face but for her then to use it to add to her “I failed and am terrible” list) before another round of accepting responsibility for all her evil… and then noticing the cobra that they turned the Evil Queen into has disappeared
She has caught up with Robin and using some carelessly spilled potion, breaks the snake spell and is back. Ye gods Regina can never ever get a break.
We also have Killian who is now So Sad because he murdered Emma’s granddaddy and now he wants to tell her even though he doesn’t have to because love. He speaks Archie who is really really annoying. Honestly his chirpy endless positivity would drive me to drink.
He goes to confess all to Emma – but since she found the ring he was going to give her (hey, where does Killian get his money from?) she says “yes” and hijacks his whole confession into a proposal. Awkward.
Argh, moving on from this hot mess it’s time to look at the ongoing issue around Gideon et al
So time for a bit more of Rumple’s back story back in the Ogre Wars days. We see a battlefield and Beowulf leading his troops, convinced he’ll win and be a hero because he has the sword Hrunting which totally guarantees heroeness.
The problem is it doesn’t guarantee tactical capability – so we have lots of people with swords attacking giants when they can’t even reach the knees. They have few archers and really – no spears? I can’t help but think some pikes or spears may be more useful here.
The battle doesn’t go really well but luckily in steps Rumplestiltskin with his newly-minted Dark One powers who destroys the ogres. All of them
We’re constantly told about the power of the Dark One but I think this is the first time it’s been truly shown: Rumplestilskin is a portable weapon of pin-point mass destruction.
He’s hailed as a hero for destroying this vast threat to the kingdom – by everyone except Beowulf because he totally should have been the hero.
Of course even hailed as a hero, his son Baelfire is still bullied because his father is a freak. And his son also demands he stop using magic because of course. Until the villagers report that a monster, Grendel, is killing people and Beowulf hasn’t returned from killing the beast so can the Dark One please deal with it, please thanks ‘kay? Baelfire says this is now an excellent chance for Rumple to prove his heroism without magic
Really Rumple you should have left all these people in your wake. I would have been sorely tired of them by now as well. This would totally turn me evil.
So Rumple sets off but decides to make sure he doesn’t chicken out and use his super duper powers to actually get shit done, he gives his dagger to his son so he can control him
Rumple, if you had no more power than the ability to make sarcastic comments, you still don’t hand the power to control you to a teenager! Fail!Parent. Fail!!!!!
So Rumple arrives and they find out that actually there is no Grendal, it’s just Beowulf killing people hoping to frame Rumple so he can then set himself up as the hero he totally deserves to be. This guy needs to look up the definition of heroism or just be slapped upside the head. He points out, rightly, that absolutely no-one is going to believe the Dark One over Beowulf
Instead after a bit of pass-the-parcel with the Dark One dagger (my gods people need to learn to hold on to that thing!) we end up with the dagger in Baelfire’s hands – who orders his dad to kill Beowulf. Behold my point on bad idea
Back home Rumple has Baelfire drink memory tea so he forgets he just outright had his dad murder someone so he can live with that and not have to go all dark side. He would rather his son hate him than remember he did something that evil
And this is the story of Rumple that has been touched on occasionally but never really expanded but really touches on the passive purity of the Charmings as well
Here we have Rumple using dark magic to save people and being repeatedly condemned for it afterwards. But these people all do turn to him when they need his power, when they need his help. His power is useful when people need something, people keep showing up on his doorstep when they need a deal, people appeal to him when in danger – but then condemn him for his darkness. In many ways he allows people to stay pure by taking the darkness onto himself
This is the tone on which we look at the rest of his painful episode
In the present, Rumple, Belle and Blue Fairy all look for Gideon who still wants to bring down the Black Fairy (Rumple’s mother). Rumple catches him trying to claim the hilt of his broken hero sword (this would be Hrunting, it most certainly is) and promptly uses his vast terrifying power to kidnap said son.
The then have a bonding moment in the clock tower where Gideon describes how utterly awful his upbringing was, how the Black Fairy taunted his helplessness and ability to stand up to her and save people, making him feel weak, like a coward: very much like Rumple himself, yes the parallels are there. Gideon wants to embrace the dark side so he will have enough power to protect those he cares about.
Which sounds very very shiny until Gideon manages to steal Rumple’s dagger – because Rumple just pulled his memory tea gambit. And isn’t that classic Rumple? The easy way, the quick, magical fix. Because when you have this much power it’s just so easy to use it for everything
Honestly someone needs to look at the security around this dagger
He then orders rumple to not intervene while he goes to reforge Hruntling, which involves killing the Blue Fairy who forged it (it’s a hobby, but maybe she should look at whether fixing weapons requires the blood of the blacksmith).
Rumple manages to join Gideon before he kills Blue… he can’t stop Gideon and Gideon won’t listen to reason so he decides to kill Blue for him. That way Gideon stays pure and good. Gideon is super happy, gives Rumple back his dagger then leaves. Belle joins Rumple who, having had things explained to her gushes all over Rumple who has been willing to do so much for their son – even be totally evil so their son doesn’t have to. Why the fact he’s willing to make this difficult decision shows there may be love and redemption after all!
…um… the only reason you’re not saying this over Blue’s body is because she was sucked into the sword. I don’t even know how to address this. Doing evil which Gideon would do if you didn’t do it does not absolve him! He’s still responsible for that death! He caused it, he forced it, he is responsible for it! And praising Rumple for participating and giving some level of seal of approval to the murder of Blue is… I have no words
Belle are you happy with Rumple being redeemable or are you just stooping to his level?!
This is so very broken I can’t even begin to grasp all that is wrong with this
I do have to question the logic mind set as well. Rumple offers to help. Ok, he wants to embrace the darkness so his son doesn’t have to. Fine. But rather than reforge the sword, kill the Blue Fairy and go after the Saviour, why not go after the Black Fairy with Rumple? The Dark One – the Uber Dark One, we’ve just been reminded even when he was much weaker than he is now he was still a weapon of mass destruction.