Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) and Belle (Emilie de Ravin) have had a rough go of it the past few seasons on “Once Upon a Time.”
After getting married and finally getting their happily ever after, Rumple kind of blew it by reverting back to his power hungry ways and plotting to sever himself from the Dark One’s dagger.
After that, Belle banished him from Storybrooke, had a short relationship Will Scarlet (Michael Socha), and then briefly forgave Rumple before realizing he would never let go of his old ways. Needless to say, this relationship has been topsy-turvy for the longest time, and we’re ready for them to reconcile already.
Unfortunately, that might be out of the question, even with a baby on the way.
We caught up with showrunners Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz at a press screening of the Season 6 premiere, where they described Rumple and Belle’s somewhat grim future.
“She’s really struggling now with how to move forward in life,” says Horowitz. “Rumple has positioned himself in a position where it appears to be an untenable relationship, so Belle has to figure out, ‘How do I raise this child, and what do I do about his father and the fact that I love this man?'”
While love clearly still exists between them, their relationship might be damaged beyond repair, especially now that Belle is looking out for her child as well as herself. Motherly instinct is a tricky thing, and right now Belle’s seems to be telling her to be wary of her husband.
We guess when raising a newborn, the Dark One is not an ideal co-parent, no matter how much Rumple loves his children or promises to reform. Magic is a drug, and he’s totally hooked.
Still, the showrunners did try to explain Rumple’s side of the story, and they came up with some fair arguments.
“It’s clear that he truly loves Belle. He truly wants that child,” Kitsis says. “He truly wants to be a good dad, but he is a gangster, and he’s not giving that life up. That’s what he said, he’s like, ‘I like the life!’ As far as Rumple is concerned, this is his art. These deals and screwing people over is what he does best. What he kind of came to last year was, ‘This is who I am, and if you want me to be a better man, I am, but I can’t be a different man, and I have to accept the fact that this is who I am.'”
Asking someone to change who they are is never a recipe for happy couple, and if the art of the deal is something Rumple truly loves, then it feels wrong to ask him to give it up; even if he is screwing over innocent people most of the time.
Have Rumple and Belle come to irreconcilable differences? Or can one (or both) of them bend a little in order to find their happy ending?
“Once Upon a Time” premieres Sunday (Sept. 25) at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.