The midseason finale broke hearts all around. Regina found out that Robin’s heart chose her but then had to watch him walk away from her because of outside circumstances. Belle finally found out that Rumple had been lying to her this whole time and banished him from the town. While Hook actually got his heart back, the only one who’s heart got better and not worse throughout the episode.
We started the episode with Regina returning Marian’s heart to her. Marian thanks Regina and tell her that she understands that Robin has moved on and if he chooses Regina then she will step aside and let them be together. For half of a second we got to think that finally Regina has caught a break and she will get to be with the love of her life.
But the writers of this show really enjoying hurting this poor woman and pushing her so close to the edge she is basically holding on by her finger tips now. Marian still had some of The Snow Queen’s spell in her system and if she didn’t get outside of the town where there was no magic she would die. Regina knew the only way to save her was for her to leave the town. But unfortunately The Snow Queen had cast a spell that made it impossible for anyone who left the town to ever be able to come back.
Regina knew that leaving was the only way to save Marian and she also knew that Marian couldn’t be allowed to go out into a strange world alone. Robin had to go with her. Regina had to watch as Robin Hood left her behind to take care of Marian and his son. Once again Regina watched as her happy ending slipped through her fingers.
Before Robin actually walked over the line Regina was in her car and Rumple joined her. He told her that he would miss Henry after he leaves with Belle. And he also asked what Henry was spying on him for and Regina confessed her search for the author of the storybook. Regina than asked Rumple a very important question for not only her but for this episode. How did he (Rumple) get his seemingly happy ending? Regina is watching her love walk away from her, leaving her miserable and in pain yet again. She is losing hope. Every time she gets even a semblance of happiness it is stolen from her and she is desperate to know how Rumple has achieved his own happiness. (At least what she can see from the outside).
Rumple told her that he got his “happy ending,” because he didn’t wait around for things to work out. He took what he wanted. Fate and destiny do not have any control over him. The only person that makes decisions for Rumple is Rumple. He suggests to Regina that getting rid of Marian would solve all her problems. He tells her that when there is something in your way you get rid of it to get to what you want. His solution is death and destruction, the only solution he knows.
If there is any doubt in your mind that Regina has indeed changed you just has to see her reaction to that suggestion to know that Regina has turned herself around. In the very beginning of the season she considered killing Marian for half of a second but she quickly realized that was not the answer to her problems. She knew harming Marian would get her nothing but more misery. Robin would be angry and horrified. Henry would be disappointed and confused. Emma, Snow and Charming wouldn’t ever trust her again. Regina knows that killing and destroying lives is not the solution because it would undo all the work she has done to redeem herself. There would be no happy ending then because everyone she wants by her side would leave her far behind.
Rumple believed that he was above these such rules. He thought that if he continued to take and manipulate the world and people around him he would get whatever he wanted. He never thought about any consequences for anyone else, if he was happy that was all that mattered. But Rumple learned in this episode that he is not above the rules and if he hurts others he will get hurt in the end. A lesson he learned in the most painful way possible for him.
Belle finally figured out that Rumple lied to her and kept the real dagger for himself. She takes the dagger and after saving Hook she takes Rumple to the town line. She tearfully tells him that she has spent too much of her time and life trying to change him. She realizes that in her struggle to turn him around she is losing herself to that fruitless task. She uses a special artifact that shows her that what Rumple loves is power. He loves Belle but power comes first and always will for him.
Rumple thought he had achieved his happy ending but that wasn’t true. If he truly had found happiness he would not have needed the hat, he would have been satisfied with Belle and their life together. Rumple thinks that power is just a tool and it will get him everything he wants including love. But killing and destroying other’s lives is never a way to have a real happy ending. How can you live happily if all those around you are suffering and hurting? Regina realized this and it is why she has been working so hard to make the right choices. She knows that she can’t be happy if everyone around her is upset. Rumple thinks about him and his only while Regina now considers all those around her not just herself.
Belle banished Rumple from the town, meaning he can never return. Even though it breaks her heart she knew that she had no other choice. Rumple can’t see past power and control. The only way I see Rumple being able to redeem himself and start to change is if he has no power or magic. Power is a temptation he can’t get away from. He needs to be powerless, mortal and reliant on others to be able to begin a process of change. But I don’t know if he would ever be able to make that transition. There would have to be very dire circumstances for him to decide to become powerless.
The second half of the season is going to focus on the author and what he or she can do for these “villains.” Both Rumple and Regina want him or her to rewrite their stories. Regina deserves it, because she has sacrificed a lot to change and better herself. Regina is not the evil queen any longer. Rumple is and will always be The Dark One. It will be interesting to watch and see what the author can do and decides to do.
“It’s about manipulation, you find one weakness and for almost everyone that’s the one they love most,” – Rumple – This sums up Rumple perfectly. He manipulates others with the idea of love. As Ana stated, he turns love into a weapon. He doesn’t understand love and what it can do to heal and change hearts.
“Being good doesn’t mean good things will happen,”- Rumple – We all know this is true. We know that bad things happen to good people. But what is also true that if you make no good decision the likely good of good happening is very low.
“The game is rigged, the villains never win,” – Ursula – This is because they keep choosing, “villain,” choices. If you do bad and hurt and harm you will always have someone after you. Once you begin choosing better you get to start getting better results. Sooner or later Regina will win, the rest of them I am not so sure about.
Is the Sorcerer the author?
If so who is he exactly?
Can he write new endings?
Will he write new endings?
What is Rumple’s plan exactly?
How will he get back into Storybrooke?
When will we see Robin again?
Because Regina and Robin are soulmates will this bring him back in some fashion?
Will he fall back in love with Marian while he is away?
What residual effect will Hook’s actions have? If any?