Once Upon a Time dropped a baby bombshell in the episode “Devil’s Due.” While fans have probably known for a while that actress Emile De Ravin was pregnant there was no guarantee that Belle would be similarly with child. That all changed in “Devil’s Due” as Rumple and the audience found out that Belle was expecting with his second child. In no uncertain terms, this an absolutely terrible idea.
Rumbelle for Life
The first thing that is immediately wrong with Belle and Rumple having a child together is that it ties the two characters together forever. Of all the couples on Once Upon a Time Rumple and Belle are easily the rockiest. They might love each other but Rumple has repeatedly lied to her, kept things from her and messed with her memories. Throughout the seasons Rumple keeps going back to his villainous ways despite Belle’s belief in him that he is a good man. Rumple is deceptive about the whole relationship, what he presents to Belle and who he actually is are two completely different people.
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While there was a time when Rumple and Belle were a couple to root for, that time has long since passed. None of the problems in the relationship that existed when Belle broke up with him and set him across the town line have been fixed. If anything, they have just gotten worse.
Rumple is still just as selfish and power-hungry as ever and now Once Upon a Time has saddled the two of them together for life with this baby. Though, it is possible that the baby could lead to Rumple finally pulling his head out of his evil bum and becoming a good person. It is a case of too little far too late. Even if Rumple does turn things around it doesn’t change the way the baby was conceived. Rumple married Belle for a second time and consummated the marriage awhile lying about him being the Dark One again. Don’t even bother with a “he didn’t have time” argument either. If there was time for them to sleep together there was time for him to tell her he is the ultimate evil again.
Belle the Victim
The one thing that can’t be qualified though is what the circumstances of the pregnancy do to Belle. Belle, once again, is being put into a situation where her character is basically a precious object for Rumple. She is being victimized without her knowledge. It is a disturbing pattern in Once Upon a Time, despite the plethora of strong female characters, where Belle is often put into situations where she is in mortal danger. She gets herself out of them, often, but she is forever being tied up, kidnapped and taken prison. It is an incredibly annoying and repetitive pattern and this pregnancy might be the worst example of it.
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As deplorable as Rumple is at times, you can’t blame him for not telling Belle about the possibility of the second-child curse. Rumple thought he had taken care of the issue already and it is not as if they were trying to get pregnant. The showrunners and writers behind Once Upon a Time can be blamed for making Belle’s character this precious prize in this game between Hades and Rumple.
Even though the second half of season 5 has been strong, it is weird how it has all taken place in the Underworld. There has been no time spent in Storybrooke with those characters. While that’s not too bad, Belle really is the only character worth following left in Storybrooke, it is unfortunate given this new twist. Belle and her unborn child are going to play a big role this season. It is because of them that Rumple will be under Hades’ control. As far as the audience knows though Belle won’t be actively involved in any of it.
The twist might be easier to swallow if Once Upon a Time finds a way to bring Belle into the Underworld. In that way she can actually have some agency in what happens to her and her unborn child, rather than it all being up to Rumple again. Belle is at her best when she is actually doing things and proving she is just as brave as any other hero. Since there is no turning back from the story now, the least Once Upon a Time should do is bring Belle in on the secret rather than have her be oblivious and in danger.
But what do you think? Has Once Upon a Time made a mistake making Belle pregnant? Are you excited or dreading the arrival of the baby?
Once Upon a Time season 6 airs Sundays at 8pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)