We know you're probably shipping Belle and Mr. Gold a.k.a. Rumpelstiltskin... but should you?
One of the most compelling plot threads in Once Upon a Time is the on-again, off-again romance between Belle and Mr. Gold, a.k.a. Rumpelstiltskin. In Season 1, we watched as the bookish young beauty melted the heart of the beastly conniver back in the Enchanted Forest. We hissed in disgust once we realized that Belle had been incapacitated and hidden away by the (at that point) evil Mayor Regina in Storybrooke—more or less beneath Gold’s nose. And we rejoiced when it looked as though the two were going to reunite, with a bit of an assist from Sebastian Stan’s righteously aggrieved Mad Hatter.
But the course of true love never did run smooth, and the pair has encountered their fair share of obstacles, most of which can be laid directly at Mr. Gold’s magical feet. (More on that in a minute.) In fact, I think it’s fair to say that if Robert Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin didn’t have such incandescent chemistry together, many of us would be less willing to overlook the fact that in many respects, this is a very problematic relationship indeed, featuring—as it does—a significant power imbalance, a fairly vast difference in goals and worldviews, and some behavior that no woman should tolerate from any man.