I felt that Rumpelstiltskin’s relationship with the women in his life and in the show deserved its own entry.
Although I do not wish to discount the evil that Regina has indeed done—she has killed, manipulated, stepped over and devastated many, many people—it is getting to be ever-more clear that…
There has been quite a lot of debate lately in the “Once Upon A Time” fandom about the way the show touches upon issues like rape, abuse, murder etc, or the way that adoption is portrayed. However, in most discussions it becomes clear that the female characters in OUAT are subject to much more criticism than their male counterparts.
Okay but can we also talk about how Gold’s attitude towards Henry proves once and for all that his motivations in finding Nealfire were purely selfish?
He did not want to reunite with his son for the sake of his son’s happiness, well-being, or redemption. He wanted to reunite with him for the sake of resolving his own daddy issues.
I mean, not only is Henry his grandson (biologically speaking) he is the son of the person he has been desperately searching for, supposedly to make amends. To right his wrongs. As much as I hate that this is an actual storyline, Nealfire is obviously enamored with his newfound offspring. Henry’s existence makes him happy. So Gold should, in theory, be happy that Neal is happy, so he should be happy that Henry exists.
The thing is, that theory is based on Gold actually wanting Neal’s happiness, not just his own. What he actually wants from Bae is not love and redemption, it’s an outlet to deal with his issues about his own father being absent. That’s why he wanted to make Neal fourteen again. He wanted to raise a child to be the father he never had, and to escape the consequences of his actions in choosing power over his son. It’s All About Him, never about anyone else.
The amount of fictional men who see their children as tools to deal with their own daddy issues, instead of their own people with their own needs and desires, is staggering. And yet I’m supposed to sympathize with them.
A lot of people are saying that Liu should’ve been Sherlock instead of Watson. And they’re right, it would’ve been awesome for all the reasons they list. But here’s my two cents about why I’m super happy that she’s Watson instead.
“And for me, it’s so much more important that she’s Watson instead of Holmes because of what Watson represents as a character. Watson is the one of the most famous literary examples of the every-man, the audience surrogate, the person meant to be identified with. Because of the rich literary history of the character, there’s an immediacy and cognitive understanding of how the audience is fundamentally supposed to relate to the character. For an Asian-American to be cast in the role as the “ordinary American,” as sad as it is, for me is ground-breaking and means a lot.”
After re-watching “The Cricket Game”, I feel the need to defend Snow White and her attempt to redeem Regina. I’ve seen a lot of criticism around Tumblr of the chance that she gave Regina, calling it essentially a shallow and seriously flawed attempt at rehabilitation. This is a totally true statement. However, I’ve also come to the conclusion that Snow did the best in this situation that she could with the resources available to her.
Snow, in this episode, is much like a little girl who has broken her mother’s favorite vase, a gift from a late loved one. She didn’t mean to break it, but she did, and she’s desperately trying to put the pieces back together so that Mommy won’t be angry anymore, but she’s a little girl, and she doesn’t have any glue. She’s not equipped to put anything back together.
We’ve discussed in the once upon a meta tag about how what Regina really needed after Daniel’s death was therapy, or some kind of other professional psychological help so that she could work through the abuse that she’d suffered and heal and become healthy again. The problem, though, is that it would appear that psychology, therapy, and rehabilitation do not exist in Fairytale Land. I mean, this is a realm ruled by absolute monarchs who can have anyone executed if the whim strikes them (see: George and Charming). If you piss off the monarch, you get executed; there is no system of rehabilitation set up here. And the closest you can get to a psychotherapist is Jiminy Cricket, but in this world, he’s just a conscience — he hasn’t gotten his Ph.D. from the curse yet, and it shows. In Storybrooke, one of the first things that Archie does after the curse breaks is to go to Regina and offer her his services. In FTL, though, he tells Snow and Charming that “I fear the queen will never change.” Whereas Archie believes in Regina and her capacity for change, Jiminy does not; to him, as to virtually all others, she is a lost cause.
Can I just take a moment to spam this post with how important I find Ruby’s character to be—she’s the Charmings’ right hand.
When Snow, Charming, and Emma are all incapacitated who did Grumpy run to with news? Red—because she’s the leader in their absence, because she would take action, she would do her best to make things right. We’ve seen how close she is to the Charming family; she’s the kind of friend who would take on an entire fleet of knights by herself to give Charming a chance to get away and save Snow, she’s the friend Emma and Snow trusted Henry with when they went to banish the Wraith, she’s at every single FTL strategy meeting back when they were first pitted againt the Evil Queen and acting as a militia group, and she stepped into a leadership role after the curse was broken by helping set up the find-me flyer board and using the diner as a gathering point (it even looked like she had a better handle on things then Charming himself).
