'Once Upon A Time' Made Rumple The Dark One Again, But What Will That Mean For Storybrooke?

Over the past five years, Once Upon A Time has certainly had its share of villains. Most of them meet not-so-pleasant ends, but thankfully, the most beloved and entertaining evil mastermind has survived. I'm talking, of course, about Rumpelstiltskin, whose role as the Dark One is pretty much legendary at this point. Played brilliantly by the amazing Robert Carlyle, Rumple is a slimy, underhanded, and downright terrible piece of work — or at least he was, until his dark deeds nearly killed him in Season 4 when his heart went completely black — and he's so good to watch. The darkness was removed from him, restoring him to health after a stint in a magical coma. But all is not well, because Rumple may have become a hero long enough to pull Excalibur from the stone for Dark Swan, but now he's the Dark One again, and that can't be a good thing, right?

In theory, everything could be fine. After all, when the Apprentice took the darkness from Rumple, his heart was made pure again, essentially erasing several centuries of despicable deeds, or at least that was the idea. I'm not quite sure how that's even possible, to be honest. Regina's darkened heart is still darkened despite the fact that she's actually worked on redeeming herself, so how is it that Rumple's past sins have instantly dissolved by default? Eh, nevermind — it's Once, so I forgot that it's not going to make sense. The point is, since Rumple deceived everyone yet again in order to get his Dark One powers back, he can't possibly just going to sail on through another few centuries wreaking havoc without punishment, right?

Don't get me wrong, here — I'm certainly not complaining. As I said, Rumple is an incredible villain and Once wouldn't be the same without him (despite the fact that the show is already a shell of its former self, at this point). Rumple as the Dark One is only natural, and it's one of the best parts of the series, but if we're meant to believe everything Once has told us in the past, then there's no way this turn of events can go without consequence. Not only will Belle be absolutely crushed when (or, you know, if) she finds out, but surely Rumple's heart is going to bear the brunt of his darkness again, right?

Frankly, while I know much of Season 5B will be dedicated to the trip to the Underworld in order to try to rescue/resuscitate Hook, I seriously hope we give Rumple way more screen time, as he's one of the core cast members that really makes the show. I'll keep my fingers crossed, because something tells me the Dark One we all know and love is going to come back in full force.

Images: Jack Rowand/ABC