Quiet When I’m Dead: How Once Upon A Time Has Failed Rumplestiltskin and Belle (This Week)
Once Upon A Time has a horrible habit of treating abuse, sexual violence, rape, and racism as issues that don’t exist. They ignore mental illness, ‘redeem’ rapists and serial killers without actually requiring them to be good people, and mock the disabled.
This week, however, reaches a new low for me.
I’m a critical fan. I’m mindful of the media I consume and the messages it sends. Oftentimes I love dark content. I like the twists and bends of human limits. Watching Once Upon a time as a Dearie/Rumbeller now? It’s torture, pure torture. Rumbelle was EVERYTHING to me. I’m a long-standing Beauty and the Beast fan, and Belle was always my favorite princess. Emilie and Robert have incredible chemistry. Rumbelle is my air, my light, my hope.
This is not Belle.
In Season 5a, Belle was… different. She was a little colder, she broke Rumple’s heart when he was pure and free of the curse. He was a hero, he was everything she wanted him to be. Selfless. Brave. Light.
And she still purposefully broke his heart.
The situation he posed was thus: if he survived his duel with Hook, he’d be waiting at the well. If she wanted to make it work, if she wanted to be with him, she’d show up. If she didn’t, Rumple would know she didn’t want to be with him.
Belle showed up.
Belle told him she wasn’t sure.
Still, after taking the darkness back, he got her to safety. He made sure she was out of Storybrooke when Killan sent them to hell.
Belle came back.
Belle ignored all the good he’d done in his life.
Belle and Rumple had sex.
In 5B, they were finally communicating. Sure, some of that was bickering like the married couple they are, but it was healthy. Rumple accepted who he was - he was the Dark One, and Belle fell in love with him before she ever saw the man he was beneath the curse. He was standing up for himself. He loves her, he loves their child, but the Darkness is part of him. He’d carried it for 300 years. He was the only one who could control it.
Belle took away his free will. He didn’t fight it. Belle got under a sleeping curse to save their child, to literally buy Rumple time to get the contract from Hades. His kisses didn’t wake her. When Moe wouldn’t kiss her, he took all the magic and planned to use it to wake her.
Henry stole it.
Snow sold Belle out to Jekyll.
Rumple did NOTHING WRONG except try to save her.
His wish was for her and their baby. Their family.
And now what happens?
Their son treats him like shit.
Their son treats him like Milah’s abandonment is his fault.
Their son acts as if he DIDN’T spend three hundred years trying to fix his mistake of losing Baelfire.
And Belle says she doesn’t want his love. She doesn’t want his kiss. She’d rather be cursed, rather their child be cursed, than have to deal with him.
Where is this coming from?
What has he done?
This man lives for family. He is dedicated to family. He loves more fiercely and purely than anyone.
So why is Belle doing this?
I can find no hope in this.
Rumbelle was a story of growth, and hope. Belle was a princess who wanted to make her won way, to explore the world, to experience and learn more than what she could inside the walls of her castle. Rumple was a man who lost everything, no matter how hard he fought. He has been abused. He has suffered. He’s been tortured, beaten, spat upon by everyone in Storybrooke.
The ‘heroes’ abandoned him and stole his car, for Gods’ sake!
And now his wife, the light of his life, the only person he has had in his corner for years, is leaving him for literally no reason.
I don’t know if I can do this any more.
Rumple deserves peace. Not this.
“All the voices in my head will be quiet when I’m [ d e a d ] “
Does anyone else think that Belle being afraid of Rumple and the Dark Castle is utter bullshit?
Yeah it’s her dream but Morpheus said it was how she truly felt back then. Still, look back to other Dark Castle moments. BELLE ACTED LIKE SHE FUCKING OWNED THE PLACE AND NEVER FEARED RUMPLE. She fell for him as the Dark One for crying out loud. Hey A&E, have you been watching your own show because it doesn’t fucking seem like it.
The Dark Castle never frightened Belle, at least not after the first little bit. She joked with him often. How often did he threaten to turn her into a toad and she just laughed him off? Or when he gave her the library - which was not that long after she went to the Dark Castle as she was still in the gold dress - she hugged him when he didn’t kill Robin Hood and said in the library he wasn’t as dark as she thought he was. She brought light into the castle and instead of of insisting she put the curtains back up, he said he’d get used to it. Even on the first day, when she chipped the cup, he waved it off and didn’t make a big deal of it. A&E are making her time at the Dark Castle seem worse than it was.