What a Tangled Web “Once” Weaves

Once Upon a Time is quickly becoming more confusing than Doctor Who on its worst timey-wimey streaks. The primary cause of this is deciphering exactly how everyone is related, and the intricate family tree provides some interesting situations. For instance, we haven’t yet learned what Regina thinks about having to include Rumpelstiltskin, her chief rival, in her family now (we learned a few weeks ago that Rumpel is the grandfather of Henry, her adopted son). I mean, I don’t think she took it well when she realized that Henry’s birth mother was the daughter of her hated enemy Snow White. Or maybe Regina doesn’t yet know that Rumpel’s son is Henry’s father.

Still, it could have been worse for Regina. She could have been Rumpelstiltskin’s daughter–and she very nearly was; an earlier episode hinted at a romantic connection between Rumpel and her mother Cora, and last night we learned that Cora almost married Rumpel…before choosing power over love.

What’s interesting, though, is that whatever Rumpel and Cora felt for one another, it wasn’t true love–according to the rules of the Fairy Tale Land, at any rate. In Fairy Tale Land, true love’s kiss is more powerful than the strongest of curses…and that includes the curse that made Rumpelstiltskin the Dark One (or as I like to call him, the One-Man Fairy Land Mafia). However, when Cora kissed Rumpel, nothing happened. Yet when Belle kissed him waaaaayyyyy back in Season 1’s “Skin Deep”, Rumpel immediately began to revert to his non-magical, non-evil self. I find it interesting that two women have claimed to love Rumpelstiltskin, but only one of them could break the curse that made him the Dark One…maybe because Cora loved him because he was the Dark One, and Belle loved him in spite of it?

I wonder if any of this will be significant later in the season.

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