Thursday, December 1, 2016

Even The Devil Gets His Due

Review/Recap of Once Upon A Time Episode 6.09 "Changelings" - SPOILERS!

It's weird, but the Rumple/Belle episodes this season are the ones that I've kind of been the most interested in. Maybe the OUAT Writers Room finally realized that they were stuck in the same place that Domino's Pizza was some years ago. You may remember a time when Domino's was glorified cardboard and their service sucked and they were consistently rated the Absolute Worst.

But roughly around 2010, the company CEO decided "Hey, we're tired of sucking - let's fix things!" So they overhauled the pizza recipe, fixed the menu, honestly listened to their customers, retooled their marketing strategy - and now, they're one of the best pizza delivery chains in the country.

I think a similar thing has happened with Rumple and Belle. The OUAT Team thought "Hey, we're tired of these two being boring (at best) and frustratingly stupid (at worst). We're tired of this storyline alienating people. Let's do something with them that actually makes sense!"

And that's how you get episodes like "Changelings."

The dumb thing is that they already had all the tools necessary to make this work. Robert Carlyle is ALWAYS brilliant as Rumple, no matter what utter shite the writers give him to work with. Emilie de Ravin has done what she could with what little she was given as Belle, but now she gets to shine. She actually gets to be MORE than the mousy little bookworm that Team Charming runs to when they need research. She gets to be MORE than Rumple's long-suffering wife and conscience. She actually gets to be her own person, with her own thoughts and choices and personality. She's not just a lawn ornament shoved in the back of Rumple's store for once.

I like this new version of Belle. She's fierce and fun!

Last season, we had that episode that apparently got me into huge trouble with the Rumbelle shippers on Tumblr (oh, woe. Whatever shall I do?) They all freaked out because I said that Rumple was an abusive prick and Belle was never going to get her Happy Ending - she's the equivalent of the beaten wife who keeps going back for more.

(I stand by that statement as made at the time, just FYI. And I wasn't even upset by the precious little snowflakes having their temper tantrums either. It was more amusing than anything. I just hope they finally got their afternoon naps and diaper changes and stopped being so grumpy.)

But what has happened in the show is what I was saying with my Domino's Pizza analogy. The writers figured out they had a HUGE problem with Belle, but now they're working to fix it. So Belle has FINALLY realized that she's never going to be happy with Rumple. He's never going to change, he's never going to give up his dark magic, he's never going to stop being manipulative, and he's never going to stop being a beast. And she can't live like this. Not if she was to be happy and fulfilled in life. So, she takes matters into her own hands. She decides to send baby Gideon (after her pregnancy is accelerated by Rumple The Evil Queen) off with the Blue Fairy to a place that Belle doesn't even know.

Of course Rumple's pissed. And you know - he DESERVES to be. He deserves to be outwitted and outmatched by Belle. He's meddled in other people's lives and twisted their desires and screwed with so many things that it's finally his turn to get his comeuppance. Who better to do it than the woman he claims to love, but refuses to give up his destructive lifestyle to show it?

Bravo, Belle. Bra-freaking-vo.

It's about bloody time!

And next time - we get Princess Emma Swan!

I am intrigued. Tell me more.

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