(Beware, Once Upon a Time spoilers, ahoy!)
Okay, Once Upon a Time fans, the show returns from a brief hiatus to a new episode Sunday night. The title is the intriguing “Heart of Gold,” and, it would seem, the episode will feature Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) front and center. I hope the episode clarifies where the series is headed with the complex Rumple/Mr. Gold.
I’ve been perplexed (at best) for some time about him, as he’s grown completely unsympathetic and highly unlikable over the past several months. And if ever there was a time for series creative geniuses to reveal just what’s in the man’s mind and, certainly, his heart, this is it.
Played by the brilliant Carlyle, Rumple has always been one of the series most interesting characters. A man with the potential for so much evil (as has been demonstrated over the course of the series), he has been, until this season, anyway, also a man capable of love, and even kindness. And, as I screened a new clip from the upcoming “Heart of Gold,” I recalled the episode “Lacey” (season two) in which Rumple has the opportunity to murder Robin Hood (Sean Maguire), but, at the last moment, relents. Perhaps out of love and respect for Belle, who is at Rumple’s side, or perhaps because he is more of a romantic than he lets on.
This season’s Rumple is a man without any sort of heart, wounded, or otherwise. He is relentlessly evil, with virtually no redeeming characteristics. Gone is the complexity and the tragedy of the character; gone is the struggle and the inner conflict. So, what I’m hoping is that we’ll get a bit more insight into what’s going on with Rumple that has so stripped him of any sort of heart. Will we learn, for example, that during his captivity last season he’d been affected either by the imprisonment itself, Baelfire’s death, or by something Zelena does Rumple? If there’s an explanation for his uber-evil behavior this season, perhaps it lies in that.
The clip, which you can view below, gives us a scene from back in the Enchanted Forest. Rumple wishes to engage Robin Hood to steal a Wounded Heart potion from Zelena, an intriguing proposition. Whose heart is wounded, or conversely, whose heart does Rumple wish to wound? We’ll have to wait until Sunday to find out, as Gold’s quest for his happy ending becomes ever more desperate!
And, here are a few images from Sunday’s episode to tide you over!
Once Upon a Time airs Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B0058YPL66,B009RX85N0,B00KS9V6EC]