Things we expected to happen in the Once Upon a Time Season 3 midseason finale: Peter Pan dying. Things we did not expect to happen in the Once Upon a Time Season 3 winter finale: Rumplestiltskin dying. Things that actually did happen in the Once Upon a Time Season 3 winter finale: both. Or so it would appear.
Rumple, after switching Peter Pan and Henry back to the same bodies but failing to successfully restrain his father, confronted daddy not-so-dearest in the street. It was an emotional moment, with Rumple admitting that he was finally ready to sacrifice himself for the good of others — most importantly, for the good of his son. To kill Pan, he would also have to die, he said. He's a villain, and villains don't get a happy ending.
He called his shadow, which delivered the Dark One dagger into his hand. He grabbed Pan, hugged him close, and stabbed him through with the dagger, which presumably also hit his own heart. Pan transformed into Rumple's adult father, and then they both disappeared, the implication being that they were dead. (Regina even later referred Pan as dead).
Of course, on this show, dead doesn't always mean dead for good (as we were reminded with the Blue Fairy coming back this week), and we have a hard time believing the show actually killed off one of its most popular characters (not to mention most talented actors!). There are plenty of ways Rumple could be brought back, and we certainly hope he isn't really gone. The show wouldn't be the same without him.
Do you think Rumple is really dead? Sound off in the comments below!
Rebecca Martin is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Game of Thrones, Pretty Little Liars, and genre TV expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!