Once Upon a Time's Robert Carlyle reacts to that Belle twist

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Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Friday’s episode of Once Upon a Time. Read at your own risk.

The RumBelle story has come to an end — for now.

During Friday’s episode of Once Upon a Time, viewers finally found out what had become of Belle (Emilie de Ravin) and Rumple (Robert Carlyle) before the latter ended up in Hyperion Heights.

Long story short: They did get their happy ending, traveling the world together with their son, Gideon (Giles Matthey), before Rumple confessed to searching out a way to get rid of the Dark One dagger so he could be mortal and live out his days with Belle. Over time, Belle discovered a prophecy that sent them to the edge of the realms, where time basically stands still. Unfortunately, Belle continued to age in a heartbreaking Up-esque montage that showed their beautiful life together.

On her deathbed, Belle reveals to Rumple that she purposefully misinterpreted the prophecy — it’s actually her death that will show Rumple the path that will eventually free him from being the Dark One. Belle peacefully passes on, while Rumple sets out to find the mysterious Guardian that will set him free, allowing him to be reunited with Belle.

While the episode marks the end for de Ravin, who did not return for the rebooted seventh season as a series regular, it’s a fitting and beautiful ending for the couple — one that could possibly have an epilogue, should Rumple find the Guardian and be reunited with the woman who turned him from beast to man.

“Throughout the years, Adam [Horowitz] and Eddy [Kitsis] have provided me with some truly outstanding scripts, and ‘Beauty’ is most definitely up there with the best of them,” Carlyle says. “The emotional range this script demanded was exceptional, and to have had the opportunity to work alongside director Mick Garris on this piece was a real pleasure. Through six seasons, I’ve been blessed to have had the chance to work alongside the brilliant Emilie de Ravin, and being reunited with Emilie once more on this beautiful episode was such a joy. The entire RumBelle journey has been one of the most intense in my entire career, and sharing that journey with Emilie has been an absolute delight.”

Once Upon a Time airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Read our postmortem with executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis here, and our postmortem with Emilie de Ravin here.

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