My thoughts exactly. I think the greatest thing that separates Regina from Rumpelstiltskin is the fact that she doesn’t seem to enjoy ruining other people’s lives (other than Snow’s, of course) and he does.
With the Huntsman she ripped his heart out of impulse and fury for trying to deceive her.
With Graham she crushed it, in tears, because he began remembering things and was therefore a threat to the curse.
With her father it was a last resort and she was visibly unhappy.
With Leopold, as if this needed explaining, she wanted him killed because the marriage was loveless, implied to be emotionally abusive, and she was trapped within the palace walls.
With the Mad Hatter there was definitely a pained expression on her face for separating him from his daughter but saving her father outweighed her guilt (and let’s be honest here, a lot of people would probably do the same for their loved ones).
In all of these instances Regina’s actions were fueled by the fact that she believed committing them was necessary for her survival and happiness. Sure they were difficult for her, sure she didn’t want it to have to come to murder, but, in her mind, she didn’t have a choice.
Intent is everything
Whereas with Rumpelstiltskin, he seems to really thrive off of making others miserable. Every time he strikes a new deal with someone he is practically bouncing off the walls with glee- he giggles, smiles, makes jokes, puts on theatrics, etc. He targets the desperate, knowing just how vulnerable they are, and feels no remorse in taking advantage of them whether it be right then or later on in the near future.
He has no motive for this. No reason whatsoever to enjoy causing these poor helpless people to suffer at his own hand. But none of that matters to him. Their pain- he couldn’t care less about it. It’s all just one big joke to him. Life is a game and he’s more than just good at it.
Intent is meaningless.
Something else I’ve noticed: how many times have we seen Rumpelstiltskin show mercy to someone? Never. Anyone he’s ever made a deal with has had to pay at some point or another. That some have outsmarted him is one thing but that does not mean he let them get off easy. They just got lucky or had the wits to beat him at his own game (See Cinderella and Cora).
Whereas Regina’s been much more generous with her mercy:
With the Genie you can tell she feels enormous guilt for incriminating him which is probably the reason for her offering him an escape, something not many others would have bothered with (*Cough*…Rumpelstiltskin…*Cough*). She had nothing to gain from helping him get away but did so anyways.
With Hansel & Gretel, despite being quite brutally (albeit understandably) rejected (at least by Gretel), she let them go. (Somehow I don’t see Rumpelstiltskin doing the same in this situation.)
With their Father, whom she could have easily killed to punish Hansel & Gretel for refusing to live with her and instead choosing to search for him, she let him go. And in once piece no less. Again, dear old Rumpels most certainly would not have acted similarly.
Rumpelstiltskin is not the man most people make him out to be. The fact that he’s charismatic does not make him a nice guy. I think a significant number of people are greatly blinded to that because they find him such a fascinating and even comical character. And he is. But it must be understood that he is still a horrible person in more ways than one.
Regina, in comparison, is much more subdued. She does not burst out in childish laughter, make dramatic hand gestures, or play with her voice in such an over-the-top, ridiculous manner. Her humour is darker, less playful.
That’s why people tend to like Rumpelstiltskin better than Regina. Because he does not come across as such a bad guy. His wicked nature is exceptionally subtle and the way he carries himself is very light and playful. So, at a glance, he doesn’t seem so terrible. But once you start digging away at the surface you come to an entirely different conclusion: Rumpelstiltskin is every bit as dark as Regina and, in my opinion, a hell of a whole lot worse.
Like Regina told David in episode sixteen: looks can be deceiving. And that is exactly why Rumpelstiltskin is often excused as simply a poor, misunderstood soul and nothing more. When, in reality, Regina’s the one who should be given more credit in that respect.
*Disclaimer: I do not hate Rumpelstiltskin. He’s actually one of my very favorites.
Rachel rushed right to Quinn’s bedside after the crash, and didn’t go home for the night like everyone else. The hospital staff were prepared to kick her out, but ultimately Judy stepped in and allowed her to spend the night.
She never left Quinn’s side for a week. She skipped school, meals, and hygiene in the hopes that she would be the first thing Quinn saw when she woke up.
One night, when Rachel drifts off clutching Quinn’s hand, she’s pleasantly surprised to discover that she’s not trapped in her recent recurring nightmare of a smashed Volkswagen bug and an angry red smear on I-75.
