When we last left the Beauty and the Beast fairytale couple, Rumple had handed Storybrooke over to Hyde (Sam Witwer) in exchange for a way to wake Belle from the sleeping curse without true love's kiss. That's exactly what Rumple's mission will be when the season picks up on Sunday — but it won't be as easy as he thinks to win back his love.
"For her, there's been a lot of lies from him," executive producer Eddy Kitsis told TVGuide.com. "There's been a lot of betrayal of trust. I don't think that's an easy thing to get back. Now that there's a child involved, I think you're going to see Belle thinking about the baby before her own relationship first. They are definitely in need of couple's therapy."
Rumple will get some solid advice about what he'll need to do in order to have a happy ending of his own with his growing family though. The problem is it'll come from a surprising source that is initially standing in the way of Rumple's reunion with Belle — so there's not much chance of Rumple listening as well as he should.
"What I can tell you is that there's a lot of hurt and a lot of heartbreak," Kitsis teased. "Rumple declared last year that he was a better man, but he isn't going to change. He likes being the Dark One. Now that they have a child, it's just going to get messier this season."
Kitsis' creative partner Adam Horowitz explained to journalists, including TVGuide.com, that what makes Rumple and Belle such a compelling couple is also what has a tendency to tear them apart. "It's because they've had that love between them, what's happened to them is so terrible and ripped them apart in such a difficult way," Horowitz said. "She's really struggling with how to move forward. Rumple has positioned himself in a position where it appears to be an untenable relationship. Belle has to figure out, 'How do I raise this child and what do I do about his father?'"
This seems like terrible news, but it actually may be the key to what could bring Rumple and Belle together. It's obvious there's love between the couple, but Rumple has pulled so many tricks on Belle that she can see through the wool he continually tries to pull over her eyes. That doesn't mean there's no hope for them to find their way back to each other — but both of them will have to be completely honest with each other and make legitimate changes to make it work.
Rumple has made strides to making himself better — no one can deny that — but he's still a far cry from being the kind of man that Belle can depend on to be there for her and their child. He hasn't been able to find the strength to put the power of the Dark One down, but perhaps the possibility of losing another child could inspire Rumple to be the soulmate Belle needs.
Once Upon a Time Season 6 premieres Sunday, Sept. 25 at 8/7c.