It makes me so sad to see that Brigitte Hales views Rumplestiltskin as a character, who “is capable of good deep down, but can’t overcome his demons.“ No really, I was legit crying when I really considered how much these writers have screwed over Rumple, Rumbelle, and their fans. Have they considered the fact that it wasn’t an issue for Rumple to consistently overcome his demons back when the show still made sense in terms of characterization and storytelling integrity from S1-S3A back when the narrative didn’t automatically turn everyone against him, even when he didn’t do anything wrong, or was doing the right thing?
They brought him back, turned the GA against him, took away his son, abused him, framed him as a one-note villain with that stupid OOC fake dagger/author plot, turned Belle into his judge, jury, and executioner, had him constantly rejected by her even when he did try to make up for it and be the hero she insisted he be for them to be together, so that they could create the Once Upon a Hook Show, and have a tragic villain to be a “foil” to prop up Hook.
That means that they have essentially shit on this beautiful and complicated character that they created and the Dearie/Rumbelle fandom ever since 3B with OOC toxic angst and false hope this whole time probably on purpose, and robbed us of what could have been a perfect story and redemption arc at the end of 3A, just to bring him back and most likely ultimately destroy him when there are other villains who have committed crimes that are far worse, who are getting happy endings on this show without having to try nearly as hard.
The whole idea of Rumple being a “tragic figure, who can’t overcome his demons” just does not fucking work when you started out with a narrative of characters that supported him, rather than scorned him in the beginning, and it doesn’t work whern there are villains who are far worse that are getting “redemption” arcs at the drop hat, like Zelena and Hook, while Rumple actually has tried to be better, and has still gotten rejected by his true love for the sake of OOC toxic dumbass plots.
And honestly, it’s not just Rumple’s storyline and characterization that’s been butchered to prop up Hook’s storyline, but everyone’s. It’s just most obvious with Rumple because they have put him in a position where he can’t win, even when he does try to be good because double standards have been placed against him by the entire OUAT universe. Meanwhile, mediocre villain characters, who have done far worse than him (Hook and Zelena) get forgiven at the drop of a hat, and Rumple’s mental illnesses (PTSD, OCD, and addiction) have been demonized as things that make him “too weak to be good” and unworthy when the writers actually used to treat them as real problems that he could get emotional support for and overcome without being constantly judged.
The only reason why I think the show went on post 3A was so that Hook/CS could have a storyline. Either that, or they sold out their original themes on family when they killed off Nealfire, and stole Rumple’s potential storyline, so that Hook/CS could happen when they got distracted by them. No, really, they had all of the original main characters storylines perfectly wrapped up in a beautiful and satisfactory way at the end of 3A, then they just had to bring it back for Hook/CS, even though he was never meant to be more than a guest villain, for the sake of popularlity, and fucked over every beautiful and complex original character/ship to try and make sense of it in the narrative, and, unfortunately, it still doesn’t.
I’m disgusted by what they have done to all of these beautiful original characters on this show to prop up Hook/CS, but I think what they have done to Rumple breaks my heart the most of all because he was the character who represented the idea that being a “difficult man to love” didn’t mean that there was no hope for you to find happiness and redemption through true love and family that supported you, if you reached out for help from them. But now, he is often scorned by the world at every turn, even when he does reach out for emotional support from it, not even because he’s necessarily done anything truly evil, but because he is Rumple, and being seriously mentally ill and having very human fears about failure and rejection make him “too weak to be good.”
That is a disgusting message to every Dearie/Rumbelle fan, who has watched this show, and who suffers from fears due to mental illnesses, such as PTSD, OCD, and addiction, just like Rumple. That is a disgusting and emotionally abusive message to send to the Dearie/Rumbelle fandoms on a show where it is possible for sympathetic and relatable villains to find happiness and be redeemed. That is a cruel and emotionally abusive message to send to Dearie/Rumbelle fans, who often have the most fragile of hearts, and the fans for who hope is usually a rare thing because they are often “difficult people to love,” like Rumple, and you gave them hope that it was possible for someone like them to be truly accepted and find redemption through true love and family from S1-S3A. Then, you abruptly turned the whole narrative against him and Belle in 3B with this flanderdized power vs love narrative that came out of fucking nowhere in S4, kept slapping them in the face with it every time there was an opportunity presented to take the show in a better direction for him and Belle, and kept having him rejected by her even when he did try to be better or open up to her.
Fuck off with your talk of hope, Kitsowitz! You’ve essentially told every Dearie/Rumbelle fan, the fans who often have the most fragile of self-esteems, that your feelings don’t matter if you are “difficult person to love,”’ even when you haven’t necessarily done anything wrong, even when you are trying to be a better person, and/or trying to reach out for emotional support from your loved ones for over three seasons now to prop up your gross and abusive shitty self-insert couple, Crapstain Swan, and that is disgusting!