Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Sunday’s episode of Once Upon a Time. Read at your own risk!
Last year, viewers thought the casting for an incoming new character with a Scottish brogue meant we’d finally be meeting Rumplestiltskin’s mother on Once Upon a Time, but that turned out to be a clever ploy by the OUAT bosses to conceal the arrival of Merida. However, Sunday’s episode of the ABC fairy tale drama finally introduced the woman who birthed the dark one — and she has an appropriate title of her own.
In flashbacks, an imprisoned Belle (Emilie de Ravin) was charged with watching the baby that Rumple (Robert Carlyle) had stolen in the name of luring the Black Fairy (Jaime Murray), who had a penchant for taking children. However, Rumple had an ulterior motive in doing so: He wanted to confront the Black Fairy as she’s his mother. She abandoned him long ago and he wanted to know why.
“Sometimes you have to choose power over love,” she told him before disappearing into the night.
The reveal offers some insight into why Rumple himself has decidedly leaned into his more evil side, having been deserted by his own mother in her quest for power — and let’s not forget that his father also left Rumple behind to become Peter Pan. However, Rumple finds history repeating itself. After Belle’s pregnancy is rushed by a renegade Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla), Belle enlists the Blue Fairy (Keegan Connor Tracy) to take her newborn child some place far away so that Rumple could not change his destiny. In short, she sacrificed her own happiness for her son’s, which should surely cause an even greater divide with Rumple, who has once again lost another son.
Once Upon a Time‘s winter finale airs next Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Check out exclusive photos from the winter finale here.