Rumple’s father chose magic over his son — the magic of being able to fly and the freedom he thought that would bring, the magic of becoming a boy again without responsibilities. When Rumple became a father, he also chose magic over his own son — the magic of being the Dark One and the power he thought that would bring, the magic of getting back at those who had humiliated him.
And so the cycle perpetuated itself through the generations, just as cycles of abuse are often handed down from parent to child.
In Think Lovely Thoughts, Pan accused Rumple of being just like him. Rumple denied it, but I think Pan was at least partially right.
In the cave, Pan told Rumple that he never stopped thinking about him and that he cared about him. I think he was telling the truth. Pan had no motive that I can see to lie at that point — Pan had the real Pandora’s box and had nothing to fear from Rumple.
Should Rumple (assuming he escapes from the box) forgive Pan? I understand why he wouldn’t want to — but would Rumple be better off if he could forgive his father? Would he be more at peace, more able to leave the painful past behind him? Would achieving that peace improve Rumple’s relationship with Bae/Neal?
Forgiveness, people say, is good for the soul. Could forgiving his father help Rumple heal himself from the evil acts he committed in his Dark One days?
Or do you think that Pan’s deserting young Rumple is not forgivable? Or is Pan unforgivable in any case because he tricked Henry and intended to kill him?
What do you think? (No spoilers, please.)