Did anyone see that revelation coming on Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 19 "The Black Fairy?"
Not the final twist. Not the moment we learned Rumple lied to everyone. Again.
I'm talking about the fact that Rumple, Rumplestiltskin, better known as the Dark One, is a savior.
It's okay if you need to take a moment to process that bombshell.
I'm right there with you. I can't decide if this is the most brilliant twist in Once Upon A Time history, or if it's so laughable we should be embarrassed thinking about it.
The sad part is, it's somewhere in the middle. It should be the, pardon the pun, mother of all twists. A perfect bookend for the Dark Curse. Conceived to keep a family together, instead, enacted to tear one apart.
But the problem is the idea of Rumple being the savior all along sounds good on paper, but fails miserably in execution.
I understand what the story is trying to tell us. Rumple had one destiny, but his parents destroyed it. For different reasons, but they each contributed to him being the man he is today.
How different would his life had been if Fiona had left him alone? If she'd named him like a normal mother, and trusted Tiger Lily to watch out for him? Would Malcolm have stayed? Would he have embraced his light magic?
Fiona: It is a vile, dangerous world, son.
Rumple: Because of villains like you. And me.
Just like in the real world, we'll never know the answer. Because we're all made up of the choices we make, and the choices others make for us.
And Rumple made plenty of his own choices. He chose to be the Dark One. He chose power over his son. He chose power over his wife. Now he's choosing his mother over his family.
Or is he? Fiona could have his heart. Or his dagger. We don't know if it was her story that brought him to her side or if she used a sinister method.
Obviously one is more forgivable than the other.
Now, let's set aside the plot holes for a moment, and talk about Robert Carlyle and his amazing performance.
The powerhouse actor is always phenomenal, no matter how questionable the material, but he reached a new level as Rumple struggled with the truth. The shock of learning he was the savior rattled him so much he nearly slid from his chair.
Carlyle's haunted gaze spoke volumes. We could see Rumple questioning everything he'd ever known. When Belle sat beside him, and reminded him she saw the good all along, his eyes shone with hope.
Gideon: Thank you for fighting for me.
Rumple: I would do anything for you, son.
The scenes between Rumple and Gideon also gave Carlyle a chance to show off his range.
Alternating between determination to save his son, and a desperate, quiet ache to love him and be close to him, Carlyle's voice quivered. His skills make it hard to root against Rumple.
Even when he might be doing something unbelievably stupid like plotting with his mother to kill Emma.
Again, I can't decide if Fiona's backstory is a cool twist or one sad story too many.
She wanted to protect her child, but she also let the power corrupt her. Years later, Rumple did the same thing when he chose to become the Dark One. As he said, the wheel keeps spinning.
But where does it stop? Will Gideon be forced to kill Emma? I'm not sure how since he has his heart again. Will Rumple fight the savior in his son's place?
Emma: You could have just told me that.
Rumple: Well the Saviors have the luxury of always doing the right thing. I do not.
In between the heavy emotional drama, Zelena and Regina supplied one of the lighter moments. Since she no longer has magic, Zelena's learning to do things the human way.
As we can all attest, being magic free sucks. But I like that we're getting sisterly bonding between Zelena and Regina again. Zelena might be a terrible driver, but Regina's willing to trust her with Henry.
Or, Henry with Zelena, but either way, that's huge. And while someone should run that by Emma, it still made for an incredible moment. I hope Once Upon A Time Season 6 will not be the final season, but if it is, I appreciate the loose ends getting tied.
You know, this whole driving thing is actually quite easy when you're trying to hit something.Zelena
Speaking of tied...Emma and Killian are ready to get married!
On Once Upon A Time Season 6 Episode 18, they decided to wait. But now that they think the Black Fairy is out of the way, the wedding's imminent.
Killian asking Henry to be his best man, and to watch the rings, was another one of those moments that tugged on my heartstrings. Of course he's the old fashioned type who can't see the bride before the wedding.
Cute moments are always appreciated, but I think we can all guess how the wedding will end, right? With the Black Fairy swooping in the same way Regina did on Snow and Charming's wedding day on Once Upon A Time Season 1 Episode 1.
Now, it's your turn to share your thoughts on "The Black Fairy"!
How did you feel about the savior twist? Do we have too many at this point? Is there good in Fiona? How awesome is Robert Carlyle? Why is Rumple siding with his mother?
How excited are you for the musical wedding on Once Upon A Time Season 6 Episode 20?
Remember, you can watch Once Upon a Time online anytime!
Mandy Treccia was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in September 2017. Follow her on Twitter.