Once Upon a Time delighted RumBelle fans last week by reuniting Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) with his true love Belle (Emilie de Ravin) after he seemingly saved Henry (Jared Gilmore) from Peter Pan (Robbie Kay). Rumple swore to turn his life around upon his return to Storybrooke, but with Pan planning to reenact the curse to enslave the town, will Rumple really keep up this good guy routine?
"Personally, I don't think so," Carlyle tells TVGuide.com. "Rumple continually makes the wrong decisions. So I don't think there's any reason to suggest he'll start to make the right decisions."
It's Rumple's ruthless nature that will hopefully save the residents of Storybrooke in Sunday's midseason (9/8c, ABC). That is, if Pan ultimately doesn't destroy Rumple first. But Carlyle promises that Rumple has not lost that spark. "If we were to tie these things up and make them nice, to lose the villainy from Rumple, you're losing a big bit of the show," he says. "I don't think that could really work."
However, Rumple now has a weakness in Belle, whose short-lived reunion with Rumple will be fraught with turmoil if Pan is able to achieve his goal. "That's what keeps him going," Carlyle says. "Belle is Rumple's emotional sensor and that's probably the main reason that he's doing what he's done because he was going to kill Henry in the end of Season 2. There's no doubt he was going to do that." Adds de Ravin: "They're the love of each other's life and for them to go through all this time apart has been very rough on them."
In spite of their characters' time away from each other, de Ravin says that she and Carlyle have been pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming reaction by the fans to the RumBelle relationship. "It's been amazing," she adds. "I love the way our relationship's written and I love working with Bobby and it's this dynamic that automatically clicked from that first episode."
When teasing their future, de Ravin points out that Belle may have a relationship with Bae (Michael Raymond-James), "since he's basically like my step-son. Not legally. She ain't married yet."
Carlyle quickly interjects: "They're not married. Season 4 maybe."
Adds de Ravin with a laugh: "Oh God, you put that in there and people will freak out." Go ahead and freak out in the comments now!
Once Upon a Time's midseason finale airs Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.