I’ve seen lots of tumblr and general internet angst lately regarding the death of one Neal Cassidy.
People keep going on about how he was killed for no good reason and how dare those writers, they suck, they don’t know what they’re doing, let’s petition to bring him back! And btw, it’s all…
In a nutshell: Neal had to die because he was Rumple’s happy ending and the show is promoting the notion that villains don’t get happy endings.
Neal made Rumple desire to be more evil and more of a villain, and he prevented Emma from reaching her potential as a magical hero.
And Neal was responsible directly and indirectly for Rumple’s villainy, including his killing of Milah.
My response to this (at least, what I feel I can put into print of it):
1. Villains don’t get happy endings on the show? Call me after the Outlaw Queen wedding. Call me after Belle and Rumple decide to make babies and have a new family (or just to live happily ever after as a couple). Call me after Emma accepts Hook’s advances. Call me after Regina gets to be a stepmom to little Roland. Call me after Hook becomes Henry’s bff.
Matter of fact, don’t call me. I won’t have anything polite to say in return. Because you know who doesn’t get happy endings on this show (whether the show gives it lipservice or not, it’s in the action of the text): heroes. Good guys. Nice people. Warriors for good. Decent folk. Anybody who doesn’t know what it is to murder. Those are the people who don’t get happy endings.
2. & 3 (because they’re linked) This is victim-blaming. This is saying Jodie Foster (or, just her existence) caused John Hinckley, Jr. to shoot President Reagan. Bae/Neal did NOTHING to make Rumple crave darkness. He begged him to do exactly the opposite. He crafted a risky plan to keep Rumple from darkness.
That Rumple used Neal as his REASON to pursue darkness is never an acceptable thing to lay at Bae/Neal’s doorstep. That Neal was the cause of the Curse (because Rumple chose to enact a Curse) is not a crime on the part of Neal. You cannot say that because an unbalanced stalker wants to get your attention and date you if he goes out and does people or things harm that it’s your fault. No court or judge in America would agree with that shameful logic.
As for Neal holding back Emma from being magical? If he hadn’t left her she wouldn’t even know magic existed, much less that she had it within her.