She’s in complete blackness, except for a distant light that is suspended from the heavens. As she draws nearer, she hears suspiciously familiar music.
She knows that voice. She would know it anywhere, even when she hasn’t been subjected to its melodic lilt for seven days now.
Rachel is close enough to get a good look at Quinn now. Her leg isn’t sticking out at that odd angle, and there aren’t any marks on her skin. She’s just as radiant as she’s ever been, if not more so.
The intro fades and on impulse, Rachel picks up the first verse. It’s funny because she always figured that Quinn would the Glinda to her Elphaba and not vice versa, but she supposes that times have changed. Rachel walks in a slow circle around Quinn’s spotlight, never looking up from her feet as she gets her way through the first verse and chorus. She finally looks up when she sings “but because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” Quinn is staring at her. Her hazel eyes seem dimmer, and the smile that’s tugging at her lips looks anything but happy.
“It well may be that we will never meet again,” Quinn starts, and something inside of Rachel breaks. A sob looses itself from her body. Quinn looks up, startled, but continues singing as if she is a record spitting out a pre-recorded track. Still, she offers her hand and Rachel desperately entwines their fingers.
Quinn’s fingers seem to shoot courage into her body. It flows through her entire being and lets her put aside every other emotion to focus on performing. They make it through most of the song without incident, though when they near the final “because I knew you,” Quinn turns Rachel to face her - “I have been changed for good” - and pulls her into a bone-crushing hug.
The music fades out of the nothingness from whence it came, so there is nothing to disguise Rachel’s renewed, heavy flow of sobs. Quinn runs her hand comfortingly up and down Rachel’s back, and Rachel wonders to herself why she never tried this with Quinn before. She’s not sure why she’s so sad - this is a dream, she’s aware of it now, so nothing that happens here is real. But she’s never liked goodbyes, and this feels a bit too final for her.
Quinn pulls back. There are tears streaming down her face as well, but her face isn’t an ugly red like Rachel is sure that her own is. It figures that she would still be gorgeous even when she’s crying. “Shhhhh.” Slowly, Quinn brings her thumb up to wipe the tears from Rachel’s left eye. “Pretty girls shouldn’t cry.” All of a sudden, Quinn’s lips are on Rachel’s. It’s only for a brief moment and then her face is pressed against Rachel’s, cheek to cheek. “Hold out, if you can,” she whispers into her ear. She kisses her again. It’s a little longer so Rachel knows to react this time, but it’s also oddly bittersweet.
Their bodies disentangle and Quinn smiles that sad smile at her again. “I’m so proud of you. I want you to know that. I’m not sure that you ever knew.” She grasps for her hand again. Rachel doesn’t have the heart to grasp back. “And Rachel? I don’t blame you. I don’t blame you, so you shouldn’t blame yourself.”
She gives her hand one last squeeze before walking backwards into the darkness. “I’ll be waiting. Don’t forget, okay?”
And then she’s gone. Rachel snaps forward, out of her trance, and starts sprinting in the direction that Quinn left. It’s dark and she can’t see, and suddenly there’s this coldness that envelopes her as a shrill sound breaks through the air…
She wakes to the flatline of Quinn’s heart monitor.
Say Finchel have children. Imagine the “how did you get together” story that every kid wants to hear at some point or another.
“Well see, Daddy cheated on his pregnant girlfriend with me but he still continued to date her. Then he took advantage of my feelings to get a scholarship, but Mommy still had a crush on Daddy anyway. I even broke up Daddy and his girlfriend so I could have him for myself, but he still wouldn’t date me. Then he “dated” two lesbian cheerleaders, lost his virginity to one of them, lied to me about it, yada yada yada. You know how that goes. I cheated on him with his best friend. We stopped dating. It was kind of a big deal. Next thing I know, he got his ex to cheat on her boyfriend with him. Time went on. Daddy tried to beat up my ex out of jealousy while still dating his ex during prom. We kissed on stage during Nationals. It cost us Nationals actually but that’s beside the point. Then during senior year, Daddy and I had an identity crisis. I gave Daddy pity s—I made love to Daddy. Then he—we had some trouble with career goals. We assumed we had nothing but each other so we got engaged and almost got married! Then there was some more identity crisis drama and arguing over our futures but it was all for love! The rest is history. Oh yeah, and pretty much everyone tried to get us to break up for the sake of our futures but Daddy loved me so it didn’t matter that I felt like I was trying to drag an anchor to New York.”