Once Upon a Time has a new relationship brewing, and we need to talk about it.
Ever since the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) rolled into Storybrooke separate from her alter-ego Regina (also Parrilla), she's had her eyes on Gold (Robert Carlyle). It was a sudden development because Regina has never had those kinds of feelings for Gold — even before she decided to go on her redemption arc — but their aligning does make for an interesting new couple.
From a power dynamic, there's no better combination. Gold's knack for deals and devious plots combined with the Evil Queen's cunning and magical prowess makes them an unstoppable duo. If they decided to take over Storybrooke, there's no one that could take them down — even Regina and Emma (Jennifer Morrison). Considering how ambitious both characters are, it's understandable to see how they could be attracted to each other and want to be with someone who shares their passions and level of talents.
While the relationship sounds good on paper, it presents problems on two fronts. First, there's their past, which previously offered no hint of romantic tones — making these feelings seem a bit sudden. There's also the matter of Gold having an affair with Regina's mother Cora (Rose McGowan) long before Regina became his most promising student. That makes him and the Evil Queen hooking up feel a bit uncouth and something we don't think Gold would have considered if the Queen hadn't put the moves on him first.
Secondly, the abrupt nature of the reveal that the Evil Queen has been holding a torch for Gold all along doesn't jibe with the previous five seasons of canon. The Evil Queen spent the first three seasons of the show being unable to entertain the idea of ever moving past her first love Daniel. Then Regina fell for Robin Hood (Sean Maguire). While Regina may have already completed her transition to hero by the time she and Robin Hood got together, the Evil Queen was still a part of her and therefore must have also felt an attachment to the famous outlaw. The Evil Queen and Regina may have separate bodies at this point in time, but the overarching theme of this season is, "Can we ever erase our darkness?" implies that they aren't exactly two separate people. Thus, EQ should also still be mourning the loss of her soulmate, just like Regina.
Let's not forget that this relationship isn't entirely up to the Evil Queen. Belle (Emilie de Ravin) may have put a harsh break on her marriage to Gold, but that doesn't erase his feelings for her. He has not openly accepted that he is not the man that Belle wants to spend the rest of his life with, so what would he see in the Evil Queen? She is the polar opposite of the woman he considers to be his true love.
The relationship doesn't make sense for either character from an emotional standpoint, which makes it hard for fans to rally behind the new couple. In fact, it seems that the only real thing that would draw the Evil Queen and Rumple together is their shared ambition. If that's the case, one of them (probably Gold, if we're being honest) will betray the other for their own needs. When that happens, the wrath that will unfold could level the town of Storybrooke. Is there anything good that could come out of a war between the Evil Queen and Mr. Gold? That may be the battle we need to prepare for if this relationship continues on the path its on.
It's been made obvious that neither Mr. Gold or the Evil Queen are that concerned with the fate of Storybrooke as a whole (with Belle and her unborn child as an exception for Gold), but if either of them want to avoid heartbreak or the wrath of an unstable villain they may want to cool it on the romance.
What do you think of the new relationship? Vote in our poll below!
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.