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Once Upon a Time: Rumple Chooses His Side in the Final Battle

Once a Dark One, always a Dark One

Megan Vick

It was a night of revelations for Rumple (Robert Carlyle) on Sunday night's Once Upon a Time.

The hour revealed to the Dark One why his mother, the Black Fairy (Jaime Murray), abandoned him all those years ago. Before she was the Black Fairy, she was Fiona -- a caring mother who would do anything to protect her son. Once she found out that baby Rumple was fated to be the Savior (yes, you read that right), she was ready to go to the ends of the earth to save him from dying in the Final Battle, including creating the dark curse that set Once Upon a Time into motion.

Her attempt to make the curse backfired though, turning her into the Black Fairy and she was banished to her dark realm by Tiger Lily (Sara Tomko) and the Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy) to save the rest of the children in the realm from being banished to a world without magic. The fairies then returned baby Rumple to his father with a lie that Fiona had died trying to protect their son, effectively sentencing Rumple to a life of resentment from his dad and the rest is history.

Robert Carlyle, Once Upon a Time​

Robert Carlyle, Once Upon a Time

Jack Rowand, ABC

Rumple's childhood backstory effectively drew the parallels he needed to fully understand his mother. Like him, she chose power and darkness in order to save the person that meant the most to her. It's the same choice that Rumple has made multiple times over the course of the series. It's the same choice he's making now, or so we are lead to believe.

Here's what we know: Rumple lied to all of the heroes and said that he'd "take care of" the Black Fairy, ending the immediate threat of "The Finale Battle." He was able to restore Gideon's (Giles Matthey) heart to Gideon's body then put his son and Belle (Emilie de Ravin) somewhere safe. The Black Fairy is now convinced that Rumple has joined her in pursuit of killing Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and eradicating white magic from existence.

A few seasons ago, we would totally believe that Rumple would so callously betray the heroes in hopes of gaining more power, but a lot has changed for the Dark One in the past couple years. Belle announced earlier in the episode that she trusts him to do what's right for their son and for their family, and call us naive, but we do too. While Rumple might understand why his mother did what she did to try and protect him, it doesn't make sense for him to stand with her now.

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Rumple has always played chess while everyone else is playing checkers on Once Upon a Time. It's still a mystery of why he would need to keep the heroes in the dark of whatever plan he's making, but it seems the Black Fairy is the one who has the most to fear of aligning herself with Rumple at this point. Rumple doesn't need white magic gone to have his happy ending -- he has it with Belle and Gideon already. If his mother was truly sorry for the mistake she made abandoning him years ago, she'd realize that she didn't need to destroy white magic either. She'd focus on having Rumple forgive her and then call it a day. He's smart enough to realize that, right?

We are placing our bets on Rumple being a double agent and having another plan to defeat the Black Fairy up his sleeve. He may not be sided with the heroes exactly, but it's too soon to assume that he's returned to the dark side. We can't deal with the heartbreak if he has.

Once Upon a Time continues Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.