Recently, Once Upon a Time’s Twitter and Facebook accounts posted a question for fans: Did Belle do the right thing? All across the web fans argued both sides–some state that she had no choice, while others suggest that Belle should have been more understanding. In reality, both of these arguments have good points to make, but in the end was Belle’s decisions the right one? Is there a difference between right and best? Where will Rumple and Belle’s relationship head towards the second half of season four?
So, Season Four of Once Upon a Time not only brought the Frozen arc, but it also continued where the last season had left off. Rumpelstiltskin had switched the dagger so he could avenge his dead son and had recently married his true love Belle. In the opening of Season Four Rumple declares to his son, while visiting the graveyard, that he has wronged Belle but he promises that he will be a better man for Baelfire’s sake and Belle’s.
Was Rumple’s promise a bunch of baloney from the beginning? No, it is clear that his intentions were true and he did have his mind set on changing. It wasn’t until he saw the hat that the gears in his head started to turn for evil. Although, in Rumple’s mind he was never doing what he was doing for power–well at the start anyways. I do wish that the writers had made that more clear. If a writer has to explain to the audience off screen what and how the character feels that’s a bad sign.
The situation is not that Rumpelstiltskin is hungry for power, or that he is coward and is simply afraid to face his fears. Instead, the real issue at the moment is that Mr. Gold does not want to be controlled. It was fate or destiny that started everything for Rumpelstiltskin. Like Oedipus Rex, it was a fortune teller who caused the events to happen by the main character trying to run away from his future. If anyone is afraid of fate or destiny it is Rumple, and the dagger is a way to control him–in a way it is his fate to be forever enslaved.
Belle is presented with a choice at the end. Once she realizes that her beloved has been tricking her, well, all hell breaks loose. In Belle’s mind, she not only feels betrayed but also replaced by Rumple’s lust for power. Now, what question should fans be asking: did Belle do the right thing or did she do the best thing?
The relationship between Belle and Rumple, in Belle’s eyes, becomes fake. She begins to doubt once she discovers that the dagger she has is fake, that anything that has happened in their relationship was ever real. This is a common and normal thought process. However, analyzing Belle’s character and her flaws she has only shown to be weak in one scene–remember Anna? Belle’s weakness much like Rumple is attachment to those she loves–especially knowledge. Belle was willing to put Anna’s life in jeopardy for a rock that she might have been able to replace. She could have asked the rock trolls, “can you duplicate it?”. Also, not to mention that her dad tells her at the end anyways.
Belle needed to know the whole story which was something she saw as more important. Applying the same idea to the situation between her and Rumple reveals why Belle did what she did. Belle has always been addicted to the idea of heroics and always strives to be a hero herself. In the end, the choice she made was not because she hated Rumple–though she was pretty pissed off–it was more about the danger he had become. Belle no longer knew him, in her head Rumple could have been playing her the entire time, so if her weakness is knowledge than by her being confused makes Rumple dangerous. Furthermore, her desire to be a hero must have pushed her to chase her true love out of town–not only for the sake of Storybrooke–but also for justice. It is a punishment after all for Rumpelstiltskin.
In the end, there is a difference between right and best. Belle made the right choice–the right choice being the just one. The decision that would benefit the majority being the citizens of Storybrooke. However, Belle did not make the best decision by shunning her beloved which clearly affected her as much as it affected Rumple. It will be interesting to see where the writers take their relationship, and there is no way that they will ever break these two apart for good–they are too cannon and too popular.
What do you think? Should Belle have enforced justice, or should she have been more understanding?