Loving the Beast from the Brink

It’s no surprise that girls have a thing for the bad boy. If anyone has watched the most recent episode of Once Upon A time, you’ll know what I mean. The “tale as old as time” really is that old.

The story of Beauty and the Beast has been my favorite fairytale since before I can remember. Which is probably why Belle’s appearance in Sunday’s episode of Once Upon a Time practically made my week. Anyone else think the change from a burly beast to the man we love to hate, Rumple, was brilliant on the part of the writers? I love it when we get to see so much of a villain’s character and past!

When it became clear that Belle and Rumple would develop a romantic relationship of sorts, I was a little put off. Rumplistiltskin? The baby-stealing, deal-making, demi-villian? But who could find the sweet glances thrown his way by Belle and the way they danced around the word “love” in reference to them, anything but endearing?

Maybe that’s why the ending was so heartbreaking, in both worlds. The situation in Fairytale Land was sad enough (no one likes suicidal princesses), but in Storybrook?? Talk about unrequited love! It was beyond disappointing how the episode ended, with Rumple freaking out and sending Belle away only to find out later that Regina is hoarding her in an insane asylum in Storybrook.

But despite that, it gave me hope. Maybe Rumple and Belle will end up together in the end after all. Maybe Mr. Gold will be reunited with in Storybrook, because after all, he DOES remember his old life and remembered Belle and his love for her. And despite my initial shock of Rumple playing the Beast (although, after he usurped the Fairy Godmother’s position, I guess I should have seen it coming), I can’t help but hope that they are together in the end.

Anyways, all of this got me thinking. I’m not sure if it’s a combination of Valentine’s Day, seeing Once Upon a Time, or the fact that the I get to see the Broadway Beauty and the Beast this weekend, but it put me in a romantic mood. There is something to be said for love. Maybe that’s why we resonate with the story of a beautiful girl loving a beast back to humanity. Isn’t it a beautiful hope that someone so far gone could be brought back by love (potentially dangerous and destructive and I would never advise my future daughters to do what Belle does)? But wasn’t that Belle’s hope with Rumple? That her love could heal him. That she could love the monster in him, from the brink of pure evil, back to humanity. To her.

While there are dangers to that theory, I think the story of Belle and the Beast resonates with me because I value the idea that we should love the people that aren’t normally loved. Not that that has ever shown up in my own relationships…I tend to go for the Halfway There Mr. Perfects, who always end up being not to perfect at all. But I like to think that there is still hope for those Beasts to turn into men and those frogs to turn into Princes. It’s powerful, what love can do. I’d like to experience something that powerful. At least the little girl in me does. My twenty year old self still scoffs at chick flicks. And I don’t think that’s going to change.

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