Ruby is a key player in the Charming hierarchy, she is one of their most trusted allies, and when there was trouble in the New World, what did she do? She looked for counsel from Henry because he’s the heir. In that moment he was the last member of the royal family and she respects that so much. Look at the way she’s regarding Henry in this gif set, I implore you. She will serve the Charming family, Snow’s family, until she dies. She would give her life for these people, because Snow gave her a reason to believe she has a life worth living.
And when they go back to FTL, the kingdom will be ruled just and fairly by the Charmings, and they will appoint a new guardian of the Enchanted Forest, one who sings to the moon and wears the boldest colored cloak; she will be the Red Huntress.
Anyone who thinks that Gold deserves ANYTHING should watch this scene over and over. Because what this scene is about is the following:
1) Gold asserts his power once again. He uses the word “control” to Henry, harnessing magic for his own gain. In a way, it’s a diluted version of what he said to Regina when he was teaching her magic. And he veils it all underneath the notion of displacing fear. He preys upon Henry’s terror and knows that not only will Henry do anything to make the nightmares stop, but so will Regina. Because if Gold knows anything, he knows Regina’s weak point: her heart. Her capacity to feel love. And remember, “nothing is innocent”. Not even Henry. Maybe ESPECIALLY not Henry, as far as Gold is concerned. Henry’s a pawn that he can use to reassert himself over Regina, to establish himself in her life once more, to remind her that HE holds the power now, not her. And the saddest thing is that Regina never DID hold the power, because she was a pawn herself.
2) Gold’s language is specifically designed to widen the gap between Henry and Regina. He uses the word “victims” when talking about the sleeping curse. And yeah, you know, Regina DID see them as victims and never cared one jot about them. ”Until now”. And Gold seizes that opportunity to drive it home to her again that she’s “bad”, that she’s “evil”, that she’s all the things she’s desperately trying NOT to be anymore in order to earn Henry’s love. But how is she supposed to do that when Henry - a child who believes in fairytales and true love - hears himself defined as another one of Regina’s “victims”? Children are susceptible to the suggested images of themselves given by adults and even though Henry has his own mind and his own belief system, there’s no doubt that Gold’s words will sink into his subconscious somewhere along the line.
3) This entire scene is about Gold make sure he belittles Regina. But not in the way he’s done before. No; this scene is about him doing it in front of Henry - the one person that Regina NEEDS to believe in her. Gold previously told Regina that she had nothing of any value to him, and he repeats the same sentiment here, but it’s somehow worse that he does it in front of Henry. Regina has absolutely no emotional currency to Gold anymore and he rams that point home by telling her that she “couldn’t afford it”. He then compounds that removal of worth by appearing magnanimous - “this is for Henry; this one’s on me”. Oh Gold, you’re SO gracious and giving and kind, aren’t you? Especially when you just took that emotional sword and shoved it into Regina’s chest in front of her child.
I love scenes with Lana and Robert; I really do. But I’m wondering just HOW far they’re going to demean, humiliate and punish Regina before enough is enough. Of COURSE I’m on her side; I’ll ALWAYS be on her side. But honestly, this scene disgusted me for the undertones of misogyny and a sheer lack of respect for Regina as a woman, a mother and someone whom Gold has consistently used for his own selfish reasons, destroying her life and the very essence of the person she was.
He tells her, flat out, that he’s not afraid of her. But he frames it under the guise of helping Henry and frankly, I find that repulsive. The smirk on his face when he talks about control stopping fear is offensive - he’s directing this at Regina. Henry is just a convenient excuse. And the fact that Regina ASKED for his help shows just how desperate this woman is to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to help her son. Because she LOVES him.
I’m not sure Gold loves anything more than power and winning and elevating himself above everyone else, but especially Regina. And I find that makes him morally bankrupt to me. It’s a phrase I’ve come to associate with him quite a lot this season so far, because the more he pulls this sort of crap with Regina - continuously and relentlessly and HEARTLESSLY - the less inclined I am to believe that he’s even capable of redemption, let alone deserving of it.
And you know what, I just realized that Gold does to Regina and Henry in this scene what was done to him and Bae. He belittles Regina in front of her own child, much like Hordor and his men did to Rumplestiltskin in “Desperate Souls”, and he subtly indicates to Henry that he is not safe with Regina and should flee, much like how Bae left him (which, Bae didn’t leave so much as he was DROPPED into a fucking swirling green vortex of doom, but Rumple still seems pretty irrational in that regard).
And it’s just like Gold is SO angry that he lost control of Regina, even for a moment, that he’s determined to make her suffer the way that he suffered. He lost his son, the most important person in the world to him, and he wants to make Regina suffer in kind by taking her child away from her. It’s sickening, really, because Rumple is the one who MADE Regina this way, but his control issues are just ridiculous.
We really, really need to sit down and have a serious talk about your misogyny, Gold.
It totally breaks my heart how Regina is talking to/about herself here. The saddest thing about abused children is how much they blame themselves, and that’s a huge part of why Regina blames Snow and not Cora. Even then, something that could be a reason to bond with Snow—a fellow victim at this point—is warped and twisted beyond recognition into a reason to punish her.
Regina is taking her place in the cycle, even as she fights it tooth and nail. She just needed one person to help her instead of helping themselves; one person to listen to her when she dared confess what her mother did to her, how it made her feel, but nothing. No Blue Fairy, no noble suitor to sacrifice himself, no band of dwarves to seek a cure for what ailed her. Just Regina, all alone, with her feelings of pain and worthlessness.
Cora is invincible in Regina’s mind (until Rumple, until magic, and even then she’s reluctant, even then she loves her mother), but Snow is just as weak as Regina, just as deserving of punishment and suffering. But neither of these gorgeous girls deserve that. Oh Cora, look what you’ve done (and who did this to you, to make you this way?)
I hope Princess Cactus Flower takes out you, dragon-style, with a sword to the throat.
This essay is bound to be incredibly unpopular in several corners of the fandom, but I really feel the need to point out a pattern that I’ve noticed of late with Rumplestiltskin. Control is a big part of Rumplestiltskin’s character: he never had it as a human, then he got it when he became the Dark One, and it completely corrupted him. Any chance he has, he seizes power over others and his surroundings, but there is an especially disturbing pattern in which Rumplestiltskin seeks to control women (and their sexuality especially) and manipulate them to his liking — and if they fight back, and he loses control over them, he rains violent retribution down on them.
Okay, yes, and this took way longer to get around to than intended. Sorry! (This is now extra funny because in the S4 premiere Kate Hudson mentions body dysmorphia. HAH GLEE, U SO CLEVER.)
This is Quinn, so trigger warnings for discussion of BDD, depression, emotional abuse, and suicide ideation. So, that said, HERE WE GO.
I was told that I just wasn’t looking at Mako ‘from the male perspective’. I find this advice interesting, because I previously had no idea you could make cheating, neglect, irresponsibility, and callousness somehow sympathetic by looking at it from the ‘male perspective’. I am especially sure that the male perspective and the female perspective on cheating actually align perfectly, seeing that both genders seem to get really ticked off about it for exactly the same reasons. So, let’s look at the cold hard facts of what has happened in Asami and Mako’s relationship so far:
Okay, I’ll just say this about Firefly and feminism and then I’ll shut up.
Firefly is set 500 years in the future right? So you know what could have made it really feminist?
What if misogyny just didn’t exist anymore.
What if the show brought forward the theory that, in a few hundred years, we’ll have managed to evolve beyond the patriarchy and women will be treated equal, will BE equal to men, and no one would react to it because it’s just the norm?
Is that really harder to imagine than “Terra-Forming” planets and moons? Than someone being engineered to read thoughts? Than living on a spaceship?
Also I know it’s late and everyone has probably said it in twenty different ways already but I just need to get this off my chest okay.
In S1 when Quinn got overwhelmed by her insecurities a guy took advantage of her in her vulnerable state in a way that shows serious consent issues (see here if you’re not familiar with my views about Puck/Quinn consent). The writers tried to portray this as Quinn seeking solace in the ~forbidden bad boy.
In S3 we get Quinn getting overwhelmed by her insecurities and a guy taking advantage of her in her vulnerable state (aka Joe rubbing his boner against her legs when she couldn’t feel it, which was gross and creepy) The writers portrayed this as Quinn seeking solace in the sexual attraction of a guy for her.
Glee has such problems with consent (not just sexual consent, mind you) that I am starting to get seriously creeped out at the thought of what these writers may or may not have done in their lives to consider this okay. And I generally try not to make assumptions about someone’s actions based on their ~artistic creations but Jesus fuck, disturbing patterns are emerging here.
Okay, you know what? You know what? I’m done tip-toeing around it. I’m shaking with rage and I will rant about this because FUCK YOU GLEE.
There was no consent on Quinn’s part in the Journey flashback where Puck got Quinn pregnant.
I’m trying to state all of this coherently, from the beginning.
Also, under the cut are my issues with the depiction of consent in that Journey flashback scene. I have STRONG feelings about that scene and am not willing to change my mind. Then it gets into the Puck/Fatherhood and my issues with that in contradiction with Quinn/Motherhood. (Basically there’s a lot of misogyny and double standard, I think.) The part about consent might be triggering, so trigger warning for sexual coercion.